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Wulf

Series pacing, thoughts?

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On 8/6/2018 at 11:40 AM, Talmanes said:

On the BS books part yeah I remember reading the blog post he did about the decision to split AMoL into multiple books. Started writing and realized it would be impossible for one book.

 

KoD is the one where things started to speed back up, but BS didn't have much of a choice but to wrap things up quickly and try to wrap everything he could up neatly as possible.

 

I know a lot if people really hate the BS books, but I think he did the best he could, it was never going to be RJ, and he did inherit a pretty impossible task. 

 

I think if he'd been able to take his time he could have done better (looking at SA which is shaping up to be one of the greatest Epic Fantasy series of all time IMO) but it is what it is.

 

I believe TD and Harriet both acknowledged RJ wouldn't have actually only done one more book either, and based on the pacing toward the end I think he would have fit probably 4-5 more books in tbh.

 

I think 4-5 books instead of 3 would have been the more fitting end.

 

I know, it's no use wishing for something that can't be, and Sanderson did do a great job on those books, but I still wish RJ was able to finish the series.

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I'm about halfway through tGS now.

 

When I started reading it I put the book down for over a week because it just felt wrong to read, but I picked it back up and pushed past it, and I think I enjoy some aspects of it more than if RJ had written it.  There are far fewer places where it seems like the author's being paid for every word they write.

 

In fact, I'm beginning to suspect I'll have the opposite complaint.  Semi's storyline was wrapped up in a ridiculously short space of time.

 

"Aha, I'm free!  Aha, Rand, you are my prisoner!  Aha, do my bidding!"

"Hey, sorry to interrupt, but I think I've conveniently discovered a new ultimate power just in the nick of time."

"OhnoImmeltingohhhhhhwhataworld!  Also, please conveniently remove this Black Ajah sister who contributes nothing to this scene."

 

Though, Avi's punishments forcing her to declare herself a wise one could probably have shed a few pages to make room for something more interesting.  Like, perhaps, Rand's journey to the true power.

 

I dunno how to feel yet.  I can definitely notice the change of authors but I'm undecided on what that means.  Good and bad, with definite hints of "let's wrap this up" threading throughout.

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24 minutes ago, Wulf said:

I'm about halfway through tGS now.

 

When I started reading it I put the book down for over a week because it just felt wrong to read, but I picked it back up and pushed past it, and I think I enjoy some aspects of it more than if RJ had written it.  There are far fewer places where it seems like the author's being paid for every word they write.

 

In fact, I'm beginning to suspect I'll have the opposite complaint.  Semi's storyline was wrapped up in a ridiculously short space of time.

 

"Aha, I'm free!  Aha, Rand, you are my prisoner!  Aha, do my bidding!"

"Hey, sorry to interrupt, but I think I've conveniently discovered a new ultimate power just in the nick of time."

"OhnoImmeltingohhhhhhwhataworld!  Also, please conveniently remove this Black Ajah sister who contributes nothing to this scene."

 

Though, Avi's punishments forcing her to declare herself a wise one could probably have shed a few pages to make room for something more interesting.  Like, perhaps, Rand's journey to the true power.

 

I dunno how to feel yet.  I can definitely notice the change of authors but I'm undecided on what that means.  Good and bad, with definite hints of "let's wrap this up" threading throughout.

 

I can see where you're coming from with "let's wrap this up". Nevertheless, tGS was still at least as large as a book on average when compared to RJ's WoT books. So, there was still a LOT of story lines and character interactions in tGS. 

 

But, I do really love your humor when describing the ending of the Semihage and Elza. In fact, I am still chuckling with a grin as I re-read your post. 

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Aran'gar and Delena seem like more "Let's wrap it up" wasted potential.

 

Did Aran'gar accomplish anything with his rebirth?

 

Aran'gar, this is the Great Lord.  I have pulled you back from the brink of oblivion for a mission of utmost importance.  Heed me well.

 

I obey and serve, Great Lord.  What is it you wish of me?

 

The young Amyrlin girl...  The Amgirlin...  I wish you to infiltrate her camp.  Position yourself close to her, ingratiate yourself, kill whoever stands in your way.

 

Yes, of course.  And then?

 

And then...  Then, my minion, you shall give her mildly inconvenient headaches.  Like, really bad ones that put her in a bad mood.  And then she's all grumpy after.

 

...Headaches, Great Lord?

 

HEADACHES!  And she'll have no idea where they come from!  Teehee!

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On 8/7/2018 at 2:31 PM, Vambram said:

 

But, I do really love your humor when describing the ending of the Semihage and Elza. In fact, I am still chuckling with a grin as I re-read your post. 

 

If you can't have fun while complaining, then what's the point in complaining at all?  =]

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3 hours ago, Wulf said:

Aran'gar and Delena seem like more "Let's wrap it up" wasted potential.

 

Did Aran'gar accomplish anything with his rebirth?

 

Aran'gar, this is the Great Lord.  I have pulled you back from the brink of oblivion for a mission of utmost importance.  Heed me well.

 

I obey and serve, Great Lord.  What is it you wish of me?

 

The young Amyrlin girl...  The Amgirlin...  I wish you to infiltrate her camp.  Position yourself close to her, ingratiate yourself, kill whoever stands in your way.

 

Yes, of course.  And then?

 

And then...  Then, my minion, you shall give her mildly inconvenient headaches.  Like, really bad ones that put her in a bad mood.  And then she's all grumpy after.

 

...Headaches, Great Lord?

 

HEADACHES!  And she'll have no idea where they come from!  Teehee!

:laugh:

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Okay while I find the summaries to be hilarious (reminds me of the fantastic joke plot summary thing I read on some other site a log time ago, and I know this is OT but if anyone knows what I'm talking about and can link it that would be great) there were hints about what he was really doing.

 

He had completely ingratiated himself to Egwene as Halima and there was essentially controlling her in a way with the headaches, little by little. Egwene also says in a POV that sometimes it's too easy to let things slip when getting a massage.

 

We also know he killed the AS that were most likely to succeed with Egwene's plan to change the gate chains into cuendillar as well, trying to stop her, and I cant remember if that's who ratted to the Tower about it too or not.

 

If Egwene wouldn't have spur of the moment decided to go in Bode's place and got captured, could have turned out very differently.

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Headaches did always seem a bit lame but it made sure Eg needed Aran'gar.  Since Aran'gar was the only one who seemed to be able to make them go away.  Aran'agr main goal was to try and ensure the WT and BT didn't start working together.  The murders were intentionally done with the male power to make the Aes Sedai less likely to cooperate with the BT.  Some of the murders (like her attendents) were done because they were spies for other Aes Sedai and she couldn't risk them finding the wrong stuff out, some were killed because they were good friends with the dead Aes Sedai she was supposedly working for (and might get suspicious later), others to simply cause chaos in the camp.  Mostly she was to ensure the rebels and BT never formed an alliance.  The headache think was meant to ensure Eg would always keep her close.

 

I just read in the companion a few days ago who ratted Eg out, it wasn't Aran'gar.  It was someone who later said they were sorry when she was being held and started to work for her.

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I understand that Aran'gar had potential to do a lot of things and had lots of things in motion, but did any of them come to the slightest bit of fruition?

 

Did any useful information actually get leaked?

 

Did any significant tensions actually arise with the BT?

 

Basically, if Halima were balefired from the pattern back to the point of their resurrection, would there be any noticeable differences at all in the story?

 

I do have a tendency to handwave away details for comedic effect, but I don't think my above analysis is too far off.  Somebody in Halima's position should have pulled off way more shenanigans than we saw.  Instead, she gave Egwene some headaches then abandoned her post at the absolute first sign of anybody from the BT.

 

Even with male channelers around they'd never find her unless she actively channeled (men can't sense the ability, and would never test a woman), so then would have been the perfect time to start the killings and foment discord.

 

Her information gathering was pretty pointless as well.  They had Sheriam in place who would be apprised of everything relevant to the war, and Egwene didn't have a whole lot else going on at the time.

 

One of the Forsaken.  Death itself cannot stop this primal force of ancient evil, and it's loose among a mass of completely defenseless women.  Aran'gar could have stood in the middle of their camp and savagely ripped them apart one by one with absolutely no fear of retaliation, because nobody would try to shield a random woman cowering with the rest.  Pick a different one each day.  Rip their legs off in front of the Amyrlin's tent and create a maelstrom of blood and bone to weaken the strongest nerve.  Use the wondrous knowledge of the ancient greats to create feats of terror undreamed of by these children who have the gall to name themselves Aes Sedai.

 

Or...  y'know, the headache plan is pretty cool too.

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1 hour ago, Wulf said:

I understand that Aran'gar had potential to do a lot of things and had lots of things in motion, but did any of them come to the slightest bit of fruition?

 

Did any useful information actually get leaked?

 

Did any significant tensions actually arise with the BT?

 

Basically, if Halima were balefired from the pattern back to the point of their resurrection, would there be any noticeable differences at all in the story?

 

I do have a tendency to handwave away details for comedic effect, but I don't think my above analysis is too far off.  Somebody in Halima's position should have pulled off way more shenanigans than we saw.  Instead, she gave Egwene some headaches then abandoned her post at the absolute first sign of anybody from the BT.

 

Even with male channelers around they'd never find her unless she actively channeled (men can't sense the ability, and would never test a woman), so then would have been the perfect time to start the killings and foment discord.

 

Her information gathering was pretty pointless as well.  They had Sheriam in place who would be apprised of everything relevant to the war, and Egwene didn't have a whole lot else going on at the time.

 

One of the Forsaken.  Death itself cannot stop this primal force of ancient evil, and it's loose among a mass of completely defenseless women.  Aran'gar could have stood in the middle of their camp and savagely ripped them apart one by one with absolutely no fear of retaliation, because nobody would try to shield a random woman cowering with the rest.  Pick a different one each day.  Rip their legs off in front of the Amyrlin's tent and create a maelstrom of blood and bone to weaken the strongest nerve.  Use the wondrous knowledge of the ancient greats to create feats of terror undreamed of by these children who have the gall to name themselves Aes Sedai.

 

Or...  y'know, the headache plan is pretty cool too.

 

IIRC, Balthamel was an anthropologist in the AOL. I'm not sure why he was supposed to be one of the top leaders of the Shadow. Perhaps he was just strong in the OP and happened to be at Shayol Ghul when Lews Therin sealed the Bore.

 

We know that Balthamel loved pleasures of the flesh, and after his transformation into Aran'gar, she became even more decadent. She was more interested in enjoying herself than furthering the Dark One's plans. Even her alliance with Graendal was more a way to get into Graendal's bed.

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Umm even one forsaken is no match for a few hundred Aes Sedai.  If men who could channel were in the camp then Aran'gar would risk detection and time she tried to channel or even held the male half. which is why she was opposed to any deal with the Asha'man.  Her job was to be a spy, to make sure the tower didn't unify and the WT and BT didn't join up.  If she started a mass killing spree they would of run right to the WT for help or worse yet for Aran'gar, of been so scared they went to Rand for help.

 

 

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But what's the point of sowing discord if there are no male channelers around to blame?

 

Before the male channelers arrive, there's zero chance of detection and she can do whatever she wants.  She knows this, and even uses saidin on Egwene freely to give her headaches.  She's not worried.  She couldn't kill hundreds of AS, but she can literally do whatever the hell else she wants because they wouldn't know it was her to oppose her.  Subtle killings are pointlesss, because there are no BTers around to take the blame.  Mass killings are probably just as pointless, but that's kinda my point, if it could be claimed I have one.  Halimagar did absolutely nothing of note in her second life.

 

She spied on people that were already being spied on, she killed secondary characters that nobody cared about or remembered 5 seconds later, and she abandoned her plan to break the BT trust within 30 seconds of an actual BT member arriving.

 

After the male channelers arrive, saidin-killings would be ridiculously effective at breaking their trust, and with minimal risk.  Lots of people channel, small channelings wouldn't be noticed, women would be easy to kill before they knew what was going on.  Maybe not my public examples as above, but a corpse is a corpse.

 

Edit:  I say this all to support my original feeling, that Halima's potential got sacrificed in the effort to finally end the series.  She was set up with lots of potential, but it ultimately went nowhere.

Edited by Wulf

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Yes she killed the spies who were spying on EG for other people, she killed the Aes Sedai who might of been able to ruin her cover story, since they knew the Aes Sedai she claimed to of been working for.  She was killing people just like you usaid she should be doing, trying to so discord and ruin any chance of trust with male channelers.  Making to people assume there was a man hidden in the camp who could channel.  She tried to simply eavesdrop and look at how fast the Asha'man discovered her attempt. It's also why she wanted Logain killed.  Any man in the camp who could channel was a risk for her.  Not to mention after the cleansing Rand's group knew a woman was somewhere who could channel the male half, sooner or later that would of gotten to the rebels.  She was killing people like you said she should be doing.

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She killed people that didn't matter in the least.  Egwene had nothing worth spying on.

 

Killing the people that could ruin her cover didn't matter, if we are discussing whether Halima even needed to exist at all.

 

There was no serious distrust created towards the Black Tower.

 

...She channeled directly at him to eavesdrop.  She was as subtle as a brick.  Imagine if murders had started once there were a few Ashaman running around camp.  Just channel a tiny sliver of air to sever somebody's carotid artery.  Nobody would feel it very far away, then the Ashaman get some serious grief.

 

But nope, the second one appears she sends up the "I'm snooping" beacon and bails.

 

Let's approach this from another angle.

 

If Halima were balefired back to the moment of her rebirth, what differences in the pattern would result?

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I think I agree with Wulf on this, especially since halima should have been able to invert weaves, which reduces the risk still further of being discovered. There's fantastic potential, but it's missed

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On 16/08/2018 at 2:55 PM, Sabio said:

just read in the companion a few days ago who ratted Eg out, it wasn't Aran'gar.  It was someone who later said they were sorry when she was being held and started to work for her.

Was it Nicola? Can't quite remember

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Wasn't it the....  What'sername...  Started with a B...

 

The one who gave Elaida Traveling.

 

Betrayal McBetrayface or something.

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Thanks BFG, it was Nicola.  She went to the WT because she thought they could train her better and was forced to betray Eg.  Man it was killing me not being able to remember.

 

By that argument Wulf 90% of the people in the book could of been done away with and deemed did nothing worth while or did they need to exist at all.  How much time was RJ/BS suppose to spend on Aran'gar?  Like Mesana, Semi, Gren, Osan'gar, her job was to keep an eye on a major faction and add some chaos into things.  Being a spy was her main job and to try and manipulate the group. But we can what if the entire series, why didn't Mes unleash a 100 gray men into the WT?  Why didn't Semi declare herself head of Seanchan and use their armies remaining back in their empire?  Why didn't every forsaken head to Tear to Ambush Rand?  Aran'gar was to kill anyone who might expose her and add some chaos not go on a mass killing spree.  Her main task though was to keep the rebels and the WT at each other's throats and prevent the rebels from joining the WT again.  The men channeling was secondary and only a concern for her since men about increased her risk of being exposed.  

 

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On 8/18/2018 at 8:58 AM, Sabio said:

How much time was RJ/BS suppose to spend on Aran'gar?

 

That's the thing.  Lots of time was spent on Aran'gar.

 

For no payoff.

 

The headache thing?  No payoff.  Egwene never figured it out until the threat was neutralized.

 

The spying thing?  No payoff.  No significant intelligence was leaked in any direction.  Her and Sheriam had a ridiculous amount of overlap here.  (Also, Sheriam being Black goes down the same line of thought, what a waste of potential)

 

The killings?  No payoff.  Nobody significant died.

 

Aran'gar didn't even get the dignity of being killed on purpose, she was nuked in a blast meant for somebody important.

 

Do the Forsaken hand out participation trophies?

 

I'm getting close to the end of ToM now.  I'm assuming Mat and Thom are about to rescue Moiraine from the Aeleelfoxsnakes.  They've been building up this encounter since...  Was it book #1 that they saw the first tower?  Anyway, for nearly, if not the entire, series this encounter has been building up.  Will I have a right to complain if they bust in only to find that Moiraine had been an honored guest for the entire time, and the repfoxtiles serve them tea before sending them casually on their way with a hearty handshake?

 

"Courage to engage in casual conversation, fire to warm marshmallows upon, music to gently nod your head to, iron to put tiny tea cozies under so that it doesn't scratch the coffee table."

 

Or would questioning the buildup/payoff ratio be playing "what if"?

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To summarize my thoughts, if that's what RJ had wanted to do with the character all along, weird, but fine.

 

It just seems extremely odd to spend all that time creating a character that was basically superfluous.  She really should've had some epic storyline that concluded around book 37, but it seems to have been pruned before it was allowed to bloom.

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2 hours ago, Wulf said:

To summarize my thoughts, if that's what RJ had wanted to do with the character all along, weird, but fine.

 

It just seems extremely odd to spend all that time creating a character that was basically superfluous.  She really should've had some epic storyline that concluded around book 37, but it seems to have been pruned before it was allowed to bloom.

 

 

The concluding chapters of ToM are very thrilling. I enjoyed them a lot. Also, after you read Memory of Light, I believe you'll find that she was not a superfluous character. 

 

One of Robert Jordan's favorite answers for spoiler questions was this acronym:  RAFO  :smile:

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Hey, if there's more to the character yet to come, or at least more light shed on her brief time with us, great.  That could easily explain our vastly different viewpoints.

 

I just assumed it was the end of her storyline based on balefire being the big shiny rod of "I'M NEVER WRITING ABOUT THIS CHARACTER AGAIN" from the Creator himself.

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On 8/17/2018 at 1:26 PM, Wulf said:

Wasn't it the....  What'sername...  Started with a B...

 

The one who gave Elaida Traveling.

 

Betrayal McBetrayface or something.

Beonin

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Here's an observation on pacing in The Great Hunt.  

 

I first read The Great Hunt in or around 1997 or 1998.  Path of Daggers, if I recall correctly, had just come out in hard cover and Crown of Swords in paperback.  I picked up the first three WoT books and blew through them in a just a couple of months.  I eventually caught up to the released novels around Winter's Heart and then read each subsequent novel as it was released.  I recently decided, likely prompted by news of a possible television series, to re-read the entire series.  To be more specific, I chose to listen to the series in audiobook form, occasionally pulling out my old copies of the novels, but primarily listening.  

 

Despite having not read The Eye of the World in over 20 years, the novel offered few surprises.  It was as I remembered it, with only what I would consider minor details un-remembered.  The action sequences - the flight from the Two Rivers and Baerlon, the separation at Shadar Logoth, and the eventual journey through the Ways and into the Blight were all very much as I remember them.

 

The Great Hunt however, seemed almost a different novel.  In my mind, at least half of the story took place in Toman Head.  The sequences that really stood out in my memory from my first read were those of Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, and Min, particularly Egwene's being leashed by the Seanchean.  I was surprised to find that I was almost 90% of the way through the book before any of the characters arrive in Falme.  Upon finishing the novel, it struck me that much of it was spent following the main characters as they traveled from place to place without much happening in-between.  And then, suddenly, they're finding ways to fast travel to where they need to be in order to progress the story to its conclusion.   Needless to say, I was disappointed with the pacing of the book.  But of course, the epic conclusion in Toman Head more than makes up for the shortcomings.   I used to claim The Great Hunt one of my top three entries in WoT.  Now, not so sure it ranks that high.  

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