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Jasin Natael
04-30-2012, 08:30 PM
Why do people hate him so much? He doesn't have any great reason to be lotal to Siuan Sanche, and his decisions are fairly logical considering he can't Travel and no one ever tells him anything.

Frenzy
04-30-2012, 09:37 PM
Because he knows he's made the wrong decisions yet sticks by them and doesn't let go until waaay too late. And even when he lets go he abandons his responsibilities to do it. He's unable to grasp political realities despite being raised in the palace of one of the more savvy politicians of the day. He suspects Elaida's trying to kill him AND his men, and does nothing.

Bottom line: he's an idiot.

David Selig
05-01-2012, 05:27 AM
Gawyn swore to kill the Dragon Reborn, knowing full well this would mean literally the end of the world, because of a rumor he heard from a guy he never met before. He's not even a Darkfriend which at least would have made this decision somewhat logical. It was incredibly dumb and selfish from him.

I really don't get why he stayed with the the Elaida faction even after he realised she was trying to have him killed. After Dumai's Wells, he should've left.

GonzoTheGreat
05-01-2012, 05:57 AM
Gawyn swore to kill the Dragon Reborn, knowing full well this would mean literally the end of the world, because of a rumor he heard from a guy he never met before. He's not even a Darkfriend which at least would have made this decision somewhat logical. It was incredibly dumb and selfish from him.
Then again, his girlfriend, who knew full well that the rumour of Morgase's death had already reached Cairhien the day before Rand even attacked Caemlyn, did not bother to mention that fact to Gawyn.
Doesn't mean he shouldn't have done some fact checking of himself, of course, but he was definitely not the only one acting like a brainless loobie when it came to the guilt or innocence of the DR.

I really don't get why he stayed with the the Elaida faction even after he realised she was trying to have him killed. After Dumai's Wells, he should've left.
Habit. That's a fairly common human behavior pattern. Not only human, come to that.

Zombie Sammael
05-01-2012, 06:03 AM
He's not even a Darkfriend

Are we sure he's not a Darkfriend?

Boli
05-01-2012, 06:34 AM
Personally I think Gawyn is meant more as symbolism than anything else.

1> believes rumours, propaganda and hype - as most of randland do.. until finally shown the truth of the matter
2> has his bonds and oaths shattered and remade with the coming of the Dragon Reborn
3> starts out as a child.. and leads children to war before he finally "grows up"
4> Constantly tries to choose from what is right.. and what he is told.

I believe Gawyn the character is James Oliver Rigney Jr. (the man behind the author), trying to explain the feelings which can never be explained when he served in Vietnam. So he is a complete mess of emotions constantly send out to kill or be killed by a regime more concerned with power and propaganda than truth only being told what he needs to know. In short he is the characterisation of all the common soliders of the land not knowing what or who he fights for; and even when he makes a decision he is still plagued by self doubt.

At the end he only truely understands why he fights; when he knows what he is fighting for - and is ready to die for; only then has he "grown up".


Gawyn the character is a moaning little boy; but taking a step back he is pretty much the only main POV character who isn't "in charge" of anything.. nor have any real agenda. His story is one shared by all the soldiers of Randland... and even the Aiel to some extent, as they are all plagued by the self doubt to the question of:

"Why do we fight?".


I still don't like him though :P

Davian93
05-01-2012, 08:27 AM
Gawyn and Egwene are perfect for each other...they're both idiots.

Jasin Natael
05-01-2012, 08:37 AM
Doesn't mean he shouldn't have done some fact checking of himself, of course

How? If he wants to go to Caemlyn, he has to walk/ride, which will take weeks or months. And there are small matters of the Winter Snows and the fact that Caemlyn is under siege! Even if he gets there, how does he plan to get in?

That rumour is the only information he has No one knows Rahvin is a Forsaken, and Elayne is initially skeptical anyone could have a hold on her mother.

He doesn't know about compulsion. So...
Morgase, dead. Rand attacked Caemlyn. Reasonable judgement. He's much too vehement with it, but it's not an unreasonable position.

I really don't get why he stayed with the the Elaida faction even after he realised she was trying to have him killed.

Because by then, he's the commander of the Younglings, it it's not an easy choice to just walk away from people who are looking to you for their survival.

Travelling alone in winter isn't just a matter of walking for a long time. You need packhorses, equipment, money, food, etc.

Gareth Bryne's camp is nearby, but Caemlyn is a long way to travel alone, presumably pursued.

Davian93
05-01-2012, 08:44 AM
You do realize that Gawyn was told of the Rand killed Morgase rumor well before any of that happened (Caemlyn siege, winter, etc etc)...right?

GonzoTheGreat
05-01-2012, 08:59 AM
How? If he wants to go to Caemlyn, he has to walk/ride, which will take weeks or months. And there are small matters of the Winter Snows and the fact that Caemlyn is under siege! Even if he gets there, how does he plan to get in?

That rumour is the only information he has No one knows Rahvin is a Forsaken, and Elayne is initially skeptical anyone could have a hold on her mother.

He doesn't know about compulsion. So...
Morgase, dead. Rand attacked Caemlyn. Reasonable judgement. He's much too vehement with it, but it's not an unreasonable position.
Well, just for starters: he could have asked the girl who was with the DR when that fellow was planning to conquer Caemlyn. As an additional way of checking it, he could try to get more than one single source of rumour.

As you yourself say: "Morgase, dead. Rand attacked Caemlyn. Reasonable judgement."
How is that a reasonable judgment, given that you actually got the apparent order right (first Morgase died, only afterwards did Rand attack Caemlyn)?

I would say that given the fact that Rand was not in Caemlyn when the first rumours of her death started gives him a bit of an alibi. I would further say that the coronation of king Gaebril suggests that there might actually be another culprit entirely. And finally there's the fact that if he had bothered to ask her about it, then Egwene could have told him that Gaebril was in reality Rahvin. True, she should've done that without having been asked quite that explicit a question, especially when she found out that Gawyn was blaming Rand, but hey, she's Egwene.

Swordcrowned
05-01-2012, 11:42 AM
I agree with most here. Gawyn is the fool of the story. And not in a funny way. He is told by people he actually trusts (and one that he loves) that Rand didn't kill his mother, yet he still believes rumor.

He refused to leave Elaida, knowing that she was trying to kill him. And the argument that you cant leave men that rely on you...He led those men into those situations, already knowing that Elaida wanted him and the younglings dead. Then he did leave them. Which he should have know they would be better off without him around, since his men wouldnt have had the balls to defy the Aes Sedai like he did.

AND....

Gawyn and Egwene are perfect for each other...they're both idiots.

You are so right...

Ishara
05-01-2012, 11:46 AM
Because by then, he's the commander of the Younglings, it it's not an easy choice to just walk away from people who are looking to you for their survival.



Well, he didn't have a problem abandoning Andor, did he? Gawyn doesn't think - he's too impulsive and acts on not enough information. It seems that may have changed lately, but he'll have to atone for a lot of stupid things said and done to move on, in my opinion.

Davian93
05-01-2012, 11:50 AM
Well, he didn't have a problem abandoning Andor, did he? Gawyn doesn't think - he's too impulsive and acts on not enough information. It seems that may have changed lately, but he'll have to atone for a lot of stupid things said and done to move on, in my opinion.

Gawyn is the stereotypical HS Jock in an 80s movie.

SauceyBlueConfetti
05-01-2012, 01:39 PM
pshaw.

Gawyn is/was:

1. The son of a man who didn't want him
2. The less good looking brother
3. A son of a queen in a realm that is matriarchal
4. Taught he must ALWAYS protect a sister who has no interest in his ideas & thoughts and who wants him to go away. Ungrateful little snit.
5. A trained soldier given no respect upon entering Tar Valon, another matriarchal society
6. A student of Warders who is given the choice of supporting what he was taught and raised to respect, or kill his teacher. Then living with the guilt.
7. A young man in love with an obstinate girl who won't commit to him and requires he step aside in every situation.


Please, I don't blame him for being a dopey, mopey annoying man. EDIT: annoying boy. He isn't a man yet, no one will let him be one.

Master Ablar
05-01-2012, 02:43 PM
I think Gawyn was someone who had a very clear purpose in his life. That is, to protect Elayne. He tried to do it, but was never really allowed to while at the WT. Then when the chaos came he failed to adapt. He made a choice which at the time seemed logical to him, but which he would probably come to regret. By the time he realized that, he was stuck with the responsibility for hundreds of people.

I think he was probably incredibly stubborn about his blaming of Rand, even after he was told by Egwene that Rand had nothing to do with Morgase's death, because it was an easy outlet for his anger, his frustration, his confusion. After all, Rand is blamed for pretty much everything that is wrong in the world. He is seen as the bringer of chaos and unstability, which have greatly affected Gawyn

Heinz
05-01-2012, 04:47 PM
To be fair to Gawyn, he was never given the chance to fulfill his duty to protect Elayne because Elayne wouldn't allow it. True, the Tower did not help matters, but Elayne and her gal friends certainly would have gone out of their way to prevent the brothers from helping no matter what.

What always got me about Gawyn though was that he ignored his ties and loyalties to Andor. He often talked about his oath to protect his sister, yet when he KNOWS she's not in the Tower and not going to be there as long as Elaida is Amyrlin, when he KNOWS she's in Andor fighting desparately for her crown, he... worries about the Younglings?

Everything else can be debated as to when he knew what, if he was told about this or that, etc etc. The math is simple though.
1)Sworn oath to protect sister, be her sword arm
2)Sister in Caemlyn
3)Caemlyn under siege, other claimants
4)Set course for Caemlyn... engage!

David Selig
05-01-2012, 05:03 PM
IIRC Gawyn learned where Elayne is in TGS when the succession war was over, before that he had no idea she was in Caemlyn and fighting a war.

Grig
05-01-2012, 05:13 PM
4. Taught he must ALWAYS protect a sister who has no interest in his ideas & thoughts and who wants him to go away.

You seem to be mixing him up with Galad. While Gawyn was dismissed a bit during WT scenes, it's silly and counter-canon to characterize his relationship with Elayne in this way.

SauceyBlueConfetti
05-01-2012, 06:54 PM
You seem to be mixing him up with Galad. While Gawyn was dismissed a bit during WT scenes, it's silly and counter-canon to characterize his relationship with Elayne in this way.

Silly?


56 TITLE: Dragon Reborn
* CHAPTER: 16 - Hunters Three
* The golden-haired young man leaned forward in his chair. "The question is, where have you been? Elayne dodges my questions as if she has a pocket full of figs and doesn't want me to have any."


Reread this chapter. She wants him to leave her to her own decisions and continues throughout most of the books to share basically NO information with him. Her allegiance is to the Tower and she feels he does not respect that.

Swordcrowned
05-01-2012, 07:14 PM
Reread this chapter. She wants him to leave her to her own decisions and continues throughout most of the books to share basically NO information with him. Her allegiance is to the Tower and she feels he does not respect that.

Seconded. At no point in the series did Elayne actually want her brother around until her Warder was making her life a living hell because she didnt want to be in charge of the Andoran army.

David Selig
05-01-2012, 07:24 PM
It's WoT, the characters keep secrets from their closest friends all the time anything especially when it serves the plot. Doesn't mean they don't like or respect each other.

Besides, it's just not true Elayne wants Gawyn to go away because she doesn't value or like him. During the succession war, she tried a number of times to get a message to him and get him back to serve as First Prince of the Sword.

suttree
05-01-2012, 09:04 PM
4. Taught he must ALWAYS protect a sister who has no interest in his ideas & thoughts and who wants him to go away. Ungrateful little snit.


Quite simply not true...

SauceyBlueConfetti
05-02-2012, 08:29 AM
It's WoT, the characters keep secrets from their closest friends all the time anything especially when it serves the plot. Doesn't mean they don't like or respect each other.

Besides, it's just not true Elayne wants Gawyn to go away because she doesn't value or like him. During the succession war, she tried a number of times to get a message to him and get him back to serve as First Prince of the Sword.

Where did I say she doesn't like or value him?

SauceyBlueConfetti
05-02-2012, 08:47 AM
Quite simply not true...


Again, read the chapter where she wants nothing to do with his input, protection or attentions. Later she wants him around for political reasons, and to fulfill his duties, but when she is making major decisions early on at the Tower, she wants him to leave her alone.


(oopsies! sorry Suttree, I originally edited YOUR post rather than replying!)

Seeker
05-02-2012, 10:31 PM
Because he knows he's made the wrong decisions yet sticks by them and doesn't let go until waaay too late. And even when he lets go he abandons his responsibilities to do it. He's unable to grasp political realities despite being raised in the palace of one of the more savvy politicians of the day. He suspects Elaida's trying to kill him AND his men, and does nothing.

Bottom line: he's an idiot.

What she said.

Also, he whines. Constantly. Everyone blames Egwene for not listening to him and yet Gawyn behaves like a child the entire time, thus destroying his credibility. Now, I'm not saying Egwene is the smartest monkey in the herd but I'd be tuning Gawyn's shrill pleas of "pay attention to me!" just as quickly. Most of his POV in TOM indicates that he really thinks the world revolves around him - something Jordan ususally reserves for his female characters, though it is nice to see that RJ can be even-handed - and that alone should make people want to bash his head in with a rock. God, I hate Trackands. Even Morgase annoys me, though she does so far less. The only time I find Elayne enjoyable is when she's around Mat.

Jonai
05-04-2012, 04:43 PM
What Frenzy said - rep ^^. And I agree with Seeker - ugh Trakands. Egwene did tell him Rand didn't do it though, though she had no proof, and how could she? Nobody really new where Morgase was at that moment in time. And Egwene did ask him not to take action against Rand until she could prove it, which was why he didn't try to kill him at Dumai Wells. I would have liked to see the fights between Gawyn and Hammar/Coulin, they probably slipped on some blood or some such.

Kimon
05-04-2012, 05:01 PM
What Frenzy said - rep ^^. And I agree with Seeker - ugh Trakands. Egwene did tell him Rand didn't do it though, though she had no proof, and how could she? Nobody really new where Morgase was at that moment in time. And Egwene did ask him not to take action against Rand until she could prove it, which was why he didn't try to kill him at Dumai Wells. I would have liked to see the fights between Gawyn and Hammar/Coulin, they probably slipped on some blood or some such.

This might not quite have risen to the level of proof, but certainly she might have thought to tell him that Rand only moved against Rahvin after Mat brought back the news that Morgase was dead, and that Rand had been so furious at the news of her murder that they had to calm him down enough that he didn't go running off to avenge her on his own. That certainly might have been more effective than simply saying "Gawyn, no! No, he did not", and then a few pages later, "Promise me you will not raise a hand against him until I can prove he didn't."

maleshub
05-04-2012, 05:17 PM
Strange that no one has mentioned Min's viewing of Gawyn prior to Elaida's coup. Min said that Gawyn would be hurt deep down.

In today's terms, he might be classified as someone who is extremely traumatized. And he does show significant symptoms.

One of Elayne's most wonderful moments in the books is her boat ride with Gawyn. She handled that situation masterfully. She diagnosed the problem, the core of it, of his jealousy. And she told him bluntly that he was jealous of Rand becoming an Emporer while he was stuck in a village doing nothing.

And she saw that he was not fit to be her First Prince of the Sword; and relieved him of the duty "politely."

Gareth Bryne and Siuan Sanche know people. Both have commanded powerful institutions and can measure people right. Gareth Bryne said that Gawyn was impulsive; and Siuan said that he was "single-minded." The man was simply not fit for the titles he was born with.

David Selig
05-04-2012, 06:18 PM
Gareth Bryne and Siuan Sanche know people. Both have commanded powerful institutions and can measure people right. Gareth Bryne said that Gawyn was impulsive; and Siuan said that he was "single-minded." The man was simply not fit for the titles he was born with.
I don't know about that. Yeah, Gawyn could be quite dumb at times and sees the world too much in black and white to be an effective politician or administrator, but as a military commander his record has been pretty great and as a super badass sword fighter with extreme dedication he'd be a great bodyguard. Since those are the two main duties as First Prince of the Sword, he'd be fine, he should just be kept away from politics stuff like that.

Frenzy
05-04-2012, 07:46 PM
The main problem with Gawyn is: he has a brain, he just doesn't use it. Yes, he's had faulty & incomplete info, but he hasn't tried to fix that. He can obviously lead, even if it's just the rag-tag young misfits. He has skills, else he'd be dead long ago. Siuan & Bryne nailed it on the head: he lacks direction. He could be Masema dangerous if he really applied himself.

At best, he's a work in progress. At worst, he's a pretty face with a sword. Unfortunately for him, nobody has the time to develop him into more than just arm decoration for the Amyrlin.

Seeker
05-04-2012, 11:54 PM
By the way, Frenzy, I have to say that I'm really happy that you've put up a picture of Maleficent again. It's just... natural. Onward.

The biggest problem I have with Gawyn is his total inability to see any point of view other than his own, something that his sister was notorious for until Mat knocked some sense into her (figuratively speaking). Royal perogative is one thing but Gawyn acts as if he's dumbfounded that anyone would ever disagree with him. As if it never even occurred to him that someone might disagree with him. He's a lot like Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory only without some of the lovable quirks that offset his abrasive personality.

Let's take Gawyn in The Gathering Storm, which is the only book that dedicates a significant amount of time to a Gawyn subplot. Just look at how long it takes him to accept the fact that Egwene is the Amyrlin, not a puppet of the Hall or a patsy they set up as a figurehead. Nevermind the fact that sisters can't lie, Gareth Bryne speaks of Egwene with respect - and if anyone's opinion should be trustworthy in Gawyn's eyes, it's Bryne's - and still, STILL, Gawyn believes that Egwene is just puppet. So, once again he refuses to see what's right in front of his face.

So, then Egwene explains to him that they can't be together if he won't respect her position - and that's not vanity on Egwene's part - and he doesn't even comprehend why she would feel that way. Now, Egwene has made some bonehead moves in her reign as Amyrlin, don't get me wrong. Giving Nicola the dream ter'angreal for instance. She's a flawed leader at best. But still, Gawyn - a man who has been trained to lead armies - can't seem to comprehend why s woman in Egwene's position might need someone who's going to work under her authority to respect that authority.

Egwene's reputation isn't important to Gawyn, therefore it shouldn't be important to anybody else. That's honestly how he thinks about things.
Gawyn hates Rand al'Thor - nevermind the fact that Gawyn doesn't know anything about Rand apart from the fact that Rand fell into his garden - and therefore everyone else should feel the same way. Egwene, Min and Elayne all tell Gawyn that he's dead wrong about Rand and their word ought to carry so weight with him, but no... Gawyn knows best.

You see, Gawyn is a perfect example of the kind of character - no, the kind person, fictional or otherwise - that I despise most: the person who insists they know all there is to know on a given subject when really they know nothing. The armchair quarterback. The Intelligent Design advocate who misquotes and misrepresents scientific information. Anyone who insists they've cornered the market on "reality." (The hubris in such a statement baffles me).

Nynaeve used to be this person, which is why I detested her until somewhere around the eleventh book. Incidentally, Nynaeve has become my favourite character because she is now capable of seeing multiple points of view.

NYNEAVE:
Have you ever considered whether we put the White Tower as an institution above the ideals that we Aes Sedai are supposed to stand for?

That is a complex thought, one worthy of an Aes Sedai. But Gawyn.. Gawyn has yet to grow out of his myopic worldview. Maybe he made some progress in Towers of Midnight. It's hard to tell.

maleshub
05-05-2012, 04:19 PM
I don't know about that.
1- Yeah, Gawyn could be quite dumb at times; and
2- sees the world too much in black and white to be an effective politician or administrator,
3- but as a military commander his record has been pretty great
4- and as a super badass sword fighter with extreme dedication he'd be a great bodyguard.
5- Since those are the two main duties as First Prince of the Sword, he'd be fine, he should just be kept away from politics stuff like that.

Points one and two are pretty much all the evidence required to disqualify Gawyn as anything but a good soldier.

And I totally agree with point 4. Gawyn is only good as a warder.

As to point three, I'll just have to compare his "pretty great" military commands to others in the books: Bashere, Ituralde, Mat, Perrin, Galad, Lan, Rhuarc, Bael (and the rest of the clan chiefs), Rand, Pedron Niall, Bryne, Karede, Galgan, etc.

Gawyn commanded a maximum of 500 soldiers. He's never led a banner of cavalry (1500) or a banner of foot (3000); so he isn't even a Banner-General (like Edorian or Estean); let alone a Lt. General (Talmanes, Daerid). He's never fought and won a battle. I don't think he qualifies as a great military leader. Leading a harrying campaign against Gareth Bryne is child's play compared with the military achievements of any of the above. And in the end, it didn't hinder Bryne's army.

Andor's First Prince of the Sword is the Commander of the Queen's Guards, which is Andor's army, that consists of at least 25K troops now. And I don't see Gawyn fit for that title, by a long shot.

Zombie Sammael
05-05-2012, 04:33 PM
Those saying Gawyn is an unfit choice for First Prince of the Sword: have you considered that the (only) other option is Galad? There may be some foreshadowing that he will occupy that position, but what do you think of Galad as a choice, bearing in mind he sees the world in even stalker shades than his half-brother?

Tomp
05-05-2012, 04:50 PM
Those saying Gawyn is an unfit choice for First Prince of the Sword: have you considered that the (only) other option is Galad? There may be some foreshadowing that he will occupy that position, but what do you think of Galad as a choice, bearing in mind he sees the world in even stalker shades than his half-brother?

I think Galad's experiences has modified him to see that there are some grey areas, not only black and white.

I thought his reasoning concerning Perrin showed some of that.

maleshub
05-05-2012, 04:54 PM
Those saying Gawyn is an unfit choice for First Prince of the Sword: have you considered that the (only) other option is Galad? There may be some foreshadowing that he will occupy that position, but what do you think of Galad as a choice, bearing in mind he sees the world in even stalker shades than his half-brother?

- Compare how much time it took Galad to overcome his prejudice/opinion of Perrin with how long it took Gawyn to change his of Rand.
- Compare how long it took Galad to overcome the Children's view of Aes Sedai to allow healing with Gawyn's time that it took him to stop seeing Egwene as an Accepted.
- Compare their military experience (one leading an army of 20K, and the other leading 500 younglings); and their swordsmanship (Gawyn was Galad's whipping boy in training).
- Compare their dedication to Elayne (one was so dedicated to her that he set aside his loyalty to the Children; while the other set her aside for Egwene).

Morgase finally started making Galad more open-minded; and Berelain's effect will probably have him grow into a better politician. Just a personal opinion; but I'd take Galad over Gawyn without hesitation.

But we know that the choices are not just Gawyn and Galad. Birgitte is leading Andor's armies at the moment. And a Queen is not required to have a Prince of the Sword. Morgase ruled nearly 20 years without one.

Jasin Natael
05-05-2012, 05:33 PM
Points one and two are pretty much all the evidence required to disqualify Gawyn as anything but a good soldier.

And I totally agree with point 4. Gawyn is only good as a warder.

As to point three, I'll just have to compare his "pretty great" military commands to others in the books: Bashere, Ituralde, Mat, Perrin, Galad, Lan, Rhuarc, Bael (and the rest of the clan chiefs), Rand, Pedron Niall, Bryne, Karede, Galgan, etc.

Gawyn commanded a maximum of 500 soldiers. He's never led a banner of cavalry (1500) or a banner of foot (3000); so he isn't even a Banner-General (like Edorian or Estean); let alone a Lt. General (Talmanes, Daerid). He's never fought and won a battle. I don't think he qualifies as a great military leader. Leading a harrying campaign against Gareth Bryne is child's play compared with the military achievements of any of the above. And in the end, it didn't hinder Bryne's army.

Andor's First Prince of the Sword is the Commander of the Queen's Guards, which is Andor's army, that consists of at least 25K troops now. And I don't see Gawyn fit for that title, by a long shot.

He's led 'five hundred men maximum' since the schism in the tower. And they are still alive!

Their first engagement was against experienced warders, they fended off a vastly superior force of Aiel at Dumai's Wells (with help, I know, but they did fight against Aiel (usually worth two or three ordinary soldiers)) and escape intact. He leads a harrying campaign agaimst Gareth Bryne (supposedly a 'great general'), but it's impossible to cut supply lines of an army with Aes Sedai that can travel, and realistically, what can five hundred do against thousands.

The fact that the younglings are still alive and a significant force after clashes with Aiel and getting back to the Tower unscathed, is a very favourable result for Gawyn, especially with Elaida supposedly trying to kill them.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't leading a successful campaign against vastly superior opposition an impressive military achievement? Cutting a path through Aiel to escape?

He's capable of leading 500. He's never led 25k, but neither has any other prince before actually taking up the mantle. Doesn't mean he's not capable of it.

Most of the other names you mention have decades (in Mat's case, centuries) of experience, and are either 'great generals' or Aiel. In the field against the Band, Aiel, or Borderlanders, Andors forces would get ripped apart no matter who led them.

maleshub
05-05-2012, 06:36 PM
He's led 'five hundred men maximum' since the schism in the tower. And they are still alive!

Their first engagement was against experienced warders, they fended off a vastly superior force of Aiel at Dumai's Wells (with help, I know, but they did fight against Aiel (usually worth two or three ordinary soldiers)) and escape intact. He leads a harrying campaign agaimst Gareth Bryne (supposedly a 'great general'), but it's impossible to cut supply lines of an army with Aes Sedai that can travel, and realistically, what can five hundred do against thousands.

The fact that the younglings are still alive and a significant force after clashes with Aiel and getting back to the Tower unscathed, is a very favourable result for Gawyn, especially with Elaida supposedly trying to kill them.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't leading a successful campaign against vastly superior opposition an impressive military achievement? Cutting a path through Aiel to escape?

He's capable of leading 500. He's never led 25k, but neither has any other prince before actually taking up the mantle. Doesn't mean he's not capable of it.

Most of the other names you mention have decades (in Mat's case, centuries) of experience, and are either 'great generals' or Aiel. In the field against the Band, Aiel, or Borderlanders, Andors forces would get ripped apart no matter who led them.

The 500 Younglings are not alive. About 200 were killed in Dumai Wells. And Gawyn didn't fight the Aiel in any organized way. Last I remember, he fled with a group of a dozen or two and then they regrouped with other survivors. They were scattered and did not flee intact! Painting that as a great military achievement is certainly a personal opinion I won't argue against.

But note that the Seanchan army that Rodel shredded to pieces in Darluna had half its numbers flee the battle field. Does that count as a great military achievement for the Seanchan?

Now that the number 500 is corrected to about 300-350, we should add that Gawyn's harrying campaign was aided by Aes Sedai covering Gawyn's moves. And the last we see of that campaign is Bryne closing in on Gawyn and reducing his ability to strike before he got more help of Tower Aes Sedai with Traveling. So, his soldiers were fodder, not a significant part of the Tower's defense. If Elaida wanted to defend the Tower from the outside, she could have Traveled several thousand Tower Guards to the perimeter for a significant harrying campaign.

As to Gawyn's fighting during Elaida's coup, he didn't have the field to himself fighting against Hammar Gaidin and Siuan's defenders. He was helping other warders who were fighting on Elaida's side. He tipped the balance to Elaida's side; but he wasn't the commander behind it. Regardless, I'll give him credit for winning a minor skirmish between a couple of hundred combatants (The younglings didn't reach 500 till much later; they started out as a few dozen students).

David Selig
05-05-2012, 06:41 PM
Yeah, everyone has to start from somewhere, and Gawyn has done great as a commander given the resources he's had at his disposal. He was taught by one of the best generals in Randland. Chances are if he was given the job to lead big armies, he'd be successful.

But we know that the choices are not just Gawyn and Galad. Birgitte is leading Andor's armies at the moment. And a Queen is not required to have a Prince of the Sword. Morgase ruled nearly 20 years without one.
Gareth Bryne was Morgase's First Prince of the Sword.

BTW, I think it's time for Birgitte to be proclaimed "First Princess of the Bow" or something like that. No reason why she shouldn't have a fancy title as the leader of Andor's armies and chief bodyguard of the Queen just because she's a woman. :)

maleshub
05-05-2012, 06:52 PM
1- Yeah, everyone has to start from somewhere, and Gawyn has done great as a commander given the resources he's had at his disposal. He was taught by one of the best generals in Randland. Chances are if he was given the job to lead big armies, he'd be successful.
2- Gareth Bryne was Morgase's First Prince of the Sword.
3- BTW, I think it's time for Birgitte to be proclaimed "First Princess of the Bow" or something like that. No reason why she shouldn't have a fancy title as the leader of Andor's armies and chief bodyguard of the Queen just because she's a woman. :)

1- Gawyn as a promising young officer is different from a commander with "pretty great" military achievements. And it is true that he was taught by one of the best; but I see it this way: Not every good Lieutenant turns into a good General. Chances are that a minority of good Lt.'s turn into good Gen.'s.
2- I thought that Gareth Bryne was Captain-General of the Queen's Guards. This is the first time I read that he was officially First Prince of the Sword. If I am ignorant, thanks for pointing it out. Where was this official title mentioned?
3- Totally agree; but I think Birgitte would hate a new title; even though she deserves it fully.

suttree
05-05-2012, 07:06 PM
2- I thought that Gareth Bryne was Captain-General of the Queen's Guards. This is the first time I read that he was officially First Prince of the Sword. If I am ignorant, thanks for pointing it out. Where was this official title mentioned?


tEotW Ch. 40
"I don't know why that always surprises you," Gawyn answered her. "Even you don't try telling Gareth what to do. He's served three Queens and been Captain-General, and First Prince Regent, for two. I daresay there are some think he's more a symbol of the Throne of Andor than the Queen is."

maleshub
05-05-2012, 07:09 PM
Thanks! The thing that had me guessing was a memory in one of Morgase's PoV's where she said that she didn't make Bryne her Prince Consort (or another title) because he saw her as a Queen to be served. Or was it that she never married him because of that?

David Selig
05-05-2012, 07:11 PM
2- I thought that Gareth Bryne was Captain-General of the Queen's Guards. This is the first time I read that he was officially First Prince of the Sword. If I am ignorant, thanks for pointing it out. Where was this official title mentioned?

The Glossary of EOTW. He had both titles (Captain-General and First Prince).

maleshub
05-05-2012, 07:15 PM
The Glossary of EOTW. He had both titles (Captain-General and First Prince).

Thanks! I have to pay more attention to the glossaries.

Seeker
05-05-2012, 11:32 PM
Those saying Gawyn is an unfit choice for First Prince of the Sword: have you considered that the (only) other option is Galad? There may be some foreshadowing that he will occupy that position, but what do you think of Galad as a choice, bearing in mind he sees the world in even stalker shades than his half-brother?

Galad is not nearly as rigid and uncompromising as Elayne would have us believe. Most of our opinions on Galad are coloured by Elayne's perceptions of him; so, the fan community tends to treat him as a borderline fanatic who cannot deviate from some abstract moral code. But Elayne is an idiot. And her opinions ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

If you actually look at Galad's actions, almost all of them are perfectly reasonable given what he knows at the time. Rand falls into the garden and Galad alerts the guards as protocol says he should. But there's a reason that protocol exists. We know Rand is harmless and well-intentioned but Galad knows no such thing.

Think about what Galad sees when he walks into that scene. His brother and sister - the Queen's children - are conversing with a strange man who has managed to set foot on palace grounds despite the walls and gates. How does he know that Rand isn't an assassin sent by Morgase's rivals? Or perhaps the Children? In half a second, Rand could have a knife pressed to Elayne's throat. Alerting the guards seems like a damn good idea to me.

Or let's take his leadership of the Children. Yes, most of them have an unreasonable fear of channeling - though, when you take into account the fact that Aes Sedai have been known to kidnap monarchs in generations past, it's not THAT unreasonable - but Galad forces them to face that fear. If he was really bound to protocol with the kind of rigidy that Elayne sees in him, he'd have never gone against one of the children's most sacred doctrines. Instead, he recognizes the necessity of fighting alongside channelers.

And Perrin. The only thing Galad knows about Perrin when they first meet is that the man has strange yellow eyes and has confessed to killing two children to avenge a pair of wolves. Wolves that he can speak with.

Given that information, we can see Galad's reasoning. At best, Perrin is a madman and a very dangerous one. At worst. he's a darkfriend. Most other Children would have damned Perrin then and there and let that be the end of it. But Galad chose to judge Perrin by his actions. As someone already pointed out, it took mere hours for Galad to get over his prejudices. Gawyn, on the other hand, remains firmly entrenched in his bad ideas for as long as possible.

As usual, Elayne got the whole thing backwards.

Galad is a reasonable man with a good head on his shoulders. Gawyn is rigid, uncompromising and unwilling to see any point of view other than his own.

Jasin Natael
06-01-2012, 07:36 PM
Sorry to revive this, folks, but I read TFOH again lately, and about those rumours.

Gaebril did not become King for very long. The only reason Mat knew was because he'd been fighting the White Lions in Andor. When Bashere arrives, he thinks he's still 'Lord' Gaebril. All Gawyn has to go on is garbled rumours, and which is honestly more likely: A random Lord no one has ever heard of managing to replace seasoned politician Morgase within months, and successfully declare himself King in a matriarchy, or the Dragon attacking Caemlyn in force and seizing control?

As for Gawyn's military abilities: Of course the younglings aren't all still alive. No commander can ensure a complete lack of casualties on his own side. But they're still a cohesive unit under his leadership several books on, with Warders (usually pretty experienced people) taking his commands willingly.

Dumai's Wells was a battle against hopeless odds, that any of them escaped at all is an achievement.

final death
06-01-2012, 11:03 PM
People have touched on Gawynes stupidity some of you are under the impression that he had a good teacher in Gareth. First Gareth has never seemed all that great to me. Our point of views from him haven't shown us the kind of brilliance you see in other great generals. Of course that probably comes from never having been truly challenged. You also don't take into account that just because someone may be good/skilled at something it doesn't necessarily mean he is a good teacher. Also who ever realized that the Trakands seem to breed for stupidity and that Galads intelligence is a fluke is awesome.

Rand al'Fain
06-02-2012, 01:41 AM
People have touched on Gawynes stupidity some of you are under the impression that he had a good teacher in Gareth. First Gareth has never seemed all that great to me. Our point of views from him haven't shown us the kind of brilliance you see in other great generals. Of course that probably comes from never having been truly challenged. You also don't take into account that just because someone may be good/skilled at something it doesn't necessarily mean he is a good teacher. Also who ever realized that the Trakands seem to breed for stupidity and that Galads intelligence is a fluke is awesome.

Well, Galad isn't a Trakand by birth. His mother was Tigraine (same as Rand). His father though, is who he shares with Elayne and Gawyn. He was more or less adopted by Morgase.

maleshub
06-02-2012, 02:21 AM
WoT chronology indicates that Gaebril arrived in Caemlyn on day 352; Morgase broke out of his compulsion on day 517; and Rand balefired him on day 547.

Rahvin only declared himself king after Morgase fled Caemlyn. So, he's been a king less than a month.

I would have thought that Gawyn and the rest of the "elite nobles" would know that Rand entered Caemlyn a month after Morgase's disappearance. But no, their wits dimmed at that minor detail.

Even after Elayne investigated the issue and came to the conclusion that Rand could not have killed her mother, people (Gawyn) still didn't want to believe evidence.

Jasin Natael
06-03-2012, 05:21 PM
Elayne is pregnant with his child, she's not exactly a neutral party.

How would Gawyn know what happened in Caemlyn when he's in Tar Valon? And most of those elite nobles were either exiled or Compelled.

David Selig
06-03-2012, 06:31 PM
Sorry to revive this, folks, but I read TFOH again lately, and about those rumours.

Gaebril did not become King for very long. The only reason Mat knew was because he'd been fighting the White Lions in Andor. When Bashere arrives, he thinks he's still 'Lord' Gaebril. All Gawyn has to go on is garbled rumours, and which is honestly more likely: A random Lord no one has ever heard of managing to replace seasoned politician Morgase within months, and successfully declare himself King in a matriarchy, or the Dragon attacking Caemlyn in force and seizing control?

Again, the problem is not that Gawyn had no reason to suspect Rand killed Morgase - he certainly had. it's that he became utterly convinced Rand did it based only on hearsay. This is stupid in any case, but when the suspect is literally the only guy who can save the world, yet Gawyn wanted to kill him based on the said hearsay and thus doom the whole world, that's just moronic.

GonzoTheGreat
06-04-2012, 01:59 AM
Gaebril did not become King for very long. The only reason Mat knew was because he'd been fighting the White Lions in Andor. When Bashere arrives, he thinks he's still 'Lord' Gaebril. All Gawyn has to go on is garbled rumours, and which is honestly more likely: A random Lord no one has ever heard of managing to replace seasoned politician Morgase within months, and successfully declare himself King in a matriarchy, or the Dragon attacking Caemlyn in force and seizing control?
You mean a random lord like Logain Ablar, who did that in another country, or a random lord like Mazrim Taim, who came very close to doing it in yet another country, or ...

Based on the history of Randland, I think that betting on the random lord (especially if he happens to be capable of channeling) seems a safer bet than guessing that it was the fault of the Dragon.

What actual, trustworthy, evidence did Gawyn have to convince himself that Gaebril couldn't channel?

Rand al'Fain
06-04-2012, 02:20 AM
You mean a random lord like Logain Ablar, who did that in another country, or a random lord like Mazrim Taim, who came very close to doing it in yet another country, or ...

Based on the history of Randland, I think that betting on the random lord (especially if he happens to be capable of channeling) seems a safer bet than guessing that it was the fault of the Dragon.

What actual, trustworthy, evidence did Gawyn have to convince himself that Gaebril couldn't channel?

Gawyn's mind. At least, it's credible to Gawyn.

Gawyn is that headstrong, stubborn type who refuses to listen to anyone (with only a few exceptions) and has to learn things the hard way.

GonzoTheGreat
06-04-2012, 03:26 AM
Gawyn's mind. At least, it's credible to Gawyn.

Gawyn is that headstrong, stubborn type who refuses to listen to anyone (with only a few exceptions) and has to learn things the hard way.
Which may not sound all that bad, until you remember that as a result of his refusal to listen to others he started plotting murder.

maleshub
06-04-2012, 12:35 PM
Which may not sound all that bad, until you remember that as a result of his refusal to listen to others he started plotting murder.

How true? It has always bugged me how Rand was blamed for Andor's ills when a simple connection of the dots could have told Andorans that Gaebril was to blame, not Rand. The nobility of that nation seemed to fall into a collective dimwitted spell leading to the continuation of the rumors that Rand killed Morgase and maybe Elayne.

The same nobles that caught whiff of Egwene's army during a harsh winter and were able to muster forces and march to confront it before it entered Andor couldn't figure out what was happening in their capital.

GonzoTheGreat
06-04-2012, 02:46 PM
A lot of AS were meddling in the Andoran affairs when Rand ruled there. Those AS had had other pastimes during Rahvin's tenure, though.

Grig
06-04-2012, 03:14 PM
Gawyn is that headstrong, stubborn type who refuses to listen to anyone (with only a few exceptions)

Oh, to be in the same exalted group as Andoran Street Vendor #5.

maleshub
06-04-2012, 04:42 PM
Oh, to be in the same exalted group as Andoran Street Vendor #5.

Yeah, like the one who was at Dumai Wells and threatened the Dragon Reborn with death when that murderer of his mother could have fried him. Andoran street vendors must have IQ's in the single digits!

David Selig
06-04-2012, 06:42 PM
BTW, I really don't see Galad as much smarter than Gawyn. His decision to join the Whitecloaks was epically dumb. "Hey, let's join the organisation which would love to kill my stepmother which I adore, that's a great idea. They'd never think of using me as a pawn against her, right?".

Yeah, it ended well, but thanks to a bunch of unlikely contrivances.

Rand al'Fain
06-04-2012, 09:30 PM
BTW, I really don't see Galad as much smarter than Gawyn. His decision to join the Whitecloaks was epically dumb. "Hey, let's join the organisation which would love to kill my stepmother which I adore, that's a great idea. They'd never think of using me as a pawn against her, right?".

Yeah, it ended well, but thanks to a bunch of unlikely contrivances.

He joined it because at the time (and as stated by Morgase and a few others), Galad saw the world in black and white, with somethings in white coming first (like family when he helped procure a boat for Elayne and Nynaeve). He joined the Whitecloaks in order to try and right wrongs in the world. He became enamored with how they were originally founded. Unfortunetly for him, a good majority of the Whitecloaks are through and through zealots who would not pause at naming someone DF and hanging them right then and there (like Amadicia).

Jasin Natael
06-05-2012, 06:38 PM
Galad abandoned the WT because he realised that Egwene and Nynaeve (not fully trained) were being used as agents of Siuan Sanche. If he'd known they were being sent after the Black Ajah, he'd have been even more furious.

The nobility of that nation seemed to fall into a collective dimwitted spell

Yes. It's called compulsion.

Taim and Logain gained power by force and naming themselves Dragons. Gaebril wasn't throwing around fireballs.

maleshub
06-05-2012, 08:41 PM
Yes. It's called compulsion.

Taim and Logain gained power by force and naming themselves Dragons. Gaebril wasn't throwing around fireballs.

Rahvin didn't use compulsion over all Andoran nobles, especially the ones who were exiled by Morgase. And even the ones who weren't exiled didn't all suffer from compulsion. The main recipient of
Rahvin's compulsion was Morgase.

So, it still amazes me how all these powerful nobles failed to connect some dots when the timeline of events placed the blame of the mess on Gaebril, not Rand.

Southpaw2012
06-11-2012, 04:56 PM
The boards better be ready for the Gawyn hate if he ends up sticking a sword in Rands back in AMoL almost sending the world into even more chaos than it already was :p

maleshub
06-11-2012, 08:58 PM
The boards better be ready for the Gawyn hate if he ends up sticking a sword in Rands back in AMoL almost sending the world into even more chaos than it already was :p

I wonder who'll kill Gawyn then! Maidens of the Spear and Aviendha are my pick.

Terez
06-11-2012, 09:53 PM
I vote for Rand and Gawyn to kill each other. Or for Gawyn to kill Rand and then for Moiraine to balefire Gawyn and then balefire Rand.

Southpaw2012
06-12-2012, 12:31 AM
I vote for Rand and Gawyn to kill each other. Or for Gawyn to kill Rand and then for Moiraine to balefire Gawyn and then balefire Rand.

lol poor Rand. Killed by Gawyn and then killed by Moiraine

Lupusdeusest
06-12-2012, 02:58 AM
And the good thing is, he's not dead for long - I get to kill him again!

Moiraine is the Master?