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raolan

Most annoying/stupid characters

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I know most people would frown at me for saying these things, but I kinda like Elayne.

 

Shure, she is a bit of an arrogant snooty kid at times whos expecting everything to be done according to her wishes...

But dosent that kinda come with being the heir to Andor? I mean, looking at how a typical European medival princess would act in her situation... Its not absurd... Of course its a fictional person in a fictive setting, and as such its very different from "real life" for the sake of writeing a good story... But it adds a layer of realism to her personallity... So to speak.

 

Yes. But her stupidity being realistic/believable doesn't detract from the fact that she is, indeed, how of the most consistently dumb and annoying people in Randland!

 

 

Rand has had plenty of really stupid moments. I like him, but that's a fact. Leaving the Black Tower in total control of a guy he met 5 minutes before and not doing anything for so long to check up on him despite the numerous clues he had that something fishy is going on, is probably the most blatant one.

 

Agreed. Rand can be stupid/blind (same as anyone else really), but he can also be very clever, brave, powerful. I mean, the man's conquered half the world, cleansed saidin and disposed of a few Forsaken along the way. Not bad going for a humble sheepherder. I think the fact that Rand makes mistakes is a very good part of his character, it makes him more believable and more human, and also serves to demonstrate that being the Dragon Reborn ain't that easy.

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Let me just add to the Egwene issue here. Not only is she blindly power hungry, she's a special kind of power hungry. She's completely willing to sacrifice anything up to and including herself in order to see the White Tower furthered. So she's fully committed, and as ruthless about it as Niall or Masema were. She's just prettier. Elayne, by way of comparison, makes ruthless moves as well, and gathers power, but her thought process' seems to have the Last Battle first in her mind, where as Egwene's thoughts are for the Tower first and foremost, and then for the battle second and the world third.

 

I will give Egwene enough credit as to say that if she remains smart enough to listen to her friends' advice, that Nynaeve might be able to talk a bit of sense into her.

 

 

Cads.......Am I the only one who sees the bullying nature come out almost entirely in the last two books? Yes, things we see now color what we saw before, but I just don't think she was as much of a bully under RJ.

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Cads.......Am I the only one who sees the bullying nature come out almost entirely in the last two books? Yes, things we see now color what we saw before, but I just don't think she was as much of a bully under RJ.

 

IMO, like the heavyweight bully that she is, Cadsuane's reacting to losing her grip on the "al'Thor boy", whom she was used to look upon as an ignorant, inexperienced kid that was nothing next to her is to be expected. As Rand has come to remember more from his previous lifetime as Lews Therin, making her literally feel like a mere babe next to him (just as he observes in TGS), she has become desperate to keep her grip on him, though she never really had it. And now, she doesn't know what to do, simply because, unlike all those fools who defer to her, Rand just refuses to bow to the idiotic old bitch.

 

I've always been under the impression that Rand can't stand the bossy, nosy, insufferable hag's guts any more than many readers whom, like me, can't stand her. So, I've always thought that he put up with her only 'cause of Min's viewing. So, I'd have to say that any changes I've seen in her are in-universe (signs of desperation) and not related to the change in writers.

Edited by Darth Krewl

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Elayne, by way of comparison, makes ruthless moves as well, and gathers power, but her thought process' seems to have the Last Battle first in her mind, where as Egwene's thoughts are for the Tower first and foremost, and then for the battle second and the world third.

 

I'll step into the ToM spoilers (highlight to read): I don't think Elayne is any less self-centered. Andor definitely seems to come first and foremost when she wants to keep Aludra's dragons all to herself, get authority over Mat and his Band and is just about ready to wage war on Perrin to get the Two Rivers back under full Andoran control. Not to mention the fact she actually contemplated sending MAT and his band to wage that particular fight against "Lord Goldeneyes"!/end spoiler

 

To me, none of this seem to be the actions/thoughts of a ruler that is dedicated to the Last Battle first and foremost. They are, however, thoughts/action that are dangerously close to power hungry, not to mention a tad cruel & insensitive on the last point.

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they are consistent with a ruler who has to take care of minor but pressing issues before dealing with a much larger one...also, i think the first was a negotiation tactic and the last was never actually seriously considered, just used to get info

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they are consistent with a ruler who has to take care of minor but pressing issues before dealing with a much larger one...also, i think the first was a negotiation tactic and the last was never actually seriously considered, just used to get info

 

Hmm...I don't really know if what I wanted to say qualifies as spoilers or not, so I'm gonna play it safe.

 

What both, Elayne and Egwene have been planning before ToM, is not consistent with rulers taking care of "minor, pressing issues before a much larger one". Both these girls ('cause neither's a full-grown woman yet) have been planning far ahead into the future, putting Tarmon Gai'don in second place behind every single other plan they've conceived for their respective rule.

 

Elayne's intentions to take over Cairhien cannot be considered a "minor issue" in any possible way. This an entire nation being taken over by the ruler of another nation. That's no minor issue, by any means.

 

Ditto for Egwene's plans to take older women, Sea Folk Windfinders and Aiel Wise Ones into the White Tower for training. That's a major turnaround of Aes Sedai policies that have been standing for centuries. The girl hasn't even repaired the schism in the tower completely and she's already thinking of adding more fuel to the fire.

 

IMO, the minor issues these two should be concerning themselves with is working together and organizing the forces under command for the Last Battle. Because if you are not well prepared for that, then none of your world will be left standing and any and all plans you've laid out for the future (no matter how major or minor) will never come to fruition.

 

I just haven't seen either making plans and arrangements to take on that huge event, which is already around the corner, btw. And that's extremely short-sighted and stupid; it's not being able to see past your own nose and get a glimpse of the bigger picture.

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I wouldn't be so harsh on them in that regard, though. I think there is a fair point in the fact that the Dragon Reborn is in charge of leading and hopefully winning the Last Battle, but other rulers MUST be concerned about life post Tarmon Gaidon. If no one worries about it, well... complete chaos will ensue. It's a balance. Winning TG is obviously number one on the list as otherwise the world will be destroyed, but making sure the victory is not an empty one (as in DO is disposed of but world sinks in chaos due to leadership breaking up and no plan being made by any rulers, leading to civil war, more deaths, etc) is a huge number 2. Rand's focus should be entirely on TG (although I'm sure even he is sparing a thought for the aftermath), but the Amyrlin's or the Queen's should be also on the future. They do need to take care of the world post TG and DR.

 

What bothers me more about Elayne is that her concerns for the future sound a lot more power hungry and self centered to me for reasons mentioned above, not to mention /ToM spoilers/ wanting to monopolize use of gateways and the Kin for example. She does look guilty when the Kin mentions this could mean she would be the only ruler able to send armies anywhere, Heal them instantly, etc./end spoiler/

 

In comparison, Egwene's concerns seem more constructive and positive to me as in sharing of training across cultural borders, strengthening everyone in the process. Of course her idea is to try to keep the upper hand for the AS (and fair enough, it's her organisation), but in practice I do believe EVERYONE will benefit from this. I don't think she wants to add fuel to the fire - she wants to unite, as she has worked to unite the White Tower already. Of course uniting can be dangerous (no ruler should gather too much power/influence), but the intent and the potential results don't seem anywhere near as bad as Elayne's plans to me.

 

I'd say they are similar in the sense that both have made it their priorities to make their queendom/tower the number one seat of power in the world, but Egwene's methods seem a lot smarter/healthier to me. It feels to me that Elayne is trying to rule by division and power mongering, whereas Egwene is trying to rule by uniting and spreading the knowledge/power. Elayne is all about closing down, Egwene opening up.

Edited by Toothbrush

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I wouldn't be so harsh on them in that regard, though. I think there is a fair point in the fact that the Dragon Reborn is in charge of leading and hopefully winning the Last Battle, but other rulers MUST be concerned about life post Tarmon Gaidon. If no one worries about it, well... complete chaos will ensue. It's a balance. Winning TG is obviously number one on the list as otherwise the world will be destroyed, but making sure the victory is not an empty one (as in DO is disposed of but world sinks in chaos due to leadership breaking up and no plan being made by any rulers, leading to civil war, more deaths, etc) is a huge number 2. Rand's focus should be entirely on TG (although I'm sure even he is sparing a thought for the aftermath), but the Amyrlin's or the Queen's should be also on the future. They do need to take care of the world post TG and DR.

 

What bothers me more about Elayne is that her concerns for the future sound a lot more power hungry and self centered to me for reasons mentioned above, not to mention /ToM spoilers/ wanting to monopolize use of gateways and the Kin for example. She does look guilty when the Kin mentions this could mean she would be the only ruler able to send armies anywhere, Heal them instantly, etc./end spoiler/

 

In comparison, Egwene's concerns seem more constructive and positive to me as in sharing of training across cultural borders, strengthening everyone in the process. Of course her idea is to try to keep the upper hand for the AS (and fair enough, it's her organisation), but in practice I do believe EVERYONE will benefit from this. I don't think she wants to add fuel to the fire - she wants to unite, as she has worked to unite the White Tower already. Of course uniting can be dangerous (no ruler should gather too much power/influence), but the intent and the potential results don't seem anywhere near as bad as Elayne's plans to me.

 

I'd say they are similar in the sense that both have made it their priorities to make their queendom/tower the number one seat of power in the world, but Egwene's methods seem a lot smarter/healthier to me. It feels to me that Elayne is trying to rule by division and power mongering, whereas Egwene is trying to rule by uniting and spreading the knowledge/power. Elayne is all about closing down, Egwene opening up.

 

Well, just to clarify, I wasn't trying to say that plans shouldn't be made for the future. Only that the order should be reversed; that instead of E & E planning for the future of their respective institutions/nations first and Tarmon Gai'don second, they should put their plans on hold, at least till the dust has settled. Because, IMO, any good leader should have the vision to know that, even if you win the Last Battle, the world you'll go back to just won't be the same as it was before, arguably, the greatest war in history.

 

In that sense, any and all plans you could've made could very well be all for naught. 'cause you never know just how things will be after it's all said and done. So, keep your plans in the oven and take them out when the time is right. Perfect balance, as described by many theorists, is about the here and now first, the future and the past later. You don't disregard them completely. You just concentrate on the task at hand, 'cause otherwise, that future you envisioned may never come to pass.

 

IMO, there is only one leader/ruler in the Randland who is doing exactly this...

 

 

Perrin. He didn't back away from the trial with the Whitecloaks and he accepted the verdict. All he said was that he'd wait till after the Last Battle to subject himself. Also, notice how he negotiated the future of the Two Rivers with Elayne, but the guy never stopped thinking about the "Last Hunt".

 

 

That's what I'm talking about. Perfect balance between taking care of the most pressing issues affecting your life, your world, so on and so forth in the here and now, w/o stopping to think about the future. But never making that future your top priority either. Make sure that it's here first and then, you can worry about it.

 

As for Egwene, maybe it's my gender talking, but it bothers me to no end to see her shun male channelers, even when the taint's been cleansed. She may or may not know this, but if she does intend to include all channelers into the White Tower (and most importantly, uphold the name Aes Sedai, which applied to both, men and women, when the order was founded) then she must include male channelers in some way.

 

As for Elayne, I hear you. What bothers me to no end is, how this girl has thrown her realm into total and utter chaos. One only has to see what Andor's been through since she took over, to see the MAJOR failure that the girl's been as a queen. So, maybe some readers may like her and that's cool. But I for one, would hate to be "average Joe" from Andor during her reign. I'd be shouting, "somebody bring back the Dragon and his Aiel. Pleeaaasee!" lol!

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In regards to the theory of "one task at a time, present first" I agree with the sentiment, but I do think some measure of thought and planning should still be given to the future. If you wait until the last minute, it's going to be much harder to put anything in place, and you might completely miss your chance. In that sense, I think Eg & El are right to split their focus a bit. They should just pay attention not to get too carried away with it (which IMHO is a bigger risk with Elayne).

 

100% agree with you that Egwene should revise her opinion of male channelers and allow them to become Aes Sedai again. However, I don't think this is very likely in the current world. The situation is very different than from the AoL, not just because of past taint on saidin, but because a Black Tower has been established, and male channelers call themselves Ashaman. As a consequence, I don't know that male channelers would be any keener to join the AS than the WT is to recruit them. Nonetheless, Eg should be thinking about trying to unite them, even if it fails. However, you may also say that it's pretty normal for her to be wary of Ashaman considering what's happening in the BT right now... so far, male channelers haven't exactly proved their trustworthiness (apart from a few isolated cases that are out of BT influence such as Grady with Perrin).

 

Also agree Perrin is an excellent leader. He is wise, well-balanced and steadfast, a lot more so than women leaders so far. But he did need A LOT of time before he reached that stage. Egwene hasn't been in true power for that long yet, but she's been progressing by leaps and bounds as well I think. Perrin has also benefited a lot from his relationship with Faile, which cannot be said of Eg and her relationship with Gawyn... (thank God she had Siuan at least!).

Edited by Toothbrush

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Exactly, that's why I said that you worry about the present, first, but not leave the future unplanned for, either. Just don't spend all of your time looking ahead, 'cause you might miss that pebble on the ground that could make you trip and break a leg, if you know what I mean.

 

As for the male channelers, I agree that there's many difficulties, biases and prejudice to overcome. As a man, I've always identified with the Asha'man, of course, and never with the present day Aes Sedai of the Third Age. So, if I was one of them, I'd be the first who wouldn't want to have anything to do with them, at all.

 

My point was only that I don't see Egwene taking them into consideration for better or worse. She doesn't seem to include them amongst channelers, the way she does with Wise Ones, Sea Folk, Kinswomen, etc. IMO, real progressive thinking would include both halves of the Source (I guess this is why Jordan used the symbol of the Yin/Yang for the Aes Sedai, to illustrate this need for balance, precisely).

 

So, all I'd like to see is Egwene laying the groundwork for a potential fusion in the future, starting by doing away with those ancient prejudices that infest those under her command, at least. Leave the rest up to Rand.

 

Though we know Egwene sees Rand and how far she is from seeing him for what he truly is (a far more powerful and wiser channeler than her, regardless of gender), let alone see him as an equal. And herein lies the problem, IMO. If the head's infected, then surely, the rest of the body will follow.

 

As for Egwene's progression compared to Perrin, I must disagree. It's been a while since Egwene was raised by the Rebels and that, along with Siuan's tutelage (I totally agree w/u on this one), should be more than enough to make a good leader out of her by this point, IMO.

 

Especially, after all she had to overcome after Elaida tried to break her. She did grow a lot and the way she handled herself did earn her lots of points, IMO, though her stance concerning other issues (such as Rand) definitely took those points back.

 

Still, there's no comparison between Elayne and Egwene in my book. Egwene saved the White Tower from the Seanchan and is unifying it, whereas Elayne split Andor apart and send it to war, weakening her country big time in light of Tarmon Gai'don, instead of strengthening it.

 

IMO, she should've swallowed her pride, taken the throne when Rand offered it and included all of her politicking as part of her plans for the future, precisely. Keep the stability and order the way Rand had done it (personally, I can't see the difference between her hiring sellswords, as opposed to keeping an Aiel guard in place, like Rand did, since both aren't exactly loyal Andorian Queensguards) and worry about securing your rule later.

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I'd just thought of another funny theory about Taim. Lews Therin absolutely hates the guts of Demandred. Whenever Mazrim Taim shows up, Lews Therin starts screaming about killing him. Connection? Maybe.

 

Anyway, about Egwene.

 

Another reason I hate her is that shortly after becoming Amrylin she promised that The White Tower would not interfere with Wise Ones or Athan Miere Windfinders. Not too long later she is trolling about trying to get as many as she can.

Her 'THEWHITETOWERISEVERYTHINGSCREWRANDALTHORHESHOULDBEKNEELINGTOUS' attitude makes me hate her. As always Mat seems to be one of the favourite characters. Another epic character is Hopper the wolf.

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My point was only that I don't see Egwene taking them into consideration for better or worse. She doesn't seem to include them amongst channelers, the way she does with Wise Ones, Sea Folk, Kinswomen, etc. IMO, real progressive thinking would include both halves of the Source (I guess this is why Jordan used the symbol of the Yin/Yang for the Aes Sedai, to illustrate this need for balance, precisely).

 

So, all I'd like to see is Egwene laying the groundwork for a potential fusion in the future, starting by doing away with those ancient prejudices that infest those under her command, at least. Leave the rest up to Rand.

 

Agreed.

 

 

Though we know Egwene sees Rand and how far she is from seeing him for what he truly is (a far more powerful and wiser channeler than her, regardless of gender), let alone see him as an equal. And herein lies the problem, IMO. If the head's infected, then surely, the rest of the body will follow.

 

Although I don't agree with Egwene's opinion and treatment of Rand, I understand where she's coming from. Rand HAS been growing insane, paranoid, arrogant. He HAS been affected by the taint. He HAS turned himself into a cold, angry, insensitive leader. This is where Egwene is coming from. She's worried, understandably so. Nynaeve knows better because she's been spending a lot of time with him; Egwene hasn't. IMHO it's normal for Egwene to need a bit more time and evidence before she can revise her opinion on Rand. To do otherwise would only make Egwene as rash and foolish as Elayne. I also think Egwene might make herself a little harder than need be because she must be wary of the friendship she may still feel deep down inside for Rand. And she wants make decisions with her objective mind, not subjective feelings (doesn't mean she's not biased, just that she's trying to take everything into account - sometimes successfully, sometimes misguidedly).

 

As for Egwene's progression compared to Perrin, I must disagree. It's been a while since Egwene was raised by the Rebels and that, along with Siuan's tutelage (I totally agree w/u on this one), should be more than enough to make a good leader out of her by this point, IMO.

 

Especially, after all she had to overcome after Elaida tried to break her. She did grow a lot and the way she handled herself did earn her lots of points, IMO, though her stance concerning other issues (such as Rand) definitely took those points back.

 

She's been raised as Rebel Amyrlin for a while, yes, but I think that was still a few steps removed from being raised as proper Amyrlin of the White Tower. She was only the half-accepted leader of a small group of sisters. It's only very recently she has acquired full leadership, so she has a lot more to learn and experience about it. I think Egwene is a mixed bag of good and bad points, but so far to me the good outweighs the bad. Agree to disagree?

 

Still, there's no comparison between Elayne and Egwene in my book. Egwene saved the White Tower from the Seanchan and is unifying it, whereas Elayne split Andor apart and send it to war, weakening her country big time in light of Tarmon Gai'don, instead of strengthening it.

 

IMO, she should've swallowed her pride, taken the throne when Rand offered it and included all of her politicking as part of her plans for the future, precisely. Keep the stability and order the way Rand had done it (personally, I can't see the difference between her hiring sellswords, as opposed to keeping an Aiel guard in place, like Rand did, since both aren't exactly loyal Andorian Queensguards) and worry about securing your rule later.

 

I think Elayne had a point by wanting to take the throne herself - otherwise she would just be seen as Rand's puppet, without any backbone or authority of her own. I don't think she would get much respect then, and that could lead to major issues about her leadership once TG is past and the DR is gone. So on that front, I think she made a difficult decision, that lead to a big mess, but was probably the right decision.

 

That's all I'll say in favor of Elayne. In all other respects, she's a great one to botch up the job, make bad decisions and continuously repeat the same mistakes.

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Although I don't agree with Egwene's opinion and treatment of Rand, I understand where she's coming from. Rand HAS been growing insane, paranoid, arrogant. He HAS been affected by the taint. He HAS turned himself into a cold, angry, insensitive leader. This is where Egwene is coming from. She's worried, understandably so. Nynaeve knows better because she's been spending a lot of time with him; Egwene hasn't. IMHO it's normal for Egwene to need a bit more time and evidence before she can revise her opinion on Rand. To do otherwise would only make Egwene as rash and foolish as Elayne. I also think Egwene might make herself a little harder than need be because she must be wary of the friendship she may still feel deep down inside for Rand. And she wants make decisions with her objective mind, not subjective feelings (doesn't mean she's not biased, just that she's trying to take everything into account - sometimes successfully, sometimes misguidedly).

 

I agree, up to a certain point. Rand is going insane and, before his epiphany, he was becoming a tyrant. Perhaps not as bad as the Forsaken, but still a dictator, nonetheless.

 

Now, the problem for me here is that, sooner or later, Egwene will have to rally around Rand. Simply because of the Prophecies. It's clear that everyone will have to rally around the Dragon's Banner come Tarmon Gai'don and not the other way around, except for Seanchan prophecy, which has him bending knee to the Crystal Throne. But, as far as the Karaethon Cycle goes, Egwene and all other leaders are gonna have to find a way around Rand's current state, to work with him for the good of all. And I just don't see her willing to do that.

 

I see her, well, doing what every other Aes Sedai has tried to do to him, since Moiraine in the very beginning: control and manipulate him, because they feel they're the only ones capable of guiding him in the Last Battle, when the Seanchan attack on the White Tower clearly demonstrated that the Aes Sedai are incapable of solving a crisis by themselves. If they failed so miserably against To'raken and such, how will they fare against new Dreadlords? IMO, this is something Egwene should be looking into, instead of just being obsessed with building upon the greatness of the White Tower and, again, like it or not, she must rally around Rand. Sorta like, desperate times demand desperate measures or something along those lines.

 

She's been raised as Rebel Amyrlin for a while, yes, but I think that was still a few steps removed from being raised as proper Amyrlin of the White Tower. She was only the half-accepted leader of a small group of sisters. It's only very recently she has acquired full leadership, so she has a lot more to learn and experience about it. I think Egwene is a mixed bag of good and bad points, but so far to me the good outweighs the bad. Agree to disagree?

 

Not really lol, 'cause I do see your point and I also take age into consideration. This a kid we're talking about, after all. She's holding a position similar to say a Yoda or a Dumbledore, which is not easy for someone her age. So, I'd say that it's more typical Aes Sedai arrogance and prejudice, in addition to inexperience, that is affecting her, more than anything else. Say, Perrin is freeing himself from self-created traumas and insecurity, while Egwene is being bound by 3000 yrs. of Aes Sedai tradition. So, IMO, this could be the major difference.

 

I think Elayne had a point by wanting to take the throne herself - otherwise she would just be seen as Rand's puppet, without any backbone or authority of her own. I don't think she would get much respect then, and that could lead to major issues about her leadership once TG is past and the DR is gone. So on that front, I think she made a difficult decision, that lead to a big mess, but was probably the right decision.

 

That's all I'll say in favor of Elayne. In all other respects, she's a great one to botch up the job, make bad decisions and continuously repeat the same mistakes.

 

I understand, but again, I must insist: to my understanding, WoT society at large has been the same since the Breaking. And old habits die hard, as they say. So, I've always thought that one of RJ's underlying messages in the story was how stupid human nature can be, at times. "We may be at the brink of destruction at the hands of a terrible alien force, such as the DO, but we still have to bicker and squabble amongst ourselves" lol!

 

So, in this case, I'd say that Randlanders must do whatever they need in order to survive. An event such as Tarmon Gai'don will change your world forever, even if the Light does win. So, IMO, I agree that Elayne's idea would have been the right one, under normal circumstances. Just not with the Last Battle around the corner and when a civil war will weaken your nation, instead of strengthening right then and there.

Edited by Darth Krewl

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I understand, but again, I must insist: to my understanding, WoT society at large has been the same since the Breaking. And old habits die hard, as they say. So, I've always thought that one of RJ's underlying messages in the story was how stupid human nature can be, at times. "We may be at the brink of destruction at the hands of a terrible alien force, such as the DO, but we still have to bicker and squabble amongst ourselves" lol!

 

You hit the nail right on the head there. I think this is definitely true, and (sadly) very realistic as well. At the end of the day, this attitude is just part of human nature, and the fact it's such an underlying theme in WoT goes a long way towards making it believable as well as maybe different than simpler epics. WoT's characters and interaction have always been flawed (not only bickering, but also lack of communication for example) and probably always will be. It's just the way it is, heh!

 

I also think you've got a very good point on the difference between Perrin and Egwene in regards to the weight of tradition. This would be a major influence on pretty much anyone - especially as the Amyrlin, no matter how influenced by or free from tradition, would have to at least make a show of pandering to it in order to maintain control of the WT and keep the Ajahs happy. Even more so someone like Egwene who is young and was raised by Rebels. There have already been many "irregularities" (as AS would say) in Egwene's rise to power and opinion, at the moment I don't think she could afford to completely break away from traditional patterns.

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You hit the nail right on the head there. I think this is definitely true, and (sadly) very realistic as well. At the end of the day, this attitude is just part of human nature, and the fact it's such an underlying theme in WoT goes a long way towards making it believable as well as maybe different than simpler epics. WoT's characters and interaction have always been flawed (not only bickering, but also lack of communication for example) and probably always will be. It's just the way it is, heh!

 

Yep, this is the reason why I'm so into the WoT books, despite finding so many characters annoying or stupid lol! Actually, that's exactly why I find them so infuriating, because they're not perfect. And, as an author, whenever you can make readers love or hate your characters, then you've done your job. And, IMO, while not as good at developing characters per se like a GRR Martin, Jordan was a master at creating a world that feels real and is as flawed as our good, old Earth. It's complex, convulsed and infuriating...just like politics in the real world, IMO...hehehe...

 

I also think you've got a very good point on the difference between Perrin and Egwene in regards to the weight of tradition. This would be a major influence on pretty much anyone - especially as the Amyrlin, no matter how influenced by or free from tradition, would have to at least make a show of pandering to it in order to maintain control of the WT and keep the Ajahs happy. Even more so someone like Egwene who is young and was raised by Rebels. There have already been many "irregularities" (as AS would say) in Egwene's rise to power and opinion, at the moment I don't think she could afford to completely break away from traditional patterns.

 

Oh yeah...tradition does take a toll on Egwene, especially being so young. We know that she's trying to earn the respect of women, not only a few years or even decades, but centuries older than her. Like I said, this girl's no 900 yr. old Yoda and yet, she's got to be perceived as the little green Jedi Master was seen by his peers. No easy feat for her or anyone in her position. Plus, I do believe that inexperience is her biggest hindrance at this point (yeah, good thing she's got Siuan!)

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I wouldn't say one character in general gets on my nerves. I've actually enjoyed all the good characters, and been annoyed with some of the bad characters. But I think RJ intended us to dislike the evil characters. I liked Faile from the first time she appeared. Although Elayne's succession to the throne of Andor plot can sometimes get boring I still think she's an entertaining, and well fleshed out character. There were times Nynaeve got on my nerves because she too often seemed to "silence people with a look" or "tugged on her braid". But she's great in KoD and TGS. She's genuinely concerned with Rand's well being, back to the old Nynaeve who wanted revenge on Moiraine because she believed the Aes Sedai ruined the lives of the Emonds Fielder's.

 

The only time characters annoy me is if they are too one dimensional or not fleshed out. RJ does an impeccable job of creating believable characters who seem like real people as much as they are fictional characters in a universe of magic and swords.

 

The only character I've ever found annoying was Elaida. She has so much evidence that what she is doing is wrong and going to end in ruin staring her in the face, along with the fact that she catches Alviarin manipulating her and just punishes her. I was so happy when that a'dam was put around her neck in TGS. But if an author cannot create unlikeable villains, then well, he/she isn't worth reading.

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As for Elayne, I hear you. What bothers me to no end is, how this girl has thrown her realm into total and utter chaos. One only has to see what Andor's been through since she took over, to see the MAJOR failure that the girl's been as a queen. So, maybe some readers may like her and that's cool. But I for one, would hate to be "average Joe" from Andor during her reign. I'd be shouting, "somebody bring back the Dragon and his Aiel. Pleeaaasee!" lol!

 

Whether or not Elayne decided to claim the throne in her own right or not, the realm would have already fallen into civil war or worse.

 

Had Elayne claimed the throne from under Rand's authority instead of in her own right, Elayne would have met resistance from the Andorans. You are neglecting the fact that Andoran's themselves are extremely proud people and MOST think that Rand is an invader and should be driven out. You are neglecting the fact that many of the houses would have not supported Elayne had she not claimed the throne in her own right, thinking her a puppet of the Dragon Reborn. You are assuming that the Andorans would have bowed their heads and let things be, forgetting that Andorans, especially those in Caemlyn, would have voiced their displeasure, and this would have destablized her rule.

 

Had Elayne NOT made her bid to claim the throne, things would possibly have been worse. Dyelin would have claimed the throne instead, and there would still have been civil war. Even had Dyelin decided NOT to claim the throne, Arymillia would have taken the throne, and she IS a fool, unlike Elayne. Arymillia is obsessed with her own rank and title. Elayne isn't. What Elayne is doing is for the good of Andor, to save it from the fool Arymillia. You are thus ignoring the fact that had Elayne decided not to claim the throne, a fool might have gotten it instead, who would have squandered Andor's wealth and prosperity without a care for the last battle. You are thus ignoring the fact that the civil war would have occured whether or not Elayne decided to step up to claim the throne, and thus the civil war is not her fault.

 

You are also ignoring the fact that the civil war WAS NOT HER FAULT. Her actions DID NOT cause such instability. The instability already WAS PRESENT AT THAT TIME and there was literally NOTHING Elayne could have done to defuse it without civil war. If you want to aproportion blame, blame Arymillia, who stood in Elayne's way despite the traditional mother-daughter succession. Blame Rahvin, who sowed chaos in Morgase's name and removed many of Elayne's supporters.

 

You are blaming the civil war ENTIRELY on Elayne without proper justification, without considering what else would have happened had Elayne decided not to claim the throne. You apparently do not know the Andorans, judging from your comment, saying that if you were Andoran, you would want Rand and the Aiel back. You do not understand why Elayne had to do as she had done. You are blaming her for a civil war that was already brewing without her help. You are assuming that Elayne is all powerful and able to stop rebellions with a wave of her hand. You are assuming that her position was firm and unshakable. You are assuming that the nobles obey the one who sits on the Lion Throne without question. You are assuming she caused the instability that led to the rebellion.

 

That is wrong.

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Whether or not Elayne decided to claim the throne in her own right or not, the realm would have already fallen into civil war or worse.

 

That is wrong.

 

I'm neither right nor wrong. This just my personal take on the character. No more, no less. And that depends on personal preference and interpretation. Just like most of what you stated in your post is based on your own interpretation of the character. I respect your opinion, though I obviously disagree.

 

As fate would have it, I've already debated this very subject in the thread "Elayne's arc" in the Spoilers sub-forum. I wouldn't like to derail this thread nor repeat myself with what I've already posted on that thread, so I apologize for not debating you further here.

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I will only say - would it be such a bad thing if Dyelin had secured the throne? I think not. The woman is much wiser and sharper than Elayne. Although Elayne does have the advantage of being a bigger part of whatever's happening through her connections to Rand and the gang.

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After posting in the top 10 characters, I looked for the thread with the opposite focus.
Only those who have committed nothing have committed no stupidity in the books. So it is logical that Rand has done the most stupid things, but he has the greatest credit. But who only did stupid things?

1. Elaida, if she were Black Ajah, she would be brilliant in many ways. Luckily a lot of things went wrong too, but when you can't see beyond the tip of your nose? I like the fact that she came to Andor a generation late :).

2. Gawyn, everyone in the family has a tendency towards stupid behavior (Elayn, Morgasa). But while the ladies are successfully fighting this with positive achievements, Gawyn plunges in a spiral below and below. He had so many opportunities to bounce up in the series ...

3. Egwan, it's a little questionable. She would be brilat in terms of achieving her desired desire, the White Tower. But she comes out pretty stupid in a broader perspective.

4 All forsaken, the way the dark one plays with them, leaves them all in their imagination and they don't see it. Lanfear and Ischamel are a little more understanding, but both are ultimately just puppets.

5. Perin, from a certain moment everyone around him is stupid, only he is a plane (This proverb doesn't make sense in English, I'm afraid)

Edited by Elendir

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