Okay, I feel somewhat better

Okay, I feel somewhat better now. Mostly, I am just smarting over the entire affair. I have better and more friends, though, than I realize sometimes, and am much more than just a bleating sheep of pain. Although I don’t think that he was talking to me personally, Arref goes from that point, to talking about Amber, and the attitude of the Elders.
He makes a good comparison between immortal children…and Faerie (as in the real, 200-proof ones, not Tolkienized Elves). Children who lived forever, and had power to match, would be very much like them indeed. To go all scientific and biological, you might even say that Faerie are akin to empowered humans who show neotony not in physical appearance, but in their stage of social development.
Why are the Elders of Amber often depicted this way? Especially the first series…where stranding half brothers on islands, putting sharp objects in footwear, and shooting truck drivers are all considered appropriate behavior? Kids in a sandbox, to use Arref’s turn of phrase.
The answer is deceptively simple. Amberites are Faerie.
I can hear the groans now from some readers (although I bet Meera and Arref just think I am stating the obvious). Jvstin, this buisness with the copyright violation has addled your brain. Corwin, Brand, and all the rest are Faerie?
They sure are. The thing is, since we mostly seem them from the inside, we don’t really think of them as Faerie. Another good example is the novels of Steven Brust. Vlad is also in a Faerie realm, although in that case, things like the sky, and the implied border with a realm where things are different (Fenario) make it a little more clear. But Amber could be considered a Faerieland, and its inhabitants are Faerie.
You just have to get a little parallax from it. The head of the family is…Oberon. Sure, there is no Titania, but disregard that. High Magic, strange powers, time flows different than, say, Earth…an iconic realm…are these not all attributes of a Faerieland and its inhabitants? Add their child-like personalities, long life spans and cavalier attitudes toward shadows (mortals) and you are all set. Oberon’s continual search for new wives is nothing new–the stories of mortals being lured as lovers “Under the Hill” are too numerous to count.
You can push the analogy too far…Chaos as the Unseelie Court, perhaps, is a stretch. And as Arref points out in his missive linked above, the Amberites do something that true Faerie are rarely seen to do–grow and change, and mature.
In fact, now that the thought strikes me, perhaps THAT is one of the reasons why the Merlin series is not as well liked…an underreported reason, anyway. Not that Merlin’s story lacks a lot of the charge of Corwin’s, or some of the ideas are not well thought out (sentient Pattern and Logrus).
It’s that, with the Amberites far less the scheming and treacherous Faerie of the first series, some people who like their Amber to be filled with that sort of thing find it lacking in that area. The machinations in Chaos don’t hold a candle, in that sense, to the cabals, intrigues and side-switching of the First Series. Jim Groves once coined the phrase “Vanilla Amber” to describe Amber royal families where everyone gets along, and there is no conflict whatsoever. Aside from the matter of Luke and Dalt,both outsiders, internal family conflict in the Second Series is lacking, and that turns off a lot of people who adore the first series. Just combine it with the decidedly different taste of Merlin as protagonist, and its easy to see why there is a dichotomy.
Hmm…now there would be an interesting point to correlate and if I had Moveable type here, I’d do it. Do Amber players who really like Throne Wars correlate to those who prefer First Series?