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Old November 17 2012, 07:48 PM   #384
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Re: TP: Raise the Dawn by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

DGCatAniSiri wrote: View Post
Markonian wrote: View Post
I hope Sela isn't dead either. Somewhere within this ice cold being must be her Humanity but the books generally depicted her as incapable of a full heel-face-turn. Although Indistinguishable from Magic was the first book in a while to make her sympathetic, Imho.
That was actually one of the things that made the character of Sela so interesting to me. She walked into the Enterprise conference lounge, lays out her life story, and then tells Picard "never doubt" that she is fully Romulan, when, on his part, all he has is her word that she even is Tasha's daughter and that her outlandish story is true, that she is not a piece in some greater Romulan plot. He had no reason to doubt in the first place, but she had to say that. It was a story thread that seemed to be begging to be picked up on, but TNG never did and quietly swept Sela aside.
One of the great things Indistinguishable from Magic did do was give her character much greater depth and actually make her the subject of some sympathy.

That said, though, I can't really picture her character arc ending differently. She was stuck in that moment that she called for the guards, got her mother found out and executed, and made her choice to be nothing but Romulan. That moment defined her life, and she couldn't move past it. More, she refused to.
It's important to note that at the time of her mother's escape attempt Sela was four years old. I don't think anyone could reasonably blame her for crying out in the face of what was going on, or that anyone could reasonably hold her responsible for her mother's execution.

(Sela did, mind.)

If she had, it would have been her admitting that she was wrong about the Federation, that she had made the wrong choice to embrace her Romulan heritage and shun all things about her that was human. That was the whole point of her 'patriotism.' Her actions were made on the basis of 'if we do not balance the field, the Federation, the humans, will use their advantage and wipe us out.' If she admitted that she was wrong, that the Federation wouldn't take that step and make a preemptive strike on the Empire, then she would be admitting that there was something about the Federation that was better than the Romulans, that they were genuine in their beliefs and attitudes of peaceful coexistence, and that meant that she had made the wrong choice in getting her mother killed and staying with her father and the Romulans. That was why being sent to the Federation was her fate worse than death - it would have been coming face to fact with the fact that she was wrong.
I've said earlier on this thread that Sela was Spock's dark twin, a brilliant and capable of mixed human-Vulcanoid parentage who had major problems reconciling the cultural issues relating to the mixed parentage. Vulcan was much better equipped to handle issues of this kind than Romulus; more, Amanda Grayson wasn't a time-stranded prisoner of war who was forced to become a concubine of a Romulan general.

It's interesting to note that in her final exchange with Kamemor, Sela reacted fiercely to the mention of her father's name, but said nothing about her mother. Perhaps she was incapable of speaking about that primal trauma.

Given the set up, I can't picture her story ending differently. I found her intriguing enough that I would like to see an alternate storyline where she comes to accept her humanity, but I can't see how the story of Sela as told here could have ended differently.
Agreed. There was no way that Sela could have survived in Kamemor's new empire, not after everything that she had done in direct opposition to the praetor's statements.
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