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Lexi Eve

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Is it just me, or is the whole idea of the Coramoor and Sea Folk, nothing more than filler and a waste of paper? At the very least, the Sea Folk seem thoroughly neglected by Jordan! Do you agree with at least that much? 


Are any of you fans of them and how does The Coramoor or Sea Folk add something pleasing to this series for you? 

Edited by Lexi Eve
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I guess main impact of Rand being the Coramoor would have been to trigger a commercial revolution after the Last Battle, as suddenly all sorts of goods can be seen in all major cities with the new Sea Folk holdings. But it was before the possibility to simply gate goods through portals with the One Power, which at extreme lengths can conduct to a Tippyverse.


Sea Folk battles with the Seanchan at sea are off-screen and a major defeat, remaining fleet being freed by Mat Cauthon. But with Seanchan fleet being destroyed with the schism of the Seanchan Empire, Sea Folk are the masters of the seas again, ensuring that no Seanchan fleet will reinforce the Returners in Randland afterwards.



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I actually had that thought in relation to the Seanchan - needless filler, interesting in so far as they expand the world from the "known world" of the map, but otherwise pointless. But as we got to know them better, as RJ worked them into the storyline, made them part of the story instead of just filler, I began to see the point of having them there.


I think the Seafolk are justified by the weather-working knowledge they bring to the story, since they alone know how to handle the weaves that can break the DO's climte disaster shaping up to kill as many people as it can. FWVVLIW

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I agree it added very little and not to mention Rand forgot to even try to have the Seanchan give up the Sea Folk islands when he was making the agreement with Tuon.  You think as the Coramoor he should have been looking out for them.  The Sea Folk mostly come off as bossy jerks.  They seem mostly added to intimidate the Aes Sedai.

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@Sabioyes, there are several examples in The Wheel of Time and this is one of the big ones, where it feels like Robert Jordan started a big plot arc, and then totally abandons it! It is one of the things that really irks me with his writing. 


Yes, the Sea Folk do a few things, but so much is left unfinished that to me it is just taking up paper and wasting my time. 


I guess in a way it makes the world he built feel somewhat real. I say that because in real life it happens all the time that people do things that never get finished and in hindsight were completely POINTLESS! Especially in sociopolitical environments. 


But in a fantasy series where I'm just looking to be entertained, it feels like a waste of my time lol. 

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I'm pretty sure Brandon deliberately dropped most of the storyline around the Seafolk, just like he dropped the storyline around The Prohpet. Okay, that last one he dropped rather pointedly in that one bit in the prologue for The Gathering Storm.


Hey, this Prophet guy is bogging stuff down big time. Let's just kill him off.


If Jordan had been able to finish his series, I'm sure we would have gotten at least a few more entries, and less storylines would have been discarded like this, but the thing is: Brandon was hired to finish it up, and the original plan was to do it in ONE book. Just the one, albeit a really thick, chonky kinda boy. The publisher saw how big it would get, and reckoned there'd be no profit margin on it, so they chose to turn it into three volumes, but Brandon was pacing stuff out with just one book in mind. That's why some less relevant stuff got lost in the shuffle. There really wasn't any other way to finish up the story properly. Some of the stuff just had to go.


As to Jordan already neglecting that particular bit: well, he kept Mat out of book 8, and there's more examples. I really think he still had plans for the Seafolk, just like he definitely had plans for Alivia and Masema. And Fain. He surely had big plans for Fain. But my best guess is: he didn't leave much in terms of notes and written bits for Brandon to use, and so Brandon chose to focus on the material he did leave, and use that to finish the story the best he could.

Edited by Asthereal
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  • 2 weeks later...

I think not so much filler, as undeveloped.  The Seafolk are based on offshore islands so it's very hard to work them into the story in a coherent way.  E.G. Books 4 to 7 are dominated by the Aiel and Rand's interactions with the maidens but then they move into the background as Rand moves on and apart from Aviendha's second trip to Rhuidean we never visit The Waste after Book 5.  Any attempt to work the Seafolk in would have similar results as they are primarily there for worldbuilding and are of secondary rather than primary importance to the story - no Seafolk character ever fully emerges as Tuon and Aviendha do and we have plenty of Channelers without them.


The danger with every fictional world is that the author digresses into showing you his creations rather than telling the story.  By the time we were visiting Far Madding and Bandar Eban, not to mention Mat spending a third of the series in Ebou Dar, it seemed RJ was determined to show us every corner of his world.  I think leaving "non-Randland", i.e., Seanchan, Shara and the Seafolk Isles unexplored was the right decision. 


The Coramoor prophecy is useful as it shows the Dragon is expected by everyone, just as he who comes with the dawn is expected by the Aiel and Bao, The Wyld, by the Sharans and each people have their own expectations of what that means for them.  It's an unprecedented period of upheaval and opportunity for them and they try and navigate it as best they can.  The fact that their society is hierarchical, rigid and strict to the point of cruelty does not make them very engaging in story (none of the Aiel humour) so I'm fine with them not taking up more page time.  I do agree that their story purpose - providing shipping on demand - seems quite underwhelming, particularly as The Last Battle is fought in The Borderlands Cairhien and Andor.

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