Cover of the new book - maybe someone should ask Robin why Fitz is always portrayed as a Caucasian on all cover art?
Maybe because that’s what he’s described as being! No where does it state he has ebony skin…
No, it just says things like “wow, you really must have mountain blood if we can tell you’re blushing”, and remarks heavily whenever anyone is pale.
I always pictured Fitz as tanned/light brown skinned.
I don’t recall him being described with pale skin.
HERE’S A HINT TO ALL PEOPLE WHO READ.
IF A BOOK DESCRIBES ANOTHER RACE OF PEOPLE AS INCREDIBLY LIGHT SKINNED OR PALE AND DOES THAT REPEATEDLY,
THEY’RE PROBABLY NOT WHITE/PALE.
TAKE NOTE FIRE READERS.
Read any of the books and it is obvious that the people in the Six Duchies have dark skin.
pearlofllangothlin, it’s true Fitz is nowhere described as having ebony skin. There are far more skintones than just ebony, and as everyone before me already kindly explained, when people with pale skin are remarked on as looking other, it’s safe to assume that being pale is not the norm.
so the whole ethnic makeup of the realm of the elderlings is something that fascinates me and while these headcanons are cool they are a bit too overly simplistic 1and not fully accurate to the info we’ve been given. not to diminish your opinions and interpretations! but i’d like to share my more thorough analysis:
Spoilers for most RotE books ahead.
There are several different ethnic groups we know about in the Six Duchies. Chances are that these aren’t so clear-cut and there has been a lot of blending, so please bear with me.
Elderling-Era Descendants in the Mountain Kingdom
The very earliest settlers we know about in what is now the Six Duchies-Mountain Kingdom area (the northwest portion of the documented realm) are those that lived in the Elderling cities. One of the stunted dragons (Mercor?) told Alise that humans lived alongside Elderlings and dragons, albeit on the outskirts of the cities. Kelsingra is geographically quite close to the Mountain Kingdom, so I theorize that the fair-skinned people of the Mountain Kingdom (whom I cautiously identify as resembling Norse people based on their description as pale and their geographic location) are the closest descendants of the few surviving humans from Kelsingra. Please note that my interpretation as them resembling the Norse is little more than conjecture, and they could for all I know be analogous to an Asian ethnic group or any pale people capable of blushing.
Elderling Descendants in the Six Duchies
Settlers from the time of dragons may not have been exclusive to Kelsingra, though. It’s obvious Elderlings inhabited the Six Duchies based on the presence of witness stones. There isn’t much evidence of Elderling cities from magical artifacts, but this may have something to do with the Six Duchies having less well-developed excavation technology compared to the Rain Wilds. Alternatively, these could have just been outskirts of Elderling civilization. Nevertheless, human settlement was still possible from that time. Whether they survived the mass extinction that killed the dragons is questionable, but certainly a possibility. If so, this would be the earliest ethnic line in the Six Duchies. We cannot, however, conclude that these people would be physically similar to the Kelsingra human descendants in the Mountain Kingdom. Several thousand years have passed since the mass extinction event that marked the end of the time of dragons, perhaps even tens of thousands of years ago (based on how much the geology of the northern realm has changed). It may have been enough time for the humans from Kelsingra and from whatever Elderling settlement existed at the Six Duchies to evolutionarily diverge a bit and develop different traits. And we don’t know the ethnic makeup of humans in Elderling cities, which could have been pretty diverse. The people of the Mountain Kingdom could have been descended from dark-skinned people from Kelsingra for all we know, and adapted to their mountain environment over time and became pale.
The most well-documented ethnic group in RotE are the Outislander descendants, including the Farseers. The book suggests that Outislanders are dark-skinned and black haired, perhaps roughly analogous to real-world Inuits. The origins of the Outislanders are unclear. They could have come from some unknown land in the North or East, or they could be survivors from the mass extinction event long ago.
The Six Duchies
The Six Duchies are a mixture of these three major ethnic groups: the pre-Outislander settlers, the Outislander descendants, and the Mountain Kingdom people. The pre-Outislander settlers of an unknown appearance were the main group living in the Six Duchies area for several thousand years, with the Kelsingra-descendant people who mostly lived in the Mountain Kingdom area interbreeding with the westernmost pre-outislander settlers.
The dark-skinned Outislander invaders displaced or interbred with the pre-Outislander settlers in the eastern Six Duchies area. At this time the Farseer line was established, who are described as very dark (so much so that they typically cannot visibly blush). Either these ethnically Outislander conquerers or a blend of Outislander and pre-Outislander native became the dominant ethnic group in the Six Duchies. Meanwhile, Mountain Kingdomers continued to interbreed with the Westernmost Duchies. The final effect that exists in present-day Six Duchies is a gradient of paler people in the west and darker people in the east. Because the Duchies aren’t all that isolated from one another, though, it’s not that simple. There would still be a mix of paler and darker people in all the duchies, although in Buck being pale enough to visibly blush is rare.
But even in the western duchies, where there is sometimes interbreeding with people from the Mountain Kingdom, few people are white. Regal, whose mother is from Farrow, comments on Kettricken’s pale skin as if it’s pretty unusual. So yes, people from the Six Duchies are mostly dark-skinned by our standards. But the features from the descendants of Outislanders, Kelsingra-Mountain Kingdomers, and pre-Outislander Six Duchies settlers have woven a complex and ethnically-diverse tapestry. Basically the point I’m trying to make is the people of the Six Duchies aren’t all just one thing. Just like in most countries today!
Jamailia, Bingtown, and the Rain Wilds
Because Bingtowners and Rain Wilders are descended from Jamailians and there continues to be a immigration between Bingtown and the Jamailia, their ethnic makeups are likely the same. But these places seem to have such diversity that it’s pretty impossible to discern all the different races. It’s wrong to say everyone from these areas is of an identical ethnicity. From Bingtown we have the black-haired Vestrits, the blue-eyed and Black haired Ludlucks, red-haired Three Ships traders, red-haired and freckled Finboks, and curly-haired Meldars. There definitely appear to be those analogous to caucasians, but there could easily be ethnicities analogous to some middle eastern ethnicities (the dark Vestrits) or really anything else you can imagine. It’s fantasy! And Jaimailia is huge and widespread! Its culture does have some clear middle eastern influences, but this doesn’t necessarily mean anything since the six duchies has european influences and clearly isn’t composed of caucasians.
So if you actually read all this thank you! And mainly I hope you take away this: The Six Duchies, Jamailia, Bingtown, and the Rain Wilds likely have really complex ethnic makeups and aren’t as simple as “they’re all middle eastern!” or “they’re all white!”. I may have made some mistakes with my interpretations so feel free to comment. And thanks again for reading wooo!
You, I like. Lots of good points.
Okay, this is actually what you do if you’re being sexually harassed in any kind of public space. Draw attention to it, preferably pull away and let EVERYONE know that someone is touching you. This will not only get him to get off you but he’ll definitely think about this situation next time he wants to do something like this.
Spreading the word.
My mom and I were talking about this today after hearing about a woman who was molested on a plane who said nothing until she was picked up at the airport by her parents. My mom looked at me and asked what I would do in that situation and I looked her dead in the eye and I told her “it would take me .02 seconds to realize what was going on and yell angrily, and then I would be straight on to bitch slapping him so hard he wouldn’t be able to see the punch I’d throw with the opposite hand”.
She nodded and accepted my salty language like a seasoned sailor.
I’ve had experience with this before, in Prague a group of five girls and I were followed by three men at night. After a while they started yelling at us, the most common being “how much?” Meaning how much we “cost” as prostitutes. Seeing as they weren’t going to stop, I turned on my heel, faced them (which surprised them), spat at their feet and responded with “You couldn’t afford me.” This prompted the other girls to start yelling back at them as well, starting with our spitfire Czech friend to start slinging curses in Czech as she and the rest of the girls came up beside me. Needless to say the men backed off and pretty much fled. They weren’t expecting a fight. It empowered me and encouraged the rest of the girls to yell back too.
I’ve heard that a lot of people don’t know what to do in this situation because they’ve been taught all their lives to be polite and non-aggressive. Keep your heads down or whatever.
Keep in mind that studies have shown that rapists look for victims who won’t fight back.
Remember that nobody has the right to touch you without your consent or harass you, and you have all the right to make the biggest fuss about it that you can possibly make.
Get angry. Be in command.
He waited until the train was in motion to make his move—a true sign of someone who knows how to make the environment work to their advantage. Then he leaned forward. “Hi.” “How you doing?” “What are you reading?” “What’s your name?” “I really like your hair.” “That’s a really nice skirt.” “You must work out.”
It was painful to watch. She clearly wanted nothing to do with him, and he clearly wasn’t going to take the hint. Her rebukes got firmer. “I’d like to read my book.” And he pulled out the social pressure. “Hey, I’m just asking you a question. You don’t have to be so rude.” She started to look around for outs. Her head swivelled from one exit to another.
The thing was, I had already heard this story, many many times. I knew how it would play out. I knew all the tropes. I probably could have quoted the lines before they said them. I wanted a new narrative. Time to mix it up.
So I moved seats until I was sitting behind him. I leaned forward with my head on the back of his seat.
"Hi," I said with a little smile.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy—which isn’t exactly untrue—and turned back to her.
"How are you doing?" I asked.
"I’m fine," he said flatly without ever looking back.
"I really like your hair," I said. “It looks soft."
That’s about when it got…..weird.
He sort of half turned and glared back me, and I could tell I was pissing him off. His eyes told me to back the hell away, and his lips were pressed together tightly enough to drain the color from them completely.
But no good story ever ends with the conflict just defusing. He started to turn back to her.
"Wait, don’t be like that," I said. “Lemmie just ask you one question…"
"What!" he said in that you-have-clearly-gone-too-far voice that is part of the freshmen year finals at the school of machismo.
And I’m not exactly a hundred percent sure why I didn’t call it a day at that point, but…..maybe I just love turning the screw to see what happens. I gave him the bedroomy-est eyes I could muster. “What’s your name?”
Right now I’m sitting here typing out this story, and I’m still not entirely sure why I’m not nursing a fat lip or a black eye. Because that obviously made him so mad that I still am not sure why it didn’t come to blows. There are cliches about eyes flaring and rage behind someones eyes and shit like that that are so overdone. But it really does look like that. When someone gets violent, their eyes just kind of “pop” with intention—pupils dilate, eyelids widen. And his did. Even sitting down he was clearly bigger than me and I was pretty sure he was kind of muscular too, so at that moment I was figuring I was probably going to need an ice pack and sympathy sex from my girlfriend by day’s end.
"DUDE," he shouted. “I’M NOT GAY."
That’s when I dropped the bedroom eyes and switched to a normal voice. “Oh well I could see not being interested didn’t matter to you when you were hitting on her, so I just thought that’s how you rolled.”
I cant believe I almost scrolled past this.
this post is gold