I posted about this on Random Fandom Forum, and I figured I better say it here too, just to get it out of the way. I like to keep my thoughts in one place, and on the off chance someone asks about it here. Also, it’s a celebratory day, as I just got my print copy of Dead Ever After, which apparently came all the way from the Netherlands. That’s because I love the Lisa Desimini covers (and finally got my copy of Dead Until Dark). If I bought print copies in Australia, I wouldn’t have glitter and shininess and gorgeous end papers. And yes, like with all new acquisitions, I have been lovingly stroking it. 😀
This is a mini-post about the cluviel dor. Someone at RF brought up the point that Copley Carmichael used up his wish with the devil to ask for something that can grant him one wish, creating a redundancy. It’s not quite that simple though.
The devil said specifically what he was willing to do in exchange for their souls:
“I don’t deal in cash. I deal in favours.”
Dead Ever After, p. 4
Consider how easy it is to grant Copley’s wishes with regular old magic. You want prosperity? Well you do a spell similar to Greg Aubert’s in Lucky and make it so that no one defaults on payments. Any fairy or witch would be able to accomplish that one easily. You want the defeat of your enemies? Well do a spell similar to the one done on Tanya Grissom and send her after your enemies. All achievable by regular magic we’ve seen in the books. You want the girl you love to love you back? Boom. Love spell.
We have lots of evidence of pretty powerful things being able to happen with magic. Amelia for example can freeze people in their tracks, like she did in Lucky. People can be transmogrified into animals and back again, like Bob. Vampires can be given amnesia and sent off frantically running into the night, like Eric. You can stop people getting onto your property with bad intentions, like Donald Calloway. You can create fogs, like the witches in the Were War. You can put a magical helmet around someone’s head so no one can read their thoughts, like the FotS did. You can glamour yourself so that people see you differently and hear you differently, like Diantha or Preston. You can make someone filled with hate for someone else, like Tanya or Alcee Beck.
What you can’t see? People just being resurrected as if it’s something you stroll around doing on your day off. Not one person who has died has been resurrected by magic, even if they were beloved of witches. It’s too big a magic. The cluviel dor is not simply just another form of wish magic with the same outcomes. At all. In fact, that’s not even close. As far as Copley knows (from hacking Amelia’s email) it is something hat:
But on an individual level, apparently this magic is so potent
it can really change a life in a drastic way.
Dead Reckoning, p. 274
and Mr. Cataliades makes the power of the cluviel dor absolutely known – something that Copley Carmichael would have been able to find out easily when he looked into the legend around a legendary item:
You can change the world, you know. Any series of events you
alter by magic can have unexpected repercussions in history.
Dead Reckoning, p. 273
Cope wasn’t exchanging one wish for another – he was exchanging one regular old wish to something that could change the world – a supercharged wish. If plain old magic – fairy or human – could make dead people live again, there would be a whole lot of people around who died once. The cluviel dor resurrected Sam like it was easy, and no other magic has ever been shown in the books to do the same.
The cluviel dor is different from just magic. The devil couldn’t go back and change history. He couldn’t go back in time and alter Copley’s fate so that he never lost money at all. He could change the here-and-now. And he could do it easily by magic and give Copley all he desires. Copley gave away his soul for something minor, really – that many witches can do, but don’t. It’s something that Hallow or Greg Aubert could have knocked over in a couple of minutes. Changes a life, sure, but it’s not great magic.
The cluviel dor however can change the past – it can alter history. It can do anything. It can kill from a distance – certainly, Hallow couldn’t manage to drain Eric from a distance, but the cluviel dor can kill even if you’re not touching someone. It can change the world in a fundamental way – replace one King with another. It can make it so that – for example – Cope can wish that Amelia loves him and does what he says.
This is not ordinarily achievable by magic. In fact, we have an example of how two witches used a similar spell:
“She’d lose interest in doing harm to Sookie and all her
family. She wouldn’t want to obey Sandra Pelt anymore.
It wouldn’t hurt her physically at all.”
“Would this change her mentally?”
“No,” Octavia said. But it’s not as sure a spell as the one
that would make her not want to be here anymore. If we cast
that one, she’d leave here, and she wouldn’t come back.”
From Dead to Worse, p. 235
If Copley could find a witch to cast a spell on Amelia, then he’d have to contend with the fact that it possibly wouldn’t stick, wouldn’t change her mentally, and she wouldn’t love him more. He’d have to make sure that no other witches took the spell off. Considering that Amelia spends her life with witches, that’s highly doubtful. Octavia, Bob or any other of her witch friends would see a sudden change in attitude, and then counteract it. If Copley used the cluviel dor, he could change Amelia forever.
Copley wasn’t exchanging one wish for another wish – he was intending to upgrade his wish to the most powerful wish that existed. He could have changed reality as Amelia has lived, and make it so that she always took direction from him on how her life is going. And no one would know or realise that it was any different.