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Japboix1

Question about Egwene from someone only on book 5

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My personal opinion on this: Egwene is utterly insufferable until A Crown of Swords.  From that point on until Crossroads of Twilight, she's a fairly pleasant but sometimes irritating person to read about.  She becomes one of my favorites in KOD and TGH.

 

So I suppose you can take heart in that I'm a living example that your opinion of Egwene can turn around.  If the same could be said of Elayne, we'd be set.  She's gone from someone I want to bludgeon in the head to someone I just find annoying (progress?), but it's simply not enough.

 

If I were to pin a non-spoilerific reason for this, I would say that in the latter parts, Egwene is achomplishing things herself, rather than sitting on the sidelines and spending all of her POV times judging Rand.  That gets old very fast.

Edited by instantdeath99

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I think it's around book 4 or 5, and it's not a huge spoiler, but that incident in TAR where she basically assaults Nynaeve for nearly exposing her own lies is abhorrent to me and I never really got over it. She later laughs about it and certainly never apologizes.

 

So, I haven't really liked her ever, though in TGS she had some moments that were pretty cool.

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I know Nynaeve is hypocritical as well, but the point I'm at is where she starts to see that she actually is hypocritical and does try to change, albeit slowly, and so I'm holding judgement on her for the moment. My problem with Egwene was that she seems to have gotten more arrogant as it's come along. I liked her in the beginning. Then she started blaming Rand for random things that had me scratching my head. Like the one time Aviendha got mad at him (during the phase where she was coming to terms with the vision from Rhuidean) and Egwene told him to stop aggravating her, despite the fact that Rand actually hadn't done anything.

 

I didn't intend for this thread to get a lot of views, just wanted to know what I was in for. It was just how quickly Egwene seemed to act like a full Aes Sedai, despite the fact that she hasn't even been raised yet, that bothered me. As a side note, are there going to be a lot of characters like that? I saw above that Elayne is going to get annoying later on.

As you progress, reevaluate the main characters as you go. Many characters change their levels of responsibility* throughout the series; if you go on expecting them to behave as they did before then you will be disappointed by most of them.

 

However, I will say I quite like Egwene as a character. I probably wouldn't befriend her were she real, but she has been one I my favorites throughout the series. Oddly enough, one of my favorite books for her was The Fires of Heaven, which you're currently reading.

 

*And to whom they are responsible

Edited by Hadilmir

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Elayne and Egwene seem to be the most hated by far. Nyn can be, but those two take the cake. There may be one or two related to Elayne that are pretty stupidly infuriating too.

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I think you can look at Rand and Egwene's confrontation in the Eye of the World, see how she is very practical in what she thinks. Well, she gets a wealth of practice in that later. She wished to learn, and seeks to learn, and no boys will get into her way in that. You see it from the start, despite Rand's interpretation. I fear she will continue in that path. She does seem to have a fault of faulting others for what she herself does.

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I think you can look at Rand and Egwene's confrontation in the Eye of the World, see how she is very practical in what she thinks. Well, she gets a wealth of practice in that later. She wished to learn, and seeks to learn, and no boys will get into her way in that. You see it from the start, despite Rand's interpretation. I fear she will continue in that path. She does seem to have a fault of faulting others for what she herself does.

 

I'll make a very quick assessment of her character based on this, and I'll be interested if others agree. She's very ideological when judging how others behave, but she's very pragmatic when evaluating herself.

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Egwene does not have a lack of compassion. We see her show it a number of times throughout the entire series. True she embraces here role and goes on to make tough decisions but that is far from a lack of compassion.

 

I also find it weird when people get so indignant about some her actions and could care less about say Moiraine and Lan contemplating murdering someone in a village because they knew she was AS(in a way that shows they had done it before). One of the things about Egwene is a fair amount of the time she is held to a totally different set of standards than every other character.

 

It's because it's about writing and presentation, not the character. There can be likable "gray" characters, and likable villains, because they're given some trait that's sympathetic, or because they're entertaining. Moiraine considering murder is entertaining because it creates tension. Some of the Forsaken are fan favorites. (I'm not naming them because I think it's a spoiler.) Egwene is in contrast is a very positive character, but a lot of people don't like her. It's hard to analyze.

 

I'm not even sure this is a deliberate part of Egwene's characterization, or if it's just a side-effect of WoT considering it completely unimportant whether someone is likable or not. WoT characters exist for many reasons, but perhaps "to be liked" is not one of them, and only happens incidentally.

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Take the 5 people who came from 2 Rivers.Rand,Perrin and Mat were forced to run from home.Ny followed on a sense of duty. Egwene went because she just wanted to get the hell out of the village.Ambition in just one character is a hard thing to like in a series full of characters being forced to accept responsibilities and pain when all they want is to live their menial lives.

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.Ambition in just one character is a hard thing to like in a series full of characters being forced to accept responsibilities and pain when all they want is to live their menial lives.

Not sure why her reasoning for leaving is wrong in the slightest. She had a sense her village was too small and wanted to see the world.

 

As for the rest,

 

yes because she totally wasn't forced into anything(including accepting pain). She always wanted to be a puppet Amyrlin. :rolleyes:  Further ambition is not a negative trait. Especially when it is done first to get your feet under you/ not allow others to control you and then for what you believe is the greater good of the world.

 

 

 

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Take the 5 people who came from 2 Rivers.Rand,Perrin and Mat were forced to run from home.Ny followed on a sense of duty. Egwene went because she just wanted to get the hell out of the village.Ambition in just one character is a hard thing to like in a series full of characters being forced to accept responsibilities and pain when all they want is to live their menial lives.

See, her ambition is one of the things I like about Egwene. It's refreshing to see a "good side" character in epic fantasy who's openly and unapologetically ambitious. I've really had it with all the farm boys and girls who whine how they don't want to be lords, kings, queens great magicians or whatever but do it anyway cause they are destined to and nobody else can save the day.

 

Nothing wrong with ambition per se. Egwene doesn't want to live her life stuck in a small village and works hard to get something better out of her life. Good for her, I say. Makes for a better reading than "I don't want to be a lord" whining too.

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Sadly, Egwene is going to get a lot more annoying as thing go along. Elayne is also going to get a lot worse. But, on the plus side, Nynaeve actually gets better!

 

Also, just be forwarned, you're in for a serious slog after Book 6, but things do finally pick up a bit by Book 11 and really get going in Book 12!

 

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Also, just be forwarned, you're in for a serious slog after Book 6, but things do finally pick up a bit by Book 11 and really get going in Book 12!

Actually as long as one doesn't have to wait for them books 7-10 are pretty good(with CoT being the worst, thinking of it and KoD as one book helps). The quality of writing in TPoD and WH is some of the best in the entire series. Something that you certainly miss when trying to get through ToM while constantly getting jarred out of the narrative by the unpolished/blunt prose.

Edited by Suttree

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I tried to post in this topic when only the original poster's question was put out, but was struck by the forum bug (no cursor or typing shown on the screen in the 'reply' box)...

 

I still want to tell Japboix1 my original thoughts, which I wrote in Notepad that night:

 

Welcome to Dragonmount.  You're wise to not go searching the boards for your questions.  Nearly everyone here has
read all of the books to this point, and freely discusses them in detail.

 

Specifically regarding your question about Egwene, nearly everyone feels that way about one character or another.

 

One thing to keep in mind is that each of the main characters - especially those from the 2 Rivers are all young adults from a very sheltered society.  Each has a lot of emotional growing to do and will do so throughout most of the series.  RJ did this intentionally - did you like everyone you were around while you grew up?

 

I will give you one very mild spoiler - each character will have at least one if not multiple moments of awesome.

 

Enjoy - you've got a great road of discovery ahead of you.

Cheers!

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.Ambition in just one character is a hard thing to like in a series full of characters being forced to accept responsibilities and pain when all they want is to live their menial lives.

Not sure why her reasoning for leaving is wrong in the slightest. She had a sense her village was too small and wanted to see the world.

 

As for the rest,

 

yes because she totally wasn't forced into anything(including accepting pain). She always wanted to be a puppet Amyrlin. :rolleyes: Further ambition is not a negative trait. Especially when it is done first to get your feet under you/ not allow others to control you and then for what you believe is the greater good of the world.

 

 

That is not what was said at all. No one said it was wrong, just that her ambition stands out like a sore thumb when compared to the other characters, long before what you mention in the spoiler... Unless you think she saw that in the future somehow Edited by shortkut

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You don't know xxx short. Ive had the discussion with him more times than I can count. As you can see from David's post we are clear on what he meant.

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You don't know xxx short. Ive had the discussion with him more times than I can count. As you can see from David's post we are clear on what he meant.

the beginning of David's post interpreted as I did, however David disagreed and thought that her ambition made her stick out in a good way

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I've actually grown to like Egwene more and more as the series moves forward. We'll see what the latest book brings.

Egwene, as a character, has grown to be a very introspective and insightful character - much moreso than her detractors will give her credit for being. It is quite convenient when reading or discussing Egwene to do two things (and they are done quite often).

A) People take her to task for her actions and quickly and willingly will discard her inner monologue that may give credence or present a difference between what she does and how she feels about why she must do something that she isn't necessarily quite comfortable with doing. They overlook thoughts and arguments she has within her own mind and realizations that she comes to that she may not be able to voice or because of unprecedented situations she may have to put on a back burner. In short, she's disliked because while she is able to pursue her own wants and desires, she is also able to put aside what she wants and do what must be done at times.

B) A lot of people who dislike Egwene also tend to fall into the trap of forgetting that we, as readers, have all of the knowledge of the world at our fingertips while she does not. She gets blamed for taking path A, when CLEARLY everyone reading the book knows that it should be path B because we've read the thoughts of (insert character here). Too many people are not able to process completely that these characters are operating with a limited knowledge while we are operating with almost complete knowledge. It's the whole omniscient point of view that trips people up. I contend she would be much less annoying to people if the whole story were told in a third person limited view because we wouldn't know ahead of time the information she has no access to. But with knowledge from other character's heads it becomes frustrating to people when she makes choices that we see from her point of view because, well....there is a transfer of frustration when dealing with a character operating without complete knowledge made available to her that is made to the reader.

C) many also find traits in her completely annoying and unforgivable despite the fact they routinely manifest in other characters they find totally enjoyable and likeable.

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Well, as I stated, she physically assaults Nynaeve in TAR and later chuckles about it and never apologizes, all to cover up her own lie. Whatever BS did to her that people didn't like in TOM does not light a candle next the anger and vitriol I felt when the incident with Nynaeve occurred. I was annoyed with her before that (I mean, only Min was a reasonable woman by that point), but loathed her after that. I mean, I would hate any single one of my friends forever if they did the same type of thing.

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Well, as I stated, she physically assaults Nynaeve in TAR and later chuckles about it and never apologizes, all to cover up her own lie.

That was without doubt a low point and it was despicable. Regardless Nyn doesn't seem to hold it against her in the slightest, there was a lesson involved and it quiet clearly was part of the "coming of age" power shift RJ was writing between the two characters. She didn't chuckle becuase of that act, she chuckled because she was shocked that for the first time she was able to turn the tables on Nyn(who had been bullying Egwene in her own way for years) in their relationship. Further she resolved her toh and faced up to the Aiel about the lie.

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Didn't fess up to Nynaeve though did she? And that's the one she has toh to for that incident. In any case, I wouldn't get over it even if she apologized. I had a friend who did a very slight beating on one of his girlfriends once, like more than a slap, but no trip to the hospital you know, and we were close enough that we rented apartments beside each other. I never talked to him again.

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Thanks for starting this thread Japboix1, it is a really interesting question and keeps me away from the AMOL spoiler threads, as I'm currently reading it. Egwene is a tricky character, like more erudite people on this thread have already said, and is really hard to get an opinion of. She is really ambitious, petty and possibly even hypocritical. But she is very hard on herself which makes her a lot more likeable in my opinion. She learns from others and is one of  the few characters to really go out of her way to truly understand other cultures, which is more than be said for most characters in the series.

 

My only problem with her, is she almost seems to be "Mary Sue" character, she is almost too perfect. Without spoiling the series too much, she lays down a whole lot awesome later on. I like her though because of her flaws, she is VERY hard on herself, even more than she is on the people her around her and she wants to do what is best for Aes Sedai, and the Aiel wise ones. 

 

The character I don't like is Elayne, she is bleeding annoying, thinking about goats milk and dresses, and spends far too much time politicking. She is just too entitled and boring to be interesting. There are threads on that too, if you poke around a bit. Although I tend not to argue about it.

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Take the 5 people who came from 2 Rivers.Rand,Perrin and Mat were forced to run from home.Ny followed on a sense of duty. Egwene went because she just wanted to get the hell out of the village.Ambition in just one character is a hard thing to like in a series full of characters being forced to accept responsibilities and pain when all they want is to live their menial lives.

See, her ambition is one of the things I like about Egwene. It's refreshing to see a "good side" character in epic fantasy who's openly and unapologetically ambitious. I've really had it with all the farm boys and girls who whine how they don't want to be lords, kings, queens great magicians or whatever but do it anyway cause they are destined to and nobody else can save the day.

 

Nothing wrong with ambition per se. Egwene doesn't want to live her life stuck in a small village and works hard to get something better out of her life. Good for her, I say. Makes for a better reading than "I don't want to be a lord" whining too.

 

Well obviously it rubs a hell lot of people the wrong way.You may like it,many do not.Do not think the author wanted a character on the good side to be hated.

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The camp is divided in two - but in IMHO, yes, she will be. She will even get worse (thought there are some moments that she's ok, but very rare). 

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I am just starting book 5 and I can't stand Egwene. My main issue with her is her arrogance and how she treats all the guys.

Edited by lionroars

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Based on your reasons why you find her annoying, I think you will find her to be more insufferable as you continue. Primarily, as she grows in her role as an Aes Sedai, her underlying personality traits seem to highlight and augment all the flaws of how Aes Sedai are presented in the series. There could be some personal bias in my assessment as well since I really did not like the Aes Sedai at all (with only very few exceptions).

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