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Egwene's Arc (Full Spoilers)


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I am pretty sure RJ decided on Egwene's death. I believe RJ wrote all the epilogue POVs apart from Cadsuane's, and in Perrin's POV he and Nynaeve discuss Egwene's death.

 

I know they made statements suggesting RJ wrote everything but the Cadsuane POV, but Brandon later admitted to writing other parts as well. As I said before...they're very good at giving Aes Sedai answers.

 

Q: Hey Brandon once upon a time you posted Final Fantasy X song "To Zarkanad" on your facebook page and said it was perfect for the scene you were writing in A Memory of Light, so tell me if you remember which scene was that ?

 

Brandon: It was the last few scenes I was working on, Perrin after the Last Battle and a few of the Loial sequences in the epilogue, which were parts I had a hand in writing as opposed to putting in what RJ had written.

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  • 1 month later...

Egwene was designed to be killed from day one.  Hence RJ's intentional insertion of qualities that are not exactly loveable.

If that was true, it clearly didn't work on me.  She is my favourite female character throughout the series.  Yes, she was annoying at times but so were Nynaeve, Elayne and Aviendha.  Min was likable but she was pretty much a non entity throughout the whole series, mostly arm candy for Rand.  Egwene was strong and she struggled through so much. All that  hard work just to be killed in the last battle.  Yes, you could say that this is the last battle and people die suddenly in war.  But this is a fantasy story.  I don't want a character that was developed so well throughout the series to be discarded at the end, especially one with so much potential for good.  I really expected Min to die.  She can see other people's future but not her own.  She hardly did anything throughout the series and would have been okay dying.  Killing Egwene off was pointless and may have been decided by RJ based on negative feedback from fans.  He clearly wrote the end with egwene's funeral being mentioned in the epilogue and did intend her to die.  I just think it was sad and pointless and I'm really disappointed.

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I know they made statements suggesting RJ wrote everything but the Cadsuane POV, but Brandon later admitted to writing other parts as well. As I said before...they're very good at giving Aes Sedai answers.

RJ definitely intended Egwene's death since Tam mention's Egwene as well. - "The Aes Sedai were planning an elaborate memorial for Egwene; Tam preferred a quiet affair for his son."

 

There are too many references to Egwene's death in the Epilogue which everyone said that RJ wrote except for perrin's and Loial's POV.

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She can see other people's future but not her own.  She hardly did anything throughout the series...

Uhmm what? You mean aside from giving Rand the crucial piece of information needed to defeat the DO?

 

 

 Killing Egwene off was pointless and may have been decided by RJ based on negative feedback from fans.  He clearly wrote the end with egwene's funeral being mentioned in the epilogue and did intend her to die.  I just think it was sad and pointless and I'm really disappointed.

 

RJ wouldn't have made that decision based on negative feedback from the fans. Further as stated Brandon added a number pieces beyond those you mention to the epilogue as well, so your point above is moot.

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She can see other people's future but not her own.  She hardly did anything throughout the series...

Uhmm what? You mean aside from giving Rand the crucial piece of information needed to defeat the DO?

 

 

 Killing Egwene off was pointless and may have been decided by RJ based on negative feedback from fans.  He clearly wrote the end with egwene's funeral being mentioned in the epilogue and did intend her to die.  I just think it was sad and pointless and I'm really disappointed.

 

RJ wouldn't have made that decision based on negative feedback from the fans. Further as stated Brandon added a number pieces beyond those you mention to the epilogue as well, so your point above is moot.

 

 

Yes Min did help Rand with the info.  Like I said, she is likable but from a character development point of view there was hardly any time spent on her.  Faile had more character development with her time at the Shaido camp.  Min has always been in the background and pretty much constant.  This obviously doesn't make her expendable but if he had to kill someone Min would have been less of a waste compared to someone like Egwene who went through a lot of hardship in the last 3 books at least.

 

As for the Epilogue, Brandon and Team Jordan have specifically said with no ambiguity that almost all of the epilogue was written by RJ except perrin and Loial's POV that Brandon wrote.  I am sure RJ would have at least written Tam's POV at Rand's funeral and in there Tam mentions Egwene.  I refuse to believe that RJ tried to paint Egwene in a negative light all along just so that he could kill her off in the end.  If this was the case, he definitely failed since she doesn't come off as that negative at all especially with all her achievements in the last few books.

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Oh I don't believe that he tried to paint her in a negative light just so he could kill her off in the slightest.

 

Just pointing out that Brandon wrote more parts than what you seem to think in the epilogue. Sleeping is absolutely correct. You may want to dig a bit deeper into the interviews. Important to note we have seen stories on who did what consistently evolve/change throughout this whole process. AS answers indeed. Even in your post you seem to to not be sure as you say "no ambiguity" and then "almost all". That leaves an opening for other pieces to be done by Brandon. Further if you are "sure" about the Tam portion where he mentions Egwene perhaps you could back it up with the author quote saying that is the case?

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Oh I don't believe that he tried to paint her in a negative light just so he could kill her off in the slightest.

 

Just pointing out that Brandon wrote more parts than what you seem to think in the epilogue. Sleeping is absolutely correct. You may want to dig a bit deeper into the interviews. Important to note we have seen stories on who did what consistently evolve/change throughout this whole process. AS answers indeed. Even in your post you seem to to not be sure as you say "no ambiguity" and then "almost all". That leaves an opening for other pieces to be done by Brandon. Further if you are "sure" about the Tam portion where he mentions Egwene perhaps you could back it up with the author quote saying that is the case?

Of course I don't know any of them personally and I took Brandon and Team Jordan's word on it. I read the twitter answers and there didn't seem to be any ambiguity in what they said with regards to the Epilogue.  This is what I found from theory land where they compiled few of the question answer sessions - 

 

JAMES STARKE

Robert Jordan wrote the entire epilogue.

BRANDON SANDERSON

Almost all. There were a few small inserts by me. Perrin was mine in the epilogue.

MIKE COX

I would like to know, how much of the last chapter was written by RJ and how much did you do?

BRANDON SANDERSON

I did Perrin and some of the in-between writing with Loial. RJ did Mat, Rand, scene exiting the mountain, and others.

BRANDON SANDERSON

There are places where I tweaked bits, per editing, and places where I slipped in things he'd written to my sequences.

-----------------

I gather from the above that Tam's funeral scene was not edited by Brandon and therefore Egwene's death was intended by RJ.  Of course I can't know anything for certain but this is what I inferred. 

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Symbolically, she deserved an equally powerful moment where that sisterhood is revealed.  I HATE that she died, but I need to see Elayne or someone mourn for her sister.  No, instead we see the three wives staring after Rand.  Making sure he survives.The scene between Perrin and Nynaeve wasn't enough nor was it satisfying.  Nynaeve was upset because she saw it as her duty to make sure all the Two Rivers people made it out alive. Seriously, did BS hate Egwene as much as some of the folk in fandom?  Did he snuff out her arc as an homage to the "Eggy" hate?

 

I don't think Brandon hated Egwene.  He has been on record stating that Egwene's death was the hardest on him.  I hated that Egwene died but what was worse for me was the fact that she didn't get the same send off that Rand did (even though he didn't actually die).  There wasn't anything with Elayne, Aviendha or Min mourning Egwene.  But the thing is that I don't think Brandon did this out of any dislike for Egwene but simply because he ran out of time and pages.  There were too many things left unsaid.  Although, I really enjoyed Androl and Pevara's side plot, I don't understand why they were given so many pages when some of it could have been spent on closure for the main characters given that this was the last book in the series.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been reading through the series again since I finished AMoL and I'm almost at the end of the series again.  I've enjoyed reading the series again, and its been really interesting to see how knowing the fate of some of the characters influences my perception of them throughout the series.  One character I am still struggling to work out my response to is Egwene.  Parts of the series I cannot stand her, other parts I think she is seriously awesome.  I think in general, I think she is a great leader, but I don't like her as a person, largely due to her interactions with her subordinates (and people she perceives as her subordinates).  

 

I am struggling to understand why I feel this way towards her though.  She is not the only character in a position of power above other main characters, e.g. many of the characters are subordinate to Elayne as Queen of Andor, Mat as the Leader of the Band of the Red Hand/the Prince of Ravens, Perrin as Steward of the Two Rivers, Rand as the Dragon Reborn, Siuan when she was Amyrlin, etc., and I do not seem to have problems with their relations with their subordinates, but I am really struggling to pinpoint where the differences (if any) lie.

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I don't really have a problem with Egwene's treatment of her subordinates. In a lot of ways, I don't find it real different to Rand before he turned all zen on us - if anything, she is more reasonable in some ways.

 

I always found her chameleon-like ability to adopt everything she has an interest, while admirable, a little jarring in the tone of her narration. Hers and Rand's PoV are the 2 that has the most dramatic change. If you read a PoV in EoTW/tGH for Rand or Egwene and jump to a PoV in say FoH or KoD, the tone of their PoV is dramatically different. With Rand, you get the sense he feels like he feels like he is forced into this position. Egwene throws herself to be a Wise One apprentice then Amyrlin.

 

The switch from Accepted -> Pseudo AS -> Wise One apprentice was at least gradual, if quick. But from Wise One Apprentice -> Amyrlin, it was incredibly quick. I find that the change in tone was too sudden, and it feels like I am suddenly reading a different character in LoC and it took me a while to empathize with her again because the switch and adaptation to Amyrlin was, imo, inconceivably quick. (Rand had the most of tDR and tSR to change). 

 

The rest of the characters (barring the Zen Rand transformation) had a more gradual change, and I did not feel like I suddenly had to get to know them again (with the slight exception of the change of Matt's tone in TGS, but that isn't "Matt's" fault but the author not handling the tone as well. Egwene was like the character I knew pre raising ceremony - the moment the raising was over in LoC, she was suddenly super amyrlin. That I thought was done poorly - I might have found the transition smoother if there were more PoV of Moiraine training Egwene in the waste, but we get the sense that Moiraine was all focused on Rand and she got tidbits of the Game of Houses by happenstance. In my re-reads I have more or less accepted this sudden change in mindset, but I still remember I was quite bewildered by the change after the excitement of the Egwene obtaining the stole faded.

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To be completely honest I was never really excited by Eggy dearest getting stole. It was really pathetic writing on RJ's part. However, the way her characte continues to deteriorate is amazing. Someone once wrote that RJ should have made her a taveren and be done with it and we would have accepted whatever he and then BS dished out to us. She was made out to be the girl next door, but was portrayed as the worst bitch in the town. If, you think this is severe, you should read my earlier posts. lol

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To be completely honest I was never really excited by Eggy dearest getting stole. It was really pathetic writing on RJ's part. However, the way her characte continues to deteriorate is amazing. Someone once wrote that RJ should have made her a taveren and be done with it and we would have accepted whatever he and then BS dished out to us. She was made out to be the girl next door, but was portrayed as the worst bitch in the town. If, you think this is severe, you should read my earlier posts. lol

I have seen a lot of comments saying Egwene is a Mary-Sue character which I think would not have occurred if she was tavern.  Having said that, I appreciate Egwene all the more because she isn't tavern.  I don't like her as a person, but she made the best of the situation she was thrown in to, and everything she did was through her own abilities rather than the Pattern.

Edited by Rhienne
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I don't really have a problem with Egwene's treatment of her subordinates. In a lot of ways, I don't find it real different to Rand before he turned all zen on us - if anything, she is more reasonable in some ways.

 

I always found her chameleon-like ability to adopt everything she has an interest, while admirable, a little jarring in the tone of her narration. Hers and Rand's PoV are the 2 that has the most dramatic change. If you read a PoV in EoTW/tGH for Rand or Egwene and jump to a PoV in say FoH or KoD, the tone of their PoV is dramatically different. With Rand, you get the sense he feels like he feels like he is forced into this position. Egwene throws herself to be a Wise One apprentice then Amyrlin.

 

The switch from Accepted -> Pseudo AS -> Wise One apprentice was at least gradual, if quick. But from Wise One Apprentice -> Amyrlin, it was incredibly quick. I find that the change in tone was too sudden, and it feels like I am suddenly reading a different character in LoC and it took me a while to empathize with her again because the switch and adaptation to Amyrlin was, imo, inconceivably quick. (Rand had the most of tDR and tSR to change). 

 

The rest of the characters (barring the Zen Rand transformation) had a more gradual change, and I did not feel like I suddenly had to get to know them again (with the slight exception of the change of Matt's tone in TGS, but that isn't "Matt's" fault but the author not handling the tone as well. Egwene was like the character I knew pre raising ceremony - the moment the raising was over in LoC, she was suddenly super amyrlin. That I thought was done poorly - I might have found the transition smoother if there were more PoV of Moiraine training Egwene in the waste, but we get the sense that Moiraine was all focused on Rand and she got tidbits of the Game of Houses by happenstance. In my re-reads I have more or less accepted this sudden change in mindset, but I still remember I was quite bewildered by the change after the excitement of the Egwene obtaining the stole faded.

Egwene clearly states she listened in to Moiraine's lessons. But its also pretty clear that more than the Game of Houses, its what she got from the Wise Ones that made her a great Amyrlin. She always had Siuan as an advisor for the manipulation. But the reason she got Siuan's loyalty was because Siuan could see the true toughness in Egwene, and that was nurtured and stiffened by the Wise Ones.

 

As for why people react negatively to her, I think its because she's the only one who becomes a leader not because she inherited it or was chosen by the Pattern, but by pure chance. So there is a sense that when Elayne or Mat or Rand do the things she she does, its okay because they have some "legitimacy". When she does these things, there's a sense of "who the hell is she to tell X such a thing?".

 

Its pure nonsense, of course, because she's as legitimate as any of them. Ta'veren is nothing but the twisting of chance, and being born to someone is also a matter of chance. Heck, her becoming Amyrlin is obviously part of the same Great Web the Pattern was weaving. Like Moiraine saw in EotW, while Nynaeve and Egwene were not actually ta'veren, they were damn near close to it. So was Elayne. The Pattern desperately needed someone as Amyrlin who would have no hesitation in calling out Rand if she disagreed, but also one who wouldn't dream of hurting him to gain her goals. And other things that Siuan was just too "traditionally Aes Sedai" to do.

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As for why people react negatively to her, I think its because she's the only one who becomes a leader not because she inherited it or was chosen by the Pattern, but by pure chance. So there is a sense that when Elayne or Mat or Rand do the things she she does, its okay because they have some "legitimacy". When she does these things, there's a sense of "who the hell is she to tell X such a thing?".

I think there is also the issue that 'in-world' she doesn't have much legitimacy.  The every day people have reasons to believe in Rand and Elayne that make sense.  It is hard to believe that an 18 year old girl would really be the best option out of all the AS in the world, or that any of them would take her seriously.  

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As for why people react negatively to her, I think its because she's the only one who becomes a leader not because she inherited it or was chosen by the Pattern, but by pure chance. So there is a sense that when Elayne or Mat or Rand do the things she she does, its okay because they have some "legitimacy". When she does these things, there's a sense of "who the hell is she to tell X such a thing?".

I think there is also the issue that 'in-world' she doesn't have much legitimacy.  The every day people have reasons to believe in Rand and Elayne that make sense.  It is hard to believe that an 18 year old girl would really be the best option out of all the AS in the world, or that any of them would take her seriously.  

 

 

Eggy wasn't supposed to be the best option for a strong Amyrlin. She was supposed to be a puppet, and one that could easily be removed once reconciliation was made with the Tower. Any full Aes Sedai elected to that post among the rebels would likely have been executed or at least given a severely long penance and permanently kept out of Tower politics. It would also have antagonized the White Tower and made reconciliation more difficult to elect a full Aes Sedai. As we saw, the Tower/Elaida viewed Eggy exactly as the rebels (originally) intended, and wasn't really held at fault. Another choice to choose Eggy was to bring the Dragon's favor to the rebels instead of the Tower.

 

Remember it was Eggy who drove the rebels to declare war on Elaida. The rebel Hall never intended on going that far, and seemed more concerned with reintegrating with the Tower with only a few minimum concessions (well, as a whole, that was their concern... a few certainly wanted more than that), they wanted to save as much face as possible, really.

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As for why people react negatively to her, I think its because she's the only one who becomes a leader not because she inherited it or was chosen by the Pattern, but by pure chance. So there is a sense that when Elayne or Mat or Rand do the things she she does, its okay because they have some "legitimacy". When she does these things, there's a sense of "who the hell is she to tell X such a thing?".

I think there is also the issue that 'in-world' she doesn't have much legitimacy.  The every day people have reasons to believe in Rand and Elayne that make sense.  It is hard to believe that an 18 year old girl would really be the best option out of all the AS in the world, or that any of them would take her seriously.  

 

 

Eggy wasn't supposed to be the best option for a strong Amyrlin. She was supposed to be a puppet, and one that could easily be removed once reconciliation was made with the Tower. Any full Aes Sedai elected to that post among the rebels would likely have been executed or at least given a severely long penance and permanently kept out of Tower politics. It would also have antagonized the White Tower and made reconciliation more difficult to elect a full Aes Sedai. As we saw, the Tower/Elaida viewed Eggy exactly as the rebels (originally) intended, and wasn't really held at fault. Another choice to choose Eggy was to bring the Dragon's favor to the rebels instead of the Tower.

 

Remember it was Eggy who drove the rebels to declare war on Elaida. The rebel Hall never intended on going that far, and seemed more concerned with reintegrating with the Tower with only a few minimum concessions (well, as a whole, that was their concern... a few certainly wanted more than that), they wanted to save as much face as possible, really.

 

Sorry, I didn't word that very well.  What I meant was that it seems implausible that Egwene is so much more competent only a few months after being raised than AS with hundreds of years experience, e.g. experienced AS asking an 18 year old girl with almost no relationship experience for advice on her Warders, and the scene where no one apart from Egwene seemed to realise that Rand was King of Illian.  It just doesn't read as realistic, and it seems like other characters behave unrealistically, or are dumbed down.  There isn't an 'in-world' reason for an 18 year old girl who has trained for a few months with the Wise Ones, and a few months under Siuan, to have a stronger will, more intelligence, more political acumen, more knowledge, etc. than many of the AS she seems to interact with in the WT.

Edited by Rhienne
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As for why people react negatively to her, I think its because she's the only one who becomes a leader not because she inherited it or was chosen by the Pattern, but by pure chance. So there is a sense that when Elayne or Mat or Rand do the things she she does, its okay because they have some "legitimacy". When she does these things, there's a sense of "who the hell is she to tell X such a thing?".

I think there is also the issue that 'in-world' she doesn't have much legitimacy. The every day people have reasons to believe in Rand and Elayne that make sense. It is hard to believe that an 18 year old girl would really be the best option out of all the AS in the world, or that any of them would take her seriously.

Eggy wasn't supposed to be the best option for a strong Amyrlin. She was supposed to be a puppet, and one that could easily be removed once reconciliation was made with the Tower. Any full Aes Sedai elected to that post among the rebels would likely have been executed or at least given a severely long penance and permanently kept out of Tower politics. It would also have antagonized the White Tower and made reconciliation more difficult to elect a full Aes Sedai. As we saw, the Tower/Elaida viewed Eggy exactly as the rebels (originally) intended, and wasn't really held at fault. Another choice to choose Eggy was to bring the Dragon's favor to the rebels instead of the Tower.

 

Remember it was Eggy who drove the rebels to declare war on Elaida. The rebel Hall never intended on going that far, and seemed more concerned with reintegrating with the Tower with only a few minimum concessions (well, as a whole, that was their concern... a few certainly wanted more than that), they wanted to save as much face as possible, really.

Sorry, I didn't word that very well. What I meant was that it seems implausible that Egwene is so much more competent only a few months after being raised than AS with hundreds of years experience, e.g. experienced AS asking an 18 year old girl with almost no relationship experience for advice on her Warders, and the scene where no one apart from Egwene seemed to realise that Rand was King of Illian. It just doesn't read as realistic, and it seems like other characters behave unrealistically, or are dumbed down. There isn't an 'in-world' reason for an 18 year old girl who has trained for a few months with the Wise Ones, and a few months under Siuan, to have a stronger will, more intelligence, more political acumen, more knowledge, etc. than many of the AS she seems to interact with in the WT.
While noting that both those instances were written by Brandon, I'll also point out that ab 18 year old with a boyfriend likely has a far better grasp of how to deal with a Warder than a White who has been cooped up in the Tower for a long time and works on not being emotional.

 

As for the Illian thing, it was a laughably bad attempt to recreate the Law of War scene from tPoD. And Brandon promptly forgot it because in early aMoL, Egwene orders Bryne to help Elayne with the refugee situation in Caemlyn without bothering to consult the Hall. It was utter nonsense.

 

For the rest, there's no reason Nynaeve should be so much better at Healing than the Aes Sedai either. But I don't see people objecting.

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I think the reason people don't object to Nynaeve being better at Healing is because its magical - you can kind of suspend reality for a magic system because you don't expect it to adhere to anything you would come across in the real world.  Besides, Nynaeve is not as good at Healing as Sumeko.  There is also the suggestion that very strong channelers are spun out by the Pattern prior to the LB.

 

I have to say, the BS books are fresher in my mind having read them most recently, so maybe that's where I am getting this from, but it just didn't seem believable to me that any of the AS would give her any respect.  

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I think the reason people don't object to Nynaeve being better at Healing is because its magical - you can kind of suspend reality for a magic system because you don't expect it to adhere to anything you would come across in the real world.  Besides, Nynaeve is not as good at Healing as Sumeko.  There is also the suggestion that very strong channelers are spun out by the Pattern prior to the LB.

 

I have to say, the BS books are fresher in my mind having read them most recently, so maybe that's where I am getting this from, but it just didn't seem believable to me that any of the AS would give her any respect.  

To the first part: This may explain why there's a distinction in the way people treat those two, but its far from a rational reason.

 

And you're totally right about the BS books. Egwene doesn't get any respect from the AS for a very long time. Only in KoD do they begin to truly believe she's someone worth watching. Till then they suspect she's Sheriam's puppet, then they change to thinking she's Siuan's puppet.

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Egwene clearly states she listened in to Moiraine's lessons. But its also pretty clear that more than the Game of Houses, its what she got from the Wise Ones that made her a great Amyrlin. She always had Siuan as an advisor for the manipulation. But the reason she got Siuan's loyalty was because Siuan could see the true toughness in Egwene, and that was nurtured and stiffened by the Wise Ones.

 

 

As for why people react negatively to her, I think its because she's the only one who becomes a leader not because she inherited it or was chosen by the Pattern, but by pure chance. So there is a sense that when Elayne or Mat or Rand do the things she she does, its okay because they have some "legitimacy". When she does these things, there's a sense of "who the hell is she to tell X such a thing?".

 

Its pure nonsense, of course, because she's as legitimate as any of them. Ta'veren is nothing but the twisting of chance, and being born to someone is also a matter of chance. Heck, her becoming Amyrlin is obviously part of the same Great Web the Pattern was weaving. Like Moiraine saw in EotW, while Nynaeve and Egwene were not actually ta'veren, they were damn near close to it. So was Elayne. The Pattern desperately needed someone as Amyrlin who would have no hesitation in calling out Rand if she disagreed, but also one who wouldn't dream of hurting him to gain her goals. And other things that Siuan was just too "traditionally Aes Sedai" to do.

 

 

She had listened to a number of Moiraine's lectures to Rand about the Game of Houses.Back then, she had thought the Game absurd, and worse than underhanded. Now she hoped she could remember everything she had heard.- LOC

 

I concede I may have misinterpreted that sentence, and even if I did not, Siuan would have been there to advise her.

 

Regardless, I have no issues about her legitimacy to the Amyrlin Seat. I think it was reasonable plot line that the Salidar AS wanted a puppet.

 

I still think RJ handled Egwene as a character poorly in her transition in LoC. 

 

Perhaps it was just circumstances of the characters around her. She was left largely alone without any other main characters to bounce off and show a more human side of her. Just using Rand as a comparison, he had Egwene (and the other 3 girls) to bounce off to each other / goad each other. Perhaps not. I have not really given much thought to this.

 

Just within LoC you had her mooning over Gawyn like the girl from the village, scared shitless in the raising ceremony and then super amyrlin. 

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Perhaps it was just circumstances of the characters around her. She was left largely alone without any other main characters to bounce off and show a more human side of her. Just using Rand as a comparison, he had Egwene (and the other 3 girls) to bounce off to each other / goad each other. Perhaps not. I have not really given much thought to this.

 

Just within LoC you had her mooning over Gawyn like the girl from the village, scared shitless in the raising ceremony and then super amyrlin.

I think that's an interesting point regarding Egwene - that for a lot of the series she doesn't interact with the other main characters, and she doesn't really have anyone around that she can behave as an equal with.  Even Rand has Cadsuane and Min (and to some extent Nynaeve) who treat him like Rand rather than the Dragon Reborn.

 

I agree with your summary of her character development during LoC.  It just didn't seem very 'organic'.

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Just within LoC you had her mooning over Gawyn like the girl from the village, scared shitless in the raising ceremony and then super amyrlin. 

 

She became super-Amyrlin in LoC? I think you're mixing up what happened later with what happened in LoC. The only things she achieved in LoC was to play the three Salidar factions (Sheriam, Lelaine, Romanda) against each other to get the Rebels moving. And that was explicitly with Siuan's help:

 

 

 

Siuan started to pull one of the chairs over before remembering she could move it with saidar now. "They are sitting because once they move, the White Tower really is broken. As for how to get them moving, my advice...." Her advice took a long time. Some of it went along lines Egwene had already thought of, and all of it seemed good.

 

She did two other things that I'd argue were even more important in the grander scheme of things, but neither of those required any political maneuvering.

 

One was ensuring that Nynaeve and Elayne got to go find the Bowl of the Winds. She managed that only because the Hall really wanted to be rid of the problem Egwene had created by naming those two Aes Sedai. While Theodrin and Faolain could be treated as badly as the Aes Sedai desired, the same couldn't be said for the extremely strong Nynaeve, and the future queen of Andor. Had those two remained, the Rebels would have had to accord them the status they deserved, and in doing so would have to pretty much accept Egwene's authority and hand her powerful tools who also happened to be her closest friends. Getting rid of them was a neat way to undercut Egwene (or rather, Sheriam, as the Hall must have thought, given how they assumed she was behind them being raised AS), and deny her a way to strongly influence the Aes Sedai. It just so happened that Egwene was perfectly okay with that so long as Nynaeve and Elayne got to do the truly important thing: find a ter'angreal that might break the DO's hold on the weather, and also allow them to tie the Hall to Rand.

 

The second was to covertly arrange for Logain's escape, and point him in the direction of the Black Tower. It was probably Egwene's most brilliant decision, and the chain of events leading from that point was critical to success in the Last Battle. But this was nothing surprising. Egwene always had a problem with gentling men. Most of it was sympathy for Rand, but it isn't like she didn't recognize the problems inherent in simply removing all men who could channel. Way back in tGH, she showed her discomfort with the notion:

 

 

 

"Logain," Elayne said when he was gone.

"The false Dragon!"

"He has been gentled, Egwene. He is no more dangerous than any other man, now. But I remember seeing him before, when it took six Aes Sedai to keep him from wielding the Power and destroying us all." She shivered.

Egwene did, too. That was what the Red Ajah would do to Rand.

"Do they always have to be gentled?" she asked. Elayne stared at her, mouth agape, and she quickly added, "It is just that I'd think the Aes Sedai would find some other way to deal with them. Anaiya and Moiraine both said the greatest feats of the Age of Legends required men and women working together with the Power. I just thought they'd try to find a way."

 

Her rational for letting Logain leave was also along those lines, and not wishing to have Rand antagonized further by Aes Sedai. Its not a matter of brilliance, merely having her priorities straight because she hasn't been conditioned by the Aes Sedai. She does unconventional things because convention hasn't been taught to her, most of the time. None of this makes her a super-Amyrlin.

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Perhaps it was just circumstances of the characters around her. She was left largely alone without any other main characters to bounce off and show a more human side of her. Just using Rand as a comparison, he had Egwene (and the other 3 girls) to bounce off to each other / goad each other. Perhaps not. I have not really given much thought to this.

 

Just within LoC you had her mooning over Gawyn like the girl from the village, scared shitless in the raising ceremony and then super amyrlin.

I think that's an interesting point regarding Egwene - that for a lot of the series she doesn't interact with the other main characters, and she doesn't really have anyone around that she can behave as an equal with.  Even Rand has Cadsuane and Min (and to some extent Nynaeve) who treat him like Rand rather than the Dragon Reborn.

 

I agree that this is an interesting point. While I know a lot of people have trouble accepting this, the only person in the world in the same plane of power as the Amyrlin Seat is the Dragon Reborn. But, while the DR had advisors who had no issues calling him out to his face, Egwene's advisors, even when they ended up becoming close friends (Siuan/Leanne), or trusted confidantes (Seirin and the BA hunters) were still clearly her subordinates. 

 

But one thing to remember is that the Amyrlin Seat is a 3000 year old position. Unlike the DR, around whom there are no rules or customs, the Amyrlin Seat has a positive glut of customs and rules to maneuver around. I think RJ's decision to not saddle Egwene with a Caduane-like character stems from this. Unlike Rand, Egwene already had a ton of restraints to her power, not to mention that her power for the longest time was contested by Elaida.

 

Another distinction to note is that the closest Cadsuane-like people around Egwene, the Wise Ones, had already had to time to knock home lessons into her before she gained power. Unlike Rand, she was unintentionally prepared and groomed for her role. And unlike Rand, she had rules and regulations to contain her, and wasn't quite the free agent he was. Most importantly, she got to draw upon to experience of her predecessor, not as a mad voice in her head, but as someone who became a friend.

 

That explains, I think, why she didn't have the kind of distinct support system Rand had.

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