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Finished! My WOT Thoughts


Nuatoma
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Well, I did it, I finally did it.  It took me 13 months and it feels like I can breathe again haha.  While it's fresh, I thought I'd try and get down some of my thoughts.

 

Overall, it was a very enjoyable series.  Intriguing plots, characters and magic were all delightful.  It was a daunting task to start though, knowing there were 14 large books (no, I haven't read New Spring yet, I didn't want to get sidetracked after book 5).  After several of the middle books I would come up for a breath of air and think, 'Wow, I've finished 8 books, awesome!:) But I still have 6 more to go!':blink: Glad I finished though, and that I started this when all the books were finished, because if they weren't I could see how it'd be difficult to continue after some of them.  That being said, the 'slog' for me wasn't too bad.  Some of those were a little bit boring, but knowing I could finish and start the next book right away made it bearable.

 

I will try and point out things I like, but I feel like it's easier to point out things I didn't like.  When I do, I don't mean them to be harsh criticisms of the series, but things I just think of.  I realize that if my thoughts dictated the book, it likely would not have been as great a series as it was.

 

Characters:  A general critique I have is that there were just soooo many named characters.  While this gives the books a lot of flavor and I'm sure it's easier to keep track of as books are reread, on first read I thought many times, 'Who dat again?'  When obscure Aes Sedai or noblemen from various cites were listed out I pretty much gave up trying to remember who everybody was.

 

Favorite characters:  I might cheat here and list secondary characters, because at one time or another, most of the characters bugged the storms out of me.  

  • Rand, Perrin, Mat (I list them all together because I did enjoy them and their plots, but I have to say there were definitely large swaths of books where they all bugged me)
  • Nynaeve
  • Thom
  • Tam
  • Lan
  • Graendal - Kind of sad she was made ugly.  Only really hated her at the end when she took pets.  (Thinking of Rhuarc alone makes me want to drop her from this list)

 

Top Annoying Characters:

  •  Trakand family - Something in their blood just makes me want to rip my hair out.  None of them seemed very good at critical thinking.
  • Egwene - She had such awesome scenes and was so storming awesome for a lot of the books, but just the way she treated people when she gained power was annoying.
  • Tuon - bleh
  • Cadsuane

 

Top Hated Characters:

  • Child Byar and Eamon Valda - I'd almost lump all White Cloaks in here until I realize there are some good ones... Much better once the leadership changed.
  • Padan Fain - Such a good villain.  Such a sad ending.
  • Daved Hanlon - His death wasn't satisfying enough
  • Masema - better than Hanlon's, but still would have loved to see Rand confront him and dress him down.
  • Shaido - I think I'm good lumping them all together.  Not sure if the Brotherless count.  They are not included in hated, but still annoying because could have helped more.

 

Characters I Hated But Now Feel Sorry For

  • Galina
  • Elaida
  • Moghedien (not hated, but same circumstance)

 

One of the worst parts of the series in my opinion.  There are characters that I really disliked and was so looking forward to seeing them be pulled down.  However, the manner in which they are pulled down quickly took the joy out of it.  I can't feel good about people being made slaves.  Such a bummer when I should've felt happy. 

Somewhat related, I am sad to see that the Seanchan slavery was never resolved.  I guess I can imagine that Mat helps them get over that, but that doesn't give me much hope.

 

Mat vs Perrin

 

As I got in the story I would read things on the internet (I don't really shy away from spoilers; makes me more eager to read what's coming).  One thing I read was how boring the whole Perrin rescuing Faile arc was.  Another was how awesome Mat is.  I'm more in the middle ground on both of these.  Didn't find Perrin too boring, or Mat too great.  It seems there are a lot of parallels between them, that from my perusing of the internet don't seem to be connected much.

 

For example, just as many people found Perrin chasing after Faile and getting her back at all costs grating, I found Mat's escape from Ebou Dar all the way to Caemlyn equally boring and drawn out.  Seriously!  I think that trip took Mat longer than it took Perrin to get Faile!  Maybe Mat's just funnier than Perrin so people don't mind reading him, but that plot dragged on and on for me.  I wanted Mat back where he mattered.  I know there are some ramifications for Mat's time, but still.

 

Another thing, Perrin always thought 'Oh, I'm not a leader, don't follow me to your deaths'.  Dumb, I agree.  Step up and get over yourself Perrin.  Similarly was Mat's constant mistrust of Rand, Aes Sedai, and nobles.  Constantly bemoaning his responsibilities. C'mon.

 

Other Random Thoughts

 

Rand/Mat/Perrin:  They go through enormous stretches of books without talking with one another.  I don't know how many things could have been resolved or figured out if they would talk with each other.  Early on, Rand discovered how to Travel.  How hard would it be to just meet once a week with his childhood friends and have a quick huddle.  All three of them together.  Find a secret underground cavern or something.  Seems like they could have saved themselves a lot of angst.

 

The Last Battle:  Whoa! A two hundred page chapter! It didn't disappoint.  I was trying to think how they could create an exploding gateway in the middle of the enemy though.  Seems like that'd have killed a lot of them.  After thinking some about it, it seems like it would be hard to do without taking some losses yourself, but seems this should have been explored more as they were so vastly outnumbered.

 

Logain:  His 'glory' that Min foresaw was pretty meh for me.  I'm glad to know he took petty on refugees being slaughtered after his men begged him to help.  Wish he had more screen time and more glory.  I was rooting for him but he seemed kind of left to the side.

 

Olver:  Loved him!  One of my favorite moments when Noal came back for him.  One thing I don't understand, at the end of the book Birgitte told him to throw the Horn into the ocean?  I really don't understand that.  He gets a friend back, and heroes of the Horn established very recently that they couldn't come back and fight for the Shadow.  They only fight under the Dragon's banner.  What am I missing?  

 

Forsaken:  Were pretty blah.  I wish they were worse baddies.  Other normal darkfriends or misguided allies earned more of my hate.  Not sure if there's anything wrong with that, but it seems like at least a couple of the Forsaken should have made my 'Most Hated' list.

 

The Black Tower:  I'm pretty sure everybody agrees Rand dropped the ball on this one.  C'mon Rand.  You should know not to leave the farm under the supervision of a very suspicous, powerful guy.  You'd risk a very powerful army with a guy like Taim?

 

Channeling Wise Ones:  So... something doesn't make sense to me.  They kept estimating that the number of Shaido channelers in Malden was somewhere between 3 and 400.  I realize they are a large clan, and got recruits from other clans that deserted, but I never got the impression that Aiel loyal to Rand had nearly as many channelers even though they were at least 8 clans or so?  Did I miss something here?

 

How Rand Lit his pipe:  Didn't know this was a thing until I finished.  Apparently there is controversy on how this happened?  My thought was when he thought hard about lighting it, his three wives noticed and lit the pipe for him.  I thought it made sense since he thought of them immediately after thinking about his pipe lighting.

 

I'm sure there's a bunch of things I missed, but these were top of my mind now.

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He got “burnt out” from True Source, so can’t channel, then tests the True Power to confirm that the Dark One is imprisoned permanently. He immediately tests his mysterious third power and then smiles when he succeeds.

 

In the last book’s chapter “To Die Well”, while talking to Elayne, he explains his “ta’veren” power, but does not mention to her another ability that he refers to as “some other tricks” he has been using. While there are many theories as to “how” he did it, I think the more important question is “why” Robert Jordan wanted this added.

 

My theory is that Rand, Mat, and Perrin lose “ta’veren” powers, but Rand is still the Dragon Reborn, Mat is still the tricksome battle leader, and Perrin is the Wolfking. Often in the bible and other religious texts the “light” is often synonymous with “metaphysical illumination” that benefits humanity. I think Robert Jordan wanted this section added to say that Rand’s job as the Dragon is not done, but he will “illuminate” the beginning of a new age through subtle illumination.

Edited by boldnbeautiful
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So, with regard to the Horn of Valere, getting rid of it for good now that the Last Battle is done, is really in the world's best interests.  For one, the temptation to use it in the future against humans would be too great, much like the bearded-man sa'angreal would be too powerful a weapon to be allowed in human hands.  For another, its use would give away the fact that the Dragon's not dead, as he's a Hero of the Horn.  Which would undermine the Dragon's Peace.

 

As for the Wise Ones, mostly, we just don't see them, I reckon.  Just the ones relevant to what's going on at the time.  Most are probably with their respective clans.  For the Last Battle, while the Aiel were largely deployed at Shayol Ghoul, they were also spread out to the other theaters.  And their strategy towards the end was largley based on not channelling in the camp, so it'd be hard to get an accurate feel for how many of them there were.

 

As for the debate about how Rand lit his pipe at the end, as Elayne says, "Welcome to the dinner party.  Try the soup." I think the truth here is pretty simple.  Jordan didn't want all the questions answered as to what was going on.  He loved all the fan-theorizing and made sure to set up some unsolved mysteries for fans to ponder and argue over long after the series had finished.  

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On 8/16/2021 at 6:47 PM, Nuatoma said:

 

Characters:  A general critique I have is that there were just soooo many named characters.  While this gives the books a lot of flavor and I'm sure it's easier to keep track of as books are reread, on first read I thought many times, 'Who dat again?'  When obscure Aes Sedai or noblemen from various cites were listed out I pretty much gave up trying to remember who everybody was.

 

 

http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/

this website is the best resource for keeping track of that. you find his name in alphabetical order, and you get their story and previous appearances.

i suppose you could run into spoilers. such as if you look at selene and you get linked to lanfear. but now that you already read the books once, there's no such risk

 

the wikia is also good for keeping track of details

https://wot.fandom.com/wiki/A_beginning

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/16/2021 at 7:47 PM, Nuatoma said:

How Rand Lit his pipe:  Didn't know this was a thing until I finished.  Apparently there is controversy on how this happened?  My thought was when he thought hard about lighting it, his three wives noticed and lit the pipe for him.  I thought it made sense since he thought of them immediately after thinking about his pipe lighting.

There was a theory once i read. It is canon in my mind if anybody know the original source copy the link but it was years ago when i read this and i dont remember the source. It goes like this.

There is a duality concept of the book. Saidin vs Saidar... Light vs Dark... Men vs Women... Even taint on saidin have a counterpart taint in Shadar Logath... If you use saidin and saidar together you could do things unimaginable things as oppose to using just one of them. Both of them together creates one power.

One power has a counterpart. True power. In the series both Forsaken and Rand states that true power is much more powerful than one power... Because it is one piece (not broken like one power saidin/saidar).

If you use True power and One power together it became much more powerful than just can one achive. We can call this "Willpower". 

In the end Rand is not using Saidin or saidar or True power... He is using the One original unbroken source of creator. Willpower. He wills his pipe the be lit and it lits.

Like i said this was a theory i read its not mine. But it is very fulfiling explanation for the end scene and its canon in my mind.


I agree with you most of the stuff you said especially dark tower... Comeeee ooonnn Rand.

Only differance maybe the "Forsaken" part... Some of them was pretty blah yes (aginor balthamel be'lal rahvin semirhage mesaane)... Even those blah ones have very interesting chatacters. I was always curious about aginor who created all the shadowspawn. He was like the #1 employee of dark one. Not blah ones were very enjoyable to me I really love Elan Morin/Ishamael/Moridin... Lanfear especially begining of the story was very intiriging. Sammael was a loveable baffoun... I dont know. I really like most of them i was always excited when  a forsaken POV chapter appaers....

Edited by qlorin
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