Rime Coldspray is a hoary old fart of a Giantess, who can pulverize a fossilized tree with two fistblows, and stay uninjured in a battle against thousands of Cavewights while all her other Giantish companions have been more or less severely wounded. Hence, it is not recommended to underestimate her.
She appears in the Third Chronicles, from Fatal Revenant and onwards, and leads the present generation of Giantish elite warriors aka the Swordmainnir. She is titled the Ironhand for both her 'immeasurable age' and prowess in warcraft.
Appearance and Character
Gray streaks dominate her short hair, and her face is described as symmetrical, but with heavy jaws, strong brows, and tough lines of immense age. Of course, a conglomeration of warts and lumps might prove symmetrical as well in some circumstances, but Donaldson's Giantesses, apart from Thelma Twofist, usually radiate charisma and comeliness. While she sits, she yet manages to reach past a standing Jeremiah. The scarred skin of her arms bears witness to many battles. Considering that the Giants may reach the age of 3000, she may have beheld as many as 2000 years, yet remains extremely strong and quick of movement. Merely her eyesight has deteriored a tad, but she can always use any of her younger hirdmembers as an external organ.
While having her stern moments, her temper does not exhibit the First of the Search's aka "Shadow-Linden's" mental rollercoaster of snappy bouts of anger, sourness, abysmal confidence, and schmaltz-hearted weeping. She may question her decisions and frown, but whereas her counterpart in The Second Chronicles was recorded to laugh only once offscreen, her mirth is throaty and rich, and she does not abstain from the knockabout warrior humor of her troupe, which includes questioning Grueburn's intelligence, some obligatory jokes about man-swords, mocking
Grueburn's wits, and naming herself deranged for trusting a couple of horses to decide the fate of the worlds, with a possible side flavor of wondering if Grueburn's braincells could be counted with a quarter of a half-hand. Due to the training and companionship of centuries, the other
Swordmainnir often do not need her separate instructions to act upon something, but function as a seamless, synchronized team. This states at least something about excellent leadership skills. Her title she has earned thanks to her cunning (decipher the archaic word: competence) and immense age.
Grueburn's various complaints connote that Coldspray's voice is strident to the point of causing permanent damage to hearing. At the same time, the reader inquires whether the author has listened to his favorite Wagners a bit too much while writing The Last Dark: on more than one occasion, Coldspray erupts into a loud "Ho, Swordmainnir!" as if she were some grand Valkyrie matriarch summoning her sisters to the field of the slain.
Prior to the events of the Third Chronicles, Coldspray sojourned in the frugally depicted Gianthome (a careful reader may observe that it possesses a harbor) and trained Exalt Widenedworld, Gossamer and Pitchwife’s grandson, to become more fluent in the feminine finesses of Swordmainship. One day while sparring with blunt practice blades, the Ironhand decided to test the lad’s skills in batting eyelashes and pouting his plump lips in an inviting manner cunning (read: adroitness; naught to do with cuteness). She overbalanced, and smacked the rookie straight in the face with the rock glaive’s edge. This did not only result in a disfigurement, but a fevered delirium and a raging obsession to kill an unknown “she”.
After it became clear that all lightbulbs had dimmed for eternity within Exalt aka Longwrath’s attic à lá Joan Covenant, and as he, in his frenzied hunt for this strange female either proceeded to kill or maim all those attempting to aid his well-being, the Swordmainnir decided to order him custom-fitted iron shackles from Bhrathairealm. We did not know if this package included whips and some other questionable paraphernalia from the late Kasreyn’s personal stock as well. At any event, the bindings held not the berserking bedlamite for long, and after several escape attempts, during one of which he pilfered a magic sword capable of slayingSandgorgons, Rime opted to pursue the course of his obsession with ten other warriors over the vast seas. Through Soulbiter and many another peril, they ultimately arrived in the Land, where, surprise surprise, the lunatic unshackled himself again. Through leagues of aimless running and meeting some lovable Land-fauna in the form of omnivorous lava-blooded worms that devoured their supplies, Rime and her retinue stopped Longwrath in the nick of time from nicking Linden’s life in Salva Gildenbourne.
After a scene and dialogue much reminiscent of Honninscrave craving honnins introducing the First and the fellowship of Earth-Sight to Covenant and Linden in the Wounded Land, Coldspray names Linden “Giantfriend” and joins her on her quest to... well... perform something shady in Andelain. A tad overtrusty these Giants, sometimes?
In The Last Dark
As perhaps befits both her status as leader of the Swordmainnir and her years of experience and cunning, Rime Coldspray isn't added to the blurring body count during the final battle and instead makes it through, bloodied but unbowed, to the book's dénouement. She joins her few remaining BFG troops right at the very end in seeing the entirety of the earth saved and remade into the Kingdom of Caring, presumably featuring the town of Care-A-Lot and The Forest of Feelings.