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Most infuriating moment/topic in the books


Alric
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Well, Egwene's situation is very similar to Nyn's tenure as a Wisdom, in that Nyn was made Wisdom while she was very young, and she had to work hard to prove herself worthy of the role. No one can doubt that she did earn some practical leadership experience as Wisdom, but still, she takes the whole "I was Wisdom, so listen to me" thing to extremes.

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Thanks David - to be fair the direct quote does come from Eg and not from Elayne, but Elayne appears to be seeking Nyns advice in WH - I'll reread to check that it was about politics and not just because she's chief AS in Caemlyn at the moment.

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Oh, another one is Aviendha and Min's conversation in TGS:

 

Aviendha snorted. "Fight over a man? Who would do such a thing? If you had toh toward me, perhaps I could demand that we

dance the spears—but only if you were a Maiden. And only if I were still one too. I suppose that we could fight with knives, but

it would hardly be a fair fight. What honor would there to be gained in fighting one with no skill?"

 

Min flushed, as if Aviendha had offered her an insult. What a curious reaction. "I don't know about that," Min said, flipping a

knife from her sleeve and spinning it across her knuckles. "I'm hardly defenseless." She made the knife vanish up her other

sleeve. Why was it that the wetlanders always showed off such flourishes with their knives? Thorn Merrilin had been prone to

that as well. Didn't Min understand that Aviendha could have slit the woman's throat thrice over during the time it took to flash

that knife like a street performer? Aviendha said nothing, however. Min was obviously proud of the skill, and there was no need

to embarrass the woman.

 

"Hi, i'm from a warrior culture but i don't know what a show of force is! By the way you have no idea about fighting."

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This is from WH's prologue. Elayne certainly thinks highly of Nynaeve's political skills.

 

Nynaeve’s years dealing with the Village Council and the Women’s Circle back in Emond’s Field gave her a keen eye for practical politics, however much she denied it. Burn me, I have a hundred problems, some right here in the Palace, and I need them! If she had her way, Nynaeve al’Meara was going to be the Aes Sedai advisor to the next Queen of Andor. She needed all the help she could find—help she could trust.
Edited by David Selig
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Egwene getting released from the collar. She is one character I just cannot stand. It would be like giving a sheltered 18 year old control of the United States. They think they know everything, and everything should be done their way. Nobody could be worse than Elaida, but there are many who could have been better than Egwene.

 

Elaida not being deposed before she was captured. It was obvious the woman was nuttier than penut butter, and should not have had control of a dog, let alone the white tower.

 

Elaynes sheer stupidity. She screwed up everything she had a hand in, yet everyone pretends she is some fantastic leader. From the Bowl of Winds to her capture by the Black Ajah, her reasoning is beyond flawed, to the point she could almost be called an idiot. Ok, there isn't even an almost about it.

 

Everyones refusal to accept what they are. From Rand to Perrin to Mat.

 

Nynaeve up until about the time she marries Lan, and learns some humility.

 

Faile. Just a hateful, unlikeable character.

Edited by Apoc81
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Oh, another one is Aviendha and Min's conversation in TGS:

 

Aviendha snorted. "Fight over a man? Who would do such a thing? If you had toh toward me, perhaps I could demand that we

dance the spears—but only if you were a Maiden. And only if I were still one too. I suppose that we could fight with knives, but

it would hardly be a fair fight. What honor would there to be gained in fighting one with no skill?"

 

Min flushed, as if Aviendha had offered her an insult. What a curious reaction. "I don't know about that," Min said, flipping a

knife from her sleeve and spinning it across her knuckles. "I'm hardly defenseless." She made the knife vanish up her other

sleeve. Why was it that the wetlanders always showed off such flourishes with their knives? Thorn Merrilin had been prone to

that as well. Didn't Min understand that Aviendha could have slit the woman's throat thrice over during the time it took to flash

that knife like a street performer? Aviendha said nothing, however. Min was obviously proud of the skill, and there was no need

to embarrass the woman.

 

"Hi, i'm from a warrior culture but i don't know what a show of force is! By the way you have no idea about fighting."

 

Eh. People who are trained in efficent, "boring", but effective combat (say, your average soldier) tends to be disdainful of the fancy but pointless flourishes that that noble duilists do when showing off. I think it's the same kind of thing. An Aiel wouldn't show off with a fancy knife flourish, they would show off by killing someone in seconds in a brutally effient way.

 

If Min really wanted to get respect there, she would have been better off mentioning how she was quick enough with those knives to make one of the Forsaken bleed before she managed to restrain her with air. That would probably have impressed Aviendha more.

 

It is kind of annoying the way that all the aiel just keep calling all non-aiel soft and not even realizing that that's an insult, and the way they keep doing it even long after they should have realized what utter BS it is, but sadly it's also completly belivable for people to continue to take for granted assumptions about other cultures that they have grown up with even when they should know better.

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- Elaida's tunnelvision and inflexibility

 

- Everything Gawyn does after first meeting with Rand at the palace. He was OK in that one scene, and that's it.

 

- Regarding the Black Tower: aside from the things already mentioned, the fact that Rand expects Asha'man to be impressed by him. These people were recruited to what (did) amount to a fatal and irrevocable choice of fates by being told they would fight for the Dragon, then they never see him, and when he deigns to show up and pull a few out for his purposes, he acts all high and mighty and gets his panties in a twist when they don't fawn over him. If he'd shown up from time to time to let them know that, yes indeed, they were there for a reason, maybe Taim wouldn't have had so much success.

 

- The Aiel's refusal to accept that the Prophecies of the Dragon do matter. They keep saying "[the Dragon] is no part of our prophecies..." So? You think that means it won't affect you? Pay attention to what they say and then try to pretend you won't be affected!

 

- The fact that lands like Shara and Tremalking are mentioned multiple times but don't really enter the story. This whole Tarmon Gaidon thing is pretty big, like globally, apocalyptically big, and the Forsaken only care about this one little part of the world? Even Seanchan: true, they were infiltrated, but it has only affected the Seanchan in Randland. The actual land of Seanchan is ignored aside from brief mentions of trouble. And what about the rest of the world? I get the feeling that Randland, Shara, Tremalking and the Sea Folk Islands, and Seanchan would take up mabye half a world. Is the rest all covered in ocean?

Edited by Veracohr
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- The fact that lands like Shara and Tremalking are mentioned multiple times but don't really enter the story. This whole Tarmon Gaidon thing is pretty big, like globally, apocalyptically big, and the Forsaken only care about this one little part of the world? Even Seanchan: true, they were infiltrated, but it has only affected the Seanchan in Randland. The actual land of Seanchan is ignored aside from brief mentions of trouble. And what about the rest of the world? I get the feeling that Randland, Shara, Tremalking and the Sea Folk Islands, and Seanchan would take up mabye half a world. Is the rest all covered in ocean?

 

The only thing that really matters for the fate of the world right now is if the Dragon manages to re-seal the dark one back into his prison, or not; and if/how badly he'll break the world while doing so. Randland is where the final battle is going to happen.

 

The Forsaken did managed to throw the Seanchan homeland into chaos, and try to kill Turin as well, but I think they just want to keep the Senchean out of the final battle in Randland. Now that because of the chaos no more reinforecments will come from the Senchean homeland to Randland, the Forsaken don't really care what happens there anymore.

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Re: Nynaeve's bossiness

 

I love that she still thinks she knows what is best, simply because she was Wisdom in a tiny little village in the middle of nowhere. She has not spent a moment longer "outside" than any of the other Emond's Fielders, yet she still feels as if her experience as a village Wisdom gives her better insight than, say, Elayne's training as Daughter Heir, Rand's experience as a ruler, Moiraine's experience and education as an Aes Sedai, etc. At some point she just has to let that Wisdom hat go, and realize that not only is it too small for her own head, but also does not grant her any special insight or powers of reasoning.

 

I concur with this in a way and it was one of the main reasons I despised Nyn for most of the series, her character always seemed stuck in a rut personal growth wise to me for far too long. I get that RJ wrote her as a character that contrasted in many ways internally and externally, I just always found her negatives so far outweighed the positives that I could not stand her. It has been awhile since I have done a full reread but IIRC it is not until book 8 or so where I started to get a feeling that she had really been humbled (even though she should have been a hundred times over by then) into really starting to change and it still took until KOD before I started to even begrudgingly like her a bit. I get that being epically stubborn and unchanging is a Two Rivers quality she is supposed to have in spades and RJ wanted to illustrate that and make her resistant to growth, but I think he should have moved her character growth up 2-3 books.

 

Where I disagree is that Nyn has a lack of insight or reasoning skills, she is actually one of the most accomplished characters in the series and it is not because she is immensely powerful in the OP (she is strong but there are plenty of female channellers that trump her easily in raw strength) or placed into a position of leadership or responsibility. She has been repeatedly innovative and ahead of the curve with channelling, single-handedly made sure there will be an army to meet the Shadow at Tarwin's Gap come TG (while Lan was being inexplicably irrational about going alone and Rand was too busy playing footsie with the darkside to care about saving his friends), and speaking of Rand she is arguably the biggest reason the Dragon did not turn to the Shadow in the latter half of the books just to name a few things. Once she hits her stride as a character she really does significant things and often gives great advice to main players in the plot.

 

Her big problem at the outset and through most of the books is that she is meant to be an advisor or support type and not a leader like most of the main characters ( a quality that in hindsight made her grow on me to be honest), yet she tries to be constantly domineering and controlling of everything around her and respects no outside authority (even the White Tower). Compound that with the fact she is in a small village box mindset wise that makes her xenophobic, stubborn, intolerant, judgmental, inflexible and unwilling to change it is easy to see why her personality would be pretty insufferable. The character also carries a lot of fears as well which she does not exactly deal with well internally. Once she accepts who she is and learns to accept others and their decisions she becomes pretty awesome and one of my favorite characters. I think at this juncture it is pretty easy to make a strong case that Nyn is Rand biggest asset and the best ally he has, she is definitely (and ironically considering the first 7 books or so) one of the few indians when he has waaaaaaaay too many chiefs running around instead of supporting him in more than name for all intents and purposes.

Edited by Ryan52
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The only thing that really matters for the fate of the world right now is if the Dragon manages to re-seal the dark one back into his prison, or not; and if/how badly he'll break the world while doing so. Randland is where the final battle is going to happen.

 

The Forsaken did managed to throw the Seanchan homeland into chaos, and try to kill Turin as well, but I think they just want to keep the Senchean out of the final battle in Randland. Now that because of the chaos no more reinforecments will come from the Senchean homeland to Randland, the Forsaken don't really care what happens there anymore.

 

Objectively I know that, in order for a writer to be as detailed as RJ was, he needed to limit the scope of the story. I guess I just wish that other lands were at most barely mentioned as existing, rather than the reader given just enough details about them to be interested, then saying nothing more.

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The only thing that really matters for the fate of the world right now is if the Dragon manages to re-seal the dark one back into his prison, or not; and if/how badly he'll break the world while doing so. Randland is where the final battle is going to happen.

 

The Forsaken did managed to throw the Seanchan homeland into chaos, and try to kill Turin as well, but I think they just want to keep the Senchean out of the final battle in Randland. Now that because of the chaos no more reinforecments will come from the Senchean homeland to Randland, the Forsaken don't really care what happens there anymore.

 

Objectively I know that, in order for a writer to be as detailed as RJ was, he needed to limit the scope of the story. I guess I just wish that other lands were at most barely mentioned as existing, rather than the reader given just enough details about them to be interested, then saying nothing more.

 

Mmm. Eh, I don't know. I always loved how big and detailed his world felt. I really don't mind some worldbuilding that isn't necessarally connected to the plot; in fact, it makes the world feel more real and interesting to me. When every single aspect of the world in a fantesy series is just a checkov's gun, it starts to get thin after a while, IMHO.

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Gawyn's utter stupidity. He is "supposed" to a prince and trained to be objective, and calm under pressure. he is neither. He believes utterly Rand killed Morgase. He refuses to believe anything else. He like Perrin is a idiot. They both are prepared to see the world die. Gawyn wants to kill Rand and in doing so let the world die. Perrin is also an idiot he is also prepared to let the world die to save Faile.

 

Elayne is also beyond stupid. Is this a inherited Trakand gene? She upon hearing Min's viewing does anything and everything stupid because "her babes will be born healthy"

 

Cadsuane Believes striking people and being rude only applies to others. She berates people for this and yet does it herself. Does the word hypocrite come to mind?

 

Egwene her believing she knows better than people hundreds of years older than her.

 

Perrin his refusal to take charge. When it is obvious it is needed. Giving the enemy hundreds of damane just to save Faile. This will come back to bite him and Rand.

 

 

I think also that RJ over did the mood swings of Elayne. it made her act rather childishly and pathetic.

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Elayne is also beyond stupid. Is this a inherited Trakand gene? She upon hearing Min's viewing does anything and everything stupid because "her babes will be born healthy"

 

One big trap a lot of fantesy writers fall into is that if you have a prophecy, that it sucks all the suspense out of the book because the reader knows everything will be fine (after all, the prophecy says it will!) Robert Jordan had about a dozen different ways of avoiding this trap, some of them quite brilliant, and this was one of the more effective ones, IMHO: make one of the *characters* think in those exact terms, and then use them as an object lesson to prove why that's not actually true.

 

I think it was very well done, myself; yeah; it makes Elayne look almost absurdly foolhearty and brave, but honestly that's been a consistant part of her personality all along and something that other characters, like Bridgette and Aviendha, often notice. And when *Aviendha* and *Bridgette Silverbow* think that you're too brave for your own good, you probably have a problem, lol.

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Elayne was reckless before she was told about the viewing, more so in fact IMO. All the other main characters are reckless too (it would make for a pretty boring series otherwise). Elayne's raid of the BA house in KOD isn't really in the Top 20 most reckless things the main WoT characters have done. So I don't get the big deal about Elayne and the viewing. Sure, we as genre savvy readers know that when you tempt fate like this, things usually go wrong, but in story, while Elayne knows the viewing is not a 100% guarantee, it's a hell of a lot better than nothing.

Edited by David Selig
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Eh. People who are trained in efficent, "boring", but effective combat (say, your average soldier) tends to be disdainful of the fancy but pointless flourishes that that noble duilists do when showing off. I think it's the same kind of thing. An Aiel wouldn't show off with a fancy knife flourish, they would show off by killing someone in seconds in a brutally effient way.

 

If Min really wanted to get respect there, she would have been better off mentioning how she was quick enough with those knives to make one of the Forsaken bleed before she managed to restrain her with air. That would probably have impressed Aviendha more.

 

It is kind of annoying the way that all the aiel just keep calling all non-aiel soft and not even realizing that that's an insult, and the way they keep doing it even long after they should have realized what utter BS it is, but sadly it's also completly belivable for people to continue to take for granted assumptions about other cultures that they have grown up with even when they should know better.

Aiel think that killing is like breathing--anyone can do it and it's not all that impressive (i can't remember the exact quote). Under ji'e'toh, elaborate and difficult forms of subjugation (such as touching someone while unarmed) is preferable to more efficient forms of combat. We see Aiel showing off through physical feats pretty often, Aveindha not even registering twirling a knife as a show of ability instead of a an actual combat movie is pretty bad. Even if the Aiel preferring grace wasn't true, it's pretty naive to assume that is all that Min knows how to do. And a show of force is not a difficult or unique concept to understand.

 

Although it's more of the annoying Aiel superiority complex, which is especially egregious on Aveindha since it seems to go "All wetlanders are soft. Well, except Egwene, and Rand, and Lan, and Moiraine, and Elayne, and Nynaeve, and Birgette, and Mat, but besides those that make up 95% of my experience with wetlanders all wetlanders are soft."

Edited by TNine
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Elayne was reckless before she was told about the viewing, more so in fact IMO. All the other main characters are reckless too (it would make for a pretty boring series otherwise). Elayne's raid of the BA house in KOD isn't really in the Top 20 most reckless things the main WoT characters have done. So I don't get the big deal about Elayne and the viewing. Sure, we as genre savvy readers know that when you tempt fate like this, things usually go wrong, but in story, while Elayne knows the viewing is not a 100% guarantee, it's a hell of a lot better than nothing.

 

Indeed. People always crack on the BA safe house take down but it really was quite a good plan. She utilized all the resources she had to hand given the time constraints(WFs would not have helped and Kin would be worth than useless in that situation given how they felt about AS at that time), she had back up on the outside and she neatly hamstrung the BA in her group with the linking trick. It took a totally unforeseen sequence of events including a AoL weapon that no one knew existed to foil it.

Edited by Suttree
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Elayne was reckless before she was told about the viewing, more so in fact IMO. All the other main characters are reckless too (it would make for a pretty boring series otherwise). Elayne's raid of the BA house in KOD isn't really in the Top 20 most reckless things the main WoT characters have done. So I don't get the big deal about Elayne and the viewing. Sure, we as genre savvy readers know that when you tempt fate like this, things usually go wrong, but in story, while Elayne knows the viewing is not a 100% guarantee, it's a hell of a lot better than nothing.

 

I did laugh at the the line when Elayne said "Come on, this is hardly the most reckless thing I've done." and Birgitte responded "Only because you've set such a high bar for yourself."

Edited by Yosarian
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A most infuriating habit in the books as a whole is the lack of communication between couples who are romantically involved. That is why Mat's courtship with Tuon and their evening strolls and chats while riding make the relationship real. Berelain and Galad spent more time talking to each other than Rand and his three women combined. Rand hardly talks with his three women. He is all business with Aviendha except when he has her frozen body in his arms in the Far Snows. He almost never talks with Elayne except in the Stone of Tear, where most of her teaching was politics. And even with Min, his communication is more business and tasks than personal. Even Morgase and Tallanvor have better communication than most.

 

Perrin and Faile fluctuate from Perrin throwing himself under Faile's feet to Perrin shouting before he throws himself under Faile's feet.

 

Egwene and Gawyn ............... no comment!!!!!!

 

Nynaeve and Lan ....... That relationship started after "Mashiara." And the communication is almost minimal due to Lan's psychological state.

 

Siuan and Gareth are much better than most. But Siuan's resistance because "I don't have time to fall in love" wasted precious months in that relationship. After the bonding, their communication was very warm and nice to read.

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I totally agree with lucker's Ritalin comment regarding elayne. And maybe it was just Sanderson that made her seem more air headed to me. She was silly in WH and cot. But I enjoyed her povs til ToM.

As an aside to Luckers suttree BBM and fish. Y'all are are almost the only posts I read all the way through. I've been lurking here for years and finally decided to join. You guys seem to be to most well versed posters here. No offense to everyone else btw. If you are offended I have toh

Edited by Asmodeanisdemandread
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Aiel views on Cairhienen is pretty irritating in a way. They see all of them as treekillers and oathbreakers because their former king was. By Aiel standards all Aiel are honorless and dont follow ji'e'toh just because the Shaido do not or to that matter because of couladin because one person stains everyone from that culture...

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...

 

- The Aiel's refusal to accept that the Prophecies of the Dragon do matter. They keep saying "[the Dragon] is no part of our prophecies..." So? You think that means it won't affect you? Pay attention to what they say and then try to pretend you won't be affected!

 

...

 

Most groups are guilty of this - at the least Cads is on record in WH as thinking she doesn't give a fig about the Coramoor, all the figs in the world for the Dragon Reborn, but none for the Coramoor.

 

I suspect that at this late stage she may well be right, but the sentiment's the same.

 

Elayne was reckless before she was told about the viewing, more so in fact IMO. All the other main characters are reckless too (it would make for a pretty boring series otherwise). Elayne's raid of the BA house in KOD isn't really in the Top 20 most reckless things the main WoT characters have done. So I don't get the big deal about Elayne and the viewing. Sure, we as genre savvy readers know that when you tempt fate like this, things usually go wrong, but in story, while Elayne knows the viewing is not a 100% guarantee, it's a hell of a lot better than nothing.

 

Indeed. People always crack on the BA safe house take down but it really was quite a good plan. She utilized all the resources she had to hand given the time constraints(WFs would not have helped and Kin would be worth than useless in that situation given how they felt about AS at that time), she had back up on the outside and she neatly hamstrung the BA in her group with the linking trick. It took a totally unforeseen sequence of events including a AoL weapon that no one knew existed to foil it.

 

Although I agree with the general sentiment that it was the best possible plan given the resources she had - the linking in particular was great, she should/could have had some inkling about the ter'angreal - they found a similar ter'angreal in the kins warehouse (Nyn picks one up and says it feels like pain) and I'm 75% sure that it was one of the one's listed amongst those that the BA stole - I'll check tDR later. Elayne spent a lot of time studying those lists.

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Although I agree with the general sentiment that it was the best possible plan given the resources she had - the linking in particular was great, she should/could have had some inkling about the ter'angreal - they found a similar ter'angreal in the kins warehouse (Nyn picks one up and says it feels like pain) and I'm 75% sure that it was one of the one's listed amongst those that the BA stole - I'll check tDR later.

 

Not sure how they would make the jump from a rod that feels like pain to a "shock pistol". There is no possible way they could have expected the BA to have one, nor what it's properties would be.

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