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Demos on A Crown of Swords, chapters 8 - 9

Demos

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Chapter 8: The Figurehead

 

If anything, this chapter title makes it pretty clear exactly what Egwene’s role was “meant” to be. It looks like the Salidar Aes Sedai are well on the way on their travels north. Someone mentioned this in the last blog, but why don’t they just travel? It would save on a hell of a lot of supplies and time. Anyway, Egwene is meeting with Sheriam and Siuan in her study. They are going over some random reports of supplies and such, and trying to figure out what to do about it all. Sheriam is still attempting to keep Egwene as a figurehead, but with the help of Siuan’s teachings, Egwene is slowly gaining her power. The biggest trouble lies with Romanda and Lelaine, but luckily for Egwene they fight each other as much as they fight Egwene. I didn’t realize those two were also the next two strongest after Egwene. That, along with their age, definitely makes them a dangerous opponent.

 

As the conversation is diverted, Egwene is able to force the information out of Sheriam on why ten sisters left Salidar soon after its forming. They were sent back to the White Tower as spies! Their main goal is to keep the story about the Red Ajah and Logain circulating around. It’s during this conversation when the thing we’ve been fearing would happen, happened. Technically we did already saw this happen, just from a different POV. Egwene feels the jolt of pain from a male channeler, as he (or she in this case) breaks the necklace off Moghedien’s neck! Egwene frantically leaves and goes to her tent, only to find it empty. She really did run headstrong into this. Egwene could have been torn up by just one of those two forsaken, not to mention both of them. So in the end, I’m glad Moghedien was forced to leave so quickly. It doesn’t make me feel any better about Halima, and I’m curious to know what exactly her plans are now.

 

 

Chapter 9: A Pair of Silverpike

 

Egwene meets with Siuan and Leane, and tells them the news. Naturally, they freak out a little. Egwene has Leane ask around the tent and see if any males were seen entering. Of course they won’t, Halima is a chick! That resurrection into a chick’s body is really turning out to be a huge advantage. Leane leaves and Egwene offers to intervene with Bryne for Siuan. She declines – are we starting to see a possible relationship between those two? From what I remember, Bryne appeared to have the “hots” for her when he decided to leave his manor and chase after her. For as much as Siuan acts like she hates him, RJ keeps throwing these subtle hints of her slowing starting to like him.

 

As Egwene then takes a walk around camp, we see the traveling station that has been opened up. Before Moghedien escaped, Egwene was able to figure out skimming from her, which makes it possible for the Sisters to travel back to Salidar every night. Again, this leads me to ask why they don’t travel to their destination? Does it have something to do with the Sisters dragging their feet? Anyway, Egwene ponders over not hearing more word from Merana in Caemlyn. It’ll be interesting to see her reaction to the news of Rand’s capture/escape.

 

Lastly, we see Nicola and Areina try to blackmail Egwene! The two try to use the leverage of overhearing Elayne and Nynaeve acting as full Aes Sedai (before Salidar) to get a little promotion themselves. I really like how Egwene reacted to this, and puts the fear of God into the two. She could have reacted different, or gotten nervous, and we may have seen some bad results. I’ll tell you all, I really like the recent developments in Egwene. She certainly appears to be growing into this Amyrlin role, and isn’t backing down like a normal 20 year old would. I have to take a step back and remember that she is barely out of her teens, or is she in them? She acts and seems so much older sometimes.

 

 

 

 



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Someone mentioned this in the last blog, but why don’t they just travel? It would save on a hell of a lot of supplies and time.

 

A large part of it is that they don't know what to do when they get to Tar Valon just yet. As they march, Bryne is picking up recruits for his army (you'll see more discussion about this shortly)... he's trying to make his plans for what he's going to do when they reach their destination... and once they get to Tar Valon, they have to make the fateful decision about whether to start a war and irrevocably break the Tower. As it is right now, they're marching that way, and rumor is spreading, but there's nothing they've done yet that they can't get out of with some negotiation.

 

I have to take a step back and remember that she is barely out of her teens, or is she in them? She acts and seems so much older sometimes.

 

As I recall, she's about 18 at this point. She's about the same age as Elayne, and a couple of years younger than Rand, Perrin and Mat. All of them are thrust into leadership very young, and rarely act as young as they are.

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Egwene is about 18 at this point in the story. She was 16 in TEotW.

 

The Aes Sedai don't travel there yet because they're building up their army, trying to gain supplies, working out how they're going to lay siege to the Tower, and about a billion other things. They want the world to know that they're the true power in the Tower, and they have to show that without breaking the idea that the Aes Sedai are in control of the situation. It's about getting ready, and appearance. They don't want to jump into a war completely unprepared.

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... and yes it's about sisters dragging their feet as well. Most of them haven't really decided that they do want this.

 

Egwene's biggest luck with Lelaine and Romanda is that they never consider (not even for a second) that Egwene might be more than what she looks.

 

In the eyes of the sisters and the sitters it's them the power (and Sheriam's party).

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As for travelling, I think that RJ failed there (and later BS). They're trying hard to come up with plot reasons for not happening more often, but I think that most of the time travelling, communications, messengers and such aren't happening becuase the writer didn't want it to.

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I have to take a step back and remember that she is barely out of her teens, or is she in them? She acts and seems so much older sometimes.

 

In a way that is part of why Egwene can be so irritating at times. She comes across at times as believing she knows better than everybody with much more life expierience and wisdom. Granted, many of the Aes Sedia around her are quite idiotic so by comparison she looks pretty wise. She has spent less than a year in the Tower actually studying non-channeling aspects of the knowledge an Aes Sedai should know. Yes she probably picked up a few lessons while travelling here and there with Moiraine and others, but not enough to really account for the knowledge Egwene displays.

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In a way that is part of why Egwene can be so irritating at times. She comes across at times as believing she knows better than everybody with much more life expierience and wisdom.

 

 

I agree, and I've had my fair share of times where I've been irritated with her. Maybe it's just the fact that she is being a know-it-all with other Aes Sedai. I'm not irritated over that as much as I would if she was doing it to the three boys, or Elayne/Nynaeve.

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In a way that is part of why Egwene can be so irritating at times. She comes across at times as believing she knows better than everybody with much more life expierience and wisdom.

 

I would feel the same if the Aes Sedai acted their age. But instead they act like children so they get treated like children.

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In a way that is part of why Egwene can be so irritating at times. She comes across at times as believing she knows better than everybody with much more life expierience and wisdom.
I would feel the same if the Aes Sedai acted their age. But instead they act like children so they get treated like children.

 

It's (very nearly) literal ivory tower syndrome. Most Aes Sedai have very little experience outside the Tower. They spend most of their lives around only each other, and the Tower doesn't (officially) accept anyone over the age of 18. Most of the 'good' Aes Sedai are those who spend most of their lives away from it and it's stagnating brainwashing.

 

As for Egwene, she makes a very thrilling underdog but is absolutely infuriating when on top. Egwene's the antithesis to Perrin (and Rand, too, in some ways). She doesn't spend a lot of time reflecting on her actions (and getting all anxious over them) and she embraces, rather than runs from, the lot that's been given her. She's a forward-looking character. Abrasive, at times.

 

A large part of the rebel Aes Sedai are still looking for a diplomatic way out of things, too. They're incredibly anxious about the split and would probably be willing to go back to the Tower with the smallest of concessions on Elaida's part, and those that are more forceful are likely still looking for some type of compromise. So yeah, they're dragging their feet on this. I also believe it's why they chose Egwene. They thought she could be easily manipulated (Siuane and the Aes Sedai council both) and she's a strong political tool to the rest of the world (she has personal connections to the Dragon Reborn, she was "independent" when the Tower split, etc...) and at the same time choosing an Accepted for Amyrilin is a message to the Tower that "hey, we're not TOO serious here, we're just playing politics", and they likely expect that in any eventual compromise Egwene will have to step down and that there will be far less repercussions than if they had raised a full Aes Sedai, both for the rebels as a whole and for Egwene, who everyone could just say "she was a puppet, she can't be held responsible, etc..." and just send her off with a short penance (as opposed to the death penalty).

 

A lot of people see Egwene's selection as Amyrlin of the rebels as unbelievable. I don't, it makes sense when you think about the politics the rebels are playing and how they really don't want an outright war and know that nobody really wants two factions.

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