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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Cheyboygan

Defending Perrin's rescue plot

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I know most readers consider Perrin's rescue of Faile from the Shaido to be drawn out, boring and pointless.  Many turned against Perrin (and Faile if they didn't already hate her previously) because of it.  I certainly understand why people felt/feel that way since Jordan dragged it out over 4 books and many years.  The pacing was frustrating even reading it after the series was complete, but it must have been infuriating for people who waited years between books only to see nothing resolved in the next one.  That was Jordan's failure not Perrin's though.  For Perrin the entire plotline from when he left Cairhien to when he arrived in Caemlyn took up only two months of the three years covered in The Wheel of Time.  And he accomplished ALOT during those two months.  He brought Ghealdan and the White Cloaks to the side of The Dragon Reborn.  He won the loyalty of some 100,000 displaced persons who made up the bulk of his army at the Last Battle.  He laid the groundwork for an alliance with the Seanchan that Rand desperately wanted.  He discovered the dreamspike which was to be a significant plot factor in the later battle for the Black Tower, Egwene's battle with Mesaana and Rand's battle with the Dark One.  He found Morgase (who Rand was rumored to have murdered). He destroyed Mesana's band of murderous thugs (which was probably the optimal outcome of his original mission).  He destroyed the Shaido who had been Rand's most persistent human enemy.  He came to terms with his inner wolf.  He came to accept it was his duty to lead and made an agreement with Elayne that legitimized his Lordship.  I know many people think it took him too long to accept that duty, but we should remember he was a 21 year old who had started the story as an introverted blacksmith's apprentice from a sleepy backwater that had no lords.   If the plot line had launched in one book and wrapped up in the next, as it should have,  I think most people would agree that it was one of the most productive and interesting in the series. That it did not reflects on Robert Jordan, not Perrin Aybara.  The other thing that seems to bother people is that Perrin was "obsessed with Faile" and put her rescue over his mission.  I don't really understand this at all.   Would it be in keeping with Perrin's character to simply shrug and say "well it sucks that the woman I love has been kidnapped and enslaved, but I need to get this madman back to meet with Rand"?  I submit that almost any man would have done anything in their power to rescue their wife.  Further, by this point Perrin had already concluded that Mesana was a madman beyond redemption.  There was really nothing to be gained by taking him to Rand and he did achieve most of what he was sent to do by keeping Mesana with him instead of terrorizing the countryside. When Mesana's band was destroyed in the battle with the Saido and Mesana himself killed by Faile it was the best possible resolution of his mission.  In summary, Perrin accomplished much and achieved significant personal growth over the course of a couple months and it only seemed boring because of Jordan's terrible pacing failure.

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The problem is all of Perin's plots were dragged out.  The rescue, coming to terms with being a leader, fighting Slayer, and accepting his wolf stuff.  All took way too long.  The other issue is the Faile rescue/obsession ruined anything interesting about drama with Perin and the prophet.  If you look at Mat it seemed like he was doing something new every few books, which made it a lot more interesting.  Imagine how boring it would be if his taking the Band of the Red Hand to go fight Samm had taken four books.  Had the Faile rescue of not taken so long, more time could of been spent on things like Perin trying to deal with the Prophet, Graendal,or Whitecloaks.

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My point is that Perrin didn't take an excessively long time to resolve the rescue, Jordan did.  Faile was a prisoner for 51 days and the entire interlude from leaving Cairhien to arriving in Caemlyn was only two months out of a three year story.  It IS true that Perrin is far more introspective than Mat and I can understand why readers prefer the more action based Mat to the deep thinking of Perrin, but there is room for more than one type of person in the stories.  For me Mat was more fun, but Perrin was more real.

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The Perrin chapters in towers of midnight and memory of light make up for all the dragged out parts.  Those chapters are so epic!!

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