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Egwene and the Tower


Puny
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Yes, Egween was convinced by Siuan and some of the other AS that the 3 oaths were essential to what it is to be a 3rd age AS.

 

However, I still think she will convince some, maybe even most of the AS that retire to retire to the kin void of the 3 oaths.

 

I also think she will eventually change the way AS "rank" each other and change to a hierarchy that is more based on accomplishments instead of strength of power.

 

People forget that she hasn't really had much time to work on many issues other than uniting the WT. It has been 1 or 2 months since being raise as Amrylin of the entire WT.

 

I laugh at the insane standards that some people have for her. They want her to be perfect and any little thing she does they don't agree with they kill her for it. Mostly I think people just don't understand how close to perfect she handled her situation.

 

That doesn't mean that you should like everything she has done or even like her for it but you should at least respect the heck out of her for it.

 

There is no realistic way she could have pulled off everything she did without doing some unlikable things.

You simply can't herd that many "cats" and be liked by everyone!

Edited by The 3 ta'veren
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I agree with the3taveren, you can't expect egwene to change the WT overnight! she has to rule through the Hall, she does not have absolute power, and she hardly has time to reform the Tower with the last battle about to erupt, and she has just finished purging the aes sedai of the Black Ajah.

 

Why is she so devoted? Remember, she learnt to channel because of Moiraine - i think moiraine's devotion to the Tower had a strong impact on egwene. Also, her early determination was also related to wanting to save rand from his awful fate because she loved him, even if as a brother and not a lover - and the Tower in her mind was the best source of knowledge. She went to the wise ones to learn more.

 

I think if the salidar lot had not summoned her from the Wise Ones, it is entirely possible she might have stayed with them somehow. But then she was summoned and made amyrlin. She saw the mess the salidar AS were in, learning quickly from suian, and from that point was devoted to fixing the mess. She becomes devoted because she does nothing but think about aes sedai and the tower 24/7 for several months!

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Egwene isn't realistic to me by any means of the imagination. She's just a carciture created for conflict in the story. The majority of the things she thinks and feels about Aes Sedai are completely wrong when she has been shown otherwise repeatedly throughout the story how much fail Aes Sedai are (Nynaeve's 'test' hello?!). Instead of recognizing the suck, she embraced it and became it *sad*.

 

Regardless, the story needed Egwene to be this way and so it was. It will all come to a boil and the Light will shine on her in the Field of Merrilor meeting, just not in the way she would want :biggrin: . Do not fret little ones, Egwene has her proverbial smack in the face coming that will deflate her ego faster than a popped baloon. How do I know this? Well, she had a true dream about it in CoT (another topic altogether though). It's a good thing for her that they consider her a friend, otherwise she would recieve the same treatment Elaida got if she wasn't favored by the Creator (author). Egwene's enlightenment in AMOL will come about with the kiddie gloves on. So she should consider herself fortunate that she is favored by the author. Albeit, the only real crime she's commited is that of ignorance, the same as everything else in existence. All Egwene needs to do is embrace the truth and let go of her prejudices and she would be A-Ok (isn't this the story of mankind? :laugh: )

 

(This is coming from someone whose favorite character was Egwene until she became Amyrlin on first read)

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Well - I'm in the middle or hopefully nearing the end of Egwene's internal siege of the White Tower and I have to agree - this near obsession she has with seeing the tower whole again is just plain odd, particularly coming from a girl barely in her 20's, a girl who up until a year or two ago, expected to become a sheepherders wife and maybe a village wisdom some day. Her absolute, to the death devotion, willing to endure physical and mental torture, all in order to facilitate some idyllic situation she's never even experienced just doesn't work for me. She was in the tower as an apprentice/accepted, what, a month, maybe two? Egwene has no real idea what a whole, thriving White Tower is and to be devoted to this ideal so vehemently is strange.

 

Why is it, in the male characters, we have some kind of external catalyst to explain their rather sudden and uncharacteristic actions and personality changes (Perrin has the wolf thing, Matt the voices of long dead military geniuses, and Rand the voice of Lews Theron) but for the female characters, particularly Egwene, and to some degree Elaine and Min, and to a lesser degree Avhienda and Nynaeve - they seem to morph and evolve entirely of their own volition? In some cases, like Avienda, it makes sense considering her upbringing, perhaps Elaine though not to the degree she manages to pull things together like a queen at least three times her age, but certainly not with Egwene. Her morphing into this ambitious, self sacrificing, lover of the White Tower makes no sense at all.

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Were I in her shoes, I would be entirely disheartened by a "whole, thriving White Tower."

 

I'm not a fan of Egwene, not by a long shot, but her first "real world" hero was Moiraine, who's widely accepted as the least despised Aes Sedai. That's a standard she works to. It's no shock that Egwene would be obsessed with the Tower. She's been all-or-nothing since the beginning, and she's had an Aes Sedai mentor (Moiraine, WT teachers, Moiraine, Siuan) just about the entire series.

 

Egwene has spent since FoH or LoC immersed in the Salidar Aes Sedai. She's spent some eight books with them, particularly Romanda and Lelaine, scheming and being whiny bitchy Aes Sedai.

 

Would you say she's more familiar with Siuan's slightly strenuous Tower or Elaida's batshit insane Tower? Rhetorical, she spends many more pages thinking about the social mechanics of Elaida's Tower. It's very likely that Egwene subconsciously rationalizes the piss poor condition of the Aes Sedai and the White Tower. Initially, she was an ignorant novice, her situation developing more like Leave It to Beaver than the actual American 1950s. She left the Tower for months, then joined the rebels, who could be handwaved as scared uncertain women clinging to their group image. She's in this situation for ages. The makeshift atmosphere of the rebels- especially when they're on the move- allows her to develop an idea of what an Aes Sedai should be and how a White Tower should function. When she's captured, well, Egwene sees a crapsack White Tower, not a "realistic" one. She sets to building her ideal Tower. Elaida is the Rome to her Jesus. With Elaida beaten, Egwene lives in a healing Tower, pun intended, not yet capable of her dollhouse state, but crawling until it can run.

 

All that said, I still dislike her as a person, just my defense of her as a character, based on no evidence but my understanding of the teenage mind.

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To be honest I think Egwene's passion for the WT is the only thing about her that doesn't seem forced and unrealistic to me. She's always thrown herself into everything whole-heartedly. First being an apprentice Wisdom, then the adventure of leaving the Two Rivers, then leanring the OP, then the Aiel. Good grief, even when she spent just a short time with the Tinkers, she seemed to absorb their culture for the time she was with them.

 

So I've got no problem with her passion for the WT, but what I DO have a problem with is how quickly she became an Aes Sedai in her head and manner. Whenever I read the early books, she always seems quite flightly to me and immature, not to mention more tempermental than Nynaeve. She comes across the same way to me right up to LoC when she suddenly matures and calms down a lot, which just seems very forced to me. What especially annoys me is that people told her "you could be Amyrilin one day" right from the start when she showed no potential at all and was still a silly girl. Why didn't they say this to Nynaeve? After all Nynaeve had experience as a Wisdom, she displayed the same strength of character as Siuan and she's stronger in the Power than Egwene. For some reason RJ decided right from the start Egwene would be Amyrilin and so he ended up forcing her into a position I don't think really suits her.

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I personally think she is insane so the passion for the WT is the driving force for the insanity. After all her plot line has mirrored rands quite a bit, just with more training scenes

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HighWiredSith: You basically sum up my issue with Egwene.

 

I agree that Egwene has had time to observe and ponder the dynamics and workings of the Tower, but only to a certain degree. She is in some ways more insightful then AS who´ve been with the Tower for decades. But maybe that´s the reason she is insightful... she isn´t hindered by what AS think "should be" or "always have been". She is devoted, I can agree that, that´s part of her char, but it´s the level or depth of devotion that I´m questioning.

 

Rhogar: Egwene wasn´t in Salidar for ages.. was it under a year? She was a young novice but one could also argue that her capture with the Seanchan made her mature (although I didn´t see that, mostly she was scared to death to be captured again). Speaking of external conflicts pushing our main guys you could argue that the breaking of the Tower/hanging in Salidar pushed Egwene to make a stand and really think through how to unite the Tower and how the future of the White Tower should be like.

 

Feral: On the first page I was talking about Egwene´s identity and I know another poster called her a chameleon (sp?). Maybe I was trying to pinpoint what you are saying, that she is a person that does things whole-heartedly and that is her nature. But she does things whole heartedly without questioning! You said you think that she grew very quickly into Aes Sedai manner of acting and thinking and I agree. She doesn´t question her own motives, but instead focues on all the others around her. IMO she had more temperament then Nyn (but she only sees that fault in others, not herself) I realize that more clearly know when Im rereading the books. But her change to Aes Sedai I think started in FoH when she put Nyn in her place. Nyn was her mistress, the one that taught her, the one that was gonna teach her how to be a Wisdom. In standing up to her Egwene grows into her own char in herself. So her journey to becoming Aes Sedai with lying and manipulation started way back in FoH.

 

Maybe that´s why I don´t like her.. she has devotion and passion for knowledge, and insight in things and people around her, but she lacks the capacity to turn that insight into herself.

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I personally think she is insane

 

I don´t know why that seemed so funny to me, lol. Could explain some things :tongue:

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But her change to Aes Sedai I think started in FoH when she put Nyn in her place. Nyn was her mistress, the one that taught her, the one that was gonna teach her how to be a Wisdom. In standing up to her Egwene grows into her own char in herself. So her journey to becoming Aes Sedai with lying and manipulation started way back in FoH.

 

Eh to me this has always seemed like a step backwards for her (maybe just cos I hate seeing Nyn bullied), and again this was another thing I found unrealalistic in her character development. Nynaeve is what 7 years older than Egwene? She's been a figure of authority to Egwene for Egwene's whole life pretty much. She's faced down Moiraine and Siuan, the Amyrilin herself. She takes on Moghedian. She even stands up to Dark Rand. Then she goes ahead and let's herself be pushed about by Egwene? I never bought that. It seemed like a forced situation to move Egwene's character on and give her some superiority over Nynaeve, so that it would not seem so strange when she became Amyrilin and Nynaeve's boss.

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What especially annoys me is that people told her "you could be Amyrilin one day" right from the start when she showed no potential at all and was still a silly girl. Why didn't they say this to Nynaeve? After all Nynaeve had experience as a Wisdom, she displayed the same strength of character as Siuan and she's stronger in the Power than Egwene. For some reason RJ decided right from the start Egwene would be Amyrilin and so he ended up forcing her into a position I don't think really suits her.

Being Amyrlin is essentially a boring desk job where you have to deal with the Tower's most arrogant and annoying people (Lelaine, Romanda, et al) on a daily basis. That's why Cadsuane conveniently disappeared from the Tower whenever there was talk of raising her.

 

Nynaeve would have made a terrible Amyrlin, and hated the job with a passion. Her diplomatic skills are not her strongest suit. :wink: She's just not the Daes Dae'mar type, and nowhere near as attached to the Tower as Egwene is. She'll be happier living in Malkier or somewhere else far away from the Tower and Aes Sedai politics.

 

I go back and forth on whether being Amyrlin truly suits Egwene. There's no question that she is dedicated, willing to put the Tower above everything else, understands how the game is played... Then there are moments like in CoT (I believe) where she considers arranging for Nicola and Areina to meet with fatal accidents, then catches herself and is horrified at her own thoughts. It made me wonder if there will be a day when she won't reject the thought. Nynaeve's AS test was another moment like that. I can see both Egwene and Elayne (now that she's queen of Cairhien) becoming far more ruthless with time since that's the only way to swim with the sharks. I think Egwene would ultimately have been a happier and better person if she'd stayed with the Wise Ones.

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I hope egwene never changes the way she is. So i can continue to drink all the tears here. Just imagine at the end of AMOL when rand retires and the ashaman join the aes sedai and egwene rules alongside logain. Oh it shall be glorious.

 

 

 

people should just accept the fact that egwene is a badass aes sedai. She was basically destined to rule since book 1. Book 12 confirmed her greatness. The tower is in the hands of the youngest most promising amyrlins ever ever ever. And no amount of whining here is going to change that. Accept it. muahahaha

 

 

No seriously, it seems that alot of people are looking for some sort of epiphany like the one rand had at dragonmount. What happens if there isn't one? what then?

Edited by Elan Tedronai
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I hope egwene never changes the way she is. So i can continue to drink all the tears here. Just imagine at the end of AMOL when rand retires and the ashaman join the aes sedai and egwene rules alongside logain. Oh it shall be glorious.

 

 

 

people should just accept the fact that egwene is a badass aes sedai. She was basically destined to rule since book 1. Book 12 confirmed her greatness. The tower is in the hands of the youngest most promising amyrlins ever ever ever. And no amount of whining here is going to change that. Accept it. muahahaha

 

 

No seriously, it seems that alot of people are looking for some sort of epiphany like the one rand had at dragonmount. What happens if there isn't one? what then?

 

I like Egwene, her story, and all that jazz. I agree that she's a chameleon. I think most people are, and we can learn a lot about ourselves if we pay attention to the ways that we act like Egwene in our own lives.

 

I have liked her since The Shadow Rising. Before that, she annoyed me some. But she's badass, reasonable, and strong. And she kicked Seanchan ass at the Tower.

 

I'd also happily drink the tears of the Egwene-haters if the Aes Sedai unite after the Last Battle and she remains in control. :laugh:

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Hmm... I don´t question that she is badass most of the time in later books and that she indeed has done some good things for the Tower, as she has done some really bad ones. I guess like Seth Baker I am looking for an epiphany for Egwene, something that shows the internal progression of her. Except her being more Aes Sedai like... the bad version of Aes Sedai like IMO. All the Aes Sedai need attitude adjustment.

 

If Egwene and Logain are gonna rule the Towes together I hope Logain strangles her. Lol... you go Logain. Nah, but seriously I can´t see Egwene standing next to Logain and ruling toghether with him. One thing that has bothered me is, if Logain is destined for big glory and even more awesomeness then all the badass things he has done so far (<3 yeah I love him lol) if that badass glory is him being the first male Amyrlin for 3000 years? But then the question is why hasn´t Egwene had any cool viewings about her? And since she has united the Tower I don´t think she is gonna step down, if she doesn´t die in TG.

So I guess Logain´s glory might lie elsewhere.

 

Somehow I don´t wanna see a Black and White Tower divied with two leaders, but I guess unification will come later on. So the Amyrlin and M´hael will co-rule together when they have decided that they can trust each other and things will be awesome.

 

I don´t hate Egwene.. I just don´t understand her and it bugs me.

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Guest PiotrekS

Egwene for me just demonstrates the fanaticism of the neophyte, who tries so hard to live up to everything that she is not.

 

The way she is written reminds me of a way in which communist leaders were written in "official histories" back in 1950s or 60s. Or how saints were described in Catholic hagiographies. And I accept that there always were people who found it realistic and really loved them (saints or communist leaders :tongue: ).

Edited by PiotrekS
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As I was reading last night, it also occurred to me how inconsistent Egwene is concerning The White Tower. She seems to have no issue both bending and breaking long standing tower rules and traditions. The very fact that she claims herself Amyrlin without ever having taken the three oaths, much less served her time as both an apprentice, an accepted, and an Aes Sedai proves that she cares little for some of the traditions of the tower. On the one hand, she seems to have no issue going around, spouting this idyllic form of Aes Sedai wisdom, telling others that they must put the tower above their own ambitions and desires, that all that matters is the tower, the order, the way of things, the traditions - then she goes about breaking nearly every rule she's faced with, defying authority, just as she has always done, willing to take shortcuts to get what she wants.

 

It's sort of similar to this real contradiction I see in these final books - this urgency in some matters, this need to travel all over the map, to get places quickly but for what - to sit around and debate and talk and basically do nothing. What was the point of all the urgency to march to Tar Valon? So they could camp out across the river and sit and wait and wait and negotiate and wait some more? On the one hand, Egwene and the Aes Sedai and the rest of the players seem to appreciate the impending urgency of the last battle and yet sometimes they act as if they have all the time the world and there's no real hurry to do much of anything.

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No seriously, it seems that alot of people are looking for some sort of epiphany like the one rand had at dragonmount. What happens if there isn't one? what then?

We'll burn the books in outrage! :wink:

 

I'm not expecting Egwene to have any kind of "epiphany" in AMoL. Nynaeve's AS test was a good opportunity for character growth, but doesn't seem to have made much of an impact on her. Nothing says all characters have to have turned into better people by the end of the series. Everyone's changed--some for the better and some for the worse. Egwene and Gawyn belong to the latter category, in my opinion.

 

Egwene used to have a passion for learning, but now that she's learned nearly all of what there is to know about T'A'R and Dreamwalking, she needs something else to give her a purpose. I think that's partly why she's so devoted to the Tower. Nynaeve has a passion for Healing, and Elayne for Andor (and the study of ter'angreal). If Egwene weren't Amyrlin, what else would she devote herself to?

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I don't think it's really too out of whack to see somebody, in this case Egwene, become so passionate about an organization they're a part of like the White Tower.

 

Somebody else mentioned about a want for identity? You sort of see comparable levels of passion, similar to the case of Egwene, manifest in people who go away to college, and say become rabid fans of their school & everything to do with the place - all in a short amount of time. I'm saying if you happened to be in that part of life where you find yourself in the whole 'who am I' phase, and suddenly discover you're pretty special (sparking channeler, dreamer), you could become pretty attached to & passionate about the school, or Tower, that accepted and granted you the opportunities to realize that potential.

 

We're not granted every single waking moment Egwene experiences, but I think it's pretty safe to assume she's gone through that same sort of experience, with all things concerning AS & WT, and that's how shes managed to arrive at her present mindset.

 

It's not outlandish at all for people to become passionate, and attached to things pretty quickly, is what I mean.

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On the one hand, she seems to have no issue going around, spouting this idyllic form of Aes Sedai wisdom, telling others that they must put the tower above their own ambitions and desires, that all that matters is the tower, the order, the way of things, the traditions - then she goes about breaking nearly every rule she's faced with, defying authority, just as she has always done, willing to take shortcuts to get what she wants.

I finally figured out the multiquote button! Now back OT lol. I agree. Even though Elaida wanted it to be that way, the Amyrlin isn´t the Tower. The Hall is supposed to balance the Amyrlin so they don´t get a woolheaded Amyrlin. Maybe Egwene is trying to change the Tower by leading by example. Or she just has the firm believe that as Amyrlin some things even Aes Sedai don´t need to know about. I mean Moiraine and Suian were pretty secretive to other Aes Sedai, but they really had to, with the Dragon being born and all. Or she is just acting this way, manipulating the AS. After all the AS invented Daes´da Maer, so maybe Egwene is saying all the right things and once in a while doing something that breaks tradition, thus forcing the AS to agree with her. Ima study this when I´m there in my reread.

 

I'm saying if you happened to be in that part of life where you find yourself in the whole 'who am I' phase, and suddenly discover you're pretty special (sparking channeler, dreamer), you could become pretty attached to & passionate about the school, or Tower, that accepted and granted you the opportunities to realize that potential.

Hmm.. when you say it like that I can understand abit what you are coming from, and Egwene. She has been shown to be passionate and devoted in regard to channeling and such, and maybe being in that kind of enviroment (WT) makes her transform that passion to include the Tower too, since they help her maintain the picture of awesome channeler...

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Guest PiotrekS

I don't think it's really too out of whack to see somebody, in this case Egwene, become so passionate about an organization they're a part of like the White Tower.

 

Somebody else mentioned about a want for identity? You sort of see comparable levels of passion, similar to the case of Egwene, manifest in people who go away to college, and say become rabid fans of their school & everything to do with the place - all in a short amount of time. I'm saying if you happened to be in that part of life where you find yourself in the whole 'who am I' phase, and suddenly discover you're pretty special (sparking channeler, dreamer), you could become pretty attached to & passionate about the school, or Tower, that accepted and granted you the opportunities to realize that potential.

 

We're not granted every single waking moment Egwene experiences, but I think it's pretty safe to assume she's gone through that same sort of experience, with all things concerning AS & WT, and that's how shes managed to arrive at her present mindset.

 

It's not outlandish at all for people to become passionate, and attached to things pretty quickly, is what I mean.

 

It's perfectly reasonable, but you would expect that a person who is a teenager and behaves in such a way wouldn't be seen by others-sometimes having hundreds of years more of all kinds of experience-as a flawless fountain of deepest wisdom.

 

Either she's just a teenager taken with a new school, or she's a mature and wise person whose way of thinking is a little more sophisticated. Especially since she would like to make decisions having world-wide (universe-wide?) consequences.

Edited by PiotrekS
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I´m rereading the series and one thing I´ve been wondering about is where Egwene´s passion for the Tower and all thing Aes Sedai comes from? I know it´s pointed out that she has this thirst for knowledge and I can buy that that´s a motivator to a certain degree. She is strong in the Power and everyone says that she will be a great Aes Sedai if she just studies. But she is adamant to reunite the Tower, she wants to keep the Oaths (even though she knows what it does to the Aes Sedai) and she doesn´t seem to care for her friends, she just views them as tools to further her agenda, to make the tower whole. One early example of her attitude is when she told Nyn to back down in FoH this is what she is thinking the second time she is to visit Nyn in the dreamworld:

 

"Guiltily, she realized as she turned a page that she was looking forward to seeing Nynaeve tonight. Not because Nynaeve was a friend, but because she wanted to see if the effects had lingered. If Nynaeve tugged at her braid, she would arch a cool eyebrow at her and...Light, I hope it´s held. If she lets out about that jaunt, Amys and Bair and Melaine will take turns skinning me, if they don´t just tell me to go." p 378

 

I´m sure there are many more. Nyn as always been said to have a passion for healing, she was a Wisdom in TR and I think that her arc is flows very... naturally. But in my mind Egwene´s doesn´t fit. Why does she feels so strongly for the tower? One thing my bf said was that she just recently have discovered the White Tower (has it been two years since she first set foot in the Tower?) and that she is somewhat overenthusiastic, cause she has found purpose in her life... but I don´t think that is reason enough. Any thoughts on this?

 

Egwene, once she touched the power couldn't let it go so she went, while on her own, she thought only the WT could kill the Seanchen so she supported it, and once she was Amyrlin she had to be in charge, hell being a bully is one of the things she's best at, and by reconciling the tower behind her she doesn't just get to be a bully, she has a gang to support her in her bullying. She deserves to be brought low. I can't stand her.

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I don't think it's really too out of whack to see somebody, in this case Egwene, become so passionate about an organization they're a part of like the White Tower.

I think it would make more sense if we hadn't been given such a negative impression of the Tower and most Aes Sedai in it. They take gold from the Borderlands, but do nothing to help those countries when they're being overrun by Trollocs. They took Egwene's childhood friend prisoner and tortured him. They wanted Egwene herself to spend the rest of her life as a puppet Amyrlin. What has it done in recent years to deserve being called "the pride of the Light" by Egwene in TGS?

Edited by sleepinghour
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You only have to read the prologue Ravens to see that Egwene was a super ambitious feminist even when she was prepubescent.

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She's a chameleon. When she was among the Aiel she became Aiel, when she was among Aes Sedai she became Aes Sedai. That's one reason I dislike her so much, she's become so fully Aes Sedai that she's begun to embody the traits that make Aes Sedai so worthless.

Ah that so very much.

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is egwene a taveren now, because when she was passing a law in the tower and a few sitters walk in and vote to support egwene in making the anti secrecy laws without knowing what they where doing seems rediculous after waht we know of AS. Taveren would be a reasonable explanation

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