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  #21  
Old 03-03-2012, 11:01 AM
Seeker Seeker is offline
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Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat View Post
Rand doesn't need the ability to destroy oodles of Shadowspawn, perhaps. But he does need the ability to actually repair the damage to the DO's prison. And that will take a lot of power.
How do you know that?

Healing severing was thought to be impossible until Nynaeve discovered the method but it didn't require a lot of power; it required a feather touch, a surgeon's delicacy. Nynaeave found the exact spot in Logain's brain that had been damaged and repaired it. In the end, the weave was fairly simple. Almost any Yellow Sister could craft that weave if IF SHE KNEW WHERE TO PUT THE FLOWS. That's the problem. Most people could not heal severing because they did not know WHAT to repair.

The difficulty of a task is not related to the amount of raw power involved. And we know nothing about what Rand is going to do in the next book, so your argument falls flat.


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He can use that large amount of power in other ways too, and that's what he did at Maradon. But then, as he said, there's the danger that when he is destroying things, he might destroy things. Specifically: he might end up facing the DO when that suits the latter a lot more than it would suit Rand.
There is something interesting that happens whenever we have one of these threads. People tell me WHAT has happened in the story as if I didn't already know. I, on the other hand am asking WHY the author made those choices.

Recall that the point of this thread was that the original poster felt that the characters in this series were shielded from danger by some kind of invisible Deus Ex Machina. I disagree because the characters have experienced lots and lots of danger. The only time I felt that “plot armour” was justified as a criticism is the scene in which 100 000 trollocs attack fifty some odd channelers and the channelers come out unscathed. That makes the channelers too powerful for me to enjoy the story. (I don't have to underline the words “for me,” do I? You do understand that I am not expecting other people to simply agree).

But the point of this thread is not about stating WHAT happened in the book but whether or not we liked it. I didn't like the scene with the 100 000 trollocs and I've stated my reasons why. If you disagree, that's okay too.

However – and I will state this again so that no one thinks I'm being unfair – the scene with the 100 000 trollocs is the exception not the rule. Most conflict scenes in this series are tight, well-executed and full of suspense. After all, if they weren't, I wouldn't have read all 13 books.
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  #22  
Old 03-03-2012, 11:44 AM
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For me, the bit at Algarin's Manor - and similarly, the scene with Rand Sedai protecting Maradon - served to demonstrate how far Rand (and by reflection, other characters) had come. 10 Trollocs was a frightening experience to the boy shepherd who left the Two Rivers, but 100,000 was barely a threat to the Dragon Reborn. I didn't feel they had "plot armour" on or were indestructible during the Algarin's Manor attack. In fact, in a way, Rand was at his most vulnerable during and directly following that event, with all the business about Lews Therin snatching away saidin and the way it seemed to send him even further into his own darkness.

As Seeker says, I'm just stating the reasons why I'm okay with the scene while he wasn't, but I do feel there is a danger in focusing too much on the numbers game. It could have been any number of Trollocs; 100,000 might as well have been plucked from thin air. To answer the question about why the author chose to have Rand defeat a frighteningly large number of Trollocs, the point was to emphasise how dangerous Rand is now. Also note that Rand would have been in considerably more danger had they been able to get close, but the point was they couldn't.
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  #23  
Old 03-03-2012, 02:13 PM
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I'm not sure the quoted number was 100,000, but rather "tens of thousands," but I take your point, so the number is immaterial in a theoretical sense (though the relative ease of physical difficulty of killing even 10,000 less Trollocs means the exact number is very important).

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Originally Posted by Seeker View Post

Recall that the point of this thread was that the original poster felt that the characters in this series were shielded from danger by some kind of invisible Deus Ex Machina. I disagree because the characters have experienced lots and lots of danger. The only time I felt that “plot armour” was justified as a criticism is the scene in which 100 000 trollocs attack fifty some odd channelers and the channelers come out unscathed. That makes the channelers too powerful for me to enjoy the story. (I don't have to underline the words “for me,” do I? You do understand that I am not expecting other people to simply agree).
Well I can certainly understand your disaffection with that scene, but recall that those Trollocs are going against the most powerful channeler ever born (Rand), along with Logain, who seems to be one of the more powerful Asha'man; Nynaeve, who is arguably a top 5 or 6 female channeler alive, and nearly two dozen other channelers. Some of whom have angreal. So its hardly a normal situation. In many ways it demonstrates the true value of channelers in value, which isn't so much in killing the other guy as it is negating the enemy's channelers.

In that light, it seems to me to be most reasonable that Rand & Co managed to kill that many Trollocs.


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However – and I will state this again so that no one thinks I'm being unfair – the scene with the 100 000 trollocs is the exception not the rule. Most conflict scenes in this series are tight, well-executed and full of suspense. After all, if they weren't, I wouldn't have read all 13 books.
And now I'm going to reverse tack and disagree with you, and say that the fight scenes in this series have become ever more unreasonable. I understand that as Rand & Co. progress in their abilities and responsibilites, the threats they face have to become commensurately more difficult. I thought RJ handled this better than Sanderson; while you do get scenes like those at Algarin's Manor, for the most part, the issue is increasingly threats from within, and higher level threats (e.g. Forsaken, gholam, etc) as devices like Trollocs and Myrdraal become increasingly irrelevant, especially for Rand. This makes a great deal of sense. I feel that where Sanderson has let himself come off the rails a bit is that Rand no longer faces those threats, nor does Perrin (only Mat faces a threat commensurate to his own abilities in the gholam).

Rand, for example, no longer fences with the Forsaken; his challenges (aside from fixing himself) have been (a) balefire Graendal, and (b) slaughter half a million Trollocs singlehandedly at Maradon. Thats the kind of plot device which seems poor to me. I thought the scene at Algarin's Manor amply demonstrated that Rand has nothing to fear from any number of Shadowspawn short of the numbers that will be present at the Last Battle. It seemed silly to have Sanderson reinforce that at Maradon.

So I guess its contradictory, Seeker, but I disagree with you in that I thought the battle scene in Tear required little suspension of disbelief (within the context of the series), but I think that the combat scenes have increasingly grown stale as Rand has been set up as a more and more powerful being. Mat is the exception to this. Perrin I don't want to even discuss... I understand the ta'veren concept is in play, but his ability to emerge from battle unscathed, and his greater abilities in T'A'R over Slayer (despite being a wolf) just don't make sense. Rand at the very least has been built up as the most powerful person to ever walk Randland short of the two deities. Perrin is just some dude... and again, most of this has come in the last several books. His story arc made sense in the context of fighting individual Aiel, or Masema... but to wade headfirst into a sea of Shadowspawn and come out with a rolled ankle? Come now, BS, you can do better.
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  #24  
Old 03-03-2012, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Seeker View Post

Why should Rand need the ability to take out armies of shadowspawn just to seal the dark one?
He doesn't. I see this scene as fulfilling his own need to believe in himself. I equate it a bit to the Aes Sedai testing...the ability to perform intricate weaves without thought, with huge distractions occurring around you, and not really knowing consciously WHY you need to make the weave. I always saw that as a key scene in his acceptance of what he can do as well as what he is capable of (in a nasty, ewwww kind of way)

One more step towards believing he can beat the DO. I woul have to go back and look, but when does his thinking turn from "facing the DO" to "defeating the DO"
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  #25  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:46 PM
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He doesn't. I see this scene as fulfilling his own need to believe in himself. I equate it a bit to the Aes Sedai testing...the ability to perform intricate weaves without thought, with huge distractions occurring around you, and not really knowing consciously WHY you need to make the weave. I always saw that as a key scene in his acceptance of what he can do as well as what he is capable of (in a nasty, ewwww kind of way)

One more step towards believing he can beat the DO. I woul have to go back and look, but when does his thinking turn from "facing the DO" to "defeating the DO"
Yeah, but the problem with that is that it's Lews Therin doing all the weaving. Now this is tricky because there's still no consensus on just what Lews Therin was but no matter how you look at it, this is what happened. The crazy part of Rand's brain dug up memories of how to blow up lots of shadowspawn with little difficulty and put those memories to good use.

Rand wasn't consciously doing anything. The girls may be in a dream state when they test for the Shawl but they are CHOOSING what to do. Rand, on the other hand was riding shotgun in his own body. So, your interpretation doesn't work and the scene becomes a big special effect bonanza.

Now, I get Zombie's point about how the real conflict was Rand losing control, I just don't think he needed to blow up hundreds of thousands of baddies just to prove that point.
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  #26  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:52 PM
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Rand, for example, no longer fences with the Forsaken; his challenges (aside from fixing himself) have been (a) balefire Graendal,

Yes, but that was a major moment of character development. Up until that point, Rand really hadn't done anything unforgivable. Graendel's death was not structured to be an action scene so you shouldn't judge it by action scene standards. It's not supposed to make you excited (like when Kelsier fights a Steel Inquisitor), it's supposed to make you say "This is really happening. He's really that far gone."

So, the scene works.

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and (b) slaughter half a million Trollocs singlehandedly at Maradon.
Yes, I agree. I rolled my eyes at that scene as well. But by this point the precedent had already been set.
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  #27  
Old 03-03-2012, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
(b) slaughter half a million Trollocs singlehandedly at Maradon. Thats the kind of plot device which seems poor to me. I thought the scene at Algarin's Manor amply demonstrated that Rand has nothing to fear from any number of Shadowspawn short of the numbers that will be present at the Last Battle. It seemed silly to have Sanderson reinforce that at Maradon.
Actually per BS we know the numbers for the two were in the same range. He didn't kill anywhere near a half a million at Maradon.
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Okay! Alright! So Wetlander and people.
LOIALSON
Are the impressive displays of power that Rand makes in Towers of Midnight (i.e., stopping the Trolloc army and having no concern over being able to leave the White Tower) a result of his integrated knowledge or his ta'veren nature?
BRANDON SANDERSON

Umm...Both, though, one thing you have to keep in mind, is...Rand, as a result of power level...Robert Jordan was specifically not using him very often because his power had grown so powerful even by the end of Knife of Dreams. I mean, you look at Knife of Dreams—if you go reread the fight in Knife of Dreams he is laying waste to nearly as many Trollocs as he has when he does the battle at the temple (which is not actually called that in the books)—that's the one with the Trollocs and things [referencing Rand's big single-handed fight in Towers of Midnight]. And so...yes, some of these things have changed, but he's really powerful now.

Now, the thing about in the White Tower is something different. [Brandon smiles]
& in ToM

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Al'Thor lowered his hand. The field before him was piled with carcasses atop carcasses. Tens of thousands of dead Trollocs smoldering. Directly before al'Thor, a pile a hundred paces wide formed a ridge five feet tall, a mound of dead that had nearly reached him.
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  #28  
Old 03-03-2012, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker
Now this is tricky because there's still no consensus on just what Lews Therin was

Major Eyeroll. Lololol.
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  #29  
Old 03-03-2012, 11:58 PM
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Plot Armor = slightly annoying. I HATE when a major character dies in a book I'm reading. I've never forgiven Anne McCaffery, for one. But I agree that they seem to be more or less immune to serious risk. And yeah, it all gets conveniently chalked off to tav'eren. In my personal opinion, RJ kind of shot himself in the foot with that concept - it's original function was an almost random side-effect of the tav'eren's presence in an area. It's grown into this unwieldy ham-fisted "positive feedback" device that's getting a little out of hand.

As for the fight at Algarin's Manor -- I've discussed this with Seeker many times. I find it LUDICROUS that so few people, channelers or not, could have stood off TWO THOUSAND TIMES THEIR NUMBER with only the loss of nineteen non-channeling Saldaean soldiers. Sheer numbers should have been able to overwhelm them, even if they'd only been ARMY ANTS. Or bumblebees. Power is all well and good - but it takes a finite time to weave, no matter how short, and the trollocs didn't have all that far to run from the woods to the house. Try to have it run like a movie in your head. The only way to make it work is like this scene here.
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  #30  
Old 03-04-2012, 05:24 AM
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Actually, neither of these was the first time that Rand demonstrated an ability to exterminate* an inordinate number of Trollocs:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSR, Chapter 10, The Stone Stands
Suddenly he stopped, surrounded by the dead, in a wide hallway. He had to do something – something more. The Power slid along his bones, pure essence of fire. Something more. The Power froze his marrow. Something to kill them all; all of them at once. The taint on saidin rolled over him, a mountain of rotting filth threatening to bury his soul. Raising Callandor, he drew on the Source, drew on it till it seemed he must scream screams of frozen flame. He had to kill them all.
Just beneath the ceiling, right above his head, air slowly began to revolve, spinning faster, milling in streaks of red and black and silver. It roiled and collapsed inward, boiling harder, whining as it whirled and grew smaller still.
Sweat rolled down Rand's face as he stared up at it. He had no idea what it was, only that racing flows he could not begin to count connected him to the mass. It had mass; a weight growing greater while the thing fell inward on itself. Callandor flared brighter and brighter, too brilliant to look at; he closed his eyes, and the light seemed to burn, through his eyelids. The Power raced through him, a raging torrent that threatened to carry all that was him into the spinning. He had to let go. He had to. He forced his eyes open, and it was like looking at all the thunderstorms in the world compressed to the size of a Trolloc's head. He had to... had to... had to...
...
Rand had not a clue to what he had made, or how it worked. He could only stand there, quivering with the Power that filled him with the need to use it. Even if it destroyed him. He could feel Trollocs and Myrddraal dying, feel the lightnings strike and kill. He could kill them everywhere, everywhere in the world. He knew it. With Callandor he could do anything. And he knew trying would kill him just as surely.
And, as I notice once again, in this case too he risked killing himself too soon if he focused on the wrong target.

* Is Rand the Dalek Reborn?
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:54 AM
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Actually, neither of these was the first time that Rand demonstrated an ability to exterminate* an inordinate number of Trollocs:

And, as I notice once again, in this case too he risked killing himself too soon if he focused on the wrong target.

* Is Rand the Dalek Reborn?
He'd be more Davros than mere cannonfodder frontline Dalek, I think. Special Weapons Dalek?
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  #32  
Old 03-04-2012, 06:56 AM
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He'd be more Davros than mere cannonfodder frontline Dalek, I think. Special Weapons Dalek?
Dalek Caan?
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:32 AM
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Dalek Caan?
I think Caan has more brains.

Up until recently, I had him as Sharaz Jek.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:02 PM
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I really do like the books and while reading it makes sense most of the time. Rarely does it stretch my suspension of disbelief while reading. The problem is going back and thinking about it make me realize that way more characters should have died. By the way Veins of Gold is the perfect spot for a AU bad ending. I also understand that killing main characters off usually doesn't work well. Not to mention how the final out come is dependent on at least Rand, Mat, and Perrin living. Yet for the love of the LIGHT why couldn't someone die. So to clarify within the story it makes a good amount of sense. Also from the perspective of a story teller it makes sense. Alas it only bugs me when i look at from a realism perspective. In a setting like the wheel of time people would die often. Also i find it funny how a thread about Plot Armor to the nature of the wheel to comparing Rand to a Dalek.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:29 PM
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I agree. Someone should have died. As much as I love Moiraine, I used to wish that she would stay "dead" simply because she was someone we loved.

Elayne's attitude to life seems to be "my, this chopping block fits my neck perfectly. I could just lie here all day." She probably should have died.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:09 AM
77jester 77jester is offline
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Originally Posted by tworiverswoman View Post
As for the fight at Algarin's Manor -- I've discussed this with Seeker many times. I find it LUDICROUS that so few people, channelers or not, could have stood off TWO THOUSAND TIMES THEIR NUMBER with only the loss of nineteen non-channeling Saldaean soldiers. Sheer numbers should have been able to overwhelm them, even if they'd only been ARMY ANTS. Or bumblebees. Power is all well and good - but it takes a finite time to weave, no matter how short, and the trollocs didn't have all that far to run from the woods to the house. Try to have it run like a movie in your head. The only way to make it work is like this scene here.
I disagree with this thought simply on what the trollocs would have had to wade through. Sure the initial charge could have been overwhelming, but as soon as the front line was decimated by the Deathgates, fire blossoms, and fire arrows, the growing pile of random body parts would easily slow the onslaught to a trickle. Making the slaughter just a matter of endurance. What I find almost unbelievable is that the trollocs would just keep running into the carnage after just a few waves of instant death. Mydraal can't be more scary than that. To me this was just a repeat of Dumai's Wells, but against Shadowspawn.

What I really dislike about Death in this series is the countless killing off a character in lame ways because he is no longer necessary to the plot, or has become stale and boring. ie: Aram, Bors/Carridan, Asmodean, The prophet Masema, Noal. So much more could have come from Aram. And Asmodean could have been a nice repentant Darkfriend atoning for his sins for at least a short while not necessarily the rest of the story. The only example of a darkfriend repenting is Ingtar and he dies almost immediately afterwards.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:14 AM
GonzoTheGreat GonzoTheGreat is offline
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The only example of a darkfriend repenting is Ingtar and he dies almost immediately afterwards.
And Verin. Who, admittedly, dies almost immediately afterwards.

And there's Galina, though she is a bit fickle about it all.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:06 AM
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If we wrote off every character who bored us at some point...we would be down to Bashere, Tovere, Aviendha and Cadsuane.
Bashere? Meh.
Aviendha? Meh.
Cadsuane? Meh.

So basically, I would be reading about tovere!
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:55 PM
77jester 77jester is offline
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And Verin. Who, admittedly, dies almost immediately afterwards.

And there's Galina, though she is a bit fickle about it all.
They don't quite fit the point either. Galina doesn't repent, she gives up.
Verin was forced into choosing to study the black ajah or die. Hardly a willing supporter of the shadow. Not exactly a repentant darkfriend.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:18 AM
Seth Baker Seth Baker is offline
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It's interesting seeing the various people that nobody ever found boring.

I was never really bored by Mat, Egwene, Aviendha, Logain, Moiraine, Verin or Tovere.
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