Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
hurryupnwait

Anyone else gradually come to like Nynaeve?

Recommended Posts

I started reading the Wheel of Time in the summer of 2000, right after graduating from high school. It was love at first read. I read obsessively trying to chew through the series as fast as I could (at the time I had not yet realized that the series was unfinished), I just had to know how everything turned out in the end. I followed the character arcs and mostly responded typically e.g. I loved Mat from book 3 on and my love for his pov chapters just kept growing, I became increasingly frustrated with Rand's choices, and increasingly disgusted with Perrin's Faile oh my Faile storyline. That said any storyline from one of the super girl's perspective was not something I enjoyed. I would finish an action packed Mat or Rand chapter and discover the next chapter was about Nyneave and Elayne grousing over wagon space, or Egwene complaining that Rand had it easier than her, and groan at the prospect of several chapters of it.

 

I especially loathed Nynaeve her treatment and interactions with any and all around her irked me to no end. Especially her treatment of Thom, Juilin and Mat. Her self righteous pov's were a chore for me to read through. I used to employ an idle fantasy of sneaking into RJ's study for the express purpose of writing a mysterious wanderer into the story who would shove a dirty sock down Nynaeve's throat, tie her up and drag her off to Shara to be sold, never to be seen or heard from again.

 

However, all that said somewhere in the intervening years I came to really like the character that Nynaeve has grown into. It may be that as of this writing I am 29 years old, married, and the father of 2 children. I am no longer the callow 18 year old boy who only idenifies with 3 similiarly callow boys who were my initial favorites. I have come to recognize and appreciate the value of a strong, loyal, and good woman as I have found one to spend my life with. All that said I also think a great deal of the admiration I now have for Nynaeve comes from her own growth. She has retained the passion, fire, and determination she has always exhibited, but tempered it with a measured approach. In short for me at least she grew from the character I despised most to my 3rd favorite character, behind Mat and Rand.

 

I am curious to see if anyone else has had a similiar transition in their feelings towards Nynaeve or any other character.

Edited by Elbub

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really no. She is an insecure troubled young woman with anger management issues and a penchant towards self-harm. Ripping at ones hair is generally a sign of mental instability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From polls here on Dragonmount at least, Nyneave is one of the most popular female characters as of ToM.

 

I certainly like her. She was annoying in the earlier books, but once you understand her, as you said, its a lot less irritating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I very much relate to what you say Elbub. For book after book I've wanted to see her put down a notch or 20 and I literally jumped for joy when she was being put in her place by that non-channeling Kinswoman. I used to like Egwene a lot, however. I liked her humility, her hunger to learn and willingness to accept the fact that others had things to teach her. Yes, she was annoying the way she kept on moaning about the boys getting the better deal, but that was more a result of the manner in which the man/woman was in general more than down to her personality. She was brought up in the way of women having more of a say than men. It's an integral part of the old Two Rivers way of life. The Woman's Circle having the real power, while the Men were 'allowed to act as though they had a say'. In other parts of the country, women were treated like nothing more than personal slaves to their men. You wouldn't have seen an Egwene or Nynaeve in those parts, but would have by contrast seen a lot of men displaying superiority over women instead. However, those parts of the lands are not featured very often so we tend to overlook them.

 

Nynaeve started to grow on me after she married Lan. Egwene lost quite a bit of her specialness (in my eyes) in the last book as did Tuon, who I previously actually quite liked (despite her distorted views in life). Elayne I used to like because of her ability to act in servitude and accept authority over her despite her royal background, but ever since she's been back in Caemlyn she's been annoying me time and again and that's only growing further to the point where I'm actually starting to put her on the same level as Faile, the Put My Name In The History Books Brat. I still don't like her. She ruined Perrin in my eyes and has never proven to me that she's anything but a glory seeker, no matter how many bootlickers she assembles around herself.

 

Mat has always been my favorite. I have a weak spot for the mischievous, the rebellious, the ones not impressed with titles or ranks. And he's still my favorite.

Rand got on my nerves a lot and in the last book he's way too much of a messiah type for me to like or relate to him. I know a lot of readers say it's inevitable, but I honestly don't like the whole 'holier than thou' routine Rand's being forced in to. It just starts to feel like a cheap ripoff of Jesus, fantasized up a bit. Anyway, to me at least. I really hope the MoL will hold some pleasant surprises for me, because this last book was rather a let down content- and storyline wise for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With me my perspective changed as I grew up. I first started reading the WoT when I was nine or ten years old and back then she was my least favourite character, but now 16 years later I have a completely different take on her character. She has by far become my most favourite female character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XD I actually adored Nynaeve from the moment I started reading her. I don't know why, I just found her a joy to read, and whilst she could be extremely bossy, and didn't respond very well to being ordered, I found this to be reasonably well-written, if nothing else. She's a full grown woman, the most senior woman in her hometown, who's had to cope with accusations of being too young for the job for a long time- I don't think her stubbornness is neccessarily a "good" trait, but its very Nynaeve :P And I feel to a certain extent that this stubbornness, and distrust of the Aes Sedai that she has early on has a lot to do with the huge amount of new healing skills she has developed, and her stance on the White Tower- that they should be out there, helping people rather than themselves.

 

I do remember in some of the books (around book 8,9 maybe?) going off her a bit, as a lot of her appearances became "Let's watch Nynaeve being stubborn and getting taken down a peg or two, hahaha...", but in the books since then, I've regained all my love and a bit besides.

 

I have read a lot of opinions saying similar things to this thread, though, that they started off disliking Nynaeve and she's grown on them, so I think its certainly a popular opinion :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you Elbub. First I didn´t like her at all. Now she is one of my favourite female characters. What I like about her is that she knows what is really important. The most important right now is the Last Battle and that´s why she would have choosen to stand by Rands side (and maybe using ballfire) if the WT had asked her to choose between Rand and becoming an Aes Sedai. She is willing to sacrify herself and her husband for a worthy cause. Can you say that about Egwene or Elayne? (They are willing to sacrify themself but can´t see the whole picture.)

 

She is also more interested in healing and learning more all the time then taking a bath, gossiping or get caught in politics. :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest, I identified much more with Nynaeve than any other female characters. Yah she gets mad a lot, yes she has a problem yanking at her braid. But lets be honest. Put yourself in her shoes, and her 'responsibility' in caring for the people from her village..whisked away in some 'filthy Aes Sedai' plot.

 

She changes and matures through the books. Though I have this sense something is going to happen to her (no necessarily physically) that will 'open the rosebud'. In a sense she will be hurt emotionally so bad in the last book she'll probably end up doing something along the lines of the last queen of Manetheran.

 

Just my thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never seriously disliked Nynaeve, but I remember being a lot more annoyed with some of her antics back when I first read the series 8-9 years ago. One of the reasons is that I've come to appreciate the humour in her chapters more. Her PoV in TFOH especially easily beats even Mat's for the title of funniest in WoT IMO.

 

"She could tell you to your face that you were a blind idiot, yet let anyone else say it, and she would defend you until she went hoarse. " - I think this quote from PoD sums up the main reason I like her. She's honest and extremely loyal to her friends, unlike a certain other young Two Rivers woman who shall remain unnamed. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're right about Nynaeve and it does highlight that our likes of specific characters highlights our own world-view. Nynaeve, to me, has something of the Kate from the Taming of the Shrew about her - except RJ takes it off in a different direction altogether!

 

I do think readers complain way more about female characters in WoT than male ones but I think that shows how brilliant a writer RJ was.

 

Take Faile for instance, the bête noire of WoT. She who is most loathed of all light characters, and why is she so disliked? She has different opinions, she has her husband's and her own self-interest at heart and she is ruthless. She can be arrogant, but tell me a teenager (and that is what she is) who doesnt know everything? I would argue that these 'unfeminine' traits are what people dislike about her. Because it is not a common trope in fantasy in general people instinctively dislike her.

 

Live a little, and you see that the character types that RJ uses all the time. As a man in my 30s, I can testify that I've dated more than my fair share of Faile's in my time. And one or two Nynaeves and an Elayne. I ended up with an Egwene...but then, all wives end up as Amyrlin *sigh*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the end of ToM, she's the only female character I even remotely like. Juxtaposed with Egwene's nonsensical devotion to the White Tower, Nynaeve is a breath of fresh air and so far the only character, male or female, who seems to truly grasp what is going to have to happen at Tarman Gai'dan.

 

Birgitte would be a distant second followed by Min. I find Egwene, Elaine, and even Aveinda almost intolerable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nyneave starts off as a great character. Then she suddenly gets weird, which culminated in the very annoying back and forth with Mat. She had always been a little stubborn which was fine. But she became all out crazy for a while there. Once that unpleasantness is out of the way she comes back better than ever before. What I like about her is that out of all the characters she is the only one that has successfully integrated who she has become with who she was. Her goals seem to have very naturally expanded to encompass her new powers/responsibilities. On a basic level they have not changed at all. It is a very refreshing character to contrast with Egwene the chameleon.

 

The scene where she convinces the Malkeiri merchants to ride with Lan has become my favorite scene in the book. And as of ToM she is easily my favorite character in the series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nynaeve and faile are the worst parts of the series. i hated nynaeve in the beginning and SO wish that mog would have taken her out that day on the river.. darn you lan for saving her!! and i wish faile would have been lost in the ways when she was first introduced. perrin was my favorite character and she ruined it!! i used to hate egwene but the character development she goes through is amazing and i respect the poop out of her now. i used to like elayne but now she annoys me. min has always been my favorite female but berelain is a close second.. perrin should totally leave the big nose whiny butt for berelain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nynaeve's always seemed to me to be the most concerned for her friends' well being. the fact that the suffering of others makes her angry enough to fight her inner fears and channel to heal them makes her one of the finest characters in the series imo.

Edited by cindy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always loved Nynaeve. Never understood any of the dislike for her at any point.

 

Just be a boy in his early teens who wants to read about the boys he can identify with and not about the authoritative woman who always knows better would be my advice. That's how it was for me. I remember the first time I read Eye of the World I skipped straight through all the female POV because I didn't want to read them :biggrin:

Edited by b3arz3rg3r

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nynaeve has always been interesting, second only to moiraine in the early books. more interesting than the 3 ta'vares even.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nynaeve is a great character. What I like most about her is how little she has changed. The biggest change comes post-wedding, and it is a positive change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but character development is one of the biggest differences in the wheel of time series compared to other series (like lotr) ... in fact i often describe the wot books as "its like lotr but with actual plot and character development" which may be another reason i dont really like nynaeve... she needs to be humbled

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but character development is one of the biggest differences in the wheel of time series compared to other series (like lotr) ... in fact i often describe the wot books as "its like lotr but with actual plot and character development" which may be another reason i dont really like nynaeve... she needs to be humbled

 

I'm sorry, but I actually choked on my coffee when I read this.

 

If that's how you are describing the WoT, you are doing a disservice to potential readers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always loved Nynaeve. Never understood any of the dislike for her at any point.

 

Just be a boy in his early teens who wants to read about the boys he can identify with and not about the authoritative woman who always knows better would be my advice. That's how it was for me. I remember the first time I read Eye of the World I skipped straight through all the female POV because I didn't want to read them :biggrin:

 

Pretty much this for me. I was a boy in my late teens when I started reading the Wheel of Time, and reading the storyline of women and teenage girl who seemed to act like they just got home from the beach and never bothered to get the sand out their undies was not something I enjoyed as much as reading about 3 boys my age who were forced to learn and grow due to unfortunate and sudden burdens thrust upon them. In short I had not learned to even try to see things from Nynaeve, Elayne, Egwene, or even Aviendha's perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really despised Nynaeve when RJ wrote her (she was among my least favorite characters by far) but she has finally grown on me the last couple books. I think RJ took far too long in having her character really grow, she just always felt stuck in neutral to me. I did always enjoy when something bad or humbling would happen to her however. She turned out alright in the end though much to my surprise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're right about Nynaeve and it does highlight that our likes of specific characters highlights our own world-view. Nynaeve, to me, has something of the Kate from the Taming of the Shrew about her - except RJ takes it off in a different direction altogether!

 

I do think readers complain way more about female characters in WoT than male ones but I think that shows how brilliant a writer RJ was.

 

Take Faile for instance, the bête noire of WoT. She who is most loathed of all light characters, and why is she so disliked? She has different opinions, she has her husband's and her own self-interest at heart and she is ruthless. She can be arrogant, but tell me a teenager (and that is what she is) who doesnt know everything? I would argue that these 'unfeminine' traits are what people dislike about her. Because it is not a common trope in fantasy in general people instinctively dislike her.

 

Live a little, and you see that the character types that RJ uses all the time. As a man in my 30s, I can testify that I've dated more than my fair share of Faile's in my time. And one or two Nynaeves and an Elayne. I ended up with an Egwene...but then, all wives end up as Amyrlin *sigh*

 

This to me makes for an interesting new thread or poll question. What Wheel of Time Character did you marry? I think for me the closest would be Min. My wife is a loving supportive woman. She is patient and understanding with me, but also willing to tell me when I am acting like a jackass. I would say on the whole neither one of us is the dominate partner. Which is how we both want it. I do not have the inclination to run roughshod over her ordering her about every which way nor does she with me. I think that I have more than a little Mat in me, if she were to decide that she were suddenly in charge and begin to try to authoritative over me I would balk big time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but character development is one of the biggest differences in the wheel of time series compared to other series (like lotr) ... in fact i often describe the wot books as "its like lotr but with actual plot and character development" which may be another reason i dont really like nynaeve... she needs to be humbled

 

I disagree completely about WOT having a lot of character development.

I'd actually say most characters have developed very little, they are all either black or white, good guys or bad guys and never change course.

Each one serves a specific purpose.

 

After reading the first book, you can say this about each character:

Moiraine - Teacher, Yoda type.

Lan - Super swordsman who put his Honor above all else, and will always sacrifice himself for the greater good.

Rand - Sheepherder/nobody/orphan boy with ambiguous past, turned savior of mankind.

Mat - Rogue gambler, comedic character, who looks out for number 1, but somehow always saves everyone else.

Perrin - Blacksmith-muscle-man who can communicate with wild animals, but is really quite gentle and caring.

 

Nyaneve is the typical "Medic/super strong magician" character.

"Oh no, this character is going to die! Wait, here comes Nyaneve, she'll save him!"

 

After reading the last book, they're all still the same characters they started out like, I wouldn't say Nyaneve is any more or less likable then the rest.

They're all quite bland individually, but make a nice dish when mixed together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always loved Nynaeve. Never understood any of the dislike for her at any point.

 

Just be a boy in his early teens who wants to read about the boys he can identify with and not about the authoritative woman who always knows better would be my advice. That's how it was for me. I remember the first time I read Eye of the World I skipped straight through all the female POV because I didn't want to read them :biggrin:

 

Sexism :tongue:

 

which may be another reason i dont really like nynaeve... she needs to be humbled

 

Erm Nynaeve's been humbled far more than any other character. For crying out loud she has to jump when two of the kids (Rand and Egwene) she used to spank as kids snap their fingers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...