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Egwene's Arc (Full Spoilers)


Luckers
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I liked the her in this book if simply because I predicted an Eldrene-style ending for Egwene.

Some character just HAD to die that way.

 

Could somebody explain to me how she knew the light would be the signal to break the seals?

From one of the prophecies, though not directly. An Aes Sedai who had been studying them had written a note in the margin. I think it went along the lines of "Wait for the light".

I took this to mean that they had to wait until just after the eclipse that was foretold. Obviously I was wrong though.

"Wait upon the light". It's somewhere in the early published chapters.

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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.

 

I agree with this. I loved Egwene soon after she became Amyrlin, though I do remember hating her before that, I think it is very important to see Egwene as a teenage-going-to-adulthood woman being thrust from her little small town and into the big world and major responsibilities. Someone else also pointed out how she kept giving into her roles--dedicated to each one, each apprenticeship she had. That being said, her arrogance later concerning the White Tower being the best in the world is very believable, as is her stubbonest. Egwene takes in a lot of information, and though I feel she should not have been so arrogant with the WT being the most important organization world-over (especially since she trained with Wise Ones!), I don't think she is nearly insufferable as Elayne. I loved Egwene and her death was epic. I wish she could have lived but her death works out too. Elayne, on the other hand, only thinks about Andor, Andor and Andor. Sure, it's important for a queen to care for her country, but in the face of the *world's* fate, her country should have been nil. Had Elayne died instead of Egwene I definitely wouldn't have shed a tear.

 

All of that being said, I wish her arrogance would not have gotten in the way for how she handled Rand--but her representing ONLY the White Tower, in her mind, it's understandable if not agreeable.

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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Can I just say that nothing about the final resolution of the Gawyn and Egwene arc, including their relationship pre and mid Last Battle and the marriage really justified that anomalous T'A'R dreamspace suckage incidence which was so rare according to Bair that it bespoke a super-rare level of grand passion. Perhaps Gawyn had intense feelings but the whole thing was pretty juvenile with a couple of moments of more mature reflection as Egwene whipped him like a cur for being over-presumptuous and douchey at times.

 

And, I mean, their last acts weren't even consumed by thoughts of each others from memory - they were fairly independent. It was odd and having now seen the whole arc I think we can safely say the sudden bait and switch from Galad to Gawyn which was handled abruptly and weirdly, never really recovered to something organic.

Edited by Wolfmage
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Alright, here is the friendly warning to keep things civil etc...

 

 

On topic, I once bothered with the Egwene discussion years ago, but now I don't. For me, I like her fair enough as a character, she does good work for the Light, and it's more than can be said for many characters. Having said that, any annoyance/ dislike I may get while reading is simple: She would be extremely annoying if she was a real person. 

 

I don't see much need to prove hating on her. (Not that I hate her mind you) Just say she is annoying as all hell. 

Hmmm... I actually feel she'd be the least annoying real person. She's definitely the least whiny of the Two Rivers bunch, and she's the only person among that crew who actually wants to make something of herself. Who she is in the end is not because of what happened to her, its because of choices she made, and changes she accepted and dealt with. In many ways, she the most modern of RJ's characters, the one who'd fit easiest to today's world. She's about the only character (among the younger cast, at least) I can see myself actually having a discussion with and expecting an intelligent response from. The rest tend to be too parochial, too resentful of the existence of a wider world that invaded their flyspeck village.

 

As for a character I would find truly annoying, I'd have to say Mat. I feel the strong urge to smack him on the head even writing about him. He was immense fun to read when RJ wrote him, but god is he a total jackass.

 

That's perfectly valid, it's your opinion. 

Of course. Who someone wants as a friend is deeply personal. Same as who you find annoying. I was only trying to point out that the same actions by the same character can be viewed in a very different light.

There is no way to argue that people find her insufferable and annoying however. She might be alright to talk to in a discussion, even as an inspiration, but as a friend, well, I would get tired of her quickly. 

 

Most ambitious and successful people aren't exactly the easiest people to get along with

Depends, I guess, on how much these things matter to you. Elayne and Egwene got along pretty well despite both being ambitious successful people, probably because of those traits. They could both see a similarity, and what Elayne was trained to do for years, Egwene picked up and applied to her own life, making it easier for them to really get each other. Same with Rand and Elayne. And I'm still miffed we didn't get more of Rand-Egwene where we could see this play out.

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Depends, I guess, on how much these things matter to you. Elayne and

Egwene got along pretty well despite both being ambitious successful

people, probably because of those traits. They could both see a

similarity, and what Elayne was trained to do for years, Egwene picked

up and applied to her own life, making it easier for them to really get

each other. Same with Rand and Elayne. And I'm still miffed we didn't

get more of Rand-Egwene where we could see this play out.

 

I don't think there was enough interaction between Elayne and Egwene post-Egwene's raising to Amyrling to really maintain their friendship.  Elayne was off to Ebou Dar and then spent the rest of the series playing politics in Andor and Cairhien.  A couple of information/order-giving meetings in TAR and a brief scene before the meeting at the FoM doesn''t really add up to friendship.

 

Tbh, Elayne and Rand suffered from the same issue, except even worse.  They were apart for more than 75% of the series.  Maybe its easier to have powerful friendships when you hardly ever spend time together!?

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Depends, I guess, on how much these things matter to you. Elayne and

Egwene got along pretty well despite both being ambitious successful

people, probably because of those traits. They could both see a

similarity, and what Elayne was trained to do for years, Egwene picked

up and applied to her own life, making it easier for them to really get

each other. Same with Rand and Elayne. And I'm still miffed we didn't

get more of Rand-Egwene where we could see this play out.

 

I don't think there was enough interaction between Elayne and Egwene post-Egwene's raising to Amyrling to really maintain their friendship.  Elayne was off to Ebou Dar and then spent the rest of the series playing politics in Andor and Cairhien.  A couple of information/order-giving meetings in TAR and a brief scene before the meeting at the FoM doesn''t really add up to friendship.

By that yardstick, Rand and Perrin aren't friends either. Egwene had weekly meetings with Elayne for a long time. Most of them were offscreen, but that doesn't mean they didn't happen. 

Tbh, Elayne and Rand suffered from the same issue, except even worse.  They were apart for more than 75% of the series.  Maybe its easier to have powerful friendships when you hardly ever spend time together!?

I don't see why. Sure, these people had different power bases, and hence reasons for some conflict. That doesn't mean they couldn't be friends.

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Rand Perrin grew up together cannot compare that with a 2 years relationship which is what Elayne and Egwene had.And anyway as usual we we see Egwene paranoia in dealing with Elyane "I will not call them Elayne's Kin", "Do not want ot obey her in the last battle and set an example" etc

 

As insecure as ever.

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Rand Perrin grew up together cannot compare that with a 2 years relationship which is what Elayne and Egwene had.And anyway as usual we we see Egwene paranoia in dealing with Elyane "I will not call them Elayne's Kin", "Do not want ot obey her in the last battle and set an example" etc

 

As insecure as ever.

That is Sanderson's take on her, and it was ridiculous writing to boot. I have no doubt RJ intended to set up some conflict between Elayne and Egwene's plans for the Kin. They both have a point. Elayne was right that Egwene's plan really didn't give the Kin anything to do. Egwene is right that one nation grabbing channelers like this will have severe consequences. The right answer is the middle ground, where the Kin essentially become the norm, and Aes Sedai are free to enter it after a period of service with the Tower, and the Kin belong to any nation they choose, and can do anything they choose, including providing Healing and Traveling to Andor for a cost, so long as they don't violate AS laws, and so long as all female channelers don't bind themselves to one nation to the detriment of others.

 

Sanderson, of course, gave us absolutely none of that. Can anyone really see Egwene hearing of Elayne's plan and not considering how it affects her great work in bringing all female channelers together? In the end, the alliance she set up was her great work, the one thing that's going to be her most lasting legacy. It makes zero sense that she would have a throwaway thought about it and then forget it all.

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There is one Egwene arc, written by 2 authors.Now when discussing this one character you cannot say that Sanderson's Egwene has split personality disorder while RJ Egwene does not IMO.

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There is one Egwene arc, written by 2 authors.Now when discussing this one character you cannot say that Sanderson's Egwene has split personality disorder while RJ Egwene does not IMO.

But it started under Sanderson in ToM in the break the seals discussion scene. More so the split of the books into three greatly exasperated the matter. They needed to keep the tension going on this topic and so we have Egwene wildly criss crossing back and forth on the subject(with the occasional band aid thrown in such as her having done research after all)far longer than was needed.

 

To Fionwe's point however it makes zero sense given how much we know she was working on uniting the channeling groups and changing the culture of the WT. Really the lack of inner pov on subjects like this fits into a larger pattern. Often when characters start talking we stop getting any inner monologue during the discussion. RJ was very skilled at using those thoughts to guide things along in a subtlke manner, teasing the readers towards what they need to know. Under Sanderson aren't shown any of the inner thoughts and he just has the character "tell" what we need to know in a blunt manner. Then there are times like the above situation with Egwene when large concepts just drop away and are forgotten.

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There is one Egwene arc, written by 2 authors.Now when discussing this one character you cannot say that Sanderson's Egwene has split personality disorder while RJ Egwene does not IMO.

I say that about almost all the characters handled by Sanderson. Egwene is just one case of it, and not even the worst.

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Can anyone really see Egwene hearing of Elayne's plan and not

considering how it affects her great work in bringing all female

channelers together? In the end, the alliance she set up was her great

work, the one thing that's going to be her most lasting legacy. It makes

zero sense that she would have a throwaway thought about it and then

forget it all.

The only thing I can suggest to this is that given that Egwene had to start from the bottom up with a complete remodel of the WT, consolidating Wise Ones, Windfinders and Aes Sedai might have been enough of a starting point.  The Kin would arguably be quite hard to reaccomodate as a lot of them are women who have been rejected by the WT and have been able to find meaning and purpose without having any strings attached.  Yes, it still doesn't really make sense that she wouldn't think about the future implications of consolidating all channelers bar one group completely at large, but hey, its maybe something.

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There is one Egwene arc, written by 2 authors.Now when discussing this one character you cannot say that Sanderson's Egwene has split personality disorder while RJ Egwene does not IMO.

I say that about almost all the characters handled by Sanderson. Egwene is just one case of it, and not even the worst.

True, many characters often had "conflicting intentions/ideas" when RJ passed the series to BS

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Egwene is a great character! She was not the strongest channeller, but she was the best Amyrlin in centuries. She was very loyal to Rand as Egwene, but a the Amyrlin Seat , she had to keep the dignity of her position.

I am devastated that she died. Randland lost a lot with her death, even if Randland could carry on because of her willing sacrifice.

And to her haters I would like to say that they have to evaluate her journey from the Two Rivers to Tarmon Gaidon. She was not a Tavereen, but for sure could bend and repair the pattern as well as the three Tavereen could.

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So ok. I can't not do this. The Flame of Tar Valon is supposedly the counter of balefire, thus explaining why it neutralized M'hael's beam. I get that, accept it, and am happy. It also counters the damage that balefire does to the pattern, IE the fixing the cracks with rock like bandaids. I get it, accept it, it works. 

 

but does it also counter balefire's other effect - of burning a thread from the pattern? If it did - it would add a thread to the pattern? I don't know - i'm just reaching for a theory here. Maybe balefire's apparent burning a thread from the pattern isn't right. Maybe balefire as a killing machine isn't it's legit purpose, and balefire just destroys the pattern. That would make her weave more logical as a counter.

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So ok. I can't not do this. The Flame of Tar Valon is supposedly the counter of balefire, thus explaining why it neutralized M'hael's beam. I get that, accept it, and am happy. It also counters the damage that balefire does to the pattern, IE the fixing the cracks with rock like bandaids. I get it, accept it, it works. 

 

but does it also counter balefire's other effect - of burning a thread from the pattern? If it did - it would add a thread to the pattern? I don't know - i'm just reaching for a theory here. Maybe balefire's apparent burning a thread from the pattern isn't right. Maybe balefire as a killing machine isn't it's legit purpose, and balefire just destroys the pattern. That would make her weave more logical as a counter.

Perhaps because balefire's only funtion is to destroy, the Flame of Tar Valon's crystal generation has something do to with the balance and creation of new matter

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S does it also counter balefire's other effect - of burning a thread from the pattern?

Balefire doesn't totally burn a thread "out" of the pattern. It burns it backwards. Imagine lighting a piece of thread on fire and how it burns upwards a bit before going out.

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The point I would like to raise is about the Green Ajah which Egwene wanted to be a member of - and how disappointing they were! All through the books they have bleated on about being "The Battle Ajah", talking with a glint in their eye how they will be the first in line to deal with the Dark One's forces at The Last Battle. They have a sea of warders between them, and their Ajah headquarters are decorated with weapons and scenes of battles. So yes, they have made their point. So for almost three thousand years they have prepared for this, and what exactly did they prepare? Pevara shows that the Red Ajah knows some pretty nifty fighting moves to handle men that can channel, multiple weaves cast at once to both incapacitate and silence a man. "What did you think the Red Ajah does with its time? Sit around and complain about men?" Brilliant quote and helped give respect to an Ajah that most people thought was full of bitchy women who loathed anything with a Y chromosome.

So here was me thinking the Greens would come into their own in the Last Battle. Now the thing is maybe they did? The air was said to be sizzling with the exchange of weaves during the battle. But never once were the Greens mentioned. All the sisters seemed to be warriors, regardless of Ajah (with the exception of the Yellows in Mayene). All seemed perfectly capable of "lobbing a fireball" or calling down a lightning bolt. If we take this as standard fighting fare - where were the Greens? Where were the nifty fighting weaves and tactics that they had presumably perfected over the millennia for just this occasion? Not a single mention was made and does beg the question - what on earth was the point of the Green Ajah? All mouth and no talk?

In my mind I had all sorts of attacks playing out - three Greens on horseback converging together at a gallop beside the front line, linking together instantly, and using the combined power to chuck out an awesome killer weave (not a fireball in sight thank you). Then dropping the link and straight away galloping away in different directions so that each could channel and defend from incoming weaves. This tactic could then be played over and over to create destruction in enemy troops over a large area. Or even better, a long line of Greens, some sending out killer weaves that no other Ajah has even thought of, whilst others defend against incoming weaves, with trained methods to disrupt the weaves.

I truly thought they would bring something jaw-dropping to the Last Battle, but was totally disappointed at the continuous lighting bolts and fireballs that were lobbed by each and every sister no matter what their Ajah.

Egwene kicked ass at the Last Battle - the Greens? Not so much...

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Good point about the Green Ajah.  I suppose they might have been expected to share their battle tactics with sisters from other ajahs prior to the battle, but then again, like you say, all any of the AS did was lob fireballs or call down lightning.  Seems unlikely that the other ajahs wouldn't know how to do this! 

 

I think there was one comment about how the Green Sisters were holding their hilltop better than the other ajahs just before Mat comes in with the Seanchan cavalry to help them, but I might be mistaken.

 

To be fair to the Green Ajah, I don't think their ajah focused on research.  The Green Sisters did go to the Borderland nations and help with the fight against the Shadow.  But yes, they did totally big up how they were the ajah that was prepared specifically for the LB, and they didn't appear to be any better prepared than any other ajah.

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The AS for all their talk were not prepared to fight a war of power.It is understandable as they have not fought such a war in 2000 years since the Trolloc wars.All the experience they have since with fighting with the OP is to capture the random untrained man or fight the false dragons who show up of which there has been a handful.

 

I mean they came to fight wearing skirts in which they self admittedly could not even move fast.Does that scream preparation?

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All the battle hardened aes sedai are actually

 

The point I would like to raise is about the Green Ajah which Egwene wanted to be a member of - and how disappointing they were! All through the books they have bleated on about being "The Battle Ajah", talking with a glint in their eye how they will be the first in line to deal with the Dark One's forces at The Last Battle. They have a sea of warders between them, and their Ajah headquarters are decorated with weapons and scenes of battles. So yes, they have made their point. So for almost three thousand years they have prepared for this, and what exactly did they prepare? Pevara shows that the Red Ajah knows some pretty nifty fighting moves to handle men that can channel, multiple weaves cast at once to both incapacitate and silence a man. "What did you think the Red Ajah does with its time? Sit around and complain about men?" Brilliant quote and helped give respect to an Ajah that most people thought was full of bitchy women who loathed anything with a Y chromosome.
So here was me thinking the Greens would come into their own in the Last Battle. Now the thing is maybe they did? The air was said to be sizzling with the exchange of weaves during the battle. But never once were the Greens mentioned. All the sisters seemed to be warriors, regardless of Ajah (with the exception of the Yellows in Mayene). All seemed perfectly capable of "lobbing a fireball" or calling down a lightning bolt. If we take this as standard fighting fare - where were the Greens? Where were the nifty fighting weaves and tactics that they had presumably perfected over the millennia for just this occasion? Not a single mention was made and does beg the question - what on earth was the point of the Green Ajah? All mouth and no talk?
In my mind I had all sorts of attacks playing out - three Greens on horseback converging together at a gallop beside the front line, linking together instantly, and using the combined power to chuck out an awesome killer weave (not a fireball in sight thank you). Then dropping the link and straight away galloping away in different directions so that each could channel and defend from incoming weaves. This tactic could then be played over and over to create destruction in enemy troops over a large area. Or even better, a long line of Greens, some sending out killer weaves that no other Ajah has even thought of, whilst others defend against incoming weaves, with trained methods to disrupt the weaves.
I truly thought they would bring something jaw-dropping to the Last Battle, but was totally disappointed at the continuous lighting bolts and fireballs that were lobbed by each and every sister no matter what their Ajah.
Egwene kicked ass at the Last Battle - the Greens? Not so much...

 

 

2000 years of bickering, bitching does that to people. The aes sedai were useless for most part of the battles. Not suprised to see the sharans take out alot of them.

 

I found the yellows to be the most useful since they are always at the fore front healing people. The greens always talk a good game but they are clowns the majority of them

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The Light side channelers were hampered, given that around 3000 decided to miss the Last Batle and take a trip to Lala Land.

 

If Shai'tan wasn't around, Rand Sedai by himself would have wrecked the Dark Side Force, uhh, Demandred and his armies. 

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Not entirely true friend. Rand in fact attempted to blow up a battlefront, and help out Rand, but they had channelers going straight for him whenever they saw him. Also, with demandred in a full circle, it's doubtful Rand would attack - thats why only the non-channelers had any luck with kicking his butt. Logain had a serious issue. 

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The AS for all their talk were not prepared to fight a war of power.It is understandable as they have not fought such a war in 2000 years since the Trolloc wars.All the experience they have since with fighting with the OP is to capture the random untrained man or fight the false dragons who show up of which there has been a handful.

 

I mean they came to fight wearing skirts in which they self admittedly could not even move fast.Does that scream preparation?

It has come up numerous times in the series before that the AS are sometimes all bark and little bite.

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They are a failed institution that wasn't properly preprared. I mean we know there are individual sisters up patrolling the blight. We know they have apparently been studying old strategies and practice dueling in training. Problem being we get to see very little of this in the actual series.

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