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View Full Version : After the End - Impressions and Reactions (Spoilers)


kcf
01-03-2013, 10:33 AM
(NOTE FROM TAMYRLIN: This thread comes from a private forum I made available a few days before the release to those I knew had read the book. There are no spoiler tags, and a discussion of the entirety of A Memory of Light may follow. So expect full spoilers.)

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So, this is what I have written up so far that will become a spoiler reaction blog post on Jan 8th. But I don't see why a preview can't happen hear. So...

1. As I’ve watched the reactions to the ‘Memories of Time’ released by Tor, I’ve had my own little version of how Team Jordan must experience the world. Yes, sometimes the reactions are spot on. But more often than not, they go way wrong. Crazy. It’s amazing to see how things go when I’m thinking the answer was so clearly obvious, but then people take it opposite direction.

2. Talmanes in the prologue is awesome. Many have issues with what Sanderson has done with The Wheel of Time since taking on the near-impossible task of finishing the series in a way that fans can love, and some of those issues are very real, but sometimes Sanderson has improved things. Talmanes is one area. He takes a character who was cardboard and barely worth mentioning and grows him into someone likeable, humorous, subtle and heroic. It was fun reading his leading the battle of Caemlyn. Though he should have died. He should not have been healed to fight again. And I tire of the new titles that seemingly come out of nowhere – Dreadbane. Seriously, that’s terrible.

3. Androl – I like him and Pevara more and more. Obviously Sanderson does as well. I wonder how much of Androl is a reaction to reading what fans have written. The potential tactical use of gateways – we see it. Opening a gateway into a volcano to destroy trollocs, opening a gateway in front of an attacker to behind the attacker so they kill themselves. Precise use of gateways as weapons. These are cool. I wanted more. But he was ultimately mishandled. He just sort of fades away in the Last Battle. He either should have gone out with a real bang…or something. By the end he just sort of hangs on.

4. Moiraine. So, he needed her to convince Egwene to sign the Dragon’s Peace. And then again as a link with callandor. She still felt strangely absent toward the end. And why didn’t we get a Moiraine vs. Cadsuane scene. That is a big oversight.

5. Demandred. I love that he wasn’t Roedran like so many thought. I loathed the lack of subtly with which Sanderson handled it. Too much of a nod to theorists, too much of a breaking of the 4th wall. But Shara? The set up for that could have been handled much better. Perhaps another example of Jordan being too subtle in earlier books. Perhaps an attempt for readers to be as surprised as those fighting the battles. While I like that it gave the forces of the dark an edge, it was ultimately mishandled.

6. More Demandred. He plays the big role in The Last Battle. But I’d have liked to know more earlier. What we see earlier was either wrong or painfully incomplete. Who knew that Demandred was bat-shit insane? As insane as Rand in his own way. He was always supposed to be the cold, calculating bad guy. Another place things didn’t go as well as they should have.

7. Matt. Everyone’s favorite. This won’t change. His leading of the last battle was awesome! I like how all the great captains were taken out, how the forces of the dark manipulated them. I like how it took some doing to get Matt into the leadership place he was. Only Matt could have won the battle.

8. Really, Mat and Rand in a bragging battle? As amusing as it was, it didn’t work for me. Another too big of a nod to the fans.

9. Horn of Valere. Excellent – everyone thought Matt needed to blow it. Everyone was wrong. His ties were broken. Olver has a place. I love that Noal was a hero. That Brigette comes back just after her death. Hawking and Matt don’t get along. Good stuff. Hero wolves? Oh well, don’t feel strongly one way or another.

10. Lanfear – I love that she helps Perrin. I love that she’s a wildcard. We don’t know what’s going on with her…until the very end.

11. Perrin. Good fighting, continues his growth. Awesome to see him finally let go. But really…he couldn’t kill Graendal because she’s a woman. Please. I thought we were past this. This must have been an RJ plot piece, one that should have been fixed. Though I suppose you had to have some good forsaken fighting going on.

12. Fain. Thank god he didn’t end up as the Gollum of WOT. I love that every theory I ever read on his place in the Last Battle was wrong. I actually love that all of the build-up, all of the hints of bad things, go nowhere. That Matt walks right into the mist, and kills him. Easy as pie. How wrong we all were, but so obvious in retrospect. The series needed a nice little Red Herring and Fain served well. Now, was Mat’s luck tied to the evil of Fain? The dice stopped.

13. Along those lines – it’s all over. Our three ta’veren are probably not ta’veren anymore. Does Mat still have is luck? What about everyone always falling in line with Perrin? Of course we have no answers, but it’s something to think about.

14. So many hate Egwene, even more so since Sanderson has taken the helm. While I can’t say that I always like her, I don’t agree with the hatred. The accusations of Mary Sue. Etc. She dies, she dies as she creates. The Amyrlin dies as she kills the M’hael. Nice balance.

15. Cadsuane. I would have like to see more of her during the Last Battle. A good fight scene or two during the battle. Opportunity lost with all those wonderful toys. I did not expect her to survive. Neither did she. Amyrlin? I laughed.

16. Logain. Not the lovable leader many have made him out to be. Of course he was very nearly turned and there were consequences. But, is it a surprise that he did the right thing in the end? Cadsuane and Logain, White Tower and Black Tower. I think I’d like to see that.

17. Thank the lord that Nynaeve didn’t heal death. I was very surprised that she never got time with Lan prior to the end. That was proof enough for me that Lan wouldn’t die. Though him killing Demandred…man, Niagara Falls baby. When he stood up with Demandred’s head I thought for sure he was a hero of the horn returned. He was always one I expected to die, but thought would live (if that makes any sense).

18. Siuan dead. Expected. Actually not too saddened as it was appropriate. But I would have liked to have seen a POV from Bryne at that moment. I would have liked that decent into madness and death charge. Really, it could have been done in half a page – why not?

19. Gawyn dead, Galad almost dead. Well, Gawyn should have died a long time ago. Not sad about it. He was incredibly stupid and flawed all the way to the end. Galad – I don’t think I’m upset we never got the Rand-Galad reunion. But I sort of wish he had died as well. For a minute I was waiting for a Tam takes on Demandred moment, where Tam succeeds. It would have been a nice thematic arc to the book and appropriate end to Demandred and Tam. But Lan did fine.

20. Ituralde. I always like that guy. In my mind, clearly the best of the great captains. I wish we would have had more of him. I would have loved to see him and Matt in command together. I’m glad he lived though.

21. So, two forsaken survive. Graendal and Moghedien. What will Avi do with a forsaken lapdog. What with Seanchan do with a forsaken and damane – and one from Shara as well? Oh, those outrigger novels would have been so much fun.

22. So, just who is this old Aiel woman who has appeared twice now? She visited Aviendha in the waste and now Rand just after he seals up the DO. It appears that TAR is involved, but that’s not necessarily the case. Is this the creator?

23. Oh the ending. First, the last word was not ‘time’, but ‘ending’. I can see how that scene began it all, though it’s certainly an odd one if you step back from WOT. The hero of the world steals a horse and runs away from his 3 wives and all the other forces of good. Oh, and he has a new body – that of the bad guy. That actually sounds pretty terrible when put that way. But, it fits. It’s beautifully written and I was bawling. In retrospect I can’t help but hear the Randland stories of Elvis/Jesus/Mary/Jim Morrison/Johnny Appleseed being spotted around the world. Or, maybe he’s Tom Bombadil, traveling the world in song and making the green things greener and everyone happy and gay. That’s it, Rand was always Tom Bombadil. Yes, my sense of humor is terrible.

24. Now that I’ve read it all and finally know how it turns out. I’m incredibly torn. I want more. I want the prequels. I want those auxiliary novels with Mat and Tuon returning to Seanchan. I want more short stories and novellas. I want to read more. I don’t want it to be over. But, the end was perfect and appropriate. As much as I want all those things, I want all of The Wheel of Time to end as it did.

Terez
01-03-2013, 03:40 PM
Moiraine. So, he needed her to convince Egwene to sign the Dragon’s Peace. And then again as a link with callandor. She still felt strangely absent toward the end. And why didn’t we get a Moiraine vs. Cadsuane scene. That is a big oversight.
Oversight? I never believed they would have a confrontation. Why should they? They only people who believed they should have a confrontation are those who believed that Cadsuane was somehow doing something wrong and that Moiraine needed to put her in her place. Cadsuane was not much different from Moiraine, so that never made sense.

Really, Mat and Rand in a bragging battle? As amusing as it was, it didn’t work for me. Another too big of a nod to the fans.Amusing? Nod to fans? More like trolling the fans.

Horn of Valere. Excellent – everyone thought Matt needed to blow it. Everyone was wrong.It's been theorized for years that his tie to it was broken when Rahvin killed him. I suggested recently that Tuon might blow it, so someone else blowing it was not too surprising to me.

I actually love that all of the build-up, all of the hints of bad things, go nowhere. That Matt walks right into the mist, and kills him. Easy as pie. How wrong we all were, but so obvious in retrospect.Called it (http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=36#85). But knowing how RJ works, I wasn't sure if Mat would actually be the one to kill him. Sometimes obvious things like that don't happen. (Same with Perrin killing Slayer.)

So, just who is this old Aiel woman who has appeared twice now? She visited Aviendha in the waste and now Rand just after he seals up the DO. It appears that TAR is involved, but that’s not necessarily the case. Is this the creator?Nakomi was a mystery for the sake of being mysterious. But I think the woman at the end was just Sorilea.

Oh the ending. First, the last word was not ‘time’, but ‘ending’.It was an unsubstantiated rumor, as far as I can tell. There's one RJ quote saying the last word might have been 'turns' at one point, and would probably be 'world' at the time he answered, but that (obviously) that could change before he actually wrote it.

Luckers
01-04-2013, 05:18 AM
2. Talmanes in the prologue is awesome.

Yeah Talmanes was decent in the prologue, though overplayed. Some of his PoV's should have been given to grant other perspectives in Caemlyn, for instance from the sisters at the Silver Swan, Ellorian or perhaps the captive sul'dam.


And I tire of the new titles that seemingly come out of nowhere – Dreadbane. Seriously, that’s terrible.

And the delivery. Ugh!!


3. Androl – I like him and Pevara more and more.

I liked Androl well enough, but the Black Tower arc was painfully contrived and terribly obvious in resolution.


4. Moiraine. So, he needed her to convince Egwene to sign the Dragon’s Peace. And then again as a link with callandor. She still felt strangely absent toward the end.

She played Egwene to Egwene's Elaida. It was horrid (sorry Linda, I'm a Blyton existence).


And why didn’t we get a Moiraine vs. Cadsuane scene. That is a big oversight.

And thank the Light for that. It's not that I'm opposed to such a confrontation, or even Cadsuane losing it, but Brandon writing it... *shudders*


5. Demandred. I love that he wasn’t Roedran like so many thought. I loathed the lack of subtly with which Sanderson handled it. Too much of a nod to theorists, too much of a breaking of the 4th wall.

My question is why did Rand suspect him. Has Rand been reading the forums.


But Shara? The set up for that could have been handled much better. Perhaps another example of Jordan being too subtle in earlier books. Perhaps an attempt for readers to be as surprised as those fighting the battles. While I like that it gave the forces of the dark an edge, it was ultimately mishandled.

The initial scene was not half bad. Yes we have no idea why the Sharans are following him, but we do have the clear feeling THEY do. If that had been developed as the book continued it would have been fine.

I have more to say, but I'm not allowed to publish material not in evidence. Lol.


7. Matt. Everyone’s favorite. This won’t change. His leading of the last battle was awesome! I like how all the great captains were taken out, how the forces of the dark manipulated them. I like how it took some doing to get Matt into the leadership place he was. Only Matt could have won the battle.

Mat was a chatterbox in this book, but yeah the Last Battle was thematically satisfying.


8. Really, Mat and Rand in a bragging battle? As amusing as it was, it didn’t work for me. Another too big of a nod to the fans.

Ugh.


9. Horn of Valere. Excellent – everyone thought Matt needed to blow it. Everyone was wrong. His ties were broken. Olver has a place. I love that Noal was a hero. That Brigette comes back just after her death. Hawking and Matt don’t get along. Good stuff. Hero wolves? Oh well, don’t feel strongly one way or another.

As Terez said the broken connection has been theorized about for a while, but I did love how it worked out in the book. One of my favourite parts.


10. Lanfear – I love that she helps Perrin. I love that she’s a wildcard. We don’t know what’s going on with her…until the very end.

I thoroughly enjoyed Cyndane's part in the book, though I do believe Perrin was meant to die (and that this was the method with which he returned to the dream in the later part of the book).


12. Fain.

You mean Shazam!? Meh, never had any theories about him, so didn't mind this. Others will, though.

Terez
01-04-2013, 05:26 AM
I didn't think Fain would play as big a role as most expected; I figured if he was going to have a part it would mainly be a distraction (via Shaidar Haran, since that's where his themes lay). I'm not disappointed that he didn't do anything, though. And of course I'm thrilled Mat was the one to kill him.

Dom
01-04-2013, 06:47 PM
1. As I’ve watched the reactions to the ‘Memories of Time’ released by Tor, I’ve had my own little version of how Team Jordan must experience the world. Yes, sometimes the reactions are spot on. But more often than not, they go way wrong. Crazy. It’s amazing to see how things go when I’m thinking the answer was so clearly obvious, but then people take it opposite direction.

The few I puzzled out I did in very strange ways...

Eg: Cadsuane's "no, no, no". Ok... Terez sort of implied in an email when it happened was important. That was enough to make me guess correctly she was answering three women, and that it belonged in the epilogue section. I got the three women quite wrong. I thought it related either to resurrection or "a twist" moment. I got the "twist" right, but not anywhere close to what it was.

The one I'm almost ashamed not to have puzzled out is Min the Truthspeaker.

I puzzled it out only when Rand sent her there.

As I lamented to Terez as I read, for this one I have less excuses than most, because I've long puzzled out the endings of books 1-2-3 were full of hiding clues we had to layer atop each other, sometime invert, often interpret massively the allegories. I had it all in my bloody notes, for years, that Min was a Seanchan servant! Terez later pointed out to me she was even dressed in a nice Seanchan green dress already. :eek: She could go around totally untouched, visit Egwene etc. She had sworn the Oaths. It was all there... Min wasn't present in the ending of EOTW and TDR... that in itself was foreshadowing she was... elsewhere. I'm a fool to have long dismissed it as "probable noise" RJ introduced to distract us! I should have puzzled out the similarity between Tuon's omens and Min's viewings, that the Seanchan tradition was an attempt by those without the talent to look for those omens, and the thing is: IT WORKS. Min sees those omens "magically", in the fabric of the Pattern - the WO were impressed, Siuan snatched her as her personal seer. Then she played the role for Rand... of course the second Tuon learned of that, she would snatch MIn for herself! Everybody else needs look in the real world for the signs, and learn the interpretations. Min's talent will now explode with Tuon to teach her about proven interpretations from the Seanchan tradition.

Anyway, I can't believe I missed this until shortly before it happened, having puzzled out where to look for clues like this, that EVERYTHING in the finales of books 1-2-3 was important. Oh well.


2. Talmanes in the prologue is awesome.

I sort of disagree. The scenes were awesome. Brandon still ruined Talmanes which was far from cardboard to me. He was Mat's straightman!

And yeah, he should have died. Big mistake, whoever made it, Brandon or RJ. That would have made Mat's flight in the face of TG all the more pathetic and frustrating, that the Band also lost its second in command.

3. Androl – I like him and Pevara more and more.

I'll comment on that story arc elsewhere. I'm not wholly satisfied with it, much like Luckers (we often share reactions to things, I noticed).

But yeah, Pevera provided our resolution to the Red Ajah vs. Men stuff, and it's nearly all we got.

My main gripe is over the fact Brandon peppered this arc, RJ's most ominous, rife with Nazi parallels, with stupid comic relief at every turn until FINALLY, he killed off the bloody annoying Nalaam. I could have kissed him when he did. I think it would have been much better if Brandon used the bone chilling tone RJ installed with the epilogue of KOD. When he returned to something approaching that it became much better, but overall it felt stretched out by Brandon's narrative style where he tends not to make enough RJ style ellipses in this sort of arcs, to take us too much through the step by step for nothing. It all became too predictable. The arc didn't need nearly so many scenes to work. What he did with Lind was the best of those "nods to fans" scenes, but it still was terribly distracting. I would have preferred if Brandon wrote that sort of things in another context... very short novellas on his website, collected in a book sold for charity etc. The books were not really the best place for this sort of thing bordering on spoofs/parodies.

I wonder how much of Androl is a reaction to reading what fans have written. The potential tactical use of gateways – we see it.

In my partially enlightened opinion, it's got very little to do with reaction to fans' opinion.

Pre-TGS during the Warbreaker tour, I was present at a post Q&A little discussion when Brandon spoke a little with a few remaining fans like me of his plans to develop the OP in the books. He mentionned RJ had a few things up his sleeve, said no more of that. He also said he envisioned his personal contribution would be to create multiples new applications for existing weaves, that he loved the ideas in the crux of things the characters would become creative in finding new uses, new variants. He did mention the Deathgates... he did mention as a fan it's what he would have liked to see.

He did explain this came naturally to him, because for his own magic systems he loves to bind himself with constraints and rules, that it stimulates his creativity, pushed himself to find stuff that fully exploited those limits. And he was really good at that. He was right.

So basically, pre-TGS what we saw mostly in AMOL was already in his head. He intended to bind himself mostly to stuff invented by RJ, but use that as constraints to be creative. It's exactly what he did, so I doubt the fans influenced him much with this. We might ask Peter or him, but I really doubt it. It's more a case where Brandon embraced his inner fanboy, while also being able to work his own way with the system, a way that had served him very well for his own books. He did really well, I think.

By the end he just sort of hangs on.

It was a little overdone at some point, after it peaked with the DM stuff. Thing is, Brandon developped the characters too slowly, because all his scenes had many events (RJ was fond of those scenes where not much was going on at all, especially for minor players, for a reason. He took the opportunity to solidly develop the character, removing the need for a lot of scenes. Gawyn has fewer scenes written by RJ in the whole series than written by Brandon... that's the best example).

4. Moiraine. So, he needed her to convince Egwene to sign the Dragon’s Peace. And then again as a link with callandor. She still felt strangely absent toward the end. And why didn’t we get a Moiraine vs. Cadsuane scene. That is a big oversight.

I wasn't fully satisfied with it, but that Moiraine would come as peace broker between Egwene and Rand was something I did consider.

I would have preferred if Brandon had let Nynaeve step in and try first. It was long foreshadowed that one day she might step between those two. A simple reminder to Egwene of mother Guenna... or to Rand of how she settled arguments in the TR. It would have been fitting. Then entered Moiraine coming to help her, because Nynaeve couldn't do it alone. The scene was a reversal of early EOTW scenes, where this gang all meet. Rand turned the tables on Egwene... who should have seen it: “She had never liked stories of adventures and long journeys (well, hers was quite short, poor Egwene... 20 years. :(). Her favorite were always the funny ones, or stories about women outwitting people who were supposed to be smarter than everyone else.

Then you'd expect Nynaeve might explode, but she falls into Moiraine's arms, and then as Moiraine speaks she nods, perhaps interjects a thing or two to help. Have them work together at last.

Moiraine was her old sanctimonious self, that didn't surprise me so much.

Zen Moiraine was a lot more bearable than the old Moiraine (though in a recent re read, I don't find her as grating as I once did, even though I massively enjoyed the TDR time when Perrin put her in her place!).

The Tar Valon mark detail was really nice.

I did enjoy a lot that Brandon didn't "overdo" Moiraine. It's very tricky, with returning mentors. They're beloved of the readers, but you can't overused them without undermining the fact the Heroes have grown into their own. Tolkien cautiously kept Gandalf the White away from Frodo and Sam. Lucas kept Kenobi and Yoda safely away from Luke's confrontations with Vader. Brandon/RJ made sure Moiraine the Wise would have a crucial but after that small role, discreet.

I just thought her private scene with Rand came a little late in the game. I would have preferred it happened right after the public one, and that Rand gave us a little insight into AOL knowledge of Sindhol at the same time.

As for a confrontation with Cadsuane: Vade retro, Satanas! That was never meant to happen, no more than any clash between Cadsuane and Sorilea. I've repeated that over and over again: not foreshadowing, merely examples of the characters thinking that being immature. It is beneath women like Cadsuane and Moiraine or Sorilea to have such confrontations. They're Wise for a reason... Min never understood that Sorilea if she had a fight with Cadsuane would take her apart and discuss it all out, just as she did with Amys. Brandon handled all this perfectly. I like very much that the two women were cold to each other, avoided each other, yet were Wise enough not to let their temper flare or not to realize they both had their roles. Moiraine knows Cadsuane enough to have an idea what she contributed with Rand, and Cadsuane isn't such a fool not to see immediately how crucial Moiraine's understanding of her two old pupils was. Cadsuane had replaced Moiraine's antagonistic approach, she opened the way for Rand to see Moiraine in a much friendlier perspective, but Cadsuane was condemned to have no more than respect from Rand.

For the most part like Luckers I viscerally hate how Brandon wrote Cadsuane, but her interactions with Moiraine were dead on. Exactly meeting my expectations. And Cadsuane survived to have a post TG future. In the end she had the last word, over Brandon, I mean. She took her revenge on the new writer who hated her!

5. Demandred. I love that he wasn’t Roedran like so many thought.

Me too. It's only recent I gave up and started elaborating complex theories to rationalize how Demandred could use Roedran as proxy.

I sort of liked them, though.

He didn't recruit his army the way I thought he did, but on the whole he got the kind of forces I expected him to seek, and to gain.


I loathed the lack of subtly with which Sanderson handled it.

One of the worst episode of the book. What possessed Brandon to bring in Roedran at all, instead of going on and let the Murandy sit out the LB as foreshadowed (which the bastard did!) I can't figure. This was lame, lame, lame. It would have been much better to let Roedran unseen, and let us figure out it was a red herring when Demandred showed up with the Sharans.

It looks like my original theory about Roedran was possibly correct: he had AS advisors, answering to the Rebel Hall. They arranged to murmur in his ears to hire the Band, worked at the same time to push to unite the country under a real King at last, an old goal of Tar Valon, depriving this way Egwene of her clever excuse to force the Rebels to advance and fast, another goal of the Hall.

But Shara? The set up for that could have been handled much better. Perhaps another example of Jordan being too subtle in earlier books.

No, not Jordan. Jordan's set up was extremely well done, very subtle. Exactly what this needed. But stopped short.

Where it went wrong is that it became a casualty of the division of AMOL in three parts. Rj never planned this to have 2.5/3 years for the WOT communities to discuss his early AMOL clues and puzzle everything out by the time the reveal came...

That left Brandon two choices: be extremely reserved and restrained, basically giving no big clues, foregoing any character development, or simply risk giving away the surprise but give some depth to the arc. I think Brandon gave some clues, did a few things planned by RJ, but he was too subtle, and deprived us of one big clue to make RJ's deception work.

I would have preferred he did the first. The surprise lasted two seconds and bye bye.. we're left with an arc about which much have to be guess and theorize about...

I think RJ originally intended two red herrings.

The first obviously was Roedran, fitting many clues, fitting what we knew of Demandred's love of proxies etc. In Murandy he was first between the three other generals, an ideal position from which to provoke a war between them, then Rand surrounded him, again another good position, and finally he was in an ideal spot to provoke a conflict between Rand's side, Andor, and the Seanchan. That was red herring number one for AMOL, RJ's version.

The second red herring needs more work. RJ long ago prepared the ground for "corrupted prophecies", more than hinted that Ishamael had used this device to tamper or possibly wholly invent prophecies. Sneaky RJ pointed uniquely toward Seanchan for this.

Then KOD prepared the next step, with Semirhage sending Seanchan into chaos, killing the whole court. RJ had prepared us: the trio liked to work together to topple enemies, and Demandred likes proxy wars. So... Mesaana was to bring back the WT to its primeval state... 12 groups or more of sisters, incapable of working together anymore, easy meet for the Shadow and Seanchan. Semirhage controlled the return. And TGS introduced a dark power in Seanchan, linking furthermore the Midnight Towers, Towers of Midnight and the Forsaken.

That was the red herring: Demandred was in Seanchan, had rallied there the Empire and was about to appear in the Westlands with a vastly bigger force than Tuon had.

All that was required to make us fall hook, line and sinker into the red herring trap was a Demandred POV where subtle hints about prophecies were given, clues that Mesaana had succeeded enough at the WT, and that even if Semirhage fell, it would be more difficult for Demandred but retrievable... We believe all along the Esseanik cycle had been tampered with, and Brandon even confirmed it was real...

That scene would have transitioned between the cold, rational, possessed, cunning Demandred of the rest of the series and the bat-shit crazy Demandred of TG. How? By explaining that Demandred was in control because all along he found out about prophecies, and fulfilled them, because it was his destiny, he knew when his time would come. He's let the other fools go at Rand early, he let Moridin believe he was the DO's champion. He knew better than he was. You pepper that with allusions in the vein of "chaos had come, and out of the chaos he would rise and bring the world to its destruction and remaking in the DO's image. His rule was secure, his day to take the field was coming". Then through TG it became obvious Demandred was completely obsessed and his rationality was a thin cracking varnish. It became more and more ironic he considered Moridin insane, when in fact he was much the same, just much better at tactics and war.

By the mid point of AMOL, RJ would have had us almost totally convinced Demandred had fulfilled the KC prophecies in Seanchan and was coming to the Westlands as Rand's rival, intending to go to SG and betray Creation. Moridin wanted the End, Demandred sought little better, in the way of the twisted millenarist and apocalyptic sects: a kind of mass suicide as a passage or transformation to a new world. Would Fortuona fall for it? What was the goal in the time of Semirhage and now - to get her on his side and fool her, or two have the two Seanchan factions go at each other?

Then Demandred entered the battle as Dragonslayer, the Wyld, with the Sharans. The red herring is over, but all the set up was worth it, and explains in hindsight a lot. Demandred is mad. He mirrored Rand's descent into madness from TGS (where the first clues about Demandred and prophecies and hints of his obsessions/insanity really belonged, and would have with RJ's one book version, I've little doubts about that...)

Then after the revelation about Sharans came the final big reveal: Moridin's last POV before he went to SG. His "last thoughts"... (I'm seriously annoyed Brandon omitted such a scene or that RJ put it on his list of "not to be revealed", whatever happened):

Moridin is pondering. The time was almost upon him. Shai'tan could no longer follow Lews Therin, but Moridin could. He was in the Valley. Soon now. Demandred he didn't worry about anymore. The trap for that one had been millenia in the making, and he had fallen easily for it. Ishamael had failed with Luthair. He had managed to survive all the traps he had prepared for him on the other side of the Ocean. That one always had too much of his father's genius, and Moerad had not been able to finish corrupting him, he had been snatched back into TAR before he could. Luthair had destroyed the Armies of the Night, wiped their prophecies, implanted by Ishamael with such care. Pity. Ishamael was ever only able to tampered with their Essanik cycle, few corrupted elements had entered it, a few more from the version of the cycle Moerad had given Luthair, his pupil, as a parting gift, perhaps enough to make things derail. Still, he had had some time, to have his servant had introduced the a'dam as ordered, such as clever, devious device. Blasted Semirhage for her failure, blast Mesaana, but the girl hates the Seanchan. That part had almost worked, tough Aran'gar failed at the simple task to strengthen Egwene al'Vere's hatred. No matter. Never would the AS ally with the WT.

But where he had failed with the Seanchan, Ishamael had managed with Shara. The Paendrag daughter was soundly defeated, ending the empire in the Westlands, and with a few pushes starting the War of Hundred Years. And Shara remained protected, safely walled, there his "prophecies" of the Wyld, the anti-dragon, the Slayer of Worlds had solidly taken roots hidden among the Ayyad societies. Another of his successes. Here he had to contend with the survival of Tar Valon, forced to only infiltrate the Aes Sedai but in Shara, oh there he had fared better, and it had endured behind the walls, where they were destroyed with the fall of the Armies of the Night in Seanchan.

This place had long been prepared, ready for Be'lal, Demandred and Sammael to fight over. Moridin always suspected Demandred would win it. The fool. Competent, all too competent, but like the others he never saw the truth, the absolute necessity to destroy Creation. Shai'tan and Moridin had seen to that - threading carefully, cajoling and frightening Demandred in turn, giving him a whole cycle of prophecies meant to make him understand, to make him rise as equal to Lew Therin, rise himself to be the Dragonslayer, the Wyld, meant to end the world and make it anew. MOridin was proud of this plan. And so Demandred would end up doing exactly what Moridin could never made him see himself: end the world. The fool thought Shai'tan meant to remake it afterward, but Moridin knew better, he knew better who was Shai'tan's real champion. Let Demandred chase after Shadow. Yes, Shara was ripe for the plucking, rife for the Shadow, and Demandred has seized it, brilliantly he had to admit. The Light and the Shadow entered the sha'rah board now - the spelling had been altered over the millenia, but Moridin knew the game that encompassed all of life had been its origin. Light and Shadow in the positions ordained by him, so easy when you played both sides! But the Fisher, the Fisher was his alone. The Fisher was nowhere Demandred would find him now, but Cauthon would fool him. Such a creature of chaos, what a pity Moridin had never managed to turn that one. He never found out upon his return to life - that punishment still grated him - what protected the boy's dreams. No matter, it would soon be all over at last. He took one last look at the board and rose to take the Fisher figure. Mine. He shattered the piece. The woman kneeling beside him flinched - it was all the bounds of the True Power let her do. He had expected to struggle to find her. She had vanished, but finally she came to him. Lews Therin was entering. the cavern.

"Shai'tan, Great Lord, he has come"

His Master appeared in the shadows of the room. That husk he had made for himself would soon no longer be necessary. He longed to see that moment. Soon.

"MORIDIN"

He kneeled. His released would soon come now. The Day of Return has arrived.

Shaidar Haran touched him and his prisoner. They vanished into shadows.









Perhaps an attempt for readers to be as surprised as those fighting the battles. While I like that it gave the forces of the dark an edge, it was ultimately mishandled.


Yes and no. It left way too much to our imaginations, however fertile mine can be at times, it was frustrating as I really hoped to rather RAFO on all this, not theorize again. Don't we have given enough over the years?

He was always supposed to be the cold, calculating bad guy.

But he was all that. Only a cold, calculating and insane man could wait so long, resist so long. When the moment came to unveil himself, Demandred could not hold it at bay anymore. The man always was addicted to honor, position, full of his own self importance. He had to show himself as the Great Lord's Champion, the opposite and future victor over Lews Therin. It all went to his head. But he remained cold and calculating, only seriously distracted by the absence of Rand. The Prophecies he'd face and destroy Rand failed him. That those prophecies were false but that Demandred believed them was the big piece of the puzzle Brandon should but failed to include. We'll probably have to get it all out of him bit by bit through Q&A, unless the Sharan prophecies are a HUGE treat Harriet keeps for the Encyclopedia - which I'd prefer in a way. It leaves us one more years to theorize. I've chosen my camp, obviously: false prophecies planted by Ishamael, meant for one of the Chosen to fulfill, or failing that by Moridin himself... but since he had this perfect alternative to let Demandred do the work...

Terez
01-04-2013, 09:21 PM
The one I'm almost ashamed not to have puzzled out is Min the Truthspeaker.
I thought Nynaeve was a good guess because I was thinking of it in terms of the role the Truthspeaker plays in the mundane sense. I didn't consider Min too far because I assumed she wouldn't have a day job due to her shorter lifespan compared to Elayne and Aviendha.

I had it all in my bloody notes, for years, that Min was a Seanchan servant! Terez later pointed out to me she was even dressed in a nice Seanchan green dress already. :eek:
It went like this:

For now I'm at "That's what Tuon said". :D Fun. Having Min in enough "green silk to supply shop in Caemlyn" was hilarious, and for once RJ-like humor!
She also wore green when she visited the damane Egwene in TGH. A nice green Seanchan-style dress.
You had already been talking about the Min parallels at the end of TGH in earlier emails, so as soon as you said that I thought of her dress. I remembered it being green for some odd reason; I don't usually remember details like that. I think it stuck out because it was the first time we saw Min in a dress, and she seemed to enjoy wearing it. (I just now finally looked it up; I'm still kind of amazed I remembered the dress was green, lol.)

Brandon still ruined Talmanes which was far from cardboard to me. He was Mat's straightman!
Yeah, just because someone is a straightface doesn't mean they're cardboard. Talmanes appealed to Mat at the Battle of Cairhien because of his mind, not his sense of humor. Though one could say there's a certain type of humor in Talmanes' demand for Mat to lead half. I don't have any opinion on whether he should have died.

My main gripe is over the fact Brandon peppered this arc, RJ's most ominous, rife with Nazi parallels, with stupid comic relief at every turn...
I agree it would have been better if it were a little darker. I like Androl well enough, but I don't like the fact that he's an everyman who does everything. Too convenient to use these characters as repeated problem-solvers.

It all became too predictable. The arc didn't need nearly so many scenes to work.
The predictable part was a problem. Androl's talent begged to be used to escape the Black Tower (with Logain and the rest) and I don't think the use of that talent (to deflect balefire) quite met the buildup. Lanfear giving it to Perrin was a nice surprise, but that's another matter. With the way it was used, it would have been better to not give Androl that Talent in the first place. The masterwork has clever red herrings, but making them does not automatically make for a good story. Used badly, red herrings will just make readers disappointed.

In my partially enlightened opinion, it's got very little to do with reaction to fans' opinion.
Yeah, I think we have enough evidence of that. Brandon has talked several times about how Maria told him to 'cool it' with the gateways. I think most readers came to their own conclusions about various nifty ways gateways could be used; Brandon is just as capable as the rest of us to come up with those things on his own, and we know he gets into that kind of thing anyway.

I did enjoy a lot that Brandon didn't "overdo" Moiraine.
In a way I did too, considering. But her appearance at Merrilor was awkward. I think Brandon was scared of this scene, and the emotions that readers expected, which is why he chose to write it in Perrin's POV, where he feels most comfortable, and where the emotions weren't as profound. Though Perrin did have some nice moments with Moiraine in TDR especially. He was the first ta'veren to catch a glimpse of naked Moiraine. ;) Rand and Mat got their first chance at Chaendar, and Mat again at Ghenjei.

As for a confrontation with Cadsuane: Vade retro, Satanas! That was never meant to happen, no more than any clash between Cadsuane and Sorilea.
The one with Sorilea was more believable. Part of me still wants to believe she was a Darkfriend, and we just didn't have it confirmed for us. :p I love how things like that are left open. Moiraine could still be Queen of Cairhien, the way it was written, without any real political resolution. People can argue against it all day long if they like, and I just don't care any more. :D

It is beneath women like Cadsuane and Moiraine or Sorilea to have such confrontations.
Unless they are Darkfriends!

For the most part like Luckers I viscerally hate how Brandon wrote Cadsuane...
Luckers is far from the only one. But apparently bitching about Cadsuane is all he ever does. ;)

Me too. It's only recent I gave up and started elaborating complex theories to rationalize how Demandred could use Roedran as proxy.
I always hated it too, but Brandon's comments on the subject made me think it was true, so I started trying to find things to like about it. This was one of the most disappointing moments in the book, not because I was displeased with Roedran just being Roedran, but because of the way it was framed, both in the tour questions and in the book itself. If it's not true, then I'd rather you not have Rand think it was true, because why should he? He didn't have the same interview clues that we did; he didn't know what Demandred said about his rule being secure, or any of that. Why would he think Roedran was Demandred?

No, not Jordan. Jordan's set up was extremely well done, very subtle. Exactly what this needed. But stopped short.
As it should have. The surprise would have been great without all the misdirection in the interviews. It's not good to troll your readers to that degree, no matter how clever you might think you are for doing it.

That left Brandon two choices: be extremely reserved and restrained, basically giving no big clues, foregoing any character development, or simply risk giving away the surprise but give some depth to the arc. I think Brandon gave some clues, did a few things planned by RJ, but he was too subtle, and deprived us of one big clue to make RJ's deception work.

I would have preferred he did the first.
ME TOO.

Terez
01-05-2013, 09:36 AM
Just reread this line, and it made me wince a bit:

Egwene noted Siuan riding at Bryne's side and smiled in satisfaction. He is bound tightly to us now.
Also, did anyone find the total fizzle-out of the second White Tower attack to be a little weird? I mean, I didn't really expect it to happen, but I can't recall it even being mentioned.

Dom
01-05-2013, 03:54 PM
Just reread this line, and it made me wince a bit:


Also, did anyone find the total fizzle-out of the second White Tower attack to be a little weird? I mean, I didn't really expect it to happen, but I can't recall it even being mentioned.

Yes, it's so beneath Egwene to think that way.

Brandon's Egwene is nowhere as bad as his Mat, but he still overdid her adherence to Aes Sedai traditional thinking. Jordan kept her in a better balance than this, betwen Egwene and the Amyrlin. Early on, she was very naive and her bleary eyed admiration of Aes Sedai played well against Nynaeve's near systematic hatred of them. Then Egwene learned better, tampered her views with a good dose of Moiraine influence and Wise One influence. When she got handed power, she had a mind to change as much as she could, in many ways intending to throw the baby with the bath water. Siuan tampered that, giving her a much deeper understanding of the WT. Egwene became more capable of seing both the worth of the institutions/laws and where they were detrimental and in deep need of reforms. But Siuan made her shift too much toward conservatism and made her too enamoured of Daes'daemar. In her early days as prisoner of Elaida, Egwene turned herself into a second Mesaana. It became an unseen competition between them at which of them who manage to destroy the WT first... It took me a long time to see it. I didn't see what was wrong in Egwene's strategy for some time. That made me totally misinterpret the clues/parallels. I became convinced Mesaana had rebuilt an army of children among the novices, that they were her real agents and spies in the Tower, that before the end they would strike. Forcibly it meant she was closing on Egwene. It didn't occur to me at the time that Mesaana didn't touch Egwene because Egwene's campaign of division was playing straight into Mesaaana's hands.

I understood only while reading TGS what RJ had been getting at with Egwene. He made her a vandal/child of Mesaana. Egwene had made herself a counterpart of Mesaana and her methods of division. It's Egwene, not Mesaana, who was inconsciously rebuilding "Mesaana's Children" (well, that was mostly Nicola's work anyway, Egwene was just gladly reaping the fruits), while using her own "child" status/position to destroy the White Tower further, not understanding the difference between getting rid of a bad leader, and undermining the Tower leadership and institutions beyond repair. Then Egwene understood, and switched to efforts to convince the Ajah to work together, beyond rebellion and loyalists.

But IMO, Brandon lost Egwene's balance between traditional/conservative and her ideals/WO/Egwene influence, as shown in that cringe-inducing line about Bryne. She's turned into traditionalist à la Lelaine or Romanda, in some way. That's too much.

I was more or less right in my assessment that Egwene couldn't possibly reconcile herself with the Seanchan. The furthest RJ planned to bring her was to trust and accept Egeanin, and to overcome her visceral hatred of the Seanchan to the point she reluctantly agreed to work alonside them. It's the same for Fortuona. Both women in the end were able to make abstraction of their worldview to face the Shadow. But it stops there. They remained as fervently enemies and prejudiced and hateful of one another as ever. Egwene died not reconciled with the Seanchan.

But I'm globally disappointed with Brandon's execution of the story line. His build up to "undo" Mat and make him spiral back to his TDR days and worse was very badly executed. I see much better his challenge now. He knew he had to "destroy" end of KOD Mat and bring him back to TSR Aes Sedai hating/completely paranoid about Rand Mat. I suspect RJ didn't leave much notes behind about this. He wouldn't have needed them. It wasn't anymore about events so much, and all about Mat's thought process. RJ had apparently decided Mat's wedding shook him, made him feel constrained and eagerly desperate to "remain himself". Then there was Verin's manipulations, and dealing with the now very-Aes Sedai-ish Elayne, and being leader again, and saddled with responsabilities. Verin constrained his freedom again, he was bound to stay in Caemlyn, as restricted as he felt in the Stone of Tear days. Then there would be the fact he developed more and more misgivings about going to Ghenjei.. he had promised, but the more he thought of it, the more it sounded like a terrible idea. Missing would be growing worries about Rand's insanity, paranoia that Rand's destruction of everyone he loved was about to come. It's probably the aspect Brandon most deeply mishandled, though with AS he did little better. And all that piled up on Mat's shoulders and after the trauma of Ghenjei, seing Moiraine again, and her talk of going to Rand immediately, of responsabilities etc., Mat broke and fled like a child to go hide under Tuon's skirts.

I could very well see RJ pulling that off. Brandon failed. His attempt at changing Mat because of his wedding was badly approached. He misused Talmanes and Setalle badly. Those two were no doubt meant to place additional pressure on Mat, hold him down, remind him too much he had grown up and they expected more maturity from him at this point. Brandon overdid "early Mat" badly, to begin with. He made him more a fool than he ever was, undermine his intelligence way too much. Teslyn had made changed his views of Aes Sedai positively, and the Seanchan/Tuon had made him highly critical, even fearful of Tuon. Things needed to happen to make Mat convincingly decide to flee to find shelter with the Seanchan.

I can see two-three things, somewhat foreshadowed by RJ, which would have all made it work. First, Brandon shouldn't have shown us Verin. The scene was farcical, and that undermined the whole point. This would have worked much better if we had just Mat's interpretation of the encounter, and resentful and suspicious of her manipulations, angry and annoyed his freedom was again constrained by an Aes Sedai, more and more regretful he accepted her bargain. Then Elayne/Aludra had to be used better, the whole deal constraining Mat to paperwork and planning and day-in, day-out work. Mat had to see Elayne saddled by her crown, tired, limited in her freedom. Which Elayne do resents, to an extent.

Then the foreshadowed stuff: Brandon missed a really good opportunity with Joline. He would have went a long way to resurrect Mat's views of Aes Sedai if he had Joline and her warders steal his medallion and attempt to bound him as warder, stopped by Teslyn and the Seanchan novices. Having the Joline arc end in total farce, going no more than her acting arrogant, childish and spoiled totally defeated Brandon's purpose. Having Mat suddenly balance between his less negative views of Aes Sedai, and what Joline did that threw him back dangerously close to his TSR days would have gone a long way. Brandon should have considered stuff like this whether RJ planned this or not, when he realized his approach for Mat wasn't working at all with the readers and convincing them his wedding has shaken him wouldn'ty quite be enough to convingly bring him to the "Garden".

Something else Brandon could have exploited is Moiraine's promise to reveal the facts about Owyn to Thom. I suspect that might have been RJ's planned "breaking point", hearing that horrible story of AS corruption and manipulation, and again about the dangers of male channelers added up to everything else that happened since leaving Tuon, and Mat just abandoned the Band, abandoned the LB, abandoned little Olver and his promises to Setalle, and he just fled like a child to Tuon... while Thom decided to put all of this and all thoughts of revenge behind him even before learning Elaida had already been "punished" and accept to be Moiraine's warder, as a stunned Mat decided that wouldn't happen to him, that Moiraine might have saddled old Thom, but that Aes Sedai wouldn't have him. Never again. Ironically, Mat would have fled to find himself with Elaida. and Liandrin. I suspect RJ mean to exploit these two facts somehow, the two iconic corrupted Reds of the series, one a DF the other as good as near Mat at that point of the story.. And Sevanna and her corrupted Shaido WO.. all to make Mat wonder a bit if Tuon didn't have it right after all. RJ had assembled a collection of the channelers Mat had the most reasons to despise.. to which the end of the series adds Moghedien, even. That wasn't used. A scene where Mat knows what Moiraine revealed, and it rekindled his fears and hatred of AS, and he sees Elaida under control would have been most fitting. Another missed opportunity.

A scene with Mat frigthened to see Caemlyn destroyed would also have helped, and made his flight even more despicable. The whole discouraging, intensely annoying aspect of Mat's flight was seriously underplayed. RJ probably intended to make us gasp in disbelief and anger when Mat made his choice to flee. RJ wasn't afraid of stuff like that - he drove the Egwene-haters and the Cadsuane-haters etc. on a leash, and doing it to Mat would have been a shock, but one he would have been able to recover him from in the readers's eyes after, by his expert writing of his POVs. I wouldn't have liked that a lot, RJ bringing us to a point where all of a sudden it's Tarmon Gai'don, and the usually hilarious Mat shenanigans about AS and Rand were no longer funny at all. Suddenly Mat was no longer the character we could be indulgent to, RJ had pulled the rug beneath our feet, and he was the annoying child Nynaeve or Egwene often saw him as. A POV of Olver thrown in would have driven the point home (his TOM epilogue POV where he throws himself into the battle came too early. A Merrilor one, where he reflects Redarms had caught him and brought him back to camp, but that he didn't understand why adults think Tarmon Gai'don didn't concern him, that he had seen war and intended to fight to would have been most welcome.. and drive the point home about Mat again).

The garden scene was also mishandled... it should have been about Rand and remembering their friendship mostly, but it should also been much more than it was about Egwene "caught" as puppet of the WT who might need her help again - and who had help him before and never tried to force him to do what he didn't want, about Elayne who treated him with respect most often, and who he could trust - and Birgitte his friend as how he saw both of them saddled with responsabilities including ones they'd prefer not to have and fearful of Tarmon Gai'don but hard at work to prepare and so determined to play their roles as duty demanded, about Mat's growing guilt of having abandoned the Band to Talmanes when the Band counted so much on him and had been so loyal to him - free, but not shirking responsabilities to the Light, about Nyaneve, about Teslyn, about Moiraine who wasn't so bad and had been very kind and grateful of his help.. and who rose no objection to his departure, about how he really felt about abandoning his friends to danger... and shame, HUGE shame at his flight. An epiphany, where Mat finally became an adult, found his balance between his love of good times and responsabilities... that for adults there's a time for fun and a time for work, that he can't keep having fun by acting like a child. Brandon really mishandled all that. It's because we know the character so well we can infer or deduce most of that, imagine it and make it work. The arc as it stands in TGS/TOM/AMOL doesn't work, it's most unconvincing. Perrin was the best, Egwene and Rand good enough and sometime more, but Mat-Tuon is a huge failure.

Anyway... I'm in the part of TSR right now that most heavily foreshadows the end of Mat's pre-TG arc. At that point he can barely bring himself to trust Egwene anymore (and he breaks his word to her...), fears and resents Moiraine massively, and fear Rand more than anything on earth. It's there he had to bring Mat back. RJ left him the tools to make it happen, but Brandon didn't pull it off. IMO.

Dom
01-05-2013, 04:39 PM
I thought Nynaeve was a good guess because I was thinking of it in terms of the role the Truthspeaker plays in the mundane sense. I didn't consider Min too far because I assumed she wouldn't have a day job due to her shorter lifespan compared to Elayne and Aviendha.

As horses symbolized fate/destiny/being woven by the Wheel in WOT, Min's returned to her old job of stable girl.

I didn't really have Min theories beyond my Fel ones.

I didn't expect Fel to turn out that much into a red herring, I expected there was a bit more to "you have to clear the rubbles first", probably because like most readers I didn't think this was even a matter for debate.. the seals would all break, and something else would replace them, and that's that.

I was surprised when Egwene seemed to believe the solution might go over the present sealing. That seemed to come completely out of nowhere after we had assumed so much it was a non issue!

For the rest, I knew it was a red herring. It turned out the important point was only the books, convincing Min to read the book, and become well-versed enough in those matters she could find information as Rand needed. It was a bit underplayed, but not too badly.

And of course I'm more convinced then ever Sammael mistook Fel's rooms at the Academy for Asmodean in his lair, and sent a gholam to kill him.

I like that this point wasn't solved in AMOL, much like I expected it wouldn't. Mind you, I don't universally like the lack of resolution to some mysteries. Too many answers didn't come to my taste. I'd have taken a few more answers, though how ackward the Masuri stuff was was also a lesson to be wary of what I wished for!


It went like this:

I remembered it being green for some odd reason; I don't usually remember details like that.

Me neither, most often. It really need to stand out, like Egwene draping herself in a shawl-like red scarf in the scene where she "breaks up" with Rand. And finding it too hot, and wishing for the exchange to end so she can remove it.

RJ used color symbolism massively. Green is his color for Life/Creation. It's the symbol of what the Battle Ajah stand to protect. "The Green" was his main symbol for the world and its fragility (it's very nicely evoked early in TEOTW). The Field of Merrilor, between its Two Rivers, was its last incarnation. I had seen that coming, map making had made me sensitive to spotting stuff like that, but I had picked the wrong locations for the final battle, but had the right reasoning. I had two options: either the plains of Arafel - the most likely in my mind, or Caralain's Grass, the near deserted heartland. Perhaps I should have foreseen it would be a location between Two Rivers, but didn't spot it. I just puzzled out the precise location of Merrilor the minute it was announced by Rand because it was the best variant of the TR map in the general area.



I think it stuck out because it was the first time we saw Min in a dress, and she seemed to enjoy wearing it. (I just now finally looked it up; I'm still kind of amazed I remembered the dress was green, lol.)

It's a nice find. I'll really have a lot of fun with this sort of things in my next re reads. Already I see stuff every two paragraphs in early TSR. It makes me deeply fond of RJ when I find some (and thankful Brandon spotted that aspect and used it very well).

My latest find as I read this morning is a line from Decisions that the ending makes hilarious. The whole "Alice in Wonderland" bubble of evil was important, and the symbolism of the "games" representing battles for Mat was obvious to many, but now it's all really funny. The rulers turning against Mat is funny, but not as much as his remark in Decisions that he was furious to find out he was right and since that episode the lords seemed to flee whenever he spoke of playing cards with them. I love RJ. Chances are we still have a few years finding new RJ jokes hidden in the text - stuff that didn't necessarily made us laugh or smile before. The grave's no bar to RJ's career as humorist, thanks to Brandon's handling of these things. It's easier to forgive him what he mishandled considering all that he saved.

Terez
01-05-2013, 07:37 PM
...I'll really have a lot of fun with this sort of things in my next re reads. Already I see stuff every two paragraphs in early TSR. It makes me deeply fond of RJ when I find some (and thankful Brandon spotted that aspect and used it very well)...
Honestly, I tend to think this was Alan's main contribution to Team Jordan.

Terez
01-05-2013, 09:18 PM
Yes, it's so beneath Egwene to think that way.
That's true, and it bothered me for that reason the first time I read it. The second time was for the three characters involved. :p

I was more or less right in my assessment that Egwene couldn't possibly reconcile herself with the Seanchan. The furthest RJ planned to bring her was to trust and accept Egeanin, and to overcome her visceral hatred of the Seanchan to the point she reluctantly agreed to work alonside them. It's the same for Fortuona. Both women in the end were able to make abstraction of their worldview to face the Shadow. But it stops there. They remained as fervently enemies and prejudiced and hateful of one another as ever. Egwene died not reconciled with the Seanchan.
Yeah, I always liked to believe that the slavery issue would be resolved in the end, even though most people argued it couldn't happen that quickly. I certainly didn't expect Mat to end up with his own damane.

I could very well see RJ pulling that off.
Yeah, I know what you mean about RJ being able to pull it off. He made this believable:

Moiraine glanced at the medallion dismissively. The small blue stone hanging on the forehead seemed to catch the light and glow, though the angles were wrong. "You are very brave, it seems, Mat." It was flatly said, and the silence that followed stiffened his face. "Very brave," she said finally, "to lead Shen an Calhar across the Alguenya and south against the Andorans. Even braver than that, for there are rumors that you went alone to scout the way, and Talmanes and Nalesean had to ride hard to catch up to you." Egwene sniffed loudly in the background. "Hardly wise for a young lord leading his men."

Mat's lip curled. "I'm no lord; I've more respect for myself than that."
I don't think I ever realized before my last reread that Mat was just trying to get the hell out of dodge.

Anyway... I'm in the part of TSR right now that most heavily foreshadows the end of Mat's pre-TG arc. At that point he can barely bring himself to trust Egwene anymore (and he breaks his word to her...)
He didn't really break his word to her; he seemed to honestly think his life depended on it.

Not unless my life depended on it. That's what I promised. Well, burn me if it doesn't!
He wanted to go home and help Perrin, but his ta'veren sense was telling him to stay, and what he really wanted to do was neither. He thought the incident with the cards was Rand's fault, and had a good inkling that going home would have been dangerous, too.

Dom
01-06-2013, 02:07 AM
That's true, and it bothered me for that reason the first time I read it. The second time was for the three characters involved. :p

I don't remember.

What am I doing re reading TSR already?


Yeah, I always liked to believe that the slavery issue would be resolved in the end, even though most people argued it couldn't happen that quickly. I certainly didn't expect Mat to end up with his own damane.

I thought he would, but not this way. I thought Tuon would have given him a whole household. Damane, sul'dam, Voice, Hand.. the whole she-bang.
My pet theory was that Tuon made sure to give him captured Aes Sedai since he loved those so much - and threatened to execute him if any escape.

I was disappointed by the fact Mylen vanished. I can't believe RJ would have done that. She should have been there. She completed the Graendal mirror for Tuon, Her presence at her side, adoring and protective, would have been Egwene's worst nightmare come true. In the light of how it turned out, I guess it may have been what RJ planned. Mylen should then have died in what I assume was Moghedien's second attempt on Tuon's life.


Yeah, I know what you mean about RJ being able to pull it off. He made this believable:

LOL! I adore that scene. It's another nice variant of the ending.

I don't think I ever realized before my last reread that Mat was just trying to get the hell out of dodge.

I find new Mat jokes at every reread. Some of those are forgotten, others are really "new" to me.

Some of them become apparent only when you literally dissect the scenes and compare them line for line.

That's one way to spot the inflation effect.

It's not in the last reread but still fairly recent I've finally noticed each time Mat mentioned his missing memories, he made the problem appear worse. It's so... controlled. RJ was very careful not to overdo it. When you isolate the line, and the "side-event" where Mat remembers acutely details about something, and you line them up, the pattern is very apparent. Brandon's contribution was Abell proudly praising Mat's memory.

I'm on my way to collecting them all. I'll send them to you all lined up, you'll laugh. All together, it's hilarious, all the more in the early series, when nothing really justifies the inflation except Mat realizing the more he sees of the world, the more his own life had been boring.

RJ got away with TONS of things with Mat like that. Those are some of his most devious POVs. Mat could convince us, and himself, of nearly anything.


He didn't really break his word to her; he seemed to honestly think his life depended on it.

He convinced himself you mean!

That's another of RJ's Mat "inside jokes".

That one I call the "Three Oaths" running gag.

Mat fears like the plague Aes Sedai will play with his mind, force him to do things he doesn't want, he's convinced they're the worst kind of liars.

He fears the weapons AS can make with the OP.

He fears Rand will kill him if he stays close.

But then, who perfects the design of weapons? Who ends up ushering on the world Aludra's weapons, the next best thing to the OP in warfare?

Whose orders killed the most characters.. close enough to half the Light of the world to save the world?

Oaths #2 and #3 played out mostly in and leading to the LB, but the series is rife with Mat & first oath inside jokes. That one, like the memories, follows the "Aes Sedai can tell lies if they believe them to be true" motif, but all the others patterns show up too. This one is also a joke on how AS can't break a straight out promise. Mat can't either... unless like an Aes Sedai he convinces himself he's not breaking a promise.



Mat also constantly "self-compels" himself.

It's sort of a joke on sayings like "so clever he's in danger of outwitting himself". Mat's best pranks he played on himself.

In that case, Mat outwitted Egwene, AS style. She heard he promised her to ask Moiraine first. He rather promised her he would not attempt it unless his life depended on it.

He did make a first attempt, and couldn't bring himself to try. First oath joke. Then he went and convinced himself his life depended on it.

Mat could out Aes Sedai any Aes Sedai with the first Oath. Verin, Moiraine... he's a match for the best of them.

He wanted to go home and help Perrin, but his ta'veren sense was telling him to stay, and what he really wanted to do was neither. He thought the incident with the cards was Rand's fault, and had a good inkling that going home would have been dangerous, too.

Yeah... he was convinced the idle, lazy life of gambling and wenching of the young lords suited him just fine. Of course, he "hates nobles" and he's nothing like them. He didn't like it so much once he realized it was not all carousing and gambling and there was soldiering involved too.

His interaction with Egwene in early TSR is interesting. There's a lot of "pattern" style foreshadowing of his last arc and hers in there. The motif of her offering to help him get out of his problems is taken from that scene. It's a really nice full circle... little did Mat know listening to Egwene that day would land in leading the Last Battle. Little did Egwene know she set in motion saying that the string of events that would lead her to be forced to ally with the Seanchan Empress!

Terez
01-06-2013, 02:37 AM
I don't remember.

What am I doing re reading TSR already?lol. Just that all three characters died, so Bryne being tied to the Tower didn't mean much for either the Tower or Egwene in the end.

I find new Mat jokes at every reread. Some of those are forgotten, others are really "new" to me.

Some of them become apparent only when you literally dissect the scenes and compare them line for line.
I've often noticed this with Mat in particular, though it's not limited to Mat. This one (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=191333) is a funny one I noticed in my reread, though I'm sure I've noticed that one before. I had just forgotten it. There's another one here:

"I don’t bloody care about your bargains with anybody else, you daughter of the sands," Mat snapped. So his irritation was not that well under control. A man could only take so much.
Gasps rose among the women behind her. Something over a thousand years ago a Sea Folk woman had called an Essenian soldier a son of the sands just before trying to plant a blade in his ribs; the memory lay tucked inside Mat Cauthon’s head, now. It was not the worst insult among the Atha’an Miere, but it came close. Renaile’s face gorged with blood; hissing, eyes bulging in fury, she leaped to her feet, that moonstone-studded dagger flashing in her fist.

Mat snatched it out of her hand before the blade could reach his chest and shoved her back into her chair. He did have quick hands. He could still hold on to his temper, too. No matter how many women thought they could dance him for a puppet, he could -"You listen to me, you bilge stone." All right; maybe he could not hold it.
But usually they are a little further removed.

There were a lot of paired clues like that throughout ACOS in particular; it's like he was in the mood for them. The two Moiraine clues in Min's POV are another example, and here's another one (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=191336) I noticed on my reread. That one is so subtle, I had to read it twice just now to remember what the significance of the two quotes was.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 05:40 AM
15. Cadsuane. I would have like to see more of her during the Last Battle. A good fight scene or two during the battle. Opportunity lost with all those wonderful toys. I did not expect her to survive. Neither did she. Amyrlin? I laughed.



Yep, I laughed as well for a couple of minutes. Typical RJ humour :) Thank you for that !

Terez
01-06-2013, 05:43 AM
Apparently Brandon wrote that scene. ;) I also liked it, and thought it was some of his best writing; I assumed it was a modified RJ scene. The "Curious..." thing was obviously Brandon, but Luckers said what clued him in was Brandon's suggestion that Cadsuane would be a hypocrite if she didn't accept the job. I don't see why it was un-RJ-like, but apparently Luckers was right.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 05:48 AM
Apparently Brandon wrote that scene. ;) I also liked it, and thought it was some of his best writing; I assumed it was a modified RJ scene. The "Curious..." thing was obviously Brandon, but Luckers said what clued him in was Brandon's suggestion that Cadsuane would be a hypocrite if she didn't accept the job. I don't see why it was un-RJ-like, but apparently Luckers was right.

Jordan decided Cadsuane's fate. (at least that's what I believe) So that was what I was referring too. Her fate is what made me laugh.
It doesn't matter who wrote that scene. (and i also think it's a modified scene of what RJ dictated)

Terez
01-06-2013, 05:50 AM
There's nothing to indicate she'll actually be Amyrlin, nor is there anything to indicate that RJ noted her fate was to be Amyrlin. The scene wasn't modified; it was made up by Brandon. Other scenes in the epilogue were modified; in fact, the 'last scene' was modified to add this scene.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 05:54 AM
Well, we simply have to ask. If Brandon made it up, than he did very well. I would have sworn her fate would be something RJ would have thought off.

However, if Brandon made it up, than that would mean that there were even less notes about the ending and the fate of the characters than we thought.

Terez
01-06-2013, 05:57 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if RJ noted her fate—for all we know it could be something like 'Cadsuane goes back to her rose gardens' or whatever—but again, the scene doesn't actually indicate that she will be Amyrlin. They're not summoning her, and she's escaped the summons enough times before that I see no reason to assume she'll actually be Amyrlin. I think it's just supposed to be funny.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 06:03 AM
Ofcourse that scene should indicate her fate. it's her last scene in the book.
The scene only worked, because it indicated an ironic fate for Cadsuane.
I don't believe Brandon would put it in, if RJ's notes say that Cadsuane goes back to her rose garden and dies.

Terez
01-06-2013, 06:08 AM
I don't see why not. He didn't put in any believable reason why this time should be different from all the other times she's escaped.

Isabel
01-06-2013, 06:10 AM
Than we disagree on this point as usual.

Dom
01-06-2013, 10:57 AM
she's escaped the summons enough times before that I see no reason to assume she'll actually be Amyrlin. I think it's just supposed to be funny.

I agree it's largely there to be funny, though it's also typical of RJ's other resolutions... Sevanna as da'covale, Galina captive of a master as bad as the Shadow, Graendal compelling herself ot idiocy, Elaida as Suffa, Moghedien joining Liandrin etc.

IRRC, she actually fled at the first whiff the Hall of the Tower was about to summons her to become Amyrlin. Unless I'm mistaken, it would have made her the Amyrlin during Rand's birth, so there's some ironic allusion to the Moiraine-Cadsuane "race" for Rand.

Her flight is one of those parallels between Cadsuane and Mat RJ introduced. Another is her encounter with the Wilder, who "re educated" her and gifted her with her ter'angreal, a counterpart to his visits to the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. Her immunity to channeling is another. There's another funny mirror with the fact everyone keeps telling her "I thought you were dead!", and finally she's had more warders than shoes but doesn't take them as lovers, a mirror to Mat's many "conquests". At the Cleansing, she played Mat's role. Her final parallel to Mat is her final line: "Blood and bloody ashes". And with the ending, she ends as well caught as Mat.

From what happened to Egwene, once the summons actually reached her, Cadsuane is caught this time. It's an humorous parallel to his Garden scene with Rand.

It's further suggested it will come for real by all her comments on current day Aes Sedai through the series echoing Nynaeve's and Egwene's, by her antagonism with Logain, by her past efforts to help men who were to be gentled to survive it, and by the viewing about her lesson "to all the Asha'man that they wouldn't like". Rand passed on to them what he realized from his epiphany, and it counts for some of that, but "you're not weapons but men" isn't something the Asha'man didn't like. It sounds more like a seed than her "lesson". Another suggestive element is the scene in which Cadsuane advised Rand about the Seanchan alliance she was sure wouldn't sit well with the world's leaders. At that point, he concluded "after I'm dead, they'll do what they want". Now Cadsuane is left handling that... and she's got one ally on the other side she's grown to respect: Min.

So all in all, it's heavily foreshadowed Cadsuane becomes Rand's heir and Egwene's heir. It hilariously completes first her real world inspiration. She was a stern aunt trying to keep children to their chores and none too patient with their immaturity. She went to her business, then returned to the room to find out they did what she asked, but then fled and left a mess. She stuck with cleaning it up. She always meant to ensure Rand's victory wouldn't be as bad as a defeat. She succeeded. She's a figure of order, it's now up to her to finish put back in order the "broken world". This also completes her legendary/traditional parallel. She comes from Lord of Chaos/Saturnalia/Carnival/Reynard the Fox/Upside Down World traditions. She's "Old Maid Winter", the opponent of Carnival/the Lord of Chaos. The Old Maid tries to beat up Carnival, but in the end she has to let him have his way and turn the village upside down, raise the low and cast down the high. But once he's had his day, she makes sure he leaves town... and she brings everything back to normal. She's the opponent of Reynard the Fox (a Bishop), who brings things back to order after his pranks. Etc. One reasons why the Catholic Church forbade Carnival to its religious institutions was the tradition for Sisters and Monks to raise a young novice as Abbot/Abbess of Unreason for the day, and mayhem ensued That's where Egwene's story line, her raising happening during Lord of Chaos, comes from. Of course the real stern abbess returned the next day... that's Cadsuane.

All those traditions are similar. A figure of authority tries to hold things to order but fails/has to give up. Carnival/the King of Fools/The Fox/the Lord of Chaos must have his day. Then the "Old Maid" brings things back to order.

But the way RJ intended it, it's all seeds. He seemed, and/or Brandon seems, to have wanted to leave most post TG events completely open to speculation. There are clues that make one outcome more likely, but those who disagree are perfectly welcome to imagine another outcome. Cadsuane wriggle out of it again, or she became Amyrlin. It's up to each of us to pick our favorite outcome.

It's both fun and a bit cruel. I can't help but wonder how much RJ was influenced by the whole explosion of a WOT-theorists fandom to end things this way. It's like we inherit his world now - he left it in our hands, with barely any constraints. It's the end of the RAFO.

Mind you, with the Seanchan trilogy coming, he must have had more definitive plans for how things had evolved in the 5 to 10 years after TG. For some reason, I suspect he would have been skimpy on Westlands details.

I wonder what Harriet will do with the notes concerning the "fourth Age". Part of me wants to get all the hints we could because right now my enthusiasm to speculate on the WOT world's future is dampened a bit by the near lack of serious factual information to base it on, part of me doesn't hate it we're left to speculate and more accurately, decide for ourselves.... you want Moiraine as Queen of Cairhien.. by all means make her. You want her as Cadsuane's Keeper? You want her back on the road, or to inherit Cadsuane's rose gardens? Go ahead, it ours now.

Terez
01-06-2013, 11:09 AM
I do like the idea of Cadsuane as Amyrlin; I just don't take it as a given in that scene, nor do I think it's a given this was her planned fate. It might be; it might not be. If it wasn't, Brandon is free to suggest it in the non-definitive way that he did. And you're right; the whole point is to leave it open, though I have a feeling Brandon will go further on the tour in making certain things definitive. We will see. I'm not really dissatisfied with the lack of resolution in the end except for a few details that I attribute to lazy plotting. (An irony, but there it is.)

Dom
01-06-2013, 01:32 PM
I do like the idea of Cadsuane as Amyrlin; I just don't take it as a given in that scene, nor do I think it's a given this was her planned fate.

It's not, but she's been associated to the reunion of male/female channelers through her whole arc.

And I had Cadsuane pinned down as "Old Maid Winter" who had to clean up the mess after Rand for a long time. I never associated that with her becoming Amyrlin, though. I was always blinded by the fact I saw her strictly as mentor. I was far more occupied with finding her "heirs", like Nynaeve.

But the youngest Amyrlin ever replaced as order returns by the oldest Amyrlin in eons... that rings of RJ.

There's also the fact Brandon seemed bound about certain things like the ultimate fates of everybody. He killed people Harriet resurrected, and saved people Harriet then had him kill (who exactly, I wonder? Idle curiosity...). She didn't allow him to imply Perrin adopted the Way of the Leaf post TG either. A small thing considering how open ended it is, but suggestive that Harriet held the reins about the final scenes.

In the light of all this, I doubt Harriet would have allowed Brandon to put this last Cadsuane scene if this didn't come from the notes.

Making her "Egwene's/Rand's heir" isn't exactly the sort of ending he would have given her, I suspect, given the choice. He joked once if he had his way she'd have met a gruesome death!

though I have a feeling Brandon will go further on the tour in making certain things definitive.

I tend to agree.

I think Brandon will be very talkative about some matters, but about others we'll hear a lot the Encyclopedia excuse.

At this point, it's mostly Alan/Maria I'd like to see doing a few Q&A, though it's always complicated. Brandon too, but about other matters. I don't see the point now it's over of asking him questions he'd MAFO. Hopefully people will use judgment at Q&A and won't drown him in questions he obviously can't answer without looking in the notes again.

But well... The fandom's vast, and everyone's "burning question" is the next fan's "stupid wasted question", making it a bit frustrating no matter what.

IMO the best questions for Brandon concerns what happens in TGS/TOM/AMOL that puzzled us.

Luckers
01-06-2013, 04:14 PM
Apparently Brandon wrote that scene. ;) I also liked it, and thought it was some of his best writing; I assumed it was a modified RJ scene. The "Curious..." thing was obviously Brandon, but Luckers said what clued him in was Brandon's suggestion that Cadsuane would be a hypocrite if she didn't accept the job. I don't see why it was un-RJ-like, but apparently Luckers was right.

Actually it was not the suggestion of hypocrisy that clued me in, it was the way Cadsuane allowed that to put her in a corner. As she states in CoT, whilst some may think Turnabout is fair play, Cadsuane herself had never believed in fighting fair.

If Jordan had written it, Cadsuane would had allowed no amount of inference stand against her if she truly decided not to be Amyrlin, and if she accepted their position as legitimate however much she didn't want to be Amyrlin she wouldn't have displayed resistance. As she went on to say in that same scene: "Either you fought, or you did not, and it was never a game. Fairness was for people standing safely to one side, talking while others bled."

Jordan decided Cadsuane's fate. (at least that's what I believe) So that was what I was referring too. Her fate is what made me laugh.
It doesn't matter who wrote that scene. (and i also think it's a modified scene of what RJ dictated)

No, the scene was created to explain Cadsuane's presense and look during the Rand PoV (which RJ did write).

As for whether it was noted... perhaps. RJ did always have a penchant for the ironic fates, though usually, notably, when it was truly in the best interest for the character and the world--which in this case I'm not sure is the case. Cadsuane the prototypical scout. Wide-ranging, highly self-reliant, doesn't play well with others... a skill set that does not translate necessarily all that well to leading, especially from within a polotical structure like the Hall of the Tower.

Indeed, its something Moiraine notes during her first meeting with Cadsuane--the woman was born to command, not to lead, and commanding doesn't equate ruling as much as some might think. I in fact used to use the fact that Moiraine had this insight to argue against her becoming Queen of Cairhein because it led to the same point about her as it does about Cadsuane--both women, though highly capable, are field agents, not desk jockies. And the games needed to remain in power are not ones they have the patience to play--Cadsuane less so than Moiraine["and it was never a game"]--and THAT can be disasterous, as Sereille nearly found out before Cadsuane's intervention. Disasterous, or monstrous, as Moiraine's grandmother shows.

Linda
01-06-2013, 05:07 PM
I agree, Isabel.

Dom
01-06-2013, 05:08 PM
As for whether it was noted... perhaps. RJ did always have a penchant for the ironic fates, though usually, notably, when it was truly in the best interest for the character and the world--which in this case I'm not sure is the case.


Perhaps. It's hard to tell. Brandon altered Cadsuane so much, I don't expect to make as much sense anymore. We probably got a series of events planned by RJ, but Brandon's interpretation of the character twisted her arc.

We're left to speculate how Cadsuane would have been changed by her near failure and her dealings with post-epiphany Rand.

Brandon gave enough hints he was fairly constrained by RJ for Cadsuane. I seriously doubt Harriet let him hint she became the next Amyrlin unless that was on RJ's list of matters to resolve.

I agree the scene was likely written/re written by Brandon to lead to RJ's Rand scene.

I kind of agree with your views that pre-TGS Cadsuane had the commander rather than the good leader profile. So did Egwene. Cadsuane most definitely wasn't the sort of leader the WT needed in the last 30 years - had a woman like that been in place, removing her would have caused chaos similar to the removal of the Seanchan leadership. But now, when they have to navigate between SF, Aiel, Seanchan and Asha'man, I'm not so sure they couldn't use a dose of Cadsuane. She's an ally of the top WO, she's made inways with the next Mistress of Ships, she's got her inner circle heavily involved with the Asha'man. She's got an ally in Min. Shara hasn't emptied either.

She may well be the woman to deal with the situation that might require a more commanding than leading profile.

And of course we didn't get RJ's real AMOL Cadsuane. So much in the way Brandon wrote her doesn't make sense, it's hard to tell what RJ himself had in mind to "re forge" her through what happened in the last book, what was her real character development. It seems obvious she's forgotten one lesson of Toothie, or something in this vein, which her near failure with Rand would have reminded her of.

We'll pester Brandon to try to get him to confirm RJ and not Brandon or Harriet is the one who chose to make Cadsuane as the next Amyrlin. That will put us on more solid ground to discuss the whole issue.

One more reason that makes me doubt it's a decision by Brandon is that it all rests on a detail of Cadsuane's back story that for some reason I doubt he paid much attention to :p

Terez
01-06-2013, 08:13 PM
If it was any character but Cadsuane, I might agree, but he chose RJ's notes on Cadsuane for his last 'great hunt' so I don't see any reason to assume he didn't read it.

Dom
01-06-2013, 10:11 PM
If it was any character but Cadsuane, I might agree, but he chose RJ's notes on Cadsuane for his last 'great hunt' so I don't see any reason to assume he didn't read it.

Oh I'm sure he did read the Cadsuane notes, I just meant I doubt he would have went out of his way to create an ending for her that's not in the notes, based on a detail on her back story.

But most of all, based on the two examples of her vetoing his ending ideas, I doubt Harriet would have let him include something like this. It would imply Brandon either change the WT resolution, or decided to include something RJ wanted to leave unresolved. Either way, if it serves only to justify the mention of Cadsuane by Rand in the next scene, I find that doubtful.

Dom
01-07-2013, 11:00 AM
Yeah, just because someone is a straightface doesn't mean they're cardboard. Talmanes appealed to Mat at the Battle of Cairhien because of his mind, not his sense of humor. Though one could say there's a certain type of humor in Talmanes' demand for Mat to lead half. I don't have any opinion on whether he should have died.

Yeah, Talmanes is not humorless, no more than Moiraine. It's just not the type of humor Brandon ended up giving him.


I agree it would have been better if it were a little darker. I like Androl well enough, but I don't like the fact that he's an everyman who does everything. Too convenient to use these characters as repeated problem-solvers.

I like especially how Androl-Pevara served as Red Ajah/male channelers resolution.

Their arc had too many scenes, though.

It was essentially about Androl bonding Pevara against her will, then Pevara overcoming it as she understood it was about standing together against the Shadow, and Androl understanding the Red Ajah wasn't about hating male channelers but standing against rogue channelers. A chapter dealing with both their back stories, and beginning to come to terms.

By giving them so many scenes to go through those developments, Brandon made the events/action over which this took place too predictable, in a TV-action show kind of way.

That probably required just two very solid chapters - more static/focussed in the RJ style, then Logain's rescue. One followed up on the KOD epilogue and had Pevara notice Tarna's been turned, and possibly visits from BA she had learned of from her hunt. Distraught and running out of options, she bonds Androl who seemed opposed to Taim and some kind of leader. Androl bonds her back. It ends with them cornered, more enemies than friends. Pevara might have turned against her her only allies and last hope to get out of there alive, and the worst is she misjudged... Androl leads but he is very weak. A nice pickle.

A second chapter would place pressure on Androl has he learns Logain's there. Pevara still focuses on fleeing to warn the WT, Androl insists to stay to free Logain. Pevara ends up overcoming her rage at having been bonded, puts the common fight against the Shadow above her mistrust of Asha'man, speak of her family. Androl starts to understand the Reds aren't as he thought. Nothing is solved, though.

Then you go back to them in the middle of Logain's rescue.

Androl's talent begged to be used to escape the Black Tower (with Logain and the rest) and I don't think the use of that talent (to deflect balefire) quite met the buildup. Lanfear giving it to Perrin was a nice surprise, but that's another matter. With the way it was used, it would have been better to not give Androl that Talent in the first place. The masterwork has clever red herrings, but making them does not automatically make for a good story. Used badly, red herrings will just make readers disappointed.

I agree. The Talent was okay for me, but it was introduced too early, or rather too much emphasis on it so early was clumsy. It would have worked better for me if, for instance, it was revealed/brought back only when the matter of Logain came up. Androl and his men revealing the Talent to Pevara, but telling her he can't make his gateways anymore.. but almost can... and they decide to attempt the rescue nonetheless, it's Androl's price to agree to attempt a break out of the BT. It makes you expect the deus ex machina but doesn't dilute its effect so much, and against expectations it fails... they're caught.. then the Gods save them, almost literally in an ironic kind of way.

That said, I liked the characters and how they turned out well enough. It was kind of nice, as Red Ajah-Asha'man, anti-Elaida character, resolution. It also played well against Logain's insanity/arrogance. That was sort of unexpected, that. Logain's apologists probably won't like that so much, but it was foreshadowed in his interactions with Rand he was always a bit "borderline", and the almost-turning explains how the scale tipped in the end.


Yeah, I think we have enough evidence of that. Brandon has talked several times about how Maria told him to 'cool it' with the gateways. I think most readers came to their own conclusions about various nifty ways gateways could be used; Brandon is just as capable as the rest of us to come up with those things on his own, and we know he gets into that kind of thing anyway.

Exactly. He looked quite excited by the prospect when he talked about it at the signing. He brought mostly Mistborn into that, the constraints he had put on himself on purpose, and how pushing things within those constraints brought about the ideas for some of his favorite action scenes.

In a way I did too, considering. But her appearance at Merrilor was awkward.

Too theatrical/grandiose to my taste, but then I suspect that may be mostly to be blamed on RJ planning just that.

I think. I'm pretty sure, RJ meant that scene to be a replay of her Gleeman-like, theatrical "story of Manetheren" to the divided villagers in EOTW.


I think Brandon was scared of this scene, and the emotions that readers expected, which is why he chose to write it in Perrin's POV, where he feels most comfortable, and where the emotions weren't as profound.

Quite possibly. The scene would have worked better, I think, if Brandon had gotten Perrin and Nynaeve involved a bit more in the Rand-Egwene argument when they both saw it was heading straight into their usual wall.. and didn't make Moiraine so theatrical. Then it would also have alluded more to that other EOTW scene where her arrival interrupts the argument between Egwene and Rand. This time, Nynaeve would not have been away arguing with Cenn, Rand and Egwene were Council and Women's circle and she tried to be the Wisdom in between but it didn't work... then she unexpectedly gain an ally in Moiraine, and went along.

But then, RJ really went over the top with Moiraine being a drama queen of proportions rivaling Ba'alzamon in EOTW (some really love that Manetheren scene, but I never cared much for Moiraine's love of theatrics) and may well have outlined it all to be pretty much as Brandon wrote it. At least this time around, she didn't make a spinning wheel of fire to go with it!! Still, I could almost imagine Thom punching her discourse with his harp or magic tricks....

But I'll need to reread all this before I sort out my feelings about those scenes. It made me more emotional than I expected, not being such a fan of "early Moiraine". I knew Moiraine was about to enter then, knew it would be a replay of Manetheren, but was surprised it all turned around the prophecies, though it was foreshadowed. Moiraine was always very strongly about unflinching faith.


Though Perrin did have some nice moments with Moiraine in TDR especially. He was the first ta'veren to catch a glimpse of naked Moiraine. ;) Rand and Mat got their first chance at Chaendar, and Mat again at Ghenjei.

:D

The one with Sorilea was more believable. Part of me still wants to believe she was a Darkfriend,

That's for sure - had Sorilea been a DF they certainly could have clashed.

I was just never a fan of Sorilea as a Darkfriend. I saw the clues and all, but my mid-series's vision of her as an Aiel version of Cadsuane, caring very much about people behind the frightening image she projected, mentally blocked me. Scenes with Egwene, with her apprentice, with Cadsuane.. they all blocked me.

Bair was more... vague, and close enough to Sorilea she could have been the villain hiding behind her explaining the clues (in a Careane rather than Sareitha rabbit out of the hat kind of way), but in the end I preferred there was no DF among the top WO. I always more or less trusted that the two testings weeded those out.

Speaking of rabbits out the hat: Talaan. I was sort of annoyed she returned but without us knowing for sure what happened. My best guess is that the Silver Swan women truly were a group linked to Cadsuane, women her agents (she would have sent them all around before reaching Cairhien, thus they were other trusted women like those of her inner circle but who we don't know by name) woul have convinced to stand aside in the Tower conflict to rather stand ready in case Cadsuane, or the LB, needed them. And it's probably that group who hid Talaan and Merrilile, and who resurfaced as "dragonsworn" in TG. I would have much preferred to see that "Silver Swan" army explicitely join Cadsuane at SG, turned into her own little Battle Ajah.

Moiraine could still be Queen of Cairhien, the way it was written, without any real political resolution. People can argue against it all day long if they like, and I just don't care any more. :D

Yes, certainly. I fear a bit that we might get more answers than we wish in Q&A. They'd be very cool, but at the same time they may pile up and make the ending appear weak for solving none of those things.

It's a bit the same for "mysteries". Even back in the day when RJ solved them for us, it made me (and many others) wonder why he didn't work all that into the books somehow... even deviously/obscurely.

Brandon did one thing very "RJ like" concerning such a mystery. He tied Shadar Logoth with the presence of Ghenjei nearby. What I don't like so much about it, however, is that he went and revealed that Mordeth went to Sindol in a Q&A (or rather his discussion with Matt, IRRC). RJ/Brandon should have found a way to work this in the book - in Fain's TOM POV. It was fully relevant, it tied Mat's "supernatural help" and Mordeth/SL in an interesting way, and would have made his going to Ghenjei suddenly look more dire. A red herring it turns out, but one that would have enhanced things.

Another detail missing, IMO, is the confirmation the Finns were the creators of the Portal Stones. I think Brandon knows, that it's why he hesitated when asked if they were made in the AOL or before.

It's relevant, because the Bore/SG, the Waygate, Ghenjei and the Stedding it seems all seem to weaken the barriers between worlds. The issue surfaces in the ending, and we saw glimpses of the Finns at SG, but I think we're missing something, some information to make sense of all that.

I would prefer if that was worked in the book (it's not that with Lanfear who was always a specialist of such things, and Fain who had a POV this couldn't be done) wasn't kept for the Encyclopedia, where Brandon sort of implied the revelations about Sindhol/SL etc. would surface.

Luckers is far from the only one. But apparently bitching about Cadsuane is all he ever does. ;)

With good reasons. :D

I always hated it too, but Brandon's comments on the subject made me think it was true, so I started trying to find things to like about it. This was one of the most disappointing moments in the book, not because I was displeased with Roedran just being Roedran, but because of the way it was framed, both in the tour questions and in the book itself. If it's not true, then I'd rather you not have Rand think it was true, because why should he? He didn't have the same interview clues that we did; he didn't know what Demandred said about his rule being secure, or any of that. Why would he think Roedran was Demandred?

Probably for the same rationale we used... strategically it made sense for Demandred to have placed himself first between Sammael/Rahvin/Be'lal... later ending between Rand and Rhavin, and later finding himself between Semirhage and Rand.

That, Roedran staying out of things despite all the chaos, and what appears to have been and effort from Demandred, by spreading a few Shadowsapwn armies there, to fool Rand that he was about to launch a campaign in the south, when in fact Demandred was waiting to join whatever battlefield where Rand lead... which Lews Therin puzzled out.

But this was really badly handled. Rand's POV had to include his reasoning about Roedran/Demandred to work. I hated that scene, and Egwene's ridiculous tease, and Perrin's Asha'man's - completely out of character, it was all a bloody farce in the end. The fourth wall with readers shattered etc.

This rather called for something far more.. ominous. Roedran showing up, Rand's Asha'man ambushing him, and out of watching eyes Rand would have faced him and scared the hell out of him - and his POV explaining to us his reasoning, which his alluded to with just the mention he expected Demandred was in the south.... Roedran then spent the meeting shaken and cowed, signed the treaty then ran back home.

This was rather.. a farce. Brandon can be extremely funny, but he's got a very weird sense of when comic relief is welcome and when it's really not called for.

As it should have. The surprise would have been great without all the misdirection in the interviews. It's not good to troll your readers to that degree, no matter how clever you might think you are for doing it.

Indeed. Some of the misdirection was fun, or okay, but on Demandred Brandon has trolled us in a rather annoying way. He should have spent more time thinking up ways to build his arrival up better in TGS/TOM, though I realize the book split had made this risky. Still... the "dark power" Seanchan set up was all there. I know I'd fallen hook, line and sinker for that and built big theories of how it'd played out with Tuon if Brandon had built up to Demandred and prophecies in TGS/TOM. Others would have brought up the usual: he's in Shara, he's gone to the Land of Madmen. And so what if some found out? Many have been convinced he was in Shara for years, it's not like it was such a surprise, nor would it have spoiled the suprise of his sudden arrival on the Aes Sedai battlefield. Where he would decide to engage his army, and how large it would be, and that the "prophecies" hints didn't concern the Essanik Cycle but made him a kind of anti-Dragon in previously unknown Sharan prophecies was more than enough "revelation", IMO.

I like where it went, and I think RJ did really well with this through the series - and his hints in the BWB even - but I'm not satisfied with the early AMOL (ie: TGS/TOM) set up.

kcf
01-07-2013, 11:33 AM
The fourth wall with readers shattered etc.


I did a short interview with Brandon after reading the book (it'll go live later tonight 12am EST). I specifically asked him about this as for me it was the worst of the worst for AMOL (possibly excepting the term dreadbane). In short, Brandon does not consider it a breaking of the 4th wall at all and that this is how he thinks Rand would have truly handled things.

Davian93
01-07-2013, 11:38 AM
I did a short interview with Brandon after reading the book (it'll go live later tonight 12am EST). I specifically asked him about this as for me it was the worst of the worst for AMOL (possibly excepting the term dreadbane). In short, Brandon does not consider it a breaking of the 4th wall at all and that this is how he thinks Rand would have truly handled things.

That's because he's an idiot.

Dom
01-07-2013, 11:56 AM
I did a short interview with Brandon after reading the book (it'll go live later tonight 12am EST). I specifically asked him about this as for me it was the worst of the worst for AMOL (possibly excepting the term dreadbane). In short, Brandon does not consider it a breaking of the 4th wall at all and that this is how he thinks Rand would have truly handled things.

*shrugs*. I respect Brandon's opinion, but I beg to differ.

It's not so much how Rand handled it, or deduced it as the whole farcical/"wink wink" to fans thing, and the fact Brandon didn't bother to make Rand's reasoning more explicit/more serious that annoyed me no end. That and making Roedran a totally farcical character, and having the Amyrlin prank him (totally beneath Egwene's station... she acted as if she were trolling Mat in Emond's Field or something). We knew he was a decadent moron, but Brandon completely overdid it IMO. But as I've pointed out, I have a more global problem with Brandon's handling of comic relief, his timing. He often puts some in scenes where I find it out of place, and in scenes where I'd like some he doesn't. I like much of his humor well-enough (but more in his own books...), but his approach to comic relief is almost always a road bump for me, and it's not a WOT thing, it's in all his novels I've read. One of those irreconcilable reader-writer differences. So it's a given whenever he did it I wouldn't like it much.

fionwe1987
01-09-2013, 12:53 AM
About the Cadsuane thing:

Whether RJ intended her to be Amyrlin or not, there were clues in aMoL this would happen. We saw that she was in the one place in the LB where Aes Sedai, Windfinders and Wise Ones cooperated. We see her thinking how great it would be to have Aviendha (and the other Wise Ones) in the Tower, thinking how the Wise Ones were like the best sisters of the Tower... all echoing Egwene very strongly, all flowing really well with Egwene's talk of the three groups cooperating. I think if Brandon actually went to the effort of setting all this up, he did so because he knew it ended with Cadsuane as Amyrlin.

I also think we're yet to really see what Cadsuane will teach the Asha'man that they won't like. That they're not weapons they were rather happy to hear and adopt. As Amyrlin, though, I can think of several choice things she could teach them.

She will also be a good Egwene replacement in the sense that many of Egwene's biggest changes to the Tower will likely meet with her approval. The decision not to turn away weaker women, the decision to take in women of all ages, the ties with the WO and the SF, the removal of customs that allowed secret politicking, refusing to ignore the Tower's failings... Most of all, she's the only one with enough reason to rectify one thing Egwene never got to correct: the Oath Rod. We can see that the OR was needed to weed out the BA. That's why Jordan had Egwene make an about turn on this. But Cadsuane is old enough that making her Amyrlin with the Oaths intact is insane. The Sitters who asked her contain among them several women who decided not to choose old women, before. That they asked Caduane could be an indication that the Oaths may be on their way out.

jana
01-09-2013, 01:16 AM
Moiraine should have died in Fires of Heaven. Other than her first couple scenes in aMoL (which weren't great) she wasn't really a character at all. Just a tool for Rand.

Terez
01-09-2013, 05:29 AM
Moiraine should have died in Fires of Heaven. Other than her first couple scenes in aMoL (which weren't great) she wasn't really a character at all. Just a tool for Rand.
I agree. Her return was built up so much—Rand would almost surely fail without her, half the light of the world to save the world—but what she did could have been done by any woman Rand trusted, some of whom didn't have vital roles to play elsewhere. For example, either Aviendha or Cadsuane could have gone with him, and the other could have led the defense outside Shayol Ghul.

Terez
01-09-2013, 07:53 AM
Also, on the conversation we were having early about RJ's style of Mat humor...yes, Brandon didn't quite manage to pull off Mat's escape to Ebou Dar, but I did notice that he used some very RJ-like Mat humor with all the little threats that the Seanchan took seriously. It was a bit of gold in the middle of all the eye-clawing stuff.

Davian93
01-09-2013, 08:23 AM
I agree. Her return was built up so much—Rand would almost surely fail without her, half the light of the world to save the world—but what she did could have been done by any woman Rand trusted, some of whom didn't have vital roles to play elsewhere. For example, either Aviendha or Cadsuane could have gone with him, and the other could have led the defense outside Shayol Ghul.

Pretty much agree with both of you on that. Maybe had RJ been writing those scenes but it was just awkward and unneccessary.

but I did notice that he used some very RJ-like Mat humor with all the little threats that the Seanchan took seriously. It was a bit of gold in the middle of all the eye-clawing stuff.

Something about broken clocks and twice a day comes to mind.

Dom
01-09-2013, 10:48 AM
I agree. Her return was built up so much—Rand would almost surely fail without her, half the light of the world to save the world

Half the Light had multiple layers, as aside from the eye it's about what Mat had to sacrifice in the battle of Merrilor, and only someone who could think like a gambler and coldly calculate the odds as he was playing dice or cards could do it (nice parallel between Mat's flight in the face of the LB and Barid Bel Meddar who apparently coldly calculated the Light would lose and turned his coat and went to the Shadow, btw. Not exploited enough, but still there). It's the character that wasn't handled well - foreseeing it would come to sacrifices he had troubles coping with if he lead the battle should have been part of the motives that made Mat flee. As I reread I see Brandon hinted at that - he gets Talmanes think about how Mat loathes to lose men - but that was not handled well at all by Brandon from Mat's side.

As for Moiraine, it seems RJ had gambled a lot on that Merrilor scene, and he's done that sort of thing before (awesome build up leading to disappointing resolutions.. Aram, Careane etc.). It's was all foreshadowed she'd have to step between Egwene and Rand at some point, though - that it would be her great task. It's been an aspect of her character in the series since her very first scenes in EOTW. Thom's and her arrivals interrupts a flaring argument between Rand and Egwene. Then it's her who decides she's coming along despite Rand's feelings about it. She's got great scenes with the girls in TSR, including one of her best POVs centered on Egwene and Rand. Then there's the whole Waste to the Docks arc, where she guides Egwene to play her role near Rand. Another important motif for Moraine is how she always stood between the Dragon and the WT, even the Amyrlin Seat herself. Her final role is heavily foreshadowed by her first scene with Siuan Sanche. She repeated that role with Egwene, who by then had become too much Siuan's pupil, in the end. In a way the final scene was a new clash between Siuan's vision, too hesitating, too dominated by fears yet deep down knowing the Prophecies had to be fulfilled, and Moiraine's unflinching faith, greater willingness to accept that "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills". It's something Moiraine had started teaching Egwene. Siuan had pulled her to her own vision of Rand. Moiraine came back and brought balance between Rand and Egwene.

I'm not disappointed she then faded to the background. She's too much the wise mentor, especially in her post-Rhuidean, post-Ghenjei incarnations. Rand brought with him to SG the two women with the deepest faith in the Light. Moiraine is more accepting and fatalist - but not when the Shadow is concerned. Nynaeve's faith was seriously tested and shaken - she went through the darkness with Rand, but she never gave up.

I wasn't bothered by Moiraine's arc. I'm not sure RJ is wholly to blame for building up too great expectations for her return either. Aside from Min's viewing, and the matter of the letter to Thom, he didn't really played the Moiraine card so heavily. A lot of that is the result of all those years of speculation and anticipation between TFOH and AMOL. It reminds me of Asmodean, though for Moiraine building up expectations was a lot more justified/reasonable.

jana
01-09-2013, 10:52 AM
Pretty much agree with both of you on that. Maybe had RJ been writing those scenes but it was just awkward.

I have no doubt if RJ had written it, the emotional impact would have been enough for it to be worth it. I'm guessig their involvement in SG would have been a lot more significant. Maybe not because they were doing more but we would have at least seen their thoughts and they would have spoken to each other.

sleepinghour
01-09-2013, 02:34 PM
I have no doubt if RJ had written it, the emotional impact would have been enough for it to be worth it. I'm guessig their involvement in SG would have been a lot more significant. Maybe not because they were doing more but we would have at least seen their thoughts and they would have spoken to each other.

One of the biggest disappointments for me was how underutilized Nynaeve and Moiraine were. It was also strange that even when all three were linked, their POVs mentioned nothing about sensing each others' emotions and physical condition. Nynaeve shouldn't have had to look at Rand's expression to figure out he wasn't suffering from Alanna's death.
Nynaeve looked at Moridin and Rand. Rand glanced at the dead woman with pity and sorrow, but Nynaeve saw no rage in his eyes.

I always thought the emotional feedback from the circle would be one of the things that thawed the ice between Nynaeve and Moiraine—only when they linked would Nynaeve discover Moiraine was also suffering the pain of a broken Warder bond and that she wasn't as cold and unfeeling as previously believed. Instead, we got no impressions at all.

Dom
01-09-2013, 03:09 PM
I always thought the emotional feedback from the circle would be one of the things that thawed the ice between Nynaeve and Moiraine—only when they linked would Nynaeve discover Moiraine was also suffering the pain of a broken Warder bond and that she wasn't as cold and unfeeling as previously believed. Instead, we got no impressions at all.

Impressions during the link would have been great. A POV of Moiraine's impressions would also have been great.

OTOH I disagree with you. I much preferred how Brandon had Nynaeve, through her experience trying to handle and cope with "Dark Rand", finally understand how it was for Moiraine and make her peace with her.

Having come only at the end, and through the circle, would not have worked for me. It's much stronger, much better to have had Nyaneve triumph over her preconceived ideas and her resent on her own, by understanding trying to guide Rand what Moiraine had faced. It was one of my favorite "thing" in TGS. I'm not 100% satisfied with Brandon's Nynaeve - I like that character too much to be wholly satisfied with anything not 100% RJ - but that was great, IMO.

sleepinghour
01-09-2013, 04:03 PM
Having come only at the end, and through the circle, would not have worked for me. It's much stronger, much better to have had Nyaneve triumph over her preconceived ideas and her resent on her own, by understanding trying to guide Rand what Moiraine had faced. It was one of my favorite "thing" in TGS.

Yeah, RJ's had her heading in that direction since the middle books (TFoH), where Nynaeve found herself sympathizing with Moiraine and then got mad at herself for doing that. So I think there's been a natural progression for Nynaeve to understand Moiraine more and more as she becomes Aes Sedai herself and assumes Moiraine's role as Rand's helper.

However, I'm not sure I buy that she'd instantly tear up and hug Moiraine. Because if Moiraine's alive, what did Lan go through so much pain for? So I think it would be more in character for her if the thawing was slightly more gradual, with a hesitant "welcome back" to Moiraine at Merrilor and then for Nynaeve to be the one who smacked Roedran upside the head (Egwene doing it felt a bit OOC; Nynaeve would've been much more fitting since she was the one who originally did it to Neres in TFoH). When they linked, she'd gain some understanding of Moiraine's pain and realize Lan was not the only one who suffered. In my head canon, Nynaeve's also the one who eventually tells Lan to stop giving Moiraine the cold shoulder and make peace with her. IMO, that would have been a fitting ending to Nynaeve and Moiraine's rivalry over Lan.

I'm not 100% satisfied with Brandon's Nynaeve - I like that character too much to be wholly satisfied with anything not 100% RJ - but that was great, IMO.

Nynaeve's easily my favorite, and I'm not 100% satisfied with Brandon's Nynaeve either, though he often does a great job with her—Nynaeve considering bashing Moridin in the head with a rock was classic Nynaeve. :D I also liked Nynaeve's POV in the epilogue, but she mostly felt like Brandon's Nynaeve, for all that RJ is said to have written the epilogue.

Dom
01-09-2013, 04:26 PM
However, I'm not sure I buy that she'd instantly tear up and hug Moiraine.

She sort of had her "Moiraine epiphany" in TGS. I'm more dissatisfied with Brandon for Nynaeve's passivity in the meeting prior to Moiraine's arrival. My Nynave would have gotten involved between those two Emond's Fielders bickering when the fate of the world was in balance. I can't imagine Nynaeve remaining silent when Rand called Egwene a self-certain spoiled brat. I kept expecting the hints Nynaeve was less and less able to contain herself, her mounting fury at both Rand and Egwene that then.. exploded. Which aside from shock at Nynaeve suddenly becoming the wisdom wouldn't have solved much, but then Moiraine came in.


then for Nynaeve to be the one who smacked Roedran upside the head (Egwene doing it felt a bit OOC;

Totally out of character, but I think Brandon did it to emphasize this was all turning into a scene where the Emond's Fielders suddenly returned to their Two Rivers immature selves. Perrin standing aside made sense, but Nynaeve...

Egwene and Roedran was an allusion to an early scene where Rand mentions that Egwene's favorite stories were those in wich clever women outwitted men, like Mara and the Three Foolish Kings. So we got an Egwene and the Foolish King moment. Overdone, and out of character.

Nyaneve losing her temper and giving Roedran a piece of her mind would have worked.

Nynaeve would've been much more fitting since she was the one who originally did it to Neres in TFoH).

Yup.

In my head canon, Nynaeve's also the one who eventually tells Lan to stop giving Moiraine the cold shoulder and make peace with her. IMO, that would have been a fitting ending to Nynaeve and Moiraine's rivalry over Lan.

Lan's attitude made more sense to me than having Nynaeve still be cool after her realizations about Moiraine in TGS.

But yeah, I also imagine Nynaeve will have reconciled Lan and Moiraine post TG.

Personally, the scene I long imagined and wanted to see was Moiraine deciding post Merrilor that she'd join Lan's battle. I wanted her first to tell Nynaeve: stay with Rand, I'll watch over Lan for you, then to lead the AS contigent sent to him and go to Lan, telling him "you've served me so loyally all those years, and the WT has failed Malkier before. Today we won't. My mission is done and the time for your own battle has come, and I've come to fight it at your side. I've promised your wife I'd see you return to her unharmed.".



though he often does a great job with her—Nynaeve considering bashing Moridin in the head with a rock was classic Nynaeve. :D I also liked Nynaeve's POV in the epilogue, but she mostly felt like Brandon's Nynaeve, for all that RJ is said to have written the epilogue.

I loved the Moridin moment too. I always felt Nynaeve was one of the characters Brandon understood really well, even though he's missed opportunities for a few great Nynaeve moments, and struggled more getting her voice right than he did with Perrin. Still, she's one of his more succesful ones, fairly convincing.

manolin
01-10-2013, 12:40 AM
Done. Finished. phew. 10 years of reading Wheel of Time series, getting repeat exams because I was sure I would finish the books at least one day before the exams, sitting hunched over a desktop for days because I couldn't afford to buy the hard copies earlier, default reading of the awesome scenes (actually full books) whenever I was bored or depressed. its done now. Thank you Robert Jordan. Thank you Brandon Sanderson. May the Light favour your peace.

Boli
01-10-2013, 06:48 AM
My biggest impression is there is "something missing", like I missed a chapter at the end with a longer epilogue.

99% of my questions are annoyingly going to have to wait until a big Q&A over the coming years.

my biggest two are:

- Rand's Pipe
- Double bonding and both being able to channel / share talents. More details please!!!! that tidbit alone seems like it could define an entire age.

Dajoran
01-10-2013, 08:21 AM
I loved it. Every drop, every conclusion, every non-conclusion...

My favourite moment in my head while reading was when little Miss 'Last Chance' appeared in her previous skin. I immediately thought 'RUN'.

I believe this was the first time in the entire series that my brain jumped to a Min viewing before my thought process could catch up.

Dom
01-10-2013, 09:21 AM
Rand's Pipe

There's a potential clue in an early scene (Rand in Moridin's dreamshard). Rand thinks that there, thinking of something is enough to make it true. He then reflects on how it would be if it were so simple in the real world.

The big implication is that the world Rand "wins" at the end, the real world, is like/is a dreamshard to him. He could choose his appearance, he used that to appear like Moridin (as you can in TAR or in a dreamshard) and make Moridin look like Rand's body. That explains things better than "Rand's soul moved to Moridin's body then he moved Moridin's soul into his own body" does. It explains why Rand thinks it's Moridin who is burned as the Dragon Reborn on the pyre, and not rather "his old husk" before he moved to the body vacated by Moridin's soul. He can light his pipe just by thinking it alight, he realizes. The world has become the Dragon's "dream"/dreamshard.

It's one interpretation of what happened. It's worth what it's worth. Going by the Dark Prophecy, it might mean Rand is now immortal - has chosen again the path "to life eternal". He's the Creator of this reality - has always been I guess, in this interpretation, he just didn't know it before the Choice was made - and He won't interfere... he's just a Traveler in his own creation... The Dragon would thus be an avatar of the Creator himself (It's version of Shaidar Haran), without awareness of what he is, living the life of a human, confronting his own Creation cyclically, from the perspective of a human being, to decide if his Creation has to go on or not, be changed or not. Rand has given himself an extension on life, to revel in his own Creation, before he choses to die, to fade, and forget what he really is again, letting the Wheel as his "guardian" of his intents.

It's one way to interpret it all, and I doubt we'll get very solid "cosmologic" answers as I get the feeling that much like other "burning topics" (the real nature of LTT in Rand's head etc.) Jordan left instructions not to flat out give explanations beyond the clues in the book.

What's Nakomi in this interpretation? She'd be the other half of the Creator, the female half. Because unlike Shai'tan, the Creator has two halves.. saidar and saidin, male and female. Mother and Gardener. She may have been around as Nakomi since the AOL, immortal, with the same powers Rand at the end Rand has. And she didn't interfere... it was the male half's turn to make the Choice. She's been the Voice who spoke to Rand as he entered the Pit of Doom, and she waited for him as he came out to witness what he Chose. All she did was to remind Rand it was about making a Choice, which is also what she guided Aviendha to. Now Rand has become a male Nakomi, Nakomi can let herself "die", forget what she is, to be born as a human once more.

It's an interpretation, not necessarily the one I believe in, though I find it appealing to interpret things this way.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 10:11 AM
Dragon would thus be an avatar of the Creator himself (It's version of Shaidar Haran),

Join the Faction! (http://www.theoryland.com/factions.php?func=4&rec=193)

Boli
01-10-2013, 10:21 AM
My personal theory is Rand died, but since he was triple-bonded he is still able to walk reality. Causing a "thinness in the pattern" centered on his soul. (much like SG was)

But then he could just have evolved past the need for channeling and he no longer needs to use flows and weaves but his will is reality - which could be why his children with aviendia are unusual.

Or it could be he is now the creator's avatar directly (as you explained)

or it could just be a ter'angreal pipe


Considering it is one line in the last couple of pages of the book it is by far the biggest mystery of the series.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 10:35 AM
It doesnt read as if its a special pipe...He "thought" and it lit. Doesnt seem like a ter'angreal in that respect.

Dom
01-10-2013, 11:05 AM
Join the Faction! (http://www.theoryland.com/factions.php?func=4&rec=193)

I should have known it wouldn't be a new idea :)

And yeah, it's close enough I should join it. I wouldn't link it anymore to the DM epiphany, though, in the light of what we see in AMOL.

BUT... perhaps you interpreted the clues perfectly at the time, and Brandon had second thoughts and retconned it all in AMOL with little fat man and the tricks, keeping the change in nature of Rand for the post-confrontation at SG only... Perhaps he initially meant Rand gained powers he didn't understand from his epiphany and would only understand during the SG scenes, then decided writing AMOL this all hinted too much and decided to make it "faked powers" only alluding to what's to come.

"One with the Land" indeed. In this interpretation a lot of Creation is Rand - he is its Spirit, its Soul. Or half actually, if we go with the Saidar/Saidin division and make Nakomi the female half. We even pretty much know how the great lines of divisions would work.... Rand is the dominant aspects of Fire and Earth - the Sun and the Land, Nakomi would be the dominant aspects of Water and Air. Spirit is divided equally between them - their Souls, and each of them of course have minor aspects in the opposite flows.

It's appealing, though I'm not convinced it's right.

It's appealing enough he'd be fun to put it to Brandon and see how he reacts.

Tamyrlin
01-10-2013, 12:39 PM
The big implication is that the world Rand "wins" at the end, the real world, is like/is a dreamshard to him. He could choose his appearance, he used that to appear like Moridin (as you can in TAR or in a dreamshard) and make Moridin look like Rand's body. That explains things better than "Rand's soul moved to Moridin's body then he moved Moridin's soul into his own body" does. It explains why Rand thinks it's Moridin who is burned as the Dragon Reborn on the pyre, and not rather "his old husk" before he moved to the body vacated by Moridin's soul.


Hadn't thought of this possibility of the body still being his own, I'll have to think about that. Kind of like it.


He can light his pipe just by thinking it alight, he realizes. The world has become the Dragon's "dream"/dreamshard.


I think of Rand now as a living Hero of the Horn, if you will a He'veren :). When I phrase it that way, it makes sense to me, but I'm still trying to figure out the exact description according to the metaphysics. Such would be akin to a Ta'veren. However, in the case of a He'veren the Wheel would not weave all surrounding life-threads around its thread. Instead the He'veren could at his/her will assert such influence, slipping in and out of the weave; moving around in the weave at will might be a better description. And a He'veren would have such abilities as made possible in the Horn of Valere, dream-like influence over the real world. Though, I'd still consider him mortal, as far as I still believe he has a thread within the Pattern.

Dom
01-10-2013, 01:00 PM
Hadn't thought of this possibility of the body still being his own, I'll have to think about that. Kind of like it.

It works better with the "pipe" thing. I have less problems with Rand just thinking himself as Moridin and Moridin as his old body and it happened than any "he figured out how to transmigrate himself" scenario.

Even the sa'a in the shape of the saidin symbol becomes.. a nice touch.



I think of Rand now as a living Hero of the Horn, if you will a He'veren :). When I phrase it that way, it makes sense to me, but I'm still trying to figure out the exact description according to the metaphysics.

You know.. that also works for me. I see Rand as a kind of counterpart of Shaidar Haran, and SH isn't really an avatar...more like a vessel imbued with the essence of the DO and not quite as powerful.

Making Rand conscious he's the equivalent of that, a He'veren or Super-Hero of the Horn who has more of the Creator in him than anyone in Creation but isn't per say the male half of the Creator fits well with my theory on the metaphysics, where the Creator's mind is outside the Pattern but Creation is the sum of his "body"/energy, including that all souls are a part of the Creator's mind, his way to experience everything in his own Creation.

So by the end all that changed in Rand, through his experience at SG, is that he understands and embraces the metaphysics.

I have no problem making him mortal, as in this scenario Rand genuinely understands his immortal nature as a soul going through incarnations. He knows what it's all about, and he's chosen it for everyone because that's his fundamental role, he has validated the Creator's design, decided to let it go forward once more, and he was the agent/the vessel of its re Creation, so it's like a dreamshard to him to an extent. Basically... the Creator did it all.. made Rand's choice become real, and respected his choice.. non inteference.

It would be interesting to know if Rand will experience the same thing Birgitte did in this scenario, and I guess he will... his memories, his knowledge of the metaphysics will gradually fade until he remembers only Rand, and perhaps even just the his post TG life eventually. That would be a boon more than a curse.

The main difference between Birgitte in the series and Rand is that he gained it all through his SG experience, while she was ripped out and gained absolutely no grand understanding of the metaphysics, strictly remembered for a while her very limited knowledge of it as HoH, while Rand currently understands it all. Just for a while, maybe.

That also would make him "dead yet alive" like Birgitte was, incidentally.

I always saw the Forsaken as corrupted, false version of the HoH, like SH is a kind of false Rand. They were the DO's version.. he took normal humans and made them into his pseudo-heroes.

Tamyrlin
01-10-2013, 01:14 PM
It works better with the "pipe" thing. I have less problems with Rand just thinking himself as Moridin and Moridin as his old body and it happened than any "he figured out how to transmigrate himself" scenario.

Even the sa'a in the shape of the saidin symbol becomes.. a nice touch.


The transmigration is an issue. There are a few possibilities:

1. Self-transmigration - I too do not like this idea.

2. Wheel transmigration - Built in programming, PLE (don't hurt me), but not terribly fond of this idea, but there it is.

2a. Hero transmigration - I will suggest this as differing from the Wheel a bit, but only slightly. Nakomi could be akin to the idea of a "ministering angel" or the actual avatar of the Creator, who has the power to transmigrate. But not terribly fond of this as it would introduce a very VERY late mechanism.

3. Creator transmigration - Override the programming, direct influence, not fond of this as we are led to believe the Creator does not do such things

4. Faux transmigration - As you have suggested, he or someone else swapped the look of the bodies, perhaps this is what Alivia did too? Though this wouldn't explain having his hand back, which would require greater power in this scenario, such as derived from a He'veren-like state.

Did I miss any? I guess I could have added "Crossing the Stream transmigration". :) Not sure I have a favorite of these yet.


You know.. that also works for me. I see Rand as a kind of counterpart of Shaidar Haran, and SH isn't really an avatar...more like a vessel imbued with the essence of the DO and not quite as powerful.

Making Rand conscious he's the equivalent of that, a He'veren or Super-Hero of the Horn who has more of the Creator in him than anyone in Creation but isn't per say the male half of the Creator fits well with my theory on the metaphysics, where the Creator's mind is outside the Pattern but Creation is the sum of his "body"/energy, including that all souls are a part of the Creator's mind, his way to experience everything in his own Creation.

So by the end all that changed in Rand, through his experience at SG, is that he understands and embraces the metaphysics.

I have no problem making him mortal, as in this scenario Rand genuinely understands his immortal nature as a soul going through incarnations. He knows what it's all about, and he's chosen it, has validated the Creator's design, decided to let it go forward, and he was the agent/the vessel of its Creation, so it's like a dreamshard to him.

It would be interesting to know if Rand will experience the same thing Birgitte did in this scenario, and I guess he will... his memories, his knowledge of the metaphysics will gradually fade until he remembers only Rand, and perhaps even just the his post TG life eventually. That would be a boon more than a curse.

The main difference between Birgitte in the series and Rand is that he gained it all through his SG experience, while she was ripped out and gained absolutely no grand understanding of the metaphysics, strictly remembered for a while her very limited knowledge of it as HoH, while Rand currently understands it all. Just for a while, maybe.

That also would make him "dead yet alive" like Birgitte was, incidentally.

I agree, Birgitte and the Heroes of the Horn work well as the setup for such a state. Also, I too enjoy the "dead yet alive" concept this allows, while not making him the literal Avatar. And I'm in favor of the idea that he didn't return to his state as a Hero in this interval, so there might not be any memory awareness of previous lives to get through. Perhaps there is some though. But that might help explain what others see as a callous indifference to those he is leaving, instead of a greater knowledge of what is to come.

Dom
01-10-2013, 01:30 PM
And I'm in favor of the idea that he didn't return to his state as a Hero in this interval, so there might not be any memory awareness of previous lives to get through. Perhaps there is some though. But that might help explain what others see as a callous indifference to those he is leaving, instead of a greater knowledge of what is to come.

Indeed. It all works better if what Rand gained, and which may gradually fade, is his understanding of what he is and the metaphysics, not all his memories (it got those on DM, glimpses.. and like the WO it almost immediately faded). His power to simply think stuff and make it happen might well fade too... he'll forget about it.

I don't know what to make of Nakomi. Without Brandon confirming or shooting down the notion it was her and not Bair or Sorilea telling Rand the final "yes, it's what you have to do", we're on very, very fragile grounds. It's be cool to get those answers but I think we'll never get them. It would be the end of our sort of theorizing about the metaphysics, and I really get the impression it wasn't RJ's intention to put an end to that with the series' ending, and Harriet and Brandon intend to stick to that. Well... Harriet will make Brandon stick to that, because "Brandon the fan" really gave me the impression he wouldn't mind at all getting in those kinds of discussions with fans, even though Brandon the writer understands well why RJ preferred not to go there.

Hopefully, Maria and Harriet will include all kind of clever clues in the relevant entries of the Enyclopedia to keep us going. New hints about Nakomi and such.

I'm hoping Maria has picked the Verin entry for the "reward" when the Waygate Foundation reaches its goal. From what she said, that would probably be her favorite entry...

Tamyrlin
01-10-2013, 01:58 PM
Indeed. It all works better if what Rand gained, and which may gradually fade, is his understanding of what he is and the metaphysics, not all his memories (it got those on DM, glimpses.. and like the WO it almost immediately faded). His power to simply think stuff and make it happen might well fade too... he'll forget about it.


I think it adds great meaning to Jordan's end, at the same time returning us to some of the original feeling of unknown we experienced in the first three books.

I'm working on a post about Ishamael/LTT about this same idea, the meaning of where we started to where we ended, but I want to do a bit more research before just throwing up the original thought I had as I read the final scenes.


Hopefully, Maria and Harriet will include all kind of clever clues in the relevant entries of the Enyclopedia to keep us going. New hints about Nakomi and such.

I'm hoping Maria has picked the Verin entry for the "reward" when the Waygate Foundation reaches its goal. From what she said, that would probably be her favorite entry...

I doubt we will get the Verin entry...but that would be quite awesome. It's the entry I look forward to the most. Though, I'm hoping to be surprised by all sorts of interesting information that is included, such as about Sindhol.

Dom
01-10-2013, 02:06 PM
I think it adds great meaning to Jordan's end, at the same time returning us to some of the original feeling of unknown we experienced in the first three books.

I'm working on a post about Ishamael/LTT about this same idea, the meaning of where we started to where we ended, but I want to do a bit more research before just throwing up the original thought I had as I read the final scenes.



I doubt we will get the Verin entry...but that would be quite awesome. It's the entry I look forward to the most. Though, I'm hoping to be surprised by all sorts of interesting information that is included, such as about Sindhol.

Yeah, that's another pet-obsession we have in common that one.

I don't remember if our theories on them match, though.

I had enjoyed massively your "ride with Mr. Sanderson".

Looking forward to your LTT/Ishamael essay, that should be interesting.

Ieyasu
01-10-2013, 02:12 PM
What makes either of you think Rand is immortal now? Or that his new power and knowledge will fade? I took him suddenly thinking his pipe alight to mean that his understanding of his new powers will only increase with time... I don't think he will be immortal now and didn't get that impression at all...

Dom
01-10-2013, 02:18 PM
What makes either of you think Rand is immortal now? Or that his new power and knowledge will fade? I took him suddenly thinking his pipe alight to mean that his understanding of his new powers will only increase with time... I don't think he will be immortal now and didn't get that impression at all...

It was an hypothesis, but through the discussions with Matt, I end up preferring his suggestion Rand is mortal the same way Birgitte was.

As for the fading knowledge... re-read the part where we compare what happened to Rand with Birgitte, we both covered that.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 02:27 PM
Rand has to be mortal because the Wheel is still spinning and the Dragon eventually needs to be reborn. He might have a pretty long lifespan but he has to die.

suttree
01-10-2013, 02:35 PM
As a side note, good God things are brutal over at DM right now. The influx of posters and ridiculous opinions are flooding in. :rolleyes:
Theoryland certainly feels like a sanctuary right now. :D I've said it before but I really appreciate the content over here folks.

Dom
01-10-2013, 02:42 PM
Rand has to be mortal because the Wheel is still spinning and the Dragon eventually needs to be reborn. He might have a pretty long lifespan but he has to die.

Yup. I made that his choice to simply die when the right time came (if he's like Birgitte simply asking for his bonds to be dissolved could do the trick, maybe), but I prefer Tam's hypothesis now. Rand is simply conscious of his immortality (as a soul) in a way no one else really is. He grasps the metaphysics because of his confrontation.

Hugh the Hand
01-10-2013, 03:01 PM
I loved the book. It has many, many, many flaws, but overall it was a great way to end the series.

A few thoughts and questions, some have been discussed on other threads others not that I have seen.

1. Where was Dobraine? Is he dead? Alive? Did I miss his name?

2. Nakimo? This has been discussed, but seriously why add someone like her and we only see her once, or twice.

3. "The one that follows after..." Did we see this prophecy get explained?

4. Was the subplot about the seals not only anticlimatic, but also kinda a waste? Taim steals them Logain gets them back, who cares? We know they were needed at the right time, but even that seems like a let down.

5. Black Tower resolution was blah.

6. I liked the little we saw about the Sharians.

7. I like the Demomodred as a god like figure.

8. The ogier was great too.

9. So Rand has been singing or humming the Song as he walked around? Or was his presence realing healing the land?

10. I would have liked to see a "20 years later" like scene or something, just to see how everything was going.

11. The Last Battle chapter was great, it was big, it was long, it was confusing, much like the battle itself. Is it me or were the Aiel marginalized in the book?

I am sure I will have more likes, dislikes, etc later. But I should be working to make up for the last two days of not...

SamJ
01-10-2013, 03:02 PM
Did I miss any? I guess I could have added "Crossing the Stream transmigration". :) Not sure I have a favorite of these yet.



I did have one other idea but I don't really know what to make of it. I finished the book gone midnight yesterday and got about 3 hours of sleep so my head's still buzzing.

In a moment of wild speculation this pm, I wondered if it might be linked to Mo's requests from the 'Finns. IIRC we don't know what they are and I presume we're intended to work them out rather than beleive they were forgotten (my bad if I was so fuzzy headed I missed them). So, if one of her requests was for a way for Rand to win and live my crazy idea is that they might be behind the Moridin/Rand merge.

Bah! I think it's too out there and it doesn't fit brilliantly with Nakomi. I really like the ideas you (Tamyrlin) and Dom have been discussing.

Dom
01-10-2013, 03:08 PM
Brandon apparently said something interesting about Nakomi.

If it's reported right, she apparently come from "deep in RJ's Rand notes"..

Interesting in the light of today's discussion.

I forgot to add she also works as a benevolent counterpart to Moghedien, as according to some scholars, the name means "The Spider" - in the sense of a weaver. She's associated with the "dream weavers" type of mythical creatures/gods. She makes a good "incarnation" for the Wheel of Time itself.

That would make her "yes, it's what you have to do" at the end the Light's mirror to Moghedien ripping out Birgitte, and would reinforce the parallels between Birgitte's "dead yet alive state" in the world and Rand's at the end of the series

Terez
01-10-2013, 03:17 PM
As a side note, good God things are brutal over at DM right now. The influx of posters and ridiculous opinions are flooding in. :rolleyes:
Theoryland certainly feels like a sanctuary right now. :D I've said it before but I really appreciate the content over here folks.
We made sure to start off with some good threads born on our private forum. ;) I'm getting harassed by trolls in PM at DM so I know what you mean.

Where was Dobraine? Is he dead? Alive? Did I miss his name?
Not even mentioned once.

"The one that follows after..." Did we see this prophecy get explained?
No, but I started a thread on this. I think it makes more sense with Moridin instead of Narishma, but either way it's pretty vague.

So Rand has been singing or humming the Song as he walked around? Or was his presence realing healing the land?
I'm guessing it was a bit of both.

kcf
01-10-2013, 03:21 PM
While I really like where Dom and Tam are going with this, I feel that I should remind people that in the OP I coved this - rand is Tom Bombadil.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 03:26 PM
Yeah, what the hell happened to Dobraine?!? I'd bet good money that Brandon simply forgot about him (same with Roedran after his initial scene...not one mention of the Murandians fighting).

Davian93
01-10-2013, 03:27 PM
I think it makes more sense with Moridin instead of Narishma, but either way it's pretty vague.



Somebody did something to the Wards around Callandor in the Stone...there's no way Narishma just made that trouble up to complain to Rand.

Dom
01-10-2013, 03:29 PM
Not even mentioned once.

Just like Elayne suddenly turned into just "The Queen of Andor" most of the times. Her Cairhienin were mentionned, but Brandon did nothing to preserve her intent to give them equal status. We see her on a throne in the field with strictly the colors of Andor, for instance.

I don't even want to think what the proud Cairhienin would really have done if Elayne had done that.... "feeling slighted" would not even begin to describe it.

She should have had the two banners and sigils, or a new quartered one on the English model.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 03:33 PM
Just like Elayne suddenly turned into just "The Queen of Andor" most of the times. Her Cairhienin were mentionned, but Brandon did nothing to preserve her intent to given them equal status. We see her on a throne in the field with strictly the colors of Andor, for instance.

I don't even want to think what the Cairhienin would really have done if Elayne had done that.... "feeling slighted" would not even begin to described it.

You'd think she'd have quartered their Coats of Arms for her personal banner...much like the Plantagenent Kings of England did when they claimed the French crown.

Another oops I guess.

Dom
01-10-2013, 03:37 PM
You'd think she'd have quartered their Coats of Arms for her personal banner...much like the Plantagenent Kings of England did when they claimed the French crown.

Another oops I guess.

Thought turning her colors into The Red and Gold of Andor might have been some half-ass attempt to do that.

Speaking of the Plantagenets, RJ sure did wink massively in that direction early on, since he made Elayne's personal sigil the Golden Lily on Blue of the French kings....

Davian93
01-10-2013, 03:42 PM
Thought turning her colors into The Red and Gold of Andor might have been some half-ass attempt to do that.

Speaking of the Platagênets, RJ sure did wink massively in that direction early on, since he made Elayne's personal sigil the Golden Lily on Blue of the French kings....

And the Lion being the personal sigil for the Plantagenet kings prior to the 100 Years War, etc etc etc and the Plantagenet Roses, etc etc...and the fact that Andor is basically 100% England down to every aspect of its culture.

Its true that the Red/Gold MIGHT be a step in that direction...just a really crappily described one.

Pre-100 Years War:

http://www.loeser.us/flags/images/england/plantagenet.gif

During-100 Years War:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1c/England_Arms_1405.svg/200px-England_Arms_1405.svg.png

Terez
01-10-2013, 03:43 PM
Just like Elayne suddenly turned into just "The Queen of Andor" most of the times. Her Cairhienin were mentionned, but Brandon did nothing to preserve her intent to give them equal status. We see her on a throne in the field with strictly the colors of Andor, for instance.
Not too surprising to me. Which is why Moiraine will be queen. If Cadsuane can be caught, then so can she. ;)

Davian93
01-10-2013, 03:45 PM
Not too surprising to me. Which is why Moiraine will be queen. If Cadsuane can be caught, then so can she. ;)

I'm sure Elayne will very happily give up half her possessions just to make Moiraine happy...especially since she's already been crowned. There's also the issue of the Dragon's Peace coming into play as I'm sure Elayne signed as Queen of Andor AND Cairhien given that she had just been crowned the day before. (or was it 2 days before Merrilor?)

kcf
01-10-2013, 03:49 PM
Moiraine Queen - how Caihrenien with her husband being the murderer of the last King.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 03:55 PM
Moiraine Queen - how Caihrenien with her husband being the murderer of the last King.

Why anyone would want to be ruler of Cairhien is beyond me considering their recent fates:


Laman Damodred: Beheaded by Aiel
Galldrian Riatin: Murdered by Thom
Colavaere Saighan: Deposed, Exiled, Suicided by Rand.

Good luck ladies.

Terez
01-10-2013, 03:55 PM
Moiraine Queen - how Caihrenien with her husband being the murderer of the last King.
Exactly. And Moiraine earned her legend status in Cairhien. Elayne was never officially crowned; she said it could wait until after Tarmon Gai'don. She has a lot of work to do in rebuilding Andor; I'm sure she'll be glad to have the responsibility off her hands, especially seeing as how she considers herself Andoran above all.

Terez
01-10-2013, 03:56 PM
I'm sure Elayne will very happily give up half her possessions just to make Moiraine happy...especially since she's already been crowned. There's also the issue of the Dragon's Peace coming into play as I'm sure Elayne signed as Queen of Andor AND Cairhien given that she had just been crowned the day before. (or was it 2 days before Merrilor?)
"What can be done, can be undone."—Rand to the Queen of Cairhien

Davian93
01-10-2013, 03:56 PM
Exactly. And Moiraine earned her legend status in Cairhien. Elayne was never officially crowned; she said it could wait until after Tarmon Gai'don. She has a lot of work to do in rebuilding Andor; I'm sure she'll be glad to have the responsibility off her hands, especially seeing as how she considers herself Andoran above all.

She didn't have a Coronation, she was still proclaimed Queen. That matters. I bet she signed that way at Merrilor too...which also matters.

Being as she doesnt have a capital in Andor anymore, she might want to keep Cairhien for now.

Tsofu
01-10-2013, 03:56 PM
Like so many of you, the catharsis of finishing the series was sort of overwhelming for me and then came the 'Hey, what about...?'

Under that heading, why weren't there any seafolk doing any actual fighting in the LB? Surely they too had a stake in the outcome of the battle with the DO? But their entire contribution consisted of some undetermined number of windfinders, working the Bowl of the Winds? Really?

Even given that their numbers aren't likely to be in the hundreds of thousands, why didn't they have Masters of the Blades by the dozens, protecting the windfinders?

~le sigh~

Tsofu

Davian93
01-10-2013, 03:57 PM
"What can be done, can be undone."—Rand to the Queen of Cairhien

A little different in that Rand annointed Elayne in Cairhien (for all intents and purposes) and the Dragon's Peace secures her and her borders there.

Terez
01-10-2013, 03:57 PM
She didn't have a Coronation, she was still proclaimed Queen. That matters.
Because you say so? lol.

Terez
01-10-2013, 03:58 PM
A little different in that Rand annointed Elayne in Cairhien (for all intents and purposes) and the Dragon's Peace secures her and her borders there.
It secures the borders of those nations. It does not secure her personal right to rule them. Successions will continue as always.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 03:59 PM
Because you say so? lol.

A coronation does not make one king/queen...in real life or Randland. Its just a ceremony. If Elizabeth II died right now, Charles would automatically be king, it wouldnt wait until a formal coronation.

Terez
01-10-2013, 03:59 PM
Like so many of you, the catharsis of finishing the series was sort of overwhelming for me and then came the 'Hey, what about...?'

Under that heading, why weren't there any seafolk doing any actual fighting in the LB? Surely they too had a stake in the outcome of the battle with the DO? But their entire contribution consisted of some undetermined number of windfinders, working the Bowl of the Winds? Really?

Even given that their numbers aren't likely to be in the hundreds of thousands, why didn't they have Masters of the Blades by the dozens, protecting the windfinders?

~le sigh~

Tsofu
Millions of soldiers need food.

Ieyasu
01-10-2013, 04:00 PM
Exactly. And Moiraine earned her legend status in Cairhien. Elayne was never officially crowned; she said it could wait until after Tarmon Gai'don. She has a lot of work to do in rebuilding Andor; I'm sure she'll be glad to have the responsibility off her hands, especially seeing as how she considers herself Andoran above all.

She sat in the throne and took liege oaths from the nobles...just because she delayed the coronation feast doesn't mean she wasn't crowned. It was a stupid idea originally and it remains completely retarded to think she will relinquish her country to Moiraine... even more more retarded than thinking Moiraine wants or would accept it...

Terez
01-10-2013, 04:01 PM
She sat in the throne and took liege oaths from the nobles...just because she delayed the coronation feast doesn't mean she wasn't crowned. It was a stupid idea originally and it remains completely retarded to think she will relinquish her country to Moiraine... even more more retarded than thinking Moiraine wants or would accept it...
It's not her country. I say Moiraine will be queen; you can run your mouth all day about whatever and I'll still say it. And guess what? You can't do anything about it. ;)

Davian93
01-10-2013, 04:03 PM
She sat in the throne and took liege oaths from the nobles...just because she delayed the coronation feast doesn't mean she wasn't crowned. It was a stupid idea originally and it remains completely retarded to think she will relinquish her country to Moiraine... even more more retarded than thinking Moiraine wants or would accept it...

Exactly. She's queen of Cairhien...unless she abdicates, dies or is overthrown.

As long as her daughter is born first, the crowns will remain united in a Personal Union.

Terez
01-10-2013, 04:05 PM
Exactly. She's queen of Cairhien...unless she abdicates, dies or is overthrown.
"What can be done, can be undone."

As long as her daughter is born first, the crowns will remain united in a Personal Union.
wahwahwahwahwah

Davian93
01-10-2013, 04:05 PM
It's not her country. I say Moiraine will be queen; you can run your mouth all day about whatever and I'll still say it. And guess what? You can't do anything about it. ;)

Good point. William I was French, William III was Dutch, George I was German, etc etc. Being born in Cairhien has nothing to do with her claim, being the daughter of a Damodred does.

Though it should be noted that Galad probably has a far stronger claim than either Moiraine or Elayne. None of it matters though as those nobles swore to Elayne.

Ieyasu
01-10-2013, 04:05 PM
It's not her country. I say Moiraine will be queen; you can run your mouth all day about whatever and I'll still say it. And guess what? You can't do anything about it. ;)

Because you say so? Lol

Just another one of many things we will eternally disagree on

;)

Terez
01-10-2013, 04:06 PM
Good point. William I was French, William III was Dutch, George I was German, etc etc. Being born in Cairhien has nothing to do with her claim, being the daughter of a Damodred does.
Has nothing to do with her claim, maybe. Has a lot to do with her fitness to be a good ruler for Cairhien. That, along with the events of AMOL...

fionwe1987
01-10-2013, 04:06 PM
About Nakomi:

I was re-reading her section in ToM. Now, there are multiple references there which point to her being in TAR: there are many fresh coals in the fire, it becomes warmer, and of course, Nakomi more or less disappears at the end. Further, the food Aviendha tastes is particularly delicious, which is weird, since Rand wasn't around, and hadn't had his epiphany yet.

So, on the one hand, Nakomi has a Rand-like effect on food. On the other hand, we assumed she was met in TAR... but what if she was doing what Rand was? Manipulating reality in the way a Dreamer would? Tied together with Brandon's quote that Nakomi comes from notes on Rand, I think the case becomes stronger for her to be some kind of Creator avatar. At the very least, she may be some kind of corrective mechanism of the Pattern, who, unlike ta'veren, gently nudges things based on what she knows of the future.

I'm still very attached to her being Verin. And if we accept Nakomi as a kind of Pattern corrector, this fits Verin even better. Verin did exactly that. A nudge here, a nudge there, always helping people, but doing so by giving them choice, and knowledge. Even when she speaks of her past and how she joined the Black, she talks of choice.

And Egwene's final words to her, that her soul was white, like the Light itself... its very suggestive. In the scene itself, it seems as if Egwene is saying this to comfort Verin, and to tell her that Egwene understands and appreciates her sacrifice. But what if there is more? Egwene does seem somewhat more sensitive to the land, the Pattern, and even people and what they are. In ToM, we had several lines indicating that she had a somewhat deeper understanding of how Rand had changed (only to be totally washed away in aMoL, but whatever), and she puts this in words others around Rand don't. So what if, unconsciously, what Egwene said to Verin had more truth than she knew?

I have previously collected a fairly large amount of evidence from the books that indicates that the phrase "life is a dream" has more meaning than we believed. Reality is a folding of TAR, I'm convinced of it. That's why its Tel'aran'rhiod, and not the Pattern or the Wheel, that is the Third Constant Verin mentioned (and which was repeated again in ToM). What Rand (and likely Nakomi) does with the pipe is a result of that. Outside the Pattern, he was able to weave its substance into dream realities (he and the DO even call these "If worlds" Dreams).

I think doing that, weaving the essence of the Pattern itself, has given Rand a deeper understanding of what is going on. And so, like a Dreamwalker, he can weave reality into what he wants (though I suspect the limits for him are greater than for a Dreamwalker).

Which brings me to the Finns. I was kind of thrown that the only reference to them in aMoL was Perrin seeing some kind of reflection of them in TAR. We've also seen Egwene talk of the Dreams of strange creatures from other worlds. Most importantly, the Finns seem to have two very Dreamer/Dreamwalker like abilities: they can see into the future, and they can change things about people: give them memories, take away strength in the OP, and so on.

Compare this also, with what Mordeth does. He too can change men, create this huge fog with weird properties, live on for a long long time, baloon up, change appearance, etc.

What if all these things are tied together? All of them are, one way or another, what we can call "awake Dreamwalkers". They're able to, within limits, weave the One Power in a different way. They don't use the Five Powers. Instead they weave pure OP, pure Light, much as Rand did to remake the Dark One's Prison.

This "pure form of the Power" is also likely the substance of the Pattern, what its threads are made out of. Nor is it entirely new. We've seen Rand, before, use a sword of pure Light to sever Ishamael and Asmodean from the Dark One. We saw him fling it at Ishamael in EotW. And I suspect that the Voice, and Singing, allows manipulation of the energies of Creation at this level. Same with the Heroes.

Tl;dr: Reality is a fold of TAR, and you can manipulate it like TAR if you can manipulate pure Light. Rand, Nakomi, Mordeth, the Finns and the Heroes of the Horn can all do this to one degree or another.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 04:06 PM
Honestly, why would Moiraine WANT to be Queen. She's shown no indications of wanting it and has already gone out of her way once in life to avoid that fate. If anything, she'd want to retire to live with Thom (who honestly doesnt have that much life left given his age and Moiraine still has hundreds of years most likely).

Terez
01-10-2013, 04:06 PM
Just another one of many things we will eternally disagree on
Indeed.

Terez
01-10-2013, 04:07 PM
Honestly, why would Moiraine WANT to be Queen.
To keep her country from being eternally subsumed into Andor. Sure, the Peace secures the borders, but if the royal line of Andor keeps the throne, it won't matter much.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 04:08 PM
Has nothing to do with her claim, maybe. Has a lot to do with her fitness to be a good ruler for Cairhien. That, along with the events of AMOL...

If anything, the events in the books have shown that Cairhien cant handle a Cairhienin ruler (as evidenced by the fate of the last 3 such rulers)...outside rule by Berelain & Rhuarc (under Rand's largesse) provided them with the most stability they've had in 25 years.

Ieyasu
01-10-2013, 04:09 PM
It's not her country. I say Moiraine will be queen; you can run your mouth all day about whatever and I'll still say it. And guess what? You can't do anything about it. ;)

Honestly, why would Moiraine WANT to be Queen. She's shown no indications of wanting it and has already gone out of her way once in life to avoid that fate. If anything, she'd want to retire to live with Thom (who honestly doesnt have that much life left given his age and Moiraine still has hundreds of years most likely).
The way I see it its just Terezks 'wouldnt it be cool if...' scenero...and no, it wouldn't be cool, nor is there any indication this would ever occur

Davian93
01-10-2013, 04:09 PM
To keep her country from being eternally subsumed into Andor. Sure, the Peace secures the borders, but if the royal line of Andor keeps the throne, it won't matter much.

Moiraine gave up those ties (and even her name) once she became an Aes Sedai. I believe she makes mention of that (to Thom of all people, an odd coincidence)...


TITLE: Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 17 - Deceptions

If he had managed to stagger her even a fraction, she did not show it. "Speculation without facts is always dangerous," she said calmly. "I do not use my House name, by choice.

Terez
01-10-2013, 04:10 PM
If anything, the events in the books have shown that Cairhien cant handle a Cairhienin ruler (as evidenced by the fate of the last 3 such rulers)...
No, it just shows that Cairhien has been ruled by idiots since long before the Aiel War. The last thing they need is a power-hungry Andoran for a queen.

Ieyasu
01-10-2013, 04:11 PM
No, it just shows that Cairhien has been ruled by idiots since long before the Aiel War. The last thing they need is a power-hungry Andoran for a queen.

You are right...the last thing they need is the aid of the most stable and prosperious nation in randland to aid them... :rolls eyes:

Davian93
01-10-2013, 04:12 PM
No, it just shows that Cairhien has been ruled by idiots since long before the Aiel War. The last thing they need is a power-hungry Andoran for a queen.

Considering Elayne has been portrayed as anything but power hungry but rather as the epitomy of the ideal noblesse oblige, that doesnt really fly either.

Our very first introduction of her is as the perfect princess who heals birds in her spare time and thinks good of everyone (other than Galad).

Terez
01-10-2013, 04:15 PM
You are right...the last thing they need is the aid of the most stable and prosperious nation in randland to aid them... :rolls eyes:
They need to make it on their own.

Considering Elayne has been portrayed as anything but power hungry but rather as the epitomy of the ideal noblesse oblige, that doesnt really fly either.
I'm speaking of her recent portrayal and you know it.

fionwe1987
01-10-2013, 04:17 PM
There's no reason for them to give up on Elayne. She saved their city, fought for it personally. And Rand didn't have Moiraine sign the Peace, because he knew there was no way she'd ascend to any position of leadership (he even had Bryne sign, but not Moiraine).

I see Moiraine taking up rule as easily as Cadsuane would have volunteered to be Amyrlin. Unlike Cadsuane who's stuck because of the law, Moiraine has no such worries.

Ieyasu
01-10-2013, 04:19 PM
They need to make it on their own.


Why do they need to make it on their own? Because you say so?

EDIT: how is receiving aid from the queen's other holdings not 'making it on their own'?

Dom
01-10-2013, 04:40 PM
Its true that the Red/Gold MIGHT be a step in that direction...just a really crappily described one.

My guess is that TJ missed the mistake, all having the Plantagenet lion in mind. RJ turned the gold lion white for Andor.

fionwe1987
01-10-2013, 05:23 PM
Someone should ask Brandon something along these lines to help us speculate further: have we met Nakomi prior to ToM? Or are there hints to Nakomi's presence prior to ToM? Something along those lines, not too definitive, while still letting us know if she was around prior to the first time we meet her and if he/Jordan hinted at such.
That would be a great place to begin. Another good question to ask would be if the alternate realities Rand and the DO wove had anything to do with TAR and Dreamshards. Its interesting because it could add support to the idea that reality is the Creator's Dreamshard.

I recommend moving the rest of your post to a new thread as it will get lost in this discussion. Also, we should copy some of our Nakomi discussion over to the Nakomi thread.
I've made a new thread.

EvilChani
01-10-2013, 07:51 PM
No, it just shows that Cairhien has been ruled by idiots since long before the Aiel War. The last thing they need is a power-hungry Andoran for a queen.

+1. Elayne flat out disgusted me in this book. The woman is power mad. Given the theme of power-mad people dying in combat or being removed, I'd have thought Elayne would have to be killed as well. Perhaps Cadsuane can smack the hell out of her and get her to pay attention to her own country and her own people and stop salivating over anything that will expand her reach. In fact, I could see Cadsuane "encouraging" someone (you think it would be Moiraine, I think it should be Galad, which would be better, IMO) to take the throne in Cairhien and telling Elayne that the Dragon's Peace protects country's borders...which means Cairhien should not be under Andoran rule.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 08:17 PM
+1. Elayne flat out disgusted me in this book. The woman is power mad. Given the theme of power-mad people dying in combat or being removed, I'd have thought Elayne would have to be killed as well. Perhaps Cadsuane can smack the hell out of her and get her to pay attention to her own country and her own people and stop salivating over anything that will expand her reach. In fact, I could see Cadsuane "encouraging" someone (you think it would be Moiraine, I think it should be Galad, which would be better, IMO) to take the throne in Cairhien and telling Elayne that the Dragon's Peace protects country's borders...which means Cairhien should not be under Andoran rule.

Its not under Andoran rule...any more than England was under Scottish rule when James I took over. A Personal Union does not equal conquest.

Dom
01-10-2013, 08:20 PM
telling Elayne that the Dragon's Peace protects country's borders...which means Cairhien should not be under Andoran rule.

The treaty set in stone the current state of affair, meaning all the rulers and leaders and meaningless idiot (that's you Gawyn) by signing it have recognized Elayne's rule of Cairhien.

To undo that peacefully will/would require the agreement of Elayne herself, the Houses of Cairhien and Andor. She's already gave some personal Damodred lands in Cairhien to Andoran High Seats as their new fiefs, and the lands the Crown seized to Cairhienin Lords. In all effect and purpose, the dual monarchy (in the Austrian-Hungarian or Scotland-England vein, is already a concrete reality and it would be difficult to undo that under Rand's treaty, especially since for both Andoran and Cairhienin nobilities, the treaty protects their sovereignty and prevent Elayne from merging both nations. That removes a motive for them to let go, as some of the strongest nobles from both Lands stand to lose much if Elayne passed the Sun Throne back to a Cairhienin. Choosing Moiraine would just create strife one Elayne removes herself from Cairhienin politics... and most succession laws prevent the ruler from just passing the crown to someone of his/her choice like that. Moiraine would have to get herself accepted by the Houses, just like Colavaere and Elayne have done. And she could be refused, which means stepping down would be a huge risk for Elayne.. she couldn't know in advance who would end up getting her crown if she did.

suttree
01-10-2013, 08:29 PM
Love this idea.
And I really should move this discussion out to the Nakomi thread.

Why am I not seeing that? Could someone please link it. Thanks.

Tamyrlin
01-10-2013, 08:32 PM
http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=7678

I should move some posts over there...over maybe just copy some discussions.

EvilChani
01-10-2013, 08:55 PM
The treaty set in stone the current state of affair, meaning all the rulers and leaders and meaningless idiot (that's you Gawyn) by signing it have recognized Elayne's rule of Cairhien.

To undo that peacefully will/would require the agreement of Elayne herself, the Houses of Cairhien and Andor. She's already gave some personal Damodred lands in Cairhien to Andoran High Seats as their new fiefs, and the lands the Crown seized to Cairhienin Lords. In all effect and purpose, the dual monarchy (in the Austrian-Hungarian or Scotland-England vein, is already a concrete reality and it would be difficult to undo that under Rand's treaty, especially since for both Andoran and Cairhienin nobilities, the treaty protects their sovereignty and prevent Elayne from merging both nations. That removes a motive for them to let go, as some of the strongest nobles from both Lands stand to lose much if Elayne passed the Sun Throne back to a Cairhienin. Choosing Moiraine would just create strife one Elayne removes herself from Cairhienin politics... and most succession laws prevent the ruler from just passing the crown to someone of his/her choice like that. Moiraine would have to get herself accepted by the Houses, just like Colavaere and Elayne have done. And she could be refused, which means stepping down would be a huge risk for Elayne.. she couldn't know in advance who would end up getting her crown if she did.

And others would probably see Elayne giving up her rule as a reason to break the treaty. I just thought Galad would make a better king for Cairhien than Elayne. Elayne's attitude bothered me greatly in aMoL, to the point where I think she needs to lose a bit of the power she wields before she gets out of control. Birgitte taking Olver and the Horn from her was as wise choice...very wise.

DeiwosTheSkyGod
01-10-2013, 09:15 PM
"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."

Were they on a boat?

Dom
01-10-2013, 09:24 PM
Were they on a boat?

Nope.

Apparently there weren't clues RJ meant to include a real boat or clear indications about the fulfillment of that prophecy and that dream and Brandon in the end decided he probably intended this to be metaphorical.

As best as we can make out, boats in WOT/in RJ's symbology represented important transitions.

One of the best/most simple example of his use of the boat as symbol of transition on the path of fate/choice is when he made a boat Egwene's Skimming platform. On it, the Mother carried Mat, Elayne and Nynaeve to their fates in Ebou Dar... Mat met and married Tuon, Elayne started her relationship with Aviendha, nearly died at the gholam's hands, met the Kin and went on her path to claim her right as Andor's Queen, and Nynaeve broke her block and married Lan, concluding her arc with Moghedien.

So the boat could have been meant as a symbol of the three women or their bond carrying Rand through his transition from Dragon to "stranger on the road".

DeiwosTheSkyGod
01-10-2013, 09:41 PM
Apparently there weren't clues RJ meant to include a real boat or clear indications about the fulfillment of that prophecy and that dream and Brandon in the end decided he probably intended this to be metaphorical.

Hmm, that kind of sucks. I get why he did it, but for the sake of the Arthur parallel it would have been nice to see it literally.

Also, I was hoping that there might be a redemption for at least one of the Forsaken. I wasn't really holding out much hope for Lanfear even though she seemed to have changed at the beginning, but when Moghedien was still standing at the end, I thought maybe she'd have her own little "memory of light." But they went the cartoony "now I can rule the world" route...

Dom
01-10-2013, 09:59 PM
Hmm, that kind of sucks. I get why he did it, but for the sake of the Arthur parallel it would have been nice to see it literally.

I go only on instinct for this, but based on prior examples of how he used/built his symbolism, I'm pretty convinced RJ intended to include a boat, if only to cross a river that emerged in the valley, for instance to carry "Rand"'s (Moridin's) body ceremonially to his funeral pyre etc.

He rarely used his symbols purely metaphorically. He rather tended to have concrete, real stuff that also had metaphorical meaning. There was a sword in the heart of the stone, and characters really did took boats or crossed rivers, or used bridges for important transformations/transitions, and when Moiraine went to the "underworld", RJ made it happen at the docks near the river.. she jumped through the doorway facing the river as if she dove in the river and vanished etc. The metaphor is there, the allusions to mythology, but RJ made it all happen as part of the mundane action, didn't throw it in your face that "this is a metaphor". Brandon took the opposite way by making the boat strictly metaphorical when RJ made his metaphors rather arise from the mundane, eg: having a river to cross with the body to bring it to its pyre, alluding to Arthur being carried to his rest in Avalon, or the ferrymen of the Styx river (the SG location was a very good opportunity to have a "river of the death" emerge.. and it would have echoed very well the "legend" that the Winespring emerged from the grounds to mark the passing of the heroes of Shen al'Calhar) etc. A bad call/missed opportunity, but it's just my opinion. Brandon didn't have the opportunity to ponder on every little details of the series like this the way we've done. He had a book to write, decisions to make he couldn't ponder on for hours at every turn. He's done really well with most of the symbolism/themes and mythological allusions, far better than most of fun expected (it's actually one of the areas he's done the most satisfying job, IMO - especially with Perrin/Lanfear) but the boat one was a bit of a dropped ball. That's life.

DeiwosTheSkyGod
01-10-2013, 10:40 PM
I go only on instinct for this, but based on prior examples of how he used/built his symbolism, I'm pretty convinced RJ intended to include a boat, if only to cross a river that emerged in the valley, for instance to carry "Rand"'s (Moridin's) body ceremonially to his funeral pyre etc.

I agree. I only point this out because I felt like this was a major Foretelling. I can see the boat as a symbol for transition, but if that's the case, there are other ways RJ could have written that Foretelling which wouldn't have been as jarring as mentioning a boat and then not having a boat or a body of water nearby. Also, the image of the three women in mourning on a boat could have just been lovely on its own.

(it's actually one of the areas he's done the most satisfying job, IMO - especially with Perrin/Lanfear) but the boat one was a bit of a dropped ball. That's life.

Do Perrin and Lanfear have a parallel as a pair? I know Perrin's Perun/Thor, and I think of Lanfear as Pandora, but do they pair up too?

SamJ
01-11-2013, 03:05 AM
Do Perrin and Lanfear have a parallel as a pair? I know Perrin's Perun/Thor, and I think of Lanfear as Pandora, but do they pair up too?

One parallel is that she's the evil moon and he's a werewolf (lit. man wolf). His personal arc has been about retaining control of the wolf aspect of him, or controlling when it is released. Makes sense for him to overcome the evil side of the moon and refuse to be a mindless savage at her bidding. Sure there will be others as well though!

SamJ
01-11-2013, 03:14 AM
Does Logain have an Arthurian parallel? Was listening to a radio programme on Mallory's la morte d'arthur last night and smiled when I realised part of the LB is a series of duels between the Black Knight (Demandred) and Gwain (Gawyn), Galahad (Galad) and, the perfect knight, Lancelot (Lan). Makes me enjoy that chapter even more...

Dom
01-11-2013, 07:48 AM
I agree. I only point this out because I felt like this was a major Foretelling. I can see the boat as a symbol for transition, but if that's the case, there are other ways RJ could have written that Foretelling which wouldn't have been as jarring as mentioning a boat and then not having a boat or a body of water nearby. Also, the image of the three women in mourning on a boat could have just been lovely on its own.

An all the more powerful that it was so long foreshadowed.

I don't know exactly what drove Brandon to keep it metaphorical, except we've got hints this is a prophecy Jordan had not explained in the notes.

I suspect part of his reticence to make it concrete when the notes weren't clear, or existing, is that he felt it's too iconic an Arthurian scene, too blatant to simply reproduce it. If that played in his thinking I can't fully disagree, it's partly for that reason one of my theories was that Egwene's Skimming platform might be the boat, to give it a twist.



Do Perrin and Lanfear have a parallel as a pair?

They cross in multiple ways. All the characters have multiple mythological parallels/sources, but Perrin and Lanfear are probably the two (aside from Rand) for which those parallels were pushed the furthest in actual events/aspects in the series. In part it's simply because both are inspired by some of the oldest mythological concepts known, the most primitive mythology, going all the way back to pre-history and religions known almost exclusively from archeology. The duality of the fascination for/fear of the Moon is as old as humanity, long predates (by archeological evidence) interest in the Sun and association of gods and heroes to it. And Perrin is inspired a lot by myths just as old - both as the shaman and the moon, and the primitive warrior and the moon. Both, but mostly Lanfear, also have many others layers derived from later, more sophisticated mythologies (Greek, Jewish, Chinese and Japanese etc.). Lanfear has many Greek aspects, for instance (incl. the three lunar incarnations as Maiden, Queen and Crone which comes originally from the moon cycle, long before it made its way in legends like Arthuriana through Indo-European then Celtic mythology). Perrin is a little more primitive, mostly primitive/pre-historical, then celtic, norse, germanic, slavic, north american native, some primitive Greek myths (the Bull and the Moon). Shamans, the Dadga, Cuchullain, Perun - and later legends that originates in the old myths, like werewolves etc. They don't necessarily cross paths as clearly identified duos of gods/heroes or gods vs. demons/monsters, it's often either the male lunar figure or the female one that shows up only. In several old myths, Perrin simply represents all men or categories of men (shaman, warriors who derive their power from the Moon Goddess), and in others with lunar heroes/creatures it's the Moon Goddess herself who is more diffuse, less personified (werewolves and the Moon is a good example) - or is represented by women (shamans, witches, Queen-sorceresses etc. Arian rhod, the "Silver Wheel", from whom RJ made up the word "tel'aran'rhiod" is a Welsh Queen-sorceress known mostly from the Mabinogion and derived from the celtic moon goddesses). When they are together, it's often as mother-son or lovers, often as animal (Bull) and woman, or man and spirit/demon (Lilith who haunts men's dreams, attacks pregnant women, incubi and succubi etc.). The whole lunar mythology is very sexual, in a large part because humans noticed the influence of the moon on the menstrual cycle very early, and associated the Moon with the mysteries of conception. It's become more negative or ambiguous through time, a more dangerous, predatory kind of seduction, deception through sexual desires, a huntress etc. with the growth of patriarchy. The association of wolves/dogs and the moon is also very old, pre-historical (for obvious reasons, the howling).

Linda at the 13th depository has very comprehensive articles on specific myths associated to Perrin and to Lanfear. They're well worth the read if you're interested in those.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 07:51 AM
I cant find the thread that we were discussing Cadsuane as Amyrlin so I'll just toss this here...wouldn't that scene have been far more conclusive had those 3 AS came up to Caddy and just started with the formal Summoning before the Hall.

"What are you three doing?"

"Cadsuane Melaidhrin, you have been Summoned..."

then put in the No, no, no part and they just keep going through the process ignoring her.

Just saying.

jana
01-11-2013, 08:22 AM
I cant find the thread that we were discussing Cadsuane as Amyrlin so I'll just toss this here...wouldn't that scene have been far more conclusive had those 3 AS came up to Caddy and just started with the formal Summoning before the Hall.

"What are you three doing?"

"Cadsuane Melaidhrin, you have been Summoned..."

then put in the No, no, no part and they just keep going through the process ignoring her.

Just saying.

No. She's ignored summons for becoming Amyrlin before.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 08:28 AM
No. She's ignored summons for becoming Amyrlin before.

I was under the impression that she's avoided summons before, not straight out ignored them.

Terez
01-11-2013, 08:32 AM
I cant find the thread that we were discussing Cadsuane as Amyrlin
It was on the tour reports thread.

so I'll just toss this here...wouldn't that scene have been far more conclusive had those 3 AS came up to Caddy and just started with the formal Summoning before the Hall.
Yes. But it wasn't, and that's part of why it was not, in fact, conclusive.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 08:34 AM
Yes. But it wasn't, and that's part of why it was not, in fact, conclusive.


That's basically what I was getting at...it seems to leave it open-ended to say the least.

Also, thanks for the thread reference...all these vague thread titles are making it impossible for me to keep things straight on which is which.

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-11-2013, 12:09 PM
You are right...the last thing they need is the aid of the most stable and prosperious nation in randland to aid them... :rolls eyes:

Hmmm. Last I recall Caemlyn was in ruins. Not exactly the stable/prosperous home to return the soon to pop monarch. While Andor has value, right now, it sure ain't the definition of stable.

I left the books with the feeling Moiraine and Thom would reign in Cairhein, possibly as regents, until one of Elayne's children reah maturity. How safe could it be for Elayne? Someone unlikely to have her own children, no other living relatives to make a claim (other than Caraline, who will be busin in Tear) and a family history that would both soften the way with the existing leaders, yet caution them as well from allowing too much power to be transferred FROM Elayne TO Moiraine. The White Tower would support it...another reigning Aes Sedai is a good thing.

For some reason I took it as pretty obvious, didn't give it much additional thought a my mind ticked off the remaining rulers, those who need replacing, etc.

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-11-2013, 12:13 PM
Anyone else think the Sharan folks could be prime targets for takeover by Fortuona? They have no 'existing' borders issue with the treaty, the channelers likely lean to the belief they need to be controlled...in fact they seem to glorify those who lead them.

Once Demandred FINALLY died, my immediate thought was Tuon would easily take over the leadership of the Sharan...which is a loose end in all of this. Trollocs, dead. Whitecloaks, contained. Darkfriends, without hope/leadership. But Sharans? Enemy channelers without any controlling agent? I could see the White Tower agreeing these folks could/should be collared.

Khoram
01-11-2013, 01:53 PM
So I finished the book this morning around ten-to-five- I just couldn't put it down. I must say, one of the most satisfying scenes for me was Moghedian being taken by to Seanchan.

I don't want this to be over. Although I felt satisfied when I finally put the book down, I never fully realized how much of an emptiness I'd feel inside. I want so much more to take place in the world of WoT.

I must say, however, that I was sorely disappointed that there was no glossary. Maybe I'm just a creature of habit. But I really enjoyed having the glossary at the end of the books. :/

Dom
01-11-2013, 02:02 PM
I was under the impression that she's avoided summons before, not straight out ignored them.

That. If she ignored a summons, she'd face Tower Law.

She caught rumors/suspected the Hall was about to summons her and played "catch me if you can". She briefly returned toward the end of the Aiel war. Presumably Tamra's death might have made her vanish again and officially "retire".

Basically, Moiraine in New Spring pulled "a Cadsuane" on the Hall and fled before they could order her to claim the throne. Probably didn't return before Galldrian had the throne either.

And I agree with you it would have been better to use the official summons. We would have missed the joke about how well she guided Rand and all, though.

Terez
01-11-2013, 02:03 PM
I can see her weaving a gateway before they have the chance to summon her. :)

Dom
01-11-2013, 02:07 PM
I can see her weaving a gateway before they have the chance to summon her. :)


The way they were going the long way around, she had time to make herself some tea, drink it and make a gateway before they got to the point.

It all hinges on whether this was intentional to leave it ambiguous or it's simply a Brandonism not to have come to her formally with the summons.

heck... even with Egwene the Hall didn't take that chance.

Terez
01-11-2013, 02:13 PM
I think the ambiguity fits with the rest of the ending so well, it's hard to see RJ intending it any other way.

suttree
01-11-2013, 02:17 PM
Hmmm. Last I recall Caemlyn was in ruins. Not exactly the stable/prosperous home to return the soon to pop monarch. While Andor has value, right now, it sure ain't the definition of stable.


Caemlyn but not Andor. There is a good deal more to the country.

Ieyasu
01-11-2013, 02:37 PM
Hmmm. Last I recall Caemlyn was in ruins. Not exactly the stable/prosperous home to return the soon to pop monarch. While Andor has value, right now, it sure ain't the definition of stable.

I left the books with the feeling Moiraine and Thom would reign in Cairhein, possibly as regents, until one of Elayne's children reah maturity. How safe could it be for Elayne? Someone unlikely to have her own children, no other living relatives to make a claim (other than Caraline, who will be busin in Tear) and a family history that would both soften the way with the existing leaders, yet caution them as well from allowing too much power to be transferred FROM Elayne TO Moiraine. The White Tower would support it...another reigning Aes Sedai is a good thing.

For some reason I took it as pretty obvious, didn't give it much additional thought a my mind ticked off the remaining rulers, those who need replacing, etc.

One city doesnt make a country... even if it is the capital city!

Dom
01-11-2013, 02:43 PM
Caemlyn but not Andor. There is a good deal more to the country.

Elayne was putting a good face on it all. She didn't want to give in to despair, because her nobles were and she wanted to turn the tide.

From what we know from previous books, it's a huge loss, bigger than Elayne admitted in AMOL.

It's the traditional power base of the throne - Elayne used to say the city counted for so much in Andor losing it/its support meant losing the throne (and she meant losing the goodwill of the population by this). Most of Andor are lands in direct or indirect (through more minor Houses allied to them) control of the Great Houses. Caemlyn is one exception, and for sure we know Baerlon is another (under the direct management of a royal Governor)

Gawyn spoke of hundreds of thousands who died in Caemlyn. The normal population was circa 500,000 but the city was fuller because of refugees from the countryside and from other nations. It's a fairly important percentage of the population of Andor that died. The lands all around Caemlyn were also the granary of Andor - most of its food came from there. It was also its main center of trade and crafts.

For many, many years to come, Andor won't quite be the nation it was.

It's in a position not that dissimilar to Cairhien after the Aiel War. 20 years later, it had not fully recuperated yet.

The power of the Great Houses over the throne will also forcibly increase, without the largely self-sufficient capital, making up a large percentage of the nation's population and thus of the crown's revenues for the Queen to rest her power on.

Now the Great Houses together wields most of Andor's wealth, most of its military power etc.
Rand's treaty will help Elayne, because her nobles can't take arms against her anymore, and her neighbors can't invade, nor can they take too much undue advantage of her much weakened economy because of the "fair trade" provisions in the treaty. It will contribute to letting Andor heal much faster, but that doesn't do much to make babies grow up faster etc.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 02:49 PM
The destruction of her power base in Caemlyn is all the more reason for her to hang onto Cairhien with an iron fist.

Ieyasu
01-11-2013, 02:52 PM
The destruction of her power base in Caemlyn is all the more reason for her to hang onto Cairhien with an iron fist.

And a convenient city to move the capital to while the Ogier rebuild Caemlyn.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 02:53 PM
And a convenient city to move the capital to while the Ogier rebuild Caemlyn.

Exactly, its already got a Palace (well most of one), throne and everything.

Ieyasu
01-11-2013, 02:54 PM
One of the things I loved that I forgot to mention was Rand requiring all nations to continue his schools.

Terez
01-11-2013, 03:03 PM
The destruction of her power base in Caemlyn is all the more reason for her to hang onto Cairhien with an iron fist.
Not really, unless she's just randomly power-hungry. She needs to focus her attention on rebuilding her country. The one she actually cares about.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 03:04 PM
Not really, unless she's just randomly power-hungry. She needs to focus her attention on rebuilding her country. The one she actually cares about.

Kinda hard to rebuild when your resource base has been obliterated....however, leaning on your other Kingdom makes things quite a bit easier.

Terez
01-11-2013, 03:19 PM
Her resource base wasn't obliterated. She still has her mines and quarries.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 03:24 PM
Her resource base wasn't obliterated. She still has her mines and quarries.

Yes, I'm sure she didnt get any taxes at all from Caemlyn...its not like it wasnt a massive center of trade or anything.

confused at birth
01-11-2013, 06:20 PM
Loved the first 90% of the book, really enjoyed it and I couldnt stop reading for about 12 hours straight before I had to stop because I couldnt see the words clearly anymore even with my reading glasses.

I like the end well enough though I kind of wish he had had the flute with him when he left but that is just because I could not live without my guitar, mp3 player or someway of having music in my life for more than a few hours.

Most of the end left me kind of empty, it just didnt move me enough because the despite of all the deaths the people I cared about died mostly off screen or I didnt believe they had really gone(Birgitte). Lan defeating demandred was ok for me since he didnt actually die doing it, I dont like him that much but I have a lot of affection for Nyneave and wanted her to be happy in the end:D

Egwene dying bugged me because I truly love to hate her and I kind of liked the idea of her being around for centuries making decisions that would piss me off.:(

I have liked Elayne for most of the series apart from a few moments that pissed me off but I was angry that Birgitte saved Elayne from having the kids cut out which shocked me to the point that I had to stop reading on and go over it in my head until I figured out why:eek:
The reason = I was still really pissed about the time she got herself caught because her "children would be born safe" and she got Vandene, whats her face and hundreds of her men killed:mad: I felt this would be nearly a fair trade for the lives lost as long as she died quick, not after being raped or tortured and the children were saved and Rand got to raise them.

The Unreasoner
01-11-2013, 07:09 PM
Some initial thoughts:


Logain's PoV was a big letdown. Very little complexity and depth. Is it from the Turning? Maybe. I wanted to know what his deal was, and didn't get much.

I'm not buying Ila's PoV either. 'Maybe life under the DO won't be so bad'? What?

Talmanes also was a bit of a letdown. I always thought he was supposed to be kind of cool and slick, the smooth Cairhienin noble. He kicked ass, but was not as cool as I would have hoped.

HATE Bela. And her appearance felt like pandering.

Egwene will be Egwene. I've given up hating her. She was as self-important and annoying as ever, but she finally paid the price of one of her mistakes (here, not passing the bond came back to bite her). I did gag a bit at her pomposity (the Flame of Tar Valon? Really?) but was sorry when she died. Sorry for Gawyn too. He was a bit of an idiot though. More than a bit. Frankly I would have wanted them both to live. Enduring each other's company would have been punishment enough.

The whole thing did feel like some made-for-tv movie though. A lot of act-outs and one liners; trailer moments. Although Tarmon Gaidon got far more interesting once Mat took over.

Oh, and Demandred brought Taim to the Shadow? Which means he's only been Taint-protected for a fraction of his career? Really sad about that one. I would have loved Taim to really be just a madman.

And while we're talking about Demandred: what happened to him? Is this the same guy from the rest of the series? I half-expected Taim to say something like: 'Why Demandred decided to drop acid before donning that ridiculous armor and taking the field was beyond him, but his position was not yet secure enough to question the actions of the other Chosen.'

Also: THRILLED that he was not in Murandy. I always thought that that would be just stupid. But Shara? Kinda cool, but the biggest mystery in the series? What happened to him being seen 'everywhere', or being supposed to keep an eye on Rand? How did he have a hand in the kidnapping? Why wear Third Age clothes from the mainland (as in, why bother? Why not wear 2nd Age fashions like other Chosen, or Sharan clothes?)? His comments to Mesaana and Semi make more sense I suppose (they are behind three of the four great powers, and Rand has the Aiel), but what the hell was he doing in LoC? Demandred's rise in Shara would have been really cool if we got the occasional PoV from those around him (maybe his 'special Sharan friend') throughout the series. Sort of like the occasional glimpse into the Seanchan power structure before the invasion. Don't even reveal that he's Demandred right away, just let the reader know that great powers move in the distance. I don't think we can appreciate it as much otherwise. Here it's: oh, Demandred has troops. *mind semiblown* Not: oh, Demandred has troops...and it's the Legion/Red Veils/massive Sharan force we've been seeing (and so have some vested interest) *&$&^@Y&*

I grew to f*cking hate Androl, though I was glad when I was proven right about the Black Tower (Androl and his plucky band save their school from bullies with their own unique talents because everyone is special, and just because you are small doesn't mean you can't make a difference. It could have been a freaking Disney movie). But he's such a sanctimonious bastard, and a little smartass besides (we already have orders, Pevara). I liked the idea of the double bond, but Pevara seemed very ooc, and their scenes together grew annoying.

I thought Min's storyline was interesting, and I liked it (even if I found it a bit odd). Loved the scene when she tried to take out Moghedien, though I expected her to look for the blurred viewings that indicate channeling.

Mat...Mat. It is what it is. I was no fan of the little snarky letters. I was no fan of his other name. Like Pevara, he seemed a lot less mature. His cursing seemed off. It is what it is. I winced a lot, but it wasn't as bad as it might be. We could have had a 'meesa called Matrim Cauthon', and we got something closer to the annoying friend in a buddy comedy (who doesn't shut up about freaking boots).

Aviendha seemed off too, in the beginning. She was acting like some bizarre cat. Sneaking around, feigning apologetic airs, trying to...what? I have no idea. 'You should take the DO captive,'? He doesn't do ji'e'toh.

And Rand? 'Uhh, yeah. I want the Aiel to go back to killing each other'. Oh, and his problems! 'I don't get to pick which one of my hot girlfriends to bang? Gee whiz...' (side note, I never figured out why he needed three. I guess I always expected some kind of explanation, and I didn't get one)

When exactly did Thom and Moiraine become great lovers?

I liked Shai'tan calling Rand 'Adversary'. A nice bit of duality in language.

I finally got the whole 'don't kill Rand' thing, too. Every Chosen is out for himself. Lanfear aiding Perrin clicked, and then I realized that so did Moridin aiding Rand: he needed Rand to live so that he could make that covenant of nothingness the Dark One offered. Which is why breaking his spirit was Moridin's priority number one.

LOVED Olver's scenes. He may be one of my five favorite characters, now. Just awesome.

The outing of the gay characters felt kind of weird, contrived.

Thom thinks epic and momentous are overused, but the right one can do it's thing. And talking about bowing out when no one expects? An apologist for Brandon's writing style? Tempest tempest blah blah Dreadbane tempestuous tempest?

Bowing out in the middle of the act can work sometimes, and can be great in movies. But breaking up a thread of the story too much (especially in a book) can fail pretty fast. Splitting the Berelain/Galad line was a mistake. And if a scene consists only of someone shouting 'Bao the Wyld is dead!' before jumping somewhere else, maybe it should be moved. So much jumping around causes vertigo in a reader. Following a line, letting the tension build organically, only to transition at the peak of suspense works. Jumping around while the suspense builds does not. There is a reason you only flip a steak once. You can overcook the outside before the inside is done. This massive amount of act-outs might work in a movie, but here it drags things out to the point that the reader loses interest (having become engrossed in the thing just switched from) before the line is completed.

Also: since when do the Heroes have all these weaknesses (that happened not to matter anyway)?

And I laughed out loud when Bryne was relieved of duty.


On my winning predictions:

Demandred was not in Murandy (thank God)

Rand stayed the hell away from Caemlyn and the Black Tower

No Dark Rand

Sorilea is a good guy

Tarmon Gaidon was fought on multiple fronts

Rand doesn't die outside of Shayol Ghul (although I did think he'd, you know, die. I was wrong there)

Team Rand ftw RE: seals

A few others that escape me atm


Where I was wrong:

Taim was, in fact, a Darkfriend :(

No Perrin/wolfbrother interworld strike force (I really wanted to see wolves running on the ceiling in the Tower of Ghenjei, ripping the throats out of Darkfriend Aelfinn).

Galgan wasn't killed by Beslan

Bryne, the smug bastard himself, actually died

No Forsaken had a last minute change of heart

Shai'tan does, in fact, exist

Fain died (instead of being the last entity alive in the fallen world)

The world lived (but so did Rand), instead of being made anew

The Horn of Valere wasn't broken


I have some more thoughts, I'll post them later after they have time to percolate

csarmi
01-11-2013, 09:57 PM
I agree. Her return was built up so much—Rand would almost surely fail without her, half the light of the world to save the world—but what she did could have been done by any woman Rand trusted, some of whom didn't have vital roles to play elsewhere. For example, either Aviendha or Cadsuane could have gone with him, and the other could have led the defense outside Shayol Ghul.

What if it was Thom at the entrance that was really needed? Would it have happened without Moiraine?