Kitiara Uth-Mater

Bed warmer, er, general of many important armies.

Picture of Kitiara

(Picture by from the cover of Steel and Stone)

Name: Kitiara Uth-Mater

Race: human fighter

Books: All Chronicles, Darkness and Light

Quotes: Kitiara’s quote page

Family: mother; twin half-brothers, Raistlin and Caramon; son Steel Brightblade

Love(s): Tanis

Friends: The companions before the war, Skie, Lord Soth

Description: She wears armor and breeches and cuts her hair short, but is still supposed to be very beautiful in a battley sort of way.

History: Born in Solace, Kitiara began sword play as a child, although her first fight was to save her twin half-brothers, Raistlin and Caramon from near death. She succeeded in this battle and in many others, and continued to watch out for her half-brothers as she grew. She fell in love with Tanis, who became, for a time, her lover. Kitiara came to and left Solace many times, but the last time she left was with Sturm. The two of them went on an adventure in a gnomish flying machine, and she seduced him before splitting up. The mercenary work that eventually led to her position as general of the army. As general she slept with all the major captains, although her son, Steel, was born of Sturm, right before the War of the Lance. She died in the Tower of High Sorcery, Palanthas. She went to the tower attempting to kill Dalamar (who she’d slept with), and got poisoned in Shoiken Grove. She ended up dying in Tanis’s arms, who went to the Tower to try to stop her from killing Dalamar. She told him she loved him right before she died, so that he would remain tormented eternally. I’m not certain whether or not she actually loves him. Soth came for her soul, and Skie later hunted for her.

Psychology of Kitiara: Kitiara is one of my least favorite characters, so I’m making a point of looking into her psychology to see why, and to better understand her. The unfortunate thing about the “bad guys” of Dragonlance, is that we are given a “good guy” based perspective. We do see glimpses of her- sometimes tantalizing. As she dies in the Tower, she tells Tanis that she does it for love of him. Soth argues that she’s only trying to use Tanis to get protection- she certainly has used other men in the past. Does Kitiara love Tanis? She laughs at first when he offers himself to her in exchange for Laurana, but she does eventually accept him (even if for her own reasons). The two of them shared a history when they were both in love, and Kitiara gave that love up to pursue her goals. That does not mean she shut her love off: we can try not to love, but we can’t force ourselves not to, any more than we can force ourselves to love. It was inconvenient for Kitiara to love Tanis– he wasn’t on her side, but that does not mean that she didn’t. I don’t think that her actions were motivated by love, but I think that, given her history, she did once love him and probably continued to.

If she did indeed love Tanis as I believe, it would be extremely frustrating to her that he was a battle she had lost, that he wasn’t on her side. Perhaps her frequent sexual encounters are more than just lust- they might be an expression of sexual frustrations over the one half-elf she couldn’t get her hands on.

Kitiara struggled through life, and found that she could win. Her first battle, as is often mentioned, is to save baby Raistlin’s life. She wants to be the best, and she wants to be on top. This is the downfall of the Dark Queen’s armies: everyone in them wants this. Indeed, it is human nature to want to do well, to want to be looked up to. Often heroes will say things like, “I want to make my parents proud,” and we have to question whether all of this pride is really intended for parents. The “good guys” are often better able to recognize that there are things more important than being the best, and often draw happiness in different ways. Kitiara seems to have little of the typical bad guy greed: she has nice stuff, but that’s definitely not her main goal.

She’s used to men thinking her beautiful, and she’s quite adept at using her beauty to her advantage. Her perception of her own beauty might be one factor in her struggle for power- she is able to imagine herself a beautiful warlord, wearing the crown and leading troops on her blue dragon. This image might be powerful to others, but it might also be powerful to Kitiara herself.

Last modified on October 25, 2009