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

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If Nakomi is Verin then why does she act so much like a Jenn Aiel to fool Aviendah.   She reminds Avienda of old Aiel customs and mannerisms.  Verin wouldn't be overly familliar with a modern Aiel during her brief stay in Cairhein interviewing captured Aes Sedai... not enough to actually convince Avienda she was one.  Avienda has been teaching Rand to be Aiel for ages and he still doesn't understand customs and behaviours but VERIN the Aes Sedai who spent a few weeks around Aiel apparently can?  Not buying it.

 

I hate the idea of Nakomi as the creator because I hate the idea of the Creator actually appearing in the story.  But it adds up more than Verin does.

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Was Carlinya's black raven tattoos explained? Re-reading it a 2nd time, can't seem to find anything about it.

I believe concensus has it that the tattoo relates to being killed by the Black Ajah, perhaps specifically Alviarin (due to the mark that Shadar Haran(sp?) gave her.

That's right. I believe Brandon confirmed it. It's death by BA.

 

If Nakomi is Verin then why does she act so much like a Jenn Aiel to fool Aviendah.   She reminds Avienda of old Aiel customs and mannerisms.  Verin wouldn't be overly familliar with a modern Aiel during her brief stay in Cairhein interviewing captured Aes Sedai... not enough to actually convince Avienda she was one.  Avienda has been teaching Rand to be Aiel for ages and he still doesn't understand customs and behaviours but VERIN the Aes Sedai who spent a few weeks around Aiel apparently can?  Not buying it.

 

I hate the idea of Nakomi as the creator because I hate the idea of the Creator actually appearing in the story.  But it adds up more than Verin does.

Very simple. You seem to assume HotH (or anyone else for that matter) live one life per Age but that is not the case. Hawkwing and Rand did, but they may be the exception, either only for the Pattern of the 3rd Age or in general. Birgitte for example lived four lives in the Third Age. The theory also includes that Verin was a Jenn/Da'shain/Modern Aiel in a past life. Her fascination of Aiel in the early books, and her understanding of them after she swore to Rand may be foreshadowing to that.

 

Why didn't she appear to Avi as her last reincarnation? Because Aiel have very low opinions of Aes Sedai at the moment (who doesn't?). She would not listen to Verin about the future of Aiel, whether HotH or not. A random Aiel, though, can make her think. It fits with sneaky Verin being sneaky, too.

Edited by Cem Önal

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Since reading the AMOL prologue I was leaning toward Nakomi being an Aiel hero of the Horn. She could be Verin at the same time although  I'm not sure how that's supposed to fit into the timeline.

 

There is no timeline.

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If Nakomi is Verin then why does she act so much like a Jenn Aiel to fool Aviendah. She reminds Avienda of old Aiel customs and mannerisms. Verin wouldn't be overly familliar with a modern Aiel during her brief stay in Cairhein interviewing captured Aes Sedai... not enough to actually convince Avienda she was one. Avienda has been teaching Rand to be Aiel for ages and he still doesn't understand customs and behaviours but VERIN the Aes Sedai who spent a few weeks around Aiel apparently can? Not buying it.

 

I hate the idea of Nakomi as the creator because I hate the idea of the Creator actually appearing in the story. But it adds up more than Verin does.

I can see Nakomi being some TAR entity who met Avi in her sleep then somehow escaped TAR at the bore where they were converging.

 

I can also see Nakomi being legitimate Jenn Aiel who has lived in TAR in the flesh for what would be thousands of years in the waking world.

 

However, I have to agree that Nakomi being Verin is a silly prediction and is simply wishful thinking for those who wanted Verins role to be more prevalent in the LB.

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Someone above mentioned the Tinker's Song.  I believe we get a hint of it.  Remember the scene when Rand meets with Tuon in the garden and makes everything bloom?  Mat notices him singing softly under his breathe and asks him about it.  Rand pretty much tells him "not now."  I'm guessing the Tinker's Song will be discovered once again very soon after a certain individual in a brand new Moridin meat suit comes to visit them.

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I had to register to talk about this book and no one else I know in RL has even started it yet.

 

Was anyone else disappointed by the fact that there was no reunion scene with the original characters?  All of them really but especially Rand, Mat and Perrin?  I felt like this was something that was inevitable what with the three of them not having been in the same country as each other since the beginning of tSR and also being childhood best friends who also happen to be super ta'veren heroes who are charged with saving the world?  I just expected it as something that was bound to finally happen... and then it didn't.  I've been reading since I was 10 so I feel like I've waited a long time for something that never happened.

 

It was written to seem like Mat didn't even care that Rand was seemingly dying.  Mat would tell himself and everyone around him that he doesn't care about Rand but as we've seen time and time again this denial of Mat's usually means the reverse.  He constantly tells himself all sorts of things that we know not to be the case.  When he tells himself he wouldn't lift a finger to save someone, someone's gonna get saved soon.  When he's told that Elayne has died his heart lurches while thinking Rand... I'm sorry.  But then 5 mins later we need the Heroes of the Horn to remind Mat that Rand's an all right kind of guy and that he should probably go save his life?  And instead of saying goodbye to him like the other 'originals' he goes off smiling to give Tuon a fireworks display?  Perrin's wife was pretty much assumed dead and he managed to pop his head in the tent for a bit.

 

The Perrin/Slayer stuff took up way too much of the book.  Slayer always interested me but I figure if you're not actually going to explain the Luc/Isam situation and how it came to be and how it was so important for Luc to go into the Blight in the first place etc then I've lost that interest (I feel like maybe this is what that River of Souls story is going to be about).  There were more fight scenes with Slayer than there were for any other character in the series (I'm sure I'm forgetting something - feel free to correct).  And then Perrin slept for half the book.  Padan Fain got nothin', Slayer got what felt like a third of the last two books.

 

Anyway, despite that and a few other problems I loved the book.  Cried.  Cheered.  Happy danced.  I just needed emotional closure which I now know I'm never going to get.  I needed original Two Rivers characters, single scene would have been fine, bringing it all full circle.  Not this 'Somebody That I Used to Know' business.  The lack of the reunion has actually made me depressed.  And that makes me pathetic I know.  Please excuse my ramblings.

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I was sort of hoping that out of the 8 that left the two rivers after winter night; Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, Thom, Lan and Moriane that at least half wouldn't be at the end. I kind felt that there just wasn't enough emotion to the end. Egwene was surprising  I thought that Rand, Perrin, Nynaeve and Egwene would most likely be at the end out of the rest. And it did shock me that she died and died for a cause.

 

I guess for my hoped for this ending to occur; Lan's desire to not leave malkier to the blight a second time should have been his 'last stand' and I was kind of disappointed that he was told to retreat again. His only role after that was to kill Demandred which that could have easily passed onto Tam rather then Gawyn, Galad then finally Lan. With Lan perhaps something written in to buy the rest time at merrilor time as his excuse for making the last stand but I felt that he should have been dead there, with Nynaeve knowing it but showing strength to not crack at her warders death. Mat to fall and Tuon showing some sorrow over his death, knowingly with child at the time. Gawyn should have died in the previous book. Faile should have died after saving the horn and Olver, I felt that would have been a great ending for her but I guess after being trapped in the dream world in book 3 then by the Shaido at the of 8. Maybe it was too much?. I guess each of us pictures a different ending to the series. A reunion however would have been more entertaining then Rand riding off into the sunset. 

But I think most of us can agree that the ending left way to much to question, whether a planned JK rowling style 200 page epilogue is to follow, which probably would have happened with Jordan, then only time will tell if Sanderson will be doing one.

 

I for one don't rate MoL the best book in the series and probably would push it down into the middle of the books. The ending just didn't satisfy me. 

Edited by Thunderstruck

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I am surprised at the number of people who have a problem with the ending being so open.  I felt like that was the best type of ending you could possibly have.  What else did people expect?  The only closure we could have gotten would be through Rand's death and despite how I think that would have been a more emotionally satisfying ending, the scene with Rand riding off into the sunset was beautiful.

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While I would have liked more in the epilogue I can't and won't complain about it as it was well written.

 

The dislike of it kind of sits up there with the ending to Angel. Some folks have issues with stories that don't "end" in full resolution.

 

(Oh wouldn't that have been vicious of RJ? End the Wheel IN the Last Battle instead of after so we had to speculate on our own what happened?)

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I am surprised at the number of people who have a problem with the ending being so open.  I felt like that was the best type of ending you could possibly have.  What else did people expect?  The only closure we could have gotten would be through Rand's death and despite how I think that would have been a more emotionally satisfying ending, the scene with Rand riding off into the sunset was beautiful.

 

I have to agree. I feel like the parts that were not ended - Like Hawkwing's chat to Tuon being left off=screen - were done the best, be it Jordan or Sanderson. The things I found unsatisfying were the things that were tied up, like the Binding of the Nine Moons/bowing to crystal throne. 

 

I thought the series benefited much from leaving so much left open, instead of having rushed, unsatisfying conclusions. 

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I am surprised at the number of people who have a problem with the ending being so open.  I felt like that was the best type of ending you could possibly have.  What else did people expect?  The only closure we could have gotten would be through Rand's death and despite how I think that would have been a more emotionally satisfying ending, the scene with Rand riding off into the sunset was beautiful.

 

I have to agree. I feel like the parts that were not ended - Like Hawkwing's chat to Tuon being left off=screen - were done the best, be it Jordan or Sanderson. The things I found unsatisfying were the things that were tied up, like the Binding of the Nine Moons/bowing to crystal throne. 

 

I thought the series benefited much from leaving so much left open, instead of having rushed, unsatisfying conclusions. 

 

Ya, the problems I have with the book are totally unrelated to the open ended nature of the ending.  I thought it was a near perfect ending to the series as far as an Epilogue can go.  Except for Tam...that guy got screwed and is sad his son died.  Everyone else is happy.

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Anyone else notice how Siuan died? Talk about irony served with a dump truck eh.

 

How did she die?  I thought it was just an explosion?

 

Think back to the question she asked Mat a long, long time ago. Then think about what her and Min did before she was killed.

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Anyone else notice how Siuan died? Talk about irony served with a dump truck eh.

 

How did she die?  I thought it was just an explosion?

 

Think back to the question she asked Mat a long, long time ago. Then think about what her and Min did before she was killed.

Indeed, it was a nice touch there, whoever wrote that. 

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Since reading the AMOL prologue I was leaning toward Nakomi being an Aiel hero of the Horn. She could be Verin at the same time although  I'm not sure how that's supposed to fit into the timeline.

 

There is no timeline.

 

Yes, I know. So this wasn't really an honest objection but just a gripe at this point. Nakomi being both Verin and an Aiel Hero of the Horn could work and is far less objectionable than a Creator avatar. But I don't much like it either.  I also don't see any point of her being in the tunnel. what the heck was that for? she didn't really do anything to affect anything there.

 

 

It was written to seem like Mat didn't even care that Rand was seemingly dying.  Mat would tell himself and everyone around him that he doesn't care about Rand but as we've seen time and time again this denial of Mat's usually means the reverse.  He constantly tells himself all sorts of things that we know not to be the case.  When he tells himself he wouldn't lift a finger to save someone, someone's gonna get saved soon.  When he's told that Elayne has died his heart lurches while thinking Rand... I'm sorry.  But then 5 mins later we need the Heroes of the Horn to remind Mat that Rand's an all right kind of guy and that he should probably go save his life?  And instead of saying goodbye to him like the other 'originals' he goes off smiling to give Tuon a fireworks display?  Perrin's wife was pretty much assumed dead and he managed to pop his head in the tent for a bit.

 

+1. I found it  weird too. In general I didn't like most of the epilogue except for the last scene with Rand and the pipe and Cadsuane becoming Amyrlin (that was totally cool!). I understand that it was written by RJ (far from his best writing IMO) and BS wanted to preserve it but I think that this once he should have worked more on it. It's far too abbreviated and feels really incomplete. Nynaeve starts sniffing about Rand's girls reaction to his death and then nothing? Neither Perrin nor Mat register any feelings about Rand's death? what's up with that? That's taking being anti Tolkien WAY too far IMO.

 

The Perrin/Slayer stuff took up way too much of the book.  

 

 

I mostly agree with that too. Perrin's story arc had some very interesting twists but a lot of his confrontation with Slayer was very repetitive and a copy of what happened in ToM. I found it boring and with a few exceptions written much worse than their duel in ToM. But if you look at the page count Perrin is a lot less in the AMOL than the other major characters. he really got a short shrift in AMOL IMO.

Edited by herid

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Somewhat minor but did anyone else find it strange that when Faile was initially moving the horn we literally got one throwaway sentence in her thoughts about her fathers supposed betrayal? Wouldn't something that traumatic have been front and center in her thoughts?

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With regards to Egwene's anti-balefire weave...

 

A lot seem a bit annoyed by it and find it implausible that she could suddenly come up with this weave that no one in the Age of Legends ever heard of.

 

Well it's not the first time Forsaken have remarked upon Aes Sedai abilities that were unknown back in the day (from memory the Warder's bond is one of those - I think that was mentioned in aCoS) and it's not the first time Egwene has discovered a new weave (or new to her at least - she doesn't have memories of a previous life to assist).  If I remember correctly gateways and making cuendillar were hers (on top of the ones extracted from Moghedien).

 

So there was a definite set up to her being able to work out the opposite of balefire.  This is on top of the the many many mentions going back to tDR about how epic-ally dangerous balefire is.  How is that not foreshadowing that this is something that needs to be fixed?

 

The AoL never worked out anti-balefire because they only ever started using it when they were in a war.  They didn't know everything and Egwene has a skill for working out new weaves (which she may have been reminded of when Perrin told her "It's just a weave" in ToM).

 

Also the massive tree that's in place where her body turned into Light (I can't think of a better way to put that) - did anyone else immediately think Avendoraldera.  You know that tree on the spot where the true Aiel all disappeared?  Right near some glass columns?  Maybe it's not such a new weave.

 

And if this anti-balefire restores the Pattern might it not be less of a coincidence that Nakomi was hanging around the lands of the true Aiel when Aviendha was on her way to Rhuidean?  Could the fact that the anti-balefire weave was used by these Aiel not go someway to explaining the mystery of Nakomi?  Egwene spoke to Rand apparently after death.  Did Nakomi do the same thing as Egwene once upon a time?

 

I'm literally developing this theory as I type and it's 2am here.  This might be very full of wholes.  And someone may have already raised this (I haven't read a lot of these posts yet).  What do you think?  Some of it's a bit more of a stretch than other bits.

Edited by lopozop

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lol i love how suttree is just sniping randomly at some of the most poingant - but much overlooked - displays of sloppy writing throughout this thing.  there are literally so many examples, at least in my mind, that i cant begin to name them all.

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another question that's bugging me. How did Faile manifest herself as a falcon in TAR? she is not a dreamwalker.  This was different from TDR because then she wasn't using any ter'angreal this time around.

 

I don't think she did.

I believe it was a need thing, much in the way the wonder twins found where the Bowl of the Winds was.

 

sorry but that doesn't make sense. the bowl of the winds is an inanimate object and had a reflection in TAR. Faile is a person so she shouldn't have unless she was asleep and could dreamwalk.

 

 

I am surprised at the number of people who have a problem with the ending being so open.  I felt like that was the best type of ending you could possibly have.  What else did people expect?  The only closure we could have gotten would be through Rand's death and despite how I think that would have been a more emotionally satisfying ending, the scene with Rand riding off into the sunset was beautiful.

 

I have to agree. I feel like the parts that were not ended - Like Hawkwing's chat to Tuon being left off=screen - were done the best, be it Jordan or Sanderson. The things I found unsatisfying were the things that were tied up, like the Binding of the Nine Moons/bowing to crystal throne. 

 

I thought the series benefited much from leaving so much left open, instead of having rushed, unsatisfying conclusions. 

 

I agree about the binding the Nine Moons/ bowing to the crystal throne thing. It felt like a check mark on a to do list more than anything. I also found it to be written worse than the first Rand Tuon meeting.

I didn't mind the ending being open so much as I didn't like a number of  things that actually finished happening offscreen but were left unexplained. We shouldn't have to ask the author in interviews to find out what happened to a certain character  between points A and points B in the book. that's just unacceptable. How  did Alanna end up at Shayol Ghul? what was in Verin's letter to her and how did she get out of Tear?  what was in Verin's letter to Galad? it seemed to play no role at all so why  was it introduced in the previous book in the first place? where was Talaan all that time? I  suspect Alanna will be in the River of Souls but even if she is I don't find this justifiable.

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Finished at 4:00 am. Main things I remember standing out:

 

~ How did Rand know that Callandor was a True Power sa'angrael? It just came up "Now that Rand knew..." I assume Moiraine knew, but I don't recall it actually saying...

 

~ Moiraine's first meeting with Rand was very "meh" to me. I really expected a lot more. I kept hoping all along her importance was going to be one of shock, such as in Terez' original theory from eons ago that she would basically show up to balefire Rand as he was being Turned. As for her 'purpose'... overall, it made me go "meh," since it ended up being a purpose that any other powerful Aes Sedai could have done.

 

~ So they pulled out all stops in this one, eh? I mean, I know it's "The Last Battle" and all, but at times, a lot of the deaths and mutilations that came out felt a lot more like Team Jordan was just trying to prove they could be bad, especially one most of them with there being no foreshadowing of any sort.

 

~ However, I thought the trick with Sioun's/Gareth's death regarding Min's viewing was almost very well done (I say almost because, as is BS's tendency, they *said* too much, and should have left a little room for implying, especially since it happened literally in the exact same scene where Min went all "OMG, my VIEWING, Yo! Pay attention!"). Other than that little thing though, I really like the trick. I wonder if that was planned all along, or thrown in later.

 

~ Egwene's death - I like the new weave, and the fact that there is a counter-weave to balefire does make sense, but really, that's another thing that should have been foreshadowed more I think. Maybe we should have been seeing "disturbances in the force" due to balefire use since book 6 or so (instead of just in the last three BS books, and in my opinion, mostly just this one), leading up to this being a lot bigger deal that everyone was aware of and working towards a solution for. Her death itself I guess was someone foreshadowed (with her split viewing about herself and Gawyn), but it still felt a lot like the author going "See, I can kill people too!"

 

~ I really didn't like Logain's attitude in this book. I know they put in the throwaway line about "maybe his fear of losing the power was his madness," but it felt like yet another item that was just thrown in to add more tension to the last book. However, I do like his arc otherwise, though I wish he had gone up against Taim at least once (even if he had lost) - there was a lot of buildup to a confrontation between the two of them for that to not even happen.

 

~ Holy shit that was brutal how he handled Birgitte. I wonder if that was the GRRM moment BS was talking about, more than the Egwene moment?

 

~ I pretty much liked everything about Aviendha's & Elayne's arcs, and that was very surprising to me, because I usually don't like them too much. I didn't even mind the whole *sneaking around* thing with Avi in the first couple chapters that everyone else bitched about.

 

~ Mat was mostly pretty awesome, and I know his humor was off a bit, but I don't think it was too bad. It felt a bit weird to me that he so easily accepted his being pulled into the Seanchan culture.

 

~ Well, there are the Sharans. Guess their entire continent was a bit of a Chekov's gun. If only we had every heard anything at all about the Wyld in a previous book (even just one single line), I think it would have felt a lot better. But their entrance to the battle (and their utter destruction of the Aes Sedai in that scene) was very well done.

 

~ Demandred turned out to just be a stereotypical monologuing raving lunatic baddie, huh? I was really expecting more from him, and I really wanted him to be the one to fight Rand. I always had in my head that Rand & Moridin would be fighting, & suddenly, Moridin died, and from behind him stepped Demandred with a bloody sword. "You are mine, Lews Therin." At least he got taken out by someone other than Egwene or Logain (either of which I feel would have been too cliche).

 

~ Speaking of... everything about Lan in this book was awesomesauce. Good god, his final line to Demandred in their duel was fantastic. Except... I was really hoping for a more interesting reunion between him & Moiraine than just yet another throwaway line about "They seemed weird together." I guess with all my issues with these throwaway lines (or lack thereof), it can be explained as needing to fit the necessary components in the book, and not stretch it so much to make a book 15. Ah well, alas...

 

~ Perrin. I was okay with Perrin's arc, but it actually felt really repetitive to me, since it was pretty much a repeat of ToM. I'm not talking about his character growth (though there was still apparently a little bit of that left to do too, with Haral Luhan's mini-speech to him), I'm talking about his action. So his point in this book was to find & dispose of a dreamspike, and then fight Slayer 17 times. Sounds a bit familiar. And then there was the whole Dain telling him about his family, which made me think it was going to lead to a confrontation between Perrin & Fain. Sucks that Hopper wasn't able to become a Wolfero of the Horn :(

 

~ Rand... I feel like I should write an entire blog article on my thoughts on Rand. So much right, but so much wrong. First of all, let me get it out of the way a couple things I really disliked greatly. I HATE that they did the body swap. I know it's been foreshadowed for a long time now, but I really hoped all along that would be a trick, and there would be something more clever. God I hate it. A lot. I really dislike how the "blood on the rocks" happened. That his wound just opened back up, instead of there being a specific reason for it (such as a fight, or Gawyn's potential betrayal, or Alivia betraying, or whatevs) was just too easy. His battle with Moridin & Alanna's purpose also seemed really lame. And finally, his constant TALKING IN ALL CAPS was just annoying. There was no sense in it, and it lessened the impact of the differences between Shai'tan & Rand.

 

I like *how* he fought though. I like the warping reality to force each other to see what could be. It was like a battle of the world of Ifs, and was done pretty cool I think. And Rand's realization that his method would lead to something just as bad (in a different way) as being Turned to the Dark was pretty cool. The description of his new seal as a "shield" of all three power sources was pretty cool. His final thoughts as he walked away as Randadin (Moriand?) were pretty cool, and it's interesting that he can just manipulate reality now. I don't know if I understand the magic/physics/whatever behind it, but I find it cool anyway. Now that he doesn't need it, he has ULTIMATE POWER.

 

- Final Thoughts: Overall, I somewhat liked the book, but not enough to re-read it. I would give it a C+, or an 6 out of 10, and would rank it somewhere in the lowest of the WoT books overall. If there is one biggest problem I had with it, the entire book felt rushed. Even knowing it is technically the third act of a much larger novel, it still felt as though everyone was just going through the motions to finish the story. And really, I think we could have used a bit more of an epilogue than what we got. I know we were never going to see all the prophecies fulfilled, or see everyone living happily ever after, but at least a little bit more of our main characters' goodbyes would have felt better. It's a bittersweet book (more bitter than sweet), but I'm glad the story's done, and in the grand scheme of all things ever, I guess I'm reasonably satisfied with how everything turned out.

 

I still wish Terez' theory about Rand & dreamland was true though...

Edited by TankSpill

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I am surprised at the number of people who have a problem with the ending being so open.  I felt like that was the best type of ending you could possibly have.  What else did people expect?  The only closure we could have gotten would be through Rand's death and despite how I think that would have been a more emotionally satisfying ending, the scene with Rand riding off into the sunset was beautiful.

 

I have to agree. I feel like the parts that were not ended - Like Hawkwing's chat to Tuon being left off=screen - were done the best, be it Jordan or Sanderson. The things I found unsatisfying were the things that were tied up, like the Binding of the Nine Moons/bowing to crystal throne. 

 

I thought the series benefited much from leaving so much left open, instead of having rushed, unsatisfying conclusions. 

 

Ya, the problems I have with the book are totally unrelated to the open ended nature of the ending.  I thought it was a near perfect ending to the series as far as an Epilogue can go.  Except for Tam...that guy got screwed and is sad his son died.  Everyone else is happy.

How sad is he?  He is a soldier and understands that sacrifices of battle and knew what Rand would need to do.  I think he was proud and that trumped his sadness.

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Anyone else notice how Siuan died? Talk about irony served with a dump truck eh.

 

How did she die?  I thought it was just an explosion?

 

Think back to the question she asked Mat a long, long time ago. Then think about what her and Min did before she was killed.

Indeed, it was a nice touch there, whoever wrote that. 

That was nice. Also I usuaully don't go for these things but I really enjoyed the nod to the HCFFs with Dannil being all wistful about not going with Rand, Mat and Perrin when they left the 2Rs. That was subtle enough that it didn't fall into the "nudge nudge wink wink" category that Brandon often uses.

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