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Egwene's Arc (Full Spoilers)


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I'd forgotten about Egwene's wedding until this little discussion popped up. I'm normally for blaming author bias when Egwene is unsympathetic. RJ had a massive blind spot on bullying and hazing, and doesn't realize when he makes a character unsympathetic by participating in them. He's not making characters bullies on purpose; he just has really weird standards where if you aren't as bad as Elaida or Semirhage, you're fine.

 

But Silviana presiding over Egwene and Gawyn's marriage... That's just creepy. Who has a Red Sister perform a marriage? Maybe Egwene and Brandon collectively had a brain fart on it. Egwene can be callous when she has a goal in mind, but she isn't plain mean like that, especially not to Gawyn.

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Her ambition can be lauded or criticized, but the way in which that ambition informed her behavior during the LB, first with Rand then with Mat, is what compromised her as a character in my eyes. It seemed that she was ignoring both the will of the Pattern and common sense in antagonizing both, which is petty.  

Psychopath, certainly not. But if we look at just ToM and AMoL def split personality disorder.

I think it started when the coup ended and her reaction was to immediately yell at the Tower Aes Sedai for not standing up to Elaida and then turning around and yelling at the Rebel Aes Sedai for rebelling against the White Tower.  That was the point I started to hate Egwene (who I liked for the most part up until TGS)

That was a political move(and a savvy one at that) and nothing more.

One of her best moments for me (and I haven't liked her since tSR, but she gained kudos points for her attitude when captive in WT, particularly how it ended!)

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Yes, everything you say here is the basic story line, but perhaps you and I analyze things in different ways. i am less concerned of WHAT somebody does as to WHY they do it. WoT is so deep and rich and perfect for my spinning brain. And once i saw waht motivated Egwene, I could not NOT see it any longer and every subsequent scene of hers shone with a clarifying light.

 

I state unequivocally that Egwene does NOTHING for the greater good. Everythjng is self-referential and slef-serving. 

So you flat out agree you aren't looking at what actually happened you are applying your own admittedly very biased perspective to her actions. I was a lit major in college blue and you aren't doing any deeper character study or analysis here. You're ignoring what actually happened and defaulting to absurd worst case scenario situations. The bolded comment is a perfect example of what I was discussing above. You can't really be taken seriously with statements like that, it is shown to be false many times and she made the ultimate sacrifice in AMoL in helping heal the pattern.

ToM

Obliquely, she realized what she was doing. She was using Rand's proclamation as a beacon by which to gather and tie the monarchs to the White Tower. They would come to support her arguments against breaking the seals. But in the end, they would serve humankind in the Last Battle.

 

ToM

"All of this is secondary, for now. We need unity against the Shadow and the Seanchan. We have to—"

 

Was she going to suck herself dry as she fought this battle? She had chosen—or, would have chosen—the Green and not the Blue. The difference wasn't just that she liked the way the Greens stood up and fought; she thought that the Blues were too focused. Life was more complicated than a single cause. Life was about living. About dreaming, laughing and dancing.

Gawyn was in the Aes Sedai camp. She said that she'd chosen the Green for its aggressive determination—it was the Battle Ajah. But a more secret, more honest, part of herself admitted that Gawyn was a motivation for her decision as well. Among the Green Ajah, marrying one's Warder was common. Egwene would have Gawyn for her Warder. And her husband.

She loved him. She would bond him. Those desires of her heart were less important than the fate of the world, true, but they were still important.

 

In regards to the definition how does it not fit the basic description? Love how you had to edit it in an attempt to have it fit your meaning. Even then the majority of it doesn't fit. We see her learn from her mistakes(she is often introspective)

 

TGS Ch. 43

 

Had she fallen into the same trap as Siuan? It was a danger. She had been trained by Siuan, after all. If Egwene had explained in more detail how well her work in the White Tower was going, would the others have stayed their hands?

 

It was a difficult line to walk. There were many secrets that an Amyrlin had to hold. To be transparent would be to lose her edge of authority. But with Siuan herself, Egwene should have been more forthcoming. The woman was too accustomed to taking action on her own. The way she had kept that dream
ter'angreal
against the Hall's knowledge and wishes was an indication of that. Yet Egwene had approved of that, unconsciously encouraging Siuan to defy authority.

 

Yes, Egwene had made mistakes. She could not lay all the blame on Siuan, Bryne and Gawyn. She had likely made other mistakes as well; she would need to look at her own actions in more detail later.

Contrary to your claim we see her care for others throughout the story. Just to show one instance look at her response when they all found out Rand could channel. She was the single one of his friends to show true empathy and caring in that instance.

 

As for respecting her teachers just look back on the scene where she muses about how much she cares for and respects the wise ones(she does similar with Siuan). She thinks openly about how integral they have been and the love she has for them. Not sure why you would pretend otherwise?

 

 

If she really and truly wanted the Tower to be reunited for the Last Battle, the most obvious and efficient option would have been this:: "Hey, everybody! Look, I know you all-- I mean all of us-- are rebels, but if we really want the Tower to reunite, then maybe we should go back to Elaida. No, don't freak out!! i mean, the White Tower needs to be whole because the Last Battle is coming: we've had 6,000 pages sayin it, so maybe we should grit our teeth and take what comes. you know, for the greater good of mankind....." Egwene of course doesnt take this route, citing the pure partisanship ans self-preservatikn. No sacrifice for the greater good, there.....

 

....Don't laugh or sneer at this suggestion: it was a completely viable option, especially because Egwene brought the tower down from the inside, so a full and immediate reunification could have bypassed 4 full novels. But she got honey in her tea, which sounds kind of dirty, but it's not.....

 

Because this is a work of fiction, of course, we are in favor of Egwene's rule, but beyond emotional favoritism, let's ask this: WHY WAS EGWENE'S LEADERSHIP SO PRAISE-WORTHY? Separating out how we feel about what she did with what she actually did exposes that she manipulated Salidar with the same ruthless efficiency that Elaida/Alviarin did. In fact, Egwene's entire tenure as Amrylin is rife with political intrigue, the constant breaking or bending of rules, coercion, intimidation, subterfuge, the illegal swearing of oaths, deceptions, partial truths, circumventing the rules, sidestepping the Three Oaths, espionage, attaining goals through force of will, blackmail, taking advantage of Tower Law to either gain advantage or neutrelize a rival, publicly condemning the splintering of the Ajah while taking full advantage of the weakness, deception, dishonesty, dissension and discord, continue the dissemination of the Logain Lie knowing full well is was ficticious and devicive. a wedge, and although I might have missed another dozen smaller examples, we must NEVER forget that she knowingly sheltered one of the Forsaken for the sole purpose of gleaning knowledge of the AoL, because, well: f**k time-honored laws and basic morality!

Which not only wasn't viable but also would have placed the WT squarely under the shadow's control. Elaida was not only Alviarin's puppet but Fain touched at that point and we saw how that was influencing the WT. It is one of the single worst suggestions I have ever seen on these forums and never would have worked in any realistic sense within the framework of this story. Not to mention the light would most likely have lost to the DO had they done so.

 

It's somewhat funny especially given your comment above implying some deeper analysis but you look at her actions in a vacuum and totally ignores why she was raised and what she was forced to do to get her feet under her. She wasn't taken some mandate, she was forced into the position. It had zero to do with some personnel drive. You can not compare here and Elaid's situations in the slightest. Also ZOMFG harboring a forsaken!!!! First why are you ignoring the fact that it was Nyn and Elayne's idea to do so. But forget that I mean only a monster would "f**k time-honored laws and basic morality", wait until the Lord Dragon finds out someone has harbored a forsaken for knowledge, he will surely bring all of his righteous fury to bear on anyone would be foolish enough to do such a thing. :rolleyes: Despite the lengths of you posts starting to get the whiff of troll here once again. It is  shocking the lengths you go above to misconstrue the truth and vilify her.

 

Again all you do with these posts is show extreme bias. If you really have to ask what she has done to deserve praise since being raised you are simply ignoring the facts of what has gone on. Just look at a few of her reforms, changing the age/admission requirements for AS, allowing them to retire into the Kin and most importantly the channeler exchange program. Considering how set the WT had become and what the positive repercussions from those moves will be they are nothing short of remarkable. The first and third changes alone will do more to better the failed institution that is the WT than anything that has happened in the last two thousand years. Is there much more to sure, but much else in that short period of time would have been utterly unrealistic in that time period. Further she speaks plainly about the need for change.

 

ToM

"The world as it was cannot be ours any longer," Egwene said softly, not wanting the Wise Ones to overhear. "Was it ever? The Black Tower bonds Aes Sedai, the Aiel no longer revere us, the Windfinders have hidden their best channelers from us for centuries and are becoming increasingly belligerent. If we try to hold too tightly to all of this, we will either become tyrants or fools, depending upon how successful we are. I accept neither title.

 

 

Lastly wanted to touch on the Nynaeve thing. The whole "coming of age/balance of power" shifting which was the point of that whole storyline seems to have gone over your head. Nynaeve had bullied Egwene for years with the methods you discuss and although perhaps it was clumsily written at times the meaning was clear. The incident in tar was the single most despicable thing Egwene does to my mind. Although she was also warning Nyn about the dangers of Tar it was mostly to cover up for the lie. Calling it gang rape is laughable and why don't we just follow Nyn's own thoughts on the matter. She doesn't hold it against Egwene in the slightest.

Edited by Suttree
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[\quote]

It's not a backslash, it's just a normal slash, there.

 

Yes, everything you say here is the basic story line, but perhaps you and I analyze things in different ways. i am less concerned of WHAT somebody does as to WHY they do it. WoT is so deep and rich and perfect for my spinning brain. And once i saw waht motivated Egwene, I could not NOT see it any longer and every subsequent scene of hers shone with a clarifying light.

Egwene is fundamentally a character who gives 110% to anything she does--both feet off the ground. She goes to fairly obscene lengths to make good on what she sees as ideals--even blowing the Aes Sedai away with her dedication to their own ideal.

 

That's what drives her. It also blinds her to things that are not in her ideal.

I state unequivocally that Egwene does NOTHING for the greater good. Everythjng is self-referential and slef-serving. This conclusion is reached if we ignore the vicarious confusion of reading her PoV. in kther words, DON'T FEEL, THINK! Look at what she does, how she does it and truly as why she's doing ut.

She...gives her life...to kill dreadlords...at the last battle...........what the fuck do you mean she doesn't do anything for the greater good?

 

If she really and truly wanted the Tower to be reunited for the Last Battle, the most obvious and efficient option would have been this:: "Hey, everybody! Look, I know you all-- I mean all of us-- are rebels, but if we really want the Tower to reunite, then maybe we should go back to Elaida. No, don't freak out!! i mean, the White Tower needs to be whole because the Last Battle is coming: we've had 6,000 pages sayin it, so maybe we should grit our teeth and take what comes. you know, for the greater good of mankind....." Egwene of course doesnt take this route, citing the pure partisanship ans self-preservatikn. No sacrifice for the greater good, there.....

 

....Don't laugh or sneer at this suggestion: it was a completely viable option, especially because Egwene brought the tower down from the inside, so a full and immediate reunification could have bypassed 4 full novels. But she got honey in her tea, which sounds kind of dirty, but it's not.....

Elaida is also, you know, insane. Beyond how ridiculously hard it would be to get the Salidar Aes Sedai to give in to Elaida, or even to get Elaida to accept them back, it wouldn't have solved any problems. Elaida would have completely shattered the tower from within due to influences from the Black Ajah, and even if she didn't, she would have driven Rand away and doomed everyone.

Because this is a work of fiction, of course, we are in favor of Egwene's rule, but beyond emotional favoritism, let's ask this: WHY WAS EGWENE'S LEADERSHIP SO PRAISE-WORTHY? Separating out how we feel about what she did with what she actually did exposes that she manipulated Salidar with the same ruthless efficiency that Elaida/Alviarin did. In fact, Egwene's entire tenure as Amrylin is rife with political intrigue, the constant breaking or bending of rules, coercion, intimidation, subterfuge, the illegal swearing of oaths, deceptions, partial truths, circumventing the rules, sidestepping the Three Oaths, espionage, attaining goals through force of will, blackmail, taking advantage of Tower Law to either gain advantage or neutrelize a rival, publicly condemning the splintering of the Ajah while taking full advantage of the weakness, deception, dishonesty, dissension and discord, continue the dissemination of the Logain Lie knowing full well is was ficticious and devicive. a wedge, and although I might have missed another dozen smaller examples, we must NEVER forget that she knowingly sheltered one of the Forsaken for the sole purpose of gleaning knowledge of the AoL, because, well: f**k time-honored laws and basic morality!

She was politicking in order to get the Salidar Aes Sedai off their asses and moving in the right direction. It is better for her to get her hands dirty doing the right thing than sitting on her ass and maintaining the moral high ground. Have you seen Lincoln?

Really, besides our emotional investment in the story, you gotta ask WHY the Salidar faction is any better the Elaida, because almost identical machinations take place....

Well to start, they never shoved Rand into a box and tried to beat him into submission.

This is an extremely important point because as we can see in the last few books, Egwene doesn't institute systemic reforms,

She's, uh, kinda busy. She gets some reforms rolling, but she gets caught up in that pesky "Tarmon Gai'don".

and here we are in the Last Battle and Accepted are safely tucked away, because tradition dictates that they not be part of the fighting.

Also because they are inexperienced and young and needed for the next generation. I'm pretty sure the Wise One/Windfinder apprentices were also tucked away. Only the Asha'man seem to be going all-in with their reserves because they're still getting the hang of this human decency thing.

 

By the way, they weren't just sitting on the sidelines, they were supporting the healers in Mayene, and were being worked to exhaustion like everyone else. They just weren't getting their heads blown off because they didn't recognize a weave.

She doesn't answer the basic question about what the Aes Sedai role in the world actually should//could be.

The same it has always been or always tried to be, a warden to keep the world together and united, and a place of learning and unity for channelers and the world. She knows that they can no longer try to bully people onto the right path, but they can still serve the same role in the world.

Instead it is more of the same..... And in the last, she doesn't, not once, ask: "How can the White Tower help?"

Haha, what?

Sure, she did a lot of fresh stuff, and the given reforms are refreshing, but in no way was she a Great Reformer......

She got the ball rolling on a lot of things, but she simply didn't have the time to do what she wanted to do.

the Tower continues to manipulate, coerce, intimidate and expect everyone to bend the knee without demonstrating WHY they deserve it.....

The Tower tried to manipulate people in the right direction, and everyone still seems to hold it against them...you realize that 95% what an Aes Sedai wants is merely what she sees as what is necessary for the greater good? And that 9 out of 10 times they are right? They've been doing a lot of things by bullying--like stopping wars, preventing the rise of rival channeler factions, keeping dangerous angreal out of the way of commoners (and into a place they can research it), making sure that those they find that can channel will do so safely, etc. etc. Their methods may not be the best, but their goals are almost always good.

Egwene didn't undertake the Salidar mandate out of benevolence, nor did she merely see a great task that needed doing and begin the work. Something about her internal architecture compelled her to do it. Her competitiveness. Her undiluted sense of importance. The excitement at playing the Game of Thrones (is that reference okay, here?). She was attracted to the task because she could freely exercise her subconscious nature: to dominate, like every other Aes Sedai we have seen. She was simply better than all of them..... RIP, Egwene al'Vere. I'll miss you.....

She didn't choose to be Amyrlin Seat, but once she was she strove to be everything an Amyrlin Seat should be...which is entirely consistent with her character, and Mat even perfectly predicts her reaction (while, in true WoT fashion, completely underestimating her competence). She might get some thrill from being in a leadership position, but ultimately what drives her isn't the power. Look at her actions in KoD/TGS for proof of that--even when all of her power is stripped of her, she doesn't jump at the chance go get it back (by escape), she suffers through it because ultimately that's what she needs to do. And don't tell me that she still felt powerful in that situation--she was getting beaten to a pulp multiple times a day, there's no way she was getting off on the thrill to "dominate" there.
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Also, did she lie to that king that shows up out of no where at the begining of the meeting at Merrilor? She congratulates him on solidifying his rule and then says "You're welcome," implying that she helped some way, when she didn't. She then tells Gawyn that maybe she will set up a few false trails for him to find when he gets back home. I have been trying to think of a way for this to be skirting the three oaths, but anything I come up with sounds flimsy.

How would that possibly be a problem with the oath against lying?

 

Also not sure how wanting to see the world equates to not liking yourself or where you are from. You also seem to imply a drive and a will to learn is negative which I find odd.

I know they get around lying all the time in the books, that was just to close or me.

 

and it isn't that there is something wrong with wanting to learn something or see the world, it just that you shouldn't be surprised that she doesn't think back fondly of her time there when she so obviously wanted out.  If this was the real world, she would be the person that packs up her things and moves to LA or New York the moment high school graduation is done.  She wasn't happy being the mayors daughter, she had to move away and become a Wisdom somewhere and them later AS, she wanted to be important.  She was a grade a bitch in the first book, berating Rand, Mat and Perrin for going on an adventure with Moiraine and she can go on one to, not believing they could actually be important, or that Rand could actually have met Elayne the list goes on and on (a lot of which people have been listing).

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Also, did she lie to that king that shows up out of no where at the begining of the meeting at Merrilor? She congratulates him on solidifying his rule and then says "You're welcome," implying that she helped some way, when she didn't. She then tells Gawyn that maybe she will set up a few false trails for him to find when he gets back home. I have been trying to think of a way for this to be skirting the three oaths, but anything I come up with sounds flimsy.

How would that possibly be a problem with the oath against lying?

 

Also not sure how wanting to see the world equates to not liking yourself or where you are from. You also seem to imply a drive and a will to learn is negative which I find odd.

I know they get around lying all the time in the books, that was just to close or me.

 

and it isn't that there is something wrong with wanting to learn something or see the world, it just that you shouldn't be surprised that she doesn't think back fondly of her time there when she so obviously wanted out. 

Yes she wanted out but she kept feelings for her roots. She visited in Tar, sent messages back to her family(did any of the others?) and even in ToM she refused to get married unless her parents were present.

 

As for the lying part it was all implication. There was no stated lie.

Edited by Suttree
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She...gives her life...to kill dreadlords...at the last battle...........what the fuck do you mean she doesn't do anything for the greater good?

 

I'm not getting into this argument again, though I will say that I don't think Egwene is a psychopath (I'd come closer to agreeing that she's a sociopath than a psychopath, but I think it's borderline there, rather than a certainty) and that she is, undoubtedly, a narcissist. In fact, I think she suffers from Narcissist Personality Disorder, but anyway...

 

It can be argued that what she did was not for the greater good or that, at least, that was not her primary motivation. Egwene was on a power trip from hell during the entire Last Battle, thinking she was the only one who mattered ("all of the Aes Sedai can die, but as long as I live, the White Tower stands!"), she knew what was best (be it breaking the seals, how to organize an army, etc), and no one could possibly face her and win (I honestly wanted her to go after Demandred so he could crush her like a bug...it would've been far more fitting and a nice slap in the face to the Aes Sedai, but whatever). She was determined to find a way around balefire and did, but right before she makes the decision that ends her life, she realizes that she is burned out and has a thought that, as soon as she releases saidar, she won't channel again. I've seen it argued that, since severing can be Healed, someone who is burned out could likely be Healed as well, but I disagree. And I doubt it would've crossed Egwene's mind (we definitely didn't see her think of it) that she could be connected to the Source again. That was the moment she made her decision to die, when she realized she was burned out.

 

And, personally, I think that's what made her decide to kill herself in order to take out Taim and all of the 400 Sharans - after all, up until that point, she was convinced she was too crucial to everything and the world couldn't survive without her. Her attitude only changed once she realized she'd never channel again and that never being able to channel again would no longer be top Aes Sedai and would not be Aes Sedai at all. All of the power she enjoyed, all of the influence she wielded in order to ram her demands down everyone's throats, would be gone. She'd have to be  "normal" and would likely be left taking orders from someone, something she had counted on never doing again as the "supreme" authority in the world (she even made a reference to being "above" everyone else and the "supreme" authority when she was thinking about signing her own marriage certificate to Gawyn, which was an unnecessary action unless she was that arrogant and too stubborn to accept that anyone else had any authority in anything that involves her...and she is that arrogant). I don't think she could deal with that and that was why she made the decision to overdraw on the sa'angreal. The good that came of it was secondary for her, though at least (in her mind), she got to go out as the most powerful woman ever and as "impressive" as Rand, which was a big problem with her - she was always jealous of him and wanted to be more important and more powerful than him.

 

So bottom line - she did it because she was losing everything she valued most (power and influence) so death was welcome. Any good that came out of it was just gravy.

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So bottom line - she did it because she was losing everything she valued most (power and influence) so death was welcome. Any good that came out of it was just gravy.

There are numerous quotes throughout the book that show her drive for power was for the greater good Lil and aimed towards helping the world at the LB(there are multiple quotes of that nature). I know you don't like her but you can surely see that. It's not as if she was on a power trip to for some insidious purpose.

 

You are of course welcome to your interpretation in the above when she took out everyone but her helping heal the pattern and then helping Rand make the right decision which pushed him to overcome the DO pretty calls it into question.

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I'm not getting into this argument again, though I will say that I don't think Egwene is a psychopath (I'd come closer to agreeing that she's a sociopath than a psychopath, but I think it's borderline there, rather than a certainty) and that she is, undoubtedly, a narcissist. In fact, I think she suffers from Narcissist Personality Disorder, but anyway...

 

I suggest that the issue isn't Egwene being a narcissist, but RJ not understanding what's wrong with narcissism. He unrealistically gives Egwene traits of narcissism, without following through and making her a menace. Likewise, he unrealistically gives the Aes Sedai and Wise Ones horrible initiation rituals where they strip young women naked and subject them to severe physical and emotional trauma -- and doesn't follow through on the consequences there either. Egwene is tortured by Silviana remember, and they become bffs after. Cadsuane had an Amyrlyn kidnapped and abused in order to make her "stronger" -- and it worked!

 

It's unfair to blame the characters for this. This is a universe where torturing people is good for them, and narcissism isn't a severe personality disorder that destroys families. If you're desperate for an in-world explanation, blame it on the Bore, and the Dark One having more influence over people's emotions. I think it's just author bias though.

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Yes, everything you say here is the basic story line, but perhaps you and I analyze things in different ways. i am less concerned of WHAT somebody does as to WHY they do it. WoT is so deep and rich and perfect for my spinning brain. And once i saw waht motivated Egwene, I could not NOT see it any longer and every subsequent scene of hers shone with a clarifying light.I state unequivocally that Egwene does NOTHING for the greater good. Everythjng is self-referential and slef-serving.

So you flat out agree you aren't looking at what actually happened you are applying your own admittedly very biased perspective to her actions. I was a lit major in college blue and you aren't doing any deeper character study or analysis here. You're ignoring what actually happened and defaulting to absurd worst case scenario situations. The bolded comment is a perfect example of what I was discussing above. You can't really be taken seriously with statements like that, it is shown to be false many times and she made the ultimate sacrifice in AMoL in helping heal the pattern.

I don't remember any of my literature, political science or media classes saying it was okay to just repeat what happens and call it good. Maybe we went to different colleges.... Leaving the little person jabs out of your replies would also be nice.

 

To undertake a truly honest character study, you gotta strip away your emotional bias. It's called character critiquing. You see a character in totality, then break them down into more specific and smaller pieces,, finding behavior patterns, habits, stuff like that. It's like using a box lid to assemble a puzzle: you already know what the puzzle looks like (e.g. the STORY, what a character DOES) but the purpose is to look at the small pieces (e.g. MOTIVATIONS, what a character IS).

 

I admit bias: I am no fan of Egwene but that's because I've put her puzzle together, so to speak. She is a ruthless, cunning character, and a crappy friend, and in real life I would want nothing to do with hert. Honestly,, without her Amrylin stole, her TR anility, and her being able to channel, what is she? Ask yourself if she's the sort of person you'd want to hang out with..... If you said "YES", I want to know WHY.....

 

By saying she hasn't done anything for the greater good, I mean that she has done anything in these book without first calculating her own gain, which means she is placing her own needs first. please don't inundate me with plotlines and jacketcover reviews: tell me what she has ever done that was selfless and without gain to herself. On this last read thru, I couldnt find a single example of her doing something without calculating self-gain. Except, maybe, hiding Rand in Fal Dara, which you pointed out, and was the first, only, and last time she displays honest friendship towards him. Was her death in the Last Battle a self-less act? Nope: she probably calculated her act would bind her to the Horn of Valare. Calm down. I'm joking. Not really.

 

In your prior post, you said she "shows great respect" for her teachers and I replied with clear proof that she has not done this. In fact, looking at her relationship with her "teachers" is clear proof of her calculating nature. And I will say it again: she dominated Nyanaeve for her own reasons, not to assist Nynaeve overcome her obstacles. And, yes, it was a gang-rape scenerio. People might not like that description, but it is what it is.

 

From her first appearance in EotW, she is shown to be a bully, and as the story unfolds, we see her shifting alleigence from one power base to another. I say "allegiance" because in any debate, or conflict she sides with the group she emulates. This tendancy is clearly established, from Nyanaeve to Morainne to her Novice training to the Aeil to Salidar to the White Tower. She easily adapts to customs, cultures, and mannerisms, and the use of social mores and legal remedies. Also, she gravitates to the most powerful women within a group. And she works to become to "best", a paragon, by jumping in with two feet, some might say. It seems pretty noble......if you ignore the darker side which is that whenever a "better optiion" arrives, she just as easily flips her affiliations, along with her loyalties.

Edited by BlueSun
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She...gives her life...to kill dreadlords...at the last battle...........what the fuck do you mean she doesn't do anything for the greater good?

 

So bottom line - she did it because she was losing everything she valued most (power and influence) so death was welcome. Any good that came out of it was just gravy.

 

Exatcly!!

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So bottom line - she did it because she was losing everything she valued most (power and influence) so death was welcome. Any good that came out of it was just gravy.

There are numerous quotes throughout the book that show her drive for power was for the greater good Lil and aimed towards helping the world at the LB(there are multiple quotes of that nature). I know you don't like her but you can surely see that. It's not as if she was on a power trip to for some insidious purpose.

 

You are of course welcome to your interpretation in the above when she took out everyone but her helping heal the pattern and then helping Rand make the right decision which pushed him to overcome the DO pretty calls it into question.

 

The problem, Suttree, is that, in her mind, "the greater good" means her controlling everything, and that is not good. Also, her actions on her climb to the top were not all charitable...in fact, most of her actions were quite the opposite and meant to "show" people that she was not to be pushed around. She has always been ridiculously ambitious, dismissive of others when she disagrees with them, manipulative, rude (with Nyn and Rand), contrary (particularly with Rand), blind to the problems that can stem from her desire to have people be her mindless slaves (and don't tell me that's not what she wanted when she had thoughts about how her friends, of all people, shouldn't resist her and should exist merely to "see her will done"), and too wrapped up in her own self-importance. I agree that she never acted with the intent to harm the Light, but her attitude that the White Tower is all that matters in the world, and that the Amyrlin is only second to the Creator (and, at times, it seems Egwene believes herself to be the Creator's equal) is both dangerous and narcissistic. As far as her not being on a power trip for nefarious purposes, that doesn't change the fact that she was on a power trip...a huge one. There were two choices by the time the final book rolled around - Egwene either had to have an epiphany and step back from the power trip or she had to be removed from a position where she wielded so much power. There were too many comments/scenes that reiterated how bad it was to become too powerful without restraints. Personally, I think the Pattern led her to using that weave to get rid of her because she had resisted coming to terms with the fact that she's not perfect and was not capable of accepting the fact that the WT isn't the end-all-be-all authority in the world and that she could not - or rather, should not - manipulate/trick/dictate everyone to her will.

 

As for Rand, she didn't help him overcome the DO. The voice in his head wasn't her, but rather what he imagined her saying (she has been too antagonistic to him from the beginning to show that much kindness). Her death helped him see the light (light which he had supposedly already seen at the top of Dragonmount, but whatever), but she did not speak to him directly or help him as a friend would help him. Perhaps that was another reason the Pattern needed her to be removed...to help Rand see that others had to be willing to sacrifice their lives too.

 

*edited to finish a sentence I somehow half deleted!*

Edited by lilltempest
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I'm not getting into this argument again, though I will say that I don't think Egwene is a psychopath (I'd come closer to agreeing that she's a sociopath than a psychopath, but I think it's borderline there, rather than a certainty) and that she is, undoubtedly, a narcissist. In fact, I think she suffers from Narcissist Personality Disorder, but anyway...

 

I suggest that the issue isn't Egwene being a narcissist, but RJ not understanding what's wrong with narcissism. He unrealistically gives Egwene traits of narcissism, without following through and making her a menace. Likewise, he unrealistically gives the Aes Sedai and Wise Ones horrible initiation rituals where they strip young women naked and subject them to severe physical and emotional trauma -- and doesn't follow through on the consequences there either. Egwene is tortured by Silviana remember, and they become bffs after. Cadsuane had an Amyrlyn kidnapped and abused in order to make her "stronger" -- and it worked!

 

It's unfair to blame the characters for this. This is a universe where torturing people is good for them, and narcissism isn't a severe personality disorder that destroys families. If you're desperate for an in-world explanation, blame it on the Bore, and the Dark One having more influence over people's emotions. I think it's just author bias though.

 

ROTFLMAO! It's "unfair" to blame characters for how horrible they may seem? I'm sorry, but that makes no sense at all. RJ may or may not have been aware of the problems with narcissism, but he did, indeed, make Egwene a narcissist, as well as a crappy friend and a dominating witch. To suggest that I should like the character despite that - because you think RJ meant for Egwene to be likable or whatever - is silly.

 

Furthermore, I think it's well past time to let go of the idea that Egwene was "tortured" by Silviana. Torture is what was done to Rand by the AS - when he was locked in a tiny box and taken out only to be beaten mercilessly. Torture is what was done to Rand by Semirhage - being collared and forced to hurt someone he loves. Torture is what was done to Egwene when she was collared by the Seanchan - when they collared her and caused her pain for not obeying and tried to take away her identity and turn her into a mindless slave. But what Silviana did was SPANKING! For God's sake, she was Healed to make sure no blood was drawn and they were careful to make sure they did not BREAK her. Torture is meant to break someone...they weren't trying to break Egwene with spankings, they were merely trying to get her to stop being an obnoxious bitch. And they failed miserably!

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We're too far apart to have a rational discussion on this blue. Cool that you studied lit in college as well though, where did you go? I went to UCSB and although you have some of the concepts down your a wide margin off from any realistic character study and again by your own admission bias is skewing your viewpoint.

 

It's already been pointed out by a few people why your plot ideas are way off concerning what she should have done instead of ruling. The idea is all too simplistic and doesn't touch on the deeper issues. I've already provided quotes about the greater good going across a number of books so I have no idea why you say focused on the lb. the third quote above is from 7 books ago. Not even going to bother to pull more about the teachers and the like. All good that's the beauty of literature right? It's open to interpretation!

 

@lil

 

Saying Rand was imagining ignores his new found connection to the pattern.

Edited by Suttree
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lilltempest, i don't mean to offend, but...you're using some serious mental gymnastics to come to the conclusion that Egwene is super-narcisstic. Ascribing the most ridiculous intentions to anything she does, etc.

I'm not getting into this argument again, though I will say that I don't think Egwene is a psychopath (I'd come closer to agreeing that she's a sociopath than a psychopath, but I think it's borderline there, rather than a certainty) and that she is, undoubtedly, a narcissist. In fact, I think she suffers from Narcissist Personality Disorder, but anyway...

I think she's a tad self-centered, but Narcissist Personality Disorder works too, i guess.

 

It can be argued that what she did was not for the greater good or that, at least, that was not her primary motivation.

And, since Egwene isn't a real person and the author who wrote her is dead, this kind of argument can't be entirely refuted. But just because you can make an argument for it doesn't make it true. In this case, the text rather clearly points to the idea that Egwene did what she did because she believe it was the best for everyone, and most of the evidence that she's a massive narcissist is more of ascribing reasoning that isn't seen in the text, and less actually looking at the text itself. "Egwene is a sociopath" is, at the very least, an out-of-the-box alternative character interpretation, and not something that's really supported by the text except in the most circumspect ways.

 

Egwene was on a power trip from hell during the entire Last Battle, thinking she was the only one who mattered ("all of the Aes Sedai can die, but as long as I live, the White Tower stands!")

Did she say this? I don't remember her saying that. I think a few times she noted that she was very important to keep alive (as the leader of the largest group of channelers), which is a nice bit of pragmatism compared to Elayne or Rand's "i can do everything myself, oh shit i got captured". Without her in the lead, it would be hard for the Aes Sedai to unite on anything.

she knew what was best (be it breaking the seals, how to organize an army, etc),

On the first one, she was at least partially correct, and people seem to miss that. If the seals had been broken when Rand had wanted them to be broken, then the Dark One would have been freed too early and the Last Battle would have been lost, or at the very least the forces of the Light would have been much worse off. For the second, she denies command of the armies twice--she's well aware she is not qualified to lead armies.

and no one could possibly face her and win (I honestly wanted her to go after Demandred so he could crush her like a bug...it would've been far more fitting and a nice slap in the face to the Aes Sedai, but whatever).

I don't think she ever says that no one can face her and win...and she knows her limits (while she presses them really hard). She's constantly telling herself that no one can stand before the White Tower because they stand in the right...i suppose she does put a lot of faith in that institution, but she seemed to do that long before she was Amyrlin Seat.

 

Once again, is that incredible optimism or horrible arrogance? I think that the books very clearly point to the former--Egwene has always been painfully optimistic, and absorbs the ideals of the society she is in perfectly (except for the Seachan, of course). She does the same thing with the Aiel--accepting horrible punishment to clear her conscience after a lie (seriously, what the fuck is up with ji'e'toh?)

She was determined to find a way around balefire and did, but right before she makes the decision that ends her life, she realizes that she is burned out and has a thought that, as soon as she releases saidar, she won't channel again. I've seen it argued that, since severing can be Healed, someone who is burned out could likely be Healed as well, but I disagree. And I doubt it would've crossed Egwene's mind (we definitely didn't see her think of it) that she could be connected to the Source again. That was the moment she made her decision to die, when she realized she was burned out.

They matched one another, in stasis, for an eternal moment. In that moment, Egwene felt a peace come upon her. The pain of Gawyns death faded. He would be reborn. The Pattern would continue. The very weave she wielded calmed her anger and replaced it with peace. She reached more deeply into saidar,; that glowing comfort that had guided her so long.

This is before she died or was burned out. She accepted her death before taking in that much power, she knew that was a one way trip.

 

(she even made a reference to being "above" everyone else and the "supreme" authority when she was thinking about signing her own marriage certificate to Gawyn, which was an unnecessary action unless she was that arrogant and too stubborn to accept that anyone else had any authority in anything that involves her...and she is that arrogant).

She noted that she had to sign it because no one stood above the Amyrlin Seat. This is likely because, you know, nobody stands above the Amyrlin Seat. A few people might be argued to be equals (Empress of the Seachan, the Dragon Reborn, the M'Hael) but she is a woman to whom kings and queens bow.

 

It's not arrogance to acknowledge reality.

I don't think she could deal with that and that was why she made the decision to overdraw on the sa'angreal. The good that came of it was secondary for her, though at least (in her mind), she got to go out as the most powerful woman ever and as "impressive" as Rand, which was a big problem with her - she was always jealous of him and wanted to be more important and more powerful than him.

Or she gave her life to seal a new Bore that was forming, giving her life so that others may live...which is much, much simpler, and more in line with both her character and all the other "good" characters in the series. Occam's Razor, man.

So bottom line - she did it because she was losing everything she valued most (power and influence) so death was welcome. Any good that came out of it was just gravy.

Except there are plenty of times where Egwene does the right thing because it is right, not because it makes her more powerful, or whatever. We see this when she accepts the beatings from the Aiel to clear her name (despite the fact that she could have avoided it, or accepted far less than she did). Or when she did the same thing in the Tower, to bring down Elaida (knowing full well that what she was doing could easily end in her execution). Hell, remember her though process when she wasn't aware that she would survive the night?

The cells. Of course; she was bound for one of those small, dark rooms on the first level of the Tower’s basement. Elaida would charge her with falsely claiming to be the Amyrlin Seat. The penalty for that was death. Strangely, that brought no fear. Perhaps it was the herb working on her. Would Romanda or Lelaine give way, agreeing to raise Amyrlin after she was dead? Or would they continue to struggle with one another until the entire rebellion faltered and failed, and the sisters straggled back to Elaida? A sad thought, that. Bone-deep sad. But if she could feel sorrow, the forkroot was not quenching her emotions, so why was she not afraid?

 

...

 

If Elaida allowed her to live through the night, at least she could let Siuan know what had happened to her—and likely to Leane, as well. She could let Siuan know they had been betrayed. And pray that Siuan could track down the betrayer. Pray that the rebellion would not collapse. She offered a small prayer for that on the spot. It was much more important than the other.

Her first thought upon her execution isn't her loss of power--it's the negative effect it would have on the rebellion, and how it would fall apart and leave the Tower horribly broken and under Elaida, unprepared for the Last Battle. She really is that fearless, that willing to give herself for the world as a whole.

 

 

Egwene always tries to be 110% of what she is. That means when she's training to be a wisdom, she tries to be wise and aloof. When she's training to be an Aes Sedai, she accepts everything that comes her way, even if she does want to move faster. When she's pretending Aes Sedai in the waste, she acts aloof and wise, until she accepts the role of Wise One's apprentice, where she accepts their teaching and tries to learn ji'e'toh (see her inner monologue about not cheating when running around the camp).

 

When she is pushed into the Amyrlin Seat, she tries to represent everything that the Amyrlin Seat is supposed to be. Which is perfectly in control, the figure that kings and queens bow to, someone to be obeyed without question or hesitation. Is it arrogance to try to be what you are supposed to be? Perhaps. Is it narcissistic? Definitely not. Reading it that way is an interesting, but ultimately incorrect, reading of the character. Egwene's consistently shown a selfless attitude, and while you may argue that some of her actions are misguided it would be very difficult to say that any of them were morally incorrect.

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Egwene was on a power trip from hell during the entire Last Battle, thinking she was the only one who mattered ("all of the Aes Sedai can die, but as long as I live, the White Tower stands!")

 

Did she say this? I don't remember her saying that. I think a few times she noted that she was very important to keep alive (as the leader of the largest group of channelers), which is a nice bit of pragmatism compared to Elayne or Rand's "i can do everything myself, oh shit i got captured". Without her in the lead, it would be hard for the Aes Sedai to unite on anything.

I think she said something like that after the Sharans first appeared and things were looking very, very bad.

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We're too far apart to have a rational discussion on this blue. Cool that you studied lit in college as well though, where did you go? I went to UCSB and although you have some of the concepts down your a wide margin off from any realistic character study and again by your own admission bias is skewing your viewpoint.

 

All I have really asked is for a specific example where Egwene is altruistic without personal gain. I admit my bias against her, but you cannot find an example (POV ruminations don't count) and so you become dismissive and haughty. Are you snarling as you reply? Personally, I don't care if you studied at Harvard or Sanra Barbara Community, you don't seem to have an analytic or imaginative mind. Flashing your educational credential is kinda dooshy, bte......

 

I think you and I should stop talking to each other now

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All I have really asked is for a specific example where Egwene is altruistic without personal gain.

 

In tEotW, she tells Perrin they should take turns riding Bela. Pretty sure she didn't gain anything but cramps out of that. Oh and in tGH, she hides Rand from the Aes Sedai in Fal Dara. Again I doubt she gained anything out of it.

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We're too far apart to have a rational discussion on this blue. Cool that you studied lit in college as well though, where did you go? I went to UCSB and although you have some of the concepts down your a wide margin off from any realistic character study and again by your own admission bias is skewing your viewpoint.

All I have really asked is for a specific example where Egwene is altruistic without personal gain. I admit my bias against her, but you cannot find an example (POV ruminations don't count) and so you become dismissive and haughty. Are you snarling as you reply? Personally, I don't care if you studied at Harvard or Sanra Barbara Community, you don't seem to have an analytic or imaginative mind. Flashing your educational credential is kinda dooshy, bte......

 

I think you and I should stop talking to each other now

Haughty? Snarling? What are you on about? I was stoked that we studied the same topic and was curious where you went mate. Apologies if it came off as different. Btw I don't have an imaginative or analytic mind? Guess my entire degree and line of work just get tossed out the window then. Lol. Maybe learn the lay of the land around here before you start making ridiculous claims. Sadly it was hard to take you seriously with your initial stance and that has only been driven home by your peevish replies. It's a forum mate, deep breaths. It'll be ok.

 

As for the rest there are numerous examples and I gave you one in my very first response in relation to how Egwene was the only friend to stand bye Rand when it was discovered he could channel. She showed a great deal of empathy.

Edited by Suttree
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ROTFLMAO! It's "unfair" to blame characters for how horrible they may seem? I'm sorry, but that makes no sense at all. RJ may or may not have been aware of the problems with narcissism, but he did, indeed, make Egwene a narcissist, as well as a crappy friend and a dominating witch. To suggest that I should like the character despite that - because you think RJ meant for Egwene to be likable or whatever - is silly.

The point is that you can't blame Egwene for acting the same way as every other character in the novel. Arrogance, and a bad case of "if I was in charge everything would be better" is a basic trait of like 90% of the characters in the book, including Cads, Moir, Rand, Nynaeve, Elayne, Sorilea, the windfinders, many of the nobles Rand deals with, etc. There needs to be a solid reason that Egwene is more arrogant than those characters, or else how in the heck is her arrogance worse?

Furthermore, I think it's well past time to let go of the idea that Egwene was "tortured" by Silviana. Torture is what was done to Rand by the AS - when he was locked in a tiny box and taken out only to be beaten mercilessly. Torture is what was done to Rand by Semirhage - being collared and forced to hurt someone he loves. Torture is what was done to Egwene when she was collared by the Seanchan - when they collared her and caused her pain for not obeying and tried to take away her identity and turn her into a mindless slave. But what Silviana did was SPANKING! For God's sake, she was Healed to make sure no blood was drawn and they were careful to make sure they did not BREAK her. Torture is meant to break someone...they weren't trying to break Egwene with spankings, they were merely trying to get her to stop being an obnoxious bitch. And they failed miserably!

She was beaten so badly that she required healing multiple times a day so that she would be able to walk. Maybe not torture, but it was hardly easy. Later, when Egwene was placed in a cell too small to stretch out and beaten multiple times a day was definitely torture, though.

 

And they were trying to force Egwene to bend, which isn't much different from trying to break her. They wanted to do it in a way that wasn't really considered torture, but she definitely pressed the limits of what was allowed there. And then she called Elaida a crazy bitch (paraphrasing) and in the true, subtle fashion that would make any Aes Sedai proud they tried to torture her until she was more complacent.

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Egwene was on a power trip from hell during the entire Last Battle, thinking she was the only one who mattered ("all of the Aes Sedai can die, but as long as I live, the White Tower stands!")

Did she say this? I don't remember her saying that. I think a few times she noted that she was very important to keep alive (as the leader of the largest group of channelers), which is a nice bit of pragmatism compared to Elayne or Rand's "i can do everything myself, oh shit i got captured". Without her in the lead, it would be hard for the Aes Sedai to unite on anything.

 

I think she said something like that after the Sharans first appeared and things were looking very, very bad.

 

 

 

Found it.

It was true. She let him hold her, letting his familiar scent calm her. But how could she simply wait as soldiers and Aes Sedai who depended on her were slaughtered? Light, a huge portion of the White Tower was out there! If this army fell, and those women with it . . .

 

I am the Amyrlin Seat, she told herself firmly. I will be strong. I will survive. So long as I live, the White Tower stands.

Yeah, she's saying that as the leader of the Aes Sedai, her continued survival was incredibly important to the survival of the institution as a whole. That after such a debilitating attack, she would be needed to impose order on the chaos. Or else the entire White Tower could fall apart or fall into internal struggle again. Or perhaps she's saying that she would continue to represent the White Tower as long as she lived. It's not dissimilar to Lan's "as long as i live, Malkier still has a king".

 

I can't really see how "I'm important" is the same as "I'm the only thing that matters". The first might be arrogant if it wasn't also certainly true--Egwene is pretty freaking important.

Edited by TNine
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All I have really asked is for a specific example where Egwene is altruistic without personal gain.

In tEotW, she tells Perrin they should take turns riding Bela. Pretty sure she didn't gain anything but cramps out of that. Oh and in tGH, she hides Rand from the Aes Sedai in Fal Dara. Again I doubt she gained anything out of it.

Perrin didn't want to ride; he told her so and she insisted and wore him down..... Not altruistic: further proof of her horrible nature

 

The Fal Dara Incident was mentioned earlier by Sultree, and seems an act of altruism..... Well, at least she has that.....

Edited by BlueSun
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I see that some ridiculous arguments have been made in order to criticize Egwene, but addressing those doesn't invalidate the other, more reasonable lines of thought, or exonerate her quality of character.

 

Egwene was ambitious and envious, and she never progressed or matured despite multiple opportunities to do so.

 

She ignored the advice of her mentors anytime it didn't suit her.

 

She bullied Nynaeve beyond the scope of reason not in order to assert herself as an individual, but merely to further her agenda.

 

As far as her terms of captivity, Rand goes through unbelievable trauma and progresses into an integrated individual.

 

She chose to fall in love with an insecure, emotionally unstable man.

 

She ignores the obvious will of the Pattern and her personal experience with Mat & Talmanes by objecting to Rand and Mat at every turn.

 

===========================

 

Like I said, not a psycho but definitely an ex-wife kind of person.

 

The only reason I've heard that adequately explains her behavior is metaphysical: like Yin and Yang, opposition was a central aspect of gender dynamics in Randland, with Egwene manifested as an avatar of this dialectic. Problem is, she's not a ta'veren (though she secretly wanted to be).

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