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Luckers

The Subtleties of Cadsuane

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Why has doing that become very hard work? Partly because Jordan has overplayed the "reluctant hero" bit, maybe the biggest fantasy cliche of all. And partly due to how he has portrayed all of the side characters. We are left, after twelve books, with very few characters to root for. At this point, for me, Furyk Karede is just about the only one who hasn't been a disappointment. The other characters read like a Who's Who of negative traits. Jordan has belabored everyone's shortcomings to the point that all of the characters have become tiresome. Even the heroes. Having faults, being human is fine. Being unremittingly selfish and stupid and childish isn't ( unless you're a Bad Guy, they're supposed to be hatefully selfish ).

 

I agree with you to a small degree about overstating the negatives and and ignorant behavior of characters. Rand, Perrin, Egwene, Elayne, and Nyn(though mostly trivial) can have annoying moments.

 

However, you are overexaggerating in this regard. Logain, Loiol, Dobraine, and Dyelin at the very least are examples of characters making selfless decisions for the good of everyone.

 

I really do agree with you about some things....but I still think you are dead wrong about Cads.

 

 

And as Yoniy0 says, would it have killed her to at least apologise for not securing the collar better, with Semi in the house? I know it may be true that no defences available to her would've been adequate, but dammit she could have just apologised. The fact is, not two days after realising her similarities to Semi - which would, you might think, encourage some deeper self-examination - she carries on regardless, no dent in her confidence visible at all.

 

Yes, it would have killed her to do that.

 

Rand wanted to kill Cadsuane at that moment. Whether it was the True Power clouding his mind, his pent up frustration at Cads, or his disgust with himself and general deadening due to what he had almost done to Min...he wanted an excuse to kill Cads. Her apologizing probably would have given him an excuse in that moment.

 

I don't get what you mean about similarities. Why should she alter her behavior? If you mean she should have seen that Semi could escape and devine where Cads had hidden an object that I don't beleive Semi should have even known she had....I don't think you can blame that on Cads. It seems like the only faults you guys can find with her is that she's not quite smart enough to anticipate every single action/reaction possible in the universe!

 

Oh, and if you mean that Cads should have changed her image because it was similiar to Semi's? Not at all. Everyone from teachers to the president to dictators use certain images of authority to lead. That doesn't mean just because one does something horrible with that ability another shouldn't use it for positive things.

 

 

I'm confused. How would her apologising have given Rand an excuse to kill Cadsuane?? Surely someone admitting they've erred is more likely to mitigate against the offence than add to it??

 

As I said, it is entirely possible that Caddy's box provided the best available line of defence against shadowspawn/forsaken/dfs/whatnot: my point is that Caddy and co know next to nothing about how the Forsaken and their minions work. They know the BA exists, and Darkfriends here and there: they know other Forsaken wander the land. Under those circumstances, is it really asking too much for one of them to think, "Hey, we've caught a Forsaken here, what if someone comes to rescue her? Our biggest VIP is living under the same roof, and there's also a very rare item of Power that can be used to control him - maybe we should beef up the defences..."

 

As regards Semi herself, when Caddy is thinking about how Semi might be broken, she ponders how her own reputation and image is quite important to her, and to be humiliated would probably be the hardest punishment to bear. Now my point is, if you find sigificant similarities between your own character and that of a 3000 yr old sadist whose name is used to frighten children, is that not enough to set off alarm bells??!

 

Now I am not one to defend Cadsuane, as I have never really liked her methods. But honestly, shadowspawn, forsaken, these were all thought of with her defenses on the box. She, nor anyone else, could have expected Shaidar Haran coming. What can Aes Sedai/Channellers do against someone who negates the One Power?

 

With that said, I think it had to go this way. The whole let the Lord of Chaos rule thing. The DO had his plan, and it almost worked.

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I'm not going to defende Cadsuane. The best that can be said about her is that she is a crotchety old woman with valuable experience to share, but very little in the way of tact, humility or discretion. She is an outright bully, as evidenced by how she treated Tam, but even moreso by her treatment of the other Aes Sedai.

 

That said, I'm not sure we can blame her too much for not apologizing to Rand. I simply don't believe that she is capable of self-criticism or genuine regret. She couldn't apologize to Rand anymore than Mat could break his promises. Her insufferable arrogance is who she is, inextricably linked to her entire sense of self.

 

It may actually have killed her to apologize.

 

On the plus side, I put the chances of this particular character surviving at the end of the series at MAYBE 5%.

Edited by randsc

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I understand your point in this post, but I just can't bring myself to like the woman. Cadsuane may be a legend among the Aes Sedai, but IMO she is no Moiraine and I think that if Moiraine had been around she could have handled Rand's darkness just as well as Cadsuane if not better.

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Cadsuane's initial approach to Rand was idiotic in my book. She angered him and disrespected him publicly during their first meeting, even though she knew he was probably unstable mentally at that point and that he didn't trust Aes Sedai. After that, she did everything possible to humiliate him in public, including slapping and spanking him, often over minor things like swearing.

 

She was dealing with the savour of the world, yet she was willing to risk losing her connection to him and being dismissed as his advisor over such trivial matter like swearing. This is really stupid. If it wasn't for the Min's viewing about her, Rand would have never made her his advisor and would've never put up with her antics. He showed remarkable and at times frankly unbelievable patience with her. Rand was the only hope of the Light, the ruler of half the world, and she was treating him like a naughty child. This was a clear undermining of his authority. If I were Rand, I'd have warned her that the next time she tried humiliating me in person, she'd be fired from the advisor position and forbidden to come within 50 leagues of me.

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I've always liked Cadsuane. She's one of the few sensible Aes Sedai. I guess that she's a bully because, when you're an Aes Sedai, it seems that to get others (especially other Aes Sedai) to do things you either have to manipulate them or bully them. Since Cadsuane's the strongest Aes Sedai pre-Elayne, bullying probably came pretty naturally, since she's probably never taken orders from anyone in over 200 years. Not unwillingly, at least. And it seems that her bullying has been successful quite often. Therefore, she probably assumed that it would work on Rand as well, and in a way, it has.

 

Also, it was probably good for Rand to meet an Aes Sedai who wasn't, and isn't, terrified at the mere sight of him, like most others seem to have been.

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I think Cadsuane's one of the best characters in the series. She brings about a pretty strong emotional response from readers, and though people might not like the feelings she evokes through her methods towards other characters, the writing really gets you to feel those things and want to hate her, love her, wring her neck or give her a high-five.

 

She reminds me of Umbridge in Harry Potter. I HATED Umbridge, but because she made me feel that way I appreciate her. She's a GREAT literary character by evoking that response.

 

Cadsuane remind's me a strict Grandma, and this isn't her first rodeo by any means.

Edited by Mat's Spare Hat

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It's important to note that Cadsuane does not just bully people indiscriminately. She is capable of treating people, even people who should be beneath her in standing, with respect, where it is due - see Sorilea, Verin, Samitsu, Daigian, all examples of women treated positively by Cadsuane, not bullied, despite being a wilder and three AS who are weaker than her. Her treatment of Rand is very much an exception, not the rule. Her treatment of Tam was decidedly out of character, and I've not seen anyone put together a decent case to say otherwise. If Rand acts like a child, does he really have grounds to complain when he is treated as such? Cadsuane doesn't bully people, she bullies Rand, there is a big difference.

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Just to give my contribution on this subject, I'm in the pro-Cadsuane camp. She is Green Ajah, isn't she? She's basically the female version of Rand: She's the number one warrior of her gender against the Great Lord. She's spent years getting all kinds of useful ter'angreal for this fight. She's got her mind on only one prize - victory. Like Rand, she makes mistakes trying to achieve that victory, but you have to admit that she's been mostly successful. No question Rand was acting like a huge d-bag, and she reined him in effectively. With everyone tiptoeing and kow-towing around Rand, it was a really refreshing breath of fresh air that she did the opposite. Yeah she was playing with fire, so give her kudos for her "cajones" why don't you? What we value bravery when Rand or Lan or Nynaeve or Mat does it, but not Cadsuane Sedai? Nonsense.

 

And I'm not factoring in anything from TGS. I don't consider that awful crap to be part of RJ's golden masterpiece.

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It's important to note that Cadsuane does not just bully people indiscriminately. She is capable of treating people, even people who should be beneath her in standing, with respect, where it is due - see Sorilea, Verin, Samitsu, Daigian, all examples of women treated positively by Cadsuane, not bullied, despite being a wilder and three AS who are weaker than her. Her treatment of Rand is very much an exception, not the rule. Her treatment of Tam was decidedly out of character, and I've not seen anyone put together a decent case to say otherwise. If Rand acts like a child, does he really have grounds to complain when he is treated as such? Cadsuane doesn't bully people, she bullies Rand, there is a big difference.

 

She bullies all of the Aes Sedai she comes into contact with, including Verin. She bullies Tam. She bullies the Sea Folk. It isn't just Rand. Bullying is her standard modus oprandi. Her silly little games with tea and trivial tasks serve no purpose but to emphasize her own dominance.

 

Characters can have personality flaws and still be interesting characters. Indeed, some personality flaws contribute to our interest in a character, as long as they are not so deeply and irredeemably flawed as the Super Girls. Cadsuane is an interesting character, and a bully.

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It's important to note that Cadsuane does not just bully people indiscriminately. She is capable of treating people, even people who should be beneath her in standing, with respect, where it is due - see Sorilea, Verin, Samitsu, Daigian, all examples of women treated positively by Cadsuane, not bullied, despite being a wilder and three AS who are weaker than her. Her treatment of Rand is very much an exception, not the rule. Her treatment of Tam was decidedly out of character, and I've not seen anyone put together a decent case to say otherwise. If Rand acts like a child, does he really have grounds to complain when he is treated as such? Cadsuane doesn't bully people, she bullies Rand, there is a big difference.

 

She bullies all of the Aes Sedai she comes into contact with, including Verin. She bullies Tam. She bullies the Sea Folk. It isn't just Rand. Bullying is her standard modus oprandi. Her silly little games with tea and trivial tasks serve no purpose but to emphasize her own dominance.

 

Characters can have personality flaws and still be interesting characters. Indeed, some personality flaws contribute to our interest in a character, as long as they are not so deeply and irredeemably flawed as the Super Girls. Cadsuane is an interesting character, and a bully.

 

 

It's like she's the Richard Holbrooke of Randland! :laugh:

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I'm not going to defende Cadsuane. The best that can be said about her is that she is a crotchety old woman with valuable experience to share, but very little in the way of tact, humility or discretion. She is an outright bully, as evidenced by how she treated Tam, but even moreso by her treatment of the other Aes Sedai.

 

That said, I'm not sure we can blame her too much for not apologizing to Rand. I simply don't believe that she is capable of self-criticism or genuine regret. She couldn't apologize to Rand anymore than Mat could break his promises. Her insufferable arrogance is who she is, inextricably linked to her entire sense of self.

 

It may actually have killed her to apologize.

 

On the plus side, I put the chances of this particular character surviving at the end of the series at MAYBE 5%.

 

Well said, my thoughts exactly.

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It's important to note that Cadsuane does not just bully people indiscriminately. She is capable of treating people, even people who should be beneath her in standing, with respect, where it is due - see Sorilea, Verin, Samitsu, Daigian, all examples of women treated positively by Cadsuane, not bullied, despite being a wilder and three AS who are weaker than her. Her treatment of Rand is very much an exception, not the rule. Her treatment of Tam was decidedly out of character, and I've not seen anyone put together a decent case to say otherwise. If Rand acts like a child, does he really have grounds to complain when he is treated as such? Cadsuane doesn't bully people, she bullies Rand, there is a big difference.

She bullies all of the Aes Sedai she comes into contact with, including Verin. She bullies Tam. She bullies the Sea Folk. It isn't just Rand. Bullying is her standard modus oprandi. Her silly little games with tea and trivial tasks serve no purpose but to emphasize her own dominance.

 

Characters can have personality flaws and still be interesting characters. Indeed, some personality flaws contribute to our interest in a character, as long as they are not so deeply and irredeemably flawed as the Super Girls. Cadsuane is an interesting character, and a bully.

Would you care to provide some evidence to support your point?

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It's important to note that Cadsuane does not just bully people indiscriminately. She is capable of treating people, even people who should be beneath her in standing, with respect, where it is due - see Sorilea, Verin, Samitsu, Daigian, all examples of women treated positively by Cadsuane, not bullied, despite being a wilder and three AS who are weaker than her. Her treatment of Rand is very much an exception, not the rule. Her treatment of Tam was decidedly out of character, and I've not seen anyone put together a decent case to say otherwise. If Rand acts like a child, does he really have grounds to complain when he is treated as such? Cadsuane doesn't bully people, she bullies Rand, there is a big difference.

She bullies all of the Aes Sedai she comes into contact with, including Verin. She bullies Tam. She bullies the Sea Folk. It isn't just Rand. Bullying is her standard modus oprandi. Her silly little games with tea and trivial tasks serve no purpose but to emphasize her own dominance.

 

Characters can have personality flaws and still be interesting characters. Indeed, some personality flaws contribute to our interest in a character, as long as they are not so deeply and irredeemably flawed as the Super Girls. Cadsuane is an interesting character, and a bully.

Would you care to provide some evidence to support your point?

 

 

How about...oh...the books?

 

Start with Winter's Heart, and her actions toward the Aes Sedai and Windfinders. Why would she, for example, make Alanna beg on her knees for the right to go to Rand?

 

She's a bully. With any other poster on the board, I'd be happy to have a continuing conversation about it. But I don't have the energy for dealing with repeated, pendantic, point-by-point multiposts right now, so let's just agree to disagree.

Edited by randsc

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It's important to note that Cadsuane does not just bully people indiscriminately. She is capable of treating people, even people who should be beneath her in standing, with respect, where it is due - see Sorilea, Verin, Samitsu, Daigian, all examples of women treated positively by Cadsuane, not bullied, despite being a wilder and three AS who are weaker than her. Her treatment of Rand is very much an exception, not the rule. Her treatment of Tam was decidedly out of character, and I've not seen anyone put together a decent case to say otherwise. If Rand acts like a child, does he really have grounds to complain when he is treated as such? Cadsuane doesn't bully people, she bullies Rand, there is a big difference.

She bullies all of the Aes Sedai she comes into contact with, including Verin. She bullies Tam. She bullies the Sea Folk. It isn't just Rand. Bullying is her standard modus oprandi. Her silly little games with tea and trivial tasks serve no purpose but to emphasize her own dominance.

 

Characters can have personality flaws and still be interesting characters. Indeed, some personality flaws contribute to our interest in a character, as long as they are not so deeply and irredeemably flawed as the Super Girls. Cadsuane is an interesting character, and a bully.

Would you care to provide some evidence to support your point?

 

 

How about...oh...the books?

 

Start with Winter's Heart, and her actions toward the Aes Sedai and Windfinders. Why would she, for example, make Alanna beg on her knees for the right to go to Rand?

 

She's a bully. With any other poster on the board, I'd be happy to have a continuing conversation about it. But I don't have the energy for dealing with repeated, pendantic, point-by-point multiposts right now, so let's just agree to disagree.

 

 

About the Alanna reference: If you ask me, it's totally alright for Cadsuane to be a hard-ass towards her, as Alanna bonded Rand against his will - Which is established as a crime equivalent to Rape. If Cadsuane's a bully towards a rapist, fiinneee byyy meeeeeee :jordan:

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That would be a good reason to refuse to allow Alanna to accompany her. To make her beg, but then allow it, is just a power play.

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That would be a good reason to refuse to allow Alanna to accompany her. To make her beg, but then allow it, is just a power play.

 

I think I'd see it more as Cads using Alanna as a tool for having the bond to Rand, as opposed to a power play per say. Cads has her under her thumb, and can use the rapist as a hound if need be - which to me is the prime reason she allows Alanna to accompany her. Also, if you were Cads, and you knew there was a hairbrained AS running around with a direct bond to the Dragon Reborn, a bond we know could be used to compel, you've got to figure it'd be pretty dumb to just let her flit away without keeping really close, if not personal tabs on her.

 

I mean, suppose the BA, Forsaken, Taim, darkfriends or what have you got ahold of Alanna, or even anybody else bonded to Rand, and managed to 13x13 them or otherwise compel or turn them to the Dark, with that bond intact - They'd know where Rand was, and have the possible means to manipulate him through the bond.

 

Otherwise, Cadsuane doesn't need to make a play for power as far as Alanna's concerned, because Cads is the head honcho in that situation by default.

 

That's going on the whole AS structure of strength in the power = seniority. That plus Alanna = Rapist, and Cads browbeating her for it, reinforces who's the big cheese between the two of them. Sort of an "I'm in charge, and in case you care to rebut that, and think you have a say, I can hold it over your head that you're a friggin rapist, for which you're lucky, so far, to not be a smoking dust pile, or stilled as a result."

 

Thereby, Cads puts Alanna in her place for being a rapist, and keeps her around because of her bond - for, I suspect, the reasons of being able to track Rand if need be, and to keep her under her thumb for the sake of possible danger to Rand via that bond should Alanna do any more sswwwwift moves.

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This was a great thread, Luckers. I gotta say, it's really changed my position on Cadsuane. I'd already softened on her some, but the first time I read ACoS or TPoD I was just aching to see Rand bust her down to size. But you're right, she was handling him in probably the only way that would have worked.

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I've liked Cadsuane for a while. I like how she shows him he's not the king of all. The Aeil used to, but he slowly gained more and more toadies. His ability to just bend everyone's will to his, I loved what happened to him talking to Tuon. Honestly it feels like Rand was just heading towards a second coming of Shadar Logath.

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Now I am not one to defend Cadsuane, as I have never really liked her methods. But honestly, shadowspawn, forsaken, these were all thought of with her defenses on the box. She, nor anyone else, could have expected Shaidar Haran coming. What can Aes Sedai/Channellers do against someone who negates the One Power?

 

I'm a Cadsuane fan, but I don't know if I agree with this. I don't think there is definitive evidence that SH physically did anything short of giving instructions to the dark friends that carried out the escape plan. I think there's pretty good indications that Sorilea opened the box and Elza took out the guards. I suspect SH can't touch anything not sworn to the shadow (at least not yet). If Casuane made a mistake it was in allowing Sorilea to see how to open her trunk safely. Then again we all make mistakes, and this one was probably required by The Pattern.

 

Overall, if Cadsuane's a bully what does that make Rand? If she were a man I don't think she gets this kind of grief quite honestly- in fact she seems to share quite a lot in common personality wise with LTT back in his hay day.

Edited by mbuehner

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Overall, if Cadsuane's a bully what does that make Rand? If she were a man I don't think she gets this kind of grief quite honestly- in fact she seems to share quite a lot in common personality wise with LTT back in his hay day.

 

You are absolutely right Cadsuanne would have been treated completely differently if she were a man, as a matter of fact, if she were a man, her head would have rolled the moment she struck Rand, and probably no one would have condemned him for it. If she were a man, she wouldn't get any grief at all, because she'd be dead.

 

Being an ass is being an ass no matter the gender. Whether you think she's justified is another argument entirely.

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I vary wildly between really loathing Cadsuane, and finding her kind of cool. She's a tricky one to place.

 

On the one hand, she doesn't seem to have the Aes Sedai focus of "The Tower must be respected and powerful above all and what's good for the Tower is good for the world!" She genuinely seems to be working for the good of the world- as Rand says, she does what she does because she wants Rand to fight the Last Battle, and she wants him not to destroy the world in the meantime. She doesn't seem to believe that the Tower as an organisation knows what is best for Rand. Of course, she is arrogant in the sense that she believes that SHE knows what is best for Rand, and that SHE should be respected... but unlike certain other AS, she has been around for hundreds of years, and become a legend amongst AS- in a lot of cases, she really does know what she is talking about, and is right irritatingly often.

 

The problem is, she is a bully, and she is hugely proud. If someone doesn't show her respect and, in many cases, deference, then she's quite happy to manipulate, scold, humiliate and bully them until they do. In some cases, this can be a good thing- being someone who isn't bowing and scraping to Rand, and telling him some harsh truths when neccessary, her figuring out how to deal with Semirhage, etc. In some cases- her treatment of Tam when he grows angry with her, her refusal to apologise after the incident with the a'dam, etc- it really, really isn't. She is quite willing how to teach other people- Nynaeve, etc.- to swallow their pride when circumstance (or SHE) demands it, but it seems like, in her opinion, she's gone through life, she's done a lot, she's past the point where she's going to swallow her pride for someone else- and the fact is, it is neccessary for everyone, in day to day life, to swallow their pride sometimes, but especially when dealing with someone as volatile as Rand has been up to this point.

 

I think at the end of the day, she is working with Rand for the right reasons. Some of her advice is very helpful, and even some of her actions may have helped Rand, but her attitude in general towards him and pretty much everyone else is terrible, she IS a bully, and she has a bucketload of the AS arrogance. I can't wait for her to meet the Tower AS- those she hasn't already met at least. She is both terribly frustrating and extremely entertaining to read. She's unflappable and often sarcastic, she is quite real, as a character- the grandma who has been there, done that, seen it all, and, as a consequence, thinks she knows it all, and makes sure everyone else knows her opinion... and turns out to be right frustratingly often. There's a few things I want to see happen with Cadsuane for her to make the progression to a great character in the last book.

 

- I want to see her in battle. This is an extremely powerful AS, one who has faced down a Forsaken, albeit shielded, from the Ajah that's supposed purpose is to prepare for and fight the Last Battle.

- I want to see her speak- to the other AS, perhaps, or to some nations, or perhaps all of them- in support of Rand, at some point. They are working together, now, Rand has lost the hardness that she wanted him rid of. It would be nice to see them working together rather than fighting each other.

- I do NOT, NOT want her dumbed down so that another character can look good. She's an unlikeable character, yes, and she makes mistakes, and I would be quite happy to see her called on them at some point, but do not dumb her down to do it.

 

So, yeah... Cadsuane has the potential to be awesome. In some ways she is. And yet, half the time I still want to slap her :P She is a puzzling character.

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I think there's pretty good indications that Sorilea opened the box and Elza took out the guards. ... If Casuane made a mistake it was in allowing Sorilea to see how to open her trunk safely.

 

Hhm, this went by me completely. Is Sorilea believed to be a DF? Can't remember even seeing that mentioned? Or did yo uimply somthing else?

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Rand should have shielded her and had her dragged off by Trollocs a loooong time ago.

 

Asmodean would have been proud.

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Everything Cadsuane does she does for herself. Not for Rand, not for the WT, not for the world or the light.

She does it to improve her own image as a legendary Aes Sedai. Rand's supose to be her grand accomplishment. She probably wants her own name to replace Rands in the historybooks. To be remembered as the one behind the DO's defeat and Rand was only a tool she used.

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