[quote:32a5c4cb35="Nowth"] I have this feeling that there's more to it than just "dealing" with Strongbow, and more than an unwillingness to take the lead.
She and Strongbow are the quintessential recognised lifemates, united in Wolfrider utter certainty. And they both value the security of knowing their place in the world and their tribe. Why, then, shouldn't this apply to their respective places in their own little tribe-of-two?
Compare their "Dreamtime" to the others'. There're no Rayeks, Kahvis, humans, Two-Edges; just them, and their children. They're flowers on the tree of life, not its gardeners.(*)
Now... I don't mean that she'll actually agree with everything he says - just that there's more to it than humouring him or sparing him or managing his emotions for him. Something tranquil and almost spiritual.
That's speculation, of course. I didn't feel like writing "maybe" and "perhaps" and going crazy with the conjunctive. Maybe I'm just regressing into good little wife clichÃ©s, and she's really just humouring his moods.
(*do I win a dunce cap for that?)
[quote:32a5c4cb35]I do find myself wondering, though, what might happen if an incident ever arose where Moonshade felt it necessary to actually oppose him. Hmm. Might make an interesting fanfic. . .[/quote:32a5c4cb35]
How did they hook up anyhow?[/quote:32a5c4cb35]
You know, Nowth, I think you've hit the nail on the head. It is more than just humoring him or sparing him, etc. And no, she's not just the "good little wife," deferring to him. Any ideas like that, as you said, are imposed from the outside by the readers, never intended by the authors or even imagined by the characters! (So you can wear the dunce cap, but I'll decorate it with stars! )
Strongbow and Moonshade have a true bond. They seem to feel one another's needs and respond to them accordingly. It is, as you say, tranquil, spiritual-- not even something they need to work at. Among humans, a good marriage can work something like this, only not so perfectly. (And, of course, we have to deal with all the gender-role ideas imposed on us by our societies, which Strongbow and Moonshade get to avoid completely). Lucky them!
As for how they hooked up-- all we've ever gotten to see in the canon (during the Ember stories) is a tranquil scene where Strongbow and Moonshade are together doing something quite ordinary and peaceful-- and their eyes meet. Not exactly the sort of turbulent Recognitions we've seen with many of the other characters!