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  #41  
Old 04-17-2014, 08:07 PM
Seeker Seeker is offline
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Between you and me (and the rest of TL), I think a lot of that fluff might have been caused by RJ's illness. The outline he wrote is proof that he had very good ideas.

The last couple years have taught me a bit about illness. I'm currently coping with a condition called keratoconus (Which basically means the cornea of my left eye is warped). So, I'm legally blind on my left side. That in itself isn't so bad, but the disparity between my good eye and my bad eye causes migraines, eye-strain, dizziness, nausea, muscle aches in my scalp and other wonderful things. At almost any given moment I'm in some kind of pain.

For about a year, I couldn't do much writing at all. Learning to write under these conditions took a lot of willpower and practice. Sometimes, when I'm in so much pain that I really can't concentrate, I put off one of the juicier scenes (A tear-jerker scene or a big action scene) and do something that doesn't require so much concentration.

It's possible that's what happened to RJ. If he was in a lot of pain, maybe he kept putting off some of those bigger scenes (like Rand attacking the DO) because he felt he wasn't at his best. He worried it wouldn't come out right.
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Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
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Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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  #42  
Old 04-18-2014, 05:48 PM
fionwe1987 fionwe1987 is offline
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Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
I would have picked Elayne actually as Rand's advocate. Throughout the series, Elayne is usually the one to point out that women have as much right to fight for what they believe in as men. She's arguably the most progressively feminist. (Guardswomen).
I never got that vibe from any of them, actually. Props to RJ, he never made any of them seem to be reaching to be what they wanted to be. They come across as successful men do in most other novels. They take their ability to affect the world for granted. They each had moments where they told off a guy for thinking otherwise, but I never felt that any of them was feminist as the term works in our world.

That said, I don't think this is about advocacy. I see it as shared grief bringing two people together, then Egwene discovering Rand felt guilty for Nynaeve's death. I can see her giving him a piece of her mind, then, and maybe Rand joking how she sounded like Nynaeve, and as easily as that, they're both reminded how much they share, and how much the world could benefit if they decided to cooperate.

I'm happy we didn't have an overly sappy meeting of minds between them in aMoL, but I also feel we severely lacked any true conversation between just them. Maybe I'm just trying to make up for that, because it totally weakened the book for me. Rand being so very beat up about her death would work much better if they reached a detente before.
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  #43  
Old 04-18-2014, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by fionwe1987 View Post
I never got that vibe from any of them, actually. Props to RJ, he never made any of them seem to be reaching to be what they wanted to be. They come across as successful men do in most other novels. They take their ability to affect the world for granted. They each had moments where they told off a guy for thinking otherwise, but I never felt that any of them was feminist as the term works in our world.
What I mean is (unless you count Min's pants) Elayne seems to be most comfortable with challenging gender stereotypes. She has a female warder, female guards. Female soldiers? (I can't recall if there were any in Andor's army). She's also a bit of a wannabe action girl. I say wannabe because she rivals Daphne Blake for her ability to be captured by the bad guys. But she always throws herself at the bad guys. Much more than Egwene or Nynaeve or even Aviendha ever did.

As to feminism, I think we have to agree to disagree. Women may be influential as diplomats, but the way people react to Birgitte as a Warder or the guardswomen or even the Maidens really paints this as a pre-feminist world. There's even this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Towers of Midnight
What she didn't have, however, were channelers to use in battle. She knew she couldn't ask this of the Kin. They'd never agree to it, nor would Egwene.Nor would Elayne herself. Forcing a woman to use the Power as a weapon would make her no better than the Seanchan themselves...
She needed something. An edge to use against the Seanchan. Something to balance their channelers in combat. The only thing she could think of was the Black Tower. It was on Andor's soil. She'd told them that she considered them part of her nation, but so far, she'd gone no further than sending inspection parties.
What would happen to them if Rand died? Dare she try to claim them.
She's very much against ordering women to use the Power for violence, but she's quite comfortable with ordering men to do it. And this is Elayne: the one I just trumpeted as the most feminist.


Quote:
That said, I don't think this is about advocacy. I see it as shared grief bringing two people together, then Egwene discovering Rand felt guilty for Nynaeve's death. I can see her giving him a piece of her mind, then, and maybe Rand joking how she sounded like Nynaeve, and as easily as that, they're both reminded how much they share, and how much the world could benefit if they decided to cooperate.
That's one possible solution.

Quote:
I'm happy we didn't have an overly sappy meeting of minds between them in aMoL, but I also feel we severely lacked any true conversation between just them. Maybe I'm just trying to make up for that, because it totally weakened the book for me. Rand being so very beat up about her death would work much better if they reached a detente before.
Personally, I think their reunion needed a lot more hugging and laughter. Maybe a nice scene where they reminisce.
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
If his bride didn't like it, St. Peter wouldn't mind.

Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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  #44  
Old 04-18-2014, 11:04 PM
fionwe1987 fionwe1987 is offline
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Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
What I mean is (unless you count Min's pants) Elayne seems to be most comfortable with challenging gender stereotypes. She has a female warder, female guards. Female soldiers? (I can't recall if there were any in Andor's army). She's also a bit of a wannabe action girl. I say wannabe because she rivals Daphne Blake for her ability to be captured by the bad guys. But she always throws herself at the bad guys. Much more than Egwene or Nynaeve or even Aviendha ever did.
Thing is, not all of those are major WoT stereotypes. Female Warder sure. Female guards is mostly because women don't generally seem to want those jobs (Elayne even mentions that there are occasional female caravan guards, etc. so nothing is stopping women from becoming warriors, and history is chock full of them).

As for throwing themselves at the bad guy: again there's nothing "bucking the trend" about it. Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, Maidens, village women of Emond's Field... they've all done it. It was pointed out as exceptional when it happened in Emond's Field, but that's got to be set against the background of Faile, Verin and Alanna.

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As to feminism, I think we have to agree to disagree. Women may be influential as diplomats, but the way people react to Birgitte as a Warder or the guardswomen or even the Maidens really paints this as a pre-feminist world.
But there have been similar reactions to male Healers, a female Gleeman, a male ruler of Andor, etc. What I'm trying to say is that while the attitudes you pointed to resemble pre-feminist standards externally, they're very different in terms of actual causes. I never got the vibe that female soldiers were odd because "Women belong at home baking", or "Women are weak and delicate".

This is always the problem with discussing gender relations in WoT. RJ never went the whole hog with a world where women were equal to or ahead of men. He kept certain features of our world intact. But I don't really see much evidence for there being similar structural reasons for those conventions in the WoT world. There are several female Heroes who are warriors, for instance, and some of them lived in the Third Age.

In fact the one thing I would say that is definitely pre-feminist is that Maidens give up any children they birth. It implies a conflict between motherhood and doing a physical job, or at least ascribes a special place for motherhood as something to be protected.

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There's even this:

She's very much against ordering women to use the Power for violence, but she's quite comfortable with ordering men to do it. And this is Elayne: the one I just trumpeted as the most feminist.
Two things: The men already know to fight, unlike the Kin, and her mention of Egwene makes it clear her issue is with Tower-associated channelers openly using the OP for violence, and the political consequences that would have.

Secondly, Brandonsim. In KoD, Elayne (or Birgette, I can't remember) has a thought of keeping the Kin from violence as long as possible, but reflects that that has to end eventually. That simply got changed when, I think, Team Jordan realized they didn't quite have a way to use all the channelers the Light had. So the Kin got relegated to Healing and Transporting, and the agreement between Elayne and Alise was born.

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Personally, I think their reunion needed a lot more hugging and laughter. Maybe a nice scene where they reminisce.
Exactly. The scene of Egwene reminiscing about Mat was quite good, and even came at an important moment. Wish we had more of that with Rand.

I also felt it was quite tone deaf to have Rand hand her a ribbon. Their first fight outside the TR was when she unbound her hair to make a statement that she was moving on from that life. What does Rand handing her a ribbon and saying something about her wanting her hair in a braid say anyway? It didn't seem very Rand to me.
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  #45  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by fionwe1987 View Post
Thing is, not all of those are major WoT stereotypes. Female Warder sure. Female guards is mostly because women don't generally seem to want those jobs (Elayne even mentions that there are occasional female caravan guards, etc. so nothing is stopping women from becoming warriors, and history is chock full of them).
Yeah, but it's rare enough to merit mention. Just so we're clear, simply having a pre-feminist world isn't a bad thing.

Quote:
As for throwing themselves at the bad guy: again there's nothing "bucking the trend" about it. Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, Maidens, village women of Emond's Field... they've all done it. It was pointed out as exceptional when it happened in Emond's Field, but that's got to be set against the background of Faile, Verin and Alanna.
What I mean is that most of the females in this series will fight when circumstances force them into a life-threatening situation. Elayne, actively seeks them out. (However, I've often criticized her as bone-headed for exactly that reason. Not that she goes into danger, so much as she always overestimates her ability to cope with whatever the shadow throws at her).

But as I was writing this, I couldn't help but wonder how often the men actively picked a fight with the bad guys. Rand, sure. But that was part of his job (taking down the Forsaken). Mat and Perrin always preferred to avoid violence wherever possible.

I was going to say that you don't get a lot of Action Girl moments, but then you don't get a lot of Action Guy moments either, so it may be a moot point.


Quote:
But there have been similar reactions to male Healers, a female Gleeman, a male ruler of Andor, etc. What I'm trying to say is that while the attitudes you pointed to resemble pre-feminist standards externally, they're very different in terms of actual causes. I never got the vibe that female soldiers were odd because "Women belong at home baking", or "Women are weak and delicate".
Yeah, but the point of feminism is that there ARE no gender roles. Anyone can do anything provided he or she has the aptitude. So, if you're writing a society where there are very clearly defined gender roles - even if they're different from traditional gender roles in the real world - then that's pre-feminist. Again, pre-feminist does not mean bad. Let me make that perfectly clear. Tolkien is pre-feminist.

Quote:
This is always the problem with discussing gender relations in WoT. RJ never went the whole hog with a world where women were equal to or ahead of men. He kept certain features of our world intact. But I don't really see much evidence for there being similar structural reasons for those conventions in the WoT world. There are several female Heroes who are warriors, for instance, and some of them lived in the Third Age.
He's writing about a pre-industrial society. That usually brings to mind defined gender roles. I think he did a good job of playing with those roles so that there were opportunities for women to be the heads of households or owners of businesses. There are some questionable things.

Having men dominate the One Power while women submit to it sends a rather uncomfortable message.


Quote:
Two things: The men already know to fight, unlike the Kin, and her mention of Egwene makes it clear her issue is with Tower-associated channelers openly using the OP for violence, and the political consequences that would have.
Yeah, but that's not her reasoning, is it? She says straight out that it's wrong to have a woman use the power as a weapon. That makes her no better than the Seanchan.

Quote:
Secondly, Brandonsim. In KoD, Elayne (or Birgette, I can't remember) has a thought of keeping the Kin from violence as long as possible, but reflects that that has to end eventually. That simply got changed when, I think, Team Jordan realized they didn't quite have a way to use all the channelers the Light had. So the Kin got relegated to Healing and Transporting, and the agreement between Elayne and Alise was born.
Yeah, you're probably right about that.

Quote:
I also felt it was quite tone deaf to have Rand hand her a ribbon. Their first fight outside the TR was when she unbound her hair to make a statement that she was moving on from that life. What does Rand handing her a ribbon and saying something about her wanting her hair in a braid say anyway? It didn't seem very Rand to me.
What else should he have given her?

They've had almost no interaction since the first book. It's hard to call back to an event that never happened.
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
If his bride didn't like it, St. Peter wouldn't mind.

Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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  #46  
Old 04-19-2014, 03:49 AM
GonzoTheGreat GonzoTheGreat is offline
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Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
She's very much against ordering women to use the Power for violence, but she's quite comfortable with ordering men to do it. And this is Elayne: the one I just trumpeted as the most feminist.
I doubt that is because of a sexist, "women shouldn't go into danger" attitude. Instead, it seems to be a direct result of one of the Three Oaths: "Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, I vow that I will never use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending my life or that of my Warder or another sister."

Just like every other AS, she has a tendency to interpret those Oaths in an illogical way, and their hesitancy about using the OP as a weapon against Shadowspawn is just one example of that. They're willing if the Trollocs appear in their own room, of course. But they didn't go to the Borderlands to fight, because "AS do not use the OP in battle".
On top of that there's the AS attitude of considering the Kin to be something like Novices (and perhaps a few Accepted) who should be kept out of trouble rather than send into it.

That said, I think that Aviendha is more feminist; she's just far more casual about it so that it isn't as apparent.
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  #47  
Old 04-22-2014, 11:21 AM
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From looking at the notes further, it would appear that the idea for Rand's disastrous failure evolved into two things: his encounter with Ba'alzamon at the end of TEOTW, and Lews Therin's failure, which was not yet developed as a plot point, hence RJ referring to Rand as "the Dragon" rather than "the Dragon Reborn". The ideas in this little outline are very, very nascent.
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  #48  
Old 04-23-2014, 05:48 PM
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Actually, the disaster in the previous Age was in RJ's earliest outline that I can find. It seems to have gone under the radar at one point, and then some elements of it were readopted later. Shai'tan started out as some kind of alien god-being, and the Forsaken as his alien half-men lieutenants, or something. It's going to be a headache and a half trying to catalogue the evolution of plot points, but I am going to do it.
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  #49  
Old 04-23-2014, 06:03 PM
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Well, if anyone's up to this herculean task, you are.

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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
If his bride didn't like it, St. Peter wouldn't mind.

Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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  #50  
Old 04-23-2014, 06:42 PM
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It will be headache-inducing, but still fun. The earliest outline I mentioned is not quite his earliest ideas on the series, though. In his earliest ideas for the series, the hero was essentially Tam. I haven't found any notes on anything like that, but it's something RJ mentioned every now and then on tour and the like. Then he decided he wanted his main character to be a "Candide". I think the first outline I have is probably from 1984, but his thoughts on the Tam-character as the hero came before that, when he was still just kicking ideas around in his head. It's possible he has earlier notes that are on his old Apple II held by the library. (They have to figure out how to get the files off of it, which is much easier said than done.) I think, though, that he used that Apple II to print out some of the things we're looking at. A lot of stuff was on old computer-printer paper.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:04 PM
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Whatever happened to his plan to format his hard drive seven times?
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
If his bride didn't like it, St. Peter wouldn't mind.

Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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  #52  
Old 04-23-2014, 08:29 PM
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The same thing that happened to his plan to burn all his notes. He said near the end that he merely worried that some crazy person would think it a good idea to assassinate him so that a quicker writer could finish the story.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:04 AM
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The same thing that happened to his plan to burn all his notes. He said near the end that he merely worried that some crazy person would think it a good idea to assassinate him so that a quicker writer could finish the story.
Seriously?

He said that?
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
If his bride didn't like it, St. Peter wouldn't mind.

Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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  #54  
Old 04-24-2014, 12:09 AM
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Yes. But, as always, it's not entirely clear if he was serious.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:33 AM
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Yes. But, as always, it's not entirely clear if he was serious.
RJ always had a very dry sense of humor...
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:27 PM
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RJ always had a very dry sense of humor...
Yup. Its kind of funny we didn't get any character who really had that. I think it would have suited someone like Siuan just fine...
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