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Egwene's Arc (Full Spoilers)


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The point remains almost all female channelers wore skirts into battle(not just AS but also WOs, Suldam, Damane). Out of those AS were clearly detailed as using divided skirts. If they are traveling and on the road there is no reason to suspect they wouldn't be wearing them. Proof has been giving of AS being prepared for such situations. Pevara's comment was odd and is most likely an oversight.

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WO's can move extremely quickly in their skirts. You are right about the Seachan.For a militaristic society that is a major boo boo that their primary weapons are not easily mobile.

Edited by XXX47
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Aviendha was also in skirts:

 

 

She leaped through, skirts swishing, the One Power held like thunder somehow contained. She landed on a slope overlooking the battlefield. Below, Maidens and men fought Trollocs; it looked as if the Aiel were holding back a vast black flood.

 

These were not even divided skirts.

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Ya but it has been pointed out clearly that the WO's can run as fast as the other Aiel in their skirts.Quite the opposite for the AS.

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Ya but it has been pointed out clearly that the WO's can run as fast as the other Aiel in their skirts.Quite the opposite for the AS.

If you can show me a situation where an Aes Sedai in divided skirts stumbled and fell, or died because she ran too slow, then you'll have a point.

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 The Gathering Storm; The Last that Could be Done
"Elza ran toward the door. She vanished before another bar of light, her entire figure becoming light for a moment" 

 

Done, lol. 

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 The Gathering Storm; The Last that Could be Done
"Elza ran toward the door. She vanished before another bar of light, her entire figure becoming light for a moment" 

 

Done, lol. 

Contrast that with:

 

 

M’Hael released this second weave of balefire, fracturing the ground, but Egwene was ready. She sidestepped, her anger building.

 

In the actual battle, Aes Sedai skirts seem to be no encumbrance. 

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To fionwe1987

 

"Fishwives know to distinguish between good and bad sword strikes? Since when?"

 

Why make such a silly comment? The point was clearly being made that the Green sister was simply encouraging her warders with basic comments like "good strike". Now I am no soldier but I am perfectly capable of acknowledging a good fighting technique, as is any average joe. This in no way means she has any specialist knowledge. If she had been demonstrating the fighting techniques then it would have proved otherwise.

And to say that skirts, divided or otherwise prove no encumbrance in comparison to trousers when moving on foot over battlefields that are wet with blood and littered with craters from big explosions is obviously not true. Common sense and a chat with any female soldier in Afghanistan would answer that one.

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The point about armour is a good one with all channellers (male or female). We are often told about stray arrows can kill them and all the channelling wouldn't save them. Yet, only Demandred is seen with armour - though it is probably only ceremonial.

 

I don't see the skirts a huge issue. The Sul'dum and Damane are in skirts and leashed together. Their mobility must probably be the worst among all, yet they are always considered/written to be formidable. You would think a nation very comfortable with war would dress them more suited to war. Personally I think it is RJ's bias they stay in dress.

 

Anyway looking at battles historically, armies don't always wear sensible clothes we see now. We take it for granted now soldiers wear camos suitable to their environment. Yet, not too long ago, armies were in Scarlets, with your officers wearing more elaborate headgear to single them out. 

 

Those scarlets WERE sensible. In the chaos of a normal battle, it's quite convenient if you know who is an enemy and who is not. Now, with the advent of modern armies lines got so continuous (and sitances between two armies so big) that the location of someone was enough of a clue that not being seen by the bad guys was more important... but that wasn't always so.

 

But yeah, I suppose the clothes aren't THAT major an issue. Bit odd to go into war wearing skirts, I still think, but indeed Aes Sedai had done it before and done well.

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To fionwe1987

 

"Fishwives know to distinguish between good and bad sword strikes? Since when?"

 

Why make such a silly comment?

Its not silly.

 

The point was clearly being made that the Green sister was simply encouraging her warders with basic comments like "good strike". Now I am no soldier but I am perfectly capable of acknowledging a good fighting technique, as is any average joe.

Of course they're not!

 

This in no way means she has any specialist knowledge.

She's familiar enough to be able to distinguish a good stroke from a bad one, which, despite your claims to the contrary, isn't common knowledge. No one is claiming she's a Blademaster.

 

If she had been demonstrating the fighting techniques then it would have proved otherwise.

So a person can be called an expert in warfare only if they can lead a war? Maybe you'd like to go say that to war historians and reporters who've covered wars.

 

 

And to say that skirts, divided or otherwise prove no encumbrance in comparison to trousers when moving on foot over battlefields that are wet with blood and littered with craters from big explosions is obviously not true. Common sense and a chat with any female soldier in Afghanistan would answer that one.

I'm aware of no woman soldier in Afghanistan who can smooth craters and dry blood in an instant. Maybe you'd like to point out some of these mysteriously hidden channelers in the US army...

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The point about armour is a good one with all channellers (male or female). We are often told about stray arrows can kill them and all the channelling wouldn't save them. Yet, only Demandred is seen with armour - though it is probably only ceremonial.

 

I don't see the skirts a huge issue. The Sul'dum and Damane are in skirts and leashed together. Their mobility must probably be the worst among all, yet they are always considered/written to be formidable. You would think a nation very comfortable with war would dress them more suited to war. Personally I think it is RJ's bias they stay in dress.

 

Anyway looking at battles historically, armies don't always wear sensible clothes we see now. We take it for granted now soldiers wear camos suitable to their environment. Yet, not too long ago, armies were in Scarlets, with your officers wearing more elaborate headgear to single them out. 

 

Those scarlets WERE sensible. In the chaos of a normal battle, it's quite convenient if you know who is an enemy and who is not. Now, with the advent of modern armies lines got so continuous (and sitances between two armies so big) that the location of someone was enough of a clue that not being seen by the bad guys was more important... but that wasn't always so.

 

But yeah, I suppose the clothes aren't THAT major an issue. Bit odd to go into war wearing skirts, I still think, but indeed Aes Sedai had done it before and done well.

By that logic, the beautiful silk dresses that swishes inordinately and needs to be smoothed on a regular basis distinguish the Aes Sedai clearly to any archers/channellers of both side during the chaos of battle. The clear distinction would certainly work for and against them. The British Redcoats certainly learnt how it can work against them when they faced Guerrilla tactics in the American Revolution.

 

I honestly doubt they decided red for strategic purposes. Without really researching it, and taking a few stabs in the dark, I think it would probably be

(1) create a sense of prestige because the dyes were expensive. I think red was often considered a royal colour -- Personally, I think there is an element of prestige with the AS that they are above more mortal concerns a non-channeller would have, and hence dresses are a non-issue. The Sharans female channellers were also in dresses, as are the Sul'Dum and Damane - again, imho probably a statement about having the one power and above certain mortal concerns. I do think RJ and Sanderson tend to overstate the stray arrow - I don't understand why AS/Sharans/Asha'man/Damane Sul'dum don't just walk around with a tied off shield against projectiles. Their true danger are really other channellers, and they don't particularly need eyes to pin point you once you channel. 

 

(2) alternatively red dyes were so cheap mass production of it was easy - though I doubt it. 

Edited by James Tham
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European warfare was built around a sort of social Darwinism where you would pretty much throw away the lower classes but the gentry was protected. Thus all sorts of weird rules sprung up that led to tactics that aren't effective if they are taken out of the context of European warfare. The American Revolution began changing that, as the colonials wanted to win rather than respecting  hundreds of years of tradition. Ironically, the west faces the same kind of thing against fanatical Islam again, where the opponents use tactics that are abhorrent because they just want to win.

 

None of this is really applicable to a total warfare state though.

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Regarding the Green's performance or lack thereof in the lB, before we dump all over them consider tow things : First, this is  Mr. Sanderson version of the LB which is completely different in many ways than Mr. Jordan's version. MR. Jordans' books were rich with discriptive detail (Many times way too much) and he had an idea of what he wanted for every element of the story. Mr. Sanderson, has a diferent style which is much leaner in the way of minor details.  

 

Which leads to the second point

 

Because there was so much to be dealt with in describing the LB, it seems clear to me that the actual exploits of each Ajah was descarded. With few exceptions (The Yellows in Mayene and the fight on the hilltops in kandor being notable exceptions), we really aren't given any details about what the various Ajahs were doing. . Individuals were mentioned, but most itmes there was no mention of their various ajahs.

 

Which is a round about way to say that we really haven't got enough information to slam any Ajah for being all cattle and no hat.

I'd prefer to think that each and every Ajah did their level best  in very bad circumstances.

 

One final point, before slamming the AS as a whole or individual Ajahs for their perfomance in the LB remember that the LB was the very  first time that they actually squared off against not only Foresaken. Before they'd fought Dreadlords which aren't nearly as powerful. Worse, the two Foresaken they faced were  wielding sa'angreals (I think ..they could have been Angreals). Does anyone think that Damandred and/or Taim would have been able to inflict the damage they did if they didn't have those weapons? I think that Taim would have been wiped out pretty darn quick and despite being in a circle, Damandred wouldn't fared much better.    

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So, before aMoL came out, I was fairly convinced that the "Daughter of the Night" dark Prophesy from tGH was actually referring to Egwene. Now that the book is out, I actually feel the Prophesy works both ways. A metaphorical interpretation makes this fit Lanfear, and her actions with Perrin, very well. But a more literal interpretation fits Egwene's last hours very well:
 
"Daughter of the Night, she walks again.
 

Egwene fought forward desperately. She could feel Gawyn above, but she thought he was unconscious; his spark of life was so faint that she could barely sense his direction. Her only hope was to fight through the Sharans and reach him.

 
After being removed from the battlefield by Silviana when the bond lets her know Gawyn is wounded, she comes back.
 
The ancient war, she yet fights.
 
She's still fighting the Shadow, although...
 
Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still.
 
She's seeking Gawyn, who is dying. He will die soon, and that will still serve her as it will push her to defeat the Sharans.
 
Who shall stand against her coming?
 
Who, indeed? Taim.
 
The Shining Walls shall kneel.
 
I always took this as a very odd statement in a Prophesy about Lanfear. Its what clued me in to Egwene, and I think it has multiple interpretations. On the one hand, the Shining Walls did kneel to her, and she took Tar Valon. On the other hand, the Shining Walls could be a metaphor for the Amyrlin Seat, who did kneel, albeit briefly, when faced with the man who stood against her coming:
 

Light! She could feel the emptiness in that hole. She began a weave, but another strike of balefire coursed across the battlefield, killing women she loved. The trembling underfoot threw Egwene to the ground...

 
Balefire. She needed her own. It was the only way to fight him! She rose to her knees and began crafting the forbidden weave, though her heart lurched as she did it...
 
She yelled, forcing herself to her feet. She would not face him on her knees!
 
It works both ways, I think.
 
It seems to me that the Prophesy refers to both these women. Both interpretations work, and that brings us to a larger point: they mirror each other very closely. One of the most enjoyable parts of aMoL was watching Lanfear play her games, and read how so many of them were dark mirrors of Egwene's actions. Here are a few obvious ones I saw:
 
1) Rand, caverns, and guilt:
 
This is perhaps the strongest parallel, and fitting, since these are two pivotal events in Rand's emotional state in aMoL. The first is when Lanfear invades his Dreamshard, and the second is when Rand is in the Pit of Doom, crushed by Egwene's death, and near to failing in his fight against the DO. Let's look at the Dreamshard first:
 

The cavern came again. Rand stopped at its mouth. Cold, humid air blew out over him, chilling his skin, smelling of fungus. Rand cast aside his walking staff, then strode into the cavern. As he passed into darkness, he wove a globe of white-blue light and hung it beside his head. The glow reflected from the wet stone, shining on smooth knobs and clefts...

 
He came to a small chamber, perhaps ten paces wide, at the end of the tunnel, where the stone sank down into a clear pool of water, perfectly circular. The blue depths seemed to extend downward forever.
 
 
It is fitting that in her attempt to win back Lews Therin, Lanfear creates a "Pit of Doom" in his Dreamshard. What does she do to entice him?
 

... The blue depths seemed to extend downward forever. A woman in a white dress struggled to stay afloat in the center of it. The fabric of her dress rippled in the water, forming a circle. Her face and hair were wet. As Rand watched, she gasped and sank, flailing in the crystalline water.

 
Lanfear is acting as if she is struggling to survive, and in deep torment. But in many ways, this a good representation of what actually happens to Egwene. She's afloat on the endless depths of saidar, The fabric of the Pattern is getting damaged around her, the air rippling and breaking. Egwene is drinking deeply of saidar, drowning in it, she's in over her head, sinking. The water is crystalline, representing both saidar, and the way Egwene will use it to form a crystalline tower, in which she will literally sink, as her body will disappear into it. 
 
Seeing the pool, Rand thinks:
 

That pool could actually be water, but more likely it represented something else.

 
And Lanfear's tactic is to say that she is entrapped by Shai'tan, in his grip:
 

“You can free me, Lews Therin,” Lanfear said. “He has claimed me. Must I beg? He has claimed me!”

 
In the Pit of Doom, this is the same fear Rand has. That Shai'tan will take Egwene:
 

“Not her! NOT HER!”

THE DEAD ARE MINE.
“Shaitan!” Rand yelled. “Not her!”
 
The dead are mine... Rand almost wanted to save Lanfear, but he really does want to save Egwene:
 

Rand bent over, squeezing his eyes shut. I will protect you, he thought. Whatever else happens, I will see you safe, I swear it. I swear it . . .

 
And Rand's failing in the Dreamshard is as his failing in the Pit:

He held himself back. He finally felt like a whole person again, after a long fight. That gave him strength, but in his peace was a weakness—the weakness he had always feared. The weakness that Moiraine had rightfully spotted in him. The weakness of compassion.

 
The same thing plagues him in the Pit:
 

Oh, Light. Egwene’s name joined the list of the dead. That list continued to grow, thundering in his mind. His failures. So many failures. He should have been able to save them.

 
In the Dreamshard, Rand must struggle with his compassion for the woman Lanfear, was, the woman she might become. In the Pit, Egwene joins a list of names of people Rand wishes he could have protected, whose deaths he considers his failures.
 
At both times, the solution is the same. In the Dreamshard, it is Lanfears fake pleas, her refusal to open herself to him, that lead Rand to the solution:
 

Rand let go.

He let go as Lews Therin never had been able to. Even after discovering Ilyena, even after realizing how Lanfear had used him, he had held on to hatred and scorn.

 
Seeing Lanfear's fake distress, Rand finds the strength to let go. 
 
But in the Pit, the story is different. Egwene's very real sacrifice, and her request to him that he embrace her death, as well as his, is what leads Rand to the greater epiphany:
 

And then, he let go. 

He let go of the guilt. He let go of the shame for having not saved Egwene and all the others. He let go of the need to protect her, to protect all of them.

He let them be heroes.

 
And here's the thing: Lanfear, with her theatrics and her selfishness is only able to let Rand deal with his emotions for her. She's all flash and no substance, and in the end, she really becomes nothing to him:
 

There was no love for Lanfear in what he exposed. Not a sliver. He had squelched Lews Therms loathing of her as well. And so, to him, she really was nothing.

 
For Rand, Egwene is the exact opposite:
 

It was about a woman who would not bend her back while she was beaten, and who shone with the Light for all who watched. Including Rand.

 
Lanfear is represented by darkness, nothingness. She flirts with the Light, but only to use it for her own ends. Egwene is represented by Light. She flirts with darkness, even thrives in it, but never strays from her central quest to do what she can to save the world.
 
2) New lovers and old friends:
 
Another parallel between their actions is how they deal with the ta'veren. Faced with Rand's rejection and in desperate need of help to have her "Last Chance", she chooses Perrin, and imposes control on him through Compulsion. She seeks to supplant Faile in his mind.
 
Egwene, faced with the knowledge that her general has been compelled, she chooses Mat precisely because he cannot be controlled by compulsion. And rather than seeking to use him, she decides to trust him to save the day. Interestingly, she chooses Mat because he jumped into water to save a drowning boy. Lanfear chooses a substitute because Rand refused to save her from drowning. Where Lanfear seeks a replacement for Rand, Egwene choses Mat for himself.
 
3) Rand vs. Lews Therin:
 
A small thing. Where Lanfear only sees Lews Therin, in the Dragon Reborn, Egwene sees Rand the Shepherd in the Dragon Reborn.
 
Anyway, there's more, but I'm going to stop with that, for now. 
 
Tl;dr: Egwene and Lanfear continue to mirror each other. The DP refers to them both. What Lanfear was unable to achieve by dramatics and illusion and compulsion, Egwene was able to achieve by real sacrifice, and trust.
Edited by fionwe1987
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I thought that Egwene died very heroically. It reminded me of the death of the Rose of Manathern ( I don't have the books with me now, so I don't remember her real name). 

It was a story that Moraine told, about how Manathern ended, the nation was over-powered by the trollocs and she drew too much of the power killing herself but also killing her nation's enemies.

Much like Ewgwene did as the Amyrlin, killing her 'nations' enemies.

In TEOTW Egwene understood Mat when he spoke in the old tongue, and Moraine said that the blood of Manathern  runs strong in those two. Do you think this means that Egwene is the Rose reborn? 

 

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I missed the part where Egwene turned DF, where she shunned all her friends and allies, and where she sacrificed other people to consolidate power for herself and the WT. I mean that was the prevailing theory on her before AMOL right?

 

While I did find the negotiation scene strange. Some people brought up her "inconsistency" on saying she would lead the battle but then not saying anything when Elayne was given the task. I'd guess when Egwene said that she was assuming that Rand was going to insist on commanding it himself. Which he was. Obviously she couldn't be the first to raise her hand and volunteer, she'd want to be more subtle. But when Elayne was chosen, her friend, her subordinate in many ways, why risk pointing out how close Elayne was to her and both of them losing it?

What's odd is how little Egwene stuck her nose into the main command once everything started. She really did seem to pretty much focus on her WT troops and her own battle. While that's somewhat commendable, I mean we tend to admire the duty-bound soldier who follows orders, I think it's a little against her character and a bit disappointing for me. But then I know I tend to like her for the exact reasons others don't like her.

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I missed the part where Egwene turned DF, where she shunned all her friends and allies, and where she sacrificed other people to consolidate power for herself and the WT. I mean that was the prevailing theory on her before AMOL right?

Lol.

While I did find the negotiation scene strange. Some people brought up her "inconsistency" on saying she would lead the battle but then not saying anything when Elayne was given the task. I'd guess when Egwene said that she was assuming that Rand was going to insist on commanding it himself. Which he was. Obviously she couldn't be the first to raise her hand and volunteer, she'd want to be more subtle. But when Elayne was chosen, her friend, her subordinate in many ways, why risk pointing out how close Elayne was to her and both of them losing it?

The truly strange thing to me about this is the total lack of concern on the AS's part. By signing the treaty they let their secular power be stripped after 3,000 years and no one even so much as commented on it. It essentially ends their role of being above the other nations when it comes to disputes. It would have been one thing if the WT pushed for guidance and the Aiel enforced it militarily(not saying that is the right way to go, just that what AS would have pushed for). It's a sea change for the WT and huge loss of prestige that passed with nary a comment. There is no sign whatsoever of the savvy politicians and greatest players of daes dae'mar in the world.

 

That is a huge blow and we got nothing whatsoever in any of their povs on the topic. Pretty unrealistic and it would have been a simple fix. As is, it seemed as if they didn't even realize what happened and just accepted it in a snap. Just really wish more time was spent on character reactions to these types of things. Could have been a huge set up for returning to "servants of all" if done in the correct way. It is part of a much larger issue in these last three books where internal thoughts and commentary are almost non-existent. It really takes away from the depth.

Edited by Suttree
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I missed the part where Egwene turned DF, where she shunned all her friends and allies, and where she sacrificed other people to consolidate power for herself and the WT. I mean that was the prevailing theory on her before AMOL right?

Lol.

While I did find the negotiation scene strange. Some people brought up her "inconsistency" on saying she would lead the battle but then not saying anything when Elayne was given the task. I'd guess when Egwene said that she was assuming that Rand was going to insist on commanding it himself. Which he was. Obviously she couldn't be the first to raise her hand and volunteer, she'd want to be more subtle. But when Elayne was chosen, her friend, her subordinate in many ways, why risk pointing out how close Elayne was to her and both of them losing it?

The truly strange thing to me about this is the total lack of concern on the AS's part. By signing the treaty they let their secular power be stripped after 3,000 years and no one even so much as commented on it. It essentially ends their role of being above the other nations when it comes to disputes. It would have been one thing if the WT pushed for guidance and the Aiel enforced it militarily(not saying that is the right way to go, just that what AS would have pushed for). It's a sea change for the WT and huge loss of prestige that passed with nary a comment. There is no sign whatsoever of the savvy politicians and greatest players of daes dae'mar in the world.

 

That is a huge blow to and we got nothing whatsoever in any of their povs on the topic. Pretty unrealistic and it would have been a simple fix. As is, it seemed as if they didn't even realize what happened and just accepted it in a snap. Just really wish more time was spent on character reactions to these types of things. Could have been a huge set up for returning to "servants of all" if done in the correct way. It is part of a much larger issue in these last three books where internal thoughts and commentary are almost non-existent. It really take away from the depth.

 

 

I'm not entirely sure how much it will hurt their scheming. I do agree they probably should have argued to be the "judicial" part of the peace keeping while the Aiel did the leg work. And I'll go as far as to endorse that idea if you won't, haha. But IIRC the pact was mainly about war, and someone pointed out that the AS have their City State and don't really lust for more than that. There will still be plenty of disputes and other world events to contend with.

 

Also, as long as the AS behave, and particularly if Egwene were still alive (*Sad face*), Aes Sedai may have been able to team up with the Aiel after the fact. The Aiel would still have the final say, but if they looked to Aes Sedai for guidance or support, bonus. Egwene was going to BIND THEM ALL TO THE WHITE TOWER (oh my god!), so she could have still been influential.

 

That said, you're right, they probably should have talked about it instead of me having to assume they all came to that conclusion instantly and independently.

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Easily the most surprising death of the book for me. Just didn't seem to be how the plot was building towards the whole series - all that work to get her into place as the youngest Amyrlin, putting the Tower back together, getting the channeling groups to work together, etc. It seemed to have setup a long, long reign of Egwene the magnificent. I was sure she was safe. But she did at least get a pretty cool death scene.

 

My opinion of her in this book was pretty much the same as the rest of the series - I could find respect for her and her accomplishments in many places but found her to be utterly unlikable as a person and a character. Although the frantic pace and non-stop action of the book (she spends most of it fighting) made it easier to not notice how irritating she is.

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I did not read much of the thread but I had a theory I wanted to run by people:

 

Could egwene be Eldrene reborn? Not only because of the overdrawing on the power but more how she died. When LTT created dragonmount he took too much power and his soul left his body and was reborn in the spot he died. Eldrene used too much power and was reborn in Edmonds field as eggy. Next time she is reborn will be at FoM

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Some proof that Egwene may be a Hero of the Horn:

 

 

 

Bela's death was the runaway winner for most brought up subject, to which Brandon usually arched his arm across the head of Memory Keeper Avienda, pointed at Harriet and said, "Blame her."  At one point he said he wrote a scene where she fought back to life, but Harriet cut it.  She overheard this, said it wasn't true and Brandon responded that he'd wanted to.  He then said that he likes to think that when the horn is called next one of the heroes will be riding a shaggy, gray mare.

 

This seems to confirm that Birgette was a special case when she came back when the Horn called. She was never really born, after all.

 

Of course, Bela has morphed into a gray mare here, and this could just be Brandon's preference and not cannon or anything. But if he wasn't completely joking, its pretty obvious who would be riding Bela... 

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