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Despair, Sighted, for Death is thy Familiar



The most enigmatic phrase in all of BG.
The only line uttered by the Unseeing Eye.
A google search reveals pretty much nothing about it, meaning it's as unique as it can be.
There's just something about it...
LucasIDKn8semiticgodJuliusBorisovAerakar

Comments

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 548
    The Unseeing Eye *sees* you are a bhaalspawn. Where you walk, death walks like a familiar with you. The Eye sees its own end by your hand.
    UnderstandMouseMagicThacoBellJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 3,837
    All I see is a beholder loosing to its own name. Really, one would expect meeting at least a blind beholder mage with such a fancy title:

    AndreaColomboAerakar
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,088

    The Unseeing Eye *sees* you are a bhaalspawn. Where you walk, death walks like a familiar with you. The Eye sees its own end by your hand.

    This^^

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 1,675
    it's a nice attempt but doesn't take into consideration the apparent grammar of the sentence (the imperative mood)
    DreadKhan
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 548
    bob_veng said:

    it's a nice attempt but doesn't take into consideration the apparent grammar of the sentence (the imperative mood)

    Forget grammar etc...that's a beholder with a telepathic message you hear. That beast doesn't even know Faerun common (or what language they speak). It issues its feelings of despair when *seeing* you. It's your brain that tries to translate this feeling into language as best as it can. They don't teach grammar at beholder high school. The creature just knows you are its deathbringer and reacts with a wave of emotion.
    semiticgodAerakar
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 1,675
    if it issues feelings of despair after seeing you, shouldn't it then be "sighted, despair" instead of "despair, sighted"? and also shouldn't "death is thy familiar" under your explanation consequently be "death is his familiar"?
    mf2112DreadKhan
  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 782
    I agree with Paula on the meaning however I will say this; Does it really matter?

    "Despair, sighted. For death is thy familiar" is one of the best lines in the series, perhaps in video game history.
    ronaldosemiticgod
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 320
    It winds up as having the double meaning only because of how the scenario plays out. It's grammatically how @bob_veng posed it - the Unseeing Eye is the God of his cult (and is, in fact, still a verdammt BEHOLDER), so naturally you are like flies to him. That you could succeed in killing him never actually crosses his mind.
    AndreaColombomf2112Aerakar
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 548
    bob_veng said:

    i'm pretty sure there are other uses of the word "sighted" in the sense of "those who have sight / those who are outside of our cult". it's a part of the cult's jargon

    You mean like:
    Fear me, those who have sight, death walks behind you.
    DreadKhan
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 1,675
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,163

    bob_veng said:

    i'm pretty sure there are other uses of the word "sighted" in the sense of "those who have sight / those who are outside of our cult". it's a part of the cult's jargon

    You mean like:
    Fear me, those who have sight, death walks behind you.
    You mean I already passed death by? Well thats sure a relief! I was worried, what with the giant beholder in front, but everything is A-Okay, now and forever, as long as I never stop moving... hey, I'm a shark! Woo!
    Aerakar
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,277
    It seems pretty straightforward to me, a typical (though well written and badass) villain-who's-very-sure-he-will-kill-you-effortlessly sentence. "Death is thy familiar" could indeed make reference to your heritage, but why would the Beholder tell you to despair? It's an evil creature, willing to killing for a yes or a no, death inflicted on others is not something that would despair him, hence why I think the litteral "your death is near" reformulation is accurate.
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,088
    Arunsun said:

    It seems pretty straightforward to me, a typical (though well written and badass) villain-who's-very-sure-he-will-kill-you-effortlessly sentence. "Death is thy familiar" could indeed make reference to your heritage, but why would the Beholder tell you to despair? It's an evil creature, willing to killing for a yes or a no, death inflicted on others is not something that would despair him, hence why I think the litteral "your death is near" reformulation is accurate.

    I don't think it's telling you anything.
    Those are it's thoughts.
    The despair is from the UE.
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,163
    In seriousness, from what I know of english and some double-checking, another decent paraphrase would be "Be filled with fear, one with eyesight, because Death is informed about you." I think this is unsurprising because Beholders are inherently pathologically arrogant and overconfident, and this is a very strong beholder, so he's even more arrogant. Beholders are actually so arrogant they happily murder their offspring if they have even superficial differences of appearance, declaring them imperfect.

    Its a bit obscure, but in english, 'despair' is an imperitive as noted, meaning he's ordering/demanding, 'sighted' is the subject, and 'death is thy familiar' is explanatory/colour, (not strictly needed to understand the imperitive statement), and here there is some awkward wording, probably kept because Rule of Cool I suppose.

    Incidently Beholders do know languages, and one that deals with surfacers could easily learn Common, but he's using telepathy, which is odd afaik.
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,088
    DreadKhan said:

    In seriousness, from what I know of english and some double-checking, another decent paraphrase would be "Be filled with fear, one with eyesight, because Death is informed about you." I think this is unsurprising because Beholders are inherently pathologically arrogant and overconfident, and this is a very strong beholder, so he's even more arrogant. Beholders are actually so arrogant they happily murder their offspring if they have even superficial differences of appearance, declaring them imperfect.

    Its a bit obscure, but in english, 'despair' is an imperitive as noted, meaning he's ordering/demanding, 'sighted' is the subject, and 'death is thy familiar' is explanatory/colour, (not strictly needed to understand the imperitive statement), and here there is some awkward wording, probably kept because Rule of Cool I suppose.

    Incidently Beholders do know languages, and one that deals with surfacers could easily learn Common, but he's using telepathy, which is odd afaik.

    I think you are over complicating things.

    The sentence reads as quite straightforward to me.

    Despair (used as a noun to describe the UE emotion), sighted (verb describing what the UE has done), for death is thy familiar, (the UE owns (thy) death because of what has been sighted).

    You have the suggestion that "death" is owned by charname because they are a Bhaalspawn but that's entirely down to interpretation.

    But it's very doubtful to me that the UE is unaware that at that point you are holding the completed rod. It's why it turns up. So telling charname to despair then would be a little odd when it knows it's about to die.
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,045
    FWIW I too read "despair" as an imperative verb and "Sighted" as its subject. The commas certainly seem to suggest that.

    For the other interpretation, the second sentence should probably not carry a "thy"? I mean, if death was coming to the UE, it (the UE) wouldn't speak of itself in the second person, I'd imagine.

    Indeed, with beholders being as arrogant as they are (and the UE being even more arrogant than your average beholder), it wouldn't super make sense for the UE to just tell CHARNAME, "I'm pissing my pants at your sight..."
    mf2112DreadKhan
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 320
    edited July 18
    Well, maybe if he's being sarcastic, but the way it's worded doesn't really lend itself well to sarcasm.

    I think I'll make a quick text mod so that UE says "Hello. My name is The Unseeing Eye. You killed my followers. Prepare to die." instead of the original line.
    mf2112tbone1Artona
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,088

    FWIW I too read "despair" as an imperative verb and "Sighted" as its subject. The commas certainly seem to suggest that.

    For the other interpretation, the second sentence should probably not carry a "thy"? I mean, if death was coming to the UE, it (the UE) wouldn't speak of itself in the second person, I'd imagine.

    Indeed, with beholders being as arrogant as they are (and the UE being even more arrogant than your average beholder), it wouldn't super make sense for the UE to just tell CHARNAME, "I'm pissing my pants at your sight..."

    FWIW I too read "despair" as an imperative verb and "Sighted" as its subject. The commas certainly seem to suggest that.

    For the other interpretation, the second sentence should probably not carry a "thy"? I mean, if death was coming to the UE, it (the UE) wouldn't speak of itself in the second person, I'd imagine.

    Indeed, with beholders being as arrogant as they are (and the UE being even more arrogant than your average beholder), it wouldn't super make sense for the UE to just tell CHARNAME, "I'm pissing my pants at your sight..."

    The reason I choose not to see it as an imperative verb is because then it becomes just another "villan" speech telling you that it will kill you.
    And two seconds later, you kill it.

    It has more resonance, especially after the Amaunator temple where you recieve a legendary weapon, for the UE to be more than just "another" beholder.

    The avatar in the temple refers to itself in the third person, it follows that a creature powerful enough to warrant such a weapon would do the same.

    It's a common device to use a being/person referring to itself in the third person to convey the impression of awesome, beyond human understanding power, or at least the belief in that. Based on the idea that without any peers to communicate with, it/they can only be understood by themselves.

    Edwin, for instance, refers to himself in the third person for that reason.
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 320
    edited July 18
    So... because the (very cliché) villain is being a floating cliché, he's not allowed to have a cliché villain speech.

    Gotcha.

    (Really the only Stronghold quest that's more cliché than the Cleric one is the Paladin one, what with the dragon and all.)
  • AnduinAnduin Member Posts: 5,140
    Aaagh! English is a dynamic language. Grammar and spelling is not set, although is useful to aid understanding. Unlike other languages such as French. I love and loathe threads like these.

    Interpret as you will. The meaning should be unique to each reader.

    I always think of it breaching the 4th wall... Read backwards...

    Familiar is your death, sighted, despair.

    Meaning... You have died a thousand times on this no-reload challenge and you are fully intimate with the death cutscene... Having seen it so many times... Despair, you will soon see it again...

    Yup. A pithy little sentence.
    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634
    English plays fast and hard with the "rules".
    Anduin
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