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The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Genly Ai Timeline and Summary

  • Ai is on Gethen in an attempt to get the Gethenians people to join the Ekumen.
  • With Estraven's help, he manages to secure an audience with the King.
  • His first attempt is with King Argaven. It fails epically.
  • Only a little deterred, Ai goes to the Fastness. 
  • He meets Faxe, who prophesies that Ai's mission will be successful.
  • With a little extra skip in his step, Ai goes to Oregoreyn to try again.
  • He runs into Estraven again. This time, he rejects the man's advice.
  • The Orgoreyn Commensals turn on Ai and send him packing to the Volunteer Farm.
  • There, Ai is tortured nearly to death.
  • Who should come to the rescue, but Estraven himself?
  • Together, the two travel 840 miles of hard, wintery Gethen wilderness.
  • Back in Karhide, Ai manages to get a signal to his ship.
  • Unfortunately, he also witnesses Estraven's death as he tries to cross back into Orgoreyn.
  • With the ship inbound, King Argaven's hand is forced. He agrees with Ai's terms. Mission success!
  • Ai heads to Estre and meets Estraven's father and son. He tells them the story of how he and Estraven managed to cross the Ice.
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