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sleepinghour
01-07-2013, 07:38 PM
(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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...thus was [Arthur] led away in a ship wherein were three queens; that one was King Arthur's sister, Queen Morgan le Fay; the other was the Queen of Northgalis; the third was the Queen of the Waste Lands. Also there was Nimue, the chief lady of the lake, that had wedded Pelleas the good knight; and this lady had done much for King Arthur, for she would never suffer Sir Pelleas to be in no place where he should be in danger of his life; and so he lived to the uttermost of his days with her in great rest.
—Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

This quote from Le Morte d'Arthur has always interested me as it not only mentions Arthur and the three queens on a ship, Nimue and Sir Pelleas seemed a likely parallel to Nynaeve and Lan. Nimue (sometimes called Nineve) is the Lady of the Lake, who did much for King Arthur to protect her husband Pelleas from danger. And so, although Lan got his name from Lancelot, I figured there was a good chance he would share his ultimate fate with Sir Pelleas and "live to the uttermost of his days with her in great rest."
Lan bent from the saddle to catch Rand’s shoulder in a hard grip. Rand remembered calling the man a half-tame wolf, but those eyes made a wolf seem a lapdog. “We are alike in many ways, you and I. There is a darkness in us. Darkness, pain, death. They radiate from us. If ever you love a woman, Rand, leave her and let her find another. It will be the best gift you can give her.”

As Lan himself acknowledged in TFoH and AMoL, he has much in common with Rand. They were both raised by a foster father and grew up without a mother. Their former lovers (Edeyn, Lanfear) mostly viewed them as a means by which to gain power. After Moiraine's "death," they were bonded against their will to a Green sister, lost their will to live, and believed their duty was to die fighting the Shadow. Both appeared to die while fighting a Forsaken, but survived against all odds. Nynaeve took Lan's bond and also helped Rand escape his bond to Alanna. There are many more parallels, but those are some of the main ones.

While some found it disappointing that Nynaeve never literally Healed death, as the foreshadowing seemed to suggest, she did in many ways save Lan, of whom Aviendha thought: "Had death been a man, she would have been him." And so, I found the conclusion of Lan's storyline both fitting and satisfying; it would have been a letdown if Lan had died after everything Moiraine and Nynaeve did to save his life. He deserved to see Malkier rise from the ashes and rule it with Nynaeve, though I see a potential cloud on the horizon in that Malkier was never included in any peace treaty.

One thing I did find a bit disappointing was that nothing was shown of Lan’s reunion with Moiraine or any explanation given for the sudden distance between them. I can see why Lan would initially be pissed at being kept in the dark while Thom and Mat knew she was alive, but I think that conversation needed to be shown. As it is, it seems a bit jarring to have Nynaeve of all people tear up and hug Moiraine while Lan gives her the cold shoulder. I always figured their reunion would initially be tense after Lan found out she had kept him in the dark about her plans and let him believe she died, but would end with Lan repeating what he said in TGH: “Honor to serve, Moiraine Aes Sedai. It has been and will be so, always.”

However, there are other references to the early books: notably, Rand gives Lan the crowns of Malkier (and expresses gratitude to Lan for teaching him “how to stand”) as a parallel to Lan giving Rand a pin with the Red Eagle of Manetheren in TGH. Lan's fight with Demandred, one of the highlights of the book, also contains references to NS and TGH.

More ramblings about other characters tomorrow... :D

sleepinghour
01-10-2013, 04:36 PM
In AMoL, Rand sees a glimpse of a world in which Nynaeve has been turned to the Shadow and become one of the Forsaken. Her life as a Forsaken is a twisted reflection of her former role as Wisdom of Emond's Field: she finally commands the respect she always wanted, but it's one purely based on fear. In TEotW, she proclaims, "I help anyone who needs my help, whether I like them or not." Here, the villagers have to prove themselves worthy of life; Dannil weeps with relief when Nynaeve allows him to live.

This fits with what RJ said of turned channelers:
RJ: Their former personality is twisted, the darker elements that everyone has to some degree elevated while what might be called the good elements are largely suppressed. [...] Call it being turned into a mirror image of yourself in many ways.

As Perrin points out, Nynaeve's role was to "protect Rand so he could do what he had to do." Nynaeve was always terrible at sewing, never got along with Moiraine, and struggled with having to surrender when linking, so there's some irony to the fact that she saved Rand and the world by doing all three.
"The sparks, Rand. She met Mistress Alys coming in, and there were sparks, with just the two of them. Yesterday I couldn't see sparks without at least three or four of you together, but today it's all sharper, and more furious."

In Arthurian legend, it's the Lady of the Lake who gives Arthur his sword Excalibur and reclaims it after he's fatally wounded. It's unclear whether there are several Ladies or they're all aspects of the same character. The Lady is often called Nimue or Nineve, and some sources (http://www.britannia.com/history/biographies/nimue.html) also connect her with Morgan le Fay. So it's only fitting that RJ allowed Nynaeve and Moiraine to share that role and take part in the Callandor circle. Both are connected to water in various ways—Lan throws Moiraine into a pond after she tries to take his sword, while Nynaeve almost drowns in a river; Malkier is also the country of a thousand lakes.
Moiraine sat quietly on a large stone, Callandor—the Sword That Is Not a Sword—lying across her lap, one hand resting protectively on its hilt. [...] Rand came up to Moiraine, reaching out his hand, and she lifted Callandor for him to take.

Nynaeve is rewarded in the end with a future similar to the one in the Accepted test, where she is the Queen of Malkier. Egwene's death also reminded me of the parallels between Nynaeve and Lan's former lover Edeyn. In many ways, they are each other's polar opposites, but there are also several similarities between them, such as being described by Lan as "lionesses" (and prone to back-clawing in bed). Both raised the Golden Crane, yet Nynaeve succeeded where Edeyn failed. Edeyn had a daughter named Iselle who was determined to go to the Tower against her mother's wishes and join the Green Ajah, but was killed by a Black sister. In Nynaeve's case, this pattern is not only repeated with Egwene, but also Nynaeve's daughter Elnore showed a similar eagerness to go to the Tower (and probably become a Green, based on Lan's comments).

I also found it interesting that Nynaeve's parallels/counterparts/mentor (Edeyn, Moghedien, Cadsuane) all survived, while Egwene's (Nicola, Lanfear, Siuan) did not.

fionwe1987
01-10-2013, 05:05 PM
I also found it interesting that Nynaeve's parallels/counterparts/mentor (Edeyn, Moghedien, Cadsuane) all survived, while Egwene's (Nicola, Lanfear, Siuan) did not.
You know, it comes to me that all of RJ's characters who were proactive with their leadership, who sought power to do something, who wanted to be more... Rand, Egwene, Siuan, Nicola, Lanfear... all of these people either died or at least pretend died. Its almost as if the reluctant leader was the highest ideal, unless the person got leadership by inheritance. Dunno if the pattern holds throughout, but it will be interesting to see.

sleepinghour
01-10-2013, 06:24 PM
You know, it comes to me that all of RJ's characters who were proactive with their leadership, who sought power to do something, who wanted to be more... Rand, Egwene, Siuan, Nicola, Lanfear... all of these people either died or at least pretend died. Its almost as if the reluctant leader was the highest ideal, unless the person got leadership by inheritance. Dunno if the pattern holds throughout, but it will be interesting to see.

I agree. A lot of readers found the reluctant leaders (Perrin especially) annoying, but RJ/Brandon seemed to favor that type.
"You said something to me once, Elyas," Perrin said. "You told me that if I ever grew to like the axe, I should throw it away."
"That I did."
"I think it applies to leadership, too. The men who don't want titles should be the ones who get them, it seems. So long as I keep that in mind, I think I might do all right."

EvilChani
01-10-2013, 06:34 PM
I agree. A lot of readers found the reluctant leaders (Perrin especially) annoying, but RJ/Brandon seemed to favor that type.

I agree, and I like it. The only exception was Elayne, really. I don't know about anyone else, but, quite frankly, she disgusted me in this book even more so than the any of the others. She is very power hungry. Everything with her is all about how to conquer more nations and gain more authority. I was not surprised that Egwene finally called her on her plans for the Kin, but she seemed to think Egwene would "see sense". I don't see Cadsuane going along with that crap (who is yet another example of a reluctant leader - "Blood and bloody ashes, NO!"). I was also pleased Birgitte sent Olver away with the horn - I somehow suspected she'd want control of the boy and the horn as well as the Kin. All in all, I think Elayne needed to die, but maybe she can stop her power grab after Birgitte talking to her.

Karistina
01-10-2013, 08:30 PM
Maybe I just need to read it again, but I don't get this OMG ELAYNE IS SO POWER HUNGRY thing that everyone is on about. I didn't get that at all from the book.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 07:03 AM
Maybe I just need to read it again, but I don't get this OMG ELAYNE IS SO POWER HUNGRY thing that everyone is on about. I didn't get that at all from the book.

Its Elayne...people find reasons to hate characters that they already dislike for other reasons.


I dont get it personally...its not like she was like Egwene, the most annoying character on earth who at least had the courtesy to die in a fire.

Terez
01-11-2013, 07:33 AM
I never disliked Elayne until the last couple of books. She comes off as being power-hungry, spoiled, and stupid.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 07:35 AM
I never disliked Elayne until the last couple of books. She comes off as being power-hungry, spoiled, and stupid.

Perhaps thats just how Brandon saw her and wrote her because she seems anything but those things in the books prior to that.

David Selig
01-11-2013, 07:35 AM
See, one of the things I dislike in fantasy is that ambition is portrayed so uniformly negatively nearly all the time (maybe it's Tolkien's influence). A good character being openly ambitious is a big "No" for most authors (though this has been changing in recent years) and there's the belief in the old cliche about reluctant leaders which Perrin used in ToM and sleepinghour already quoted. I think this is a wrong mentality, because most of the time ambition is a good thing, and most of the best leaders in the real world are or were ambitious.

For all her faults, I liked that Egwene was openly ambitious good character and successful at it. To have her be the only one dead of the main ones (albeit heroically) is a bit annoying. Her replacement as Amyrlin being yet another reluctant leader made it even worse.

Elayne is ambitious, sure, but in a different way, and she was a heir of a throne after all.

What did Elayne do to make her look so power-hungry in AMOL, BTW? I am honestly at a loss. Rand putting her in charge of the united armies?

Dom
01-11-2013, 08:25 AM
What did Elayne do to make her look so power-hungry in AMOL, BTW?

It was all played in fairly small touches here and there...

First it's only once Rand granted her the prestigious and powerful position of High Commander of the Light she finally accepted to sign his treaty. The others all signed, but we see right after they all resented Elayne, not the least the WT whose traditional role she had been granted.

Then there was her intent to have Lord Bryne, the Amyrlin's General, be the Great Captain coming with her to Andor and Lord Bryne having to put her foot down and reminding her he served the WT.

Then there was Elayne's deal with the Kin she was still convinced was right (she had secured an organization of channelers strictly for her country and over which she claimed total authority - she wanted her own "WO"/"Windfinders" like the SF and Aiel. This was a direct challenge no nation had dared make to the WT's hegemony over organizations of channelers) and to Egwene's authority.. and this came from the first AS-Queen in millenia. The WT thought to increase its political power through one of them being a ruler, and rather found itself put under her leadership in TG, a great blow to their political power increased by the treaty that deprive them of their role as arbiters /power over the nations to give it to the Aiel.

Then we saw Elayne thinking, as her own capital burned and she had lost in the first hundred days since she ascended the throne the original Andor of Ishara (Caemlyn and the leagues around), she's not giving up on placing one of her children on the throne of Saldaea by marrying her/him to Perrin's child who would inherit the throne. Etc.

Elayne has gone as daughter-heir from someone who respected a lot and believed in the WT power , was extremely cautious about not controlling more than she can rule, modelling herself on Ishara who refrained from seizing a lot of territory as the other nobles were doing early in the War of Hundred Years and wisely focused on solidifying her rule over Caemlyn and its immediate area.. her line ended up building one of the strongest nations, and the first to emerge out of chaos, to basically seing herself as a new Hawkwing, keen to seize every opportunity to increase her own power.

And yes, this was balanced out by the fact Elayne is extremely capable, and would make a good empress/high Queen. As capable as Tuon. This was also balanced out by Rand's thoughts on the matter, that such is the matter of holding power, that even the best rulers find it hard to resist the impulsion to always increase it, even someone as good, capable and well-intending as Elayne. But later, he also compared some of her very driven thinking to his own attitude before his epiphany.

Like all the others, Elayne is not black and white; RJ always intended to show that it was as hard for her to resist the lures of power as it was for Rand or Egwenen or Tuon, with no bigger, fairy tale clear triumph over those pulsions/ambitions except controlling the impulses to an extent, and resisting to place that, and rivalries, over the common good in TG, thus not going for instance the full way of the Forsaken, who embraced those pulsions, their selfishness, to their fullest, or even the way of Elaida and Sevanna who let those get the better of them and brought their fall. Elayne, Egwene, Rand, Siuan, Cadsuane, Berelain, Logain, Nynaeve and the channelers in general, the WT in general were all meant to show in various shades of white and greys it's not all that easy to resist, to avoid all the pitfalls, when you hold power.

Terez
01-11-2013, 08:50 AM
It was all played in fairly small touches here and there...

First it's only once Rand granted her the prestigious and powerful position of High Commander of the Light she finally accepted to sign his treaty. The others all signed, but we see right after they all resented Elayne, not the least the WT whose traditional role she had been granted.
That was the worst bit in AMOL. Why should Elayne get special treatment?

The worst bit from TOM:

"And do you not risk overextending yourself?"

"Possibly," Elayne said, "but I think it's worth the risk. In one step I could become one of the most powerful monarchs since Arthur Hawkwing."

Enigma
01-11-2013, 09:24 AM
I will say this for Elayne she never came across to me at least as wanting personal power. Rather she wanted Andor to be safe and with the Seanchan empire starting to grow in the south west she wanted Andor to have as much territory, poulation and allies/influence as it could to off set the Seanchan.

A part of it is probably a sense of national superiority. Most people think their country and way of life is the best in the world especially if their country is if not the most powerful at least one of the most powerful in the known world. Given the way Cairhien was run into the ground and the nations around Andor were mismanaged Elayne would not be wrong in saying they needed better leadership. Where she may come a cropper is that they are not Andor and what works in Andor may not work in say Cairhien because the people are just too different.

Terez
01-11-2013, 09:30 AM
@Enigma—That is how I envisioned Elayne with RJ. I don't think Brandon wrote her that way.

Dom
01-11-2013, 09:39 AM
That was the worst bit in AMOL. Why should Elayne get special treatment?

And I don't like that Brandon didn't give us an Elayne POV there, it would have made it very clear she was hoping/waiting for it, and it completed well her change of vision, from not wanting to hold power through Rand, to accepting it to desiring it.

Dom
01-11-2013, 09:40 AM
@Enigma—That is how I envisioned Elayne with RJ. I don't think Brandon wrote her that way.

Definitely my opinion too.

Brandon made the transition a bit abrupt, but the build up/foreshadowing is clear. RJ was heading there.

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-11-2013, 10:02 AM
1. Siuan/Bryne's endings were disappointing. Siuan, as one of my favs, in particular ended as a fawning, shoulder rubbing, moonstruck female.

2. While I understand the importance of the Androl/Pevara interactions, it almost seemed a replacement story arc for other existing, developed secondary characters.

3. I fell asleep reading on Tuesday night...I need to go back and re-read a few chapters that likely were in pre-dream foggyland for me...but HOW DID LEANE GET AWAY FROM DEMANDRED? Maybe I missed it???

4. The Sea Folk seemed so...dismissed. I was disappointed in it.

5. The Rand bits didn't hold me. He fought the DO by imagining how perfect the world was? Eh.

6. Faile should have died, period. To be honest, I think Perrin should have as well.

7. Fain's bit seemed an afterthought. I agree with Terez's thoughts that it was sort of a tie up for Mat/Manetheren/The Dagger etc, but where in the hell did that name come from?

8. Knotai. Heh. Made me laugh. I am sure others found it stupid and annoying, but I liked it BECAUSE it made me laugh. Too many connotations and references to even think through just yet.

9. Hinderstrap. Hahahahahahahaha. A big 'ol middle finger the pick-a-parts.

10. The follow up signings and interviews will be interesting, to say the least.

Terez
01-11-2013, 10:18 AM
While I understand the importance of the Androl/Pevara interactions, it almost seemed a replacement story arc for other existing, developed secondary characters.
Brandon pretty much admitted it was. I'm glad he's been speaking about this lately because I was never able to find the quote (which I KNEW existed) where Brandon said there was one character he considered his own because RJ never developed that character and because that character needed to do something important for the Last Battle.

I fell asleep reading on Tuesday night...I need to go back and re-read a few chapters that likely were in pre-dream foggyland for me...but HOW DID LEANE GET AWAY FROM DEMANDRED? Maybe I missed it???
He sent her away, to deliver the message that Demandred was looking for Lews Therin.

The Rand bits didn't hold me. He fought the DO by imagining how perfect the world was? Eh.
Basically.

Fain's bit seemed an afterthought. I agree with Terez's thoughts that it was sort of a tie up for Mat/Manetheren/The Dagger etc, but where in the hell did that name come from?
The 'shai' part is obvious at least. Shai'tan, Shaidar Haran, etc.—the 'shai' part means Shadow.

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-11-2013, 10:24 AM
the Leane bit...thank you, now I do recall that. It was PISSING. ME. OFF. most of yesterday, and I didn't have time to go back and re-read very much. And I left my book in the car today...may go get it during my lunch break.

SamJ
01-11-2013, 10:56 AM
The 'shai' part is obvious at least. Shai'tan, Shaidar Haran, etc.—the 'shai' part means Shadow.

I think 'Sam' means destroyer in the OT based on Sammael = destroyer of hope (cf Ishamael = betrayer of hope). So shaisam would be shadow destroyer (?)

David Selig
01-11-2013, 11:14 AM
Elayne has gone as daughter-heir from someone who respected a lot and believed in the WT power , was extremely cautious about not controlling more than she can rule, modelling herself on Ishara who refrained from seizing a lot of territory as the other nobles were doing early in the War of Hundred Years and wisely focused on solidifying her rule over Caemlyn and its immediate area.. her line ended up building one of the strongest nations, and the first to emerge out of chaos, to basically seing herself as a new Hawkwing, keen to seize every opportunity to increase her own power.

I don't think Elayne was ever all this cautious politically. She started her rule in Caemlyn by sending Rand's forces away while barely having any soldiers of her own and taking a big gamble with the plans to increase the numbers of Queen's Guard and . She made it clear in WH she intended to claim the Sun Throne once she was crowned in Andor.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 11:41 AM
Elayne didnt really have a choice there though...had she kept Rand's forces there, she'd be seen as a puppet and she never would have gotten the support of the Houses. As soon as Rand died, she'd be screwed.

EvilChani
01-11-2013, 02:01 PM
Definitely my opinion too.

Brandon made the transition a bit abrupt, but the build up/foreshadowing is clear. RJ was heading there.

I agree. There were too many comments/thoughts/examples about how much power can corrupt a person, and how the more power one holds, the more "mad with power" they can get. We saw it with Rand, pre-ephiphany (I finally get why he had to destroy the male access key, and agree with him on the matter, though I think giving Elayne the means to make more angreal and sa'angreal to be a mistake, one that goes against the thoughts he had when he destroyed the CK), but we see it in several places in aMoL. One, in particular, stuck out to me...

Pevara's thoughts when Androl was wielding the immense power of that circle really stuck out, how many people, after holding that much power, found it difficult to let go of it and wanted more. What's more, she said it could drive people insane - in the same way Lanfear prattled on about how she and Rand could stand against the DO or the Creator themselves with the power of the access keys, as much as the way Demandred had clearly gone bat-shit insane from using that sa'angreal so much and having so much power over the Sharans (as an aside, I think Demandred's insanity had something to do with his "bond" to the sa'angreal, given Taim's thoughts).

Given all of this, I think RJ very much meant to set Elayne on that path, with (perhaps) Birgitte being the one to smack some sense into her and make her back away from the power grab a bit so she would eventually have the same type of epiphany Rand had. I believe the scene where Birgitte tells Elayne she sent Olver away with the Horn was a weak smack, but I think Brandon only had directions for Birgitte to give Elayne a bit of a wakeup call and that's how he decided to do it.

fionwe1987
01-11-2013, 02:19 PM
See, one of the things I dislike in fantasy is that ambition is portrayed so uniformly negatively nearly all the time (maybe it's Tolkien's influence). A good character being openly ambitious is a big "No" for most authors (though this has been changing in recent years) and there's the belief in the old cliche about reluctant leaders which Perrin used in ToM and sleepinghour already quoted. I think this is a wrong mentality, because most of the time ambition is a good thing, and most of the best leaders in the real world are or were ambitious.

For all her faults, I liked that Egwene was openly ambitious good character and successful at it. To have her be the only one dead of the main ones (albeit heroically) is a bit annoying. Her replacement as Amyrlin being yet another reluctant leader made it even worse.
I agree with this. One of the reasons I like Egwene's character (and probably why many don't) is that in a somewhat pastoral world, she's the most "modern" character. Her reluctant leader pase lasted for all of ten minutes. Then she took the reigns and tried to make the best of it. Even before that, she was the most proactive of characters. Rand, Mat and Perrin ran in reaction to the Trolloc attacks and on Moiraine's say so. Nynaeve followed because she was compelled by her sense of duty. Only Egwene left because she wanted to make something of herself.

And you see it in her PoV all the time. The urge to be better at everything. She reminds me of those rare few kids I teach who actually give a damn, who're not passively experiencing life but trying to shape themselves to be something.

In light of that, I find her death all the more tragic, since as a leader and researcher, she showed the most potential of all the characters, and only Rand in his post-tSR days matched that. So I'm fine enough with her death. Its the Last Battle, and that's going to mean many hopes crushed. But her being the only main character to die is a little cheap.

Tollingtoy
01-11-2013, 02:25 PM
I was shocked by her death because I didn't really see the point of it, I don't think it really furthered the story in any significant way. I wonder who the character that Brandon wanted to kill but Harriet wouldn't let him was..

Terez
01-11-2013, 02:26 PM
It was the opposite. Harriet made him kill Bela.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 02:32 PM
It was the opposite. Harriet made him kill Bela.

It does make sense though. Bela was dating Mandarb for a while in tEotW...once she ended it, it was only a matter of time for her.

Terez
01-11-2013, 02:34 PM
No, no...she was Rand's ex-horse. That was the problem. Mandarb only had eyes for Aldieb.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 02:36 PM
No, no...she was Rand's ex-horse. That was the problem. Mandarb only had eyes for Aldieb.

I thought he was more interested in Cloud...which is how we finally got the homosexual character that had been missing up to this book.

Terez
01-11-2013, 02:39 PM
No, Cloud was interested in him.

He wanted to catch the black, strained to catch the black.
The feeling wasn't mutual.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 02:41 PM
No, Cloud was interested in him.


The feeling wasn't mutual.

That does make sense. Someone should as Brandon about this at the next book signing.

Dom
01-11-2013, 04:37 PM
No, no...she was Rand's ex-horse. That was the problem. Mandarb only had eyes for Aldieb.

You missed their big break up in the Waste? :p Aldieb got summarily dumped, and later Mandarb set his eyes on plump brown Loversknot, that very suddenly went MIA. I suspect some Cairhienin plot hatched by Aldieb.

The named horse that met the poorest fate has to be Siswai, though. That one got eaten by Trollocs. :eek: So did Glimmer but I never cared that much about Glimmer.

Terez
01-11-2013, 04:39 PM
The best fate was Tai'daishar's, who had his boyparts restored to him when he spurned an uppity woman for Rand.

Perrin has two horses, like Rand has three wives.

Dom
01-11-2013, 04:53 PM
The best fate was Tai'daishar's, who had his boyparts restored to him when he spurned an uppity woman for Rand.

I think Maria has gone and chopped them off a second time since, so I'm not sure it's such a good fate!

Just guessing though. I don't have that one as ebook but it's coming. I noticed several little things we thought had been corrected have not been (including for e.g. TDR: the fact Tear is on the western side on the Erinin in Mat's story arc and on the eastern side in Perrin's later in the book, and in the rest of the series).

Tollingtoy
01-11-2013, 04:57 PM
It was the opposite. Harriet made him kill Bela.


She is a monster

Dom
01-11-2013, 05:11 PM
She is a monster

Blame RJ, Harriet just reminded Brandon RJ intended to kill her. :p

Bela couldn't survive Egwene.

The minute Bela died, I emailed Terez an "oh shit, Bela just died. My theory Egwene dies is correct. She doesn't have long to live".

sleepinghour
01-11-2013, 05:44 PM
The minute Bela died, I emailed Terez an "oh shit, Bela just died. My theory Egwene dies is correct. She doesn't have long to live".

I thought Melaine having promised in LoC to name her unborn twins after Egwene and Min was an ominous sign for both, but I was half wrong there.

My first post-AMoL crack theory was that Egwene would be reborn as Mat and Tuon's child just for the sake of irony, but I guess Egwene could also be reborn as...Egwene. Crack theories aside, I think it would be fitting for her to be reborn among the Aiel.

Toss the dice
01-11-2013, 05:45 PM
Just a couple thoughts about my take on Egwene and Elayne, regarding some of the things said in this thread:

Egwene: As some may know, she has easily been my most hated character for quite some time now, for many reasons. In AMoL, she continued to display quite a few examples that she felt entitled (extremely so), overly important in her own mind, and ABOVE others, in addition to the whole WT being so obsessively important crap. On more than one occasion, she essentially claimed ownership of other people and things taking place, as if she was a God made flesh.

I'm glad she died. First, it ended having to further read how greatly she thought of herself. Second, I've disliked her for a long time and thought she had it coming. And finally, because I feel she would be a bad choice as Amyrlin for the future, considering her immature opinions of herself and Aes Sedai, and what the Fourth Age actually needs going forward. Cadsuane will fit that role well, I think.

One other thing I'd like to bring up was that I was shocked at her matter-of-fact bonding of a new Warder in Leilwin. It wasn't so much that she had bonded a new Warder as it was her nonchalant attitude that it was right because she felt she needed one, without any thought for the new Warder herself. It ended up turning out well, but realistically the odds were high that Leilwin wouldn't have really offered any value to her, at the cost of Leilwin's life being ruined if Egwene died. It was basically just Egwene being Egwene with a big head and entitlement issues, with no real thought toward actual benefits. Also, I was also glad to see Gawyn's death, as I've long thought of him as a stupid bastard that deserves it. Seriously, the man is a fucking moron.

Elayne: Traditionally, I have not been fond of Elayne, but my slightly negative opinion of her has been greatly overshadowed by my horrible opinion of Egwene. In the last few books it has been clear that she is stupid, un-conscientious of others, and cares overly much for her own power and influence (for after the LB as well), rather than the Last Battle itself and the good of the world.

Now, for my brief analysis of her in AMoL. Overall, I think she did great and had her heart in the right place, as well as doing an amazing job in the LB. However, I was disappointed at her repeated displays of wanting as much power as she could get, which under the dire circumstances of the book, seemed much worse than her previous power ambitions. Some others in this thread noticed this too, and I just wanted to say that I agree. Still, my opinion of her remained vastly better than that of Egwene. Egwene was extremely effective during the battle, but her own personal character and thoughts were terrible.

sleepinghour
01-11-2013, 06:13 PM
And finally, because I feel she would be a bad choice as Amyrlin for the future, considering her immature opinions of herself and Aes Sedai, and what the Fourth Age actually needs going forward. Cadsuane will fit that role well, I think.


I agree with that. I don't mean to diminish Egwene's achievements as Amyrlin, as she reunited the Tower and brought about many positive changes crucial to its survival, but the new Age requires a different type of Amyrlin. Someone who doesn't hate the Seanchan as much as Egwene did, someone willing to unswear the Oaths, someone who can act as a bridge between the Greens and Reds. Egwene needed Silviana to pacify the Reds, and she never connected with any other Reds...or even many Greens besides Adelorna and Leane. Cadsuane is a legend among Greens, but also hunted men who could channel and helped the Reds with Logain; the Reds will probably respect her. Romanda was the one who most fiercely opposed everyone unswearing the Oaths; with her gone, I think most Aes Sedai would accept it, especially if their new Amyrlin, the legendary Cadsuane was the first one to do it. Which she has to if she doesn't want to drop dead at any moment.

After Cadsuane, I can see Sharina taking over, because Sharina is unconventional in other ways and will bring about a different set of necessary changes. Sharina already has children and grandchildren, so she's more family-oriented and anchored to the outside world. I also like the idea of Bode becoming Amyrlin someday; that would be ironic considering Egwene herself once thought that Bode's future in the Tower would be brilliant considering her strength. Romanda also expressed approval of Bode. (Mat's reaction would be hilarious, though.)

Toss the dice
01-11-2013, 06:34 PM
I agree with that. I don't mean to diminish Egwene's achievements as Amyrlin, as she reunited the Tower and brought about many positive changes crucial to its survival, but the new Age requires a different type of Amyrlin. Someone who doesn't hate the Seanchan as much as Egwene did, someone willing to unswear the Oaths, someone who can act as a bridge between the Greens and Reds. Egwene needed Silviana to pacify the Reds, and she never connected with any other Reds...or even many Greens besides Adelorna and Leane. Cadsuane is a legend among Greens, but also hunted men who could channel and helped the Reds with Logain; the Reds will probably respect her. Romanda was the one who most fiercely opposed everyone unswearing the Oaths; with her gone, I think most Aes Sedai would accept it, especially if their new Amyrlin, the legendary Cadsuane was the first one to do it. Which she has to if she doesn't want to drop dead at any moment.

After Cadsuane, I can see Sharina taking over, because Sharina is unconventional in other ways and will bring about a different set of necessary changes. Sharina already has children and grandchildren, so she's more family-oriented and anchored to the outside world. I also like the idea of Bode becoming Amyrlin someday; that would be ironic considering Egwene herself once thought that Bode's future in the Tower would be brilliant considering her strength. Romanda also expressed approval of Bode. (Mat's reaction would be hilarious, though.)

I agree wholeheartedly. I guess my take on the Fourth Age going forward mainly revolves around the changes that WILL happen due to recent events of the last years, as well as the changes needed if the "Age of Legends" has any hope of coming back. Egwene does NOT fit these necessary changes whatsoever, for multiple reasons. She would be the perfect choice for Amyrlin if you wanted to keep a new Age of Legends FROM happening. Basically, perpetuating the attitudes, ignorance, in-effectiveness, and opinions of the inept Aes Sedai of the Third Age.

While I definitely have found Cadsuane annoying and possessing a healthy sense of entitlement, she also belongs in a very select group of Aes Sedai (along with Moiraine and...?) that have different opinions and mentalities than those of the other Aes Sedai. She is unconventional, smart, knows of the weaknesses and various stupidities of the White Tower and Aes Sedai culture, and has been one of the few that have had relevant conversations with Rand concerning the Age of Legends and what that sort of "time" would be like, as well as how to achieve it. If anyone is up to the task of helping the Fourth Age (and Aes Sedai) usher in the Fourth Age into something resembling the Age of Legends, it is Cadsuane.

fionwe1987
01-11-2013, 07:05 PM
I agree with that. I don't mean to diminish Egwene's achievements as Amyrlin, as she reunited the Tower and brought about many positive changes crucial to its survival, but the new Age requires a different type of Amyrlin. Someone who doesn't hate the Seanchan as much as Egwene did, someone willing to unswear the Oaths, someone who can act as a bridge between the Greens and Reds. Egwene needed Silviana to pacify the Reds, and she never connected with any other Reds...or even many Greens besides Adelorna and Leane. Cadsuane is a legend among Greens, but also hunted men who could channel and helped the Reds with Logain; the Reds will probably respect her. Romanda was the one who most fiercely opposed everyone unswearing the Oaths; with her gone, I think most Aes Sedai would accept it, especially if their new Amyrlin, the legendary Cadsuane was the first one to do it. Which she has to if she doesn't want to drop dead at any moment.
I think assessing Egwene's interactions with the Seanchan as doomed is a little hasty, as things went. Despite a deep seated hatred for them, she managed to strike a pretty good deal with them, which will end up benefitting her side more than any others.

As for the Oaths... she did flip her mind on it when under Siuan's influence. I hardly think she was immune to changing that again, especially when it became obvious the Wise Ones and the SF won't ever agree to it. But as of the books end, the Oaths served the entirely different purpose of allowing the BA to be weeded out, which is probably why RJ didn't have her push through on her early thoughts on the Oaths anyway.

As for the Reds, I think you're making a mistake on that front. They may still be suspicious of her, but they owe their current existence to her. Both they and the Greens would have had no problems working with her had she survived, given how well she did in the LB. But more important than her interaction with the other Ajahs, she had a good relationship with the Wise Ones, and given what she yanked out of Fortuona for the Sea Folk, they'd have been receptive too.

All said, the books do build up to a point where if you stopped and thought about it, Egwene's reign forward would have been much easier. All the major cards were in place. Among the AS, the very survival of the Tower after the LB is entirely due to her insistance on letting in older women, which means the depleted numbers will be made up very quickly. And remember these Novices all looked up to her phenomenally already. Do you really doubt that her support among the new crop of AS would be low?

All that said, Cadsuane is an excellent replacement. The only one possible, in fact. Her age will speed up the Oath Rod being removed. She will probably be able to maintain the Dragon's Peace by sheer intimidation, till its benefits become obvious to everyone. She has enough distance from Elayne to smack down any plans that would threaten the chance of channelers become a turf over which nations compete. She has excellent relations with the Wise Ones, and Emarin will probably serve as a good enough ambassador to the BT for her. As an heir to Egwene, there couldn't have been a better choice.

Enigma
01-11-2013, 07:47 PM
Cadsuane was not universally loved by some in the Tower. Yes she was a legend before hooking up with Rand but I got the impression that the more traditional wing of the AS especially those in power did not really like her as she tended not to follow the rules and be a good Aes Sedai (as they saw it).

Still a lot of Aes Sedai died in the battle so there will be more openings in the ranks for the younger generation and in some ways Cadsuane can use Egwene's memory if she is clever. "Is this was Egwene, the great leader who saves us all died for? would she have approved of this...."


On Egwene's death I have to say I felt really sad when she did die. Yes she could be so very anoying and you loved to scream at the page where she swans in a says the WT should be in charge of everything but she was like one of those anoying but good at the core poeple you hate when they the come to visit and stay to long but miss when they pass away.