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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Luckers

The Subtleties of Cadsuane

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Before i read this thread i was under the impression that everyone had to _love_ Cadsuane, seeing as i think she's one of the most awesome characters in the series. How can you not love that strict old granny type of person, once she gives a compliment you cant help but be overwhelmed at the immense respect she holds, and even a tiny nod or wink is like all the gold Mat has won at dice so far. Im definetely in the Love-Cadsuane camp, no doubt about it :P

 

This is Dragonmount; I would say Mat is the only character that is generally mostly liked, and even then I am sure that there are those out there who dont think much of him :P Cadsuane is definetly in the "split down the middle" camp.

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Before i read this thread i was under the impression that everyone had to _love_ Cadsuane, seeing as i think she's one of the most awesome characters in the series. How can you not love that strict old granny type of person, once she gives a compliment you cant help but be overwhelmed at the immense respect she holds, and even a tiny nod or wink is like all the gold Mat has won at dice so far. Im definetely in the Love-Cadsuane camp, no doubt about it :P

 

This is Dragonmount; I would say Mat is the only character that is generally mostly liked, and even then I am sure that there are those out there who dont think much of him :P Cadsuane is definetly in the "split down the middle" camp.

 

Haha, i see :P Though I like Mat, he is far from my favorite, I do like Cadsuane more than him though :P

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But, this is fantasy. The Good Guys are supposed to be larger-than-life heroes, and the Bad Gus are supposed to be even larger-than-life villains.

 

I totally disagree, i think making the characters less EPIC and more rounded makes us relate to them so much more. i mean come on i related alot more to rand knowing he feels anguish over the things he cant control, i cant say i would relate as much if all he ever did was strut around blowing away shadowspawn and acting all high and mighty.

 

As for Cadsuane, it's her arrogance that allows us to connect to her, we as people these days are just as arrogant. I can't say i like the character but i DO like the way she is written.

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But, this is fantasy. The Good Guys are supposed to be larger-than-life heroes, and the Bad Gus are supposed to be even larger-than-life villains.

 

I totally disagree, i think making the characters less EPIC and more rounded makes us relate to them so much more. i mean come on i related alot more to rand knowing he feels anguish over the things he cant control, i cant say i would relate as much if all he ever did was strut around blowing away shadowspawn and acting all high and mighty.

 

As for Cadsuane, it's her arrogance that allows us to connect to her, we as people these days are just as arrogant. I can't say i like the character but i DO like the way she is written.

 

Who said anything about "strut around blowing away shadowspawn and acting all high and mighty"? Other than the "blow away shadowspawn" part, that describes Cadsuane. She's the one who struts around acting all high and mighty. There's nothing at all heroic in that. A hero is somebody who tightens his belt, rolls up his sleeves and gets on with the heavy lifting. Without whimpering or whining about the unfairness of it all. ( In fairness, Cadsuane does do a bunch of that. She just exerts her efforts in unproductive ways. )

 

To me, the function of literature, and fantasy in particular, is to encourage us to grow and to be better than we are, not to excuse us for being the least we can be. Jordan gave us lowest common denominator characters. Whiners, backstabbers, crybabies, poseurs, morons, and idiots. And, those are the "Good Guys." The Bad Guys are just lame.

 

Mat and Perrin are near tied at the top of the whiner list. Rand doesn't whine much but he has been a crybaby. Yup, he's supposed to die. Guess what? That's true for everybody. Nobility of all nations heads the backstabber brigade. The Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, Windfinders ( actually all Sea Folk ) are probably the worst poseurs. And, everybody, top to bottom, wall to wall rides the short bus.

 

A pox on all of them, but Cadsuane and Faile most of all.

 

Except for Furyk Karede. He doesn't whine. He doesn't pretend. He puts his head down, uses his brain for something other than to keep his ears from rubbing together, and gets on with the job at-hand. He aint perfect but he's pretty damn good.

Edited by Bob T Dwarf

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I find myself having very contradictory thoughts on Caddy. Yes, she does *eventually* acknowledge that Nynaeve's not a teen having a tantrum. Ok, she knows lots about life, the universe and everything. Yes, there is a bloody good reason it felt so good when Tam stood up to her. She is in many ways, the epitomy of what's wrong with the AS as a whole. A petty dictator with a bit of power, usually surrounded by people with insufficient backbone to say No to her.

 

The single most important thing about her, though, is the fact that she gambled everything - world, wheel, her shiny hair baubles- on Rand coming to, and not stepping over the edge.

 

He nearly KILLED his dad. I'd say that's hanging on by the fingernails. Cadsuane knows of Lews Therin's Kinslaying in a dusty, historical way: in the fracas with Semi & Min, Rand was aware of it in a very visceral way.

 

So, you've got Crazy, Choedan Kal and manipulation. How in the world could she possibly think the odds were good enough?? There's no point saying it worked out fine. That's hindsight. As far as we know, the only glimpses of the future Caddy has are Min's.

With her own eyes, Caddy saw the evolution of DarkRand: if the woman actually had the wits God gave goats, she would have taken her fine idea about getting Tam to talk sense into him, and given it to Nynaeve. Nynaeve is probably the only woman, at that point, (besides lovers, obv) to still have a decent relationship with Rand. Nyn would have been perfectly capable of fetching Tam, dropping him in front of Rand, and saying, "Rand we love you, but you can't go on like this. Yada yada yada." Still no guarantee of outcome, but a wee bit less Paranoid Nutter with Whopping Great Sa'angreal, surely.

 

 

Book would prob have been very boring if I wrote it... :blush:

 

Edited to remove results of 2am typing in bed.

Edited by aunt_pol

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Bob - I understand the anti-Faile, but in general, she's not really that much of a whingebag, is she? Like really, in proximity to her hubby, she's in the ha'penny stakes. To paraphrase Rand in Far Madding, [Masema] just needed killing, is all... She saw the need, saw Perrin wasn't really gonna do it, so she got it done fairly efficiently. Go on, points for that?

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I find myself having very contradictory thoughts on Caddy. Yes, she does *eventually* acknowledge that Nynaeve's not a teen having a tantrum. Ok, she knows lots about life, the universe and everything. Yes, there is a bloody good reason it felt so good when Tam stood up to her. She is in many ways, the epitomy of what's wrong with the AS as a whole. A petty dictator with a bit of power, usually surrounded by people with insufficient backbone to say No to her.

 

To all those who think Cads thrives on being "in control" and running things....why exactly did she turn down being a Sitter twice, and possibly Amyrlin-ship so she could go running around the land in her twilight years persuing the most dangerous men in the world?

 

The problem with Aes Sedai is ideas of superiority. Of trying to run the world that they never get out into.

 

Giving up that shot at power, to get your hands dirty doing something that isn't glamorous(and not really a mission of your Ajah to begin with) but is important and needs doing is not something that I consider to be the problem with Aes Sedai. If anything, it is just about a model example of how Aes Sedai would be better off.

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I think she turned down Sittership cos they're a clutch of cackling biddies who'd argue an issue til Doomsday rather than do anything about it: she's too bossy for it, ha! She turned down Amyrlinship/didn't run/whatever because it usually means being chained to the desk and having to fight with the Hall to get anything done. It's precisely because she likes control that she refused that one.

To be honest, I think lust for adventure drove a lot of her life decisions before Rand came along.

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I find myself having very contradictory thoughts on Caddy. Yes, she does *eventually* acknowledge that Nynaeve's not a teen having a tantrum. Ok, she knows lots about life, the universe and everything. Yes, there is a bloody good reason it felt so good when Tam stood up to her. She is in many ways, the epitomy of what's wrong with the AS as a whole. A petty dictator with a bit of power, usually surrounded by people with insufficient backbone to say No to her.

 

But she also has the best qualities of Aes Sedai as well. For example, her relationship with the Wise Ones, her respect for the Sea Folk and the Asha`man, etc etc. And I am not sure if she is again st people saying no to her as you make her out to be; granted the Aes Sedai under her command do so, but Aes Sedai i general defer to those who are more powerful then them. However, the few times Nynaeve and Min have stood up to her about something decent, cadsuane has acknowledged them.

 

Elaida is a petty dictator. Cadsuane is far far better then Elaida in basically every regard. Cadsuane may demean Rand in various ways, but she rarely demeans others. She would have been an awesome Amrylin Seat imo.

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I find myself having very contradictory thoughts on Caddy. Yes, she does *eventually* acknowledge that Nynaeve's not a teen having a tantrum. Ok, she knows lots about life, the universe and everything. Yes, there is a bloody good reason it felt so good when Tam stood up to her. She is in many ways, the epitomy of what's wrong with the AS as a whole. A petty dictator with a bit of power, usually surrounded by people with insufficient backbone to say No to her.

 

But she also has the best qualities of Aes Sedai as well. For example, her relationship with the Wise Ones, her respect for the Sea Folk and the Asha`man, etc etc. And I am not sure if she is again st people saying no to her as you make her out to be; granted the Aes Sedai under her command do so, but Aes Sedai i general defer to those who are more powerful then them. However, the few times Nynaeve and Min have stood up to her about something decent, cadsuane has acknowledged them.

 

Elaida is a petty dictator. Cadsuane is far far better then Elaida in basically every regard. Cadsuane may demean Rand in various ways, but she rarely demeans others. She would have been an awesome Amrylin Seat imo.

 

Hmmm. i grant you the WO's, alright. I think she's wary, rather than respectful of the Seafolk. Ditto Asha'man.

Perhaps I misspoke the 'No' thing: you're right, that's a problem of culture (in most ways) rather than personality.

Yes, Elaida's a nutter. But that is a verrrry low bar!

And she did demean Tam most terribly. Really, that's just the most ridiculously rude way to behave. There's neither reason nor excuse for it: any defence of her being all freaked about Rand is moot, because she had a huge hand in creating said situation.

She probably would indeed have been an impressive Amyrlin: I think Formidable is the word! Think she would have been bored stiff though.

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Bob - I understand the anti-Faile, but in general, she's not really that much of a whingebag, is she? Like really, in proximity to her hubby, she's in the ha'penny stakes. To paraphrase Rand in Far Madding, [Masema] just needed killing, is all... She saw the need, saw Perrin wasn't really gonna do it, so she got it done fairly efficiently. Go on, points for that?

 

I don't fault Faile for her pragmatism, I fault her for her gaminess, her deceit, her attempts to seduce Perrin away from supporting Rand. I fault her for her failure to talk to her husband, her insistence that he read her mind and her mood and respond the way she wants him to this time which won't necessarily be the same as how she wanted him to respond last time.

 

She goes behind his back as a matter of course not a matter of necessity. Killing Masema wasn't hers to do. It especially wasn't her place to do it covertly. She epitomizes what is wrong with the Westlands. She makes no attempt to work with her husband, only to work around him. She consistently is a hurdle Perrin has to overcome, not a partner. Perrin and Faile are less than the sum of their parts, rather than greater.

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But, this is fantasy. The Good Guys are supposed to be larger-than-life heroes, and the Bad Gus are supposed to be even larger-than-life villains.

I totally disagree, i think making the characters less EPIC and more rounded makes us relate to them so much more. i mean come on i related alot more to rand knowing he feels anguish over the things he cant control, i cant say i would relate as much if all he ever did was strut around blowing away shadowspawn and acting all high and mighty.

 

As for Cadsuane, it's her arrogance that allows us to connect to her, we as people these days are just as arrogant. I can't say i like the character but i DO like the way she is written.

To me, the function of literature, and fantasy in particular, is to encourage us to grow and to be better than we are, not to excuse us for being the least we can be.
Leaving aside your opinions on RJ's characters (we can take it as read that I categorically disagree with just about everything you say in that regard), I disagree with the idea that there is some overarching purpose to all literature, or even all fantasy. There are many purposes, and for many authors escapism is the point, not trying to improve us as readers. If anything, it demeans fantasy and literature to say this is what it should be, trying to force it all into some narrow bracket, and thus devaluing works of quality that do not fall within your overly limiting definition of what it should be.

 

The single most important thing about her, though, is the fact that she gambled everything - world, wheel, her shiny hair baubles- on Rand coming to, and not stepping over the edge.
Sometimes you need to take a gamble.

 

He nearly KILLED his dad.
Well, that's families for you.

 

Killing Masema wasn't hers to do.
Covertly or overtly, he needed killing. It wasn't anyones job in particular, just something someone needed to do. It was hers as much as anyones.

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He nearly KILLED his dad.
Well, that's families for you.

i really hope that was meant to be funny.

 

Killing Masema wasn't hers to do.
Covertly or overtly, he needed killing. It wasn't anyones job in particular, just something someone needed to do. It was hers as much as anyones.

wasn't the plan to bring him back to rand for questioning, alive? also, i think the larger point being was that she went behind her husband's back to do so.

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Sometimes you need to take a gamble.

 

Problem is she wasn't gambling on that happening, and seems not to have considered events going that way at all. She, and the entire world with her, just got lucky.

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*Faints at Mr. Ares' arrival*

 

YAY FOR CADSUANE SUPPORTERS!

 

hear hear !

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Sometimes you need to take a gamble.

 

Problem is she wasn't gambling on that happening, and seems not to have considered events going that way at all. She, and the entire world with her, just got lucky.

 

the difference between success and total failure all comes down to timing

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But, this is fantasy. The Good Guys are supposed to be larger-than-life heroes, and the Bad Gus are supposed to be even larger-than-life villains.

 

I totally disagree, i think making the characters less EPIC and more rounded makes us relate to them so much more. i mean come on i related alot more to rand knowing he feels anguish over the things he cant control, i cant say i would relate as much if all he ever did was strut around blowing away shadowspawn and acting all high and mighty.

 

As for Cadsuane, it's her arrogance that allows us to connect to her, we as people these days are just as arrogant. I can't say i like the character but i DO like the way she is written.

 

Who said anything about "strut around blowing away shadowspawn and acting all high and mighty"? Other than the "blow away shadowspawn" part, that describes Cadsuane. She's the one who struts around acting all high and mighty. There's nothing at all heroic in that. A hero is somebody who tightens his belt, rolls up his sleeves and gets on with the heavy lifting. Without whimpering or whining about the unfairness of it all. ( In fairness, Cadsuane does do a bunch of that. She just exerts her efforts in unproductive ways. )

 

To me, the function of literature, and fantasy in particular, is to encourage us to grow and to be better than we are, not to excuse us for being the least we can be. Jordan gave us lowest common denominator characters. Whiners, backstabbers, crybabies, poseurs, morons, and idiots. And, those are the "Good Guys." The Bad Guys are just lame.

 

Mat and Perrin are near tied at the top of the whiner list. Rand doesn't whine much but he has been a crybaby. Yup, he's supposed to die. Guess what? That's true for everybody. Nobility of all nations heads the backstabber brigade. The Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, Windfinders ( actually all Sea Folk ) are probably the worst poseurs. And, everybody, top to bottom, wall to wall rides the short bus.

 

A pox on all of them, but Cadsuane and Faile most of all.

 

Except for Furyk Karede. He doesn't whine. He doesn't pretend. He puts his head down, uses his brain for something other than to keep his ears from rubbing together, and gets on with the job at-hand. He aint perfect but he's pretty damn good.

 

That's the whole point he made whiny characters, because IRL PEOPLE ARE WHINY, Aes Sedai are brought up to believe they are the bees knees, the main crew from Emonds Field are still quite young so i don't blame them being whiny and slightly incompetent, i mean lets take your average school leaver and plonk the fate of the world in their hands, lets see how they accept it. RJ made characters that are realistic, more so then most book series out there. it's because they act this way that i like them, and since when does a Hero HAVE TO roll up his sleeves and accept whats going on without issues? I cant think of too many HEROES that didn't have a whine about why they have to do what they do. IMHO it's Heroic BECAUSE they moan and groan about not really wanting to act that way, a hero is one because despite all the issues they have about what they have to do they do it anyways.

 

And Rand does strut around acting high and mighty, how many times do they aiel mention it? I mean come on, he tells EVERYONE that because he's the Dragon he can do whatever he wants. I never said that Cadsuane didn't act high and mighty, she does though she's kinda expected to she has been around for 300+ years and is Aes Sedai.

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I like Cadsuane, but hate Egwene.... On the other side I loved the darkened Rand, now that he has been turned back into the girl he once was I despise him even more than pacifist Perrin. I love Mat through, nothing can change that : p

Edited by Azadi

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That's the whole point he made whiny characters, because IRL PEOPLE ARE WHINY, Aes Sedai are brought up to believe they are the bees knees, the main crew from Emonds Field are still quite young so i don't blame them being whiny and slightly incompetent, i mean lets take your average school leaver and plonk the fate of the world in their hands, lets see how they accept it. RJ made characters that are realistic, more so then most book series out there. it's because they act this way that i like them, and since when does a Hero HAVE TO roll up his sleeves and accept whats going on without issues? I cant think of too many HEROES that didn't have a whine about why they have to do what they do. IMHO it's Heroic BECAUSE they moan and groan about not really wanting to act that way, a hero is one because despite all the issues they have about what they have to do they do it anyways.

 

And Rand does strut around acting high and mighty, how many times do they aiel mention it? I mean come on, he tells EVERYONE that because he's the Dragon he can do whatever he wants. I never said that Cadsuane didn't act high and mighty, she does though she's kinda expected to she has been around for 300+ years and is Aes Sedai.

 

To repeat it one more time - if I wanted reality I wouldn't be reading fantasy - I'd turn on TV or read a newspaper.

 

Yes, real people are whiny. I don't come to fantasy to read about real people, I come to read about people that are a little better than those I find in the news everyday. That's why it's called FANTASY, because it is NOT REAL.

 

I never said they shouldn't have issues with what's on their plates. What I'm trying to convey is that they shouldn't have nothing but issues with what's on their plates. Go ahead, have a fit. Get drunk. Curse. Have a good cry. Whatever it takes. Then, leave the pity party, sober up, and get on with it and DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

 

But, most of all, STOP THE WHINING. It was boring after four books. After twelve books, it's enough to make me root for the Dark.

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That's the whole point he made whiny characters, because IRL PEOPLE ARE WHINY, Aes Sedai are brought up to believe they are the bees knees, the main crew from Emonds Field are still quite young so i don't blame them being whiny and slightly incompetent, i mean lets take your average school leaver and plonk the fate of the world in their hands, lets see how they accept it. RJ made characters that are realistic, more so then most book series out there. it's because they act this way that i like them, and since when does a Hero HAVE TO roll up his sleeves and accept whats going on without issues? I cant think of too many HEROES that didn't have a whine about why they have to do what they do. IMHO it's Heroic BECAUSE they moan and groan about not really wanting to act that way, a hero is one because despite all the issues they have about what they have to do they do it anyways.

 

And Rand does strut around acting high and mighty, how many times do they aiel mention it? I mean come on, he tells EVERYONE that because he's the Dragon he can do whatever he wants. I never said that Cadsuane didn't act high and mighty, she does though she's kinda expected to she has been around for 300+ years and is Aes Sedai.

 

To repeat it one more time - if I wanted reality I wouldn't be reading fantasy - I'd turn on TV or read a newspaper.

 

Yes, real people are whiny. I don't come to fantasy to read about real people, I come to read about people that are a little better than those I find in the news everyday. That's why it's called FANTASY, because it is NOT REAL.

 

I never said they shouldn't have issues with what's on their plates. What I'm trying to convey is that they shouldn't have nothing but issues with what's on their plates. Go ahead, have a fit. Get drunk. Curse. Have a good cry. Whatever it takes. Then, leave the pity party, sober up, and get on with it and DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

 

But, most of all, STOP THE WHINING. It was boring after four books. After twelve books, it's enough to make me root for the Dark.

 

Then it's not a problem with the characters but rather an issue with you and your tastes. Just because you believe Fantasy should be written in a particular style doesn't mean it should be or that things are WRONG when they go outside of the stock standard fantasy setting. I'm glad things go outside of what is considered the norm otherwise all we would have is Dragons, Elves and Dwarves Wizards for magic and only a handful of characters we would ever get to see.

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Then it's not a problem with the characters but rather an issue with you and your tastes. Just because you believe Fantasy should be written in a particular style doesn't mean it should be or that things are WRONG when they go outside of the stock standard fantasy setting. I'm glad things go outside of what is considered the norm otherwise all we would have is Dragons, Elves and Dwarves Wizards for magic and only a handful of characters we would ever get to see.

 

It's not style that's the problem, it's substance.

 

But, I probably shouldn't be trying to discuss this with somebody who comes to a fantasy series looking for realism.

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Leigh Butler made an interesting observation on Faile in one of her re-read posts. We see Faile primarily through Perrin's point of view. The problem is that Perrin has a preternatural ability to read emotions--an ability that Faile is likely unaware of. So yes, Faile is often jealous, angry, sullen or otherwise put out, but she rarely acts on, or says anything about those feelings; yet Perrin is constantly aware of everything she's trying to conceal.

 

I think the same sort of thing applies to Cadsuane. Since we usually see her from Rand or Nynaeve's PoV, we must take into account that they both see Cadsuane as intimidating and annoying. Indeed, Cadsuane's few PoVs portray her in a much more sympathetic and understandable light. Remember that Cadsuane is old, and not in the typical Aes Sedai way; she's actually lived most of those years out in the world. It makes perfect sense for her to be a slightly curmudgeonly old woman who sees most other people as young whippersnappers.

 

Cadsuane's goal--reminding Rand and the Asha'man of their humanity--is also extremely difficult. Thinking of yourself as a doomed weapon isn't far removed from the nihilism that destroyed Ishamael. So she coerced Flinn, Narishma and Hopwil into warder bonds to give them that uniquely intimate connection to another person. That approach didn't work for Rand, so she attacked his interactions with others, requiring that he show courtesy and respect, treating them as people instead of tools. As he kept spiralling into darkness (thank you, Semirhage), she ultimately used Tam, hoping that the childhood memories and feelings he invoked would help Rand break through the barriers he'd constructed. And it worked, albeit in a dicey way.

 

Luckers' original post touched on all of this. Cadsuane's strength is her experience with understanding the relationships between people. She's annoying because she's usually right. She's abrasive because she knows she's usually right.

 

(Regarding realism in fantasy, the realistic traits of the WoT characters are what makes them believable and thus sympathetic and interesting.)

 

-- dwn

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could it be so easy as to those who dislike cadsuane are the same who like dark-rand and vice versa?

 

i for one love cadsuane and i hated dark-rand, she tries to help him so she is awesome

 

other ppl might see is it as "she tries to keep him from getting things done effiecently" or whatever :P

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could it be so easy as to those who dislike cadsuane are the same who like dark-rand and vice versa?

 

No. Gross oversimplifications regarding those who don't share our opinions like that rarely are. It's quite possible to be less than fond of both.

 

i for one love cadsuane and i hated dark-rand, she tries to help him so she is awesome

 

Being, or attempting to be, helpful doesn't mean you're likable much less awesome. Plenty of very useful folk have wretched personalities.

 

other ppl might see is it as "she tries to keep him from getting things done effiecently" or whatever :P

 

Maybe. I've yet to see anyone actually say that though (or I forgot that part of their post, anyway).

Edited by didymos

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