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Lan's March to the Blight


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Instead, we have Lan, goaded by his wife to take up some forgotten and useless duty, suddenly determined to march headlong into the blight and face all the forces of the dark one alone, to die as nothing more than a flyspeck on a mission all but forgotten, for no purpose other than his own selfish desire to die in the blight?

 

How did Nynaeve goade him into it? She gave him permission and helped a bit, yes, but I can't say I blame her. Imagine how miserable it would make you, knowing you're not enough to stop your other half wanting to die, knowing he's already completely dead inside and possibly resenting you for trying to keep him alive. On top of all that there's not even a decent, logical reason for all this. You'd end up feeling suicidal as well if things went on like that forever.

 

I have to say though that the general attitude of RJ's characters to death annoys me. Egwene prefers death to being a damane. Pretty much all channellers prefer death to being cut off from the Power. Rand prefers death to hurting the most evil women in the world. Nobles prefer death to being stripped of their titles. Seriously does knowing you're going to be born again do something to people's survival instincts?

 

Technically knowing about rebirth should make one rather less attached to any given life. But I don't think that's why the characters you listed prefer death to *fill in the blank*. Given the description of life as a damane, can you really blame Egwene? Life as an animal, your spirit broken, your will twisted to the point that you live only to serve some woman who treats you like a hound? Death might well be better than that. As for being cut off from the Power, well, life without it can still be pretty good (we ought to know!), but the loss is described as enormous. People suicide in real life over tremendous loss even if what they have left might be considered worthwhile from an outsider's viewpoint, which also explains the nobles. As for Rand, not only was he was raised in a village where protecting women is seen as a sacred duty, but he's carrying the guilt of Lews Therin Telamon around! If you'd killed the love of your life, don't you think you'd be a bit reluctant to kill again? It's admittedly rather perverse to let love of Ilyena get in the way of killing a servant of the one who made the Taint in the first place, but again, I can't blame Rand. I hope we'd be a bit more trigger-happy at the sight of a Forsaken, but none of us are carrying around that kind of guilt (I hope!)

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Seriously does knowing you're going to be born again do something to people's survival instincts?

 

...and there you have it folks.

I think we've figured out the real problem with Lan's storyline.

Jordan created a world where the characters KNEW they were going to live again.

He's even said that's why there is no organized religion in his world, because everyone knows there is a Creator and Dark One.

 

so in Lan's case, he's saying "Crap, I got the short straw. Well, I better end this so I can start again."

 

 

I thought Lan's storyline would basically echo the 300 Spartans holding off the Persian Empire. Especially since Jordan wants all his storylines to be similar to stories from our world.

After all it's one wheel, the same painting over and over again. Instead he decided to have Lan do some foolish charge. What the hell man?! Maybe he's supposed to be General Custer.

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Instead, we have Lan, goaded by his wife to take up some forgotten and useless duty, suddenly determined to march headlong into the blight and face all the forces of the dark one alone, to die as nothing more than a flyspeck on a mission all but forgotten, for no purpose other than his own selfish desire to die in the blight?

 

How did Nynaeve goade him into it? She gave him permission and helped a bit, yes, but I can't say I blame her. Imagine how miserable it would make you, knowing you're not enough to stop your other half wanting to die, knowing he's already completely dead inside and possibly resenting you for trying to keep him alive. On top of all that there's not even a decent, logical reason for all this. You'd end up feeling suicidal as well if things went on like that forever.

 

I have to say though that the general attitude of RJ's characters to death annoys me. Egwene prefers death to being a damane. Pretty much all channellers prefer death to being cut off from the Power. Rand prefers death to hurting the most evil women in the world. Nobles prefer death to being stripped of their titles. Seriously does knowing you're going to be born again do something to people's survival instincts?

 

Technically knowing about rebirth should make one rather less attached to any given life. But I don't think that's why the characters you listed prefer death to *fill in the blank*. Given the description of life as a damane, can you really blame Egwene? Life as an animal, your spirit broken, your will twisted to the point that you live only to serve some woman who treats you like a hound? Death might well be better than that. As for being cut off from the Power, well, life without it can still be pretty good (we ought to know!), but the loss is described as enormous. People suicide in real life over tremendous loss even if what they have left might be considered worthwhile from an outsider's viewpoint, which also explains the nobles. As for Rand, not only was he was raised in a village where protecting women is seen as a sacred duty, but he's carrying the guilt of Lews Therin Telamon around! If you'd killed the love of your life, don't you think you'd be a bit reluctant to kill again? It's admittedly rather perverse to let love of Ilyena get in the way of killing a servant of the one who made the Taint in the first place, but again, I can't blame Rand. I hope we'd be a bit more trigger-happy at the sight of a Forsaken, but none of us are carrying around that kind of guilt (I hope!)

 

Well personally I can blame Egwene for it, but I do understand it's a personal thing, everyone has their own breaking points. But my problem is Egwene doesn't see it that way, and I think that's RJ's view point coming across. In TGS, when she's blasting the invading Seachan, she thinks that any captured Aes Sedai she might kill are better off dead anyway. And yes I understand that people commit suicide in real life after suffering losses, but not the majority the way it seems to be with Aes Sedai who get severed or whatever. And coming back to Lan, we never see anyone thinking "good grief he's a bit of an idiot to throw his life away". Everyone just goes along with it! Like it's to be expected! That's my problem. I wouldn't mind if it was just the odd character, but to have whole groups of people believing it's better to die than [insert scenario here] is just a bit weird and unrealistic to me. And to have no one seriously question Lan's attitude is even more bizarre.

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Lol Egwene gets all the blame... I kinda doubt that you knowing you were gonna be reborn would make you less afraid of death. In our world we have for example the Hindus and Buddists and I´m sure they fear death too. Maybe not the dying part but the fear of lossing your self. Even if my soul is my soul when I´m reborn will I be me... will my personality be gone but my soul still be the same?

 

That is something to fear I would think. Light, even I who do believe in rebirth sometimes have a flash of panic of my personality being poff in my next life. It´s human.

 

If I was captured as a damane I´d rather die. That choice would be easy. But I can see your point Feral. Not all things happening in your life can be so bad you prefer death. And as for Egwene thinking about the other AS they be better of dead.. pfff. Who knows, some of them might like being good damane?

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About the oath, it is about fighting the shadow and avenge what cannot been defended, in my opinion it is not so much about winning the last battle than just killing as many shadowspawns as possible.

 

I remember Lan pressing Rand to strike at the Blight before he chose to leave, or is it only Nynaeve after that ? Maybe he wants to force Rand into action.

 

As for reclaiming Malkier, there really isn't much to reclaim except ruins and dust.

 

 

That said, it's still quite stupid of him, choosing to go to death after marrying Nynaeve and with the last battle looming.

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