Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Luckers

Egwene's Arc (Full Spoilers)

Recommended Posts

For the moment this can cover the Aes Sedai and issues related (say, Kin, Oaths, Future of the Aes Sedai etc).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, Egwene was a hit and miss through the book. 

 

Her death was heroic and truly fitting end to a great woman. 

 

However, she was all over the place in the rest of the book, you couldn't determine what she was going to do or say, she was so inconsistent. Her research and words to Elayne about the Seals were totally thrown out the window in the Dragon's Farce. 

 

Her and Rand both were so ridiculous in that scene, she changed completely and acted like a total idiot, all her development thrown out the window. First she goes in and intends to have the White Tower in control of the Last Battle (inconsistent in itself) then when Rand says the Amyrlin is no good to lead, she doesn't say a thing. Not to mention that bloody farce of a paragraph when she suggests Rand takes the "safe" option and gets saidin tainted again! Of course, she is not doing what Rand says, but there is no way I am buying Egwene would suggest that, no matter the reasons. Since when has she ever shirked from a difficult task. Rand's reaction to it was similarly ridiculous, but at least understandable in the slightest, it was so out of character that it almost seemed like a reasonable conclusion for Rand. 

 

Her meeting with Tuon was good for her, but it made Tuon out to be a total idiot - which she is most definitely not, whatever else you may call her. Egwene was awesome, but unfortunately it required replacing Tuon with Mesaana. 

 

I was angry that Gawyn did that too her, she deserved so much more, and while she did hold the world together, dying well, perhaps it was even needed to keep the world alive, it was annoying nonetheless, that Gawyn practically killed her. 

 

Then the random flip with the Seals was ridiculous. It reminds me off the cliche of a villain "righting all their wrongs" on their deathbed. It was good that she came to the conclusion, but poorly done. She should have slowly changed her mind, seeing the horrors of the Last Battle, and the balefire, slowly realise that it was necessary. 

 

So while I admire her heroic end, and her as a character, the inconsistencies really  took away from her death, I SHOULD have felt more sorrow, but it was just so strange that I can only do it in hindsight. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only one who found the whole anti-Balefire thing to be a bit of an ass-pull?

Not likely, however I will argue in its defense.

 

Consider "Belief and order give strength." The italicized portion, order gives strength, is one way of describing the strength of crystal structures. Even if it was BS's addition, I feel as if it fits merely to continue the theme of balance. A weave to fray the Pattern (increasing entropy/chaos) and a weave to restore it (decreasing entropy/chaos).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Am I the only one who found the whole anti-Balefire thing to be a bit of an ass-pull?

Not likely, however I will argue in its defense.

 

Consider "Belief and order give strength." The italicized portion, order gives strength, is one way of describing the strength of crystal structures. Even if it was BS's addition, I feel as if it fits merely to continue the theme of balance. A weave to fray the Pattern (increasing entropy/chaos) and a weave to restore it (decreasing entropy/chaos).

I can buy her weave putting the crystal scabs on the fissures being caused by all the balefire.

I can buy that beam hitting Taim's balefire and cancelling each other out.

But the bit about how the beam would kill only those who had turned to the shadow? Sorry, bit too much of a stretch.

 

Also, it has been mentioned several times that all angreal and sa'angreal have buffers that prevent overdrawing, with Callandor being the notable exception. The part where Egwyne dies has a throwaway line to say that the sa'angreal she's using also lacks that buffer. You'd think this would have come into play or at least been mentioned in all the times in this book and the last one it was being used. Again, bit of an ass-pull.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Am I the only one who found the whole anti-Balefire thing to be a bit of an ass-pull?

Not likely, however I will argue in its defense.

 

Consider "Belief and order give strength." The italicized portion, order gives strength, is one way of describing the strength of crystal structures. Even if it was BS's addition, I feel as if it fits merely to continue the theme of balance. A weave to fray the Pattern (increasing entropy/chaos) and a weave to restore it (decreasing entropy/chaos).

I can buy her weave putting the crystal scabs on the fissures being caused by all the balefire.

I can buy that beam hitting Taim's balefire and cancelling each other out.

But the bit about how the beam would kill only those who had turned to the shadow? Sorry, bit too much of a stretch.

 

Also, it has been mentioned several times that all angreal and sa'angreal have buffers that prevent overdrawing, with Callandor being the notable exception. The part where Egwyne dies has a throwaway line to say that the sa'angreal she's using also lacks that buffer. You'd think this would have come into play or at least been mentioned in all the times in this book and the last one it was being used. Again, bit of an ass-pull.

I agree with your 3rd point, I disliked that as well. I also agree about the lack of a buffer being ridiculous. The balecrystallization (I like how awkward that word is) was a good show, but it could have been introduced and integrated so much more eloquently...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, Egwene was a hit and miss through the book.

 

Her death was heroic and truly fitting end to a great woman.

 

However, she was all over the place in the rest of the book, you couldn't determine what she was going to do or say, she was so inconsistent. Her research and words to Elayne about the Seals were totally thrown out the window in the Dragon's Farce.

 

Her and Rand both were so ridiculous in that scene, she changed completely and acted like a total idiot, all her development thrown out the window. First she goes in and intends to have the White Tower in control of the Last Battle (inconsistent in itself) then when Rand says the Amyrlin is no good to lead, she doesn't say a thing. Not to mention that bloody farce of a paragraph when she suggests Rand takes the "safe" option and gets saidin tainted again! Of course, she is not doing what Rand says, but there is no way I am buying Egwene would suggest that, no matter the reasons. Since when has she ever shirked from a difficult task. Rand's reaction to it was similarly ridiculous, but at least understandable in the slightest, it was so out of character that it almost seemed like a reasonable conclusion for Rand.

 

Her meeting with Tuon was good for her, but it made Tuon out to be a total idiot - which she is most definitely not, whatever else you may call her. Egwene was awesome, but unfortunately it required replacing Tuon with Mesaana.

 

I was angry that Gawyn did that too her, she deserved so much more, and while she did hold the world together, dying well, perhaps it was even needed to keep the world alive, it was annoying nonetheless, that Gawyn practically killed her.

 

Then the random flip with the Seals was ridiculous. It reminds me off the cliche of a villain "righting all their wrongs" on their deathbed. It was good that she came to the conclusion, but poorly done. She should have slowly changed her mind, seeing the horrors of the Last Battle, and the balefire, slowly realise that it was necessary.

 

So while I admire her heroic end, and her as a character, the inconsistencies really took away from her death, I SHOULD have felt more sorrow, but it was just so strange that I can only do it in hindsight.

Solid Barid. I should mention she has been veering wildly in ever since the meeting in the WT with Rand when it seemed as if she had split personalities with the constant contradictions however. The FoM seen was poorly done but unfortunately that doesn't stand out in the slightest at this point. Edited by Suttree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new weave was an execrable ass pull. Her apotheosis was in TGS. The last two books she has been so out of whack I thought there was some long term latent Halimgar compulsion. But turns out she was just a moron. Thankfully redemption = death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What most disappointed me about Egwene's arc is that it was in her character that we had the most potential for what I most wanted out of this book--reunion and reconciliation. Instead, she picks a fight with Rand, which is just a pointless mirror of the Latrelle Posae/Lews Therin Battle of the Sexes. Even if you believe Egwene's position might be more reasonable in-universe than from our perspective as people who understand that she's in a book and that the narrative definitely demanded that the seals be broken, you just didn't get to feel enough of the affection/love for Rand shining through the disagreement.


I felt, and feel, the same about Egwene's relationship with Mat. How many books ago did Mat prove himself worth more than a patronizing, "Oh, you scamp, I'll save you"? How many times? She does have that moment where she recalls him jumping into the river to save that child, but she doesn't *tell* Mat what she values about him, it's all cold and provisional and distant. I think it was a missed opportunity to remind us that this battle was won because of trust stemming from the bonds of friendship. And I was also hoping for just a brief moment with Egwene and her wonderful parents, or one of her sisters, to remind us a little more of her humanity.

 

Her death did seem inevitable once Gawyn died, but also somehow, still, a little impossible. It being the Wheel of Time (where no one ever dies and stays dead), I didn't quite believe it, when it happened, and since I had to be convinced in the aftermath that it had really happened, the whole thing felt deeply anti-climactic. That's the series' fault for having always had such shallow stakes for its hero characters, before this book, more than Brandon Sanderson's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was shocked at Egwene dying, even after Gawain died. Killing off such a major character halfway through the book! After everything shes done and gone through and learned throughout the series and she gets snuffed?

 

I can understand Cadsuanes reaction to becoming Amyrlin; Shes the fourth in 2 years. That doesn't exactly shout security

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that Eg was all over the place. Nuff said.

 

I'm also not an Eg fan, but I liked the way she went it did seem in keeping with the overall character arc (if you ignore the last 2 books, which are inconsistant (to be generous))

 

 

I am wondering (genuinely as I'm not good at ascribing what foreshadowing is and isn't), but while Eg's a captive of the Tower, we hear that most of the Ajahs have suggested she choose them when raised AS. But the only one we actually see (on screen as it were) is the Yellow. It's stated (to paraphrase) that although she's rubbish at the healing weave, she has the right attitude (at the time I took it to mean her work in healing the division in the Tower, but maybe their was more to it?)

 

http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/characters/s/suana_dragand.html

Suana summons Egwene for a lesson. Suana practically offers her a place in the Yellow Ajah though she is not skilled in Healing. (TGS,Ch12)

 

I know it's not the most reliable source, but it's all I can link to right now. Also not sure it counts as foreshadowing, would be intrigued as to what others think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Egwene

My biggest disappointment has always been the negative reaction Egwene elicits. For me she is one of the most selfless characters in the book who does her utmost to look after those in her charge. To do so she sticks to what she thinks best but will change course if someone or something makes her aware of a better way of doing it. In my opinion, Egwene continued down that road all the way to the end. She takes the best of what it is to be Aiel and Aes Sedai and tries to live it.

 

Throughout the entire series, the Emond's Fielder boys and girls have suffered from a severe inability to discuss things with each other in a mature way. Egwene is no better or worse than the others. Let's face it... had they talked it all over, the series would have finished long ago because they could have helped each other out all over the place. That lack of communication which also affects others (Mat/Tuon for example) has caused or prolonged a lot of problems. Must have been the work of the Dark One! The guys at least have the Ta'veren bond which connects them. Nyn and Egwene are left out in the cold and considering all of that both did well.

 

I always thought Egwene would end up sacrificing herself for the common good... still... very sad about it. Her taking over the tower from inside was probably my favourite plot line of the entire series. Hope that with a re-read or two, more will come to see her as who she was. The sort of dedicated selfless leader one can only wish for in real life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came to this book really hoping for a reunion and reconciliation between Rand and Egwene. Egwene was one of my favourite charcters in the first half of the series, while in the second half I have found her to be one of the most dislikeable (although some of her actions have been admirable). [br]

 

The scene where Rand was trying to make the dragon's peace was awful. I found Egwene to be like a child squabbling. She waited until the rulers were about to agree and instead of stepping in with logical arguments against it she just came across as going up against Rand for the sake of it.

 

I think the scene where Rand gives her a ribbon had some potential but was too brief and didn't have much emotional depth. It seemed liked a superficial patching up of their past problems.

 

Throughout the book I had issues with her points of view. She came across as very arrogant in a lot of her thoughts (e.g. the White Tower would rule the last battle, despite Seanchan, Aiel, etc. having a lot more channelers, thoughts about her being the White Tower, etc.). I think I would have had less issue with this if the White Tower hadn't been knocked down so badly from what it was presented as at the beginning of the series. Instead of seeing Egwene as the noble leader of selfless women serving the light, I find it hard not to read her as an arrogant and calculating leader of a bunch of self-serving and selfish, bickering women.

 

I did find her death a redemption in some ways. I hadn't got very far in my planned re-read of the books, and prior to reading AMoL I was at the part where Egwene is a damane. She was one of my favourite characters then, and this was a part of her arc which made me empathise with her like no other characters. Reading AMoL after the early books, its actually very jarring how differently her character is written.

Edited by Rhienne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of the Aes Sedai in general, I was really annoyed that they didn't use the Accepted and novices at all in the numerous battles, even when the situation got really desperate. It makes no sense to hold them back, when pretty much everyone who can hold a weapon was fighting and doing his part. Especially since:

1)surely many of them have no or very little Talent for Healing so would be near useless in Mayene

2)they didn't have to fight directly, just linking them with the full Aes Sedai would've helped an awful lot

 

Same for the Kin. They were used only for Gateways and Healing.

 

Speaking of the KIn, their situation and the potential conflict between Elayne and the Tower leadership about them wasn't resolved at all after we got a few hints that Egwene wasn't happy about the deal between Kin and Andor, which is disappointing.

 

As for Egwene herself - a mixed bag. Some of her stuff was very good, some was pretty bad. Apart from the already mentioned problematic scenes, it baffled me that she was sneaking out on feet the camp when Sharans overtook it instead of simply opening a Gateway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A rather quick thought on Egwene, just before the Dragon's Peace meeting, she mentions that she has a headache that wasn't as bad as when Halima was treating her.   I've been wondering if that didn't suggest that she might have still been suffering the results of Halima's tampering with her or even some additional Shadow tampering like we saw with the great captains.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Egwene is the absolute worst character they could have chosen to kill off. We spent so much time watching her train to become an Aes Sedai, a Wise One, rise to power as the youngest Amyrlin ever, settle the division in the White Tower, initiate a number of much-needed reforms, eradicate the Black Ajah, confront the Seanchan empress, was promised to be the longest-reigning and most powerful Amyrlin in history - and she's the only one who is first deprived of her loved one, and then of her life? Was this really a way of saying "even the most May Suish character can die in this series"? Even Rand got to remain alive, by predictably taking over Moridin's body. Nobody else out of the first and second-tier characters died, so what gives? I just don't see what Egwene's death was supposed to accomplish, especially considering that her replacement Cadsuane will likely die of old age very soon. It's the least of the problems that this awful, awful volume suffers from, but it is the most baffling one. Feels like it was picked completely at random, or based on fan hatred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always quite liked Egwene but what got me in this book were her constant thoughts of how she was the Amyrlin Seat, she was  the power of the White Tower, the world was hers to protect etc etc etc.  And that's not going to bother me at all in rereads because I thought her death was actually quite well done. 

I can see why some would not like the new weave but from a series/balance perspective I can buy its existence.  But her idea of naming it The Flame of TV?    See above re her views of the WT and her being the center of the universe.

One other thing and maybe this is the best thread for it; was it just me or was the True Power the huge secret weapon of the Shadow until now -- even if its existence could be reasoned out by anyone who knew why the Bore was drilled -- yet in AMOL everyone knew about it?  There were two occasions, I think it was Avi and either Eg or Cadsuane who were wondering about the TP travelling and the thought process seemed to be "weird travelling, no idea about it, oh, that's just them using the TP".  Seemed particularly striking since in TOM Cadsuane certainly had no idea about what Rand meant when he talked about the Far Madding Guardian only blocking him from the OP.  Otherwise she'd have killed him on the spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you guys are also reading the 'Prologue Through to the End of the Epilogue--Full Book Discussion' thread I apologise for repeating myself but I think I might have a good theory re the anti-balefire and how it might help explain Nakomi.  I felt that it should probably go under Egwene's thread as well:

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Again sorry if you're reading this twice.
Edited by lopozop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really disagree with the "bale-crystallization" being an ass-pull. Prior to the start of the Last Battle (was it when she was meeting with the Aiel in T'A'R? and Amys first showed the cracks to her?) she studied the cracks, realized what they were (the Pattern tearing apart), probed them and instinctually placed a weave on them that patched the cracks. This is in line with many of her other discoveries (e.g., Traveling, which she figured out on her own), as well as to the way Nynaeve figures out many of her healing techniques (e.g., removing the madness from the Asha'man's minds). She is one of the most powerful channelers of this Age, so these things are not in any way inconceivable. 

 

During the Last Battle when fighting Taim, he is using balefire, which is tearing the Pattern, and she simply magnifies the weave she previously used and uses it against him. While I agree the fact that it only takes the Sharan channelers could be seen as a stretch, I read into this as something more along the lines of her final release of Power and her releasing her soul into it as if she was able to say, I'm going to die with this, but I have the strength to control this final weave and take out my enemies. The whole soul bit seemed to suggest there was something more to her death--I mean, talk about true sacrifice--so I am willing to accept that she was able to do just about anything in that final moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's not the problem. Nynaeve did the same thing with balefire back in tDR (or tGH?) too. Problem is this weave just came out of nowhere. We, the readers, did not see any foreshadowing of it. It was very sudden. Which is not something you see in WoT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that if a little explanation was provided, on how Egwene mended the pattern the Flame of Tar Valon would be more ... acceptable. Just like how she worked out Skimming/Travelling, by putting together Moghedien's (half-truth) explanation and her experience in T'A'R; or how Nynaeve Healed about everything. There were some thought processes, some mechanisms, not just a "she knew it!"

 

Maybe, putting together her sensing cracks in the pattern, the merging of reality and dream world, and her ability as a Dreamwalker, and then using One Power to consciously patching the crack... That would be more plausible than just using her feelings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really disagree with the "bale-crystallization" being an ass-pull. Prior to the start of the Last Battle (was it when she was meeting with the Aiel in T'A'R? and Amys first showed the cracks to her?) she studied the cracks, realized what they were (the Pattern tearing apart), probed them and instinctually placed a weave on them that patched the cracks. This is in line with many of her other discoveries (e.g., Traveling, which she figured out on her own), as well as to the way Nynaeve figures out many of her healing techniques (e.g., removing the madness from the Asha'man's minds). She is one of the most powerful channelers of this Age, so these things are not in any way inconceivable. 

 

During the Last Battle when fighting Taim, he is using balefire, which is tearing the Pattern, and she simply magnifies the weave she previously used and uses it against him. While I agree the fact that it only takes the Sharan channelers could be seen as a stretch, I read into this as something more along the lines of her final release of Power and her releasing her soul into it as if she was able to say, I'm going to die with this, but I have the strength to control this final weave and take out my enemies. The whole soul bit seemed to suggest there was something more to her death--I mean, talk about true sacrifice--so I am willing to accept that she was able to do just about anything in that final moment.

 

Eh, its probably just an issue with the new author.  I suspect that there were some general notes about Egwene inventing a new weave to patch the damage balefire caused, but it was up to Brandon to interpret, develop, and present this new plot device.  RJ was very subtle in his development and presentation of new material - Brandon is much less and sometimes it feels like a wooden box with ACME stamped on it just dropped out of the sky with a parachute right into the middle of the story.

Edited by Mark D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is some foreshadowing though - the white fluted rod that Egwene uses is possibly a counterpart to the large black fluted rod that creates balefire that Egwene notices that Verin has.  It was mentioned in the book discussion thread somewhere but I can't find it now.  Too many pages  :huh:

 

The poster also pointed out that most of the early references to balefire is from Egwene's POV where she's trying to get her head around it.  Aviendha talks to Egwene on the subject and then says something along the lines of "but we have forgotten that we have once known".  Interesting coming from an Aiel...  I admit I'm really trying to push my above theory.  I'm very impressed with myself at the moment.

 

So there was some foreshadowing but not bashing you across the skull stuff.  Unlike the Fain/Mat thing that Moiraine spelled out many books ago.  That plus when she healed the cracks in the Dreamworld earlier in the book (or possibly the book before?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Egwene is the absolute worst character they could have chosen to kill off. We spent so much time watching her train to become an Aes Sedai, a Wise One, rise to power as the youngest Amyrlin ever, settle the division in the White Tower, initiate a number of much-needed reforms, eradicate the Black Ajah, confront the Seanchan empress, was promised to be the longest-reigning and most powerful Amyrlin in history - and she's the only one who is first deprived of her loved one, and then of her life? Was this really a way of saying "even the most May Suish character can die in this series"? Even Rand got to remain alive, by predictably taking over Moridin's body. Nobody else out of the first and second-tier characters died, so what gives? I just don't see what Egwene's death was supposed to accomplish, especially considering that her replacement Cadsuane will likely die of old age very soon. It's the least of the problems that this awful, awful volume suffers from, but it is the most baffling one. Feels like it was picked completely at random, or based on fan hatred.

someone give this man a medal

 

perhaps we should ask our resident wise one terez to chase this issue with brandon and co.

 

there is no foreshadowing of egwene's death at all in this series. not even once.

 

even moridin/rand body swap was hinted by min in book 7!!

Edited by Elan Tedronai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...