Joan Macht Covenant was the wife of Thomas Covenant who bore him a child, Roger Covenant She is a quiet woman with the ability to express herself with her eyes and skin better than words. Her skin had a hue of gold.
She was once employed to break horses and tried to end Thomas' fear of horses, which unfortunately failed. She quit working when Thomas' book became published wanting to have a child later giving birth to Roger though she worked at her job for as long as she could before the baby came into any real danger. She left Thomas to give him privacy in the hope that he would find inspiration for his next book.
It was she that first noticed his illness and when Thomas was diagnosed with Leprosy, she divorced him at the Courthouse and took Roger leaving the state taking the car but leaving all of her personal items.
When she went to live with her parents, putting as much distance as she could manage between herself and her cowardice. Yet distance did not save her. The fumbling inadequacy of her parents did not save her. Just once, she had tried to reach out to Covenant. He had refused to speak to her. In his silence, she had heard the truth. Her husband had betrayed her—and she did not know how to live without him. Forsaking him, she had forsaken herself; had turned her back on sunshine and contentment and horses. He had falsified those things; or her fears had driven her to falsify them.Excruciated, and unaware of what she did, she had already begun the process of selling her soul. Therapist after therapist suggested reassurance, offered guidance back to strength. Some proposed medications. Others did not. But they were all wasted on her. She had never had any strength to which she might return. Weakness was her only resource. Passivity defined her. In the end, therapy gave her nothing.
And churches were no better. Religion after religion, they proposed redemption; promised grace to efface horror. They did not require confrontations. Instead they insisted on contrition. Another form of abandonment: the surrender of her will and abhorrence to their forgiving God. But she could not distinguish between contrition and self-abasement; between acknowledgment and blame. And she could not surrender her horror. It alone justified her. Within her, Covenant remembered the precise moment when she had first realized that she could see eyes like fangs in the back of her mind. Piercing her defenses, biting deep, the eyes had assured her that there was no
difference between therapy and religion. Forgiveness was just another way of accepting the disease, the spiritual leprosy, inflicted by Covenant’s betrayal. Like therapy, religion expected her to excuse his crime against her. To take the blame herself. She embraced revulsion because she understood it. The fangs in her mind approved. Offers of forgiveness only pushed her farther into the Lost Deep of her defining despair, her essential and necessary loathing. Betrayed, she let everything else go—even her parents—even her son.
Role in Covenant SeriesEdit
She discovered the Community of Retribution. There she felt that she had found recognition at last. Among those believers, those fanatics, she reveled in promises of punishment. They made sense to her. She became chattel to the Community’s fierce priests They made sense to her. She spoke every word that came to her from the eyes in her mind. They all made sense to her. And in return, she was given a kind of peace. Not the peace of forgiveness: the Community of Retribution did not forgive. Rather she received the peace of universal condemnation. Within the Community, she was blameworthy only because the whole world deserved denunciation, and she was part of the world. In every other way—so the believers and their priests taught her—she was innocent because nothing was her fault. She simply existed: she had not done anything, caused anything, inflicted anything. And the world needed retribution. It needed to exact the cost of her suffering from Covenant. To that extent, she thought as he did. In her own fashion, she believed that guilt was power. But for her, as for him, the guilt was his. Not hers. The power was his. And if he were punished enough, if he suffered enough, if he met destruction for his crimes, his agony would redeem her. Ultimately that was why she had returned to Haven Farm, and to him. So that he would try to help her. It was why she had tasted his blood and given him moments of lucidity. With her weakness, she had lured him to his doom in exactly the same way that she would have seduced a horse too vicious for any fate except slaughter.
In a local psychiatric hospital, Covenant’s ex-wife, Joan, is now a patient. For a time, Joan’s condition resembles a vegetative catatonia. But then she starts to punish herself, punching her temple incessantly in an apparent effort to bring about her own death. Only the restoration of her white gold wedding band calms her, although it does not altogether prevent her violence.Roger Covenant has reached twenty-one, and has come to claim custody of his mother: custody which Linden refuses, in part because she has no legal authority to release Joan, and in part because she does not trust Roger. To this setback, Roger responds by kidnapping his mother at gunpoint. And when Linden goes to the hospital to deal with the aftermath of Roger’s attack, Roger captures Jeremiah as well. Separately Linden and the police locate Roger, Joan, and Jeremiah. But while Linden confronts Roger, Joan is struck by lightning, and Roger opens fire on the police. In the ensuing fusillade, Linden, Roger, and Jeremiah are cut down. T he Land has been beset by caesures (or "Falls") which are strange disruptions created from wild magic by Joan in her madness. Covenant reaches Joan by entering a caesure; Branl and Clyme follow him with dogged Haruchai loyalty, though Covenant is only able to free himself from the warped instant of time. He realises that Joan is beyond reach as she rebukes his efforts to help her, and intends to kill him. Covenant calls the Ranyhyn, who are able to distract Joan - due to her love of horses. The distraction provides him the opportunity to drive the Krill through Joan's heart, ending the caesure and freeing the Humbled. Turiya Herem, the Raver who had possessed Joan, flees, and Covenant takes his ex-wife's wedding ring, stripping Foul and his allies of the white gold.