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It's an upside-down sham of a world in which men like these, if they can be called men at all, can look down on a man like me. I am worth twice the lot of you. And this is the best the Union has to offer? We deserve to lose.

–Bremer dan Gorst, The Heroes

Bremer dan Gorst is a contestant in The Contest, and considered the favourite by those in the know. He has a minor role in the trilogy, before being promoted to a main POV character in The Heroes.

Appearance and PersonalityEdit

Gorst is a big, thick-necked bull of a man, with a doorstep of a jaw. His arms are thick as tree trunks, corded with heavy muscles[1]. His hair is shaved to dark stubble. He looks like a commoner, but a large and powerful commoner with a mean streak. His physique belies a gentle high pitched voice, for which he is subjected to all kinds of ridicule and scorn.

He is an exceptional swordsman who favours a highly aggressive and offensive fighting style, arguably the greatest fighter in the series, barring Logen Ninefingers. He appears too heavy to be quick, but he’s quicker than he looks, a lot, lot quicker. His steels are unusually heavy and worn, weighty and well-used. They appear too heavy to be quick, but his strikes are well-timed, and highly accurate.

Gorst has an extremely casual manner, completely calm and utterly unconcerned at the big occasion of The Contest, watching his opponent dance through barely open eyes. His fully personality is only revealed in The Heroes. After his disgrace in Sipani where he fail to protect his king, he becomes consumesd by bitterness. Beneath the brawny exterior, he wields a secret loathing for virtually everyone and everything, even himself. For the most part, this poisonous hatred is kept well sheathed, until he opts to release it on the battlefield. Few, if any, have the fierce desire to kill and butcher like he.

HistoryEdit

Bremer dan Gorst is a kinsman of Lord Brock, and served in his personal guard[2].

The Blade ItselfEdit

Gorst enters as a contestant in The Contest. In Lord Marshal Varuz' eyes, Gorst is the only competitor that Jezal should seriously worry about: Gorst has excellent stamina[3], and is hard to knock down[4].

Jezal dan Luthar notices Gorst at the opening ceremony to The Contest, whom he compares to a farmhand rather than a fencer. Where most of the contestants are nearly shaking in fear, Gorst seems completely calm and utterly unconcerned; he even has the audacity to wink at him.

In the first round, Gorst is up against a man named Kuster, the crowd favourite. Sand dan Glokta observes the pair and alights on the fact that Gorst, despite his dockside appearance, is the superior fighter and an innovator with his new brutal fighting style[5]. Gorst demolishes the more traditional fighter[2].

Jezal and Gorst face off in the final of The Contest. Bayaz, Logen, and Quai sit in the stands, and Logen agrees a gentleman’s bet with Bayaz that Gorst will win, despite Quai’s warning to never bet against a Magus. Down three touches to none, with only one more needed for Gorst to win the match, Jezal impossibly avoid a final strike. Jezal counters to put himself back in the match. In the stands, Bayaz, sweating profusely, admits to manipulating Jezal’s performance with the Art. With the aid of the Magus, Jezal rallies, a better fencer than he ever imaged he could be, and defeats Gorst. A very graceful loser, Gorst congratulates his opponent and presented him to the cheering crowd[6].

Last Argument of KingsEdit

Soon after King Jezal the First assumes the throne, Gorst leaves Lord Brock's service because "the position did not suit him"[7], and becomges a Knight of the Body. The King asks Gorst to quietly bring his former lover Ardee West to the palace.

During the Battle of Adua, Gorst remains at the King's side throughout[8]. He saves his life when Jezal leads a charge of the royal guard, wading into the enemy to rescue him. As the Gurkish Eaters breach the palace to kill the king, Gorst helps fight them off until they are finally cornered in the Chamber of Mirrors. Tired of running, Jezal confronts the Eaters, side by side with Gorst. Before they can attack, High Justice Marovia dashes between them, and slices the Eaters in two with The Divider. Before their eyes Marovia then becomes Yoru Sulfur[9].

Best Served ColdEdit

Although not named in the book, a Knight of the Body briefly encountered by Caul Shivers in Cardotti’s House of Leisure in Sipani, is later established to have been Gorst. It is revealed in the short story Wrong Place, Wrong Time (in the Sharp Ends collection) that Gorst was in an upstairs room with a prostitute. However rather than having sex or being passed out drunk he was simply resting his head on her lap and cried as she soothed him, establishing Gorst has been dealing with depression for some time. When he hears the chaos ensuing downstairs, Gorst dashes to find his king.  He barrels out of the whores bedroom and into Shivers, who butts him in the face, and hurls him down the stairs.

The HeroesEdit

Following the debacle at Cardotti’s House of Leisure, Gorst is removed from his position as the King's First Guard having been accused of being passed out drunk and failing protect the king. He is appointed as a Royal Observer and sent north to report on the details of the ongoing war between the Union and Black Dow's Northmen.

Despite instructions to remain away from the front lines, Gorst repeatedly seeks the most dangerous parts of the battle. With violence acting as a temporary catharsis to his growing personal despair, he accepts his role as a killer.

His heroics eventually earn his a modicum of respect from the other soldiers, and he is initially overjoyed to receive an opportunity to return to his former position. His joy is short-lived, when Finree dan Brock tells him of her husband's promotion. Gorst seems to finally find his voice and says many of the things he's been thinking through out the book, including his love for killing and Finree alike. He goes on to call himself a scape goat, Finree doesn't let this pass however, and she tells him all the reasons why he sucks. She believes the rumors that he was passed out drunk with a whore during the debacle in Sipani. However Gorst does not bother to deny it or deign to correct her on the truth. It is not revealed whether he accepts the role as King's First Guard.

IllustrationsEdit

  • Bremer dan Gorst vs Whirrun of Bligh
  • Jezal dan Luthar vs Bremer dan Gorst

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Blade Itself, Nobility
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Blade Itself, Barbarians at the Gate
  3. The Blade Itself, Playing with Knives
  4. The Blade Itself, Fencing Practice
  5. The Blade Itself, An Offer and a Gift
  6. The Blade Itself, Never Bet Against a Magus
  7. Last Argument of Kings, Part I, Such Sweet Sorrow
  8. Last Argument of Kings, Part II, Leadership
  9. Last Argument of Kings, Part II, Dark Paths

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