Wulf

Starting a re-read, tEotW ending overly simplistic?

Recommended Posts

It's been a decade or so since I've read the series and I never did get past...  whichever book it is where literally nothing happens, and the Aes Sedai all stand around a field.  (Description may be inaccurate, but damnit, I remember what I remember), so anyway, time for a re-read.

 

 

I enjoyed most of tEotW well enough, seeing lots of things that jogged my memory, enjoyable threads set spinning this early, so on and so forth.  But then it came to the end.

 

(Um...  Eye spoilers, ahead)

 

The ending really didn't mesh well at all with  anything i remember of the story going forward.  The one Forsaken death was fine, Green Man valiantly sacrificed himself to take out somebody underestimating him.  One down.

 

Then Aginor just decided to explode for no reason?  Was I tired when I read it and missed a few pages, or was his death seriously a one-liner "and then flames came out of his mouth"?

 

And flamey non-real-DarkOneDude. 

 

"Aha, I am evil!  Serve me!"

"No, I like puppies and rainbows, and flaming swords!"

"Aha, I remain evil!"

"Woah, dude, be careful with your vacuum cleaner cord here, somebody's gonna trip over it."

"NOOOO, YOU HAVE FOUND MY ONE TRUE WEAKNESS WHICH I HAVE INEXPLICABLY FAILED TO ATTEMPT TO DEFEND IN ANY SIGNIFICANT MANNER!  I'M MELTING!  MELLLLLLLLL TIIIIIIIING"  OH, WHAT A WORLD!"

 

Three Forsaken down, without Rand even breaking a sweat.

 

I mean, he didn't have the knowledge of Lews Therin guiding him to any inexplicable feats of wonder.  He swung a flaming sword at an undefended garden hose (of eeeevil).

 

Did RJ just not have everything worked out yet?  Did he not know how to write himself out of the corner of "inept farmboy confronted by 3 living legends and masters of their art"?

 

Am I alone in being underwhelmed by this ending?  The heroes won because the heroes had to win, not because of any ingenuity or valour on their parts.

 

I mean, I guess it's passable fantasy fare but based on my memories of the series I just had my expectations set higher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Wulf,

"..then aginor just decided to explode for no reason?"

no,it was rand's doing,rand fried his arse.

 

.."three forsaken down.."

well not really,ishamael was severely wounded but he was alive.

 

it was szilard who said robert jordan had no idea how to start or finish

the eye of the world,but the middle of the bookarrow-10x10.png is very good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aginor fell due to his own pride. He was fighting Rand for control of the Eye, and he pulled in more than he could handle, burning himself to a crisp.

 

Rand was able to defeat Baalzamon with the help of the Eye. It's not that Baalzamon didn't defend his conduit to the Dark One, it's that he *couldn't*. The sword of light severing the conduit is a metaphor for something akin to Shielding or Severing. Since Rand was holding the power of the Eye at the time, he could easily Shield Baalzamon.

 

The entire fight took place in Tel'aran'rhiod, so it was not entirely real, yet it was more than just a dream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

1 hour ago, solarz said:

He was fighting Rand for control of the Eye, and he pulled in more than he could handle, burning himself to a crisp

 

That makes a lot more sense than Rand subconciously using his power to outwit and overpower a Forsaken with his newbie-moves.

 

 

1 hour ago, solarz said:

The entire fight took place in Tel'aran'rhiod, so it was not entirely real, yet it was more than just a dream.

 

I'd forgotten that T'a'r was a place that people could go to.  That also counters my unspoken quibble about Ishamael creating a fake mother that would make him feel better once saved.  That probably explains a few of the things that I didn't like about the scene.

 

I'll give the ending another re-read tonight with that in mind.  I still don't think it'll make it a great ending, but at least I think it'll help me fit the ending in the established world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Wulf said:

That makes a lot more sense than Rand subconciously using his power to outwit and overpower a Forsaken with his newbie-moves.

 

I'd forgotten that T'a'r was a place that people could go to.  That also counters my unspoken quibble about Ishamael creating a fake mother that would make him feel better once saved.  That probably explains a few of the things that I didn't like about the scene.

 

I'll give the ending another re-read tonight with that in mind.  I still don't think it'll make it a great ending, but at least I think it'll help me fit the ending in the established world.

 

The problem with the ending of tEotW is that it was trying to be both THE end and AN end, and did neither very well. As the end of a stand-alone story, it felt rushed and largely inconclusive. As the end of the first book of the series, it had some unique deviations that were never brought up again in the other books, which made it fit poorly with the rest of the series. The conduit that you mentioned is one such example, as we never see that again. The other one is the voice in capital letters that some believe to be the Creator, again something that never happened again (except at the very end, quite likely added in expressly to make EOTW fit better).

 

Even worse, the exact purpose of the Eye was never satisfactorily explained. Just purifying that much Saidin should have been incredibly difficult, but it was just used to destroy a Trolloc army and kill a couple of Forsaken. Who came back later anyway. In the large scheme of things, the Eye's power was pretty much wasted. Compared to the Horn of Valere, the Eye seemed pretty pointless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just found a good explanation for the Eye of the World here:

 

http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=4848

 



!--TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT SPOILERS FOLLOW!
Sorry, I posted it in the wrong section.


Wow. In rereading Leigh's reread recently, I came across the following post, which was the first time I have ever seen what I consider to be a satisfactory answer to the question "WTF was the Eye of the World made for?"

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/02/the...d-part-7#90468

This makes SO MUCH sense to me. It's so very Ishy, too. The gist of the idea is that the Eye was made to battle the DO in Tarmon Gaidon, perhaps to reseal him, and that by leading our heroes to it prematurely, Ishamael prevented it from being used for this purpose.

So I'm thinking: We learn in ToM that Ishamael has this big book of Dark Prophecy. Judging by its size, it's evidently something he's been compiling for a long time, maybe since as far back as the Breaking. Maybe one of the prophecies makes mention of cleansed saidin being used in the reresealing of the DO. Let's assume that there is such a prophecy. Knowing Ishamael as we do, we can probably also assume that he took his default position - something as audacious as cleansing the entire True Source was impossible in the AoL so it is unthinkable in this backward Age. He has had thoughts along these lines many times before, in reference to the a'dam, the warder bond, etc. So when he saw a reference to cleansed saidin being used, his immediate assumption was that it meant the Eye - saidin that has already been cleansed.

Now, I am gonna go out on another limb and posit that the Eye was shielded from Darkfriends. Perhaps not intentionally, but effectively. It is said that only those in great need, not those seeking glory etc., will be able to find it. Given that the seekingment of eternal power and glory is pretty much a prerequisite for being a Darkfriend, it is doubtful any DF would qualify.

Well then how did Aginor and Balthamel find it, you say? I'm glad you asked. I've always thought it curious that Aginor makes specific mention of what drew them there - the Shadar Logoth dagger in Mat's possession. It seems odd to mention that they followed it there if they could have got there without it. So presumably it acted as a sort of unintentional homing device; however, I think even without it, Ishamael would have been able to use the ta'veren to locate the Eye and Travel there. This was probably his original plan.

So anyway. The Eye is effectively shielded from Darkfriends. Ishamael is convinced that the Eye is one of the keys to defeating the DO, and so he is desperate to "blind" it, but he can't reach it. So he has Rand et al reach if for him. Battle ensues, Aginor and Rand use up the Eye, and it is gone. Score one for Team Dark. No more Eye.

(Note that Ishamael doesn't seem the least bit surprised that Aginor tried to use the saidin from the Eye; he probably knew that would happen. He also doesn't seem to particularly mind. He wants the saidin there gone, he's not really bothered how.)

This has interesting implications. A couple years down the line, Rand announces he is gonna cleanse saidin, and Ishamael, who up until that point had (almost always) been extremely anti-killing-Rand, suddenly lifts this prohibition. I can almost see his face when it all clicks - he has interpreted the prophecy incorrectly, or perhaps he did interpret it correctly and the pattern is simply providing another way for it to be fulfilled.

To summarize:

The Eye was originally meant to be used in reresealing the DO.
Ishamael sneakily forced its use too early, rendering it useless.
The Pattern gets pissed off and says "oh yeah? well how about I up my man's mad skillz to the point where he can cleanse da whole tru sourz, biyatch".
The Shadow is like, damn.

I know this is nearly all conjecture but I think it all makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assumed Aginor used too much of the power and burnt himself up but according to the companion Rand killed Aginor.  

 

Maybe the Eye was used for the intended purpose, Rand did hurl back the Trolloc army with it and prevented Shinear destruction.  At the time that was mans greatest need.  Rand was going to need to cleanse Saidin anyway or else a bunch of insane men were going to be running about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I approve of any summary that includes the phrase "biyatch".

 

A+++

 

Would consider as valid justification for a poorly used plot point again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That theory actually makes a great deal of sense.

 

It doesn't explain why they created it in the first place though, as Jordan said it wasn't used for the purpose it was intended for. That said, I suppose it would have been very handy for Rand to have clean Saidin when he was starting out.  

 


This made me think of a more literary question - should Jordan have killed off two of the chosen at the beginning of the series? It kind of undermined their status right from the start to die from an untrained farmer and a damaged plant creature. Might it have been better for Someshta to have wounded Balthamel and then Rand caught them by surprise by securing the Eye - then they retreat? 

 

I think the ending would still have been fairly dramatic and it wouldn't really change anything about the long term arc of the series (neither character really needed to be doing anything for the next few books, they could just carry out some schemes off screen, finding artefacts etc. until they get better bodies) - but it may have built more tension to avoid the death of any of the Chosen until book 3.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Book one wasn't guaranteed any sequels when it came out, so it had to have an ending tha could pass for a stand-alone. When it sold well, sequels were green lit, and it became the first of a series.

 

Things changed with hindsight and Jordan changed as a writer and the story changed and grew more complicated.

 

and everyone leveled up, Rand and the forsaken.

 

you can construct meaning behind happenstance but I think it was mostly happenstance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't seem to me that Book 1 was meant to be a stand alone , the finding the banner and horn would of made no sense if it had just ended there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was the deal when it came out. He planned a trilogy... lol... he got eotw published without a commitment for further publication and when it sold, the rest of the trilogy... sad sad lol... was approved.

 

then there were gonna be 4, then 6, then... as you see.

 

thats why the bad guy is baalzamon in eotw but now he isn't, retroactively. The book was written so that if there were no more books this would be the ending.

 

and people set up theories around this work like Mishnah and Talmud on the text of the Torah but they're just books and there are really mundane reasons why things happened as they did. But humans like everything to mesh neatly together, even though humans are generally incapable of producing anything that would remain consistent and unaltered from beginning to end over many books and decades. Hell, even over a paragraph. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The theory is actually close in some spots.  Random reading of the companion turned up a couple of interesting things.

 

For the Samma N'Sei (Eyeblinders) It says they were groomed to be a surprise weapon in the Last Battle.  Some of them had an earlier mission to find and destroy the Eye of the World before the Dragon Reborn could reach it, but that Mission failed.

 

Eye of The World - It says it was destroyed when it fulfilled its purpose related to the Dragon Reborn.

 

So seems Ishy did want it destroyed and sent some to find it but Rand seemed to of used it for what it was intended.  

 

 

Had Book 1 of been the ending, it would of been a horrible ending.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2018‎-‎02‎-‎17 at 5:13 PM, Mrs. Cindy Gill said:

Book one wasn't guaranteed any sequels when it came out, so it had to have an ending tha could pass for a stand-alone. When it sold well, sequels were green lit, and it became the first of a series.

 

Things changed with hindsight and Jordan changed as a writer and the story changed and grew more complicated.

 

and everyone leveled up, Rand and the forsaken.

 

you can construct meaning behind happenstance but I think it was mostly happenstance.

My understanding is that Jordan already had a contract for 6 books? He still expected to finish the series in 3 but his publisher gave him 6 just in case (and if Wheel could be finished in 3 then he could start a different trilogy). Is that not accurate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, threadnecromancer said:

My understanding is that Jordan already had a contract for 6 books? He still expected to finish the series in 3 but his publisher gave him 6 just in case (and if Wheel could be finished in 3 then he could start a different trilogy). Is that not accurate?

 

It's partially accurate and it's difficult to get what actually happened from any official record or interviews after the fact.

 

when he sold eotw to a publisher it is usually said that he thought he could do it in one book but envisioned a trilogy when he wrote it. The publisher didn't see it happening in 3 books so got Jordan to sign a 6 book contract. If eotw didn't sell, or if he finished the story in less than 6 books, Jordan could finish the contracted books on another series.

 

but if eotw hadn't sold, and there was no guarantee it would, there would have been no other WoT books and it would have been a stand-alone.

 

so when you read it and get the feeling that a lot of stuff was kind of crammed in there, and bookend beginnings and endings were sort of tagged on to fit (ever read the book of job and notice how the beginning and ending don't match the rest of the writing? Kind of like that), what you're sensing is the fiddling that was done to let it suffice as a stand-alone if the worst should happen and it flopped.

 

and so it began.

 

i bought eotw when it was the only book out. In a bookstore, from a human bookstore owner who I knew well. We had those in the olden days, it was kind of neat. He recommended the book to me cause it was the sort of thing I bought and enjoyed. When I came back the next week and asked if there would be any more he didn't know, but in a few weeks he said, ya, it will be a trilogy, next book coming soon.

 

at the end of book 3 it clearly wasn't going to be done and he said the author now expected it to end in 6.  when 6 came around and gah blech but that's another story, he said that the author said one more but he elieved at least 3 more. And this went on forever until we all realize the author was never going to finish the series and here we are.

 

yes, I'm old. I can tell you about when bread was 50 cents and I could buy my gramma a pack of pall malls for the same 50 cents but that's not wot related afaik. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the series now he probably could of finished in  I would say nine if he had compacted some story lines and tossed some stuff out.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol but then we wouldn't have a total of like a 100 pages talking about the scenery per book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont think it's the scenery or descriptions that needs cutting (lol how opinions change) 

 

After Shadow Rising almost every character ends up with at least a filler arc, or extra characters are added to show events that could have been left off screen etc

 

But, cutting that out makes it a different story and there's part of me that appreciates the organic nature of the world we ended with 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now