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Didn't Rand kill a woman in Shadow Rising.


Jean
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14 minutes ago, Jean said:

In Fires of Heaven Rand's panties were in a bunch because he just didn't want to kill women. Didn't Rand kill a woman in Shadow Rising when he was on his way to the Stone. Am I missing something??

That was in book 3, The Dragon Reborn.
She was also a certified Dark Friend. I'm guessing based on my crappy memory, that the women who died in Fires of Heaven were maidens of the spear?

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It was in the Dragon Reborn. But that was also before he had gone very koo koo bananas.  Or rather, he was being driven koo koo bananas in a specific way, that was not really related to his own tendency towards insanity driven by the taint, but by Forsaken messing around in his dreams, and Darkfriends and Shadowspawn coming at him all the time, with a bit of his own denial of his identity and destiny mixed in.

 

I would argue that Rand's neurotic obsession with specifically women taking risks and dying for him is a direct result of his contact with Far Daries Mai, combined with encroaching taint madness and his acceptance of his role as the Dragon Reborn.  He didn't have this neurosis before he gave in to the reality that he really was the Dragon reborn.  Only when he "accepts" that he's the "savior" of the world does he start really obsessing over what and who he can save, and lament what he destroys or is destroyed because if him. 

 

And then you have this whole class of women in this society who love him, in some form or other, and Rand being Rand, how can he not be both baffled by that and return it?  And with them being badass warriors, how can he not then transfer that concern over their being hurt or killed for him, to more ordinary women who are killed because of him?

 

It's his acceptance of being the Dragon Reborn, and the effects of the taint, that make him neurotic about the things he can save and what gets destroyed because of him, and the Maidens which focus much of that neuroticism onto women more generally, combined with something else that happens in Fires of Heaven to sort of lock that particular neurosis in.  

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In addition to his growing insanity, his excessive guilt with the women who die for him/he kills begins to really manifest (Fires of Heaven spoilers):

Spoiler

after Moiraine sacrifices herself for him because he failed to act.

 

Edit: Added spoiler tags.

Edited by Agitel
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Rand not wanting to kill women is a product of his upbringing in the 2 Rivers, where men are raised to stand between women and danger. It is also fairly common in most societies in our world, at least up to the last 30 years or so. Men would go to off to fight while Women stayed at home to look after the Kids, certainly the way I was raised, including the practice of always walking to the side nearest the road when walking with a Women.

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Yes, I understand that but he did kill the woman in Dragon Reborn and it didn't seem a big concern until the end of Fires of Heaven when the thought of killing a woman pretty much emotionally crippled him. I was a bit put off by the contradiction.

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People are often contradictory in how they feel, especially at different times in their lives.  In stories that's typically called character development. 

 

Rand feels some responsibility for the danger he puts others in or the harm he causes, but it's not a priority for him before he learns and really accepts that he's prophecied to Break the world again and make people "weep for their salvation." Once he does accept that, it dominates his concerns.  He was always prone to chivalrous notions due his upbringing, but once he's surrounded by Maidens who are constantly displaying their loyalty and affection for him, with the harms he will cause now dominating his thoughts, and the Taint making him obsessive and paranoid, and it makes some sense that he would adopt that kind of neurosis.  It would have been nicer to see a bit more lead-up to it, but it's not completely out of the blue.

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11 hours ago, Jean said:

Yes, I understand that but he did kill the woman in Dragon Reborn and it didn't seem a big concern until the end of Fires of Heaven when the thought of killing a woman pretty much emotionally crippled him. I was a bit put off by the contradiction.

He was basically be driven by the 'devil' at that point.  Not in his right mind for sure - as he wasn't for most of the series, but in this case that portion of his brain that made harming women anathema for him was turned off.  He was in total feral/survival mode...

 

I can live with the contradiction in this case because his brain was shorted out in a different manner than it was later in the series.

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Thrasymachus, Thanks for your insight. I do get character development and I think the process of character development is lacking in this instance. First Rand didn't mind killing a woman, then he did. Besides the failure of Rand being able to bring that young girl back to life, I didn't see the progression from Dragon Reborn Rand to Fires of Heaven Rand. I'm hoping to see better process of development moving forward because Rand is not the only character who's contradictory or distracting behavior pulls me out of the story. Again I appreciate your input. On to book 6!

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DoJo Toad, Your explanation makes the most sense of the ones I have read but the author really needed to get the idea across that Dragon Reborn Rand was deeply disturbed and Fires of Heaven Rand was.... disturbed in another way..? Less time spent on description and more time on character development would have made Rand's motivations clearer.

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