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Why do people hate the Wheel of Time?


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That's not most people, of course, but it's enough for some, and that's not even counting the even rarer few who are just plain messed up in the head. To become a DF requires swearing oaths to the Dark One (and in real life there are plenty of societies that require the swearing of oaths), making these oaths marks you for the shadow. Jordan's commented on that. When you've got a tracker on you it's hard to break free without getting caught.

Now that's interesting. And the Aes Sedai have never figured out a way to track the Darkfriends themselves? Or at least use clairvoyance to predict what they will do?

 

Back the gangster idea - if the Darkfriends were drawn mostly from the dregs of society, I would have understood the membership without desiring any further explanation.

 

Nynaeve is a very talented Healer, but there are others with the talent, and she's not the strongest channeler in the world. And Egwene got to the position she's in precisely because of her connections to Rand, which led to her extraordinary predicaments as a novice and Accepted, and her training as a Wise One apprentice (because she was with Rand when he went to the Waste) and that was instrumental to her ability to command and lead, but that separateness, youth and connection to Rand is precisely why she was chosen as Amyrlin.

 

What about Moraine saying to Egwene "You can be one of the strongest Aes Sedai in centuries" and to Nynaeve "You may be stronger than Egwene"? The wiki on the books says that Nynaeve is the strongest of the Aes Sedai, but there are 2 other female channelers who are not Aes Sedai who are as strong as she is. It also says they are rare in being gifted in all 5 fields of magic. Obviously, though, Nynaeve is a healer first and foremost.

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As a couple of other people mentioned, the characters are too flat to believe that they're real people. There's no ambiguity in whether a person is good or bad (which in itself is an over-simplification that very little fiction beyond fantasy will make, the idea of good and evil). There is ambiguity from the reader's perspective, of course - you may be kept in the dark about a character's real motives, but that aside good people do good things and bad people do evil things. The most believable characters in fiction are morally ambiguous, flawed, irrational, inconsistent, and so on. The characters in this series of books are, by and large, caricatures, expressing a single or a small set of emotional traits to degrees that real people never would. Similarly, good and evil simply don't exist in reality, outside of religious dogma. That's fine, it's Jordan's book, and he can tell whatever story he wants; however, this means the story has little to add to our understanding of the human condition, is unable to comment on society or important institutions in our world, or the like.
RJ actually said that he saw it as a positive that fantasy was willing to examine issues of good and evil that mainstream literature wasn't. While good and evil might be creations of religious dogma, with no objective existence, many people are believers in those religious dogmas and do have great faith in the existence of good and evil as real life forces, that exist beyond humanity but spring from God. RJ was one of those people - he believed in good and evil, as them being more than just one person's view on what is right and wrong.

 

 

I don't care where Mat gets his skills from.

So you don't care about relevant facts? Helpful, in a debate.
What is relevant to you and what is relevant to me are very different things. You point out later on that magic ability is genetic (no kidding) and then say Mat's abilities should be an exception to the laws of probability because they are magic?
Mat's abilities aren't genetic. The OP is, in part.

 

You've moved the goalposts - more talented than one out of a few hundred from most talented out of millions.

I knew you'd say that.
Because it's true. Being the most able out of a few thousand and the most out of a few million are very different.

 

Your whole debate standpoint is to assume your opponent is stupid and write to show everyone how stupid your opponent is.
No. My outlook on life is shaped by the knowledge that I'm smarter than most people around me, and it often shows through. But I can have respect for the views put forward by people who are not as smart as me, and contempt even for very smart people. I've done nothing but point out the flaws in your arguments. I've certainly not called you stupid, nor did I intend to imply it, but I can't stop people drawing adverse inferences from my posts.

 

It's still not relevant to the story.
Here we go again, you take a look at my criticisms and respond "that's not relevant." I take a look at your defenses of the story and say "that's not relevant".
Can you show how it is relevant to the story to tell us how the Dark Side is administered?

 

If there were anything in the story about Darkfriends getting busted, I'd be content.
You mean like when the Whitecloaks execute a cell of Darkfriends they discovered in ACoS? Or Egwene's purge of the BA in TGS?

 

Clegane ... Not only are you needlessly argumentative and this is really getting boring.. But personal insult is crossing the line at DM

 

So your favorite story is beyond reproach fanboy?

 

I may only be speaking for myself but it would be nice if you would desist and find something else to do. Besides, arguing endlessly with Mr. Ares is like wallowing in mud with a pig. HE likes it. Unless, unfortunately, we've acquired a clone. In which case ... I think I'll go saw off my arm with a dull pen knife.

That's the example you picked? What about: "I'm sure you have some warped explanation that makes sense in your own small mind." And here's me trying to steer clear of any personal attacks.
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That's the example you picked? What about: "I'm sure you have some warped explanation that makes sense in your own small mind."

 

lol.. I'm lazy and it was the closest ... :wink: But yeah, I took note of that one first. It was the second that tripped my trigger had me thinking OK.. time for my cranky auld bastige act.

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Now that's interesting. And the Aes Sedai have never figured out a way to track the Darkfriends themselves? Or at least use clairvoyance to predict what they will do?

 

The Aes Sedai of the Third Age from the books are a bunch of bumbling idiots, for the most part, who can't see past their noses. I mean, just look at what they're doing by TGS. While the Last Battle's around the corner, they spend their time either bickering and squabbling amongst themselves or actually getting in the way of those who are trying to do something positive in this regard.

 

That being said, there was one who had the guts to infiltrate the Black Ajah, in order to compile highly detailed intel on DF Aes Sedai. Verin. So, that one did figure out a way to track down Darkfriends, at least. Cost her her life, but she did.

 

What about Moraine saying to Egwene "You can be one of the strongest Aes Sedai in centuries" and to Nynaeve "You may be stronger than Egwene"? The wiki on the books says that Nynaeve is the strongest of the Aes Sedai, but there are 2 other female channelers who are not Aes Sedai who are as strong as she is. It also says they are rare in being gifted in all 5 fields of magic. Obviously, though, Nynaeve is a healer first and foremost.

 

Nynaeve is the strongest Aes Sedai channeler. The two who are stronger are Lanfear and Alivia, a former Seanchan damane who is now with Rand. So she's not the strongest female channeler in the world, as Agitel said, but no Aes Sedai is stronger (or better at Healing) than Nynaeve.

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Because it's true. Being the most able out of a few thousand and the most out of a few million are very different.

No fucking shit, dude. And once again you have a completely warped view of what is relevant to the argument. I use the most able out of a few million argument when I can because Robert Jordan handed it to me, not because I need to use that stronger criteria to make my point.

 

The fact that I have to go to the effort to explain that to you instead of relying on you to see it yourself is part of why I don't think you are arguing in good faith, you have already made up your mind what you are going to say and I can even predict it.

Edited by Clegane
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What about Moraine saying to Egwene "You can be one of the strongest Aes Sedai in centuries" and to Nynaeve "You may be stronger than Egwene"? The wiki on the books says that Nynaeve is the strongest of the Aes Sedai, but there are 2 other female channelers who are not Aes Sedai who are as strong as she is. It also says they are rare in being gifted in all 5 fields of magic. Obviously, though, Nynaeve is a healer first and foremost.

 

Nynaeve is the strongest Aes Sedai channeler. The two who are stronger are Lanfear and Alivia, a former Seanchan damane who is now with Rand. So she's not the strongest female channeler in the world, as Agitel said, but no Aes Sedai is stronger (or better at Healing) than Nynaeve.

 

 

Not to mention a sea folk Windfinder, some Aiel Wise Ones nearly as strong as Nynaeve, and Sharina Melloy. Graendal may also be stronger than or as strong as Nynaeve, I'm not sure we've had a direct comparison, but she has commented on how few men were even stronger than herself. With that said, in response to Clegane, again, the strength of the Emond's Fielders in channeling largely has to do with those with the ability having children and not leaving the area. When Alanna and Verin take a number of girls out of the Two Rivers to the Tower they comment on both the large number of girls with the ability and the sheer potential that many of them have.

 

 

That's not most people, of course, but it's enough for some, and that's not even counting the even rarer few who are just plain messed up in the head. To become a DF requires swearing oaths to the Dark One (and in real life there are plenty of societies that require the swearing of oaths), making these oaths marks you for the shadow. Jordan's commented on that. When you've got a tracker on you it's hard to break free without getting caught.

Now that's interesting. And the Aes Sedai have never figured out a way to track the Darkfriends themselves? Or at least use clairvoyance to predict what they will do?

 

Back the gangster idea - if the Darkfriends were drawn mostly from the dregs of society, I would have understood the membership without desiring any further explanation.

 

Use clairvoyanace to predict... Have you even read the series? They don't have clairvoyance. Occasionally they have foretellings but they have no control over when a foretelling takes them. And I don't see why it's even odd that the Aes Sedai didn't figure out how to somehow magically track Darkfriends. Again, have you even read the series? And why would becoming a darkfriend only appeal to the dregs of society? Ever heard of social climbers? There are plenty of people in low positions of power who would desire more, who would want to climb up the ladder. Again, this was Sheriam's reason for becoming Black Ajah, as it would help her climb up to positions of power within the Tower.

 

You're one of those guys who needs every detail spelt out for you and has trouble making inferences, aren't you? There are certainly complaints to be made, but you seem to just be pissed off that not everything was laid out in intricate detail and you had to work your mind a little.

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Nynaeve is the strongest Aes Sedai channeler. The two who are stronger are Lanfear and Alivia, a former Seanchan damane who is now with Rand. So she's not the strongest female channeler in the world, as Agitel said, but no Aes Sedai is stronger (or better at Healing) than Nynaeve.

 

Not to mention a sea folk Windfinder, some Aiel Wise Ones nearly as strong as Nynaeve, and Sharina Melloy. Graendal may also be stronger than or as strong as Nynaeve, I'm not sure we've had a direct comparison, but she has commented on how few men were even stronger than herself.

 

 

As Clegane said, Wiki does indicate that only 2 female channelers in the series are stronger than Nynaeve. And, an essay on the 13 depository confirms it and claims that those 2 are Lanfear (even as Cyndane) and Alivia. So, while I've read no quote from Jordan himself on this matter, at least I can cite those 2 sources as references.

 

I've never heard of any Sea Folk Windfinder being as strong as Nynaeve. As for Graendal, I've never read that she's stronger or at least on a par w/Nynaeve anywhere, either. So, I'd sure like to know where you got your info, if possible.

 

The issue here is who's above Nynaeve in the power, not "nearly" as strong. So, whomever is "nearly" as strong (Wise Ones, kinswomen, etc.) is still below her and doesn't count.

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oh and I agree with trashbird1240 about the level of the audience that it was intended for.

I would not have been able to appreciate this series even as a young adult and have read many other who started the series very young and have indicated that a reread of the material meant much different things to them when they returned to the books many years later.

This series is not intended for children to be reading and it is a mature (if still tactful) handling of mature topics that are not appropriate for children such as sex and death.

 

I have to disagree with everyone who says that this series is so mature and above young readers heads. I have been reading this series from the beginning, when the first book was published, I was 12. I know that I am unusual in that I read, understood and appreciated the WoT and LotR and other such books that young, but as I got older I knew of many other young readers who read and enjoyed the WoT.

 

I also agree with the overly described clothing and scenery. Before KoD I really just wanted to read the line 'Elayne got up, dressed and actually accomplished something!' Or something along those lines. In any case the story is very good the characters likeable or hateable but we react to them. It has great bones but sometimes the fat needed to be trimmed a bit more. I truly enjoy the story, but fully understand why some wouldn't. Just like I understand why some friends of mine can't read it or Dragonbone chair. Just like they understand when I can't read LA Banks or why I hated Twilight.

 

Now just to contain myself until aMoL... Sigh. I cannot wait. I have waited nineteen and half years, what's one more. LOL

Jen-

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Well, I have not posted on here in years, but since ToM came out I wanted to check up on some things and different opinions and here I stumble upon this topic.

 

First, I started reading WoT when I was 15, so about nine years ago, randomly by chance, but I have always loved Fantasy and it's my genre of choice. Not because of WoT, just in general.

 

Over the years I've done multiple rereads, some only up to LoC, some all the way to 9 or 10, then 11, and as I grew older and more mature, started to expand and read other things, go to university, become and adult, I noticed that I stopped being so into the WoT universe. I'm continuing to read and finish this series because I love the story itself.

 

Here's why I've become less interested in the Wheel of Time, and some of these reasons have already been said...

 

1. I don't find these books to be at all a challenging read, I find it's a light read. Exy said it perfectly here:

So, what, people don't like it because they're not smart enough? These novels aren't exactly Tolstoy or Garcia Marquez. I think I started reading them when I was 12. Having so many characters you basically can't read them without outside resources isn't really what I would count as intellectual depth.

 

The depth people keep talking about isn't any sort of challenging, mind engaging, strainful, intellectual depth, it's more of a confusing, how many characters are there, doing what, when, cultures, cities, clothing, blah... this is boring /skip. I like books that make me SMARTER in some way. The Idiot did that for me, Anna Karenina(sp) did that for me, In Cold Blood did that for me, hell, Lord of the Rings did that for me. All these novels took something out of me to read, but gave me something that added to me as a person. I finished the Idiot and reflected on it for days, just how impressively inspiring it was, how psychologically deep, the emotion, the (real) love, torture, perfection... ahhh. I have never once done that for a WoT novel. None of them have challenged me, none of them have changed me, I never had to sit there and say "Whoa, that is some mind boggling, mind altering stuff". Now, maybe that's just me and well, it seems like Exy too, but regardless, it is a reason for ME not to get so inspired by the WoT.

 

2. This follows 1, in that I don't find RJ's(or Sanderson's) writing to be that challenging or great. Did RJ create a fascinating world, great story, adventure, fantasy? Yes, definitely, and that is the main reason I like the books, but as a writer compared to other "greats", I don't find his style to be overwhelmingly cpmlex, or again, challenging.

 

3. As I've grown up reading this series, I've come to realize more and more that's it's PG13 and somewhat silly. This has been touched on by others, yet I find it quite hilarious that some people here think this is "too violent or sexual" for children. The themes are not that which any well educated child could not understand, or be too above them in terms of mature content. a Song of Fire and Ice actually deals with realistic and mature content that I would not let a child read, for example(and I prefer WoT>ASoFI for the record). WoT is tame. Silly sex, tame violence. This is another reason why it's not exactly challenging, as it's not on the level of something an adult can handle. It's, IMO, on the level of 8th graders, actually probably less. Breathless kissing? OMG Boobs? Every girl is super pretty? Spankings? Silly sex? Come on. The White Tower, the most powerful establishment in Randland disciplines by spanking and giving chores. Wow. That is crazy and very realistic /sarcasm. I'm sure I could add more to this point, but not right now.

 

4. The relationships between the characters are draining and also extremely unrealistic. Everyone is falling madly in love intantly, and that just doesn't happen. Relationships are grown and nurtured by both sides and take a ton of commitment to keep going, and growing. The only one remotely realistic in my eyes is Rand and Min. At least they've spent some time together as a couple. Basically every other relationship is a love at first sight, breathless romance which sound like the relationships I had as a teenager. Rand and Elayne made out and then love each other? At least Avi and Rand had sex. I could go on, but why bother? The relationships are simply unbelievable, fairy-tale, love at first sight, garbage.

 

5. Finally, the unrealistic "super" characters. I dont necessarily mean the Big Three. I actually find them to make some sense. I love the new Rand, Perrin, and Mat. They are Ta'veren and basically can't die and need to be powerful in their own ways. But the SuperGirls? Everyone's a blade master after a few weeks/months of training? EVERYONE becomes a great commander/general? Basically every bad plot is rather easily unraveled by the good guys. Trollocs and Fades? Really? They were scary for about 1 1/2 books. Forsaken... lolz. There's no real "holy shit" because this person died. I mean, we new Moiraine was coming back, and literally every person from the Two Rivers is a fantastic, superperson who's good at whatever he/she wants, not too mention just a stand up guy/girl, great leader, powerful channeler, whatever. Just very hard to get behind these guys and girls(excluding the Big Three) who just happen to all be great superheroes. I find it over the top.

 

Anyway, I do love the story, plot, and Rand/Perrin/Mat/Moiraine who are essentially the backbone of the series(Moiraine was through the first five). Taim is about the only badguy who's done anything, although maybe Demandred has too, which is nice to see. I love that stuff is actually happening and look forward to how this is all going to end, because it is a great story and RJ is a good storyteller, but there are definitely some major drawbacks that I find hold this series back from being an absolute great set of books, many which seem to have manifested at about the halfway point in the series.

 

Again, this is my opinion. I love the story, the series, but like I said, there are definitely things I just cannot stand about it.

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Nynaeve is the strongest Aes Sedai channeler. The two who are stronger are Lanfear and Alivia, a former Seanchan damane who is now with Rand. So she's not the strongest female channeler in the world, as Agitel said, but no Aes Sedai is stronger (or better at Healing) than Nynaeve.

 

Not to mention a sea folk Windfinder, some Aiel Wise Ones nearly as strong as Nynaeve, and Sharina Melloy. Graendal may also be stronger than or as strong as Nynaeve, I'm not sure we've had a direct comparison, but she has commented on how few men were even stronger than herself.

 

 

As Clegane said, Wiki does indicate that only 2 female channelers in the series are stronger than Nynaeve. And, an essay on the 13 depository confirms it and claims that those 2 are Lanfear (even as Cyndane) and Alivia. So, while I've read no quote from Jordan himself on this matter, at least I can cite those 2 sources as references.

 

I've never heard of any Sea Folk Windfinder being as strong as Nynaeve. As for Graendal, I've never read that she's stronger or at least on a par w/Nynaeve anywhere, either. So, I'd sure like to know where you got your info, if possible.

 

The issue here is who's above Nynaeve in the power, not "nearly" as strong. So, whomever is "nearly" as strong (Wise Ones, kinswomen, etc.) is still below her and doesn't count.

 

And if you've read the books you would know that Sharina Melloy (an older woman who joined as a novice) and Talaan (Sea Folk) both have a potential significantly stronger than Nynaeve. As for Talent in Healing, there's a woman far weaker among the Kin who refers to Nynaeve's talent as amateurish, though when it come to larger breakthroughs Nynaeve certainly has an edge.

 

In addition, because Nynaeve's Talent with Healing has been brought up, the books point out that a number of women who were once village Wisdoms and the like show great proficiency in Nynaeve's way of Healing and take to it naturally.

 

"Sharina isn't only well-behaved," Tiana continued blithely, "she is showing a great skill with Nynaeve's new way of Healing. Like a number of the older novices. Most were village Wise Women of one sort or another, though I don't see how that can have any bearing. One was a noble in Murandy."

 

Romanda tripped over her own heel and staggered two steps, arms flailing for balance, before she could catch herself and gather her shawl. Tiana put a hand on her arm to steady her. murmuring about the un-evenness of the walkway's planking, but she shook it off. Sharina had a gift for the new Healing? And a number of the older women? She herself had learned the new way, but while it was different enough from the old that the second-learned weave limitation seemed not to apply, she had no great gift for it. Not nearly what she had for the old method.

 

-Call to a Sitting -- Knife of Dreams

Edited by Agitel
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And if you've read the books you would know that Sharina Melloy (an older woman who joined as a novice) and Talaan (Sea Folk) both have a potential significantly stronger than Nynaeve. As for Talent in Healing, there's a women far weaker among the Kin who refers to Nynaeve's talent as amateurish, though when it come to larger breakthroughs Nynaeve certainly has an edge.

 

Yes, I've read the books. I'm no die-hard TWoT fan, but I wouldn't be here if I hadn't read them. Makes no sense, of course.

 

That quote you've provided from one of the books doesn't clearly indicate that this minor, irrelevant character(s) is/are stronger than Nynaeve. All it says is that they've learned Nynaeve's ways of Healing.

 

Therefore, I've no choice but to consider them as something based on personal interpretation. I've no problem with that; I respect everyone's opinion. But when said opinions are not supported with irrefutable evidence, I'll always take them with a grain of salt.

 

Knowing something based on personal interpretation is not the same as understanding something, based on hard, cold fact. And what I know for a fact is that Nynaeve is the third most powerful female channeler in the books and most powerful among all Aes Sedai. I've already cited my reference sources for that.

Edited by Darth Krewl
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And if you've read the books you would know that Sharina Melloy (an older woman who joined as a novice) and Talaan (Sea Folk) both have a potential significantly stronger than Nynaeve. As for Talent in Healing, there's a women far weaker among the Kin who refers to Nynaeve's talent as amateurish, though when it come to larger breakthroughs Nynaeve certainly has an edge.

 

Yes, I've read the books. I'm no die-hard TWoT fan, but I wouldn't be here if I hadn't read them. Makes no sense, of course.

 

That quote you've provided from one of the books doesn't clearly indicate that this minor, irrelevant character(s) is/are stronger than Nynaeve. All it says is that they've learned Nynaeve's ways of Healing.

 

Therefore, I've no choice but to consider them as something based on personal interpretation. I've no problem with that; I respect everyone's opinion. But when said opinions are not supported with irrefutable evidence, I'll always take them with a grain of salt.

 

Knowing something based on personal interpretation is not the same as understanding something, based on hard, cold fact. And what I know for a fact is that Nynaeve is the third most powerful female channeler in the books and most powerful among all Aes Sedai. I've already cited my reference sources for that.

 

My quote wasn't supposed to prove their strength was stronger, it was meant to explain Nynaeve's apparent supernatural talent with Healing that some people brought up. Aes Sedai never really spent time in villages, they went to the Tower and learned how to Heal. That was it, that was the way. Nynaeve isn't alone when it comes to Talent, it has to do with her background, and people with similar background express the same type of Talent.

 

As for Sharina and Talaan, part of the difficulty in finding quotes about them is that I've had trouble finding those ebooks, but if I must, I must.

 

Talaan had not slowed, yet; she was little more than a child. Fifteen? Maybe younger! The Light alone knew what her potential was. At least, none of the Windfinders had mentioned it, and Nynaeve was not about to ask. She had no interest in knowing how much stronger than she a Sea Folk girl was going to be. None at all.

 

Ideas of Importance, Winter's Heart

 

Talaan is actually 19, but still some years younger than Nynaeve. As for Sharina...

 

Some might cause minor problems, and one, a grandmother named Sharina with a potential above even that of Nynaeve, certainly had everyone startled, but it was...

 

Beginnings, The Path of Daggers

 

With that said, Nynaeve is certainly a channeler of exceptional strength, but more to the point, channelers as strong as Egwene, Elayne and Aviendha, while certainly not the majority, are far more common in areas in which channelers have been having children. There are several Windfinders, Wise Ones, and damane with similar potential. Again, not abundant, but common enough not to be odd. So really, acting like it's mere luck that two incredibly strong channelers come from the Two Rivers shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Egwene was in the running for being a village Wisdom and for good reason, but her strength, while remarkable to those in the Tower and certainly of good strength, is not super rare in the world.

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Okay, well then we've been debating two completely different things. Because I was only trying to answer Clegane's questions, wrongfully assuming that they were addressed to me. I've seen that they were addressed to you and I didn't mean to meddle, of course. Just trying to provide an answer based on knowledge that I trust. IDK these books by heart, so I've to rely on other sources to get my info.

 

RE: Sharina and Talaan, I didn't even remember these 2 characters. But I do know whom Lanfear and Alivia, are, of course. So, I'm assuming that, while these 2 women have more potential than Nynaeve, they haven't fully developed it yet, perhaps 'cause they're irrelevant to the story? Only used as fillers to get some info across, like some authors will do? IDK, but at this point neither is as well-trained and reaching their prime as Nynaeve's been doing throughout the series. So, I guess that still places her above them. At least for the time being.

 

As for the luck factor that you mentioned before, again, that was Clegane who was questioning it, I believe. I find many faults in TWoT (many more than in other fantasy stories that I've read or watched on film), but this isn't one of them for me. Hey, these guys are supposed to be the heroes and protagonists, right? So it's only natural that they'd be more gifted than the rest of the folk in their world.

 

But, I do thank you for citing the books. I know it must've taken a while for you to find those quotes and I appreciate the effort.

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With that said, Nynaeve is certainly a channeler of exceptional strength, but more to the point, channelers as strong as Egwene, Elayne and Aviendha, while certainly not the majority, are far more common in areas in which channelers have been having children. There are several Windfinders, Wise Ones, and damane with similar potential. Again, not abundant, but common enough not to be odd. So really, acting like it's mere luck that two incredibly strong channelers come from the Two Rivers shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Egwene was in the running for being a village Wisdom and for good reason, but her strength, while remarkable to those in the Tower and certainly of good strength, is not super rare in the world.

 

Now someone is actually explaining the issue. Is Jordan trying to say that the Aes Sedai policy of concentrating channelers in Tar Valon and making it hard for them to reproduce is gradually destroying the population's ability to channel? That would be interesting. The only hole I see there is that if the Aes Sedai can shag their Warders, why is it so hard for them to reproduce? Was there something about many Aes Sedai not taking a Warder?

 

And there was a mental error I was making earlier - I forgot that Rand is really from Tar Valon, not Emond's Field.

 

And why would becoming a darkfriend only appeal to the dregs of society?

Because when you have nothing to lose, you will be willing to take greater risks. The converse of that is the reason that yuppies living in the San Fernando valley don't joing the crips or the bloods. But I agree that Jordan has not made the Darkfriends out that way.

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With that said, Nynaeve is certainly a channeler of exceptional strength, but more to the point, channelers as strong as Egwene, Elayne and Aviendha, while certainly not the majority, are far more common in areas in which channelers have been having children. There are several Windfinders, Wise Ones, and damane with similar potential. Again, not abundant, but common enough not to be odd. So really, acting like it's mere luck that two incredibly strong channelers come from the Two Rivers shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Egwene was in the running for being a village Wisdom and for good reason, but her strength, while remarkable to those in the Tower and certainly of good strength, is not super rare in the world.

 

Now someone is actually explaining the issue. Is Jordan trying to say that the Aes Sedai policy of concentrating channelers in Tar Valon and making it hard for them to reproduce is gradually destroying the population's ability to channel? That would be interesting. The only hole I see there is that if the Aes Sedai can shag their Warders, why is it so hard for them to reproduce? Was there something about many Aes Sedai not taking a Warder?

 

 

Yes, that is what he is saying. Aes Sedai don't shag their Warders in general; Green Sisters might, but that is not the relationship they have. Aes Sedai, in general, don't seem to be interested in having children.

 

And Rand is not from Tar Valon; he has Aiel and Andoran blood. I really ask this sincerely, and not out of sarcasm, but have you read the books? A lot of your comments seem to indicate that you haven't.

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With that said, Nynaeve is certainly a channeler of exceptional strength, but more to the point, channelers as strong as Egwene, Elayne and Aviendha, while certainly not the majority, are far more common in areas in which channelers have been having children. There are several Windfinders, Wise Ones, and damane with similar potential. Again, not abundant, but common enough not to be odd. So really, acting like it's mere luck that two incredibly strong channelers come from the Two Rivers shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Egwene was in the running for being a village Wisdom and for good reason, but her strength, while remarkable to those in the Tower and certainly of good strength, is not super rare in the world.

 

Now someone is actually explaining the issue. Is Jordan trying to say that the Aes Sedai policy of concentrating channelers in Tar Valon and making it hard for them to reproduce is gradually destroying the population's ability to channel? That would be interesting. The only hole I see there is that if the Aes Sedai can shag their Warders, why is it so hard for them to reproduce? Was there something about many Aes Sedai not taking a Warder?

 

And there was a mental error I was making earlier - I forgot that Rand is really from Tar Valon, not Emond's Field.

 

Yes, Jordan had characters comment on this a few times throughout his books, and Cadsuane discusses this in great detail in New Spring. Aes Sedai have a policy of waiting for girls to come to them. They do not actively recruit (I think they may have done more before the Trolloc Wars, but since then they sort of fell into established patterns), the only times they may go out and take people is when women start setting up their own organizations. If that happens they pretty much go out and drag the girls off to the Tower, or if it's incredibly small they occasionally don't interfere, such as with the Kin, which they thought was just a very small group of women who had been expelled from the Tower and maybe a couple of runaways. Anyway, areas outside of Tower influence or areas that don't have the means to really recognize the Talent of channeling go untouched for the most part. Jordan's specifically commented outside of his books that during the Age of Legends about 3% of the world population was able to channel, but that in this current Age in what is called the 'Westlands' (or 'Randland') by fans only about 1% of the population is capable of channeling, and that MOST of them don't even know it. Men who spark the Talent obviously don't get much reproducing done, but men capable of learning are going to be mixing with the gene pools, and so are women who don't go. However, areas within the Tower influence actively look for, or are at least capable of recognizing, the Talent and send the girls off to the Tower. Most never take husbands, and typically only Greens have romantic relationships with their Warders. On top of that, Jordan has a 'morning after' pill introduced into his world, via the means of a certain type of tea/herb. Aes Sedai don't really have time for children (in their opinion) and refrain from having them, and even if involved in romantic relationships would probably be of the mind to be drinking this tea to avoid pregnancy. Not that it never happens, but it's been made a point that few Aes Sedai ever have children.

 

And why would becoming a darkfriend only appeal to the dregs of society?

Because when you have nothing to lose, you will be willing to take greater risks. The converse of that is the reason that yuppies living in the San Fernando valley don't joing the crips or the bloods. But I agree that Jordan has not made the Darkfriends out that way.

 

You're right in some respects, but I still think there's plenty of motivation for some lords and ladies who want to rise to positions of greater power and influence to join as well, even if it meant getting their hands dirty. Sheriam regrets her decision when she finds out she's living during the Last Battle, she just thought she'd join and live and die and it wouldn't make a difference to the overall world other than help her rise through the ranks.

 

Also, in a world without an active deity some might prefer the idea of an active one, a true greater power they can point to.

 

We may just have to disagree on this one.

 

 

I really ask this sincerely, and not out of sarcasm, but have you read the books? A lot of your comments seem to indicate that you haven't.

 

 

He read The Eye of the World and half of The Gathering Storm and decided that the positions the characters are in are just plain unbelievable. It's in one of his posts on the third page.

 

Again, especially in the case of Egwene, there are many, many things that happened that led her to be Amyrlin and an effective one at that. That was very well explained. Of course skipping the entire arc is liable to make it seem unbelievable.

 

Also, rereading that post, it reminds me of his comment on the reaction in the Andoran court when they found out he had a heron marked blade in the throne room. A heron marked blade indicates a blademaster. When a man dressed as a farmer and hides his heron marked blade and manages to make his way to the throne room before the Queen, the first thought many would have would probably be "ASSASSIN!" and would at least very quickly reassess their position and insure the protection of the Queen.

 

To be honest, EotW is very much cliche fantasy, and when I first read it I thought Nynaeve was going to end up being the most powerful channeler in the world and all that, but he starts breaking from the cliches and making the world his own in the second book and doesn't look back. I myself did it, and I've seen others do it, but it's very easy to make assumptions about the way things are going to go and believe that because something wasn't explained the first time it was mentioned then there's either no explanation or it's some obviously cliche and cheesy one. Jordan doesn't work that way. There are reasons behind a lot of what he does, and they're slow in coming to light, breaking assumptions that have been made and what not. That is certainly a flaw of his writing, as is the meandering pace of some of his later books, as are some other things. I remember reading topics both here and elsewhere where people were actively posting their thoughts on things and how things would go while reading the first book, and it's funny how many assumed things like I did.

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And why would becoming a darkfriend only appeal to the dregs of society?

Because when you have nothing to lose, you will be willing to take greater risks. The converse of that is the reason that yuppies living in the San Fernando valley don't joing the crips or the bloods. But I agree that Jordan has not made the Darkfriends out that way.

 

Of course Jordan didn't make Darkfriends like a gang. Darkfriends are a cult, like I've already said.

 

In cults and secret societies, money, status and position in the outside world has absolutely nothing to do with your position within the order. Ditto for Darkfriends. Their inner hierarchical order is completely different. A ruler could very well be below a beggar, within their order.

 

Yuppies from San Fdo. Valley aren't joining gangs, but some of them could be into joining a Satanic, a Luciferian, a New Age cult, a secret society such as Freemasons or Rosicrucians, the same way as nobles from the WoT world decide to become Darkfriends. Hard to understand why people would join cults in real life, but they do. And they get brain-washed and forget all about themselves in the process.

 

Do a little research on cults, secret societies, fraternities and the like, and you'll see why Darkfriends, Whitecloaks and other such societies in the WoT work the way they do. Jordan is rumored to have been a Freemason. If this is true, which I believe it is, the guy would know how a secret society operates and what makes its members tick. Makes perfect sense.

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However, areas within the Tower influence actively look for, or are at least capable of recognizing, the Talent and send the girls off to the Tower. Most never take husbands, and typically only Greens have romantic relationships with their Warders. On top of that, Jordan has a 'morning after' pill introduced into his world, via the means of a certain type of tea/herb. Aes Sedai don't really have time for children (in their opinion) and refrain from having them, and even if involved in romantic relationships would probably be of the mind to be drinking this tea to avoid pregnancy. Not that it never happens, but it's been made a point that few Aes Sedai ever have children.

Did the Aes Sedai reproduce more readily in the Age of Legends? When there were male channelers.

 

Also, rereading that post, it reminds me of his comment on the reaction in the Andoran court when they found out he had a heron marked blade in the throne room. A heron marked blade indicates a blademaster. When a man dressed as a farmer and hides his heron marked blade and manages to make his way to the throne room before the Queen, the first thought many would have would probably be "ASSASSIN!" and would at least very quickly reassess their position and insure the protection of the Queen.

This reminds me of the comment someone else made that the characters are constantly making the most idiotic conclusions possible for any given situation. Rand had already had ample opportunity to do harm and hadn't done it. And I'm sure it isn't the first herron marked blade to wind up in the hands of someone it wasn't made for.

 

Jordan is rumored to have been a Freemason.

Interesting. But if the Darkfriends are a living, breathing part of the world rather than a plot device I would expect to see double agents, moles, sting operations, the stuff LE does to these sorts in real life. Nobody cares what the Freemasons do because they are not a threat.

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Jordan is rumored to have been a Freemason.

Interesting. But if the Darkfriends are a living, breathing part of the world rather than a plot device I would expect to see double agents, moles, sting operations, the stuff LE does to these sorts in real life. Nobody cares what the Freemasons do because they are not a threat.

 

True that.

 

Darkfriends do all the stuff that you'd expect medieval spies would do; especially the Black Ajah. Not convincingly, IMO, but then again to Jordan's defense, I'd have to say that espionage and intel wasn't as sophisticated in medieval times as it is in our day and age. And this is Robert Jordan, after all, not Robert Ludlum...hehehe. I don't think espionage was his forte.

 

The problem, IMO, is the way Jordan wrote the Forsaken. These people are supposed to be eons ahead of the Third Agers. They are at the top of the Darkfriend food chain and many of them were supposed to be master spies, interrogators, etc., in the much more advanced Age of Legends. Not to mention their supposed vast superiority on the One Power over Third Age channelers. So, if the head's defective, then the entire body will be in awful shape, of course.

 

I have a feeling that the Forsaken have something big planned before the end. And for their sake, I hope they do. Only way they can redeem themselves, 'cause to this point, this has got to be one of the weakest, lamest bunch of "supervillains" in fantasy. iMO, the Seanchan pose a much bigger threat to the Randland than any Darkfriends have, so far.

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However, areas within the Tower influence actively look for, or are at least capable of recognizing, the Talent and send the girls off to the Tower. Most never take husbands, and typically only Greens have romantic relationships with their Warders. On top of that, Jordan has a 'morning after' pill introduced into his world, via the means of a certain type of tea/herb. Aes Sedai don't really have time for children (in their opinion) and refrain from having them, and even if involved in romantic relationships would probably be of the mind to be drinking this tea to avoid pregnancy. Not that it never happens, but it's been made a point that few Aes Sedai ever have children.

Did the Aes Sedai reproduce more readily in the Age of Legends? When there were male channelers.

 

Also, rereading that post, it reminds me of his comment on the reaction in the Andoran court when they found out he had a heron marked blade in the throne room. A heron marked blade indicates a blademaster. When a man dressed as a farmer and hides his heron marked blade and manages to make his way to the throne room before the Queen, the first thought many would have would probably be "ASSASSIN!" and would at least very quickly reassess their position and insure the protection of the Queen.

This reminds me of the comment someone else made that the characters are constantly making the most idiotic conclusions possible for any given situation. Rand had already had ample opportunity to do harm and hadn't done it. And I'm sure it isn't the first herron marked blade to wind up in the hands of someone it wasn't made for.

 

Jordan is rumored to have been a Freemason.

Interesting. But if the Darkfriends are a living, breathing part of the world rather than a plot device I would expect to see double agents, moles, sting operations, the stuff LE does to these sorts in real life. Nobody cares what the Freemasons do because they are not a threat.

 

Yes, the Aes Sedai were much better integrated into society, and they did a far better job at living up to their name, the 'Servants of All'. They were actively involved in solving the problems of the world and easing people's lives, and they had children and married like normal people. Lews Therin himself had children, though he killed them all in his insanity...

 

I still think you're overreacting to the heron blade incident. The soldiers were all at ease and relaxed, and suddenly someone who's potentially a blademaster is in the room. Of course they're going to be startled, even if after that startlement they have some moments to rethink the situation.

 

As for darkfriends, did you really have sting operations going on in the fifteenth-seventeenth centuries? Darkfriends don't even meet regularly in person and any one couldn't give you more than a handful of other names that would be of any use. Ishamael drags them into tel'aran'rhiod (likely made easier because they're all marked by their oaths) and they get their orders there, where they're completely anonymous to the others around them. This is covered at the beginning of The Great Hunt, pretty much. Not to mention any who wanted to do a sting operation would have to take the oaths themselves and then would find it very difficult to do any betraying, not just because it's incredibly difficult to get any useful information about anyone in such a loose network, but because the Forsaken and the DO suddenly have you marked.

 

You really should read the other books. You have all these concerns and problems with the books, but you haven't even read most of them, and most of your concerns ARE addressed. I really shouldn't have to go into this much detail explaining the books to someone who has issues with them despite not having read them. You really should give The Great Hunt a try. Jordan improved in his writing from The Eye of the World, it's far less cliche, and, no offense to Sanderson, he's a better writer, and while Sanderson works for the series because everything's already been set up, that's just it, you miss everything Jordan did to set it up, and he did a great job. I think reading Sanderson's contribution alone without the rest of the context would be lacking because, frankly, Sanderson doesn't work on Jordan's level of scope and detail. Sanderson's great because we needed a faster pace, but it works because of everything Jordan laid out before.

 

(Don't get me wrong, I love Sanderson's books and think he's turning into a great writer, but he's not quite at that level, and if you've only read EotW, the most cliche of the series and at a point where Jordan was still growing and hadn't hit his stride) and then Sanderson's tGS, which is Sanderson's more straightforward writing with his lesser ability of dealing with a huge scope and not to mention the fact that it's not even his own world or series... well, to be honest, I don't think you can really judge the series.)

 

Unless I read your original post wrong, in which case, forgive me.

 

Jordan is rumored to have been a Freemason.

Interesting. But if the Darkfriends are a living, breathing part of the world rather than a plot device I would expect to see double agents, moles, sting operations, the stuff LE does to these sorts in real life. Nobody cares what the Freemasons do because they are not a threat.

 

True that.

 

Darkfriends do all the stuff that you'd expect medieval spies would do; especially the Black Ajah. Not convincingly, IMO, but then again to Jordan's defense, I'd have to say that espionage and intel wasn't as sophisticated in medieval times as it is in our day and age. And this is Robert Jordan, after all, not Robert Ludlum...hehehe. I don't think espionage was his forte.

 

The problem, IMO, is the way Jordan wrote the Forsaken. These people are supposed to be eons ahead of the Third Agers. They are at the top of the Darkfriend food chain and many of them were supposed to be master spies, interrogators, etc., in the much more advanced Age of Legends. Not to mention their supposed vast superiority on the One Power over Third Age channelers. So, if the head's defective, then the entire body will be in awful shape, of course.

 

I have a feeling that the Forsaken have something big planned before the end. And for their sake, I hope they do. Only way they can redeem themselves, 'cause to this point, this has got to be one of the weakest, lamest bunch of "supervillains" in fantasy. iMO, the Seanchan pose a much bigger threat to the Randland than any Darkfriends have, so far.

 

In some ways the Forsaken could be tougher. In otherways, I think you've fallen victim to a gross misperception. The Forsaken are not supervillains. Most weren't even that extraordinary. They're infamous, but only because of the legends built up around them over 3500 years. Graendal was a psychologist and philanthropist. Asmodean was a musician. Aginor was a famed biologist and geneticist (can't really do much with that in the Third Age). Mesaana was given administrative duties at university because she wasn't considered talented enough to do research. Lanfear struggled all her life to earn a third name but never got one and was simply greedy and lusted after power. Balthamael was a historian and womanizer, often fraternizing with the seedier of society. Moghedien was a freakin' financial consultant who frequently abused her position, though she did run a covert intelligence agency for the Shadow during the War of Power. Ishamael was a philosopher and theologian, though he was very talented, and Demandred was also very bright. Semirhage was simply a very great healer and a sadist, etc... They weren't the greatest of people. There were thousands of Forsaken in the Age of Legends, the thirteen were ONLY famous and remembered because they were sealed at Shayol Ghul while trying to stop Lews Therin. They weren't all incredibly remarkable, at least not for the reasons they were remembered, though of course they had their own talents. Some of them were great generals, some administrators, others not so much... but had other talents.

 

To be honest, I think that would be more obvious. After all, the Aes Sedai come off much the same way. They're incredibly built up by the perceptions of others, but it's all really an act that inspires legends and rumors about them. With all that said, I still think people underestimate how much chaos and disorganization the Forsaken have caused in the world, but I've already gone over that. I DO think Jordan is at fault in this perception because they haven't killed of any major characters, but in truth, the Light is in shambles at the moment and the Shadow came incredibly close to victory in its manipulation of Rand.

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Did the Aes Sedai reproduce more readily in the Age of Legends? When there were male channelers.

Yes, absolutely. There was some sort of comment by some Aes Sedai who had a POV at one point (really can't remember who or when) when she refers to the need to preserve the Aes Sedai's dignity -- that people had to see them as "another flesh". The Third Age Aes Sedai are obsessed with this notion of maintaining their own authority and grandeur, and that results in them being, in general, apart from the world. Not being part of romantic relationships is a major aspect of that (along with the fact that, not being able to marry other channelers, they are guaranteed to far outlive their husbands and children.)

 

Age of Legends Aes Sedai had normal jobs. They had careers that didn't only involve channeling -- in fact, many of the ones we have met didn't use channeling all that much in their careers. They were involved in the world, not withdrawn from it.

 

Pulling Aes Sedai and male channelers out of the gene pool could be argued to select against channeling in the general population, although given the relatively small number of Aes Sedai (as compared to how many people could at least potentially learn to channel) and the relatively small percentage of potential channelers among men versus those who do on their own, in my opinion it seems like the selective pressure involved is fairly weak, and I would think a much bigger factor in the declining number of Aes Sedai just has to do with their shitty recruitment practices and probably with how popular the Tower is. If Aes Sedai isn't seen as a glamorous career choice, a lot fewer young women will consider it.

 

 

There were thousands of Forsaken in the Age of Legends, the thirteen were ONLY famous and remembered because they were sealed at Shayol Ghul while trying to stop Lews Therin.

There were thousands of channelers who turned, but I don't think they were all Chosen. One of Moghedien's POVs (IIRC) said that something like 29 people had ever been granted the use of the True Power. I would guess that that's probably a better estimate of how many Chosen there were. Nothing suggests that every single Joe Q. Sedai who joined the dark side was ranked up with Ishamael and Graendal.

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There were thousands of Forsaken in the Age of Legends, the thirteen were ONLY famous and remembered because they were sealed at Shayol Ghul while trying to stop Lews Therin.

There were thousands of channelers who turned, but I don't think they were all Chosen. One of Moghedien's POVs (IIRC) said that something like 29 people had ever been granted the use of the True Power. I would guess that that's probably a better estimate of how many Chosen there were. Nothing suggests that every single Joe Q. Sedai who joined the dark side was ranked up with Ishamael and Graendal.

 

All Aes Sedai who turned to the Shadow in the Age of Legends were called Chosen/Forsaken. You are right in bringing up the gift of the True Power, though. Not all got that.

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From what I can see some people do not like the Wheel of Time becuase:

 

a)There are a lot of characters

b)The orgnization of the characters are somewhat complex (aeil for example are rather complicated group of people)

c)The books are not exactly fast paced

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All Aes Sedai who turned to the Shadow in the Age of Legends were called Chosen/Forsaken. You are right in bringing up the gift of the True Power, though. Not all got that.

I can't remember any bit of text that suggests that's true.

 

If one of the Third Age characters says something that implies that, it still doesn't make it true, since most Third Agers seem unaware that there were other darkfriend channelers besides the 13 Chosen we know and love.

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Nynaeve is the strongest Aes Sedai channeler. The two who are stronger are Lanfear and Alivia, a former Seanchan damane who is now with Rand. So she's not the strongest female channeler in the world, as Agitel said, but no Aes Sedai is stronger (or better at Healing) than Nynaeve.
Actually, at least one AS is better at Healing than Nynaeve - Samitsu.

 

Because it's true. Being the most able out of a few thousand and the most out of a few million are very different.

No [expletives deleted], dude. And once again you have a completely warped view of what is relevant to the argument. I use the most able out of a few million argument when I can because Robert Jordan handed it to me, not because I need to use that stronger criteria to make my point.

 

The fact that I have to go to the effort to explain that to you instead of relying on you to see it yourself is part of why I don't think you are arguing in good faith, you have already made up your mind what you are going to say and I can even predict it.

Firstly, swearing is not permitted on these boards. Given that and the personal attacks, one might almost think you were trying to get banned. RJ did not hand you the "most able out of a few million" argument, or at least you have done precious little to justify that (or any of your other opinions). You are constantly hamstrung in your attempts to debate given that things that are spelled out quite clearly in the series, things which are explained, are things you have missed because you haven't read the books. Things you claim as flaws might be justified in the series had you read it. I am not arguing with you in good faith, because I do not think you have any attemtp to do so with me. I've already said that I know I don't have to take your points seriously. When asked to, you fail time and again to back up your points. For example, take your point about how Darkfriends are paid/administered/etc. I aksed why it was relevant to the story for that to be explained to us, and you haven't given a reason. If you want to say something is relevant, explain how and why it is relevant. As it is, you answered nothing I said in my last post.

 

All Aes Sedai who turned to the Shadow in the Age of Legends were called Chosen/Forsaken. You are right in bringing up the gift of the True Power, though. Not all got that.

I can't remember any bit of text that suggests that's true.

 

If one of the Third Age characters says something that implies that, it still doesn't make it true, since most Third Agers seem unaware that there were other darkfriend channelers besides the 13 Chosen we know and love.

RJ said it was true. Edited by Mr Ares
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