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Terez
01-11-2013, 10:50 AM
I think I might regret starting this thread, but here goes.

So how many of you have read AMOL and the Fallon books? Ever since I read the first Fallon book (couldn't make myself finish the second) I have suspected that RJ was writing something like an ex-girlfriend revenge fantasy, with the way he wrote Egwene and Lanfear. I barely remember anything about the Fallon book, but I remember his treatment of the ex-girlfriends was largely the same.

It never bothered me incredibly much with WoT because I always figured Egwene would live. He seemed to hedge the revenge fantasy with her by giving her admirable characteristics (aside from physical beauty) and a purpose beyond the Last Battle. This belief that Egwene would live was the only thing that got me through the endless fan debates about her character and the sometimes-sickening Egwene hate from what I think is a good third of the fandom (and mostly male). I never really liked her particularly much, but I didn't hate her, and I have always found Egwene-hate to be disturbing.

So, she died. In a blaze of glory, of course, which maintains RJ's hedging of the revenge fantasy with her. She was modeled on the Arthurian adultress queen, and her early relationship with Rand and the details of her death were probably the first aspects of her character worked out by RJ. The Amyrlin bit was important, too, as Guinevere was rescued from her pyre to live out her days as the abbess of a nunnery. Gawain refused to defend the pyre against Lancelot, but then Lancelot killed his brothers when he rescued Guenevere, which sent Gawain into a rage. It's all mixed up, but there it is.

But I think this theme of the ex-girlfriend revenge fantasy is widespread enough in WoT to be disturbing. We have Lanfear and Egwene, and Melindhra and Tylin. Even Perrin's closest thing to an ex-girlfriend fits that pattern, though more weakly, perhaps because they were never truly a Thing:

Every generation was represented, from white-haired Astelle al'Seen, bent-backed but using her stick to thump people out of her way more than to walk with, down to a swaddled infant in the arms of a more than stout young woman with a bright smile.

Perrin looked past the stout, smiling woman; then his head whipped back. When he had left the Two Rivers, Laila Dearn had been a slim girl who could dance any three boys into the ground. Only the smile and the eyes were the same. He shivered. There had been a time when he had dreamed of marrying Laila, and she had returned the feeling somewhat. The truth was, she had held on to it longer than he had. Luckily, she was too entranced with her baby and the even wider fellow by her side to pay much attention to him. Perrin recognized the man with her, too. Natley Lewin. So Laila was a Lewin now. Odd. Nat never could dance. Thanking the Light for his escape, Perrin looked around for Faile.
Readers hoped that both Egwene and Faile would die, but I think they misread where RJ was going with this. RJ liked feisty women; he said he'd rather hunt leopards, that the women of his family were all strong-willed, etc. Faile was not an ex-girlfriend, so she was always safe.

The pattern continues even when you step down to the next level of male characters. Galad's closest thing to an ex-girlfriend was Egwene. Gawyn didn't have one. Thom's ex-girlfriend was Morgase, and Bryne's too, and look what Morgase went through. (Some would call it a fate worse than death, and twice over.) Lan's ex-girlfriend was Edeyn.

Is there a single exception to this rule among male characters important enough to be worth considering? I can't think of any.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 11:04 AM
You could maybe squeeze Tenobia into it too...along the lines that she was too undatable and thus was killed off the moment her older male caretakers (Bashere and that other uncle) leave...both being the "ex-boyfriend" roles for her. The other uncle being a strong example as he left her to marry another queen so she was his "ex" so to speak.

If you wanted to go that route.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 12:45 PM
So nobody else is gonna chime in on this one?...disappointing.

Terez
01-11-2013, 12:46 PM
A few people favorited it on Twitter. I'm guessing no one really has anything to say about it. It's the kind of thing we'd rather pretend didn't happen. :p

Davian93
01-11-2013, 12:50 PM
A few people favorited it on Twitter. I'm guessing no one really has anything to say about it. It's the kind of thing we'd rather pretend didn't happen. :p

One thing I'd like to know along these lines...Female Forsaken that failed ended up getting raped by Shaidar Haran.

Did the same happened to the guys that messed up?

kcf
01-11-2013, 01:02 PM
I've been thinking on it, but haven't responded so far as I just don't think I have the time today to dive into it, but I'll do so anyway.

First, remember this is a series by an author who liked the idea of one guy having 3 wives, it was sort of a fantasy of his. So, whatever else there sit to be said on gender relations in WOT (and we all know there is a lot to say), it is a perception that it at least in part quite flawed.


Now, to the original point, I think that it could be largely semantic, or perhaps something of a coincidence. And by this, I mean that pretty horrible things happen to most of the characters in these books, so picking and choosing can easily be done to support a wide variety of arguments.

Let's look at some horrible things that happen to some of the men in these books:

Jain Farstrider - mentally raped and destroyed by Ishamael. Possibly Graendal afterwards. A broken man, who eventually dies (yet he's a Hero of the Horn as well).

Rand - he goes bat-shit insane. And a whole lot of other things - loss of limb, capture and torture (twice), etc.

All male channelers - go bat-shit insane (or at least partly)

Lan - looses his bond with his AS, goes at least partly mad with anger as a result. Compelled by another AS, essentially raped.


Though perhaps the biggest counter argument that could be made would be Mat and Tylin.


So, perhaps there is somthing to this and perhaps not. Personally, I think that Egwene's story line is mythologically based and has nothing to with this. That's probably the case for Morgase as well. (though Arthurian myth is full of rather f-ed up gender/relationship issues as well).

As for the comment you quote from Perrin - that simply stinks of the way a whole lot of people think of ex-lovers in their lives. It's certainly human nature to mis-remember, justify, cherry-pick, etc., our own memories to support the conclusion that makes us feel best. (edit - especially when thinking that you ended up with the right person, so not ending up with someone who came before is viewed as a good thing, or perhaps an escape)

sleepinghour
01-11-2013, 01:07 PM
I haven't read the Fallon books (and by the sound of it, that's a good thing), but you and I did discuss this earlier. Not sure I have much more to add to what I already said before—to be honest, I've been a bit reluctant to think about it since it's the sort of thing that can ruin much of one's enjoyment of the series. It's what I tend to classify as "creepy fanservice," which includes a lot of WoT's spanking scenes and punishment of female villains or women who needed to be "taken down a peg."

Also, I'm glad I wasn't the only one bothered by Perrin's attitude towards Laila. She's described as a brightly smiling young woman doting on her baby, and he's relieved he "escaped" her just because she isn't thin anymore. Fandom would have raged if any of the main female characters had been that shallow, or if Berelain had lost interest in Galad after he became disfigured. Only Edeyn (another evil ex-girlfriend type) comments on how Lan's getting uglier with age; Nynaeve thinks Lan is "the most beautiful man she had ever seen" in ACoS. We see a lot of pairings where the woman is beautiful and the man is described as unattractive or much older than she. Birgitte/Gaidal, Nynaeve/Lan, Dena/Thom, Moiraine/Thom, Corele/Flinn, Siuan/Bryne, Breane/Lamgwin, etc.

Davian93
01-11-2013, 01:07 PM
Of course, there is the issue of Mat being stalked and then repeatedly raped by a woman in a position of power above him only to have the other women laugh at him about the situation. The same women that criticized him for his sleeping around with completely willing women.

Double standard much?

Ieyasu
01-11-2013, 01:08 PM
So nobody else is gonna chime in on this one?...disappointing.

Sure, I will chime in... I do not have a problem with ex-gf's dying like this... got a few irl i wouldnt mind seeing go the way terez is saying they go in wot... ;)


I am not much of a Egwene fan, but I am not much of a hater either, but it did bother me that she was the only major character death. (not really related or anything...) But her actual death scene did not bother me at all, It did bother me that so many of the original people lived... i wanted carnage... tempestuous storms of death if you will... but i wanted it on ppl who mattered... not random fan-named nobodies.

Exactly what do you two expect us to add to this? Are you wanting us to argue with your opinions? Disprove something? Add to it? What exactly do you think promotes discussion here?

I thought of one you forgot... Thom's girlfriend in Cairhien..Deanna was it? She died too... but his 3some barmaids in Tar Valan? Dont think anything happened to them, though we arent sure anything happened between them and Thom either... Lan has had a lot of women chasing him and catching him for a night or two... broken lots of hearts, not all of them died, I am sure.

Terez
01-11-2013, 01:25 PM
One-night stands don't count. I'm mostly talking about people who spurned the love of the main male characters, though Tylin doesn't really count so much. You could add Isendre to the list, though. I'm aware that bad things happen to other people in the series; that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point I'm making is that no one who spurns the love of any important male character escapes a horrible fate.

Ieyasu
01-11-2013, 01:28 PM
One-night stands don't count. I'm mostly talking about people who spurned the love of the main male characters, though Tylin doesn't really count so much. You could add Isendre to the list, though. I'm aware that bad things happen to other people in the series; that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point I'm making is that no one who spurns the love of any important male character escapes a horrible fate.

I think you may be looking too much into this... a significant portion of the population died (granted it was the unimportant and mostly unnamed/unknown/uncared about portion)... it was the Last Battle after all...

edit: and a lot of these ex-gf deaths served to help shape the main characters into the people they needed to be

Davian93
01-11-2013, 01:29 PM
To be fair, Egwene didnt spurn Rand anymore than Rand spurned her as he was going to dump her for Elayne too. Egwene just managed to preempt him with the 'breakup' in Tear.

Jalyn
01-11-2013, 01:30 PM
I thought of one you forgot... Thom's girlfriend in Cairhien..Deanna was it? She died too... but his 3some barmaids in Tar Valan? Dont think anything happened to them, though we arent sure anything happened between them and Thom either... Lan has had a lot of women chasing him and catching him for a night or two... broken lots of hearts, not all of them died, I am sure.

One night stands aren't the same thing. Deanna wouldn't have been an ex-girlfriend. Morgause, however...

And she only ended up mind-raped, raped, publicly humiliated, running away from her only power base, taken captive, inadvertently coerced, tortured, and raped again - and that's before she even met the Seanchan or the Shaido...

As for Tylin and Mat... Yeesh. Compounded by the fact that he later thinks about how much he enjoyed their games. Kinda.

I really don't think Egwene really fits, though. If I was writing about some of my more terrible exes, their death scene would NOT involve single handedly turning the course of battle from "unsurvivable" to "almost maybe possible."

Terez
01-11-2013, 01:31 PM
I think you may be looking too much into this... a significant portion of the population died (granted it was the unimportant and mostly unnamed/unknown/uncared about portion)... it was the Last Battle after all...
I don't think I am. Maybe if there was even one exception. There isn't, and most of the ex-girlfriends suffered their horrible fates before the Last Battle. Egwene's was planned from the beginning, and her death is the only major casualty of the Last Battle. And the Fallon books didn't have anything to do with the Last Battle...

Davian93
01-11-2013, 01:33 PM
As for Tylin and Mat... Yeesh. Compounded by the fact that he later thinks about how much he enjoyed their games. Kinda.



Stockholm Syndrome...several months of mental and sexual abuse convinced him that she was doing the right thing. Kinda sad really.

Ieyasu
01-11-2013, 01:35 PM
I don't think I am. Maybe if there was even one exception. There isn't, and most of the ex-girlfriends suffered their horrible fates before the Last Battle. Egwene's was planned from the beginning, and her death is the only major casualty of the Last Battle. And the Fallon books didn't have anything to do with the Last Battle...

maybe you are right, maybe RJ had a problem with ex-gfs and spurned love.. personally I think its just coincidence... its End of Times and people die bad deaths...

Have you read much else in the Fallon genre? Bad female lover deaths isnt exactly a new theme there...

Davian93
01-11-2013, 01:37 PM
Well, he's no Terry Goodkind at least.

kcf
01-11-2013, 01:40 PM
Sorry, I'm just not seeing it.

There are lots of issues with gender-relations in WOT, and many of them are quite disgusting when looked at in detail. But I don't think this is one of them.

David Selig
01-11-2013, 01:45 PM
I haven't considered this, but it's a good point, the pattern is pretty disturbing.

Though I still find stuff like "main female characters get themselves captured all the time" (unlike the men) and Rand's harem more annoying and problematic when it comes to gender related issues I have with WoT.

sleepinghour
01-11-2013, 01:47 PM
One thing I'd like to know along these lines...Female Forsaken that failed ended up getting raped by Shaidar Haran.


That wasn't even limited to female Forsaken; other female Darkfriends suffered the same fate. Suroth was sentenced to "serve the Deathwatch Guard as they wish," Falion was raped by Hanlon, Galina was possibly raped by Therava (it isn't spelled out exactly what's going on there, only that Galina really isn't enjoying her private sessions with Therava)...

Dom
01-11-2013, 01:56 PM
I'm guessing no one really has anything to say about it. It's the kind of thing we'd rather pretend didn't happen.

For myself, I'm just in a prolonged "hhhmmmmmmm" moment and sorting out where I stand.

fionwe1987
01-11-2013, 03:07 PM
We talked about this, Terez, and while I haven't read the Fallon books, I'm afraid I do see the pattern. Saying there are other deaths too doesn't really change anything. There's no connection between the other characters who died. None of them form a set of people who have a quality that is universally met with death.

There's another aspect to this too: With Lanfear and Egwene at least, there's the fact that their exes still care for them after breaking up, but they don't seem to. Egwene is fond of Rand, sure, but even Brandon had two instances of Rand saying it surprises him that he loves Egwene, and we even got him almost falling for Cyndane. Mat still has feelings for Tylin, Perrin still feels "love" for Lanfear even after killing her. Both Bryne and Thom talk of their fondness for Morghase, but we don't really see the reverse (there's what, one case of Morghase thinking of "dear Thom"?).

For Rand, finally letting go of Egwene is the defining moment of his mental battle against the Dark One. Feeling the burden of her death is the twig that almost breaks his back, and finally realizing its not his fault is what gives him strength.

If you add these things together with them all dying, a picture begins forming. Women walk away from relationships just fine, but men struggle with it. The women then die, or have a horrible time. And its consistently there.

I'm not at all sure this was "revenge fantasy", though. It could well be a subconscious thing. In fact, that seems much more likely, given the way some of these women are characterized. Egwene "giving up" Rand is definitely shown as a positive thing, especially in contrast with the quickly following Lanfear scenes in tSR. I think if there were any conscious "revenge fantasy", this wouldn't have come across so clearly in the writing.

Terez
01-11-2013, 04:38 PM
I do think it's mostly subconscious, but I don't think that's any less disturbing. :p Who was this girl who spurned RJ's love? Maybe someone should ask Harriet if she knows. ;) Maybe there was more than one. But if I had to guess, I'd say it was most likely the first girl to tie a string to his heart... That in itself is a stereotype, but I think there might be some truth to it; I know many more guys than girls who took a decade or more to truly get over their first love.

I'm not trying to trivialize RJ's emotions here; the pattern is just an interesting one. I'm guessing by the time he met Harriet, he was well and truly over it and Harriet was the best thing that ever happened to him, but this subconscious trope wormed its way into the story. I'm also guessing he didn't make up the story about the two girlfriends who shared him. They never came forward, though, so maybe they died horrible deaths. Or they're too embarrassed to come forward because they're so fat.

Terez
01-11-2013, 05:02 PM
Morgase is the queen of the love pentagram, since she had another lover who was the brother of another pentagramee. She's not really in the main spurner category since her lovers were all sub-mains, but she paid for Thom with Rahvin, and paid for Bryne with Valda. But neither Rahvin nor Valda nor Bryne for that matter escaped clean. Bryne even got Compelled, and knew a taste of what Morgase experienced before he died.

Even Aviendha, who was spurning Rand's love in a sense at the time she died...well, she died. She got brought back because she wasn't really serious, and Rand (cough RJ) wanted a redhead to go with his blonde and brunette. ;)

I think the pattern for RJ suggests his spurner was a dark-haired, dark-eyed classic beauty. Therefore his brunette was short, cute and almost boyish, a contrast to the spurner.

fionwe1987
01-11-2013, 05:10 PM
I think the pattern for RJ suggests his spurner was a dark-haired, dark-eyed classic beauty.
Descriptions which, shockingly, fit Egwene and Lanfear. :p And when Lanfear really died, she'd stopped looking like Cyndane...

Tollingtoy
01-11-2013, 05:20 PM
Terez, your idea makes a lot of sense. I've always been a little uneasy about RJ's portrayal of many of the women in this series. He has many more strong female characters than almost any of this genre had when it began, but he still seems to be somewhat of an "old fashioned" man in regards to the opposite sex.

Min is one of the few female characters that never really comes across as overbearing, judgemental or foolish, and she is often described as "boyish"

The Unreasoner
01-11-2013, 07:52 PM
Descriptions which, shockingly, fit Egwene and Lanfear. :p And when Lanfear really died, she'd stopped looking like Cyndane...
Except Egwene is short. Models are tall.

Oh, and Moiraine fits this pattern, if you think of Lan as her ex.

Toss the dice
01-11-2013, 08:05 PM
Terez, your idea makes a lot of sense. I've always been a little uneasy about RJ's portrayal of many of the women in this series. He has many more strong female characters than almost any of this genre had when it began, but he still seems to be somewhat of an "old fashioned" man in regards to the opposite sex.

Min is one of the few female characters that never really comes across as overbearing, judgemental or foolish, and she is often described as "boyish"

I'll be crucified for this, but I figure I'll say it anyway. While the "sexism" in the WoT is greatly exaggerated, in many ways (as well as the core idea), it pretty much DOES match up with differences in the sexes in real life.

Obviously there are plenty of exceptions for both genders, but if you put aside any and all bias and THINK about it, the WoT's exaggerated portrayal of the differences between the sexes is fairly accurate. On average, women are clearly more shallow, flighty and silly, while men are more logical, solid, and rational. I'm not being sexist, biased, or discriminatory -- that's just how it is. Again, I realize many will want to crucify me for this, and call me everything from a sexist to a chauvinist pig to a misogynist, but there ARE obviously differences between the genders. The WoT tends to grossly exaggerate (and mention) them, but at their core they are pretty accurate.

fionwe1987
01-11-2013, 08:08 PM
I'll be crucified for this, but I figure I'll say it anyway. While the "sexism" in the WoT is greatly exaggerated, in many ways (as well as the core idea), it pretty much DOES match up with differences in the sexes in real life.

Obviously there are plenty of exceptions for both genders, but if you put aside any and all bias and THINK about it, the WoT's exaggerated portrayal of the differences between the sexes is fairly accurate. On average, women are clearly more shallow, flighty and silly, while men are more logical, solid, and rational. I'm not being sexist, biased, or discriminatory -- that's just how it is. Again, I realize many will want to crucify me for this, and call me everything from a sexist to a chauvinist pig to a misogynist, but there ARE obviously differences between the genders. The WoT tends to grossly exaggerate (and mention) them, but at their core they are pretty accurate.

Living proof, I think, that no matter what one thinks of RJ's views on gender, there's always someone somewhere with worse ideas.

connabard
01-11-2013, 08:11 PM
Living proof, I think, that no matter what one thinks of RJ's views on gender, there's always someone somewhere with worse ideas.

Nothing to add, spot on.

David Selig
01-11-2013, 08:52 PM
Wait - men are more rational and less shallow than women in WoT (I am not touching the absurd RL claims)? ROFL, this is the funniest thing I've read all day.

LoialT
01-11-2013, 08:56 PM
A touchy subject for sure, but it's the kind of thing I actually wished got a lot more discussion with WoT. The idea that women and men are fundamentally different, that gender is a deep, soul-based, ordering feature is actually built into the very laws of nature of WoT. That surely could use some examining!

About the revenge-fantasy, however, I have to slightly disagree. You are clearly right that ex-girlfriends in WoT have horrible fates, but I read much of WoT as a kind of huge guilt-trip / demon purging for RJ. All the trials and guilt that Rand suffers, especially in how he feels that he has let down, abandoned, or indirectly murdered women, dominate his character arc. In the end, it is his ability to let go, to let men and women be more than victims, to be people that is at the heart of his moral development. Men in this series continually see women as victims, but those women fiercely and impatiently disagree. One main issue I see is that most of the female main characters are either channelers or rulers. Faile is one of the only characters in the series where a non-channeler stripped of authority or powerful protectors has to struggle and organize from weakness. And in the end she and the other women are first sheltered by a strong man, and then basically rescued by her god-like husband, even as she and the others do contribute some to their escape. Faile's ex, Rolan (?), her witness/lover in weakness, has to die before she can return to Perrin. Not entirely sure what to make of that with the rest of the exes.

And I still think that there is way, way, way too much master-servant, sub-dom, search for the perfect leader stuff going on in WoT that tends to deny any real agency or purpose to any but the powerful, beautiful, wise, or rich (with the wonderful and obvious exception of Olver). Farmers and artisans do repeatedly pop up as idealized good men, but the real laborers, the men and women who make the world work tend to be invisible or victims (like in the Shaido camp). There seems to be very little power in the "social," or in collective organizations, solidarity, except among the uber-powerful channeler classes.

kivo
01-11-2013, 09:13 PM
One thing I'd like to know along these lines...Female Forsaken that failed ended up getting raped by Shaidar Haran.

Did the same happened to the guys that messed up?

"You? No!" - "Ass"-modean

KyleLitke
01-11-2013, 09:27 PM
One thing I'd like to know along these lines...Female Forsaken that failed ended up getting raped by Shaidar Haran.

Did the same happened to the guys that messed up?

In fairness though, the only male you can make the case for that messed up and was brought back is Ishamael due to his whole "I'm the Dark One!" thing. Aginor and Balthamel failed to kill Rand but never really did anything to deserve punishment. Be'lal and Rahvin didn't either, and got balefired so even if the DO wanted to, he couldn't. Probably the same with Sammael (my guess is Mashadar prevented a rebirth). Asmodean certainly deserved it in the DO's eyes, but he betrayed the DO so badly that he wasn't even brought back.

Not saying you don't have a point, I suspect it would have just been the females, but no male Forsaken really fit the criteria of "Did something to really piss off the Dark One, but not something so bad the DO wants nothing to do with him".

fionwe1987
01-11-2013, 09:55 PM
Not saying you don't have a point, I suspect it would have just been the females, but no male Forsaken really fit the criteria of "Did something to really piss off the Dark One, but not something so bad the DO wants nothing to do with him".
Its not like RJ couldn't have arranged for one of the male Foresaken to screw up this way. And look... Aran'gar did do so. And had nothing happen to him.

The Unreasoner
01-12-2013, 12:39 AM
A basic human fault involves seeing patterns where there are none. This is even more common when the pattern seems to confirm things we want to believe. Virtually every Theorylander who had a theory (or more) eventually proven wrong is guilty of it.

I don't deny that this pattern may exist. I will say that some attempts to explain it away have merit, although the attempts rooted in the rules and circumstances of the world may be cop outs, of a sort. But it is RJ's cop out.

Fionwe, you like Egwene, and so you see what you want to see. In this case, a dedicated student. But Egwene is the wrong character to hold up as the poster girl for 'someone who has earned this'. She hasn't. Not really. Good looks, strength, circumstance, Talents? All luck. Egwene is closer to an evolved Sevanna than anything else. Her prime motive is to get the trappings of power. Sevanna wants wealth, comfort, other primal things. Egwene wants people who command respect to set her above her, to feel important and useful. She is not a student thrilled in learning for its own sake, like Fionwe pretends. We've known this since TDR (before she dumped Rand, I might add). She was a complete bitch to Nynaeve and scorned herbs once such knowledge no longer was a path to power (in this case, becoming Wisdom). She is the hardworking student, indifferent to the material, who only wants that which can fit on a transcript. She has no real concern for the uses of power, or what kind of world she might create.

I do find this trend disturbing. More as it touches the Forsaken and Morgase, though. I will point out that Amathera suffered a great deal as well, with no exes to speak of unless you count Andric. But I think it more likely that this trend be coincidence and subconscious, not some active conspiracy. Lanfear was never raped by Shaidar Haran, and Moghedien has no ex.

KyleLitke
01-12-2013, 07:07 AM
Its not like RJ couldn't have arranged for one of the male Foresaken to screw up this way. And look... Aran'gar did do so. And had nothing happen to him.

Aran'gar initially got beaten and then got chased away from the Aes Sedai. Not the same as Moghedien teaching things to the Aes Sedai, Lanfear offering to kill the Dark One with Rand, or Graendal killing multiple Forsaken and failing repeatedly.

Terez
01-12-2013, 07:09 AM
Lanfear wasn't raped by Shaidar Haran; RJ said so. She was just mindtrapped. Moghedien, Mesaana, and Graendal were all raped.

GonzoTheGreat
01-12-2013, 11:53 AM
Poor Else, everyone is ignoring her once again.
She was dark haired too, by the way.

kamarile
01-12-2013, 08:42 PM
I'll be crucified for this, but I figure I'll say it anyway. While the "sexism" in the WoT is greatly exaggerated, in many ways (as well as the core idea), it pretty much DOES match up with differences in the sexes in real life.

Obviously there are plenty of exceptions for both genders, but if you put aside any and all bias and THINK about it, the WoT's exaggerated portrayal of the differences between the sexes is fairly accurate. On average, women are clearly more shallow, flighty and silly, while men are more logical, solid, and rational. I'm not being sexist, biased, or discriminatory -- that's just how it is. Again, I realize many will want to crucify me for this, and call me everything from a sexist to a chauvinist pig to a misogynist, but there ARE obviously differences between the genders. The WoT tends to grossly exaggerate (and mention) them, but at their core they are pretty accurate.

I lurk in between books, come back, and you're still posting the same stuff as last time. Incredible.

The ex-girlfriend tack is an interesting one, as regards WoT sexism. I'd never really thought of it before in that way, but it rings true. (especially in the cases of Morgase and Lanfear.) Interesting how the men dumped by Morgase, Thom and Bryne, both end up paired with powerful women only after their channeling abilities have been decimated and they have been humbled or humiliated in some way.

Another thing that occured to me re: relationship dynamics in the WoT after reading aMoL: isn't it strange how, for every couple in the WoT, either both survived the Last Battle or neither did. All the couples lived or died as a unit. (Siuan and Bryne, Egwene and Gawyn, the Basheres, etc. all kicked it-- while Galad, Lan, and Faile, for instance, pulled through, even though they could easily have died and have it make sense.)

AgeOfLegends
01-12-2013, 09:23 PM
Long time reader, new member here. I agree generally agree with a lot of what you say Terez, but I'm skeptical here. It just seems that pretty much every main character, male and female, has something horrible happen to them throughout the story. I spent some time thinking about the male characters and of the true big guys they've all had at least one thing happen to them (often more) that is seriously messed up. There might be something to what you say, but I think its more likely that its just a dark series, for all the "nerf fantasy" comments flung its way.

Morsker
01-12-2013, 11:25 PM
I agree with LoialT on Page 2 of the thread. There are a lot of interpersonal things in WoT that I'm uncomfortable with, especially the excess focus on sub-dom in relationships rather than mutuality.

But I just don't see the evidence for "ex-girlfriend revenge" in Egwene's case; in fact I think it's the opposite. If Egwene died in Book 4 when she was being the most abrasive to Rand, that would be ex-girlfriend revenge. Instead they moved on, and managed a decent respect for each other both personally and professionally. (When I dislike it, it's because RJ's take on "decent respect" has way too much sub-dom. But as far as WoT standards go, they're pretty decent to each other.) Egwene contrasts with Lanfear. She's not something best left in Rand's past. She continues to be a positive influence on him till the very end.

Davian93
01-12-2013, 11:43 PM
I thought Egwene's ending was fitting. She left the Two Rivers specifically seeking adventure and glory...what did she get? An amazingly glorious and meaningful death that will likely make her a legend for eons. The girl Amyrlin who helped save the world. She's basically Eldrene reborn and she'll be remembered much the same...except for even more glorious.

It was a Hero's death...which makes you wonder if perhaps she might be one now.

If anything, RJ made her the strongest character in the entire series and put her on a pedestal as a hero. Hardly destroying an ex-girlfriend.

kamarile
01-13-2013, 12:20 AM
I should add that I too think that Egwene's death was written to be heroic and meaningful, and that it did not seem to be written vindictively or as revenge for her spurning Rand or anything. I think she was one of Sanderson's best-written Wheel of Time characters-- on the whole, he wrote the women better than RJ did, IMO. I found Egwene quite unbearable between about books 5 and 11, though, although I'm not sure that was ever RJ's intention.

In the end, I found her arc to be the most meaningful of all the characters'. And while it sucks that she died, in the end, I'm glad that she went out in a blaze of glory, rather than having her arc being ultimately about finding her male soulmate and sublimating her own power to be with him. (As was the case for Siuan, Moiraine, and really Nynaeve, who appears only in a support capacity after her sexual awakening.) Although, you could argue that her being a stronger partner in her relationship with Gawyn was ultimately what lead to both of their destruction...

That said, I agree about the ex-girlfriend tropes in the other scenarios mentioned, and about the general grossness about the power dynamics in WoT romantic pairings. (And about gender being an ultimate, soul-defining feature and men and women being completely and totally different in mind and soul, as was mentioned earlier.)

TLDR; WoT is sexist, but Egwene still rocks and her awesomeness in the past couple of books wasn't accidental.

Sinistrum
01-13-2013, 01:10 AM
I thought Egwene's ending was fitting. She left the Two Rivers specifically seeking adventure and glory...what did she get? An amazingly glorious and meaningful death that will likely make her a legend for eons. The girl Amyrlin who helped save the world. She's basically Eldrene reborn and she'll be remembered much the same...except for even more glorious.

It was a Hero's death...which makes you wonder if perhaps she might be one now.

If anything, RJ made her the strongest character in the entire series and put her on a pedestal as a hero. Hardly destroying an ex-girlfriend.

This. I think you're just reading too much into it Terez.

Terez
01-13-2013, 03:13 AM
This. I think you're just reading too much into it Terez.
I did say he hedged the fantasy with Egwene. There were still signs of it, though, even while I believed he would hedge so far as to let her live.

GonzoTheGreat
01-13-2013, 06:38 AM
For quite a while, I thought that Faile had snuffed it, and Perrin was going to end up hitched to Lanfear. A bit of a pity that one didn't work out.

Whose girlfriend was Moghedien?

Terez
01-13-2013, 06:52 AM
Like I said, bad things happen to lots of people. It's just a rule with no exceptions when it comes to the ex-girlfriends.

GonzoTheGreat
01-13-2013, 07:08 AM
Does Bela count as ex-girlfriend?
Maybe someone should ask Brandon, and then explain what the question was about.

Terez
01-13-2013, 07:17 AM
Dav and I already discussed that (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=208734). Do try to keep up.

sleepinghour
01-13-2013, 07:53 AM
Egwene's own past love interests (Rand, Aram, Galad, Gawyn) didn't fare so well either. But there aren't many male exes in WoT since RJ preferred his leading ladies to be virginal and not even kiss another guy than the one they ended up marrying. To some extent, it makes sense that royalty (Elayne, Faile) would have led a sheltered life, and Nynaeve and Egwene were from a society that frowned upon pre-marital sex. But RJ also made sure to have Min and Aviendha inform us they had never slept with a man before Rand.

kamarile
01-13-2013, 11:30 AM
Not sure if it's been mentioned already, but can we add Tylin to the list of doomed exes? I know her relationship with Mat is icky, and a lot of men on the Internet complain that she is "raping" Mat, but RJ in his own weird way clearly meant for it to be humorous and for Mat to like and feel affection for her.

With the deaths of Egwene and Gawyn, as well as Tylin, can we conclude that every relationship in the WoT where the woman is actually more powerful than the man ends in disaster? This is opposed to relationships in which the woman is "feisty" but ultimately defers to the man (e.g., Perrin and Faile) because she likes it better that way.

Terez
01-13-2013, 11:43 AM
Yeah, I mentioned both Tylin and Melindhra in my OP. As for your second point...Nynaeve and Lan are an exception that comes to mind immediately.

kamarile
01-13-2013, 11:53 AM
Thankfully Nynaeve didn't give up everything to be with Lan, but IIRC, her union with him in aCoS only happens after she breaks her block by learning to "submit" to saidar. Afterwards, it's implied that while Nynaeve does most of the talking and yelling in public, Lan is in charge in the bedroom. Also, while Nynaeve is an uber-powerful channeler, Lan is a king in his own right and a stone cold warrior killing machine. (Plus, isn't he twice her age?) So I wouldn't say she's automatically the more powerful one in the relationship.

David Selig
01-13-2013, 12:42 PM
Not sure if it's been mentioned already, but can we add Tylin to the list of doomed exes? I know her relationship with Mat is icky, and a lot of men on the Internet complain that she is "raping" Mat, but RJ in his own weird way clearly meant for it to be humorous and for Mat to like and feel affection for her.

With the deaths of Egwene and Gawyn, as well as Tylin, can we conclude that every relationship in the WoT where the woman is actually more powerful than the man ends in disaster?
Tuon and Mat come to mind...though who knows what will happen there.

But yeah, it's certainly both implied and said outright a few times that it's very hard for a man in Randland to accept his wife having more power than him and to make such a relationship work. It's both annoying and implausible given the Randland societies which aren't patriarchal. Why wouldn't be plenty of men who'd want to marry an Aes Sedai, for example? And why is it so unusual outside of the Aiel for a woman to make the first step when she is interested in a man?

AgeOfLegends
01-13-2013, 06:48 PM
Are we so sure it's unusual? Min/Elayne/Aviendha all make the first move on Rand. Nyn opens up to Lan first. Moiraine proposes to Thom. Seems like women take the lead a fair amount (though this isn't a big enough sample to extrapolate of course).

GonzoTheGreat
01-14-2013, 03:52 AM
On the other hand, Berelain was quietly waiting on the sidelines hoping to be noticed by Perrin (and before him, Rand), wasn't she?
Leane is famed for her modest demeanour too.

metaphor
01-14-2013, 01:01 PM
Well the scene where Rand show Lanfear that he cares nothing for her makes much more sense as a wish fulfillment fantasy.
As for Egwene, even if her death was glorious and not revengeful, it still shows that when thinking on which of the main characters to kill, she was the one RJ thought of.
Maybe it's not intentional on his part, but being an ex girlfriend affords less plot protection.

Speaking of sexism in the WoT, I wonder it would fare on the Bechdel test.

Terez
01-14-2013, 01:19 PM
It passes Bechdel easily, as I noted when I wrote about this subject a couple of years ago. But the Bechdel bar is not high...and damn near impossible to fail in a series this long...

Davian93
01-14-2013, 01:41 PM
It passes Bechdel easily, as I noted when I wrote about this subject a couple of years ago. But the Bechdel bar is not high...and damn near impossible to fail in a series this long...

Would it still pass if one were to add the caveat of "discussions that dont involve men or dresses?" were added?

metaphor
01-14-2013, 02:43 PM
It passes Bechdel easily, as I noted when I wrote about this subject a couple of years ago. But the Bechdel bar is not high...and damn near impossible to fail in a series this long...

I don't know about easily. Yeah, it's impossible to fail given how long it is, but I think if the number of times their talks don't end up being related to men are very few, compared to the rest of the series.

Terez
01-14-2013, 02:56 PM
I don't think so, really. They have a few talks about men, but they mostly talk about other things.

metaphor
01-14-2013, 03:33 PM
Well I admit I don't really remember most talks in the book, so it's probable I'm totally wrong :D

Terez
01-14-2013, 03:45 PM
Not the only examples from TEOTW alone, but Moiraine's conversations with Egwene and Nynaeve about the Power are both good examples, not even touching on men for all Egwene's near-betrothed and Nynaeve's future-betrothed were present for each respectively.

kamarile
01-14-2013, 06:08 PM
The Hunt for the Black Ajah plot is like a mega-version of passing the Bechdel test. A female group of heroes, sent by their female boss to deal with a band of female outlaws... along the way, they run into additional female antagonists (like Moghedien, or Ronde Macura) and pick up female allies (like Birgitte.) Of course, everyone's conversations do end up turning to necklines and boyfriends eventually, but the main gist of that plot only involves men peripherally. I read someone on a message board (can't remember if it was this one) say that he was always annoyed by having to read the Hunt for the BA plot because it took away from screentime for the plots where "the main Two Rivers boys are becoming the men they were meant to be." I always enjoyed this plot immensely, because it involved the girls becoming the women they were meant to be. It's not often that a story written by a male writer has a focus on women doing the party-adventure thing almost to the exclusion of men.

I've come to realize that a lot of the dissatisfaction I've felt over the long-destined heterosexual romantic pairings playing out over the past couple of books is that many of these relationships just aren't as fleshed-out or realistic as the same-sex friendships that happen over the course of the series. Men and women are so segregated from one another in tWoT that their pairings often seem to come out of nowhere, and they just don't get as much time onscreen together as men and men and women and women.

Upon re-reading EotW, for instance, it struck me as absolutely ridiculous that Lan would be so smitten with Nynaeve, a constantly furious early 20-something with no real world life experience. (The Nynaeve of book 7 or so, sure, okay, I'll buy that a little better. But the two of them are pledging their undying love really early on.) But that relationship to me was never as interesting as her tense mentor-student relationship with Egwene, or her combative alliance with Elayne in tSR/FoH.

Tedman
01-15-2013, 03:55 AM
Ever since I read this last week I've been thinking about how to respond, since I do think you have a point here.

The only thing I could think of to describe what I've always felt about some of the female or male interactions and things that go on in WOT... is in the movie version of The Return of the King when Eowyn and Merry kill the Witch King, she has some bullshit line about "I am a woman HEYAHHHHHHHHHH" even though the point of the books was that she was handily defeated until Merry's special blade stabbed the Witch King. At which point she killed him, fulfilling the prophecy that no man could kill the WK.

I realize that they couldn't include that because Tom Bombadil etc was not included in the movies...

I don't know how else to describe it other than I feel like they cheesed it up with that line, at least I don't remember the books having a line like that (I can't check, my copies are lent out). That ends up ruining some of it for me.r

I'd always thought that Rand would have his epiphany, the one that he has when he finally lets go when he is outside the pattern fighting the DO in AMoL, as a result of Moiraine reappearing. I thought THAT was the point of Min's viewing "almost certainly fail" etc. It would be her guidance and council that would pave the way forward. It turns out I waited all this time with baited breath for not much.

I guess my point is that Eowyn was already a badass, she didn't need any stupid line to prove it. Moiraine was in my opinion a badass, completely out of her league to control a Ta'veren and in terms of what she could do with the power and yet of all the people in the series she handles it the best, yet we do not get a Cleansing\Killing the Gholam\Kill Slayer\Disable Dream Spike moment with her.

I always felt that this series was about how in some small part AS women had to atone for the fateful concord, at least that is how I read it. For the men the madness\cleansing, and then eventual maturity from Rand is their cycle. I think of how Egwene handles the Eladia\Silvianna beatings and eventually overcomes them. Then I compare that to the Egwene that has that spat with Tuon, I just thought it was stupid. Telling Tuon she can channel I think was great, just not the overall tone.

Yet through all this we do have Moiraine, who I really enjoy as a female fantasy character.

TLDR: This post became a bit of a ramble... but yes TLDR I basically agree with you.

GonzoTheGreat
01-15-2013, 05:44 AM
The only thing I could think of to describe what I've always felt about some of the female or male interactions and things that go on in WOT... is in the movie version of The Return of the King when Eowyn and Merry kill the Witch King, she has some bullshit line about "I am a woman HEYAHHHHHHHHHH" even though the point of the books was that she was handily defeated until Merry's special blade stabbed the Witch King. At which point she killed him, fulfilling the prophecy that no man could kill the WK.

I realize that they couldn't include that because Tom Bombadil etc was not included in the movies...

I don't know how else to describe it other than I feel like they cheesed it up with that line, at least I don't remember the books having a line like that (I can't check, my copies are lent out). That ends up ruining some of it for me.
In the books, it works out a bit differently. There, the Witch King on his pterosaur has wrecked the Rohirrim's royal guard, and threatens the king himself. Eowyn steps in between. Then the following exchange (somewhat abbreviated) occurs:
Eowyn: "Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."
WK: "Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me."
Eowyn: "But no living man am I! You look upon a woman."
This, then, frightens the WK no end, and he's dithering for more than half a page. Eventually, his pterosaur gets bored and attacks. Eowyn promptly steps back and lops off the head of the beast. WK hops off, and starts to batter her shield (and shield arm) to pieces. Merry (not being a man either, but being smart enough not to announce that in this situation) stabs him in the back, and Eowyn finishes him off.

Different from the cheesy way it is done in the movie, precisely because of the details which weren't left out here.

Morsker
01-15-2013, 06:28 PM
I did say he hedged the fantasy with Egwene. There were still signs of it, though, even while I believed he would hedge so far as to let her live.
If even letting Egwene live would've counted as "hedging" for you, what wouldn't?

Terez
01-15-2013, 07:40 PM
You appear to be addressing an argument I didn't make.

yks 6nnetu hing
01-16-2013, 04:06 AM
The Egwene death was somewhat painful for me personally, as I got it spoiled and it's the first time ever I've been upset about getting a spoiler. I really did not want her to die. So that kind of influenced the way I read her scenes a lot.

When Gawyn kicked the bucket and Egwene went on a fiery rampage, then faded to black (I think the wording was something to the effect of "she felt life draining away from her") I thought that was that and was highly disappointed, on the verge of furious, because of 2 reasons:

1)that's it? just draw lots of power, then die, no real impact anywhere?
2) BS/RJ frigging Twilighted her! the guy she loves dies so she has to kill herself?!??! oh the stupidity assigned to emo-tweeners all over the world, to have that impacted on Egwene who's always been rational and composed to a fault... it felt like complete and deliberate crushing of everything RJ had set her character up as.

Her actual death and the Rand-talking-to she did later on negates my point 1 - her death did serve a purpose, a very important one for winning the LB, but it sadly does not entirely negate point 2. All the fan-criticism of Egwene has been centered around her choosing education first (her Aiel training), choosing her job above her firends, choosing duty above everything. All of which I always admired about her character - she was the only one who was willing to try to put aside her personal likes (though it was more difficult with dislikes: Seanchan) and do what needed to be done. Take what you want and pay the price. And then in a 180-turn, in the LB she goes all emotional and kills herself? *sigh*

fionwe1987
01-16-2013, 04:31 AM
The Egwene death was somewhat painful for me personally, as I got it spoiled and it's the first time ever I've been upset about getting a spoiler. I really did not want her to die. So that kind of influenced the way I read her scenes a lot.

When Gawyn kicked the bucket and Egwene went on a fiery rampage, then faded to black (I think the wording was something to the effect of "she felt life draining away from her") I thought that was that and was highly disappointed, on the verge of furious, because of 2 reasons:

1)that's it? just draw lots of power, then die, no real impact anywhere?
2) BS/RJ frigging Twilighted her! the guy she loves dies so she has to kill herself?!??! oh the stupidity assigned to emo-tweeners all over the world, to have that impacted on Egwene who's always been rational and composed to a fault... it felt like complete and deliberate crushing of everything RJ had set her character up as.

Her actual death and the Rand-talking-to she did later on negates my point 1 - her death did serve a purpose, a very important one for winning the LB, but it sadly does not entirely negate point 2. All the fan-criticism of Egwene has been centered around her choosing education first (her Aiel training), choosing her job above her firends, choosing duty above everything. All of which I always admired about her character - she was the only one who was willing to try to put aside her personal likes (though it was more difficult with dislikes: Seanchan) and do what needed to be done. Take what you want and pay the price. And then in a 180-turn, in the LB she goes all emotional and kills herself? *sigh*
I feel her initial emotion was appropriate. She was hurting, and she was reacting to that. Its believable. Where Brandon dropped the ball was in giving her her own "let go" moment. Oh sure, she had her epiphany-lite a'la Rand a few moments before her death. But the thing is, her greatest and dearest teachers had already given her the tools to do so. "Accept the pain" is just another version of "let go". It would have been nice to see her realize Gawyn died a hero's death, and railing about it wouldn't solve anything. Then having her second confrontation with Taim would have made sense. The first time, even with her overwhelming strength, we could have had her fail to kill Taim because she's emotional. Then she gets a grip on herself, as she always does, and only then is she able to work out a way to Heal the damage roiling the Pattern.

In fact, all the thematic elements are in place. Like Balefire is ripping threads of the Pattern, the thread tied most strongly to Egwene is cut, Like the resultant chaos in the Pattern, Egwene also acts chaotically, and has her moment of madness against the Sharans that echoes Rand against the Seanchan in tPoD.

Then, we could have had her remember the Wise One's words, stabilizing herself, and having the understanding that Gawyn would be born again, that causing wanton destruction with her sa'angreal to assuage her own sense of loss is not the way (echoing Rand on DM).

Then, cool, calm, collected and afire with purpose, she'd have Traveled back to Merrilor, rallied the Aes Sedai, faced her current counterpart in the Shadow, and died as she did.

Davian93
01-16-2013, 08:26 AM
You have to understand, Egwene the Amyrlin couldn't afford to get emotional and kill herself like that but Egwene the girl is a whiney 18 year old girl who cuts herself and writes crappy emo poetry about boys she likes. That Egwene was more than capable of going all Twilight on the world.


Also, the moment she pulled that 3rd person crap again, I was praying and begging for her to die. And she did so she is at least that considerate.

Davian93
01-16-2013, 08:32 AM
Also, on a more serious note, if you want to blame anyone for Egwene's death, blame Siuan. Siuan is the one that trained her and made her so bloody arrogant that she thought she could handle anything regardless of the advice of older, wiser people (like Silviana for example). That level of arrogance led to Siuan's downfall with Elaida deposing her and later to her death when she just KNEW that Min's viewing was complete without even bothering to check with Min on that fact. Egwene was set up for failure by that and a million other people telling her she was the golden child. Up to this point, she had proven all the older advisors wrong. She was the perfect Aiel apprentice, she had embraced pain, etc etc. She had beaten down Elaida, she had made every right move (in her mind at least) in beating down the ambitions of Lelaine and Romanda to pulling down Elaida to defeating the Seanchan raid to crushing the Black Ajah to tieing the WO and Windfinders to her. Thus...she thought "What do these AS know about the pain of losing a Warder??? I'm EGWENE AL'VERE and NOTHING stops me!!!". So, when she does eventually break, she breaks in ridiculously bad fashion.

She was completely and utterly set up for that type of glorious death by every single persone in her life up to that point and by her own overweening arrogance.

Brita
01-16-2013, 10:06 AM
It was a Hero's death...which makes you wonder if perhaps she might be one now.


I really, really, really expected that when the Horn was sounded, Egwene would re-join the battle as one of the heros. I even poked my head up for a brief moment to exclaim to my family "Oh! One of my favourite characters just died, but I am sure she will be back on screen shortly as Hero of the Horn," then dove back, eager for the moment I envisioned. Ya, clearly I was disappointed.

Davian93
01-16-2013, 10:18 AM
I really, really, really expected that when the Horn was sounded, Egwene would re-join the battle as one of the heros. I even poked my head up for a brief moment to exclaim to my family "Oh! One of my favourite characters just died, but I am sure she will be back on screen shortly as Hero of the Horn," then dove back, eager for the moment I envisioned. Ya, clearly I was disappointed.

I was surprised as well...perhaps there's a nomination process involved and she's in purgatory awaiting Hawkwing and Rogosh Eagle Eye's decision. I believe the application has to be filled out in triplicate and signed by 2 other Heroes for the nomination to be considered. The Wheel has a pretty bloated bureaucracy after all.

fionwe1987
01-16-2013, 11:25 AM
Also, the moment she pulled that 3rd person crap again, I was praying and begging for her to die. And she did so she is at least that considerate.
My problem with the third person crap is not the concept of it. Seperating the personal you from the office you hold is a constant dilemme for people with that kind of power. Its Brandon's execution of it that sucks. He has her come up with it at the wrong moments entirely too often. Its one thing for her to say, "Egwene the woman is gireved her husband died, but Egwene the Amyrlin has work to do", or something like that. Makes sense, and its true too. But "Anger of the Amyrlin"? I refuse to believe Egwene would ever spew such nonsense. For one thing, its almost an oxymoron. Which Amyrlin has shown anger, or has been known for it? Egwene knows enough and more about what it is to be Amyrlin to know that any anger in any situation is all hers.

As for your other post: It wasn't stupidity or pride that made Egwene reject Silviana's offer. It was honor, and love. Its like Daigian refusing to let Nynaeve heal away her pain over Eben's death. We've all taken to think all Aes Sedai are uniformly heartless, but they're anything but. The best of them feel that they should feel the pain of their Warder's death. It is only right. This is someone who's a part of you, who has cared for you and strengthened you. How cheap to make a determination that since they're in a situation where they're likely to die, you'll simply avoid the pain. Practical? Sure. But its not right.

Davian93
01-16-2013, 11:31 AM
I refuse to believe Egwene would ever spew such nonsense. For one thing, its almost an oxymoron.

I agree...maybe as an internal monologue but out loud like that? It just sounds stupid.

As for your other post: It wasn't stupidity or pride that made Egwene reject Silviana's offer. It was honor, and love. Its like Daigian refusing to let Nynaeve heal away her pain over Eben's death. We've all taken to think all Aes Sedai are uniformly heartless, but they're anything but. The best of them feel that they should feel the pain of their Warder's death. It is only right. This is someone who's a part of you, who has cared for you and strengthened you. How cheap to make a determination that since they're in a situation where they're likely to die, you'll simply avoid the pain. Practical? Sure. But its not right

Read it again...she thinks that she'll be able to soldier on through the pain. That's arrogance there. Her pride in her ability to handle it is what I'm referring to there, not anything else. Also, as a major leader on the Light side, she has an obligation to remain functioning there and she probably should have listened to her advisors.

fionwe1987
01-16-2013, 12:07 PM
Read it again...she thinks that she'll be able to soldier on through the pain.
Which she did. She promptly bonded another woman to help her deal with the pain. Her immediate reaction was anything but controlled, true, but she did soldier through it successfully.
That's arrogance there.
Hardly as much as Rand going to Shayol Ghul with four women who had bonded him, one of them missing, one overall commander of the Light's forces, another fighting Foresaken, and the last sent packing to the Seanchan of all people. How much of a disaster would it have been if Rand had to face Warder death-rage at the exact moment the DO was succeeding in his mental/spiritual attack? Egwene's death was bad enough. The death of the others would have been staggering.

But simply cutting off those bonds is not the answer either. Gawyn's death would have affected Egwene even if she didn't have the bond. He's more than just some man she bonded. This way, she honored what he had done for her.

Her pride in her ability to handle it is what I'm referring to there, not anything else.
I recall no pride. I simply recall the PoV shifting to Egwene, confusingly. Egwene is merely speechless that anyone would suggest such a thing, and refuses the offer. All she says is:

ďNo. If he dies, I will survive it and keep fighting."
She did precisely this.

Also, as a major leader on the Light side, she has an obligation to remain functioning there and she probably should have listened to her advisors.
Next, lets ask all soldiers to preemptively kill their wives so that they won't have to face the pain of the Shadow threatening them, eh?

Egwene is far from the only Light side leader who refused this kind of cold calculation. Elayne did, Rand did...

Davian93
01-16-2013, 12:39 PM
lets ask all soldiers to preemptively kill their wives so that they won't have to face the pain of the Shadow threatening them, eh?


Total strawman as 99.9% of them arent bonded to them in that manner.

fionwe1987
01-16-2013, 01:16 PM
Total strawman as 99.9% of them arent bonded to them in that manner.
Doesn't matter. The bond, in this case, only enhances pre-existing feelings.

Also, I don't remember any of the Asha'man releasing their wives either...

GonzoTheGreat
01-16-2013, 03:31 PM
Also, I don't remember any of the Asha'man releasing their wives either...
Taim's wife didn't go crazy, did she? :D

Davian93
01-16-2013, 03:37 PM
Doesn't matter. The bond, in this case, only enhances pre-existing feelings.

Also, I don't remember any of the Asha'man releasing their wives either...

To be fair, an individual soldier or Ashaman has far less to be responsible for than the Amyrlin...so its not a major concern if they completely lose it.

Toss the dice
01-16-2013, 05:15 PM
My take on Egwene:

1. She was a horribly ego-centric, arrogant, stupid bitch that only had herself to blame for her poor character. She had poor character since Book 1, and her persona developed as expected in regards to her experiences since then.

2. I'm glad she died in a fire.

(the end)

fionwe1987
01-16-2013, 05:23 PM
To be fair, an individual soldier or Ashaman has far less to be responsible for than the Amyrlin...so its not a major concern if they completely lose it.

Yes, but surely you would agree the Dragon Reborn and the Queen of Andor, Nynaeve and Lan are in the same weight class?

I'm finding it very amusing that the same crowd that excoriates Egwene for apparently caring more for her job than the people she loves are now switching sides to insist she ditch a bond to her husband to focus on her job.

Toss the dice
01-16-2013, 05:50 PM
Yes, but surely you would agree the Dragon Reborn and the Queen of Andor, Nynaeve and Lan are in the same weight class?

I'm finding it very amusing that the same crowd that excoriates Egwene for apparently caring more for her job than the people she loves are now switching sides to insist she ditch a bond to her husband to focus on her job.

I put them in different "weight classes," as follows:

1. Dragon Reborn (no-brainer)

2. Queen of Andor, Lan, and Nynaeve all in the same weight class. Nynaeve isn't a ruler (I know Lan's case is wishy-washy), but she is a very powerful Aes Sedai and was extremely important in many situations for the Light. If Egwene was included in this, I would put her in her own class between (1.) the Dragon Reborn and (2.) the other three, due to her being the Amyrlin.

kamarile
01-16-2013, 05:59 PM
I'm finding it very amusing that the same crowd that excoriates Egwene for apparently caring more for her job than the people she loves are now switching sides to insist she ditch a bond to her husband to focus on her job.

"horribly ego-centric, arrogant, stupid bitch"

Hmm, I wonder why people could be so unreasonably harsh toward a female character???

mogi67
01-16-2013, 06:03 PM
My take on Egwene:

1. She was a horribly ego-centric, arrogant, stupid bitch that only had herself to blame for her poor character. She had poor character since Book 1, and her persona developed as expected in regards to her experiences since then.

2. I'm glad she died in a fire.

(the end)

Yeah, I agree. I feel the same way about Gawyn, really. In a way, it was Gawyn's fault that Eggy died. In betraying her trust by putting on the rings and going after Demandred, he set events in motion that led Egwene to attack Taim and then self-destruct. Not to say that it wouldn't have happened anyway, but still...good work bro

Toss the dice
01-16-2013, 06:03 PM
Hmm, I wonder why people could be so unreasonably harsh toward a female character???

Is what I said not true? Your claims of misogyny only emphasize your blind bias and irrational need for excuses.

fionwe1987
01-16-2013, 06:12 PM
Hmm, I wonder why people could be so unreasonably harsh toward a female character???
Why was my post quoted there??

fionwe1987
01-16-2013, 06:12 PM
Is what I said not true?
No, it isn't.

Terez
01-16-2013, 06:16 PM
Why was my post quoted there??
Because you asked a question, and the other post she quoted and her commentary was a way of answering that question. Though you might not agree with the answer...

The Unreasoner
01-16-2013, 06:39 PM
Is it not possible to hate Egwene without being a misogynist?

Not that I ally myself with the extremists.

Toss the dice
01-16-2013, 07:25 PM
Yeah, I agree. I feel the same way about Gawyn, really. In a way, it was Gawyn's fault that Eggy died. In betraying her trust by putting on the rings and going after Demandred, he set events in motion that led Egwene to attack Taim and then self-destruct. Not to say that it wouldn't have happened anyway, but still...good work bro

I've long thought very poorly of Gawyn and in some respects he ranks right up there with Egwene for me. The one big thing that has always helped propel my hate of Egwene forward is her actions and thoughts despite growing up with the DR and "knowing the situation," at least much more than 99.9% of everyone else. One of the excuses I acknowledge concerning other despised characters like Elaida or Gawyn is that they never had Egwene's "inside" knowledge and perspective.

Is it not possible to hate Egwene without being a misogynist?

Not that I ally myself with the extremists.

Apparently not. Of course, the fact that Moiraine, Siuan, and Mistress Anan are some of my favorite characters in the series (Moiraine being a solid #2 behind Mat) means nothing. And the fact that after Egwene, about the next top 10 hated characters of mine are all male (exception of Elaida toward the bottom of the list) means nothing too.

Know what's funny? If we were to travel back in time to right after TEotW, under the logic of those calling me a misogynist, I would instead be slammed as a misandrist

The Unreasoner
01-16-2013, 07:39 PM
*giggles*
This may come as a surprise TtD, but you are precisely the 'extremist' I hoped to distance myself from.

Toss the dice
01-16-2013, 07:56 PM
*giggles*
This may come as a surprise TtD, but you are precisely the 'extremist' I hoped to distance myself from.

But why? We could be two peas in a pod. Bros, even.

Davian93
01-16-2013, 08:11 PM
Hmm, I wonder why people could be so unreasonably harsh toward a female character???

Yes we all hate Egwene because we're misogynists. It couldn't possibly be anything else.

If that's all you have to add to the conversation, you are quite welcome to leave.

I hate Gawyn too...and Nynaeve is basically my favorite character in the books. Would you care to psychoanalyze us a bit more?

It couldnt just be that Egwene mostly sucks outside of her great death.

fionwe1987
01-16-2013, 09:49 PM
Yes we all hate Egwene because we're misogynists. It couldn't possibly be anything else.

If that's all you have to add to the conversation, you are quite welcome to leave.

I hate Gawyn too...and Nynaeve is basically my favorite character in the books. Would you care to psychoanalyze us a bit more?

It couldnt just be that Egwene mostly sucks outside of her great death.

Not that I'm agreeing with the OP, but "See I like some women!" is not proof of not being a misogynist.

kamarile
01-16-2013, 10:03 PM
Yes we all hate Egwene because we're misogynists. It couldn't possibly be anything else.


No need to strawman me. I hated Egwene for a good part of the series, but the post I quoted was someone saying she sucks because she's a dumb, arrogant bitch. Those are not words that are used by people who respect women.

(Fionwe, Terez is right, and I was agreeing with you in my earlier post... sorry if my quoting was unclear!)

Marie Curie 7
01-16-2013, 11:48 PM
All right, some of the recent comments in this thread are veering into the realm Egwene-bashing/hate/etc., so please knock it off, or posts will be moved to the Egwene quarantine thread. Those of you who are new to Theoryland, please read the forum rules (stickied above).

If you want to discuss Egwene's role in AMoL, her plot arc, or characterization, that's fine. Just keep the discussion more on topic. Thanks.

GonzoTheGreat
01-17-2013, 05:31 AM
Not that I'm agreeing with the OP, but "See I like some women!" is not proof of not being a misogynist.
No, but "you don't like one specific woman because of the way in which she acts and thinks" is not necessarily proof of being a misogynist either.

So, my question is: if someone dislikes (maybe even hates) Egwene, is that by itself conclusive proof of misogyny?

A simple question, and one that may clear up a lot of the debate on Egwene if it is actually answered by enough people. Me, I don't think that such dislike for one single character is enough to prove a gender bias. But then, I am one of those who do dislike Egwene, so I may be prejudiced.

Toss the dice
01-17-2013, 02:24 PM
No need to strawman me. I hated Egwene for a good part of the series, but the post I quoted was someone saying she sucks because she's a dumb, arrogant bitch. Those are not words that are used by people who respect women.

(Fionwe, Terez is right, and I was agreeing with you in my earlier post... sorry if my quoting was unclear!)

She IS dumb. And she is arrogant. And she is also often a bitch. I don't just throw random negative words out there to describe someone.

I respect women as much as I respect men. However, I never did respect Egwene, who happens to be a woman.

You need to quit jumping to conclusions and using your OWN personal insecurities, bias, and even possibly life experiences to cloud your thinking. Because from my perspective, you have issues in the area that we're talking about. I don't know you, I don't know your own perspective or what you've experienced, but you definitely have gender relationship issues of some kind. Other than insanity, I can think of no other reason for such immediate and uninformed finger-pointing that labels someone a misogynist.

Finally, I would like to say this: I am not a misogynist, nor do I have any disrespect for women. And if I did, I would have absolutely no problem admitting it, especially on a Wheel of Time fan-forum of all places. Does what I say actually register as logic to you yet, or is it still gibberish?

Ivhon
01-17-2013, 02:38 PM
Specific feelings about one specific female character are not what raises the misogynist eyebrow...it is this statement:

On average, women are clearly more shallow, flighty and silly, while men are more logical, solid, and rational. I'm not being sexist, biased, or discriminatory -- that's just how it is.

Which I have now read 4 times in context to be sure that you were not speaking of how women in WoT are presented. It really comes off as this is how you feel about women and men in real life. As such, it is fairly sexist, biased and discriminatory - since there is no data to support any such gender differences (in fact, to the contrary, the data suggests only very minor differences in cognition along the lines of how sex and language are approached. And even these begin to merge in middle age).

I may still be crossed on how you intended the statement in context, however, but it does come across the way I describe, at least to me.

Toss the dice
01-17-2013, 03:05 PM
Specific feelings about one specific female character are not what raises the misogynist eyebrow...it is this statement:



Which I have now read 4 times in context to be sure that you were not speaking of how women in WoT are presented. It really comes off as this is how you feel about women and men in real life. As such, it is fairly sexist, biased and discriminatory - since there is no data to support any such gender differences (in fact, to the contrary, the data suggests only very minor differences in cognition along the lines of how sex and language are approached. And even these begin to merge in middle age).

I may still be crossed on how you intended the statement in context, however, but it does come across the way I describe, at least to me.

You are correct in your assessment. However, what I said may be misleading as well. I meant what I said, but only that "women on average..." Meaning that I believe what I said but that doesn't mean I think women are SIGNIFICANTLY more shallow, flighty, etc more than men. Personally I believe it is close, but if you were forced to guess which gender on average is more shallow, and your life depended on guessing correctly, which would you choose?

Personally, I would choose women. I know lots of women that are less shallow, etc than most men, and I know lots of men that are more shallow, etc than most women. But, on average, I would say women tend to possess those traits more/more often. I'm thinking somewhere around a 5-6% difference, if that makes sense to you.

The thread was about the Wheel of Time series and its highly exaggerated take on women possessing certain qualities. This is common knowledge and like everyone else, I believe it to be highly exaggerated (like I said).

As I'll say for the last time, I am not a misogynist. I respect women just as much as I respect men. I realize what I've said probably set some people off...people love to get all insensitive and go into knee-jerk reaction mode without stopping to think everything through. That's how people are these days. Everyone gets all offended at shit they don't even understand or see in the appropriate context, and then start suing everyone because they are butthurt over nothing.

Maybe you should look at it this way instead: Rather than having disrespect for women, maybe the reality of the situation is that I'll say stuff that I believe to be true, even when it may fall under a touchy subject. Maybe instead of being a misogynist, I am in actuality just very candid, and don't care whether or not people get offended at what I say. It's not like I'm lying...that would be another story.

In addition, I say what I mean and mean what I say. Admittedly, pretty much anything anyone says can leave plenty of wiggle room for misinterpretation, mis-implications, or envisioning much, much more underneath the surface. I realize that my post in question had LOTS of wiggle room.

Terez
01-17-2013, 03:06 PM
http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/30119236.jpg

Ivhon
01-17-2013, 03:28 PM
Fair enough. The purpose of my post was to differentiate between Egwene-bashing (which belong in another thread) and sexism which belong in the Non-Wot forum. Apologies for my contribution to the derail. Please keep further posts on-topic, direct Egwene bashing to the Egwene bashing thread, and philosophical discussion of what is/isn't sexist to Non-Wot.

Davian93
01-17-2013, 03:34 PM
So...is the red font a permanent thing because it sucks to read.

Ivhon
01-17-2013, 03:40 PM
So...is the red font a permanent thing because it sucks to read.

No. That's just me being all Fabulous.

Terez
01-17-2013, 03:41 PM
That's his mod voice. I propose that mods instead use the BIG VOICE.

Marie Curie 7
01-17-2013, 03:41 PM
So...is the red font a permanent thing because it sucks to read.

I believe Ivhon was using his counselor ...erm, I mean, moderator voice right there. ;)

Terez
01-17-2013, 03:42 PM
I believe Ivhon was using his counselor ...erm, I mean, moderator voice right there. ;)
BUT THE BIG VOICE IS SO MUCH MORE FABULOUS

Ivhon
01-17-2013, 03:45 PM
I believe Ivhon was using his counselor ...erm, I mean, moderator voice right there. ;)

Counselor voice starts with "I wonder..."

Or a question about your mother.

Marie Curie 7
01-17-2013, 03:51 PM
Counselor voice starts with "I wonder..."

Or a question about your mother.

I thought it was 'how do you feel about that?'

And there is definitely a 'voice', but not THE VOICE.

Ishara
01-17-2013, 04:20 PM
So...is the red font a permanent thing because it sucks to read.

Then let's hope we don't have to use it often. ;)

ryamano
02-15-2013, 05:59 AM
Is there a single exception to this rule among male characters important enough to be worth considering? I can't think of any.

How about Aludra? Is that considered a serious relationship with Mat? He went far beyond with her (fondling, petting, kissing and maybe even sex) than Rand did with Egwene. It also seemed to involve more time than Melindhra (or maybe it was the same amount of time?). Mat was the one that abandoned Aludra for Tuon, resulting in some coldness between Aludra and Mat in KoD, but that was solved and they both have a professional relationship now that doesn't seem affected by their romantic relationship before. And Aludra lived past the Last Battle, making fireworks to celebrate their victory. The bad things that happen to Aludra (conflict in Cairhien, destruction of the Guild) happen before she's romantically involved with Mat.

So now it just seems like coincidences to me. RJ had something for making strong women be lowered and suffer a lot (Morgause, Siuan, Egwene) but that didn't happen with Tuon, for example, who basically got some vacation time with Mat when she let herself be captured. The fact that many ex-girlfriends suffered a bad end probably has to do more with the law of conservation of characters.

ryamano
02-15-2013, 07:07 AM
One-night stands don't count. I'm mostly talking about people who spurned the love of the main male characters, though Tylin doesn't really count so much. You could add Isendre to the list, though. I'm aware that bad things happen to other people in the series; that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point I'm making is that no one who spurns the love of any important male character escapes a horrible fate.

Now I see this post. So Aludra wouldn't count, because it was Mat that ended their relationship and not her. But, by that same logic, Lanfear shouldn't count, since it was Lews Therin that dumped her for Ilyena, Rand that dumped her for Elayne/Aviendha and Perrin that dumped her for Faile. She didn't spurn the love of any main character, it was the contrary.

maacaroni
02-15-2013, 07:35 AM
I think the Egwene bashing fails to factor in one reason for her behaviour.

Her age.

She is very young and I was a right arrogant git at that age.

GonzoTheGreat
02-15-2013, 07:43 AM
That age issue may explain much of her behavior (though Elayne, who is about the same age, is less of a prejudiced hypocrite), but it does not make her a better person, does it?

fionwe1987
02-15-2013, 12:01 PM
That age issue may explain much of her behavior (though Elayne, who is about the same age, is less of a prejudiced hypocrite), but it does not make her a better person, does it?
It's not really age. It's mostly PTSD.

GonzoTheGreat
02-15-2013, 12:19 PM
It's not really age. It's mostly PTSD.
That would be sort of believable if her behavior had started at the end of TGH or afterwards. But she already displayed all the Egwene-characteristics right at the beginning of TEOTW.

Davian93
02-15-2013, 12:41 PM
Two things to think about on Egwene and why she acts the way she does:

1. She spent a crapton of time near Padan Fain in TGH (well, the gap of time between tEotW and TGH)...nobody else has ever done that since Fain went to Shayol Ghul and not been messed up mentally and had major trust issues.

2. She was pretty normal albeit still a bit lacking in the trust dept until Halima got her hand on her and Compelled her for several months.

Egwene was a pretty awesome character the first 5-6 books IMHO. I think Fain's touch (albeit light in her case) made her more suspicious (especially of Rand) than she should have been and I think the repeated imprisonments, abuses messed her up further.

And BS's writing of her was terrible too.

fionwe1987
02-15-2013, 12:51 PM
That would be sort of believable if her behavior had started at the end of TGH or afterwards. But she already displayed all the Egwene-characteristics right at the beginning of TEOTW.
She didn't, though. She was scared of Nynaeve and Moiraine, in awe of Siuan, wanted Perrin to lead between them, and rather than go batshit insane like when the BA try to capture her in Tear, seems to have not put up much resistance against the Whitecloaks.

fionwe1987
02-15-2013, 12:53 PM
And BS's writing of her was terrible too.
Yup. He had her change her mind on the Seals thrice, as far as I can tell. And it isn't presented as her changing her mind. The narrative, and the characters around her also treat it like she has a cohesive opinion on the subject.

Dom
02-15-2013, 01:28 PM
But neither is actually proven.

Egwene never displayed any change in her personality in Fal Dara or right after. The clash between her personality and Rand's go back to her first scene in the series. These two have always been like that. A lot of fondness/affection, but sparks when they interact most of the time. It's a massive cope out to blame things like her logical reaction to the fact the rebel embassy went totally silent, and later reports suggesting Compulsion on any Shadar Logoth influence.

RJ once said the Shadar Logoth taint isn't spread by Fain but by the dagger. Mordeth is a nasty bastard who knows many tricks to poison minds, especially ones already susceptible to paranoia, prejudices and suspicions (like the WC and Elaida), but all evidence points to Egwene having escaping that, perhaps because Mordeth was still in his "seduction" phase, trying to get her on his side. "An awful lot of time" is also an exaggeration. She paid him a few visits in his cell. What otherwise unexplainable and noticeable changes in her personality have we seen?

As for Halima, the evidence points to her having toyed with Egwene's Dreaming, not to Compulsion. Egwene reacted to news concerning Rand the same way most AS around her did. So unless you're suggesting Halima had the whole lot under Compulsion...

The Unreasoner
02-15-2013, 02:30 PM
But neither is actually proven.

Egwene never displayed any change in her personality in Fal Dara or right after. The clash between her personality and Rand's go back to her first scene in the series. These two have always been like that. A lot of fondness/affection, but sparks when they interact most of the time. It's a massive cope out to blame things like her logical reaction to the fact the rebel embassy went totally silent, and later reports suggesting Compulsion on any Shadar Logoth influence.

RJ once said the Shadar Logoth taint isn't spread by Fain but by the dagger. Mordeth is a nasty bastard who knows many tricks to poison minds, especially ones already susceptible to paranoia, prejudices and suspicions (like the WC and Elaida), but all evidence points to Egwene having escaping that, perhaps because Mordeth was still in his "seduction" phase, trying to get her on his side. "An awful lot of time" is also an exaggeration. She paid him a few visits in his cell. What otherwise unexplainable and noticeable changes in her personality have we seen?

As for Halima, the evidence points to her having toyed with Egwene's Dreaming, not to Compulsion. Egwene reacted to news concerning Rand the same way most AS around her did. So unless you're suggesting Halima had the whole lot under Compulsion...
I think you are forgetting a few things.

First, Fain influenced both Elaida and Niall against Rand without the dagger at the time, and it was implied that this went beyond just carefully crafted verbal manipulation (there is a PoV somewhere, I'll look for it if you doubt my word). And both the guards of the cells and the other prisoners began to exhibit some odd behavior after spending time with Fain.

ETA:
Found the quote.
He wished he could feel al’Thor’s pain; surely he had caused him pain at least. Pinpricks only so far, but enough pinpricks would drain him dry. The Whitecloaks were set hard against the Dragon Reborn. Fain’s lips peeled back in a sneer. Unlikely Niall would have ever supported al’Thor any more than Elaida would have, but it was best not to take too much for granted with Rand bloody al’Thor. Well, he had brushed them both with what he carried from Aridhol; they might possibly trust their own mothers, but never al’Thor now.

Dom
02-15-2013, 03:05 PM
I didn't forget anything. We just don't differentiate the same way between what's Mordeth's verbal poison (potent on his own, but not "unnatural" vs. what's Shadar Logoth's unnatural influence.

There's no evidence Elaida or Niall were tainted the way Mat was. There's evidence that both their decisions were influenced by Mordeth's words.

There's nothing to suggest Egwene was similarly influence, according to her Mordeth/Fain was mostly trying to gain her sympathy.

The prisoners weren't "tainted", they had to listen to listen all day and night to the poisonous ramblings of a madman. Didn't they simply end up killing themselves?

More to the point, the burden of proof is on people who believed Egwene was tainted and her personality changed to provide the scenes in TGH/TDR where this clearly showed. It's easy, we have Mat pre-SL and Mat almost right after SL to compare it to, then we have Turak/Niall/Elaida, all mundanely influenced by Mordeth, and his WC on which the "taint" wasn't discernible (don't forget, it can be sensed by channelers) vs. Toram Riatin and the rest who like Mat were tainted by SL (Fain had the dagger then).

RJ was fairly clear, first when he spoke of the tainted dagger, he described it in terms of "long-term corrupting effect".

Elaida and Niall were influenced by what Fain told them, not contaminated by the SL taint.

Mordeth knows how to feed the prejudices of people just the right way, that's all. He's a born manipulator, with poisonous beliefs. In this, he's more like Masema than anything.

Then RJ answered this question that was specifically about Fain contaminating people:

When Mat had the dagger, Verin and Moiraine thought he would contaminate other people with the evil of Shadar Logoth, and they would contaminate other people. Fain does seem to be influencing without contaminating people. Is it as dangerous as it seems, could also normal people become evil and would they also contaminate other people?
ROBERT JORDAN
No. Fain can contaminate people because he has the dagger; it is the dagger. What Verin and Moiraine thought was incorrect; they were extending it too far.

fionwe1987
02-15-2013, 03:16 PM
I think you are forgetting a few things.

First, Fain influenced both Elaida and Niall against Rand without the dagger at the time, and it was implied that this went beyond just carefully crafted verbal manipulation (there is a PoV somewhere, I'll look for it if you doubt my word). And both the guards of the cells and the other prisoners began to exhibit some odd behavior after spending time with Fain.

ETA:
Found the quote.

But it is after interacting with Fain that Egwene decides to hide Rand in her room, and not even tell Moiraine or the other Aes Sedai about it. If anything, all of tGH is filled with her worried about Rand, worried about keeping his channeling secret from Siuan, Alanna, Liandrin, Elayne, Gawyn, Elaida...

If Fain made her paranoid, it was on behalf of Rand, not against him.

Alanna Mosvani laughed and spent as much time talking about the world, and men, as she did teaching. Alanna showed too much interest in Rand and Perrin and Mat for Egwene's comfort, though. Especially Rand. Worst of all was Liandrin, the only one who wore her shawl; the others had all packed them away before leaving Fal Dara. Liandrin sat fingering her red fringe and taught little, and reluctantly at that. She questioned Egwene and
Nynaeve as if they had been accused of a crime, and her questions were all about the three boys. She kept it up until Nynaeve threw her out - Egwene was not sure why Nynaeve did so - and then she left with a warning.

A woman had been standing over him, looking down. Her face was in shadow, but her eyes seemed to shine like the moon, and Egwene had known she was evil. Then there was a flash of light, and they were gone. Both of them. And behind it all, almost like another thing altogether, was the feel of danger, as if a trap was just beginning to snap shut on an unsuspecting lamb, a trap with many jaws. As though time had slowed, and she could watch the iron jaws creep closer together. The dream had not faded with waking, the way dreams did. And the danger felt so strong she still wanted to look over her shoulder - only somehow she knew that it was aimed at Rand, not at her.
She wondered if the woman had been Moiraine, and upbraided herself for the thought. Liandrin fit that part better. Or perhaps Alanna; she had been interested in Rand, too.

Elayne paused, and then said, "Is Rand well?"
Egwene felt a sudden stab of jealousy - Elayne was very pretty - but over it came a stronger stab of fear. She went over the little she knew of Rand's one meeting with the Daughter-Heir, reassuring herself: Elayne could not possibly know that Rand could channel.

"Elaida Sedai. My mother's councilor. She is Red Ajah, but Mother seems to like her despite that."
Egwene's mouth felt dry. Red Ajah, and interested in Rand.

"Is she? Was he really born in the Two Rivers, Egwene?"
Egwene made herself nod calmly. What does he know? "Of course, he was. I grew up with him."

None of this seems paranoid, though. They're perfectly rational fears, not some heightened response due to Fain's influence.

The Unreasoner
02-15-2013, 03:17 PM
I didn't forget anything. We just don't differentiate the same way between what's Mordeth's verbal poison (potent on his own, but not "unnatural" vs. what's Shadar Logoth's unnatural influence.

There's no evidence Elaida or Niall were tainted the way Mat was. There's evidence that both their decisions were influenced by Mordeth's words.

There's nothing to suggest Egwene was similarly influence, according to her Mordeth/Fain was mostly trying to gain her sympathy.

The prisoners weren't "tainted", they had to listen to listen all day and night to the poisonous ramblings of a madman. Didn't they simply end up killing themselves?

More to the point, the burden of proof is on people who believed Egwene was tainted and her personality changed to provide the scenes in TGH/TDR where this clearly showed. It's easy, we have Mat pre-SL and Mat almost right after SL to compare it to, then we have Turak/Niall/Elaida, all mundanely influenced by Mordeth, and his WC on which the "taint" wasn't discernible (don't forget, it can be sensed by channelers) vs. Toram Riatin and the rest who like Mat were tainted by SL (Fain had the dagger then).

RJ was fairly clear, first when he spoke of the tainted dagger, he described it in terms of "long-term corrupting effect".

Elaida and Niall were influenced by what Fain told them, not contaminated by the SL taint.

Mordeth knows how to feed the prejudices of people just the right way, that's all. He's a born manipulator, with poisonous beliefs. In this, he's more like Masema than anything.

Then RJ answered this question that was specifically about Fain contaminating people:


I think I still disagree. RJs quote you posted fits better as an answer to the 'lethality' of the corruption, not the suspicion. See my LoC quote, and others below.
Brandon Sanderson (26 April 2011) (http://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/status/62994950362644480)

Something fun for the #wotrr: Watch Fain. Many of you know this, but it wasn't something I saw until I started reading about the WoT.
BRANDON SANDERSON (http://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/status/62995119275655168)

Where Fain goes, people start getting paranoid, and you can trace his taint on individuals through the books by how paranoid they get.
HERIDFAN (http://twitter.com/heridfan/status/62995854310649856)

Do you mean people in immediate contact with Fain like Elaida or even people in the same town?
BRANDON SANDERSON (http://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/status/62998405277945856)

I'm mostly talking about Elaida and others who came in direct contact in this case.



Matt Hatch

I heard you answer a question last night, which sounded interesting. Someone asked about Padan Fain and Elaida.

Brandon Sanderson

A lot of people don’t remember that they met.
Matt Hatch

So, his influence, how long for example...wasn’t Egwene exposed to Padan Fain? Are there still effects that Egwene has on people because of him?
Brandon Sanderson

Remember the idea that people have, generally, a choice. There are ways to turn people to the Shadow against their will, but when that happens the person is no longer the person. What is happening with Padan Fain is, naturally tendencies can be exacerbated or they can be fought off...
Matt Hatch

...so Elaida’s paranoia fed that? With someone like Egwene she might have fought it off, so it’s not going to be...
Brandon Sanderson

...right. exactly, or someone like Rand who continues to fight it off. He has become very paranoid. And the wound in his side, certainly someone could make the connection that that might have an influence. I won’t say for certain but...
Matt Hatch

...so, the suggestion is not only does he have the taint, which is negatively influencing him, or influencing him in such ways that might bring on paranoia, there is this accentuation of it because of Fain...
Brandon Sanderson

...this corruption...I mean that wound and the dagger...
Matt Hatch

...that is another source...
Brandon Sanderson

...Mat managed to fight it off pretty much completely, well not completely, but we don’t see Mat running around paranoid anymore...Elaida gave it something to feed upon and it was very very small and subtle with Elaida but certainly that was an influence.

I repeat: Fain 'brushed them with what he carried from Aridhol'. And he did not have the dagger. And the prisoners went completely nuts. One killed himself, yes. But still, words alone could not do the kind of damage Fain did.

The Unreasoner
02-15-2013, 03:23 PM
If Fain made her paranoid, it was on behalf of Rand, not against him.
You're assuming a method to madness. Fain simply increases paranoia/suspicion, but it is undirected. It exacerbates underlying natures. At this point of the story, Egwene's loyalty is to Rand, so her paranoia would act accordingly. When her path diverges though, the paranoia might be focused elsewhere. I mean, she believes Rand Compelled AS at one point. Sure, the other AS do too, but Egwene knows Rand. In fact, her storyline could be read as her journey getting over Fain's influence (first by finally trusting Rand, then by trusting Egeanin).

fionwe1987
02-15-2013, 03:38 PM
You're assuming a method to madness. Fain simply increases paranoia/suspicion, but it is undirected. It exacerbates underlying natures. At this point of the story, Egwene's loyalty is to Rand, so her paranoia would act accordingly. When her path diverges though, the paranoia might be focused elsewhere. I mean, she believes Rand Compelled AS at one point. Sure, the other AS do too, but Egwene knows Rand. In fact, her storyline could be read as her journey getting over Fain's influence (first by finally trusting Rand, then by trusting Egeanin).
I don't know if this should go here, but...

RJ's quote trumps Brandon's on this, IMO. Dom is right that there's a difference between how the dagger based corruption works and how Mordeth manages to increase natural suspicion in people. And Brandon himself agrees that Egwene fought it off.

As for her thinking Rand would compel Aes Sedai:

Various people have commented on Egwene being dumb with Rand, in particular contrasting how Pevara leaped immediately to a conclusion that he was ta'veren where the same information took Egwene to possible Compulsion. Pevara has a clean slate regarding Rand. Insofar as Compulsion goes, to her it is a forbidden weave, suppressed so effectively among women who come to the Tower that despite the fact that many wilders have some form of it as their first weaving, by the time the White Tower is done with them many of those same women can no longer make the weave nor, in some cases, even recall how to. How, then, does this young man come by Compulsion? Much more possible, however unlikely, that he is ta'veren. Egwene, on the other hand, grew up with Rand. She largely evaded the training that would have set the same thoughts regarding Compulsion in her head that Pevara has. Whatever Egwene has learned about Rand and now knows intellectually, there is a core of her that says he is Rand al'Thor rather the Dragon Reborn, or least before being the Dragon Reborn, and if Rand were in any way ta'veren, surely she would have noticed it during their years growing up. On the other hand, he has surprised her, and others, with abilities and knowledge of weaves, such as Traveling, that they didn't expect. If he is pulling strange weaves out of nowhere, who is to say that Compulsion isn't among them? It would certainly fit the information, after all.

Jordan made it clear she had rational reasons to suspect it was compulsion. Not to mention that she was correct! Verin did the compulsion, which Egwene had no way of suspecting. But she and the Aes Sedai were exactly right when their mind leapt to suspicion the moment they heard Red Sisters and their own embassy members were both serving Rand.

And Egwene is highly reluctant to believe Rand would use Compulsion:

The eyes-and-ears in Cairhien did not want to say it. No one wanted to repeat what their agents said. There were Aes Sedai in Cairhien, and they seemed to be following the orders of the Dragon Reborn. Worse were the names that trickled out. Some were women who had been in Salidar, among the first to resist Elaida, while others were women known to be loyal to Elaida. No one had mentioned Compulsion aloud that Egwene knew of, but they had to be thinking it.

"Siuan, if you see a way to make use of this, I wish you'd tell me. I don't even want to think about using the fact that Rand may have Compelled sisters. I don't want to think about the possibility that he could have." Neither about the possibility that he knew such a repulsive weave, or that he could lay that weave on anyone. She knew it - another little gift from Moghedien - and she very much wished she could forget how to make it.

Squeezing her eyes shut, Egwene pressed the heels of her palms against her lids. That hardly seemed to affect the pulsing needle in her head. Maybe Rand was in company with a Black sister, or had been. Maybe he had used Compulsion on Aes Sedai. Bad enough on anyone, but somehow worse used on Aes Sedai, more ominous. What was dared against Aes Sedai was ten times, a hundred times, as likely to be used against those who could not defend themselves. Eventually they would have to deal with him, somehow. She had grown up with Rand, yet she could not allow that to influence her. He was the Dragon Reborn, now, the hope of the world and at the same time maybe the single greatest threat the world faced. Maybe? The Seanchan could not do as much damage as the Dragon Reborn. And she was
going to use the possibility that he had Compelled sisters. The Amyrlin Seat really was a different woman from that innkeeper's daughter.

She very clearly refers to possibility, not certainty, and the very thought of that possibility makes her uncomfortable. She doesn't jump to the conclusion he has to have done it. She worries it may be the case, and is sick of the implications. This is not paranoia. And she has to convince herself that Rand the Dragon Reborn is a different person than the one she grew up with. She's not readily believing that Rand can do something heinous. She's just reluctantly coming to the conclusion that the facts are too strong, and she can't let her pst knowledge of him influence that. She still doesn't conclude he did it without proof, though. Which, as is the case with Egwene discussion, most people happily ignore.

Dom
02-15-2013, 03:49 PM
I think I still disagree. RJs quote you posted fits better as an answer to the 'lethality' of the corruption, not the suspicion. See my LoC quote, and others below.
I repeat: Fain 'brushed them with what he carried from Aridhol'. And he did not have the dagger. And the prisoners went completely nuts. One killed himself, yes. But still, words alone could not do the kind of damage Fain did.

I'll let it go after this. I disagree with your interpretation but we're running out of new arguments.

I know Brandon shares the view you've adopted, but for me this flatly contradicts RJ's clear statement that Fain doesn't contaminate with the SL taint and it's pushing this too far; it's the dagger that does. I don't consider Brandon's beliefs on this issue valid as a result (if we were discussing his books's events I'd adopt it since he obviously wrote it this way (eg: Elaida in TGS), but to me this has no bearing on RJ's books). IMO, Brandon missed RJ's explanation that the AS beliefs about the SL taint spreading on its own or via Fain rather than only via the dagger are wrong.

I don't know why you interpret a quote clearly about the secondary contamination from Fain alone, then people he came in contact with as possibly being about the deadliness of the dagger.

That issue has been around for well over a decade, I've yet to see quoted a single scene from TGH/TDR that shows Egwene acting in something reminiscent of Mat in EOTW, or changing her attitude toward people near her. There's no noticeable change in her personality around the time she had these few visits with Fain. Another important point those who claim Egwene and Elaida were tainted is that Aes Sedai can feel this taint. I'm pretty sure Egwene spent enough time around AS for this to have been noticed.

As for Elaida, as I said, I see in those scenes the effects of Mordeth's poisonous advice, not any lasting "Shadar Logoth effect".

fionwe1987
02-15-2013, 03:59 PM
Another important point those who claim Egwene and Elaida were tainted is that Aes Sedai can fell this taint. I'm pretty sure Egwene spent enough time around AS for this to have been noticed.

To add to this, Moiraine actually found Egwene and Mat outside Fain's cell when he escaped, and delved them right there. She says that Egwene had hurt her head, but had nothing else wrong with her. I find it hard to believe she wouldn't have looked for any taint in Egwene, given the close proximity to Fain and Mat.

The Unreasoner
02-15-2013, 04:51 PM
RJ's quote trumps Brandon's on this, IMO. Dom is right that there's a difference between how the dagger based corruption works and how Mordeth manages to increase natural suspicion in people. And Brandon himself agrees that Egwene fought it off.
There are degrees to fighting it off. As to the difference between increasing natural suspicion and dagger-based corruption, thatís my point, not Domís. If you look at Domís quote, look at the mistaken beliefs Jordan cited, it is obvious that Jordan was referring to the Ďsicknessí aspect of the thing. The lethal aspect. Or, as you put it, the dagger corruption (which Fain did not have at the times in question). Saying that Jordan trumps Brandon is a nice talking point, but since they do not actually disagree here (and since I have my own Jordan quote from LoC), my position is solid.
Jordan made it clear she had rational reasons to suspect it was compulsion. Not to mention that she was correct! Verin did the compulsion, which Egwene had no way of suspecting. But she and the Aes Sedai were exactly right when their mind leapt to suspicion the moment they heard Red Sisters and their own embassy members were both serving Rand.
This is a ridiculous argument. The way these sorts of things seem to work in RJís world rely on people finding their own resons to take certain actions. See Verinís Compulsion, or Elaidaís and Niallís original mistrust. If something in Egwene is causing her to distrust Rand, she might find a rationalization in his discovery of new weaves. But, she also knows his character (and heís a bit of a softie at first), and the person she knows would never Compell an AS. The fact that she chose one rationalization over another is the point.

As for the AS actually being Compelled, that is a BS argument and you know it. Mat was right about Egwene knowing how to Travel, despite coming to the conclusion on scant evidence and faulty logic. Itís called a lucky guess, and it (and its opposite) are frequently used in the series. Itís one of the themes: how stories/evidence are created by true facts, how false facts are derived from true stories/evidence, how true facts are derived from false evidence.
And Egwene is highly reluctant to believe Rand would use Compulsion:
None of your quotes say anything of the sort, and the last nearly indicates the opposite
She very clearly refers to possibility, not certainty, and the very thought of that possibility makes her uncomfortable. She doesn't jump to the conclusion he has to have done it. She worries it may be the case, and is sick of the implications. This is not paranoia. And she has to convince herself that Rand the Dragon Reborn is a different person than the one she grew up with. She's not readily believing that Rand can do something heinous. She's just reluctantly coming to the conclusion that the facts are too strong, and she can't let her pst knowledge of him influence that. She still doesn't conclude he did it without proof, though. Which, as is the case with Egwene discussion, most people happily ignore.
So she has been more successful fighting off the suspicion than Elaida. As Brandon has said.
I'll let it go after this. I disagree with your interpretation but we're running out of new arguments.

I know Brandon shares the view you've adopted, but for me this flatly contradicts RJ's clear statement that Fain doesn't contaminate with the SL taint and it's pushing this too far; it's the dagger that does. I don't consider Brandon's beliefs on this issue valid as a result (if we were discussing his books's events I'd adopt it since he obviously wrote it this way (eg: Elaida in TGS), but to me this has no bearing on RJ's books). IMO, Brandon missed RJ's explanation that the AS beliefs about the SL taint spreading on its own or via Fain rather than only via the dagger are wrong.
Youíre confusing the sickness of the dagger with the suspicion of Mordeth.
I don't know why you interpret a quote clearly about the secondary contamination from Fain alone, then people he came in contact with as possibly being about the deadliness of the dagger.
Using only information straight from RJ, we can see that my interpretation is correct. Padan Fain explicitly used something Ďmoreí on Elaida and Niall. Jordan indicates that the taint has as its source the dagger. The lethality of the dagger and Mashadar and the suspicion of Mordeth are linked, but distinct.
Another important point those who claim Egwene and Elaida were tainted is that Aes Sedai can feel this taint. I'm pretty sure Egwene spent enough time around AS for this to have been noticed.
Again, you are thinking about the evil of Mashadar, that which was born of the hate and suspicion. That can be sensed.
As for Elaida, as I said, I see in those scenes the effects of Mordeth's poisonous advice, not any lasting "Shadar Logoth effect".
What about Fainís influence on the Children of the Light under him in TSR? Or his ability to bind that Myrdraal to him? All without the dagger. Do you really think a known renegade could have just used Ďpoisonous adviceí to turn something as pure Shadow as a Myrdraal? There are powers inherent to Fainís person that you insist on ignoring. These are distinct to the pure essence of Mashadar that resides in the dagger.
To add to this, Moiraine actually found Egwene and Mat outside Fain's cell when he escaped, and delved them right there. She says that Egwene had hurt her head, but had nothing else wrong with her. I find it hard to believe she wouldn't have looked for any taint in Egwene, given the close proximity to Fain and Mat.
Again, Mashadar and the suspicion that birthed it are different.

The Unreasoner
02-15-2013, 05:23 PM
Here are some more quotes that back up my argument. And none from Brandon (though he had a few that explained pretty well, but apparently you won't take his word on this).

Robert Jordan

For the ever-popular Anonymous, Fain might be said to be contagious in the sense that he corrupts those he is around long enough, but not in the sense that they then have something communicable. As for his influence over people, remember that Fain is now an amalgam of Fain and Mordeth, and Mordeth was a counselor, quite accustomed to and skilled in gaining the ears of the mighty. Question
How about Padan Fain and his talents?

Alan Romanczuk
He acquired his talents when he merged with Mordeth, who [paraphrased a bit] got his from research and sucked the souls from his victims.I underlined a point of particular interest.
Question
What is Fain?

Robert Jordan
Mordeth + person. Mordeth is a human-made evil. The Black Wind gets along with Mordeth because of professional courtesy. Fain is anti-Forsaken as well as anti-Rand. He has a lot of skills and abilities outside of channeling. He can not channel.

QUESTION
Is this the "Another Power"?

ROBERT JORDAN
[laugh] I don't know.

fionwe1987
02-15-2013, 05:43 PM
There are degrees to fighting it off. As to the difference between increasing natural suspicion and dagger-based corruption, thatís my point, not Domís. If you look at Domís quote, look at the mistaken beliefs Jordan cited, it is obvious that Jordan was referring to the Ďsicknessí aspect of the thing. The lethal aspect. Or, as you put it, the dagger corruption (which Fain did not have at the times in question). Saying that Jordan trumps Brandon is a nice talking point, but since they do not actually disagree here (and since I have my own Jordan quote from LoC), my position is solid.
Dom's point, and mine, is that Mordeth's manipulation of people is not something magical. He is just masterful at taking pre-existant suspicion and honing it and increasing it. He uses no special powers for this:

Dry-washing his hands, he ducked his head suitably low, suitably humbly, but the two awaiting him seemed unaware of his presence at first, locked eye-to-eye as they were. It was all he could do not to stretch out a hand to caress the tension between them. Tension and division wove everywhere through the White Tower. All to the good. Tension could be tweaked, division exploited, as need be.
He had been surprised to find Elaida on the Amyrlin Seat. Better than what he had expected, though. In many ways she was not so tough, he had heard, as the woman who had worn the stole before her. Harder, yes, and more cruel, but more brittle, too. More difficult to bend, likely, but easier to break.
Unless you want to say that Fain somehow knew that Siuan had an as yet unexplained resistance to his magical tainting powers, its clear here from his comparison of Siuan and Elaida that he's talking about normal manipulation.
This is a ridiculous argument. The way these sorts of things seem to work in RJís world rely on people finding their own resons to take certain actions.
I would love to see you go tell RJ that his own argument about the motivation of a character he himself wrote, doing something he himself planned, is "ridiculous"[/quote]
See Verinís Compulsion, or Elaidaís and Niallís original mistrust. If something in Egwene is causing her to distrust Rand, she might find a rationalization in his discovery of new weaves. But, she also knows his character (and heís a bit of a softie at first), and the person she knows would never Compell an AS. The fact that she chose one rationalization over another is the point.
Except RJ said that it was precisely Egwene's knowledge of Rand that made her dismiss the ta'veren possibility. Having two warring factions of Aes Sedai kneel to him and work together for him is odd enough, but this also includes Reds. She's never seen that kind of ta'veren work at play from Rand, so she doesn't think of it. RJ's answer is very clear that is the only reason she doesn't think of it. Not foolishness. Not some murky manipulation from Fain.


And, as both his argument, and the quotes make clear, we don't need her to come up with rationalizations to suspect compulsion. Its the most obvious answer to the evidence. As RJ says, it fits the evidence, with no twisting or paranoia needed.

As for the AS actually being Compelled, that is a BS argument and you know it. Mat was right about Egwene knowing how to Travel, despite coming to the conclusion on scant evidence and faulty logic. Itís called a lucky guess, and it (and its opposite) are frequently used in the series. Itís one of the themes: how stories/evidence are created by true facts, how false facts are derived from true stories/evidence, how true facts are derived from false evidence.
Are you arguing for arguments sake here? I said clearly that Egwene was only right in so far as compulsion being used. That was not a lucky guess. I gave you a direct quote from her PoV where her reasoning for thinking this is presented. And that is exactly what happens. Verin compels the Aes Sedai loyal to Elaida, which is why Egwene gets reports of rebels and loyalists working together for Rand. This is not a lucky guess. Who the perpetrator is is indeed a matter of a guess. Egwene thinks there's a chance its Rand. She turns out to be wrong about that.
None of your quotes say anything of the sort, and the last nearly indicates the opposite
I'm not responsible for your lack of reading comprehension.
So she has been more successful fighting off the suspicion than Elaida. As Brandon has said.
She has had nothing to fight at all. Unlike those who are tainted by Fain's powers, Egwene never refuses to ignore new evidence. In KoD, presented with fresh evidence of the sequence of events as a captive in the Tower, she has changed her mind:

More sisters captured after a great battle and somehow forced to swear fealty to Rand. She had already had inklings of that, and she could not like it any more than she did sisters being bonded by Asha'man. Being ta'veren or the Dragon Reborn was no excuse.

She no longer adheres to the Compulsion theory, as she would have if Fain had tainted her.
Youíre confusing the sickness of the dagger with the suspicion of Mordeth.
That suspicion is not anything magical. It requires him to hang around and stoke it. Or it needs an immense natural suspicion in the first place. Neither of these were the case with Egwene. He wasn't around to manipulate her (which he'd have found to be impossible anyway), and he certainly didn't have any natural suspicion of Rand to work with.
Using only information straight from RJ, we can see that my interpretation is correct. Padan Fain explicitly used something Ďmoreí on Elaida and Niall.
No he did not. He fed their paranoia, gave them selective information. That's what he means, when he refers to brushing them with what he carried from Aridhol. What does he carry from there? Mordeth's soul, with its manipulative abilities.

Unlikely Niall would have ever supported alíThor any more than Elaida would have, but it was best not to take too much for granted with Rand bloody alíThor. Well, he had brushed them both with what he carried from Aridhol; they might possibly trust their own mothers, but never alíThor now.
He already had a lot to work with, and he stoked it with his manipulative abilities. He did neither of these things with Egwene.

Jordan indicates that the taint has as its source the dagger. The lethality of the dagger and Mashadar and the suspicion of Mordeth are linked, but distinct.
The suspicion of Mordeth is not magical, though, and requires mundane means to keep it up.
Again, you are thinking about the evil of Mashadar, that which was born of the hate and suspicion. That can be sensed.
And the hate and suspicion cannot simply be imposed on someone. Fain had no way to impose it on Egwene, and given what she learned about him, he had no entry point like he did with Elaida and Niall.

Weiramon
02-15-2013, 06:17 PM
She's never seen that kind of ta'veren work at play from Rand, so she doesn't think of it.

Burn my soul, that's right. It's not as though the Lord Dragon can simply exert his will over others. Why, thinking that would give one a . . . taste of solitude.

The Unreasoner
02-15-2013, 06:40 PM
@fionwe

I'm not even going to bother replying point-by-point anymore.

I'll just point out a few things...

1. You continually dismiss quotes from RJ, BS, and the books themselves because they do not line up with your argument. I often accused others of doing this, and have since seen the very arguments I dismissed as absurd also dismissed by AMoL. Perhaps not much of a point on its own, but I will say my track record for correctly calling bs when I see it is pretty damn good.

2. Mordeth didn't start out with the dagger.

3. Brandon appears to agree with me. You can say he's wrong all you want, but he has access to information we do not. To a lot of it. And he has at least alluded to my position on more than one occasion (implying that no one in Team Jordan or the Fandom corrected him).

4. Fain agrees with me. Sure he's mad, but I'm inclined to believe that 'something from Aridhol' is more than just trash talk.

5. Look at the RJ quote you used again. He is clearly talking about something communicable. Notice the words he used, the questioner separated the 'influence' from the 'contamination'. RJ responded to the contamination, as in the evil of Aridhol. Not the suspicion that gave birth to it. He speaks of 'extending it too far'.

6. Suggesting that all of Fain's new powers came from the dagger is beyond ridiculous. It completely renders the fusing with Mordeth redundant. Mordeth was no more attached to the dagger than anything else before he fused with Fain.

7. Myrddraal have several unusual connections to the DO/TP itself. They are bound to serve the Forsaken. One was capable of being the avatar for the DO. They are completely loyal by all accounts. And yet Fain managed to turn one without the dagger?

8. Mordeth (prior to fusing with Fain) clearly had abilities unique to himself, that is, not linked to either Mashadar or Shadar Logoth.

9. Egwene being suspicious (or otherwise) of Rand is completely irrelevant to my point. My claim is that Fain has abilities to influence people, on his own. Perhaps Egwene was overly suspicious of Rand, perhaps not. She may have been overly anti-Seanchan because of this too. Certainly she has cause, but this would exacerbate the hate. And in any case, we have Brandon's word that Egwene has fought it off, to some degree. So showing trust or a lack of it proves nothing about my point, which was that he could have influenced her.

Dom
02-15-2013, 06:45 PM
Here are some more quotes that back up my argument. And none from Brandon (though he had a few that explained pretty well, but apparently you won't take his word on this).

I underlined a point of particular interest.

But...

One quote you provided gives you back precisely my argument::confused:


As for his influence over people, remember that Fain is now an amalgam of Fain and Mordeth, and Mordeth was a counselor, quite accustomed to and skilled in gaining the ears of the mighty.

Neither of us is "confused" over this. You interpret Mordeth's skills at influencing people as a supernatural power that makes people paranoid and turns them against each other, just like what the dagger Mat carried did.

I see this as mundane skills of an adept manipulator, expert at spreading poison in people's ears and make them do what he wants. It's much akin to Masema, who corrupted people and turned them into rabid fanatics the same way, without any supernatural power.

Seeing this differently, we interpret the influence of Mordeth over characters like Egwene (that one I think doesn't exist), Niall, Turak or Elaida forcibly differently too. I don't agree for instance that Mordeth supernaturally made Elaida paranoid or distrustful. Elaida always was like that. What Mordeth did was strenghten her twisted views of Rand. He reinforced her beliefs that Rand was dangerous and so on. She drank it up like sweet milk. So did Niall.

None of that had worked on Turak, with whom Mordeth didn't find a good inway.

And theres's no sign he got far with Egwene, from what she said, he was busy putting her in a mood to be susceptible to his influence by playing on the fact she missed home.

For the rest we'll have to agree to disagree. We both know the quotes, we interpret them differently.

The Unreasoner
02-15-2013, 07:16 PM
Reasonable people can disagree. I would appreciate hearing what you think Fain got from Shadar Logoth (and brushed Niall and Elaida with) though. Also how he controlled the Myrddraal in TSR.

fionwe1987
02-15-2013, 07:29 PM
3. Brandon appears to agree with me. You can say he's wrong all you want, but he has access to information we do not. To a lot of it. And he has at least alluded to my position on more than one occasion (implying that no one in Team Jordan or the Fandom corrected him).

Nothing, absolutely nothing, in Brandon's quote suggests that Fain's ability to make paranoid people more paranoid is some kind of magical ability.

4. Fain agrees with me. Sure he's mad, but I'm inclined to believe that 'something from Aridhol' is more than just trash talk.
Except RJ made a clear point that "trash talk" is just what it is:

For the ever-popular Anonymous, Fain might be said to be contagious in the sense that he corrupts those he is around long enough, but not in the sense that they then have something communicable. As for his influence over people, remember that Fain is now an amalgam of Fain and Mordeth, and Mordeth was a counselor, quite accustomed to and skilled in gaining the ears of the mighty.

His influence over people is about his skills in getting the ears of the mighty, not some magical power. This is distinct from the taint of Shadar Logoth that Mat carried, and which Fain can spread using the dagger only.

5. Look at the RJ quote you used again. He is clearly talking about something communicable. Notice the words he used, the questioner separated the 'influence' from the 'contamination'. RJ responded to the contamination, as in the evil of Aridhol. Not the suspicion that gave birth to it. He speaks of 'extending it too far'.
OMG... YES! That is EXACTLY what me and Dom are arguing. The evil of Aridhol is the thing that works by making you paranoid to everything. It makes you view everyone with suspicion. Its what makes you behave like Mat in tEotW. It is what you claimed was happening to Egwene, when you said I can't apply method to Fain's madness. You specifically stated:

You're assuming a method to madness. Fain simply increases paranoia/suspicion, but it is undirected. It exacerbates underlying natures.

This is the taint of Shadar Logoth. Elaida and Niall don't exhibit any such thing. Elaida, for example, still trusts Tarna, and Galina. Or Niall, who trusts Balwer. This is totally different from Mat, who suddenly stops trusting Rand. He refuses to trust kind farmers, or Basel Gill, people he has never met. This kind of wild, undirected suspicion is definitely not present in Egwene. And if you want to claim that what Egwene got was Fain's normal influence over people, the kind RJ said was because of his political skills as Mordeth, Fain did not get to use those on Egwene, and she wouldn't suddenly exhibit against Rand in book 10 when she exhibited pretty much exactly the opposite in book 2, just after she was around Fain.

6. Suggesting that all of Fain's new powers came from the dagger is beyond ridiculous. It completely renders the fusing with Mordeth redundant. Mordeth was no more attached to the dagger than anything else before he fused with Fain.
No one claimed such a thing.
7. Myrddraal have several unusual connections to the DO/TP itself. They are bound to serve the Forsaken. One was capable of being the avatar for the DO. They are completely loyal by all accounts. And yet Fain managed to turn one without the dagger?
By all accounts, those who are turned by 13x13 are also completely loyal. Yet Emarin managed to turn the loyalties of Dobser, a little. Mordeth is a pastmaster at precisely those kinds of manipulations. We've seen that Myrdraal can be bargained with.
8. Mordeth (prior to fusing with Fain) clearly had abilities unique to himself, that is, not linked to either Mashadar or Shadar Logoth.
And these abilities have nothing to do with what we're talking about. That he can baloon up and do a wonderful ghost impression is hardly proof that he was able to create an undirected suspicion of everyone in Egwene, when he had no access to the dagger.
9. Egwene being suspicious (or otherwise) of Rand is completely irrelevant to my point. My claim is that Fain has abilities to influence people, on his own.
YES! And those are derived from Mordeth's political skills, and don't randomly make you suspicious of anyone, and don't come to light months after you've been with him, and require him to specifically have some inherent suspicion to work with.
Perhaps Egwene was overly suspicious of Rand, perhaps not. She may have been overly anti-Seanchan because of this too. Certainly she has cause, but this would exacerbate the hate. And in any case, we have Brandon's word that Egwene has fought it off, to some degree. So showing trust or a lack of it proves nothing about my point, which was that he could have influenced her.
Actually, we don't have Brandon's word that she fought it off. My bad on that. What he specifically said was that people have a choice, to let his influence do something or not. And he never said its a continuous matter of fighting him off, or whether someone could refuse to let him influence them when they meet him, then go one their way with no increased paranoia over someone, as is the case.

Dom
02-15-2013, 07:42 PM
Well, at least you're reasonable. fionwe is...ugh.

Reasonable people can disagree. I would appreciate hearing what you think Fain got from Shadar Logoth (and brushed Niall and Elaida with) though. Also how he controlled the Myrddraal in TSR.

Oh, my arguments strictly concern how he influences people. For the rest Mordeth does have very nasty skills and knowledge.

He's got unknown abilities from the Eelfinn.

I'm hoping we'll get details about those and the dark things he's looked into in the Encyclopedia.

The Unreasoner
02-15-2013, 10:23 PM
@Dom
We know Mordeth went to the Finns, but the questions we still have to ask are: what did he get? Was it (as I favor) personal abilities to turn men against one another, the ability to make suspicion flower and grow, the ability to see into men's hearts (Bornhald/Aybara, the ability to talk his way to Elaida and Niall, the ability to see Darkfriends)? Or did he get some physical item (that may or may not be the dagger) that possessed a 'seed' of Mashadar? Or some combination of both?

Why was Mordeth still 'alive' at all? How much of him depends on Mashadar, how much of Mashadar depends on him? Who/what is Shaisam? New? Old?

Marie Curie 7
02-15-2013, 10:47 PM
Posts containing personal attacks have been removed for editing. You can disagree all you want about WoT-related topics, but knock off the personal attacks and comments about putting people on ignore, etc.

ETA: Okay, posts are restored in edited form. Feel free to continue with the discussion as long as it relates to the Wheel of Time and doesn't include personal insults. Thanks.