In the third part of the second chapter of “On Ordeal: Ronan,” Ronan welcomes wizardry into his life. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
OKAY, SO I WAS CORRECT TO ASSUME THE TIME JUMP WAS WEIRD. I love, though, that Duane immediately avoids that whole, “But it was all a dream!” trope because even if it was, IT STILL MATTERS. The dream is the means by which the One’s Champion reaches out to Ronan and offers him wizardry, which he GLORIOUSLY ACCEPTS. That whole sequence is gorgeous, and I love that while elements of it are familiar to me as a reader of Young Wizards, it was still unique to this specific character. Ronan’s realization of wizardry is so visceral. It is a physical transformation as much as it is a spiritual one for him. Duane ties it to rain initially, and as the rain falls on Ronan, he learns about the world. The words to describe. The phenomenons he never even knew existed, but which absolutely matter.
And as is consistent with wizardry, NAMES ARE DEEPLY IMPORTANT. So that’s why the initial flood is words. Ronan is learning how to talk about the universe, to name the things that help make it run and thrive and survive:
These are the words in which wizardry is conducted, they told him. All here. Waiting for you. Any time. Any place. Life, the world, other worlds, unfathomable and unplumbable depths of existence, they were just waiting for him to ask about them, learn about them, find out how to act on them, learn how to change them and move them. The impossible made possible, endlessly, from now until the day he died.
It’s so beautiful, isn’t it? I did have a moment of worry that Ronan had been tempted by the wrong Power, that the Lone One used the dream to trick Ronan into accepting wizardry for the wrong reason. But in hindsight, that’s not a very good theory, is it? I don’t know that there’s any supporting evidence in the text. There’s such a joy and a purity to Ronan’s wizardly epiphany:
He wanted to jump, to yell, to run, to shout (and hilariously from the back of his mind came the image of Fred Astaire spinning around a lamppost and singing: now Ronan understood what the singing was about).
Because this was real. Magic was a reality, wizardry was a reality, this was real. The words just kept coming, hammering Ronan into the happiest kind of submission.
His whole life changed for the better, and he knows it! So, I think that’s the answer to why Pidge’s image was used. Who better to give Ronan wizardry? Who better to allow Ronan to question than Pidge? I’m curious if Ronan is gonna see the actual Pidge before this story is over. What would he even say to him? AND WHAT IS HIS ORDEAL GOING TO BE LIKE? Whew, this is moving so quickly.
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