Sunday, 29 September 2013

Samael

In Poul Anderson's The Devil's Game (New York, 1980), what does the "demon", Samael, want?

When Haverner asks this question, Samael's answer is:

"'An associate who can act for me and with me in the human world."(p. 46)

How does Haverner, by enriching himself, act for Samael? Maybe Samael is studying humanity, particularly in the psychological tests that Haverner, when he has acquired sufficient resources, conducts?

What is Samael? Every possible answer is considered:

a demon;
a magical being;
an extraterrestrial;
a time traveler from the future;
part of Haverner's mind.

Thus, the novel may be fantasy, science fiction or psychological fiction. Samael does not act like a traditional demon. He:

does not require that Haverner sign away his soul;
even questions whether Haverner has a soul, thus implying his own agnosticism about the supernatural;
does not object to Haverner taking religious precautions against demonic influence;
is not adversely affected by hearing the divine name.

He does seem to "'...have knowledge of the minds as well as the doings of men...'" (p. 49)

- so maybe his Haverner's ESP personified?

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