I think it is interesting that even the favorite ancient Roman poet--Catullus--that JKR chose for Cormoran is linked to horses--since Catullus was a member of the 2nd highest property class in Roman society, the Equestrian class--which provided officers and means for the cavalry of Rome's Army.
Also since one of the street names for heroin is Horse, I believe drugs will figure into the main crime of Lethal White and that Cormoran and Shanker will be working together at some point (both have experience--but on the opposite sides of illegal drugs). They will work on both the current LW case and subsequently leading to them investigating the past heroin overdose murder of Leda Strike.
I really think that Cormoran will have to save Shanker in this book--as a necessary pay back for Shanker's saving both Robin and Cormoran in Career of Evil. Another reason to think that Shanker will be, (hopefully), safe in Lethal White.
I believe it's very likely that Shanker will end up dead by protecting Strike and/or Robin in one way or another. And I'm not looking forward to that at all, I kind of like the guy ...
That would make me sad because I really like Shanker as well. He is quite an interesting and rich character.
Very interesting! If anyone close to Strike is going to die (and I agree it's very likely that that will happen), I think you're right about Shanker. The mythological Leda story has been mentioned here before (as well as the Endymion-story), and I look forward to see how much of it can be linked with the Strike-saga. I believe it's very likely that Shanker will end up dead by protecting Strike and/or Robin in one way or another. And I'm not looking forward to that at all, I kind of like the guy ...
The question is asked for two reasons.
Reason 1: I imagine that like the Harry Potter series, JKR will, at some point, kill off some of the characters in the Strike series that surround the two main characters.
Reason 2: The reason I feel that Shanker is particularly vulnerable is because of information I found while writing a guest blog article. The information had to do with the mythological story surrounding the name that JKR gave to Strike’s mother, Leda.
I believe she chose it because of the mythology attached to the mythological Leda's story. This seems especially true since JKR gave Cormoran some of the traits of Leda’s immortal son, Pollux. She also gave Leda Strike two sons—who have two different fathers, just like mythological Leda's sons.
Mythological Leda had twin sons and Leda Strike didn’t but she did have two boys, her biological son (Cormoran) and the one she took in (Shanker), who are close in age—and the equivalent of the mythological Leda’s sons, Pollux and Castor.
In the mythological story the mortal brother, Castor, sacrifices his life to warn his brother, Pollux, about a surprise attack. This is why I feel that Shanker (mortal Castor) may be one of those fated to die in the series. (Hopefully not in Lethal White--and if I could vote ever.)
I think these books will deal with fate and choice, much like the Harry Potter books did and so there is clearly a way Shanker might not suffer the same fate—but I would be surprised if there isn’t a few characters that fall along the way.
(Another interesting aspect of the myth is how prominently white horses figure into it. Both brothers are portrayed as master horsemen and shown in Roman art with their white horses. They are also linked to the “Daughters of the White Horse” (Leucippides) from their shared story that they kidnapped two women “of White Horse” for their brides, even though both women were already betrothed to other twin brothers. (It could be seen as a tiny echo of this story when Shanker drives his (beige-not white-car) with Cormoran to show up at Robin’s wedding.))
In the myth, although Zeus saves his own son, Pollux asks him to not separate him from his now dead mortal brother. Zeus agrees as long as he’s willing to give up half of his own immortality. Pollux agrees and the two brothers are reunited and share the afterlife, alternating between Hades (mortal) and Olympus (immortal).
I don’t foresee JKR going that route (bumping off Cormoran)—unless she really does take 3 years between each book (20 or 25 years?) and decides that, since she’s not going to write any more in the series and she wants to make sure no one else does either, that she decides to go the way of Agatha Christie in her final Poirot book. JKR could do the same and write the final book from Robin’s viewpoint as she works her last case to solves Cormoran’s murder. (Which is too sad to contemplate.)
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