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Praise for Egwene


Southpaw89
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I've seen many people hate all over Egwene so I thought I'd make a discussion post so we could discuss the good parts of her (since I do like her). Go

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OK, not to derail this thread immediately, but shouldn't you provide some examples in your first post? Unless there is nothing to praise? :tongue:

 

(That was a joke.)

 

 

Some good points:

-Egwene taking a Red Keeper. Good political sense, and it was the right thing to do. It no doubt helped bring the Tower back together much faster than it could have otherwise.

 

-Egwene going to break out the napalm (sa'angreal) when the Seanchan attacked. Way too often, the main characters fail to use the tools available to them; good to see Egwene making a smart decision like that.

Edited by Hopefire
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She's a powerful Dreamer and has plans to introduce some much needed reform to the White Tower. She also is smart enough to listen to, and learn from, those that have in the past held similar positions. She may not always take the advice but she does listen.

 

I'm not that big of an Egwene fan, others will be able to find more.

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First up Im a hater, but her good personality traits IMO are:

-Patience, she exercises discretion and avoids conflict on several occasions after her arrival in Salidar until the tower's reunification, were someone without the necessary forbearance would have flared up and made things worse

-Perception, she is shown to have significant insight on several occasions, in particular finding the potential opportunities (though less so about the threats), one example of this can be seen in her efforts to unify the tower after capture, while her plans to utilise the band of the red hand when they first appear were very quickly devised and quite apt.

-Decisiveness, while being patient and planning is good, she is quick to discard her plans and approaches when it becomes apparent that they are unworkable (such as when the sitters are gathered and she gets beaten) also the speed with which she acts against Nisao, Myrelle, Nicole and co and does so without hesitating about the ramifications should they balk (she was asking them to do something that was very nearly illegal and certainly immoral)

-Courage, many would have given up in her position either as a figure head or later as a 'novice', however she remained confident in her position and her ability to 'win', also her willingness to go up against the black ajah in tear speaks well of her courage

 

From a character perspective as well (not about her personality per se but rather her relationship with other characters):

-Embracing change - Unlike the other Edmond's Fielders, she actually WANTED to leave and while many of them (only excluding Mat really) have contemplated going back, she never has given it any real thought. This makes an interesting comparison against our often reluctant male leads

-The disciple turned master - Her position relative to others has noticeably changed, in some cases this has been highlighted by a fall from power by the other party, however oft times it has merely been the result of her own climb in both position and self-confidence. This is particularly noticeable with Nynaeve (although her method of achieving this is rather disgraceful)

-Position rather than person - She has been used on occasion to demonstrate what it means to hold a role with responsibility, rather than merely use the position to one's own ends, instead to understand the purpose of the role and its authority.

Edited by Stitch
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i could write a novel on all the good things about her but i will just say one for now.

 

freeing logain from the clutches of sheriam and co who wanted to gentle him at salidar. Loved that because logain is one of my fave characters.

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Her time with the Aiel. She met her toh.

 

She also reinvented gateways. She is similar to Rand in being very inventive with the power as Elyane and Nyneave note as she tweaks the eavesdropping weave in ToM. They've always seemed alike to me, in terms of how they've learned the power and use it, and in the kinds of duress they've suffered and how it's shaped their personalities; I've always enjoyed seeing them get their own back.

 

the a'dam was not fun.

 

In the tower against the seanchan was a great battle adjah moment, i want to see her against shadow spawn, Gawyn carving a clear circle around her. She and the Tower still owe the Malkieri a debt.

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Her conduct as a captive in the Tower was truly inspiring. She absolutely refused to yield.

 

I'll always like her for that, no matter what she does. Or did.

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She's obviously a very effective leader, not only at organizing people, but at making compromises when needed, and at making plans for the future. She does this on her own without being ta'veren. In contrast, Mat, Perrin, and sometimes Rand are effective leaders, but I don't get the impression that they know what they're doing; it just happens. Egwene goes through all the details a leader needs to, to make things work.

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She learns incredibly quickly. The way that she transitioned from an innkeeper's daughter into a political mastermind that routinely outsmarts people who have been involved in politics for hundreds of years is something that bugs me as a reader...but more power to her, I guess.

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I love the way she stopped Nynaeve's bullying and condescending ways dead in her tracks.

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Her drive and toughness are always a great read. Her embrace of power, authority and responsibility(especially compared to SOME characters :tongue: )is enjoyable. And actually her hangup on the a'dam and the Seanchan make her feel like a real character. Trama shapes our everyday lives and outlook and she is no different and thats GREAT :laugh:

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Her conduct as a captive in the Tower was truly inspiring. She absolutely refused to yield.

 

^This.It was one of the best moments ever,especially the battle.

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I have liked Egwene as a character for most of the series. Only recently have I not liked what she is doing.

 

Good things:

1. She managed to reforge the tower despite the fact that one of the more sucessful Forsaken had managed to break it and manipulate it's leadership.

2. She has more willpower then any one person has a right to. She showed this while keeping her sanity during her adam slavery, pushing herself to go through the wise-ones' training, manipulating the politics of the rebel Aes Sedai to actually gain real power, and surviving (and thriving) during her captivity in the tower.

3. She actually manages to use all the resourse available to her most of the time unlike our other heroes. Good examples include all of the Aes Sedai she managed to get oaths from and Siuan. Also, her finding and using a sa'angreal in the tower.

4. For most of the series she has wanted to use her power in a way that helps Rand, only recently has she set herself up against Rand's plans and she believes she is acting in the world's best interests. The only problem I have with her now, which seems to be a side effect of all of her sucess, is that she does not even stop to consider that she could be wrong about anything anymore. So I still enjoy her, I just think that her arc is being set up for her to relearn the value of humility.(But I think it will have to do with her viewing about a Seanchan saving her and nothing to do with Rand "putting her in her place" as some people seem to want him to do. Doing something like that just does not seem to be in Zen Rand's character.)

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Guest PiotrekS

When she learned that Rand could channel, she did her best to support him - which was really something in the circumstances.

 

She resisted the damane brainwashing with great courage and dignity.

 

Her desire to learn deserves admiration.

 

She has always been able to immerse herself in different roles and situations - which is sometimes a positive, and other times a negative trait.

 

She has a strong will and self-esteem. She is also clever.

 

I've really done my best to find good traits in my least fauvorite character :wink: It's a shame the way she is written deteriorites so much in later books...

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Basically, you can put a positive spin on most of the qualities that most people dislike about, if you are inclined to view her through those lenses.

 

I might say she is a hypocrite. You might cast that as "flexible."

 

I might call her a person who adopts the values and customs of whatever group she is with, seemingly lacking enduring principles or a strong sense of her own identity. You could call that "adaptable."

 

I might call her a chauvinist. You might consider her a "realist," given Randland's unfortunate history.

 

I think Egwene is ambitious, eager to learn, and a skilled politician.

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i could write a novel on all the good things about her but i will just say one for now.

 

freeing logain from the clutches of sheriam and co who wanted to gentle him at salidar. Loved that because logain is one of my fave characters.

That was her crowning moment.

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As one who is not fond of Egwene, she has a lot of praiseworthy elements.

 

You dont have to be likeable to be a damn good leader.

 

Which is exactly what Egwene is. For Aes Sedai, she is the perfect leader. She has done a fair job at giving the foolish children a lesson in humility and given them some real backbone, not just braggart confidence and threats of the OP.

 

She is respectable. She doesnt need to use the OP as a threat to gain respect or fear. She has earned it through hard work and determination along with quick wits and a knack of assessing and dealing with situations. (most of the time, anyway)

 

She is one brave SOB. She is absolutely terrified of the a'dam, having worn it, yet she shows 10x the courage of THE HEAD OF THE GREEN AJAH, who has never even seen the Seanchan or a'dam in her life.

 

She has definitely changed the Tower for the good. It is disappointing that she has become tooo much like the flawed Aes Sedai of the 3rd age, but defintely made them stronger. You cant overhaul 3000 years of tradition in a few months with the Last Battle looming. It will take time to change their ways, but Egwene has taken a damn impressive step forward.

 

Basically, while she has the personality of a dead toad , her actions, wits, determination and bravery are worthy of praise and respect.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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I really like that after she was made Amyrlin, she immediately started working on improving his political and management skills and on pushing the Aes Sedai in what she considered was the right direction. Basically she worked extremely hard to do the best possible job she can once she was put in this position, and didn't waste time thinking "why me" or whine that this put in a really dangerous position. I very much prefer this to someone like Perrin who in a similar situation spent ages trying to evade the responsibility which he found himself thrust into and needed relentless pushing and shoving from the Pattern to accept his role as a leader.

 

I like that she freely shared all her info with Elayne and Nynaeve (and later Siuan) throughout the series, which is extremely rare in this series and really annoying and pointless at times.

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She's got a strong sense of well and has over-all seen to it that things that need to be done get done. I'd also like to praise her unending desire to learn new things. Oh, she can be way overbearing at times, but it's what was needed.

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Some good points:

-Egwene taking a Red Keeper. Good political sense, and it was the right thing to do. It no doubt helped bring the Tower back together much faster than it could have otherwise.

 

-Egwene going to break out the napalm (sa'angreal) when the Seanchan attacked. Way too often, the main characters fail to use the tools available to them; good to see Egwene making a smart decision like that.

 

OK, I'm pretty much the opposite of an Egwene fan, but I have to agree with these, especially the first. Given that pretty much all of the rebels were furious with Elaida for pretty much disbanding the Blue Ajah, and given that a lot of them (and, it seems, a few of the Tower AS, too) wouldn't have minded seeing the Red Ajah gone, and especially given that Egwene always seemed to have a pretty low opinion of Reds herself (I don't recall whether it was her, Elayne or Nynaeve who reckoned Faolain would have gone for the Red, but, unless I miss my guess, it has been a while since I read that part of the series, it didn't seem to have a lot to do with her attitude towards men, more "unpleasant woman= future Red"), I did wonder if the Red Ajah was going to be pretty much marginalised under her. Was very glad to be proved wrong on that. I don't know whether the decision was made because Silviana is an extremely capable AS, regardless of Ajah, or because she saw that preventing the Reds from being marginalised would prevent the tower from losing a large number of strong, capable AS, but either way, good decision.

 

Good idea for a thread, BTW, maybe I should make one for Faile, since she's a character most people seem to dislike, too XD

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Really? I find Gawyn to be too reflective on the past, but far more interesting than he appears; in truth I do not understand why Galad and Gawyn are smitten by her, though she is said to be quite attractive, perhaps thats a goodly part of the reason.

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This is sort of meta-commentary, rather than admiration for Egwene's personal traits. People who love Egwene as a person might want to skip this post.

 

 

Basically, Egwene is one of the three best written characters in the series (Rand and Cadsuane being the other two). Like Rand as he was in the back half of the series, and like Cadsuane, a large part of the reason is because of the negative qualities she possesses on a personal level. Rand's character is interesting in how it shows a fairly generic hero essentially losing all of the qualities that made him heroic, with his character passing from warm and caring innocence to an absolute cold and hard ruthlessness, before regaining his positive qualities without losing the greater awareness he obtained in his fall.

 

Cadsuane is a great character because of her own flaws; she knows from the very start what the main body of the problem is with Rand (“He has a rage in him fit to burn the world, and he holds it by a hair”) and sets about trying to fix it. She's often times thoroughly unlikable, she's a bully, she's rude, she's unsympathetic to others, but she's also smart, brave, honest, capable, and determined, as well as having awareness of her own faults - she wields her faults like knives. She's a three hundred year old woman who's been everywhere, seen everything, done everything, and knows every trick in the book, and Jordan and Sanderson have done a fantastic job of making that come across.

 

Egwene is an equally great character, for similar reasons. If Rand is a character who develops steadily deeper and darker flaws as the series goes on, and if Cadsuane bears her warts with pride, Egwene is essentially oblivious to or only peripherally aware her flaws. She lacks any sense of self reflection (she's essentially the opposite of Perrin; he spends entire books navel gazing, while Egwene might not actually possess a navel). She has a strong tendency make assumptions, and then to subsequently fail to reexamine her assumptions as new information turns up. She's manipulative, and she'll hurt a friend to score political points or to assert herself over her friend. She often fails to give credit to the opinions and accomplishments of others, especially when those opinions and accomplishments are contrary to her own positions.

 

For all that, in large part because of all of that, Egwene comes across as a very real person. Her thoughts are never treated lightly, her character isn't written for comedy like Mat and Nynaeve, she never crosses a line into unintentional parody or camp, she never slips out of character. Her voice is consistent throughout the series, from her first appearance in Emond's Field to her most recent appearance at the Fields of Field of Merrilor. She has a steadfast belief in her own correctness and unshakable self confidence, and it never comes across as forced. She's never written inconsistently for the benefit of a scene; Egwene is who she is throughout the series, take her or leave her. As a person, I find her rather detestable. As a character, she's nothing sort of brilliant.

 

As I said, Rand and Cadsuane are brilliant characters themselves, Rand as the decontruction and reconstruction of an archetype, Cadsuane as an essentially flawed mentor type. Egwene is perhaps a greater triumph as a character, because the flaws that make her thoroughly unlikable as a person make her an absolutely fascinating character. I don't need to like a character as a person to thoroughly enjoy them as a character; Egwene is one of the best examples there is of that.

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