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What was RJ's plan for Graendal?


Mr Hindley
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On a slightly similar note: I wonder then if the Mesaana kill was Brandon (like the idea of it, not just writing). It is a very RJ thing, with the TAR bit and the whole "something they can't comprehend" type thing.

 

It is fairly amusing, Mesaana actually got out-arrogance-d. Aes Sedai arrogance (not Egwene, but AS) actually drove her to mindlessness. I liked the sheer ridiculousness of it. (the idea behind it is a good one, but it was basically an arrogance match)

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On a slightly similar note: I wonder then if the Mesaana kill was Brandon (like the idea of it, not just writing). It is a very RJ thing, with the TAR bit and the whole "something they can't comprehend" type thing.

 

Jason stated on twitter that as a result of his Beta-ing on TofM a Forsaken who was to die, now lives. The only viable answer to this is Mesaana (Graendal, after all, as we now know, did not live). Furthermore, I suspect I can show you Mesaana's original death, in a wig.

 

Those will not hit me, Egwene thought, confident. The White Tower was hers. Mesaana and her minions had invaded, killing Nicola, Shevan and Carlinya.

 

Weaves shot forward, but they bent around Egwene. In a moment Egwene was wearing the clothing of a Wise One. White blouse, brown skirt, shawl on her shoulders. She imagined a spear in her hand, an Aiel spear, and she threw it with a precise motion.

 

The spear pierced the weaves of Fire and Air, blasting them away, then hit something thick. A wall of Air before Mesaana. Egwene refused to allow it. That wall didn't belong here. It did not exist.

 

The spear stopped slowing and shot forward, taking Mesaana in the neck. The woman's eyes opened wide and she slumped backward, blood spurting from the wound. The black strips swirling around her vanished completely, as did the dress. So it had been a weave. Mesaana's darkened face turned into that of . . .

 

Katerine? Egwene frowned. Mesaana had been Katerine all along? But she'd been Black, and fled the Tower. She hadn't remained, and that meant—

 

No, Egwene thought, I've been had. She's a—

 

At that moment, Egwene felt something snap around her neck. Something cold and metallic, something familiar and terrifying. The Source fled her in a moment, for she was no longer authorized to hold it.

 

[follow on with the rest of Mesaana's fall]

 

In particular note the way the spear pierces flows of the Power, but suddenly, contradictingly, is stopped by those flows. I suspect the original incarnation was Mesaana's manipulation of the Dream in resistance--the pre-beta version of Egwene and Mesaana's Dream-Will Confrontation, and Jason pointed out--correctly--how cheap a victory this was.

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Hmmm, I can see both sides. It would have been kinda random and abrupt if it was just that. But hey, it is no worse than Sammael.

 

On the other hand, the arrogance contest was the fighting equivalent of the AS pep-talk speech in tGS. It was supposed to be a grand and inspiring, but ended up making me cringe and shake my head at the arrogance it detailed.

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I don't think there's a both sides on this one--rather, the post beta was simply an development on the pre-beta. Both are blunt and clunky and rather cingeworthy--the writing of the Dream Battle is amongst the worst of the aMoL arc--the latter simply re-framed the victory as a victory as opposed to simply... 'okay, that happened'.

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I read somewhere recently that the concept of the Dreamspike and how it works is something that BS had to come up with; and also a suggestion that he wanted to feature Perrin prominently in ToM. Which suggests to me that the whole Perrin-Slayer-Graendal arc in ToM might have been something that BS came up with to fill a large gap. Perrin was behind in the timeline and needed to be caught up, and if BS wanted to bulk it up, then adding in a Forsaken-driven plot, that also involved Perrin's old nemesis Slayer, was a reasonable choice. (Although we can assume that RJ had always planned on Perrin's plotline converging with the Whitecloaks, as the wheels for those two groups to meet were set in motion in KoD, not to mention an old history between Perrin and the Whitecloaks, and a need for Galad to meet Berelain at some point.)

 

The idea of a Graendal vs Perrin confrontation always seemed a bit out of leftfield for me, with zero foreshadowing, which adds to the notion that this was BS's own input. And I gather that nearly all of the Town scene in the Prologue was written by RJ, with the suggestion that Slayer referencing his wound from Perrin was something that BS added in to match the timeline. If the Town scene was originally going to part of the prologue when tGS, ToM and aMoL were all going to be one book, then Slayer wouldn't have had the chance to go haring off after Perrin - he'd have been immediately focused on Rand. And I doubt that Slayer's arc will go any further than that little confrontation.

 

So - let's say that Graendal's part of that whole arc was something BS added to fill a gap. We know that he had a lot of gaps to fill, so fair enough. However, what would have happened to Graendal if RJ was still writing the story?

 

She could have just died at Natrin's Barrow, which is the simplest solution. But it seems unlikely, from a narrative perspective, that both she AND Aran'gar would have died at the same time, in some kind of kill-one-get-one-free deal. It's possible that RJ's plan was for Graendal to die and Aran'gar to go free - but Aran'gar's plotline was largely ended anyway, and RJ himself set up the notion of an Aran'gar-Graendal alliance, sowing the seeds for Aran'gar to be in the wrong place at the wrong time later on.

 

So Graendal escapes Natrin's Barrow. Then what? She feels too high-profile for me, and has been built up as a cunning genius for too long, for her to have no meaningful resolution to her plotline other than to get randomly bumped off during Tarmon Gaidon. Especially as unlike, say, Moghedien, or Cyndane, she has no particular antagonist on the Light side, no-one where we're all thinking, 'I can't wait to see X finally take on Graendal!'

 

Was she always intended to fall from grace in some way (possibly being Haeffalumped, or not, as a result)? There would be a certain symmetry in Moridin ending up with three cour'souvra from all three female Forsaken, but there's no sign of Graendal having been mindtrapped. And if it was intended - how? It might just have been as punishment for Aran'gar's death, so that could all have been in the plan.

 

That still begs the question - did RJ have some final scheme in mind to conclude Graendal's plotline, for her to move from a background player to a full-on confrontation with the Light? Something to justify the hype? Does this add to the likelihood that her role is to be the one Forsaken who changes sides / survives? (And being presumed dead makes the latter a lot easier.)

 

Hmm... Any suggestions?

I read somewhere recently that the concept of the Dreamspike and how it works is something that BS had to come up with; and also a suggestion that he wanted to feature Perrin prominently in ToM. Which suggests to me that the whole Perrin-Slayer-Graendal arc in ToM might have been something that BS came up with to fill a large gap. Perrin was behind in the timeline and needed to be caught up, and if BS wanted to bulk it up, then adding in a Forsaken-driven plot, that also involved Perrin's old nemesis Slayer, was a reasonable choice. (Although we can assume that RJ had always planned on Perrin's plotline converging with the Whitecloaks, as the wheels for those two groups to meet were set in motion in KoD, not to mention an old history between Perrin and the Whitecloaks, and a need for Galad to meet Berelain at some point.)

 

The idea of a Graendal vs Perrin confrontation always seemed a bit out of leftfield for me, with zero foreshadowing, which adds to the notion that this was BS's own input. And I gather that nearly all of the Town scene in the Prologue was written by RJ, with the suggestion that Slayer referencing his wound from Perrin was something that BS added in to match the timeline. If the Town scene was originally going to part of the prologue when tGS, ToM and aMoL were all going to be one book, then Slayer wouldn't have had the chance to go haring off after Perrin - he'd have been immediately focused on Rand. And I doubt that Slayer's arc will go any further than that little confrontation.

 

So - let's say that Graendal's part of that whole arc was something BS added to fill a gap. We know that he had a lot of gaps to fill, so fair enough. However, what would have happened to Graendal if RJ was still writing the story?

 

She could have just died at Natrin's Barrow, which is the simplest solution. But it seems unlikely, from a narrative perspective, that both she AND Aran'gar would have died at the same time, in some kind of kill-one-get-one-free deal. It's possible that RJ's plan was for Graendal to die and Aran'gar to go free - but Aran'gar's plotline was largely ended anyway, and RJ himself set up the notion of an Aran'gar-Graendal alliance, sowing the seeds for Aran'gar to be in the wrong place at the wrong time later on.

 

So Graendal escapes Natrin's Barrow. Then what? She feels too high-profile for me, and has been built up as a cunning genius for too long, for her to have no meaningful resolution to her plotline other than to get randomly bumped off during Tarmon Gaidon. Especially as unlike, say, Moghedien, or Cyndane, she has no particular antagonist on the Light side, no-one where we're all thinking, 'I can't wait to see X finally take on Graendal!'

 

Was she always intended to fall from grace in some way (possibly being Haeffalumped, or not, as a result)? There would be a certain symmetry in Moridin ending up with three cour'souvra from all three female Forsaken, but there's no sign of Graendal having been mindtrapped. And if it was intended - how? It might just have been as punishment for Aran'gar's death, so that could all have been in the plan.

 

That still begs the question - did RJ have some final scheme in mind to conclude Graendal's plotline, for her to move from a background player to a full-on confrontation with the Light? Something to justify the hype? Does this add to the likelihood that her role is to be the one Forsaken who changes sides / survives? (And being presumed dead makes the latter a lot easier.)

 

Hmm... Any suggestions?

 

My guess is she would have done something to root Demandred out of his hiding place, like posing as him, to make it look like he was disobeying orders. Either that, or she would have something to do with Moiraines return-like, being about to kill Alanna, to get Rand crazy again, but Moiraine turns up to either take the bond prior to the murder OR she deals with Rand after the bond snapped.

 

Definitely none of this Slayer business anyway.

Edited by Drekka Mort
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Hmm, don't know if I would say cringeworthy, but definitely not the best.

 

It is surprising really. I thought that the Perrin-Slayer dream battle sequences were done rather well, but the AS fight was rather dull in comparison.

 

I stole the cringe from you, lol.

 

But I liked neither side. Brandon wanted some sort of Matrixy moment, and clearly spent more time on Perrin--you're right his is more developed, though the wolves teaching him to do what Dreamwalkers do in their jumps despite the Wolf Dream always having a more physical aspect, akin to that of being present in the flesh, which even on Dreamwalkers maintains that influence, was problematic for me in that it jarred the sense of metaphysical integrity.

 

But the entirety felt cheap and contrived. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Egwene and Mesaana having a showdown in TAR was in Jim's notes, but I doubt any of the rest of it was.

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I've been somwhat letdown by T'A'R fights since Moghedien was overpowered by Nynaeve i tFoH.. it's been claimed on several occations that she was the true master of T'A'R, not Lanfear.

 

It baffles the mind that she just didn't will away the a'dam Nyn put on her.

Edited by elmis
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Yeah, fair enough. I was just talking about the writing aspect, it was much better than the Tower fight. (Although I did enjoy Perrin/TAR for what it was)

 

 

Edit: Re Moggy.

 

Eh, I thought that was a bit of a misleading passage. Moghedien probably knows more about TAR, but she is too cowardly and weak-willed to be a master (where will is the most important thing) Lanfear is much stronger willed.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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I've been somwhat letdown by T'A'R fights since Moghedien was overpowered by Nynaeve i tFoH.. it's been claimed on several occations that she was the true master of T'A'R, not Lanfear.

 

It baffles the mind that she just didn't will away the A'dam Nyn put on her.

 

There is only one reasonable answer - fear.

 

Fear seems to be the Moggyrachnid's defining characteristic, and her hatred for Nynaeve seems pretty clearly rooted in fear of Nynaeve. In the moment, with Nynaeve so apparently sure of herself, Moghedien feared that she had been defeated, and her fear reinforced her situation.

 

At least, that's how it could make sense to me. Maybe it's just an error.

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The same as Asmodean not breaking the shield--it required a willingness to accept pain. Neither Moghedien nor Asmodean had that.

 

That being said, though it has been made clear by Jordan that Egwene was stronger than Moghedien in the Dream when she escaped Moghedien's weaving not once but twice, the scene with the a'dam was clunky and gratuitously done.

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I've been somwhat letdown by T'A'R fights since Moghedien was overpowered by Nynaeve i tFoH.. it's been claimed on several occations that she was the true master of T'A'R, not Lanfear.

 

It baffles the mind that she just didn't will away the A'dam Nyn put on her.

 

There is only one reasonable answer - fear.

 

Fear seems to be the Moggyrachnid's defining characteristic, and her hatred for Nynaeve seems pretty clearly rooted in fear of Nynaeve. In the moment, with Nynaeve so apparently sure of herself, Moghedien feared that she had been defeated, and her fear reinforced her situation.

 

At least, that's how it could make sense to me. Maybe it's just an error.

a weaker will than nynaeve's could be the other reason.

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I've been somwhat letdown by T'A'R fights since Moghedien was overpowered by Nynaeve i tFoH.. it's been claimed on several occations that she was the true master of T'A'R, not Lanfear.

 

It baffles the mind that she just didn't will away the A'dam Nyn put on her.

 

There is only one reasonable answer - fear.

 

Fear seems to be the Moggyrachnid's defining characteristic, and her hatred for Nynaeve seems pretty clearly rooted in fear of Nynaeve. In the moment, with Nynaeve so apparently sure of herself, Moghedien feared that she had been defeated, and her fear reinforced her situation.

 

At least, that's how it could make sense to me. Maybe it's just an error.

a weaker will than nynaeve's could be the other reason.

 

Perhaps, but it didn't seem like she tried to make it go away and failed, it seemed more like she just never tried to make it go away. When it appeared on her neck, she just panicked.

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Unless part of "control of the Dream" is the ability to overcome fear. But that's down to definitions.

 

Moghedien is a scaredy-coward. Additionally, the story wouldn't have worked well if Rahvin had killed Rand.

No, definitely fear does have something to do with it. But, in TAR fear almost seems like the opposite of will so maybe we're just talking in circles. I feel like Perrin is the most powerful dreamwalker at this point while Egwene is one of the most skilled.

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Neophyte, after Egwene escapes Moghediens trap to keep her sealed in T'A'R she thinks to her self that the child had been stronger than she had thought to escape her weaving. She continues to think that nobody is stronger here than her, regardless of what Lanfear claims.

 

For other references, Birgitte has this to say about Moghedien: "Lanfear always claimed Tel'aran'rhiod for her own, but Moghedien could do things here far beyond Lanfear, though she has not Lanfear's strength in the world of flesh.".

 

I get what you're saying Luckers, but when the a'dam is clicked in place, Nynaeve does nothing to cause her pain. Moghedien is just suddenly horrified, seemingly having forgotten that she mere seconds ago willed Birgitte to be a child. She changed her, Birgitte (somewhat strong willed), body and mind in a second. That's what T'A'R seem to be all about, willpower. Perrin willed the balefire way, Elayne and the other untrained Aes Sedai willed the nightmare they had been feeding away. There are countless of other examples. Why wouldn't an expert like Moghedien just poof the a'dam away..? It only controls the ability to channel, not your strenght in T'A'R.

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Unless part of "control of the Dream" is the ability to overcome fear.

 

It's not--a person injured pysically by events in the dream are affected physically in the waking world, showing that dream events result in physiological responses. The release of adrenaline and all the other neuro-chemicals released in a fear response are included within that--a phyisiological response to stimuli. Despite that, a dream induced injury cannot be willed away, showing that the physiological change, once it has ocurred, cannot be reversed.

 

This doesn't make sense, but it is cannon.

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Unless part of "control of the Dream" is the ability to overcome fear.

 

It's not--a person injured pysically by events in the dream are affected physically in the waking world, showing that dream events result in physiological responses. The release of adrenaline and all the other neuro-chemicals released in a fear response are included within that--a phyisiological response to stimuli. Despite that, a dream induced injury cannot be willed away, showing that the physiological change, once it has ocurred, cannot be reversed.

 

This doesn't make sense, but it is cannon.

 

No, a cannon is what I feel like shooting myself out of this morning.

 

It's too bad there's not an emoticon for a sad smile here - jokes are just flat when you've decided that we're just poking at a five year old corpse by even talking about this story anymore ...

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For other references, Birgitte has this to say about Moghedien: "Lanfear always claimed Tel'aran'rhiod for her own, but Moghedien could do things here far beyond Lanfear, though she has not Lanfear's strength in the world of flesh.".

 

 

 

That's the thing. Knowledge - in this case- isn't power. Moghedien has a flaw, which is fatal if applied to TAR. She can do well if she isn't in danger, but she is a coward. She will do anything for survival, and her concerntration goes once put in a difficult decision.

 

Yeah, she knows how to do a lot of stuff, and I am sure if she was safe and secure, she could wreak all havoc on an unsuspecting victim. However, direct battle in TAR is not her forte. Lanfear is much more courageous. The a'dam wouldn't scare her to pieces as it did Moghedien.

 

(It isn't fear that is a part of TAR, it is more the control of that fear that is important, if that makes sense. Which Moggy is not very good at)

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I get that after Nynaeve is on her feet and "torturing" Moghedien, that she stops trying to escape, that's the way she is.

 

What I don't get is why she, as one of the most strongest (and certainly most skilled) dreamers would accept the a'dam in the first place, or even try to channel as her first response. They are in T'A'R, she is in her element, and she certainly knows that mere thoughts there can do more than a hundred flows. When she picks apart Birgitte on the previous page she does it seemingly all with her mind. Birgitte looses an arrow on her. It evaporates. Her bow evaporates. Here she is under threat and she uses T'A'R to her advantage, yet all that is gone a minute later. That just grates me.

 

I won't push the issue any more though.

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Unless part of "control of the Dream" is the ability to overcome fear.

 

It's not--a person injured pysically by events in the dream are affected physically in the waking world, showing that dream events result in physiological responses. The release of adrenaline and all the other neuro-chemicals released in a fear response are included within that--a phyisiological response to stimuli. Despite that, a dream induced injury cannot be willed away, showing that the physiological change, once it has ocurred, cannot be reversed.

 

This doesn't make sense, but it is cannon.

 

No, a cannon is what I feel like shooting myself out of this morning.

 

It's too bad there's not an emoticon for a sad smile here - jokes are just flat when you've decided that we're just poking at a five year old corpse by even talking about this story anymore ...

 

I feel your pain, but still smiled at your joke.

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Jordan may not have worked out all the details of her plot line. Brandon has said that a number of RJ's notes where "And this person ends up here" without Jordan explaining why, or with a few notes on different possible ways he could execute the plan.

That's certainly possible. I guess, though, he must have had some specific plan for what 'here' was. Most of the Forsaken have some kind of specific purpose in the narrative:

- Ishamael, Lanfear - need I say more?

- Aginor, Balthamel - Dramatic roadkill for Book 1. Then brought back because if RJ was going to bring back Ishy and Lanfear, he had to bring back these two as well.

- Be'lal, Rahvin, Sammael - Dramatic roadkill for Rand as he progresses through the series, delivering kingdoms to him in the process. Plus causing the Andor succession problems (Rahvin), and leading to the stream-crossing encounter with Moridin (Sammael)

- Asmodean - Rand's teacher

- Demandred - DO's general, and <find out in January>

- Semirhage - with the Seanchan, and trigger for The Last That Could Be Done

- Mesaana - White Tower split

- Moggy - Antagonist for Nynaeve and Elayne in the middle of the series, and unwilling teacher of weaves

- Graendal - ??? Kill Asmodean? Possibly the catalyst for the scene where Rand BFs Natrin's Barrow showing how far he's fallen. Arad Doman chaos hasn't really had much impact on the series in its own right.

 

I don't know, I still feel like there should be more to her.

 

 

 

 

... a confrontation between Perrin and Slayer that gave the climax to Brandon's 'big-awesome-Perrin-arc', a confrontation we can deduce was not originally in the notes due to the RJ-written scene in the aMoL prologue that was chronologically intended to occur before tGS began, and what it suggests of RJ's intentions for Slayer during the aMoL arc.

Yep, I think that must be proof that Slayer's involvement, at least, was BS's own, which suggests that Graendal's probably was as well.

 

 

Maybe RJ's plan for Graendal (in the notes, at least) was simply for her to fail to such a degree that she wound up mindtrapped. Moridin holding the three mindtraps of Lanfear, Moggy and Graendal parallel's nicely with Rand's trio of lovers. Too much to be coincedence I think. Given the quote above about the last three books being only half note driven, I see it as Graendal's written conlcusion in the notes was simply for her to end up mindtrapped.

 

(Also, I figure we have to see at least one mindtrap be broken, to see the effects on screen. Any of the three are candidates, but if it ends up being Graendal, I imagine that was part of RJ's plan for her as well.)

That would be interesting. Moggy would be just as good a candidate for seeing the effects of a cour'souvra being broken - unless there's another plan for Moggy. Either surviving, or a last clash with Nynaeve. Although it's a shame that the Moggy-Nynaeve rivalry has barely been mentioned - if it's been mentioned at all? - in, what, 6 books?

 

 

 

So Mesaana can now make or alter ter'angreal? Good to know...

Only if she can poop them out :rolleyes:

 

 

INTERVIEW: 2012

Twitter 2012 (WoT) (Verbatim)

 

TEREZ (24 SEPTEMBER 2012)

Did Hessalam come from RJ's notes? We're asking for a very specific reason. :) (But it's not a gotcha question, promise.)

 

BRANDON SANDERSON (24 SEPTEMBER 2012)

It was not me.

 

Harriet [Edit: I've just been informed that this was a miscommunication--mind you I am not confirming that Harriet was not responsible, I am just stating that the communication in which I had thought I recieved confirmation on this was not saying specifically what I had thought it to be saying, but rather offering a guess. The misread is entirely my fault.]. She was responsible for the Asmodean thing in the glossary, and, from what I have been told, Mat's letter to Elayne remaining in TofM in the form it's in.

 

*sighs* Once upon a time I thought Harriet involving herself more directly would be a good thing, counter-balancing some of Brandon's over-sights. It seems to have just led to two hands on the wheel (pun intended, as is the Siuan/Nynaeve tFoH reference).

I'm confused now... What are we concluding from this..? Or are we saying that we don't know?

 

Btw, are we 100% certain that Graendal was killed and resurrected - is there any other way for the DO to have Haeffalumped her? It's a very rapid turnaround, considering that it took 4 books to bring back Aginor and Balthamel, and at least a couple of books each for Ishamael and Lanfear.

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