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Murphyhomer 12-25-2010 04:03 AM

A Lily in Winter
 
Hi guys, this is my first time posting. I don't usually post in forums, but i would just like get an answer from a knowledgable WoT community that may save me a whole lot of time in deciding whether I want to finish the series or not.

I started reading the series last year and it soon became one of my favorites. However, some big issues started appearing after around Shadow Rising or so, and long story short, I have become thoroughly disgusted by Robert Jordan's portrayal of both relationships and women in general.

For a while this wasn't enough to get me off the series as the overarching story is just so enthralling, but I came to a boiling point after reading the chapter "A Lily in Winter" from the book Winters Heart.

For those that may not recall, this is the chapter in which Elayne, Min, and Avhienda all bond Rand as their warder and Elayne does a little something more as Min and Avhienda leave them to their privacy. This eventually leads to Elayne becoming pregnant.

I always tried to convince myself that this four-way marriage deal would find a way to die out over time, but this has made me extremely pessemistic. What grates on me most is that the three women involved are completely fine with sharing one man, and Mr. Jordan tries to explain everything through his ta'veren plot gimmick. I am not much of a femenist, but it just sickens me that three strong female characters can be collected and made a part of a glorified harem and not have any problems with it.

Ok, enough with the rambling. What I am trying to ask is, without revealing too much in the way of spoilers, can anyone tell me if this is the way this relationship will continue to be carried out, because if it is, I do not think I can stomach five more books of awkward misogynistic garbage.

Thanks in advance

Cortar 12-25-2010 04:29 AM

As to your question, read the book, between all of the foretellings from Min and the POVs from the characters themselves, can you honestly say you think this relationship will end? Especially after them bonding him?

As to your other postings, if you think "being ta'veren" is a plot gimmick then why do you even bother with this series? Most of the stuff that happens around the main characters is because of this "plot gimmick." The truth of the matter is that Rand needed a way to be connected to both the wetlands AND the Aiel AND he needs someone like Min close to him to help him with the philosophical riddles of the pattern and such. The pattern, or I guess you could say Jordan himself thought it would be an interesting idea to write it like this. You don't have to agree with everything that happens in a book, thats the point! Some stuff can frustrate you, other stuff can outright disgust you but you still read because its a book, its not real, its just a story that can make you think outside of what you consider normal.

Now, about your claim of "misogynistic garbage," I honestly think its pretty laughable. This is a storyline set in a world where there is no discrimination towards women. In fact, most women in the story strongly abuse the men (Matt getting raped by the Queen, Perrin having to deal with an abusive wife, etc)! Also, the most powerful organization in the world is 100% women and most of the governments have queens or women in high places.

Also, I have never heard of a harem in which the women have more control over the man! Just look at the Aiel marriages!

Sorry if this was a bit harsh, but I think you are getting too upset over nothing really

Weird Harold 12-25-2010 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Murphyhomer (Post 137081)
I do not think I can stomach five more books of awkward misogynistic garbage.

Stock up on Peptobismol or bail out now.

Rand and his Three Queens is part of the Arturian Legend Parallels and is something foretold and foreshadowed almost from the moment Min first meets Rand. It's not going away.

Murphyhomer 12-25-2010 05:37 AM

Ok, guess i got my answer haha.

Seriously though, I didn't mean the question as some attack on the series or the author himself, I really was just trying to find out how this one rather large subplot plays out.

And misogynistic may have not been the right word, but my view on the matter really stems from how the women themselves are written and come off to the reader rather than their roles in the fictional society within the book. This is a valid observation that many other readers of the series share. My view on ta'veren being a lazy plot device still stands, but I do suppose most authors use their fair share of those and it's not really anything that I get hung up over.

I will probably continue the series once my reaction to this particular chapter cools down, if for no other reason than I have gotten this far so there is no point in stopping now.

David Selig 12-25-2010 07:52 AM

Minor spoilers for books 9-12:

After "A Lily in Winter" Rand pretty much exclusevely stays together with only one of his women, and has very little contact with the other two, so the whole foursome deal is pushed aside for now. Not discarded, since there haven't been a breakup between them, just that they are too busy with other stuff.

Juan 12-26-2010 01:42 AM

Cortar has it pretty spot on... In this world women hold a lot of power and influence. And often they even abuse their self-proclaimed powers and all that. Ta'veren is really something that was introduced in the beginning of the series... so it's not really some lame concept Jordan thought of at the in the middle or end of the series to make the plot work. He had it planned and needed this specific working of the world to play a big part in the story line.

I totally understand your anger though. For example, there are many Egwene chapters that I wish I could go inside the book and slap her across the face and knock some sense into her, but as frustrating as those chapters are, they add on to the story line. This is part of what makes it a great series. There are characters you love, others you hate, and others you don't care for. There are scenes and events that make you happy, others make you sad, others angry, annoyed, you name it. Keeps it interesting because it's not a book of all happiness, nor a book of all sadness, nor a book of pure frustration.

I have to say specifically to the three women with Rand though, that whole thing bothers me too. But for different reasons. For me the minor reason that I'm not cool with this is because I personally don't believe on polygamy.. although I can accept that in the story it's what RJ wanted, and it's fiction, so whatever, I can put aside my beliefs for the sake of the story I suppose. The main reason for me that I dislike this is because Rand is the most powerful guy in the world for a number of reasons. For one, he commands the wetlands, the Aiel, the Sea Folk... For two, the fate of the world depends on him, so people kinda gotta do what he says.. and for three, he is the strongest channeler ever. Powerful and influential, smart, strong, a great blademaster, tough... and on top of that does he really need three women? It just seems a bit excessive to me to make one super character like that. Although he does develop some pretty big flaws, so it's not a complete fail, but still overall too great of a character with too many things I think...

But seriously, read on, the last three books especially are pretty amazing. Won't let you down. I hope A Memory of Light will be equally if not even more amazing.. else I might have to set fire to a few books... haha.

Murphyhomer 12-26-2010 02:55 AM

Yeah Juan, I think you might have voiced my own frustrations better than I could.

I think my growing anger with the entire situation revolves around Rand himself. When I talk about ta'veren being a lame device, it's almost entirely to do with Rand. I guess in a way it's not the concept of ta'veren that I hate, but how it is used in this particular scenerio in that it makes the main character pretty much perfect. Whether this be his bagging of three women or his ability to force his way out of the negative consequences of his actions, it kind of boils down to Rand devolving into a lazy character.

It's good to hear that it does get better in the last three books, even though I am sort of dreading having to slog through the infamous Crossroads of Twilight.

Juan 12-26-2010 03:37 AM

Glad I could provide further insight! To be honest even though overall from Lord of Chaos to Crossroads of Twilight aren't my favorite books and are almost a drag to read while I've done my many re-readings of the series, all that "excess" detail begins to pay off in the later books, which pick up speed and action like the first few books. They make you really understand the workings of the world and all that. The series then makes more sense and you can appreciate it that much more.

As to your initial comment about not posting in forums, same here. This is the only one I post in. But it's great here. I hope you stick around!

padfoot89 12-26-2010 04:45 AM

I think Rand being this super guy is a Pattern thing. It always seems to bail him out of tight situations. The Creator might not interfere with the world but with the Pattern, he has an excellent subordinate. No need for him to get involved at all.

GonzoTheGreat 12-26-2010 05:28 AM

Look at it from the other side:
Think of Berelain, trying to become one of Rand's mistresses in TSR (she only started to think of marriage after he said he didn't want that).
Think of the Cairhienin women who kept trying to worm their way into his bed.

He could undoubtedly have found a lot more volunteers, if he had given the slightest indication of being interested. Instead, he's only involved with the women he loves. Sure, the Pattern could have set it up so that they did not get along, but that would have been contrived. We all know that captain Neres (FoH, Chapter 49) was entirely wrong with his assesment of the female character, after all.

morat'corlm 12-26-2010 05:58 AM

David Selig has the right of it about that relationship in particular, and Jordan's sexism doesn't really get any worse from where you are on out. If you've put up with it for this long, there's nothing in the next four books that will kill you, although there were several turns of phrase I can remember that passed my annoyance threshold. And one chapter where one of his fetishes gets so out of hand it's embarrassing to read. But overall, it's clearer sailing for the near future.

Terez 12-26-2010 01:03 PM

If you want a balance, just look at the Green Ajah, like Myrelle who is 'married' to all of her warders.

GonzoTheGreat 12-26-2010 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 137196)
If you want a balance, just look at the Green Ajah, like Myrelle who is 'married' to all of her warders.

Why put "married" in quotes? For all we know, she found some place where it is actually legal. Possibly by bullying the locals until they changed their laws.

Terez 12-26-2010 02:56 PM

I doubt she was married to Lan.

TankSpill 12-27-2010 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by morat'corlm (Post 137162)
And one chapter where one of his fetishes gets so out of hand it's embarrassing to read.

So, uh, what is this a reference to? I honestly cannot recall.

Terez 12-27-2010 02:40 PM

Elayne and Aviendha in the bath?

Spasmodean 12-27-2010 05:04 PM

Bath-time must have been memorable when little RJ was growing up.

TankSpill 12-27-2010 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 137264)
Elayne and Aviendha in the bath?

Oh... yeah, I guess I can see how he was referring to that.

Juan 12-27-2010 06:29 PM

Could be the scenes where the AS rituals require the women there to strip naked to prove they're women. That always sort of bothered me only because it's so cheesy.

David Selig 12-27-2010 06:42 PM

My money is on "Honey in the Tea" with all the spankings.


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