Frostborn Retrospective #1

Note that this post has !!!SPOILERS!!! for the first fourteen books in FROSTBORN.

I have to admit that finishing the FROSTBORN series made me nostalgic. After all, it was fifteen novels and a whole lot of short stories in four years. Also, I re-read a bunch of the previous books while writing FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON, and I listened to the first two audiobooks, so it was a bit of a trip down memory lane.

I really liked this scene in FROSTBORN: THE IRON TOWER:

“We won,” said Mara. She sounded stunned.

“We did,” said Ridmark.

“Was this…was this your plan?” said Mara.

“Not at all,” said Ridmark.

“Then…then you really are just a madman with a stick, aren’t you?” said Mara. She began to laugh, and then covered her face.

I always liked Ridmark’s and Mara’s interactions. They sort of take turns playing the protective older brother or the wiser older sister as the situation demands.

But! In the original outline for the FROSTBORN series, Mara wasn’t supposed to appear again after THE IRON TOWER. I had planned her as Jager’s vaguely good-natured girlfriend, and she would stay behind when Jager accompanied Ridmark and the others to Urd Morlemoch.

But when I got to her first scene in THE MASTER THIEF, I was bored with her character, so I threw in the detail that she was half dark elf without thinking it through. Because of that, the path of the whole rest of the story changed – the Traveler, Nightmane Forest, the Anathgrimm, and the character of Third all came from that snap decision.

-JM

4 thoughts on “Frostborn Retrospective #1

  1. Matthew

    Wait…..what? You threw it in? Ummmm that’s a major plot point to the back half of your series. And since you seem hell bent on continuing the world you’re going to get to address all sorts of fun things from the illegal magic the orcs practice to Mara and Jaegar’s lifespans (e.g. can they make Nightmane Forest safe in one human generation?). You decided to WING THIS? Mara is something of a kickass character so I’m not over here complaining but madman with a stick seems like a fair description…

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Moeller Post author

      Stylus. I wrote a lot of FROSTBORN on various Windows tablets so the correct term would be madman with a stylus. 🙂

      “And since you seem hell bent on continuing the world you’re going to get to address all sorts of fun things from the illegal magic the orcs practice to Mara and Jaegar’s lifespans (e.g. can they make Nightmane Forest safe in one human generation?). You decided to WING THIS?”

      I prefer to think of them as “storytelling opportunities”. 🙂

      Reply
    2. Kytheros

      To be fair, I don’t think it’s ever been specified as to the relative lifespans of halflings in this universe. If they have lifespans on par with hobbits in Tolkien, then they’re probably good for 100+ years. Or, in Jager’s case, probably at least a generation or two of young Anathgrimm.

      Also … I expect that Mara (and Third) are not going to have human-normal lifespans. They’re fully half-Dark Elf, and non-subjugated evolutions/awakenings thereof – and all indications are that the subjugated evolutions of half-Dark Elves have multiple-century lifespans, and possibly biological immortality (ie, no death of old age, but can be killed). They might not have biological immortality, but I do expect them to have the potential to outlive any of the normal mortal races, if nothing kills them first – that is, I fully expect that they would have life spans at least on par with a Dwarf, starting from when they took their current form, if they don’t have biological immortality (or something close enough) – after all, if Mara and Third have a potential lifespan of 500+ years, then unless they get killed, it’s probably unlikely that he’ll still be writing past their lifetimes.

      Plus, IIRC, he said something similar about bringing Kylon back, over in the Ghost series. That’s a similarly major change. Possibly even more of one.
      Not every author could pull it off, but in both cases, it’s turned out rather well, I think.

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Moeller Post author

        “Also … I expect that Mara (and Third) are not going to have human-normal lifespans.”

        That is entirely correct. Halflings, generally, can live between 150 and 200 years. (They say it’s because their hearts don’t have to pump blood so high, and therefore they live longer.) There are examples in Andomhaim of the same halfling seneschal serving four to five generations of the same noble family.

        “Plus, IIRC, he said something similar about bringing Kylon back, over in the Ghost series. That’s a similarly major change. Possibly even more of one.”

        Heh. Emails on the subject of “when will Caina and Kylon get together” are the second most common topic of reader emails I have gotten. The first most common was the love triangle in FROSTBORN.

        Reply

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