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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Galina Casban


Talmanes
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So I'm toward the end of KoD in my reread and recently finished the whole Shaido plot, and I can't for the life of me figure out why Galina did what she did.

 

The whole time she is there she is trying to get the Oath Rod 2.0 so she can be released from her Oath to one the Wise Ones, she even mentions that since Morgase can Channel she'll be able to use that.

 

Then she finally gets it, and just decides to leave Faile and Co. for dead and just head for the Tower? Why? What on Earth is the point? It could be speculated that you have to have the same Oath Rod to remove an oath you took on it (though I don't think that was ever confirmed that I recall), but Galina wouldn't really have much reason to think that.

 

The whole plot of her trying to get it only makes sense if her end game is getting the oath removed so she can escape. If she was just going to make for the WT anyway, why even bother getting the rod? She'd have been a lot more likely to escape without stealing it and putting the Wise Ones on high alert.

 

Even if she was convinced that she needed that rod to remove the oath, is not being able to Channel worse than being a horribly treated slave the rest of your life? She could have always left and then got reinforcements to try to take it later too.

 

I get that she's a villain and being stuck with Therava is supposed to be her comeuppance, but the whole plot of her wanting the rod makes no sense if she didn't intend to use it before escaping in my opinion.

 

Am I missing something here? Anybody have different thoughts?

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I'm in the same place as you in my current re-read. I thought that she wanted the Oath Rod because it had different markings from the one in the Tower, and that made her think it was at least 50/50 whether the other Rod could release her. She hadn't been strictly forbidden to (try) to escape because Therava enjoyed toying with her hopes and was confident that Galina, unable to channel, would be recaptured if she tried to escape.

 

Also, I think that Galina by this point would not believe that a group of Sisters from the Tower would necessarily win against the Shaido, or even be persuaded that this was an urgent task for them to undertake. Everyone knows that the Last Battle is coming, the Tower is broken, etc.

 

Still, I don't find the Galina storyline -- or indeed the whole Shaido storyline -- particularly interesting or compelling. We don't care enough about Galina, even as a villain, to make her story meaningful. She's really there so that the interminable story of Faile in captivity will have some drama, but in my view, it doesn't help the story be anything but intolerably dull. It should have been both begun and resolved in Winter's Heart, or failing that, Perrin should have made the Seanchan alliance at the end of Winter's Heart, and then defeated the Shaido in Crossroads of Twilight. (Assuming that book has to exist at all.)

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