A few weeks ago, Terry finished The Weapons Master’s Choice, the second Paladins of Shannara ebook.
He gave it to me a few days later to continuity edit as he does everything he writes. This had barely anything wrong with it. I did my work, he edited, and I finished my re-read today.
The short story is set in Garet Jax’s youth when he is not yet thirty years old, still searching for that one elusive opponent that can prove a worthy challenger. It is fantastic. As Terry said when he read the first 1/4 of it HERE, The Weapons Master’s Choice came really easily to him. He visits a part of the Four Lands that has only been hinted at really, and the story has a great climax. I think fans who love Garet Jax will love this tale.
And in this story, he loses in a way that will have some of you guys talking…
It speaks to the question of how Garet Jax ends his life though. We know he eventually finds his worthy challenger at the end of The Wishsong of Shannara. A jachrya. A powerful creature brought into the Four Lands by magic that becomes even more maddened and more enraged with every injury inflicted upon it. It is a deadly foe, one that could have disappeared at the end of the book with the destruction of the Ildatch’s magic in its Maelmord.
At the end of The Wishsong of Shannara though, Jair comes across the body of Garet Jax, dead after/during his battle. Jair believes Garet won his battle before the magic took the jachrya from the Four Lands. The reader is left wondering though…
My poll question today is:
Did Garet Jax defeat the jachyra before the Ildatch was destroyed?
This is one of those questions that Terry’s fans asks him all of the time. He always responds with the same answer, the same grin on his face: What do you think? So I leave it up to you to vote and discuss!
Enjoy! See ya next week!
26 responses to “Poll: Did Garet Jax Defeat the Jachyra?”
I have been a fan of the Shannara books since I was a child. Of all the characters and heroes in the novels, Garret Jax has always been my favorite. The mere manner in which he was portrayed made him priceless. Now, on to the question that is the subject of the poll. I would have to say that Garret Jax did defeat the Jachyra. I say this on the grounds that this is the impression readers are left with after Jair finds Garret Jax’s body. When a detail isn’t concretely defined in a story, it is up to the reader to follow the reactions and behaviors of other characters in order to determine the “truth.” Therefore, if Jair believed that Garret Jax killed the Jachyra, then he did. Other than that, I refuse to believe that Garret Jax lost his last fight after everything else he survived throughout the novel.
Quite simply, I always believed Garet Jax did not beat the jachyra. I felt that he did not wish to win, that to finally find someone/thing better than him would give him the comfort he required. For him it was about the finding of the ultimate opponent, not the outcome.
If every injury just makes it more enraged, I don’t see how anyone could defeat a jachyra without powerful magic. Even Allanon didn’t really defeat it; that battle ended in a draw, not a victory. Brin Ohmsford, with her wishsong (or an elf, wielding the blue Elfstones), might have been able to destroy it. But as superb a warrior as Garet Jax was, he had no magic. I don’t think he stood a chance.
I remember believing he did in fact win his fight with the Jachyra after my first time reading the book. Each time I read it after that I found myself doubting this more and more though. I recall Jair describing the look on Garret Jax’s face as appearing to show content and satisfaction and the more I got to know the character the more I began to believe that he would not have been satisfied or content with the outcome of any fight that left him as the victor, even if that fight cost him his life as well.
Either way though, I love how Terry Brooks left it up to the reader to decide.
One of the things I love about the way Terry Brooks writes is how he leaves it up to the reader to have the adventure. Who wants to sit down and be told when to laugh, who to like or not like, what to think? I know I don’t. And he doesn’t judge you for your own conjecture. There really isn’t a right or wrong answer here.
Of course, in my mind – He won. He had to. We don’t know the full details of how that fight went down. I have to believe though that Garet Jax was great enough to study his opponent and find the weakness. The jachrya became angrier, not stronger with each injury. There are many fighting forms you can use against an opponent, w/o causing them actual injury. Then you defeat them. While we don’t know for sure, it’s easy to speculate that Garet Jax may have been trained in this way. Or maybe he was just able to injure it enough that it weakened it, and he was able to get in that really good blow.
We’ll just have to keep speculating.
As I said to my wife to me its a no brainer. He won, just because injurying the beast makes it an even more formidable opponent does not in any way mean it can not be killed. Plus if a Jachyra kills you i dont really see it leaving you “peaceful” it leaves you in pieces. I find that Garet would take the satisfaction from finally having the ultimate fight, as others have said the outcome wouldnt have mattered so much to him, but while that means he didnt have to win it doesnt mean he had to lose.
We have the same thoughts…obviously he won that fight..
I have read Wishsong enough times that to mention it here would be embarrassing. Logic would tell you that he lost to the jachrya. Anything that could kill Allanon would be more than a match for a Human. Logic does not play into this. My HEART tells me that Garet Jax won. Garet was described as a singular entity. Something you can’t explain. As Elb Foraker put it, “He’s like a Hawk. You see him. You see what he does but you can never understand him.” Everything he encountered prepared him for the jachrya. His whole life would be defined in that battle. It was his life’s purpose. He would not let himself lose. He knew more than likely he would not survive, no matter if he won or lost. No, my heart tells me he won and his look of peace came from him knowing the he truly was the best.
Garet Jax won in my opinion, Allanon always had people along for their special abilities or skills to handle the problems as needed. Terry does leave the open ended questions for everyone to fill in the answers themselves as to make it that much better reading.
I don’t believe he won or lost his fight. I never did.
I believe that Garret defeated his opponent in battle, then succumbed to the poison coursing through his system, and his various wounds.
As I read the story, and got to know Garret better, I came to believe that the look of satisfaction on his face at the end was because he had found the Jachyra to be his match in battle, not his better.
The match didn’t have results? I’ts been a while since i read wishsong i guess.
I’m amazed at the results! I feel there’s no way Jax would be able to handle the Jachrya, given that Allanon couldn’t defeat it. Jax was unmatched among men, and probably could hold his own against a Creeper, or maybe a Shadowen or two… but not the doom of Allanon-The Jachrya!! Fun to speculate though!
Reading my own comment I realized that I copied the spelling “Jachrya” from above, but my memory tells me it was “Jachyra” in the novel… am I wrong?
He knew he was walking into death. Garet Jax was the best, but the previous encounter with Allanon told us all we needed to know. Jax had to get close enough to hit, but do his best not to be hit. Even Jax’s speed isn’t that good. The smile on his face, was not the contentment of being bested, but finally finding an opponent as good as he was; The worthy challenge. It believe though it ended in a draw (both dead), Jax came out the winner.
Sure he did!
Best character of all time, by the way. Along with Jon Ross. 🙂
Reading of this ebook which is talked about here, about the Master’s youth makes me wonder: was I always wrong then in thinking (or more, being certain that) Garet Jax was Stee Jans, returned with a different name???? (the similar surname made me think of it, like Urprox Screl and Panamon Creel)
Yes, but let me clarify: Garet Jax was delaying the Jachyra so Jair could do what he needed to do. By doing so, ultimately , the Jachyra lost, by running out of time before he could kill Garet Jax. That’s my take. Of course, my own fantasy belief is (of course) that Garet Jax killed the Jachyra. 😉
Yes most defanatly, well in my minds eye!
It was not asked if Garett Jax died , the question is if he defeated the jarkara, yes I feel Garett Jax died from the poison as did Allanon, but Garett Jax is one of my Hero’s
As much as I love Garet Jax, and as much as I would like to think he went toe to toe with the jachyra, I don’t think that’s possible. It took down Allanon. If Allanon and Garet Jax went at it, all Allanon would need to do is blast him with a shot of Druid fire and Garet Jax would be done. That being said, I’m sure Garet Jax had the jachyra highly enraged beyond all reason. 😉
The way it is written, with a defiant Jair proclaiming and romanticising Garet Jax’s end was enough to persuade me that in (this fictional story’s) reality, Garet Jax was unable to defeat the Jachyra. But in honor of the great man, he lied to himself, convinced himself of the victory. But I think Jair, along with many of the readers who also believe that the weapons master won, has this little knowledgeable thought locked away inside of his head that tells him… Garet Jax lost his last fight.
It would be interesting to see if the Sword of Shannara could unlock and wrest this thought from his mind.
I just want to say that in all the book i really loved the group of individuals that went with Jair!! I really loved what each brought to the table and was sad to see the end of the company that went on the quest! That and who doesn’t remember the sceen in the jail when the gnome came back for Jair……AWESOME!
Garet Jax was the ultimate weaponsmaster, but the Jachyra was a magical beast. I believe that with his skills, Garet Jax would have kept his cool and ration, striking and dancing away as the beast got angrier and more vicious. It would be akin to a pro fencer taking on a pro wrestler. The magic took the Jachyra away, but Garet Jax died from his wounds.
According to the book Indomitable – An epilogue to The Wishsong of Shannara, the a page survived
For me it comes down to how you define winning. If they killed each other then no one “won”, it’s a draw. If Garet killed the Jachyra then died from his wounds shortly after, I’d say its still a draw. I believe that when Garet spoke of finding the ultimate opponent, he wasn’t talking about one that was stronger or more skilled, so Garet could still find a way to win and prove he is the best. He was looking for an opponent he could not beat. Garet was a warrior through and through and had no intention of dieing an old man in his bed, he wanted to die as he lived, fighting. Up til that point, everyone he faced in battle, he bested. When Garet faced the Jachyra he knew he wasn’t going to survive, but that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to survive long enough to delay the Jachyra so Jair could do what he had to,and die on his terms. In essence it was suicide by magical beast, and that’s why he had a look of contentment on his face when Jair found him. He accomplished what he wanted with that battle. Even though I believe Garet did not kill the Jachyra, did not defeat it. He still won his finall battle, but maybe that’s just me.
I don’t think Garet Jax killed the Jachyra. I believe he crippled the creature though. I’m predicting that Garet may have thought the same way as the Jachyra after trying several different fighting styles and came to the conclusion that he would have to let the Jachyra strick him if he were to get the correct opening he wanted to inflict major damage on it. After crippling the creature, he was too weak to finish the Jachyra off and passed out and eventually died from the lose of blood. Once the book was destroyed, the Jachyra was sent back to the forbidding and most likely the dragon ate what was left of the crippled creature. This is just a prediction though.