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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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*SPOILER WARNING* don't read if you haven't read past book 5

 

I recently started reading throught the series for the first time (currently between Fires of Heaven and Lord of Chaos), and i must admit, i'm hooked. However there is one thing that has been nagging me since the start; The female characters. All they do is whine, bicker, lift brows, berate, tug their braids, lift their chins, and cast cold stares. The only passable female character is Min, and maybe Moiraine, but only because she has a right to do what she does, seeing that she has sacrificed her whole life for the world, and her dying at the end of FoH (along with her letter) sort of redeemed her in my eyes.

I cannot see how anyone can like them to be honest.

What are your thoughts on this?

Edited by Sertii

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The Aes Sedai do that. Aiel don't do that. If you have gotten to Chapter 35 in the fires of heaven:

Birgitte would never do that

 

Aes Sedai are used to getting their way so in some fashion, they are spoiled brats.

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Yep, Aes Sedai (plus Elayne) are the ones that are annoying little pixies. However, the Aiel Wise Ones aren't entirely above blame, they can be pretty annoying too.

 

Luckily, there are some great female characters in the book (Min, the one smitty mentions, Aviendha, *cough*Nynaeve*cough*, etc.), which leads me to think that the current system of behavior for Aes Sedai has an expiration date.

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Yep, Aes Sedai (plus Elayne) are the ones that are annoying little pixies. However, the Aiel Wise Ones aren't entirely above blame, they can be pretty annoying too.

 

Luckily, there are some great female characters in the book (Min, the one smitty mentions, Aviendha, *cough*Nynaeve*cough*, etc.), which leads me to think that the current system of behavior for Aes Sedai has an expiration date.

it might just be myself, but it seems to me that all the women, not just Aes Sedai, consider themselves somehow better and/or more inteligent than everyone else.

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Yep, Aes Sedai (plus Elayne) are the ones that are annoying little pixies. However, the Aiel Wise Ones aren't entirely above blame, they can be pretty annoying too.

 

Luckily, there are some great female characters in the book (Min, the one smitty mentions, Aviendha, *cough*Nynaeve*cough*, etc.), which leads me to think that the current system of behavior for Aes Sedai has an expiration date.

it might just be myself, but it seems to me that all the women, not just Aes Sedai, consider themselves somehow better and/or more inteligent than everyone else.

Quite a few of them do and it annoys me to no end, but just stick with it and grit your teeth, because there are some good eggs out there. Unfortunately, you're going to find some scenes in the upcoming books to be absolutely intolerable (like I did), and I hope you can suffer through it to finish the series :biggrin:.

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it might just be myself, but it seems to me that all the women, not just Aes Sedai, consider themselves somehow better and/or more inteligent than everyone else.

Give me a Far Dareis Mai for protection anytime over any other man besides Lan as far as non channeler proctection

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It's female chauvinism, usually. RJ tried to create a world in which women could believably act toward men the same way men act(ed) toward women in our world.

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it might just be myself, but it seems to me that all the women, not just Aes Sedai, consider themselves somehow better and/or more inteligent than everyone else.

Give me a Far Dareis Mai for protection anytime over any other man besides Lan as far as non channeler proctection

 

I dunno, I would have a hard time picking them over the Deathwatch Guards. Those Gardeners are about as good as it gets imo.

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I think that Jordan didn't see a gray area with women. They were either very annoying, very strong, very weak, etc. etc. There is nothing inbetween with the women.

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Meh, it's a bit of an inverted bell curve, but I wouldn't say there's nothing in between at all.

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Guest PiotrekS

Inverted bell curve is a nice way to put it :smile:

 

But it's the case with all kinds of things in epic fantasy, not just women in WOT. It's supposed to be a colorful world not only in terms of how it looks like, but also concerning the kinds of people, the personalities we like to read about. Shades of gray and ambiguities, average and uninteresting-not in WOT. And it's ok for me.

 

Although one could argue that in case of women RJ, despite making real effort to create interesting female characters, wasn't really able to get beyond the cliche stereotypes and these characters are more a set of certain tropes, archetypes or sometimes caricatures than real people. My fauvorite example is of course Egwene, who is IMHO a wasted opportunity to create an interesting and awesome female character, who would read like a real person and not like an annoying and shallow caricature. There are many other examples as well.

 

Notable exceptions: Nynaeve. Moiraine, Siuan and Aviendha (but last two only until TGS. Brandon killed Siuan who I really loved :sad: )

Edited by PiotrekS

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i don't know that RJ found the women he wrote annoying. i sensed that he felt they were mostly. . . feisty?

 

some people like a challenge. i've known guys who loved women who were generally considered "mean," specifically because of their, "meanness." i think RJ might have been one of those guys, at least some of the time.

 

i personally don't find the female characters especially mean or annoying or unpleasant in these books. but "staying sweet" was never something valued when/where i came from, so that could be my own bias.

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Guest PiotrekS

Well, I recall one quote from RJ, who said something like: "All the men in Rigney family were strong and capable, because the women killed all the weak ones" :tongue:

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I think women in Randland (especially those with political or social influence) behave like they are just because men are womewhat despised since the breaking.

 

Think ... every man is potentially a channeler. A man whose destiny is to be mad and destroy a x mile radius around him before death (the destruction happening simultaneously with his death ;) ...).

 

So ... with thousand years of suspicion about men, wouldn't you be despicable with men ? Think about how men behave with women in our days ... It's not really the same behavior (don't imagine a man sniffing of smoothing trousers lol) but basically it's the same thinking : women are inferior.

 

I think RJ did a nice job, perhpas it is too stretched or imaginative but it's a nice vision of a woman-dominated world.

 

Disagree ? Tenobia, Amathera, Alliandre and Morgase ... I don't recall if there are other queen in the westland but women rule over the main country there. The <b> rose </b> throne !!?? Seriously ... Not coutning the Saenchan Empress (always female ? I dunno but it's hinted with Tuon) ...

 

So don't whine about women in Wot ... they are totally in accord with their world.

 

(favorite character : Nynaeve lol).

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I think women in Randland (especially those with political or social influence) behave like they are just because men are womewhat despised since the breaking.

 

Think ... every man is potentially a channeler. A man whose destiny is to be mad and destroy a x mile radius around him before death (the destruction happening simultaneously with his death ;) ...).

 

So ... with thousand years of suspicion about men, wouldn't you be despicable with men ? Think about how men behave with women in our days ... It's not really the same behavior (don't imagine a man sniffing of smoothing trousers lol) but basically it's the same thinking : women are inferior.

 

I think RJ did a nice job, perhpas it is too stretched or imaginative but it's a nice vision of a woman-dominated world.

 

Disagree ? Tenobia, Amathera, Alliandre and Morgase ... I don't recall if there are other queen in the westland but women rule over the main country there. The <b> rose </b> throne !!?? Seriously ... Not coutning the Saenchan Empress (always female ? I dunno but it's hinted with Tuon) ...

 

So don't whine about women in Wot ... they are totally in accord with their world.

 

(favorite character : Nynaeve lol).

I know it makes sense in their world, but that doesn't mean I can't get irritated by them or dislike the way they behave.

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I agree with Cindy and Doodoo. And wonder that some males get what RJ did with his world and that others just seem to react quite uncomfortably to strong women. I would rather have the types that fit the former category for friends! As a woman I could never stand it when a sister won't stand up for herself; but I really hate arrogant men.

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Well, I recall one quote from RJ, who said something like: "All the men in Rigney family were strong and capable, because the women killed all the weak ones" :tongue:

 

That's epic! I'll have to remember that..

Yeahh for the most part of the books it seems like the women want to "control" rather than "help".

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I think personally when I read the women in WoT I don't interpret the women as behaving in relation to their power or even their upbringing, I feel like they behave the way they do because that's the way woman in that world behave. Min has the same attitude as Elayne who has the same attitude as Egwene and they are three very different women with very different backgrounds, but comparing the way they treat or try to control their respective men (like dirt thinking it's right), it's almost identical.

 

It's the only aspect of the books I don't like, and thought Moiraine isn't like that in the main books, I'm sure there's an element of it in New Spring. Siuan is the same with Gareth Byrne, in fact, I can't think of a non-manipulative women. And the way Gaul is treated by Chiad and Bain (sp?) is offensive.

 

I'm a woman and I wouldn't dream of manipulating anyone like that. I don't think I have to, but with these woman it's almost a mainstay.

 

Conversely, Aes Sedai are the worst because they do it with each other. Even when Egwene is trying to rule, she's just a manipulative wench.

 

Bleh to them all. The only one with a bit of humanity is Nynaeve, and that's because she's possessed with this bizzare desire to control everything through her healing, which I think lends her personality that outshines her manipulative ways.

 

*rant over*

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To add to my post... We see Randland is evolving. Actually someone asked what was the story ot the Wheel of Time on another post ... it is about the changing of a world.

 

When we are introduced to this world in TEotW, there is the Mayor ... but there is the Women's Circle thumping with sticks all around (don't think Nynaeve was alone doing it, EVERY woman was leading ... it's hinted). Actually the Wheel of Time is dealing with a world similar to our own where a gender is predominant and is gradually evolving to a world where both gender lead togeher.

 

I agree that in the Age of Legend every important feat was acomplished with both genders but ... with the opening of the Bore (by a woman ... who said that I talked about an apple and a snake !? ;) ), the genders actually broke appart. LTT and the other one (I can't recall her name ... the soul of Egwene ... Latra Posae ?) didn't agree and that lead to the tainting of Saidin.

 

The Wheel of Time deals with the equality of genders ... I think the basement of Elaida's Palace will be used for a new "Black Tower" (since the actual one will be entirely destroyed with the battle which will happen there ...). - I hope Aviendha will sacrifice her children (the Dragon Blood ...) in order to ensure a happy future but I digress ... -

 

To conclude : the third age is a woman-dominated age ... it's irritating but it's the goal of the book : only when men and women that great things are acomplished.

 

RJ should have written his book in the 70s lol.

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Well, I recall one quote from RJ, who said something like: "All the men in Rigney family were strong and capable, because the women killed all the weak ones" :tongue:

 

LOL, that's excellent.

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I too find most of the women quite frustrating, to a point where I can feel my hands impotently itching to throttle some sense into them.

 

As another poster has said, in the context of the Breaking and more specifically the passing of time (and also the great turbulence during those years [Trolloc Wars],) I can appreciate how the world may have came to be dominated by women. However, the women most often come across as 2-D, and frankly, idiots that quite undermine my sense of their "presence."

 

There are exceptions, but these seem pitifully few [and are often only temporary incidents]. Thankfully, this does mean that when characters develop a less shallow perception of gender, the breath of air is that much more appreciated. I think the best example of such change is Nynaeve.

 

I think Tam al'Thor's confrontation with Cadsuane is quite profound. The women too often mistake strength with bullying.

 

The women Ogier are the worst of them all as they have so little excuse for being so illogical.

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Most of the "main" women (that are Light-sided) through most of the series seem to care about their men.

They do complain at times, but it is not "all the time".

 

I recall from somewhere that Robert Jordan put some degree of his wife in each female of this series. Do not have an exact quote.

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