Lilwik wrote:It wasn't a battle. Killing Judy would have been murder....
said, “You know, I think I did my part just by not croaking her.” Jillian did at least entertain the notion of croaking Judy, and she relished the idea of croaking Olive, even when she was a prisoner. If it wasn't for her Loyalty to Banhammer, who was against it and even prevented it once, she would have croaked Dame Branch sooner. The only reason Jillian didn't croak Judy is because she liked
her. I seriously doubt Jillian has any moral compunctions against committing murder. In her mind, the fact that it's an enemy unit is plenty of justification.
Lilwik wrote:But there were no unusual events of the contrived or unlikely sort...The least likely thing was Jillian's escape which required serious cleverness, but that was working against her Fate, not toward it.
Lilwik wrote:That is an interesting coincidence, but it's hard for me to call it railroading since it seems to be a meaningless coincidence rather than something forcing Jillian in a certain direction. Jillian happened to stop in Goodminton which happened to give Delphie a chance to give Jillian some advice. If it had been any other city Delphie wouldn't have been able to give advice, but otherwise it probably wouldn't have changed much, especially since Jillian ignored the advice.
In literature, the difference between a coincidence and a contrivance is how natural it seems. The more coincidences that pile up, the more likely they will be seen as contrivances, but it is subjective to the individual reader. To you, it seemed completely natural. To me, it was somewhat contrived by the end. To other readers, it may have seemed hamfisted. Also, given that Delphie Temple Predicted that Jillian would come to Goodminton, it was her Fate to do so, so she was not working against
her Fate, she was fulfilling it.
Lilwik wrote:We don't know that Jillian ever had a real possibility of escaping all the way back to Faq. With or without railroading I expect Olive would have recaptured Jillian eventually. Even if Jillian could have made it all the way back to Faq, Olive would probably have captured Jillian when Haffaton invaded Faq. It all seems perfectly natural to me.
Jillian had an easy way to avoid capture. She could have messaged Wanda by hat. If the two had conspired together, Wanda probably could have given a virtually complete, if not entirely complete, disposition of Haffaton's units. That would have guaranteed Jillian avoiding recapture. Wanda could have given her the location of Judy and Olive, guiding her towards her Fate. Instead she chose to attack the city of Haffaton. There was a problem with that, though. Neither Judy nor Olive were there, so Fate had to intervene and literally drag her insensate to Efbaum, where her Fate awaited.
That's not as strange a coincidence as it might seem. Olive had excellent reasons not to kill Jillian, so it's no surprise that Olive delayed doing it for so long. At the very least Olive had to delay killing Jillian until after the invasion of Faq because that had a good chance of causing Jillian to turn. As soon as the invasion happened the clock started ticking toward Banhammer coming to rescue Jillian, and Olive still needed time to return from Faq to make another attempt at turning Jillian, plus allowing some time for Jillian to think about turning. By the time Olive could seriously consider killing Jillian, Banhammer must have been nearly to Efbaum.
That just leaves the coincidence of Banhammer arriving on the exact same turn that Olive decided to kill Jillian. Actually those events have a perfectly natural connection: Olive knew that Faq was in the battlespace when she decided to kill Jillian. It could easily be that Olive only made that choice because she realized that she was almost out of time. (This all happens in Episodes 56 and 57
It's a bigger coincidence than you realize. Jillian had sent the Faq contingent towards the city of Haffaton, but they came to Efbaum instead. I can't remember it being stated how they found her, but it was probably a combination of Marie's Predictamancy and Orwell's Lookamancy. Still, given that Haffaton only encountered el-Efbaum after a long period of expansion, it isn't unreasonable to think that the two cities are not exactly in the same environs. To me, at least, the threat to Jillian's life was a fairly unsuccessful ploy to build suspense. This is a prequel. There was never any question of where she'd end up, only a question of how she got there. So that part of the story seemed very forced to me. As I stated before, different readers will have different view on the flow of events. Your views are completely valid, but so are dissenting views.