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The Forsaken in the Towers of Midnight


Luckers
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I originally posted this in the Forsaken thread, but I kind of wandered from the topic, and so I decided to make a new thread... Fair warning, I am at work and am deeply bored, and so I've gone off on a massive tangent of make-believe in this thread. Hope you enjoy it though, I had fun... :D

 

 

I was fine with how the Forsaken were portrayed in the earlier books--knowledgeable, but out of their own context their abilities were blunted. My problem is that in order for narative tension, that needed to resolve itself--and in Towers of Midnight, the book entitled for [danger of] the Forsaken.

 

I was actually thinking about this recently, and what I don't understand is that all the elements were there, but they weren't used. First Graendal survives Rand's attack--awesome. Then she's free to 'cause Rand pain of the heart', but she goes after Perrin? I mean, they're good mates and all, but unless those two have secrets we don't know about, that seems pretty sub-par for the psychologist amongst the Forsaken (although, come to think of it, having three women may well be massive over-compensation, so maybe Graendal's on to something :P). And then, what's worse, is that her plan has the tactical intelligence of something a two-year old drew with crayons.

 

And yet there is the perfect option for this--the attack at Caemlyn. It's already there, so why not have the woman who is supposed to cause Rand pain of the heart--the woman who is stated for her observational skills, and therefore the woman who might just guess that Elayne's kids aren't the doing of the darkfriend she just imprisoned, and may instead be the doing of the tall red-headed fellow she was seen pashing in the Stone of Tear....

 

This may well be the result of Brandon being bound to the notes--the attack on Caemlyn has been coming all along (just ask Linda or Terez), and I definately get the taste that it is Demandred's doing--Shadow's general, and as I've argued before I believe that the 'rule' he has secured, and the armies that are 'ready for war' are the Shadowspawn (that in effect he secured them from someone pulling anothe 'Sammael' incident. So it may well be the notes stated flatly that Demandred organised this, but yeah it seems such a wasted opportunity.

 

If I can ignore the idea for a moment that Jordan may have left notes against this, and you will indulge me in my daydreams, here's how I would have played Towers of Midnight re: the Forsaken.

 

1. Give Perrin to Moghedien. She's dumb enough that the epic failure that was the attack on Perrin makes sense, plus she is cited to be following Moridin's order that Perrin and Mat die. She fails. [Keep this in mind].

 

2. Have Graendal be playing Aran'gar off against Delana--have her ask them what they would do if she was supposed to cause Rand pain of the heart, using a woman he loved who can channel. Aran'gar says kill, which Graendal mocks, and Delana hesitantly offers the 13x13 option, and Graendal shows approval [ostensibly Graendal's purpose is to make Aran'gar see Delana as a rival, which by extension forces Aran'gar to see Graendal as a superior, but in reality it allows Graendal to expose this to the reader without it being obvious exposition]. Rand rocks up, Delana and Aran'gar get killed.

 

3. Have Graendal go to Moridin after she escapes, and have Demandred be there [have it be his POV]. Moridin is furious because of the loss of Aran'gar, but Graendal says it is a good thing, because the nature of his attack, his willingness to kill so many, shows that he is ripe. She lays out her plans [without the reader getting to here] and Demandred thinks that it sits well with his plans. (And oh look, the first step toward the Forsaken working together).

 

4. Beyond that do not show much of Graendal [though maybe show her near Elayne--one of the nifty ideas I remember was having a POV from Graendal during Elayne's corronation, ending with Graendal approaching to swear fealty and thinking 'A beautiful woman, and a queen and Aes Sedai besides, and yet for all that Graendal thought the slight swell to her stomach held the most value'--this would do better in tGS], Demandred or Moridin. Mesaana falls to Egwene, Moghedien fails with Perrin, and thats it. It looks like the Forsaken are full of their normal fail, and in fact I probably would have ended TofM with the meeting at Merrilor and the powers that be falling in step with Rand, then...

 

5. Intersperse the other Epilogue scenes, but have the first, middle and last be these... Epilogue scene one, the fires of Caemlyn being seen. Threat to Elayne. Epilogue middle scene, Aviendha getting shielded by Black Ajah [after a reasonable fight, and with a display of bravery so on] and being told that she would be turned to the Shadow and used against Rand [cliff hanger]. Epilogue final scene: Moghedien being summoned by the cour'souvra. She is terrified because of her failures, she goes down into the Bore and is surprised to see not only Moridin, but Graendal and Demandred. Kneeling at Graendal's side, obviously under heavy compulsion, is a girl she vaguely recognised wearing what passed for men's clothes in this Age, though no man would wear it with such embroidery. She begs for mercy, but Moridin denies her and breaks the cour'souvra. Switch to Moridin POV, he turns and asks the Great Lord if they have done well, and the Great Lord says yes, and tells them to 'listen to how it will end'.

 

And so there is how I would do it. We have 1. That the failures of the Forsaken are no longer being shrugged aside and Moghedien is now a puppet [i wonder if this might not be the case anyway, and the key to how the wardings at the Waygate were broken--recall the 'fake' method of spinning through wardings that Moghedien shows the girls which causes headaches, maybe a puppet-Moghedien could be used to spin through even the strongest wards, though it causes pain which would make it impossible for a normal person]. 2. The Forsaken are working together. 3. Real harm would have been done in that Min definately was taken (after she gave Rand what he needs for TG) (she can be saved later, or not--either way I'd have this be a big issue).

 

And then, because I'm feeling poetic, I'd have the end prophecy thing be: "Braiding their hands, the Midnight Towers stretch them high above the land, and so doing do they deny the Light unto mankind. Thus do we rejoice for the Time of the Return has come! --The Prophecies of the Shadow."

 

 

 

 

Well that become far more conjecture and craziness than I originally intended. Sue me, I'm bored.

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Apparantly I don't know enough theory cause this doesn't seem to be nearly as far-fetched to me as you make it out to be. I'd have to go check on that scene tho where Moggy teaches that weave, it was my understanding that she really was teaching them a useless fake weave to get back at them somewhat.

 

Really interesting take on the Aviendha 13x13 scene: Have Aviendha's pov keep entertaining notions that Rand is truly at fault for the future she sees, and that he's always had it out for the Aiel. Black Ajah pops up saying they're bout to turn her to the shadow, and Aviendha says "Took you long enough. What can I do to help?" :ohmy:

 

I feel like I do have to point this out though... you have some rather strong feelings for Graendal, dontya? Feel like she got the short end o' the stick much? Only forsaken I have a general affinity towards is Moridin, and possibly Mesaana (cause she's so adorable and limp now!)

Edited by Despothera
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Apparantly I don't know enough theory cause this doesn't seem to be nearly as far-fetched to me as you make it out to be. I'd have to go check on that scene tho where Moggy teaches that weave, it was my understanding that she really was teaching them a useless fake weave to get back at them somewhat.

 

 

Yeah, no she was--my idea is more that it was useless, but based upon something real, instead of completely made up. It makes sense because to simply do something completely random risked hurting the girls, and herself, which was a danger Moghedien wouldn't have taken.

 

So yeah its been referenced that wards can be spun through, yet its never done. I'd suggest this is because it is difficult, and perhaps dangerous, like breaking shields (which Lanfear says requires you accept pain). Using a cour'souvra puppet would be an excellent way around this.

 

Really interesting take on the Aviendha 13x13 scene: Have Aviendha's pov keep entertaining notions that Rand is truly at fault for the future she sees, and that he's always had it out for the Aiel. Black Ajah pops up saying they're bout to turn her to the shadow, and Aviendha says "Took you long enough. What can I do to help?"

 

My thought was that it would be an entertaining twist--have everyone thinking that Graendal was speaking of Elayne to Aran'gar, then have it be Aviendha. And too it would be an escalation. Ok, Caemlyn's burning, but Elayne will obviously be fine. Ok, Aviendha been captured, that's a bit dodgy, but they havn't got away with her yet, she might still be rescued. Then... oh shit, that's Min, and she's probably under undoable amounts of compulsion.

 

Like a real punch, the Forsaken prove themselves in the penultimate book.

 

I feel like I do have to point this out though... you have some rather strong feelings for Graendal, dontya? Feel like she got the short end o' the stick much? Only forsaken I have a general affinity towards is Moridin, and possibly Mesaana (cause she's so adorable and limp now!)

 

I do like her, but I like Semirhage too, and I've no problem with her fate. My issue is that after the build up, and her survival, she served no purpose.

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Didn't you just say in some other thread this wasn't a fan fiction site? :biggrin:

 

Really, though, the only possible problem I see with this is that it might interfere with the way Rand is meant to beat the DO. It's a Lost moment right now - Rand is fully willing to break the Seals despite acknowledging that he doesn't yet know how to fight the DO. The revelation is surly outlined in the notes, and Min supposedly plays a part in that. It might be that her part can't be played by remote, by something she told Rand before being taken.

 

I like the thing you did there, though. Misdirection is always fun.

 

PS

Rand needs three women to stand by his pier. Excepting the harem, only Nynaeve and Egwene would do. So, you can kill off Aviendha and Min, but then you're stuck with the rest :smile:

And, of course, there's the boat foretelling. There, you'd be hard pressed not having the harem at his side.

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Didn't you just say in some other thread this wasn't a fan fiction site?

 

Yes, I know, hypocrisy. At least I didn't try and write the scenes... ok, well a little bit.

 

Honestly this began as just a 'wouldn't it have been cool if...' and kinda grew out of control. Sorry. :)

 

Really, though, the only possible problem I see with this is that it might interfere with the way Rand is meant to beat the DO. It's a Lost moment right now - Rand is fully willing to break the Seals despite acknowledging that he doesn't yet know how to fight the DO. The revelation is surly outlined in the notes, and Min supposedly plays a part in that. It might be that her part can't be played by remote, by something she told Rand before being taken.

 

 

That could be handled before the capture, but yeah the whole thing with Min is a huge jump on my part, and obviously the part where the notes interfere. I just feel like the Forsaken need a specific, genuine victory that actually hurts the light and Rand, and this seemed the most deadly.

 

Rand needs three women to stand by his pier. Excepting the harem, only Nynaeve and Egwene would do. So, you can kill off Aviendha and Min, but then you're stuck with the rest

And, of course, there's the boat foretelling. There, you'd be hard pressed not having the harem at his side.

 

 

I'm not suggesting they actually be killed, but that Min be taken and kept by Graendal through a large part of aMoL, and the price for her freedom be large. Really though my point in all this was the Forsaken should have ended the Towers of Midnight as badasses, even if it got undone in aMoL...

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I forgot about Aviendha's babies. I guess it would be cool if Dark-Avi tempted Rand...

And I'll give you Moiraine at the pier. So hack away :smile:

 

No, really, I agree. Somehow RJ always failed giving me the dark feeling he apparently intended to do. When I read his comment regarding the Light needing a knockout, I was like "okay, I'll take your word for it, but it doesn't read like that to me"... Every book ended with what seemed another failure for the Dark.

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I forgot about Aviendha's babies. I guess it would be cool if Dark-Avi tempted Rand...

And I'll give you Moiraine at the pier. So hack away :smile:

 

No, really, I agree. Somehow RJ always failed giving me the dark feeling he apparently intended to do. When I read his comment regarding the Light needing a knockout, I was like "okay, I'll take your word for it, but it doesn't read like that to me"... Every book ended with what seemed another failure for the Dark.

 

 

Mmm. And they only needed one. That's where all this came from--the Forsaken working together, Rand's lady loves in genuine trouble, while Cyndane makes a play for Rand himself. Even if it got turned on its head, have a year to and a year and a half left on that note and it will give the Lights victory oomph.

 

As it is the Seanchan are better bad guys than the Shadow, the Shadow doesn't really scare me at all, and Rand has seemingly turned into the Second Coming so no reason to feel worry when you've got the Son of God on your side.

 

I'm just... bleh.

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Don't think the "female character gets captured" plotline has been way overused in the series? I for one am really glad that we got very little of this in TGS and TOM and prefer it to your suggestions. And after so many previous cases in which the main characters got out of captivity without too much problems, I doubt many readers would be scared for them this time.

 

And yet there is the perfect option for this--the attack at Caemlyn. It's already there, so why not have the woman who is supposed to cause Rand pain of the heart--the woman who is stated for her observational skills, and therefore the woman who might just guess that Elayne's kids aren't the doing of the darkfriend she just imprisoned, and may instead be the doing of the tall red-headed fellow she was seen pashing in the Stone of Tear....

Speaking of this, I wonder how many people in the Stone during that time knew she was Elayne Trakand, the Daughter-Heir of Andor. When Alteima came to Andor, her PoV didn't imply knowing that, Morgase even mentioned Elayne when she met her, yet Alteima said nothing. Elaida seemed to have no clue about Elayne being in Tear too despite having the reports from the Tower's agents a her disposal.

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Yeah, no she was--my idea is more that it was useless, but based upon something real, instead of completely made up. It makes sense because to simply do something completely random risked hurting the girls, and herself, which was a danger Moghedien wouldn't have taken.

 

So yeah its been referenced that wards can be spun through, yet its never done. I'd suggest this is because it is difficult, and perhaps dangerous, like breaking shields (which Lanfear says requires you accept pain). Using a cour'souvra puppet would be an excellent way around this.

 

Ah I see. Yeah I suppose that would be a pretty brutal but practical application of the cour'souvra.

 

My thought was that it would be an entertaining twist--have everyone thinking that Graendal was speaking of Elayne to Aran'gar, then have it be Aviendha. And too it would be an escalation. Ok, Caemlyn's burning, but Elayne will obviously be fine. Ok, Aviendha been captured, that's a bit dodgy, but they havn't got away with her yet, she might still be rescued. Then... oh shit, that's Min, and she's probably under undoable amounts of compulsion.

 

Like a real punch, the Forsaken prove themselves in the penultimate book.

 

I'm not suggesting they actually be killed, but that Min be taken and kept by Graendal through a large part of aMoL, and the price for her freedom be large. Really though my point in all this was the Forsaken should have ended the Towers of Midnight as badasses, even if it got undone in aMoL...

 

I get what you're saying here; to build up the last book and set the stage the right way, it would be nice if the bad guys really rained on everyone's parade and showed the protagonist and the audience what they were capable of. Essentially, you want an Empire Strikes Back. One thing to remember about that is that Empire ended up being more loved than any other movie in the trilogy, including the last movie, Return of the Jedi. I too want to see the Forsaken really shake things up at the end of the series just to show what theyre finally made of and take a deuce in the Light's cereal. But I'd rather it all go down in the last book, that way you don't always love the penultimate book better, which makes you doubt the ending a little bit more. I want things to go out with a bang.

 

I also get a strong feeling that in some way in the next book, assuming Rand ends up surviving, his whole harem is gonna become a lot more simplified in some ways. Maybe Aviendha leaves Rand behind for her people instead, feeling an obligation to them. Or, she could simply become a martyr as I theorized in my blog. I could also see Min maybe coming into some mortal danger at the very end, being kidnapped or killed. I know at first glance it might seem that many prophecies and foreshadowing wont allow these outcomes, but a lot of it comes down to chronology of events, and interpretation of ambiguous wordings.

 

I do like her, but I like Semirhage too, and I've no problem with her fate. My issue is that after the build up, and her survival, she served no purpose.

 

Actually, I do like Semirhage too, she's pretty wicked

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I just feel like the Forsaken need a specific, genuine victory that actually hurts the light and Rand, and this seemed the most deadly.

 

Really though my point in all this was the Forsaken should have ended the Towers of Midnight as badasses, even if it got undone in aMoL...

 

The Forsaken are, in my opinion, the biggest disappointment in the whole series. They don't instill fear. Mothers scared their children into obedience with stories of the Forsaken, and yet they fail in every evil ploy they attempt. Some of which are ridiculously lackluster. A possible exception being Moridin, and to a lesser extent, Lanfear (before she was reincarnated.) Moridin gives me the classic bad guy feel. I know he hasn't exactly been 'Lightshattering' yet but as I said, he gives me a good (in a sinister way) feeling.

 

The Forsaken should have you holding your breath, dreading what their next move might mean for the heroes of the Light and how on earth said heroes can possibly counter it. Instead you're reading with an absolute certainty that there will be no dire consequences whatsoever, and everyone will live to fight another day.

 

If ELAIDA can successfully kidnap the Dragon Reborn, why on the hell can't the Forsaken do something similar. Particularly they could target someone (take your pick of any of his female assosciates) far less dangerous and with far less strength then the Dragon himself. Doing so would cause him much more pain, grief and trauma then his own kidnapping ever did.

 

Oh, and Luckers, I absolutely loved it!!!

Edited by Louii
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Well, Min being captured would be a bit silly, after how Semirhage went out, and after she was captured by the TAS... I mean, she has no special power to protect herself, but thrice for the same character might be overdoing it.

 

That said, it would have been cool if Mat, Tom and Moiraine stepped out of the Tower and Demandred, Graendal and a Gholam said hi.

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Don't think the "female character gets captured" plotline has been way overused in the series? I for one am really glad that we got very little of this in TGS and TOM and prefer it to your suggestions. And after so many previous cases in which the main characters got out of captivity without too much problems, I doubt many readers would be scared for them this time.

 

 

In my defense I was suggesting something a little more than a couple of chapters. I was suggesting Min be taken, and submitted to large quantities of compulsion with the implication left that she very likely will not recover from it, and that she be held through most of aMoL if she is released at all.

 

But the point was not that the Min plotline be good, but that the Forsaken actually do something bad to the Light. An attack on the three girls shows insight, nastiness, capability, a willingness to work together--the Forsaken needed all these things to really feel like a threat to the Light. As it is between their ineptitude, and Rand's new holy status, there is no tension in the story, no feeling that the characters are in any true danger, whether to themselves, or in failing. Whatever the Forsaken don't simply mess up, Rand will deal with with a single sweep of his lazerbeam eyes.

 

Well, Min being captured would be a bit silly, after how Semirhage went out, and after she was captured by the TAS... I mean, she has no special power to protect herself, but thrice for the same character might be overdoing it.

 

 

Min was never the focus of either event, so I don't really think of it that way. Still my point was in the Forsaken doing something.

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If ELAIDA can successfully kidnap the Dragon Reborn, why on the hell can't the Forsaken do something similar.

 

In fairness, Mesaana partly had an indirect hand in the kidnap, to give some credit where it's due.

 

But yes, the Forsaken had some moments of awesome earlier on - Lanfear at the docks of Cairhien was pretty badass, and Rahvin put up a decent fight. Semirhage was, until she actually joined the plot, genuinely terrifying. But since then... hmm. It doesn't help that the strongest Forsaken - Aginor, Ishamael, Lanfear - actually got taken out first, leaving us with the weaker ones. If Rand can blitz Rahvin, was anyone especially worried about his first encounter with Semirhage? (though his second encounter made up for it in terms of tension.) And yes, Graendal's final plotline was a waste. Wasn't there even some bumf about 'oh, I'll never be able to kill Perrin directly because the Pattern is in flux and will protect him blah blah, so instead of just balefiring his tent from afar one evening, I'll create a storm with him at the centre and hope for the best'. 100% proof plot armour.

 

However, while the Forsaken might not feel much of a threat, and even the 13x13 factory that is the Black Tower is still badly outnumbered by all the other Light-side channellers - the mysteriously-sourced 10-gazillion Trollocs are more than worrisome (taxi for Kandor!). Most of all though, the strange influence of the Dark One on the Pattern seems the biggest threat. Trollocs and Forsaken can be killed, but what do you do about people being consumed by beetles, or corridors reversing themselves? THAT'S the big threat, I'd say. No-one has the faintest idea how to stop that - not even Rand.

 

But back on topic - Luckers, I absolutely LOVE the scenario you outline!! When was the last time a book ended with a serious 'oh, crap!' moment like that? I'd say Lord of Chaos, when despite Rand's victory at Dumai's Wells, you just got this very strong feeling that things had taken a serious turn for the worse.

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Thing is it seemed to me as if the book was more about the midnight towers falling, not looming.

 

Last book. Make or break. All the dead wood is gone.

 

About Graendal going after Perrin, I know what you mean Luckers, it felt a bit stupid, but to be honest I think any attempt at Mat and Perrin is going to feel stupid now-at least in my eyes-because in book 2 Ishamael showed common Darkfriends all three of the boys, then waits nine more books to acknowledge their importance again-in other words, lets known Ta'veren sort a load of crap out before getting the Forsaken on it. Of course, we can bring the Wheel and Ta'veren effects into it but its still annoying. I hope there is no more Forsaken vs Mat/Perrin stuff in the next book, other than a Mat vs Demandred battle. And if that happens, when Mat pulls out dragons, Demandred should react to that quickly, and handle it easily.

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Thing is it seemed to me as if the book was more about the midnight towers falling, not looming.

 

Last book. Make or break. All the dead wood is gone.

 

About Graendal going after Perrin, I know what you mean Luckers, it felt a bit stupid, but to be honest I think any attempt at Mat and Perrin is going to feel stupid now-at least in my eyes-because in book 2 Ishamael showed common Darkfriends all three of the boys, then waits nine more books to acknowledge their importance again-in other words, lets known Ta'veren sort a load of crap out before getting the Forsaken on it. Of course, we can bring the Wheel and Ta'veren effects into it but its still annoying. I hope there is no more Forsaken vs Mat/Perrin stuff in the next book, other than a Mat vs Demandred battle. And if that happens, when Mat pulls out dragons, Demandred should react to that quickly, and handle it easily.

 

I believe that Ishi only showed the appearance of the 3 taveren to a handful of DF, not each and every one. So it might stand to reason that they are most likely dead or/and expect that the Forsaken knew them and didn't offer the knowledge.

 

Ingtar dead, Liandrin Captured, Verin a double agent, Seafolk a ?, Caridin/Bors later triggers to kill Mat.

Edited by mackoY-kun
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I was disappointed with the lack of Forsaken effectiveness. So much of what they do is offscreen. They don't really even cause me to feel tense and fearful. I don't even think Jordan/Sanderson needs to kill anybody off, but I think better use of cliffhangars and making them seem far more potent would be better.

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