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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Always Sunny

First Time Reading the First Book

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Actually at one point I found Perrin so incredibly boring that I just skipped his chapters completely. Don't worry I know where you're coming from :p

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I just keep reminding myself that what we're reading is several weeks behind where you are now...kinda makes it hard to discuss since the views you held then may not reflect the ones you have now.

 

I also am curious what you thought of the Hunt for the Horn. And I can't wait to see your response to the first Mat chapters from his POV in book 3.

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To start I'd just like to say that you have made me go back and reevaluate some of this series with the view points you have brought up (not saying that I agreed in the end anyway but I did think about it). However' date=' in regards to your statement that "It seems to me that if I don't see the book exactly like everyone else then I'm wrong" I would tend to disagree. To me it seems that many of the people who attacked your points of view (randsc coming to mind from early in this thread) were trying to do the exact same thing you are and that is make you rethink what you read and maybe come to a different conclusion. In fact the reason many of them stopped reading the thread was not only because they disagreed (although that undoubtedly had something to do with it) but rather they felt that while you were asking for readers of the thread to have an open mind you yourself did not. [b']You praise readers (as shown above) for open mindedness, yet there is no evidence in any of your posts that you took the, for lack of a better term, criticism of the posters you allude to and actually reevaluated your position on the books. [/b]Even if you came to the same conclusion as you had before all many of these posters were looking for, at least from my reading of this thread, was something along the lines of "I thought about what you said, however, here is why I disagree still..." instead all they got was "Nope disagree" (which to be fair was all they gave you so perhaps both parties could have done better).

 

like A2597 just noted remember that the bulk of the blog posts were written ahead of time and posted incrementally to allow conversation. So let's say Sunny takes some stance/belief in blog #1 about a character. Let's then say that everyone vehemently disagrees and posts in this thread or in the blog and manages the change Sunny's mind about it. The next several blogs are still going to have that same view of that character because they were written before the reevaluation. She specifically stated she wasn't rewriting the blogs after they were written.

 

I do agree though, I think a great deal of the drama, for lack of a better word, is from some of those misunderstandings, and it certainly makes her appear intractible.

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I read the blog up to around Chapter 29, and I had to quit in frustration. Gender issues are worth discussing, and when there are actual problems, I'll gladly discuss them. But I got tired of reading Sunny going on a rant every time there was any kind of (man-favoring) disparate treatment. In fact, it seemed like Sunny was often inclined to manufacture it by selectively interpreting a passage to get at latent sexism that's not actually present. (It's sexist that Perrin's riding Bela off-screen, and Egwene is riding her on-screen?)

 

At the beginning, I wrote it off as a once-in-a-while thing. After all, Thom WAS a little prejudiced when he said, "that pretty little slip of a girl," (though based on age, not on gender, I'd say). Then the complaints started coming more frequently, based on more tenuous arguments, and completely ignoring any masculine consideration. Perrin's response to Aram/Egwene was reasonable given his friendship with Rand and the relationship he perceived between Rand and Egwene. He feared that these actions were going to hurt his friend, to whom Egwene was committed. And yet that is ignored, and Perrin is some kind of patriarchal monster who is animalistically trying to control Egwene.

 

This could have been a very interesting project - and, in places, Sunny's ability to pick up on foreshadowing and little items in the text that I had missed, was actually quite fun. And yet it was ruined for me because it rapidly developed into a bitter "feminist" complaint about all sorts of perceived slights. The men of the Wheel of Time can do nothing right, in Sunny's eyes, so long as they have any skill that surpasses women, or ever presume to have any sort of authority, even if that authority is not tied to his chromosomes and plumbing.

 

I will say this: if the Wheel of Time were perfected for Sunny, such that women always excel over men and command them, rather than the opposite; if no one ever killed, and the Trollocs were safe from the genocidal wrath of the al'Qaeda Aes Sedai, it would be the shortest, most boring, most unsatisfying read ever. Rand, properly meek when going to Emond's Field, would come back. When the Trollocs busted in, they would attempt to carry on a conversation with them, perhaps ask them why they were trespassing, be kidnapped, and eventually killed.

 

The end.

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You are right about how the boys act around Nyneave. She is an authority figure who spanked them when they were not much younger. Egwene on the other had is a friend. Even if it is a teacher to student friendship.

 

Mat is a farmer.

 

You will see a couple views from the "evil" side. Not for a bit though.

 

 

Also, I think you may know by now but Saidin and Saidar are separate parts of the power. If the eye had been filled with Saidar no man would have been able to use it. It isn't about strong women needing men. Its about them NOT being capable of using that power. Just like men would be incapable of using Saidar.

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Hey, folks. I don't have time to reply to what you've all written. I am sorry about that. But as soon as things calm down over here later today (or maybe tomorrow morning!) I'll say something. Until then, though, I've got a new blog post up. Here it is for your "enjoyment!"

 

 

Cool. That's another well written blog. I liked your bits about Loial's 'Faugh' and the Green Man. Yeah, I found the fact neither Rand, Mat or Perrin went to save Nynaeve as ridicuolous aswell, but I suppose there would be a good chance of her slapping/punching them. She does have some temper!

 

Also, I was shocked when Nynaeve 'died'(she didnt really. I still havent figured out how she survived. I though she was dead, but obviously she wasn't dead enough to be too far gone for healing), because I thought, she is a main character, and one of them is dead already? in a 13 book series?!?(i bought this after I seen Towers of Midnight in the shop). So yeah, I was shocked. I fully expected them all to survive - that didn't stop me getting tense in certain situations just incase though :laugh:

 

Also, about Saidar and Saidin. I'm guessing you know how it works now after you've read book 2? Or do you need a clear up on that?

 

P.S. Sorry for the huge wall of text above :unsure:

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You are right about how the boys act around Nyneave. She is an authority figure who spanked them when they were not much younger. Egwene on the other had is a friend. Even if it is a teacher to student friendship.

 

Mat is a farmer.

 

You will see a couple views from the "evil" side. Not for a bit though.

 

 

Also, I think you may know by now but Saidin and Saidar are separate parts of the power. If the eye had been filled with Saidar no man would have been able to use it. It isn't about strong women needing men. Its about them NOT being capable of using that power. Just like men would be incapable of using Saidar.

 

That's the thing, though - Sunny's critiques are not centered in the context of the story. Sunny's criticizing RJ for crafting a story where strong female characters need a man.

 

It might seem idyllic for there to be a world where women don't rely on men at all, no men have any skills that are superior to women, and men always listen to/obey women, but I wonder how Sunny would react to the opposite. The sheer fact that the opposite would generate an epic rant is proof that it's not an egalitarian philosophy that Sunny's talking about - it's distinctly pro-woman (and anti-man).

 

I'm almost tempted to do a WOT reread and blog about all the places that women are portrayed as better than men. That would really bring the hypocrisy home.

Edited by Seth Baker

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This is what gets me about you and your blogging, Sunny. You read that "the greatest acts of the Age of Legends were done by men and women working together," and what you take away from that is that RJ has created a world where women are weak and need men. You read it as an attack on women. And you voice your opinion about it, having only considered the female perspective. This has been your approach to blogging the entire time. (1) Read a line. (2) Have a knee-jerk thought about how that is not 100% pro-woman. (3) Blog that thought and move on.

 

With regard to this specific item, it's a limitation on BOTH. What either men OR women can accomplish is limited without cooperation. Good message, right? I guess not, because apparently you think that this is an attack on feminism. Anyway, for the record, up to 13 women can link together for cooperation without a man. That makes them extremely powerful. However, men cannot link alone. They ALWAYS need a woman.

 

:dry: As a 'masculinist,' that's absurd. What sexist drivel. Men cannot cooperate unless they have a woman to keep them reasonable and away from each other's throats? FAUGH.

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I can understand why the main characters always running away from danger could be irritating, but really at this point if they want to survive(which is sort of the whole reason they left the TR), there is simply no way they can fight at the moment. They don't have the weapons or the skills for it, it would be suicide. Just look at how easely Lan got taken out by the forsaken. What chance do the rest of them have.

 

Rand realises that the forsken could tear them apart so he stops Egwene by tackling her as she obviously would not listen to word. In the Great Hunt, near the beggining of the book, Egwene tackles Rand to the ground as well. But that hardly makes her a bad person. When she tackled him it was because he was acting dumb. Here when Rand tackles her its because she is running straight into certain death. Sure she wanted to help Nyneave, but its Nyneave's own fault for finding herself in that predicament. Nyneave, just like Egwene(and Mat and Perrin for that matter) has absolutely no chance against the forsaken. They basically all lost their cool and forgot who they were facing.

 

Still, they are all justfiable reactions, if not very smart ones. You'll see the characters standing up and fighting themselves soon enough though, so no need to worry about that. But at this point their goal is to avoid danger at all cost.

 

Anyway enough of that. I'm still greatly enjoying these posts. By the way the Nym has been around humans plenty having lived in the Age of Legends, and having had a bunch of people come to see him at the Eye. He was made by humans in fact, if I'm not mistaken, so really odds are he can tell men and women apart.

 

Keep it up!

Edited by Master Ablar

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Anyway enough of that. I'm still greatly enjoying these posts. By the way the Nym has been around humans plenty having lived in the Age of Legends, and having had a bunch of people come to see him at the Eye. He was made by humans in fact, if I'm not mistaken, so really odds are he can tell men and women apart.

 

 

 

I don't think she has been told that yet. I didn't figure out what the Green Man was till I seen it on WoTwiki :blush: . But I'm sure it was mentioned in the books. Was it tSR perhaps?

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Hey, folks. I don't have time to reply to what you've all written. I am sorry about that. But as soon as things calm down over here later today (or maybe tomorrow morning!) I'll say something. Until then, though, I've got a new blog post up. Here it is for your "enjoyment!"

 

 

Meh, the saidin/saidar thing has been said already. You'll see a few great examples of this.

 

When it comes to Rand protecting women, its just a trait of his, not meant to be a good thing He's a pretty gray character, surprisingly enough, and he's not that heroic throughout the entire series.

 

If you want a more traditional heroic character I'd almost say Mat is your guy in the later books. He does what he thinks is right rather than what he thinks needs to be done.

Edited by Elend

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Rand is something of a gray character - not truly a hero, but not, you know, not not a hero either. Love Mat though - he really doesn't want to be a hero, but when given a choice between doing what's best for him or doing something heroic, he'll do the heroic thing. Then complain about it afterwards. Perrin and Rand are much more goal-oriented. Right now, however, Mat's got cursed-dagger poisoning and Rand and Perrin both have the very inspiring goal of 'staying alive'.

 

The magic things been covered mostly, but I'll reiterate a few points; It's not that women need men in order to do the super-uber stuff, it's that you are able to use more power (and do more amazing things) when both women and men work together. The same limitation applies the other way - men need women in order to do the really amazing stuff with the power. Futhermore, it's not fire & earth are men-powers while wind & water are girl powers, it's that men tend to be stronger in fire/earth (like men tend to be stronger physically in RL) while women tend to be stronger in wind/water (like women tend to be more flexible and have a higher pain tolerance than men).

Moiraine is quite powerful in fire, she's a bit weaker in earth, and is normal in water/wind/spirit afaik.

It's not a situation where men are always stronger in x/y while women are stronger in a/b, it's a matter of women tending towards a/b while men tend towards x/y. Imagine strength in each element to be a bell-curve, with the peak of the wind/water curve being closer to the female side, while the peak of the fire/earth curve is closer to the male side. The peak of the spirit curve is dead-center.

 

Also, you'll find later in the series that men tend to be able to draw a larger amount of the one-power than women do, but women tend to be more dexterous with the one-power (so men are, on average, able to do more powerful weaves than women, but aren't as fast with them nor are they (typically) able to do the fancier/more complicated stuff as well as women can).

RJ's world, and his Magic system, is all about balance. It is not, however, perfectly even - but it is balanced.

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Rand is something of a gray character - not truly a hero, but not, you know, not not a hero either. Love Mat though - he really doesn't want to be a hero, but when given a choice between doing what's best for him or doing something heroic, he'll do the heroic thing. Then complain about it afterwards. Perrin and Rand are much more goal-oriented. Right now, however, Mat's got cursed-dagger poisoning and Rand and Perrin both have the very inspiring goal of 'staying alive'.

 

The magic things been covered mostly, but I'll reiterate a few points; It's not that women need men in order to do the super-uber stuff, it's that you are able to use more power (and do more amazing things) when both women and men work together. The same limitation applies the other way - men need women in order to do the really amazing stuff with the power. Futhermore, it's not fire & earth are men-powers while wind & water are girl powers, it's that men tend to be stronger in fire/earth (like men tend to be stronger physically in RL) while women tend to be stronger in wind/water (like women tend to be more flexible and have a higher pain tolerance than men).

Moiraine is quite powerful in fire, she's a bit weaker in earth, and is normal in water/wind/spirit afaik.

It's not a situation where men are always stronger in x/y while women are stronger in a/b, it's a matter of women tending towards a/b while men tend towards x/y. Imagine strength in each element to be a bell-curve, with the peak of the wind/water curve being closer to the female side, while the peak of the fire/earth curve is closer to the male side. The peak of the spirit curve is dead-center.

 

Also, you'll find later in the series that men tend to be able to draw a larger amount of the one-power than women do, but women tend to be more dexterous with the one-power (so men are, on average, able to do more powerful weaves than women, but aren't as fast with them nor are they (typically) able to do the fancier/more complicated stuff as well as women can).

RJ's world, and his Magic system, is all about balance. It is not, however, perfectly even - but it is balanced.

 

True. I'd even hazard that the ONLY inequality in magic is that the Dragon soul is male in every iteration, and is (as far as we can tell) the most powerful, and most dexterous, when at its full realization. For proof, look at Rand in Maradon.

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Rand is something of a gray character - not truly a hero, but not, you know, not not a hero either. Love Mat though - he really doesn't want to be a hero, but when given a choice between doing what's best for him or doing something heroic, he'll do the heroic thing. Then complain about it afterwards. Perrin and Rand are much more goal-oriented. Right now, however, Mat's got cursed-dagger poisoning and Rand and Perrin both have the very inspiring goal of 'staying alive'.

 

The magic things been covered mostly, but I'll reiterate a few points; It's not that women need men in order to do the super-uber stuff, it's that you are able to use more power (and do more amazing things) when both women and men work together. The same limitation applies the other way - men need women in order to do the really amazing stuff with the power. Futhermore, it's not fire & earth are men-powers while wind & water are girl powers, it's that men tend to be stronger in fire/earth (like men tend to be stronger physically in RL) while women tend to be stronger in wind/water (like women tend to be more flexible and have a higher pain tolerance than men).

Moiraine is quite powerful in fire, she's a bit weaker in earth, and is normal in water/wind/spirit afaik.

It's not a situation where men are always stronger in x/y while women are stronger in a/b, it's a matter of women tending towards a/b while men tend towards x/y. Imagine strength in each element to be a bell-curve, with the peak of the wind/water curve being closer to the female side, while the peak of the fire/earth curve is closer to the male side. The peak of the spirit curve is dead-center.

 

Also, you'll find later in the series that men tend to be able to draw a larger amount of the one-power than women do, but women tend to be more dexterous with the one-power (so men are, on average, able to do more powerful weaves than women, but aren't as fast with them nor are they (typically) able to do the fancier/more complicated stuff as well as women can).

RJ's world, and his Magic system, is all about balance. It is not, however, perfectly even - but it is balanced.

 

True. I'd even hazard that the ONLY inequality in magic is that the Dragon soul is male in every iteration, and is (as far as we can tell) the most powerful, and most dexterous, when at its full realization. For proof, look at Rand in Maradon.

 

RJ said that there is a female equivalent to the Dragon. Not the Dragon soul, and not with the same purpose, but one that exists if needed by the Wheel.

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Rand is something of a gray character - not truly a hero, but not, you know, not not a hero either. Love Mat though - he really doesn't want to be a hero, but when given a choice between doing what's best for him or doing something heroic, he'll do the heroic thing. Then complain about it afterwards. Perrin and Rand are much more goal-oriented. Right now, however, Mat's got cursed-dagger poisoning and Rand and Perrin both have the very inspiring goal of 'staying alive'.

 

The magic things been covered mostly, but I'll reiterate a few points; It's not that women need men in order to do the super-uber stuff, it's that you are able to use more power (and do more amazing things) when both women and men work together. The same limitation applies the other way - men need women in order to do the really amazing stuff with the power. Futhermore, it's not fire & earth are men-powers while wind & water are girl powers, it's that men tend to be stronger in fire/earth (like men tend to be stronger physically in RL) while women tend to be stronger in wind/water (like women tend to be more flexible and have a higher pain tolerance than men).

Moiraine is quite powerful in fire, she's a bit weaker in earth, and is normal in water/wind/spirit afaik.

It's not a situation where men are always stronger in x/y while women are stronger in a/b, it's a matter of women tending towards a/b while men tend towards x/y. Imagine strength in each element to be a bell-curve, with the peak of the wind/water curve being closer to the female side, while the peak of the fire/earth curve is closer to the male side. The peak of the spirit curve is dead-center.

 

Also, you'll find later in the series that men tend to be able to draw a larger amount of the one-power than women do, but women tend to be more dexterous with the one-power (so men are, on average, able to do more powerful weaves than women, but aren't as fast with them nor are they (typically) able to do the fancier/more complicated stuff as well as women can).

RJ's world, and his Magic system, is all about balance. It is not, however, perfectly even - but it is balanced.

 

True. I'd even hazard that the ONLY inequality in magic is that the Dragon soul is male in every iteration, and is (as far as we can tell) the most powerful, and most dexterous, when at its full realization. For proof, look at Rand in Maradon.

 

RJ said that there is a female equivalent to the Dragon. Not the Dragon soul, and not with the same purpose, but one that exists if needed by the Wheel.

 

I don't remember seeing a quote like that. This has gotten very spoilery though.

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It's a very muddled quote, a paraphrase, really, but RJ implied Rand's soul was always male, but that if the Wheel needed a female to fill the champion role it would weave one out (a specific one). It varies upon what the Wheel needs.

 

Way too many spoilers above, though.

Edited by Agitel

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I don't remember seeing a quote like that. This has gotten very spoilery though.

 

In light of the Battle of Falme (she's finished TGH), I'd say that what I said about Rand is not a spoiler. I mentioned Maradon, but not anything about it. Regardless, not looking to post spoilers.

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Epic and inconsiderate spoilers ITT. Why talk about things from TOM and later descriptions of the power system. Let her figure things out as she reads just like everyone else did

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Epic and inconsiderate spoilers ITT. Why talk about things from TOM and later descriptions of the power system. Let her figure things out as she reads just like everyone else did

 

Like I said, mentioning Maradon in the way I did was deliberately done to make it intelligible for those of you who have read the series, and to make it COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS to anyone who hasn't. How is that an epic and inconsiderate spoiler?

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Epic and inconsiderate spoilers ITT. Why talk about things from TOM and later descriptions of the power system. Let her figure things out as she reads just like everyone else did

 

Like I said, mentioning Maradon in the way I did was deliberately done to make it intelligible for those of you who have read the series, and to make it COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS to anyone who hasn't. How is that an epic and inconsiderate spoiler?

I'd say the spoilers were more the descriptions of how each character turns out in the later books

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I can understand why the main characters always running away from danger could be irritating, but really at this point if they want to survive(which is sort of the whole reason they left the TR), there is simply no way they can fight at the moment. They don't have the weapons or the skills for it, it would be suicide. Just look at how easily Lan got taken out by the forsaken. What chance do the rest of them have.

Exactly. At this point Rand knows as much about how to use that sword as Egwene knows how to use the One Power, which is next to nothing. So, is it cowardice to run from something you can't possibly fight or wisdom?

 

Rand realizes that the forsaken could tear them apart so he stops Egwene by tackling her as she obviously would not listen to word. In the Great Hunt, near the beginning of the book, Egwene tackles Rand to the ground as well.

and then she threatens him with bodily harm and tries to carry it out

But that hardly makes her a bad person. When she tackled him it was because he was acting dumb. Here when Rand tackles her its because she is running straight into certain death. Sure she wanted to help Nyneave, but its Nyneave's own fault for finding herself in that predicament. Nyneave, just like Egwene(and Mat and Perrin for that matter) has absolutely no chance against the forsaken. They basically all lost their cool and forgot who they were facing.

Not only that but he was there when Moraine told Egwene she was not ready to do much with her ability and anything she did could be hazardous not only for herself but for those around her. Even if you want to pretend Moraine is lying about everything, she really has to know what she's talking about when it comes to the One Power and Rand actually listens to warnings so all he did was stop Egwene from doing something stupid.

 

Would you REALLY want or encourage someone with only beginner video game experience to go fight in a war when their lack of training could result in their death and fellow solders via friendly fire?

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Sorry it took me so long to get back on here, folks. I've had a busy, busy time these last few days. I'll try to keep this post short, too. I suppose I could respond to everybody, you know? But that would mean a lot of reading for you all and writing for me. Instead, I'll try to hit the highlights. Okay? Great!

 

That's not to say Perrin doesn't have an internal conflict in that area, but 'murderous loser'? Going back to that encounter with the Children of Light he was swept up in a tide of foreign emotions from the wolves, he saw Hopper's death through Hopper's eyes, through the eyes of all the wolves around, and their emotional response overwhelmed him. He had never had to deal with an onslaught of foreign emotions pouring directly into his mind before, he was unprepared for it. And if you can't read it from his reactions, his brooding, etc... he's pretty horrified by what happened to him and what he did. He's the guy who's always been aware of his size and strength and aware of the damage he could cause without even trying and so did things slow and methodically so as not to break anything. The whole incident scared him. The same goes for the more aggressive thoughts he's had at other times as well, all of it is strange and foreign to him.

 

You've complained that it doesn't seem as if I'm considering other people's differing opinions. I do consider them. Take what you wrote here. It makes a good case and it has the potential to change my mind. So I read it, think about it, and come to the conclusion that while you're right in what is going on inside Perrin's mind you're way off on how I should judge him because of it. Yes, Perrin has an unnaturally strong attachment to Hopper. Yes, Perrin feels Hopper's death in his very soul. Yes, this stirs up feelings inside of him that he doesn't understand. How does that excuse him from killing the two Children of the Light? Hopper attacked first, remember? Hopper, if he's supposed to be a real person with real feelings (enough that I'm supposed to treat his death as I would a person close to me) then I'll hold Hopper to the same standards as I would a real person. Not a human, but a person. The same I would for Loial or E.T. or a Vulcan or Legolas (all non-human persons). So Hopper attacked a Whitecloak, killed him, and died as a result. Then Perrin, messed up in the head, killed two more. There was no violence when this encounter started. Everyone was standing around and talking. Then Hopper jumped in and then Perrin jumped in. If Perrin isn't arrested for murder then he should be arrested just to keep him from losing control again. Will he go apeshit every time a wolf dies near him? How are the Whitecloaks supposed to know? How is Perrin supposed to know? Is Egwene safe around him? He deserves to be locked up for any number of reasons (I still say for murder, though).

 

See, it isn't that I don't have an open mind. It isn't that I ignore what everyone else is saying. It's that what they say doesn't follow through with what I read. Am I supposed to think that Perrin is a gentle guy who has some sort of brand new mental defect that will cause him to enter a bloody rage whenever he feels threatened? And I'm suppose to cheer on this guy when he kills people 'cause, gosh darn it, he doesn't mean to kill? I mean, look:

 

If you back a terrified animal into a corner it will lash out viciously. A human being will do much the same, so what Perrin did is entirely natural and not murderous at all, he was a kid who was scared for his life against people who just seemed wrong to him,

 

See? Even Perrin supporters define him as an animal, terrified and backed into a corner. If squirrels do it then it's okay for people to do it, too. And it's okay to kill Whitecloaks, too. Are they human beings? Yes? But does that matter? They felt wrong. What does that even mean? Are they truly wrong or is this another wolf-sense that is confusing Perrin? Imagine this in the real world. Seriously, even if Hopper was a human being and really close to Perrin, do you think Perrin would be found not guilty of murder if he went to trial? If you heard this story on the evening news (without being in Perrin's head, of course) then would you automatically jump on the Justified Homicide bandwagon?

 

Besides, look at Egwene. She was trapped in a corner like a terrified rat. She didn't fight back. Why not? If one argues that fighting back is natural then Egwene isn't acting naturally. If one argues that we can act naturally in more than one way then we have to ask why Perrin acted the way he did instead of acting the way Egwene did.

 

Really, how can you say I'm too closed minded to consider other opinions when I get this deep into one tiny part of one chapter? I think we are confusing closed-mindedness with coming to the same conclusion as before even after careful consideration of new evidence.

 

 

I do agree though, I think a great deal of the drama, for lack of a better word, is from some of those misunderstandings, and it certainly makes her appear intractible.

 

I've been trying to keep my opinions based upon where the blog is. For example, in Book 2 we learn that Moiraine is in some sort of conspiracy with the Amyrlin Seat that the rest of the White Tower wouldn't approve of if they knew about it. I ignore all of that in these discussions because it doesn't matter to my opinion of Moiraine here in Book 1. But Perrin doesn't get any better in Book 2 and neither does Mat (in fact, Mat backslides since he got better from his Dagger sickness but still acts like a dick) so it helps that my opinion of him here, in Book 1, is about the same as Book 2.

 

(It's sexist that Perrin's riding Bela off-screen, and Egwene is riding her on-screen?)

 

Yes, it is. We don't know what happens off camera. We have to imagine it for ourselves. And how can we imagine Perrin on the horse if we've never seen him on it. We've never seen the menfolk shave but we assume they do (no mention of Rand's scratchy beard, for example). But I get increasingly bothered when it is never mentioned. The same with clean clothes and free food. I was frustrated that Perrin never got on that horse, that I had to imagine it. Why? Why did I have to imagine that one thing? I came up with the idea that Robert Jordan didn't want to write a scene where Perrin was on the horse, relaxing, while Egwene was struggling along in her skirt next to him. There may be many reasons for it coming out this way, though. Maybe scenes were edited out. But I judge the story by what happens in it, not what was edited out.

 

 

The men of the Wheel of Time can do nothing right, in Sunny's eyes, so long as they have any skill that surpasses women, or ever presume to have any sort of authority, even if that authority is not tied to his chromosomes and plumbing.

 

That is just not true. Lan, for example, is obviously a master swordsman. That doesn't mean I hate him because there are no women just as good or better than him. I don't hate Moiraine because there are no men more powerful than her! And I don't hate it when men have authority. Look at Tam. He's a dad and in the Village Council. He has authority and I like him. I like Bran al'Vere, too, and he's top dog! Other men in authority, like the various innkeepers and Whitecloaks, are not hated by me, either. I don't have a problem with men being in positions of power over women.

 

The problem comes when there are no women in positions of power over men. Moiraine is a big one. She's in charge of Lan and the Two Rivers Boys. But Nynaeve was supposed to be the Wisdom, the Mayor's equal, but no one respected her. Yes, her age. I understand that argument but to me it doesn't matter that they all have good reasons to ignore her. What matters is that Robert Jordan wrote a character that was supposed to be respected, made up reasons for her not to be, made that a character a woman, and then said everything was balanced between genders in Emond's Field.

 

But other than Nynaeve and Moiraine? What other woman has authority over a man? Queen Morgase. Yes, she's in charge of a kingdom. I've got nobody to compare her to in this book (no other monarchs!) so I can't tell if she's got more power than your average ruler, less power, or is about average. I just don't know. I do know that her kingdom is in an uproar over bad winters. There's folks in the mines west of Baerlon abandoning their jobs to the cold and the wolves to come cause a ruckus in town. I know that there is an almost-riot in her capital city. I know that she has a tenuous grasp on the throne and a puppet behind her pulling her strings. So that's three women in this book with real authority over men. One is awesome, one isn't respected, and one is about to be thrown into a civil war. This is balanced?

 

I will say this: if the Wheel of Time were perfected for Sunny, such that women always excel over men and command them, rather than the opposite; if no one ever killed, and the Trollocs were safe from the genocidal wrath of the al'Qaeda Aes Sedai, it would be the shortest, most boring, most unsatisfying read ever. Rand, properly meek when going to Emond's Field, would come back. When the Trollocs busted in, they would attempt to carry on a conversation with them, perhaps ask them why they were trespassing, be kidnapped, and eventually killed.

 

Again, this isn't really true. I don't want women to always excel over men. I want them to be given a chance to excel. I want some to be better and some to be worse. I want some to be at the top of their fields and some to screw up so royally that it'll take years to clean up their mess. I want them to be in charge of men and I want them to take orders from men. I want male generals to send female soldiers on suicide missions and I want female Aes Sedai to order their Warders to stay behind and die to buy time for their escape.

 

What do you want, Seth Baker? Are you saying that unless there is mass killings and men in charge of women that the story will be boring and unsatisfying? How is it a bad thing for me to want things to be more equal but a great thing for things to be out of whack? I like lots of killing in my fiction so we can agree on that, at least!

 

 

It might seem idyllic for there to be a world where women don't rely on men at all, no men have any skills that are superior to women, and men always listen to/obey women, but I wonder how Sunny would react to the opposite. The sheer fact that the opposite would generate an epic rant is proof that it's not an egalitarian philosophy that Sunny's talking about - it's distinctly pro-woman (and anti-man).

 

Oh, you almost got it there. More than "might seem," it would be idyllic for there to be a world where women don't rely on men at all. But the rest? You start to lose it when you say that no men have any skills that are superior to women. That's not right. It's okay for some people to be better than other people in some things. All women don't have to be better than men. Just like all men don't have to be better than women. What matters is that, overall, all genders are represented at the top levels of all skills. There should be male and female chefs, admirals, engineers, janitors, IT techs, and painters. There should not be only male generals and only female knitters (especially if you want to say the world is "balanced").

 

Then you kinda/sorta got back on the right track with that third part of your statement. Yes, an idyllic world would have men always listening to women. And women would always listen to men. There would be lots of communication between everyone, everyone being heard, in this utopia. But obey? Only if the woman was in charge. A mayor wouldn't obey the farmer no matter what the genders are.

 

But after that point you set up a straw man. You assume what I'd say if the roles were reversed and they you attack what you assume I'd say. The best way to argue would be for you to ask me what I'd think if the roles were reversed and then attacked that view. But my idyllic world (which isn't the real world and isn't the Wheel of Time world) would definitely be pro-woman. But anti-man? That's absurd! It'd be pro-man, too!

 

 

Finally, this last bit seems to be in everyone's posts. So instead of quoting everything I'll sum it up: The magic system is based upon equal parts male and female. Individually, the genders can only go so far. But together, they can do truly amazing things. So I am wrong when I say that women need men when it comes to magic.

 

Far enough. But I should explain things a little better. One, this is all fake. None of this is real. So everything in here must be thought up out of thin air by the author. Everything here, then, comes from the same biases and world view. All the magic and characters and conflict and problems in this story come from the same source and were chosen for a reason (whatever that reason may have been). Basic stuff, right? I just wanted to make sure ya'll know that everything is artificial. Nothing about the world can be said to be "natural," especially the magic. Okay.

 

Now, this is a universe that needs balance. Male magic and female magic working together can achieve great things. But three thousand years ago the male half was tainted and the men died off/were killed off. Then in today's world there is only female magic (for the most part). Follow me so far? We are all agreed that the world was better when there was men and women working together, right?

 

So when women were put in charge of magic the world went to hell. In Seth Baker's vision of feminism, the women were given the keys to the world car and proceeded to crash it into today's hellhole. Robert Jordan could have written a story that took place anywhere and in any time in this balanced Wheel of Time universe. But he choose the one moment women were in charge and when the world was screwed up. Why?

 

But we are here. This is the story being told. One gender is in charge and they can't solve the world's problems. They need a man. They literally need a man to bring balance back, to set things right. The first book was about a female wizard trying to find a male wizard to fix the world because women can't do it alone.

 

Yes, men can't do it alone either. I agree with that. I see that. But this isn't a story about a male wizard organization looking for a woman to save the world. That is not the story being told. The story being told is of women looking for a man. In a deliberate decision Robert Jordan made a world with women in charge of magic and that the only way they can fix the world is to get a man to help them. He made a backstory and magic system (all artificial, nothing natural here) to make that story logical.

 

So you see? Yes, balance between genders is something that would save the world. It is something I want in this story, too! It is something Seth Baker thinks would make this story boring and short. But no one has mentioned "balance" in the first book. I don't think "balance" was mentioned in Book 2, either. It's all been about getting the Dragon so he can fight the Dark One. Nothing about fixing the male half of magic. Nothing about bringing male wizards back to Tar Valon. I gather that this changes later in the series but right here, right now, that is not the story I'm reading.

 

Anyway, there was some other stuff I wanted to say but this has gotten to be pretty long as it is. I've got enough chapters remaining for two more Eye of the World posts. So this book gets wrapped up on Friday. I won't lie, either, I was confused as all get out by the climax. You'll see when you read about it! So until then, readers! Thanks for following this far.

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The main problem is that RJ wrote a story with conflict in it, and some of those conflicts are over gender issues. You seem to be attributing nefarious motivation to him. Nynaeve needed to be a young woman to fulfill her role in the story. He set up a system that's balanced on gender issues, but the fact is that she's decades younger than most people to fill her position. People don't accept her fully, because of it. You're calling that sexist, but I'm responding by saying that it's plain sense. It's what the character needed to be, it's what the role needed to be, and it's exactly how a bunch of older people would respond to a person her age in that position.

 

Caemlyn isn't near to riot because of Morgase's ability to rule, it's a demonstration of how hard the winter is, and how negatively people are reacting. It's not about the woman. It's about the world, and she's forced to react.

 

Your reaction to the Breaking and the role of female Aes Sedai is another example of how you take neutral facts and claim they're indicative of sexism. The world didn't go to hell in a handbasket because all the men died off and women were left to screw things up (that's just a ridiculous interpretation). The world went to hell in a handbasket because thousands and thousands of male Aes Sedai went crazy over a period of years, and systematically laid waste to the world around them, destroying cities and killing innocents. It's a testament to the capability of the female Aes Sedai that they didn't completely tear the world apart.

 

This world has an almost even mixture of male and female monarchs. Monarchs of both genders are equally subject to unrest and insecurity, and both genders have a number of extremely capable rulers.

 

And, no, it's NOT sexist to mention Perrin's riding off camera. You do know what happened, because a third person omniscient narrator told you what happened.

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I for one agree with Always Sunny about Perrin and the Whitecloacks. What he did was murder, and he should've been punished for it. The Whitecloacks may be annoying bastards, but that doesn't give Perrin the right to kill them with impunity. That's one of the reasons I don't like him.

 

But Nynaeve was supposed to be the Wisdom, the Mayor's equal, but no one respected her.

Really? My memories of EOTW are a little vague, but I am pretty certain Tam, for example, respected Nynaeve. Daise Congar too, and Egwene obviously. Those who doubted her were people like Cenn Buie, who weren't presented as the most reliable or respected among the villagers. The mayor refused to join Cenn in his tirades against Nynaeve's competence even after she insulted the whole Village Council moments before that.

 

Morgase's troubles came from the long winter and the massive efforts of the Whitecloacks to stir trouble against her. It doesn't make her a bad ruler since she managed to survive on the throne despite all that. I am not sure how much of this was shows in the first two books, but over the series it's made clear that Andor it's one of the most efficiently and successfully governed realms in Randland and the average Andoran lives a better life than almost anywhere else. But from the first two books it's clear that Morgase, for all the problems in her realm and Caemlyn, is a much better ruler than the Cairhien kings we've seen mentioned - Laman who caused the Aiel War, and Galdrian, who cared only about playing Daes Dai-Mar, and didn't hesitate to sent assassins on a whim.

 

So when women were put in charge of magic the world went to hell. In Seth Baker's vision of feminism, the women were given the keys to the world car and proceeded to crash it into today's hellhole. Robert Jordan could have written a story that took place anywhere and in any time in this balanced Wheel of Time universe. But he choose the one moment women were in charge and when the world was screwed up. Why?

That's not really accurate. The women did pretty well under the circumstances - the breaking of the World and the massive destruction, the existence of the Blight and the millions of Trollocs there, the Darkfriends networks and the DO still being able to touch the world to some degree. Though in modern days the Aes Sedai are in decline, over the years they have done a solid job.

 

Anyway, I like reading your perspective and hope you'll keep posting your thoughts.

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