Legend of the Seeker: Magic of the Confessors
The magic I’ve most enjoyed, in both the books and the show, is the magic of the Confessors.
The Strongest Magic of All
Their magic is really the strongest of all, as Zedd said in Identity “Of all the magic in the world none is more powerful than love” and that is exactly what their magic is, love. Their magic was created to use and control love in order to find the truth and keep justice. All they need is one spark of love within a person for their magic to work, and everyone at one time in their life feels love, which allows for the Confessors to be the most powerful force of all the lands.
My favorite line of “Elixir” is when Kahlan explains to the young boy, Jack, about love “Love is a choice we make. If you take away that choice, it’s not really love is it? Someone loving you wanting to be with you because you forced them; Trust me it won’t make you happy”.
The magic of confession takes away everything that makes a person human; they lose every part of their soul and are left with this false love. The magic they have gives the power of love to others, and yet they aren’t able to feel true love for themselves.
The World View of the Confessors
I feel like you can’t really examine into the magic of the Confessors unless you look into the Confessors themselves and their own views of the world. The magic that a person has is what really defines that person within the Midlands. To every one of the Midlands these women are not women, they’re Confessors, and while the people respect and follow their rulings there is still that emotional distance between all of them.
It is interesting to see the way that Confessors view relationships and love in relation to their powers. Confessors don’t have friends that aren’t other confessors or wizards for the most part, and Kahlan is no different until Richard shows up in her life. This man that knows nothing of a Confessor’s power is able to change not only Kahlan’s views but actually the whole entire order’s views.
The Confessors believed that true love could never be real for them; they took mates in order to continue the line. That was a key line in the episode “Sacrifice”; Dennee explained how she took Finn as her mate in order to have a baby because their numbers were dwindling. Kahlan believes as well that love just isn’t possible, until Richard came and showed her that love, true love, doesn’t have to be physical. Her own changing views of this are shown when she asks Lara, the Confessor in “Denna”, if she had taken Raph as her lover, not mate. I think it’s a key point that she uses the term lover instead of mate; it’s actually the first reference as “Sacrifice” comes after “Denna” and so it really shows just how much Kahlan has changed from the other Confessors when we finally see her interact with them.
Kahlan's Understanding and Con Dar
One of the great things about Kahlan’s growth and understanding about relationships is that it’s truly made her a stronger Confessor. The Confessor magic relies so much on the emotions of people that it's only natural that as the Confessor's emotions grow so would their magic. She discovered her ability to call forth the Con Dar, not because of some new magic within her, the power was in her all along; it was her feelings for Richard that allowed for this power.
The Con Dar isn’t invoked unless it is for the protection and defense of another person, without her love and fierce need to protect Richard she would never have been able to call upon that power.
The Power to Control
The Confessor’s magic is also a prime example of how the power to control people, and the belief that magic is infallible, can be so blinding that a person can forget just what is right and wrong. The first real instance of this is with the Confessor Lara in “Denna”. She felt the need to protect her people and save them from the D’haran troops so she confessed the village to remove their fear. Were her intentions honorable? Of course, but her dependence on her magic is the same problem that the village in “Elixir” had.
The same goes for Serena the former Mother Confessor; she used her magic on Zedd to defend the beliefs she had about the male Confessor, she didn’t want to harm their mission, just fulfill her duty as Mother Confessor. She is the perfect example of how it isn’t the power and magic that is good or evil but the way it is used. It isn’t until the episode “Confession” that Kahlan realizes her magic isn’t the great power she thought it was. I thought it was a perfect storyline because of how Kahlan acts within it; here she is the newly named Mother Confessor relying on her magic because that’s what she’s always been taught. If she needed the truth she’d use her magic, that’s what the Confessors were trained to do. Her powers can never be wrong; she has a firm belief in that idea and her whole foundation crumbles when she actually is wrong. It is in this episode that she realizes that the Confessor’s magic isn’t the perfect power that she had always thought it was.