How to Pronounce “Mitth’raw’nuruodo” – Thrawn: Alliances Excerpt
Before he began striking fear into the heart of the galaxy as the notorious Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker encountered the Rebellion’s first nightmare in the form of a certain Grand Admiral.
Having first introduced the world to the cold calculations of Thrawn in a series of novels that have now been filed under the Extended Universe tag, Timothy Zahn returns to his blue skinned creation in July’s Thrawn: Alliances. The follow-up to the bestselling Thrawn novel of last year, Zahn’s latest book pairs the Chiss Ascendency’s mysterious commander with his equal: Darth Vader. But, in an excerpt from the highly anticipated new novel, it appears that the two men’s history extends far before the dark plated armor and deep breathing – back to a time when the Lord of the Sith was known only as Anakin Skywalker.
Another silence. The alien ship, to Anakin’s annoyance, had halted its sideways drift and was now pacing the hyperdrive ring at a distance of a hundred meters. Still far too close for comfort. “Yes, I could continue on my way,” the intruder said. “But it might be more useful for me to assist you in your quest.”
R2-D2 gave a puzzled twitter. “I already told you I was on a Republic mission,” Anakin said. “It’s not a quest.”
“Yes, I recall your words,” the intruder assured him. “But I find it hard to believe that a Republic at war would send a lone man in a lone fighter craft on a mission. I find it more likely that you travel on a personal quest.”
“I’m on a mission,” Anakin ground out. This was starting to be really irritating. “Directly ordered here by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine himself.” Not that Palpatine even knew Anakin was here, of course, let alone sanctioning the mission. But if the stranger had heard of the Clone Wars he’d surely heard of Palpatine, and dropping the chancellor’s name might add some weight to his side of the conversation. “And I don’t have time for this.”
“Agreed,” the other said. “Perhaps it would be best if I were to simply show you the location of the ship you seek.”
Anakin’s hands tightened on the yoke. “Explain,” he said quietly.
“I know where the Nubian ship landed,” the intruder said. “I know the pilot is missing.”
Anakin ground his teeth. “So you intercepted a private transmission?”
“I have my own sources of information,” the intruder said, his voice still calm. “Like you, I seek information, on that and other matters. Also like you I’m alone, without the resources to successfully investigate. Perhaps in alliance with a Republic general we may find the answers both of us seek.”
“Interesting offer,” Anakin said. And now, finally, he was close enough. Taking a deep breath, he stretched out to the Force.
The intruder wasn’t human, though of course Anakin had already guessed that. He was near-human, though, like many other species in the Republic.
But the texture of his mind was unlike anything Anakin had ever touched before. It was neat and well ordered, the patterns of thought flowing smoothly and precisely in ways not unlike those of scientists or mathematicians. But the content of that flow, and the muted emotions accompanying it, were completely opaque. It was like a neat and precise array of unfamiliar numbers.
“So what answers are you looking for?”
“I wish to more fully understand this conflict in which you’re embroiled,” the intruder said. “I wish answers of right and wrong, of order and chaos, of strength and weakness, of purpose and reaction.” There was a slight pause; and when the voice came back there was a new formality to it. “You asked my identity. I am now prepared to give it. I am Commander Mitth’raw’nuruodo, officer of the Expansionary Defense Fleet, servant of the Chiss Ascendancy. On behalf of my people, I ask your assistance in learning of this war before it sweeps its disaster over our own worlds.”
“Fine,” Anakin said. “Whenever you’re ready.”
“I’ll make preparations at once,” Mitth’raw’nuruodo said. “One additional thought. Chiss names are difficult for many species to properly pronounce. I suggest you address me by my core name: Thrawn.”
“That’s all right, Mitth’raw’nuruodo,” Anakin said. Did this being go out of his way to be annoying and condescending? “I think I can handle it.”
“Mitth’raw’nuruodo,” the alien said.
“That’s what I said,” Anakin said. “Mitth’raw’nuruodo.”
“It’s pronounced Mitth’raw’nuruodo.”
Anakin clenched his teeth. He could hear a slight difference between his pronunciation and the alien’s. But he couldn’t figure out how to correct his version. “Fine,” he growled. “Thrawn.”
“Thank you,” Mitth’raw’nuruodo—Thrawn—said. “It will make things easier. My shuttle is prepared. Let us depart.”
For the full excerpt go to StarWars.com.
Pre-order your copy of Thrawn: Alliances now and get ready for July to heat up when Darth Vader attempts to slice his lightsaber through Mitth’raw’nurudo’s cunning intellect.