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View Full Version : Rand and ermm I can't say any more without being spoilery


maacaroni
01-22-2013, 05:00 AM
I was reading this review:

http://io9.com/5975831/the-wheel-of-time-rolls-to-a-stop-io9s-review-of-a-memory-of-light

Now don't get me wrong, this gentleman is no fan of WoT but he mentions one thing that rang true with me. Should Rand have died?

To quote:

That whole transference-into-Moridin thing was complete bullsh*t. Not only does it negate most of the sacrifice he made, it means Rand ends the story running away from all his friends (except the three hot chicks who have all agreed to have sex with him) and family thinking he's dead. Again, I have no idea if this was Jordan's plan or not, but I think the book - and the series - would have been much better if Rand had just died.

Thoughts?

Zombie Sammael
01-22-2013, 06:02 AM
"What Rand did next" is entirely up to the reader. The question is more whether you think he would abandon his friends and family, or whether he's just doing what is necessary to stop being the Dragon Reborn.

There is a clue that Avi, at least, might meet him again.

yks 6nnetu hing
01-22-2013, 06:14 AM
I disagree. What -for me- was a red thread throughout the book, and in a way throughout all of WoT is Lan's motto "Death is lighter than a feather, duty is heavier than a mountain"

No matter which way you look at the possible outcomes of him continuing to be Rand al'Thor, he would have been either glorified or vilified; for certain never ever to be left alone to pursue his life the way he would want to. His mountain of duty is removed from him but it is done in a way that he can still enjoy a life of peace and contentment. This also echoes really well with Tam al'Thor who gave up his glory on the battlefield to have a family, to enjoy the peace of a farmstead in the farthest, most obscure corner of a peaceful kingdom, far away from any politics, war and diplomacy. If anyone would understand his decision, Tam would. Personally, I like this particular mirroring.


Also, Rand had already lost all of his friends. Just look at the way even his closest ta'veren friends treat him: Mat cut himself away as soon as he possibly could, and speaks with Rand only when no other option is possible; and though Perrin is more understanding, he has his own responsibilities. I won't even get into any other childhood friends of Rand's, or any possible "friends" he might have made (name one? aside from the three girls or Loial). What would his chances of making a genuine friendship now be? With the label "Dragon" painted on him?

GonzoTheGreat
01-22-2013, 06:45 AM
I won't even get into any other childhood friends of Rand's, or any possible "friends" he might have made (name one? aside from the three girls or Loial). What would his chances of making a genuine friendship now be? With the label "Dragon" painted on him?
Lan? Nynaeve too, for that matter.
Thom and Moiraine would work well as friends also, I would think.
Apart from being dead a bit Herid Fel is a good candidate too. Still, he shows that the possibility exists.

On the other hand, if it became known that the Dragon still lived, that would lead to all sorts of political complications, so being dead is an understandable goal for Rand.

maacaroni
01-22-2013, 07:53 AM
Would it not have been a better ending if Rand bought the farm?

GonzoTheGreat
01-22-2013, 08:06 AM
Maybe, if that had happened in the right way. If it had happened in the wrong way, it would just have been cheesy. And there are already enough dairy farms (see the goat's milk that is available everywhere), so this wouldn't be needed.

halo6819
01-22-2013, 08:19 AM
In story, I agree, Rand should have died. I, like many, had many theories hanging on Rand dying three days before the last battle, and being brought back to life somehow.

however, on a Meta level, Rand's journey is very much RJ's and RJ, like Cincinatus, got to go home. When i finished i thought of this quote:

There are three dead NVA laid out in a line just beside him. He didn't kill them. He didn't choose to sit there because of the bodies. It was just the most convenient place to sit. The bodies don't bother him. He doesn't care. They're just part of the landscape. The young man is glancing at the camera, and you know in one look that you aren't going to take this guy home to meet your parents. Back in the world, you wouldn't want him in your neighborhood, because he is cold, cold, cold. I strangled that SOB, drove a stake through his heart, and buried him face down under a crossroad outside Saigon before coming home, because I knew that guy wasn't made to survive in a civilian environment. I think he's gone. All of him. I hope so. I much prefer being remembered as Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles.

Rand being able to travel and live his life having finally let go of all the burdens of leadership, and the soul crushing agony of all the deaths he was responsible for... well it was the life RJ hoped for after his last battle.

maacaroni
01-22-2013, 10:06 AM
I have to take solace in Gawyn's death.

If I had a question to Brandon, I would ask him if Gawyn was written deliberately to be so arrogant?

Anyway, the ending was fine. I am just wondering if RJ would have taken the braver step of killing off the hero at the end.

Davian93
01-22-2013, 10:15 AM
I have to take solace in Gawyn's death.

If I had a question to Brandon, I would ask him if Gawyn was written deliberately to be so arrogant?

Anyway, the ending was fine. I am just wondering if RJ would have taken the braver step of killing off the hero at the end.

Rand's ending was RJ's decision.

Also, on Gawyn, RJ made his sigil a charging boar...I mean, come on, that's pretty obvious at the intent of the author on how arrogant Gawyn was gonna be.

Sinistrum
01-22-2013, 12:03 PM
I think the ending where Rand lives is fine. As Gonzo points out, it was a political impossibility for the Dragon's Peace to be maintained with the Dragon still hanging around. And quite frankly, Rand deserved his rest and reward. We watched him struggle with the weight of the world for the entirity of the novel and be asked to make sacrifices that were in no way fair or reasonable of any single person. And he manned up. He deserves his peace.

fdsaf3
01-22-2013, 12:07 PM
In my opinion, people who are clamoring for Rand's death are obsessing about his parallels with Jesus. In an ideal world, I could do a poll of people's views on whether he should have died or not and stratify based on their religious upbringings. I suspect Christians would lean more towards "Rand should die", but obviously there's a lot of underlying biases in that assumption.

Anyway, moving on...

I agreed with many of the reviewer's points with the exception of wanting Rand to die. I'm ok with him living. I would have been ok either way, to be honest. The way I see it, Rand learned his lessons after LTT tried to seal the Bore and failed. LTT went insane, destroyed the world, and died a horrific death after killing everyone he loved. Rand's ending was somewhat the opposite. He preserved peace, his death ended his suffering, and he saved the lives of those he loved by "dying". Not a perfect parallel, of course, but nothing in RJ's stories are pure parallels.

I especially agreed with two points. First, the portrayal of gender in the series is extremely off (to be polite). But I always chalked that up to RJ creating a fantasy world which didn't operate with the same constraints as ours, so I accepted it. Second, I think Brandon gave us a more succinct ending than RJ would have. Maybe RJ would have had the "voices" of each of the main characters better, but nothing from book 8 onward convinces me that the last three books Brandon finished would have been accomplished faster or better if RJ wrote the scenes instead of Brandon.

Rand al'Fain
01-22-2013, 12:32 PM
I don't have any issues with Rand living. In fact, I wanted him to live a peaceful life without having to worry about being the Dragon Reborn. I got that, but I'm still not a fan of the whole bodyswap thing, but that's just a personal preference. Just wished we knew a little more of what happened after.

Also, maybe letting those closest to him (aside form his harem) know that he is alive t some point, like Loial, Lan, Moiraine, Thom, Nynaeve, and most importantly, his father Tam. Mat? Maybe, but Tuon likes to root things out and would be a danger to Rand if she ever found out he lived. And Perrin would be busy becoming king of Saldea and helping others rebuild.

Oh, and Rand, in a way, he did die. In that, his body with Moridin in it died after the bodyswap. And thus, to all who were not linked to him, he appeared to have died, but he lived again in a "new" healthy body (minus a couple of unhealing wounds). And Moridin got his peace, if not exactly how he wanted it.

neurotopia
01-22-2013, 02:32 PM
I don't get why people are mad he "didn't die". The whole series is themed around rebirth. The Wheel would've spun him out again, it's just a matter of time.

Only difference is this time he earned control over it as a reward for his experiences and the fact that he learned something about suffering and rebirth.

Terez
01-22-2013, 02:39 PM
I'm upset he didn't die because four prophecies said he would. I have expected him to survive the series for years now, so that wasn't disappointing, but the lack of a real death was disappointing.

Jalyn
01-22-2013, 02:41 PM
Amusingly, I complained alot about the lack of main character deaths but Rand was never one of the ones that I thought should have gone. It's been kind of obvious from the very first time that he realized he was going to die at TG, that he wouldn't.
Had he actually died, I'm not sure that I could have held off confusion long enough to be sad about it.

Casabamelon
01-22-2013, 03:12 PM
Slight aside: I read (for some unknown reason) The Magicians and The Magician King by Lev Grossman. While I didn't really enjoy either book, there was an interesting concept presented at the end of the 2nd book. The protagonist said he was the hero and wanted his reward. He was told that the hero doesn't get the reward, the hero pays the price (not quite verbatim).

It's an interesting concept, and probably why some people wanted Rand to die. He carried a heavy burden (duty heavier than a mountain, and all) but did he really pay a price? At the end of the day, what did he give up? His youth? His innocence? He got his hand back. He has three beautiful wives, multiple kids on the way. He's freewheeling and has matrix powers. What price did he pay?

fdsaf3
01-22-2013, 03:42 PM
I'm upset he didn't die because four prophecies said he would. I have expected him to survive the series for years now, so that wasn't disappointing, but the lack of a real death was disappointing.

But Rand *did* die - his body died, at least. His blood(dy footprint) did stain the rocks of Shayol Ghul. I mean, the prophesies were fulfilled...literally. I can see why this would be unsatisfying.

I'll have to reread the scene where Rand exits the tunnel carrying Moridin's body, but my recollection is that we don't have a POV from Rand from the time when he stabs his dagger into his own hand until he wakes up in Moridin's body. I've only read that passage once, maybe skimmed it another, so I could be wrong. What I'm working towards saying is that if his "death", or at least the death of his body, happened off-screen, I can see that being another frustrating thing. But maybe I'm not remembering right and Rand has a POV somewhere in there that helps explain all of this stuff.

fdsaf3
01-22-2013, 03:46 PM
He carried a heavy burden (duty heavier than a mountain, and all) but did he really pay a price? At the end of the day, what did he give up? His youth? His innocence? He got his hand back. He has three beautiful wives, multiple kids on the way. He's freewheeling and has matrix powers. What price did he pay?

Two years of hellacious torture, dismemberment, devolving into insanity, watching friends and loved ones die, being the sole person responsible for the salvation of humanity, battling the essence of chaos and evil in a one-on-one battle, torment and psycholgical torture, regular physical abuse, and an untold number of disapproving glares and sniffs from any number of women...to name a few.

I hate it when people say "Rand didn't really suffer" or "Rand got away easy". If you look at everything he went through, can you really say that?

Alec
01-22-2013, 06:22 PM
"What Rand did next" is entirely up to the reader. The question is more whether you think he would abandon his friends and family, or whether he's just doing what is necessary to stop being the Dragon Reborn.

There is a clue that Avi, at least, might meet him again.

What was the clue that Avi might meet him again? I don't remember this.

I think I would have been okay with Rand living or dying, but I don't really like the way it was done. I felt like the whole bodyswap thing was kind of cheesey, and then the execution of his leaving seemed off to me. Why can't he tell the people he obviously cares about and who care about him? I don't believe he thinks that Tam/Nynaeve/Lan/Perrin would out him. Maybe he does eventually, but it seems excessively cruel to delay even a short bit, especially with Tam.

Also it took Nynaeve all of about 5 minutes to figure out something might be going on with Min/Elayne/Avi showing no emotion. It shouldn't be that hard to fake some tears or grief after everything that has happened even if they know Rand is alive.

Sinistrum
01-22-2013, 06:23 PM
I'm upset he didn't die because four prophecies said he would.

I do not think those prophecies means what you think they mean. :p

Terez
01-22-2013, 06:24 PM
But Rand *did* die - his body died, at least.
Yes, I know it was *technically* fulfilled, but it was still disappointing.

Weiramon
01-22-2013, 06:33 PM
What was the clue that Avi might meet him again? I don't remember this.

Pshaw, of course there is no clue. Some oaf will no doubt claim the Lord Dragon sires children from that savage, some with tresses of red-gold, others with locks sooty as coal.

eht slat meit
01-22-2013, 06:39 PM
What was the clue that Avi might meet him again? I don't remember this.


One of Min's viewings put her as having quadruplets by Rand, and far as I recall from AMOL, she wasn't pregnant yet.

I recall someone mentioning the "strange" bit from her viewing in connection to the body-swap theory as possible foreshadowing that it would be Rand-idin that fathered the children, not Rand himself. Makes sense in hindsight.

Alec
01-22-2013, 06:46 PM
One of Min's viewings put her as having quadruplets by Rand, and far as I recall from AMOL, she wasn't pregnant yet.

I recall someone mentioning the "strange" bit from her viewing in connection to the body-swap theory as possible foreshadowing that it would be Rand-idin that fathered the children, not Rand himself. Makes sense in hindsight.

I always thought the "strange" stuff referred to what she saw about how her children could channel in Rhuidean.

eht slat meit
01-22-2013, 06:49 PM
I always thought the "strange" stuff referred to what she saw about how her children could channel in Rhuidean.

Yeah, I was never a fan of the body-swap theory either, but there it is. Barring some metaphysical shenanigans, any kids she has by Rand will look like Moridin, not Rand. Which would strike Min as rather odd if she got anything like a look at them in her viewing.

Fourth Age Historian
01-22-2013, 06:51 PM
One of Min's viewings put her as having quadruplets by Rand, and far as I recall from AMOL, she wasn't pregnant yet.


I heard (and agreed with) some speculation that that was her Viewings not really figuring out how to make sense of the multi-bond and two of the three of them having twins.

Weiramon
01-22-2013, 07:14 PM
One of Min's viewings put her as having quadruplets by Rand, and far as I recall from AMOL, she wasn't pregnant yet.

Burn my soul, that's right. To suggest the Lord Dragon would lie with such a savage is preposterous. You may as well claim he spent the eve of the quaint gathering at Merrilor intimate in her embrace.

kivo
01-22-2013, 07:50 PM
Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, died.

Rand al'Thor, the sheepherder who paid his dues, lived.

Works for me.

fdsaf3
01-22-2013, 08:14 PM
Yes, I know it was *technically* fulfilled, but it was still disappointing.

I'm curious. Say you were given a magic pen and a chance to rewrite the ending to Wheel of Time. How would you have ended everything? And no fair using this magic pen to prove all of your theories right, either. :p

Ishara
01-22-2013, 09:01 PM
He was told that the hero doesn't get the reward, the hero pays the price (not quite verbatim).
This is sort of key to authors like Guy Gavriel Kay - power comes with a price. Even (especially) the power of heroism. But, I came to terms with the fact, many years ago, that RJ did not subscribe to this philosophy.

I'm cool with Rand being alive at the end. It made me happy, even if I have my personal doubts as to how exactly he'll live his life/ where/ what sort of mundane things he'll have to stoop to, to eat. But hey! Happy ending!

Alec
01-22-2013, 09:06 PM
This is sort of key to authors like Guy Gavriel Kay - power comes with a price. Even (especially) the power of heroism. But, I came to terms with the fact, many years ago, that RJ did not subscribe to this philosophy.

I'm cool with Rand being alive at the end. It made me happy, even if I have my personal doubts as to how exactly he'll live his life/ where/ what sort of mundane things he'll have to stoop to, to eat. But hey! Happy ending!

Maybe he can just think his food into existence so he only needs to do mundane things to sleep in hay.

Sinistrum
01-22-2013, 09:17 PM
Barring some metaphysical shenanigans, any kids she has by Rand will look like Moridin, not Rand. Which would strike Min as rather odd if she got anything like a look at them in her viewing.

Or she could have conceived the night they spent together at Merrilor. ;)

eht slat meit
01-22-2013, 09:21 PM
Or she could have conceived the night they spent together at Merrilor. ;)

Hmmm, for some reason I was remembering that as Elayne, not Aviendha. Strange. Anyway, true enough that not everything's certain, and it remains to be seen what further veils get lifted from the mysteries when the dictionary thing comes out. Looking forward to it, whee!

Weiramon
01-22-2013, 09:44 PM
Pshaw, everyone knows Lady Trakand's babes were foaled by that Mellar fellow.

Why don't you just say the Lord Dragon has already sired 2 sets of twins, and will return as a dark ghost to sire a third set, each of a boy and a girl.

metaphor
01-22-2013, 09:54 PM
There is a clue that Avi, at least, might meet him again.
Only Aviendha?

"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives."




This is sort of key to authors like Guy Gavriel Kay - power comes with a price. Even (especially) the power of heroism. But, I came to terms with the fact, many years ago, that RJ did not subscribe to this philosophy.

I'm cool with Rand being alive at the end. It made me happy, even if I have my personal doubts as to how exactly he'll live his life/ where/ what sort of mundane things he'll have to stoop to, to eat. But hey! Happy ending!

He has magical powers, all the knowledge and experience of one of the most brilliant men in the AoL,current street life and high level politics experience, wisdom gained from his ordeals and a handsome face.
I'm sure he'll manage.

Plus he can still play the flute.

Sinistrum
01-23-2013, 12:54 AM
Hmmm, for some reason I was remembering that as Elayne, not Aviendha. Strange.

He had a night with both. He slept with Aviendha. He had just a date with Elayne.

SamJ
01-23-2013, 04:45 AM
I like to think that Rand is not done with saving/changing the world. He's just done with being the Dragon. I like the idea of him as a wanderer and think there are some hints on his role that you can pull together from various fortellings and details in the epilogue.

To me, Nicola's fortelling from LoC is key:
"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."

So - this is clearly the situation in the epilogue. The reference to the blade could be symbolic of the uncertainty. But I find it interesting that Rand's sword is mentioned prominently in the Rand PoVs:

"Lamanís sword was there, sitting atop a neat pile of clothing . . .dressing and gathering the coins and the sword . . . He had a purse full of coin, a goof horse and a strong sword. Lamanís sword, which was a better sword than heís have wanted. It might draw attention. It was a true heron-marked sword with a fine blade.Ē

My un-testable theory is that this is the blade and that Aliviaís choice was important to the future. It represents the fact that Rand isnít just a simple man wandering the world. And I think it also hints at events he will be involved in. To me, Lamanís sword is linked to the fate of the Aiel. I donít think we are done with this. Iím not convinced enough has yet been done to avert the doom Avi saw. Bair saw a similar vision Ė so they have the possibility of changing their end, but may not have managed yet. As far as we know Rand had not met his toh to the Aiel as he promised before the Stone. Also, Nakomi seems to be involved in saving him, as she was in nudging Avi towards the vision Ė I like to think she takes a special interest in saving the Aiel. So I think Rand still has a role to play Ė just not as the Dragon. I donít expect him to be a leader type figure any more, but there are lots of adventures a mysterious swordsman can have along the road . . .

maacaroni
01-23-2013, 05:09 AM
In my opinion, people who are clamoring for Rand's death are obsessing about his parallels with Jesus. In an ideal world, I could do a poll of people's views on whether he should have died or not and stratify based on their religious upbringings. I suspect Christians would lean more towards "Rand should die", but obviously there's a lot of underlying biases in that assumption.

Anyway, moving on...

I agreed with many of the reviewer's points with the exception of wanting Rand to die. I'm ok with him living. I would have been ok either way, to be honest. The way I see it, Rand learned his lessons after LTT tried to seal the Bore and failed. LTT went insane, destroyed the world, and died a horrific death after killing everyone he loved. Rand's ending was somewhat the opposite. He preserved peace, his death ended his suffering, and he saved the lives of those he loved by "dying". Not a perfect parallel, of course, but nothing in RJ's stories are pure parallels.

I especially agreed with two points. First, the portrayal of gender in the series is extremely off (to be polite). But I always chalked that up to RJ creating a fantasy world which didn't operate with the same constraints as ours, so I accepted it. Second, I think Brandon gave us a more succinct ending than RJ would have. Maybe RJ would have had the "voices" of each of the main characters better, but nothing from book 8 onward convinces me that the last three books Brandon finished would have been accomplished faster or better if RJ wrote the scenes instead of Brandon.

I'm an atheist. My reasoning was that it would have lent more credence to the story. Egwene aside, the main characters seem to survive a war that killed millions.

GonzoTheGreat
01-23-2013, 05:48 AM
"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives."

"What do you see around me?" Fortuona said. "Speak it, Doomseer. I would know your omens, and judge you true or false!"
That sounded dangerous. "I see a bloody death lily, as I told Mat," Min said. "And three ships, sailing. An insect in the darkness. Red lights, spread across a field that should be lush and ripe. A man with the teeth of a wolf."
Seems as though someone is going to play the naval version of the shell game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_game) with Tuon.

Casabamelon
01-23-2013, 08:02 AM
Two years of hellacious torture, dismemberment, devolving into insanity, watching friends and loved ones die, being the sole person responsible for the salvation of humanity, battling the essence of chaos and evil in a one-on-one battle, torment and psycholgical torture, regular physical abuse, and an untold number of disapproving glares and sniffs from any number of women...to name a few.

I hate it when people say "Rand didn't really suffer" or "Rand got away easy". If you look at everything he went through, can you really say that?

Who sacrified more: Egwene or Rand?

Morsker
01-23-2013, 08:03 AM
Or she could have conceived the night they spent together at Merrilor. ;)
I figured the exploding gateway is what made them into magic babies, so they were already conceived by the end of the book.

Regarding Rand's death, I think the Wheel was designed to give misleading prophecies, in order to avoid blowing Rand's cover. The Creator set it up so if Rand does all the right things, he gets his second life of peaceful obscurity. Part of that is contriving circumstances, but another part is the Wheel not spitting out any prophecies that give it away. Otherwise, what's the point?

Casabamelon
01-23-2013, 08:06 AM
This is sort of key to authors like Guy Gavriel Kay - power comes with a price. Even (especially) the power of heroism. But, I came to terms with the fact, many years ago, that RJ did not subscribe to this philosophy.


Rand living, on its own, does not bother me as a fact. I'm more upset with how we got there. It was a little too much Deus/Diabolus ex Machina for me. I like that so much was prophesized and came true. That shows the author actually had a plan and executed it. It's the blatant fulfillment by "technicality" that does not sit well.

Dom
01-23-2013, 12:48 PM
Part of that is contriving circumstances, but another part is the Wheel not spitting out any prophecies that give it away.

The Wheel couldn't spit out prophecies about any of this for the simple reason after the direct challenge with Shai'tan started, it all rests of Rand's choices, and the same way it was up to Rand himself to decide how to fulfill "to live, you must die" and the "he who is dead yet lives". It was prophecized the Dragon's physical body would die. If Rand chose to take Moridin's body to stay incarnated in anonymity or if he chose to die yet be alive in TAR with the Heroes awaiting a rebirth, it was all up to his choices, like the confrontation with Shai'tan itself. As Rand pointed out, he asked the Aelfinn the wrong question.