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Why did Geofram Bornhald attack the Seanchan?


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It made no tactical sense. I never understood what Bornhald was trying to accomplish. He only had a thousand Children, while the Seanchan had several thousand troops in Falme. Even discounting the damane, the Whitecloaks would have been slaughtered.

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By then it was sort of too late to turn back.  He knew he was going to die, but his belief that they were DF's and shadowspawn meant he wouldn't retreat.

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That seems silly. Geofram Bornhald is the best Whitecloak commander after Pedron Niall. He manages to bring 2000 horsemen across Tarabon without being seen, yet he forgets to send a few scouts to find out about the Seanchan in Falme?

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1 hour ago, solarz said:

That seems silly. Geofram Bornhald is the best Whitecloak commander after Pedron Niall. He manages to bring 2000 horsemen across Tarabon without being seen, yet he forgets to send a few scouts to find out about the Seanchan in Falme?

 

I have to agree with you.  It was amazing how that just seemed to be there to advance the plot, and I don't really mean Falme, I mean Perrin's overarching storyline.  I also cast doubt on how the Seanchan didn't notice them until just before Bornhald is within a short gallop of the city.  The Seanchan would have patrols too.

 

The whole thing reeked of a potential accidental edit where the necessary paragraphs were.  I just finished re-reading Book 2, and I really cannot recall anything that justifies what Bornhald, Niall, or the Questioners that Bornhald was bandying with (Was one of them Carridin?) did throughout tGH that would have sent Bornhald and all of his soldiers to their death at Falme.

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It was the beginning of the Wheel removing a Great Captain. We know that the Last Battle was preceded by four war fronts, so four Great Captain's were needed. Pedron Niall was a wild card and totally unpredictable. Someone that the Wheel could not have involved in that conflict. Further more, his presence would have shattered the Alliance formed to deal with the crisis. He had to go, and it started by the Pattern getting rid of Niall's most trusted and greatest commander. I firmly believe that Geofram would have joined the Alliance like Galad did had he been the one in Niall's position, if he lived through everything everyone else did.

Edited by wotfan4472
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Bornhald wanted a fight, he was upset the questioners were using them, so he gathered his army to go fight who he felt the true enemy was.  He had no idea of their true strength before arriving.  But he felt al lthe questioners tactics were wasting his time, he wanted to go after the DF"s.

 

His army also provided a distraction for team Rand to try and escape.

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Don't think he was naive/indoctrinated to the required degree to believe that a fight between children Vs darkfriends could only be won by the (light favoured) children.

 

But I don't think we got a G. Bornhald pov so no way of knowing I suppose.

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17 hours ago, James Sedai said:

Don't think he was naive/indoctrinated to the required degree to believe that a fight between children Vs darkfriends could only be won by the (light favoured) children.

 

But I don't think we got a G. Bornhald pov so no way of knowing I suppose.

 

That's what frustrates me. One of the best thing about WOT is how RJ gives credible motivations to every character. Heroes and villains do what they do for reasons that make sense based on their characters. This is one of the only important events that does not have a valid explanation.

Edited by solarz
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From the POV we know he understood he would lose, which is why he made sure there would be a survivor.  He understood good doesn't always win.  He was disgusted by what the questioners were doing and wanted to fight the invaders.  When he got there and saw what he was up against he understood he was going to lose.  The one fight he had with the patrol and Damane let him know hoe tough of a fight he could expect.  It was too late to retreat, he believed these to be evil and shadowspawn, so win or lose it's unlikely he would of fled.   The Seanchean weren't going to simply let him go by that time.  Had he fled they would of pursued and attacked.  But his death mostly pushed the Bornhald/Byar vs Perin arc.

Edited by Sabio
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There are worse things than dying for a just cause. Alternative is going back to the Questioners' arms, remember he had disobeyed orders. Also, even if it was possible to retreat and run, general military understanding says it was not, if it was possible, what would he then be doing?!

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To elaborate. Bornhald knew they were in enemy territory. He knew the enemy knew of it. The longer they remain there, the more the enemy would know. The best chance of anything would be a direct attack. Of course it's all wrongheaded, Seanchan are not Shadowspawn for one, but not attacking then wastes the one possible advantage they had which was surprise. Anyway, attacking a retreating army is easier than defending against a charging one, nevermind the numbers.

Edited by Graendals favourite
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On 5/19/2018 at 7:58 PM, Graendals favourite said:

What would you have done instead?

 

First of all, I would not have mobilized half the legion, going against direct orders, without even knowing what was happening. I would have sent out scouts first, and get a picture of what was waiting in Falme.

 

However, let's say I made a mistake in judgement. I never believed those tales about Artur Hawkwing's armies, and was sure there were only a few hundred darkfriends at most. Now I'm committed, and apparently they have Aes Sedai fighting for them.

 

Why would I throw away the lives of 1000 Children of the Light when I could ride back and warn Pedron Niall instead? I was able to silence the enemy's patrols, and there is no indication that they even know about me, much less chase after me.

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But the Seanchan knew his army was there and weren't going to simply let his army ride away.  He knew what was happening, all of the rooting out DF's in the villages was a lie and it was the questioners stirring up the trouble.  He wasn't happy his men were being used to murder villagers.  The real enemy was in Falme.  Not to mention once Perin was spotted and vanished he assumed word of his men would reach the bad guys.  That's what really forced his hand was seeing Perin.  Had he simply left and went back to Niall, chances are he would of been in trouble for disobeying orders.

Edited by Sabio
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