Pop up Book Fanatic
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Re: Estraven's brother.
Yes. About the only definite evidence is that one apostrophe, Estraven himself being so extremely reticent. And that "flash of my friend's spirit in this grim, fierce, provincial boy."
Incest is not forbidden, but sibings cannot vow kemmering, and if one of the pair bears a child they are not allowed to keep kemmering afterwards (according to Ch 7). Hence Estraven saying, after their first mindreading, "I left home for his sake." I don't think we ever find out how Arek died though.
So the relationship with Ai, if it is reciprocated (which we never find out for sure either, do we?) would be Estraven's third run, so to speak, after Ashe. But he says when leaving Ashe in Ch 6, that "the only true vow of faithfulness I ever swore was not spoken, nor could it be spoken", then later berates himself for speaking of his brother. So again the question, what does the mating for life mean for Gethens? I cringe to think of it as mating on the level of storks or octopii (octopuses?), would much rather think of it as a deep social and ethical arrangement, but I think the only information we get is from Ch 7, and how much did she know for sure?