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Prologue Through to the End of the Epilogue--Full Book Discussion.

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Ok. So mat is awesome as usual. But the real burning question is: do elayne, nynaeve, egwene, etc actually recognize his awesomeness?

 It is widely accepted that Mat is the best when control was handed to him in the first place.  Egwene, Elayne, everyone took orders from him essentially in the overall battle theater.  And yes, by the end, everyone knows he is beyond a genius.  Even Demandred knows it.

wowsers the LB chapter sounds like its awesome. Good to see Mat outbattle Demandred.

I guess the Aiel 'remnant of a remnant' came true then :(

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I also remain unconvinced with the philosophical argument behind not destroying the Dark One and just sealing him up again.

 

There are some serious logical flaws in both of Rand's visions, one without Light and one without Dark.

 

I'm not sure that a world WITHOUT the Dark One inherently means everyone is just a "puppet" and the world shown by the Dark One is not completely without some order, rules, structure, etc.

 

Wasn't Eden originally without Evil?  Isn't the Heaven of the Christian ethos ultimately going to be without Satan?   After you choose to believe Jesus Christ and/or God after Revelations and enter Heaven, can you change your mind and go to Hell?  Can you steal, murder, or commit adultery in heaven?   Doesn't "choice" get taken away from you there eventually? 

 

Again, the argument for keeping the Dark One around simply as a balance for the Light so mankind can "choose" between the two is not a particularly convincing one for me personally.   I would have gone for it in the end and taken my chances with a world changed into paradise without evil.   People seemed happy enough in that vision . . . 

 

I THINK the book argues that a person without the capacity for good is not much different than a person without the capacity for evil and that strikes me as a bit simplistic.

 

Agreed, this was one of my major problems with the book. The Dark One does not equal free will. How can he, when there is still free will while he can't touch the Pattern? How does his existence outside the Pattern grant people free will? It's definitely borrowed from Christian philosophy, and I suspect this is a pure Brandon addition. Partly because the first time killing the Dark One was mentioned was in TGS, and partly because of Rand's comment about his third question, which gives the impression that RJ didn't leave notes for the third question and Brandon felt the need to make something up to explain why Rand didn't just ask how to seal the Bore. But I could be wrong. Either way, I don't like it.

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I also remain unconvinced with the philosophical argument behind not destroying the Dark One and just sealing him up again.

 

There are some serious logical flaws in both of Rand's visions, one without Light and one without Dark.

 

I'm not sure that a world WITHOUT the Dark One inherently means everyone is just a "puppet" and the world shown by the Dark One is not completely without some order, rules, structure, etc.

 

Wasn't Eden originally without Evil?  Isn't the Heaven of the Christian ethos ultimately going to be without Satan?   After you choose to believe Jesus Christ and/or God after Revelations and enter Heaven, can you change your mind and go to Hell?  Can you steal, murder, or commit adultery in heaven?   Doesn't "choice" get taken away from you there eventually? 

 

Again, the argument for keeping the Dark One around simply as a balance for the Light so mankind can "choose" between the two is not a particularly convincing one for me personally.   I would have gone for it in the end and taken my chances with a world changed into paradise without evil.   People seemed happy enough in that vision . . . 

 

I THINK the book argues that a person without the capacity for good is not much different than a person without the capacity for evil and that strikes me as a bit simplistic.

 

I think you're expecting this to be a match for Christian mythology. WoT has never been that. There's a strong Manichean component, strong influences from Zhoroastrian traditions, and Hindu and Jain myth. And we see that here. In the end, Rand realizes the DO was never the enemy. He's a force, a one sided thing, as the Creator is. The threads in the Pattern are the ones that have the choice, and Evil got greater access to the world due to man's actions, and was able to push itself into people's lives because of the choices of the many who turn to the Shadow.

 

The dream with no DO was correct. Remove everything that is evil forcibly from the world, and you're not left with "good". You're left with vapidity. What is great about not doing evil when you can't do it? Destroying the DO is a destruction of choice. A closing of a path. Then how is anyone good, anymore? Same's the case with forcibly turning people to the Shadow. There is no choice, once that is done. How is that alright in the other direction?

 

Terez: Remember that the DO's prison is imperfect. He never has zero access to the world. As is the case with the Creator, I suspect. The world is infinite possibility, or Tel'aran'rhiod, at its most basic level. The other two constants are the Creator and the DO. In between are the threads of Reality/the Pattern. They exist in a Reality that is neither for good nor for evil. They exist in a world of balance. I suspect if the Creator attempts to enter the world fully, the Pattern would come up with a Dark Champion to reject him too. 

 

There's also this:

 

That isn't the way it works, she thought. Two sides to every coin. Two halves of the Power. Hot and cold, light and dark, woman and man.

 

This quote captures the central metaphysical aspect of WoT. Its all about balance. If something exists, so must its opposite. What is choice, otherwise?

Edited by fionwe1987

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So many questions!!!!!!!!!! And I don't think it will lessen the suspense or anticipation one whit if I learn the answers. I'll still read AMoL and cry!

 

What's the fate of Rand's three women and their relationship to him? DO all four end up retiring somewhere quiet and peaceful?

 

Let's say it is heavily implied that he's going to be getting some very regular booty call . . .  ;)

 

And yes, you will cry . . . at multiple points of the book.

 

 

 

Thanks for the response regarding Aviendha, Min and Elayne (I hope all three make it to the end). As to crying, I still do it on numerous PoV's in each book despite "chain reading" over the past year. I expect AMoL will not be different. But I'll find out in April!

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I also remain unconvinced with the philosophical argument behind not destroying the Dark One and just sealing him up again.

 

There are some serious logical flaws in both of Rand's visions, one without Light and one without Dark.

 

I'm not sure that a world WITHOUT the Dark One inherently means everyone is just a "puppet" and the world shown by the Dark One is not completely without some order, rules, structure, etc.

 

Wasn't Eden originally without Evil?  Isn't the Heaven of the Christian ethos ultimately going to be without Satan?   After you choose to believe Jesus Christ and/or God after Revelations and enter Heaven, can you change your mind and go to Hell?  Can you steal, murder, or commit adultery in heaven?   Doesn't "choice" get taken away from you there eventually? 

 

Again, the argument for keeping the Dark One around simply as a balance for the Light so mankind can "choose" between the two is not a particularly convincing one for me personally.   I would have gone for it in the end and taken my chances with a world changed into paradise without evil.   People seemed happy enough in that vision . . . 

 

I THINK the book argues that a person without the capacity for good is not much different than a person without the capacity for evil and that strikes me as a bit simplistic.

 

I think you're expecting this to be a match for Christian mythology. WoT has never been that. There's a strong Manichean component, strong influences from Zhoroastrian traditions, and Hindu and Jain myth. And we see that here. In the end, Rand realizes the DO was never the enemy. He's a force, a one sided thing, as the Creator is. The threads in the Pattern are the ones that have the choice, and Evil got greater access to the world due to man's actions, and was able to push itself into people's lives because of the choices of the many who turn to the Shadow.

 

The dream with no DO was correct. Remove everything that is evil forcibly from the world, and you're not left with "good". You're left with vapidity. What is great about not doing evil when you can't do it? Destroying the DO is a destruction of choice. A closing of a path. Then how is anyone good, anymore? Same's the case with forcibly turning people to the Shadow. There is no choice, once that is done. How is that alright in the other direction?

 

Terez: Remember that the DO's prison is imperfect. He never has zero access to the world. As is the case with the Creator, I suspect. The world is infinite possibility, or Tel'aran'rhiod, at its most basic level. The other two constants are the Creator and the DO. In between are the threads of Reality/the Pattern. They exist in a Reality that is neither for good nor for evil. They exist in a world of balance. I suspect if the Creator attempts to enter the world fully, the Pattern would come up with a Dark Champion to reject him too. 

 

There's also this:

 

 

>That isn't the way it works, she thought. Two sides to every coin. Two halves of the Power. Hot and cold, light and dark, woman and man.

 

 

This quote captures the central metaphysical aspect of WoT. Its all about balance. If something exists, so must its opposite. What is choice, otherwise?

 

 

The concept of balance breaks down if you extend it too far.

 

Then why try that hard if the Pattern will eventually force balance anyway?  Based on this assumption, a world without good or evil can't exist anyway.

 

Only by DESTROYING the Pattern and remaking it can the Dark One achieve his vision.  The opposite of the Dark One isn't the Pattern, it's the Creator.  But there's no hint of destroying the Creator . . .  Apparently destroying Rand, breaking him is all it takes.

 

Rand also wasn't going to destroy the Pattern, just the Dark One.  How is destroying the Dark One and forever removing his influence on the Pattern synonymous with removing choice from the world?

 

I'm not wholly convinced that the Dark One is completely equivalent to evil.  I'm supposed to swallow the fact that the minute Rand destroys the Dark One, every being on the face of the Earth becomes the vapid good puppets of Rand's vision?    So destroying the Dark One is equivalent to mass Compulsion of good on the Universe?

 

I guess I always thought the Dark One was the most powerful force of evil in the universe but not evil itself.  Thus even after his destruction there would still be the potential for evil, just much much less.

 

Could a situation without evil at all truly exist in the Wheel of Time?  Wouldn't BALANCE then necessitate the creation of another Dark One?   Similarly, in a world without Light or one where the Dark One win, by necessity won't the Light eventually have to come back to make a balance?  Would the Creator be forced by the Pattern to take a hand to redress that imbalance?

 

Rand also think that a perfect world without Darkness would be even worse than the previous version without Light.  I'd respectfully disagree.   If we're all going to be vapid, mindless puppets anyway, I'd rather be part of the one where Avi and Elayne argue good naturedly over who's going to play with the neighbor's kids over a world where an apple seller can gun down a starving kid with a smile.

 

True balance, true choice should be fair.  The deck shouldn't be so heavily stacked one way, the dice so loaded that it requires acts of sheer heroism to choose the Light over the Dark.  It's like me asking you to choose red or blue but putting a gun to your head and saying I'll pull the trigger unless you choose blue.  Sure you can choose to die but how is that a TRUE reflection of balance?

 

You could argue that destroying the Dark One actually BRINGS balance back to the Pattern since now you are in a position to make your choices without being overly influenced by the Dark One since the Creator supposedly takes no part to begin with.

 

I do think it's simplistic to suggest that EVIL ITSELF can be forever destroyed but then I feel it's a mistake then to make the Dark One equivalent to EVIL itself.   At that point, it becomes silly to think that simply wielding huge amounts of saidar, saidin, and the True Power can literally destroy evil.  Really?  Can you balefire the Creator then?  Shoot a fireball at charity?  A lightning bolt at generosity?   I don't know.  At that point, I wish there hadn't even been the OPTION of "killing evil" written into the ending since even the possibility of doing such a thing becomes a gross oversimplification.

 

Min read all those books on high philosophy left behind by Fel and we are treated to NONE of that wisdom, not a whit. 

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for me only the aftermath was a letdown...only couple of page ...and it lacked emotions.

 

Rand seals the Dark One in his prison at high noon.  THAT NIGHT he is burned on a pyre and the story literally ends.  Right there.  Finished.

 

I guess we're supposed to fill in the pieces ourselves and that's fair enough but A LITTLE bit more exposition wouldn't be out of place considering some of us have waited 20 plus years to see how the happy endings play out.  Even Harry Potter had a small scene 20 years later right?  I mean come on, throw us a bone here.  Would it have been the end of the world to give us a paragraph on Lan and Nynaeve's kids playing in Malkier or Perrin and Faile in Saldaea or Manetheren etc?  

 

So much darkness, so much death, so much blood,so much despair, so much sacrifice in this book.  A bit of sunshine and happiness could have been a nice balance to gently let us down from the sheer adrenaline of the first oh . . . EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY PAGES!!!!!!   LoL

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I was pretty satisfied overall. I don't understand the objections to Rand vs. DO viz. their dreams. There are plenty of inexplicable and/or problematic elements to the series (50 Shades of the White Tower, Fascist overtones re: Rand the savior and his cadre of leaders, etc.). There's not much to gain by delving too deep other than a headache and a bad taste in your mouth...

 

I thoroughly enjoyed:

 

Demandred. Loved the Kurtz/Doom Lord Kazzak vibe. Just an absurd performance and a lot of fun.

 

Demandred vs. X - Also thoroughly enjoyed the return of the Wrestlemania/Streetfighter II moments. Lan's match with him in particular was awesome and had a Fingolfin vs. Morgoth kind of vibe (with different results).

 

Mat and Rand's "anything you can do I can do better" argument.

 

Disappointments:

 

Lack of Nynaeve and Moiraine PoVs. Wanted more!

 

"Transformers: the movie" type death scenes. Bashere, Siuan, etc. were treated a bit unfairly. Siuan in particular. I think an explosion killed her? Not quite sure...happened so fast!

 

Largest disappointment for me was the lack of a LotR extended end sequence. I expected a 100 or so pages of winding down. I've read WoT for over 20 years because of the characters. Would have been nice to see the survivors kicking their feet up by the fire...

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for me only the aftermath was a letdown...only couple of page ...and it lacked emotions.

 

Rand seals the Dark One in his prison at high noon.  THAT NIGHT he is burned on a pyre and the story literally ends.  Right there.  Finished.

 

I guess we're supposed to fill in the pieces ourselves and that's fair enough but A LITTLE bit more exposition wouldn't be out of place considering some of us have waited 20 plus years to see how the happy endings play out.  Even Harry Potter had a small scene 20 years later right?  I mean come on, throw us a bone here.  Would it have been the end of the world to give us a paragraph on Lan and Nynaeve's kids playing in Malkier or Perrin and Faile in Saldaea or Manetheren etc?  

 

So much darkness, so much death, so much blood,so much despair, so much sacrifice in this book.  A bit of sunshine and happiness could have been a nice balance to gently let us down from the sheer adrenaline of the first oh . . . EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY PAGES!!!!!!   LoL

That ending does sound bad, so they dont say goodbye to each other or anything?

And umm did you say Manetheran?

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for me only the aftermath was a letdown...only couple of page ...and it lacked emotions.

 

Rand seals the Dark One in his prison at high noon.  THAT NIGHT he is burned on a pyre and the story literally ends.  Right there.  Finished.

 

I guess we're supposed to fill in the pieces ourselves and that's fair enough but A LITTLE bit more exposition wouldn't be out of place considering some of us have waited 20 plus years to see how the happy endings play out.  Even Harry Potter had a small scene 20 years later right?  I mean come on, throw us a bone here.  Would it have been the end of the world to give us a paragraph on Lan and Nynaeve's kids playing in Malkier or Perrin and Faile in Saldaea or Manetheren etc?  

 

So much darkness, so much death, so much blood,so much despair, so much sacrifice in this book.  A bit of sunshine and happiness could have been a nice balance to gently let us down from the sheer adrenaline of the first oh . . . EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY PAGES!!!!!!   LoL

 

I was less worried about sunshine and happiness and more worried about explanations.

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That isn't the way it works, she thought. Two sides to every coin. Two halves of the Power. Hot and cold, light and dark, woman and man.

 

 

This quote captures the central metaphysical aspect of WoT. Its all about balance. If something exists, so must its opposite. What is choice, otherwise?

 

Hahaha, so I was right in another thread when I said maybe Jordan stole from Goodkind's Sword of Truth series.

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for me only the aftermath was a letdown...only couple of page ...and it lacked emotions.

 

 

Rand seals the Dark One in his prison at high noon.  THAT NIGHT he is burned on a pyre and the story literally ends.  Right there.  Finished.

 

I guess we're supposed to fill in the pieces ourselves and that's fair enough but A LITTLE bit more exposition wouldn't be out of place considering some of us have waited 20 plus years to see how the happy endings play out.  Even Harry Potter had a small scene 20 years later right?  I mean come on, throw us a bone here.  Would it have been the end of the world to give us a paragraph on Lan and Nynaeve's kids playing in Malkier or Perrin and Faile in Saldaea or Manetheren etc?  

 

So much darkness, so much death, so much blood,so much despair, so much sacrifice in this book.  A bit of sunshine and happiness could have been a nice balance to gently let us down from the sheer adrenaline of the first oh . . . EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY PAGES!!!!!!   LoL

 

I was less worried about sunshine and happiness and more worried about explanations.

Well yeah there's that too. Also certain characters sorta gets lost. What happened to agelmar? How about setaelle anan? Vanin the horse thief and his buddy? Just because we don't see them die can we assume they made it?

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perhaps the lack of ending means 'outrigger novels'?? doubt very much that this is the last WoT novel we shall see, its just too popular

and there is too much scope

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for me only the aftermath was a letdown...only couple of page ...and it lacked emotions.

 

 

Rand seals the Dark One in his prison at high noon.  THAT NIGHT he is burned on a pyre and the story literally ends.  Right there.  Finished.

 

I guess we're supposed to fill in the pieces ourselves and that's fair enough but A LITTLE bit more exposition wouldn't be out of place considering some of us have waited 20 plus years to see how the happy endings play out.  Even Harry Potter had a small scene 20 years later right?  I mean come on, throw us a bone here.  Would it have been the end of the world to give us a paragraph on Lan and Nynaeve's kids playing in Malkier or Perrin and Faile in Saldaea or Manetheren etc?  

 

So much darkness, so much death, so much blood,so much despair, so much sacrifice in this book.  A bit of sunshine and happiness could have been a nice balance to gently let us down from the sheer adrenaline of the first oh . . . EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY PAGES!!!!!!   LoL

That ending does sound bad, so they dont say goodbye to each other or anything?

And umm did you say Manetheran?

Sorry Two Rivers. Manetheren isn't back yet. Nobody says anything, the book ends a couple of hours after Rand seals the bore. Hell's bells man they haven't even dealt with the half million corpses!!

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I wonder - how Sharans accept fighting on the side of Trollocs and why Ashaman apparently become accepted even though their leader fights for the Dark One?

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Well, most of the wheel of time falls out of copyright in like 2077, doesn't it? So, we can just wait until then and have someone write the outriggers. No problem.

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They have said definitively that there will be no prequels or outriggers.

 

just like George Lucas said he'll be making no more Star Wars films :P - should be a politician that guy the way he plays with words.

 

Seriously though, in 3 years time Harriet may change her mind

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They have said definitively that there will be no prequels or outriggers.

 

just like George Lucas said he'll be making no more Star Wars films :P - should be a politician that guy the way he plays with words.

 

Seriously though, in 3 years time Harriet may change her mind

I really doubt that.  Jordan's legacy is at stake here. 

 

The stuff I want would've been NICE to read but it's not critical.  We can infer and draw conclusions on much of it. 

 

Not worth risking his legacy by turning Wheel of Time in Star Wars or Star Trek . . .

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All awesome stuff. Fain?

 

Sucks . . .  He appears in like 3 or 4 scenes and is promptly killed by Mat who is immune to the effects of Mashadar because he had already survived it (sort of like chicken pox I guess . . . )

 

I really thought he would have a greater role at the end but he doesn't.  Just the biggest f'ing red herring in the history of fantasy.

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That might have been my favorite scene in the book. Also, called it. I only said 'the dagger' specifically in that instance because the context was Brandon's 'innocent foreshadowing'. My first guess was this quote, because it was the first one with implications I came across when digging through Brandon's recent wotrr chapters:

 

 

Verin nodded, but frowned at the same time. "Yet, even if it is found, who can return it safely? Whoever touches it risks the taint if they handle it long. Perhaps in a chest, well wrapped and padded, but it would still be dangerous to those nearby for any great time. Without the dagger itself to study, we cannot be sure how much it must be shielded. But you saw it and more, Moiraine. You dealt with it, enough for that young man to survive carrying it and to stop him infecting others. You must have a good idea of how strong its influence is."
   

"There is one," Moiraine said, "who can retrieve the dagger without being harmed by it. One whom we have shielded and buffered against that taint as much as anyone can be. Mat Cauthon."

 

 

And that was before his full Healing in Tar Valon. I love that all four of my guesses were actual foreshadowing, though two of them were easy guesses due to the Blood Calls Blood prophecy.

Edited by Terez

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