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-   -   Jason Denzel's (of Dragonmount) Towers of Midnight Review (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=4009)

AbbeyRoad 09-27-2010 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay799
IMO, the Olver twist is going to be his loss of innocence...him realizing that the only way to win Snakes and Foxes will be to cheat. He will no longer play that stupid game that has wasted so much of his, and ours time on.

I do think he will sneak into the TOG somehow...I'm not sure how, and I think he will be instrumental in saving the day....maybe something to do with Noal\Jain revealing who he truly is, and sacrificing himself for all of them, as some kind of atonement for his misgivings with the way he left his wife to die alone...and Olver being there leads him to the sacrifice...

I think that's spot on. It seems to fit almost perfectly with Jason's review of that scene.

Tenesmus 09-27-2010 02:37 PM

I think Olver will realize he has to cheat, go in after, and make a deal without setting terms. MNM&T will get out and find Olver hanging in a tree paying the price for the other's freedom.

dfchang813 09-27-2010 03:13 PM

Olver Analysis
 
Let's think about the Olver question methodically:

Here's the relevant quote from Jason's review:

"One last plot-related item…. Olver. There's a chapter involving him that just breaks my heart. Now maybe it's just me. I'm not talking about a big dramatic scene. (Although it does have another big reveal). Most people might find humor in it. But not me. Maybe I'm just sensitive. Remember what I said earlier about the price of victory? What happens here is both endearing and tragic. On one hand it was logical and inevitable that things would play out this way. On the other hand, I just never saw it coming, and neither will you (not that it will stop you from trying, huh?). I tip my hat to you, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Sanderson. Once again, you've given us a moment that people can debate. For me personally, it'll stick in my gut for a long time."

1. Breaks Jason's heart. Not a big dramatic scene. He may be overly sensitive

2. In this scene, there is another big reveal.

3. MOST people might find humor in it (important) but not Jason.

4. "Price of victory" is applicable here.

5. Endearing and tragic.

6. Logical and inevitable

7. Jason never saw it coming and is confident we won't either.

8. A moment that will be DEBATED.

9. will stick in Jason's gut for a long time.

Okay, so I agree with Terez that couched in THOSE particular words, Olver is not going to die.

Criteria 3 is quite important as Jason seems to think that many people might find this scene somewhat humorous. Death, torture, maiming, abandonment, etc is unlikely to elicit that type of reaction from "most" people.

I can think of a few scenarios both presented here and over in Dragonmount:

a. Olver sneaks after Mat into the Tower of Ghenjei. Now . . . I can see this definitely being endearing, logical, and inevitable. Depending on how Olver does it, it may even be humorous. If Olver does it because he doesn't want to be left behind because Mat is the only father figure he has left in the world, I can see it being heartbreaking.

I can see Mat forcing Olver away because it is the ONLY way to succeed i.e. Price of Victory.

My only problem here is that this scenario is actually completely predictable and in point of fact, Theorylanders have been figuring out ways for Olver to come along for years and years and years.

b. Loss of innocence angle. Olver finds out that you do indeed have to cheat to win the Snakes and Foxes game. This is both logical and inevitable, could be amusing, but it would be VERY hard for me to imagine Jason being "heartbroken" by this or finding it tragic and endearing unless he has completely turned into a woman. Also, the "price of a victory angle" is not really addressed.

c. Olver finds out that Noal is Jain Farstrider . . . and that he was a pawn of the Dark One, left his wife to die alone, and is nothing like the man in the books. In fact when he regains his memory, there is nothing better he'd like to do than die and atone for his sins.

NOW . . . this could definitely be done somewhat humorously especially if Olver's reaction is written right and Mat is involved. We've had enough foreshadowing that Noal's identity as Jain Farstrider is pretty much canonical among most fans so it would fit the logical and inevitable part per story. In other words, we really MUST find out eventually who Noal is or it becomes nonsensical. At the same time, finding out that your childhood hero was at worst a Darkfriend and at best a pawn who left his wife to die alone can DEFINITELY come across as both heartbreaking, tragic (the loss of your illusions), and endearing (especially if Olver at first refuses to believe the truth or eventually pities Noal after fully accepting the truth). It would also have the advantage of a big reveal: Noal's identity as the famous Jain Farstrider that we've read about since Eye of the World.

It could also be that the only way to really defeat the Snakes and Foxes involves Noal regaining his memory and who he is. This then shatters Olver's illusions and hero worship of Farstrider. And finally ties in the price of victory angle.

I'd love to read any other theories but from what Jason's hints and the little we know about Olver, I do think option C is the most likely candidate.

Dennis

Peter Ahlstrom 09-27-2010 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dfchang813 (Post 112223)
Let's speculate:

1. What is scene involving Olver that is endearing, tragic, breaks your heart, logical, inevitable, no one will see coming, that most people might find humor in, AND represents the price of victory AND has a big reveal associated with it. What could this be???

Jason rewrote that paragraph largely based on my feedback. This is a rather personal reaction of his. I DO think a number of readers will agree with him, but most readers shouldn't go in expecting something enormous from Olver because you might get to the end without having that kind of reaction from any Olver scene.

I value my own emotional reaction to a book very highly, so I respect that in Jason's review. However, emotional reaction is very subjective. Do not pin too many expectations on that paragraph.

nameless 09-27-2010 03:29 PM

I figured it meant Olver was going to kill somebody. It's a natural consequence of a child being raised by professional soldiers and a tragic loss of innocence and a comment on the price of victory. It could even be done with humor depending on how it's written.

ckparrothead 09-27-2010 04:09 PM

Or maybe he's Demandred. LOL. That was pretty funny, imagining it.

I agree with Terez it's not likely to be Olver's death.

There's a strong possibility that Jay799 is right and this could somehow be a loss of innocence moment for Olver, sort of like Perrin's Tinker picking up a sword, which put him on a path to betraying Perrin and dying.

There's also some possibility that it will involve Birgitte, and the long speculated potential connection between Olver and Gaidal Cain. Not that he will turn out to be connected with Gaidal Cain, but there's obviously a connection between Birgitte and Olver, and a connection between Cain and Birgitte, and so there's plenty of uncharted territory for Sanderson/Jordan to explore and expound upon which has the possibility to be all of the above: endearing, humorous, tragic, logical, inevitable, and yet unexpected.

Jason didn't say it was Olver that he was left broken-hearted about. He said it was a scene INVOLVING Olver. Olver has a way of adding the humorous dimension to the scene we're talking about, of course. But it would make sense if it were endearing and tragic from the point of view of someone other than Olver, e.g. Birgitte potentially talking about the fact that she thinks she has lost the love of her many lives Gaidal Cain, forever.

Terez 09-27-2010 04:09 PM

I am thinking it might be something like Moiraine reminding him of his mother. I half-jokingly theorized that Moiraine and Thom would adopt him. :)

ckparrothead 09-27-2010 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Ahlstrom (Post 112347)
Jason rewrote that paragraph largely based on my feedback. This is a rather personal reaction of his. I DO think a number of readers will agree with him, but most readers shouldn't go in expecting something enormous from Olver because you might get to the end without having that kind of reaction from any Olver scene.

I value my own emotional reaction to a book very highly, so I respect that in Jason's review. However, emotional reaction is very subjective. Do not pin too many expectations on that paragraph.

I also agree with you here on this. There's a strong possibility that the debate that Jason predicts ends up being an unintended one, which is to say after the book is released everyone just debates what scene Jason may have been talking about because nobody had the same reaction Jason did and so they can't identify it.

I mean, I can think of one possibility right now that would fit. Obviously Birgitte has taken a shine to Olver. I think we all can and have guessed why. That's not to say it's because Olver is Gaidal Cain because at this point the strongest likelihood is that he's not. But I think Olver reminds Birgitte of Gaidal Cain, and so this lays out the potential for a scene where that idea starts to be fleshed out in writing. I can picture easily how Olver could inject humor in it, if he starts trying to act like he's going to marry Birgitte or if he starts trying to bring her flowers and stuff as part of some courtship he now thinks he's taking part in. At the same time I could see some readers thinking more deeply into what's behind it for Birgitte, the fact that she is pretty sure (right now) that she's been parted forever with the guy she's been spending her lives with for thousands and thousands of years. Particularly emotional readers might empathize with her in a scene like that.

AbbeyRoad 09-27-2010 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dfchang813
I'd love to read any other theories but from what Jason's hints and the little we know about Olver, I do think option C is the most likely candidate.

My one problem with Noal's identity being the big reveal Jason mentioned is the "unexpected" part. Jason said it was surprising and no one will be able to guess it. And, well, we all more or less know that Noal is Farstrider, and Olver's reaction would be very logical and not surprising in any way. From Jason's description, there must be a lot more to it than that because I wouldn't read that passage and be shocked at all. In fact, I've been expecting a scene similar to something like that.

jana 09-27-2010 08:27 PM

I think there are little tiny things that make some people emotional that are barely noticed by others, and it sounds like the Olver thing is one of those things for Jason.

One for me is when Egwene is thinking about how her and Rand had both suffered because of Elaida, but it hadn't broken either of them. I got teary eyed because of how untrue it was for Rand (at that time in the book) and think it's one of the best lines of TGS, but a lot of people would just pass over it or get annoyed that Egwene would compare her ordeal to his.

Jay799 09-27-2010 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jana (Post 112395)
I think there are little tiny things that make some people emotional that are barely noticed by others, and it sounds like the Olver thing is one of those things for Jason.

One for me is when Egwene is thinking about how her and Rand had both suffered because of Elaida, but it hadn't broken either of them. I got teary eyed because of how untrue it was for Rand (at that time in the book) and think it's one of the best lines of TGS, but a lot of people would just pass over it or get annoyed that Egwene would compare her ordeal to his.

I think it is a very good point that different people can be affected in different ways. One of the great things about the wot series is that there is such depth, on so many different levels and characters, that we can all feel an emotional connection to different parts of the books, or different emotions to a particular segment of the books.

We can all relate to our own loved character. Some may have a larger connection to Perrin than Rand, some may have a particular emotional response to Birgitte, while others may not. Some may even like Elayne's multiple bathing scenes :)

It really is one of the wonderful things about a series as complex and immersive as the wot.

WinespringBrother 09-27-2010 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AbbeyRoad (Post 112382)
My one problem with Noal's identity being the big reveal Jason mentioned is the "unexpected" part. Jason said it was surprising and no one will be able to guess it. And, well, we all more or less know that Noal is Farstrider, and Olver's reaction would be very logical and not surprising in any way. From Jason's description, there must be a lot more to it than that because I wouldn't read that passage and be shocked at all. In fact, I've been expecting a scene similar to something like that.

Don't get me wrong, I think Noal=Jain also, but then again I don't think RJ or Brandon have ever come out and said that. Sure would be a big surprise if Noal was some nobody noble from Arad Doman or somewhere who listened to too many Gleeman's tales. I'm confident that there are some big reveals remaining, so why not this?

Nero 09-27-2010 11:00 PM

Quote:

I figured it meant Olver was going to kill somebody. It's a natural consequence of a child being raised by professional soldiers and a tragic loss of innocence and a comment on the price of victory. It could even be done with humor depending on how it's written.
This is my guess. Olver is going to lose his innocence by having to kill someone. Simple as that. Unsure about the the humor part. But at this stage it could be pretty much anything.

alleluia_cone 09-28-2010 01:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay799 (Post 112398)
Some may even like Elayne's multiple bathing scenes :)

:: shivers ::

Whatever, I refuse to even entertain the possibility.

1Powerslave 09-28-2010 04:35 AM

So here's two suggestions.

Noal dies, and Olver gets to go to Ghenjei for some reason. Perhaps that they've travelled already and Olver snuck through (e.g. the Gateway created in a busy stable yard). Later, Noal gets killed, and Olver shows up. Says he wants to go and help. Mat refuses, but Thom is too fanatical about this mission to refuse him. And he agrees citing that some things (like matters of Tarmon Gaidon) are too important for considering the life of a kid of no importance.
Through some miracle, though they were fighting desperately at some point, Olver survives. He then, later at Caemlyn, starts to go on about how HE rescued Moiraine Sedai from the Snakes and Foxes. Which would account for the part which some might find funny and others (who doesn't like kids unrealistically surviving) not.
Maybe. :)

The other thing might be that Olver gets to be the first child soldier in the war. He is left in Caemlyn when Mat goes to Ghenjei. Every man and boy is needed for the armies now, since it's the Last Battle. He then lies about his age and joins the Caemlyn army. Mat finds out about it when he gets back, but they can't do much about it. The picture of Olver with an overly sized weapon some might find funny.

Cairodin 09-28-2010 12:10 PM

Someone may have already said this, but it seems to me like Olver's going to learn that he has to cheat in order to win Snakes and Foxes. Lost innocence is a heart-breaker.

crue 09-28-2010 01:44 PM

Quote:

The other scene that rocked me to read is one that completely embraces the spirit of the whole series. It's the epitome of what makes The Wheel of Time stand apart from all other fantasy series. To say that I was moved by it is an understatement. After reading it, I honestly began to question whether this story will actually have a happy ending or not. I mean, let's face it. Most of us assume the series will conclude with a victory at the Last Battle, with maybe a few heroic deaths along the way, right? Well this sequence I'm talking about proves that even victory can be disaster. It shows that even the most noble of intentions can have a butterfly-effect ripple across the Pattern. The sequence was beautiful to behold, and that alone makes ToM worth of being on the shelf with your other WoT books.
I'm surprised more people aren't talking about this. Based on Jason's writing and the flow of his review, I can't see this part having to do with the Olver discussion. The line that stands out to me the most is "It shows that even the most noble of intentions can have a butterfly effect ripple across the pattern."

Any guesses on the most noble of intentions? What can ripple across the pattern?

I knew Terez's theory of Mat giving up his medallion to help Elayne indirectly leading to Rand's death. Are there any other possibilities or theories?

WinespringBrother 09-28-2010 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crue (Post 112510)
I'm surprised more people aren't talking about this. Based on Jason's writing and the flow of his review, I can't see this part having to do with the Olver discussion. The line that stands out to me the most is "It shows that even the most noble of intentions can have a butterfly effect ripple across the pattern."

Any guesses on the most noble of intentions? What can ripple across the pattern?

I knew Terez's theory of Mat giving up his medallion to help Elayne indirectly leading to Rand's death. Are there any other possibilities or theories?

My guess is the cleansing of saidin. While universally hailed as a boon for the Light, there are many possible unforeseen (even for us HCFF's) circumstances. The Shadow certainly didn't go all out to stop it, since they could have sent enough channelers to overwhelm Cadsuane's defenses if they really wanted to, and that in itself is very curious.

Who knows, maybe saidin got infected with a shadar logoth taint or something. Anything affecting the True Source would certainly ripple across everything.

crue 09-28-2010 02:12 PM

I believe he's referring to a scene in ToM.

WinespringBrother 09-28-2010 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crue (Post 112515)
I believe he's referring to a scene in ToM.

Considering the timeline for the last 5 books, the cleansing might be shown again on-screen in TofM ;)


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