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Durinax

egwene vs elayne (political arcs)

  

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  1. 1. which was better?



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for me it is Elayne, hers is much more interesting, Elayne has more setbacks, more trouble. It is just wholely a better read for me.

 

one of the clinch points is when both got captured, Egwene went because she wanted to (she had a stand-in who could have done the same job sufficiently), Elayne went both because she had too and because she wanted too (she was needed becasue she was most powerful and an additional set of hands in attempting to arrest some criminals)

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Both arcs are among my least favorite parts of WoT, but if I had to pick a lesser of two evils, it would be Elayne's since her arc required far less suspension of disbelief than Egwene's.

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Both arcs are among my least favorite parts of WoT,

 

I agree with that part, I disagree with the conclusion...because the Tower arc is more important that the Andor arch, in general.

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I didn't want to vote in the poll, because it's difficult to rank the two; they're just so different. Elayne's political arc starts pretty much as soon as she gets back to Caemlyn, and is full of not just political wrangling, but fighting on Caemlyn's walls, negotiations with the Windfinders and the Kin to aid the defense of her city, and interspersed with interesting discoveries like Aviendha's Talent for reading ter'angreal. Every time I read about her capture by the Black Ajah, I'm at the edge of my seat, and the turning of what could have been a disaster into a decisive victory was inspiring and fun to read. On the other hand, Elayne is insufferable. She's pregnant through the whole arc, and RJ does a fine job of describing the internal emotional turmoil and frustration that causes Elayne, which just tends to make me want to do the same thing with her that I want to do with other such emotionally compromised pregnant women when I encounter them; tell them "Yes, I'm sorry, this must be really hard on you. I'm sure things will turn out ok," and just get the hell away from them as fast as I can. I know, that makes me a horribly insensitive chauvinist, but I can't stand people crying for no good reason, and sometimes even then I can't stand it.

 

Egwene's political arc starts earlier, and indeed one could argue that it hasn't really ended, even with the reunification of the White Tower, since her political position is so precarious. Egwene's political arc inherits some things of interest from Nynaeve's and Elayne's escape from Tanchico arc, such as the a'dam and Moghedien, and Elayne's Talent for making ter'angreal. But nothing really exciting happens for the longest time, and even when something exciting looks like it's gonna happen, it doesn't really, like with Traveling the whole rebel army up to the villages surrounding Tar Valon, to just end up sitting there with the two factions staring at each other like a couple of strange tomcats. Even getting herself captured by Elaida's faction was deflated. It was interesting, it was impressive, and even engaging. But it wasn't exciting. I couldn't even get excited about Lelaine's attempt to usurp Egwene's power base after Eggy was captured. Egwene didn't get much excitement until the Seanchan attack, and then again with the victory over Mesanna. The things the other Tower Aes Sedai were doing, Tarna and Pevara and the Black Ajah hunters, were much more exciting and interesting than anything Egwene was doing, at least until the end.

Edited by Thrasymachus

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Both arcs are among my least favorite parts of WoT,

 

I agree with that part, I disagree with the conclusion...because the Tower arc is more important that the Andor arch, in general.

 

 

Agreed. Way too much politicking, but the details of Egwene's at least seemed somewhat important to the plot. A lot of people complain about Perrin's story arc during WH and CoT, but i enjoyed his more than these two. KoD's Egwene stuff was great though, and tGS's Egwene chapters were some of the best.

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^^^^ What he she said.

:wink:

 

I agree with that part, I disagree with the conclusion...because the Tower arc is more important that the Andor arch, in general.

That was a large part of what made Elayne's storyline so frustrating—much of it could have been left out without any real effect on the story. The various squabbles of the Sea Folk and Kin, the Andoran nobles, every little detail of her pregnancy...I like Elayne, but none of that was particularly enjoyable to read about. Mostly it felt like RJ just needed something for Elayne to do on her own until the Last Battle. Even so, a boring storyline is easier to forgive than one as implausible as Egwene's, particularly in TGS. So I still find Elayne's arc more tolerable overall.

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Elayne's ascension to the throne of Andor is undoubtedly my least favorite part of the series. It's also what led me to ultimately hate Elayne. I found it boring and totally lacking in any tension whatsoever. Since the moment we meet Elayne, we know she's going to become queen. Was anyone really wringing their hands because they thought Elayne wouldn't take the throne? Now, maybe that's not a fair argument. There's a lot of things we knew were going to happen beforehand, and sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. But when I think of Elayne in Andor, I think of the Kin and the Sea Folk (my two least favorite Wheel of Time factions), boring meetings from Master Norry and Mistress Harfor, whining about being pregnant and drinking goat's milk, bratty heads of noble Houses, stupidity of epic proportion by interpreting Min's vision to think she's invincible, and inter-Andoran politics I couldn't really care less about. Nothing made me happier than when I first read The Gathering Storm and realized that Elayne was on the bench for the entire book.

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stupidity of epic proportion by interpreting Min's vision to think she's invincible,

 

You know I have always thought this aspect is somewhat over blown. Her plan for taking down the BA at that DF's house was pretty fool proof. She had no one else to trust with the channeling in terms of Kin and Sea Folk to take down the BA and Elayne and Vandene essentially hobbled the the other two sisters with the linking...it was actually a pretty solid plan.

Edited by Suttree

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stupidity of epic proportion by interpreting Min's vision to think she's invincible,

 

You know I have always thought this aspect is somewhat over blown. Her plan for taking down the BA at that DF's house was pretty fool proof. She had no one else to trust with the channeling in terms of Kin and Sea Folk to take down the BA and Elayne and Vandene essentially hobbled the the other two sisters with the linking...it was actually a pretty solid plan.

 

A quick reading of Elayne's plan gives the impression that she made a mistake; but a "critical" (sorry for the lack of better term) reading shows that she thought this out carefully before she went in. And that, for me, leads to change the negative term from "stupidity" to "foolhardy and headstrong." Elayne had information that 2 BA (Falion and Marrilim) were at the house. Her plan didn't take into consideration that the rest of that group could be nearby. And don't get me started on Elayne's adventure in her dungeons! That would probably draw a few vintage Cauthon - Uno words .

 

As to the political arcs, Egwene's is more detailed and more interesting since it is on a larger scale. Elayne's details, especially the houses and 10 out of 19, is a bit on the boring side. We get to hear all about Andor's civil war and houses and minor nobles; but go 4-5 books without anything from Illian, a whole kingdom that is holding off the Seanchan to the West and supplying food to half the starved world up north; let alone a Kingdom that Rand should be ruling.

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interesting, I thought the poll would be the other way by now, if only for a few reasons:

 

Elaynes arch has some variety, and actually has tidbits of what rulers actually would have to put up with (decision-wise)

 

Egwenes (to me) was mostly her saying 'I've got to be discrete' and then either doing nothing, or doing something extremely indelicate.

 

Also where they say egwenes position is extremely fragile, Elaynes (to me) was the actual fragile one, she has to make tough choices like giving away a section of andoran land, and how to damage her opponents enough to reduce their risk but not destroy them, whereas once egwene has gained a little support, she seems to have total support

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The correct answer to the question posed by the poll is: There's only one way to find out - FIGHT!

 

stupidity of epic proportion by interpreting Min's vision to think she's invincible,

 

You know I have always thought this aspect is somewhat over blown. Her plan for taking down the BA at that DF's house was pretty fool proof. She had no one else to trust with the channeling in terms of Kin and Sea Folk to take down the BA and Elayne and Vandene essentially hobbled the the other two sisters with the linking...it was actually a pretty solid plan.

 

A quick reading of Elayne's plan gives the impression that she made a mistake; but a "critical" (sorry for the lack of better term) reading shows that she thought this out carefully before she went in. And that, for me, leads to change the negative term from "stupidity" to "foolhardy and headstrong." Elayne had information that 2 BA (Falion and Marrilim) were at the house. Her plan didn't take into consideration that the rest of that group could be nearby. And don't get me started on Elayne's adventure in her dungeons! That would probably draw a few vintage Cauthon - Uno words .

Please, get started on Elayne's plans in her dungeon. Maybe you can be the first person to actually put forward a good reason why this should be considered a bad plan, as opposed to a very good plan that went wrong for reasons that were both incredibly unlikely and also beyond her control. As for the plan in KoD, what was she supposed to do? There might be other BA nearby, but bear in mind there are few people she knows she can trust. So she can't rely on back up, nor can she rely on spies to tell her if there is anyone else nearby, or coming. On both occasions, good plans were undone by bad luck.

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The correct answer to the question posed by the poll is: There's only one way to find out - FIGHT!

 

stupidity of epic proportion by interpreting Min's vision to think she's invincible,

 

You know I have always thought this aspect is somewhat over blown. Her plan for taking down the BA at that DF's house was pretty fool proof. She had no one else to trust with the channeling in terms of Kin and Sea Folk to take down the BA and Elayne and Vandene essentially hobbled the the other two sisters with the linking...it was actually a pretty solid plan.

 

A quick reading of Elayne's plan gives the impression that she made a mistake; but a "critical" (sorry for the lack of better term) reading shows that she thought this out carefully before she went in. And that, for me, leads to change the negative term from "stupidity" to "foolhardy and headstrong." Elayne had information that 2 BA (Falion and Marrilim) were at the house. Her plan didn't take into consideration that the rest of that group could be nearby. And don't get me started on Elayne's adventure in her dungeons! That would probably draw a few vintage Cauthon - Uno words .

Please, get started on Elayne's plans in her dungeon. Maybe you can be the first person to actually put forward a good reason why this should be considered a bad plan, as opposed to a very good plan that went wrong for reasons that were both incredibly unlikely and also beyond her control. As for the plan in KoD, what was she supposed to do? There might be other BA nearby, but bear in mind there are few people she knows she can trust. So she can't rely on back up, nor can she rely on spies to tell her if there is anyone else nearby, or coming. On both occasions, good plans were undone by bad luck.

 

I believe it was her justification of invincibility that annoys people, particularly when the people around her already knew how flawed it was. Not so much the plan itself.

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Egwene's arc just kills my suspension of disbelief throughout. Hundreds of years old experienced master manipulators and politicians are outsmarted time and time again by an 18 year old from the back end of nowhere and fall for tricks which you'd have a hard time making work even at high school level politics. This and the fact that Egwene's main opponent Elaida was made so incredibly dumb that it really cheapens Egwene's success were my tow major problems with this plotline.

 

So I prefer elayne's. It has it fair share of problems - it's way too long, and so many of the characters around Elayne during it are among the most annoying in WOT (Sea Folk, arrgh), but at least it's more plausible overall and doesn't rely on the ability to endure spankings to convince people someone is the right leader.

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Please, get started on Elayne's plans in her dungeon. Maybe you can be the first person to actually put forward a good reason why this should be considered a bad plan, as opposed to a very good plan that went wrong for reasons that were both incredibly unlikely and also beyond her control. As for the plan in KoD, what was she supposed to do? There might be other BA nearby, but bear in mind there are few people she knows she can trust. So she can't rely on back up, nor can she rely on spies to tell her if there is anyone else nearby, or coming. On both occasions, good plans were undone by bad luck.

 

I might have something to say about her dungeon episode after I reread it in a few days. Now, I am just going by my impression from a couple of months back during a quick reading. So, I shoot my point down myself.

 

As to her BA capture, you say there is a possibility that there might be other BA nearby; and that she went in without sufficient forces; and did not have sufficient back up (except: hurry up Brigitte); and she did not have spies or screens to warn of others coming into the house! Wow, that is a better critique than mine.

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Better say which was more tolerable. Egwene, simply because it had more to do with the plot - as improbably as it was. You could have plopped Elayne's Royal Hiny down on the throne with no conflict at all and the plot wouldn't have noticed one little bit.

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I believe it was her justification of invincibility that annoys people, particularly when the people around her already knew how flawed it was. Not so much the plan itself.

 

This. I didn't mean that specific plan, just her whole attitude in general. "Bodyguards? My kids will be FINE, Birgitte!"

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Not so interested in the born-to entitlement of a spoiled princess, fighting to consolidate her power and control, trained to see everyone in geographic boundaries as her subjects. Andor shmandor, eh!

 

The Aes Sedai clearly must be recreated as a whole, women AND men, surgically slicing out what were negative practices and attitudes of the White Tower (not just the Black Ajah). Seems like Rand's and Egwene's political arcs are heading toward recreating the order more in line with historical purpose, although they've been working separate sides of the equation and hardly communicating at all. I think their arcs will dovetail, and bring the yin yang thing whole again!

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Please, get started on Elayne's plans in her dungeon. Maybe you can be the first person to actually put forward a good reason why this should be considered a bad plan, as opposed to a very good plan that went wrong for reasons that were both incredibly unlikely and also beyond her control. As for the plan in KoD, what was she supposed to do? There might be other BA nearby, but bear in mind there are few people she knows she can trust. So she can't rely on back up, nor can she rely on spies to tell her if there is anyone else nearby, or coming. On both occasions, good plans were undone by bad luck.

I might have something to say about her dungeon episode after I reread it in a few days. Now, I am just going by my impression from a couple of months back during a quick reading. So, I shoot my point down myself.

 

As to her BA capture, you say there is a possibility that there might be other BA nearby; and that she went in without sufficient forces; and did not have sufficient back up (except: hurry up Brigitte); and she did not have spies or screens to warn of others coming into the house! Wow, that is a better critique than mine.

I say there is nothing she can do about the possibility of other BA. The more people who know what's happening, the greater the chances are that a Darkfriend will know - there are only a few people she can trust absolutely in this matter. Speed and secrecy are assets. If you can get in and out in, say, ten minutes, then the chances of someone else showing up are quite low unless they're lying in wait for you - which they have no reason to be doing. The plan was solid. Overcomplicating it could have helped, but would cause far more problems that it solves. Elayne was not stupid or a poor planner, she did not take an unnecessary risk (even more so in ToM, where things were in her favour to a far greater extent), she simply had bad luck.

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I believe it was her justification of invincibility that annoys people, particularly when the people around her already knew how flawed it was. Not so much the plan itself.

 

This. I didn't mean that specific plan, just her whole attitude in general. "Bodyguards? My kids will be FINE, Birgitte!"

Except that, you know, she has plenty of bodyguards around her all the time and accept them as necessary.

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I say there is nothing she can do about the possibility of other BA. The more people who know what's happening, the greater the chances are that a Darkfriend will know - there are only a few people she can trust absolutely in this matter. Speed and secrecy are assets. If you can get in and out in, say, ten minutes, then the chances of someone else showing up are quite low unless they're lying in wait for you - which they have no reason to be doing. The plan was solid. Overcomplicating it could have helped, but would cause far more problems that it solves. Elayne was not stupid or a poor planner, she did not take an unnecessary risk (even more so in ToM, where things were in her favour to a far greater extent), she simply had bad luck.

I agree that Elayne simply had bad luck in ToM, but her actions in KoD were reckless and stupid. She could have stationed some Kin nearby—Elayne was sure none of them were Darkfriends, and two Kinswomen helped Nynaeve against Falion and Ispan in ACoS, so they can't be completely useless in battle.

 

Vandene lowered her voice anyway. Quietness did nothing to mask her displeasure. "They reasoned out that the killer must be Merilille, Sareitha or Careane."

Elayne knew that one of the sisters with her (Careane, as it turned out) was Black Ajah. She took some precautions such as letting Vandene lead the link with Careane, and she herself the one with Sareitha, but it was still possible for the Black sister to betray them in other ways such as warning the other group.

 

"Perhaps this man can be trusted," Sareitha said, glancing at Hark with no trust at all, "but even if he heard correctly, nothing says there are still only two sisters in the house. Or any. If they have gone, there's no danger, but if others have joined them, we might as well put our necks in a noose and spring the trap ourselves."

 

Careane folded her sturdy arms and nodded. "The danger is too great. You yourself told us that when they fled the Tower, they stole a number of ter'angreal, some very dangerous indeed. I've never been called a coward, but I don't fancy trying to sneak up on someone who might have a rod that can make balefire."

 

"He could hardly have misheard something as simple as 'there are only two of us,'" Elayne replied firmly. "And they spoke as if they didn't expect any others." Burn her, considering her standing with respect to them, they should have been jumping to obey rather than arguing. "In any case, this isn't a discussion."

Sareitha suggested there might be other sisters in the house; Careane pointed out that they had dangerous ter'angreal. Both were right.

 

Elayne thinks they should jump to obey her because she's stronger in the Power and uses that to dismiss their objections. Yes, that's what Aes Sedai have always done, but that doesn't make it right for Elayne to use her standing to force others to risk their lives. Elayne believed herself safe because of Min's viewing, but the others didn't have that reassurance.

 

Men would be dying out there. Instead of laughing, Elayne wanted to weep for them. They deserved someone to weep for them, and they were dying for her. As Vandene and Sareitha had died. Sadness for them welled up in her again. No guilt, though. Only by letting Falion and Marillin walk free could they have been spared, and neither would have countenanced that. There had been no way to anticipate the arrival of the others, or that strange weapon Asne had.

"No way to anticipate" despite being warned about exactly those things? :rolleyes: No guilt that it was her reckless plan that resulted in their deaths (and most likely their Warders' too)? Given that she barely knew Sareitha, it's also fairly presumptuous to assume that Sareitha would have wanted to sacrifice her life just to catch a few Black sisters. Vandene was already at the end of her life and didn't care about anything except avenging Adeleas, but Sareitha wasn't much older than Elayne and didn't seem all that enthusiastic about the whole thing. So it just comes off as self-justification. I still like Elayne, but this was a low moment for her, to say the least.

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The only issue I have with what she did in ToM is that she didn't bother to tell Birgitte about it. In fact, she did that on purpose as she knew that Birgitte would not agree with what she was going to do. Not very smart to not notify your bodyguard that you're going to interrogate the black ajah. Where the shadow is concerned it's best not to take risks. The shadow already managed to kill black ajah captives once in tSR. Apart from that the plan itself was rather sound and quite clever.

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I say there is nothing she can do about the possibility of other BA. The more people who know what's happening, the greater the chances are that a Darkfriend will know - there are only a few people she can trust absolutely in this matter. Speed and secrecy are assets. If you can get in and out in, say, ten minutes, then the chances of someone else showing up are quite low unless they're lying in wait for you - which they have no reason to be doing. The plan was solid. Overcomplicating it could have helped, but would cause far more problems that it solves. Elayne was not stupid or a poor planner, she did not take an unnecessary risk (even more so in ToM, where things were in her favour to a far greater extent), she simply had bad luck.

I agree that Elayne simply had bad luck in ToM, but her actions in KoD were reckless and stupid. She could have stationed some Kin nearby—Elayne was sure none of them were Darkfriends, and two Kinswomen helped Nynaeve against Falion and Ispan in ACoS, so they can't be completely useless in battle.

 

Vandene lowered her voice anyway. Quietness did nothing to mask her displeasure. "They reasoned out that the killer must be Merilille, Sareitha or Careane."

Elayne knew that one of the sisters with her (Careane, as it turned out) was Black Ajah. She took some precautions such as letting Vandene lead the link with Careane, and she herself the one with Sareitha, but it was still possible for the Black sister to betray them in other ways such as warning the other group.

 

"Perhaps this man can be trusted," Sareitha said, glancing at Hark with no trust at all, "but even if he heard correctly, nothing says there are still only two sisters in the house. Or any. If they have gone, there's no danger, but if others have joined them, we might as well put our necks in a noose and spring the trap ourselves."

 

Careane folded her sturdy arms and nodded. "The danger is too great. You yourself told us that when they fled the Tower, they stole a number of ter'angreal, some very dangerous indeed. I've never been called a coward, but I don't fancy trying to sneak up on someone who might have a rod that can make balefire."

 

"He could hardly have misheard something as simple as 'there are only two of us,'" Elayne replied firmly. "And they spoke as if they didn't expect any others." Burn her, considering her standing with respect to them, they should have been jumping to obey rather than arguing. "In any case, this isn't a discussion."

Sareitha suggested there might be other sisters in the house; Careane pointed out that they had dangerous ter'angreal. Both were right.

Except that those others with the ter'angreal weren't in the house, they only happened to visit right when Elayne came.

 

At least that's what I got from Shiane saying this after Asne and company arrived "“You have my thanks for your timely rescue,” Shiaine said, rising, “but do you have a reason for coming here tonight? "

 

Though maybe I am wrong, the whole scene is written really confusingly. I've never understood where Asne and the other three appeared from and how they were able to see Elayne without being seen themselves.

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