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Mat's Arc (Full Spoilers)


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It still burns me that Egwene, after being present at the Battle in Cairhien and spending a lot of time with Talmanes and The Band, would doubt Mat's skill as a commander. I also didn't understand why she didn't see Mat's position with the Seanchan as an opportunity to use them in the Last Battle.

 

Instead, she just antagonizes him.

 

I still think she's bitter about Mat bailing her out in Tear.

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Oh and one other thing I want to shout out.  WE GOT AN UNO POV!  I was siked about that and enjoyed it so much.

 

 

i did like the return of Uno as well.  I even thought he was  came across as unchanged from  the character we all remember

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It still burns me that Egwene, after being present at the Battle in Cairhien and spending a lot of time with Talmanes and The Band, would doubt Mat's skill as a commander. I also didn't understand why she didn't see Mat's position with the Seanchan as an opportunity to use them in the Last Battle.

 

Instead, she just antagonizes him.

 

I still think she's bitter about Mat bailing her out in Tear.

I think that is one of Rj's failings, most the women in the series sort of act like this.  There is always that theme from women's point of view in the book that men are idiots and women are smarter.  No matter how many times Mat saved Egwene, Ny, or Elayne they always seems to think he is just a child and they always run blindly back into danger.  I for one got tired of elayne doing dumb stuff with the reasoning of Mins viewing said my babies would be born healthy. 

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Well in Elayne's defense, she did come to give Mat the respect he deserves and didn't shun the last few books.  And for Nyneve, she was no harder on Mat than she was anyone else.  She treated both men and women like idiots and I commend her for her solid and unbiased assertation of humanity as a whole.  I say Shame on you for puting her in the same boat as Eggy.

 

As for Eggy, I agree.  She should gave Mat her respect a long time ago.

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Batcaver,

 

Sure it does! I mean, here's a culture that's been warped by Ishmael himself repeatedly over the past millenium. They set up a corrupt but internally justified and horrifically efficient powerbase. You can't expect them to wipe all that out in less than a generation, even with the revelation of the damane/sul'dam.

 

It's hardware/software. The Seanchan have been running Windows Vista for a thousand years. Give them a break! 

 

 

I get what you're saying and I recognize that in some ways their culture was intentionally corrupted, but I can't give them a pass.  Tuon has been confronted over and over with human beings who happen to be channellers that are every bit as articulate, reasonable and even tempered as any Seanchan or non-channeller and she still stubbornly clings to her tyrannical perspective.  As if that wasn't enough, she's also been shown that she's demonstrably the same as the damane, as are all sul'dam.  This is directly contradictory to her entire worldview but now that it's been violated it's up to her.  She's not under Compulsion. At what point does culpability obtain here? To give her a break would be to say that no one is responsible for appraising the ideas they inherit from family/culture/nationality.  I think everyone is responsible for that; denying that responsibility is extremely dangerous.  It's exactly what lets the practice of slavery carry on for generations instead of being stamped out immediately.

 

Like I said before, I think Jordan may have been slowly trying to bring here around through Mat.  Kudos for him for creating what, to me, is a strong and divisive character, but I'm with Egwene on this one.  IMO, Rand really screwed up by letting the damane thing slide in the pact.  Realistically, is any person in a station of power that's personally close to a captive damane really going to adhere to a treaty that legitimizes their loved one's slavery?  Viewed remotely realistically, this was an absurd development.  Only plausible from a highly fictionalized, happily-ever-after vantage.

 

 

Well in Elayne's defense, she did come to give Mat the respect he deserves and didn't shun the last few books.  And for Nyneve, she was no harder on Mat than she was anyone else.  She treated both men and women like idiots and I commend her for her solid and unbiased assertation of humanity as a whole.  I say Shame on you for puting her in the same boat as Eggy.

 

As for Eggy, I agree.  She should gave Mat her respect a long time ago.

 

Jordan really wrote a fantastic story here, and I love WoT, but his women are grossly flawed.  Most of them seem to be minor variations on the same person, and even his strongest female characters could descend into catty immaturity at the drop of a hat.  I don't know what the deal was with these weird hang ups about women, but it's definitely one of the flaws of the series.

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:berelain:  :berelain:  :berelain:  :berelain:  :berelain:  :berelain: who else wants at least a trilogy of matt and tuon?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
excessive icons - besides, that's Berelain
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In understanding Fortuona's (and all of Seanchan) point of view, you have to really go back to how Aes Sedai act.  Seanchan was stabalized from Aes Sedai using the One Power to gain position and try to establish their own kingdoms.  This was the understanding that the Seanchan had of channelers.  They used the One Power to try to gain position.

 

In the other cultures, this was not the case.  The ability to channel was considered almost an afterthought.  It was just something someone could do or could not do; it did not really tell you anything about the person.  Sorilea could channel just barely, but it was her wisdom and length of years that gained her the respect and leadership of the Aiel.  Bair could not channel but she was well respected and a leader among the Aiel.  Even those who were not dreamwalkers were considered "high ranking" among the Wise Ones because of their various paths of life and the wisdom they gained from it.  They did not use the One Power to gain position.

 

The Athan Miere squabbled for power and position, but they did it politically.  Shalan says "one did not rise in the ranks by ability alone...[one] had to read between the currents" etc.  The Mistress of the Ships was not a channeler, and although a woman who channels can rise to be her Windfinder and attain authority over other Windfinders, she could not become the Mistress of the Ships...so again we see that it is just skill in politics that allows a person to attain position, not the ability in the One Power. 

 

But the Seanchan, and Tuon being raised in Seanchan, are only familiar with their own histories - histories where Aes Sedai (who even in the mainland rank by strength of the One Power) used their ability to channel to gain kingdoms and overthrow other kingdoms - to come to the conclusion that women who can channel are dangerous and prone to temptation because of their powers.  So...they must be leashed.  They must be controlled.  It makes sense if you think about it, because in Seanchan they did not have cultures like the Sea Folk or Aiel, where rank was not determined by the One Power.  If they had, then they might have only targeted those who call themselves Aes Sedai instead of every channeler.  Even Egeanin comes to realize that not all channelers deserve to be collared, as she meets various ones that do not seek to use the One Power to gain any kind of position or anything.

 

anyway...just some thoughts.

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There's a compelling argument to made for how frightened normal people would be of channelers.

 

I'd almost liken it to the theme in X-Men where your average voter would totally support mutant registration because the idea of a super-powerful force of destruction just walking down their street terrifies them. This leads to a stigma that's exploited by those who wish to gain power through the use of fear. Add a dash of a'dam and you have the Seanchan. Everyone in the Empire is proud to see that the institution has conquered Nature, specifically the aspect of Nature that lead to the Breaking of the World. People used to worship these channelers as Gods, and look where it got them. 

 

The fact that channelers in Seanchan had used their ability to gain power through force and tyranny probably didn't help any, either.

 

Aside from the gender inversion theme with female channelers, you have a latent resentment for channelers on the part of your average peasant. Many people in Randland fear and despise Aes Sedai; it's one of the reasons why the White Tower adopted the Three Oaths.

 

Lastly, the capacity of hypocrisy is one of the only universally expressed human characteristics. Tuon, or any other oppressor in history, would always be able to find a distinction that separates themselves from the object of their dehumanization. These forces don't tend to get extinguished; they manifest themselves continuously and are difficult to eradicate.

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Exactly! The Seanchan are obsessed with viewing channelers as objects, tools of war. That sort of compulsive dehumanization works in direct proportion to the fear they have of them.

 

Also, did we get to see Elaida damane anywhere? I blew through the book pretty fast. 

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We probably did, but I don't remember seeing them call any of the damane by name in this book.  Every time a damane showed up, it was just "a damane".

 

Anyways, I find it odd, good, but still odd, that the four most wretched women in the series, imo, Liandrin, Elaida, Mogy, and Graendal don't die but are held as captives.  First three are damane, and Graendal is Avi's slave.

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Yeah but I don't find her overly wretched.  Wretchedness is not the same as evil, Elaida wasn't evil, yet I find her the most wretched in the book, except for maybe Liandrin.

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I felt Mogi getting captured was a bit lazy.  Seems if you are a disliked female who doesn't die then you can expect the Seanchan to capture you.

 

Elaida also I think was having some side effects from exposure to Fain.

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Yeah but I don't find her overly wretched.  Wretchedness is not the same as evil, Elaida wasn't evil, yet I find her the most wretched in the book, except for maybe Liandrin.

 Elaida was infected by Padan and his dagger, so while she might not have been intentionally evil, she was evil.

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I have to say, I appreciated the use of Hinderstrap as a tactic. It had a point! Bloody brilliant.

 

I thought this was the most hilarious part of the book! The sheer shock and horror for the DF's as they see the SAME crazy villagers running toward them again...

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I wonder if a collar on Tuon (or any sul'dam) would actually do anything.  These are women who could learn to channel, but they themselves couldn't channel yet and certainly didn't know any weaves.  It was mentioned many times that you don't actually draw any of the woman's strength from the leash, you just use that person to channel.

If I recall correctly, Tuon actually does channel in TOM, which indicates to me that the adam would definitely work on her.

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I wonder if a collar on Tuon (or any sul'dam) would actually do anything.  These are women who could learn to channel, but they themselves couldn't channel yet and certainly didn't know any weaves.  It was mentioned many times that you don't actually draw any of the woman's strength from the leash, you just use that person to channel.

If I recall correctly, Tuon actually does channel in TOM, which indicates to me that the adam would definitely work on her.

 I dont recall that at all, maybe I missed it.

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Tuon never channels.  And an a'dam can't make someone channel if they haven't crossed the threshold yet.  You can bring them pain and everything else, but you can't make them channel.

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Finally, who was that man Mat didn't quite recognize when he was showing the peasants how to make the poles for the palisade?  I got the impression I was supposed to know.

 

I think this was Almen Bunt, which he and Rand met when they were running from DF's in EOTW. Rand also ran into Bunt in TOM, after his "change" on Dragonmount.

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Finally, who was that man Mat didn't quite recognize when he was showing the peasants how to make the poles for the palisade?  I got the impression I was supposed to know.

 

I think this was Almen Bunt, which he and Rand met when they were running from DF's in EOTW. Rand also ran into Bunt in TOM, after his "change" on Dragonmount.

 Yep the guy who carried them in his wagon, and then the same guy in the prologue who saw Rand coming down Dragonmount.

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