The Buried Giant

by

Kazuo Ishiguro

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The Buried Giant: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Edwin doesn’t mean to “deceive the warrior,” but does so before he realizes what’s happening. He walks into the cooper’s cottage and Wistan greets him. Edwin asks him if his injuries are very bad and Wistan says that they aren’t serious but have brought on a fever that he’s struggling to overcome. Edwin apologizes for having abandoned Wistan the night of the attack, but Wistan tells him that he has a way Edwin can make it up to him. Wistan remembers jumping from the burning tower into a cart of hay and then being cared for by “gentle monks loyal to Father Jonus,” but not much else.
By having Wistan cared for after the attack at the monastery, Father Jonus shows his total approval of and desire for Wistan to succeed in killing Querig and restoring everyone’s memories. This also means that Jonus, like Wistan, believes that it is time for the Saxons to get justice, which can only be achieved by making them remember the way in which the Britons, under Arthur, had wronged them.
Themes
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Edwin apologizes again and Wistan asks him if he thinks he was chosen merely for his bravery. Wistan admits Edwin has a “remarkable spirit,” but that he also has a “hunter’s gift” and ability to track the location of Querig’s lair. Edwin says that not even Steffa had seen a quality like that in him, but Wistan insists he is right and that once he feels better, they will begin their journey. It is in this moment that Edwin begins lying, saying that he feels Querig’s pull when he’s really just listening to his mother’s voice begging him to find her. Edwin says they should go soon before he loses the scent and Wistan nods in satisfaction, telling Edwin he knew that the boy was a born tracker. 
It is evident that Edwin is beginning to mistake love for his mother for the power a dragon’s bite has to draw human beings toward them. Although it is still love that drives Edwin forward, it is no longer the genuine love and sadness at having lost his mother that he experienced when he was younger in the Saxon village.
Themes
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Edwin asks Wistan if there’s “some special feud” between him and Lord Brennus. Wistan says that he and Brennus had been trained to be warriors for the Britons together as children. Although Wistan had grown close with most of the other children, he had never been close with Brennus, who was the son of a lord and not as strong as the others. Because of who Brennus’s father was, the other boys had to let him win at all their games. Still, Wistan says he must thank Lord Brennus for being the one who stopped him from loving all the Britons by reminding him that the Britons hated him. To do this, Brennus told the other boys that Wistan was really a Saxon and they turned against him. As revenge, one day Wistan caught Brennus alone and stood threateningly in front of him, knowing Brennus was a coward but was also so full of pride he wouldn’t dare call for help. That night, Wistan ran away. Years later, Lord Brennus still lives in fear of Wistan. Wistan notes that Edwin is restless and assures him that they will start their journey soon.
Wistan’s story illustrates how tension and even hostility continue to exist between the Britons and Saxons. For Wistan, just being a Saxon was enough to cost him the respect and approval that his superior abilities as a soldier had won him. This also means that Lord Brennus’s pursuit of Wistan is not merely due to a desire for warfare, but also due to personal hatred. To satisfy this hatred and desire for revenge, Lord Brennus is willing to take military action. These same motives are what caused the earlier wars between Britons and Saxons to be so deadly and inhumane, which means that success on Lord Brennus’s part could have the same eventual consequences of restoring everyone’s memories.
Themes
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon