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Annoying women....yes that means you

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Book five is where things start to slow down.  He was at a "can't get there from here" place in the story.  He'd discovered that he had a lot of back-filling and hole patching to do.


In order to avoid having any subsequent books be not much more than an outline or series of bullet points in a synopsis, he had to resort to a lot of filler material.  Unfortunately what we got for filler was ( primarily ) women being silly, although the men ( primarily Perrin ) don't fare very well either.


Kinda what happens when you write a book that "growed like Topsy."

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I think alot of our frustration with the characters comes from the insights given into their self-doubts and thought processes. In real life we only get that with ourselves, and sometimes with  family/mates (unless we are shrinks).  Even then, you only get what you are told - it could be lies.  We know much more about these people than those we deal with in real life.  This closeness can breed contempt.  With good characterizations, it should be difficult to truly like anybody, because you know too much about their self-interested motivations.  I get much more frustration in reading Fantasy/SF when the characters are so one dimensional that they become caricatures.  As is pointed out many times in this series, the AoL people that are held in such hig regard, and Artur Hawkwing (Thom is one that points this our), weren't the full out heroes that the general populace suppose; stories get twisted with time.  All that being said, I still really dislike Faile - which means RJ did his job. 

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Remember what Lan went through. His Aes Sedai seemingly died, his bond to her was snapped. We know that most Warders find a quick death avenging their Aes Sedai, and we know that Lan is less than a happy-go-lucky man. He went to Myrelle, and then to Nynaeve, where he has finally found his love. Have you ever read New Spring? It tells you a lot about Lan, about his personality and his background, it's very much worth a read. I think Lan will be the martyr of all martyrs in Book 12 - he'll be Bruce Willis in Armageddon and I'm hardly able to wait.


Trankand01, I will give you credit for rebutting every snipe I made against each character. I was just being cavalier about each character since they are almost like family members having been re-reading the books since the first hardcover of book 1 came out. You made valid points on all from a female point of view, so I say thanks.  I especially loved the quote above.  He lost his family, country, Aes Sedai, and now has to hang out with Nyenaeve in the off season.  Jeeze, what a knob. Snap out of it. LOL. I too think he and Logain will really shine in the last book.  They better!!!!

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I think it was most likely that he brought in the women to a) keep the men interested (that obviously backfired somewhat) and b) balance out the male-dominated plot, as you stated. Mat / Perrin / Rand, all men. For women, that'd get a little annoying after a while, if the only women in the series were their love-interest. This can be seen in many other series, for example David Edding's Belgariad; if Ce'Nedra and Polgara didnt exist, we'd have nothing but Garion and Belgariad.


Sorry to quote you again, but you make very valid points (you really do put some time into your posts).  You seem into it, so I will give you a solid response.  It is my belief that when he first wrote "Eye of the World", it was a first novel to test the market and see what works.  Remember, book 1 could technically be wrapped up by its final chapter. Anyway, that left all the characters wide open after it became a bestseller.  Who buys SF and Fantasy books? Especially in the late 80s and early 90s? 90% men. Remember, up to that date, the "Dragonriders of Pern" had been the only success among female readers (excluding Tolkien and tha also came later).  Thus the strength of the male characters.  By book 3, I dont think RJ could look back.


I will retract though.  Over the course of 10+ books, he could have improved on certain characters forward progression, but he chose not to.  As mentioned in an earlier post, I had hoped that Egwene would be a Ta'veren also. 


If you really want to see the method in the madness, there are really only 2 main characters. Rand and Egwene.


Rand:  Mat to make him more outgoing and spontaneous, and Perrin to add temporance and thought. Elayne to add indecision, Nynaeve to add structure, and Egwene to provide feelings.  The rest are all extemporaneous.


Egwene: Nynaeve to provide guidance, and Elayne to teach authority and attitude.  Rand to provide feelings, Mat to provide a negative to her positive, and Perrin to provide a foundation.



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