**** WARNING LONG RANT with SPOILERS ****
Sorry but I need to spill off what's in my mind, twirling about.
Read it if you have the heart for it.
I just finished The Two Swords. And cannot find the words to express how disappointed and frustrated I felt about the anti-climatic way that RAS wrote about Drizzt and Catti-brie throughout the books.
Let's compare it to the act of making love: you are enjoying yourself and the climax of the act is slowing building up, and then just as you are reaching the peak of it, BAM!, someone pushes you away and makes you hit a wall. That's the pain I felt when I've read "The Passage to Dawn".
Then, pained as you are but still loving the thing, you try again. Although, while you are at it, you feel stretched, you feel tired, looks like the effort is not leading anywhere because you are forcing yourself into something. Then in the end you're rewarded with a tiny fleeting orgasm. What a waste of time!
That's how I've felt while reading the rest of the books until The Two Swords.
Yes, the thing I was more looking forward to see developing in the books was Drizzt and Catti-brie's relationship. I love them both and was eager to see more of them, amongst all the intrigues, adventures and creatures of the books. Every tiny detail about their relationship is fresh in my mind, for in the past weeks I have read nothing more than Drizzt's books.
My eagerness started at The Halfling's Gem.
First, the stares
the deep, locked stares that Drizzt and Catti-brie shared, hinting something was going on inside. When an author writes about details that in real life would seem unimportant, we have to consider them (that's how many readers knew right in the first book that Harry Potter would fall for Ginny later).
Catti-brie played an important part in making Drizzt become aware of himself and his true motives towards Entreri. And then she says that he should learn to welcome love in his life and that he missed some things, hinting Drizzt that perhaps he should have asked more of her before she fell for Wulfgar. Now was too late, but at that moment we see Drizzt starting to regard his dear friend as no longer a child, but a woman, an attractive woman, who knew his heart.
Later in the book, he kissed her in Tarterus, a spontaneous kiss that shown the reader how deep his feelings for her were already. And she reacted to it, showing Drizzt that she was alive. That kiss meant something to both of them!
But she was with Wulfgar now. The depression that Drizzt was in for days at the end of the book make us speculate that he might be digesting his forbidden feelings for her and come to therms with them.
Next follows The Legacy.
Catti-brie was to wed Wulfgar. Everybody looked happy and the preparations for the wedding were on. But something makes Catti-brie go to Drizzt alone and ask him not to miss the wedding. She hugs him and he senses that she's in the verge of tears. And that bothers him. Why would she come to him and ask that, when it was obvious that he wouldn't miss the event? The answer is obvious, at least to the readers: she knows that after the wedding, she and Drizzt will never be the same anymore. Deep inside she doesn't want that because she loves him.
As the story progresses, we see tension rising up between Catti-brie, Wulfgar and Drizzt. The barbarian was being over-protective and too possessive of her, as barbarians are with their women and, as we come to learn later, someone was influencing him to be jealous of Drizzt. He even challenges Drizzt for a fight in which one of them would die. Drizzt wins and Wulfgar is ashamed of his behaviour. With all this happening, Catti-brie's sadness about the wedding deepens. When she talks to Drizzt, he says to her something like: "the path is yours to choose so, for the sake of us all, especially yours, choose carefully." He kisses her on the cheek and leaves the room. At this point we already know that Drizzt loves her and we have lots of reasons to believe that Catti-brie loves Drizzt back, but doesn't know yet. After all, she's going to marry Wulfgar.
Later Wulfgar and Catti-brie kind of easy the anger between them, but in the meanwhile he dies an heroic death. A meaningful death. His errors toward Catti-brie were his demise but he realises that as the cave crumbles on him. Catti-brie and Bruenor are devastated. As they should be.
Any love that Catti-brie might feel for Drizzt was now buried deep.
We gotta love Drizzt vulnerability in this book
He burdens himself with guilt for the bad deeds of his kin and decides to journey to Menzoberranzan alone, possibly in a suicide mission, to ensure that the dark elves don't threat the surface anymore. He leaves without notice, except for Regis. He wanted to tell Catti-brie but he didn't want to disturb her. She was already fighting her demons, locked in her room for days.
Some days after Drizzt left, Catti-brie feels that something is out of place. Suddenly she feels an urge to get Drizzt. Note that she's grieving for Wulfgar, but somehow she manage to feel this.
If this isn't a pure testament of her love for him, what is it then?
She goes to Regis and suspects he knows something. The way she makes Regis blurt out the information and the desperate state in which she falls after only adds more to my question. She even admits to herself that she loved Drizzt as much as she loved Wulfgar and she couldn't bear the feeling of loosing both. So she goes after Drizzt. Alone.
People in love do crazy things like that.
She stops at Silverymoon and visits Alustriel.
We know that Drizzt journeyed there often and was quite intimate with Alustriel. I don't believe something ever happened between the two, but they probably talked about that possibility. I say this because in one of Drizzt's introspections he hints that he doesn't love Alustriel in that way, nor she loves him.
In Alustriel chambers we witness how Catti-brie is awkward among lady-like things and how jealous she is of the Silverymoon lady because of her intimacy with Drizzt. Also we see a plot hole: Catti-brie reacts as she and Alustriel never met before, like Catti-brie was seeing her for the first time. Strange, as they had met at the Harpells in The Halfling's Gem.
When Catti-brie is about to leave, Alustriel states bluntly "You love him." Catti-brie just bits her lip, thinking, and leaves. What was she thinking? She had come to that conclusion herself, after all
When she finally finds Drizzt in the Underdark I didn't feel a peak in the whole drama of having lived so much danger to finally find him, especially with finding Drizzt in the condition he was... tortured, almost dead, his mind stripped by an illithid. I just wish it had been a little more intense. She never saw the great Drizzt so vulnerable before, right?
Hardly I knew this to be a tiny hint of the love button randomly switched on and off we would have to endure throughout the books. Oh well
They fight together quite well and there are some cute moments to recall, one of them being the tight hug they share after saving Catti-brie from falling a precipice. Thank you RAS!
Siege of Darkness
This was the last book I really enjoyed reading
Drizzt and Catti-brie were seemingly heading somewhere. Their feelings slowly finding their way to the surface, and we even get to see some sexual tension between them. It's made clear in this book that Drizzt feel attracted to her, desires her
and loves her.
I remember a fan argument saying that because he's a drow with a different life-span than that of humans and traumatic experiences, that made Drizzt an asexual being
Hardly, I would say. Take for instance in Streams of Silver: after he and Alustriel talked for the first time, Drizzt wondered where a meeting with her would take them if they ever met again in more accommodating therms. He even brushed aside that "fantasy", as he recalled it, for he had more important matters to think about.
Drizzt is not asexual. He simply don't wanna think about it.
When Catti-brie, possessed by the sword, pushes Drizzt to bed, he also fights his desire for the woman, sensing that something is not right with her.
Later on, in the last nice romantic conversation they have, it is written that a "large part of Drizzt" wished that it wasn't just the sword that made Catti-brie wanting to make love to him. And we also know her thoughts and feeling about it to be the same as Drizzt's. They're written.
In that conversation Catti-brie come to therms with her doubts and feelings for Wulfgar, both in the past and the present and starts to feel free to move on. She and Drizzt also admit that they love each other, but for the time being it was best to remain nothing more than friends. Drizzt still had to find his place in the world beside her without Wulfgar. What we get with this is that they don't wish to rush things. They also need to think about the inter-racial issue and what that brings to them.
In the end of the book, they journey together to see the world and live more adventures. Their place is not inside the walls of Mithral Hall.
Passage to Dawn
Drizzt and Catti-brie were out adventuring through the world together for SIX WHOLE YEARS!!! O_O And nothing happened between them!!! Aw come on, Mr. RAS. It's simply not believable. Come on, it was plain obvious in the previous book what they felt about each other. Certainly the inter-racial issues that hold them could be sorted out in that time!! Wise Drizzt and wise Catti-brie would have talked about that, they would have plenty of time for it! It was obvious that Catti-brie was WASTING HER SHORT LIFETIME waiting for Drizzt's decision!! Does that make any sense? Would wise Drizzt let that happen? I don't believe so. Not if he ever loved Catti-brie. But he DID, Mr. RAS, you made that clear to us.
Don't say that all they did in all the nights they spent together, ALONE, were just gazing the stars for hours. That's ridiculous. Fiery Catti-brie? The same Catti-brie that was true to her feelings? The same Catti-brie that took the first step and knocked Wulfgar out of his boots with her passionate kisses? The Catti-brie that would throw herself to the abyss to help her friends or giving them courage despite the helpless looks of the situation? That Catti-brie would have kissed Drizzt already in those years! Taken the first step! She would throw all fears away in the name of love! She would be proud to be the mother of their half-drow children, making them see an example in their legendary father, the drow that walked the surface and was already loved and respected by so many. Drizzt would have felt overwhelmed by Catti-brie, that was why he loved her in the first place. Any fears she might have about ageing while Drizzt kept being a young drow would be dispelled by his true love for her, he would say that he would stand for her until the end.
He wouldn't be afraid of kissing her, because he already had once! More spontaneous kisses would happen in those 6 long years.
in all those years they spent the nights gazing at the starts together
This is written somewhere in the book, I swear!
The sparkle of love seemed to have been flushed down the toilet. At least for Catti-brie. When Danica asked her if she loved the drow, she didn't even answer. But the thought was
"Of course I love Drizzt. But I don't know if I love him the way she's talking about." What the??... O_O WHAT HAPPENED??? And what's worse, Wulfgar appeared in the same paragraph. After all these years, and after being stated in the previous book that she was ready to move on, she still thought of Wulfgar. Six years is a long time. Not to mention that she had someone very special at her side all the time, someone SHE LOVED! It's not natural. She was supposed to have come past Wulfgar a long time ago! And let's face it
Drizzt is 1.000.000.000 times better than Wulfgar!!!
I've read this entire book with sadness, anger and frustration. Everytime Drizzt and Catti-brie touched hand, looked at each other, or Drizzt noticed how fair she was or how he loved her, I felt nothing. Because it meant nothing.
Then came Wulfgar. The whole book was already being average bad, especially the last chapters when Errtu catches the Chrystal shard. But since this post is about Drizzt and Catti-brie, I'll stick to them.
I can accept that Wulfgar was back. There's even an explanation later on how he came back. It's not too far fetched if we ignore that he spent a LOT of time in the abyss being tortured. I doubt a mere human like him would come back whole like he did. Unless demons were tender to him, which is not believable. He returned with some issues, yes, but the old Wulfgar was merely buried inside him. His mind wasn't shattered and dispersed like it would be expected.
Anyway, it wasn't this that really bothered me. It was the writing. Fast paced and ridiculous, somehow. The character's reactions were shallow regarding the whole situation. I didn't feel a thing, except an urge to laugh when all friends were contemplating the return of Wulfgar, except for Drizzt, who lost his Guenhwyvar to the lake and couldn't feel warm anymore without her. AHAHAH right on! With Wulfgar back and Catti-brie already eyeing him you would need the cat indeed!
Later, when Wulfgar asks Drizzt if he loved Catti-brie he says he loved her as he loved all his friends. And you read that he speaks truthfully, going against everything we know he felt.
Suddenly there's no love anymore. Everything RAS was building up between them throughout the series, making readers hope, was thorn apart. The question is: Why? Why did he do this? I'm still trying to understand. How come in so many books, in so many years, he would do this to the characters and, especially, to the readers?
Now with Wulfgar back I was hopeful to see Catti-brie sorting out that she really preferred Drizzt in the next book. She would remember how much they lived together all the years
and thus putting together the puzzle pieces that were hinted in the early books: that she already loved Drizzt when she was with Wulfgar! So there should be no more doubts.
But of course there were. Concerning Wulfgar there always were. Sometimes Drizzt and her would lock stares and feel how deep their love was. Then Catti-brie would stare at Wulfgar and seemed like they would make love passionately right there. Like if Catti-brie's hormones were activated by the sight of Wulfgar and tendered by Drizzt's.
I was annoyed when Catti-brie, trying to help Wulfgar, let herself be kissed and half undressed by him. If she didn't take that slap in the face, would they have made love right there? The scene lead us to believe so. RAS made her not consider Drizzt for a single moment... No wonder so many fans don't like her. Drizzt deserved better than a woman with a stupid teenage behavior.
I know the "real" Catti-brie wouldn't be like that, that's why I never came to hate the character.
At the end of the book, Entreri badly injures Drizzt, almost killing him. Catti-brie sees this and the feeling described is of agony, perhaps worst than when Wulfgar died in front of her. Then the chapter ends. What was this? Only to bluntly state that she loved Drizzt more than she loved Wulfgar? How many times this was shown? Did it lead somewhere? No. Why bother then?
Sea of Swords
guess what. With Wulfgar out of the picture Drizzt and Catti-brie are closer again. How tiresome. And guess what? They keep gazing at the stars.
Oh but wait! There is a romantic moment between them in this book! Yesss! They actually share the first kiss!!... But we have to IMAGINE IT!!! RAS abruptly ends the cute moment with Catti-brie telling "Wouldn't you just shut up and kiss me?" There you have their first kiss...
Now that HURT!!
All the kisses she shared with Wulfgar were sensually described, but the only one she actually shares with Drizzt was left hanging in the air.
And there's more; before that kiss, they roll on the floor laughing and playing, teasing each other. That's the perfect mood to set a romantic scene between them. They even stop, gazing at each other intensely, Drizzt locking her arms to the ground
and it seemed like Drizzt would kiss her right there. But do you know what happens? She cuts it by saying: "What if we find Wulfgar?"
I suspect that RAS didn't like Drizzt and Cat together. Otherwise he wouldn't do this constantly. Why pair them and make readers feel so frustrated then?? That's being sadistic!
At least in the end things between them seemed more solid, finally. And Wulfgar found love in someplace else, a love that suited him. Looked like things would finally come to therms. Drizzt even stated in one of his introspections that "It was destiny. Catti-brie is the one". He seemed to be at peace with it.
Or so I thought.
In The Thousand Orcs, when Catti-brie wanders by herself and is saved by her hero Wulfgar. she pushes Drizzt from her heart because, while facing death, she thought about her life with him and how much she had to loose if they stayed together (the inter racial issue). In facing death she was afraid of the life she would have had beside the person she loved the most. Tell me
I've never heard of such a thing. Ever. Not in books. Not in movies. Not in real life.
People that faced death learn how to value life and, above all, the life beside their loved ones. In that situation Catti-brie would, at most, get over her doubts toward her true love. Instead, she's selfish beyond reason. And she flirts with Wulfgar again.
I can't help but repeat the same frustrated lines: had the characters remained on character, all the feelings and doubts she and Drizzt had to sort out would have been sorted out a long time ago. Not in the end of The Hunter's Blade trilogy. Doesn't make sense how stretched the whole situation was already. They are both wise and smart characters. It's like everything they were and they lived in the first books was meaningless.
RAS possibly thought that delaying this long overdue situation between Cat and Drizzt would sell more books.
When Catti-brie finally starts to realise that she might have lost Drizzt forever (after the facing death scene I could't feel a thing) she sees that Drizzt is the one she loves the most. Again. But it seemed this time was for real (RAS chosen it to be.)
Meanwhile Drizzt is with a beautiful elf that teaches him what is to be a true elf (wtf??). Being a true elf is so basic that it doesn't even make sense all the whining about it. Drizzt should have felt it in his heart, because he was always more akin the the surface elves than the drow.
Then it comes the only sensual episode with Drizzt that we've ever read
with Innovindil. The scene didn't bother me. On the contrary. RAS really writes nice love scenes. What bothered me was that, after almost 20 books, the "wondrous" couple Drizzt and Catti-brie never got a single one.
The sword possession episode doesn't count. That wasn't sensual, that was funny beyond reason.
Then at the end of the book they finally get together, like woman and m drow should be! About time!!! The scene was nicely presented, it was romantic, but
after so much time waiting for it, we ain't got more than a fleeting moment between them. Three lines worth. Next chapter they're lovers, they're in bed, talking about Drizzt leaving. Again, there's no written sensuality, no romantic atmosphere. It's all up to our imagination
That's our reward after reading all those books. I would say we deserved more. Don't you think?
Let's take poor Wulfgar as another example
a whole book worth of him and Delly for what?!
There's an interview with RAS where he's asked how he responded to the fans' anger about the whole Drizzt/Catti-brie situation and his answer was something like "I don't have to answer. I just follow the story where it leads me." Does this show a lack of connection with the readers, or even his believable characters? Does this explain why he didn't consider important matters happening between them early in the books?
Probably not even RAS know.
Surely Mr. RAS would equally sell millions of books if Drizzt and Catti-brie had become lovers a long time ago... The story could follow more or less the same, with just that difference. Wulfgar could become a more lovable character if he had stuck with Delly. There's tons of situations that could have developed between Drizzt and Catti-brie as a couple, without Wulfgar meddled in.
I'm not reading Transitions. I know that Catti-brie dies a stupid death at the end, so
There's no point. The author made Drizzt and Catti-brie finally become a couple in a trilogy only to end that in the other, leaving the protagonist in agony.
Catti-brie could still die sooner, by destiny, but if they had a child, imagine the possibilities of pretty stories! And Drizzt would have something to look forward to, a child of his Catti-brie, a legacy of their love! Drizzt could find another woman or elf, but then the whole situation concerning his lost love wouldn't have been for nothing.
So much potential to write good stories in Forgotten Realms, but RAS seemed to have lost the feeling a long time ago (at least with Drizzt books). It often happens when artists work only for the money.
Guess all there's left to the frustrated, like me, is fanfiction and artwork
lots of artwork.