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An Idea on Perrin


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So, I have been lurking on these boards for a week or so, and am surprised at the number of comments that say something along the line of "I used to really like Perrin, but he's become so emo/single minded/boring that now I can't stand to read him."

 

I think Perrin's actions since Rand sent him after the Prophet become more clear and understandable if we look at the entire WOT as a "coming of age" story.  Consider:

 

Three young men leave their sleepy small town and are whisked into the larger world.  For various reasons, the three can either never go back, or never go back to the way it once was.  Each of the three meet this challenge/opportunity in different ways:

 

Mat represents the person who embraces the change immediately.  He opens himself up to the world, and tries to get the most out of life.  Sometimes it doesn't work so well (like taking the tainted dagger in an attempt to find some treasure) but for the most part, it does (having a great time at taverns, amassing a personal fortune, and generally moving up in the world).

 

Rand represents the person who at first resists the change, then sees the futility in that position, and accepts the change.  He looks for peace where he can find it, and kind of resigns himself to his responsibility.  He's got some good things going, but some times he wishes he can get away from it all.

 

Perrin represents the person who fights the change tooth and nail at each step.  We see each change he is presented with (the wolf nature, becoming a leader, becoming a lord, etc) as something he doesn't want, and actively tries to avoid.  The only exception to this is getting married, but this is because getting married and settling down is something that is aligned with his expected life path before leaving the Two Rivers.  If we understand wanting the simple life, and actively avoiding the changes that Mat and Rand embrace and accept as Perrin's greater motivation, I think it makes his behavior much more understandable.

 

It also seems to me that these three world views are reflected in the characters' sex lives since leaving the Two Rivers.

 

What do you think?

 

TD

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So, I have been lurking on these boards for a week or so, and am surprised at the number of comments that say something along the line of "I used to really like Perrin, but he's become so emo/single minded/boring that now I can't stand to read him."

 

I think Perrin's actions since Rand sent him after the Prophet become more clear and understandable if we look at the entire WOT as a "coming of age" story.  Consider:

 

Three young men leave their sleepy small town and are whisked into the larger world.  For various reasons, the three can either never go back, or never go back to the way it once was.  Each of the three meet this challenge/opportunity in different ways:

 

Mat represents the person who embraces the change immediately.  He opens himself up to the world, and tries to get the most out of life.  Sometimes it doesn't work so well (like taking the tainted dagger in an attempt to find some treasure) but for the most part, it does (having a great time at taverns, amassing a personal fortune, and generally moving up in the world).

 

Rand represents the person who at first resists the change, then sees the futility in that position, and accepts the change.  He looks for peace where he can find it, and kind of resigns himself to his responsibility.  He's got some good things going, but some times he wishes he can get away from it all.

 

Perrin represents the person who fights the change tooth and nail at each step.  We see each change he is presented with (the wolf nature, becoming a leader, becoming a lord, etc) as something he doesn't want, and actively tries to avoid.  The only exception to this is getting married, but this is because getting married and settling down is something that is aligned with his expected life path before leaving the Two Rivers.  If we understand wanting the simple life, and actively avoiding the changes that Mat and Rand embrace and accept as Perrin's greater motivation, I think it makes his behavior much more understandable.

 

It also seems to me that these three world views are reflected in the characters' sex lives since leaving the Two Rivers.

 

What do you think?

 

TD

 

 

I happen to like the new Perrin.  My favorite scene wiuth him is when he tells the Shaido warrior that uif he lies to himm, he'll cut off his arms and legs and leave him as a begger in a village.

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Somebody recently read, "Who moved my cheese," didn't they?  ;)

 

I, personally, have always like Perrin.  Yes, he IS relatively two-dimensional - but I know plenty of REAL people that are just like him (okay, they don't have yellow eyes and they don't run with wolves...).

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  I think you are in correct, I point you to the conversation SlimeBall had with Mat before he left tear to go back to Edmonds Field.  Perrin knows and knew full well what is at stake. Perrin accpeted what had to be before Mat did. Perrin is slime,just as bad as any Freind of the Dark. 

 

 

 

 

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   I think you are in correct, I point you to the conversation SlimeBall had with Mat before he left tear to go back to Edmonds Field.  Perrin knows and knew full well what is at stake. Perrin accpeted what had to be before Mat did. Perrin is slime,just as bad as any Freind of the Dark. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe Perrin was pulled to go back to the Two Rivers by the Pattern.  It was only than that he gained the wolf banner which was needed as part of the fulfillment of the prophecy.  THe Wolf King has to ride at the Last Battle.  So to say that Perrin wasn't doing his job is stupid.  He was doing what he was pushed to do as a Ta'veren.  JUst as Matt was pushed towards his eventual marriage to Tuon.  The fact that he is sometimes blind to the greater good when Faile is involved is just something tha makes him more human. 

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Could you point out anywhere that i said slimy did not need to go to the Two Rivers?  Perrin is a slime ball for what happens later.  If you have not read that far, than do not comment.  if you have read that far, than you should know why i think he is slime. 

 

It has nothing to do with the two rivers, my point is that Perrin has no exuse for his later actions, because he does know what he means.

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Could you point out anywhere that i said slimy did not need to go to the Two Rivers?  Perrin is a slime ball for what happens later.  If you have not read that far, than do not comment.  if you have read that far, than you should know why i think he is slime. 

 

It has nothing to do with the two rivers, my point is that Perrin has no exuse for his later actions, because he does know what he means.

are you saying he is slime for putting himself in harms way? cause if you are then you should call, egwene, rand, elayne, aviendha, Nynaeve, gawyn, galad, basically everyone in the book slime. or are you saying he is slime because he actually is helping rand in destroying the shaido, giving another connection the seanchan (which is going to be important soon), and destroying masema's mob?

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you are married, you can understand Perrin's character easier.

 

I agree with him resisting his "role" in the Pattern, but after getting married 5 years ago, I know exactly why Perrin throws away duty to please Faile.  There is a balance to life and you must find that balance.  If the pendulum of priority swings too far toward your wife, you can lose connections at work.  If it swings too far toward other responsibilities, then you can lose your connection to your wife.

 

Balance - which happens to be another major theme of the WoT books.

 

Perrin hasn't found his proper balance yet.  (PS:  As a newly wed, he probably can be excused for letting his pendulum swing too close to his wife and too far from the rest of the world.)

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I agree with the thread maker. It sums the three main characters up nicely.

 

To join in and share my thought on Perrin:

 

The reason he annoys so many readers is (In My Opinion) that Perrin doesn't behave the way most "Fantasy hero Characters" do. Perrin is unstable. He tries to fight everything that we as readers know is important to the story. He does end up doing what is needed but that is because of the Pattern and how it works together with Ta'veeren. The choices he makes are selfish and the Pattern must, I believe, fight hard to make things happen the way they would have happened if only the doltish Perrin had done it the easy way.

 

He fluctuates between rational and irrational - smart and utterly stupid - slow and fast... Conventional Fantasy Heroes do NOT fluctuate, and if they would there would only be very very minor fluctuations... That is what bothers me, his not being "normal."

 

Examples of Fantasy Heroes that don't fluctuate: Belgarion, Sparehawk, Aragorn, The Gunslinger of Midworld, ... Too tired to chase up more names. :)

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The primary reason Perrin puts Faile above all is for the simple fact that she is the only family he has left and he is not willing to lose her like he lost the rest of his family.

 

The choices he makes are selfish and the Pattern must, I believe, fight hard to make things happen the way they would have happened if only the doltish Perrin had done it the easy way.

He was willing to have himself arrested by the Whitecloaks (which would probably lead to a long and painful death) in exchange for them to help defend his village. That is the complete opposite of "selfish."

 

I suppose you could call his fixation on saving Faile "selfish" yet if I were in his position, I would've done the same.

 

He fluctuates between rational and irrational - smart and utterly stupid - slow and fast...
When has he been "utterly stupid?" He is the most level-headed of the ta'avern.

 

That is what bothers me, his not being "normal."
In comparison to a half-mad channeler who hears the voice of a man long-dead who tried to destroy the world (Rand) and a man who has memories of scores of men who are long-dead and became fluent in the Old Tongue and a tactical genius overnight (Mat), Perrin is the most normal.

 

I'm almost done with Knife of Dreams, and I have yet to see where Perrin acted like a "slimeball" at all.  A goof in love, but never a "slime."  Where/why are you saying this?

I'm not exactly sure what he is referencing either.
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The primary reason Perrin puts Faile above all is for the simple fact that she is the only family he has left and he is not willing to lose her like he lost the rest of his family.

 

The choices he makes are selfish and the Pattern must, I believe, fight hard to make things happen the way they would have happened if only the doltish Perrin had done it the easy way.

He was willing to have himself arrested by the Whitecloaks (which would probably lead to a long and painful death) in exchange for them to help defend his village. That is the complete opposite of "selfish."

 

I suppose you could call his fixation on saving Faile "selfish" yet if I were in his position, I would've done the same.

 

He fluctuates between rational and irrational - smart and utterly stupid - slow and fast...
When has he been "utterly stupid?" He is the most level-headed of the ta'avern.

 

That is what bothers me, his not being "normal."
In comparison to a half-mad channeler who hears the voice of a man long-dead who tried to destroy the world (Rand) and a man who has memories of scores of men who are long-dead and became fluent in the Old Tongue and a tactical genius overnight (Mat), Perrin is the most normal.

 

I'm almost done with Knife of Dreams, and I have yet to see where Perrin acted like a "slimeball" at all.  A goof in love, but never a "slime."  Where/why are you saying this?

I'm not exactly sure what he is referencing either.

 

I believe Perrin is all of the above, previously stated by myself. Selfish when he fights the wolfishness -> In TDR when he KNOWS something bad is coming their way and refuses to even whisper to the wolves that he FEELS are close by, and refuses to listen to them eventhough they are practically shouting "WAAARNIIING!!!" in his head. That is being selfish. That is being stupid. That is being irrational. That is all of the above mentioned shortcomings of the character Perrin. The only Dog Gone reason he has to think things through so hard before he acts is because he's a full-fledged moron at times.

 

The Pattern moves Perrin around but being Ta'veeren Perrin does a fair amount of PatternMoving on his own.    

This is irritating and not expected by most fans of fantasy, I think. Ok, so there are other fantasy characters who try to avoid their fates and do the exact opposite of what is needed only to turn around in the last minute and own up to what is expected of them. I have not read about any such character who is so strongly moronic when it comes to important decisions as Perrin is. Not wanting to be a wolfie, not wanting to be a leader, lord or what not. He tosses everything into the wind to save his wife. Totally crazy since he KNOWS what is at stake. perhaps it is the Pattern that forces him to act the way he acts but it does not, to me, come across that way. ;)

 

Anyway, I love the books.

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I think its interesting to look into why he is so centered around Faile.

1. His entire family, except for a distant cousin, was killed and he could have done nothing to stop it.

2. His best friends are far away, one is destined to go mad and destroy the world.

3. The people who he had been respecting his entire life have thrown responsibility on him.

4. The views of Two River men on women. They would never harm a women and Perrin is trying to stop harm from coming to her, and he fails. Also as a young man he probably has a Utopian picture in his mind of marriage.

 

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I refuse to criticize Perrin. If my entire family was slaughtered and all I had left was my wife; Id do whatever I could to keep her safe. And the whole accepting the wolf issue? He's met only two wolf brothers. One is alright but the other turned completely wolf. Hes afraid he'll lose his humanity. Outside of Rand/Lan, I don't think anyone has lost as much as Perrin.

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I think people only hate him because of the faile POVs they make the story seem to drag on since thats all political intrege and maneuvering, and there is alot of reflection on the other (for Faile she thinks of perrin and vise versa) so they seem to combine in a weird way

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I think people only hate him because of the faile POVs they make the story seem to drag on since thats all political intrege and maneuvering, and there is alot of reflection on the other (for Faile she thinks of perrin and vise versa) so they seem to combine in a weird way

Well, my "like" for him turned sour when he wanted Rand to be nice and respectful to the very women who treated him like hell. 

 

Granted, Perrin didn't know the whole situation of what happened, but he did know (via Alanna even if he didn't know how) that Rand was miss-treated to the point Alanna was in tears.

 

For me, Faile is mostly just an  ::) annoyance who sometimes has her moments.

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I'm going to let it all out: Perrin is a miserable excuse for a character, sometimes. At other times this character is AWESOME. Too inconsistent though. I still can't believe my eyes/ears/mind when I re-read TDR and find HIM again ignoring the wolves' warning/distress call - the call, that would have eliminated the element of surprise the shadow runners probably wished for, the call which would have saved lives... Oh lord what a porly written section. Perhaps RJ wrote himself into a corner there. Perhaps he wanted the outcome to come out (hehe) in a certain way and moved on towards that end without caring for the stupid that slipped into these pages. He knew there was trouble coming but reasoned with himself and after a time he decided that the sentries/guards would notice if there were any ghouls in the woods.. This is why I believe that Perrin is stupid. Then he redeems himself later on, but still falls back into hard-to-fathom stupidity.

 

And to those of you who think that going after a loved one would be priority no 1 if the WORLD and all things living on it was at stake I'd just like to say: That is stupid.

 

Rand has his fair share of problems - big problems - but does what is required of him.

Mat rolls with the punches and comes to his feet with quarterstaff at the ready. He owns up to his part of the deal. Sure, he doesn't go willingly, but he does go.

 

Perrin is either slow in his head and goes where ever his heart tells him to go (true most of the time but not exclusively). Or, Perrin is pushed by the Pattern. The Pattern makes the idiot choices for him.

 

Still I enjoy parts of the character in parts of the story.

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So if your entire family was slaughtered, you'd abandon your wife to be a delivery boy? I don't believe any normal person would.

 

You also act like accepting the wolves is such an easy decision. He knows nothing about them and thinks he will lose his sanity. But its easy to accept super hero powers when your reading about it. Wild animals sending  images to my head? Id freak out too.Keep in mind that he was a blacksmith in a camp of soldiers and an AS. I put the responsibility on them, not him.

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Perrin sux!!!

I expect better from him in ToM...some redemption for his character.

You have to give a valid reasoning for that belief or your statement is unneccesary nor needed.

 

I'm going to let it all out: Perrin is a miserable excuse for a character, sometimes. At other times this character is AWESOME. Too inconsistent though. I still can't believe my eyes/ears/mind when I re-read TDR and find HIM again ignoring the wolves' warning/distress call - the call, that would have eliminated the element of surprise the shadow runners probably wished for, the call which would have saved lives...

As Ataxaia stated, becoming a wolf brother is a tough process. Don't forget he meets a man who lost his humanity and thinks of himself as nothing but a wolf a few chapters later. If that were you, would you willingly embrace that? He was also in the presence of an Aes Sedai, the most capable Warder alive, the Dragon Reborn, and a group of arguably the best soldiers. I wouldn't think they'd need the wolves either even if I had known Shadowspawn were attacking.

 

Oh lord what a porly written section. Perhaps RJ wrote himself into a corner there. Perhaps he wanted the outcome to come out (hehe) in a certain way and moved on towards that end without caring for the stupid that slipped into these pages. He knew there was trouble coming but reasoned with himself and after a time he decided that the sentries/guards would notice if there were any ghouls in the woods.. This is why I believe that Perrin is stupid. Then he redeems himself later on, but still falls back into hard-to-fathom stupidity.
Oh, so now you're a literary critic? Wouldn't you think Shienarans would be best at spotting Shadowspawn?

 

And to those of you who think that going after a loved one would be priority no 1 if the WORLD and all things living on it was at stake I'd just like to say: That is stupid.
How is it stupid? If Faile were the only living family you had, would willingly turn your back on her or would you like Perrin, devastate the Shaido (Rand's sworn enemies), keep Ghealdan from falling into more chaos and stop Masema from committing future atrocities?

 

Rand has his fair share of problems - big problems - but does what is required of him.
If Rand did what was required of him, he would still have a hand. He shouldn't have kept Min close to him. He should've killed Semirhage once he knew it was actually her. He also shouldn't have tried to take Ebou Dar in tPoD; he should've left while he had the victory like Bashere and Gregorin said. Many men would still be alive. If he did what was required, Moiraine would still be alive. He should've killed Lanfear once she showed herself.

 

Get it? Not everything people do is done through logic and reasoning. Humans are emotional beings.

 

Mat rolls with the punches and comes to his feet with quarterstaff at the ready. He owns up to his part of the deal. Sure, he doesn't go willingly, but he does go.
Are you reading the same series as me? Mat always tried to run away. The Pattern always had to force him back (remember that's how the Band of the Red Hand was formed?). You gave that as a reason why you don't like Perrin. You must hate Mat then. It is only recently that he accepted his fate.

 

Perrin is either slow in his head and goes where ever his heart tells him to go (true most of the time but not exclusively). Or, Perrin is pushed by the Pattern. The Pattern makes the idiot choices for him.
Look above for my response to this.
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Ok, so being a wolfie brother is hard to accept for Perrin, I agree, it is. But, since he is such a goody two shoes he should have at least listened to what the wolves were shouting to him.

 

As for me playing at literary criticism, sure I did and do at times and am right to do so. I'm not employed by any magazine/other media so I am not a "professional" critic but I read a lot and have a couple of years of literature studies at University level to back me up a little.. anyway:

 

Perrin is not a perfect character in my eyes and perhaps there are no perfect characters to be found in the world of literature (or in any worlds?!).. but sometimes, in RJ's work, I find parts where the story/content gets twisted to fit a purpose and the twists make other less important parts seem out of place and wrong. If Perrin is such a great think-things-through-guy and one who does not want to cause harm to others he would listen to the wolves since he must know that there are bad guys in the brush.. But if he had listened and given the alarm before the camp was roused by the attack the scene would have lost much of its potency/drama... and that is why I believe RJ made the character Perrin do a really stupid thing. To serve the greater good of the story/scene... The same goes for balefire which is discussed in another thread. Also warped as the story goes on to become more and more destructive and useless due to its destructiveness.

 

The character Perrin is a good portrait of a real world young man. He goes through hard things and tries to deal with the situations as they present themselves to him but... in this epic fantasy story he comes across as stupid, to me. Or his actions do, at times. I have said that he fluctuates between being a great character to a weak stupid one and I can't say that anything you guys write changes my perception here. I have read and re-read the books since 1995 and every time I re-read I get a little more upset when Perrin is forced to do what he does (wolves and Faile). I also get more and more pleased with Perrin in other parts of the story (dealing with Aram etc), and those parts are those where he actually does the right thing for the right reasons. The only thing that would satisfy me where Perrin's actions are concerned is if the Pattern is to blame for what he does. That he has to be totally blindedn by his love for Faile that he sets all other things aside to save her and by doing so he gets the other thing done as well - which is the destruction of the Shaido.. Perhaps the attack on the camp in TDR was orchestrated to move Rand out of said camp and set him on the path that would lead him to Tear and then onwards to The Aiel Waste and then on... That does sound like the genereal idea to me. The Pattern is behind it all and Perrin is a Puppet. Just the way mat and Rand are.

 

Oh, my rant is at an end... ;)

 

Anyway, keep smashing y rants. I enjoy that too.

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