thinking out loud

Ladies and Lasses of DWJ #2: Siglin Sigridsdóttir

dragonswarriordaughters warlockatthewheel minorarcana unexpectedmagic

Well I’m not sure about Siglin’s last name because I don’t remember it being mentioned in “Dragon Reserve, Home Eight” so I’m guessing based on her brother’s name. Siglin is the oldest daughter of Sigrid, raised in the matriarchal world of Sveridge. At fourteen (and a half) she’s smart and impulsive, the latter being a dangerous thing as she also is a heg, or a witch, with the ability to read minds. Hegs are considered evil in the known worlds, and are hunted and executed by the Dragonate. This complicates her relationship with her brother Neal somewhat – he is staunchly loyal to her, but he also dreams of joining the Dragonate when he’s older, since it’s one of the better options for the boys in their world.

To Siglin, her mother Sigrid is powerful and strong, and there’s nothing Sigrid could not protect her from – until the Dragonate comes for her. I think this is when Siglin realises that in the end, her mother is only human, and that her priority would be the rest of the family and her homestead. Still, Sigrid is the one that taught Siglin to keep her powers hidden, and prepared her for the inevitable. When Siglin slips, it’s for a good reason – she was cornered by a large man that most of the town consider crazy, who was asking her for a kiss. The story would explain this incident at the end of the book, but I don’t think any of that would have mattered to Siglin, she must have been so scared.

Because she’s a heg and she’s been told that hegs are evil, Siglin must also wonder what that makes her. In the beginning of the story she denies being a heg (even when she admits her powers to herself) so vehemently that it seems like she isn’t just saying she isn’t a heg to avoid persecution, she’s trying to deny being a heg because she doesn’t want to think she’s evil. And I guess that’s what makes her interesting to me, because it’s too easy for a child with powers growing up being told that it makes them evil to just believe they’re naturally evil – instead, Signil is determined to prove otherwise. This, too, perhaps, is thanks to her mother accepting her as she is. She isn’t a character that is easily cowed, and when she’s captured she goes along, not because she isn’t afraid of what the Dragonate would do to her, but because she doesn’t want any harm to happen to her family. And despite that they’re driving her to be tried and executed, she saves them. She’s proved that she isn’t evil time and again, but there’s a part of her that still worries, and it is only when she learns about what the fear of persecution have done to someone else that she fully realises that what she’s been told is wrong, that hegs can choose not to be evil, that she can be a heg and still be herself. As her mother Sigrid puts it, “What the dickens is the Dragonate thinking of, beheading hegs all these years? They can’t help being what they are.”

“Dragon Reserve, Home Eight” can be found in the four collections/anthologies above; I only own Unexpected Magic and Minor Arcana.

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