abhorsen's bells


Seven jauntily apocalyptic songs for the seven bells of the Abhorsen. Mostly gospel and blues, with some pop thrown in. Listen here


So I’m thinking of working on a Sabriel costume. Not for this Halloween, probably not even for next Halloween since I anticipate this being a slow and intermittent process, BUT, I picked up some bells cause I think we can all agree they’re the COOLEST part!

I’m a little torn between the upper set and the lower set. Upper set has all loops for handles, but the two smallest (ranna and mosrael) are basically the same) But on the lower one having ONE bell with a long handle seems weird…Hmmmmm. What to do?

I have always wondered with the seven bright shiners who did what. Clearly Kibeth and Astarael weren’t part of the five great charter but I’ve always wondered which of the other five corresponded to which 

Five Great Charters knit the land

together linked, hand in hand

One in the people who wear the crown

Two in the folk who keep the Dead down

Three and Five became stone and mortar

Four sees all in frozen water.

At the end of Abhorsen we get to see some of it. Saraneth was clearly the abhorsens (two) since Sabriel weilds it, Mosrael was for the Clayr(four) since she was wielded by Sanar and Ryelle, and Belgaer(three) for one of the wall makers.

I’ve always wondered though which one reperesented the royal line and which the second wallmaker line. Touchstone is king so it would make sense for his bell Ranna to be the royal line but also he was the one who repaired the great charter stone so wouldn’t that make him more in tune with the “stone and morter” wallmakers, or at least more then Ellimere. 

I’ve been wondering this for ages which one would Ranna be and which one would  Dyrim be?

I’ve always loved the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix. My only niggling complaint is that in most of the artwork and fanart, people draw the bells kinda small? And usually being held straight down daintily between 2 or 3 finger like
You there. Dead fellow. Could you go back to death please? Off you go. There’s a good lad.
whereas I’ve always imagined them held firmly in your fist waving it around like a town crier like
*“For Whom The Bell Tolls” blares in the background*

It’s a name. I suppose you could say it means ‘forget-me-not’. Though the irony is that Nehima herself is long forgotten. Still, better a sword than a block of stone, I suppose.

The Disreputable Dog, “Lirael”

Also it’s low-key terrifying that all of the named swords, and probably the Great Stones, and possibly the Abhorsen’s bells are literally made of people.

The Bells of the Necromancer

First is Ranna - the sleep bringer, takes all those who hear it into slumber.

Next is Mosrael - the waker, throws the piper further into death bringing the listener into life.

Third is Kibeth - the walker, Gives freedom of movement to the dead or forces them to walk at the wielder’s will.

Fourth is Dyrim -speaker of melodious tone, gives speech to the dead, or unlocks words. May also still a tongue that moves too freely.

Fifth, Belgaer - The thinker, can restore independent thought or memory, or erase them.

Next is Saraneth - the binder, shackling the dead to the wielder’s will.

Last, Astarael - the sorrowful, will cast all who hear it deep into death. Including the wielder. Do not call upon Astarael unless all is lost.

ring the bells that still can ring

Seven silver bells against darkness and death. And two songs for each.

(An instrumental playlist with sounds of bells in the distance).

Cover - photo and bells

Philip - Craig Armstrong, RA Rahman, Silver Sword - Paweł Błaszczak, Pan’s Labyrinth Lullaby - Javier Navarette, Vyvalily se vlny z dola - Jan Jirásek & Alena Antalová, Dwarven Theme - Lord of the Rings Battle for Middle Earth 2, Osud - Jan Jirásek &  Lucie Bílá, Starý a mladý Osud - Jan Jirásek, The Cold Sea’s Embrace - Patrick O’Hearn, Prelude - Bonobo, Something for What Ails You - James Newton Howard, Pact Sworn In Blood - Marc Streitenfeld, Temerian Castle Theme - Paweł Błaszczak, Lothering Chantry - Inon Zur, Sorrow - Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard, Twilight - Adam Skorupa, Our Kingdom Came - Lisa Gerrard


This fic got me thinking about a question raised a while back - how would the bells affect a deaf person?

I was thinking that perhaps the spells cast by ringing the bells are carried via sound, but they affect you even if you can’t hear that sound. Also, as they’re carried by sound, the power of the spells wanes over distance, which is why you can resist it the further you are from its source (as with Sabriel and Touchstone in the reservoir).