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Question about Egwene from someone only on book 5

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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).

In the later books, once she learns how to accept responsability for herself (once she grows up a little) she becomes a very strong Aes Sedai. She learns how to become a uniter and how to see the greater good. Truthfully, she is later forced into a position of tremendous responsability, and her only options are to rise to the occasion, or become powerless to affect events surrounding her. She does choose to accept the responsability, and becomes a greater character for that. She also learns that humility and arrogance can both be effective tools in her arsenal.

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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.

Personally, I didn't think she changed for the better at all the entire series.

 

She is, for me, easily the least likable (and I also think, given what she does in the series, the least believable) "good guy" in anything I've read/watched/etc.

 

I always felt she was the epitome of the worst qualities of the White Tower, which grew as the series went on.  And it seemed to me that while the White Tower probably did more good than bad over the entirety of the 3rd Age, once Tarmon Gaiden was upon Randland, the White Tower, up until them moment it started, was an obstacle to success.

 

It just seemed like that no matter how many times a person could prove any AS wrong, no AS would actually listen to them in the future.  You could prove them wrong 100 times in a row, and the 101st time you spoke up and said "but you're wrong", they'd treat you like a simpleton child.  And Egwene was just that...a hundred times over.

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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).

In the later books, once she learns how to accept responsability for herself (once she grows up a little) she becomes a very strong Aes Sedai. She learns how to become a uniter and how to see the greater good. Truthfully, she is later forced into a position of tremendous responsability, and her only options are to rise to the occasion, or become powerless to affect events surrounding her. She does choose to accept the responsability, and becomes a greater character for that. She also learns that humility and arrogance can both be effective tools in her arsenal.

 

That's another part of her that grows as she becomes more Aes Sedai, too bad I don't see those pros outweighing the cons. Another thing that bothers me is her casual man-bashing that starts pretty much in EotW. Then again, I've noticed that in the other wondergirls, which makes them less enjoyable characters.

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For me, Egs highpoints were in tEotW to the beginning of tSR, initially I could identify with her easily, she also had some real moments where her friendship shines through.  She has some real low points (character and friend wise) in the middle books but imo begins developing as a character again about 7-8 onwards.  I loved reading about her when she wasn't interacting with the other main characters and she suffers from external circumstances when dealing with the main characters.  I admire her as a character, but wouldn't likely be friends with her after tDR...

 

I think you'll be ok with Elayne, a lot of the problem I had with her was with waiting years between books for her bit to finish, being able to read them all in 1 go will be much better!

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As with many other posters, I have really changed my feelings towards Egwene throughout the book, several times in fact.  From EoTW-tDR she was one of my favourite characters.  I loved her desire to learn, and her episode as damane was one of the most powerful arcs in the entire series.  I felt such a strong hatred towards the Seanchan because of Egwene's experiences with them.

 

Books 4-10 were really when my impressions of her changed.  By the middle of the series I really disliked her.  I felt she had become too hard and arrogant, and didn't seem to care about her friends at all.  The scene with Nynaeve in TAR stands out for me as the only one in the whole series where one of the leads does something so intentionally horrid and cruel.  Yes, Nynaeve moves on from this, and so does Egwene, but because its so rare for the main characters to do anything worse than back and forwards bickering, it stands out in my memory. 

 

Book 10-14, while her personality didn't really improve, her actions were impressive and her scenes were exciting and enjoyable to read.  Even if I didn't like her as a person, I found her actions in this part of the series worthy of respect and admiration.

 

I would also agree with the comments that she becomes a bit of a Mary Sue.  She has good motives, a strong sense of purpose, and an iron will.  On the downside she is arrogant, seems to lack loyalty to her friends, and prone to frequent power trips.

Edited by Rhienne

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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.

I always felt she was the epitome of the worst qualities of the White Tower, which grew as the series went on. And it seemed to me that while the White Tower probably did more good than bad over the entirety of the 3rd Age, once Tarmon Gaiden was upon Randland, the White Tower, up until them moment it started, was an obstacle to success.

Someone needs to go back and read the books again. Epitome of the worst qualities? In ffact she called them fools and vowed they must change their ways. She did more in her short time as Amyrlin to change the culture for the better than any other AS in thousands of years.

 

As for the moments up until TG the WT was split, had a resident forsaken influencing events, a BA controlling Elaida and Fains touch was tearing it apart from the inside. There is not a group in the history of the world that could do well under those circumstances and Egwene stepped into fix it.

 

As you say over the third age they were undeniably a force for good. We know for instance they are the only reason the work even remembers the DO exists. The problem with the rest if your statement is it ignores what actually happened throughout Egwene's story arc. You claim Egwene doesn't admit mistakes and we know that is false. We see her be very introspective and she wants to learn more than anyone else in the story. She frequently thinks on her mistakes and grows from them.

Edited by Suttree

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Someone needs to go back and read the books again. Epitome of the worst

qualities? In ffact she called them fools and vowed they must change

their ways. She did more in her short time as Amyrlin to change the

culture for the better than any other AS in thousands of years.

While Egwene recognises the Aes Sedai are flawed and need to change, I think she has become too embroiled with them and lacks enough distance to prevent her from exhibiting some of their bad qualities herself.  On the whole, its the independent Aes Sedai who keep the most distance from the Tower that seem to do the most good (Moiraine, Cadsuane, Nynaeve, Elayne).  Egwene has lost some of her perspective by being wrapped up in the center of the WT for so much of her arc. 

Despite recognising the flaws of the WT, Nynaeve's test for Aes Sedai shows Egwene and the Sitters still need a reminder that they are Servants of All, and that some loyalties be more important to the White Tower (e.g. the Dragon, the Light).

 

Additionally, I think that there is a somewhat neccessary separation between Egwene's behaviour and her desire for the Aes Sedai to come down off their pedestal.  As an extremely young Amyrlin Seat who's had to face an epic struggle to maintain and solidify her position she has to hold herself aloof from the other Aes Sedai and her friends.  She has to demand respect because of her position, despite recognising that the Aes Sedai need to be less aloof from the world, and to not demand respect because of their position but earn it through their actions.

 

Edited by Rhienne

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Someone needs to go back and read the books again. Epitome of the worst

qualities? In ffact she called them fools and vowed they must change

their ways. She did more in her short time as Amyrlin to change the

culture for the better than any other AS in thousands of years.

While Egwene recognises the Aes Sedai are flawed and need to change, I think she has become too embroiled with them and lacks enough distance to prevent her from exhibiting some of their bad qualities herself. On the whole, its the independent Aes Sedai who keep the most distance from the Tower that seem to do the most good (Moiraine, Cadsuane, Nynaeve, Elayne). Egwene has lost some of her perspective by being wrapped up in the center of the WT for so much of her arc.

Despite recognising the flaws of the WT, Nynaeve's test for Aes Sedai shows Egwene and the Sitters still need a reminder that they are Servants of All, and that some loyalties be more important to the White Tower (e.g. the Dragon, the Light).

 

Additionally, I think that there is a somewhat neccessary separation between Egwene's behaviour and her desire for the Aes Sedai to come down off their pedestal. As an extremely young Amyrlin Seat who's had to face an epic struggle to maintain and solidify her position she has to hold herself aloof from the other Aes Sedai and her friends. She has to demand respect because of her position, despite recognising that the Aes Sedai need to be less aloof from the world, and to not demand respect because of their position but earn it through their actions.

Oh I agree and to be clear I feel she has drank too much of the AS kool-aid. It is very realistic however given the WT has been the main force against the shadow for the last 3,000 years. She views a whole WT as key for the light at the LB and it drives almost everything she does. As for sisters who keep their distance doing the most, that is partially true. While many of the main characters we see by design need to be away from the WT we also know at any given time a 1/3 of the AS are out doing good in the world. Those sisters rotate in and out over time with others over time. In fact almost every sister's room we see has momentos from a long life lived working out in the world.

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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.

I always felt she was the epitome of the worst qualities of the White Tower, which grew as the series went on. And it seemed to me that while the White Tower probably did more good than bad over the entirety of the 3rd Age, once Tarmon Gaiden was upon Randland, the White Tower, up until them moment it started, was an obstacle to success.
Someone needs to go back and read the books again. Epitome of the worst qualities? In ffact she called them fools and vowed they must change their ways. She did more in her short time as Amyrlin to change the culture for the better than any other AS in thousands of years.

 

As for the moments up until TG the WT was split, had a resident forsaken influencing events, a BA controlling Elaida and Fains touch was tearing it apart from the inside. There is not a group in the history of the world that could do well under those circumstances and Egwene stepped into fix it.

 

As you say over the third age they were undeniably a force for good. We know for instance they are the only reason the work even remembers the DO exists. The problem with the rest if your statement is it ignores what actually happened throughout Egwene's story arc. You claim Egwene doesn't admit mistakes and we know that is false. We see her be very introspective and she wants to learn more than anyone else in the story. She frequently thinks on her mistakes and grows from them.

I wouldn't use the word "undeniably", but they did more good than bad.  I just always got the impression - based on the Aes Sedai always described as, loosely, honest, but don't always trust that you heard what you think you heard - that the Aes Sedai were, while "good" people, not "nice" people.  I never took that as a positive attribute.

 

As for Egwene herself, while I can state I won't be re-reading the series again, as my last re-read stalled in the middle of TFOH, she comes across early on as a very inquisitive person, who's of course been brought up in a world where the Aes Sedai "know all".  She finds out she can channel, and goes about learning, however possible, to maximize her potential.  She'll disobey Wise Ones she's promised to obey to learn more, etc.  Once she's forced/prophecised/wants to become the AS, she becomes MORE Aes Sedai in her actions (I never found, overall, the actions of the Aes Sedai to be particularly nice).

 

I understand in the WOT world that there's an inherent female dominance due to male channelers going insane, but I just always thought that, of the situations we see, the WT did a pretty poor job in organizing their sphere of influence as a unified group.  The Aiel (under the Wise Ones), the Seanchan and even the Sea Folk (though much smaller) seemed to do a much better job in that regard.  While the WT wasn't a government, the areas that were initially in it's area of influence seemed to welcome the Seanchan dominance - or at least accept it and notice that while there was bad, there was also good.  I never got the impression that, other than Andor, the places where the WT held sway were ever welcoming of the White Tower showing up.  And I'm pretty sure the Aiel, Seanchan, Sea Folk and even Shara easily remembered the DO without any input from the WT.

 

While Egwene may have internally recognized her faults, for the most part she didn't let those thoughts allow her to become a nicer person, but more the opposite.

 

But my perception may be clouded by the fact that Egwene increasingly became a less believable character for me.  Given that it's a fantasy novel, some magic is a given.  For that reason it's understandable with the idea of ta'veren that Rand, Mat and Perrin achieve unbelievable things for such young men.  Rand being the Dragon and able to channel is an obvious one, Mat being given all the memories another, and Perrin a little less so, but still he's ta'veren.  Nyn - well she was used to explore blocking, and plus she was older and already healed the traditional way, so her being such a strong healer wasn't so unbelievable.  Elayne was raised a princess, so at least her political skills had an explanation.  But Egwene was just...so good.  I don't want to get into too many spoilers, but the things she was able to discover/do/overcome just seemed...too much to be believable.

 

Both of those traits (growing into the kind of person I don't like in real life and being a bit too unbelievably good at everything) lead me to just like her less and less as the story progressed.  The "White Tower way" always came across as the type of leadership that they forced on to those they wanted to lead, as opposed to the type from the Band where people were attracted to the Band and Mat simply because he was a good leader.  The 2nd type of leadership, IMO, is better because it's earned, where the first just seems very power-hungry, and Egwene seemed very power hungry.

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While the WT wasn't a government, the areas that were initially in it's area of influence seemed to welcome the Seanchan dominance - or at least accept it and notice that while there was bad, there was also good.

For somewhere like Ebou Dar, a country that couldnt hold the borders outside of it's capital that may be true. The reality is though two of the countries they conquered where in open revolt by the time we started approaching TG. The security they offer is in part just more of their propaganda as we know it wasn't even true for their homeland. Kared mentions "numerous revolts" in his time with the DW guard and there is talk of "sedition" in different disctricts from the Seekers. Not to mention even if it were true, it comes at far too high a cost to personnel liberty. Also we know one of those countries was Amadacia, the seat of the WCs. Other than perhaps that country there was no indication that they were happy to have the AS expelled.

I never got the impression that, other than Andor, the places where the WT held sway were ever welcoming of the White Tower showing up.

Once again it may be time for a reread. There were only two countries that were openly hostile to AS(Amadacia and Tear). As for the rest, well let's look at the Borderlands. With Green's patrolling the blight and each ruler having multiple advisors they perhaps have the most experience:

TGH Ch.2

"How long shall we guard?"

"From rising sun to rising sun, so long as the Wheel of Time turns."

Agelmar bowed, his white topknot stirring in the breeze. "Fal Dara offers bread and salt and welcome. Well come is the Amyrlin Seat to Fal Dara, for here is the watch kept, here is the Pact maintained. Welcome."

The tall woman drew back the curtain of the palanquin, and the Amyrlin Seat stepped out. Dark-haired, ageless as all Aes Sedai were ageless, she ran her eyes over the assembled watchers as she straightened. Rand flinched when her gaze crossed him; he felt as if he had been touched. But her eyes passed on and came to rest on Lord Agelmar. A liveried servant knelt at her side with folded towels, steam still rising, on a silver tray. Formally, she wiped her hands and patted her face with a damp cloth. "I offer thanks for your welcome, my son. May the Light illumine House Jagad. May the Light illumine Fal Dara and all her people."

Agelmar bowed again. "You honor us, Mother." It did not sound odd, her calling him son or him calling her Mother, though comparing her smooth cheeks to his craggy face made him seem more like her father, or even grandfather. She had a presence that more than matched his. "House Jagad is yours. Fal Dara is yours."

Cheers rose on every side, crashing against the walls of the keep like breaking waves.

And I'm pretty sure the Aiel, Seanchan, Sea Folk and even Shara easily remembered the DO without any input from the WT.

The Aiel clearly remember because the of the Jenn and their relationship with AS, the Sea Folk have their prophecies but likely come in enough contact with AS(especially earlier in the age)to have that be the case and who knows what Shara knew. We can't say either way. Regardless, here is what we do know for fact:

'TFOH 15, What Can Be Learned From Dreams' said

 

Moiraine sighed, a soft sound. "Do you expect me to be happy that the White Tower has split apart? I am Aes Sedai, Egwene. I gave my life to the Tower long before I ever suspected the Dragon would be Reborn in my lifetime. The Tower has been a bulwark against the Shadow for three thousand years. It has guided rulers to wise decisions, stopped wars before they began, halted wars that did begin. That humankind even remembers that the Dark One waits to escape, that the Last Battle will come, is because of the Tower. The Tower, whole and united. I could almost wish that every sister had sworn to Elaida, whatever happened to Siuan."

They are currently a failed institution no doubt. Egwene recognizes this and has vowed that is why they must change. I get your point about her learning too fast although I have never really bought into it. She has the desire and work ethic and we see her constantly giving 100% to increase her skills. Just because there is a magic mechanism for other characters to be handed things without having to work for them, I'm not sure why the hard work would bother you. Regardless we have enough things like Perrin's immediate skill with the axe that we see in other characters that Egwene's skills don't bother me much.

 

As for AS it certainly is "undeniable" that the WT has done more good. Without the AS saving the world more than once all would already have been lost.

Edited by Suttree

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Actually, I found the opposite. She was annoying and then grew into a woman of strength and honor. I liked her more as the series went on.

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When Moriane says that the world only remembers the DO because of the White Tower,it cannot be taken as fact. What did Moraine know about any other land other than Randland anywat?.She did not kow anything at all about the Seachan for instance.

 

Moraine was wrong plenty of times.

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When Moriane says that the world only remembers the DO because of the White Tower,it cannot be taken as fact. What did Moraine know about any other land other than Randland anywat?.She did not kow anything at all about the Seachan for instance.

 

Moraine was wrong plenty of times.

Well granted she was most likely talking about Randland proper. Although technically AS preserved all of that knowledge(and saved the world) during the Breaking and were scattered, so either way it comes from them.

Edited by Suttree

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I'm still not sure WHY I hate her. I think because, in Nynaeve's case, she's clearly shown as being WRONG by the story. The narration mocks people like Nynaeve. Wheras it tries to paint Egwene as a benevolent "Doing what she has to" type which somehow makes her CONSTANT manipulation of characters justified and in some cases commendable. Maybe it's because all of her sympathetic thoughts come off to me as either disengenuous as all hell or insultingly condescending. Though why it comes off to me like that I have no clue.

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Yep, I have to agree with the disliking Egwene comments, but I would say the same for Elayne, all the Aes Sedai, except Moiraine, the wise ones, and of course Nynaeve.  All these women are self serving arrogant, and ego maniacs of the highest order.   The books are tough to read simply because the women know everything, at least in their frame of thought, and havn't figured out by book six(where I am presently reading in the series) Rand obviously is much wiser than they assume and not stupid.  The constant attempts at manipulation of Al'Thor by these gals gets irritating.  At this point in the story(book 6)he is becoming more powerful than they are every day.  Egwene learned nothing in an earlier volume when in Tear, Rand basically twirled Elane and Egwene around like the two missbehaving arrogant rag dolls.  Nynaeve stilled hasn't accepted Rand is a grown man.  Aviendha, I hope will be the one he would pick, but.... Elayne getting Rand to be here Warder would be hard to digest.

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In general, the women of the WoT get on my nerves. Some of them more than others. Wise Ones, Aes Sedai, Nynaeve, Egwene. But what annoyed me most was the complete lack of men standing up to the uncalled for attitudes the women present them with. Very few of the female characters do I enjoy reading about. Min, Aviendha*sometimes*, Cadsuane, Moiraine, and the non-pov female characters are usually fine. 

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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.

They all change a bit, some annoying at moments, not just the girls, but definitely not enough to justify stopping reading. It does help to vent about it at times! My husband read the series multiple times before I did, so when I felt as you did it was nice to hear him agree and let me vent.

The man/Rand bashing gets rather old. While Rand is obviously not perfect it is easier to take a little Rand bashing from a character that also shows obvious concern and love for him.

 

I will say I ended up loving Nynaeve, which I did not foresee starting these books.

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Can I also mention that the War Law scene almost made me hurl the book at the wall in disgust the more I thought about it

I was sniggering at the AS when I read it.  Perfect manuever from Egwene and Siuan (they had been planning this move for days, if not weeks).

 

Well FORGIVE ME if I was getting REALLY tired of the Aes sedai being useless by that point in the series. (Still am btw)

 

And it was such a one sided conflict that I couldn't find any reason to worry about Egwene failing. Meaning she came off as arrogant and overpowered.

 

Never mind, no one on this forum seems to comprehend what I say anyway.

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One of the most common reasons seem to cite as not liking that scene is the dumbing down of the other Aes Sedai.  The fact that none of the Grey Sitters realised that Rand was King of Illian (even though they knew this!) was completely implausible.

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It's been going on for BOOKS now. Every Aes Sedai that isn't a main character or Cadsuane is being shown to be useless. They're also being humiliated or forced to undergo shameful "apprentice" training or being worked to death by the sea folk or being held captive by the Shaido.

 

I get what RJ is doing. He's trying to shatter the world's perception of the Aes Sedai as perfect and unfallable. The problem is it's been going on just short of FOREVER at this point. and while maybe at first one could be happy that these haughty women are having a taste of their own medicine at last, I just started feeling sorry for them. They started to feel like the underdogs in the whole affair. I'm natrually inclined to side with underdogs.

 

Meaning that during an entire conflict where Egwene is playing all of these Aes Sedai like a fiddle. I'm not particularly inclined to side with her or think of the War Law scene as anything other than obnoxiously cruel bullying. If you want me to side with Egwene and make me go "Hell Yeah!" at her victory, then you needed to have Lelaine and Romanda be actual intellectual threats. Not just dancing in the way Egwene expected them to dance the whole time.

 

Rand overcoming Ishamael at the end of book 2 was awesome because Rand was STRUGGLING against an opponent who was worthy of him.

 

The only worthwhile thing about Egwene's scenes are Gareth and Balthamel

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I anbsolutely loathe the AS traveling with Mat in CoT and KoD. They're arrogant, haughty, and know everything despite having been proven wrong on many occasions. AS lecturing everyone around them as if theyre ignorant twits just takes away from the story, IMO.

In fact, I could not help thinking of AS as the Jedi Order. Respected (cautiously) everywhere, mediators, bridge builders, etc; but never liked. Merely tolerated - ditto for the AS. In contrast, among the Sea Folk, channelers are held in high esteem, and can rise to positions of great honor and influence. They are not manipulators or ambassadors any more than the next person, they simply are what they are.

 

But heres my 2 cents: The Aes Sedai should marry. They should raise children and families in the WT. Why? Patience can be learned through parenthood. Values can be learned from raising family. It's hard to be petulant or whiny when you have little ones who need to be nursed, or fed, or changed. And most importantly, what can be sacrificed, and what must sacrifices be made for? 

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