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What is the deal with the Egwene-hate?


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If you couldn't really care less about her, then it's completely normal and expected political jockeying. Everyone sees what they want to see in her, which simultaneously makes her the best and the worst character in the series, depending on who you are.

 

Well said, because of course this is precisely what it is. Any separate powers entering into an alliance/exchange would not only do the same but they would be derelict if they did not.

 

That's fine, and by far the stronger argument.

 

The notion that "bindings of lace" is a "metaphor for cooperation" is ridiculous.

 

Why would Egwene have the half-regretful thought that she does, if that is what "lace" meant? Cooperation would be acceptable to all parties. Egwene knows that she has maneuvered the Aiel into something they will come to regret.

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Why would Egwene have the half-regretful thought that she does, if that is what "lace" meant? Cooperation would be acceptable to all parties. Egwene knows that she has maneuvered the Aiel into something they will come to regret.

 

She knows nothing of the sort. The thought is not half regretful, she is stating flat out that she will not use iron but lace to join the groups. Hence the metaphor for cooperation. Why would the Aiel regret a fair detail that will benefit all parties? To me this is the key. I have not seen one person be able to say how the deal gives AS a leg up or some competitive advantage. Despite the fact that it will benefit everyone in the long run we still have a few posters claiming it was all some trick. Again this notion Manscher put forth that this is some secret AS domination plot is the anti-Eg hyperbole ratcheting into overdrive per usual.

Edited by Suttree
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Not at all. You know the WFs and Sorilea will be jockeying for the lead. It is stated plain as can be in the text. Of course each group will be doing so within the framework of a deal that fosters cooperation and understanding. Co-operation was the point and it was a huge step in the right direction, which in no way excludes each group looking to their best interests.

 

As a matter of interest, are there any statements to the effect that the other factions will be jockeying for the lead in the text that don't come from Egwene or her Aes Sedai supporters? I can't think of any that don't, and it sounds to me like typical Aes Sedai justifications as to why they always need to play puppet master. "Well we have to be in the best possible position, because if we aren't then someone else will. And that's just unacceptable!"

 

In any case I still hold to my previous statement that Egwene's choice of words were extremely poor. The Wise Ones used the phrase 'bands of iron' as a metaphor for White Tower domination by force. Instead of dismissing that metaphor entirely Egwene instead modifies it to 'bands of lace'. In other words, the domination is still there, but softer and more subtle. Instead of being overt steel cuffs the control is disguised and unseen, made to look pretty and harmless. If Egwene had simply thought that the Aiel were wrong and there would be no bands at all nobody would have a problem with the scene.

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As a matter of interest, are there any statements to the effect that the other factions will be jockeying for the lead in the text that don't come from Egwene or her Aes Sedai supporters?

 

I think the "play best" quote makes it abundantly clear. Again do you honestly think the WFs and Sorilea would not be jockeying for position in such a deal? That seem like an incredibly naive stance to take. Of course those groups will be "playing" right along with the AS. I do see your point about her thought process and it is a valid one. Bottom line however until someone can show how the deal gives AS a competitive advantage and allows them to "dominate" the other groups the fact remains that this was one of Egwene's better reforms that will benefit everyone in the long run. She knows the world is changing and in her short time has made a number of positive moves to face that reality.

 

The writing makes it seem as though we are supposed to think that everything she does it perfect.

 

On the contrary the proof is in the text. She is shown making mistakes and admirably owns up to them and analyzes where she went wrong in an attempt to not make the same ones. This is in stark contrast to posters unsupported claims that she lacks introspection and refuses to admit fault.

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Reading through the various Egwene-related threads that have popped up most recently, as well as some of the stuff posted in the Structured Discussion, I get the sense that a lot of people dislike Egwene because of her relationship with the Dragon Reborn. Specifically, that she doesn't shut up and fall in line at Rand's merest whim, she continues to remember him as the boy she grew up with and loved for a time, and she dares to have her own rich storyline that mirrors in significant ways Rand's own journeys. I also get the feeling that there's a lot of latent sexism at work. We're presented with a world where women rule over men for the most part, and I get the feeling that a lot of the haters would like to see the women "put in their place" so to speak. I get this feeling because there appears to be an immense amount of overlap between Egwene-haters and Aes Sedai-haters in the fandom, or at least the fandom that posts on these boards.

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Reading through the various Egwene-related threads that have popped up most recently, as well as some of the stuff posted in the Structured Discussion, I get the sense that a lot of people dislike Egwene because of her relationship with the Dragon Reborn.

 

For the people that bash her for questionng Rand on the seals(how dare she, he is the CoL!) etc. I always wonder have they just completly fogotten there is still that little problem of Rand being connected to Moridin? As zen as Rand seems now all is not fixed and that dream at the end of ToM is a pretty heavy handed clue that this is still a pretty big issue. He is literally still linked with and mirroring the DOs champion! Not to mention we have seen what happens when he refuses to listen and his decisions go unquestioned in the past...

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For the people that bash her for questionng Rand on the seals(how dare she, he is the CoL!) etc. I always wonder have they just completly fogotten there is still that little problem of Rand being connected to Moridin? As zen as Rand seems now all is not fixed and that dream at the end of ToM is a pretty heavy handed clue that this is still a pretty big issue. He is literally still linked with and mirroring the DOs champion! Not to mention we have seen what happens when he refuses to listen and his decisions go unquestioned in the past...

 

Last I checked no one is aware of Rand's connection to Moridin, apart from Rand and Moridin that is. So that's hardly the reason for which Egwene opposes Rand.

 

Questionning Rand is fine and is definitely the right course of action. Opposing before hearing him out on the matter of the seals on the other hand, isn't very smart. Darlin is the one who is being most reasonable in my opinion.

Edited by Master Ablar
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I don't think it's specifically about this instance of opposing him in breaking the seals, though. Hell, if I'd grown up in a culture that believed for the last 3000 years that the Dark One was only held at bay from touching the world by these seven seals, found out that all but three of them were already gone, and the guy who might be both savior and destroyer of the world and might also be completely insane was all like, "Yeah, so, I'm gonna break the last three. Just wanted you to know," I'd be all like, "Umm, no. Please don't do that. At least stick around for a while and tell us why you think you should do something so obviously insane." And I would only be that polite about it if I were on a thorazine drip or something.

 

No, the Egwene-haters hatred of Egwene merely uses that episode as justification for an already present point-of-view. The point of view that the women who've been running the world for the last 3000 years have screwed everything all up, and they should just realize it and get in line behind the man who's gonna fix everything. Egwene is the legitimate heir of those women, both as Amryllin Seat to the Aes Sedai, the de facto rulers of the Westlands, and as the daughter of the Mayor of Emond's Field. The hatred for Egwene is the hatred of the matriarchy that has ruled the Westlands since the Breaking. Any specific reason given for hating Egwene ties right back into the reasons given for hating the Aes Sedai: arrogance, cold-heartedness, selfishness, manipulativeness, etc. In seeking out Egwene's scenes that could be, often uncharitably interpreted to display those traits, Egwene-haters display not so much their reasons for disliking Egwene, but rather their rationalizations for having already decided to do so.

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No, the Egwene-haters hatred of Egwene merely uses that episode as justification for an already present point-of-view. The point of view that the women who've been running the world for the last 3000 years have screwed everything all up, and they should just realize it and get in line behind the man who's gonna fix everything. Egwene is the legitimate heir of those women, both as Amryllin Seat to the Aes Sedai, the de facto rulers of the Westlands, and as the daughter of the Mayor of Emond's Field. The hatred for Egwene is the hatred of the matriarchy that has ruled the Westlands since the Breaking. Any specific reason given for hating Egwene ties right back into the reasons given for hating the Aes Sedai: arrogance, cold-heartedness, selfishness, manipulativeness, etc. In seeking out Egwene's scenes that could be, often uncharitably interpreted to display those traits, Egwene-haters display not so much their reasons for disliking Egwene, but rather their rationalizations for having already decided to do so.

 

This is simply not true in any way, shape or form for the vast majority of people here. It's a truly colossal strawman you have constructed - who are you to tell other people why they don't like Egwene?

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This is simply not true in any way, shape or form for the vast majority of people here. It's a truly colossal strawman you have constructed - who are you to tell other people why they don't like Egwene?

 

I am struck by the contradiction inherent in this statement.

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I don't think it's specifically about this instance of opposing him in breaking the seals, though. Hell, if I'd grown up in a culture that believed for the last 3000 years that the Dark One was only held at bay from touching the world by these seven seals, found out that all but three of them were already gone, and the guy who might be both savior and destroyer of the world and might also be completely insane was all like, "Yeah, so, I'm gonna break the last three. Just wanted you to know," I'd be all like, "Umm, no. Please don't do that. At least stick around for a while and tell us why you think you should do something so obviously insane." And I would only be that polite about it if I were on a thorazine drip or something.

 

As a initial reaction, sure it's perfectly justified that Egwene would be opposed to it. That said she has had a month to think things over, and during that time she has recieved positive information about Rand, and some of the people she trusts most, Elayne and Nyneave, have not been totally opposed to Rand's plan. That along with her complete lack of knowledge on the subject and the simple fact that it is the savior of the world who told her this, should be enough for her to at least hear Rand out. Not blindly support him, which would be just as foolish as blindly opposing him, but just waiting to hear why he wants to do this and if it seems like a plausible course of action. Rand told her he would talk to her about it at the FoM. Why not wait until then? Why choose to oppose so quickly when there is so much uncertainty on the matter? Where was the need to do so?

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....To me this is the key. I have not seen one person be able to say how the deal gives AS a leg up or some competitive advantage....

 

One advantage arises due to the fact that the WT Aes Sedai believe that through some divine right all *angreal are rightfully their property. So unless something changes, it certainly allows them access to more objects of the power (via taking them away from other channelers within the constraints of their laws).

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....To me this is the key. I have not seen one person be able to say how the deal gives AS a leg up or some competitive advantage....

 

One advantage arises due to the fact that the WT Aes Sedai believe that through some divine right all *angreal are rightfully their property. So unless something changes, it certainly allows them access to more objects of the power (via taking them away from other channelers within the constraints of their laws).

 

No, Egwene said the WT would not try to take terangeal from the Wise Ones and Windfinders.

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This is simply not true in any way, shape or form for the vast majority of people here. It's a truly colossal strawman you have constructed - who are you to tell other people why they don't like Egwene?

 

I am struck by the contradiction inherent in this statement.

 

There is no contradiction. A great many people in both this topic and many other Egwene threads before have clearly stated their reasons for why they dislike her, backed up by evidence from the books to support their claims. I could dig through the forums and find dozens of examples. The argument that everyone here hates Egwene simply because she's a powerful woman is a sweeping generalisation with no basis in fact made in order to discredit those who dislike Egwene themselves rather than their arguments. In other words, the very definition of a strawman.

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For the people that bash her for questionng Rand on the seals(how dare she, he is the CoL!) etc. I always wonder have they just completly fogotten there is still that little problem of Rand being connected to Moridin? As zen as Rand seems now all is not fixed and that dream at the end of ToM is a pretty heavy handed clue that this is still a pretty big issue. He is literally still linked with and mirroring the DOs champion! Not to mention we have seen what happens when he refuses to listen and his decisions go unquestioned in the past...

 

Last I checked no one is aware of Rand's connection to Moridin, apart from Rand and Moridin that is. So that's hardly the reason for which Egwene opposes Rand.

 

I wasn't referring to people in story. I was only meaning with posters who say how dare she question his actions.

 

With that connection and zero plan beyond break the seals and see what happens, Egwene is taking the right course of action as Armylin regardless of what she knows. When Rand takes the time to explan his reasons(instead fo tweaking her nose) and IF Min has figured something out by then she will listen to reason.

Edited by Suttree
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For the people that bash her for questionng Rand on the seals(how dare she, he is the CoL!) etc. I always wonder have they just completly fogotten there is still that little problem of Rand being connected to Moridin? As zen as Rand seems now all is not fixed and that dream at the end of ToM is a pretty heavy handed clue that this is still a pretty big issue. He is literally still linked with and mirroring the DOs champion! Not to mention we have seen what happens when he refuses to listen and his decisions go unquestioned in the past...

 

Last I checked no one is aware of Rand's connection to Moridin, apart from Rand and Moridin that is. So that's hardly the reason for which Egwene opposes Rand.

 

With that connection and zero plan beyond break the seals and see what happens, Egwene is taking the right course of action as Armylin regardless of what she knows. When Rand takes the time to explan his reasons(instead fo tweaking her nose) and IF Min has figured something out by then she will listen to reason.

 

And he said he would explain his reasons at the FoM. So, until then, which is when the merits of his plan will be exposed, why oppose him? Because that he doesn't know what to do after breaking the seals? That's not Egwene's reason, it never has been, from the moment he told her he was going to break the seals. She actually gave her reason in the meeting with the Windfinders and the Wise One's when she says "the Dragon Reborn threatens to free the Dark One". That's why she opposes him. And it's definitely a valid concern, except that other individuals have not jumped on board with her on opposing Rand, and she should know by now that Rand's condition has significantly improved.

 

The reason why it's a bad idea for Egwene to oppose Rand on this is because it's creating a conflict where there does not neccesarily need to be one. And conflict among the forces of the light is the last thing that we want at this point in the story. She should wait and see whether there is a need to oppose him, before deciding to do so.

 

Egwene's course of action might end up being the right one (depends on what happens at the FoM), but I'm judging it on the reasons for which she takes it. And those reasons are wrong.

Edited by Master Ablar
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The reason why it's a bad idea for Egwene to oppose Rand on this is because it's creating a conflict where there does not neccesarily need to be one. And conflict among the forces of the light is the last thing that we want at this point in the story. She should wait and see whether there is a need to oppose him, before deciding to do so.

 

Come now MA, you can not seriously believe Rand showed up and said we will discuss things at FoM in good faith. She said we must plan and he brushed her off. He purposely antaganized her into that course of action. We just don't know all the specifics of why yet.

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The reason why it's a bad idea for Egwene to oppose Rand on this is because it's creating a conflict where there does not neccesarily need to be one. And conflict among the forces of the light is the last thing that we want at this point in the story. She should wait and see whether there is a need to oppose him, before deciding to do so.

 

Come now MA, you can not seriously believe Rand showed up and said we will discuss things at FoM in good faith. She said we must plan and he brushed her off. He purposely antaganized her into that course of action. We just don't know all the specifics of why yet.

 

you know I feel he didnt antagonize her so much, as inform her that he is willing to meet with her, the subject of the meeting, and some of what he plans to do. It was quite diplomatically genious. Especially since it lit a fire under the AS's butt to actually get geared up for TG

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The reason why it's a bad idea for Egwene to oppose Rand on this is because it's creating a conflict where there does not neccesarily need to be one. And conflict among the forces of the light is the last thing that we want at this point in the story. She should wait and see whether there is a need to oppose him, before deciding to do so.

 

Come now MA, you can not seriously believe Rand showed up and said we will discuss things at FoM in good faith. She said we must plan and he brushed her off. He purposely antaganized her into that course of action. We just don't know all the specifics of why yet.

 

He manipulated her for sure, but he clearly said: "Then meet with me at the place known as the Field of Merrrilor, just to the north. We will talk before I go to Shayol Ghul".

 

There's the oppurtunity for discussion, but instead she decides to oppose him before that. Of course Rand intends for her to act as she is, but that hardly means it's the right thing for her to do. Her initial reaction is understandable. However, in the month's time she has had to think things over, she should have come to the conclusion that it would be to hear Rand out.

 

He is the Dragon Reborn afterall. When the Dragon Reborn addresses an issue that is pretty much as close as you can get to his ultimate purpose in the pattern, it would be best to at least let him explain himself.

Edited by Master Ablar
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He is the Dragon Reborn afterall. When the Dragon Reborn addresses an issue that is pretty much as close as you can get to his ultimate purpose in the pattern, it would be best to at least let him explain himself.

 

We have a circular situation here. It would be best to let him explain verse he should have explained in the first place instead of maipulating her. She asked to plan and he refused.

 

you know I feel he didnt antagonize her so much, as inform her that he is willing to meet with her, the subject of the meeting, and some of what he plans to do.

 

But he did antagonize her and he admits as much. He even states he needs to prepare to face her opposition.

 

ToM

"Darlin, write a proclamation that Egwene al'Vere has succeeded Elaida a'Roihan as the Amyrlin. That should be enough to inform without revealing too much. Light knows I don't need to do anything else to make Egwene angry with me . . . ."

"Not yet, Nynaeve. I've poured hot oil into the White Tower, and it will be boiling soon. Time. We don't have time! I will get help to Lan, I vow it to you, but right now I must prepare to face Egwene.

"Face her?" Nynaeve said, stepping forward. "Rand, what have you done?"

"What needed to be done."

Edited by Suttree
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He is the Dragon Reborn afterall. When the Dragon Reborn addresses an issue that is pretty much as close as you can get to his ultimate purpose in the pattern, it would be best to at least let him explain himself.

 

We have a circular situation here. It would be best to let him explain verse he should have explained in the first place instead of manipulating her. She asked to plan and he refused.

 

He didn't refuse. He postponed. She still has the oppurtunity for discussion. It seems to me that any oppurtunity to avoid conflict with the Dragon Reborn should be taken.

 

Rand acted as he did for reasons unknown, and because of that we can't judge whether he was right to act as he did.

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There is no contradiction. A great many people in both this topic and many other Egwene threads before have clearly stated their reasons for why they dislike her, backed up by evidence from the books to support their claims. I could dig through the forums and find dozens of examples. The argument that everyone here hates Egwene simply because she's a powerful woman is a sweeping generalisation with no basis in fact made in order to discredit those who dislike Egwene themselves rather than their arguments. In other words, the very definition of a strawman.

 

On the contrary, I pointed out that the reasons listed for why people hate Egwene curiously mirror the reasons they give for hating Aes Sedai, who have been, let's face it, the ruling and organizing force in the Westlands since the Breaking. That they have not exerted power directly, but rather, manipulatively merely speaks to an underlying sexism in these works as a whole. I'm not afraid to say that I fear that one of my favorite fantasy authors was, perhaps, a little bit sexist. Evidence for such abounds not in the structure of the societies in Randland, almost all of which are either blatantly matricarchical or where female dominated organizations share authority with male-dominated organizations that maintain not only independence, but also dominance over those male organizations in important social matters, but with the textual and sub-textual commentary on those organizations.

 

The whole of the Westlands was united in peace only once, under a man. The rest of the time, it was fractured into mutually warring nation-states, except for the Borderlanders, who nevertheless managed a few skirmishes between themselves while holding back the Blight. And throughout the Westlands female dominated organizations formed the backbone of social authority, from the Women's Circles to the Queendom of Andor, and let's not forget the witches of Tar Valon. The very nature of the universe itself is divided into genders, which can never be changed, despite what gender your body displays.

 

And Halima, who began as the man Aran'gar, was punished upon his return by being placed in the body of a woman, all for being killed at the Eye of the World by Shomeshta in a battle with the Dragon Reborn, which, let's face it, couldn't really have been that unexpected. You don't see Lanfear, returned in a new body as Cyndane, subjugated to the punishment of gender-switching, perhaps because it wouldn't be as much of an insult to Lanfear, a woman, to be made into a man, as it is for Balthamel, a man, to be made into a woman? You can't tell me there weren't any bodies of young men handy, when Lanfear was returned, nor that her failure wasn't deeper than Balthamel's, she let herself get killed by an Aes Sedai who was a pathetic weakling compared to herself, and she was just about to break the commandment not to kill the Dragon Reborn. You can't tell me she didn't deserve at least as much punishment from the DO as Balthamel got.

 

To be fair, sometimes I can't decide whether these books can represent some sort of deep, philosophical critique of a female-dominated culture, instead of just a fairly subtle display of deep sexism. But in any case, it is no surprise to me that those who agree with the picture of the world RJ creates, one which is deeply critical of what institutional "success" or "progress" was to be had throughout the female-dominated Third Age, if not deeply sexist, would also dislike Egwene, who is rightfully, I think, seen as the heir of those female-dominated institutions. In any event, this is a thread specifically about the hatred of Egwene, which is at its core an irrational emotion. I can't think of a single thing Egwene has said or done that should inspire hatred, virtually every example of her faults is a matter of reading into those passages the traits you wish to attribute to her, her arrogance, her cold-heartedness, her manipulativeness, traits which are, of course, explicitly assigned in the text to Aes Sedai, and often women in general but never explicitly assigned to her, and that's despite the fact that there are also more charitable ways of reading those passages. She hasn't really done anything to inspire such vitriol except stand as the heir and head of those female-dominated organizations which are so heavily critiqued and mistrusted in the text itself, and by whom such critique and mistrust finds a naturally willing audience. That and the fact that she stands as the heir of these institutions somewhat illegitimately merely echos the fact that these female dominated institutions are thought to be somewhat illegitimate themselves.

Edited by Thrasymachus
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Rand acted as he did for reasons unknown, and because of that we can't judge whether he was right to act as he did.

 

Agreed, but until we know those reasons, I can't help but think the world would have been better served by him laying out his plan and requesting aid from the greatest repository of knowledge in the world. Instead he purposely provoked her and placed the world's fate on a mining girl from Baerlon being able to find the all the answers for defeating the DO.

Edited by Suttree
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Rand acted as he did for reasons unknown, and because of that we can't judge whether he was right to act as he did.

 

Agreed, but until we know those reasons, I can't help but think the world would have been better served by him laying out his plan and requesting aid from the greatest repository of knowledge in the world. Instead he purposely provoked her and placed the world's fate on a mining girl from Baerlon being able to find the all the answers for defeating the DO.

 

Absolutely, cooperation with the WT would have been preferable, so I hope he had good reasons for provoking her. Of course just because Rand expected Egwene to act as she did, does not mean she should have.

 

If Rand is planning on demanding that there be peace with the Seanchan, then perhaps he is intentionally setting up Egwene to be prooved wrong on the subject of the seals in front of the leaders of the world. Egwene would definitely oppose peace with the Seanchan, but if she's been shown to be wrong in one conflict with the Dragon Reborn, then perhaps the various leaders would be more inclined to support Rand.

Edited by Master Ablar
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