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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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


Luckers
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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 . . .  ;)

 

Alternate title to the epilogue: THE GRAVE IS NO BAR TO MY (BOOTY) CALL.

 

...I'll see myself out.

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Do we know who took Amyrlin seat after Egwene?

cadsuana is going to be the leader of the white tower and logain of the black tower.

 

There also hints of a possible grey tower (at least androl was dreaming about it)

 

btw i don't really understand why androl had such big role in the last book while he is a new character and major chracters like cadsuana had minor or no role at all.

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I like Androl, and I don't particularly have a problem with his role. (The only thing I don't like about him is that he's done everything. Or close to everything.) Older readers had a similar problem with Cadsuane, lol. They asked RJ things like, did you have her role in mind from the beginning, or did you just decide to come up with her when writing ACOS? Apparently it was annoying that characters like Moiraine disappeared to make way for Cadsuane.

Edited by Terez
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I like androl too, but like you said he did so much...and we don 't really know him, so it is harder to get emotional invested in him.

not only he saved logain and the black tower, he was the center of the attack of the channelers, he spied on demandred and taim...and in the end convinced logain to help the people and so helped hem redeem himself...That's too much for one guy in one book

 

i loved the strategy of the DO btw:

 

-corruption of the 4 great captains was genius

-corruption of the dark tower

- the surprise aiel chansellers

-using compulsion on multiple leaders like rhuarc

-the whole sharan army was a big suprise for the light

 

if taim and demandred were just a little less arrogant they might have won it

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

It really doesn't. Not in the WoT world, and not in many non Judeo-Christian myths. And the handling of this is hardly surprising. People have been saying for aeons that killing the DO is not an option, that this wasn't going to be some kind of final resolution. 

 

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.

But the Pattern forcing such balance depends on the Pattern existing. The DO, however, will break the Wheel, and remake it in his image. This whole battle was about preventing that. Not remaking the Pattern DO free.

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.

But by destroying the Pattern, that is the enforcer of Balance, the DO gets to refashion reality as he likes. Such a reality will obviously have the Creator outside, unable to do anything. You're forgetting that TAR is the third constant. Think of it as a playground of infinite possibility. The Creator has control of it, and has fashioned it with the bulk of Her power. The Dark One is outside, in that his power has no direct entry point to this Reality, but the Pattern has a weak patch, one that likely lets some of his essence into the world, thus allowing wrongness/evil to exist. Just as the DO is unable to contemplate good, the Creator cannot contemplate evil. The Creator cannot make something that has balance if it is completely devoid of the DO's influence. 

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?

Because you close the door to evil. When you Turn someone, you clearly make it impossible for that person to do good. Thus, choice is removed, and you get something of an automaton. It can be brave, or intelligent, or clever. But it cannot contemplate anything good. We even see that how evil a Turned person becomes is proportional to how good they were. Can you really call such people Evil? No. Same with forcibly destroying the DO. As Rand says, the existence of the DO was never the problem. He was never the real enemy. The real enemy was the action of free men, who allowed him greater access, then followed him due to their many flawed choices. When you destroy him, you don't suddenly make everything "good". You just remove choice. There is now temptation to join Evil for your benefit. How then is anyone good for resisting non-existant temptation?

 

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?

Yes? Why is this hard to believe. We've been told time and again the DO is the essence of evil, the exact counterpart of the Creator. This is hardly a surprise revelation of the finale!

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.

No. We've always been told that the DO was a fundamental force. Remember Verin saying that TAR was the third constant? What did you think the other two were? Its the Creator and the DO. If we accept that TAR/the Pattern are not inherently good or evil (we know this, TAR is infinitely malleable, and we have confirmation the Pattern also cares nothing for good or evil), and we further accept that the Creator is pure good, and the second constant, how then can we not accept that Her equal, her counterpart, is not pure Evil?  

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?

How do you "make" a Dark One? You're ignoring again that he's a constant. He's not some jacked up angel who got lust for power and turned against the Creator. He existed as long as the Creator did. 

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.

Those two worlds weren't comparable. In the DO's world, he won, and remade the world in his image. But the Creator wasn't destroyed. She would have been where the DO was pre-drilling of the Bore. And the choice of some men who resist could have eventually let her have access into the world, just like we got with the DO getting added access. AFAIK, the Nynaeve Rand saw was not Turned. She was just evil because that is the image of the world the DO made. There were still good people around, though. In the one with the peaches and the kid that gets shot, as I remember it, he had merely made them forget the DO existed.   

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?

This is not true at all. Not letting the Shadow in is a simple matter of not reaching for too much. Did the AoL really need a new form of Power? Did reaching for this alien source really have to be done so blithely without worry for its effects? Is it the Dark One that forced so many humans, so many channelers, to take his side? As Rand points out, humanity was its own enemy, here. 

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.

But the Dark One isn't allowed to take part, to maintain balance. But without the Dark One, there is no evil. What balance is possible then?

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.

We know from RJ that balefiring the DO would require so much Power as to destroy the Pattern. It is very likely that any attempt to destroy him would have been catastrophic. But the important thing was the understanding that even if this were not so, destroying him was something that was morally questionable. 

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

This is true, and it would have been nice to get that. But do remember that some of what Fel said did have hints for what we get here. His question of how the weak-patch in the Pattern is made was answered by Taim's actions with Balefire (another issue of choice, another indication that it is men who are the problem). Here are Egwene's words which make me believe this:

 

 

A powerful flash of light overwhelmed all else, blinding Egwene, but she could feel something from what she did. A shoring up of the Pattern. The cracks stopped spreading, and something welled up inside of them, a stabilizing force. A growth, like scab on a wound. Not a perfect fix, but at least a patch.

 

 

 

Compare that to Rand's conversation with Herid:

 

 

"Why? Maybe the next time they'll drill through the patch. Maybe that's how they could do it the last time—drill into what the Creator made, I mean—maybe they drilled the Bore through a patch and we just don't know."

Herid shook his head. For a moment he stared at his pipe, once more realizing it was unlit, and Rand thought he might have to recall him again, but instead Herid blinked and went on. "Someone had to make it sometime. For the first time, that is. Unless you think the Creator made the Dark One's prison with a hole and patch to begin." His eyebrows, waggled at the suggestion.

 

 

We don't know who made the first patch. But might it be some channeler who used balefire too much? And as Herid said, someone made it, not the Creator. There may well be ages where the Dragon patches the Bore perfectly, but the Amyrlin is able to stabilize the Pattern well before it gets seriously damaged. In that case, someone else must later make another hole using Balefire, as it was the very first time it happened. 

Edited by fionwe1987
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    Being Egwene fan for more than 15 years I shed a lot of tears knowing the News. So, tell me please , do people know what she did for them, do they recognize it? Do Fortuona and the rest of Seanchan understood what kind of person those "unfamous Marat'damane" could be?

Edited by Elvira_Sedai
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It was not the abruptness of the ending that disturbed me. Just the lack of explanation for some things, and the fulfillment of certain prophecies in a very underwhelming or even illogical way.

bet one of the prophecies shes referring to is the "Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed." as  it relates to the eclipse

 

I think that was fine, depending on how you define "dawn", and which area of the Westlands you measure "day" in. 

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    Being Egwene fan for more than 15 years I shed a lot of tears knowing the News. So, tell me please , do people know what she did for them, do they recognize it? Do Fortuona and the rest of Seanchan understood what kind of person those "unfamous Marat'damane" could be?

 

We don't see their reaction. The only one we see reactions from who know a little of what happens are Rand, Leane and Mat. Leane seems to understand some of it, but we don't see her totally break down or anything. Mat knows the practical significance of what she did. He has no clue she also did much more. Rand knows what she did, why she did it, and the moment of her death. And he says she "shone with the Light" for him. That is enough, I think.

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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?

Yes? Why is this hard to believe. We've been told time and again the DO is the essence of evil, the exact counterpart of the Creator. This is hardly a surprise revelation of the finale!

>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.

No. We've always been told that the DO was a fundamental force. Remember Verin saying that TAR was the third constant? What did you think the other two were? Its the Creator and the DO. If we accept that TAR/the Pattern are not inherently good or evil (we know this, TAR is infinitely malleable, and we have confirmation the Pattern also cares nothing for good or evil), and we further accept that the Creator is pure good, and the second constant, how then can we not accept that Her equal, her counterpart, is not pure Evil?  

 

Well, I guess I always had a problem with the fact that that creator can really be good. Well, I guess I have problems with concepts as "good" and "evil", and I hoped that I won't have to suspend my disbelief on a philosophical level, it's one thing to ignore story, another one when something that looks a bit too teen-agy and primitive is being presented as ending for a 20year-old saga. A lot of readers actually grew up…

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This is part of the problem with spoiler boards. I have a problem with that particular scene/concept as well, but in a way it's extraneous and has nothing to do really with how the Bore is sealed. Don't get the idea that the solution revolves around it. It doesn't.

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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?

Yes? Why is this hard to believe. We've been told time and again the DO is the essence of evil, the exact counterpart of the Creator. This is hardly a surprise revelation of the finale!

>>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.

lockquote>

No. We've always been told that the DO was a fundamental force. Remember Verin saying that TAR was the third constant? What did you think the other two were? Its the Creator and the DO. If we accept that TAR/the Pattern are not inherently good or evil (we know this, TAR is infinitely malleable, and we have confirmation the Pattern also cares nothing for good or evil), and we further accept that the Creator is pure good, and the second constant, how then can we not accept that Her equal, her counterpart, is not pure Evil?

 

 

Well, I guess I always had a problem with the fact that that creator can really be good. Well, I guess I have problems with concepts as "good" and "evil", and I hoped that I won't have to suspend my disbelief on a philosophical level, it's one thing to ignore story, another one when something that looks a bit too teen-agy and primitive is being presented as ending for a 20year-old saga. A lot of readers actually grew up…

 

Manichaeism is hardly teen-agy. Primitive, perhaps. And other religions that still exist have similar views. 

 

And sure, belief in absolute Good and absolute Evil are passe, now, and moral relativism is way to go. But WoT has never pretended to be morally relativistic. It was always clear that WoT philosophy was based on the concept of absolute Good and Evil existing. But no human being is absolutely good or evil, not even the Dragon Reborn. So there is a continuum between absolute Good and Evil, which is present in humanity. But I'm baffled by those who seem to think the existence of Good and Evil is some new aspect of WoT. Its been there for ever, folks, and dealt with far better than many other works of fiction with similar dualities.

Edited by fionwe1987
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No one said good/evil was new, just that evil/free will is a conflation. And it is, despite religious precedent.

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This is part of the problem with spoiler boards. I have a problem with that particular scene/concept as well, but in a way it's extraneous and has nothing to do really with how the Bore is sealed. Don't get the idea that the solution revolves around it. It doesn't.

It may not have much to do materially, but it is important nonetheless. Without this, the idea of killing the DO still persists, maybe in Rand's mind, definitely in the reader's mind. This was needed to wrap up some things about WoT metaphysics that had not been explicitly shown before.

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No one said good/evil was new, just that evil/free will is a conflation. And it is, despite religious precedent.

But that is not what is said. Nowhere is evil itself conflated with free will. I have no clue where you get that from. What is said is that forcibly removing all evil is a removal of choice. 

 

I think people are confusing some things here. WoT mythology is influenced by Manicheanism. But morality in the series is not Manichean. Moral choice is hardly ever a matter of duality, and its not like actions either serve the DO or the Creator.

 

Instead, the Creator and the DO are presented as the polarizing sources of Good and Evil. Humanity itself is neither. The Pattern of Reality is neither. Actions have no such simple classification. 

 

While disregard for a simplistic belief that all actions are either Good or Evil is fine (and all "grown up"), it doesn't imply that actions can't be classified as good or bad. What happens in WoT is that we have these cosmic powers that enable actions that are good or bad, and humanity is their playground. Remove "killing the Dark One" with "removing all capacity for doing wrong". Say instead of killing the DO, Rand lobotomizes everyone in a world where there is no Creator/DO. Would he be right, though it results in calm, kind people who play with kids all day?

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    Being Egwene fan for more than 15 years I shed a lot of tears knowing the News. So, tell me please , do people know what she did for them, do they recognize it? Do Fortuona and the rest of Seanchan understood what kind of person those "unfamous Marat'damane" could be?

 

We don't see their reaction. The only one we see reactions from who know a little of what happens are Rand, Leane and Mat. Leane seems to understand some of it, but we don't see her totally break down or anything. Mat knows the practical significance of what she did. He has no clue she also did much more. Rand knows what she did, why she did it, and the moment of her death. And he says she "shone with the Light" for him. That is enough, I think.

     Thanks! I also hope it's enough. And another one little question: you call the Creator Her in your posts, is it your own choice or we will find something in aMoL to solidificate that point of view?

Edited by Elvira_Sedai
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    Being Egwene fan for more than 15 years I shed a lot of tears knowing the News. So, tell me please , do people know what she did for them, do they recognize it? Do Fortuona and the rest of Seanchan understood what kind of person those "unfamous Marat'damane" could be?

 

We don't see their reaction. The only one we see reactions from who know a little of what happens are Rand, Leane and Mat. Leane seems to understand some of it, but we don't see her totally break down or anything. Mat knows the practical significance of what she did. He has no clue she also did much more. Rand knows what she did, why she did it, and the moment of her death. And he says she "shone with the Light" for him. That is enough, I think.

     Thanks! I also hope it's enough. And another one little question: you call the Creator Her in your posts, is it your own choice or we will find something in aMoL to solidificate that point of view?

I think we do, but that's just me. I suspect this is one of two "hooks" from the end that will be discussed forever. 

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This is part of the problem with spoiler boards. I have a problem with that particular scene/concept as well, but in a way it's extraneous and has nothing to do really with how the Bore is sealed. Don't get the idea that the solution revolves around it. It doesn't.

It may not have much to do materially, but it is important nonetheless. Without this, the idea of killing the DO still persists, maybe in Rand's mind, definitely in the reader's mind. This was needed to wrap up some things about WoT metaphysics that had not been explicitly shown before.

 

Rand's idea about killing the Dark One was stupid. It wasn't important to the plot in any way, which is why it is extraneous.

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This is part of the problem with spoiler boards. I have a problem with that particular scene/concept as well, but in a way it's extraneous and has nothing to do really with how the Bore is sealed. Don't get the idea that the solution revolves around it. It doesn't.

It may not have much to do materially, but it is important nonetheless. Without this, the idea of killing the DO still persists, maybe in Rand's mind, definitely in the reader's mind. This was needed to wrap up some things about WoT metaphysics that had not been explicitly shown before.

 

Rand's idea about killing the Dark One was stupid. It wasn't important to the plot in any way, which is why it is extraneous.

it might be stupid but how he wanted to do it was brilliant...using the flaw of callandor combined with saidin and saidar and do' power was superbe planning and thinking...

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But WoT has never pretended to be morally relativistic. It was always clear that WoT philosophy was based on the concept of absolute Good and Evil existing.

I would disagree with that. I think some of character actions were quite well though, they tried to do good, but would end up doing more bad, and some baddies would get them self in trouble, in essence doing good in the end, even by removing them selves (not the best way to show it, Jordan was no Iain (M) Banks, but still). But well, I guess I was reading too much between the lines.

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But WoT has never pretended to be morally relativistic. It was always clear that WoT philosophy was based on the concept of absolute Good and Evil existing.

I would disagree with that. I think some of character actions were quite well though, they tried to do good, but would end up doing more bad, and some baddies would get them self in trouble, in essence doing good in the end, even by removing them selves (not the best way to show it, Jordan was no Iain (M) Banks, but still). But well, I guess I was reading too much between the lines.

 

First of all, what you describe is not moral relativism. The morality of an action is not about what result it achieves, its about motive. And you're right that WoT is morally relativistic in that no one human being's motives are purely good or purely evil, except channelers who're Turned, at least. I don't see how this in any way contradicts a metaphysical reality where polar opposites of Good and Evil exist, and their existence "powers" the motives of men. Men have the choice, the discernment to decide their actions. Which is why Rand also said that the DO was basically a one-track mind. Immense, powerful, but incapable of understanding that which does not stem from it. In the end, it is the choices and actions of men that matter, and the true enemy was never the Dark One. That is perfectly in line with any non-dualistic belief of morality. Just because two opposite extremes exist doesn't mean all actions fall under one or the other. And there's plenty of actions in WoT that corroborate that belief.

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This is part of the problem with spoiler boards. I have a problem with that particular scene/concept as well, but in a way it's extraneous and has nothing to do really with how the Bore is sealed. Don't get the idea that the solution revolves around it. It doesn't.

It may not have much to do materially, but it is important nonetheless. Without this, the idea of killing the DO still persists, maybe in Rand's mind, definitely in the reader's mind. This was needed to wrap up some things about WoT metaphysics that had not been explicitly shown before.

 

Rand's idea about killing the Dark One was stupid. It wasn't important to the plot in any way, which is why it is extraneous.

It was stupid, but hardly unimportant to the plot. But for the dream-possibility visions, Rand may well have attempted to kill the DO. 

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@fionwe1987

 

I wasn't speaking about moral relativism per se, you assumed that in post #162. It's just one of the things I expected. But as I said - "Ah well, it's my own expectations". I'll read the book anyways. Ending seems to be better than I feared anyways.

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Guest PiotrekS

I'm grateful to the readers who decided to share some spoilers on this forums. Now I better know what to expect and can avoid hoping for too much and being painfully disappointed. It seems reading through the last book will be an ordeal for me - almost everything I hoped for won't happen and things I feared are in fact happening and playing pivotal roles. I will still read it - to the bitter end :wink:

 

I expected some deep and interesting developments connected with Moridin and Lanfear. Apparently, I'm not getting any.

I expected some meaning for the whole Fain storyline. Tough luck.

I expected that people who were proven to be qualified in either One Power or serious fighting to shine in the Last Battle. Whereas apparently it's Egwene who shines the brightest.

From the things people say here, it seems it reads like a huge melee.

 

Re: the duality in WOT. I think there is even a direct RJ quote pertaining to the fact that he in fact wanted to use a very clear-cut good/evil divide in his series. It is fairly obvious that WOT is as unrelativistic a series as could be, with good and evil gods, good heroes and evil monsters. What is relative about the evil of the Trollocs, the Myrdraal or, alas, the Forsaken? The one notable exception to this rule is the Dragon Reborn, who used to be quite an interesitng fellow up to epiphany.

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Is there any explanation given for how Rand handled enough of the Power to destroy that trolloc army at Maradon? If I remember right, one of the Memories of Light was him saying how "it was important that no one knew he had it. it was useful at Maradon" (something like that)

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