Till We Have Faces

Till We Have Faces

The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute) Character Analysis

This character seems able to take on different forms as part of the gods’ ability to flow through each other and appear in various ways. At the same time, it’s possible that the Brute is only a mythical representation of the god, who’s also supposed to be Ungit’s son and corresponds to Cupid in the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche. In any case, Psyche is sacrificed to him with the potential to either be devoured or be married. The god becomes her lover but refuses to show his face. When Orual forces Psyche to betray him by lighting a lamp in their bedroom, he exiles her and tells Orual she will also be Psyche, which results in Orual taking on the pain of the various tasks Psyche must complete as punishment. Though Orual hates the god, once she comes to understand herself she sees that his very existence is the answer to everything. He initially exists in apparent subordination to Ungit, but when Orual expels Ungit from herself, she recognizes him as the true god. In this way, the god seems to correspond to Jesus or the God of Christianity, meaning Orual has a sort of conversion experience at the end of the book as she turns away from the Satanic Ungit and towards the Lord, as she calls him.

The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute) Quotes in Till We Have Faces

The Till We Have Faces quotes below are all either spoken by The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute) or refer to The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt edition of Till We Have Faces published in 2012.
Part 1: Chapter 5 Quotes

And when the Brute is Ungit it lies with the man, and when it is her son it lies with the woman. And either way there is a devouring... many different things are said... many sacred stories... many great mysteries. Some say the loving and the devouring are all the same thing. For in sacred language we say that a woman who lies with a man devours the man.

Related Characters: The Priest of Ungit (speaker), The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute)
Related Symbols: Ungit
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

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I, King, have dealt with the gods for three generations of men, and I know that they dazzle our eyes and flow in and out of one another like eddies on a river, and nothing that is said clearly can be said truly about them. Holy places are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them.

Related Characters: The Priest of Ungit (speaker), Trom (The King), The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute)
Related Symbols: Ungit
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1: Chapter 11 Quotes

“Get up, girl,” I said. “Do you hear me? Do as you’re told. Psyche, you’ve never disobeyed me before.”

She looked up (wetter every moment) and said, very tender in voice but hard as stone in her determination, “Dear Maia, I am a wife now. It’s no longer you that I must obey.”

I learned then how one can hate those one loves. My fingers were round her wrist in an instant, my other hand on her upper arm. We were struggling.

Related Characters: Orual (The Queen) (speaker), Psyche (Istral) (speaker), The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute)
Page Number: 126-27
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 1: Chapter 12 Quotes

I must lie on the steps at the great gate of that house and make my petition. I must ask forgiveness of Psyche as well as of the god. I had dared to scold her (dared, what was worse, to try to comfort her as a child) but all the time she was far above me; herself now hardly mortal.... if what I saw was real. I was in great fear. Perhaps it was not real.... Then as I rose... the whole thing was vanished.

Related Characters: Orual (The Queen) (speaker), Psyche (Istral), The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute)
Related Symbols: The Palace on the Mountain
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

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I perceived now that there is a love deeper than theirs who seek only the happiness of their beloved. Would a father see his daughter happy as a whore? Would a woman see her lover happy as a coward? My hand went back to the sword. “She shall not,” I thought.... However things might go, whatever the price, by her death or mine or a thousand deaths... Psyche should not—least of all, contentedly—make sport for a demon.

Related Characters: Orual (The Queen) (speaker), Psyche (Istral), The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute)
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1: Chapter 15 Quotes

He made it to be as if, from the beginning, I had known that Psyche’s lover was a god, and as if all my doubtings, fears, guessings, debatings, questionings of Bardia, questionings of the Fox, all the rummage and business of it, had been trumped-up foolery, dust blown in my own eyes by myself. You, who read my book, judge. Was it so?

Related Characters: Orual (The Queen) (speaker), Psyche (Istral), Bardia, The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute)
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Part 2: Chapter 1 Quotes

Oh, Queen Orual, I begin to think you know nothing of love.... Perhaps you who spring from the gods love like the gods. Like the Shadowbrute. They say the loving and the devouring are all one, don’t they? ...You’re full fed. Gorged with other men’s lives, women’s too: Bardia’s, mine, the Fox’s, your sister’s—both your sisters’.

Related Characters: Ansit (speaker), Orual (The Queen), Psyche (Istral), Redival, The Fox, Bardia, The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute)
Related Symbols: Ungit
Page Number: 264-65
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2: Chapter 2 Quotes

“Do not do it,” said the god. “You cannot escape Ungit by going to the deadlands, for she is there also. Die before you die. There is no chance after.”

“Lord, I am Ungit.”

But there was no answer.

Related Characters: The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute) (speaker), Orual (The Queen)
Related Symbols: Ungit
Page Number: 279
Explanation and Analysis:

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The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute) Character Timeline in Till We Have Faces

The timeline below shows where the character The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute) appears in Till We Have Faces. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Chapter 1
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...near the city is the temple of Ungit. Beyond the temple rises the Grey Mountain. The god of the Grey Mountain is the son of Ungit, and he hates Orual (so Orual says). Ungit, a goddess... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 5
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...incest. When the man was punished, Essur was driven out. Another time, a woman cursed the god of the Mountain, bringing floods. When she was punished, the floods subsided. Now Ungit is... (full context)
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...they must find the Accursed to die in the Great Offering. He reveals that the Brute, a monster, has been seen, although the King hasn’t heard this. The Priest mentions that... (full context)
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...of the lion. The Priest of Ungit brushes him off, replying that even if the Brute is a shadow, that doesn’t make him any less dangerous. If he comes into the... (full context)
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...the Great Offering. The Priest of Ungit explains that the victim is given to the Brute, who is either Ungit or Ungit’s son, or both. The victim is brought up the... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 7
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...only thing she fears is that there might be no god of the Mountain or Shadowbrute, and she might just die of exposure. This thought makes her cry, and Orual feels... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...encouraged Psyche to imagine she would wed a god, rather than be eaten by a Brute, but she can’t help raising the worst possibilities. Psyche says she does realize she’ll probably... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...for saying such things, Psyche says she feels like she’s going home to her lover, the god of the Mountain. She asks Orual to wish her well, but instead Orual says that... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 8
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
...Mountain with Psyche and perhaps even set her free once everyone else leaves. If a Shadowbrute really does come, she’ll kill it. She finds a slave who tells her that the... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 10
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...voice told her to enter, calling it her house, and calling her the bride of the god. (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 11
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...grief at this new distance between herself and Psyche. For a moment she thinks that the god s should have Psyche because she is worthy of them, but then she only wants... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Orual had forgotten about the god , and now she begins to hate him as Psyche talks of him like she’s... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Psyche admits that she has not seen the god , because he only comes to her in darkness. She’s forbidden to bring light into... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Psyche again assures Orual that the god will make everything all right, but Orual snarls that she hates it all. Unsure at... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 12
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...Bardia admits that it must be something awful, also pointing out that it’s called the Brute. (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
...she thinks that everyone in Glome would agree with him. Psyche was given to the Shadowbrute, and it ended Glome’s problems. Something godlike and disgusting is using Psyche. For the rest... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...they would be happy as such. Orual strengthens her resolve to remove Psyche from the Brute. As they enter the city, Bardia says that Orual must enter the palace by a... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 14
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...beautiful or honest hides, she says, so Psyche must be the bride of either the Brute or of some criminal mortal. (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Psyche is surprised that the Fox even believes in the Brute. Orual didn’t say he did, but she doesn’t correct Psyche. Instead, Orual says that neither... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 15
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...herself. Orual asks the reader to judge whether this is the true past, or whether the god has changed it. (full context)
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Everything else is silent as the god speaks in a voice without anger. He says that Psyche must go into exile, and... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 16
Justice Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...orders Orual to take off her veil, but she doesn’t fear him anymore after seeing the god. She feels powerful because she can see his face, but he can’t see hers. When... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Orual waits for the god s to kill her, and she’s almost disappointed to find that she continues to live... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 21
Jealousy Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...Queen asks the priest of Istra why the sisters wanted to get Istra away from the god if they had seen the palace. He replies that they were jealous of all that... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 1
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...perhaps her love is different than commoners’. The Queen loves like the gods and the Shadowbrute, loving and devouring at the same time. Angry, the Queen points out that she saved... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 2
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...the Fox. The Queen asks how Ungit can be both the mother and wife of the god of the Mountain, and Arnom says that these are all metaphors for natural phenomena. The... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...goes out into the city, thinking of herself as a nightmarish monster, perhaps even the Shadowbrute. She walks to a high bank of the river, intending to jump in and drown... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 4
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
Suddenly a change comes over the courtyard, and everyone seems awed. They say that the god is coming to judge Orual. Psyche brings her to the edge of a pool as... (full context)