The Bells (Old Kingdom Series)


The Bells (Old Kingdom Series)

The Necromancer's Bells are a set of seven bells which play a pivotal role in the Old Kingdom series of books by Garth Nix. They are used both by the Abhorsen and the Necromancers, and can either bind or raise the dead. The Book of the Dead stresses with most of the bells there are unintended and dangerous consequences if the wielder is improperly trained. They are named after the Seven Bright Shiners who formed the Charter.[1]

The Abhorsen's set of bells are silver with mahogany handles. They are also infused with Charter Magic to offset the necromantic Free Magic used to create them. The necromancers' sets are often made of bronze or silver with handles of ebony or bone.

Summary of the Bells

  • Ranna is the smallest of the Bells and is called the Sleepbringer. It is used to bind Mogget, or Yrael, after the events of Sabriel, and is wielded by King Touchstone in the second binding of Orannis.[2] It is considered the most forgiving bell in that nothing terrible happens if its ringer makes an error. Presumably, it is forged in the First Precinct of Death.
  • Mosrael is the Waker. Its purpose is to call the dead back to Life, with the compromise of throwing the wielder into Death. Due to its focus on necromancers as opposed to the Abhorsens, it is not featured significantly in the books. The Clayr twins Sanar and Ryelle wielded it when binding Orannis.Seemingly, it is forged in the Second Precinct of Death.
  • Kibeth is known as the Walker. It can give the Dead movement, or force them through the gates of Death. It can however cause the wielder to go where they would not normally. In the binding, the Disreputable Dog represents Kibeth; the Dog is what remained of Kibeth after the formation of the Charter. Kibeth is considered a tricky bell that wants to ring of its own accord (which may be shown in the Disreputable Dog, who makes her own decisions, not always following what is accepted as the "right" thing). Seemingly, it is forged in the Fourth Precinct of Death.
  • Dyrim gives the Dead a voice they may have lost. It can also silence a freely moving tongue. Ellimere, the sister of Prince Sameth, holds this bell in the binding. Seemingly, it is forged in the Fifth Precinct of Death.
  • Belgaer is the thinking bell. It can give a Dead spirit back their memories, and give independent thought, but can just as easily erase it. It is said that necromancers rarely use it because they do not want their servants to be able to think for themselves. Belgaer was rung by Prince Sameth in the final events of Abhorsen. It was the bell used to free Mogget.Seemingly, it is forged in the Sixth Precinct of Death.
  • Saraneth is the bell which features most prominently in the Abhorsen books. It is the bell that binds the dead, causing them to move to the wielder's will. Queen Sabriel, the Abhorsen, wields it when binding Orannis. Seemingly, it is forged in the Seventh Precinct of Death.
  • Astarael the Sorrowful is the banisher. When rung properly, all who hear it are cast far into death- the ringer included.[1] Lirael holds this bell in the second binding. It is used by the Abhorsen Terciel to pull Kerrigor back into death to give Sabriel time to cross The Wall and destroy Kerrigor's physical body. Seemingly, it is forged in the Eighth Precinct of Death. The name of this bell might have been derived from the name of the Judeo-Christian angel of death, Azrael, or Astarte, the Greek form of the name of a goddess seen in Northwestern Semitic areas.

The Pipes

The pipes are exactly the same as the bells except that they are much weaker. They are designed for the Abhorsen-in-Training to use until proficient. Lirael gains them originally but gives them to Sameth after realizing that she could handle the bells whereas he could not. At the binding of Orannis, Sameth uses the pipes to create Lirael's sword.

References

  1. ^ a b Nix, Garth. Sabriel. Collins. pp. 65. 
  2. ^ Nix, Garth. Abhorsen. Collins. 

http://www.oldkingdom.com.au/bells.html


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