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Why oh why did Moiraine have to die


Despair
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Finally finished through Knife of Dreams for the 4th time.  My question is:

 

Why does RJ hate women so much?

 

He developed Mat and Perrin into somewhat likeable characters. If that didnt work, we got Uno, Lan, and a cast of many.

 

Besides Egwene, every female in the books is flighty, bitchy, mean, and a downright PITA.  Why did he do this?

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Umm... Moiraine didn't die.

 

As to why she had to disapear from the text. It's the Gandalf factor. In order for your young hero to grow he must get free of the wise, powerful character that guides and aids him.

 

And RJ doesn't hate female characters either. The gender imbalance is something RJ intentionally plays with as a result of the tainting of saidin and the subsequent social effects of a woman only magical group.

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No, he inflates certain characteristics so greatly among his female characters, that you learn to hate them.  Nynaeve becomes an obsessive compulsive.  Ari becomes a a super-agressive batterer.  Elayne becomes too arrogant.  Tuon is just new, but still.  Faile betrays her husband often, for his benefit.  Etc, etc, etc.

 

I am not saying that Mat, Rand, Perrin, Lan, and others are perfect, but at least you can identify with them somewhat.  Except for Egwene who really grows into her role, the rest of the women are utter nonsense. 

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Despair - are you a man? If so, perhaps that's why you identify with the male characters more than with the female?

 

Anyway... many of the female characters are dominant people because of their positions in society, either as Aes Sedai, queens or other aristocracy, or Wise Ones etc. As Luckers said, the society we are presented with is in many ways a matriarchal one, so when women can dominate, they do; in our society men dominate because it is still in many ways a patriarchal one.

 

I disagree with your assertion that RJ inflates characteristics to make us hate the female characters. What about Rand's pig-headedness? I for one am sick of that and can't wait for Moiraine give him the wake up call he needs, but it doesn't make me hate him. What about Perrin's obsessive focus on Faile's rescue, obsessive to the point where he puts her ahead of his role in saving the world from the DO? I could go on, but the point is that there are plenty of character "faults" in the male characters too.

 

I personally don't hate any of the characters, with the exception of Elayne. And that's not because she's a woman, but because of her personality.

 

And re Moiraine - have you read KoD yet?

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No, he inflates certain characteristics so greatly among his female characters, that you learn to hate them.  Nynaeve becomes an obsessive compulsive.  Ari becomes a a super-agressive batterer.  Elayne becomes too arrogant.  Tuon is just new, but still.  Faile betrays her husband often, for his benefit.  Etc, etc, etc.

 

I am not saying that Mat, Rand, Perrin, Lan, and others are perfect, but at least you can identify with them somewhat.  Except for Egwene who really grows into her role, the rest of the women are utter nonsense.

 

Once again, what he does is represents a realistic social imbalance in a society where the highest and most feared social rank is held by women only. The resultant inflated gender devision is perfectly natural (and historically supported, by the by. Read up on Catal Hyjuk, or the influence of the introduction of patriarchal christendom into matriarchal celtic culture, or even into the influence of scandanavien goddess worship).

 

Whenever you have such a social situation, you see the establishment of exagerated gender ideals--specifically in diverging positions on wisedoms and power. It has its crossback in male society too, for instance in Rand's absurd reverence for feminine life.

 

RJ is not unaware of it, it is a massive theme, and he constantly suggests that the devision in the genders makes the characters weak... look at the way Elaynes problems resolve themselves after Avi bullies her into appologising to Mat.

 

The point he is making is simple. Men and women work best when working together as equals. It's intentional and purposeful.

 

Oh, and Moiraine is certainly dead.  She is a revisiting spirit at best.

 

Moiraine was (most probably) severed when she and Lanfear fell through the doorway, but she never died. She has been held since that time by the Eelfinn against her will. We know this for a fact as Moiraine herself tells us in Knife of Dreams (not to mention the virtual plethora of prophecies stating as much).

 

When you recieve this, you will be told that I [Moiraine] am dead. All will believe this. I am not dead.

 

[Knife of Dreams: Chapter 10 - A Village in Shiota.

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What about Rand's pig-headedness?

 

What is the meaning of that?

 

Pig-headedness means stubborness. In other words, his refusal (until recently) to accept help from anyone, his refusal to trust people, his (oftimes) refusal to allow his friends to use their abilities if it's likely to put them in danger, his refusal to bend in the wind, his belief that he alone must do everything...

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Oh, and Moiraine is certainly dead.  She is a revisiting spirit at best.

 

Moiraine was (most probably) severed when she and Lanfear fell through the doorway, but she never died. She has been healed since that time by the Eelfinn against her will.

 

Correction of (assumed) typo: She has been HELD, not healed, against her will.

 

 

L - Normally I wouldn't bother, but in this case it makes a huge change in your meaning. Now, if you meant healed, then I might have to argue with you. Though if you like, I'll do it anyway.  ;)

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OK, Moiraine's not dead, but let's just assume for a minute that she was...  Why would this be so bad?  It follows a classic archetype in myth.  Moiraine is the mentor figure.  Eventually all heroes have to face their ultimate challenge which no one else can accomplish.  The mentor's death is a classic way storytellers use to make this happen.  I can think of a dozen examples where the "Moiraine" character dies in other stories just off the top of my head.

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With a knife.

 

...

 

...

 

...

 

OK, just kidding.

 

My current theory, which is totally based on speculation, is that she will do something, at his request, to help him break "into" the Dark One's prison, to keep Shai'tan occupied there so the Pattern can heal the Bore behind him.  Naturally, this would result in his death.

 

As I said, thats completely speculation.

 

About the only thing that can be inferred with some certainty, is that whatever she does will help him beat the Dark One, since his death is directly tied to that victory.

 

Whatever it is, I have a feeling Rand already knows what he's going to ask of her.  He seems very comfortable with their situation.

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I have to disagree. I do think if Moiraine had really died then Rand's mental and emotional state would continue in its downward spiral, which would be a very bad thing indeed.

 

When he thought she had died he finally realised just what she meant to him, realised what a help and guide she had been to him - despite their fights, her pushiness and his reluctance to accept help. Her importance to him has become so great in his mind that she now heads his list of dead women.

 

That list is a part of, perhaps even an anchor to, his increasing hardness. We know that he has to remember laughter and tears to bring a victory for the Light. What kind of victory will it be with a man as hard as stone in control? And we also know that he will fail without Moiraine, so it seems likely that her re-appearance will play a part in his return to his human emotions. Just imagine the moment when he first sees her again. He will surely be overwhelmed by emotion, perhaps opening the floodgates to let out all those repressed feelings, and remember that he is human after all.

 

Yes, I think she is very important indeed.

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OK, Moiraine's not dead, but let's just assume for a minute that she was...  Why would this be so bad?

 

It wouldn't necessarily be that bad (assuming that RJ then deleted Min's viewings that make her all but necessary for Rand's victory).  Its just not what happened.

 

I know it's not what happened.  I was simply stating that her death, if she was dead (we know she is not), would follow a classic path of the mentor archetype.

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That list is a part of, perhaps even an anchor to, his increasing hardness. We know that he has to remember laughter and tears to bring a victory for the Light. What kind of victory will it be with a man as hard as stone in control? And we also know that he will fail without Moiraine, so it seems likely that her re-appearance will play a part in his return to his human emotions. Just imagine the moment when he first sees her again. He will surely be overwhelmed by emotion, perhaps opening the floodgates to let out all those repressed feelings, and remember that he is human after all.

I agree with the 'Moiraine will play a big part' what-not...and agree that his return to emotional normalcy, as it were, is heavily hinted at...but I'm a fairly big hater of all this "he's too hard, when he should be strong!" and "he needs a good cry" crap. Not trying to trash what you've said here, as I know it is going to happen anyway...but I really don't think he's doing a bad job of ruling as it is. It's not good for himself to be so knotted up and unwilling to let himself feel extreme emotions, hardly, but it hasn't (and logically won't) effect his ability to rule or lay down the law. It's a neat little literary tool, it's poetic and all that, but if we're going to get into it...it's simply for his own mental health (assuming he survives anyway), not some great cosmic design. 'Man is being chipped away at physically and mentally, sure, and at some point he could snap...but I doubt Tarmon Gai'don is far enough away that he can't hold out long enough...and I doubt, realistically, a good cry would suddenly solve the fact that he's losing body parts and has an insane man in his head, not to mention a crippling sickness every time he tries to channel. 

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  • 3 months later...

 

I agree with the 'Moiraine will play a big part' what-not...and agree that his return to emotional normalcy, as it were, is heavily hinted at...but I'm a fairly big hater of all this "he's too hard, when he should be strong!" and "he needs a good cry" crap. Not trying to trash what you've said here, as I know it is going to happen anyway...but I really don't think he's doing a bad job of ruling as it is. It's not good for himself to be so knotted up and unwilling to let himself feel extreme emotions, hardly, but it hasn't (and logically won't) effect his ability to rule or lay down the law. It's a neat little literary tool, it's poetic and all that, but if we're going to get into it...it's simply for his own mental health (assuming he survives anyway), not some great cosmic design. 'Man is being chipped away at physically and mentally, sure, and at some point he could snap...but I doubt Tarmon Gai'don is far enough away that he can't hold out long enough...and I doubt, realistically, a good cry would suddenly solve the fact that he's losing body parts and has an insane man in his head, not to mention a crippling sickness every time he tries to channel. 

 

IMO, the most dangerous aspect of his current "hardness" is his willingness to do ANYTHING to obtain victory at TG.  In KOD (at least I think it's KOD) you see Rand admit that he'd love for everyone to just obey him (i.e. something that sounds very much like slavery) so he could win TG.  If he starts using compulsions and other similar weaves in order to win TG,  what separates him from the DO?  The ultimate extreme of this philosophy would be destroying everything so the DO cannot obtain it.  In doing so, Rand basically becomes the DO.

 

Rand's current POV reminds me of the old saying "The road to evil is paved with good intentions."

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I support the bodyswap theory, so if you follow my line of thought Alivia doesn't kill Rand, just his body with Moridin in it.

 

So Moridin in Rands body would see the light, admit his wrongs, and ask Alivia to end his suffering, considering that Mins vision is that she will help Rand die?

 

 

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Oh, and Moiraine is certainly dead.  She is a revisiting spirit at best.

 

You are forgetting: a) the letter she wrote to Thom, where she said she would not be dead. I imagine an Aes Sedai cannot lie in writing anymore than they can in speech, and she said it straight out; b) Min's viewing about Moiraine. I cannot remember what exactly it was for, just that she was supposed to live to do something before she 'died', and Min thought to herself it was the first and only time her viewings failed. Except now we know that it did not fail, that Moiraine is coming back.

 

Me, I cannot like the way the women are described. They are too... consistent in their behaviour. However, as the books progress you see changes happening. Egwene grew into herself from her lessons under the Aiel, Nynaeve is now becoming more of what an Aes Sedai is 'supposed to be' (though we hear that often enough, we know it's rarely lived up to ::)), Aviendha is becoming less Maiden minded and more woman minded, Min's always been alright in my books, etc etc.

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Ok, I know most (all?) people disagree with me here, but I don't see Randland as matriarichal at all.  Maybe slightly more than our world--but still not.

 

Rand, Mat, Perrin--and most men in the series, still have the "I must protect women" syndrome and total guilt if they let the women die.  This is seeing them as less capable to protect themselves -- something that they don't do with other men.  (Rand is especially bad at this).  Some countries are ruled by women, but many are still ruled by men, and men seem to be the providers of the family still.  There are exceptions to this, as there are in real life, but overall--it's not that different from our world.  The OP and Aes Sedai don't have that much of an effect on society in general (imo).

 

The men also act very similarily to men in our society, (imo), and the women act differently.  At the beginning, it was fine, but somewhere in the middle most of the women melded into a rude, living to please their sexual partners, bossy woman.  This did get better in the last one. 

 

Ooh--one more point that that brings up.  Min & Nynaeve especially show that they change for their men so they would think they are more attractive and want them more, while the men do basically nothing.  This also shows a male-dominated society.  Luckily, Nynaeve saw sense.

 

I understand what RJ was doing, but I'm not buying that it's matriarichal -- at all.

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So Moridin in Rands body would see the light, admit his wrongs, and ask Alivia to end his suffering, considering that Mins vision is that she will help Rand die?

 

No, I read the 'help Rand' to literally mean that she will assist Rand in killing Moridin. She will help Rand (the personality) to kill Rand's body.

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