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DRAGONMOUNT

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Maedelin

I'm Embarrassed to Admit It... (Spoilers, to be on the safe side)

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But that won't stop me from doing so!

 

Ok, so it took me over 15 years of reading and re-reading the books to realize exactly what was going on with Rand throughout the books.  Rand was going through the steps of grieving that many endure when given a diagnosis of a terminal illness.  The most popular/well known version of this is the Kübler-Ross model:

 

1. Denial – The first reaction is denial. In this stage, individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.  (Books 1, 2, and a portion of 3)

2. Anger – When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, they become frustrated, especially at proximate individuals.  (Definitely 4 with his - completely understandable - treatment of the Tairen Lords)

3. Bargaining – The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise. (Book 5 regarding the Fifth, Book 5, 6, and 7 in the various politicking he attempts)

4. Depression – During the fourth stage, the individual despairs at the recognition of their mortality. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen. (I think the strongest example of this was in The Gathering Storm where the depression came to it's fore and was abused mightily by tDO)

5. Acceptance – In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or inevitable future, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event. People dying may precede the survivors in this state, which typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable condition of emotions. (And here, as many call him: the Jesus Rand of Books 12, 13, and 14)

 

Many of the middle books have Rand bouncing between multiple levels of the Grief Model, so I didn't outline them here.  I encourage others to use points to prove/disprove/increase the argument for what I've put above. :)

Edited by Maedelin

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This also fits the idea of Saidin channellers being thought of as people with an illness. Alot of Aes Sedai think of it that way, which explains the gentling attitude towards Logain when we see him in the Tower later on. He is seen as a patient, not a monster. I think all men that channell are seen this way, with only the Red Ajah saying otherwise. Very cool idea. I agree with it.

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Never thought of it, but I’m not embarrassed. I’ve enjoyed the books many times without that insight. Maybe it will be different on the next read through...

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I think that's stretching the model just a little too thin.

Denial doesn't just mean you don't automatically believe everything that you're told about yourself.  Rand really didn't have any reason to believe that he possibly or actually was the Dragon Reborn until maybe the end of the Great Hunt (and I would say it was only firmly concluded at the end of the Dragon Reborn).  All he knew is that he was a guy who could channel, which he seems to have accepted rather readily on at the end of the first book.  He doesn't want to do it or harm anybody else, which is understandable, but he's not in denial about the situation.

Anger at level two let's just say that if you had to deal with a bunch of stiff necked nobility who thought they were the Creator's gift to the universe and that their you know what didn't stink you might get a little ticked off as well.  That wouldn't really have anything to do with grieving.  That's frustration.

Rand's not bargaining in the sense to avoid the grief.  He's trying to change the Dragon from what he thinks it will be to what he wants it to be.  5, 6, and 7 to a large degree illustrate that.  He also perseveres with hope that he can cleanse saidin, which everybody else assumes is a fool's errand.  If anything I'd say that he was suffering with stress that very nearly broke him.

 

Finally, I must say that the Kübler-Ross  model is specifically aimed at a terminal illness.  Unless you want to call living a terminal illness and then you've abstracted it to the point of useless.

 

 

 

 

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I think the second book was all about denial.  Even Lanfear at the end said he knows but he doesn't believe it yet or something like that.  He tried to deny it to the heroes of the horn.  Regardless of the evidence presented along the way, Rand refused to believe it.

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4 hours ago, Sabio said:

I think the second book was all about denial.  Even Lanfear at the end said he knows but he doesn't believe it yet or something like that.  He tried to deny it to the heroes of the horn.  Regardless of the evidence presented along the way, Rand refused to believe it.

Denial in the sense that he's facing the notion that he might be the "anti-Christ" of his world and really doesn't want to be, but I don't think that has anything to do with the five stages of grief.  And he's also dealing with denial about Tam not being his biological father, but he moves pretty fast into acceptance at the end (sad acceptance, but acceptance).

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7 hours ago, agreddon said:

Finally, I must say that the Kübler-Ross  model is specifically aimed at a terminal illness.  Unless you want to call living a terminal illness and then you've abstracted it to the point of useless.

While I agree with the rest of your points, I would like to point out that Rand's death has literally been fortold for centuries. In fact, even if he wasn't the Dragon Reborn, he could still channel, which would also be a death sentence. I don't think its been abstracted that far.

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7 minutes ago, TheSociopath said:

While I agree with the rest of your points, I would like to point out that Rand's death has literally been fortold for centuries. In fact, even if he wasn't the Dragon Reborn, he could still channel, which would also be a death sentence. I don't think its been abstracted that far.

I would suggest that the fact that the Dragon Reborn's death didn't occur until several, several years after the initial diagnosis the foretelling of the Dragonborn's death was no more important than the foretelling of Joe Schmoe's death who may die today or die 15 years down the road.  Also, in as far as the death sentence for channelling, I think he moved to acceptance rather quickly on that one and was more concerned with keeping the damage solely to himself and not to other people.

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3 hours ago, agreddon said:

I would suggest that the fact that the Dragon Reborn's death didn't occur until several, several years after the initial diagnosis the foretelling of the Dragonborn's death was no more important than the foretelling of Joe Schmoe's death who may die today or die 15 years down the road.  Also, in as far as the death sentence for channelling, I think he moved to acceptance rather quickly on that one and was more concerned with keeping the damage solely to himself and not to other people.

Whether or not it is of particular importance, Rand believes it is important. He is told by the finns that "to live, he must die", he gets in plenty of arguements about how he expects to die, with the various women around him. In Rand's perspective, he has been given an end date to his life.

 

Furthermore, while Rand did accept that he could channel and probably was more concerned with keeping the damage to himself, he was still forced into the realization that he most likely wouldn't live for another five years.

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On 3/23/2018 at 9:24 PM, TheSociopath said:

Whether or not it is of particular importance, Rand believes it is important. He is told by the finns that "to live, he must die", he gets in plenty of arguements about how he expects to die, with the various women around him. In Rand's perspective, he has been given an end date to his life.

 

Furthermore, while Rand did accept that he could channel and probably was more concerned with keeping the damage to himself, he was still forced into the realization that he most likely wouldn't live for another five years.

What TS said.  I think it's being forgotten or being played down that in the books, a man who could channel had a death sentence, either by his own hand, or the White Tower gentling them.  That is part of the reason I found correlation with the model for grief.

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You never really see Rand freaking out about dying, but more of a fear he is going to hurt others.  

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4 hours ago, Sabio said:

You never really see Rand freaking out about dying, but more of a fear he is going to hurt others.  

True, but he often references that after long whiles, he reconciled himself to his death.  He also expresses internally that he wishes to live.  When Semrihage pushed him further than a Forsaken had before he remarked that he no longer hoped he'd live, he only hoped for death.

 

That's some pretty depressed sentiment there.

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10 hours ago, Occams whiskey bottle said:

That's a really interesting insight. I think for the most part that was RJ's intent. I felt he was suffering from PTSD for much of TWoT anyways. 

Interesting thought, Occams.  I actually thought it was his way of processing his time in Vietnam!

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On 3/26/2018 at 6:06 AM, Maedelin said:

Interesting thought, Occams.  I actually thought it was his way of processing his time in Vietnam!

 

Like he broke his life/personality into 3 characters. Mat represented his playful, promiscuous, mischievousness, Perrin his love of wife, family, wildlife, and Rand being his life experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. 

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4 hours ago, Occams whiskey bottle said:

 

Like he broke his life/personality into 3 characters. Mat represented his playful, promiscuous, mischievousness, Perrin his love of wife, family, wildlife, and Rand being his life experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. 

 

Ha!  What an interesting idea!

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I took a world religion class about 5 years ago that I loved. I loved it mainly because everything in that class reminded me of TWoT! Amazing how much information RJ poured into that series. Basically, every world religion can be found in RJ's series especially the smaller less known ones. 

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