The secret of the hold discussion questions (Warning: Spoiler alert!)

  1. What is your initial impression of Callas? What attracts Arwyn to him?
  2. Do you think Galamir’s disdain for Callas is justified?
  3. Galamir gives ultimate worth to what? Think back to what Eliendor said about every elf having some secret vice. Does this relate in any way?
  4. Is there any symbolism in the topography of Isgilith?
  5. In what way(s) does elvish society mirror our own?
  6. Speculate on the possible reasons for Valdir’s confusing behavior toward Arwyn.
  7. What is Arwyn’s initial impression of Allynon? What changes it?
  8. Compare and contrast the words used to describe both Allynon and Callas. Do you think Arwyn made the right choice between the two men?
  9. Arwyn’s ring is her only link to this world. What does it mean that she gives it to Allynon? Do you think it was wise for her to give it to him?
  10. Arwyn has two significant dream sequences in the story. What could they mean?
  11. How do you explain the apparent midnight visitation of Arwyn at the inn?
  12. The story deals with sexual purity. What does Allynon’s refusal to bed Arwyn say about his character? What does this scene reveal about Arwyn?
  13. What clue(s) hint that Arwyn struggles with guilt/feelings of unworthiness?
  14. Frondamein believes he is now “stained” from having murdered a Gargaloc in cold blood. Allynon struggles with memories of his past sexual impropriety, and nothing he does can alleviate his sense of guilt and shame. What advice would you give to each of these men?
  15. What is the meaning of the vision Arwyn sees in Arnuin’s Hold, and how does it relate to Inago’s vision when he looks into her soul?
  16.  What do you think goes wrong with the rebellion? Had Draigon guessed the secret of Arnuin’s Hold before anyone else?
  17. Did the ending surprise you? Speculate how Arwyn will ultimately use this revelation.
  18. It is only by sheer will that Arwyn remained in Bensor rather than following her heart to sail off with Allynon to his country. What do you think would happen to Bensor if she had made the choice to follow her heart instead? Has there ever been a time when you had to choose between your heart’s desires and doing what you knew to be right?