Andyt

Endings and Beginnings Five Years Later

Recommended Posts

I have not posted in many years.  I have been re-reading the WOT recently and thinking about the wrap up of the tale.  I remember that five years ago some people were upset about the way the story ended and the choices that were made.  As I have been doing my re-read, several thoughts came to mind.  Also, I ran across an interview of Robert Jordan by WaldenBooks in 1996(very old reference for some).  First, some were unhappy that Rand did not destroy the Dark One and just rebuilt the prison.  I feel that they missed all the information that existed that told us how the story would end, just not the details.  In the interview from 1996 and in other interviews,  RJ stated that he already knew the end of the story and that he could write it at any time.  He knew who would live, die, be married, etc.  Also, the very title of the tale the "Wheel of Time" was the dead give away that Rand was not going to "kill" the DO but restore the balance from before the Bore was drilled.  Destroying the DO would be an act of evil, since it would break the wheel; just as the DO intended.  Rand discovered this in the confrontation outside the pattern, and made the decision to reseal the prison.  Second, some seemed to misunderstand the nature of evil in the world of the WOT.   I remember that they seemed to believe that the DO was the source of evil; thus, his destruction would free the world from evil.  Evil did not come from Shaitan; instead, the DO could make evil stronger or create warps in the pattern that enhanced the chances of people making evil choices.  However, the choices that lead to evil still came from the free will of the people of the world.  Consequently, the existence of evil was independent of the DO it was inherent in a world where free will exists.   To get rid of evil, one has to eliminate free will and that is making the cure worse than the disease.  It was stated at several times during the tale that even in the AoL there were people who committed crimes or did evil acts and had to be restrained or punished.   Also, while war had been forgotten, wars had taken place in the past, clearly during periods when the DO was sealed within the prison and could not influence the pattern.   Just some thoughts five years later about the WOT and some of the cosmology of the story.

Edited by Andyt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're statements make a lot of sense, especially from the whole balance of the pattern theme throughout the entire series. The dark one is not the essence of evil, nor even an embodiment, but rather a Shepard trying to push his sheep's into the world. Even if Rand decided to kill the D.O. (and successfully carried it out) the end outcome would not be to much different than sealing him away again. People would still carry out evil actions and war and death would still occur.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Instead of thinking of the Dark One in terms of Good and Evil, think of It as an enabler of the egotistical desires of human nature: selfishness, ambition, greed, vanity, hedonism.

 

The Age of Legends, as a contrast, is an Utopia where such desires were suppressed.

 

What Rand realized at the end was that while such aspects of human nature could lead to great suffering, they are also necessary for the progress of civilization and the realization of a person. Without such desires, a person is incomplete. This was also why the Age of Legends had to use objects like the rods of binding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny, I have not posted for many years either. I recently went back & re-read the last 3 for the first time sine aMoL came out to see if I had a different take on them. 

 

I never really had an issue with how Rand ended things. I kind of liked that.

 

My issues were about the plot (Verin's letter), some characters being off (to be expected some, but yikes on Mat), characters being really clever and then really dumb (Egwene reads letter from Darlin about wanting to keep some forces back to guard vs the Seanchan, then Elayne moves all her channelers who can make a gateway by themselves to Merrilor; Rand admits the others have to win the LB, but does not teach them any handy AOL channeling tips; why didn't AS/good channelers just link more often, including men?).  The list goes on. Would have liked to seen Hopper/Egwene/Siuan make an appearance when the Horn was blown.

 

Alternatively, some chapters were great (Perrin forging the Hammer, etc).

Edited by TheAngryDruid
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think some had issue with Rand just riding off and even his father not knowing he was still alive albeit in another body. I think Harriet admitted she decided to kill off Bela. Unnecessary. I think the Rand - Moiraine reunion was really omitting a lot of things. I would have liked to have had a scene with both Lan and Siuan.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reunion of Moraine and Rand was one of my biggest disappointments. It felt so flat, like a caricature of Moraine meeting with Rand to tick the box. She was always going to be one of the hardest characters for Sanderson to get right but it was still painful. Moraine almost became the mother that Rand never had by the end of her time with him. Guiding, pushing and caring - but a parent figure nontheless. Arguably he was the focus of her entire life -  it is a classic parental role. I was looking forward to the closure of Rand having a genuine "original" AS that he respected and who cared for him.

Edited by shintemaster
Messed up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are right there, in a way, I never really felt like Moiraine came back, Sure, she clears some stuff up at Merrilor, but if anyone there was acting rationally, that wouldn't have been necessary, and then she was up at Shayol Ghul with Rand. But she had nothing to do, really, not even as much as Nynaeve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, you both make great points. They handled Moiraine badly. 

 

What did did you think about Mat’s rescue?

Edited by Ryrin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never had a problem with that part. 

It was far enough into Sanderson's work that I was past the disparity in how Mat was written, and it was built up so much that even if it had been written much worse I think I still would have enjoyed it.

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