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Character Immortality


Ashandarei
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  1. 1. Is plot armor a problem in WoT?



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All right, before I finish the last page I'll add my thoughts:

 

I'm doing a read through, hopefully leading up to aMotL but may have to do 2 read through's at the pace I'm going, and I just read the epic chapter, "What Might Have Been," (can't remember the exact name but I'll know it when I see it) in The Great Hunt two days ago. I'm sure anyone who's read it remembers it fairly well, as shows various 'what if' scenarios of lives Rand could have lived. From staying in the Two Rivers and living out a life with Egwene to having to going and becoming a member of the Queens Guard and fighting to save Camelyn to other stuff in between... all ending with the Dark One winning in the end.

 

I do believe we are witnessing the one world where Rand and company manage to win and it apparently is taking a lot of special deeds/improbable things happening for this to come around. As much as it would have been cool if Rand could have just lived out his life in the Two Rivers with Egwene... well, that doesn't win the last battle. Nor does Egwene dying before learning to control channeling... nor does a life sans Elayne in it... and many other things, most likely. To win it seems like Rand is going to need every weapon, tool and person that he can get to make it to the last battle and to fight for him.

 

There are other worlds out there where major characters die; however, those are not the worlds he can win. It's stated early in the books, I believe I just read this in Perrin's POV when they get attacked while waiting for Morraine to say it's okay to leave their camp, that 'if one leg of the tripod fails then the whole things fails.' If one of the 3 Tav's fall all fall. Through Min we see that if Cads isn't there to push Rand to VoG he fails and the DO wins. While we don't have any conclusive readings on the others, at least I don't right in front of me, we can assume without some of these second tier characters weren't there that the others would have failed, too.

 

Just my two cents on the bullet proofing of the characters. In the end, it's WoT has just been all about sitting back and enjoying the journey the characters have taken. :shrugs:

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It can be used well, to add to a work, or badly, to subtract from it, but is itself neither good nor bad.

 

As usual, Mr. Ares wrote better than I, but this seems to be what I was trying to say. It doesn't matter so much whether an author chooses a story type which kills off main characters or doesn't,; what matters is how well the author executes the type of story they're trying to tell.

 

I have to disagree with the eloquent constellation on the "reputation" of GRRM. You can go all "numbers-y" and say, well only 3 out of 20 viewpoints were killed. That doesn't adequately describe what GRR decided to do. I don't see there's any question that GRRM killed off the Rand of that series. Of course, he can't be the Rand now that he's dead, so let's say that he killed off what was, at that time, clearly the Rand of the series. That's a little more momentous than just killing off "1 out of 20."

 

If you're going to tell me that someone like Arya or Daenerys is the Rand of the series, there's a point there, but the fact is that the role of "young man entering his warrior-leader prime a little early, central character not only to the book but to all the characters around him, their fates all depend on him, etc.", well that has to be Robb Stark.

 

Or if you're going to tell me there IS no Rand of the series...that's another good point but you see what I'm saying here.

 

Does that beg the question, what WOULD WoT be like if Rand had died, say, in Caemlyn vs. Rahvin? No it doesn't at all, because the WoT simply could not function without its main protagonist, whereas SoIaF can. That's more evidence of what I'm saying about two different *types* of stories.

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Rand, Mat and Perrin have been protected by plot armor, true. If any of them died, that would mean the effective end of any storytelling suspense, as we know from the first book onward that without all 3 of them, the DO wins. The certainty of a DO win would kill the series. Moiraine was needed as well, which, combined with hints and foreshadowing has made most of the fanbase sure that she was alive until it was confirmed.

 

The ToG sequence was not a given result, as it happens in the last book (part 2 of 3). In this last book (all 3 parts) all bets are off, though I would not expect a lightside required presence to die till part 3 (to avoid killing the sales) - easily done with shuffling of chapters.

 

 

And I just ahve to respond to The Silmarillion being a good story - it was never written as a novel, and was never meant to be stories where the characters each part revolves around were "main" characters or protagonists - they were a collection of the myth behind the world - kinda like if RJ's notes were released as a work some years down the road, gathered together with a few main storypoints where people are killed, like the fall of malkier, which he may or may not have written out to help himself refer to it consistently.

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I think it was touched on in several earlier posts, but the fact of the matter, is that while several of the main characters have to live to keep the story from ending on "The Dark Lord ripped the pattern to shreds and all life everywhere was extinguished", to have so many books go by without any of the main characters dying does rob the series of a bit of the suspense. The first several books, the main characters were playing their parts, but it was still more or less up in the air as to if they would continue to survive. After thirteen books, it's become more or less predictable. Take the tower of Ghenji sequence. Did anyone really not expect Mat, Thom, and Moiraine to all make it out alive? Sure, Mat lost his eye, but then again we've known he was going to for almost ten books now. Same with Rand and his hand. All of the main characters going into any sort of conflict come out of it without a scratch, just as the reader expects them to. We may not know the details of the conflict, but we can predict the end result. And any time a main character does suffer a significant injury or loss, it's one that was pretty explicitly foreshadowed fifteen years ago.

 

Rand, Mat, and Perrin may have to survive until the end, but of the dozen or so other characters who count as 'main characters', every one of them could die and still have the book end with a victory for the light. But we as readers are all pretty confident that none of them are going to do so.

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Rand, Mat and Perrin have been protected by plot armor, true. If any of them died, that would mean the effective end of any storytelling suspense, as we know from the first book onward that without all 3 of them, the DO wins. The certainty of a DO win would kill the series. Moiraine was needed as well, which, combined with hints and foreshadowing has made most of the fanbase sure that she was alive until it was confirmed.

 

The ToG sequence was not a given result, as it happens in the last book (part 2 of 3). In this last book (all 3 parts) all bets are off, though I would not expect a lightside required presence to die till part 3 (to avoid killing the sales) - easily done with shuffling of chapters.

 

 

And I just ahve to respond to The Silmarillion being a good story - it was never written as a novel, and was never meant to be stories where the characters each part revolves around were "main" characters or protagonists - they were a collection of the myth behind the world - kinda like if RJ's notes were released as a work some years down the road, gathered together with a few main storypoints where people are killed, like the fall of malkier, which he may or may not have written out to help himself refer to it consistently.

 

Heh, so now it's 'they all must live or the DO wins' eh?

 

Just boring. how awesome would it have been that instead of tarna, it was egwene who gets turned? how awesome it would have been if mat cauthon did not make it alive out the tower of ghenjei and that he gave his life so that moraine was to be freed? How awesome would it have been if graendal took perrin and galad out simultaneously and was crowned the enw naeblis? How awesome it would have been nynaeve got ambushed by taim and his cronies when she went to visit myrelle? You see where i am going with this?

 

all i see as david selig has said before is people simply outsmarting and escaping the darkies over and over again. I am just so bored of it now.

 

And the sad thing is none of the major light characters are going to die come tarmon gaidon. Mat aint going to die. we know from the outtrigger books. Perrin will assume the leadership of the borderlands. Rand is going to retire and live his final days in the countryside alongside min. Egwene is going to be the amyrlin to logain's tamyrlin. Nynaeve and lan will rule over a new malkier.

 

It's so predictable at this point

Edited by Elan Tedronai
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Just boring. how awesome would it have been that instead of tarna, it was egwene who gets turned? how awesome it would have been if mat cauthon did not make it alive out the tower of ghenjei and that he gave his life so that moraine was to be freed? How awesome would it have been if graendal took perrin and galad out simultaneously and was crowned the enw naeblis? How awesome it would have been nynaeve got ambushed by taim and his cronies when she went to visit myrelle?

 

If Mat had died I'd have been pretty pissed, and my liking for the whole series would drop by a fair bit. If Nynaeve died I'd burn the book. Maybe RJ knew that people would get so attatched to the characters that some deaths would ruin the series for them. And seeing as he didn't know which deaths would cause such dramatic reactions he just decided to keep them all going lol.

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There is a point here beyond making comparisons to GRR Martin, who may have gone overboard-let's be honest, almost nobody has survived a prologue.

 

What he did was build up 13 evil, legendary characters, and he made a world in which everyone knew their names and shivered in terror because they were the most badass, wicked, and effective villains you can imagine. Almost every significant character for the Light has a thick plating of plot armor. Let's be honest, characters like Faile, Nynaeve, Egwene, Lan, Thom, and Rhuarc aren't so important that they couldn't have been killed off to drive home the danger of the enemy. Instead, you've got characters like Juilin and Bayle Domon basically surviving well beyond the point where they're useful, so they've been practically written out of the story, while the Forsaken, as a whole, seem to have accomplished very little, and gotten themselves killed off in the most ridiculous ways.

 

I liked it much better when the Forsaken seemed like an unstoppable force-it was really cool when you could get a POV and see them when they seemed dangerous, but they've become utterly impotent by all the convenient devices and ridiculous planning. Sending the Gholam after Mat, for example, instead of Rand or Perrin, while Mat is the only character with a defense against him. Or that really poorly concieved plan to kill Perrin with trollocs instead of the big-freaking-huge pack of darkhounds he encountered. We don't even know if anything short of BF can kill a DarkHound, so sending them after people you want dead who can't produce balefire, like Perrin (or Mat) would have been smart. They've got frightening resources, and they're supposed to be extremely clever, but it's hard to find them clever when you're wondering why they aren't properly using their resources, and coming up with stupid plans which get them killed (like Messaana).

 

I think just occasionally killing off someone unexpected would have helped keep the enemy from appearing impotent.

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Rand, Mat and Perrin have been protected by plot armor, true. If any of them died, that would mean the effective end of any storytelling suspense, as we know from the first book onward that without all 3 of them, the DO wins. The certainty of a DO win would kill the series. Moiraine was needed as well, which, combined with hints and foreshadowing has made most of the fanbase sure that she was alive until it was confirmed.

 

The ToG sequence was not a given result, as it happens in the last book (part 2 of 3). In this last book (all 3 parts) all bets are off, though I would not expect a lightside required presence to die till part 3 (to avoid killing the sales) - easily done with shuffling of chapters.

 

 

And I just ahve to respond to The Silmarillion being a good story - it was never written as a novel, and was never meant to be stories where the characters each part revolves around were "main" characters or protagonists - they were a collection of the myth behind the world - kinda like if RJ's notes were released as a work some years down the road, gathered together with a few main storypoints where people are killed, like the fall of malkier, which he may or may not have written out to help himself refer to it consistently.

 

 

The Silmarillion had enough main characters in it's various story arcs to build up a relation to. For example Turin Turambar whose epic even got it's own expanded edition, albeit the ending of that story is perhaps a bit too dark for a jolly cheery half-serious writer such as RJ.

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The Silmarillion had enough main characters in it's various story arcs to build up a relation to. For example Turin Turambar whose epic even got it's own expanded edition, albeit the ending of that story is perhaps a bit too dark for a jolly cheery half-serious writer such as RJ.

 

I kind of hate that you're comparing the Silmarillion to WoT. The entire point is that the Silmarillion characters die off-it's supposed to show how the age of Elves came and went, about how they bravely fought an unbeatable foe, and ultimately lost until the Valar came to finally take care of Morgoth. The subcontext of it is completely different, also-it's basically all backstory to LotR, which he actually published (Silmarillion was published after his death), and naturally, basically every character in the main focus (except for Galadriel) was dead or gone long before the events of the Third Age. Didn't really matter if they died in battle or of old age.

 

If you look at LotR, Tolkien has the same kind of reluctance to kill off main characters. Boromir is the only fellowship character to die, Gandalf literally returns from the death, Faramir and Eowyn survive nearly fatal wounds, and Bilbo lives to be over 130 years old before sailing off into the undying lands. Only three remotely relevant characters died during the main events, which is about as much as can be said of WoT to date.

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if I want more death in my life, I turn on CNN. Or read the obituaries. Or visit a hospital. Or call up my cousin whose father is slowly dying after a nearly decade long battle with leukemia. Etc. Or I discuss death with those around me for whom it is currently a very present reality, or for whom it is a thing or fear they are struggling with. The whole point for me of reading a work like WoT is to lose myself in a good story that fires my imagination and lets me not have to think on real life for a bit. More character death doesn't improve the story for me; doesn't necessarily ruin it either, but I'm perfectly content to suffer through a mortal character or group of them that keeps surviving some how. :)

 

 

*Thumbs up

 

I know some people like to go on about wanting someone to die, how it'd be so awesome, and that somebody should die - because the story gets boring to them otherwise, or if they don't appreciate a characterization, and so forth, what have you...

 

This disgusts me, regardless of rationale. It should disgust you, too.

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Another point on WOT, yes, the main characters have plot-armour. But it's got a feasible, in-world explanation. The Wheel of Time. According to RJ, the Wheel is an incredibly complex "computer" (from an interview, but I don't have the reference with me) that the Creator created to guide the world. This "computer" is actively working to create a situation where Rand & Co beat the Dark One, and to that end is trying to keep as many of the main players of the light alive, especially it's top three players, the Ta'varen. For the bulk of the series, the Wheel has been able to guide the Ta'varen's actions and those of other people in order to protect the Ta'varen, and by extension, protect those that can help the Ta'varen. However, the Dark One is actively trying to corrupt the pattern, with the ultimate goal of it's destruction.

 

Yes, the characters have plot armour, but it's really more pattern-armour than plot-armour. We'll likely see the deaths of many characters that the Wheel no longer needs for it's victory in AMOL, as the Wheel will stop actively protecting them.

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Another point on WOT, yes, the main characters have plot-armour. But it's got a feasible, in-world explanation. The Wheel of Time. According to RJ, the Wheel is an incredibly complex "computer" (from an interview, but I don't have the reference with me) that the Creator created to guide the world. This "computer" is actively working to create a situation where Rand & Co beat the Dark One, and to that end is trying to keep as many of the main players of the light alive, especially it's top three players, the Ta'varen. For the bulk of the series, the Wheel has been able to guide the Ta'varen's actions and those of other people in order to protect the Ta'varen, and by extension, protect those that can help the Ta'varen. However, the Dark One is actively trying to corrupt the pattern, with the ultimate goal of it's destruction.

 

Yes, the characters have plot armour, but it's really more pattern-armour than plot-armour. We'll likely see the deaths of many characters that the Wheel no longer needs for it's victory in AMOL, as the Wheel will stop actively protecting them.

 

I actually agree with this, particularly for ta'veren. However, we have many other main characters who are not ta'veren, like Nynaeve, Elayne, Egwene etc. I really think it would have worked better if Gawyn had in fact died protecting Egwene from the Bloodknives.

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I actually agree with this, particularly for ta'veren. However, we have many other main characters who are not ta'veren, like Nynaeve, Elayne, Egwene etc. I really think it would have worked better if Gawyn had in fact died protecting Egwene from the Bloodknives.

 

Hopefully got that quote attributed right... :edit: Didn't attribute it right. On mobile so I can't see the name to reproduce name correctly but...

 

Anyway, in that list of names one you should strike from the list is Nynaeve. A) She has had the best character growth of any of the female characters B) She is needed badly for the last battle C) There has been a fair amount of build up to Nynaeve healing death... and considering Rand has to bleed/likely receive fatal wound at Shoual Ghoul (spelling) this is likely to play a big role in the light prevailing.

Edited by sfgiantsfanmike
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Guest Emu on the Loose

if I want more death in my life, I turn on CNN. Or read the obituaries. Or visit a hospital. Or call up my cousin whose father is slowly dying after a nearly decade long battle with leukemia. Etc. Or I discuss death with those around me for whom it is currently a very present reality, or for whom it is a thing or fear they are struggling with. The whole point for me of reading a work like WoT is to lose myself in a good story that fires my imagination and lets me not have to think on real life for a bit. More character death doesn't improve the story for me; doesn't necessarily ruin it either, but I'm perfectly content to suffer through a mortal character or group of them that keeps surviving some how. :)

*Thumbs up

 

I know some people like to go on about wanting someone to die, how it'd be so awesome, and that somebody should die - because the story gets boring to them otherwise, or if they don't appreciate a characterization, and so forth, what have you...

 

This disgusts me, regardless of rationale. It should disgust you, too.

I reject that attempt to claim the moral high ground. It's irresponsible, if not impossible, to draw a direct equivalence between what happens in a story and what happens in the real world. Those who claim otherwise are the same people who want to censor not just our books, but our music, games, and art. Those are the people who don't want us to think, lest we think "wrong" thoughts. Anyone who is uncomfortable thinking about something is welcome not to think about it, but has no authority to tell the rest of us not to think about it either.

 

Einstein himself said that imagination is even more important than knowledge, and he was right. Where would we be without the world of imagination, a place to explore our ideas, our passions, and our fears? It's one thing to not want to read a book filled with death because it might situationally hit a little too close to home. That's fair. There are plenty of stories where no one dies and no one needs to die.

 

But to omit death from the world of the imagination, and claim "disgust" when somebody advocates for such a story, isn't acceptable. We're mortals, after all. If we can connect with a story like Wheel of Time, it must be that we can somehow relate to the conflicts and aspirations of the characters in it. Many of us dream of a great epic adventure, and confront death in our thoughts. Indeed, thinking about death can help to make the reality of it easier to accept. Thinking about death can improve our appreciation for life. Reading stories filled with death are an opportunity for us to relate to the human experience. What I have argued in this thread is that Jordan was incongruent in keeping the main protagonists alive despite constantly putting them in situations of grave danger. I never said that WoT is boring because of that, nor do I think such a thing. I'm not advocating bloodsport, bread and circuses. What I said is that it isn't realistic for such an inconsistency to dominate the storyline, and that this inconsistency detracts from the story.

 

Obviously it isn't a detraction for everybody, but it certainly merits discussion, and the discussion isn't going to go anywhere positive if "disgust" is someone's retort.

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if I want more death in my life, I turn on CNN. Or read the obituaries. Or visit a hospital. Or call up my cousin whose father is slowly dying after a nearly decade long battle with leukemia. Etc. Or I discuss death with those around me for whom it is currently a very present reality, or for whom it is a thing or fear they are struggling with. The whole point for me of reading a work like WoT is to lose myself in a good story that fires my imagination and lets me not have to think on real life for a bit. More character death doesn't improve the story for me; doesn't necessarily ruin it either, but I'm perfectly content to suffer through a mortal character or group of them that keeps surviving some how. :)

*Thumbs up

 

I know some people like to go on about wanting someone to die, how it'd be so awesome, and that somebody should die - because the story gets boring to them otherwise, or if they don't appreciate a characterization, and so forth, what have you...

 

This disgusts me, regardless of rationale. It should disgust you, too.

I reject that attempt to claim the moral high ground. It's irresponsible, if not impossible, to draw a direct equivalence between what happens in a story and what happens in the real world. Those who claim otherwise are the same people who want to censor not just our books, but our music, games, and art. Those are the people who don't want us to think, lest we think "wrong" thoughts. Anyone who is uncomfortable thinking about something is welcome not to think about it, but has no authority to tell the rest of us not to think about it either.

 

Einstein himself said that imagination is even more important than knowledge, and he was right. Where would we be without the world of imagination, a place to explore our ideas, our passions, and our fears? It's one thing to not want to read a book filled with death because it might situationally hit a little too close to home. That's fair. There are plenty of stories where no one dies and no one needs to die.

 

But to omit death from the world of the imagination, and claim "disgust" when somebody advocates for such a story, isn't acceptable. We're mortals, after all. If we can connect with a story like Wheel of Time, it must be that we can somehow relate to the conflicts and aspirations of the characters in it. Many of us dream of a great epic adventure, and confront death in our thoughts. Indeed, thinking about death can help to make the reality of it easier to accept. Thinking about death can improve our appreciation for life. Reading stories filled with death are an opportunity for us to relate to the human experience. What I have argued in this thread is that Jordan was incongruent in keeping the main protagonists alive despite constantly putting them in situations of grave danger. I never said that WoT is boring because of that, nor do I think such a thing. I'm not advocating bloodsport, bread and circuses. What I said is that it isn't realistic for such an inconsistency to dominate the storyline, and that this inconsistency detracts from the story.

 

Obviously it isn't a detraction for everybody, but it certainly merits discussion, and the discussion isn't going to go anywhere positive if "disgust" is someone's retort.

 

I second, third, and fourth that. That comment truly needed to be addressed, thank you.

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Characters who could have died, and when, for plot/drive home evil purposes:

 

1. Morgase - Shoulda jumped out the window in the Fortress of Light.

2. Gawyn - Sheathe the Sword while defending Egwene

3. Gareth or Siuan - One of them when Gareth kills the Bloodknife

4. Moiraine - Lanfear

5. Egwene - Elaida ends up executing her in secret and is deposed for it, heals the Tower because they realize this can't be happening (Out of the Emond's Fielders, Egwene is the one who could die the easiest without swinging the plot too far)

6. Faile - When captured. Perrin goes crazy, goes on fanatic rampage during aMoL, charging into Trollocs and all

7, Rhuarc - Any time, amplifies suspense

8. Amys/Bair/Melaine - See above

 

 

So, yeah, around 8 major characters COULD have died, and it definitely would have amplified the suspense and story, but after a while, with all these people dying the story would just get too bleak and depressing. How many people would have to die to satisfy ya? Morgase, Gawyn, Moiraine and Egwene would seem more than enough for me, they look like the most possible deaths and would do the job well.

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if I want more death in my life, I turn on CNN. Or read the obituaries. Or visit a hospital. Or call up my cousin whose father is slowly dying after a nearly decade long battle with leukemia. Etc. Or I discuss death with those around me for whom it is currently a very present reality, or for whom it is a thing or fear they are struggling with. The whole point for me of reading a work like WoT is to lose myself in a good story that fires my imagination and lets me not have to think on real life for a bit. More character death doesn't improve the story for me; doesn't necessarily ruin it either, but I'm perfectly content to suffer through a mortal character or group of them that keeps surviving some how. :)

*Thumbs up

 

I know some people like to go on about wanting someone to die, how it'd be so awesome, and that somebody should die - because the story gets boring to them otherwise, or if they don't appreciate a characterization, and so forth, what have you...

 

This disgusts me, regardless of rationale. It should disgust you, too.

I reject that attempt to claim the moral high ground. It's irresponsible, if not impossible, to draw a direct equivalence between what happens in a story and what happens in the real world. Those who claim otherwise are the same people who want to censor not just our books, but our music, games, and art. Those are the people who don't want us to think, lest we think "wrong" thoughts. Anyone who is uncomfortable thinking about something is welcome not to think about it, but has no authority to tell the rest of us not to think about it either.

 

Einstein himself said that imagination is even more important than knowledge, and he was right. Where would we be without the world of imagination, a place to explore our ideas, our passions, and our fears? It's one thing to not want to read a book filled with death because it might situationally hit a little too close to home. That's fair. There are plenty of stories where no one dies and no one needs to die.

 

But to omit death from the world of the imagination, and claim "disgust" when somebody advocates for such a story, isn't acceptable. We're mortals, after all. If we can connect with a story like Wheel of Time, it must be that we can somehow relate to the conflicts and aspirations of the characters in it. Many of us dream of a great epic adventure, and confront death in our thoughts. Indeed, thinking about death can help to make the reality of it easier to accept. Thinking about death can improve our appreciation for life. Reading stories filled with death are an opportunity for us to relate to the human experience. What I have argued in this thread is that Jordan was incongruent in keeping the main protagonists alive despite constantly putting them in situations of grave danger. I never said that WoT is boring because of that, nor do I think such a thing. I'm not advocating bloodsport, bread and circuses. What I said is that it isn't realistic for such an inconsistency to dominate the storyline, and that this inconsistency detracts from the story.

 

Obviously it isn't a detraction for everybody, but it certainly merits discussion, and the discussion isn't going to go anywhere positive if "disgust" is someone's retort.

 

I second, third, and fourth that. That comment truly needed to be addressed, thank you.

 

Fifth that

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It's why RJ is inferior to Tolkien. At least Tolkien killed off main characters. The Silmarillion is as a result a fairly interesting read once you can force yourself past the first 50-70 boring pages.

Seriously? In Lord of the Rings, Gandalf dies, comes back and ol, Boringamir oh i mean Boramir dies. Wow look at the carnage! The Simarillion was a complimentary history to the LOTR. Anyway it's not a moving arguement. I feel the story is masterfully done in WOT, and that matters more than killing characters for no reason. {love both series but RJ's world would make Tolkien's head explode}

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Saruman, Theodin, Boromir, Gollum all die. These are MAIN(ish) characters. The dark actually puts up legitimate resistance. Gandalf doesn't kill enough Orcs to kill a small city. No major characters die in WoT. Ta'avern accounts for it, but if Thom had died at Whitebridge, i wouldn't have minded.

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no moral high ground here, but I think the earlier person's post is just communicating a very human reaction. It's a reaction to the way some other posts were worded: It'd be so awesome if mat died. How awesome if egwene died. How awesome if Perrin died.

 

I mean, that just strikes me as pretty bloodthirsty. I'm not claiming any high ground. It's just concerning in its zeal for death, that's all. I'm not saying it was intended that way. That's just how it rings in the ear.

 

And I don't think it would be awesome if mat died at all. If the price for continuing to spend time with and get to know better these great characters, these old friends of ours, is less intimidating Forsaken, that's ok by me.

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Its not about being bloodthirsty, its about wanting some suspense and some balance.

Imagine if one major character died in an earlier book and there was no fortelling that 'character A' would survive the series.

You'd be sitting on the edge of your seat reading Mat in ToG or Perrin v Slayer.

Instead i'm reading thinking 'gee how will they survive this one'.

It totally takes any excitement away from the book and some people like excitement in novels.

This is all a matter of your own point of view.

There's no right or wrong answer with this one. If you want a nice book, this is the one for you.

But some people here like a story of good v evil just to have a bit of balance instead of

Forsaken dying one by one, sometimes twice, and nobody major dying for the Light, even after going through dozens of life

threatening situations. (even Star Wars and Harry Potter has major character deaths).

The words awesome does not refer to being bloodthirsty or disgusting???? (wtf) but having a novel with some tension.

Reading a novel where characters you care about are in trouble and could buy it is, well, awesome.

Having said that, Perrin, Lan, Egwene and Gawyn could die in the LB and i would be upset (well with the first two)

but isnt that the idea of a novel? To bring up all emotions, not just nice ones???

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Its not about being bloodthirsty, its about wanting some suspense and some balance.

Imagine if one major character died in an earlier book and there was no fortelling that 'character A' would survive the series.

You'd be sitting on the edge of your seat reading Mat in ToG or Perrin v Slayer.

Instead i'm reading thinking 'gee how will they survive this one'.

It totally takes any excitement away from the book and some people like excitement in novels.

This is all a matter of your own point of view.

There's no right or wrong answer with this one. If you want a nice book, this is the one for you.

But some people here like a story of good v evil just to have a bit of balance instead of

Forsaken dying one by one, sometimes twice, and nobody major dying for the Light, even after going through dozens of life

threatening situations. (even Star Wars and Harry Potter has major character deaths).

The words awesome does not refer to being bloodthirsty or disgusting???? (wtf) but having a novel with some tension.

Reading a novel where characters you care about are in trouble and could buy it is, well, awesome.

Having said that, Perrin, Lan, Egwene and Gawyn could die in the LB and i would be upset (well with the first two)

but isnt that the idea of a novel? To bring up all emotions, not just nice ones???

If the writing isnt pulling you in enough to not worry about everything then why are you reading it. Why are you here so many books later.

Answer: Its awsome! Now enjoy.

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Its not about being bloodthirsty, its about wanting some suspense and some balance.

Imagine if one major character died in an earlier book and there was no fortelling that 'character A' would survive the series.

You'd be sitting on the edge of your seat reading Mat in ToG or Perrin v Slayer.

Instead i'm reading thinking 'gee how will they survive this one'.

It totally takes any excitement away from the book and some people like excitement in novels.

This is all a matter of your own point of view.

There's no right or wrong answer with this one. If you want a nice book, this is the one for you.

But some people here like a story of good v evil just to have a bit of balance instead of

Forsaken dying one by one, sometimes twice, and nobody major dying for the Light, even after going through dozens of life

threatening situations. (even Star Wars and Harry Potter has major character deaths).

The words awesome does not refer to being bloodthirsty or disgusting???? (wtf) but having a novel with some tension.

Reading a novel where characters you care about are in trouble and could buy it is, well, awesome.

Having said that, Perrin, Lan, Egwene and Gawyn could die in the LB and i would be upset (well with the first two)

but isnt that the idea of a novel? To bring up all emotions, not just nice ones???

If the writing isnt pulling you in enough to not worry about everything then why are you reading it. Why are you here so many books later.

Answer: Its awsome! Now enjoy.

 

Yes its a nice book :P

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It can be used well, to add to a work, or badly, to subtract from it, but is itself neither good nor bad.

 

As usual, Mr. Ares wrote better than I, but this seems to be what I was trying to say. It doesn't matter so much whether an author chooses a story type which kills off main characters or doesn't,; what matters is how well the author executes the type of story they're trying to tell.

 

I have to disagree with the eloquent constellation on the "reputation" of GRRM. You can go all "numbers-y" and say, well only 3 out of 20 viewpoints were killed. That doesn't adequately describe what GRR decided to do. I don't see there's any question that GRRM killed off the Rand of that series. Of course, he can't be the Rand now that he's dead, so let's say that he killed off what was, at that time, clearly the Rand of the series. That's a little more momentous than just killing off "1 out of 20."

 

If you're going to tell me that someone like Arya or Daenerys is the Rand of the series, there's a point there, but the fact is that the role of "young man entering his warrior-leader prime a little early, central character not only to the book but to all the characters around him, their fates all depend on him, etc.", well that has to be Robb Stark.

Jon Snow sends his regards. It is important to note that the conflict with the Others has, to date, only been a side story, yet looks set to take greater prominence in the future. One thing Martin has said on his choice of POVs is that he makes someone a POV in order to tell that person's story. Robb was never a POV - he was never telling Robb's story. So I disagree that he killed off the "Rand" of the series. That's a role that belongs either to Jon or Dany, given what we know, and how you define it. He has undoubtedly killed off major characters, I don't deny that. I just think his reputation in this regard is inflated, and I think that's a bad thing. How many people are going to read comments along the lines of "never get attached to anyone" and so never read the books? Or read them and be disappointed at the lack of the promised bloodbath? Martin uses plot armour, just as RJ does. He's telling a story. There's death, but it happens for a reason.

 

I think it was touched on in several earlier posts, but the fact of the matter, is that while several of the main characters have to live to keep the story from ending on "The Dark Lord ripped the pattern to shreds and all life everywhere was extinguished", to have so many books go by without any of the main characters dying does rob the series of a bit of the suspense.

To be honest, I'm not hugely convinced by this line of reasoning. On first read of a book, you don't necessarily know what is to happen (or how). A death is always possible, even if no-one major has died to date. On re-reads, of course, you'll probably remember a few of the deaths from before. True, Egwene hasn't died yet, Gawyn hasn't died yet, Nynaeve hasn't died yet, but I don't read the books and think "well, none of them are ever going to die" because of that. If there are prophecies, visions of the future, foreshadowing, things of that nature that have yet to be fulfilled, then it is reasonable to expect them to stay alive in order to fulfill them, but that's different. Reading ToM, I didn't think "well, Gawyn will survive this because RJ didn't kill people off". I thought he might die. He still might, in AMoL. I thought Mat and Thom would survive the ToG, and Noal was the disposable one, but that was because I knew Mat had outriggers planned, he was still needed for TG, and there had been foreshadowing of Thom and Moiraine together. It was hints of the future, not memories of the past that had me suspect they would live while he died. You might be sure that everyone will survive AMoL, I see no reason for such confidence.

 

how awesome would it have been that instead of tarna, it was egwene who gets turned? how awesome it would have been if mat cauthon did not make it alive out the tower of ghenjei and that he gave his life so that moraine was to be freed? How awesome would it have been if graendal took perrin and galad out simultaneously and was crowned the enw naeblis? How awesome it would have been nynaeve got ambushed by taim and his cronies when she went to visit myrelle? You see where i am going with this?
Not very. I don't see any of those scenarios as inherently "awesome" (that word gets thrown around far too liberally these days - the youth of today would benefit from a thesaurus). Furthermore, death serves a function in the narrative. This is true of ASoIaF, WoT, Silmarillion, MBotF, and so on. Death for its own sake is pointless. It is bad storytelling. And it isn't all that interesting. Just think of all the interesting things you can do with a character. Death destroys all those possibilities (unless you're a character in an Erikson novel, in which case death isn't the handicap it used to be in the olden days). Of course, death isn't always boring, of course I'm not saying that. What I am saying is that in the list of interesting things you can do, killing a character does not rank at the top of the list. I've really enjoyed Rand's character arc over the series - if he had died mid-way through, how would that be interesting? If Nynaeve had died in an ambush in ToM, as you suggest, then why were we follwing her story? What purpose did it serve, and what purpose does her death serve? The good guys always winning isn't hugely interesting either, but their victories at least serve a purpose. They are there for a reason. What would the story gain from a bloodbath? The bad guys constantly losing might be a problem, but this isn't much of a solution, not by itself.

 

And the sad thing is none of the major light characters are going to die come tarmon gaidon. Mat aint going to die. we know from the outtrigger books. Perrin will assume the leadership of the borderlands. Rand is going to retire and live his final days in the countryside alongside min. Egwene is going to be the amyrlin to logain's tamyrlin. Nynaeve and lan will rule over a new malkier.
You don't know any of that, save Mat's survival. Rand will die and live again, but that leaves a lot of room for possibilities. Perrin might be King of Saldaea. He might die. So could Faile. Or Egwene, Gawyn, any of the others. Logain will not be Tamyrlin, I'm damn sure of that (M'Hael, perhaps, but there's no reason at all he would be called Tamyrlin). I'm pretty bloody sure Malkier is not coming back, and there's no reason Lan couldn't die. If we want to know what will happen, we should not look to the past, but to what we know of the future. Piece things together from that.
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