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 Post subject: Gehn??
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:11 am 
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What is up with Gehn? did he try to kill atrus? is he crazy, because he has to have a reason for doing all those things. and why on earth was he pretending he was a Atrus and trapping catherine. is there a reason?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:33 am 
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Here is a quote from this link...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Characters_of_Myst
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Gehn is the father of Atrus and the main antagonist in the video game Riven. Gehn is born shortly before the downfall of the D'ni civilization, and spends his life trying to rebuild the fallen empire. Mistakenly believing that he creates worlds by writing linking books, Gehn considers himself a Atrus, and is locked away on the age of Riven by his son and Catherine for years.[11] Gehn's inability to grasp the fine aspects of the art of writing results in his Ages being unstable;[18] when Catherine is stranded on Riven, Atrus must send the Stranger to rescue her, as he is busy making changes to the Age to delay its collapse.[19] The Stranger tricks Gehn into a special prison book, and Gehn's oppressed subjects are evacuated from Riven before the Age of Riven closes forever. Gehn is portrayed by John Keston.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:42 am 
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is there a reason he is so desperate to be freed that he touches the trap book? isnt he aware it could be a trap?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:55 am 
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meme11 wrote:
is there a reason he is so desperate to be freed that he touches the trap book? isnt he aware it could be a trap?

Because he was curious as much you are........maybe even more. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:01 am 
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:lol: ok, im curious only because i dont hav any of the games. ive just spent time researching them all. why did atrus want to trap gehn? incidentally, how did he meet catherine?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:02 am 
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[spoiler]Atrus met Catherine the first time he was on Riven, which was during the time he spent learning the art from Gehn (or at least what he knew of it). Catherine was supposed to marry Gehn but asked Atrus for help. They fell in love with each other and in the end trapped Gehn on Riven by using the Myst book (written by Anna and Catherine) over the star fissure.

More than 20 years later Catherine made a trip to Riven and got trapped there because Sirrus and Achenar did something with the book. Gehn had established quite well in the meantime and put her into prison to avenge Atrus and also lure him to Riven. But instead of him the stranger came with a book that looked like the link to K'veer but was a trap book instead. (Gehn didn't think Atrus was going to open the star fissure for the stranger, so he didn't consider a trap being set up.)

The basic reason to trap Gehn is because he is a meanie. :P I also think Atrus didn't want to kill him (with a weapon).[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:02 am 
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meme11 wrote:
:lol: ok, im curious only because i dont hav any of the games. ive just spent time researching them all. why did atrus want to trap gehn? incidentally, how did he meet catherine?

You're missing a lot by not playing the games and reading the books.

Not to say there's anything wrong with asking questions, but most of these aren't unanswered in the source material.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:07 am 
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when gehn tries to say that hes reformed, is he really, or is he just lying?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:38 pm 
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Quote:
did he try to kill atrus?

Yes, he did.
Quote:
is he crazy, because he has to have a reason for doing all those things.

[spoiler]Gehn was born into the great city of D'ni at the height of the civilization. Being half-human, he was derided and ridiculed by the people there (doctors brought in to treat him as an infant would refuse to do anything because they say him as an abomination, his peers in the strict Guild system mocked him, etc.). Then, the civilization fell, due in part to the arrival and actions of his mother (Ti'ana, a human from the surface of Earth). In this, his father died, and he saw all the glory and splendor of D'ni be thrown down. At the time, I think he was 5 years old (I'm not sure - he was very young). His mother would raise him alone in the desert (on the surface of Earth - from Uru, we see this would be in present day New Mexico). When he became old enough, he left presumably to go to D'ni.

During this period of time, we don't know much of what happened. He married an Amad woman named Keta (the Amad were a native culture of humans that lived around the Cleft - they had some advanced technology, which Gehn believed showed they were descended from the D'ni). His wife had troubles in childbirth, though, and she died in Ti'ana's home (Gehn had brought her to his mother, but too late). She bore a son who Ti'ana would name Atrus (after Aitrus, Gehn's father). Gehn abandoned his son there, and left recklessly.

Between his childhood and the time he came back (when Atrus had grown up), Gehn had explored some of D'ni. Due to his insecurity over his race, he obsessed over the D'ni and gained mistaken impressions from the ruins of the city. He saw the D'ni as gods, creating Ages out of nothing. He felt that he had to rebuild the D'ni civilization, and that he and his son would become the leading gods of the new D'ni - with thousands of Ages under their control. This reaction may have been in part due to the contrast between the humble desert of Earth and the ruins of D'ni (and exaggerated memories of its splendor). It may have also been a way that he avoided the pain of his failed attempts at Age writing (he had nobody to teach him, and was a very poor writer with many mistaken ideas about the craft). After seeing natives die in his Ages, he might have felt guilt, which would transfer itself into the excuse that he was a Atrus who could create and destroy as he wished. He also gained an addiction to an inhaled drug.

He returned for Atrus and took him down to the D'ni city. He seems to have wanted someone to look up to him, and someone who could understand him. His drug induced angers, though, and his inability to accept his failures and mistaken views of the Art (because Atrus was a better writer than he was, because he took time to understand the reasons behind things instead of blindly copying phrases from other books [because Atrus didn't feel a need to compensate for his heritage, and didn't feel a need to make thousands of Ages to rebuild the civilization]) disillusioned Atrus. Atrus realized that his father was simply a posturing and pitiful man, and tried to escape and to fix the problems in his father's works. Gehn was hurt by this, but also saw a potential use for it. He trapped Atrus in a room with only a link to Gehn's 5th Age (Riven, but Gehn only numbered his Ages), which Gehn needed to fix. Through this, Atrus met Katran (who he stubbornly called Catherine) and fixed the main problems of the Age. While Atrus was doing this, Gehn decided that he would marry Katran (who was a very intelligent student of the Art). However, Atrus and Katran had fallen in love. They planned an escape, and (in short), were able to leave Gehn trapped in Riven without any links out (so he couldn't return to D'ni or his other Ages).
Quote:
and why on earth was he pretending he was a Atrus and trapping catherine. is there a reason?

Gehn believed he was a Atrus. He trapped Catherine because she had been leading a rebel movement against him (the rebel movement almost worshiped her), and because he expected Atrus to come after her (with a linking book back to D'ni).[/spoiler]

Quote:
is there a reason he is so desperate to be freed that he touches the trap book? isnt he aware it could be a trap?

Gehn has been isolated on Riven, among natives who he believes are below him (and who hate and fear him), for years (twenty?). He has no way back to D'ni (which has all that is left of the D'ni civilization, as well as the only connection to any D'ni left, and to the materials and information that he uses to make books and such [although he is able to cobble together poor quality books in Riven]). The trap book looks like it is a link to D'ni (a place he recognizes, which was part of his temporary residence in D'ni). He is aware that it is a trap, though, and so wants you to link in first (because, he assumes, you wouldn't link into something you knew was a trap).

Quote:
why did atrus want to trap gehn?

Atrus knew his father was very dangerous, but did not want to kill him.

meme11 wrote:
when gehn tries to say that hes reformed, is he really, or is he just lying?

[spoiler]He has changed, but he's still very dangerous. It might be that part of him really does want to reunite with Atrus (although his pride would probably only allow this on his terms), and to reform his ways. He even does seem to be showing some (condescending) care towards the Rivenese (mixed with a lot of anger). However, his misplaced pride and hatred make him a very evil and very dangerous person. If you ever play through the bad endings in Riven, you'll see just how much he has "changed".[/spoiler]


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:12 pm 
Is Gehn crazy? No, I don't think so. Does he actually believe he's a Atrus? No, I don't think so. He behaves as a Atrus to the people of his Ages, certainly, but he is also paranoid and afraid for his life. If he thought he was a Atrus, he would believe himself unassailable, invulnerable.

He's a colonialist, is what he is. He certainly believes that the Art creates worlds (as do I, in IC terms), and he draws the inference from that (as I do not) that he is a superior being compared to his subjects, as the British did when they colonised Africa and other less developed lands. The Art is to him the same as the boom-sticks and the firewater were to us; a tool for establishing superiority and cultivating awe and worship. His son's beliefs threaten his superiority; a true Atrus, or someone who believed himself to be so, would acknowledge no such threat. He's driven towards a goal, the recreation of something beautiful and powerful that he saw destroyed at a tender age, and he believes that with the resources the Art places at his disposal he can achieve that goal. It isn't actually an irrational belief, given the power of the Art. He believes the end justifies the means; many very sane people have believed that.

Sanity is relative; from the point of view of a normal person, Atrus's own pellucid clarity of mind might seem other than sane. To write Gehn off as insane is to be blind to the possibility that we might go the same way.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:25 pm 
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Does he actually believe he's a Atrus? No, I don't think so.

This is a subtle ditinction and one that I like. Interesting post, thanks for the insight. Gehn is a deep villain with motives that might be hard to understand when coming from a different background than his, but they're there and, to him, they make lots of sense.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:01 am 
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Gehn didn't know that trap books exist. Atrus mentions in the journal he gives you at the start of Riven that he kept the secret to making trap books, well, secret, because he feared that his father would take it from him. Apparently he found it in an abandoned book when he was out hunting in some age.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:35 am 
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Actually, what should have happened, is that Atrus created some age with a k'veer-like background around the link-in point. There would be no books there. Than the stranger had to get a book back to 233th and somehow make gehn not to take a book. Than he would link to the age, and when gehn links in he links out, destroying the book using fire, or anything that can destroy a book in the age itself.

And I can see several ways of doing so.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:34 am 
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I think Gehn had strong mood changes. There were times where he could dislodge his memories and then there were times where he realized what things had happened to him.

He might have meant something different with "lost". Atrus was lost to his ideas and beliefs and actually turned against him. I guess everyone would be quite upset to be trapped on an island that will decay more and more.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:37 pm 
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Sensei wrote:
Gehn didn't know that trap books exist. Atrus mentions in the journal he gives you at the start of Riven that he kept the secret to making trap books, well, secret, because he feared that his father would take it from him. Apparently he found it in an abandoned book when he was out hunting in some age.


Also, as shown in The Book of Atrus, Gehn learned the Art in much the same way that monkeys learn sign language. He copied the work of existing authors and got results like what he was looking for, but he never understood the subtleties of the Art the way Atrus did.

Gehn's ages were patchwork, cobbled together sloppily, which is why they were always unstable and often bleak. Atrus actually learned the Art, and was able to make a fair recreation of the Cleft for his first "real" age, and actually developed a fix for one of Gehn's existing ages, modifying the soil content of a toxic world to support plant life.

Quote:
Is Gehn crazy? No, I don't think so. Does he actually believe he's a Atrus? No, I don't think so. He behaves as a Atrus to the people of his Ages, certainly, but he is also paranoid and afraid for his life. If he thought he was a Atrus, he would believe himself unassailable, invulnerable.


Gehn is undeniably insane, and for at least part of his life believed himself deity. He perhaps had a different idea of "gods" from what many of us do. I've learned, for example, that the idea a Atrus doesn't die or has unlimited power isn't universal. Gehn serves as a warning of the dangers of hubris. Far from saying that writing him off as insane ignores the possibility within us all, Recognizing that he is insane serves as a reminder that any one of us could have followed the same path he did and become just as evil as he was.


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