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futurehermit

If you could cut/trim from books 7-10...?

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I agree with most that WOT dips from books 7-10 before picking up again in book 11. I posted in the "Does WOT go downhill..." thread that I think that, in addition to the serial position effect, these books contain divergent plotlines (bowl of winds, Tower rebellion, Elayne's ascension to the Lion Throne, Faile and the Shaido, etc.), which: 1) arguably move away from the main plotlines; and, 2) generally involve more skirt-smoothing, sniffing, and emo brooding than action. As a result, I think the hate for Egwene, Elayne, and Faile is generated primarily from these books.

 

Furthermore, the series IS really long...

 

So, despite WOT getting my vote for GOAT fantasy series, I'm curious:

 

If you could cut/trim/alter these 4 books in particular, what would you change? Keep in mind the impact that your changes might have on the subsequent books...(one of the challenges to making changes imo would be the character dev't that occurs in these books).

 

Off the top of my head:

 

1) I would tighten up the Faile-Shaido plotline. It is an ok plotline imo, but it takes too long to complete. Just have Perrin catch up to the Shaido sooner.

2) Bowl of the winds -- I dunno, but this plotline never hooked me, really. I'd consider rewriting it altogether, but that would be major, I think.

3) Elayne's ascension -- I'd rather Rahvin killed off Morgase (or have her die heroically in killing Rahvin) and have Elayne ascend directly and quickly. Granted, Morgase does rule on the Perrin-Galad issue, but I imagine that Elayne could've done that somehow or have it resolve in another way.

 

I think the Tower rebellion would pretty much need to stay. For Egwene to rise to her position, and to have it be believable (Egwene as Amyrlin already strains suspension of disbelief imo), I think it needs the time to develop. It is also part of a major, long-term plotline (e.g., deposing of Suian, Elaida as Amyrlin, Seanchan attack on the Tower, Egwene as Amyrlin, etc.).

 

I'm curious to see what others would change.

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I agree with most that WOT dips from books 7-10 before picking up again in book 11. I posted in the "Does WOT go downhill..." thread that I think that, in addition to the serial position effect, these books contain divergent plotlines (bowl of winds, Tower rebellion, Elayne's ascension to the Lion Throne, Faile and the Shaido, etc.), which: 1) arguably move away from the main plotlines; and, 2) generally involve more skirt-smoothing, sniffing, and emo brooding than action. As a result, I think the hate for Egwene, Elayne, and Faile is generated primarily from these books.

 

Furthermore, the series IS really long...

 

So, despite WOT getting my vote for GOAT fantasy series, I'm curious:

 

If you could cut/trim/alter these 4 books in particular, what would you change? Keep in mind the impact that your changes might have on the subsequent books...(one of the challenges to making changes imo would be the character dev't that occurs in these books).

 

Off the top of my head:

 

1) I would tighten up the Faile-Shaido plotline. It is an ok plotline imo, but it takes too long to complete. Just have Perrin catch up to the Shaido sooner.

2) Bowl of the winds -- I dunno, but this plotline never hooked me, really. I'd consider rewriting it altogether, but that would be major, I think.

3) Elayne's ascension -- I'd rather Rahvin killed off Morgase (or have her die heroically in killing Rahvin) and have Elayne ascend directly and quickly. Granted, Morgase does rule on the Perrin-Galad issue, but I imagine that Elayne could've done that somehow or have it resolve in another way.

 

I think the Tower rebellion would pretty much need to stay. For Egwene to rise to her position, and to have it be believable (Egwene as Amyrlin already strains suspension of disbelief imo), I think it needs the time to develop. It is also part of a major, long-term plotline (e.g., deposing of Suian, Elaida as Amyrlin, Seanchan attack on the Tower, Egwene as Amyrlin, etc.).

 

I'm curious to see what others would change.

I think you have some very good ideas here. I agree too that the series slows down during books 7-10. In fact, I would actually identify books 7-11 as the slow section of the series, though I think that books 8, 10, and parts of 9 are the most problematic in this regard.

 

Here are some changes I would suggest. Some of these are similar to your suggestions:

 

1. Just scrap the entire Perrin/Prophet/Faile/Shaido plotline altogether. Or limit it to Perrin dealing with the Prophet, and wrap that up very quickly. There would have to be some explanation of what Perrin is doing while the other characters are busy, so just find some way to explain what he is doing, but have it happen off-screen. Maybe Perrin could even just go back to the Two Rivers for a while instead of chasing down the Prophet. The problem is that then he wouldn't have ended up gathering such a large army, and he wouldn't have been in the right place to meet Galad, but those problems could be dealt with by a good author.

 

2. Drastically shorten the Elayne/succession plot line. Maybe have much of it happen off-screen, to keep it from seeming too easy or simple.

 

3. I agree that the plot line around Egwene and the Aes Sedai rebels couldn't be shortened much, because it already is difficult to believe that Egwene is raised Amyrlin and becomes as powerful as she does. If the plot line were shortened and simplified, it would be even less believable. (Though if Egwene had been made a ta'veren from the start of the series, her rise to Amyrlin could have been more easily explained. I always wondered why RJ didn't make Egwene a ta'veren too.)

 

4. Get rid of the whole plot line with Rand and the Asha'man fighting the Seanchan in book 8. It has a few cool moments, but it drags on far too long, and accomplishes very little in terms of the overall story.

 

5. Shorten the parts with Mat and friends traveling with Valan Luca's circus, while hiding from the Seanchan and making their way away from Ebou Dar. The only problem is that time needs to be allowed for Mat and Tuon to warm up to each other, so maybe this plot line couldn't be shortened too much. But surely it could be shortened somewhat.

 

I think that if these suggestions were followed, it might be possible to eliminate an entire book from the series, which would be fine with me. As it is, I have decided that on my next re-read (if there is one), I will be skipping almost all chapters in books 7-11 that deal with Perrin, Faile, and the Shaido; Elayne's succession; and Rand's campaign against the Seanchan.

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4. Get rid of the whole plot line with Rand and the Asha'man fighting the Seanchan in book 8. It has a few cool moments, but it drags on far too long, and accomplishes very little in terms of the overall story.

 

Def don't agree with this one. "A Time for Iron" in addition to being some of the best writing in the series(the characterization was superb) was a fairly pivotal scene. Rand had been needing the "I'm not invincible" wake up call for a quite some time,he is starting the descent into madness and yet thinking he is infallible at the same time. We get to see just how important the people around him are, what happens when he ignores good advice and most importantly that he can lose/make mistakes. We also witness the flaw in Callandor and DF/Ashaman plotting. Some really important stuff going on over all.

 

tPoD

I’ve lost, Rand thought dully. I’m the Dragon Reborn, but for the first time, I’ve lost.

Suddenly, Lews Therin raged up inside him, sly digs forgotten. I’ve never been defeated, he snarled. I am the Lord of the Morning! No one can defeat me!

Rand sat in the rain, turning the Crown of Swords in his hands, looking at Callandor lying in the mud. He let Lews Therin rage.

Edited by Suttree

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Def don't agree with this one. "A Time for Iron" in addition to being some of the best writing in the series(the characterization was superb) was a fairly pivotal scene. Rand had been needing the "I'm not invincible" wake up call for a quite some time,he is starting the descent into madness and yet thinking he is infallible at the same time. We get to see just how important the people around him are, what happens when he ignores good advice and most importantly that he can lose/make mistakes. We also witness the flaw in Callandor and DF/Ashaman plotting. Some really important stuff going on over all.

 

Well, I can't argue with you on any of that. You make some good points that the wrapping up of this plot line is important to the story in several ways. I just know that when I re-read book 8 recently, I was surprised at how this plot line just seemed to drag on, and on, and on.... I didn't remember it being that way the first time I read book 8, but that was how I perceived it this time.

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Book 7 (aCoS) is quite underrated in my opinion and stands very good on its own.

 

Book 8-10 could have benefited from being two large books instead of three. I wouldn't cut much. Things might get slower in them but the two big factors in peoples' disappointment are that books 8-10: 1) are shorter than books 4-6 and 2) people had to wait longer for them when they first came out. So, if 8-10 would have been two books, more plot would have been moved along in each book. The disappointment over the wait back then is something people should just get over. You only had to wait then, you don't have to wait anymore, nor do new readers, so lets just move on from that criticism.

Edited by Alric

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I must admit that I used to agree with this quite strongly, I thought most of these books dragged and they were a serious lull in the series. Then during my most recent read through I felt that I spent most of the early books waiting for 'the real story to start'. I just couldn't wait for the characters to get to the places they had to be before the last battle, even Elayne claiming the lion throne. And I ended up I enjoying books 8-11 the most out the whole series.

 

I was especially surprised by CoT, probably because I'd been building it up in my mind to be long and arduous, but I thought it was brilliant. And the ending which is probably the least dramatic in the series I still found myself gripped by (even though I'd read it more than once already) I mean Perrin throwing the awe away, Mat having to shoot a defenseless Renna in the back and then Egwene getting captured, it's awesome!

 

Although on second thoughts i could do with losing the chapter where Elayne takes a bath. And the one where she's wet.

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In terms of cuts that could be made, it's not always easy to see what could be cut, at least beyond the level of trimming a few extraneous lines of description, or unnecessary exposition. Some plotlines could, if changed, have significant effects on the plot, on the characters, on the theme and tone of the books. And not always to the better. This series could have been done in fewer books, although not necesarily as well. Many changes would result only in shorter books. However, some minor changes I think might have benefited the series would include moving the opening chapters of PoD to the end of ACoS (I think ending the BoW plotline in ACoS makes more sense - let Elayne's plotline in PoD be the beginning of her quest for the throne), then turning PoD and WH into one longer book. Also, Elayne's chapters in CoT could have been reworked to be more like Honey in the Tea in KoD. One or two chapters, possibly fairly lengthy, covering all the important points from the existing book.

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The wheel of time should have been like this

 

 

The first 3 books should have been AOL and the fall of LTT

and then the next set of books would have started with this current age.

 

Books 7-10 were so worthless and pointless and i am still wondering what was RJ thinking. Ths bowl of the winds, shaido.faile plotline, elayne ascension and egwene politics were so mind numbing to read.

Edited by Elan Tedronai

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The whole Perrin-Faile-Shaido plotline should've been removed, it's completely pointless and mind-numbingly boring from start to finish. The Shaido should've went back to the Waste after Dumai's Wells.

 

There's a lot to trim from the other plotlines too, mostly in CoT and the first half of KoD. We have whole mat chapters where nothing happens except him buying a horse for Tuon or something equally minor.

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You could probably trim 200 - 300 pages of female channeler fluff. Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, the Knitting Circle, and Windfinders all espousing their self-serving politics amidst a slew of sniffing, skirt-smoothing, arm-folding, and jewelry-rattling. It's the kind of stuff you could skim for chapters at a time and not really miss anything.

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I remember breaking this down once. I don't remember my specifics, but I do remember being absolutely stunned by thinking that probably a good 3,000 pages could be cut from the entire series with no noticeable harm to plot or understanding on the part of the reader.

 

3,000 pages. Think about that. Its truly stunning.

 

Now, notice that I said "Could" and not 'Should' - I personally have grown to savor each and every word the older I get.

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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I'd like to keep all of the plot as such, but a lot of it could be told much faster than it actually was. Books 1-3 could be short or medium length books rather than long ones, 4-5 might be able to be combined, 6 and part of 7 could be combined, and after that the possible abridging gets even greater. All this is just my opinion obviously, some people love every word. On the other hand, TGS and TOM I'd say were nearly perfect in length. I never felt the story was dragging in the Sanderson books.

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I like the points that Paul, suttree, and futurehermit have made.

 

I think the fundamental problem in these storylines simply was that they was that Jordan didn't somehow separate them into individual stories. In each of the books 7-10, you spend about 1 chapter for every storyline just setting up the exposition and mood for the characters on the set. With so many important storylines (Elayne's ascension/Bowl of the Winds), Egwene's drudgery, Rand's southern campaigns and the Cleansing, Perrin's hunt for Masema and then Faile), Jordan kept writing a lot of exposition in each book.

 

The problem was that Jordan knew that by the time the new book rolled around, most readers would have forgotten who Maigdin and Lini were, and who was Merrilille, so he always gave repetitious setup for those characters. After going back and rereading those 4 books these past couple months, I read them along plotlines - and it's really frustrating.

 

The problem, however, is that sometimes, there are important clues about what's happening in one plotline by what's happening in another. The fact that by book 7, the heroes now have telephones (Tel'aran'rhiod) and airplanes (Gateways) makes it difficult to keep these guys distinct if they're all happening at the same time.

 

Also, frankly, I would have just as soon have lived without book 10.

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4. Get rid of the whole plot line with Rand and the Asha'man fighting the Seanchan in book 8. It has a few cool moments, but it drags on far too long, and accomplishes very little in terms of the overall story.

 

Def don't agree with this one. "A Time for Iron" in addition to being some of the best writing in the series(the characterization was superb) was a fairly pivotal scene. Rand had been needing the "I'm not invincible" wake up call for a quite some time,he is starting the descent into madness and yet thinking he is infallible at the same time. We get to see just how important the people around him are, what happens when he ignores good advice and most importantly that he can lose/make mistakes. We also witness the flaw in Callandor and DF/Ashaman plotting. Some really important stuff going on over all.

 

tPoD

I’ve lost, Rand thought dully. I’m the Dragon Reborn, but for the first time, I’ve lost.

Suddenly, Lews Therin raged up inside him, sly digs forgotten. I’ve never been defeated, he snarled. I am the Lord of the Morning! No one can defeat me!

Rand sat in the rain, turning the Crown of Swords in his hands, looking at Callandor lying in the mud. He let Lews Therin rage.

 

I remember on my first reread having not even remembered this whole section of the book. I was a lot younger when I read it the first time and I think I actually disliked the idea of Rand losing and not being able to just smite them down, and therefore finding it dull. Though I remember being entranced with this portion of the books on the reread and even my audio-book-through more recently. It's so epic, one of the best sequences I think we'd get if WoT was ever visualized. It's a place where scenery, special effects, and acting could all be at their heights.

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4. Get rid of the whole plot line with Rand and the Asha'man fighting the Seanchan in book 8. It has a few cool moments, but it drags on far too long, and accomplishes very little in terms of the overall story.

 

Def don't agree with this one. "A Time for Iron" in addition to being some of the best writing in the series(the characterization was superb) was a fairly pivotal scene. Rand had been needing the "I'm not invincible" wake up call for a quite some time,he is starting the descent into madness and yet thinking he is infallible at the same time. We get to see just how important the people around him are, what happens when he ignores good advice and most importantly that he can lose/make mistakes. We also witness the flaw in Callandor and DF/Ashaman plotting. Some really important stuff going on over all.

 

tPoD

I’ve lost, Rand thought dully. I’m the Dragon Reborn, but for the first time, I’ve lost.

Suddenly, Lews Therin raged up inside him, sly digs forgotten. I’ve never been defeated, he snarled. I am the Lord of the Morning! No one can defeat me!

Rand sat in the rain, turning the Crown of Swords in his hands, looking at Callandor lying in the mud. He let Lews Therin rage.

 

I agree with you. That part in tPoD is one of my favorites in the series (as you can see from my signature ;) ). It really shows off how mad Rand really is and it shows that even though he has Callandor again, he's not going to become an invincible demi-god.

 

 

Books 7 and 8 I didn't mind but 9,10, and the beginning/middle of 11 were my least favorite of the whole series (I liked the end of 11 because it finally wrapped up Elayne's ascension and Malden)

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I have read the books a few times over the years, generally I like his idea but, there a lot of but’s and most people concede it was way too long. Basically a great yarn but he then cocoons it in a weave of tangent stories that have nothing to do with anything and destroy pace.

 

Recently someone gave me the whole series on audio book which they had on their ipod I didn’t think I would like it because of the voices used but I am an artist so I just plugged it into my speakers and I found it a rather good way to listen while working in my studio at the same time.

 

First few books were great but by the time I got to somewhere around ‘A Crown of Sword’ it was beginning to become difficult to listen, just too much candy floss. Now I am coming to the end of ‘The Path of Daggers’. You just don’t realise how much you scan when you’re reading books.

 

The question what would you cut/trim from books 7-10, a lot! Just count the pages devoted to Egwene al'Vere as Amyrlin Seat and then try to imagine this developed into a film. From ‘The Path of Daggers’ the script writers would probably use Bowl of the Winds reversing the unnatural weather, and the early skirmishes to repel the Seanchan to when things go awry when Rand uses Callandor on the Seanchan army. And possibly the scene on the frozen lake with Egwene al'Vere as Amyrlin, after that the script writers would shred the rest, it’s all to do with pace.

 

I also wish he spent more time researching history especially warfare, example I can except that the Aes Sedai and the Asha'man have unnatural abilities but I find inconceivable that for example the non-armored Aiel can best the Shienaran heavy armored knights, apparently even a fourteen girl maiden could, plus run as fast as horse.

 

Areas like this he should have spent time on research, The Battle of Thermopylae where the vastly outnumbered Spartans and Greeks held out against the lighter armed Persians. The Persians attire and weaponry sound similar to the description of the Aiel. The Persians where held at bay precisely because of the heavy amour of the Greeks and Spartans.

 

It’s unfortunate but just because you have good idea doesn’t necessarily mean you will be equipped with all the required skills to do it justice, saying that he did not bad considering he was not an English Grad.

Edited by TheePazuzu

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The thing that bugged me the most about book seven was the fight at the end. After all the big fights at the end of the previous books, this one ended with a few random Ashaman scrapping with Rand in a fight that happened mostly offscreen. I vividly recall my dismal disappointment about that after reading a meandering book which mostly went nowhere. If he'd had Rand discover that Dashiva was Aginor and they had a decent one-on-one scrap, then it would have salvaged things, but the tiny bit of drama that can be assigned to it can only be done in retrospect when rereading it a few years later. It fell flat when that was the big finale of what I'd waited a year and a half for.

 

The whole Shaido thing was a dud which should have been cut out or wrapped up quickly. Mat and Tuon don't work for me as a relationship and their endless meanderings in a travelling circus were just bloat. Elayne's ascension and the Black Ajah hunters were minor subplots and the pages devoted to them should have been trimmed accordingly.

 

One thing that I'd have liked to have seen expanded upon as opposed to reduced is the cleansing of saidin. That was just so random. All of a sudden Rand just decides "Hey, why don't I just shunt the taint through a saidar filter into Shadar Logoth?". A bit of exposition and build up to how he came up with that idea would have been helpful.

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One thing that I'd have liked to have seen expanded upon as opposed to reduced is the cleansing of saidin. That was just so random. All of a sudden Rand just decides "Hey, why don't I just shunt the taint through a saidar filter into Shadar Logoth?". A bit of exposition and build up to how he came up with that idea would have been helpful.

 

What do you think all the scenes with his question to the Finns, Herid Fel etc were? There was quite a bit of foreshadowing for the cleansing.

 

tPoD

Rand picked up Taim’s missive, folded the page, and thrust it into his coat pocket. One in fifty mad already, and more to come. Was Morr next? Dashiva was surely close. Hopwil’s stares took on a new meaning, and even Narishma’s habitual quiet. Madness did not always mean screaming about spiders. He had asked once, warily, where he knew the answers would be true, how to cleanse the taint from saidin. And got a riddle for answer. Herid Fel had claimed the riddle stated "sound principles, in both high philosophy and natural philosophy," but he had not seen any way to apply it to the problem at hand. Had Fel been killed because he might have puzzled out the riddle? Rand had a hint at the answer, or thought he might, a guess that could be disastrously wrong. Hints and riddles were not answers, yet he had to do something. If the taint was not cleansed somehow, Tarmon Gai’don might find a world already ruined by madmen. What had to be done, had to be done.
Edited by Suttree

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Yes, I'm aware that there was foreshadowing. What was lacking was the progression from that foreshadowing to how he came to the solution. What was missed was the step from "There was some riddle from the Finns" to "This is what the riddle from the Finns was" to "This is how the riddle can be applied to an action". Jordan stopped at step one and then just had him doing it.

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Yes, I'm aware that there was foreshadowing. What was lacking was the progression from that foreshadowing to how he came to the solution. What was missed was the step from "There was some riddle from the Finns" to "This is what the riddle from the Finns was" to "This is how the riddle can be applied to an action". Jordan stopped at step one and then just had him doing it.

 

Ehh maybe. I viewed the Finns as 1, on to Fel as step 2, and 3 was Rand applying it to action. Those sections made it clear he spent a large amount of time formulating the plan.

Edited by Suttree

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Yes, I'm aware that there was foreshadowing. What was lacking was the progression from that foreshadowing to how he came to the solution. What was missed was the step from "There was some riddle from the Finns" to "This is what the riddle from the Finns was" to "This is how the riddle can be applied to an action". Jordan stopped at step one and then just had him doing it.

 

Ehh maybe. I viewed the Finns as 1, on to Fel as step 2, and 3 was Rand applying it to action. Those sections made it clear he spent a large amount of time formulating the plan.

 

Fine. What was that formulation? What was the riddle that the Finns told him? How did Fel's input help?

 

I'm sure he spent a long time formulating the plan. What was not done was having that formulation be passed onto the reader. The end result was just put in without any of the buildup which led to it.

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Yes, I'm aware that there was foreshadowing. What was lacking was the progression from that foreshadowing to how he came to the solution. What was missed was the step from "There was some riddle from the Finns" to "This is what the riddle from the Finns was" to "This is how the riddle can be applied to an action". Jordan stopped at step one and then just had him doing it.

 

Ehh maybe. I viewed the Finns as 1, on to Fel as step 2, and 3 was Rand applying it to action. Those sections made it clear he spent a large amount of time formulating the plan.

 

Fine. What was that formulation? What was the riddle that the Finns told him? How did Fel's input help?

 

I'm sure he spent a long time formulating the plan. What was not done was having that formulation be passed onto the reader. The end result was just put in without any of the buildup which led to it.

 

 

Yeah it wasn't spelled out for us but I don't feel like it was a problem. Rand asked how to do it, the Finns gave him an answer in riddle form, Herid Fel confirmed the riddle was solid and gave Rand books, we see Rand studying and making a plan and then are told what it is as he does it.

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Yes, but my point is that I do see it as a problem. What's the point of mentioning a riddle without having a riddle? What's the point of having Fel's help without saying what the help is? Without those intermediate steps, it's just coming out of nowhere.

 

It would be like Rand saying:

"Hey look, I was able to grab this magic sword. That means I'm the Dragon Reborn."

"Wait ... what?"

"Ya, remember how there was once half a sentence about there being a prophecy about something and I once asked a guy about it? This is what the prophecy was about."

 

Without the leading bits detailing what it's all about, the end doesn't make sense because something related to it was mentioned in passing at one point.

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