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Rand & Egwene (Full Spoilers)


JenniferL
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Probably my biggest worry about the series is that my prediction above won't come true, due to certain political realities in the publishing business. By which I mean, I don't think a male author can get away with the chief female characters being humiliated and brought down, even if they deserve it.

 

It is basically impossible to get a fantasy novel published without a female warrior in a leading role. The fact that there are very good physiological reasons why women would not be as effective with a sword counts for nothing. And don't even get me started on female archers. Those can only be explained by editors who have never drawn a bow. Archers in our real history were immensely strong, stocky men.

Are you serious? There are so many examples in WoT of the main female characters being humiliated and brought down. There have been numerous times they've gotten captured and had to be saved, for one thing. They've made bad mistakes.

 

BTW, WoT doesn't have a female warrior in a leading role. Unless we count Aviendha, but we've barely ever seen her fight using the spear, is a channeller now, and isn't one of Top 4 female characters in importance. Faile and Min are good with knives, but can't really hold their own in an open battle. Birgitte is not a main character.

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RJ made an awesome story but his women are "strong" and socially retarded. The relationship between men and women in WoT has always made me cringe. The already great story could've been a lot better without the war between the sexes.

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It is basically impossible to get a fantasy novel published without a female warrior in a leading role. The fact that there are very good physiological reasons why women would not be as effective with a sword counts for nothing.

 

There are very good physiological reasons why what _male_ characters get up to in fighting department is massively less realistic than female warriors. But it doesn't trouble you at all, funnily enough. Neither does all that other, you know, _fantasy_ stuff. But oh, can't let those women have some heroic characters to identify with. The very idea!

 

And female characters in WoT get humiliated and lose power at every turn, not to mention are often portrayed as innefectual idiots, so I am not sure what you are talking about.

 

 

Three things.

 

1. There are ways to provide heroic characters for female readers to identify with that don't involve that particular bit of PC madness. Min's facility with knives doesn't bother me. Nor does Berelain's or Selucia"s WOT-fu. Or even the the Maidens and their spears. My favorite character in this series is Aviendha, not exactly the submissive, shrinking-violet type.

 

2. Who says the male characters aren't troubling? Certainly not me. I've been pretty clear that they are. Mat and Rand at least have the plot device of former lives lived to explain their preternatural fighting skills. But I never thought that Perrin's wolf-skills adequately explained his fighting prowess.

 

3. I'm not claiming that no individual female characters suffer setbacks. But I am claiming that a book that saw its' female leads end up clearly in second place would have a tough time being published. The next WOT book may be the exception, just because it is a long-established and much-anticipated book. I hope so.

 

In a world before compound bows, the greatest female archer on the planet would rank with somewhat-above-average male archers. If that bothers you, too bad.

Edited by randsc
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1. There are ways to provide heroic characters for female readers to identify with that don't involve that particular bit of PC madness.

 

Why? We want to have kick-ass heroines to identify with too. How is it "madness"? Or must we be downtrodden and relegated to secondary roles even in fantasy?

 

Min's facility with knives doesn't bother me. Nor does Berelain's or Selucia"s WOT-fu.

 

But it should, really. In unarmed or knife fight disadvantages in height and reach would be much more telling than in sword combat (not to mention that neither has the physic for it). If we are talking realistic swords, that is, not some heavy bars of iron you seem to imagine. Or better yet, something like rapiers or small swords.

Oh, and effectiveness of throwing knives as lethal weapons in a fight as seen in WoT is also mostly fantasy.

 

But I am claiming that a book that saw its' female leads end up clearly in second place would have a tough time being published. The next WOT book may be the exception, just because it is a long-established and much-anticipated book. I hope so.

 

Huh? In most epic fantasy female leads _are_ clearly in second/third place. One of the reasons for WoT's early popularity was that it seemingly buckled the trend ;). Though not really of course, since WoT women are still way more inept/dysfunctional than men. Still, given that balance is the name of the game in WoT, I am pretty sure that you are going to be disappointed.

 

In a world before compound bows, the greatest female archer on the planet would rank with somewhat-above-average male archers. If that bothers you, too bad.

 

Range is not everything. You gotta hit the things, too. But even if it were true, you are the one who seems to be bothered that in a book with tons of massively unrealistic male badassery, leave alone magic, there is a great female archer.

Edited by Jeangray
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IF her train of thought was correct, the world would be over the instant the DO was set free at the Bore.Instead what followed is a lengthy war over the years, so that assumption is incorrect.

 

And how many people really know how the War of Power actually went down? Rand, the Forsaken, maybe Birgitte. Everyone else in the world grew up learning that "the Dark One and all the Forsaken are bound in Shayol Ghul, bound by the Creator at the moment of creation" and all that, with a little bit of subsequent handwaving about how the Dragon may have helped a little bit before he Broke everything. The idea of the Dark One being free is absolutely viscerally terrifying to the average Randlander, who doesn't have the benefit of our glimpses at how the War of Power was really not all that terrible; and so is the idea of deliberately releasing the Dark One as anything other than a desperate last resort.

 

Personally, I think it would be kind of neat if Rand shows up at Merrilor and shows everyone that the seals are already broken anyway after all their time sitting in blanket-wrapped casks, so the Dark One is already as free as ze is going to get and everyone has already risen to the challenge of surviving that admirably. Everyone shouts "yay," gets inspired, and rides off into the Blight to finish the job. I doubt that's going to happen, though, since I expect no author can resist the chance to describe all the giant fireworks and explosions and tempests when they actually break.

 

Doesn't change that the comparison is a joke at best.The only thing you can say those two things have in common is that both are drastic.

 

Exactly. The emotional reaction that a Randlander has to the idea of freeing the Dark One is comparable to the emotional reaction people in our world have to the idea of nuclear war.

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And how many people really know how the War of Power actually went down? Rand, the Forsaken, maybe Birgitte. Everyone else in the world grew up learning that "the Dark One and all the Forsaken are bound in Shayol Ghul, bound by the Creator at the moment of creation" and all that, with a little bit of subsequent handwaving about how the Dragon may have helped a little bit before he Broke everything. The idea of the Dark One being free is absolutely viscerally terrifying to the average Randlander, who doesn't have the benefit of our glimpses at how the War of Power was really not all that terrible; and so is the idea of deliberately releasing the Dark One as anything other than a desperate last resort.

So your argument is that she behaved like a peasant?

 

Exactly. The emotional reaction that a Randlander has to the idea of freeing the Dark One is comparable to the emotional reaction people in our world have to the idea of nuclear war.

Read above, Eg is hardly a normal person.

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I am a traditional/primitive bowyer and competitive archer. Yeah, it bugs me, as I am sure it would bug anyone who knows a lot about a subject to see that subject butchered, even in fiction.

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If she would think about it, she would know the seals must be broken for victory. For Rand to fight the DO and win the DO has to be free. Just trying to seal it back up like last time clearly didn't work. Rand can't fight the DO unless he he breaks the seals.

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Some people want to defend her by saying that "Well of course she wants to defend the seals, that is the commonly held wisdom of preventing the Last Battle" or some variation thereof. Frankly she is a leader now and can't afford those sorts of assumptions.

She is a leader whose job description includes "Watcher of the Seals." It's understandably important to her.

 

If you really want a real-world comparison for how crazy this plan intuitively sounds to most of Randland, imagine that some real-world leader announced that in one month, she was going to unilaterally nuke Iran. Would you really need an alternative plan to be convinced that that plan is crazy and needs to be stopped?

 

 

Probably my biggest worry about the series is that my prediction above won't come true, due to certain political realities in the publishing business. By which I mean, I don't think a male author can get away with the chief female characters being humiliated and brought down, even if they deserve it.

 

Because there have been absolutely no powerful female characters brought down and humiliated in the rest of WoT at all. Really.

 

 

Sweet mother yes! And guess what, they don't have one single seal in their hand. WT never had one. What the hell they are watching anyways?

That was my first thought, too. The White Tower has never had a single one in their possession. What I would find absolutely hilarious is that when Rand goes to remove the seals from the casks Moiraine put them in way back in FoH that he finds them already long crumbled to dust. Whoops! I Guess your maneuverings were all pointless Egwene! So sorry! The world didn't end did it?

 

I'm pretty sure they haven't been removed from those casks because of how fragile they are. But there was mention of them being in Tear and not Cairhien, I think. I seem to remember that anyways.

 

Edit: Somehow already had the same thought as me above. For shammmeee. That's what I get for not reading before I post. :mellow::unsure::laugh:

Edited by f3llyn
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Oh, and effectiveness of throwing knives as lethal weapons in a fight as seen in WoT is also mostly fantasy.

 

Yeah. Most people seem to think that thrown weapons are actually effective--they're mostly not. It's extremely hard to throw a knife with killing force behind it. The most you can hope to do is distract your opponent while yo move in close for the kill, or give him/her several small wounds to be distracted by while you move in for the kill. I actually had to put down a fantasy book the other day because the main female character started whipping out knives and every throw was a killing throw. After about six or seven kills in the first chapter I had to stop reading.

 

 

Huh? In most epic fantasy female leads _are_ clearly in second/third place. One of the reasons for WoT's early popularity was that it seemingly buckled the trend ;). Though not really of course, since WoT women are still way more inept/dysfunctional than men. Still, given that balance is the name of the game in WoT, I am pretty sure that you are going to be disappointed.

 

This is also true--though I wouldn't say that WOT Women in general are more incompetent then men. Some of them are, some of them aren't. In thinking about it I actually think that there are more competent women than men.

 

1. Min

2. Aviendha

3. Nynaeve (I've come in a complete circle on her--I think her character has had the most growth of any of them in the Wheel of Time and it's seemed the most natural too.)

4. Moiraine

5. Lanfear

6. Cadsuane (yeah she's arrogant, but I never got the impression that it was due to sexism. Just due to her having lived forever)

7. Verin

8. Siuan Sanche(yeah she got deposed as Amyrlin--but that wasn't really her fault at all)

9. Berelain

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the aes sedai had the seals and Lost them-if i remember correctly- mayhap the trolloc wars and hawkwing's time?...i seem to remember reading that somewhere...

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Just pointing this out that most if not all the MEN and WOMEN have the ability to follow the principles behind channeling: submitting to Saidar and overpowering Saidin. Rand finally came to this conclusion when he merged with Lews and Egwene is still missing this vital point. She is try to brute force through the problem when going with the flow and gently/subtly changing it to the desired course.

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Haven't read the entire thread (mea culpa), but how bad would it be if the DO "touched the world"?

 

Of course it would be bad, but unless the sealing of the bore made the initial bore bigger, I think the bore was completely open during the entire War of Power at the end of the Age of Legends. I'm no expert on that particular war, but seeing as there was enough time for people to turn to the DO, for Trollocs to be genetically engineered, for Myrdraal to be bred out of Trollocs, I'm assuming it wasn't exactly a matter of hours (my gut feeling for a time frame Rand has in mind his job will take) or even days.

 

This also leads me to assume it isn't all that easy for the DO to break free completely, since he had plenty of time and henchmen when the previous Age ended.

 

 

Come to think about it, the fact that Mierin/Lanfear/Cyndane appeared in Rand's mind in the epilogue (probably due to the link with Moridin and the soul gem) will probably help Rand to close the bore, since she's the one that made it in the first place and isn't exactly the DF with the most conviction.

 

Why the DF's didn't drill more holes to the DO is still a matter of speculation for me.

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posting w/out reading entire thread (too much off topic from what I've seen. Really? Complaining about the male/female relations (other than Rand/Egwene) has nothing to do with this particular thread....)

 

Theory: Rand shows up at Merrilor (sp?) w/remaining seals and breaks them. There is no discussion. He is the DR. Get over yourself Amyrlin. With all her working to bring the world together, it seems very out of character for her to suddenly put her back up about this. You would think she would see the wisdom in Rand's actions esp when he is supported by Nyn, Elayne, etc. Maybe learning to control the tower has seeped into her personality and she can not see that, in this instance, she needs to be a true 'servant' and allow the DR to lead... In an earlier post, someone mentioned AoL when the bore was full open....and the war took some time....why should breaking the seals be such a profound injustice to the white tower if there is already precedent concerning the bore as 'open' and the subsequent 'defeat' of the dark one and his forces?. They will break on their own and the DR/WT will lose the advantage of controlling when and how that event happens. They can set a timetable to fight back by choosing to break the seals. If this isn't done, they will lose that initiative. Also, haven't we seen enough of the AS trying to manipulate Rand and failing... I would hate to see Egwene tumble into that pitfall... I could keep rambling. Enjoy.

 

remember, this is an opinion...

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posting w/out reading entire thread (too much off topic from what I've seen. Really? Complaining about the male/female relations (other than Rand/Egwene) has nothing to do with this particular thread....)

 

Theory: Rand shows up at Merrilor (sp?) w/remaining seals and breaks them. There is no discussion. He is the DR. Get over yourself Amyrlin. With all her working to bring the world together, it seems very out of character for her to suddenly put her back up about this. You would think she would see the wisdom in Rand's actions esp when he is supported by Nyn, Elayne, etc. Maybe learning to control the tower has seeped into her personality and she can not see that, in this instance, she needs to be a true 'servant' and allow the DR to lead... In an earlier post, someone mentioned AoL when the bore was full open....and the war took some time....why should breaking the seals be such a profound injustice to the white tower if there is already precedent concerning the bore as 'open' and the subsequent 'defeat' of the dark one and his forces?. They will break on their own and the DR/WT will lose the advantage of controlling when and how that event happens. They can set a timetable to fight back by choosing to break the seals. If this isn't done, they will lose that initiative. Also, haven't we seen enough of the AS trying to manipulate Rand and failing... I would hate to see Egwene tumble into that pitfall... I could keep rambling. Enjoy.

 

remember, this is an opinion...

 

 

I really like the idea of Rand breaking seals before getting to the meeting. Can you imagine:

 

Egw: Rand, you can't break the seals!

Rand: What seals? Oh, you mean what these used to be. (Pulls out shattered pieces)

Egw/All: : Speechless:

Rand: So, you see those clouds all around the camp got a lot darker accept around me of course. (picking his fingernails) So kids, if you want me to get rid of big bad wolf you'll have to promise to play nice, even when I'm not here.

 

I just want to see everyone's negotiation skills and their opinion of themselves when they actually are face the DO. There probably would be a lot less "Rand you must..." and more "Rand, could you please..." but than I wouldn't bet on it with Egghead (and I always thought that Nynaeve gonna be the woolhead one).

Edited by NetSlider
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I actually had to put down a fantasy book the other day because the main female character started whipping out knives and every throw was a killing throw. After about six or seven kills in the first chapter I had to stop reading.

 

Well, Mat and Thom do it all the time too ;).

 

This is also true--though I wouldn't say that WOT Women in general are more incompetent then men. Some of them are, some of them aren't.

In thinking about it I actually think that there are more competent women than men.

 

I dunno, what, with all those ueber-competent generals and their armies the balance really tilts to the men, IMHO. Particularly contrasted with the suckiness of the WT et al.

 

6. Cadsuane (yeah she's arrogant, but I never got the impression that it was due to sexism. Just due to her having lived forever)

8. Siuan Sanche(yeah she got deposed as Amyrlin--but that wasn't really her fault at all)

 

Both of them knew in advance that the Last Battle was coming and did nothing to prepare for it, both of them knew about the BA and did nothing to deal with it. Seem pretty incompetent to me.

 

9. Berelain

 

Um, why is she so competent? She ruled Cahirien for Rand, yes, but she needed Rhuarc to prop her. And her only value to Perrin consisted of her soldiers - whom she doesn't even personally lead.

 

And Lanfear? Really? I mean, the woman was and still is a loose cannon WMD, but competent?

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Wait, so the standard is "competent" now? I thought all that mattered was the, "kick-ass"?

 

As Galad recognizes in one of his POVs, a general who was competent would be doing very little kick-assery of his own.

 

Look, if the ability to use FREAKIN' MAGIC (an ability that is the almost-exclusive province of female characters through most of the series) isn't enough to satisfy certain female readers' deeply-felt need for kick-assness, what does a sword or a bow really add? Aside from providing more disbelief to be willfully suspended?

 

I'm seriously flummoxed by the fact that some readers can't see the greater maturity of characters like Aviendha and Nyaneve, as compared with Egwene and Elayne.

 

And as someone who knows what he is tlaking about on this particular point: traditional archery requires great physical strength. At the very least, Brigette's physical description should have reflected this. If she was described as, "a thick-limbed stump of a woman who looked stronger than most men," it would have been less silly. Of course, that would have broken the law of the WOT universe that virtually all female characters be beautiful, their dresses embroidered, and their porcelain delicate.

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I'm seriously flummoxed by the fact that some readers can't see the greater maturity of characters like Aviendha and Nyaneve, as compared with Egwene and Elayne.

 

 

Wait, I dounsure.gif. I see it!!! I really do! I never thought to say this (and I've been saying this a lot it seems after ToM but I like Nyaneve now. She came around a lot, grown as a woman). And Egwene and Elayne are just girls with too much power sometimes.

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PS - I can put a knife into a 6-inch bull, from 30 feet, 9 times out of 10. With several inches of penetration into solid pine. Can I do the same with a moving target in the dark? Nope. but then, I don't train for that. I've just tossed knives around for maybe 10-12 hours.

 

Thrown knives aren't a great weapon, but they aren't worthless. Generally, you would want to throw one knife to occupy your opponent while you closed with another knife.

 

By the way, throwing knives is great fun. I recommend the Glock 78 field knife.

Edited by randsc
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PS - I can put a knife into a 6-inch bull, from 30 feet, 9 times out of 10. With several inches of penetration into solid pine. Can I do the same with a moving target in the dark? Nope. but then, I don't train for that. I've just tossed knives around for maybe 10-12 hours.

 

Thrown knives aren't a great weapon, but they aren't worthless. Generally, you would want to throw one knife to occupy your opponent while you closed with another knife.

 

By the way, throwing knives is great fun. I recommend the Glock 78 field knife.

 

I know a guy who trained in professional knife fighting - he said this, once you close into a knife fight everything is decided very, very fast. When to people know what they doing, the first attack usually is the last, either attacker kills or is killed, very simple, very fast. So, when you see Steven Segal going at it for like 5 minutes, it's bullsh*t.

 

Throwing knifes are fun but they are expensive as hell!

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And as someone who knows what he is talking about on this particular point: traditional archery requires great physical strength

 

it doesn't require nearly as much as you think...the myth/notion that one draws an arrow to cheek and holds it for longer than 3 secs is absurd. As one who owns and regularly uses a 75lb recurve (a non mechanical, classic bow) and bench presses close to 270 lbs, I can tell you that you draw, aim, and release within 3 secs. There is no holding....you get shaky and completely innacurate. So just to contradict your statement, no great feats of strength are required beyond the initial draw.

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PS - I can put a knife into a 6-inch bull, from 30 feet, 9 times out of 10. With several inches of penetration into solid pine. Can I do the same with a moving target in the dark? Nope. but then, I don't train for that. I've just tossed knives around for maybe 10-12 hours.

 

Thrown knives aren't a great weapon, but they aren't worthless. Generally, you would want to throw one knife to occupy your opponent while you closed with another knife.

 

By the way, throwing knives is great fun. I recommend the Glock 78 field knife.

 

I know a guy who trained in professional knife fighting - he said this, once you close into a knife fight everything is decided very, very fast. When to people know what they doing, the first attack usually is the last, either attacker kills or is killed, very simple, very fast. So, when you see Steven Segal going at it for like 5 minutes, it's bullsh*t.

 

Throwing knifes are fun but they are expensive as hell!

 

That's what's great about the Glock. It's a real knife, with real utility, that happens to be balanced just about perfectly for throwing. I have three, and I paid about $30 each.

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And as someone who knows what he is talking about on this particular point: traditional archery requires great physical strength

 

it doesn't require nearly as much as you think...the myth/notion that one draws an arrow to cheek and holds it for longer than 3 secs is absurd. As one who owns and regularly uses a 75lb recurve (a non mechanical, classic bow) and bench presses close to 270 lbs, I can tell you that you draw, aim, and release within 3 secs. There is no holding....you get shaky and completely innacurate. So just to contradict your statement, no great feats of strength are required beyond the initial draw.

 

I am, as I said earlier, a traditional/primitive bowyer and a competitive archer.

 

Perhaps I should re-phrase: It requires great physical strength to be ANY GOOD AT traditional archery.

Edited by randsc
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And as someone who knows what he is talking about on this particular point: traditional archery requires great physical strength

 

it doesn't require nearly as much as you think...the myth/notion that one draws an arrow to cheek and holds it for longer than 3 secs is absurd. As one who owns and regularly uses a 75lb recurve (a non mechanical, classic bow) and bench presses close to 270 lbs, I can tell you that you draw, aim, and release within 3 secs. There is no holding....you get shaky and completely innacurate. So just to contradict your statement, no great feats of strength are required beyond the initial draw.

 

I am, as I said earlier, a traditional/primitive bowyer and a competitive archer.

 

Perhaps I should re-phrase: It requires great physical strength to be ANY GOOD AT traditional archery.

 

I have seen many archers who have much less strength than I and they are very good at what they do...I'm talking targets at 50+ yrds...and, again, are doing so without more than a 3 sec hold. I'm sorry, but I do not agree that to be an archer you need great strength. To be a great archer, you simply need normal strength and great skill.

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Well, I don't mean to be offensive, but you understand competitive traditional archery like a weekend flag-football player understands an NFL playbook.

 

Why don't you spend some time on Google iimages, and find some pictures of top competitors in the major trad events? Let me know when you find one with a body type like Brigette's.

Edited by randsc
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