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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.