PDA

View Full Version : Nynaeve's army


Jasin Natael
05-22-2012, 08:17 PM
Lan wants to go to the blight. In order to spare him from emotional distress, Nynaeve tells him he can leave. SHe goes to great lengths to organise an army for him and forces him to let them come.

All the feedback I've seen presents this as a heartwarming moment.

Is it just me, or is this one of the most despicable things anyone on the side of light has done in the series? Nynaeve has sent thousands of men to their deaths, in order to give her husband a chance to survive. And she sent him there in the first place.

Perrin does something similar for Faile, but he doesn't just charge in and lead a army to their deaths. Thoughts?

Great Lord of the Dark
05-22-2012, 11:50 PM
Since they are all going to die in the Last Battle anyway, they are overjoyed to get a chance to do so avenging what was lost to the Blight. Anyone who follows Lan has weighed the certainty of death against whatever else they care about, and chosen death. Nynaeve gave them a choice, and a chance to decide where they stand.

Terez
05-22-2012, 11:59 PM
I just read it again because I wanted to make some arguments about it, but it made me cry so now I don't feel like it.

fionwe1987
05-23-2012, 12:51 AM
I just read it again because I wanted to make some arguments about it, but it made me cry so now I don't feel like it.
It was a fantastic scene, wasn't it? Its moments like these that make you wonder what being close to a ta'veren, and integral to his plans means for you. We've seen it with Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, Min... its almost like ta'veren rubs off on these people. Of course, what actually happens is that truly charismatic/capable people end up being put around the ta'veren.

GonzoTheGreat
05-23-2012, 05:19 AM
Is it just me, or is this one of the most despicable things anyone on the side of light has done in the series? Nynaeve has sent thousands of men to their deaths, in order to give her husband a chance to survive. And she sent him there in the first place.
She did not sent him there. She stopped stopping him from going there.

The men who joined Lan are all volunteers, as far as we know. All that Nynaeve did was send a message (what's the saidar equivalent of a Tweet called?) to let people know that there was something to volunteer for.

Perrin does something similar for Faile, but he doesn't just charge in and lead a army to their deaths. Thoughts?
At that point in the story, Perrin is an experienced leader. If you recall, when he first went back to the TR, his plan was to just barge (not even charge) in and let the Whitecloaks hang him. He has learned, and I expect that Lan will learn too.
Assuming that he survives, of course. But, as the saying goes, "you live and learn" implying that if you don't live, then you're unlikely to learn.

Terez
05-23-2012, 05:23 AM
I think he figured that out a long time ago. "You surrender after you're dead."

Ishara
05-23-2012, 08:37 AM
I just read it again because I wanted to make some arguments about it, but it made me cry so now I don't feel like it.

LOL :)

A provocative premise Jasin, but I don't think you'll find any who agree with you.

GLotD is bang on, in my opinion. These people knew the cost of joining Lan and chose to pay it how they would. They are choosing the manner of their death in days when their death seems inevitable. Better that it have meaning and honour, no?

Davian93
05-23-2012, 08:59 AM
I'm sure they'll be spared at the last possible moment anyway as Lan is 99% going to survive that battle.

Isabel
05-23-2012, 09:48 AM
Exactly as people said: Nynaeve never compelled or forced anyone to go help Lan. She only told people who would care about it, that their king was riding alone to Tarwin's Gab. They decided by themselves to come. She did visit a lot of places, but the majority of Lan's army came not from the visit of Nynaeve, but of the knowledge that he was going to fight in Tarmon Gaidon.

Davian93
05-23-2012, 09:52 AM
Exactly as people said: Nynaeve never compelled or forced anyone to go help Lan. She only told people who would care about it, that their king was riding alone to Tarwin's Gab. They decided by themselves to come. She did visit a lot of places, but the majority of Lan's army came not from the visit of Nynaeve, but of the knowledge that he was going to fight in Tarmon Gaidon.


The same people that had been begging Lan to raise the Golden Crane for 40+ years...she hardly had to twist their arms very much.

GonzoTheGreat
05-23-2012, 09:59 AM
She only told people who would care about it, that their king was riding alone to Tarwin's Gab.
Neat typo, that. :p

Weiramon
05-23-2012, 01:31 PM
but he doesn't just charge in and lead a army to their deaths. Thoughts?

Burn my soul, I can think of no better tactic.

Why, only peasants and minstrels would belittle the brilliance of a headlong charge in a confined pass. Hopefully it won't be tainted by having channelers show up and steal the glory. After all, the old ways are best.

Jasin Natael
05-23-2012, 04:05 PM
Since they are all going to die in the Last Battle anyway, they are overjoyed to get a chance to do so avenging what was lost to the Blight. Anyone who follows Lan has weighed the certainty of death against whatever else they care about, and chosen death. Nynaeve gave them a choice, and a chance to decide where they stand.

Presumably some people are going to survive the last battle, right? How depressing would it be if the reward for standing against the blight for 3,000 years is to be annihilated in TG?

Nynaeve manipulated the Borderlands sense of honour. Remember 'Duty is heavier than a mountain, death lighter than a feather'. Lan knows he can raise an army, the reason he doesn't, is because he wants to do anything possible to avoid leading the rest of his people to their deaths.

If you recall, when he first went back to the TR, his plan was to just barge (not even charge) in and let the Whitecloaks hang him.
Hang him, yes. Not hang everyone in the two rivers so Master Luhhan might escape in the confusion.
I'm sure they'll be spared at the last possible moment anyway as Lan is 99% going to survive that battle.

Exactly my point. If Lan survives, why should Nynaeve care that she's sent thousands of other women's husbands to their deaths?

The same people that had been begging Lan to raise the Golden Crane for 40+ years...she hardly had to twist their arms very much.

Malkier has been gone for 40 years at least. Most of Lan's army won't even be old enough to remember it, they'll just have been fed stories about how great and noble it was by their parents. A lot of them likely have no clue what they're letting themselves in for.

Dom
05-23-2012, 05:09 PM
Nynaeve manipulated the Borderlands sense of honour. Remember 'Duty is heavier than a mountain, death lighter than a feather'. Lan knows he can raise an army, the reason he doesn't, is because he wants to do anything possible to avoid leading the rest of his people to their deaths.

Which is doubly stupid because his motivation to go there himself was precisely that the Borderlands rulers had abandonned their primary duty... just as he was overlooking his own real duty by planning to join as a soldier whatever forces had assembled there rather than make use of the power the Golden Crane still holds in Borderlanders's mind and heart and give the Light all he's worth as a leader of men. Lan raising the Golden Crane would strenghten the Light, but Lan like Perrin in the Two Rivers storyline stubbornly refused to play the role the Bordermen have longed begged him to play.

Nynaeve "sacrificed" no one. Few in the LB will be spared Tarmon Gai'don and those men would have joined the GC had Lan raised it. Nyaneve merely made sure all men who would have joined Lan had the opportunity to do it and he wouldn't go die a meaningless death as a soldier when taking up leadership and making full use of the Golden Crane would have a very tangible effect on the forces fighting the LB in the eastern Borderlands, all the more if Lan was, at it appeared then, the only remaining symbol around which to gather the Bordermen.

What Nynaeve did is extremely similar to what Alanna did back in TSR. Alanna was a Green who had to transform rapidly a village into an army that wouldn't break. The village couldn't afford Perrin standing aside as "just another soldier". Alanna needed Perrin to step up and embrace the role of leader and symbol the villagers wanted him to play, and gain hope, confidence, resilience from having him at their head. The fact he was ta'veren only helped all this, but Alanna spread the wolf as enemy of the Shadow mythos, encouraged the banners and Verin and her made sure not to overshadow Perrin etc.

In Nynaeve's place, Alanna and tons of other people would also have worked to force Lan to raise the Golden Crane.


Most of Lan's army won't even be old enough to remember it, they'll just have been fed stories about how great and noble it was by their parents. A lot of them likely have no clue what they're letting themselves in for.

Few do - even Bashere and the Saldaeans were deeply shocked by the attack on the Tairen Manor. That's still what they will all soon face. Don't expect Nynaeve to go play the betrayer of hope and crush the spirit of those she sent to Lan's banner... that's precisely the attitude she meant to force Lan to abandon, this whole notion it was an hopeless fight with only death at the end. Lan's oath pulled him to return to the Borderlands, Nynaeve just made sure his power as an inspirational figure wouldn't get wasted by a meaningless self-sacrifice that would fulfill the letter but not the spirit of Lan's oath.

Nynaeve didn't really did this in the hope of saving Lan's life. She's only too aware by agreeing to let Lan go north there was a fair chance she's lost him. She just accepted she couldn't hang to Lan, that it was neither the right thing for him, nor for humanity. She also accepted she couldn't join him, that her place was near Rand until the Pit of Doom if necessary. But she refuses to give up hope Lan might survive, and if he was still to die, she refused Lan got a meaningless death. Lan didn't want to try to lift the mountain, she forced him to try.

That was the most selfless act Nynaeve has done in the series.

Nynaeve herself is so committed, she was just as comitted before even knowing what she got herself into and never wavered from that, if anyone has the moral right to call others to make the same choice, it's her. That commitment is why Lan fell in love with her, just like Lan's commitment, and his loss, is what attracted her to him.

Heinz
05-23-2012, 05:26 PM
Are you a 'glass is never full enough' kind of person? ...Nevermind.

An item I think you're overlooking is that you assume the Light will win the Last Battle. A calculation you must consider is if the Light would win without the participation of each and every soldier it is able to muster. Remember, Rand's presence only gives the Light a chance, not a promise, of victory.

I know.. I know.. 'but what does one person or do a few people matter? They could have lived!'

Multiply that by 5,000, or 50,000, or whatever, and figure it out. How many soldiers can you lose before you no longer have the numbers to win?

A final point.. you are also assuming that each and every soul would live a long and happy life if they don't march with Lan, and Nyn took that away from them.
a) You don't know if all will die. Or how many will die.
b) You cannot speak for their honor and morals. Did it occur to you that they would be ashamed if the Last Battle occurred, and they spent it hiding? One of the recurring themes in the series, and especially in the last few books (such as the prologues to tGS, ToM, and now the reading Harriet gave from aMoL), is that these people would rather face the danger than run from it.

Rand al'Fain
05-23-2012, 06:54 PM
As others have said, no one forced the Borderlanders to come to Lan. Nynaeve let some Malkieri know that Lan was riding to the Gap alone. The Malkieri, and other Borderlanders from the sounds of it, joined Lan at the Gap. And we know since at least New Spring that should the Golden Crane be raised that an army would willingly come to it.

As for being at the Gap itself, the Gap will hold it so that the Trollocs will not be able to have any more soldiers at the front than Lan's army. Which means, if nothing else, Lan's army can delay the Trolloc forces for a while, buying valuable time for armies and civilians alike to either prepare or evacuate for the oncoming Trolloc horde that will burst out of the Gap.

And the Borderlanders, probably more than any other people, know what is at stake should the Gap not be held. For those that go, they know their (most likely) fate, much as did the people of Manethren when they marched to help the weary and ravaged army in one last attempt to buy time for those that would live. Like the Spartan led forces at Thermopylae, who would hold the pass, against incredibly overwhelming odds, in order for Athens to evacuate and the Athenian navy to cripple the Persian navy. Did they all expect to die? Certainly, but it was so that others may live to keep fighting and have a chance at victory.

Jasin Natael
05-24-2012, 05:52 PM
Are you a 'glass is never full enough' kind of person? ...Nevermind.

An item I think you're overlooking is that you assume the Light will win the Last Battle. A calculation you must consider is if the Light would win without the participation of each and every soldier it is able to muster. Remember, Rand's presence only gives the Light a chance, not a promise, of victory.

I know.. I know.. 'but what does one person or do a few people matter? They could have lived!'

Multiply that by 5,000, or 50,000, or whatever, and figure it out. How many soldiers can you lose before you no longer have the numbers to win?

A final point.. you are also assuming that each and every soul would live a long and happy life if they don't march with Lan, and Nyn took that away from them.
a) You don't know if all will die. Or how many will die.
b) You cannot speak for their honor and morals. Did it occur to you that they would be ashamed if the Last Battle occurred, and they spent it hiding? One of the recurring themes in the series, and especially in the last few books (such as the prologues to tGS, ToM, and now the reading Harriet gave from aMoL), is that these people would rather face the danger than run from it.

The last battle will not really be won by soldiers. It will be won, if it is won, by whatever Rand does at Shayol Ghul.

Where do I assume that all the Malkieri will have happy lives? Also, I don't think it's an unfair assumption that when an army is sent to fight a battle, some of them will die.

You tell me that I can't speak for the Malkieri honor and morals. Then you immediately speak for their honor and morals by pointing out that they would be tortured by the shame of not fighting in TG, even though if they wanted to volunteer, they could just join the other borderlands armies.

Notably, the people joining Lan are not even all soldiers! Borderlanders are tougher than Southerners, but Nynaeve first approaches a gem merchant, and the first to join him is a boy. There'll be veterans as well, but he's leading militia, not an army.

Given that Trollocs are burning Caemlyn, I don't think the gap is as important as it used to be.

From the passage where she sends him. Nynaeve's internal monologue states that her motivation is to give Lan a chance to survive.

Kimon
05-24-2012, 06:34 PM
The last battle will not really be won by soldiers. It will be won, if it is won, by whatever Rand does at Shayol Ghul.

Where do I assume that all the Malkieri will have happy lives? Also, I don't think it's an unfair assumption that when an army is sent to fight a battle, some of them will die.

You tell me that I can't speak for the Malkieri honor and morals. Then you immediately speak for their honor and morals by pointing out that they would be tortured by the shame of not fighting in TG, even though if they wanted to volunteer, they could just join the other borderlands armies.

Notably, the people joining Lan are not even all soldiers! Borderlanders are tougher than Southerners, but Nynaeve first approaches a gem merchant, and the first to join him is a boy. There'll be veterans as well, but he's leading militia, not an army.

Given that Trollocs are burning Caemlyn, I don't think the gap is as important as it used to be.

From the passage where she sends him. Nynaeve's internal monologue states that her motivation is to give Lan a chance to survive.

Rand is the key to victory, but that does not mean that everyone else can just sit back and enjoy the show - especially the Borderlanders. Most of the military strength of the Borderlands is away in the south, which left Saldaea noticeably vulnerable. Of course, considering what was sent against them, anything short of Rand might have been incapable of halting the tide, but nonetheless, if they all sit back and assume that all will be well and just go about their lives, Rand may well still win, but such a victory likely wouldn't leave many alive in the Borderlands to enjoy the fruits of that victory. Hence Lan. His job is to rally the Borderlanders, and save them so that some of the people of the north can not only enjoy that victory, but in the case of the Malkieri, recreate a sense of unity and pride, so that they can reform their lost nation of Malkier once the Blight withdraws from their ancient homeland. Sure, some of the men who fight with Lan will die because of that choice. But they won't be dying in vain. As for whether Nynaeve's actions here were purely altruistic, of course not, but that does not mean that they do not, nonetheless, serve a necessary purpose. Lan needs to be more than a sacrificial lamb - that's Rand's role, not Lan's. Lan needs to survive so that he can rally the forces of the Light in the North, and then after TG, so that he can recreate Malkier.

jana
05-24-2012, 07:55 PM
If only there was negative rep

Terez
05-24-2012, 08:10 PM
There is, but bossman sadly won't activate it.

maleshub
05-24-2012, 11:10 PM
Rand is the key to victory, but that does not mean that everyone else can just sit back and enjoy the show - especially the Borderlanders. Most of the military strength of the Borderlands is away in the south, which left Saldaea noticeably vulnerable. Of course, considering what was sent against them, anything short of Rand might have been incapable of halting the tide .....

The situation is Saldea and Maradon was very dramatic; but the reason why the defense of Saldea was nearly overcome is not because of the size of the Shadowspawn army.

My opinion is that there were enough troops in that place to defend it against the initial army that attacked it. The reason why Saldea nearly fell is: Betrayal.

Ituralde held with only 50K troops and 100 Ashaman for weeks. A darkfriend prevented Maradon from reinforcing Ituralde during those weeks. If he had overall command of his forces and the Saldeans in Maradon, he could have held longer.

Also, a darkfriend (presumably) or a grave error by one of Ituralde's officers resulted in sounding the retreat from the lower hills encampment prematurely. That turned Ituralde's retreat into a route; inflicting additional losses to his troops.

I think that between the Saldeans in Maradon and Ituralde's forces with their 100 Ashaman, there were enough forces to defend Maradon had they been under Ituralde from the start.

Enigma
05-25-2012, 07:54 AM
I suppose there is no way to be certain but the impression I had was that Ituralde could have fended off the initial attack with no real problem if he had the Saladeans with him. They had a hard time because they could not retreat into the city nor call upon the city garrison to bolster their numbers.

The second wave on the other hand, the one that Rand destroyed was a different thing entirely. It was so big that even if it suffered terrible casualties it was big enought to overcome any fixed defences. Even if the Asha'man were 100% fresh with unbreached walls and soldiers backing them up there were simply too many.

Even Bashere who is not given to panic was all "we have to leave, now!" when he saw the second wave and that was why super Rand had to step in and even then some shadowspawn got close. As Rand said he can't be everywhere and these are the sorts of numbers that the forces of the light will be facing.

Kimon
05-25-2012, 11:20 AM
The situation is Saldea and Maradon was very dramatic; but the reason why the defense of Saldea was nearly overcome is not because of the size of the Shadowspawn army.

My opinion is that there were enough troops in that place to defend it against the initial army that attacked it. The reason why Saldea nearly fell is: Betrayal.

Ituralde held with only 50K troops and 100 Ashaman for weeks. A darkfriend prevented Maradon from reinforcing Ituralde during those weeks. If he had overall command of his forces and the Saldeans in Maradon, he could have held longer.

Also, a darkfriend (presumably) or a grave error by one of Ituralde's officers resulted in sounding the retreat from the lower hills encampment prematurely. That turned Ituralde's retreat into a route; inflicting additional losses to his troops.

I think that between the Saldeans in Maradon and Ituralde's forces with their 100 Ashaman, there were enough forces to defend Maradon had they been under Ituralde from the start.

Those hundred asha'man is what really jumps out. Lan needs channelers. Someone, either Rand or the WT, or preferably both so that they can form circles, should be sending him aes sedai and asha'man. Hopefully someone will think to mention that at Merrilor.

Terez
05-25-2012, 11:44 AM
Logain's glory.

codetoast
05-25-2012, 01:30 PM
Often times in our own military history, it has been necessary for a small group of soldiers to defend against impossible odds for a short time, sacrificing their lives so that a larger force may have time to prepare, or some political or military dispute can be resolved to free up reinforcements. Thermopylea, 20th Maine regiment at Getesburg, Paremenion's left flank in guagemala. Tarwin's Gap is remaniscint of a thermopylea scenereo where they can maybe inflict significant casualties and prevent this group of trollocs from pushing south and rushing the FoM before rand's army is ready.

To the people claiming this is insignificant because trollocs are already pushing through in caimlyn and tear, you're assuming that they have enough forces to win there. We know from the two rivers and the way gates that there are limited ways trollocs can get into the southlands before kandor, and saldea started breaking down. The forces that likely are that far south can likely be defeated by the band of the red hand and other forces of the light.

Many of the greatest strategy minds in history have used this tactic. Robert E. Lee's real intentions with Pickett's charge was to take and hold a single portion of the union line while stuart's cavalry were to come and reinforce the territory taken. The paratroopers in the Normandy invasion were meant to take key bridges and towns and only hold them until reinforcements from the main beach invasion arrived. Duke of Wellington at waterloo managed to take and hold hougemont and la haye sainte(almost) until his prussian reinforcements came to hit napoleon's flank. In many cases the advance forces are sent to take key military real estate until a larger force can relieve them. This was almost the entire premise behind WWI tactics. My point in all this is that the battle at caimlyn will likely be won by the light unless reinforced by trollocs from the blight, just as pickett's charge failed when stuart's cavalry were succesfully blocked.

Robert Jordan, being a military historian would have designed battles that were well thought out on both sides. We must remember that Rand might be using Lan in this way(as much as he regrets having to use friends). He is ta'verin and I believe it no coincidence that Lan decided the time to fulfill his oath was now.

Kimon
05-25-2012, 04:22 PM
Often times in our own military history, it has been necessary for a small group of soldiers to defend against impossible odds for a short time, sacrificing their lives so that a larger force may have time to prepare, or some political or military dispute can be resolved to free up reinforcements. Thermopylea, 20th Maine regiment at Getesburg, Paremenion's left flank in guagemala. Tarwin's Gap is remaniscint of a thermopylea scenereo where they can maybe inflict significant casualties and prevent this group of trollocs from pushing south and rushing the FoM before rand's army is ready.



Hopefully for Lan's sake Tarwin's Gap doesn't end up like Thermopylae...

Terez
05-25-2012, 04:25 PM
Kimon, I've been meaning to ask you (and anyone else who might know), does this ring any bells for historical battles?

Hawkwing came out of the Marasides by the Jolvaine Pass, not far from the small town of Endersole, to find his forward scouts making contact with Amalasan’s, approaching the pass from the south. Whether as the Battle of Endersole or the Battle of Jolvaine Pass, the next two days would be studied avidly by military men over the following thousand years.

The region was, then as now, heavily forested, hilly and rugged, severely limiting the usefulness of cavalry, and Amalasan dismounted a great portion of his, using them as foot. The day went very much Amalasan’s way. Both armies suffered heavy casualties, but Amalasan could better afford them. Twice only the quick deployment of Hawkwing’s forces kept them from being outflanked. The Aes Sedai, whatever their number, were barely able to match Amalasan’s use of the One Power in battle, and by nightfall it was a miracle that Hawkwing still held his army together. (Wrote an anonymous contemporary: “It was only by the Grace of the Light - or else by that Shadow-given gift of making men follow him even to sure and certain death.”)

For any other general, the course to follow would have been obvious - retreat through the pass in the darkness with the remnants of his army. Hawkwing, though was not any other general. He began a retreat north toward the pass; as soon as he was certain that Amalasan’s scouts had seen this, Hawkwing’s rear guard began fierce skirmishing as if to protect the fleeing army, thus screening the forces from Amalasan’s scouts. Hawkwing divided his troops, in contravention of established military thought, and sent them east and west.

Amalasan no doubt believed the reports of his scouts implicitly, and only the most rabidly unfriendly contemporary commentators count it against him as a military leader. Quick retreat through the pass was the best move for an outnumbered and defeated army, and only a madman would contemplate a flanking attack over that terrible terrain at night. A madman, or a general whose troops who would follow him even into the Pit of Doom.

When the first gray light of dawn broke, Amalasan’s army was preparing to move on the pass, all attention directed north. It was then that Hawkwing struck. His divided infantry fell on Amalasan’s encampment from the east and the west, while his cavalry, having completed a night ride of some fifty miles, struck from the south.

Caught by surprise, Amalasan’s forces came very near collapse in the first half-hour. Amalasan could have rallied them and turned the battle his way - he had done as much before - but Hawkwing and his horsemen drove straight for Amalasan’s banner, with them the Aes Sedai, and Amalasan was taken.

Enigma
05-25-2012, 05:30 PM
That splitting ones army does sound like something I heard on the History channel but I can't say for certain what it was. It might have been something either Alexander the Great or Hannibal would have done. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Kimon
05-25-2012, 06:48 PM
That splitting ones army does sound like something I heard on the History channel but I can't say for certain what it was. It might have been something either Alexander the Great or Hannibal would have done. Sorry I can't be of more help.

It might be a reference to Hannibal's victory at Lake Trasimene, except that didn't involve a feint at retreat. I can't think of many night flanking maneuvers though from antiquity. Pyrrhus tried one at Beneventum, but misjudged the distance, and his flanking force arrived too late. This may well be a reference then to something much later in European history.

Edit: Maybe the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim, or Napoleon at Austerlitz?

Jasin Natael
05-25-2012, 07:51 PM
If only there was negative rep

What, because I've a non-standard opinion?

codetoast
05-28-2012, 11:30 AM
Its hard to find a single battle that this seems to mirror. But none of the tactics are unprecedented in history. Cavalry would often dismount and become skirmishers in the civil war era. See Buford's stand on day one of getesburg. Wooded terrain has often been where screening with skirmishers has the most affect. The cavalry splitting from the main army reminds me of the battle of lodi in the Napoleonic wars, but there are many instances of this in history. I think the battle in general this is most reminiscent of is Sphacteria in the peloponnesian war.

Generally the tactics described here seem to work when the army has an advantage of mobility. In fact this reminds me of how the mounted Mongolian troops would fight. They would often skirmish retreat and divide their forces to surround the enemy. This wasn't dangerous for them having inferior number because of their mobility, especially on open land.

jana
05-28-2012, 11:44 AM
What, because I've a non-standard opinion?

A sub-standard and completely illogical opinion that shows a lack of understanding of the English language and disses Nynaeve

Lan is an idiot in this. He wants to throw away his life by single-handedly taking on The Blight, when there are hundreds of thousands of men who WANT to follow him and would, if only he'd stop being an idiot. Maybe you should re-read New Spring, The Great Hunt and The Dragon Reborn so you can make another attempt at understanding this.

Terez
05-28-2012, 11:51 AM
Thanks guys. I have been reading up on the battles mentioned, but I'm betting there is something more bell-ringing lurking in European history somewhere, or perhaps in American history.

codetoast
05-28-2012, 11:55 AM
Also the American's in the American revolutionary war used skirmishers and won several victories through night movements. These tactics came from Native American influence.

Boli
05-28-2012, 12:08 PM
The battle will be similar to the battle of Kursk when Lan arrives.. both forces being heavy cavalry of a sort where a defence in depth and encircling will be the only way for Lan's (Nyneaves) army to hold on long enough for reinforncements.

Remember it is not up for the light to win... but for the light not to loose.

GonzoTheGreat
05-28-2012, 12:14 PM
Lan is an idiot in this. He wants to throw away his life by single-handedly taking on The Blight, when there are hundreds of thousands of men who WANT to follow him and would, if only he'd stop being an idiot.
In Lan's defense: if he'd stopped being an idiot any sooner, the result would have been just an idiotic and useless last stand.

Now it may be just an idiotic last stand, which is a lot better.

Landro
05-28-2012, 01:08 PM
I think this will be a chance for the AS to make up for their failure to lend timely aid when Malkier fell.

Kimon
05-28-2012, 02:35 PM
I think the battle in general this is most reminiscent of is Sphacteria in the peloponnesian war.



Sphacteria was mostly a blockade and siege with limited skirmishing on an island. The Spartans had less than 500 men, and none of their great commanders were present. Demosthenes (not the more famous man of that name obviously), the Athenian strategos, had a few thousand, but almost all of those were peltasts and rowers from his fleet - he had only about 200 hoplites. How are you seeing similarities between it and this battle between Hawkwing and Amalasan? Neither force had much if any cavalry, and while Demosthenes was a reliable, if less than remarkable general, the best of the Spartan commanders of the early stages of the war, Brasidas, wasn't there.

jana
05-28-2012, 03:58 PM
In Lan's defense: if he'd stopped being an idiot any sooner, the result would have been just an idiotic and useless last stand.

Now it may be just an idiotic last stand, which is a lot better.

Agree. The main stupid part about the OP is that these poor innocent Shienarans are dying and it's Nynaeve's fault, as if they have no choice in the matter.

Jasin Natael
05-28-2012, 06:10 PM
The main stupid part about the OP is that these poor innocent Shienarans are dying and it's Nynaeve's fault, as if they have no choice in the matter.

They don't! 'Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.' They're honour bound to follow him whether they want to or not.

As for Lan's idiocy, obviously leading thousands against the Blight always works. It's not like Lord Luc or that Malkieri friend of the king ever led an army to a futile death in the blight that achieved absolutely nothing and in fact had long term negative consequences, right?

Zombie Sammael
05-28-2012, 06:46 PM
They don't! 'Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.' They're honour bound to follow him whether they want to or not.

As for Lan's idiocy, obviously leading thousands against the Blight always works. It's not like Lord Luc or that Malkieri friend of the king ever led an army to a futile death in the blight that achieved absolutely nothing and in fact had long term negative consequences, right?

Choosing to behave in a way you define as honourable is not the same as having no choice at all. Just ask Tyrion Lannister.

fionwe1987
05-28-2012, 07:13 PM
They don't! 'Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.' They're honour bound to follow him whether they want to or not.
That's... absurd. If Nynaeve "forced" them by calling to their honor, she did nothing wrong. As wife of the King of Malkier, that is exactly her duty, anyway.

Accusing her of being wrong here is like blaming Aemon for the death of his army because he marched them to Manetheren's defense to "save his wife"!

sleepinghour
05-28-2012, 07:16 PM
'Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.' They're honour bound to follow him whether they want to or not.

I don't think it's really about Lan here. Much like ji'e'toh is at the heart of what it means to be Aiel, the Malkieri are defined by their pledge to fight the Shadow.

It doesn't matter if they never wore the hadori; as long as their mothers wore the ki'sain (a pledge that her sons would fight the Shadow "every day in every way that they could"), they are honor bound to do so. So far, they haven't really done much to honor that oath—Weilin Aldragoran from KoD was a merchant who only used his hadori to intimidate his customers.

If the Last Battle had gone by without the Malkieri at the front line, the Malkieri as a people would never have recovered from that shame. It's been repeatedly said that a Borderlander would rather die than to break an oath. So to break the most important oath of all would truly and finally have destroyed them as a people. The Malkieri's last stand at Tarwin's Gap is their way of finally honoring that oath, of saying, "Before Shienar falls to the Shadow, they're going to have to go through us first. Every last one of us."

After the Last Battle, they'll probably get their country back from the Blight (it's been foreshadowed since TEotW), and this way they can feel like they earned it.

Great Lord of the Dark
05-29-2012, 12:01 AM
If the men and women who follow Lan are manipulated, it is their own fault. In New Spring, Lan shows exactly what Malkieri honour code dictates. He would take any pain, even death, to avoid the appearance that a woman has lied. Nynaeve's approach may have awakened dormant Malkieri honour, but it's their crazy belief system, and one they had set aside for practical reasons for the last 40 years. The fact that they want to follow it again is their choice, but Malkieri honour dictates that it is no choice at all. Mothers wear the ki'sain to pledge their children against the shadow at birth. Like the Aiel, they are bound by a promise that has been held to for centuries. I see why you are saying Nynaeve used their code against them, since it so rigid. But it doesn't change the joy they feel when they can finally submit to it and fulfil the promise.

codetoast
05-29-2012, 11:47 AM
Kimon,
From what I know of sphacteria, correct me if im wrong. But I believe the athenians won by skirmishing and feining retreat back to the sea. Once the spartans got tired and started heading back to their fort, the athenians came around and sieged their fort. I see your point that it was very different, but im looking for more of a battle where the tactics of skirmishing, moving in secret and dividing an army is used.

I can say the same about your hannibal example. His ambush involved luring the romans into a trap. His army was not divided but was on one side while the lake was on the other side of the roman column.

Check out the British strategy in the battle of long island in the american revolutionary war. This was a loss for them, but kind of fits the bill. Feel free to shoot this one down as well.

I can't think of anything off the top of my head anymore but i might research it more to find something from european/american history.

George washington was fond of the night movements(invasion of Trenton). He also encouraged the use of skirmishers and fabian strategy.

Kimon
05-29-2012, 01:35 PM
Kimon,
From what I know of sphacteria, correct me if im wrong. But I believe the athenians won by skirmishing and feining retreat back to the sea. Once the spartans got tired and started heading back to their fort, the athenians came around and sieged their fort. I see your point that it was very different, but im looking for more of a battle where the tactics of skirmishing, moving in secret and dividing an army is used.

I can say the same about your hannibal example. His ambush involved luring the romans into a trap. His army was not divided but was on one side while the lake was on the other side of the roman column.

Check out the British strategy in the battle of long island in the american revolutionary war. This was a loss for them, but kind of fits the bill. Feel free to shoot this one down as well.

I can't think of anything off the top of my head anymore but i might research it more to find something from european/american history.

George washington was fond of the night movements(invasion of Trenton). He also encouraged the use of skirmishers and fabian strategy.

Demosthenes did land additional forces during the night, so I suppose you could argue that he was concealing a flanking force, which did massacre a number of the Spartan defenders. Then Comon led a detachment of Messenians through a pass to complete the envelopment. So, if you stretch the comparison, I suppose there are some similarities, but it was still essentially a small scale siege. The primary significance of Sphacteria was psychological, in that the resulting surrender of the few remaining Spartans broke the myth that Spartans only come home "with their shields, or on them". It took a couple more years, but this battle did eventually play a role in the brief Peace of Nicias, and the short cessation of hostilities in the middle of the war. Nonetheless, unlike the Hawkwing vs. Amalasan battle, it lacked the gravitas of a battle with both sides possessing first rate generals. Demosthenes, as I noted before was a reliable general, but the Spartan commanders present - primarily Epitadas, were second rate at best. It also lacked cavalry forces (this not surprising given that neither the Athenians nor the Spartans ever made much use of cavalry), and was much smaller in scale. Moreover, there was no feint at retreat. The only confusion that the Spartans really could have had was whether or not Demosthenes would truly attempt an attack, or merely try to starve them out.

As for Trasimene, Hannibal did divide his forces. He concealed most of his cavalry and a sizable contingent of infantry (most of his Gallic forces) in the dense woods above the narrow pass along the northern shore of the lake, with his heavy infantry (mostly his Spanish and African levies) in plain sight at the back of the pass. It was thus similar to Thermopylae, except when the Romans were lured in against his heavy infantry, he sprang the trap and his cavalry and Gallic infantry fell upon the Romans all but completely obliterating them - about 15,000 were killed outright (including their commander - Flaminius), and 10,000 were taken captive. The only problem however with this battle, is while one side, the Carthaginians, had a commander that was clearly as great as Hawkwing or Amalasan, Flaminius was not so worthy of such distinction.

Terez
05-29-2012, 01:59 PM
It wouldn't surprise me if RJ took one element of this battle, and another element of that; it was his style. We know that Alan had Brandon read up on specific battles for Tarmon Gai'don, though, whatever that's worth.

Rand al'Fain
05-29-2012, 04:02 PM
Kimon,
From what I know of sphacteria, correct me if im wrong. But I believe the athenians won by skirmishing and feining retreat back to the sea. Once the spartans got tired and started heading back to their fort, the athenians came around and sieged their fort. I see your point that it was very different, but im looking for more of a battle where the tactics of skirmishing, moving in secret and dividing an army is used.

I can say the same about your hannibal example. His ambush involved luring the romans into a trap. His army was not divided but was on one side while the lake was on the other side of the roman column.

Check out the British strategy in the battle of long island in the american revolutionary war. This was a loss for them, but kind of fits the bill. Feel free to shoot this one down as well.

I can't think of anything off the top of my head anymore but i might research it more to find something from european/american history.

George washington was fond of the night movements(invasion of Trenton). He also encouraged the use of skirmishers and fabian strategy.
Mongols. They used their mobility and abilities as excellect horse archers to conquer China, parts of India, Russia, and the Middle/Far East. They were often outnumbered, but on far more battles than they lost due to their strategies.

Jasin Natael
06-01-2012, 08:21 PM
That's... absurd. If Nynaeve "forced" them by calling to their honor, she did nothing wrong. As wife of the King of Malkier, that is exactly her duty, anyway.

Accusing her of being wrong here is like blaming Aemon for the death of his army because he marched them to Manetheren's defense to "save his wife"!

Aemon was defending his nation against attack... Malkier is dead and gone. He did not send his armies into the blight against hopeless odds because his wife happened to be there.

And honour is part of what Malkieri are. They follow the Golden Crane, because to do otherwise would be like an Aiel gai'shan running away. It does not happen except very rarely, and those who do face being despised by everyone for the rest of their lives

"The Malkieri as a people would never have recovered from the shame"

Maybe so, but the Malkieri people themselves would survive. Lan has never raised the banner, because he values his people's lives more than their loyalty.

maleshub
06-02-2012, 03:05 AM
Aemon was defending his nation against attack... Malkier is dead and gone. He did not send his armies into the blight against hopeless odds because his wife happened to be there.

And honour is part of what Malkieri are. They follow the Golden Crane, because to do otherwise would be like an Aiel gai'shan running away. It does not happen except very rarely, and those who do face being despised by everyone for the rest of their lives

"The Malkieri as a people would never have recovered from the shame"

Maybe so, but the Malkieri people themselves would survive. Lan has never raised the banner, because he values his people's lives more than their loyalty.

But we know that Lan felt a "pull" to the Blight. And prior to his bonding by Moiraine, he went there alone on excursions to fight shadowspawn. I always wondered if that oath was not simply words.

GonzoTheGreat
06-02-2012, 04:59 AM
Aemon was defending his nation against attack... Malkier is dead and gone.
Prove it.
The heat in her eyes seemed to intensify, and she gripped her long, thick braid with one hand. “Lan told me once that Malkier lives so long as one man wears the hadori in pledge that he will fight the Shadow, so long as one woman wears the ki’sain in pledge that she will send her sons to fight the Shadow. I wear the ki’sain. Master Aldrago-ran. My husband wears the hadori. So do you. Will Lan Mandragoran ride to the Last Battle alone?”
All you need do is show that Lan and Nynaeve (and all other Malkieri) are wrong about what their customs mean. That's not too high a standard, is it?

Jasin Natael
06-03-2012, 06:15 PM
Well, it happened with the Aiel.

A) That's like saying that Manetheren still exists because Mat still knows the warcry.

B) Seems out of character for Lan to say that. Consider what he says in the Eye of the World

"The Seven Towers are broken[...] and Malkier is dead; the few of her people left, scattered across the face of the earth

That's a direct quote, not secondhand from somebody with every reason to lie (she's trying to assemble an army to go save him)

Ishara
06-04-2012, 06:19 PM
But Manetheren does still exist, and partly because Mat knows its Battle Cry. The fact that even one person remembers it is a legacy to the nation that was Manatheren - cheesy perhaps, but no less true.

And your Lan quote is out of context. That's him trying to escape being King of a people he thought didn't want or need him. He was wrong. His people were just waiting for him to accept his role as their King and to lead the fight against the Blight and the Shadow. If they get Malkier back as a result, then so much the better, but they have to fight for it first.