in the Shadow of Greatness


November 18, 2002

Backstabbing Family

Here's another slant on the issue of Amber and its backstabbing family (see excellent comments to the earlier post):
What is the history of the Courts of Chaos?
Complete domination of the universe.
What is the history of the first king of Amber?
Complete domination of the reflections of Amber.
What is the family history of the royals of Amber?
Domination of their own destiny, and where possible their siblings' interference in that personal destiny. This last bit puts each individual in the family firmly in the mold of dear old Dad.

Your own purpose is kept close to the chest, to reveal it to others allows them to realize that it may conflict with their destiny as seen by them. Control is the goal. Secrecy is the method. Cross-purpose is the inevitable result. But this is the history of Amber's family, not the totality of them as individuals and not the mandate of day-to-day actions. If you can get your own way, without treachery or backstabbing; more power to you. Benedict and Llewella come to mind. At some level, you care about your sibs, your family, their plans because they are the ones who might conceivably mess up your plans. It's a completely ego-centric spin that doesn't mandate killing family but does suggest that no one ever really expects to get a straight answer from another member of the blood. Amber royals can even be "honest" with each other, and not really tell what they are up to. There are ways to tell the truth and still not expose yourself (even if you've lost your memory).

Managing information about yourself is the best control and protection you have.
Are amberites slightly sociopathic?
You bet they are. Their society is a elite clique so small that it almost isn't a society at all. In 99% of the universe, their personal desires are fiat.
Do amberites have real feelings and vulnerabilities?
You bet they do.
Is it treacherous to always want things your own way?
Debatable. Civilization says, "yes", and so we have laws that govern our common behavior. Amber says, "hell no", but there are larger issues of survival as a "society" that do get steady respect.

Filed under : Amber at 18.11.2002