Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Odds and ends


Recommended Posts

The Wheel of Time is a fantasy work, so some things (a lot) that would defy the imagination in our own world fall within the realm of 'normal' in the series.

But there are some stuff that puzzle me, whether it's my understanding that's flawed or RJ's mistake, I would appreciate if any one clarified a few of them, or posted their own.

 

I don't have the books with me, so bear with my descriptions if they are flawed. Here are a few that I can think of, in no particular order.

 

--Towards the end of the EoW, when Rand battles it out with Aginor. I've seen this brought up somewhere else, I think. Aginor could have killed Rand very easily, but didn't. He could have shielded him, thus he wouldn't have had to deal with drawing too much of the Power, or scream 'Mine!', but he didn't. He was in a worn-out state, but he was strong enough to draw on the Source, so I feel he could have woven whatever was needed to take Rand out.

 

Just before that, Moiraine tried to slow Aginor down. Someone (Luckers?) wondered about the Elements used; though I can't remember what they were. The Forsaken are not afraid to kill, so I wonder why Aginor simply didn't kill Moirane? Just to make sure she would not interfere again. Instead he simply flings her away. Were I in his place, I wouldn't hesitate. Alternatively, Moiraine could have produced something, er, more efficient than what she did *cough* balefire *cough*, but nah.

 

As Aginor drew on the Power, he started to flesh out, to recuperate so to speak, and in a short moment the effects of the Wheel' turnings disappeared from his appearance. How is that possible? A person can't heal her/himself.

 

--In the DR, just after Rand killed Ishamael, he saw men fighting, 'veiled men' (Aiel), and 'armored men' (Guards from the Stone). He then thrust Callandor and made his little 'I am the Dragon Reborn' speech. The veiled and armored men fell to their knees weeping that the Dragon was Reborn, or something to that extent.

Why would the Aiel do as the others? We have been told many times that the Dragon Reborn is a wetlander prophecy, one they don't give a damn about. I'm yet to see one kneel to He Who Comes With The Dawn, so why the Dragon Reborn?. Maybe they were impressed [scared] by Callandor?  ;)

 

And I often wonder why Bel'al (similarly to Aginor) didn't simply kill Moiraine as well? He had some time before Moiraine produced her small but efficient balefire, but he let her approach. What happened to channelers' speed?

 

--How big was the ball of fire Semirhage threw at Rand in KoD? Is a hand alone enough of an obstacle to stop the ball?

 

I was reading another discussion about how Elayne/Nynaeve/Egwene could have died if the FS had cared about that, and if you add in that they seem to make an effort to bite it in conditions they would have turned to their advantage, it gets one wondering just how efficient they are, or whether they are just puffed-up fools whose reputation is undeserved.

 

 

Anyway, I had a few other in mind but they seem to have disappeared somewhere.

I would appreciate any input.     

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Wheel of Time is a fantasy work, so some things (a lot) that would defy the imagination in our own world fall within the realm of 'normal' in the series.

But there are some stuff that puzzle me, whether it's my understanding that's flawed or RJ's mistake, I would appreciate if any one clarified a few of them, or posted their own.

 

I don't have the books with me, so bear with my descriptions if they are flawed. Here are a few that I can think of, in no particular order:

As Aginor drew on the Power, he started to flesh out, to recuperate so to speak, and in a short moment the effects of the Wheel' turnings disappeared from his appearance. How is that possible? A person can't heal her/himself.

He wasn't Healing himself, apparently the pure saidin was healing him

 

And I often wonder why Bel'al (similarly to Aginor) didn't simply kill Moiraine as well? He had some time before Moiraine produced her small but efficient balefire, but he let her approach. What happened to channelers' speed?
He was overconfident, and decided to tell Moiraine he was going to kill her before he did - so she ended up shooting first

--How big was the ball of fire Semirhage threw at Rand in KoD? Is a hand alone enough of an obstacle to stop the ball?
Wasn't Rand holding the Dragon Sceptre in that hand? That would have helped stop it.

 

It gets one wondering just how efficient they are, or whether they are just puffed-up fools whose reputation is undeserved.

 

Anyway, I had a few other in mind but they seem to have disappeared somewhere.

I would appreciate any input.

Their biggest problem is overconfidence - they are stronger and more knowledgable than the Third Age "children", and think that they can win simply because of that, so end up frequently making mistakes which cost them dearly. Hope that helps some.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alternatively, Moiraine could have produced something, er, more efficient than what she did *cough* balefire *cough*, but nah.

 

That was indeed an odd weave she used, wasn't it? I suppose she thought it was the best one she knew. At any rate, she didn't learn balefire until she stayed with Vandene and Adeleas in TDR.

 

Though come to think of it, Asmodean's killer didn't make any speech

Sure she did; it started with "Which one's Aviendha?" and ended with "Pain, Lews Therin!"  :P

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

--Towards the end of the EoW, when Rand battles it out with Aginor. I've seen this brought up somewhere else, I think. Aginor could have killed Rand very easily, but didn't. He could have shielded him, thus he wouldn't have had to deal with drawing too much of the Power, or scream 'Mine!', but he didn't. He was in a worn-out state, but he was strong enough to draw on the Source, so I feel he could have woven whatever was needed to take Rand out.

 

The curious thing about this confrontation is that they did not seem to be weaving. Before Aginor had a chance to attack Rand, Rand reached out and grabbed onto the flow from the Eye. Therein is the distinction that i suspect explains this issue--they weren't drawing fron the infinite Source, they were drawing from a finite (and rather small) source. The function of there confrontation was in struggling to control the Eye, not each other, and given Aginor's increased unhingedness it seemed that the struggle for the focussed all his thoughts.

 

It's likely as well that he did not wish to withdraw from the struggle for the eye and draw saidin seperately both because he did not want the Dark One to know what he was doing, and because the slight delay could be dangerous to him--much like Nynaeve fighting Moghedian could not let either the shield or the block go for a moment.

 

Just before that, Moiraine tried to slow Aginor down. Someone (Luckers?) wondered about the Elements used; though I can't remember what they were. The Forsaken are not afraid to kill, so I wonder why Aginor simply didn't kill Moirane? Just to make sure she would not interfere again. Instead he simply flings her away. Were I in his place, I wouldn't hesitate. Alternatively, Moiraine could have produced something, er, more efficient than what she did *cough* balefire *cough*, but nah.

 

This, I have issues with. Moiraine utilized fire and earth to fight Aginor, and yet in the foothills near Shadar logoth she states that fire and earth are her weakest elements. Beyond that, how did the weave function? Where did the earth go to when she made it disapear? It seems an awefully complicated weave--why not simply throw a fireball, or make the earth explode under his feet?

 

And I can understand Moiraine choosing not to use a shield, Aginor already held the Power, and it is unlikely that she would have been able to shield him. But why didn't he? Ok, maybe all his strength was preoccupied with escaping, but why did she start to scream? Just because he was resisting her weave seems a fairly pathetic thing to wring that scream out of her.

 

And why did she not pull out her angreal? With that in hand, Moiraine would have equalled Aginor, possibly even exceeded him. We have even seen Verin channel through an angreal in her pouch, so why didn't she just use it?

 

As for balefire, though. She probably did not know how. She states just before she uses it that 'she has learned things since the Two Rivers'. That she is 'more dangerous [because of that knowledge'. This almost assuredly is a reference in part to the Balefire.

 

Most people believe she learnt it whilst with Adeleas and Vandene.

 

As Aginor drew on the Power, he started to flesh out, to recuperate so to speak, and in a short moment the effects of the Wheel' turnings disappeared from his appearance. How is that possible? A person can't heal her/himself.

 

We've seen a similar effect in Sharina, who RJ has stated will de-age into her middle years. It is the function of the One Power, which seems to make cell reproduction more efficient (resulting in longer life, higher vitality and resistance to illness). The speed with which Aginor does it possibly has to do with his overdose, or maybe even in the nature of the Eye itself, which seems to exist partially in the World of Dreams.

 

--In the DR, just after Rand killed Ishamael, he saw men fighting, 'veiled men' (Aiel), and 'armored men' (Guards from the Stone). He then thrust Callandor and made his little 'I am the Dragon Reborn' speech. The veiled and armored men fell to their knees weeping that the Dragon was Reborn, or something to that extent.

Why would the Aiel do as the others? We have been told many times that the Dragon Reborn is a wetlander prophecy, one they don't give a damn about. I'm yet to see one kneel to He Who Comes With The Dawn, so why the Dragon Reborn?. Maybe they were impressed [scared] by Callandor?

 

I believe RJ admitted this one to be a mistake, and they later corrected it. Not sure.

 

And I often wonder why Bel'al (similarly to Aginor) didn't simply kill Moiraine as well? He had some time before Moiraine produced her small but efficient balefire, but he let her approach. What happened to channelers' speed?

 

He froze. You can see it in the text. At first is arrogant and condescending, wanting it to look like he is batting away fly, this arrogant half-trained child that dares to confront him. He gets off his uber-cool final quip--AND OH MY GOD SHE'S BALEFIRING ME!

 

Bu-bye.

 

He froze.

 

--How big was the ball of fire Semirhage threw at Rand in KoD? Is a hand alone enough of an obstacle to stop the ball?

 

It didn't actually hit his hand, it hit the Dragon Sceptre, which he threw when he realised he couldn't jump aside because Min was behind him. And the ball itself was very cmall--recall that when Cadsuane broke her disguise, she would have broken any other inverted weaves that Semirhage had prepared. The ball of fire was thrown as a reaction to a moment of shock.

 

I was reading another discussion about how Elayne/Nynaeve/Egwene could have died if the FS had cared about that, and if you add in that they seem to make an effort to bite it in conditions they would have turned to their advantage, it gets one wondering just how efficient they are, or whether they are just puffed-up fools whose reputation is undeserved.

 

Nynaeve probably would have been hard to tackle, especially now she has her toys. And Elayne IS under guard, and a palace full of channelers. To get close to her unnoticed would have been dificult, even for Careane--concider the Marilin and Falion attempts to do just that.

 

And say what you will, Elayne is far from untrained or weak. Once she noticed a threat, she wouldn't be that easy to sweep aside either.

 

Egwene on the other hand could have died had the Forsaken wished it, yet why would they? She maintained the confrontation that served to weaken the oldest organisation in Randland, an organisation that had stood against the Shadow since before there was a Tower. Whatever Robert may say, those are as good a reason as any to keep her alive and active in the fight against Elaida.

 

And just when Aran'gar was beginning to percieve the true danger in Egwene she was put into Mesaana's power, and the rest of the forsaken won't listen to Aran'gar's warnings.

 

And no, the Forsaken are not terribly efficient. Oh, if you look at them comparative they are definately top rank agents, but we, the Shadow and the Light came to them expecting demi-gods... they arn't that, and those that have dismissed the people of the Third Age died for that foolishness.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Egwene on the other hand could have died had the Forsaken wished it, yet why would they? She maintained the confrontation that served to weaken the oldest organisation in Randland, an organisation that had stood against the Shadow since before there was a Tower. Whatever Robert may say, those are as good a reason as any to keep her alive and active in the fight against Elaida.

 

Since I was just called out, effectively, I feel no shame in derailing this thread.

 

Egwene is not "maintaining" the confrontation.  She is bringing resolution to it, moving it toward completion, and therefore, what comes after completion.

 

I'm interested to what you believe would happen if, say, Egwene fell down the stairs on her way up to attend Elaida and broke her neck.  Just -pfft- dead.

 

Would the Salidar Sisters just pack it in?  Sigh, shrug, and go home?  Would the reasons that they split to start with (when Egwene wasn't within a thousand miles of the Tower) be gone?  Would Elaida be any more willing to compromise?  Would Lelaine not make a move for power?  Would Romanda not oppose her?

 

The death of Egwene would do more to maintain the status quo of a split Tower than any other single occurrence.  And it would have accomplished more earlier.  If she had never come on the scene, the Salidar sisters would still be dithering in Altara (where perhaps Mesaana's original design, in cahoots with Semirhage, was that the Salidar Sisters run afoul of the Seanchan).  Or, if they left ahead of the Seanchan, they surely would not be anywhere near Tar Valon, and the possibility of resolution.

 

Mesaana miscalculated.  She thought of Egwene as a pawn to be manipulated, and Egwene proved otherwise.  Mesaana's interchange with Aran'gar just screams that fact.  Mesaana's plan would have succeeded if not for Egwene al'Vere.  Now, it will fail.

 

As for the rest (the actual topic of this thread) yes, the Forsaken seem distressingly (to me) inept at times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Egwene is not "maintaining" the confrontation.  She is bringing resolution to it, moving it toward completion, and therefore, what comes after completion.

 

From the point of view of the reader who support her intentions. From the point of view of the Aes Sedai whose inherent need for unity in the Tower supports the collapse of the rebels from the very instance of their creation... even Cadsuane agrees.

 

I'm interested to what you believe would happen if, say, Egwene fell down the stairs on her way up to attend Elaida and broke her neck.  Just -pfft- dead.

 

Pretty much Siuan states it throught her interactions in the first chapter of KoD...

 

Would the Salidar Sisters just pack it in?  Sigh, shrug, and go home?  Would the reasons that they split to start with (when Egwene wasn't within a thousand miles of the Tower) be gone?  Would Elaida be any more willing to compromise?  Would Lelaine not make a move for power?  Would Romanda not oppose her?

 

That pretty much seems the direct worry, based on their comments... yes. The first statement. Romanda and Lelaine face stilling and execution, so im sorry but its silly to suggest they would give up.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the point of view of the reader who support her intentions. From the point of view of the Aes Sedai whose inherent need for unity in the Tower supports the collapse of the rebels from the very instance of their creation... even Cadsuane agrees.

 

From either point of view.  Victory for either side is closer once the battle has actually been joined.

 

What Egwene has done is force the issue.  Both factions can no longer sit thousands of miles apart glaring at each other, but doing nothing.  No matter who wins, the end of the fight is closer because she moved them to Tar Valon.

 

Since Mesaana seems to want to keep them fighting, thats bad for her plan.

 

Pretty much Siuan states it throught her interactions in the first chapter of KoD

 

Siuan's reaction was ... what?  What did she do?  Nothing.  She stayed right where she was.

 

Of course, her reactions for the part of a single day that she thought Egwene was gone hardly represent the full repurcusions of Egwene's actual death.  And they especially don't address what would have happened had Egwene been killed in Salidar or Murandy, which, although not the point of the specific statement you addressed, was the overall point of my post.

 

That pretty much seems the direct worry, based on their comments... yes. The first statement. Romanda and Lelaine face stilling and execution, so im sorry but its silly to suggest they would give up.

 

OK, now I am confused.  Perhaps my American colloquialism was unclear.  "Pack it in" means give up and go away.  I agree that it is silly to suggest that Romanda and Lelaine would give up.  Which means that Egwene is not the key to keeping the conflict going, since if Egwene were gone, the people who split from the Tower to start with would remain split from it for the same reasons. 

 

The only thing Egwene does is bring it closer to ending, by forcing the Salidar faction to do something.  Therefore, getting rid of her would maintain the status quo of two factions, both splintered from within, both unwilling to give in, but both unwilling to actually fight.  And both factions totally distracted from the bigger issues by their own petty problems.

 

If Egwene had been killed say, way back in Salidar, then one of two things would have happened.  One, the two factions just stay apart, spitting at each other and snarling at themselves, until Tarmon Gai'don has come and they all get overrun.  Or, two, the weaker faction would have stayed in Salidar too long and gotten run over by the Seanchan.  At which point Elaida and the Tower would be focusing on the Seanchan as the primary threat, and the Shadow would have free reign until Tarmon Gai'don.

 

All Mesaana had to do was kill Egwene.  No one else could have moved the Salidar Sisters toward the Tower.  But, arrogant as Mesaana is, she was sure that an "ignorant girl" like Egwene would be easy to control.  Error.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Victory for either side is closer once the battle has actually been joined.

 

Not if victory is defined, as it is by both factions, as coming out on top in a future reunification.  It is precisely the fear of dividing the tower beyond repair that has kept the battle from being joined thusfar.  If war between the factions were to break out, it would serve the shadow very well. and serve to permanently divide the tower into two camps, the half that live, and the half that die.  Considering the nature of war it is more likely to divide the half that live into the conquered and the conquerors, not precisely the epitome of peace and stability.

 

I agree that it is silly to suggest that Romanda and Lelaine would give up.  Which means that Egwene is not the key to keeping the conflict going, since if Egwene were gone, the people who split from the Tower to start with would remain split from it for the same reasons. 

 

The whole point of Sheriam's faction getting Egwene as Amrylin seat was to prevent the constant infighting between Lelaine and Romanda's factions.  It was recognozed, that lacking a single leader, the rebels would  slowly slip away and return to the tower.  If things were returned to a conflict between Lelaine and Romanda the same danger would have returned. It would have returned in Altara, Murandy, or on the shore overlooking Tar Valon.  Lacking a single leader, the rebels were likely to disperse, thereby ending the stalemate in favor of Elaida.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

as far as the forsaken go thier biggest failing is thier pride, thier second is greed, put them together and you get failier no matter how smart or ingenious a person is.  hitler was a genios in many ways, whatever ells he was (im using him as probly one of the closest real world exaples to one of the forsaken that history can provide) after taking poland and france out in a matter of weeks each, he thought he could take on the whole world and win.  his pride said that his armies where invincible, and his greed said that he should have the whole world.  in the end his pride killed a gereration of germans and deastroyed most of europe. 

 

if the forsaken would unite and put thier petty squabling aside. if they would ralise that these untrained children are more then capable of takeing them out, and that thier only chance is to fight together, then they wouldent seem such nimrods.

 

i think they kinda are stuck in a world they no longer know. they think it is just uncivilised, but in reality there may be less in the way of luxtiuries but it is still a civilised world. there are roads, books, laws, ect, and if men dont killeach other with guns anymore they at least rely on honor and glory to motivate (when they are good guys and arent doing it out of greed).  think if you whent to sleep tonight and when you woke up you where in mideval eourope. i know i would be a bit disorented.  to have the knowlege of the 21st century would make me think i could rule the world, but in reality i would have a hard time just serviving.  so all in all i think the forsaken are doing a pretty good job of things, as long as they arent trying to fight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll throw another question into the mix, if I could: Is it the voice of the Creator we are to assume Rand hears near the end of Eye of the World? It seems a bit odd and halting, but I always dug that Rand got to have some audio-time with the Big C himself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not if victory is defined, as it is by both factions, as coming out on top in a future reunification.  It is precisely the fear of dividing the tower beyond repair that has kept the battle from being joined thusfar.  If war between the factions were to break out, it would serve the shadow very well. and serve to permanently divide the tower into two camps, the half that live, and the half that die.  Considering the nature of war it is more likely to divide the half that live into the conquered and the conquerors, not precisely the epitome of peace and stability.

 

There can never be any form of "reunification" unless the two factions come together at some point.  Without forcing the issue through physical proximity, that would never happen, or at least, it would not have happened for years, by which time Tarmon Gai'don would be over and done with.  It was precisely that "fear of dividing the tower beyond repair" that Mesaana counted on.

 

Without a leader on one side willing to force the issue, both factions would have remained separate and non-functional, with no possibility of reunification.  With open conflict, there is the possibility that one faction emerges victorious, and can then focus on something else.  The perfect situation for the Shadow was the one before Egwene came to power.

 

Open conflict will weaken the Tower, but ultimately provide resolution.  Conflict from a distance with no resolution renders the Tower completely irrelevant.

 

That said, we're obviously not going to agree here.

 

The whole point of Sheriam's faction getting Egwene as Amrylin seat was to prevent the constant infighting between Lelaine and Romanda's factions.  It was recognozed, that lacking a single leader, the rebels would  slowly slip away and return to the tower.  If things were returned to a conflict between Lelaine and Romanda the same danger would have returned. It would have returned in Altara, Murandy, or on the shore overlooking Tar Valon.  Lacking a single leader, the rebels were likely to disperse, thereby ending the stalemate in favor of Elaida.

 

If it had happened while they were in Altara ... maybe.  I still think it would have taken so much time for the Sisters to "slip away and return to the tower" that by the time they got around to it, Tarmon Gai'don would have wiped them out. 

 

But once they were in Murandy?  And Egwene had announced publicly that Elaida was a usurper, with an army at her back, and their intention to stay one month then leave?  No way Elaida lets any sister in that meeting back into the Tower.  And they all knew it.  If Halima had killed Egwene during that month after the meeting (and by that time, Aran'gar should have seen enough of Egwene to know that she wasn't going to be a pawn), the Salidar faction would have completely collapsed, but not back into the Tower.  They would have clung to each other even while they were bickering and fighting about who would succeed Egwene (and who killed Egwene!).  Because at that point, they have nowhere else to go.  That remains true in the "present".  With war publicly declared, do you really think Elaida will propose anything resembling reasonable terms for any Sister's return?  We've already seen that she won't!  Especially any Sister who served in the Salidar Hall.  Egwene's death would cripple the most powerful Aes Sedai faction, would have it eating itself from the inside just like the Tower under Elaida is.  And the factions still wouldn't rejoin.  Because the reasons for the initial split still exist, unresolved.

 

And so what if a few of them "disperse"?  The majority won't; they identify themselves as part of the organization of Aes Sedai ... and the few that would leave just weaken their respective factions further.

 

The only person who has any chance of actually re-unifying the Tower is Egwene al'Vere.  Mesaana and Aran'gar have seen enough of events that they should be able to see that.  The simplest and most effective way to prevent that is to kill Egwene.  But they, for some reason, won't.

 

This is one of my main beefs with all of the Forsaken.  Just friggin kill your enemy.  One of the very few things I find to dislike in this story is that fact that Rand and co. aren't defeating competent enemies.  The Forsaken are, in many ways, beating themselves.  While there is a philosophical statement in that about the nature of evil, to me it dilutes the eventual victory of the Light.  Rand and co. won't have won because they were skilled enough to earn it.  They will have won because the other team screwed the pooch.

 

Its like if I were to wrestle a three year old.  There's no satisfaction to me in beating an incompetent opponent ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll throw another question into the mix, if I could: Is it the voice of the Creator we are to assume Rand hears near the end of Eye of the World? It seems a bit odd and halting, but I always dug that Rand got to have some audio-time with the Big C himself.

 

I believe that voice was the Creator speaking to Rand. However, as has been discussed on a couple other threads, others do not hold to that opinion. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...