Subject: Interview with the Valië
Posted on: 2021-08-04 08:55:35 UTC

In the aftermath of the Party in the Parc, our independent reporters caught up with one of the younger gods: Yavanna, the first of the Pantheon to return.

So, Yavanna, an easy one to start with: tell us about yourself.

I'm Yavanna - uh, you knew that. I'm the Earthqueen, the Giver of Fruits, patron of trees and forests. Of the autumn, I suppose, but also of growth and the harvest. I'm one of the fourteen Valar - well, fifteen if you count Melkor, but we don't - we're from Middle-earth, but you probably knew that too. Uh, I guess that's me?

And before that?

Before Middle-earth? I was in the Timeless Halls, singing in the Music of the Ainur. It's how we created the world, you know?

No, I meant… before you were Yavanna, who were you?

Oh. Uh. So I'm… I was the son of a pair of retired PPC agents - I don't really want to say who.

Seriously? We all know it's Dafydd Illian.

I really don't want to say. I'm half-elven, and have grown up around the PPC - I was actually picking my sisters up from Sprouts when I learnt who I really was.

Okay, let's talk about that. How did it feel to become - or learn you were - a god?

It was… like hearing all the trees of the forest suddenly calling my name. And not just calling me, but waiting for my response, longing for my response. And then the very earth itself, reaching up to me, into me, until the whole natural world sang through me. That's why I have to go up onto the stage, I think - not for my own sake, but to give all green and living things the voice they deserve.

But only for a while, right? You've never been shy about how briefly you'll be here. Two years - how do you cope with that?

Well, I mean, as a half-elf I've always had two paths ahead of me. I can be mortal, live a century or so and then leave the worlds behind; or I can choose my father's kin, become an elf and never die. I've never known which was right for me… but maybe this is the third way. To live for two years, to inspire and uplift - and then to return, ninety years from now. It's not called the Recurrence for nothing.


And you know, sometimes I think things need to be brief to be bright. A forest in spring or summer is lovely, all green and growing. But a forest in autumn, decked in reds and golds, its floor a carpet of crisp fallen leaves - that's the true beauty of the woods, right before it fades into winter.

I suppose I've never thought of it like that. Do the other gods see it the same way?

Heh. Okay, yes, there have been some debates on that point, but I think by now they're all… reconciled, I guess, to the time we have. They're not sitting in empty RCs bewailing their fate, if that's what you mean.

You say 'debates'... how do you get on with the rest of the Pantheon? Are you all one big happy family?

I can tell you don't have a large family. I've got two, now, and some things hold true across both. There are always arguments, always people who get on well and those who don't. I like to think I've done a lot to keep the peace - because, well, we have to. If we fall out, if we start properly fighting, it will… I mean, it'll be bad, is all.

You were the first of the gods to return, and the first to go public. It sounds like you feel some kind of responsibility towards the rest of them.

Well, 'first' doesn't mean a lot when we all popped up in the space of, what, two hours? But you're right that I feel responsible. I've had- I can imagine how things could go wrong, if they let themselves get out of control. Some of the things the others could potentially do chill my blood. But it's okay! You don't need to be frightened - that's not why we're here, not who we are. We're here to sing, to inspire you, to help the PPC become even better than it already is.

What're your thoughts on these rumours of extra gods walking around?

What?! Where is she? What have you heard? Because if you know anything - we have to find her, have to stop her before she can ruin eve...ry… wait, what have you heard?

Um… that there are extra gods beside you twelve. There's a girl in Bad Slash claiming to be Aphrael the Child-Goddess of Styricum, though that might just be Kayleigh being Kayleigh. And there's a rumour of some kind of Lovecraftian horror in the Cafeteria, but given what happened to the meatloaf a few years back I'm not convinced. What have you heard?


Really? Because that sounded like a something. Who is 'she'?

Did I say 'she'? I don't think I said 'she'.

You know we're recording this, right?

It was a slip of the tongue. I meant to say that any rumours are clearly mistaken, because the Pantheon is twelve and no more, ever. Are we done?

… sure. Um… so I was able to catch most of the Party in the Parc. You were great, by the way. Do you think there'll be more collaborations in the Pantheon's future, or are you going back to solo shows?

I think you can take it as read that there'll be more. We really need the Pantheon to stick together, to stay united; arguments just hurt everyone, doubly so when there's miracles involved.

Do you think you might branch out a bit? The Troupe By Any Other Name have been asking about doing a musical with you, maybe Hamilton?

I'm not old enough to listen to Hamilton. But, oh! Oh oh oh! What about Les Mis? Lady Kee'ra would make an amazing Valjean, and can't you just hear the Raven Queen singing 'Little Fall of Rain' with me? For Cosette, it'd have to be… hmm, Meridia as young Cosette, with Lucian as little Eppie, but I'm not sure about after she grows up. Ellimist or Gaia? Obviously El-Ahrairah has to be Gavroche, and I think Mary Poppins would make an amazing Javert.

So we can take that as a yes?

It's an incredible idea and I'm suggesting it next time we get together.

Cool. Real talk for a minute: lots of people have noticed this whole thing is taken from a canon called The Wicked + The Divine. Having read it, are you worried about-

Whoa! Spoilers!

… what?

Mom says I'm not old enough to read the comics yet, so I don't want to hear anything about them. Tell you what, I'll read them next year and we can do another interview.

You… I mean… yes, that would be great. Um. So, last question: have you got a message for your fans?

Sure I do!

I meant one we could write down.

Oh! Uh, be excellent to each other? Sorry, that's from this old movie. Uh, remember that even when things seem cold and dark, and the winter wind is howling around you, that sooner or later spring will come, and everything will be all right again.

And if you want to see me on stage - look for the falling leaves.



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