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Himiko

Praise for Faile

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Inspired by the "Praise for Egwene" thread:

 

OK, so Faile is one of my favourite characters, she also seems to be one of the least popular major characters of the series. So, I thought those of us that do like her can share why we love her, and even those who aren't so keen could mention some redeeming features- if she has any in their eyes.

 

So, for me, just off the top of my head...

 

I like her bravery. Yes, early on, I think a lot of her behaviour was quite blustering, she wanted to be a hero, and adventurer, rather than live the political life her family was set up for. But she's definitely shown guts throughout the series. She keeps her head, by and large, during her capture by the Aiel. She gathers an army to take back to the battle of Emond's Field, and rides at their head, when she could have done as Perrin asked and rode further for help, saving herself, and probably returning too late.

 

I like her approach to relationships. I mean, hers and Perrin's relationship isn't ideal, I would agree that relationships are not a strong point of the Wheel of Time, but I like that she and Perrin love each other. I like that she wants a man who stands up to her. I like that she doesn't want someone she can walk all over. Admittedly, her ways of going about it aren't the best, but she's young, she's Saldaean, and they do like to fight out their issues, and she is still living in a world where sexism towards men is fairly commonplace. I guess different people will see things differently, such is the joy of variety, but to my eyes, that's how I read it. I mean, what's the fun of being powerful, fiery and strong willed if your partner's just going to roll over and say "Yes dear" to everything you say? :P

 

I like that she's realistic in her talents. She is very, very good at politics, having trained for it her entire life. And yet, she admits that Berelain is her superior in that, much as she dislikes it. I like that she is capable- Perrin does spend a lot of time denying that he's a Lord, wanting out, and Faile, in the meantime, is seeing to the day to day running of things, and getting shit done. And, of course, she is ruthless where Perrin isn't- see Masema for details :P Another scene where I was nodding to myself and smiling.

 

And finally, back to the battle of Emond's Field, I seem to recall that scene where Faile and the army ride in to be one of the few scenes that I got up to, read, put the book down, stood up and said "Shit yeah!" before I continued reading- always good!

 

So, yeah- I know there are at least a couple of other Faile fans out there, come share ^^

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i like it when she's not being mentioned.

 

i like the sanderson seems to have mellowed her out and doesn't involve her as much.

 

and i liked it when she was being tortured by the shaido. that was awesome.

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Most of the characters in the series have flaws. Perrin is too introspective. Egwene isn't introspective enough. Mat naturally irritates everyone around him (this is the most fun flaw in the books to read about). Nynaeve has a terrible temper. Rand's flaws are legion; thinking about it, I've decided that Rand actually possesses all of the flaws of the other Emond's Fields characters. He has Perrin's tendency towards putting too much thought into what he's doing and why (and the conclusions that he draws, that he needs to be harder, are the wrong conclusions), he has Egwene's tendency towards lack of additional thought beyond his initial hypothesis (for example, how long he thought that the Salidar Aes Sedai were a frightened band of women who were small in numbers), he has Mat's tendency to irritate everyone around him (without it being nearly so funny and good-hearted as when Mat does it) and his temper is far, far worse and more deadly than Nynaeve's.

 

At the end of the day, Faile only really has one flaw. She's paranoid at the thought of Perrin cheating on her, physically or emotionally. She's a terribly jealous woman. Perhaps she had a bad childhood experience, perhaps it's a cultural thing, perhaps she was just born that way. Who knows. Whatever the case, really, that's her only flaw. She's brave, but knows when to pick her battles. She's compassionate, but she knows that there's a time and place for ruthlessness. She's honest, except for those times when a lie is better for the well being of everyone involved. She is essentially a character of tempered virtues, aware of both the little picture and the big picture and how they relate.

 

Except when it comes to Perrin. As soon as Perrin enters into things, Faile's jealousy rears up and she goes from being an intelligent, poised, confident woman to being a silly, unbalanced and paranoid girl. Beyond that detail - and since most of what we see of Faile is essentially from Perrin's perspective, it's one we unfortunately see too often - she's one of the strongest and best balanced female characters in the story. It's unfortunate that the melodrama and comedy of errors surrounding the Perrin/Faile/Berelain triangle eat up so much space on the page, because there are few characters in the series better at making the right choices based on the information available to them.

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Most of the characters in the series have flaws. Perrin is too introspective. Egwene isn't introspective enough. Mat naturally irritates everyone around him (this is the most fun flaw in the books to read about). Nynaeve has a terrible temper. Rand's flaws are legion; thinking about it, I've decided that Rand actually possesses all of the flaws of the other Emond's Fields characters. He has Perrin's tendency towards putting too much thought into what he's doing and why (and the conclusions that he draws, that he needs to be harder, are the wrong conclusions), he has Egwene's tendency towards lack of additional thought beyond his initial hypothesis (for example, how long he thought that the Salidar Aes Sedai were a frightened band of women who were small in numbers), he has Mat's tendency to irritate everyone around him (without it being nearly so funny and good-hearted as when Mat does it) and his temper is far, far worse and more deadly than Nynaeve's.

 

At the end of the day, Faile only really has one flaw. She's paranoid at the thought of Perrin cheating on her, physically or emotionally. She's a terribly jealous woman. Perhaps she had a bad childhood experience, perhaps it's a cultural thing, perhaps she was just born that way. Who knows. Whatever the case, really, that's her only flaw. She's brave, but knows when to pick her battles. She's compassionate, but she knows that there's a time and place for ruthlessness. She's honest, except for those times when a lie is better for the well being of everyone involved. She is essentially a character of tempered virtues, aware of both the little picture and the big picture and how they relate.

 

Except when it comes to Perrin. As soon as Perrin enters into things, Faile's jealousy rears up and she goes from being an intelligent, poised, confident woman to being a silly, unbalanced and paranoid girl. Beyond that detail - and since most of what we see of Faile is essentially from Perrin's perspective, it's one we unfortunately see too often - she's one of the strongest and best balanced female characters in the story. It's unfortunate that the melodrama and comedy of errors surrounding the Perrin/Faile/Berelain triangle eat up so much space on the page, because there are few characters in the series better at making the right choices based on the information available to them.

 

That was a fantastic read and I must admit to finding myself agreeing with all of it. Though I have always viewed Faile in a bad light, I guess post-TOM it's time for some reassessment ( but I'll still skip much of the unnecessarily long soap opera of the Faile/Perrin/Berelain series during rereads)

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Faile definitely grew on me over time despite hating her initially. You just have to understand Saldean women and get a feel for their personalities :biggrin: . I do think Perrin is the wrong match for her though given the fear of his own temper and largely deferential personality, possibly the worst of all the major male characters possible. She is the type that needs/wants a strong male personality that will put his foot down when appropriate. I have had relationships with a few "Failes" in my life and they are not for everyone, certainly not for the timid or faint of heart lol.

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The only thing I have against Faile is her guilt trip she gives Loial and everything else involved getting Perrin through the Ways on the way to Emond's Field. Otherwise I"ve been kinda neutral on her.

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I always had a soft spot for Faile. Maybe because I was introduced to WOT with TSR. Anyway, I think she's perfect for Perrin and I think that she's as strong as a woman should be. Sure, there are things that people dislike but I really didn't get most of them - it's not like she will have her bed carried to the city walls or sleep with a guy and than pretend like nothing happed and drive him crazy and leave him she he really needs someone to be there for him, or think that she's the DR and something close to the Creator at this point (I'm looking at you, innkeeper's daughterwink.gif).

 

Another thing about Faile, say what you want but she will let Perrin fly when he needs to do it. She will also get her hands dirty and even bloody when needed. And most importantly, she will slap her own mother and claw anyone's face off, including AS if called for I think, for her husband, and that's what I call loyalty. She's Perrin's wall he can lean on. The only person that does that for her love is Min and all the others only talk and no walk (I mean when it comes to Rand, as far as Mat goes...well, he's comepletely f&*ked; to put it mildly smile.gif). But this is about Faile.

 

So, Faile is not my most favorite female character but I like her a lot more than many, many others.

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For me, Faile has the following 'good' personality traits:

  • Brave, a hunter of the horn, who makes a sudden decision to abandon her current plans to follow those that might lead her to adventure and though she complains about finding out about the Foresaken being loose, she doesn't leave the group. When Perrin attempts to leave her behind she has none of it, quick to pounce on her (rather mean and dishonest) way to accompany Perrin into the ways (which she knows he must use), facing down whitecloaks and battling darkspawn in edmond's field, even leading an army into battle. At Cairhien she demonstrates her willingness to put herself into danger as an undercover agent and while under Shaido captivity she retains her bravery, keeping it together and the people around her.
  • Passionate, ignoring Saldean farmgirls for a moment (its difficult I know), she is very driven in what she wants and far from hesitant in expressing it. When she pursues Perrin to Edmond's field, she demonstrates the length's of that passion, through the Ways and into the conflict with the Trollocs, her deft hand in marrying Perrin and later her efforts (mainly) on his behalf in order to cement his position as ruler of the two rivers. Her relationship with Berelain is often quite humorous and adds spice to a relationship that might otherwise seem bland at times; sending Faile into a passionate if jealous rage, though if Perrin is slow to return that passionate expressions for her, then she is capable of becoming increasingly sulky and obstinate. Its also quite possible, given how hesitant Perrin is, that this is precisely the sort of woman needed for him - one who will largely initiate things and makes no bones about expressing her passions.
  • Supportive, both in public and in private, she is supportive of Perrin (though not neccessarily in the way he expects). In public she is quick to show a unified front, openly supporting her husband through an often deferential role, though when his kindness, naivity or humility get in the way of what she thinks he wants, needs or deserves, she is more than willing to step in with a sometimes smooth, sometimes sharp tongue. In private on the other hand, she gives her support to her husband in a completely different way, instead of focusing on what he espouses, she instead focuses on what is 'better' for him in her opinion, this can mean being ruthless in her pursuit of a better life for the two of them - and that can certainly include making his life misery until she gets the fire she wants and needs from him.
  • Practical, she is an excellent counterpoint to Perrin's unassertive and often too naive nature, not to mention his inexperience and oft ineptness in matters of politics, governance and administration. She is capable of proving the groundwork capable of fulfilling the vision of the more idealistic Perrin; seeing both what is required in a public setting and what is required in a convert setting.
  • Cunning, she often demonstrates her sly skills, primarily in supporting her husband - her use of the Faile corp in particular, plans to kidnap or assasinate, these are generally used without Perrin's awareness and permission, but to support him. She is also relatively intelligent, but this is shadowed by how clever she is (which given her priveledged upbringing is quite refreshing, to see a sort of street smart 'lady').

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I like how she keeps Perrin on the track of learning how to become a leader. She helps him realize that his men will follow him so he needs to accept it

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Personally I love Faile. Never really understood the hate. I think its got to do with how long the Shaido arc went.

 

 

 

Sure, she's jealous. Sure, it took her a couple books for her to explain to Perrin what she wants (she assumes at first that Perrin should JUST know these things).

 

 

 

 

Other than that she's a very solid character IMO.

 

 

She's strong, brave, resourceful and can do the things that Perrin might not be able to. She's an excellent match for him, especially now that he knows how to handle her.

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This is what annoyed me about Faile.

 

She comes on way too strong and protective. When Baerlon (sp?) "flirts" with Perrin, Faile gets way too offended. Really started to get on my nerves. The guy can't help it if some bosomy woman is striding by. He's going to look. Sheesh, woman, if you're that paranoid, Perrin may want to wear a cup to bed.

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Why do people always judge how 'good' a character is based on how good their personality is?

 

Sure Faile is selfish and immature but that really doesn't make a bad character.

 

Character development makes sense to me. And now there are so many relationships around you can't have all of them normal.

 

+ It's better then yet another aes sedai romance.

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Well, she's not afraid to get her hands dirty and do what needs to be done. Faile killed the Prophet, plunged a dagger into the heart of a rabid dog, and the world is surely a better place without him. The Prophet was a big threat, he ordered Aram to kill Perrin and a lunatic like the Prophet - who was manipulated by the Shadow - could easily have turned against Rand, too, in the end...

 

That's my praise for Faile. A short list. But she has improved in the two last books, in my opinion...

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Guest PiotrekS

Faile is a well-written character. All the misunderstandings and problems that so infuriate the readers are the least that is to be expected in her circumstances. She is very young, come from a totally different culture than Perrin, and probably wasn't raised to be a calm, quiet and rational person by the likes of Davram and Deira. :wink:

 

I didn't enjoy her captivity arc - it felt like dragging the book out - but I've never her any problems when reading about her generally. Her character makes sense in the world - and develops in the course of the series, as was mentioned- which can't be said about a certain other character, whose name I'd better refrain from mentioning :wink:

 

It is bad, implausible writing that bothers me much more than some quirks or irrational behaviour of Faile.

 

It is also worth remembering that Faile is one of the few major characters who play a large role in the story and aren't gifted with any special powers nor any Mary Sue-ish qualities.

 

Hey, what about a thread like this for Elayne? :smile:

Edited by PiotrekS

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I love how strong she is, how she stands up for herself and defends those she cares about. I love her bold nose and her Saldaean hot temper (and hot dances). I loved how she dealt with Perrin when he was being a complete tit in the Stone during The Shadow Rising. I love her determined she is. I love how she dealt with Masema. I love how she helped Perrin become a strong leader.

 

So yeah, she is awesome to the bone. I'm fairly sure only the Creator and Rand stand above her.

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I used to be in the Faile haters camp - but after reading through all of the posts above I think I need to reread some of her scenes! I think readers sometimes forget that most of the main characters are little more than kids. I certainly forgot that Faile was so young. And looking at most of her actions throughout the books, one can kind of see the good intentions behind her often bizarre acts.

 

One thing that I always appreciated about her is her loyalty. She is there for Perrin all the way, even when he tries (foolishly) to push her away. And that's pretty admirable.

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Faile is very, very young, the youngest of the main characters. I think you have to take that into account when reading her.

 

She is brave, she is clever, she is loyal, she is hot, and she is at least slightly kinky. What's not to like? It's not her fault her husband got all emo when she was missing. (Not really his fault, either, but that's a different thread.)

 

I don't even find the jealousy irritating; it's realistic. And, let's remember, it's not like she was imagining things where Berelain was concerned.

 

What I do find irritating is the hypocrisy. She's always insisting that Perrin step up to his responsibilities, right? From practically the first moment we meet her? But what did she do? She ran away, abandoning her own responsibilities, to seek adventure.

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Faile is very, very young, the youngest of the main characters. I think you have to take that into account when reading her.

 

She is brave, she is clever, she is loyal, she is hot, and she is at least slightly kinky. What's not to like? It's not her fault her husband got all emo when she was missing. (Not really his fault, either, but that's a different thread.)

 

I don't even find the jealousy irritating; it's realistic. And, let's remember, it's not like she was imagining things where Berelain was concerned.

 

What I do find irritating is the hypocrisy. She's always insisting that Perrin step up to his responsibilities, right? From practically the first moment we meet her? But what did she do? She ran away, abandoning her own responsibilities, to seek adventure.

 

I like her too, I just wish she would speak her bloody mind sometimes. Perrin´s nose just confuses him sometimes. The jealousy is realistic in someone who has jealousy issues, which she has. I dk if you can see that as hypocrisy, she is as you said young. Young people tend to shy away from responsibilities...

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Faile is very, very young, the youngest of the main characters. I think you have to take that into account when reading her.

 

She is brave, she is clever, she is loyal, she is hot, and she is at least slightly kinky. What's not to like? It's not her fault her husband got all emo when she was missing. (Not really his fault, either, but that's a different thread.)

 

I don't even find the jealousy irritating; it's realistic. And, let's remember, it's not like she was imagining things where Berelain was concerned.

 

What I do find irritating is the hypocrisy. She's always insisting that Perrin step up to his responsibilities, right? From practically the first moment we meet her? But what did she do? She ran away, abandoning her own responsibilities, to seek adventure.

 

Her reason for running wasn't to get away from responsibility per se but from a life she didn't want. Had staying in Saldea satisfied her I am sure she would have jumped in with both feet. In Perrin's case he is right where he wants to be but tries to be a lazy slacker accountable to only himself, she is just doing her wifely duty of giving him a kick in the ass.

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I think it is more that her character changed perrin from an interesting read, to an annoying one. personality aside, once she's involved perrin gets all weak and she starts whining and being a brat. even from the second the meet on the boat and she's trying to change her name as a hunter for the horn uhg.. perrin was my number one until she came on the scene. where did my big cuddly teddy bear go!?!? and yes, the shaido stuff went on WAY too long. What was it, like two or three books of that story line? gah!

 

but anyway, she really has mellowed out with Sanderson. Might have something to do with character development and her getting older and all of that, but I think Sanderson did it on purpose. She was just too much.

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Faile is very, very young, the youngest of the main characters. I think you have to take that into account when reading her.

 

She is brave, she is clever, she is loyal, she is hot, and she is at least slightly kinky. What's not to like? It's not her fault her husband got all emo when she was missing. (Not really his fault, either, but that's a different thread.)

 

I don't even find the jealousy irritating; it's realistic. And, let's remember, it's not like she was imagining things where Berelain was concerned.

 

What I do find irritating is the hypocrisy. She's always insisting that Perrin step up to his responsibilities, right? From practically the first moment we meet her? But what did she do? She ran away, abandoning her own responsibilities, to seek adventure.

 

Her reason for running wasn't to get away from responsibility per se but from a life she didn't want. Had staying in Saldea satisfied her I am sure she would have jumped in with both feet.

 

That's pretty much the definition of running away from responsibility.

 

In Perrin's case he is right where he wants to be but tries to be a lazy slacker accountable to only himself, she is just doing her wifely duty of giving him a kick in the ass.

 

He's not trying to be a lazy slacker. He's uncomfortable with the idea of becoming a lord to people who never needed or wanted a lord before. Rightly.

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Faile is very, very young, the youngest of the main characters. I think you have to take that into account when reading her.

 

She is brave, she is clever, she is loyal, she is hot, and she is at least slightly kinky. What's not to like? It's not her fault her husband got all emo when she was missing. (Not really his fault, either, but that's a different thread.)

 

I don't even find the jealousy irritating; it's realistic. And, let's remember, it's not like she was imagining things where Berelain was concerned.

 

What I do find irritating is the hypocrisy. She's always insisting that Perrin step up to his responsibilities, right? From practically the first moment we meet her? But what did she do? She ran away, abandoning her own responsibilities, to seek adventure.

 

I like her too, I just wish she would speak her bloody mind sometimes. Perrin´s nose just confuses him sometimes. The jealousy is realistic in someone who has jealousy issues, which she has. I dk if you can see that as hypocrisy, she is as you said young. Young people tend to shy away from responsibilities...

 

Yeah, that's fair enough. Although usually those young people shying away from responsibility will refrain from lecturing other people about the need to be responsible.

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That's pretty much the definition of running away from responsibility.

 

I disagree. True responsibilities are what you choose in life not what is forced upon you by birth (unless you choose to take such responsibility to heart of course). Every person has the right to choose their destiny.

 

He's not trying to be a lazy slacker.

 

Sarcasm.

 

He's uncomfortable with the idea of becoming a lord to people who never needed or wanted a lord before. Rightly.

 

Those people do want it however. Perrin chose to be there and chose to take charge of them changing that dynamic. If he was that uncomfortable he should have gotten out of town following the trolloc invasion. By choosing to stay he took the mantle of lord and needs to act appropriately, which Faile is teaching him to do.

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Fine, then she should pay back the common people of Tyr and Sidona for all of the money extorted from them to pay for her upbringing, education, clothing, etc.

 

THEN she is free to follow her bliss.

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