swan(s) -- (spoilers for LW) | Discuss Cormoran Strike! | Discuss

Avatar
Log In

Please consider registering
Guest

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Min search length: 3 characters / Max search length: 84 characters

Register Lost password?
sp_TopicIcon
swan(s) -- (spoilers for LW)
RSS
Avatar
196 Posts
(Offline)
5
10/16/2018 - 8:54 am

Yes, I forgot about this non-straightforward swan reference!

Avatar
16 Posts
(Offline)
4
10/15/2018 - 7:14 pm

I found this wonderful analysis by "viviennescircle" on Tumblr:

"Swans are a major theme in Lethal White, starting right off the bat with the wedding photos and continuing with the White Swan pub, which is mentioned several times referencing Robin in her doomed relationship with Matthew. My favorite mention of this motif is the name of Raff’s girlfriend’s boat, named “Odile”.

At first, I thought this was just another swan reference, darkened by the high stakes of the scene. Going further, though, I thought about how the nod to Swan Lake parallels Robin’s story.

On the surface level, Robin represents Siegfried, expecting to meet Odette (Matthew), and being tricked into coming face to face with Odile (Raff, who also doubles as Rothbart in this metaphor). I wasn’t completely happy with this explanation, though, mainly because Matthew is hardly Robin’s true love, and she didn’t go to the canal to “choose him”.

Instead, I thought more about Strike’s warning to Robin, arriving moments too late to save her from staring down the barrel of Raff’s gun. Robin has had a clear attraction to Raff throughout the book, paralleling Siegfried’s attraction to Odile’s appearance in the ballet. While Siegfried and Odile are dancing at the ball, Odette, trapped as a swan, fails to alert the prince of Rothbart’s trickery before he has made a nearly fatal mistake in choosing Odile. Obviously, you can see where I’m going here.

Strike, like Odette, is hindered physically with his prosthesis, though this is not the reason he is unable to immediately come to Robin’s aid. Robin chose to speak to “Matthew” on her own, kind of mirroring the prince’s decision to dance with Odile at the ball. Strike is too late to completely save Robin from the potentially traumatic, life-altering experience, like Odette is with Siegfried. And, similar to the end of Swan Lake, the pair do end up defeating evil (unlike a ballet like Giselle, where the evil is merely survived).

I also find it funny that swans were chosen as a motif at all- most people know they mate for life, and neither Robin nor Cormoran lasted in their own romantic relationships through the book."

Avatar
19 Posts
(Offline)
3
10/15/2018 - 4:01 pm

Rutland Belle said
When Matthew is on the scene the swan (Robin) is destined to remain alone. Once he is out of the picture the swans can be together.

At the wedding/prologue it could still go either way and the second swans remains on the periphery. It only comes closer when Matthew and Robin move apart.

JKR must like her birds: robins, cormorants (kind of!), swans, cuckoos, crows (Charlotte)...!  

Totally meant to be. Swans mate for life. So are Robins and Cormoran(t)s apperently.
I love the ring composition here. The novel starts with two swans separated by poor excuse for a husband/whinny Matt. At the end they engraved/together forever as twin swans. The only question is WHEN?

Avatar
Rutland Belle
2
10/15/2018 - 2:47 pm

When Matthew is on the scene the swan (Robin) is destined to remain alone. Once he is out of the picture the swans can be together.

At the wedding/prologue it could still go either way and the second swans remains on the periphery. It only comes closer when Matthew and Robin move apart.

JKR must like her birds: robins, cormorants (kind of!), swans, cuckoos, crows (Charlotte)...!

Avatar
196 Posts
(Offline)
1
10/15/2018 - 2:24 pm

I know that there were already quite a few discussion about the swan motive in Lethal White but they are spread under different topics. I thought those swans would deserve a separate topic as they seem to be an important motive in the book.

So apart from the Prologue, where swans are discussed extensively (as a potential background motive to the wedding photo of Robin and Matthew), swans are mentioned in four other chapters as well:

Chapter 3, when she decided to finish therapy and talked over the phone with Strike who told her about meeting Billy:

So deeply absorbed in her thoughts was she, that for the first time all week, Robin forgot to glance up at the White Swan pub as she passed it. High above the street, on the corner of the building, was a single carved swan, which reminded Robin, every time she passed it, of her calamitous wedding day.

Chapter 19, when she starts working at the Parliament, lying that she meets Vanessa (the preceding evening she talked to Strike on the phone and lied that it was Vanessa because she left her sunglasses at their place):

Her eyes flickered towards the single carved swan as she passed their local pub, but she forced her thoughts back onto the day ahead and not the man she had left behind.

Chapter 55, when Robin just left Matthew in a taxi after she found out he was cheating:

...and as the car approached the lonely stone swan high on the corner pub, she began to cry in earnest.

Epilogue, after she invited Strike to a curry evening to Nick and Ilsa, and he accepted:

Head bowed against the rain, she had no attention let to spare for the magnificent mansion past which she was walking, its rain-specked windows facing the great river, its front doors engraved with twin swans.

Forum Timezone: UTC 0
All RSS Show Stats

Top Posters:

Caitlin: 303

benedek: 196

Leafling: 110

Kalliope: 99

DonnaN: 88

Kaqu: 83

LindMea: 83

spotlessmind: 57

Impulse: 44

StMawes: 40

Forum Stats:

Groups: 2

Forums: 6

Topics: 212

Posts: 1820

 

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 73

Members: 503

Moderators: 0

Admins: 3

Most Users Ever Online: 36

Currently Online:
4 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)