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Zaren

Goodkind's Sword of Truth series optioned

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Joey B, where did you learn to count? Four? I see Five points, and I'm sure Hannible didn't comment on the other points because there was no use.

I have seen it too many times. People who Like RJ but don't like TG, TAKE not liking TG to the very extreme. I don't know why, it's just been that way most of the time. I am NOT saying that they are all like that, just the vast majority.

So why counter a point when it is not going to change your opinion anyway? It seems to me all you are doing is attempting to incite dis-harmony.

So here's my point, why is it such a big deal that you don't like TG? Why do you insist on pushing your ideals onto someone else? Is it simply because you feel your ideals have more merit then mine?

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Hannibal probably won't agree with me, but I will admit that TG is not the greatest of authors out there. Martin is the godfather of fantasy right now, and Jordan, in many ways, is close. TG, in my opinion, has created many great, solid characters, all of whom go through changes and face struggles on a daily baises, who you learn to love and care about. While some, if not most, of his minor characters all seem to blend into "THE minor character", his main cast remains quite individualized.

 

The ideas that he's discussing (communism, facism, objectivism, individuality, freedom, love, hate, faith, etc.) have in no way cessed to exist. All one needs to do is look at their own life, or the state of this country (the U.S) right now and you'll see them clearly. These are ideas that have existed since the dawn of man, and will continue to until our extentction.

 

As for formulaic storytelling, it's true to some extent. Richard loses his powers, Kahalan gets kidnapped or sepearted from Richard, Richard learns the rule but can't figure it out, Richard figures it out in the nick of time and feels stupid because he should have done it earlier, Richard gets his powers back and rescues Kahlan. This to some degree is the plot to books 1-5 and 8. But! He used this plot as a simple way of getting his messages across. Forumlaic does not make a series bad. Redwall is forumlaic, LotR is pretty formulaic in it's entirety. But if you've read the last part of his series (Chainfire and Phantom) you'll notice that these books DO NOT follow that formula anymore, and that his entire series is about to come full circle. Books 1-8 are all prelude to 9-11.

 

As for writting into a corner and pulling himself out with some bunny or other, again, he's writting about his beliefs and themes, and uses these as a tool to get his characters out of sticky situations. He puts his characters in situations that can be drawn to real life, and then he uses his philosphy to get them out. He's not writing a story, not knowing where he's going, it's not like that. He knows what lessons he wants to teach in each book, and then uses those lessons to help his characters.

 

As for his violent discriptions not being gruesome enough, there's not much one can do about that. If you're looking for something more violent then this isn't the series for you. The series is violent in many peoples opinions, but if you don't feel it is, then find something else.

 

As for his use of the english language, no it's not spactacular most of the time. His writing his very simple. His discriptions are in depth, yet simple. This way he can get his message across to everyone, and not just Ph D's in Harvard. It's his writing style, and since Phantom was the #1 New York Times Bestseller at it's release, a lot of people must not mind it so much.

 

As for his world lacking any logical coherence, I don't know what to tell you. I can understand it, I beleive Hannibal can understand it, everyone on his forums page on his website can understand it, it's really pretty solid. Maybe some examples of how logic is lost in his world can help me explain better.

 

And as for Richard turning into a fascist demagogue... This never happens. Ever. Never ever. Ever. He stands up for what is right, he shelters the poor, sick and defensless, and kills the wicked. The bad guys he faces are pretty much pure evil, so anything he ends up doing to them, I don't find so bad. Weilding his ultimate power to destroy some of the most distrubing and evil bad guys I've ever come across, doesn't really make me feel sympathy for the murdering, raping, theiving, worthless Imperial Order. Basically he's Luke Skywalker against the Empire. That's what it comes down to. He's just angrier.

 

Ok, I think I touched on every point. Again, TG is certainly not the greatest of fantasy authors, but he's created a world that millions of fans enjoy, and uses it to bring across his values of individuality and self-esteem. He'll probably never crack into the top 50 fantasy authors of all time, but he's a good, fun read, and he makes you think.

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And as for Richard turning into a fascist demagogue... This never happens. Ever. Never ever. Ever. He stands up for what is right, he shelters the poor, sick and defensless, and kills the wicked

 

Richard is already that...... He orders women and children killed, he orders to dishoner the death (cutting of ears), Kahlan threatens a woman to be group raped. She tortures for revenge. And so on and so on.

 

Those are certainly not my heroes. As long as everyone slavely follows them and not have other opinions it is good, but if they have other opinions than they probably get killed or tortured.

 

I am sure if someone asks for the quotes they can be put here.

 

But for me there is no defense for what they have done. Not if they are pictures as heroes.

 

Isabel

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The fact is that TG is a great writer...TG has also written some of the best characters ever to appear in fantasy.

_____

 

TG has managed to craft one of the best series in fantasy even while battling dyslexia(some disease that hampers reading and spelling).

No better than joeybsmash's post. Why do you like TG's writing, characterization, dialog, plotting, sartorial choices, etc...? Nothing you've written in your 30odd posts in the Goodkind threads here makes me willing to try him.

 

Also 1 in 10 people have some form of dyslexia and it may not be a hindrance to his writing at all, though it's still a frustrating thing to have.

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Richard in the End realizes that this is a battle he cannot win. Not fighting the way the IO wants. If he fights their way he loses. If he fights the way they do in order to win, he loses.

He sends his army into The Old World to destroy the ideals of the Imperial order and let the people know that it is the IO that brings this upon them. He does NOT send his armies in to kill innocents. IN FACT he makes a clear point to make sure that does NOT happen (did you even read the book or did you just hear that from someone elses opinion?). He tells the most experienced killers to bring back the ears of the people teaching the rape and murder of others as a good thing to the people. He wants the Brotherhood dead, and he want's their ears. Why? Why should they have Honor in death? the teach the most grotesgue (sp? sorry) ways to their children! They teach that self sacrifice to the way THEY want things is the only way to live. That only through self sacrifice can you be worthy of the creators blessing. ONLY this way.

They teach that you are not worthy of anything, that if you try to carve out an honest living for yourself that you are sinning. That you should give up everything you have for the greater good (i.e. Communisim).

he did not send his armies into the Old World to rape pillage and plunder, he sent them there to strike at the heart of Jagang. To seperate him from his supplies, to drive out his countryman, to incite chaos.He lets the women and children leave. He SPECIFICALLY oredered this.

Goodkinds books were the first set of books that I read that even got me interested in fantasy. If it were not for Goodkinds books, i probably would never have even picked UP RJ's books.

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Guest Egwene

Thank you Kadere, your post encompassed a lot of my own sentiments... i.e. he isn't the best in my books... but deserves merit.

 

GT's description is the one I recall of Richard. I find in him a character struggeling with his own believes and how he is going to live what he believes in. He makes some tough decisions because he knows he has to make them for the benefit of long term peace. The books have not made me into a follower of every principle that TG believes in... but they certainly made me think about the issues he raises.

 

The idea that we all need to take responsibilty for our own lives for example. I am fully behind that. And I do feel that there is a tendency today for people to try and make others responsible. Insurance claims... someone else should have told me... someone else should have watched me... and so on. The Nanny State... if you want to do this or that, we need you to wear this bit of safety equipment and take those exams... and so on. We should be able to admit to our own mistakes and be allowed to make our own mistakes.

 

The point that Werthead makes about not sustaining a plot I feel is justified to some extent. Whilst he may have a long term grand plan, I don't get the same feeling of continuity that I get in the WoT series. Having said that, is that actually what he is aiming for? There are a lot of fantasy writers creating a world and than have stories in that world which are loosely connected, but not meant to be one story. Think of Gemmell or the Pern stories. SoT is somewhere between them and WoT. Each book seems to be far more intended to be standing up independently than any of the WoT ones.

.

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The ideas that he's discussing (communism, facism, objectivism, individuality, freedom, love, hate, faith, etc.) have in no way cessed to exist. All one needs to do is look at their own life, or the state of this country (the U.S) right now and you'll see them clearly. These are ideas that have existed since the dawn of man, and will continue to until our extentction.

 

Communism is dying. The only Communist states that still exist are North Korea, Belorus and maybe one or two countries in Central Asia. China has ceased to be a true Communist state and I have no doubt that China will properly transform into a capitalist democracy within the next half-century. Maybe TG railing against Communism when the series started in 1995 when China was seen as a possible future second Cold War enemy after the USSR's collapse made more sense, but now it's about as relevant to our time as lambasting the evils of slavery. We know. Enough already. If he'd moved onto the threat of religious fundamentalism it would be more relevant.

 

As for his use of the english language, no it's not spactacular most of the time. His writing his very simple. His discriptions are in depth, yet simple. This way he can get his message across to everyone, and not just Ph D's in Harvard. It's his writing style, and since Phantom was the #1 New York Times Bestseller at it's release, a lot of people must not mind it so much.

 

I disagree. The prose style you describe is Robert Jordan's style, or Brandon Sanderson's or Naomi Novik's or Terry Brooks'. That's going nowhere near the more interesting prose of 'proper' fantasy literature (say Gene Wolfe or Mervyn Peake, neither of whom you need a PHD to read). Terry Goodkind's inability to write can be demonstrated by the fact that he has characters having discussions for fifty pages or more, spanning multiple chapters. Take out all the stern lecturing (which makes Jordan's occasional overload on dress descriptions seem tame) and these books would be much shorter. Goodkind's popularity is merely indicitive of the fact that many people who started with Book 1 (which was half-enjoyable up to the point that the 'hero' nearly kills an eight-year-old girl for no real reason) are unwilling to give up on the series until it is finished. This is the 1st Rule in demonstrable motion. Getting to Number 1 in July (somewhat of a dead month for the industry just before the Christmas titles start appearing) is also not as impressive as getting to Number 1 in say November (which Eddings, Jordan, Martin and Gaiman have all done previously in the fantasy fraternity).

 

As for his world lacking any logical coherence, I don't know what to tell you. I can understand it, I beleive Hannibal can understand it, everyone on his forums page on his website can understand it, it's really pretty solid. Maybe some examples of how logic is lost in his world can help me explain better.

 

Distance: his armies move around in a matter of days spreading ruin across an empire which TG somewhere described as the size of China.

 

Supply: the same army is told to undertake a guerrilla war on enemy territory. This is impossible. Guerrillas can only operate with the support of the local populace, since they cannot carry much supplies with them without losing mobility. Richard's armies operating hundreds or thousands of miles behind enemy lines would starve to death very quickly. They can't even live of the land, since they have been ordered to burn and salt the cropfields.

 

Combat: on several occasions Richard performs physically impossible combat moves (without the use of magic), probably the best being when he rips out someone's spine with his bare hands. The person so afflicted then proceeds to take a final swing with his sword before dying. Generally people with their spines missing are having difficulty standing up, breathing or indeed just living, and would not be able to swing a sword. Richard also takes on about ten swordsman at some point and lives. This is utterly impossible. Even Jordan, who occasionally takes dramatic licence in his combat description, makes it very clear that one good swordsman can handle three enemies, maybe up to five if they're not very good, but any more than that and they are dead. Finally, Richard convinces a pacifistic people to join his empire by showing them that pacifism is wrong by killing dozens of them, which in the real world would be counter-productive.

 

For about fifty more examples, I refer you to my prior link.

 

And as for Richard turning into a fascist demagogue... This never happens. Ever. Never ever. Ever. He stands up for what is right, he shelters the poor, sick and defensless, and kills the wicked. The bad guys he faces are pretty much pure evil, so anything he ends up doing to them, I don't find so bad. Weilding his ultimate power to destroy some of the most distrubing and evil bad guys I've ever come across, doesn't really make me feel sympathy for the murdering, raping, theiving, worthless Imperial Order. Basically he's Luke Skywalker against the Empire. That's what it comes down to. He's just angrier.

 

But this does happen. This is not opinion, this is simple observation. You cannot simply say that an entire nation is evil. I believe even Richard says at one point that the people of the Order are living under terrible oppression. Rather than free them, he simply decides to put them out of their misery. This is saying that the USA should have nuked northern Vietnam during the war or should be nuking North Korea now. It simply proves that Richard is a coward. If he is half the general he is supposed to be, his army could defeat an enemy force much larger than his own, especially aided by magic.

 

You cannot fight evil with evil. You cannot fight barbarity with barbarity. Doing so stains the morality of the person who could be said to be 'in the right' and makes them no better than the enemy. After WWII the Allies concluded that their carpet-bombing of German and Japanese cities in revenge for the earlier bombing of Allied cities achieved nothing but the deaths of hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians and was tantamount to legitimised murder. The great kudos won by the Russians for their nearly single-handed halting of the German war machine was lost by the mass rapes and mass murders committed by their soldiers in the advance to Berlin. By authorising the murder of possibly millions of enemy civilians, Richard has become no better than the Imperial Order. He is in fact worse because at least the IO isn't fighting under such a cloud of self-righteous smugness.

 

he did not send his armies into the Old World to rape pillage and plunder, he sent them there to strike at the heart of Jagang. To seperate him from his supplies, to drive out his countryman, to incite chaos.He lets the women and children leave. He SPECIFICALLY oredered this.

 

This is actually true. Richard does tell his armies to basically kill anyone who doesn't reject the IO straight away, so if they do reject that ethos they are spared. Naturally the people who are spared then die anyway, since Richard's armies have just burned their cities and farms, and salted their fields, which would result in mass famine. See the prior point on the lack of logic in this world.

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He sends his army into The Old World to destroy the ideals of the Imperial order and let the people know that it is the IO that brings this upon them. He does NOT send his armies in to kill innocents. IN FACT he makes a clear point to make sure that does NOT happen (did you even read the book or did you just hear that from someone elses opinion?).

 

Excuse me. Here is the quote to proof it.

“All the people who believe in the ways of the Order, who contribute, who encourage, who support, who pray for their soldiers to crush us, are part of their war effort. Each of those people adds something to their cause. As such, they are just as much the enemy as the soldiers swinging the swords for them. They are the ones who feed their blades with a supply of young men and everything they need to come after us, from food to moral support and encouragement.â€

Richard pointed south. “In fact, those people who make this war possible are perhaps even more of an enemy because each one is a silent enabler who wishes us harm from afar, who hates by choice, who believes that there is no consequence for them forcing their will on us.

[…] He drew his hands into fists. “We must bring this war home to the people who support and encourage it. It must not simply be the lives of our friends, our families, our loved ones who are thrown into the bloody cauldron these people of the Old World stoke. It must now be their lives as well.

“They see this as a struggle for the future of mankind. I intend to see that it is. I want them to fully understand that if they set out to murder and subjugate us-for whatever reason-then there will be consequences.

“From this day forward, we will fight a real war, a total war, a war without mercy. We will not impose pointless rules on ourselves about what is ‘fair.’ Our only mandate is to win. That is the only way we, our loved ones, our freedom will survive. Our victory is all that is moral. I want any supporter of the Order to pay the price for their aggression. I want them to pay with their fortunes, their future, their very lives.

“The time has come to go after these people with nothing but cold black rage in our hearts.â€

Richard lifted a fist. “Crush their bones to blood and dust!â€

[…] “The army of the Order has the support of the people of their homeland. The soldiers of the Order each know that their families, friends, and neighbors support them. The men of the Order need to hear from those back in the Old World. What I want the men of the Order to hear are wails of agony. I want them to know that their homes are being gutted, their cities and towns leveled, their businesses and crops destroyed, and their loved ones left with nothing.

[…] We must deny them those supplies they need to survive here in such numbers. We must cut that vital link. If the Imperial Order’s soldiers starve to death they are just as dead. […]

“Also, the recruits coming up from the south will be much more vulnerable since they will not yet have joined up with experienced men, or be in massive numbers. They are poorly trained and little more than young thugs going off to rape and pillage. Slaughter them before they go north and have the chance….Seeing the bodies of these young heroes-to-be rotting on their doorsteps will help us crush the spirit of the people of the Old World.â€

[…] One of the men toward the back cleared his throat, then spoke up. “Lord Rahl, innocent people down there are going to die. These aren’t soldiers we will be attacking. A lot of children are going to die in this kind of thing.â€

“Yes, that is unfortunately true, but don’t let your mind be clouded or your determination turned aside by such a spurious and irrelevant charge. The Order is responsible for conducting a war of aggression against innocent people who have done them no harm-including women and children. We seek only to end the aggression as swiftly as possible.

“It’s true that innocent people-including children-will be hurt or killed. What is the alternative? Continuing to sacrifice good people out of fear of harming someone innocent? We are all innocent. Our children are all innocent. They are being harmed, now. The Order’s rule will eventually harm everyone, including all those children in the Old World. The Order will turn many of them into monsters. Many more people will die in the end if the Order wins.

“Moreover, the lives of the people in the Old World are not our responsibility, they are the Order’s responsibility. We did not start this war and attack them-they attacked us. Our only proper course of action is to end the war as swiftly as possible. This is the only way to do that. In the end, this is the most humane thing wed can do because in the end this will mean the least loss of life.

~Terry Goodkind, Phantom

 

Ok, Richard says here that all the people living in the Empire are evil and support the enemy. Richar doesn't care about innocent people. He says there are no rules of combat. In that he is refering to the Convention of Geneva. He says that children will be hurt and killed, but that is worth it.

 

He tells the most experienced killers to bring back the ears of the people teaching the rape and murder of others as a good thing to the people. He wants the Brotherhood dead, and he want's their ears. Why? Why should they have Honor in death?

 

Quite simple. If you commit attrocities than the enemy will use that as justified reasons to get more support. Brotherhood is evil. Just kill them and just let the dead be. There is nothing to gain for that with Richard.

 

He lets the women and children leave. He SPECIFICALLY oredered this.

 

Perhaps somewhere else he orders that. But in this quote it seems he doesn't care about it. He specificly says that anyone supporting the order is bad and needs to be killed. And that is everyone. Probably everyone in the Empire is part of the economy of making food and clothes which also go partly to the soldiers. That is supporting.

 

 

And let me quote other things i find horrible and loath Goodkind for:

 

They raced out from the long shadows of the buildings and poured around the corner. The people off at the end of the street all turned when they spotted Richard's force coming. More people--men and women from the city--surged into the street in front of the compound of buildings the soldiers had taken oup as barracks and a command post. The people looked like a scraggly lot.

"No war! No war! No war!" the people shouted as Richard led the men up the street at a dead run.

"Out of the way!" Richard yelled as he closed the distance. This was no time for subtlety or discussions: the success of their attack depended in large part on speed. "Get out of the way! This is your only warning! Get out of the way or die!"

"Stop the hate! Stop the hate!" the people chanted as they locked arms.

They had no idea how much hate was raging through Richard. He drew the Sword of Truth. The wrath of its magic didn't come out with it, but he had enough of his own. He slowed to a trot.

"Move!" Richard called as he bore down on the people.

A plump, curly-haired woman took a step out from the others. Her round face was red with anger as she screamed. "Stop the hate! No war! Stop the hate! No war!"

"Move or die!" Richard yelled as he picked up speed.

The red-faced woman shook her fleshy fist at Richard and his men, leading an angry chant. "Murderers! Murderers! Murderers!"

On his way past her, gritting his teeth as he screamed with the fury of the attack begun, Richard took a powerful swing, lopping off the woman's head and upraised arm. Strings of blood and gore splashed across the faces behind her even as some still chanted their empty words. The head and loose arm tumbled through the crowd. A man mad the mistake of reaching for Richard's weapon, and took the full weight of a charging thrust.

Men behind Richard hit the line of evil's guardians with unrestrained violence. People armed only with their hatred for moral clarity fell bloodied, terribly injured, and dead. The line of people collapsed before the merciless charge. Some of the people, screaming their contempt, used their fists to attack Richard's men. They were met with swift and deadly steel.

At the realization that their defense of the Imperial Order's brutality would actually result in consequences to themselves, the crowd began scattering in fright, screaming curses back at Richard and his men.

~Terry Goodkind, Naked Empire

 

Killing non violent protesters. That is wrong. I understand that they were in the way, but he also could have done other things to stop any harm coming to them.

And I made the bullshit black. Come on. Armed with hatred for moral clarity...................

So if people are against war it is right to kill them and maim them?????????

 

And Kahlen wanting to do something more horrible than torturing someone to death..... Torturing someone to death is horrible and unforgiveble. No matter what he has done...

 

"So," the lad said, trying to sound tough, "I guess that in my servcice to the Order I knifed someone important. That makes me a hero of the Order." "Make him kneel before the Mother Confessor," General Meiffert said with quiet command.

The two soldiers kicked the back of the young man's knees to take him down. He snickered as he knelt before her.

"So, you're the big important whore I've heard so much about. Too bad you weren't around - I'd have loved to have cut you. I guess I showed some people I'm pretty good with a knife."

"So in my absence," Kahlan said, "you cut a child, instead."

"Just for practice. I'd have cut a lot more people if these big dumb oxen wouldn't have lucked into jumping me. But I still did my duty to the Order and the Creator."

It was the bravado of someone who knew he was about to pay the ultimate price for his actions. He was trying to convince himself that he had fulfilled a valuable service. He wanted to die a hero, and then go straight to the Creator for his reward in the afterlife.

Verna [Warrens wife]emerged from the tent. There was no hurry in her movements. Her face was ashen and drawn. Kahlan took hold of her arm, ready to help if Verna should need it.

Verna stopped when she saw the young man on his knees.

"This is him?" she asked.

Kahlan put her other hand tenderly to Verna's back, silently offering support.

"This is him," Kahlan confirmed.

"That's right." The lad sneered up at Verna. "I'm the one who knifed the enemy wizard. I'm a hero. The Order will bring relief and justice to the people, and I helped do it. Your kind is always trying to keep us down."

"Keep you down," Verna repeated in a dead tone.

"Those who are born with all the luck and advantages - they never want to share. I waited, but no one ever gave me a chance in life until the Order did. I'm a hero of downtrodden people everywhere. I've struck a blow against the oppressors of mankind. I've helped bring justice to those who are never given a chance. I killed an evil man. I'm a hero!"

The man on his knees grinned at Verna. "The Creator will give me my reward in the next life. I'm not afraid to die. I've earned eternity in his everlasting Light."

Verna passed her gaze among the eyes of all those gathered.

"I don't care what you do to him," she said, "but I want to hear his screams the entire night. I want this camp to hear his screams the entire night. I want the Order's scouts to hear his screams. That will be my tribute to Warren." The young man licked his lips, realizing things weren't going as he had expected.

"That isn't fair!" the yong assassin shouted in protest.

Panic began to tremble through his body. He had been prepared for a martyr's death, a quick end. This was something unforeseen. "He died quick. I shoud have the same condsideration! This isn't fair!"

"Fair? What isn't fair," Verna said with terrible calmness, , "is that your mohter ever opened her legs for your father. We shall now belatedly correct her mistake. What isn't fair is that a good and kind man died at the hands of a sniveling little coward so lacking in sense that he is incapable of recognizing the lies he now spews out at us. "You wish to trade your life for the one you have taken? You wish to die in a cause you foolishly believe to be noble? You shall have your wish, young man. But before you die, you shall fully understand what it is you have surrendered, how priecious is your life, and how utterly wasted. <if> You shall come to regret your mother's act of creation as much as do we."

<blah>

Verna nodded. "I will be indebted to you, Cara." She started to leave, but paused. "Don't let him die before morning, when I will come to witness it. I wish to look into his eyes and see if this young man has come to understand the nature of reality, and its lack of fairness, before he forfeits his life for nothing of worth and for his part in a great evil." "Mother Confessor!" The young man struggled fratically, but the soldiers had him in a firm grip. "If you're so good as you claim, then show me mercy!"

Drool ran from the cornier of the boy's mouth and hung swinging in rhythm with his panting. <thank>

"But I have," Kahlan said. "I am allowing you to suffer the sentence Verna has named, and not the one I would impose." ~Terry Goodkind, Faith of the Fallen

 

Ok, and these are only part of the quotes...

 

Isabel

PS the quotes also come from the link from Werthead;)

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Okay. Touche'. However, alot of the meaning in these passages gets lost unless you have read AND understood the entire series. Your good with coming up with the quotes, so why don't you find the supporting quotes that go along with these lines.

 

However, this has taught me that I need to be more prepared. I will have supporting quotes for rebuttle soon. Just have to find them. (damn this research!)

 

Steve

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Unlike GT I will not be using quotes, not because evidence isn't nice to have, but because it's not like I'm going to find a quote where Richard says all the IO need hugs, this is an argument of ideology after all.

 

First off, the idea that communism nor facism exist in this world at the moment is untrue. Just because there are no giant communist or facist countries seeking absolute power over other countries, does not mean that these ideologies have ended. All one needs to do is look at the current state of the U.S. to see the slow rise of a facist state. For the past 5 years American citizens have been losing their rights slowly, and because of the slow movement have willingly given up those rights. That idea that we must sacrifice our freedoms for saftey has been a hot bottun issue in this country since 2001. The same thing is slowly happening in Europe as well. The Middle East is full of dictators and facist states seeking the death of each other and the oppression of all their people. The same thing is happening in Africa and South America. I can turn on the news and find a story about the loss of civil liberties or the threat from an oppressive country without waiting 5 seconds. Facism and communism are not dead, nor will they ever be, because they are ideas about control, and ideas will always exist, and the threat of control will also.

 

I'm glad you disagree with me about TG's prose style. You're intitled to your opinion. I too find reading discussions for 50 pages a pain, especially when I've read them in all the other books. As I said before he's not in the top of fantasy authors, but this doesn't keep his world from being any more real, or his characters from being any richer. The idea that fans of TG are only reading his books because they kinda liked WFR and didn't want to give up on him doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I myself hated Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy and have thus decided to not read any of the rest of her books. I believe that if you only kinda of like the first book, you'd stop reading after probably the third book, why torture yourself? Also the attack on Phantom making #1 in July which is considered a "dead month" instead of in November is a rather nice way to shatter a man's achievments. Making #1 in any month is a hard thing to accomplish, and weither it made that in July or November doesn't change the fact that the series is still very popular and that thousands, if not millions of people really do enjoy the series in it's entirety.

 

Distance: His army has entered from many points and attacked much of the country (not all of it) in a matter of months. The time flows quickly in his work because he doesn't want to bore us with the months in which nothing is happening.

 

Supply: There is nothing stopping his army from taking food and supplies from the enemies they kill while down there.

 

Combat: I would agree that TG has a flare for the dramatic. He wants to keep his battle scenes intense and dramatic. Shame on him.

 

Actually you can simply say entire nation is evil, especially when you're writing a fantasy novel. The people of the Order have all been brainwashed to believe in the ideology they are taught. They will never turn around and agree with Richard, because they believe Richard is evil. There are different ways to fight different wars. When fighting an ideology, which Richard is doing, one of the most effiecent ways is mass slaughter. In WWII it was clear that the Japeanse were never going to stop. They had made it clear that their lives ment less to them then their cause. The way we defeated them was to drop the atom bomb. They continued to fight, so we had to drop it again. If we had not, the war would have continued to for many more years and cost many more lives. This does not make Richard a coward, it means that he values the life of his men more then that of the enemy.

 

The idea that you can not fight evil with evil would be to say that George Washington, Abe Lincoln, FDR, Truman, William Wallace, Malcolm X, Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, and millions of other patriotic individuals were all wrong, evil, twisted, facist, hypocritcal, jerks who should have bowed to their oppressors and been glad to live in submission. Richard is fighting a war. A war he did not provoke in any way. The people of his world were living peacefully and going about their lives when an invading force came in, killed his people, raped the women of his world, brainwashed the children, and robbed his world of it's property and supplies. In retalition he went to war. To say he was wrong to do so would be to say that the British Empire should still exist and Africans should still be enslaved. Everything he has done has been in self defense of his people. And the idea that the IO is not smug is laughable.

 

On to Isabel's first quote. Yes he says they are all evil and that his men are to kill them. He's fighting an enemy that won't stop, and has so far never had a threat at home (except the army he raised in FotF). The army is killing his men, their wives, their children. He understands that a full frontal assult will not work. So he turns to guerilla warfare and attacks their homes in the hope of breaking their spirit and forcing them to look at their own lives. His people have lost a lot, he believes the enemy should as well.

 

You're right, the enemy will use his attrocities to gain support, except they all ready have the support of their entire world, so it's not like they can get much more. Killing the Brotherhood and dishonoring them also forces the people to look at the threat to their lives and not the threat to their ideas, which is what Richard is after in the first place.

 

Killing non-violent protestors is wrong. You've got me there. Though TG was trying to demonstrate that we should be supporting our troops in Iraq, and not protesting against them, discourging them, or mocking them.

 

As for the torturing. This man killed one of our heroes, he doesn't care about his life, his death will not hurt him in any way. So Kahlan says torture him. They want to make evil people pay for the decisions they make.

 

Ok. Furthermore, if you hate the series so much, my advice to you would be not to read it. If you don't agree with his ideas, I don't quite understand why you would read his books. You've obviously hated every book, and yet read all of them. I guess now he's written so many you might as well finish it, but I'm surprised you would continue. TG is intitled to all of his opinions, as you are to your's. He has the freedom to write whatever he wishes, just as you have the right not to read it.

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Guest Egwene

Reading through the last posts, clarified something in my mind. Whilst I read WoT because I totally immerse myself into the world and find myself identifying with the characters, this does not happen with SoT.

 

I find the whole psychological aspect of SoT fascinating. The main characters are not cut and dry heroes. Like Isabel, I was horrified when Kahlan ordered the torture of this man. The books show that in extreme circumstances even those on the 'good side' revert to 'bad behaviour'. Now whether you think that it is justified or not... this sort of thing does happen in real life situations too. (I personally feel that the use of torture invalidates a persons claim to be better than the enemy.)

 

Kadere's point about the atom bombs... I guess any general in a war situation is going to be faced with decisions of the few versus the many possible victims. SoT makes no attempt at sanitising what goes on. It is more true to the convoluted way of the human being under extreme pressure than I think WoT is. As such, it maybe does not provide the fantasy escape that people are looking for.

.

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I find the whole psychological aspect of SoT fascinating. The main characters are not cut and dry heroes. Like Isabel, I was horrified when Kahlan ordered the torture of this man. The books show that in extreme circumstances even those on the 'good side' revert to 'bad behaviour'. Now whether you think that it is justified or not... this sort of thing does happen in real life situations too. (I personally feel that the use of torture invalidates a persons claim to be better than the enemy.)

 

That right there is half the problem I have with the series. It doesn’t seem like Richard or Kahlan are doing amoral things for moral reasons, it seems like amoral things ARE moral because Richard or Kahlan do them, or at least are portrayed as moral. Of course this could well be interpreted differently by different people.

 

It’s all part of the lack of character depth to me. Richard is good therefore anything and everything he does is good, and anyone that does something that he agrees with is also good. Anyone that he doesn’t agree with can be killed off, because they are evil for not agreeing with him. Of course that’s just morality, and it is hardly the only area where character depth is lacking. None of the characters seem real to me, they seem to all more or less act like each other, and the differences that do exist are superficial, ways they talk for example. It seems to me that if any of the characters were in any position of any other character; they would behave in the same way. Aside from the good guys and bad guys anyways so really there are two personalities. Of course these are all things that are difficult to give examples for, just an overall feeling I get when reading the books, but it feels to me that if say Zed and Richard were to swap places they would both behave almost exactly the same aside from the superficial mannerisms. Their important decisions would be the same.

 

That said I’d be very interested in hearing more of why some people like the series, preferably in as much depth as possible ;). Most discussions I’ve read have been little more then those who like it insisting that those who don’t just don’t understand it, which is rather insulting as its not exactly a complicated series from what I’ve seen. It’s good to see a thread where for the most part both sides of the topic are actually discussing it rather then just insulting the other side.

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I don't have time for a full debate at the moment (dinner and the second season DVD box set of Battlestar Galactica are calling), but I would also like to add my thanks to Kadere for engaging in an actual debate about the matter rather than engaging in name-calling, which has been my experience elsewhere with some (but not all) Terry Goodkind fans. Thanks.

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First off, the idea that communism nor facism exist in this world at the moment is untrue. Facism and communism are not dead, nor will they ever be, because they are ideas about control, and ideas will always exist, and the threat of control will also.

 

Well, in fairness I didn't say that Communism is totally dead, but is certainly less of a threat than it was 11 years ago when the series began. Fascism is indeed rearing its head in new and unsightly forms (particularly in Iran) and the situation in the USA and many other democracies is slightly worrying (since people tend to forget that Hitler was voted into power in a democratic process). I doubt the USA will ever become a truly repressive power however. The government is simply too powerless against the local authority of the states to be able to impose such a system.

 

The idea that fans of TG are only reading his books because they kinda liked WFR and didn't want to give up on him doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I myself hated Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy and have thus decided to not read any of the rest of her books. I believe that if you only kinda of like the first book, you'd stop reading after probably the third book, why torture yourself? Also the attack on Phantom making #1 in July which is considered a "dead month" instead of in November is a rather nice way to shatter a man's achievments. Making #1 in any month is a hard thing to accomplish, and weither it made that in July or November doesn't change the fact that the series is still very popular and that thousands, if not millions of people really do enjoy the series in it's entirety.

 

Well, I was slightly taking the mickey, but your points are well-made.

 

Distance: His army has entered from many points and attacked much of the country (not all of it) in a matter of months. The time flows quickly in his work because he doesn't want to bore us with the months in which nothing is happening.

 

I believe it is mentioned in the novel that approximately one month passes between the start of the book and the end of it (I haven't read it, so can't say for sure). The problem isn't that TG is skipping the boring passages of time (all authors do this, RJ has actually skipped about 8-9 months of the two years WoT has taken place across), but more that an implausible number of events takes place in a very narrow period of time. Also, the numerical inferiority of Richard's army is, I believe, the primary reason why Richard cannot defeat the Order in one-on-one combat, which would also seem to limit its ability to splinter into smaller forces and scatter across the Order's territory.

 

Supply: There is nothing stopping his army from taking food and supplies from the enemies they kill while down there.

 

Such supplies will be finite, especially if they are burning the towns and cropfields. These are 'guerrilla' forces which cannot afford large baggage or supply trains as they would slow them down and the Order would destroy them with ease. Thus I do not find the idea they could operate behind enemy lines over an extended period without being destroyed plausible. It is possible that TG has not explained clearly the fact that Richard's armies are perhaps making incursions into enemy territory relatively close to the border and can retreat into friendly territory with relative ease, although this would seem to contradict the threat of the large Imperial army.

 

Combat: I would agree that TG has a flare for the dramatic. He wants to keep his battle scenes intense and dramatic. Shame on him.

 

There's dramatic as, say, in Rand taking on three swordsmen in the courtyard in Lord of Chaos, or Mat taking down two skilled swordsmen with a quarterstaff in The Dragon Reborn. Ripping out someone's spine (cue flashbacks of Mortal Kombat: "FATALITY!") is something I'd describe as being more 'ludicrous' than 'dramatic'.

 

Actually you can simply say entire nation is evil, especially when you're writing a fantasy novel. The people of the Order have all been brainwashed to believe in the ideology they are taught. They will never turn around and agree with Richard, because they believe Richard is evil. There are different ways to fight different wars. When fighting an ideology, which Richard is doing, one of the most effiecent ways is mass slaughter. In WWII it was clear that the Japeanse were never going to stop. They had made it clear that their lives ment less to them then their cause. The way we defeated them was to drop the atom bomb. They continued to fight, so we had to drop it again. If we had not, the war would have continued to for many more years and cost many more lives. This does not make Richard a coward, it means that he values the life of his men more then that of the enemy.

 

Well, Japan fought on because the government was paralysed with indecision on how to react to Hiroshima. Nagasaki shook them out of their complacency and forced them to surrender. In this case the decision to drop the bomb may have killed 300,000+ people, but may have saved the lives of more than 1 million soldiers (on both sides) an invasion would have incurred, with possible millions more suicides on the Japanese civilian side. The atom bomb shocked the Japanese into total surrender.

 

Your other point is critical to the debate at hand though: Actually you can simply say entire nation is evil, especially when you're writing a fantasy novel.

 

You certainly can say this. Eddings and Brooks have said it, to some degree. But the problem is that these writers are not saying their books are relevant and applicable to the real world. Goodkind is. I think this is the reason Goodkind writes fantasy: Objectivism is a black-and-white philosophy that does not acknowledge shades of grey or doubt. The real world is not a black-and-white place. Thus the only way Goodkind can show the principles of Objectivism at work in fiction is to create a black-and-white fantasy world where an entire nation can be 'evil' down to its street-cleaners and farmhands. If the entire IO is 'evil' down to its lowliest peon beyond any chance or hope of redemption, then fair enough. But such a construct has no analogy in the real world, and Goodkind should stop pretending it does.

 

The idea that you can not fight evil with evil would be to say that George Washington, Abe Lincoln, FDR, Truman, William Wallace, Malcolm X, Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, and millions of other patriotic individuals were all wrong, evil, twisted, facist, hypocritcal, jerks who should have bowed to their oppressors and been glad to live in submission.

 

Except that George Washington never ordered the destruction of the United Kingdom or Canada, the slaying of their women and children and the salting of their fields. Abe Lincoln never ordered the mass genocide of the entire population of the South. FDR never ordered the slow torture and mutilation of Japanese civilians, and so on. Thus the analogy is somewhat irrelevant.

 

A war he did not provoke in any way. The people of his world were living peacefully and going about their lives when an invading force came in, killed his people, raped the women of his world, brainwashed the children, and robbed his world of it's property and supplies. In retalition he went to war. To say he was wrong to do so would be to say that the British Empire should still exist and Africans should still be enslaved. Everything he has done has been in self defense of his people.

 

But this justifies the attacked to use any measures against the attacker without restraint, which takes us back to the fact the USA should nuke Afghanistan and Iraq tomorrow, that Britain should have carpet-bombed Buenos Aires during the Falklands conflict and that the entire population of Germany should have been put in gas chambers after WWII.

 

His people have lost a lot, he believes the enemy should as well.

 

Which is fair enough, save it means that Richard loses the moral high ground as it means any atrocities inflicted against him and his people can be dished out in retribution. Richard fighting Jagang thus becomes an analogy for Stalin fighting Hitler, not a paragon of virtue fighting ultimate evil.

 

Killing non-violent protestors is wrong. You've got me there. Though TG was trying to demonstrate that we should be supporting our troops in Iraq, and not protesting against them, discourging them, or mocking them.

 

I'm not sure what the intent was. Did TG suggest that the soldiers should unsling their M-16s on these crowds then? I agree that an army is the instrument of policy of a government, and thus any complaints about the policies the army is implementing should be directed against the government, not the men carrying out the short end of the stick. I have several friends who have fought in Iraq and the idea they are in way some way culpable themselves for the decisions taken by Tony Blair is pretty laughable.

 

As for the torturing. This man killed one of our heroes, he doesn't care about his life, his death will not hurt him in any way. So Kahlan says torture him. They want to make evil people pay for the decisions they make.

 

And thus become evil themselves. An evil act is still an evil act even if practised against an 'evil' person. Now, if this individual has vital intelligence which would mean the differences between life and death for thousands of people and time is pressing, then extreme torture may be justified. But as far as I can gather, Kahlan just kills him to get even.

 

There's also the point when one of the D'Haran Empire's client kingdoms refuses to support Richard's war effort and withdraws from the coalition. When informed this would mean them being considered the enemy, their response was, "Okay, fair enough." Zedd then killed their ambassador without allowing him to return home and inform his country of its impending doom (which may have averted the crisis). This is a war crime by any standards.

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Also, the numerical inferiority of Richard's army is, I believe, the primary reason why Richard cannot defeat the Order in one-on-one combat, which would also seem to limit its ability to splinter into smaller forces and scatter across the Order's territory.

 

Just a Clarification...

Richards forces wre large, but the IO was MUCH mUCH bigger.

 

comparing 100k to 1 million. He has sufficiaent numbers to splinter into seperate units and carry out the tasks specified in the time alloted.

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For the first point about communism and facism, yeah neither will probably ever become true threats to democracy. But TG is also talking about the threat of any kind of "group think" program. The dangers of believing whatever it is your political party tells you is right because they're your political party, or believing whatever your church tells you, or your parents, or your friends, or any orginization you might join. When it comes down to it, he's telling the reader to think for themselves and not blindly follow whatever a group tells you is right.

 

I'm going to go ahead and group the distance, supply, and combat arguments together to make it easier. TG is not that great a writer, you're absolutely right. He cares much more about his philosophy then being technical about how his world works. I too don't know the exact amount of time that passes, and if someone else wants to find it that would be very helpful. The point about not being able to scatter is not quite accurate since in TG's world the IO is dumb enough to take the bulk of their forces out of the old world, so there aren't too many people left to defend, and since it's surprise attacks that also helps. The supply side, yeah feeding the forces would be difficult, and TG probably failed here because he's not that great an author. We know that he's not fighting near the boarder because Jangang says that the attacks are random in all places of the old world. True the combat is ludicrous, I think he's trying to write a "male fantasy" here. I think it's simply to entertain.

 

Objectivism is, pretty much a black-and-white philosophy, it bases itself in what it considers reason, logic, and truth, and outside of that all their are is stupidity, insanity, and lies. Obviously in a real-world scenario there would be shades of grey. Though, in his defense, the troops who are sent into the Old World do not kill everyone down to the lowliest pion, "The attackers made no move to slaughter the escaping refugees if they offered no armed resistance, but they made it quite clear to the fleeing people that they intended to lay waste to all of the Old World and anyone who supports the Imperial Order" (p. 556, Phantom). Anyone who is unarmed, and does not pose an open threat is told a bunch of stuff about how evil they are and then sent packing to inform the rest of the old world what is happening (thus spreading terror and instability). This is how the dispatchers learn of the chaos, and what they report to Jangang (You could then make the argument that Richard's men are then nothing more then terrorists, and to be fair they have become terrorists. But no one in the old world cares about their lives, so instead of making them band together to fight back, this will instead break them.... yeah I know. It's fiction, TG is trying to make a point about how one must believe in their cause or all is lost, I get into this more later). Though, I think he would argue the lowliest pion has aided 'evil' by not opposing it. I mean in FotF he does make the capital of the Old World (who used to support Jangang) good guys who support truth and life.

 

Ok, you got me, none of those great leaders ever went insane, true. Had they, they wouldn't be great leaders. But as I stated earlier, women and children, and those who do not pose a threat to Richard's army are allowed to go free. The crops are destroyed so as to not supply the IO. Will innocent people die because of this? Most likely. But he has to look out for his world first. His world is threatened by the IO, and one way to stop that threat is ending it's supply line, so he destroys the supply trains, and the means of production.

 

Also back to the 'evil cannot defeat evil' point, it depends on the definition of evil, I would think. His point, in Naked Empire, about the necessity to kill those who mean you harm, he states as being a difficult point to allow oneself to grasp. But he states that the logic behind it is there. Your life, and the life of those you love, must be more important to you then the life of those who threaten it. He does not believe that it is wrong to kill in self-defense, one on one, or country to country. If an enemy has attacked you, and you are unsure about killing that enemy to preserve your life, he would say, that you then don't care about your life, and that is wrong. You must be able to preserve your own life against any threat, and weighing morals about killing your enemy only means that you mean less to yourself then the enemy means to you.

 

He would argue that the attacked should be allowed to use any measures against their attacker up to, and including, the death or destruction of the attacker. The preservation of the attacked's life is key, as he would argue that the attacker has given up his right to life by imposing his will on another's life. Now, as to the nukings of Afghanistan or Iraq. First off, Iraq didn't do anything to us, that we've been able to find. The war with Iraq was unjustified, and based on lies about a threat that doesn't seem to have ever been real, had that threat been real, I personally, still don't believe the war would have been justified unless the threat was real, such as a nuke aimed right at the U.S. or the U.K. I don't know TG views on the war in Iraq, but since I don't believe there was ever a real threat, nuking them tomorrow would be a god-awful idea. As for nuking Afghan, yes and no. If it were possible to nuke just the members of Al-quida (sp?), and not the rest of the innocent civilianze, this would be justifiable. Al-quida is a terrorist group which mean for the delibarate harm of the West. Their actions on 9/11 and last week show that they are dangerous, and that their lives mean nothing in the completion of their plan to see the West in terror. The killing of these terrorists, TG would argue is completely justified, up until they surrender, or until they are all dead. I don't know anything about the Falklands conflict so I won't get into that. As for the gassing of Germany after WWII, TG would not agree to this, as Germany had surrendered. What Richard is tryin to do is break the will of the IO so that they will surrender and give up their "false" ideology. Once they do that, Richard will have no reason to kill them.

 

For your next point about losing moral high ground, see above.

 

I wouldn't go as far as to say that TG was trying to say killing protesting crowds is good. I think he was probably using it as an analogy to say that protesting against the troops doesn't help the troops. And that we must all be unified to either fight or pull out of a situation. You have to remember that this book, Naked Empire, came out just after the Iraq war began, and at the time, I wouldn't be surprised if TG believed what Bush was saying, so he got a little too.... tense for his own good. In other words, he didn't follow his own advise and broke the Wizard's First Rule, he believed what he feared to be true.

 

As for the torture scene, TG is trying to make the point here that the life of the victim should mean more then the life of the murderer. In other words, he's pro-death penalty. Here he goes to the extreme because the 'evil' character doesn't care about death. Death is not a punishment, he believes that after he dies he will be rewarded. If this were to be true, TG would say that the man should be punished while alive so that when he gets rewarded for his evil acts, those who were hurt by those acts will have some respit. This kind of goes into his whole argument against faith, that since we don't know what happens after one dies, it may be true that the man IS rewarded for killing a hero, so we might as well get the punishing in while we can.

 

As to your last point, yes it would be a war crime, except I get the feeling that TG doesn't really buy that there can be crimes in war. That country would have become a threat, and Zedd took extreme messures to see that that threat was delayed.

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Guest Egwene

Kadere... love the fact you are pointing at TG for having broken Wizard's first rule *g*.

 

Battlescenes are not what I am interested in, so the discrepancies (numbers etc..)that Werthead points out in that field, don't really bother me that much. I don't agree with some of those things that Richard justifies as being ok. But the books give me an insight into that sort of mindset. I disect the information, the moods, the justifications etc... and it gives me an insight into how some people think

 

But the problem is that these writers are not saying their books are relevant and applicable to the real world. Goodkind is. I think this is the reason Goodkind writes fantasy: Objectivism is a black-and-white philosophy that does not acknowledge shades of grey or doubt. The real world is not a black-and-white place.

 

About the back and white aspect... aren't most books based on good=good, evil=evil? I feel inclined to say those borders get more diluted in SoT than elsewhere. The waters are far muddier. Richard has done things I would describe as evil. I think he is more alike to a real life war leader than most others. However, I do feel that he is also turning into almost as much of a dictator as the one he is opposing.

 

The idea of a 'clean' war seems to me a bit theoretical. The wishful thinking of full time civilians. The old saying 'all is fair in Love and War'... mankind has acted that way for millenia... and we are millenia away from the outcom of wars being decided by a vote. Most generals will forgo the Geneva conventions if it gives them a decisive victory in my estimation. They'll stick to it as best they can... but...

.

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For the first point about communism and facism, yeah neither will probably ever become true threats to democracy. But TG is also talking about the threat of any kind of "group think" program. The dangers of believing whatever it is your political party tells you is right because they're your political party, or believing whatever your church tells you, or your parents, or your friends, or any orginization you might join. When it comes down to it, he's telling the reader to think for themselves and not blindly follow whatever a group tells you is right.

 

Which is fair enough, and probably the only arena in which I would agree with TG.

 

I'm going to go ahead and group the distance, supply, and combat arguments together to make it easier. TG is not that great a writer, you're absolutely right. He cares much more about his philosophy then being technical about how his world works. I too don't know the exact amount of time that passes, and if someone else wants to find it that would be very helpful. The point about not being able to scatter is not quite accurate since in TG's world the IO is dumb enough to take the bulk of their forces out of the old world, so there aren't too many people left to defend, and since it's surprise attacks that also helps. The supply side, yeah feeding the forces would be difficult, and TG probably failed here because he's not that great an author. We know that he's not fighting near the boarder because Jangang says that the attacks are random in all places of the old world. True the combat is ludicrous, I think he's trying to write a "male fantasy" here. I think it's simply to entertain.

 

Again, all fair enough. I feel in epic fantasy that Tolkien's statement that a fantasy or secondary world must exist right down to its smallest detail and be consistent to be convincing is quite important, so if an author doesn't put that much effort into creating a coherent background for his series (such as Goodkind, Brooks or Eddings), it doesn't convince and thus any other points the author is trying to make (such as philosophy) are also suspect.

 

But as I stated earlier, women and children, and those who do not pose a threat to Richard's army are allowed to go free. The crops are destroyed so as to not supply the IO. Will innocent people die because of this? Most likely. But he has to look out for his world first. His world is threatened by the IO, and one way to stop that threat is ending it's supply line, so he destroys the supply trains, and the means of production.

 

One thing that does slightly confuse me about this is that the supplies for a military campaign are stockpiled close to the war front. Thus, if the IO is preparing to invade D'Hara, then the supplies for the effort, or at least the first few months, will be located nearby under heavy guard. Richard's army's actions may have a strategic impact many months down the line, but do not halt the immediate threat to their country. It's also odd that the IO has not absorbed the losses incurred by Richard's troops and simply invaded and flattened D'Hara whilst it is undefended. Is the IO really that stupid?

 

If an enemy has attacked you, and you are unsure about killing that enemy to preserve your life, he would say, that you then don't care about your life, and that is wrong. You must be able to preserve your own life against any threat, and weighing morals about killing your enemy only means that you mean less to yourself then the enemy means to you.

 

Certainly, and in this instance killing the invading army, or the army threatening to invade in a pre-emptive strike, would be justified. However, slaughtering women and children, or allowing women and children to die by cutting off their food supplies, does not significantly aid the cause of destroying the enemy army. They are still there and still a threat.

 

As for nuking Afghan, yes and no. If it were possible to nuke just the members of Al-quida (sp?), and not the rest of the innocent civilianze, this would be justifiable. Al-quida is a terrorist group which mean for the delibarate harm of the West. Their actions on 9/11 and last week show that they are dangerous, and that their lives mean nothing in the completion of their plan to see the West in terror. The killing of these terrorists, TG would argue is completely justified, up until they surrender, or until they are all dead.

 

I would go along with this statement, although focusing on Afghanistan rather than Iraq does sidestep the issue of the involvement of civilians in the conflict. In Afghanistan, the numbers of civilians in the warzone are comparatively low compared to Iraq.

 

I wouldn't go as far as to say that TG was trying to say killing protesting crowds is good. I think he was probably using it as an analogy to say that protesting against the troops doesn't help the troops. And that we must all be unified to either fight or pull out of a situation. You have to remember that this book, Naked Empire, came out just after the Iraq war began, and at the time, I wouldn't be surprised if TG believed what Bush was saying, so he got a little too.... tense for his own good. In other words, he didn't follow his own advise and broke the Wizard's First Rule, he believed what he feared to be true.

 

I think we're on the same page here, although I would argue that TG's stance was somewhat heavy-handed but that may have been affected by the news situation at that time.

 

As for the torture scene, TG is trying to make the point here that the life of the victim should mean more then the life of the murderer. In other words, he's pro-death penalty. Here he goes to the extreme because the 'evil' character doesn't care about death. Death is not a punishment, he believes that after he dies he will be rewarded. If this were to be true, TG would say that the man should be punished while alive so that when he gets rewarded for his evil acts, those who were hurt by those acts will have some respit. This kind of goes into his whole argument against faith, that since we don't know what happens after one dies, it may be true that the man IS rewarded for killing a hero, so we might as well get the punishing in while we can.

 

The problem is that this ignores the effect of carrying out an evil act on the user. The problem isn't that the criminal is tortured, it's that the 'good guys' are the ones doing the torturing and it is purely for pleasure rather than even getting information. Other than making the user feel good by inflicting pain, the process is pointless. Given the utter irrelevance of the criminal, it would be far more logical to simply dispose of him (ending his threat in the future) than to inflict pain on him to no end.

 

As to your last point, yes it would be a war crime, except I get the feeling that TG doesn't really buy that there can be crimes in war. That country would have become a threat, and Zedd took extreme messures to see that that threat was delayed.

 

I don't see much logic in Zedd's actions. He kills the ambassador in a fit of pique, not because it achieves anything other than reducing the likelihood of the other nation being willing to negotiate a new agreement, or even just surrendering to the D'Haran way of thinking. And this isn't even an enemy state, merely an ally who isn't too keen on Richard's way of doing things.

 

About the back and white aspect... aren't most books based on good=good, evil=evil? I feel inclined to say those borders get more diluted in SoT than elsewhere. The waters are far muddier. Richard has done things I would describe as evil. I think he is more alike to a real life war leader than most others. However, I do feel that he is also turning into almost as much of a dictator as the one he is opposing.

 

To the first point, I find very little fiction, certainly not in epic fantasy, that paints things in that way. Perhaps Rowling and Eddings, to a lesser extent Brooks, but not really many other writers. Jordan has an ultimate force of evil (the Dark One) but many of the people opposing him are not 'good' as such (the Children of the Light, the Aes Sedai, the Asha'man and the Seanchan have all done highly questionable things). Rand has followed the path of hubris and believing his own legend, leading to the point where he killed thousands of his own troops through his arrogance (in PoD) and thus to a later quest for redemption (by curing saidin). Perrin's struggle with the morality of war and leadership is one of his more interesting facets.

 

GRRM, the ultimate blurrer of good and evil in ASoIaF, has had two of his most 'evil' characters (Jaime Lannister and Sandor Clegane) show signs of seeking redemption, whilst many of his 'good' characters have been forced into positions where they have committed questionable or outright evil acts (Arya and Robb Stark, Daenerys Targaryen). The central conflict of the series so far has been about power, who has it and who wants it, rather than good and evil.

 

Bakker in The Prince of Nothing Trilogy goes beyond this by charting the rise of an utterly amoral manipulator, Kellhus, into a position of ultimate authority. He kills, lies, tricks and murders his way to the top, ruining the lives of thousands, but at the same time he is the only person who can stand against the true evil of the Consult. That dichotomy will form the basis of the next two books in the series, and should prove very interesting.

 

To your latter point, agreed, but this would only work if TG had planned for Richard to become an amoral dictator, perhaps as part of a classic seduction-by-power and later achieves redemption story arc. However, all available evidence is that TG actually thinks Richard is in the right to act in the way he does.

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Ok, well I guess I'm just going to skip over the stuff we basically agree on.

 

So on to the third point of whether or not the IO is too stupid to destroy Da'Hara whilst it's ungaurded. This is pretty easy. In Phantom they invade Da'Hara and after finding it unprotected immediately move to the capital, and are currently building a ramp to invade the capital and win. They have complete control over Da'Hara at the moment. But now they've learned that the Da'Haran's are attacking the Old World, which is sending a feeling of "we should be protecting our homeland" through the IO which angers Jangang, because according to their ideology, his men should follow him no matter what. Jangang has a possible riot on his hands, which was Richard's plan when he invaded the Old World.

 

Your next point, no starving women and children doesn't destroy the enemy army, but it does make the army begin to think about what is important to each individual soldier, and wonder if following Jangang is the smart thing to do. Which again is Richard's plan.

 

On to the torturing guy point. I agree with you. I think killing him and robbing of him of life is enough, especially when your ideology states that life is more important then anything. But TG believes in, basically, revenge to sooth those who are angered by the unnecassary death of a loved one. That's his beef, I've defended his point his point I think as far as I need to.

 

As for Zedd's actions, honestly I didn't quite get this. If every person is allowed their own opinion, and their opinion isn't a threat to you, then leave them the hell alone. But his point was that the IO is a threat to the ENTIRE world, and so if you don't join to protect your world then you don't deserve to.... live apparently. He's trying to make a point about unity to defend, but he steps on his own toes about freedom of opinion and turns Zedd into a facist.

 

As for Egwene's points, I'll let her defend those if she likes.

 

But I will disagree about Richard turning into a dictator. TG wants Richard to be seen as a model of goodness that the reader can look up to and model after. If you were to go to his forums you could find pages and pages and pages and pages about people who have read his books and been positively affected by them. Through reading his books they have over come drugs, or alcohol, and been able to see themselves as strong individuals who believe their life is worth something.

 

I believe that TG has plunty of good messages through out his works, and some that don't quite work, but with some fiddeling one can really begin to see their lives in a positive way.

 

Richard is fighting for freedom and truth. He's fighting for person's right to make choices, to take pride in what they do, to live the way they want, to be prosperious, and to live outside of control and oppression. He doesn't believe that anything should be mandatory, and that a person has the right to disagree with the overall consincous.

 

The IO believes that you must agree with what the IO says is right or you die. Your life means nothing, your work means nothing, you MUST help your fellow man, you MUST kill people who have more then you, you MUST, you MUST, you MUST (the group think stuff).

 

This is where TG loses me in some places. Cause if you're allowed to have your own opinions, and live your life as you want to, Zedd shouldn't be chopping off your head cause you disagree with him, and non-violent protestors should be allowed to have their own opinions. BUT! Those opinions should not be forced on to the people who believe in the war, just as those who believe in the war shouldn't force their opinions on those who don't.

 

TG CONSTANTLY talks about your freedom to make your own choices. That's what all of his Rules are about. YET! some of his rules are about how you MUST see the truth of a situation, and if you can't, then you forfeit your life by living in a lie. This makes a lot of sense, on paper. But then he decides that there's only ONE choice you can make when you see the truth, which I think destroys his freedom of choice stuff. If there's only one right choice, then you have no freedom, you only have one option.

 

So what I do, is listen to what he's saying from where he says it, see how much sense it makes in what context, then adapt it to fit my only ideas. I mean, just because he's got a few ideas which make little sense in most enviornments, doesn't mean he's totally full of it. He has the right to his opinion as much as I do, or you.

 

On a COMPLETE side note... where the hell is Hannibal King?

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Guest Egwene

Hannibal? No idea... gone fishing maybe?

 

TG CONSTANTLY talks about your freedom to make your own choices. That's what all of his Rules are about. YET! some of his rules are about how you MUST see the truth of a situation, and if you can't, then you forfeit your life by living in a lie. This makes a lot of sense, on paper. But then he decides that there's only ONE choice you can make when you see the truth, which I think destroys his freedom of choice stuff. If there's only one right choice, then you have no freedom, you only have one option.

 

Kadere, I think you have nicely summed up the contradiction which probably lies at the heart of much of the SoT debates and which is proabably also a cause for people turning away from the books. I am quite happy to read a story where I don't indentify with the actions of the supposed hero. Others will feel that they do not want to read a book that does not contain a central character whose actions they can understand.

 

Werthead... I think the black and white bit went a little at cross purposes and what we both probably agree on is Kadere's sentiment above.

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I think we have reached a final position here, with those POV points which we aren't going to convince one another on (the prose style, etc). The discussion has been illuminating. I agree with your reasoning on the choice/lack of choice dichotomy in the books but I think my biggest problem with the books is from a couple of posts up, generally that Goodkind creates a world where evil is absolute and irrideemable and can only be destroyed. Fair enough. But he then suggests his books have important life lessons for the real world, which is impossible as real life is not that simplistic (I could spin off on the apparently eternal desire of certain forces on the American right to boil down every situation, no matter how grey, to the 'good guys' and 'bad guys', but another discussion for another time, I think).

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One thing that does slightly confuse me about this is that the supplies for a military campaign are stockpiled close to the war front. Thus, if the IO is preparing to invade D'Hara, then the supplies for the effort, or at least the first few months, will be located nearby under heavy guard. Richard's army's actions may have a strategic impact many months down the line, but do not halt the immediate threat to their country. It's also odd that the IO has not absorbed the losses incurred by Richard's troops and simply invaded and flattened D'Hara whilst it is undefended. Is the IO really that stupid?

 

Oh My. It seems like you really didn't read the book (Phantom). This war has been going on for a LONG time and Yes in a "best-case senario" most armies would stockpile. However, it was stated in the book several times about how they were short on supplies to feed an army of Millions. They had even reverted to Canabalisim at some time. And No, the IO is not that stupid, just VERY Arrogant.

They cannot simply invade and Flatten D'Hara, because it was also discussed in the book. The Gate at the foot of a long spiraled ramp up to the city is sealed shut and will be difficult to break through, which is why Jagang has his minions building a new ramp up to the city itself, bypassing the wall and the long narrow ramp. (the People's Palace is placed on a Platu, and the PP also increases the potency of the power of a Rahl, Namely Nathan Rahl who is in the Palace at the time, and decreases the potency of any other Wizard/sorceress)

 

Also, we do remember that TG is an author, not a military stratagist right? Sure you can get advice from a military stagagist, but given the overall number of battle sequences in the book, and that most of the last few books have been practicaly ALL military based stuff, how it might have been overlooked.

 

and in this instance killing the invading army, or the army threatening to invade in a pre-emptive strike, would be justified. However, slaughtering women and children, or allowing women and children to die by cutting off their food supplies, does not significantly aid the cause of destroying the enemy army. They are still there and still a threat.

 

True, but I belive this was already addressed... in the following quote...

 

"The attackers made no move to slaughter the escaping refugees if they offered no armed resistance, but they made it quite clear to the fleeing people that they intended to lay waste to all of the Old World and anyone who supports the Imperial Order" (p. 556, Phantom).

(Thankyou Kadere)

 

So that really makes that argument moot. Sure people are going to starve, but That's War.

Also, i have not heard one thing about the starving african kids.

 

I would go along with this statement, although focusing on Afghanistan rather than Iraq does sidestep the issue of the involvement of civilians in the conflict. In Afghanistan, the numbers of civilians in the warzone are comparatively low compared to Iraq.

 

That statement is not as true as you would hope. Just because you don't see it as much on TV does not mean that it isn't happening. There is alot of things they cannot show you on TV because it's Classified" or might give away our troops positioning or some such other.

But hey that is not the topic we are discussing here. How did we even get INTO Iraq and Afganistan in this post?

 

As for the torture scene, TG is trying to make the point here that the life of the victim should mean more then the life of the murderer. In other words, he's pro-death penalty.

 

I disagree with your point here Kadre.

If you remember, the "Wizards Rule" for this book was...

 

"Don't allow Passion to Rule Reason"

 

I belive that he was only making his point that it happens to everyone. We all let our passion rule our reason. Hell it has happened to me a couple of times in this Topic, and everyone here has been quick to point it out. Hell I think that quote alone will quell alot of the steam about that scene.

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Guest Egwene

maybe that wizards'rule should become the new motto for al the deabte boards 8)

 

It's been a pleasure, guys, to have had this discussion!

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Yes a wonderful discussion. I have actually started re-reading my SOT books to gain a better insight into what he was actually trying to say in most of his books, mostly due to what people have said here.

 

However, It has been fun and a little shaky at times, but i've learned alot.

 

Hope to see you guys around on the forums more often!

 

Steve

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