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Egwene Al'vere-The Watcher of the Seals, the Flame of Tar Valon,the Amyrlin Seat


RAND AL THOR
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I really like Egwene-especially after her being raised Amyrlin. The only part of her that I truly don't like is her looking down on Rand but considering that partically all the females in the book do that, I'll have to stick with it.

 

One particular part is very difficult to believe.

After being raised, she meets Elyane and Nynave and the following occurs:

 

Nynaeve poked her head in hesitantly, then was pushed into the room by Elayne. Side by side, they made perfect deep curtsies, spreading white, banded skirts wide and murmuring, "Mother."

"Please don't do that," Egwene said. Actually, it was more of a wail. "You're the only two friends I have, and if you start...." Light, she was almost ready to cry!

 

Okay, I am extremely skeptical about Egwene's reaction here. She has JUST been raised and the AS look at her as though she were a novice anyway. I can understand her saying this IF everyone had been treating her like the Amyrlin for an extended period of time and she wanted someone to recognize just Egwene Al'vere-but it is not so.

 

Of course it makes her look somewhat humble and all that which is no doubt why RJ put that in-but it is very unbelievable in the circumstances.

 

Discuss please.

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Guest Dreadlord

BALEFIRE!!!

 

I cant stand Egwene, it annoys me that she has been made Amyrlin at all. She was only raised to be a figurehead at first, but we all knew she would unfortunately end up being more than just a figurehead.

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I love Egwene--and it makes sense, forceful figures are usually petualant brats when they are young, the only difference between them becoming tyrants and them becomes great leaders is experience, and Egwene's experiences tempered her. She still has issues left over--the issue of Rand's 'compelling' for instance, but those are natural. As a whole she is a great character, and to my mind shows the best character development in the series.

 

Okay, I am extremely skeptical about Egwene's reaction here. She has JUST been raised and the AS look at her as though she were a novice anyway. I can understand her saying this IF everyone had been treating her like the Amyrlin for an extended period of time and she wanted someone to recognize just Egwene Al'vere-but it is not so.

 

Of course it makes her look somewhat humble and all that which is no doubt why RJ put that in-but it is very unbelievable in the circumstances.

 

Egwene is not personally arrogant--she's upon occaision blindly arrogant, but she actually very dismisive her her self in the greater scheme. There is a subtle distinction between those two, the distinction between believing your opinion is the truth, and believing you are the truth. Egwene does not fall for the second. She believes on the mission, not herself.

 

So no, her reaction is not absured--Aes Sedai denying her as Amyrlin does not mean she would force it upon those she can because 'being Amyrlin' is not her goal. The benefit of the Aes Sedai as a whole is.

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I don't think the passage exists to demonstrate any humility on Egwene's part.  I think it's to demonstrate how she is just coming to realize how precarious her position is and how vulnerable she is.  How much she needs friends.

 

She understands she is meant to be a powerless figurehead.  She also understands that those who raised her up will be all too willing to pull her down and sacrifice her in an instant if doing so will secure what they want most.

 

She needs friends.  She needs co-conspirators.  She needs people she can trust.  And if the only previous friends she has withdraw into bureaucratic subservience and indifference she feels that not only herself but all they've been working towards will be lost.

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So no, her reaction is not absured--Aes Sedai denying her as Amyrlin does not mean she would force it upon those she can because 'being Amyrlin' is not her goal. The benefit of the Aes Sedai as a whole is.

 

Alas no, I did not suggest that she is trying to parade herself as Amyrlin. What I said was: Her behaviour there is almost as though she has been the Amyrlin for ages and as though she is sick of everyone saying 'mother' to her etc...

 

Personally, I would still expect her to be numb with shock, anyway.

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Remember what Siuan says to Moiraine when they meet up again in the beginning of Book 2? Siuan comments that even Leane treats her like the Amyrlin etc and that she can only talk to Moiraine about how it was to be novices etc...

 

This is understandable since Siuan has been Amyrlin for around 20 yrs. But for Egwene to show the same attitude mere hours after raising is weird.

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I don't think the passage exists to demonstrate any humility on Egwene's part.  I think it's to demonstrate how she is just coming to realize how precarious her position is and how vulnerable she is.  How much she needs friends.

 

She understands she is meant to be a powerless figurehead.  She also understands that those who raised her up will be all too willing to pull her down and sacrifice her in an instant if doing so will secure what they want most.

 

She needs friends.  She needs co-conspirators.  She needs people she can trust.  And if the only previous friends she has withdraw into bureaucratic subservience and indifference she feels that not only herself but all they've been working towards will be lost.

 

I agree with you on this, with regards to her needs, but the feeling you get from what Egwene is saying is more emotional than rational (ie oh noze i'm tired of people bowing and scraping please don't let my friends do that too!).

 

I have to go with RAND AL THOR on this: it's just too soon.

 

(btw: would you mind terribly if I called you RaT ?  ;D)

 

 

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(btw: would you mind terribly if I called you RaT ?  ;D)

 

Not at all! When I signed up, I expected any name with 'Rand' in it to be taken. So I put it all in caps. IT seems that nobody took 'Rand' after all. :'( Now I find that I cannot change it and changing it may make the other people on this forum forget who I am so I just left it.

 

Use any name you wish, including wool-headed idiot.  ;D

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Alas no, I did not suggest that she is trying to parade herself as Amyrlin. What I said was: Her behaviour there is almost as though she has been the Amyrlin for ages and as though she is sick of everyone saying 'mother' to her etc...

 

Personally, I would still expect her to be numb with shock, anyway.

 

As in not entirely believing of the situation, as in stopping her friends from calling her mother?

 

Frankly i don't see it, Egwene is too cool headed to be thrown for long, she adapted, and held to herself--she doesn't see to be Amyrlin because it grants her power, she does it because its nessasary, ergo she disposes of the formality whenever possible.

 

In neither reality is her action in telling Elayne and Nynaeve to call her Egwene a result of her certainty of her position.

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Alas no, I did not suggest that she is trying to parade herself as Amyrlin. What I said was: Her behaviour there is almost as though she has been the Amyrlin for ages and as though she is sick of everyone saying 'mother' to her etc...

 

Personally, I would still expect her to be numb with shock, anyway.

 

As in not entirely believing of the situation, as in stopping her friends from calling her mother?

 

As in not believing the situation. She expeced to be whipped and was instead given the most powerful position in the world.

 

Her adaptation to her situation was extremely quick. She was able to form a plan on how to deal with Romanda, Lelaine and Sheriam practically overnight. All this while she is still adapting to the idea of actually being Amyrlin. I seriously doubt a human being can be that logical and fast acting.

 

And luckers, I don't think you see the actual idea behind the original post. I'm afraid I can't put it any clearer than I already have.

As Elgee said,

 

(ie oh noze i'm tired of people bowing and scraping please don't let my friends do that too!).

 

That is what I'm saying. Do you disagree with this point?

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No i do get the point your saying, i just dont understand it. Egwene reaction makes perfect sense--still not used to her situation she stops her friends from fawning, yet her nature was controlling, and her ability to rationally deal with reality had been enhanced by her stay with the Aiel and her experiences with Nynaeve and Moiraine.

 

Effectively i don't understand why what your raising is an issue.

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Egwene's reaction always kind of bugged me too.  It does seem premature for her to have such a reaction, in the past she has gone out of her way to one up Nynaeve.  Now that I have given it some thought, I think she says it because now that they all know she has every right to boss them around, she has to ensure that they will remain her friends.  Forcing formality on them at this point would have pushed them away from her and then having raised them by decree would have been pointless.  She had the whole night to think about that and their reaction to her new position.  Enough time to realize that if she pushed them in the wrong direction she would have lost the benefits of having done so.  She made herself seem vunerable because she knew that Nynaeve would then feel obligated to help her.  Nynaeve has always felt more loyal to Emond's fielders than any Tower authority.

That being said it's not that I think what she did was wrong, upon being raised she was in a very precarious situation and she had to make sure her plans weren't ruined.  I think that she was being manipulative but for good reason.

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I can't believe I'm typing this... :-\

 

I believe we're being unduly harsh towards Egwene and her motivations. :o

 

I think we're letting our general attitude of her and other female characters blur our objectiveness to certain situations.

 

Being raised to Amyrlin would have dehumanised her. She would no longer be Egwene al'Vere, she would be the Amyrlin. She would have seen the consequences of such actions because of her observations of Rand and how he turned out as well as the situation he's now in. Enemies everywhere. Literally.

 

She's manipulative but she's not Machivallian. The hangman's noose can sharpen the mind very quickly and it would have been very easy to see her being raised to the Amyrlin Seat as tantamount as committing suicide. In that type of situation you would emotionally grab on to anything that you can. And seriously would you want your friends calling you Mother in private?

 

I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt since she was essentially made to be a sacrificial lamb.

 

 

 

 

Mysterious

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