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has everyone forgotten that one scene in ToM in egwene's bedchamber? with the not ONE, not TWO, but THREE BLOODKNIVES, supposedly invincible assassins of the seanchan, and GAWYN winning, even if by the skin of his teeth? that means he still won against THREE opponents, which, most people dont win against ONE of, if they even realize the little buggers are there in the first place. oh and he did it blind, a situation when 1 person vs 3 normal persons probably wouldnt swing towards the one person winning.

 

rbs out

 

No one has forgotten. But according to RJ and BS he is at the bottom of the list. BS even said Gawyn is luckier than he thinks in relation to that fight.

 

Which was before he was bonded *cough*

 

As you well know BS list was given after he was bonded and the rankings didn't change, not sure why you would try to insinuate otherwise?

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Regarding the issue of Lan spending time in the Tower, there is some evidince that it occurred and it brings up another name to be added to the list..That of Elyas Machera. If you will remember in EOTW, when talking to Perrin, Lan told him that he knew Elyas and that he taught Lan a lot about how to use the sword. That proves that Lan, at least, spent a significant amount of time in the Tower and that Elyas must have been a swordsman of considerable skill to have gained that measure of respoect from Lan. Additionally, Elyas said that when he fled the tower, he had to kill two warders to accomplish the feat. Even without knowing who the warders are, that implies considerable skill.

 

tud

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has everyone forgotten that one scene in ToM in egwene's bedchamber? with the not ONE, not TWO, but THREE BLOODKNIVES, supposedly invincible assassins of the seanchan, and GAWYN winning, even if by the skin of his teeth? that means he still won against THREE opponents, which, most people dont win against ONE of, if they even realize the little buggers are there in the first place. oh and he did it blind, a situation when 1 person vs 3 normal persons probably wouldnt swing towards the one person winning.

 

rbs out

 

No one has forgotten. But according to RJ and BS he is at the bottom of the list. BS even said Gawyn is luckier than he thinks in relation to that fight.

 

Which was before he was bonded *cough*

 

As you well know BS list was given after he was bonded and the rankings didn't change, not sure why you would try to insinuate otherwise?

 

You just said "in relation to that fight", which is accurate. So the quote refers to both that fight specifically, and to events that have not yet occurred because we haven't seen Gawyn fighting since the bonding. And I'm the one who twists quotes around?

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has everyone forgotten that one scene in ToM in egwene's bedchamber? with the not ONE, not TWO, but THREE BLOODKNIVES, supposedly invincible assassins of the seanchan, and GAWYN winning, even if by the skin of his teeth? that means he still won against THREE opponents, which, most people dont win against ONE of, if they even realize the little buggers are there in the first place. oh and he did it blind, a situation when 1 person vs 3 normal persons probably wouldnt swing towards the one person winning.

 

rbs out

 

No one has forgotten. But according to RJ and BS he is at the bottom of the list. BS even said Gawyn is luckier than he thinks in relation to that fight.

 

Which was before he was bonded *cough*

 

As you well know BS list was given after he was bonded and the rankings didn't change, not sure why you would try to insinuate otherwise?

 

You just said "in relation to that fight", which is accurate. So the quote refers to both that fight specifically, and to events that have not yet occurred because we haven't seen Gawyn fighting since the bonding. And I'm the one who twists quotes around?

 

Sigh, you have in the past admitted BS would not have been referring to Gawyn pre-bonding when giving his ranking that had Gawyn last post ToM. Once again your ability to spin a quote is astounding at times.

 

Your thoughts on the matter of Gawyn had been soundly disproven and then conveniently changed in various threads. Yes we know, you are merely suggesting that to you the fight descriptions sound as if Gawyn is better than Galad not that that he actually is.

 

http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/64892-blademaster-worthiness/

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Regarding the issue of Lan spending time in the Tower, there is some evidince that it occurred and it brings up another name to be added to the list..That of Elyas Machera. If you will remember in EOTW, when talking to Perrin, Lan told him that he knew Elyas and that he taught Lan a lot about how to use the sword. That proves that Lan, at least, spent a significant amount of time in the Tower and that Elyas must have been a swordsman of considerable skill to have gained that measure of respoect from Lan. Additionally, Elyas said that when he fled the tower, he had to kill two warders to accomplish the feat. Even without knowing who the warders are, that implies considerable skill.

 

tud

 

Elyas must've been something in his prime. I think he was about as good as Gawyn is now, as his similar feat is pretty much the only thing to go by. I think he's actually gotten more dangerous with time though. A man who can hunt rabbits at night must have some extraordinary senses in single combat even if he's abandoned the sword for his long tooth.

 

I think Lan must've spent a couple years of hard training in the tower at least, in addition to his traveling around the world and beating up shadowspawn. He wasn't superhuman during New Spring. In EotS he's able to take on Fades with relative ease. Humans......really don't pull those types of feats off.

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Ugh, Gawyn is so arrogant.

 

I find it very weird that it seems that almost all of the Great Captains are also blademasters. I would've thought that excellence with a sword and tactical genius would not necessarily be correlated. Leadership may be to an extent, but leading by example only gets you so far.

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Ugh, Gawyn is so arrogant.

 

I find it very weird that it seems that almost all of the Great Captains are also blademasters. I would've thought that excellence with a sword and tactical genius would not necessarily be correlated. Leadership may be to an extent, but leading by example only gets you so far.

 

It seems that most of the male nobility seem to practice the sword to some extent. I think most of these Great Captain must have been pretty great field captains sometime in their youth. You don't get recognized as a tactical genius when you're a 20-35 youngun moving around a banner.

 

I don't think Gawyn is exactly arrogant. He did tell Bryne that he wouldn't be able to defeat him as easily as before, not that he'd carve a blademaster like Bryne up. I think an arrogant fool would've done the latter. I think he's a good natured spoiled brat that got thrown into the real world pretty quickly, and had to learn how to live in 1-2 years.

 

It seems he's not yet used to getting his opinions disregarded so easily, or being treated as an incompetent/inconsequential fool, as he was by the blustering captain and Brigette.

 

He seems like a little brat to us, because we have comparisons like Rand, Galad, Mat, Tuon, and perhaps even Perrin, who grew into their arguably more important roles with much more charisma, and a "leader of men" attitude (except for Perrin, which is another reason why people seem to dislike him also). All of these others, even Perrin to a small extent seem automagically extremely competent, something Gawyn heavily lacks in the role he desires.

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I just read a section out of The Gathering Storm (my first read through). In Chapter 13 "An Offer and a Departure", Gawyn defeats two warders at once for the third time in a row. One of the two warders, Sleete, was described as "...near-legendary in the White Tower for his prowess. He was said to have bested even Lan Mandragon twice out of seven bouts, back when Mandragon had been known to spar with other Warders."

 

Really? I want say Sanderson is hornswoggling us here. Some new Warder never before mentioned appears in Book 12, and he beats Lan two out of seven spars? And Gawyn can beat him plus another Warder three times in a row? I'm not buying it. I'd like to think Lan could beat anyone near 100% of the time, and if someone did near his skill they could defeat Gawyn with another Warder. If a swordsmen bests Lan two out of seven and Gawyn bests them thrice in a row while they have a partner, that makes Gawyn equal or betted than Lan, does it not?

 

I'd like to hear your thoughts. Do you guys find Sleete as much bogus as I do, or am I just being blinded by a liking of Lan here?

 

I detested this scene. One of the most horribly 'Sandersized' scenes ever.

 

'Sleete /Gawyn as Superman' tightened my jaw almost as badly as the debut of 'bloody ashes' in TGS did.

 

Fish

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I'm a bit surprise Galad is considered better than Gawyn...Yeah, Galad killed Valda, but if memory serves he got carved up quite a bit doing it, where as Gawyn has beaten every opponent he's faced with ease and hardly a scratch...except for the three assassins.

 

If Galad is actually considered the better of the two, by both authors, then they've both done a poor job of communicating this in their writing.

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I'm a bit surprise Galad is considered better than Gawyn...Yeah, Galad killed Valda, but if memory serves he got carved up quite a bit doing it, where as Gawyn has beaten every opponent he's faced with ease and hardly a scratch...except for the three assassins.

 

If Galad is actually considered the better of the two, by both authors, then they've both done a poor job of communicating this in their writing.

 

Not sure why you would say that. Mat, Gawyn and Nynaeve all say Galad is the better fighter. The only time we have an objective result Galad is the better fighter.

 

tFoH Ch. 16

The finest swordsman among those who came to study with the Warders in the Tower, he had also stood high in the classes on strategy and tactics, but Nynaeve could not remember him boasting about his prowess, even in jest. Accomplishments meant nothing to him, perhaps because they came so easily.

 

TGH, Ch. 24

 

Gawyn’s grin came back. “I do not know about that. Not from the way he was looking at Egwene, here.” He caught her look, and his sister’s, and held up his hands as if to fend them off with his sheathed sword. “Besides, he has the best hand with a sword I’ve ever seen. The Warders only need show him something once, and he’s learned it. They sweat me nearly to death to learn half what Galad does without trying.”

 

TSR Ch. 1

His eyes searched her face as if he had heard some of her deeper meaning. "I... will try," he said finally. He put on a grin, almost the grin she remembered, but the effort was plain. "I suppose I had better get myself back to the practice yard if I expect to keep up with Galad. I managed two out of five against Hammar this morning, but Galad actually won three, the last time he bothered to come to the yard."

 

TDR

The tall man handled his practice sword almost as deftly as the Warders, now and then earning an approving gravelly comment from his teacher. It was not that his opponent, a youth more Mat's age, with red-gold hair, was unskilled. Far from it, as much as Mat could see, though he had never claimed to know anything about swords. The golden-haired man met every lightning attack, turning it away before the bound strips could strike him, and even launched an occasional attack of his own. But the handsome fellow countered those attacks and flowed back into his own in the space of a heartbeat.

 

They both have had impressive fights. We really have no way to compare the relative merits of of their individual achievements however. Bottom line the only time we have comparisons in the text Galad is better and the only time we have comparisons out of text Galad is better. Case closed.

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I'm a bit surprise Galad is considered better than Gawyn...Yeah, Galad killed Valda, but if memory serves he got carved up quite a bit doing it, where as Gawyn has beaten every opponent he's faced with ease and hardly a scratch...except for the three assassins.

 

If Galad is actually considered the better of the two, by both authors, then they've both done a poor job of communicating this in their writing.

 

Not sure why you would say that. Mat, Gawyn and Nynaeve all say Galad is the better fighter. The only time we have an objective result Galad is the better fighter.

 

tFoH Ch. 16

The finest swordsman among those who came to study with the Warders in the Tower, he had also stood high in the classes on strategy and tactics, but Nynaeve could not remember him boasting about his prowess, even in jest. Accomplishments meant nothing to him, perhaps because they came so easily.

 

TGH, Ch. 24

 

Gawyn’s grin came back. “I do not know about that. Not from the way he was looking at Egwene, here.” He caught her look, and his sister’s, and held up his hands as if to fend them off with his sheathed sword. “Besides, he has the best hand with a sword I’ve ever seen. The Warders only need show him something once, and he’s learned it. They sweat me nearly to death to learn half what Galad does without trying.”

 

TSR Ch. 1

His eyes searched her face as if he had heard some of her deeper meaning. "I... will try," he said finally. He put on a grin, almost the grin she remembered, but the effort was plain. "I suppose I had better get myself back to the practice yard if I expect to keep up with Galad. I managed two out of five against Hammar this morning, but Galad actually won three, the last time he bothered to come to the yard."

 

TDR

The tall man handled his practice sword almost as deftly as the Warders, now and then earning an approving gravelly comment from his teacher. It was not that his opponent, a youth more Mat's age, with red-gold hair, was unskilled. Far from it, as much as Mat could see, though he had never claimed to know anything about swords. The golden-haired man met every lightning attack, turning it away before the bound strips could strike him, and even launched an occasional attack of his own. But the handsome fellow countered those attacks and flowed back into his own in the space of a heartbeat.

 

They both have had impressive fights. We really have no way to compare the relative merits of of their individual achievements however. Bottom line the only time we have comparisons in the text Galad is better and the only time we have comparisons out of text Galad is better. Case closed.

 

I imagine the confusion probably comes from the fact that those comparisons come in the early books. In the later books it's difficult to know whether or not those comparisons are still true. They both perform impressive feats: Galad defeats Valda, and cuts through an entire crowd in Ghealdan, while Mat defeats Hammar and Coulin, defeats Sleete and the other warder, and defeats 3 Blooknives. At the end of ToM it's understandable that readers may be rather unsure whether the earlier comparisons are still valid, particularly since the last impression they're left with is Galad havin to be rescued from trollocs by Perrin, while Gawyn is rescuing Egwene from blooknives. Brandon makes it clear that the rankings are still the same, but I think it's pretty normal that by the end of the ToM, a reader who has not yet heard Brandon's say on this would have a hard time deciding who is more skilled.

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I'm a bit surprise Galad is considered better than Gawyn...Yeah, Galad killed Valda, but if memory serves he got carved up quite a bit doing it, where as Gawyn has beaten every opponent he's faced with ease and hardly a scratch...except for the three assassins.

 

If Galad is actually considered the better of the two, by both authors, then they've both done a poor job of communicating this in their writing.

 

Not sure why you would say that. Mat, Gawyn and Nynaeve all say Galad is the better fighter. The only time we have an objective result Galad is the better fighter.

 

tFoH Ch. 16

The finest swordsman among those who came to study with the Warders in the Tower, he had also stood high in the classes on strategy and tactics, but Nynaeve could not remember him boasting about his prowess, even in jest. Accomplishments meant nothing to him, perhaps because they came so easily.

 

TGH, Ch. 24

 

Gawyn’s grin came back. “I do not know about that. Not from the way he was looking at Egwene, here.” He caught her look, and his sister’s, and held up his hands as if to fend them off with his sheathed sword. “Besides, he has the best hand with a sword I’ve ever seen. The Warders only need show him something once, and he’s learned it. They sweat me nearly to death to learn half what Galad does without trying.”

 

TSR Ch. 1

His eyes searched her face as if he had heard some of her deeper meaning. "I... will try," he said finally. He put on a grin, almost the grin she remembered, but the effort was plain. "I suppose I had better get myself back to the practice yard if I expect to keep up with Galad. I managed two out of five against Hammar this morning, but Galad actually won three, the last time he bothered to come to the yard."

 

TDR

The tall man handled his practice sword almost as deftly as the Warders, now and then earning an approving gravelly comment from his teacher. It was not that his opponent, a youth more Mat's age, with red-gold hair, was unskilled. Far from it, as much as Mat could see, though he had never claimed to know anything about swords. The golden-haired man met every lightning attack, turning it away before the bound strips could strike him, and even launched an occasional attack of his own. But the handsome fellow countered those attacks and flowed back into his own in the space of a heartbeat.

 

They both have had impressive fights. We really have no way to compare the relative merits of of their individual achievements however. Bottom line the only time we have comparisons in the text Galad is better and the only time we have comparisons out of text Galad is better. Case closed.

 

Good quotes. Thanks for sharing. I wouldn't say that they result in a "case closed" situation...Actions still speak louder than words...Training is one thing, doing is another. Training means there's not supposed to be any element of danger to your life...Combat means just that...So far, Gawyn has shown more skill in the doing than the fights I remember Galad participating in.

 

Which brings me to address the main topic...who's the best? Lan, hands down. I've always got the feeling whenever he went into a fight that it really didn't matter much to him whether he lived or died, and you just can't hardly beat an opponent who isn't scared of the consequences (think kamikazes). Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he was reckless, far from it, but when you're in a fight for your life and the other guy is just in a fight, he's kinda got the edge.

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Honestly, Trollocs are an entirely different matter than humans. The only fighting people we've seen in the series who could likely match a Trolloc strength for strength (I mean raw power, not weapon use) are Perrin and Farran (that's the Whitecloak who had Perrin in a chokehold he couldn't break in TSR, right?). Part of the reason Trollocs are so frightening is their brute strength. They can blow through the defense of an average fighter just by pure force and brutality. They aren't disciplined enough to be good fighters, per se...one on one, if they didn't have so much size, strength and ferocity, they aren't much to write home about. If you can keep them at a distance, since they don't do shield and pike formations or protect themselves, you can more than hold your own. When they get you into melee, their massive reach and raw power come into play, and then even the best could get bowled over. Which is what happened to Galad, in effect, and he was too injured to keep on. We have yet to see Gawyn in action against Trollocs as best I can recall - it's always been other humans. I think Gawyn would do fine against them as long as he could keep it to one or two at a time. If he's mixed up in a mass melee, what happened to Galad could just as easily happen to him. Against Trollocs in a pitched battle, I think Perrin is a much more deadly fighter and not just because of his hammer - the ferocity they bring is something he can match, both in terms of fighting rage and in terms of physical strength which can't be said of very many humans.

 

/two cents

 

I take what the writers have said at face value. We can't compare apples to apples in this - they are not fighting the same fights and they are not fighting each other. We have not seen Lan fight any of the others in a long time, and then it was only Rand. Rand has never fought Galad or Gawyn. Gawyn and Galad haven't fought each other since the times referenced above.

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Gawyn barely survived that fight, only with extreme help did he even live. He fights with passion and he was fighting to save Egwene's life. I think that gave him a boost. ALSO, a couple of the bloodknives were distracted by his compatriots, which bought him time to learn how to fight them.

 

Galad is the better swordsmen. In some situations (say Egwene's life is in danger) I can see Gawyn being better. But day in day out, Galad gets the nod. He doesn't have warder strength, stamina, or longevity and he'd still win vs. Gawyn.

 

 

And it's all moot because Lan is the best in the world at this point in time. Maybe he wasn't always, maybe he won't always be, but right now he's the best.

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Gawyn barely survived that fight, only with extreme help did he even live. He fights with passion and he was fighting to save Egwene's life. I think that gave him a boost. ALSO, a couple of the bloodknives were distracted by his compatriots, which bought him time to learn how to fight them.

 

Galad is the better swordsmen. In some situations (say Egwene's life is in danger) I can see Gawyn being better. But day in day out, Galad gets the nod. He doesn't have warder strength, stamina, or longevity and he'd still win vs. Gawyn.

 

And it's all moot because Lan is the best in the world at this point in time. Maybe he wasn't always, maybe he won't always be, but right now he's the best.

 

Agreed.

 

In reference to Galad vs Gawyn...Take a look at the body count:

 

Galad:

Eamon Valda (kills)

Beats some of the mob in Samara

 

Gawyn:

Hammar (kills)

Coulin (kills)

Sleete (defeats in practice combat)

3 Bloodknives (kills)

 

Perhaps Galad is the better swordsman, but we've seen more from Gawyn. It's all a matter of face time. And Gawyn did all of this before he became Egwene's warder.

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Gawyn barely survived that fight, only with extreme help did he even live. He fights with passion and he was fighting to save Egwene's life. I think that gave him a boost. ALSO, a couple of the bloodknives were distracted by his compatriots, which bought him time to learn how to fight them.

 

Galad is the better swordsmen. In some situations (say Egwene's life is in danger) I can see Gawyn being better. But day in day out, Galad gets the nod. He doesn't have warder strength, stamina, or longevity and he'd still win vs. Gawyn.

 

And it's all moot because Lan is the best in the world at this point in time. Maybe he wasn't always, maybe he won't always be, but right now he's the best.

 

Agreed.

 

In reference to Galad vs Gawyn...Take a look at the body count:

 

Galad:

Eamon Valda (kills)

Beats some of the mob in Samara

 

Gawyn:

Hammar (kills)

Coulin (kills)

Sleete (defeats in practice combat)

3 Bloodknives (kills)

 

Perhaps Galad is the better swordsman, but we've seen more from Gawyn. It's all a matter of face time. And Gawyn did all of this before he became Egwene's warder.

 

If you are going to add Sleete in practice you must also add Hammar for Galad. Would also like to point out again we have no way to compare which feats are more impressive. How did Hammar and Coulin die? Was it a straight up duel or where they stabbed while engaged? Galad was said to be the better swordsman by a fair amount. Gawyn says so along with other characters. It is also stated everything comes to Galad much easier. There is nothing in the text that indicates this changes as we have no idea how either would have fared if the situations were reversed. At the very least there is no reason to think Gawyn suddenly raced past Galad despite being less talented and picking things up more slowly.

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Gawyn barely survived that fight, only with extreme help did he even live. He fights with passion and he was fighting to save Egwene's life. I think that gave him a boost. ALSO, a couple of the bloodknives were distracted by his compatriots, which bought him time to learn how to fight them.

 

Galad is the better swordsmen. In some situations (say Egwene's life is in danger) I can see Gawyn being better. But day in day out, Galad gets the nod. He doesn't have warder strength, stamina, or longevity and he'd still win vs. Gawyn.

 

And it's all moot because Lan is the best in the world at this point in time. Maybe he wasn't always, maybe he won't always be, but right now he's the best.

 

Agreed.

 

In reference to Galad vs Gawyn...Take a look at the body count:

 

Galad:

Eamon Valda (kills)

Beats some of the mob in Samara

 

Gawyn:

Hammar (kills)

Coulin (kills)

Sleete (defeats in practice combat)

3 Bloodknives (kills)

 

Perhaps Galad is the better swordsman, but we've seen more from Gawyn. It's all a matter of face time. And Gawyn did all of this before he became Egwene's warder.

 

If you are going to add Sleete in practice you must also add Hammar for Galad. Would also like to point out again we have no way to compare which feats are more impressive. How did Hammar and Coulin die? Was it a straight up duel or where they stabbed while engaged? Galad was said to be the better swordsman by a fair amount. Gawyn says so along with other characters. It is also stated everything comes to Galad much easier. There is nothing in the text that indicates this changes as we have no idea how either would have fared if the situations were reversed. At the very least there is no reason to think Gawyn suddenly raced past Galad despite being less talented and picking things up more slowly.

 

Galad:

Eamon Valda (kills)

Hammar (defeats in practice)

Beats some of the mob in Samara

 

Gawyn:

Hammar (kills)

Coulin (kills)

Sleete (defeats in practice combat)

3 Bloodknives (kills)

 

Ok, he's added...Guess which list is still longer? And I actually threw the fight with the mob in, because that's all I can find...not really notable to beat up on the peasants, but take your victories where you can get'em, right?

 

If we're going into hypothetical scenarios about how Hammar and Coulin dies, then I guess we can do the same when Galad beat Hammar in practice...Been a while, but unless I'm mistaken, there's not much detail regarding that duel either...Perhaps Hammar wasn't trying real hard that particular day...Maybe he had a hangover or the quickstep, etc. etc. etc...

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I think it could be better argued that is was Hammar and Coulin who didn't fight their best in the White Tower coup more than that they didn't during practice. It seems to me that the only way Gawyn could have beaten Hammar and Coulin, when he was just recently described as barely able to beat them 2 out of 5 in practice, is if Hammar and Coulin didn't take Gawyn seriously, held back due to his status as the prince of Andor, and/or were distracted by the fighting of Aes Sedai against Aes Sedai going on at the time.

 

Fights to the death aren't really a good determinant of who's better than whom, since in any single match too much is left up to chance. Multiple sparring-matches keeping tracks of wins v. losses is much better.

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Well, actually, since we don't know what the circumstances were in the fights with Hammar and Couldin, we can't really use them as a factor in the reckoning (Remember the Aiel Gawyn fought after Dumai Wells ? They were evenly matched until a horse backed into the poor guy. And then there is Galad putting his foot down wrong in TOM. Accidents can affect an outcome just as much as pure skill.

 

On another subject, that mob that Galad faced? e didn't help defeat it, he destroyed it virtually by himself.As you will recall, he was way out in front and anyone who came near him died. As the book stated, it wqasn't Thom, Julian or the Shienarans the mob broke from, it was Galad. All by himself.

 

As for the Trollocs, despite their size they aren't that dangerous to someone who doesn't break. Gaul is just an ordinary Aiel warrior and he seems to have killed many of them. At the end of the fight at Emonds' Field, he was holding them off using just his knife. Chiad, covering his back, was killing them using a short spear and Aram was slaugtering any of them that came within reach.Loial was a match using just a pair of wood axes. Heck, working in tandem, even the women made short work of the ones they faced (I particularly like the image of Mistress Al'vere calmly chopping one in the neck with her cleaver after Daise Congar hamstrung it with a knife.). Additionally, in EOTW, Lan implied that a seasoned warrior could handle a trolloc, one on one, when he was commending Rand for killing Narg.

 

The point I'm making is that it isn't extraordinary skill that negates the advantages a Trolloc brings to a fight, it's guts. If you can bring yourself to face the critter, you pretty much own the darn thing.

 

tud

Edited by Tud
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@ Suttree; while I agree that what we have of "objective" references suggest that Galad is in fact the better swordsman (in addition to the fact that he is; it's canon), I disagree with using Gawyn's PoV as reference as it's quite clearly stated in the earlier books that Gawyn is not able to perceive Galad objectively.

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Direct quotes identifying the order of the Blademasters is all well and good. However, its always better to show than tell.

 

Saying that Galad is better that Gawyn means very little, when the text appears to show the opposite is true. I will agree that, early on, the text supports the Galad is better truth. However, all the characters become more skilled as the books progress, but Gawyn's skill is shown to progress far more than Galad (I'd argue the text doesn't show Galad getting better in any particular way).

 

I'm not one of those people that would argue that Gawyn is truly better than Galad, but I can't wait to see the fight where Galad proves his rank. :-)

 

I'm of the opinion that, overall, Tam is the best fighter in the series. Not necessarily the best blade master, but he IS a blademaster in his own right, he's also the 2nd best staff fighter in the two rivers (where Mat, who (at best) is third, beat Galad AND Gawyn while sick), and is the best Archer of the best archers in the world.

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If we're going into hypothetical scenarios about how Hammar and Coulin dies, then I guess we can do the same when Galad beat Hammar in practice...Been a while, but unless I'm mistaken, there's not much detail regarding that duel either...Perhaps Hammar wasn't trying real hard that particular day...Maybe he had a hangover or the quickstep, etc. etc. etc...

 

They are in the quote I provided. Galad was beating Hammar 3 out of every 5 while Gawyn was surprised he managed 2 so no the hypothetical scenario doesn't work with this. Important to note this is the only truly objective result we have in the text comparing the two.

 

It also happens to back up what we are told by every character in the text who gives us an opinion on their comparative skills. Gawyn says Galad was "the best hand with a sword I’ve ever seen" and also "The Warders only need show him something once, and he’s learned it. They sweat me nearly to death to learn half what Galad does without trying.” Again there is no reason in the text to believe Gawyn despite not being as talented and picking things up slower would suddenly vault past Galad and the authors both confirm that in their rankings.

 

As Never says, Gawyn's opinion all alone could be suspect, it just happens to be exactly the same as Mat and Nynaeve's so I feel we can use it. As for people saying Gawyn's skill is shown to progress "far more", how so? We have no idea how Galad would far against Bloodknives or how Gawyn would do against Valda.

 

Edit: Just we realized we do have another objective result. When Mat faced the two he dispatched Gawyn with almost shocking ease and it too him much longer to beat Galad.

Edited by Suttree
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