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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

First Time Reading the First Book


Always Sunny
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All I can say is that there will be other PoV's than Rand's. It is not a coincidence, that the first PoV we get is his, but there's much more to it.

+1

 

In fact changes in points of views are a major driving of this series. The fact that you can see many points of views of very different people either good/bad/ugly but almost never two sides of a given scene is very apealing. You get to understand the different characters much more than... other characters in the series. For exemple here you see Rand's take on Egwene... wait to see an Egwenne PoV !

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It's certainly true that the main problem with the series is definately NOT a lack of POVs from different characters. I don't think it is spoilerish to say that there are many, many different POVs. Maybe hundreds.

 

I think Always Sunny should be careful with the assumption that there are no ugly good guys in the books.

 

And I think the observation about the Whitecloaks is right on. They get a bad rap from most readers. They're zealots, to be sure, but their general orientation is (dare I say?) Lawful Good.

Edited by randsc
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You know, reading these post I can see how you arrive at some of the conclusions you have, and it's mostly because in the 1st books everything is external - fights, chases, etc. This changes over the next few books and we get to see the thought processes and motivations behind each character. Some people like that, some don't. I think you would really appreciate it, because most of what I'm perceiving as your grievances with the story thus far have been because of the unknown motives. People do things, why? Because the story says so!

 

Also, some of your other gripes. (Magically appearing army, ghost town for a ghost town) are far more planned than you may think. Don't expect all the answers to a 14 book story in the 1st one though, but these mysteries are most certainly explained.

 

Through to the end of the 1st book we know almost nothing about these characters. We see their actions, but we don't really "know" them. That changes as the books continue. I think you'll have some disappointing moments as some of your theories are disproven, and some aha moments when things you didn't even see come together. The books go a fair bit deeper than they at first seem. :D

 

(Oh, and Lan may just become one of your favorite characters later on, once the author knows he has the time to actually develop the story. Try that on for size. haha)

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I enjoyed Sunny's writeups at first, but yeah, claiming 'Sexism!' at every other point in them is starting to get really old, especially given how much drama it's been kicking up in the forum here. The boys yell out 'battle cries' as they charge into battle. The girls don't. I'm sorry, but I fail to see how that is sexist. Lan didn't yell out a battle cry either. Does that mean he's secretly a woman?

 

It's nice seeing Sunny's take on a lot of events and hints that come to fruition later in the story, but looking at everything through sexism-colored glasses is starting to get old, especially when you look at all the fighting it's caused in the last several pages of the discussion.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

 

A rather technical and thoroughly sourced discussion. Hopefully you'll take a look rather than dismiss it out of hand for being Wikipedia.

 

"...distributive expressions are neither exclusively singular nor exclusively plural, they are typically indeterminate in number."

 

The Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary recognizes the use of singular they as correct (“They, their, them have been used continuously in singular reference for about six centuries, and have been disparaged in such use for about two centuries. Now the influence of social forces is making their use even more attractive”). Even the Chicago Manual of Style has flip-flopped on the issue, with the fourteenth edition supporting the use of singular they. Singular they has been in continuous use since the 1400s.

 

"At the funeral, everyone was dressed to the nines, each wearing his swankest tie or nicest dress."

"Is it your brother or your sister who can hold his breath for four minutes?"

 

Are these correct?

 

This whole business really started in the 1700s, when someone wrote a popular grammar book, and suddenly everyone came to think that singular they was taboo. For some reason, it's Americans who cling the hardest to the notion that singular they is incorrect.

 

Now, to actually read Always Sunny's new post.

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Okay, so I've started a language thread in another part of this forum. So, you know, please stop talking about it here. That'd be just swell, folks!

 

 

 

As for the POV shifts. Hundreds of different POVs? Doing a little back-of-the-envelope math I make it out to be about ten thousand pages in this series. That means some of these POVs are going to be very short. As in just a few pages. It'll be jumping around like crazy, no doubt. Will the tension then be about dramatic tragedy, then? Like, we know what everyone in a certain situation is thinking so we know how they should be acting and are pissed off that they aren't acting that way? I can see how that could be both pretty awesome and pretty bad.

 

 

And at the risk of further derailing this thread:

 

Men ARE better blacksmiths than women.

 

Don't come here with your drivel about supposed equalities, because there are none. Men and women are different, else they wouldn't be called differently.

 

I can only say that this drivel is my own (and I don't consider it drivel at all!) so I'll come here with it if I want to. So, nanner nanner nanner!

 

Your logic in that second part is very faulty. I'll give you an example. 1/2 and 2/4 and .5 and 50% are all equal. They are all the same. Yet they are written differently. They still have the same value even if they look different. It is the same with human beings.

 

The equalities are not "supposed."

 

Think of it with this perspective. Blacks were enslaved because every white person knew for a fact that they were biologically more capable of manual labor. Where were the African scientists or sailing ships or cathedrals? That was proof enough that blacks were not as capable of the things whites were capable of. It was science and common sense that blacks should be subjugated.

 

Centuries later there came a problem with women. There were no female scientists, no female composers or generals or anything like that. That was proof, scientific proof, that women were just not as smart as men. Why give them an education if their female hormones physically prevented them from being good at engineering or art? Every published paper on the matter and every husband knew that women were just too dumb to learn more than knitting. They just knew it.

 

Of course, today we know that's all crap. Blacks and whites are equal in every way. Women are just as smart as men, too. But we are still hung up on the physical inequalities between the sexes. All of our modern science and all of our common sense tells us that women, as a whole, are just incapable of being as good as men in most fields. That's science, my friends. Just like all that old junk science.

 

But I've wasted way too much time on that drivel. I don't think I'll be responding to any more "men are better than women" posts.

 

@Dakota: Commenting on the sexism is getting old, is it? Hmm. I guess I'll have to completely change the way I see the book then. Just for you, too. I mean I was going to continue doing things my way but I guess what you want is really what matters. So instead of seeing this through my normal feminist perspective I'll start doing it through a socialist perspective. How 'bout that? Maybe I'll start pointing out the power inequities between the common folk and the nobles and how in a more egalitarian society some of these things wouldn't happen. Or maybe I'll continue writing my blog the way I want to. If some people find it all to be an old hat then they are more than welcome to find their way to the door.

 

I think the problem is not that I bring up the sexism it's that not everyone agrees on what that word means. But, whatever. Moving on!

 

As for the Wheel of Time, I am looking forward to my opinions being changed and my perspectives altered. Ha, though I have a feeling that I'll also try to cling to my notions as far into the story as I can. I mean, the Aes Sedai are evil. When we start getting into their POV and I find that they're trying to do good and save the world? Yeah, I'll probably just say their intentions are noble but their execution is just awful. Or something like that. We'll see when we get there!

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Okay, so I've started a language thread in another part of this forum. So, you know, please stop talking about it here. That'd be just swell, folks!

 

 

 

As for the POV shifts. Hundreds of different POVs? Doing a little back-of-the-envelope math I make it out to be about ten thousand pages in this series. That means some of these POVs are going to be very short. As in just a few pages. It'll be jumping around like crazy, no doubt. Will the tension then be about dramatic tragedy, then? Like, we know what everyone in a certain situation is thinking so we know how they should be acting and are pissed off that they aren't acting that way? I can see how that could be both pretty awesome and pretty bad.

 

 

And at the risk of further derailing this thread:

 

Men ARE better blacksmiths than women.

 

Don't come here with your drivel about supposed equalities, because there are none. Men and women are different, else they wouldn't be called differently.

 

I can only say that this drivel is my own (and I don't consider it drivel at all!) so I'll come here with it if I want to. So, nanner nanner nanner!

 

Your logic in that second part is very faulty. I'll give you an example. 1/2 and 2/4 and .5 and 50% are all equal. They are all the same. Yet they are written differently. They still have the same value even if they look different. It is the same with human beings.

 

The equalities are not "supposed."

 

Think of it with this perspective. Blacks were enslaved because every white person knew for a fact that they were biologically more capable of manual labor. Where were the African scientists or sailing ships or cathedrals? That was proof enough that blacks were not as capable of the things whites were capable of. It was science and common sense that blacks should be subjugated.

 

Centuries later there came a problem with women. There were no female scientists, no female composers or generals or anything like that. That was proof, scientific proof, that women were just not as smart as men. Why give them an education if their female hormones physically prevented them from being good at engineering or art? Every published paper on the matter and every husband knew that women were just too dumb to learn more than knitting. They just knew it.

 

Of course, today we know that's all crap. Blacks and whites are equal in every way. Women are just as smart as men, too. But we are still hung up on the physical inequalities between the sexes. All of our modern science and all of our common sense tells us that women, as a whole, are just incapable of being as good as men in most fields. That's science, my friends. Just like all that old junk science.

 

But I've wasted way too much time on that drivel. I don't think I'll be responding to any more "men are better than women" posts.

 

@Dakota: Commenting on the sexism is getting old, is it? Hmm. I guess I'll have to completely change the way I see the book then. Just for you, too. I mean I was going to continue doing things my way but I guess what you want is really what matters. So instead of seeing this through my normal feminist perspective I'll start doing it through a socialist perspective. How 'bout that? Maybe I'll start pointing out the power inequities between the common folk and the nobles and how in a more egalitarian society some of these things wouldn't happen. Or maybe I'll continue writing my blog the way I want to. If some people find it all to be an old hat then they are more than welcome to find their way to the door.

 

I think the problem is not that I bring up the sexism it's that not everyone agrees on what that word means. But, whatever. Moving on!

 

As for the Wheel of Time, I am looking forward to my opinions being changed and my perspectives altered. Ha, though I have a feeling that I'll also try to cling to my notions as far into the story as I can. I mean, the Aes Sedai are evil. When we start getting into their POV and I find that they're trying to do good and save the world? Yeah, I'll probably just say their intentions are noble but their execution is just awful. Or something like that. We'll see when we get there!

Their execution is far, far worse then you could possably imagine... sorry for any misspells.

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Blacks were enslaved because every white person knew for a fact that they were biologically more capable of manual labor.

 

No, they were enslaved becauase some white guys could get away with it. After some time, they also came up with some excuses for that (as human mind is certainly in the habit of doing).

 

But we are still hung up on the physical inequalities between the sexes.

 

Well, they DO have physical inequalities, that's why. Denying that goes beyond stupidity.

Edited by csarmi
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For the most part, I like your observations.

 

But just a few points to make the reading better. Of course, I am not suggesting that your views are wrong, nor invaild, I merely suggest in the interest of gaining the best possible experience from the reading, you might want to try and work on a few points.

 

1. Sexism. YOu use the term very, very, very, very. YOu might aswell not read anything if you try find sexism in every single sentance. Its your right, definitely, but I really would consider stop trying to make everything out as sexist and just read the book.

 

2. You tend to over-think everything that you lose perspective of the actual novel. Not everything is explained straight away. Not everything is perfectly logical, nor do the characters do everything perfectly right every time. They make mistakes, they dont think etc.. Remember, this is the first book of 14. It wont be all explained straight away. I suggest just relaxing and again -like trying to find sexism everywhere- just read the book with a bit of vision.

 

3. While overthinking some things, you completely dismiss others, like the dreams and stories or converstations. The WoT is not all about the immediate actions, there is a lot of history and foreshadowing in the books. Of course, perhaps this is just because I pick up things on multiple reads. But again, as this post is in the interest of getting the most out of the read, I would just perhaps pay a little more attention to the things that seem unimportant, or things you do not understand.

 

I hope I dont offend, specially regarding your obvious feminism. I say again, I have no problem with it, its your right to believe in such, but your zealous approach to every sentance finding sexism really hampers the story. You would do better to relax a bit on that point. But again, if thats what you want to do, fair enough, you wont enjoy the book as much.

 

 

As to the two theories you have posted.

 

1. I think I can safely say (spoiler wise) that Perrin did not die. A nice theory, but yeah, i wouldnt hold on to it at all.

 

2. I think I can also safetly say that Rand will always be one of the prominent characters. Having said that, there are various major characters although I would say Rand is the biggest.

 

 

Oh, one more point i think will help out. Keep in mind that the PoVs are from the characters perspective, not an omnicient one. Characters have certain prejudices and all that they think and do is not true. It is a fairly common thing to see in the books , a character states or thinks something that is wrong, or turns out to be misguided. So you will see things contradicted fairly often.

 

For example, I see you take certain offence that the Emonds field women are known as "so and so's wife" . Note, this is NOT because the author hates women, or is sexist, it is merely how the character, in this case, Rand, sees them.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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As for the POV shifts. Hundreds of different POVs? Doing a little back-of-the-envelope math I make it out to be about ten thousand pages in this series. That means some of these POVs are going to be very short. As in just a few pages. It'll be jumping around like crazy, no doubt. Will the tension then be about dramatic tragedy, then? Like, we know what everyone in a certain situation is thinking so we know how they should be acting and are pissed off that they aren't acting that way? I can see how that could be both pretty awesome and pretty bad.

 

 

Pretty much. I don't think it is too spoilerish to say that one of the consistent criticisms/frustrations of the characters in the WoT is that they never communicate. If they did, they would resolve many issues within minutes. Of course, that would have made for a very short series.

 

 

I can only say that this drivel is my own (and I don't consider it drivel at all!) so I'll come here with it if I want to. So, nanner nanner nanner!

 

 

Absolutely right. You and your drivel are welcome here. I actually find your feminist critique of the series defensible,if unconvincing, given how much you have read so far. If you continue to maintain the perspective that the series is sexist after, say, Book 5, then I will criticise your position as refelctive of your own bias, rather than a fair criticism of the series.

 

I do think you are wrong in one key respect. In our real world, the careers people follow, or their role in the economy, has really significant bearing on whether they are seen as social equals. That is not necessarily true in a fantasy novel. The fact that women seem to you to mostly be cooks and housewives (a perception that should change as you read) does NOT necessarily imply that there is not social equality of the genders in tWoT.

 

Your logic in that second part is very faulty. I'll give you an example. 1/2 and 2/4 and .5 and 50% are all equal. They are all the same. Yet they are written differently. They still have the same value even if they look different. It is the same with human beings.

 

The equalities are not "supposed."

 

Think of it with this perspective. Blacks were enslaved because every white person knew for a fact that they were biologically more capable of manual labor. Where were the African scientists or sailing ships or cathedrals? That was proof enough that blacks were not as capable of the things whites were capable of. It was science and common sense that blacks should be subjugated.

 

Centuries later there came a problem with women. There were no female scientists, no female composers or generals or anything like that. That was proof, scientific proof, that women were just not as smart as men. Why give them an education if their female hormones physically prevented them from being good at engineering or art? Every published paper on the matter and every husband knew that women were just too dumb to learn more than knitting. They just knew it.

 

Of course, today we know that's all crap. Blacks and whites are equal in every way. Women are just as smart as men, too. But we are still hung up on the physical inequalities between the sexes. All of our modern science and all of our common sense tells us that women, as a whole, are just incapable of being as good as men in most fields. That's science, my friends. Just like all that old junk science.

 

But I've wasted way too much time on that drivel. I don't think I'll be responding to any more "men are better than women" posts.

 

This dispute between you and Thor really boils down to whether the two of you insist on defining "equality" as meaning "exactly the same." Since this is a sociological discussion, not a mathematical discussion, I don't think that definition is appropriate.

 

One reason for inequality of outcomes is inequality of opportunities. It is likely that the reason more great novels have been written by men than women is that more men had the opportunity to be authors. I think that is almost certainly the case, although of course it is not really subject to scientific proof.

 

But there are other reasons for inequality of outcomes. Of the 500 fastest times ever recorded in the 100 meter, 498 were recorded by people of West African ancestry. White people have certainly had the opportunity to run the 100 meter. Still do. And probably, given the economic realities of the world, have better access to training facilities, coaching, nutritionists, etc. So something else must explain the differences in outcomes. Very possibly, physiological differences are part of that explanation. Being open to that fact is not racist, it's realist. If people of West African descent tend to have more fast-twich muscle fibers, or longer Achilles tendons, that may very well explain some differences in the 100 meter times. That doesn't mean that blacks are "superior." It also doen't mean that their accomplishments are diminished due to their physiological "advantage". It just mean that there is a difference. This needn't (and certainly shouldn't) imply that there shouldn't be social equality of the races.

 

The same holds true of gender. If a task requires great physical strength, the fact is that there will be more men capable of performing that task than women capable of performing that task. And if there are more men capable of performing it, basic probability suggests that the set of exceptional performers of the task will be disproportionately male.

 

And you don't know a damn thing about firefighting :biggrin:

 

 

I think the problem is not that I bring up the sexism it's that not everyone agrees on what that word means. But, whatever. Moving on!

 

That's part of it. but part of it is that you are forming impressions based only on what you have read so far, and the series evolves in a very different way as it continues. The danger is in allowing your initial perceptions to harden to the point that they bias your analysis of the series as a whole.

 

Yeah, I'll probably just say their intentions are noble but their execution is just awful.

 

Kinda. Sometimes, their intentions are awful. Sometimes, their intentions are good, and the execution awful. The Aes Sedai are a large group, with much variation. I will say that in the opinion of many readers, the number of Aes Sedai who combine good intentions with competent execution is unfortunately small.

Edited by randsc
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Yeah, you seem to have started on this series thinking the sexes were living in a equal utopian society or something. The fact is that the society is just more equal than those in other fantasy novels, and in some ways more equal that our own modern society. Women certainly have a greater influence on the power structure of WoT's society. If you really want to dissect male biases in fantasy novels, pick apart a Conan book or Terry Goodkind sometime.

Edited by ErrynBall
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One thing I really like about this series is that it's more than just Darkfriends vs. Non-Darkfriends. The two main organizations that are supposed to fight the Dark One, namely the Aes Sedai and the Whitecloaks, are both made of people, who all have their own goals, their own biases, and their own personal moral code.

While the conflict is between Black and White, the fighters in the conflict are all up and down the spectrum. Many don't know or don't care about the Dark vs. Light struggle.

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I'm interested in whether Always Sunny will view the girl's views on the boys. I agree that Rand's being a bit foolish in his protectiveness, and perhaps it's a touch 'sexist', but you seem to be coming down awfully hard on him, Always Sunny. Or maybe you're just being humorous and I'm putting my own male bias on it, which is likely the case. Good observations on their interactions, though, I will say that.

 

I think you'll actually be coming up on a female POV, soon, but as said before, the EotW is pretty male centric in those terms. You'll get a broader slice of characters (and a much better mix of male and female) in The Great Hunt, along with better writing and a better sense of where the series is going (though in some ways I'd say the series doesn't even really begin until the end of the the third book). Rand, Mat, Perrin, Nynaeve, Egwene and others will all start becoming more of their own people and having their own directions, and so will others.

 

To give you some sense of the way this series is built, just to give you some non-plot spoilers but some info on POV:

Mat doesn't even get a POV until the third book, and doesn't grow into the definitive person he becomes (grow, being the word, talking about character growth) until the fifth book, where he quickly becomes many people's favorite character, though he may not be yours...

 

 

 

Just for everyone's knowledge there are exactly 140 different character PoVs in the series so far between NS and ToM.

 

 

With that said, we're talking about tertiary and even quartiary characters at points that have POVs in places we need to see but certainly don't take up as much reading time as the main characters.

Edited by Agitel
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...

 

Oh, one more point i think will help out. Keep in mind that the PoVs are from the characters perspective, not an omnicient one. Characters have certain prejudices and all that they think and do is not true. It is a fairly common thing to see in the books , a character states or thinks something that is wrong, or turns out to be misguided. So you will see things contradicted fairly often.

 

For example, I see you take certain offence that the Emonds field women are known as "so and so's wife" . Note, this is NOT because the author hates women, or is sexist, it is merely how the character, in this case, Rand, sees them.

Just to add a bit, it's natural to want to protect someone you love, especially if they are younger and physically weaker. That is what motivates Rand's drive to protect Egwene not domination. Perhaps he is excessive about it, (I worked in a department store's dock, unloading freight and processing merchandise, for a few yrs before they decided to change the dockers hrs and as the lone female on that team I know how annoying it is to have the male members treat me like a china doll) but remember Rand was raised by the very moonshiner you say you like. A lone man out in the boonies who (seems to me anyway) is excessively protective of him. It would make scene that Rand would pick up that trait especially with no mother figure to dispel some of it.

 

One more thing, pay very close attention to what Moraine tells Nynaeve in an upcoming chapter. It will give you clues as to what is going on with an other character :wink: .

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@Dakota: Commenting on the sexism is getting old, is it? Hmm. I guess I'll have to completely change the way I see the book then. Just for you, too. I mean I was going to continue doing things my way but I guess what you want is really what matters. So instead of seeing this through my normal feminist perspective I'll start doing it through a socialist perspective. How 'bout that? Maybe I'll start pointing out the power inequities between the common folk and the nobles and how in a more egalitarian society some of these things wouldn't happen. Or maybe I'll continue writing my blog the way I want to. If some people find it all to be an old hat then they are more than welcome to find their way to the door.

 

 

Comment on the sexism all you want. I just noted that you didn't seem to be complaining about it whenever it seems to be going the other way, is all. How many times in the book so far have you read a woman referring to a male character as a 'wool-headed lummox who only thinks with the hair on his chest'? As this is a phrase or combination of phrases that is thrown around constantly, especially in the first few books, I'm certain you've seen it at least once. If it were coming from a man towards a woman, a man calling a woman a 'air-headed bimbo with tits-for-brains', I have no doubt that you would get upset with the sexism in that statement, and rightly so. But when you let the 'wool-headed-hair-chest' statement slip by without a single comment, but take such offense towards the boys yelling out like morons while the girls don't, it definately leaves the impression that you have certain prejudices against the book that you developed in the first few chapters and are now going out of your way to pull further examples of these prejudices out of thin-air.

 

Commenting on sexism where it's warrented is perfectly fine. Commenting on it to the extent where it makes it seem like you have an agenda just lessens your credibility.

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It is interesting, I must say, that Sunny is silent on passages like this:

 

 

Nynaeve threw up her hands. “You sound just like Tam. He had himself carried to the village meeting and tried to convince everybody. He’d already tried with the Village Council. The Light knows how your . . . Mistress Alys”—she invested the name with a wagonload of scorn—“managed to make him believe; he has a mite of sense, usually, more than most men. In any case, the Council is a pack of fools most of the time, but not foolish enough for that, and neither was anyone else. They agreed you had to be found. Then Tam wanted to be the one to come after you, and him not able to stand by himself. Foolishness must run in your family.”

 

Mat cleared his throat, then mumbled, “What about my da? What did he say?”

 

“He’s afraid you’ll try your tricks with outlanders and get your head thumped. He seemed more afraid of that than of . . . Mistress Alys, here. But then, he was never much brighter than you.”

 

Mat seemed unsure how to take what she had said, or how to reply, or even whether to reply.

 

“I expect,” Perrin began hesitantly. “I mean, I suppose Master Luhhan was not too pleased about my leaving, either.”

 

“Did you expect him to be?” Nynaeve shook her head disgustedly and looked at Egwene. “Maybe I should not be surprised at this harebrained idiocy from you three, but I thought others had more judgment.”

 

 

And in fact, the blog mentions that Sunny loves Nynaeve. But let Rand try to take care of Egwene's horse (which actually, of course, belongs to Rand and Tam; he's just safeguarding his own asset), and it's a sign of irredeemable sexism.

 

There's no negative comment on this:

 

“Not exactly, but they thought you shouldn’t be among strangers, either, especially not with someone like her. Either way, though, almost every man wanted to be one of the party. Tam, and Bran al’Vere, with the scales of office around his neck, and Haral Luhhan, till Alsbet made him sit down. Even Cenn Buie. The Light save me from men who think with the hair on their chests. Though I don’t know as there are any other kind.” She gave a hearty sniff, and looked up at him, an accusing glance. “At any rate, I could see it would be another day, perhaps more, before they came to any decision, and somehow . . . somehow I was sure we did not dare wait that long. So I called the Women’s Circle together and told them what had to be done. I cannot say they liked it, but they saw the right of it. And that is why I am here; because the men around Emond’s Field are stubborn wool-heads. They’re probably still arguing about who to send, though I left word I would take care of it.”

 

which indicates not only casual sexism on the part of Nynaeve, but significant politcal and social power in the hands of the Wisdom and the Women's Circle.

 

Sunny's outrage regarding sexism does seem rather selective.

Edited by randsc
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Tries to think of all the main POVs...

OK, I gave up at about 20. Those are main characters mind, the big players. They may not all get the same screen time, but they are the big movers and shakers of the world...

 

Yea, the books Boom after awhile. :D Each book adds more characters, and some of them are big players in the world.

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Dakota and Randsc.

 

I have to say, now you mention it, very good points.

 

That really shows extreme bias and hypocracy.

 

While I am all for womens rights and equality, this just discredits everything the blogger has said.

 

I think these comments are extremely feministic man-bashing rather than persuit of actual equality.

 

For such an intelligent poster, I am disappointed.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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Dakota and Randsc.

 

I have to say, now you mention it, very good points.

 

That really shows extreme bias and hypocracy.

 

While I am all for womens rights and equality, this just discredits everything the blogger has said.

 

I think these comments are extremely feministic man-bashing rather than persuit of actual equality.

 

For such an intelligent poster, I am disappointed.

 

That's a little harsh Barid Bel Medar. Honestly, Alway's Sunny is looking at this through the lens of perspective. Likely, Sunny is looking for sexism against females, as the first few chapters had a bit of that. Hypocrisy is a bit much, it's more of not-noticing things.

 

Thanks for the references though Randsc and Dakota - the Two Rivers ladies do a lot of verbal man-bashing, which the men seem to take without blinking.

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Hey Always Sunny! I've been loving your real-time observations so far, great work!

 

One, did Perrin die in Shadar Logoth? Keep with me, here. So there have only been two mid-chapter line breaks in the book so far. Both of them were when Rand fell asleep and went to the Dream World. But then there was a third line break in Shadar Logoth that switched POV to Perrin. So, maybe Rand is dreaming that he's Perrin. Maybe he's got a whole Fight Club thing going on. Maybe the stress is making him insane like that.

 

You'll find out soon enough. ;) In general, RJ's narrative voice is as reliable as an Aes Sedai: you'll never be lied to, but there's always the chance that relevant info will be omitted. With very few exceptions (usually involving POVs for characters in weird mental states,) RJ doesn't do any fancy literary tricks. You're coming up on the most experimental sequence in the whole series (you'll know it when you see it, and there's a time-saving breakdown in the faq you might consider checking afterward,) after which RJ's writing remains fairly transparent. I don't consider this a knock to him as a writer: he's got a ton of balls in the air already, and sticks to his strengths. The way he organized books nine and ten has been criticized (not really a spoiler: they are almost concurrent, there were too many groups of characters at the climaxes of different sub-plots to deal with them all in one volume,) but even late in the game he took criticism to heart and refined his approach for the rest of the series (personally, I liked nine and ten and thought eleven was a bit rushed, but whatever.)

 

I like your theory, though. ^_^ The URL is too long because of an age-verification dialog, but have you seen the video "Ferris Club" on Youtube? I think you might get a kick out of it.

 

Two, was Rand supposed to be the main character of this book? I get this feeling that Robert Jordan wanted Moiraine to be the main character. Everyone tells me that women become much more involved in the story later on so maybe she was intended to be the protagonist here. Maybe this book was supposed to be about Moiraine's quest to bring the Two Rivers Boys home. But because "they" wanted him to start the book in familiar fantasy territory he switched POV over to Rand. I mean, really, Rand hasn't done much in this book so far.

 

Rand is very much the central character of tEotW. Without being too spoilery, the principal cast of WoT is huge. Many of those characters develop from mere babes to highly competent and extraordinarily complex characters (some of whom you haven't even met!) Some of the more mature characters serve as mentors, and a surprising amount of them also have a good deal of character growth ahead of them. It really wouldn't be fair to you to hint at which are heroes, villains in disguise, or just unfortunate casualties at this point... Moiraine, however, is currently repping all Aes Sedai. She's meant to be powerful, dynamic, and in a lot of ways on a seemingly unreachable pedestal of composure and authority. She's an action hero at this point, but her role and motivations will become more clear down the line (I do hope you make it to book six!) The amount of planning that went into getting all the pieces into place only becomes apparent as you march down the books, unfortunately, but if you get there you'll have a renewed appreciation for all these little scenes early on (as has been said, if anything tEotW is the outlier in the series, both narratively and stylistically. Jordan's voice really gels from the second book on.)

 

Thanks for sharing, Always Sunny! I'm looking forward to your next response.

 

And, it would be weird if I didn't say anything, although I wish we'd all just cut out the sexism/gender talk until Always Sunny gets further in the series. WoT opens on a society with a strong patriarchal bent - yes, women have a role, but the power structure in this world is (at least superficially) very male-centric. That's OK. Jordan goes on to explore many alternative social structures; it's one of the central themes of the WoT. Agree or disagree with Jordan's musings (men are dogs, women are cats... eh, I can kinda see it,) Always Sunny has just barely left the Two Rivers. A few select quotes from women disparaging men doesn't alter the fact that the Two Rivers is a very parochial place at the offset - in fact, its later development hinges on the fact that it seems so sexist at the start - it never becomes a gender-neutral utopia, but Jordan manages to complicate the issue. Jordan also goes on to question classism, feudalism, etc-ism. Always Sunny's comments are (for the moment) valid because we haven't actually gotten to the alternate views yet... we've asked Always Sunny to show some patience, and that's all we can do. Pointing out that Princess Leia makes fun of Moff Tarkin doesn't make the Galactic Empire any less dominant or oppressive (really tried to find an example that won't start a whole other debate...) Those of us who know where the story goes, let's show some patience too.

 

[edit: By the way, Always Sunny, some of your comments are... hilariously accurate. I wish I could tell you which ones. If you do finish the series, you'll get a kick out of re-reading your early blog-posts and forum comments.]

Edited by Swithin
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And, it would be weird if I didn't say anything, although I wish we'd all just cut out the sexism/gender talk until Always Sunny gets further in the series. WoT opens on a society with a strong patriarchal bent - yes, women have a role, but the power structure in this world is (at least superficially) very male-centric. That's OK. Jordan goes on to explore many alternative social structures; it's one of the central themes of the WoT. Agree or disagree with Jordan's musings (men are dogs, women are cats... eh, I can kinda see it,) Always Sunny has just barely left the Two Rivers. A few select quotes from women disparaging men doesn't alter the fact that the Two Rivers is a very parochial place at the offset - in fact, its later development hinges on the fact that it seems so sexist at the start - it never becomes a gender-neutral utopia, but Jordan manages to complicate the issue. Jordan also goes on to question classism, feudalism, etc-ism. Always Sunny's comments are (for the moment) valid because we haven't actually gotten to the alternate views yet... we've asked Always Sunny to show some patience, and that's all we can do. Pointing out that Princess Leia makes fun of Moff Tarkin doesn't make the Galactic Empire any less dominant or oppressive (really tried to find an example that won't start a whole other debate...) Those of us who know where the story goes, let's show some patience too.

 

The power structure of the Two Rivers is expressly NOT male-centric. Jordan goes to considerable lengths to present that society as, at the very least, balanced, if not weighted in favor of women. In doing so, he is establishing one of the primary themes of the series. Saidin/Saidar, Yin/Yang, Wisdom/Mayor, Women's Circle/Village Council, Dark One/Creator. If I had to select one world to descibe the theme of the WoT, it would probably be, "Balance."

 

The Two Rivers is not a gender-blind society, where the genders participate equally in every sphere of life, but it is a gender-balanced society, with women holding at least as much power, on net, as men. If Sunny (or you) is failing to see that, Sunny is in fact failing to understand an important aspect of this story.

 

Jordan clearly intended to create a gender-balanced world. He said as much, in as many words. Most people seem to think he failed. But if he failed, he failed in the drection of matriarchy. The suggestion that this is a male-dominated society, even in the first chapters of the first book, is simply wrong. The earliy story is simply told from the POV of a male character. It's that simple.

 

On a lighter note, I do find some of Sunny's comments and predictions amusing. The idea that of the Rand/Egwene pair, the one with the unhealthy obsession with the other is Rand, for example. But I suppose Sunny will just have to RAFO.

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