PDA

View Full Version : yks' thoughts on aMoL (spoilers of course!)


yks 6nnetu hing
01-16-2013, 04:10 AM
so, I finally finished it. I took it slow-slow-slow, I wanted to enjoy every word of it. And I did, mostly.

I have a few specific comments and thoughts which I'll address separately, this is just an overall impression:

The first 2/3 of the book was sadly boring. It was a lot of fighting with only a few bits of respite, mostly provided by Mat being obnoxious and/or various Rand-girlfriend moments. I'll be honest, I was worried for the end.

However, the last 1/3 more than made up for everything! I thought the final resolution of the series was fitting and elegant. I liked the pattern-battle (with a wink to the political extremes of uber-AynRand-ism "I'll do whatever the hell I want" form the DO vs the soulless idiocy of goody-two-shoes everyone loves everyone communism; those made me laugh), I loved the "letting go" and the final revelation that Rand was not the only one fighting the DO: everyone fighting against the Shadow was just as much a hero.

For character arcs, there were some I liked, some I disliked. I liked, in no particular order:

Faile: she really showed growth as a character since we first met her. her storyline in aMoL was excellent considering that she's a non-channeler and it really was a very channeling kind of a book.

Perrin: he rocked this book. Really, he was the best one in the entire book!

Galad: and that he finally realized that his idea of perfection cannot and should not be forced on others. It made him human.

Rand: I can't feally bring anything out in particular, I just overall liked the Rand arc in this book. With a few minor cosmetic problems (=dialogue at Merrilor and with Tuon)

Graendal: finally, a proper evil action from a Forsaken. Her plan of corrupting the Generals was brilliant, and it almost worked!

Aviendha: Along with Galad she seems to be the only main character who lived but was seriously injured, forcing her (same as Galad, actually) to re-think her warrior ways. Mat's eye does not count because he doesn't have to re-think anything. Which is good, because he's horrible at introspection. Anyways, back to Aviendha: she was already on the path of becoming a Wise One instead of a Maiden, this just solidifies it. I was really sad when she killer Rhuarc but that as well was fitting - Rhuarc would have wanted to be killed rather than live as a servant to the Shadow.

Birgitte: I'm just glad for her. She got the ending she wanted.




Character arcs that I didn't quite "get":

Nynaeve: what was her role in Shayol Ghul, really? just keeping Alanna alive and then channeling a bit? She had almost no character interaction in the book and that made me sad.

Alivia: huh? help Rand die??? I was expecting some great display of... something... But I suppose it's just as effective for the book that despite her prowess in the OP, she helped out simply by being a nice person. or something.

Demandred: he came out of nowhere so his character arc was quite short. I probably need some time to decide whether I liked the arc or not.

Logain: I wish we had gotten to see more Logain POV's earlier on inthe book, because now his changed personality felt a bit jarring.

Olver: wtf?




Character arcs I was disappointed with:

Lan: He played a huge role in the book, and we got to see a bit into his psyche, but he should have died.

Moiraine: her appearance at Merrilor was lame and in Shayol Ghul she did nothing. She should have remained dead.

Min: There was nothing with Min and Rand. Nothing. Her reassignement to the Seanchan was stupid and the entire time it felt like she was a puppet on a string. Really sad about that entire arc. She deserves better!

Tuon: She was just irritating and infuriating and annoying in equal parts, with no personality and no redeeming qualities. Total bitch. Perfect for Mat.

Pevara: While I rather liked the Androl-Pevara arc, I thought that Pevara in particular changed too much as a character from the earlier books.

Mat: because Mat is stupid in general and has been throughout all the books, no change here. Stupid codes and numbers and overly complicated diversion plans, copying Rand with the Tuon-fight... No, I still don't like Mat.

Davian93
01-16-2013, 07:18 AM
Pevara: While I rather liked the Androl-Pevara arc, I thought that Pevara in particular changed too much as a character from the earlier books.


All those things you wish you could have seen were probably jettisoned all for this stupid subplot....think about it.

Ivhon
01-16-2013, 07:28 AM
All those things you wish you could have seen were probably jettisoned all for this stupid subplot....think about it.

I actually found that subplot - at least the Black Tower part - to be the most suspenseful and harrowing of the book. I wish more of it could have had the sense of weighty menace that the BT and the Village did. Granted it had little to do with the main characters, but I found it to be the best storytelling

Terez
01-16-2013, 09:33 AM
Alivia: huh? help Rand die??? I was expecting some great display of... something... But I suppose it's just as effective for the book that despite her prowess in the OP, she helped out simply by being a nice person. or something.
I always argued that her role in Rand's death would be minor; she wasn't developed enough as a character to play a major role. I was mostly upset that 1) Rand didn't actually die, and 2) so far as Rand's 'death' was described, Alivia had nothing to do with it.

Olver: wtf?
Song of Roland. I loved Olver, and I thought the bits leading up to him blowing the Horn were really well done.

Min: There was nothing with Min and Rand. Nothing. Her reassignement to the Seanchan was stupid and the entire time it felt like she was a puppet on a string. Really sad about that entire arc. She deserves better!
I liked this. And it really hit me on re-read how good it is for her, and for Randland as a whole. She is Tuon's Truthspeaker; she is allowed to rebuke Tuon in public! That was very nicely foreshadowed at the end of TGH (thanks to Dom for pointing this out). I remember thinking at the time I read it that it was kind of strange that Min was willing to go along with the Seanchan and play their game just so she could stay near Egwene and visit her, and Egwene didn't hold it against her, either. As Tuon's Truthspeaker, she's anything but a puppet. She's expected to play their game and fit in to an extent, and she's expected to give Tuon her omens, but she might be one of the most powerful people in the Empire, now. Tuon tried to execute a woman based on one of her viewings, and Min let her know how it was going to be. She's far from powerless.

Pevara: While I rather liked the Androl-Pevara arc, I thought that Pevara in particular changed too much as a character from the earlier books.
I won't claim she was perfect, but I think she was far more in-character than most of Brandon's attempts.

Ishara
01-16-2013, 11:18 AM
I'll admit that Olver's (later) scenes were some of the best in the book for me. Suspenseful, sad, exciting...I loved them. His POVs earlier were largely unnecessary, but whatevs.

I think that given the fact that Rand has officially died, Min's "transfer" to the Seanchan is perfect. Where else would she have the opportunity to change the system from the inside using her innate skill and learned subtleties?

I agree wholeheartedly that Moiranine should have stayed dead. I'll leave it at that. ;)

fdsaf3
01-16-2013, 11:40 AM
The more reactions I read here, the more I'm convinced that people had their minds made up about a lot of stuff before the book even came out. Yks was going to hate Mat no matter what. Davian was going to hate Brandon's writing (and most of the book as a whole) no matter what. And so on.

There was simply no way for this book to be enjoyed by self-appointed Hard Core Fan Freaks of the series.

Doesn't anyone see the problem with this?

Davian93
01-16-2013, 11:42 AM
For the most part, I enjoyed the book...there were just several very annoying things due to the style of the writing is all.

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-16-2013, 11:45 AM
There was simply no way for this book to be enjoyed by self-appointed Hard Core Fan Freaks of the series.

Doesn't anyone see the problem with this?

No, everyone is entitled to their opinions. I actually have been surprised by a few reactions of some notable HCFFs...a bit milder than what I thought was coming in regards to various characters & storylines.

What "problem" do you seem to think we should have here?

fdsaf3
01-16-2013, 12:07 PM
No, everyone is entitled to their opinions. I actually have been surprised by a few reactions of some notable HCFFs...a bit milder than what I thought was coming in regards to various characters & storylines.

What "problem" do you seem to think we should have here?

Yep, everyone's entitled to their opinions. Please point out to me the part of my post where I indicated anything else.

If you'll read my previous post again, you'll notice that the problem I'm alluding to is that people who self-describe as Hard Core Fan Freaks came into the last book with a laundry list of preconceived notions. It seems weird to me that people with so much invested into this series would come into the last book and be convinced that they weren't going to like certain aspects of it before they even started reading.

But hey, what do I know. Everyone, as you say, is entitled to their opinion. This is mine.

Sinistrum
01-16-2013, 12:21 PM
Song of Roland. I loved Olver, and I thought the bits leading up to him blowing the Horn were really well done.

I liked this. And it really hit me on re-read how good it is for her, and for Randland as a whole. She is Tuon's Truthspeaker; she is allowed to rebuke Tuon in public! That was very nicely foreshadowed at the end of TGH (thanks to Dom for pointing this out). I remember thinking at the time I read it that it was kind of strange that Min was willing to go along with the Seanchan and play their game just so she could stay near Egwene and visit her, and Egwene didn't hold it against her, either. As Tuon's Truthspeaker, she's anything but a puppet. She's expected to play their game and fit in to an extent, and she's expected to give Tuon her omens, but she might be one of the most powerful people in the Empire, now. Tuon tried to execute a woman based on one of her viewings, and Min let her know how it was going to be. She's far from powerless.

Gah...I...agree...with...Terez! :p

The more reactions I read here, the more I'm convinced that people had their minds made up about a lot of stuff before the book even came out. Yks was going to hate Mat no matter what. Davian was going to hate Brandon's writing (and most of the book as a whole) no matter what. And so on.

There was simply no way for this book to be enjoyed by self-appointed Hard Core Fan Freaks of the series.

You've noticed that too huh? Even with the positive feedback, there always seems to be a giant BUT lurking in the background. That's not say the book was perfect or above criticism, but it just seems like the criticisms have been dominating the conversation to this point. Quite frankly I was expecting more in the way of conversations along Ishy's thread regarding the consequences of the end results and a lot less bitching about things like Sanderson's writing style, "fanservice" (whatever that means), or the secret misogyny of RJ toward ex-girlfriends. I have to wonder if a lot of it might have to do with people being upset over their pet theories getting disproven. Loved the bolded choice of words btw.

Terez
01-16-2013, 12:31 PM
...or the secret misogyny of RJ toward ex-girlfriends. I have to wonder if a lot of it might have to do with people being upset over their pet theories getting disproven...
Since you brought up my thread...I just thought I'd point out it has nothing to do with my pet theories. :) As for expectations, it's our right to have them, and our burden to suffer the consequences for them. And as I mentioned in my review, sometimes it's great to be wrong about things; my pet theory about Alviarin being the key to the Great Purge is a good example of what it's like to be happy you were wrong about something. Verin was good storytelling; I don't feel the same way about certain other details in the ending.

fdsaf3
01-16-2013, 12:33 PM
Also, I just want to be clear that I'm not trying to start a holy war here. I mentioned Yks and Davian just because they were two examples of how I am perceiving the reactions of people. I hope those two in particular don't feel offended or singled out - that wasn't my intention.

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-16-2013, 12:34 PM
Yep, everyone's entitled to their opinions. Please point out to me the part of my post where I indicated anything else.

If you'll read my previous post again, you'll notice that the problem I'm alluding to is that people who self-describe as Hard Core Fan Freaks came into the last book with a laundry list of preconceived notions. It seems weird to me that people with so much invested into this series would come into the last book and be convinced that they weren't going to like certain aspects of it before they even started reading.

But hey, what do I know. Everyone, as you say, is entitled to their opinion. This is mine.

Geesh, I wasn't accusing you of anything, relax.
I didn't, and still don't, see the "problem" you seemed to think we should all acknowlege.

Precisely because everyone is invested in the series we ALL came in with preconceived ideas. Some are just more obvious than others. I wanted less about Perrin in the wolf dream and more about Rand's actual battle. I expected the former be part of the book, and to annoy me, and it did. I did not expect the the latter, and it annoyed me as much if not more. Doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the book, it just didn't meet my little imaginary outcomes. In turn it is easy to blame BS, Team Jordan and/or RJ himself. But I do recognize my "imagined" ending would have pissed off others just as certain aspects of the book which piss me off probably fit perfectly in someone else's mind.

I just don't see a problem with that.

fdsaf3
01-16-2013, 12:45 PM
You are right. I am stressed and overreacted. I apolgize.

suttree
01-16-2013, 01:48 PM
The more reactions I read here, the more I'm convinced that people had their minds made up about a lot of stuff before the book even came out. Yks was going to hate Mat no matter what. Davian was going to hate Brandon's writing (and most of the book as a whole) no matter what. And so on.

There was simply no way for this book to be enjoyed by self-appointed Hard Core Fan Freaks of the series.



Mind's made up? People are responding with honest opinions to what they read. Unpolished prose, blunt plot work and poor characterization were not all that diffciult to see. If they weren't there people wouldn't have an issue with it. It doesn't help at all to put blinders on and ignore the flaws. That said there is avery simple they could ahve made the book more enjoyable. Do a better job.

Ishara
01-16-2013, 02:28 PM
The more reactions I read here, the more I'm convinced that people had their minds made up about a lot of stuff before the book even came out. Yks was going to hate Mat no matter what. Davian was going to hate Brandon's writing (and most of the book as a whole) no matter what. And so on.

There was simply no way for this book to be enjoyed by self-appointed Hard Core Fan Freaks of the series.

Doesn't anyone see the problem with this?

I loved it. Unabashedly. I loved every word. I loved the back and forth between Mat and Rand. It delighted me. I wish there had been more, but I would have wished that if the book was twice as long. :)

mogi67
01-16-2013, 02:56 PM
I probably shed more tears reading AMoL than any other book combined. It was awesome how Tam still had a lesson or two for Rand even though he's the 400 year old savior of the world. I thought that was really cool.

"Hey dad, wanna to have a catch?"

Davian93
01-16-2013, 03:02 PM
I probably shed more tears reading AMoL than any other book combined. It was awesome how Tam still had a lesson or two for Rand even though he's the 400 year old savior of the world. I thought that was really cool.

"Hey dad, wanna to have a catch?"

Well, that was the major reason Rand plowed under his tabac fields to build that baseball field after all.

Cortar
01-16-2013, 04:01 PM
I always argued that her role in Rand's death would be minor; she wasn't developed enough as a character to play a major role. I was mostly upset that 1) Rand didn't actually die, and 2) so far as Rand's 'death' was described, Alivia had nothing to do with it.


She "helped" him die by gathering everything together for him. Rather it was necessary or if someone else could have done it is a different question. She definitely fulfilled the prophecy... Like many others in this series, in a way nobody expected.

yks 6nnetu hing
01-16-2013, 04:03 PM
To be fair I disliked Mat less than in any other book since halfway tGH in the second half of the book, when all he did was direct battle.

Min plotline, yeah, I can see how the outcome makes sense for her, but the way it came about was... "Rand would want it" - "oh, okidokey. Whee I never have to use my brain again and can now rely only on my talent."

I was hoping she would become a professor or something in one of Rand's schools. She has always rather tried to get away from the spotlight, so her accepting it so easily now just felt wrong.

Terez
01-16-2013, 04:11 PM
She "helped" him die by gathering everything together for him. Rather it was necessary or if someone else could have done it is a different question. She definitely fulfilled the prophecy... Like many others in this series, in a way nobody expected.
I don't care if she fulfilled it on a technicality; it was stupid, and lazy plotting.

Toss the dice
01-16-2013, 04:20 PM
I don't care if she fulfilled it on a technicality; it was stupid, and lazy plotting.

Agreed. I kept trying to analyze that part of it, thinking I might have missed something, or if it was possible that Alivia could have had a greater role in the body swap or...something. Apparently not.

eht slat meit
01-16-2013, 05:50 PM
Agreed. I kept trying to analyze that part of it, thinking I might have missed something, or if it was possible that Alivia could have had a greater role in the body swap or...something. Apparently not.

If it were actually prophecy that Alivia were to help Rand die, I'd have had a problem with it, but it *was* just one of Min's viewings, not all of which need to live up to the Dragon-level of prophecy.

A bit cheap, sure, but the way in which Min's viewing of Cadsuane was fulfilled just rocks. The White Tower and Black Tower just deserve each other. :)

Terez
01-16-2013, 06:21 PM
If it were actually prophecy that Alivia were to help Rand die, I'd have had a problem with it, but it *was* just one of Min's viewings, not all of which need to live up to the Dragon-level of prophecy.
Min's viewings are absolute, ranking right up there with Foretelling as a means of prophecy. Only dreams are ambiguous. That's why I think it's a cheap/lazy red herring. (That and the fact that three other prophecies said Rand would die.)

eht slat meit
01-16-2013, 06:35 PM
Min's viewings are absolute,

Sure, but they're also often meaningful only to the person she views them for, not necessarily the greater Pattern. Perrin's "Berelain Falcon" and Berelain's "man in white" immediately comes to mind or Sheriam's bruises.

A thousand other images she's seen and never known the meaning of. All of substance or importance to their owner, but of limited consequence in terms of the Pattern.

In terms of even those viewings, it seems slightly weaker and cheaper than Faolain's "happy future", but not by much.

Terez
01-16-2013, 06:40 PM
Well, Faolain's pleasant future always had implications for being post–Last Battle; I don't think anyone was surprised about that. She talked about working on whatever-it-was in LOC. Alivia was different, and as a storytelling device that one was cheap.

Ishara
01-16-2013, 08:56 PM
I was hoping she would become a professor or something in one of Rand's schools.

That, I would have liked too! Man, she would have been great, sassing the students...LOL.

Sinistrum
01-16-2013, 09:06 PM
Heaven forbid she teaches any men. They apparently wouldn't be able to concentrate given the kinds of pants she likes to wear. :p

yks 6nnetu hing
01-17-2013, 01:35 AM
I've had more of a think about it and I think I like the way the Demandred/Shara bit was handled, and that's for 2 interconnected reasons: firstly, it was only in the one book. I don't think I could have handled yet another huge nation with extra characters and POV's and social structure etc spanning over the last few books. So kudos to whoever made the decision to keep them to just the last book! Secondly, even though it was only in the last book, the detailing was quite excellent and will provide us with some food for thought for the coming... ehm... time. How did Demandred establish his base there? Was he really mad? What's the prophesy they have about the Dragonslayer fighting alongside them? what's with the tattoos? Who's that girl (Sheila? no... something with an S) and what's the story there? and so on.

Also, on Olver, basically an orphan kid has imaginary friends. I don't know. It does make sense that he'd be the bugle-boy - looking back, all signs point to it. But, I don't know, I think I need more time to digest it, maybe I'll think differently after I read it again.

Daekyras
01-17-2013, 05:53 AM
I didn't really have a problem with Olver, other than the blatant fan service that was "Bela the Wonder Horse". I mean, all he basically did was stab a channeler in the lower back and then get caught by trollocs, it's not like he was a hero and went around destroying multiple trollocs...

On the point of fan service, i did think there was a tad too much- Frequent Elayne is an idiot(Yes, we know) mentions- but it didn't really detract from the overall story.

One thing that greatly annoyed me was the Logain PoV. Waited since book 1 to get one and he turns out to be a dick? Frustrating.

GonzoTheGreat
01-17-2013, 06:11 AM
One thing that greatly annoyed me was the Logain PoV. Waited since book 1 to get one and he turns out to be a dick? Frustrating.
Well, he was being forcibly turned into a dick. The process was not completed, so that he ended up only half cocked, but it did leave him with some rather bad memories. On top of already having been a bit paranoid as a result of his earlier experiences.
I think that the way he was portrayed here was more believable than it would have been if he had simply shrugged it all off and been happy.

Daekyras
01-17-2013, 06:40 AM
.
I think that the way he was portrayed here was more believable than it would have been if he had simply shrugged it all off and been happy.

Oh I agree, It's still Frustrating. It's the lust for power that annoyed me most..

Oh and one other thing- Did someone above say they found Lan disappointing in this book?

I really can't see that. A long time ago I posted a theory on the main site about Lan vs Shadar Haran in a one on one at the last battle. Not the Dark One, duh, but I thought SH would command the shadow forces. Obviously, this didn't pan out, "useless Husk" and all that, but taking out Demandred is pretty much the same thing so I'm fricking delighted!

David Selig
01-17-2013, 06:48 AM
One thing that greatly annoyed me was the Logain PoV. Waited since book 1 to get one and he turns out to be a dick? Frustrating.
Logain was always clearly a dick. Claiming to be the Dragon Reborn without fulfilling any prophesies, starting a massive war and destroying cities kind of gave it away. :cool:

yks 6nnetu hing
01-17-2013, 06:55 AM
Oh and one other thing- Did someone above say they found Lan disappointing in this book?

Lan was great. Until he magically resurrected, holding the head of Demandred up. I actually thought at first that he was a Hero of the Horn; but no. he actually survived the Last Battle.

Daekyras
01-17-2013, 07:01 AM
Lan was great. Until he magically resurrected, holding the head of Demandred up. I actually thought at first that he was a Hero of the Horn; but no. he actually survived the Last Battle.

I don't get that "magically resurrected" bit. He pushes the sword into his side. Plenty of scope to not hit vital organs and very similar to what happened to Rand at falme. Sheath the sword. I thin it was fitting and was delighted he survived..

yks 6nnetu hing
01-17-2013, 07:23 AM
I don't get that "magically resurrected" bit. He pushes the sword into his side. Plenty of scope to not hit vital organs and very similar to what happened to Rand at falme. Sheath the sword. I thin it was fitting and was delighted he survived..

*snort* maybe I've read too much Bernard Cornwell, but gut wounds are super nasty. quite aside from bleeding to death, if the intestines are ruptured, even modern medicine can't do much. If he got the sword in his lung, he could have drowned in his own blood within minutes; if he got it in his gall bladder, or liver, the process migth be slower but all in all... without IMMEDIATE Healing, the guy was toast. and even with Healing, it probably would have taken too much out of him to survive.

Daekyras
01-17-2013, 08:20 AM
*snort* maybe I've read too much Bernard Cornwell, but gut wounds are super nasty. quite aside from bleeding to death, if the intestines are ruptured, even modern medicine can't do much. If he got the sword in his lung, he could have drowned in his own blood within minutes; if he got it in his gall bladder, or liver, the process migth be slower but all in all... without IMMEDIATE Healing, the guy was toast. and even with Healing, it probably would have taken too much out of him to survive.

I understand what you are saying here. It makes sense. However, that doesn't mean his story arc was disappointing.

As for immediate healing, wouldn't that mean Aviendha and Galad should die from blood loss also? There wounds are pretty gruesome.

There are many instances of people surviving wounds that should have killed them in these books. I don't find Lan's survival any more galling.

yks 6nnetu hing
01-17-2013, 08:25 AM
I understand what you are saying here. It makes sense. However, that doesn't mean his story arc was disappointing.

As for immediate healing, wouldn't that mean Aviendha and Galad should die from blood loss also? There wounds are pretty gruesome.

There are many instances of people surviving wounds that should have killed them in these books. I don't find Lan's survival any more galling.

Not necessarily, the farther away from the main arteries, the slower the bleeding process is. feet are pretty far whereas gut/torso is really fricking close. Galad's arm is a borderline case, I think but it's made very clear that Annoura tried to be as fast as possible. No note whatsoever on Lan and healing him super-quick.

As I said, his arc was awesome. It just should have ended earlier.

Terez
01-17-2013, 08:28 AM
I understand what you are saying here. It makes sense. However, that doesn't mean his story arc was disappointing.
It was just one of many details making his story arc disappointing.

Davian93
01-17-2013, 08:28 AM
Not necessarily, the farther away from the main arteries, the slower the bleeding process is. feet are pretty far whereas gut/torso is really fricking close. Galad's arm is a borderline case, I think but it's made very clear that Annoura tried to be as fast as possible. No note whatsoever on Lan and healing him super-quick.

As I said, his arc was awesome. It just should have ended earlier.

Narishma healed him after he came back with Demandred's head but there's no note on how fast that was....could have been min could have been half an hour for all we know. The text isnt all that clear.

On Galad, I think he would have bled out from that type of wound rather quickly unless someone put a tourniqet on it. However, its possible that he didnt as sometimes the blood vessels will contract with that type of wound and it'd take hours for him to bleed out.

sleepinghour
01-17-2013, 08:30 AM
Lan also had the healing benefits of a Warder bond...that's why Gawyn held on as long as he did.

Daekyras
01-17-2013, 09:09 AM
It was just one of many details making his story arc disappointing.

What did you find disappointing?

Also, in you're review(non-spoiler) you mentioned that some scenes were copies of earlier scenes and a lot of forshadowing from books 1-3 was fulfilled.

I saw some of the more obvious ones but was wondering if you could point me to some of the less obvious ones?! As ever, I bow to your superior knowledge...

GonzoTheGreat
01-17-2013, 09:26 AM
Lan already had a lifetime's experience of almost but not quite bleeding to death. I'm not sure he has any internal organs left.

Terez
01-17-2013, 09:29 AM
What did you find disappointing?
The whole Gawyn-Galad-Lan vs Demandred storyline was like passing the controller with your friends to try to beat the big boss. And Lan's fake death was just one of a long, pathetic string of them.

Also, in you're review(non-spoiler) you mentioned that some scenes were copies of earlier scenes and a lot of forshadowing from books 1-3 was fulfilled.

I saw some of the more obvious ones but was wondering if you could point me to some of the less obvious ones?! As ever, I bow to your superior knowledge...
I haven't made a list of them. Here's an example of one of the less obvious ones:

"Just win this battle! I have bet a skin of oosquai upon our success."

Mat snorted. The only thing more discomforting than a stoic Aiel was a grinning one. Bet? On the outcome of this battle? What kind of bet was that? If they lost, nobody would live long enough to collect . . .

Mat frowned. Actually, that was a pretty good bet to be making. "Who did you find to take that bet?" Mat called. "Urien?" But the man was already too far away to hear.
Edorion drew a deep breath, puffing his pink cheeks, and let it out slowly. "I suppose if I made it out in one piece, I can make it back in. My Lord Dragon, forgive me if I offend, but would you care to wager, say, a thousand gold crowns, that you can really come in seven days?"

Rand stared at him. The man was as bad as Mat. "I don't have a hundred crowns silver, much less a thousand in —"

Sulin broke in. "He has it, Tairen," she said firmly. "He will meet your wager, if you make it ten thousand by weight."

Edorion laughed. "Done, Aiel. And worth every copper if I lose. Come to think, I'll not live to collect if I win. Come, Meresin, Daricain." It sounded as if he were summoning dogs to heel. "We ride."
This was just before the Battle of Cairhien. Edorion volunteered to ride back to the city and let them know help was on the way. He ended up fighting with Mat, and became an officer in the Band. So we have a pretty good suggestion as to who Urien got to take that bet. ;)

PS—On second thought, it was just a skin of oosquai, so maybe not Edorion. But it's still an obvious reference.

Terez
01-17-2013, 09:58 AM
Another one:

"If so," Lan said, "we stand atop the high ground, and we fight until we die, Ghealdanin. You surrender when you're dead. Many a man has been given less."...

...Despite Lan's initial offensive, Demandred was the better swordsman. Lan knew this by the same sense that told him when to strike, when to parry, when to step and when to withdraw.
"You are a cool one, Aes Sedai," Lan said flatly.

"As cool as I must be," she told him. Diryk's scream rang in her ears. Iselle's face dwindled below her. As in the test for the shawl, all her calm was outward show, but she clung to it tightly. Let go for an instant, and she would be on her knees weeping. Howling with grief. "It seems Ryne was wrong as well as a Darkfriend. You were better than he."

Lan shook his head slightly. "He was better. But he thought I was finished, with only one arm. He never understood. You surrender after you're dead."

Moiraine nodded. Surrender after you are dead. Yes.

Daekyras
01-17-2013, 09:59 AM
This was just before the Battle of Cairhien. Edorion volunteered to ride back to the city and let them know help was on the way. He ended up fighting with Mat, and became an officer in the Band. So we have a pretty good suggestion as to who Urien got to take that bet. ;)

PS—On second thought, it was just a skin of oosquai, so maybe not Edorion. But it's still an obvious reference.

Thats freaking impressive T.

Any more of those would be brilliant. Helps to add depth to the story and eases the pain of finishing a story i've been enthralled by for 20+ years.

Also, I see your point on the Gawyn-Galad-Lan bit, but as a whole, seperate arc, I truly loved Lans story in this book.

Terez
01-17-2013, 10:00 AM
Just added another one; we cross-posted.

Ishara
01-17-2013, 10:32 AM
See, Lan's survival didn't bother me in the slightest (again, I was delighted). But we had (as far as I was concerned):

a) seen enough of him suffering for his cause,

b) seen a Viewing that strongly suggested he'd survive the Last Battle, and

c) really needed someone to have a *genuinely* happy ending.

It worked for me, and normally for the me, the more people who die to pay the price of power, the better.

Davian93
01-17-2013, 10:53 AM
Having him survive was cool...I personally just didnt care for the fake death cliffhanger.

sleepinghour
01-17-2013, 11:21 AM
Also, in you're review(non-spoiler) you mentioned that some scenes were copies of earlier scenes and a lot of forshadowing from books 1-3 was fulfilled.


“Egwene!” At Nynaeve’s shout from the house, Egwene jumped. “Egwene, I need you! And wash your hands again!”
She pushed herself free from Rand’s arms. “She needs my help, Rand.”

Egwene returned to Nynaeve, who still knelt beside Talmanes. [...] “Light,” Nynaeve whispered, “that took a lot out of me. Even with my angreal. I’m impressed that Moiraine managed it with Tam, all that time ago ...” There seemed to be a note of pride in Nynaeve’s voice.
She had wanted to heal Tam, but could not—though, of course, Nynaeve had not known what she had been doing at the time. She had come a long, long way since then. [...]
“Here, let us link. I’ll lend you my strength.” [...]
Nynaeve nodded and they linked. The two of them joined the group of Aes Sedai that Romanda had set Healing the refugees with the worst wounds.

As is evident from the mentions of Tam, this is a repeat of the scene in TEotW where Nynaeve couldn't save Tam and left to heal others with Egwene in tow to assist her. The only difference here is that Nynaeve managed to save Talmanes. The first time I read it, Talmanes being saved seemed to be the main point of the scene, but now that Egwene's dead, it also seems intended to provide closure for Nynaeve and Egwene's relationship. This scene is the last time they talk to each other onscreen, so it only seems fitting to return to one of their early scenes together where they collaborated without any power struggle.

Terez
01-17-2013, 11:31 AM
Having him survive was cool...I personally just didnt care for the fake death cliffhanger.
This, except even the fake cliffhanger wouldn't have bothered me too much if it wasn't Fake Death #287.

Davian93
01-17-2013, 11:38 AM
This, except even the fake cliffhanger wouldn't have bothered me too much if it wasn't Fake Death #287.

That was the bigger part of why it sucked...I dont care for Dan Brown novels so the multitude of fake cliffhangers sucked.

fdsaf3
01-17-2013, 11:52 AM
That was the bigger part of why it sucked...I dont care for Dan Brown novels so the multitude of fake cliffhangers sucked.

I don't like Dan Brown novels because every time I see or hear the word "symbologist" used, I want to lobotomize myself.

The whole Gawyn-Galad-Lan vs Demandred storyline was like passing the controller with your friends to try to beat the big boss. And Lan's fake death was just one of a long, pathetic string of them.

Yeah, this. I agree with this. I had similar thoughts when reading those scenes. Even if you get over how crazy and demented Demandred must have been to willingly engage in three separate hand to hand duels when he could simply use the One Power and kill from afar, it's stupid how this happened three times. In the same battle. What the heck? If it happened once, it could have been an interesting and well-written scene. But to happen three times to three increasingly powerful and well-trained swordsmen...just ruined it for me.

What, did we expect Lan to lose his duel with Demandred? Even if he died, which I think most of us expected when we first read the scene, we at least assumed he would kill or mortally would Demandred. Nope.

For me, the thematic confrontation between Lan and Demandred doesn't make sense. If Demandred was going to battle any main character one on one (excluding Rand, of course), I can see the strongest case being made for Mat. But Lan? I just don't see it. Maybe someone who understands all the mythological connections can better explain how this makes sense.

Terez
01-17-2013, 11:54 AM
In that sense it was like Mat killing Couladin.

Davian93
01-17-2013, 12:29 PM
If Brandon was determined to have a duel scene...he should have had all 3 attack at the same time and had it mirror Rand's sparring with 6 opponents in LoC to not only show Demandred's arrogance that he could always match LTT but also to avoid the stupid 1 at a time ninja attack scenario we got to endure.

He still could have had Gawyn gutted, Galad lose a hand and Lan wounded in such a fight but without the stupid cliffhangers.

He could have even thrown in some stupid lines like "Three? Three Blademasters? Lets see how you do against a true Blademaster. Lew Therin and I invented this sport (along with Be'lal), blah blah blah"

Yellowbeard
01-17-2013, 12:49 PM
Seems to me that Lan turned the battle by killing Demandred.

Don't at least few versions of the Arthurian legend have Lancelot turning the Battle of Camlann around when he takes the field?

Toss the dice
01-17-2013, 01:30 PM
If Brandon was determined to have a duel scene...he should have had all 3 attack at the same time and had it mirror Rand's sparring with 6 opponents in LoC to not only show Demandred's arrogance that he could always match LTT but also to avoid the stupid 1 at a time ninja attack scenario we got to endure.

He still could have had Gawyn gutted, Galad lose a hand and Lan wounded in such a fight but without the stupid cliffhangers.

He could have even thrown in some stupid lines like "Three? Three Blademasters? Lets see how you do against a true Blademaster. Lew Therin and I invented this sport (along with Be'lal), blah blah blah"

This would have been awesome.

Ishara
01-17-2013, 03:14 PM
Seems to me that Lan turned the battle by killing Demandred.

Don't at least few versions of the Arthurian legend have Lancelot turning the Battle of Camlann around when he takes the field?

This. What pissed you off actually made me happy (surprise!). It was a soaring moment of yay in a time when everyone was dying and we weren't sure if it was going to turn around.

Also, if it helps, I saw Lan challenging Demandred as the completion of his arc in a New Spring. There have long been arguments that he was ta'veren during the Aiel War, and he was once what our boys were: young, impulsive, reckless and idealistic. The world beat it out of him - a lot - but he still knew the difference between right and wrong, and he knew that his life was worth the sacrifice to take out the scourge that was Demandred. Gawn entered into that duel for the wrong reasons, as did Galad. Lan meant to put an end to him, even if it came at his own death. The fact that it didn't was just awesome, in my opinion.

(Lan is the giant exception in my, "power has a price and people need to die to pay it" philosophy. But WoT is not Guy Gavriel Kay's world, and that philosophy can't apply here.)

eht slat meit
01-17-2013, 08:26 PM
For me, the thematic confrontation between Lan and Demandred doesn't make sense. If Demandred was going to battle any main character one on one (excluding Rand, of course), I can see the strongest case being made for Mat. But Lan? I just don't see it. Maybe someone who understands all the mythological connections can better explain how this makes sense.

The problem I had with Demandred was much the same in that perception of "Bao, the Wyld" <red Boss title highlighting>, bust out the tanks! He came off very much like an MMORPG character in a strange respect, and less like this master tactician. I mean, here's a guy whose leadership is second only to the Dragon Reborn, right? He should be busting out armies upon armies, secret plans upon secret plans.

Except Rand never really did that. His ta'veren and Dragon nature drew his armies to him. Demandred, on the other hand has to build his from the ground up. As leaders, they're not the Great Captains - they're two men who basically were part of inventing war from scratch during an age of peace, where the Great Captains live in an age of wars and master battles in that same manner.

It's an entirely different mindset. War of Power could be considered an accurate description. Before Zen Rand, Rand was ready to bust out some balefire and/or Choedan Kal and lay waste to cities to secure his victory, and there's something of the sense that this was LTT's nature as well, when Rand comments on how arrogant he used to be.

Demandred, as we see him, a massive powerhouse on the battlefield utilizing *angreals and circles to destroy whole armies, is what Rand *would* have been like if he hadn't that revelation.

And suddenly, he makes a whole lot more sense to me. Except he comes off as freaking ridiculously cartoonish with that Bao the Wyld moniker. Seriously, wtf? I thought it was a cool trap, some psychotic channeler as a diversion, at first, then it was revealed that this was actually Demandred.

His actions make sense to me, but the name makes none.

As far as Lan being his killer... there's something to be said for the greatest blademaster of our Age taking on the man who invented blademastery, and beating him with a blade form that is completely beyond his ability to wield.

There's also the important fact that with as Power-Pumped as Demandred was, nobody but a blademaster with one of Elayne's medallions was going to be able to do anything about him.