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Unsatisfying Deaths


Mr Hindley

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Jain Farstrider! He'd been in the series for years and I know atleast I was waiting for a big reveal which there wasn#t really :/ and when he sacrificed himself I was hoping for something similar and as moving as Ingtar's.. But he just dies like that and then there's barely any further mention of him. Not to mention if Mat found out about the spear about 5 minutes earlier then he'd still be around..

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My guess is that she was a casualty of the necessity to reduce the number of active players so as not to slow the story too much.

 

The time for that was about five books ago. Can you imagine if BS wanted to kill off all of the secondary characters that are no longer needed? The Erinin would run red! lol

 

Actually, I think there was a comment by BS somewhere that he gets 'to play the headsman'. There haven't actually been that many deaths in TGS and ToM, so there could still be a Bonfire of the Minor Characters in aMoL. It's a tough call - if you don't kill them off, then you need some kind of minor catch-up at the end just so we know they're still alive and get some closure. Erm, there could be a whole paragraph in one of the last chapters along the lines of 'Egwene looked out across the crowd of cheering Aes Sedai, happy to see the faces of Yukiri, Doesine, Saerin, Seaine, Myrelle, Romanda, Lelaine, Takima, Tiana, Sharina, Corele, Bera, Kiruna <etc etc reads like a phone book etc...>'

 

Nicola was important enough that her death was notable and represented a minor victory by the Dark, but more could have been made of the fact that apart from anything else, the Tower just lost its fifth most powerful channeler, someone who if she'd turned up a couple of years ago would have been more powerful than any of other Aes Sedai.

 

In fairness, though, someone mentioned Sammael, and for me, that was the most unsatisfying death. Built up for books, a fairly cool battle in fairness, and then just 'oh - is he... dead? I think? Um... He wasn't really that stupid to get caught like that - was he..? Oh.'

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Not to mention if Mat found out about the spear about 5 minutes earlier then he'd still be around..

 

I thought that too! D'oh - sorry Noal!! If only Mat had spent more time on the forums he might have figured it out. (Although admittedly, I don't think any of us did!)

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I agree on Nicola. Quite unexpected. It looked like she was set up to be developed further. My guess is that she was a casualty of the necessity to reduce the number of active players so as not to slow the story too much.

How does that work? If you don't have anything for her to do, just don't have her do anything. That's how it usually works. How does keeping her around slow the story?

 

If a character is developed to any great degree it looks and feels really bad when they simply fall off the scene and disappear into ether. As I (and you) mentioned that's exactly what BS did to a lot of minor characters. Now that I think on it, to some degree it's inevitable. RJ introduced so many detailed characters into the books that pacing slowed to a crawl as he had to visit them all. so many minor characters either have to be killed like Nicola or quietly disappear like Daerid.

The thing is, it's actually quite easy to just mention them in passing, for example. It doesn't really slow the plot at all. And, let us not forget, RJ was not above having characters disappear for books, if they weren't doing much.

 

But my biggest disappointment by far is the death of Masema. His death scene is written quite well but still, the fact that he is killed off in such an abrupt and uninteresting way was a huge disappointment. He was pretty clearly being reserved by RJ for something far grander

Sanderson is going by the notes. If they say Masema lives, he lives, if they say he dies, he dies, if they say he has a big showdown with Rand, he does so. Given that he didn't have a showdown with Rand, and died in a pretty offhand manner, I'd say that his usefulness to the plot had expired as of the end of KoD. He wasn't reserved for anything, he'd done his job.

I read an interview with BS where he explains the extent of the notes. They didn't cover every character in every detail and often just mentioned the position of a character at a certain time point and it was up to Sanderson how to get that character there. I find it very hard to believe that after dragging Masema around for so many books and not letting anybody kill him RJ would let him be killed off in the way he was. IMO It's almost as bad as if he died by falling off a horse or from food poisoning (both quite possible in principle).
I find it perfectly plausible that RJ would have killed off Masema in so offhand a fashion - it's perfectly in line with how he's done things previously. Really, Masema's power base had been broken, and if there was nothing in the notes (beyond "Masema dies") then it makes sense he would be killed off in a rather arbitrary way. There wasn't really any cause to waste further time on him.

 

 

Not to mention if Mat found out about the spear about 5 minutes earlier then he'd still be around..

I thought that too! D'oh - sorry Noal!! If only Mat had spent more time on the forums he might have figured it out. (Although admittedly, I don't think any of us did!)
Just think how different the series would be if the characters had access to Dragonmount:

EGWENE: Gawyn, read this.

GAWYN reads.

GAWYN: Why do all these people think I'm a douchebag? And what is a douchebag anyway?

 

Sammael's death is probably the most unsatisfying - his fight with Rand is the climax of the book, and it really isn't all that climactic, and just feels rushed and unresolved.

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...

If a character is developed to any great degree it looks and feels really bad when they simply fall off the scene and disappear into ether. As I (and you) mentioned that's exactly what BS did to a lot of minor characters. Now that I think on it, to some degree it's inevitable. RJ introduced so many detailed characters into the books that pacing slowed to a crawl as he had to visit them all. so many minor characters either have to be killed like Nicola or quietly disappear like Daerid.

The thing is, it's actually quite easy to just mention them in passing, for example. It doesn't really slow the plot at all.

Yes, that's true to a degree. But even mentioning a character in passing takes space. And let's not forget that RJ never just mentioned somebody. His characters, however minor and however briefly mentioned, always had some depth. This is one of the things that I always liked best about Jordan's style and find superior to Sanderson's style.

Here is a random example of how Jordan does it:

 

"Now and then Nandera looked over her shoulder at Rand. A tall sinewy woman, her graying hair hidden beneath her brown shoufa, she led the Maidens, those on this side of the Dragonwall, at least, but she had chosen to lead his bodyguard of Maidens personally.

 

Her green eyes, all he could see of her sun-dark face above her black veil, carried little expression, yet he was sure she was worried over him not protecting himself from the rain. Maidens noticed what seemed out of the ordinary. He hoped she would keep quiet."

 

Nandera (along with many other maidens) is completely gone in TGS and ToM and instead we get a bunch of new maidens with new names and no personalities.

 

Here is Sanderson:

 

"Leeh," Rand said. "take two others. Watch them."

Three Maidens split from those watching Rand, darting after the two former nobles.

 

 

That's all the description of Leeh we ever get.

 

 

And even old minor characters like Sulin that do show up have lost all personality and become quite one dimensional. Better to completely drop them (or kill them) than do this IMO.

 

 

I find it perfectly plausible that RJ would have killed off Masema in so offhand a fashion - it's perfectly in line with how he's done things previously. Really, Masema's power base had been broken, and if there was nothing in the notes (beyond "Masema dies") then it makes sense he would be killed off in a rather arbitrary way. There wasn't really any cause to waste further time on him.

While I have no proof of course, I really believe RJ was saving Masema for something far grander. If not, why not kill him during the battle in Malden? Let him attack Perrin together with Aram for example. Pretty much anything would have been be more satisfying than killing him off without any action at all on his part. as I said, why not let him die of food poisoning then? And remember that Perrin fiercely resisted all suggestions that Masema be killed and was determined to bring him to Rand. Now all of a sudden he couldn't care less. That doesn't feel right. Also, in one of the earlier books (I forgot which) it was mentioned that Wise Ones dreamed that if Masema gets close to Rand something really bad would happen. Normally, this was a clear indication of things to come.

Edited by herid
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However unsatisfying Masema's death may have been, let's not confuse the terms "unsatisfying" and "unimportant". While his death may have been a bit anticlimactic; it was important in that is showes Faile's commitment to doing the things that are neccesary, but that Perrin moraly cannot do.

 

Edit:

P.S. Also one of the only things Faile has done or said that I agree with. lol

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I quite liked Balthamel's death, actually. The thought of one of the nastier characters being consumed alive by fungus as he destroyed his killer was pretty damn cool to me :biggrin:

And Someshta was capable of holding back the blight. It's not beyond the realms of possibility he could take out a Forsaken, especially one who's stood right next to him.

Edited by AvroChris
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...

If a character is developed to any great degree it looks and feels really bad when they simply fall off the scene and disappear into ether. As I (and you) mentioned that's exactly what BS did to a lot of minor characters. Now that I think on it, to some degree it's inevitable. RJ introduced so many detailed characters into the books that pacing slowed to a crawl as he had to visit them all. so many minor characters either have to be killed like Nicola or quietly disappear like Daerid.

The thing is, it's actually quite easy to just mention them in passing, for example. It doesn't really slow the plot at all.

Yes, that's true to a degree. But even mentioning a character in passing takes space. And let's not forget that RJ never just mentioned somebody. His characters, however minor and however briefly mentioned, always had some depth. This is one of the things that I always liked best about Jordan's style and find superior to Sanderson's style.

Here is a random example of how Jordan does it:

 

"Now and then Nandera looked over her shoulder at Rand. A tall sinewy woman, her graying hair hidden beneath her brown shoufa, she led the Maidens, those on this side of the Dragonwall, at least, but she had chosen to lead his bodyguard of Maidens personally.

 

Her green eyes, all he could see of her sun-dark face above her black veil, carried little expression, yet he was sure she was worried over him not protecting himself from the rain. Maidens noticed what seemed out of the ordinary. He hoped she would keep quiet."

 

Nandera (along with many other maidens) is completely gone in TGS and ToM and instead we get a bunch of new maidens with new names and no personalities.

 

Here is Sanderson:

 

"Leeh," Rand said. "take two others. Watch them."

Three Maidens split from those watching Rand, darting after the two former nobles.

 

 

That's all the description of Leeh we ever get.

 

 

And even old minor characters like Sulin that do show up have lost all personality and become quite one dimensional. Better to completely drop them (or kill them) than do this IMO.

 

 

I find it perfectly plausible that RJ would have killed off Masema in so offhand a fashion - it's perfectly in line with how he's done things previously. Really, Masema's power base had been broken, and if there was nothing in the notes (beyond "Masema dies") then it makes sense he would be killed off in a rather arbitrary way. There wasn't really any cause to waste further time on him.

 

While I have no proof of course, I really believe RJ was saving Masema for something far grander. If not, why not kill him during the battle in Malden? Let him attack Perrin together with Aram for example. Pretty much anything would have been be more satisfying than killing him off without any action at all on his part. as I said, why not let him die of food poisoning then? And remember that Perrin fiercely resisted all suggestions that Masema be killed and was determined to bring him to Rand. Now all of a sudden he couldn't care less. That doesn't feel right. Also, in one of the earlier books (I forgot which) it was mentioned that Wise Ones dreamed that if Masema gets close to Rand something really bad would happen. Normally, this was a clear indication of things to come.

 

Its entirely possible that RJ wrote Masema's death himself and not Brandon. Remember, the prologue contains a good chunk of the prose that RJ actually finished. That said, I actually enjoyed the way Masema was killed. He was nothing but a rabid dog and he was put down like one. I thought it was cool to let Faile have that kill - helped make her a stronger character by showing she would do something that everyone knew was necessary but that Perrin was reluctant to do himself.

 

Plus the death scene itself gave us some tantalizing new info such as Masema being visited by a shining vision of the Dragon.

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has to be sammael. burn me but that was disappointing as hell. i never assumed he even died until rj confirmed it.

 

and all for what? fuck you moridin. may be if you decided to help sammael instead of rand you would be looking at one less dragon in the world.

 

bunch of hopeless old farts the darkies are.....

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The Forsaken in general seem to die unsatisfactorily for me. I mean Asmo supposedly killed his own mother and they're all supposed to be the most powerful channelers of a legendary age. Falling to farmboys so quickly in the first half a dozen books was my biggest gripe.

 

Maybe it's more because they seem to be a bunch of hopeless idiots when it comes to the crunch, or because the Lightside doesn't really lose anyone of equal importance (but we are constantly reminded Rand will die), despite being 'one punch from a a KO'.

 

I think it's got a bit to do with the transmigration thing though, I mean if they're not balefired they get a second chance, effectively upping the ranks to 17 (?) or so. The good ones, Rahvin, Mesaana and Ishamael allowed them to stretch their (considerable) power a bit.

 

I understand the off screen thing because we already have dozens of points of view that witnessing every important death would become repetitive

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Pedron Niall to be honest. He's getting old, but I have a feeling he was working on some crazy big schemes. He knew his days were numbered, but he was trying to hang in there to see things through. I feel like he was a well-intentioned whitecloak, along with Geofram Bornhald. I've always had a feeling that the misguided whitecloaks would have a big role to play, I at least like seeing Galad, a competent leader at their helm again. I think he'll bring them back to the originally good-intentioned group that they were and they'll have a big part to play in the last battle. They just need to ditch the crazed zealots and questioners. Everyone likes to see a misguided group find redemption right??? :tongue:

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Balthamel. Killed by a giant plant man, what an epic fail for a Forsaken.

 

Yes. This entire scene was a bit dissapointing to me. I just brushed it off as, "well, it's the first book, and RJ's still getting the hang of this massive world he's building."

 

But, right off the bat, I wondered why RJ would build up suspense about these "forsaken" guys, then as soon as he introduces one onto the screen he immidiatly kills him off with Treebeard from LOTR. It kind of didn't jive with the rest of the book, IMO.

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I think the issue with a lot of these deaths is less HOW they died and more that their story lines feel unresolved. Take Masema for example: I think that Faile killing him was actually pretty cool - it did a lot for her character and was an interesting demise to Masmea. That was the turning point for me on when I started to actually like Faile! But i still feel unsatisfied with his story line. All that time spent developing his character and storyline and what did we get out of it??

 

Nicola is another good example- the idea of her dying the way she did is actually an OK way for her to die - a big, important battle, killed by darkfriends/forsaken (i forget who exactly killed her)because she disobeyed, which she frequently does. But because I feel like she had some bigger purpose in LIFE, the fact that so little attention was paid to her death makes the storyline feel unresolved.

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I think the issue with a lot of these deaths is less HOW they died and more that their story lines feel unresolved. Take Masema for example: I think that Faile killing him was actually pretty cool - it did a lot for her character and was an interesting demise to Masmea. That was the turning point for me on when I started to actually like Faile! But i still feel unsatisfied with his story line. All that time spent developing his character and storyline and what did we get out of it??

 

Nicola is another good example- the idea of her dying the way she did is actually an OK way for her to die - a big, important battle, killed by darkfriends/forsaken (i forget who exactly killed her)because she disobeyed, which she frequently does. But because I feel like she had some bigger purpose in LIFE, the fact that so little attention was paid to her death makes the storyline feel unresolved.

 

Masema was merely a catalyst for the storyline that led Perrin to be in command of the large army that he now possesses. He was originally supposed to bring Masema and his "army" to Rand but his pursuit of Masema eventually (yes, I know, eveeeeeeeentually) led to Perrin actually having a much bigger army that has the benefit of not being a bunch of poorly armed and trained murders. Not to mention that various unresolved plotlines such as the Aes Sedai possibly conspiring with Masema have not necessary been forgotten - those Aes Sedai are still around and we could still see the after effects of this in the next book.

 

I will agree that the Nicola death did not get the attention it deserved. She was a secondary character with a fair amount of screen time and build up and her death was pretty much just a footnote, both in the text and to the other characters.

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Couladin. Enough with the "I got to imagine that fight all by myself" bullcrap. You are being told a story. That would have been Mats best fight, if we saw it. Couladin was AGGRESSIVE even for an Aiel, savage almost, and I felt like he was becoming a great non-Shadow antagonist even if he was part of Asmodeans plan. What annoyed me the most about it being offscreen is that Mat had a brilliant idea to ensure that Couladin would attack, and that was to have his men shout "Protect the Lord Dragon!" so Couladin would think Rand was actually with the army. I could see Couladins face as that shout was heard by him and his Shaido, and the fury at realising Rand wasnt there... not only would that fight with Couladin and Mat have been awesome, but it would have been even better from Couladins PoV. But nooooo. Offscreen.

 

Osan'gars death annoyed me as well. It put Elza on the map, and was ultimately down to Verin, and in a way its showing how Ta'verenism pulls anyone into the right place at the right time under the right conditions to ensure the Ta'veren sirvive. But Osan'gar was Forsaken and he achieved NOTHING after his reincarnation, and to be killed off by a Darkfriend felt even cheaper than his first death in EotW.

 

I agree with Couladin. He was built up for a book and a half as a major villain, and Mat kills him without even meaning to, offscreen! He was still trying to get away from the battle, and just ran into him.

 

As far as Osan'gar, he did worse than nothing. He is (indirectly) the reason Rand survived Fain's attack on him in CoS. He's the guy who convinced Flinn to pick up Healing, remember?

 

I guess I'm in the minority here liking the murders of Anaiya and Egwene's maids.

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I think the issue with a lot of these deaths is less HOW they died and more that their story lines feel unresolved. Take Masema for example: I think that Faile killing him was actually pretty cool - it did a lot for her character and was an interesting demise to Masmea. That was the turning point for me on when I started to actually like Faile! But i still feel unsatisfied with his story line. All that time spent developing his character and storyline and what did we get out of it??

 

Nicola is another good example- the idea of her dying the way she did is actually an OK way for her to die - a big, important battle, killed by darkfriends/forsaken (i forget who exactly killed her)because she disobeyed, which she frequently does. But because I feel like she had some bigger purpose in LIFE, the fact that so little attention was paid to her death makes the storyline feel unresolved.

 

I think this hits the nail on the head for me. I liked Masema's death scene, though it felt odd that he survived the end of one book, just to get bumped off in the prologue of the next one. But I'll be very surprised if we ever get to the bottom of the Masema/Seanchan/Aes Sedai meetings, esp now that Perrin and his gang are joining up with everyone else's storyline. And yes, Nicola's death was technically very appropriate to the character, but you could have excised her from that chapter and had zero effect on the storyline, which is perhaps the epitome of meaningless.

 

Aram is another one, now that I think of it - built up for books on end as a menace in the background, then in about a page and a half it's all wrapped up, courtesy of some fairly random Aiel arrows. I was glad to see BS backfitting some additional mentions to this and reflection on it by Perrin.

 

 

I guess I'm in the minority here liking the murders of Anaiya and Egwene's maids.

 

I'd forgotten about the maids! I really liked that too - now they really were dispensable characters, built up just enough that the reader could feel sorry for them for just being in the wrong place in the wrong time. At least it made Aran'gar vaguely more menacing. (Remind me what the Shadow gained by killing off the maids again..? Oh? Oh well.)

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I was always a little disappointed in Sammael's death. I know the actual FIGHT was awesome, but one minute Sam is there, and then he's not. Rand never actually SEES what happens to him, and we as readers do not get Sammael's POV during his death.

 

Then RJ simply tells us, "He's toast. Mashadar got him." That would have been EXTREMELY cool to read a POV from Sammael there. None of the other FOrsaken or the DO/SH has mentioned Sammael. I guess all this time it didn't really bother me that much because I figured the DO would eventually bring him back as he did Aginor and Balthamel and others, and involve him in the plot again. But that hasn't happened and now here we are at the actual end of the story, and it just seems like there's not time to bring him back with any kind of involvement in the larger plot. I guess he is truly gone. Right?

 

Then again, I still think Aginor is going to be brought back again.

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Noal/Farstrider.

 

The repeat of the Ingtar scene from the Great hunt was just not satisfying for me.

 

Would have loved some more back story, or a fight scene from his point of view or *something* more from the legendary hero than him being a very short speed bump for the snakes (the whole ToG scene felt too rushed)

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The Gholam.

 

I mean really? Sucked into the void? After all of that buildup? It was fairly unkillable, so I thought it would evolve to choice.

 

There were points previously where I cherished the hope that the Gholam would become its own master. It seemed to be there, it was questioning its own existence.

 

How cool would it have been to have it turn on its forsaken creators after an existentialist resolution?

 

I so wanted it to be soooo much more than just another monster.

 

I think that was an opportunity missed.

 

The forsaken create intelligent life to defeat the light, capable of understanding their evil and choosing otherwise.

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I agree about Nicola. While on the one hand, it's nice to see that after all the books of idotic, untrained children rushing into battle against trained and dangerous opponents, one of them finally gets smoked by an offhand blow while the villian walks past her onto someone important, it is annoying to see someone who's been around for so long and been so interesting get smoked so pointlessly.

 

Also Sammael. If he was going to get actually eaten by Mashadar instead of fake eaten by Mashadar, why not toss in a paragraph of him getting eaten by Mashadar as opposed to having it happen offscreen and need to be confirmed later by the author?

 

On a related subject, the "death" of the taint. That was just so random. Rand just up and decided that feeding the taint through saidar into Shadar Logoth would get rid of it? Why? How? There was absolutely no build up to what he was doing which mentioned how he came up with this concept. They had a vague reference to how something the Finns told him gave him the idea, but it was never mentioned what that was and the solution came out of nowhere. It just bothered me that such a big thing was thrown in there with no build up.

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Rand just up and decided that feeding the taint through saidar into Shadar Logoth would get rid of it? Why? How? There was absolutely no build up to what he was doing which mentioned how he came up with this concept.

 

Rand got the idea from how his old wound from Ishamael reacted to the new wound from Fain. Then also in his later trips to Shadar Logath, when he could competently wield the Power, he noted the peculiar reaction between the taint of Saidin and the evil of Shadar Logath.

 

Anyhow, Aram was probably the death I was unsatisfied the most with. Not necessarily in the manner of how he died, I did appreciate that he was actually overpowering Perrin, but I had always been holding out hope that perhaps he could find some peace with the Aiel.

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