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Lost One
02-04-2013, 02:00 PM
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Some Characters lived up to their potential, others, not so much. I had expected more out of Gawynn. As built up as he had been as a swordsman, then only have the only fight he wins happen off-scene (killing the six Sharan's while helping Eggy escape). His only other fight is against Demandred and he loses, and even with the rings, it appears he is not much of a distraction for Demandred. Galad was better and while he fell, he gave Demandred more of a fight. On this note, Lan lived fully up to his status. I loved that scene.

Mat was awesome, 'nuff said.. though feel free to disagree and bring up your points. Perrin's part was really good as well, however, just reaching over and snapping Lanfear's neck was a little too mundane. While in a way, one might say it fit by having her; one of the most powerful channelers ever, just casually killed with barely any effort, is very ironic, I would have liked a little more violence of action. Say.. Perrin hits her, stunning her, then throwing her against a wall, smashing the back of her head..he sees her surprised look briefly at his betrayal, then the light fades from her eyes. Or there is a stalamite to throw her on, impaling her.. (though that one is vastly over-used as Thom would agree).

The Woman of many names, Lanfear. One was not quite sure how she would jump.. was she siding with the light, or not.. what exactly would she do? She lived up to expectations.

Graendal/Hesselim. Totally Awesome. The way she was using it on the four Captains, showed her in her element and at her best as Chosen. It was subtle, effective, and also totally within her realm of talent/abilities. While Graedal would fight, areas of the mind and psyche were always her forte. We had seen the hedonistic, decadent, amoral side, and while she was dangerous there, it was, as she preferred, easy to underestimate her. Here, we saw her at her most devious and dangerous. Her part at TG was awesome. If the light did not have Mat with everything going for him. She would have won TG. Demandred could talk about destroying the armies all he wanted to. Her stance would have been, "I made the Leaders of their armies waste their troops by sending them into traps, or making catastrophic mistakes (Tenobia's death). You would not have won with out me". Even after that fell through, her efforts in Tharkendar, were credible. She was invovled in the fighting, picked off various goodguys to follow her. I hated/loved her getting Rhuric, who was then killed by Aviendha. When he was first grabbed, I thought about Amys and Lian... It very well could have been Amys that had had to kill him.

And Talmanes.. He had be given on bit parts and had really been seen as little more than an adjunct to Mat. His character shone here. I am really glad that he was developed.

There are others, of course, but I have blathered enough. Who stood out for you?

Cortar
02-06-2013, 01:34 PM
The only complaint I had about AMOL was that my favorite character, Nynaeve, kinda got the short end of the stick when it came to dialogue, action, and basically everything.

She had done so much and been so awesome until now and then.... Nothing.

SauceyBlueConfetti
02-06-2013, 04:27 PM
I had posted this previously in the Signings Forum, but the Nyn storyline continues to grown on me as I do my re-reading:

At first I was a little disappointed in Nyn's "bit" part in the book...not that she wasn't important to the finale, but she was a fav character and I would've liked more direct thoughts from her. As I have let the book settle, and gone back to re-read a bit here, and there, and there...I realized Nyn's arc was actually quite apropo. The two women (mother figures in fact) who fought for Rand, and sometimes against each other, throughout the books were there with him until the end...he could not have suceeded without them.

My initial jump into fantasy writing was Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy...the Nimue character is actually not the typical evil enchantress of the Arthur legends...she is young, a bit naive. She grows as a character and ends up becoming the trusted advisor to Arthur, while helping Merlin head into the sunset and live the hermit-like life he prefers, all the while allowing the world to believe he is dead. Sound familiar at all?

Rand, by NOT including Nyn in the secret is in fact protecting her and allowing her to move on. Of the original group that set out from the Two Rivers:
Perrin had already moved on...Rand saw that in his relationship with Faile.
Mat had moved on, (Rand's "colors" calling to him during battle and Mat announcing to the wind that he had his own stuff to do).
Egwene had let go of Rand long ago, and in fact was almost an equal in her own right. (OK, OK< not an equal, Egwene haters GO!)

Nynaeve had Lan, yes, but she still was protecting Rand until the end. With the loss of Egwene, Nyn would likely still (or really, even moreso now) feel the need to protect or mother Rand in someway. I think Rand, whether intentionally or not, was allowing Nyn to have her own life. He gave her an ending.

fionwe1987
02-06-2013, 04:55 PM
I'm sure the Egwene haters will disagree, but despite Brandon's work not being consistent with the character all the time, this was certainly as much Egwene's book as Rand's (I mean the entire aMoL as conceived by RJ). tGS built up the hints that the theme of balance in the series is built around Egwene and Rand, and aMoL delivered, more or less.

If anything, I was only saddened by the abrupt end of the role of Tel'aran'rhiod in Egwene's story.

With respect to the theme of balance: It kind of adds to Egwene's death. The last time around, LTT died, and LPD (who, if not actually Egwene's soul, at least served a very similar function) was left to deal with the fallout, which she apparently did, for a time. I think the forcibly reduced role for women in general, and specifically for Egwene compared to Rand, is also fitting in the theme of balance. For 3000 years, men have mostly been sidelined. It balances things out nicely that a Mat and Rand had somewhat more to do for the end than Elayne and Egwene.

GonzoTheGreat
02-07-2013, 05:04 AM
"Your man..." the Sharan said. "You have one of them. What are they called, again? Odd, that you should rely on the protection of a man, but you never reach your potential in this land, I'm told. He will be taken. I've sent for him."
An interesting remark, that, about AS not reaching their potential. Does anyone have any idea what she was talking about?

Fourth Age Historian
02-07-2013, 06:30 AM
An interesting remark, that, about AS not reaching their potential. Does anyone have any idea what she was talking about?

Well, I assumed the man was a Warder. Not sure what "potential" they failed to reach. Maybe they're referring to age? The Sharans probably don't know about the oath rod specifically, but they could know that AS don't live as long as Sharan channelers. Or could there be some practice the Sharans do that we don't know about yet, possibly to be learned of in the forthcoming short story? Here's a wacky possibility: they all get stilled/gentled and healed by the opposite gender.

GonzoTheGreat
02-07-2013, 06:48 AM
Maybe they're referring to age? The Sharans probably don't know about the oath rod specifically, but they could know that AS don't live as long as Sharan channelers.
That seems unlikely, seeing as how AS do not even talk about age amongst themselves, let alone to outsiders.

Or could there be some practice the Sharans do that we don't know about yet, possibly to be learned of in the forthcoming short story? Here's a wacky possibility: they all get stilled/gentled and healed by the opposite gender.
That would be ironic, but it is highly unlikely if the claim in the BWB that male Ayyad are killed as soon as they show signs of channeling is correct. It seems likely that this practice was only abandoned when Demandred took control and had a better use for those male channelers.

fionwe1987
02-07-2013, 10:26 AM
An interesting remark, that, about AS not reaching their potential. Does anyone have any idea what she was talking about?
It could be some myth that Aes Sedai give some of their power to Warders and thus never achieve their full potential.

Rand al'Fain
02-07-2013, 01:57 PM
An interesting remark, that, about AS not reaching their potential. Does anyone have any idea what she was talking about?

Considering up until recently with all of the new weaves and such, the Aes Sedai stuck with what they knew, and going by what the Forsaken said (and what Rand did in the later books), the Aes Sedai only knew very little, despite everything going in their favor. They decided to stick with what they knew and not much else other than a simple trick or two they taught themselves before coming to the WT. Green Ajah in particular comes to mind, since they're known as the Battle Ajah, very few of them actually have any experience in fighting, let alone wars.

fionwe1987
02-07-2013, 02:59 PM
Considering up until recently with all of the new weaves and such, the Aes Sedai stuck with what they knew, and going by what the Forsaken said (and what Rand did in the later books), the Aes Sedai only knew very little, despite everything going in their favor. They decided to stick with what they knew and not much else other than a simple trick or two they taught themselves before coming to the WT. Green Ajah in particular comes to mind, since they're known as the Battle Ajah, very few of them actually have any experience in fighting, let alone wars.

None of this has anything to do with reaching a potential, though. Knowledge is not quantifiable, and there's no "potential" to be reached there. And the Sharans didn't seem particularly skilled at anything.

Fourth Age Historian
02-07-2013, 06:07 PM
That seems unlikely, seeing as how AS do not even talk about age amongst themselves, let alone to outsiders.


That would be ironic, but it is highly unlikely if the claim in the BWB that male Ayyad are killed as soon as they show signs of channeling is correct. It seems likely that this practice was only abandoned when Demandred took control and had a better use for those male channelers.

It's funny that I didn't think about that, because one of my sticking points about the Sharans in AMoL was "where did all the dude channelers come from?" I wondered at the time if it was something similar to the Aiel. But that didn't seem to make much sense. So you're probably right.

Fourth Age Historian
02-07-2013, 06:11 PM
Actually, the more I think about it, the two words "I'm told" might be the clue there. It could simply be something Demandred says to them when he's training them up. From the POV of the Forsaken it would certainly be true, and if he pressed the Ayyad hard in their training, then talking about the inferiority of the Western weaklings would be an effective part of that training (well, unless it led to underestimation).

It's also consistent with previous comments from the Forsaken "untrained children" and all that.

Rand al'Fain
02-07-2013, 07:44 PM
None of this has anything to do with reaching a potential, though. Knowledge is not quantifiable, and there's no "potential" to be reached there. And the Sharans didn't seem particularly skilled at anything.

To be fair, we only saw the Sharans for half of a book.

fionwe1987
02-07-2013, 08:15 PM
To be fair, we only saw the Sharans for half of a book.
In a book filled with channeling. They hurled lightning, and fire, and used shields. I'm not seeing any difference between them and the Aes Sedai, based on the book.

Rand al'Fain
02-08-2013, 03:04 AM
In a book filled with channeling. They hurled lightning, and fire, and used shields. I'm not seeing any difference between them and the Aes Sedai, based on the book.

Basic combat weaves. Simple is best when fighting a prolonged battle. I think that was even mentioned a few times in the book.

fionwe1987
02-08-2013, 11:41 AM
Basic combat weaves. Simple is best when fighting a prolonged battle. I think that was even mentioned a few times in the book.
That was Brandon's way of excusing himself from inventing new weaves. As we saw in KoD, there exist complex weaves that are vastly more destructive than simple ones.

GonzoTheGreat
02-08-2013, 12:05 PM
To be fair to Brandon, if he had invented a whole bunch of new weaves, then nearly everyone would have been griping at him for totally wrecking the whole OP system. He probably picked the less bad option here.

Cortar
02-08-2013, 12:33 PM
That was Brandon's way of excusing himself from inventing new weaves. As we saw in KoD, there exist complex weaves that are vastly more destructive than simple ones.

This is amusing, Brandon does new stuff with gateways:

hcf: omg brandon is ruining everything wtf RJ never did this this is so dumb

Brandon doesn't do new stuff with other weaves:

hcf: omg brandon is ruining everything wtf RJ made lotsa cool stuff and brandon is boring and lame

SauceyBlueConfetti
02-08-2013, 12:38 PM
agreed. In battle though, simple weaves that work would be less exhausting than complex stuff. If I can kill you with a knife throw, why would I waste time and energy, and my full attention, dragging a piano to a window to drop on your head? Other than the purely comedic value of course.

GonzoTheGreat
02-08-2013, 12:49 PM
Then again, while Demandred was looking out for thrown knives, a piano falling through a gateway opened a mile high might very have caught him unawares. Could've saved a lot of lives, that.

SauceyBlueConfetti
02-08-2013, 12:52 PM
Then again, while Demandred was looking out for thrown knives, a piano falling through a gateway opened a mile high might very have caught him unawares. Could've saved a lot of lives, that.

Oh Gawyn, if you had just waited a few more minutes for Wylie Coyote, you could have LIVED!

fionwe1987
02-08-2013, 12:56 PM
To be fair to Brandon, if he had invented a whole bunch of new weaves, then nearly everyone would have been griping at him for totally wrecking the whole OP system. He probably picked the less bad option here.
Oh, I agree there. But Brandon had to come up with a reason why very innovative channelers like Elayne, Egwene and Aviendha were using such basic weaves. In the large scheme of things, they would have had new ways to cause more destruction, as Rand himself did in KoD. So Brandon had to come up with an in-story reason to explain that.

agreed. In battle though, simple weaves that work would be less exhausting than complex stuff. If I can kill you with a knife throw, why would I waste time and energy, and my full attention, dragging a piano to a window to drop on your head? Other than the purely comedic value of course.
But that's not the kind of complexity we see. Look at Rand's weaves: the Trolloc killing lightning ball was immensely complex. But once made, it killed every Trolloc within the area. Look at Blossoms of Fire. They're more complex weaves than simple waves of fire, but once made, they expand out in a balast that is significantly larger than any Fireball we've seen. The point of complex weaves is to use the One Power more efficiently. You weave just once, and have the effect of several simpler weaves.

Cortar: The issue with the Gateways was not that the innovation in their use was absurd. Its that one single character did all the cool Gateway stuff, and they were never reused. Why weren't Gateways to Dragonmount made again in Merillor? Why didn't the Aes Sedai who used Gateways as viewing platforms think to use them to attack Trollocs from afar, rather than risking themselves in the front-lines? Its the implementation most people have problems with.

fionwe1987
02-08-2013, 01:03 PM
Oh Gawyn, if you had just waited a few more minutes for Wylie Coyote, you could have LIVED!
LOL! You know, he could have been more useful if he asked Egwene to open a Gateway above Demandred, then jumped on him.

fdsaf3
02-11-2013, 01:31 PM
Here's a quesiton for everyone to think about. Maybe it's been answered in another thread, but I haven't noticed it. I will admit that I haven't kept up with all the discussions, though, so I might have missed it.

What happens to male channelers who were affected by the Taint? Now that the Dark One is gone, the Blight receded immediately. Was it ever stated explicitly one way or the other what would happen with male channelers who are at varying degrees of insanity because of the Taint?

On a related note, this is one thing I was disappointed with in the final book. Nynaeve Healed insanity, and I was really hoping that was going to pay off more in the final book. Too bad. Like many other people have said, she was one of my favorite characters. It was kind of sad to see her character under utilized in the last book.

Brendan Moody
02-11-2013, 01:58 PM
What happens to male channelers who were affected by the Taint? Now that the Dark One is gone, the Blight receded immediately. Was it ever stated explicitly one way or the other what would happen with male channelers who are at varying degrees of insanity because of the Taint?
The taint was already completely gone by the time the Dark One was sealed away, so the sealing wouldn't have any new effect on male channelers. Jordan was asked about the lingering consequences of the taint, and said that with the cleansing, the progress of male channelers' insanity would be arrested, but the level of insanity they already suffered would remain. What Nynaeve's removal of Naeff's madness means in terms of that, and whether it contradicts Jordan's statement that the One Power can't heal insanity, is another matter.

Weird Harold
02-11-2013, 01:58 PM
What happens to male channelers who were affected by the Taint? Now that the Dark One is gone, the Blight receded immediately. Was it ever stated explicitly one way or the other what would happen with male channelers who are at varying degrees of insanity because of the Taint?

I think RJ's comments after the Cleansing still apply: "Removing the Taint stops any further damage, but does NOT undo existing damage." (owtte)

frenchie
02-11-2013, 10:54 PM
The One Power cannot heal taint induced madness. Nyneave tried Healing Naeff, and the taint on the brain just absorbed the weave. She had to use the saidin to remove the taint from the brain, and heal the damage separately.

fdsaf3
02-11-2013, 11:48 PM
I think RJ's comments after the Cleansing still apply: "Removing the Taint stops any further damage, but does NOT undo existing damage." (owtte)

This is what makes sense to me, too, but I thought it was a conversation worth having. Or, at least, a discussion point worth bringing up.

If we accept the Taint as some sort of proxy or analogue for the Dark One's influence on saidin/male channelers similar to the Blight indicating his influence on the physical world, I can see a case being made for all male channelers being healed of their madness when the Dark One was defeated. But I can go either way on the subject, so this isn't meant to be a compelling argument.

Enigma
02-12-2013, 08:10 AM
I could be wrong here but my understanding of the blight is that the Dark One is activly twisting the pattern away from what the area should be. Think of it as pushing at an elastic band, once the pressure is removed it snaps back into what it should be. So if the DO is sealed away perfectly as opposed to AoL seals the pattern will return the area to what it should be.

The taint on the other hand did not seem to be an active effect but rather a set amount of the True Power/DO essence mixed into the pool that is saidin. Otherwise how was Rand able to destroy the taint if it was infinate. In fact if male channelers absorbed a bit of the taint each time they channelled eventually i.e. several turnings of the wheel there was a chance that there would be less and less taint as bit by bit it was absorbed by chanellers.

With that in mind I dont see the sealing of the DO having any effect on the madness male channelers suffer from. Saying that Nynaeve should have some free time on her hands now that she is not helping save the world so she can probably help most and perhaps all the effected Asha'man unless there are any who were in Rand's condition

Hugin "Poppa" Cauthon
02-12-2013, 09:18 PM
Perrin's part was really good as well, however, just reaching over and snapping Lanfear's neck was a little too mundane. While in a way, one might say it fit by having her; one of the most powerful channelers ever, just casually killed with barely any effort, is very ironic, I would have liked a little more violence of action.

I have to disagree here. It was appropriate for Perrin. Throughout the whole series, our heroes have been in many bad situations because they just cannot kill women. Even to the point of Perrin fighting Rand over his treatment of Aes Sedai, among countless other examples.

They often had internal debates that would take them past the point of action, knowing what needed to be done but not being able to do it. If not for this quirk, Lanfear wouldn't even be alive to have that final moment with Perrin. By doing exactly what he knew needed to be done, without hesitation, Perrin showed his growth. A fight scene would've proven that he still needed to be pushed into an instinctual, reactive situation before he could do the final deed. And, had he given Lanfear any indication of his intentions, she would've fought him. So, he had to just do it - and that's what he did. I thought it was perfect.

Additionally, considering how much of Perrin's story involved his inability to accept a situation (e.g., becoming a Wolfbrother, becoming a general, becoming a Lord, etc.), I think the fact that he killed Lanfear just like that was the very moment that we sawr him reach his potential.

Then, for Lanfear, I agree that the irony of such a powerful, manipulative channeler dying in such mundane fashion is the strongest point. However, I also think that it was a very definitive death - there was no ambiguity that her death was the result of an accident/slip-up in battle, there was no ambiguity over why she died. Unlike her entire existence in the series, there was no ambiguity. And I thought that was also fitting.

P.S. You are bloody flaming right about Talmanes.

Ishara
02-16-2013, 12:01 PM
Here's a quesiton for everyone to think about. Maybe it's been answered in another thread, but I haven't noticed it. I will admit that I haven't kept up with all the discussions, though, so I might have missed it.

What happens to male channelers who were affected by the Taint? Now that the Dark One is gone, the Blight receded immediately. Was it ever stated explicitly one way or the other what would happen with male channelers who are at varying degrees of insanity because of the Taint?

On a related note, this is one thing I was disappointed with in the final book. Nynaeve Healed insanity, and I was really hoping that was going to pay off more in the final book. Too bad. Like many other people have said, she was one of my favorite characters. It was kind of sad to see her character under utilized in the last book.

Oh, I disagree. Now, Nynaeve has the rest of he rlong life to teach others how to do what she did with Naeff and heal the residues of madness. That;s not something we needed to see in the last book, necessarily as it wouldn't have pushed the story forward. But it is nice to think of all the work they have to look forward to now that the Last battle is over.

The One Power cannot heal taint induced madness. Nyneave tried Healing Naeff, and the taint on the brain just absorbed the weave. She had to use the saidin to remove the taint from the brain, and heal the damage separately.

Mmmm...I don't think that's correct:

TITLE: Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 15 - Use a Pebble
"Careful, Nynaeve Sedai," he said. "There's another Myrddraal following us." ... His madness wasn't getting worse, but old injuries wouldn't go away. He'd always bear this scar. Poor man. At least his madness wasn't as bad as some of the others'.

and

TITLE: Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 15 - Use a Pebble
She took hold of his arm and Delved him. He looked at her, surprised, but didn't object. She could see the madness, like a dark network of veins digging into his mind. It seemed to pulse, like a small beating heart.

TITLE: Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 15 - Use a Pebble
She carefully wove a counterweave opposite the madness, then laid it over Naeff's mind. The weave just faded away, doing nothing. She gritted her teeth. That should have worked. But, as seemed so common lately, it had failed.
This shows us that it's not a simple fix (relatively speaking, of course) with the One Power.

TITLE: Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 15 - Use a Pebble
The darkness had tiny, thornlike projections stuck into Naeff's mind. ... She carefully used weaves of Spirit to pry one free. It came out with some resistance, and she quickly Healed the spot where it had punctured Naeff's flesh. The brain seemed to pulse, looking more healthy. One by one, she pried the others free. She was forced to maintain her weaves, holding the barbs back, lest they plunge down again. ... Once she had pried up each and every thorn, she released her new weave. The dark patch undulated and shook, like something alive. Then it vanished.
But this shows us that using the One Power, and saidar only, she can in fact Heal Taint-induced madness.

Dom
02-16-2013, 02:48 PM
But this shows us that using the One Power, and saidar only, she can in fact Heal Taint-induced madness.

Yup, because it's not "real" madness but an emulation of it, it's the taint interfering with brain activity in specific ways.

It seems vaguely related to compulsion, and it seems that Rand's LTT memories came from the Taint connecting his consciousness with some area of the brain storing "past lives" and normallyaccessible subconsciously and in a very limited fashion (like Mat and "the old blood")

It might mean there would be a way to "rewire" a brain to heal mental diseases, but it would be too complex for a human or knowledge of the brain's workings just isn't advanced enough, not in the AOL and not in a foreseable future.

My guess is that Cadsuane might well end up using Nynaeve's skills as leverage in some negotiations with the Asha'man, that is unless one of the Asha'man don't beat her by puzzling out how to do it first. Eventually I would guess most pre-Cleansing male channelers will be "healed" (cleansed of the taint might be a better word). It's not impossible one or two have too heavy and complex cases like Rand's.

GonzoTheGreat
02-17-2013, 05:35 AM
My guess is that Cadsuane might well end up using Nynaeve's skills as leverage in some negotiations with the Asha'man, that is unless one of the Asha'man don't beat her by puzzling out how to do it first.
That seems very unlikely, and highly dangerous too.

Unlikely, because Cadsuane at the moment does not have the authority to prohibit AS from using Healing when they consider it necessary. So if she wanted to do this, then Cadsuane would have to actually arrest Nynaeve and lock her up, which would produce huge political problems with Malkier, and probably the rest of the world too. It would be a public relations disaster even if it worked. And if it didn't, then it would totally undermine her standing.

And dangerous, because an integral part of Logain's madness is his paranoia and wish for power to protect himself, aimed for a large part at AS and the WT. I suspect that he would trust Nynaeve more than just about any other AS, because she had Healed him when he was gentled.
But if further Healing becomes part of a power play, then Logain could start Stilling AS and order his Asha'man not to Heal them. Then those (former) AS would have two options:
1. Be Healed by other women, and accept that they'll be weakened forever after.
2. Demand that Cadsuane give up her attempt and gives in, letting Healing once again be available to all when needed.

All in all, I do not think that Cadsuane would even consider trying such a foolish idea.

Dom
02-17-2013, 11:12 AM
That seems very unlikely, and highly dangerous too.

That's because you understood the opposite of what I meant. She'd have to be an idiot to try to use this as blackmail to force the Asha'man into anything. I was talking about her and Nynaeve continuing what Rand has initiated, bulldozing potential opposition to collaboration with the Asha'man within the White.

What I meant is the White Tower taking the opportunity of Nynaeve's skills to make a gesture of goodwill and friendship offering very soon to Heal all the Asha'man, paving the way for greater collaboration between the two organizations. That would send the Aes Sedai and all the world the clear message the era of "tainted channelers" is completely over.

That would open the way for Cadsuane to make other gestures the BT would look positively on, for instance abrogating all the WT laws concerning Gentling and male channelers instead of simply letting them become obsolete and no longer used. There may still be opposition to that in the WT; having healed the Asha'man would undermine those arguments.