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Perrin's ability to fight.


EvilSocrates
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I love Perrin. Something that has always concerned me though is the following: how does Perrin not get murdered when he charges into battle? I understand how being huge and using a big ax or hammer is handy for killing Trollocs, as they are horrible fighters but require a lot of damage to kill.

 

However, I seem to remember him being just as on the front lines fighting the Shaido Aiel. Shouldn't an expert spear-man like an Aiel instantly kill a big unarmored fella with a smith's hammer (or even an ax)? Seems to me a solid swordsman (let alone a blademaster or Fade) would chop him to pieces too. He doesn't use armor or a shield, negating pretty much the only advantages that using hafted and blunt weapons gives you (smashing through some OTHER guy wearing armor and/or using a shield). What gives? Does he have magic wolf-brother given fighting abilities? What am I missing?

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He's Ta'veren.

 

The pattern shapes itself around him, so he can't die because he is evidently needed at Tarmon Gai'don.

 

I mean, we don't know for sure, but Rand seems to think so and it seems he and Mat are both named in the Karaethon Cycle, so it's pretty likely.

 

"When the Wolf King carries the hammer, thus are the final days known.

when the Fox marries the raven, and the trumpets of battle are blown."

 

It is a very Deus Ex Machina sort of thing.. but I love the concept of Ta'veren all the same.

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Also, don't forget that during EotW, Lan spent time training each boy in how to use their weapon. So, Perrin got some axe fighting training from one of the best fighters on the planet. Plus, he fights like a wolf, hamstringing and going for the throat and dodging attacks. Wolves aren't taught how to fight, they just know how to fight. Same with Perrin. So, all that, and he's ta'veren.

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I always thought it had to do with him being a wolfbrother. I figured it was the wolf side/instincts that took over during battle making him a very very formidable opponent, I may be wrong, but that's just what I chalked it up to.

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Also, don't forget that during EotW, Lan spent time training each boy in how to use their weapon. So, Perrin got some axe fighting training from one of the best fighters on the planet. Plus, he fights like a wolf, hamstringing and going for the throat and dodging attacks. Wolves aren't taught how to fight, they just know how to fight. Same with Perrin. So, all that, and he's ta'veren.

 

Wolves aren't taught how to fight? What do you think wolf cubs do all day?

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He did get some basic Lan training, that is true. I don't remember how extensive it was though, and unlike Rand, I don't think he kept practicing. I assume he has some wolfy instincts that come in handy, but it still feels like he should get spitted. That might be why we never get to read descriptions of his fights, unlike Rand and Mat whose prowess is actually described and proven by describing their fight scenes, whereas Perrin just runs off into the fray and then the chapter ends usually. Perhaps the explanation is that RJ left them out because they make no sense and he couldn't describe them.

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It is possible to block or rather deflect blows with an axe. I don't remember this clearly, but I have a vague memory of Perrin fighting very defensively against a Myrddraal early in tDR or tGH? Didn't their camp get attacked about when Rand decided to go off alone? IIRC he was afraid the Fade would tire him and then kill him since defending with the axe required him to swing the weapon constantly, so he had to go for the kill.

 

I could have made all this up in my head, of course...

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Also, don't forget that during EotW, Lan spent time training each boy in how to use their weapon. So, Perrin got some axe fighting training from one of the best fighters on the planet. Plus, he fights like a wolf, hamstringing and going for the throat and dodging attacks. Wolves aren't taught how to fight, they just know how to fight. Same with Perrin. So, all that, and he's ta'veren.

 

Wolves aren't taught how to fight? What do you think wolf cubs do all day?

 

That's what happens in the real world. In the WoT world, wolves know everything they need to know about being a wolf from birth. The whole racial memory thing.

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Hes a berserker, read the descriptions of him when he fightsand his thougths and emotions afterwards.

 

And as for not practising, he really hasn't needed to have any, he's pretty much been fighting either Trollocs or Aiel since the beginning of the book, and in situations like that, you learn quickly or you don't learn anything else ever again.

 

Also, I'm beginning to think Perrin is almost equal to Mat when it comes to being a general. He's led the Two Rivers and others against both Trollocs and Aiel, probably the 2 much deadly types of enemy you can have, and defeated them both, on multiple occasions.

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He also mentions fairly early on that he worked out with the axe when he got it from his blacksmith master. I'd assume he was given pointers then. Mat never practices with a quarterstaff and still wollops Gawyn and Galad together, so Two Rivers men can be assumed to be good with their weapons from necessity. The sword is the weird thing, since it can't really be used in agriculture/hunting. Notice Rand is the only one good with a sword.

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Also, I'm beginning to think Perrin is almost equal to Mat when it comes to being a general. He's led the Two Rivers and others against both Trollocs and Aiel, probably the 2 much deadly types of enemy you can have, and defeated them both, on multiple occasions.
Trollocs are pretty poor soldiers - big and strong, yes, but lazy, stupid cowards. The hard part in beating them is not out-generalling them. As for the Aiel, the two big fights against them where Perrin led men were Dumai's Wells (where victory is down to the Asha'man showing up) and Malden. He spent a significant amount of the Malden battle on the front lines, looking for Faile, not acting as a general. So putting him on a par with one of the Great Captains is pushing things rather. He's certainly not incompetent, he did a good job of planning for Malden, but he's no Cauthon, Bashere, Bryne, Jagad, Niall or Ituralde.
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to quote from tvtropes.org...

 

 

"According to Moiraine, the three were "ta'veren" (which is Old Tongue for "main characters")"

 

 

so yeah, simmilarly....he's a main character....he's not alowed to die untill atleast book 14, which give him a free " i fight good" pass. Unless RJ suddenly turned into GRR Martin and kills of a pov character every 4 chapters.... :happy:

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I would say it comes down to his instincts gleaned from his brothers. Lan gave him the basics, blacksmithing gave him the strength, and the instincts bring those together in such a way that what basics he got from Lan are honed to thier fullest in battle. They're also the likely reason Perrin's fights aren't described as well as Rand's or Mat's. Rand extends his awareness when he fights with the void, where Perrin lets go of himself. Mat's fights are just well described because throwing knives and spearfighting are just so much cooler to read about than the single chop or pound Perrin uses.

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It is possible to block or rather deflect blows with an axe. I don't remember this clearly, but I have a vague memory of Perrin fighting very defensively against a Myrddraal early in tDR or tGH? Didn't their camp get attacked about when Rand decided to go off alone? IIRC he was afraid the Fade would tire him and then kill him since defending with the axe required him to swing the weapon constantly, so he had to go for the kill.

 

I could have made all this up in my head, of course...

 

 

Fighting axes have long handles, which you can use like a quarterstaff to block attacks. You can't do it for long, because the weapon is designed as a purely offensive weapon.

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Firstly, it's usually agreed upon that in the Marvel Universe, Wolverine due to his feral instincts and animal way of fighting is one of the best, if not best, fighters out there. Perrin and Wolvie are sorta similar. They're both shorter, stockier guys with big builds. Perrin has the strength of being a blacksmith his whole life now added to having the agility, and instincts of a wolf. And he has a "beserker" mode in battle.

 

Secondly, he doesn't use a shield, that's true. The axe/hammer puts an opponent at a greater disadvantage than other weapons. Like a Thakan'dar blade or an Aiel's short spear. But Perrin more than makes up for it with his ability with the axe/hammer.

 

I think a lot of his prowess was gained in The Shadow Rising, he spent all that time honing his battle ability with the axe fending off Trollocs in a desperate fight for life. He even goes toe to toe with a Fade and has to be saved by Tomas (I'm currently re-reading the entire series and I'm at tSR, so I know this for sure). By the time of tSR it's been about a year away from the Blight and tEotW. The main three have all been in situations where they've had to fight for their lives. Perrin even more so as he returned to the Two Rivers to defend it.

 

I know a lot of people are skeptical about the skill the main three have with their weapons of choice but remember a few things. Rand was taught the sword from the greatest Bladesmaster currently alive (one Lan Mandragoran), Mat had experience with a staff enough to trump Galad and Gawyn before he received his Ashanderi, and Perrin spent hours upon hours swinging a hammer and building up all that arm strength and talent to mold metal.

 

Get some battle training behind it, then spend what I think (I'm not sure) is the course of a few months fighting for your life against massive man-beasts, then add in the instincts, agility, and tenacity of a wolf. And you've got one mean, not so lean, fighting machine.

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I'm reasonably confident Perrin is tallish, actually. But I'm not sure.

 

Wolverine is one of the best fighters alive because he basically cannot die, and is totally indifferent to pain. That let's him to attacks that other people can or would not. "Get set on fire and have a spear put through me to gain some minor tactical advantage in this battle. SOUND GREAT ENGAGE BERSERKER RAGE." If Perrin tries to berserker his way around like that, he might kill an Aiel, but he will still die from the spear sticking through him. He is almost super-humanly strong though. If you have to fight somehow whom you absolutely cannot let hit you in any way or you will be destroyed, you may have to fight around that fact. Someone willing to take a fatal hammer or axe smash could kill him, but people with any sense of self preservation have to dodge (because they cannot realistically block without being shattered) his accurate, well executed blows. That is about the best I can come up with as a defense for how his fighting style works. If literally every attack he makes is a hard to dodge killing blow, then he might just overwhelm people who are unwilling to trade deaths with him.

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He is almost super-humanly strong though. If you have to fight somehow whom you absolutely cannot let hit you in any way or you will be destroyed, you may have to fight around that fact. Someone willing to take a fatal hammer or axe smash could kill him, but people with any sense of self preservation have to dodge (because they cannot realistically block without being shattered) his accurate, well executed blows. That is about the best I can come up with as a defense for how his fighting style works. If literally every attack he makes is a hard to dodge killing blow, then he might just overwhelm people who are unwilling to trade deaths with him.

 

When you have to fight a guy who seems to shatter someone's entire torso every time he swings his hammer and has a long path made of the remnants of your allies behind him strategizing and contemplating your willingness to trade deaths probably takes a back seat to crapping your pants.

 

As far as general fighting ability... he's extremely strong, feral, the pattern itself bends around him, he's been in combat situations most of the last few years, and he's swinging a 200lb hammer.

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