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  #1  
Old 02-27-2012, 06:17 PM
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Default Plot Armor

Before commenting please understand I don't want this to degenerate into a egwene hate thread. I only mentioned her because she is a great example of my point.
I find it strange that people complain about so many relatively small things in the WOT. Yet it's incredibly rare for someone to complain about the plot armor surrounding the good guys. Not to mention the only partially competent villain in the series so far has been a non channeller(i.e. Pedron Naill). Its sad because i haven't felt afraid or worried for any main character since book 3. Not when rand was in the box. Not at dumai well. not at the cleansing. Not even when rand was ambushed by rouge asha'man. The truth is plot armor is strong in these ones. Another possible person who could have been a good competent villain is Egwene. Unfortunately we saw in the towers of midnight that even Egwene would not be able to stand against plot plate armor that rand had on.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:15 PM
LadyFiona LadyFiona is offline
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I think this is the entire reason for the mechanics of ta'veren in the books. It creates this dirty little loophole to add to our suspension of disbelief. Extremely bizarre and unlikely coincidences are easily shrugged off as the influence of ta'veren.This is not GRRM. The apparent protagonist is obviously not going to die before he's fulfilled his destiny. He could certainly die afterward, though, barring body swaps or Deus Ex Machina.

That being said, Elayne should have died a long time ago if it were up to me...

The characters have not been unscathed. Rand has lost a hand, has nearly died multiple times, and has horrific unhealed wounds. Mat has nearly died, died, and lost an eye. Handy Aes Sedai Healing has intervened to keep characters alive that would otherwise not be.

The characters that we are pretty sure aren't going to die until the last battle have all been either ta'veren, powerful channelers who can defend themselves, (or both in Rand's case) or a companion traveling with one of the above.

Fain doesn't count as a non-channeling competent villain? Crazy, yes. Stupid, no.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:34 PM
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Fiona is exactly right (I will not call you "Milady") - there's a built-in system that protects certain people: the Pattern itself will push things in the "right" direction to stop the Shadow. Also, so long as the Wheel turns, history is sort of bound to repeat itself; this means that Time itself is trying to loop back around, so The Dragon should survive long enough to break the world, face the DO, etc.

Also, the best villains we've got - Moridin, Fain, the DO, and Demandred - are all folks who haven't given us much idea as to what they're doing or ultimately planning. This can deflate your sense of dread or concern, but for many, this story has been plenty tense, and I don't know how things will turn out for our heroes.
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  #4  
Old 02-27-2012, 08:38 PM
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Alviarin was a decent villain. Niall was awesome.

And, the dark side of me has always had a soft spot for Bors.

I liked Elaida...until she took the Seat.

I always see a lot of Gareth Bryne, Elayne and Egwene hate. Maybe pent-up rage from letting Rand slide (ta'veren) is released on those we are sure are not.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by The Unreasoner View Post
I always see a lot of Gareth Bryne, Elayne and Egwene hate. Maybe pent-up rage from letting Rand slide (ta'veren) is released on those we are sure are not.
Eh, I've never really thought about it that way. I like Egwene more than Elayne. Pretty much the only redeeming thing about Elayne is Birgitte. I wouldn't want to put Birgitte through bond-loss, but she's a tough girl, she might be able the drink her way through it. The main reason I would want her gone...like 6 books ago, aside from her horribly awkward, forced romance, is the red-hot-poker-in-the-eye torture of her "securing the throne" storyline. I have a very low tolerance for reading about political maneuvering, but when it is agonizingly slow, takes up large chunks of several books, and revolves around a character sulky enough to ambush Rand so she can get her piece of the polyamory pie...

/headdesk
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:45 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.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:56 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's a little dull.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by final death View Post
Before commenting please understand I don't want this to degenerate into a egwene hate thread. I only mentioned her because she is a great example of my point.
I find it strange that people complain about so many relatively small things in the WOT. Yet it's incredibly rare for someone to complain about the plot armor surrounding the good guys. Not to mention the only partially competent villain in the series so far has been a non channeller(i.e. Pedron Naill). Its sad because i haven't felt afraid or worried for any main character since book 3. Not when rand was in the box. Not at dumai well. not at the cleansing. Not even when rand was ambushed by rouge asha'man. The truth is plot armor is strong in these ones. Another possible person who could have been a good competent villain is Egwene. Unfortunately we saw in the towers of midnight that even Egwene would not be able to stand against plot plate armor that rand had on.
Maybe you've missed a part of the plot itself. Rand has a prophesied death waiting. Both the pattern and the DO want it that way. But others have tried to kill him. See what semirhage got for the attack on Rand. Rand survival upto now has important to the shadow.

And he is prophesied to bring another breaking. If I were Moridin, I'd be wondering how the pattern meant to use his death to win and planning how to prevent the pattern being able to do anything at that point and not before. That is, let the DO free just before Rand dies, and let him break the pattern.
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2012, 04:44 AM
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Sevanna was pretty competent too. Outmatched, eventually, but that doesn't diminish her competence.
And, seeing as how I would consider the Seanchan to be villains too, I think that Fortuona (and, earlier, Suroth) should go on the "competent villain" list too.

And, of course, on the other side, the "stuff them back into a spare body if they die" thing that the Shadow has going is also fairly impressive plot armor. Both Ishamael and Shadar Haran have benefitted from that.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:55 AM
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Not to mention the only partially competent villain in the series so far has been a non channeller(i.e. Pedron Naill).
Burn my eyes, it's Niall!
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:51 PM
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Suroth (Sabelle Melderath) was no fool too.
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  #12  
Old 02-29-2012, 05:24 PM
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Do not get me wrong i love the books. I've read the Books all the way through at least 4 times. I know its all justified in book I'm just saying that I haven't felt scared for anyones life. The biggest most significant death is. I know about Ta'veren. The book is supposed to be a form of entertainment though at its most primitive level. That is what i tend to judge things on.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:09 AM
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Default Plot Armor

That's a nice way to look at the Wheel and Threads.

I have to say it would have been nice to see the Dark One's influence weaken such "armor" earlier in the series. We see some of that with the blinding of the Dragon, the purposeless hunts pushing back Perrin's realization of his Talents, Fain's influence on Egwene, and the obvious influence on the Dark One on Mat...ok, that's just plain immaturity (which in and of itself is a nice play on the traditional devil made me do it mentality).

It goes back to the Wheel being a tightly controlled system in it's programatic need for Balance; interestingly enough, as the most amazing super computer and all, as readers we can't help but detect what appears to us as computer logic of sorts pulling strings from behind a curtain...which is, in essence, what the Wheel is. Funny.

~sneaks back behind the curtain~
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:19 AM
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To use that computer analogy: would the Forsaken then be malware (Graendal)?
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:36 PM
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To use that computer analogy: would the Forsaken then be malware (Graendal)?
LOL

So then when Rand balefired Rhavin and brought people back from the dead, that was like him using the "System Restore" feature.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by final death View Post
Before commenting please understand I don't want this to degenerate into a egwene hate thread. I only mentioned her because she is a great example of my point.
I find it strange that people complain about so many relatively small things in the WOT. Yet it's incredibly rare for someone to complain about the plot armor surrounding the good guys. Not to mention the only partially competent villain in the series so far has been a non channeller(i.e. Pedron Naill). Its sad because i haven't felt afraid or worried for any main character since book 3. Not when rand was in the box. Not at dumai well. not at the cleansing. Not even when rand was ambushed by rouge asha'man. The truth is plot armor is strong in these ones. Another possible person who could have been a good competent villain is Egwene. Unfortunately we saw in the towers of midnight that even Egwene would not be able to stand against plot plate armor that rand had on.
This is one where I'm gonna disagree. Rj has always been good at suspence and most of the first few books made it feel as if the characters survived by the skin of their teeth. The first few books were packed with suspence and Gathering Storm - while not an action book - really had the feel of "is this the point where Rand finally snaps?"

But.

I will say this. There is one point where Rj totally killed the suspence and it's the scene where Rand and company fend off 100 000 trollocs ar Lord Algarin's manor. Really? 100 000? What are they just completely useless now? Remember when a dozen trollocs were a major danger? Wasn't that better?
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:46 AM
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I will say this. There is one point where Rj totally killed the suspence and it's the scene where Rand and company fend off 100 000 trollocs ar Lord Algarin's manor. Really? 100 000? What are they just completely useless now? Remember when a dozen trollocs were a major danger? Wasn't that better?
For thousands of years, the savages sweeping down on horses, waving swords, from Siberia into Europe were a deadly and often unopposable threat. They frequently obliterated any army civilised countries could raise against them. Until guns became just a little bit more effective. Then the threat was gone, and any new attacks would simply be wiped out whenever convenient.

The same happened to Trollocs. Their ferocity and effectiveness did not change. That of Rand and his followers did, and that tipped the balance far enough.

Note: if the Trollocs had had an air force, as the ones facing Ituralde at Maradon had, then they could have still gotten into the house with Rand. At which point he would have had to choose between running away (using a gateway) or dieing on the spot. And if they'd had one or more channelers offering supporting fire (as the ones at Maradon did), then that would have helped too.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:35 AM
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I will say this. There is one point where Rj totally killed the suspence and it's the scene where Rand and company fend off 100 000 trollocs ar Lord Algarin's manor. Really? 100 000? What are they just completely useless now? Remember when a dozen trollocs were a major danger? Wasn't that better?
I actually like this scene..partially for the visceral reaction of HOW he kills them..but I think the inent for this is to show how much Rand has changed...as a person, a leader, a fighter. it also shows him, I think, how much his instinctive reactions have changed and the immensity of his abilities. Big step for the boy who feared strangers to fighting ten trollocs to killing thousands. Necessary changes in his acceptance of facing the DO methinks.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Saucy
I actually like this scene..partially for the visceral reaction of HOW he kills them..but I think the inent for this is to show how much Rand has changed...as a person, a leader, a fighter. it also shows him, I think, how much his instinctive reactions have changed and the immensity of his abilities. Big step for the boy who feared strangers to fighting ten trollocs to killing thousands. Necessary changes in his acceptance of facing the DO methinks.
You don't have to take out every TIE fighter and capital ship to blow up the Death Star. All you have to do is get close enough and make a precise shot.

Why should Rand need the ability to take out armies of shadowspawn just to seal the dark one? Unless my theory is correct and this is the turning where he kills the Dark One. In which case his massive power spike is a set up. We'll have to see.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:19 AM
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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 (as well as precision, knowledge, luck and duct tape).
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.
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