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Egwene's Arc (Full Spoilers)

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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.

 

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.

 

I disagree with you there. Egwene, prior to LoC, never really showed much political acumen. The quote you provided clearly states that Egwene had already thought of some of the political moves that Siuan had advised and making the 3 factions work against each other is an extremely clever move - but not something I would have expected from her prior to LoC.

 

Furthermore, I think she won Siuan's trust/loyalty far too easily. Siuan was the one who put Egwene forward to Salidar to be manipulated.The last we saw both of them together prior to LoC was the tDR.

 

The Amyrlin’s gaze fell on Elayne, and abruptly she spoke, nearly loud enough to rattle the copper pots and pans hanging on the walls. “There are some words I will not tolerate in a young woman’s mouth, Elayne of House Trakand. If you let them in, I will see them scrubbed out!” Everyone in the kitchen jumped. 
Elayne looked confused, and indignation crept across Egwene’s face. 
Nynaeve shook her head, small frantic shakes. No, girl! Hold your tongue! Don’t you see what she is doing? 
But Egwene did open her mouth, with a respectful if determined, “Mother, she did not - “ “Silence!” 

 

Certainly RJ tried to play up the village girl theme to fail to see the undercurrents. In LoC, he gave Siuan the excuse of teaching an amyrlin to be an amyrlin or something to that effect (which felt too sudden imo from Siuan putting her forward to be manipulated). In the scene which you quoted from in LoC, I felt it was completely out of character for both Siuan and Egwene. To me, I would have liked more scenes to establish that relationship.

 

While he did try to give her some growth in that respect in tSR, you still get a strong sense she is still a village girl:

 

Elayne's PoV

They were both tougher than she in many ways - she admired them for it - but they had not grown up watching the maneuverings at court in Caemlyn, hearing tales of the cruel way Cairhienin and Tairens played the Game of Houses.

 

Moiraine's PoV:

“Rand just did something very clever, I think,” Egwene said in a flat voice. “And very cruel. He has a right to look ashamed.” 
 
Rand did look it at that, grimacing at the floorstones under his boots. Perhaps he was not as hard as he was trying to be. 
 
“Not undeserved, however,” Moiraine observed. The girl showed promise, picking up on what she did not understand. But she still needed to learn to control her emotions, to see what had to be done as well as she saw what she wished could be done.

 

 

From tSR to LoC she was with the Aiel. She was largely absent from Moiraine's disappearance the tFH till LoC with Gawyn. There was no real reason for her skills in politics to improve save those lectures Moiraine gave Rand.
 
Just looking at the above Moiraine's PoV again, I think Egwene also lacked the PoV of characters around her observing her. Most scenes in Salidar involved looking through her eyes. We get to see Rand from other characters PoV to make him appear more human. By the time we get to see what other characters thought of Egwene, which I think was Leane's, Siuan's and Romanda's, she was captured by Elaida and has largely established herself as Amyrlin in Salidar.
 
With regards to her relationships, it is certainly unfortunate that everyone close to her (that were part of the WT) was also her subordinate. The rest of the main characters did not have to "answer" to one another and, unfortunately, I think people tend to be overly critical about Egwene in that respect.
 
The only relationships she had that did not involve WT hierarchy was with Aviendha and the WO. You might disagree with me, but I have always felt that after LoC, Egwene's meetings with them was fairly aloof (esp that meeting with Aviendha in the world of dreams) and vastly different from the village girl RJ made her out to be. Certainly being Amyrlin required her to keep up certain appearances as a representative of the tower, but I think the WO were partially at fault. In the CoS, this felt like felt like the last "natural" interaction Egwene had with the WO before they turned somewhat aloof on each other (within this very scene) - in fact, it felt like a bizarre break up scene to me:
 

"Tell us about it" Melaine said, with an eager smile. "How did you shame her?" Bair's was just as enthusiastic. In a cruel land, you either learned to laugh at cruelty or spent your life weeping; in the Three-fold Land, the Aiel had learned to laugh long since. Besides, shaming an enemy was considered an art.

Amys studied Egwene's new clothes for a moment, then, said, "That can come later, I think. We are to talk, you said." She gestured to where the Wise Ones liked to talk, out beneath the vast dome at the heart of the chamber.

 
Finally, her relationship with Gawyn was always odd. Personally, I got the distinct sense that from LoC - tGS, she should have outgrown Gawyn, and that continued relationship seems forced. If anything, I thought Galad would have made a better choice for Egwene.
 
So really, the only complaint I have was that there was not enough character development within LoC for Egwene (or even LoC - CoS).
Edited by James Tham

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From tSR to LoC she was with the Aiel. She was largely absent from Moiraine's disappearance the tFH till LoC with Gawyn. There was no real reason for her skills in politics to improve save those lectures Moiraine gave Rand.

I think that often people cite Egwene's experience with the Aiel and her lessons from Siuan as sufficient to explain her competence by the time the AS are reunited.  For me the timescales are too short - Egwene is with the Aiel for only about 6 months, and her training with Siuan prior to capture is only about 3 months.  In my books this is way too short a time for her to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to be a succesful Amyrlin.  I am not saying Egwene is not a successful leader - she is obviously a great leader by the this point in the series.  I just find it hard to believe that that she could go from village girl to uber-Amyrlin in 9 months total of training.  Contrast this with Elayne, who has been training her whole life to be Queen of Andor and would have been unsuccessful if Dyelin had claimed the throne in her own right rather than supporting Elayne, and Rand who despite being ta'veren and having Lews Therin's memories has massive struggles to become a leader, almost going down the road of victory for the DO in the process.  Perrin is probably the comparable character in terms of having no preparation for leadership (or assistance from the memoris of his predecessor!), and even though he is broadly supported by the honest and straightforward Two Rivers men it takes him a long time to come to terms with what it means to be a leader.

 

Egwene on the other hand very quickly thinks that if she has been raised as Amyrlin she won't be a puppet and will be a true Amyrlin.  She doesn't seem to have any internal struggles about her suitability for the role.

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I think that often people cite Egwene's experience with the Aiel and her lessons from Siuan as sufficient to explain her competence by the time the AS are reunited.  For me the timescales are too short - Egwene is with the Aiel for only about 6 months, and her training with Siuan prior to capture is only about 3 months.  In my books this is way too short a time for her to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to be a succesful Amyrlin. 

 

 

I can't remember what the time scale was, but with Egwene, but I agree with you. Without actually remembering the time scale (or being aware of it), the point I was trying to make to Fionwe, was that I always felt like RJ missed out one book worth of character development for Egwene during LoC-LoC/LoC-CoS. He was probably rushing to have her kidnapped by the WT (and probably had far too many plots running at that point in time).

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I personally feel that Egwene's character was victimized by hatred among the fan community. I can give numerous examples to justify why egwene's character shouldn't have been killed or was never intended to be killed but nothing I give for this would satisfy any one and would only lead to arguments(which i am not looking for). I am only here to vent my frustration. I hated the ending so much that I have stayed away from all thing WOT till today(havent even reread the last book) and even today I was only googling to see if any one else shared the same opinion as me and stumbled here.

 

Among all the Emonds fielder's the only one to die was Egwene.  It just feels like the author(whoever it is who wrote the ending)gave up to fan pressure and did this. Its heart breaking to see that people can't digest to see a strong female character(everyone expects all characters(including male)to bootlick Rand like a religious zealot and feels any one who doesn't should be staked(i wonder where this is relevant? oh yeah like the whole human history)). I feel like even in a fictional world, sexism is alive well and thriving.

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I really doubt that the death of Egwene had anything to do with "sexism" or fan dislike. At all.

 

Personally I did not like her death as the whole anti-balefire thing seemed kind of silly. I do agree with the above that I never found Egwene as Amyrlyn to be plausible, they did not elect Popes that young in the Middle Ages after all, I just found it extremely implausible to have her succesfully outplotting women with centuries of experience. Additionally I did not find her sympathatic (particularily not after FoH) which certainly did not help.

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I have liked and disliked Egwene at different parts in the story, but I thought her ending was actually quite good.  I didn't see it as being a way to get rid of her, but rather a satisfying end to her arc.  Someone from Emond's Field almost had to die to give the ending some sense of reality and emotional impact.  It wouldn't have been believable if all of the main characters had survived.  

 

She went out in an absolute blaze of glory, willingly sacrificing herself to kill Taim and repair the damaged Pattern.  Her voice in Rand's head was also instrumental in his victory.  I think the thing that was sad was how little response we get from the other characters to her death.  I think it is briefly mentioned in Tam's POV and in Perrin's, and not even as a major point.  That really didn't seem right to me.

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I have liked and disliked Egwene at different parts in the story, but I thought her ending was actually quite good.  I didn't see it as being a way to get rid of her, but rather a satisfying end to her arc.  Someone from Emond's Field almost had to die to give the ending some sense of reality and emotional impact.  It wouldn't have been believable if all of the main characters had survived.  

 

She went out in an absolute blaze of glory, willingly sacrificing herself to kill Taim and repair the damaged Pattern.  Her voice in Rand's head was also instrumental in his victory.  I think the thing that was sad was how little response we get from the other characters to her death.  I think it is briefly mentioned in Tam's POV and in Perrin's, and not even as a major point.  That really didn't seem right to me.

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 It makes no sense to kill off Egwene due to fan pressure at the end of the last book. The series is over, it won't increase the sales or anything like this. 

 

 And if it was done to satisfy her haters, why give her such a heroic death?

 

 Egwene's sudden expertise in politics and manipulation always seem to come out of nowhere to me too. The mention that she happened to listen to Moiraine's lectures to Rand (even though we never see it on screen) isn't  the most convincing to put it mildly. I think it would've been better if she had spent more time in training in the WT and also if there were some scenes of Elayne explaining political stuff to her, after all Elayne has been trained in this her whole life.

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According to this poll at theoryland:

 

http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=6662

 

Egwene is more liked than she is disliked. She's definitely a polarizing character, but she's not universally hated, and certainly not for being a strong female character, of which there are many in the WoT.

Edited by Master Ablar

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James Tham:  

 

 

1) I disagree with you there. Egwene, prior to LoC, never really showed much political acumen. The quote you provided clearly states that Egwene had already thought of some of the political moves that Siuan had advised and making the 3 factions work against each other is an extremely clever move - but not something I would have expected from her prior to LoC.

 
As your Moiraine quote showed, she did, in fact, show aptitude with politics. For comparison, it took Rand two weeks of training from Elayne (mixed with kissing sessions) to come up with a plan to play the Tairen factions against each other. Why is it okay for Rand to pick up politics from his girlfriend in two weeks, but not okay for Egwene to pick up politics after months of lessons from Moiraine?
 
2) Furthermore, I think she won Siuan's trust/loyalty far too easily. Siuan was the one who put Egwene forward to Salidar to be manipulated.The last we saw both of them together prior to LoC was the tDR.
I suppose I can agree with this, though I felt the scene worked rather well. Basically, Siuan expected Egwene to be wide eyed and afraid, willing to keep her head down and go with the flow, based on past experience. Egwene showed none of that, and Siuan saw that Egwene kept her head down in tDR because she was in no position to do otherwise, not because she was meek. 
 
Still, reservations from Siuan about Egwene's intelligence would not have been out of place. Egwene spent little enough time around Siuan that her sponge-like ability to pick up stuff shouldn't have been obvious. But Siuan is also someone who has, on multiple occasions, made her decisions rather quickly.
 
3) Certainly RJ tried to play up the village girl theme to fail to see the undercurrents. In LoC, he gave Siuan the excuse of teaching an amyrlin to be an amyrlin or something to that effect (which felt too sudden imo from Siuan putting her forward to be manipulated). In the scene which you quoted from in LoC, I felt it was completely out of character for both Siuan and Egwene. To me, I would have liked more scenes to establish that relationship.
Sure, Egwene had the village-girl vibe to her. As Rand had the village-boy vibe. They both outgrew it rather soon, and its hardly surprising they did.
 
4) From tSR to LoC she was with the Aiel. She was largely absent from Moiraine's disappearance the tFH till LoC with Gawyn. There was no real reason for her skills in politics to improve save those lectures Moiraine gave Rand.
But those lectures are also the reason Rand improved with politics. Unless you can show me that Egwene was particularly dense (as opposed to being very clever and eager for knowledge), I fail to see why you single her out for speedy improvement in her political skills.
 
5)Just looking at the above Moiraine's PoV again, I think Egwene also lacked the PoV of characters around her observing her. Most scenes in Salidar involved looking through her eyes. We get to see Rand from other characters PoV to make him appear more human. By the time we get to see what other characters thought of Egwene, which I think was Leane's, Siuan's and Romanda's, she was captured by Elaida and has largely established herself as Amyrlin in Salidar.
 
With regards to her relationships, it is certainly unfortunate that everyone close to her (that were part of the WT) was also her subordinate. The rest of the main characters did not have to "answer" to one another and, unfortunately, I think people tend to be overly critical about Egwene in that respect.
 

I agree, but I also think this kind of isolation was necessary because RJ wanted to show how being a leader like the Amyrlin is a lonely job. But I disagree that Egwene doesn't appear human from her own PoVs. That she struggles with the absurdities and restrictions of her post are obvious. And her desire to be recognized and respected for herself are very believable, and strikingly similar to Rand's attitude too. They both fear irrelevancy, and both loathe the idea of being controlled by someone else. Which makes them all the more eager to improve themselves in politics. You see it with Rand in tFoH. With Egwene, the bulk of this is in aCoS-tPoD, though there's still plenty in CoT.

 

6) The only relationships she had that did not involve WT hierarchy was with Aviendha and the WO. You might disagree with me, but I have always felt that after LoC, Egwene's meetings with them was fairly aloof (esp that meeting with Aviendha in the world of dreams) and vastly different from the village girl RJ made her out to be. Certainly being Amyrlin required her to keep up certain appearances as a representative of the tower, but I think the WO were partially at fault. In the CoS, this felt like felt like the last "natural" interaction Egwene had with the WO before they turned somewhat aloof on each other (within this very scene) - in fact, it felt like a bizarre break up scene to me:

RJ never made Egwene out to be a "village girl". She was always shown to be someone who took to any new role with a zeal. Right at the beginning, he had the issue of her unbraiding her hair to show how yesterdays dearest ambition could become irrelevant in Egwene's eyes when a bigger opportunity/challenge comes her way. Its a very un-village-girl like attitude. Presumably, her unreserved enthusiasm for being Aes Sedai, despite coming from a village suspicious of AS, is why Moiraine immediately saw the chance for her to be Amyrlin.
 
So you really think any old village girl would hide a male channeler in her bedroom in the same wing as multiple Aes Sedai and the Amyrlin Seat?
 

 

From the corner of her eye, Moiraine saw Egwene, far down the side hall, disappearing hurriedly around a corner. A stooped shape in a leather jerkin, head down and arms loaded with bundles, shambled at her heels. Moiraine permitted herself a small smile, quickly masked. If the girl shows as much initiative in Tar Valon, she thought wryly, she will sit in the Amyrlin Seat one day. If she can learn to control that initiative. If there is an Amyrlin Seat left on which to sit.
 
You can't possibly tell me RJ didn't set her up for her eventual rise. He showed her learning at an insane rate, and taking things into her hands right from the beginning. 
 
As for the WO, yes, I disagree. Its in aCoS that she says Amys is like a mother to her:
 

 

Again the endless array of lights spun and settled, and she approached a third.woman's dream. Gingerly. So much lay between her and Amys that it seemed akin to approaching her mother's dreams. In truth, she had to admit, she wanted to emulate Amys in many ways. She desired Amys' respect every bit as greatly as she did the Hall's. Maybe, if she had to choose, she would choose Amys'. Certainly, there was no Sitter she esteemed as highly as she did Amys. Pushing away a sudden diffidence, she tried to make her "voice" softer, to no avail.

AMYS, THIS IS EGWENE. I MUST SPEAK WITH YOU.

 

The scene that follows has moments of affection and humor first. The serious stuff comes later, and in no way negates the fact that Egwene enjoys an obvious friendship with these women. In the same scene:

 

 

 

"Return to us," Bair said. "You have too much honor for these women. Sorilea already has a dozen young men picked out for you to view in the sweat tents. She has a great desire to see you make a bridal wreath."

"I hope she will be there when I wed, Bair"—to Gawyn, she hoped; that she would bond him, she knew from interpreting her dreams, but only hope and the certainty of love said they would wed—"I hope all of you will, but I've made my choice."

Bair would have argued further, and Melaine too, but Amys raised a hand, and they fell silent, if not pleased. "There is much ji in her decision. She will bend her enemies to her will, not run from them. I wish you well in your dance, Egwene al'Vere." She had been a Maiden of the Spear, and often thought as one still. "Sit. Sit."

 

How is this a sign of aloofness? But yes, there is a little distance, which is only natural, especially given how the Wise Ones think of the rest of the Aes Sedai. 

 

7) Finally, her relationship with Gawyn was always odd. Personally, I got the distinct sense that from LoC - tGS, she should have outgrown Gawyn, and that continued relationship seems forced. If anything, I thought Galad would have made a better choice for Egwene.

This, I can totally agree with. I can see her being infatuated with him. But why in the world does she love him? In many ways, I wish RJ had kept her and Rand together. Maybe they put their relationship on hold, initially, and get back together only after they've dealt with their challenges. But having the chief male and female protagonists of the series in a relationship would have been too cliched, I guess.

Edited by fionwe1987

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 It makes no sense to kill off Egwene due to fan pressure at the end of the last book. The series is over, it won't increase the sales or anything like this. 

 

I agree. And, frankly, I've come around to Egwene's death. Better that than married life to Gawyn. At least he proved useful in death, and let her go out in style.

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As your Moiraine quote showed, she did, in fact, show aptitude with politics. For comparison, it took Rand two weeks of training from Elayne (mixed with kissing sessions) to come up with a plan to play the Tairen factions against each other. Why is it okay for Rand to pick up politics from his girlfriend in two weeks, but not okay for Egwene to pick up politics after months of lessons from Moiraine?

IIRC it was three days, not two weeks.  

 

Every main character in this series learns things at an amazing rate. Not sure Egwene tends to be singled out for this. Mat learned to juggle 6 balls at once in 2 weeks or so, and Elayne learned how to make back flips on a high rope in about the same period. Even freaking Aram become super badass with a sword in a few months.

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As your Moiraine quote showed, she did, in fact, show aptitude with politics. For comparison, it took Rand two weeks of training from Elayne (mixed with kissing sessions) to come up with a plan to play the Tairen factions against each other. Why is it okay for Rand to pick up politics from his girlfriend in two weeks, but not okay for Egwene to pick up politics after months of lessons from Moiraine?

 

IIRC it was three days, not two weeks.  

 

Every main character in this series learns things at an amazing rate. Not sure Egwene tends to be singled out for this. Mat learned to juggle 6 balls at once in 2 weeks or so, and Elayne learned how to make back flips on a high rope in about the same period. Even freaking Aram become super badass with a sword in a few months.

Precisely. Compared to all that, Egwene takes a good long while to get her political acumen.

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As your Moiraine quote showed, she did, in fact, show aptitude with politics. For comparison, it took Rand two weeks of training from Elayne (mixed with kissing sessions) to come up with a plan to play the Tairen factions against each other. Why is it okay for Rand to pick up politics from his girlfriend in two weeks, but not okay for Egwene to pick up politics after months of lessons from Moiraine?

 

Rand didn't "pick up politics from two weeks with Elayne"; It was Thom who had sent him secret notes about the Tairen nobles.

 

Rand's POV in TSR: Carleon and Tedosian, false self-effacement in every line of their thick bodies, surely never realized there was anything suspicious in never looking at one another. But then, Rand might never have noticed if not for Thom’s note, found in the pocket of a coat just back from being brushed.

[...]

Moiraine's POV in TSR after Rand outmaneuvers the Tairen nobles: Thom Merrilin had given him good advice; obviously her spies had missed some of the notes he had had slipped into Rand’s pockets.

Edited by sleepinghour

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Hi Fionwe,

 

We obviously read parts of the book differently - and your points regarding Rand vs Egwene are valid, but my point was that RJ should have given Egwene more "air time" for that change.

 

From tGH we had Rand forced to become a reluctant leader by Moiraine's manipulation and it culminated in the tSR at the taking of Tear. You have 2 books to lead up to this leadership business.

 

With Egwene, within LoC-LoC OR LoC-CoS. Even if RJ had given LoC-LoC itself a timeline of 5 years, it would have been a completely unsatisfying a change - I want to read about it (and of course I risk the Egwene haters saying something but whatever). And as to not realising Egwene was set up to be Amyrlin: on the first read - never caught onto it. It was a plausible explanation to have a puppet, but that it completely caught me by surprise.

 

Regarding that Amys quote, you should read on regarding Merana just within that scene. The affection you see seem to vanish more and more as the WO accepts her decision to be Amyrlin Seat. It felt like a gulf growing between themselves in front of our eyes whatever Egwene thought of Amys - which may have been true in LoC, but I think it emphasizes how it would no longer true. We will have to agree to disagree on this.

 

David mentioned about Elayne cartwheelling - lemme just say the sticking point for that scene is not the cartwheels but that bridge of Air - it had me running back to EoTW to find Moiraine's quote on what AS can do for themselves. RJ would have gotten away with Elayne doing triple flips and got away with it for the shock that bridge of Air gave me - but anyway, this is an Egwene's thread.

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This, I can totally agree with. I can see her being infatuated with him. But why in the world does she love him? In many ways, I wish RJ had kept her and Rand together. Maybe they put their relationship on hold, initially, and get back together only after they've dealt with their challenges. But having the chief male and female protagonists of the series in a relationship would have been too cliched, I guess.

 

RJ could not have let the Rand/Egwene relationship stand without ruining Rand and turning the Dragon Reborn into a joke. Egwene would accept nothing less than complete subservience from any man in her life, one willing to submit to her in everything, both behind closed doors and in public. The world could not afford to have its savior be her lapdog. You yourself said that they each had a role and had to oppose each other - put Rand under her thumb as her manslave, and all you have is Egwene running the show, which means the seals would never have been broken and Rand would've been forced to reseal the DO the same way LTT did it. That would've also left saidin tainted again, something that Egwene was perfectly content to see happen again, but would've kept the balance in the world completely and utterly skewed to the WT and women. 

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RJ could not have let the Rand/Egwene relationship stand without ruining Rand and turning the Dragon Reborn into a joke. Egwene would accept nothing less than complete subservience from any man in her life, one willing to submit to her in everything, both behind closed doors and in public. The world could not afford to have its savior be her lapdog.

Just once can we leave aside the hyperbole in this discussion.

 

You yourself said that they each had a role and had to oppose each other - put Rand under her thumb as her manslave, and all you have is Egwene running the show, which means the seals would never have been broken and Rand would've been forced to reseal the DO the same way LTT did it.

With the bolded, just please stop.

 

For the seals....AS researched the topic and Egwene came around to the seals needing to be broken, just that it needed to be done at the correct time. She even gave the order to be passed on to Logain so yeah...

 

That would've also left saidin tainted again, something that Egwene was perfectly content to see happen again, but would've kept the balance in the world completely and utterly skewed to the WT and women.

She was not content to see it happen again. It was one idea of many during an end of world situation that got tossed out and quickly discarded.

Edited by Suttree

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R.e. Egwene's humanity, I think she sometimes comes across as lacking in this department just by comparison to other characters. She is more accepting of the sacrifices and hard decisions a leader has to make than the three ta'veren (particularly Rand), possibly because she didn't want to be a vilage girl - she wanted to leave the TR and possibly had dreams about where she would end up.

 

In CoT there is an Egwene chapter followed by a Rand chapter where both are thinking abou how they have to use people. Egwene thinks about how far she has come from a village girl while rand is disgusted with himself.

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As your Moiraine quote showed, she did, in fact, show aptitude with politics. For comparison, it took Rand two weeks of training from Elayne (mixed with kissing sessions) to come up with a plan to play the Tairen factions against each other. Why is it okay for Rand to pick up politics from his girlfriend in two weeks, but not okay for Egwene to pick up politics after months of lessons from Moiraine?

IIRC it was three days, not two weeks.  

 

Every main character in this series learns things at an amazing rate. Not sure Egwene tends to be singled out for this. Mat learned to juggle 6 balls at once in 2 weeks or so, and Elayne learned how to make back flips on a high rope in about the same period. Even freaking Aram become super badass with a sword in a few months.

 

Most of the characters had the good excuse of magic, whether it be Rand reacquiring skills from a previous life or Mat also using previous lives, Perrin's skills did not grow implausibly aside from Taverness causing things to work out in his favour more often than not. Mat's juggling is not a good example, as I don't think RJ realised how hard that was.

 

The problem with Egwene was that she was not ta veren and that frankly seemed far too good at playing politics than she should be. I suppose to some extent it is also because I had always had problems with Egwene's political mentor Siaun as well, I did not think that she was anywhere near old enough to rule the WT and prior to New Spring had always mentally doubled her age because of it. I just found a teenage girl defeating centuries old women at their own game extremly implausible.

 

[

R.e. Egwene's humanity, I think she sometimes comes across as lacking in this department just by comparison to other characters. She is more accepting of the sacrifices and hard decisions a leader has to make than the three ta'veren (particularly Rand), possibly because she didn't want to be a vilage girl - she wanted to leave the TR and possibly had dreams about where she would end up.

 

In CoT there is an Egwene chapter followed by a Rand chapter where both are thinking abou how they have to use people. Egwene thinks about how far she has come from a village girl while rand is disgusted with himself.

 

I agree with that, to some extent I suppose it is the character RJ wanted, but coupled with the other issues I had with the plausibility of her arc it really rendered the Egwene portions of the later books quite  a chore to me.

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I haven't read this entire thread, but has anyone thought about Egwene's test for being Accepted? I know that the terangreal is more of just a dream, but the scene it painted was very vivid and I was thinking it could be a foreshadowing of a potential future. I was really disappointed when Egwene died, because I was counting on her leading the WT for many years, possibly culiminating in a real life experience of her "dream" in the accepted's test....

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To be honest, I think Egwene would have been an excellent choice for being Rand's 'love of his life'.

 

As it happened, in the books, all Rand's relations were either to accessories (Min) or not very present (Elayne, Aviendha). Likewise, Egwene only has Gawyn who has to work for her (and who would story-wise probably have been better off dead at Dumais wells, really :p ). But Amyrlin to Dragon could have been a relation of more-or-less equals. They'd obviously bicker, but they could have recaptured some of the magic of Rand's desire to protect Egwene, and Egwene's to help Rand reach what he has to. Now that early-book tendency only re-appeared when Egwene died.

 

(which, as an aside, implies Egwene was always meant to die. After reading books 1-3 it doesn't feel so odd for Rand to feel horrible about being unable to protect Egwene, and for Egwene to tell him to let HER be a hero, too; fits her response to Mat's rescue, even if that response was more immature. After reading books 7-14 you'd sooner think Rand would have such a response to Nynaeve's or Min's death instead)

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To be honest, I think Egwene would have been an excellent choice for being Rand's 'love of his life'.

 

As it happened, in the books, all Rand's relations were either to accessories (Min) or not very present (Elayne, Aviendha). Likewise, Egwene only has Gawyn who has to work for her (and who would story-wise probably have been better off dead at Dumais wells, really :p ). But Amyrlin to Dragon could have been a relation of more-or-less equals. They'd obviously bicker, but they could have recaptured some of the magic of Rand's desire to protect Egwene, and Egwene's to help Rand reach what he has to. Now that early-book tendency only re-appeared when Egwene died.

 

(which, as an aside, implies Egwene was always meant to die. After reading books 1-3 it doesn't feel so odd for Rand to feel horrible about being unable to protect Egwene, and for Egwene to tell him to let HER be a hero, too; fits her response to Mat's rescue, even if that response was more immature. After reading books 7-14 you'd sooner think Rand would have such a response to Nynaeve's or Min's death instead)

Never really thought about it much, but I kind of like that idea.  I especially felt that Egwene's and Gawyn's relationship just felt like pairing up left-over characters.  i didn't have as much as a problem with Rand's relationship, but I don't suppose it would have changed Elayne's and Aviendha's roles too drastically if they hadn't been in love with Rand.  Not sure what would have happened to Min though.

 

I think we could have done with some more in-depth internal POVs from Rand and Egwene on each other prior to AMoL because after book 3 most of their thoughts towards each other seem to be of frustration, anger, irritation, etc., rather than affection.  I liked the scene in AMoL where Rand gave her a ribbon and tried to patch things up a bit, but it felt a bit too jarring, and 'too little, too late', especially when they go to Merrilor and bicker without showing each other any respect.  I just think we could have done with a few more reminders that they still cared about each other.

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To be honest, I think Egwene would have been an excellent choice for being Rand's 'love of his life'.

 

As it happened, in the books, all Rand's relations were either to accessories (Min) or not very present (Elayne, Aviendha). Likewise, Egwene only has Gawyn who has to work for her (and who would story-wise probably have been better off dead at Dumais wells, really :p ). But Amyrlin to Dragon could have been a relation of more-or-less equals. They'd obviously bicker, but they could have recaptured some of the magic of Rand's desire to protect Egwene, and Egwene's to help Rand reach what he has to. Now that early-book tendency only re-appeared when Egwene died.

 

(which, as an aside, implies Egwene was always meant to die. After reading books 1-3 it doesn't feel so odd for Rand to feel horrible about being unable to protect Egwene, and for Egwene to tell him to let HER be a hero, too; fits her response to Mat's rescue, even if that response was more immature. After reading books 7-14 you'd sooner think Rand would have such a response to Nynaeve's or Min's death instead)

Never really thought about it much, but I kind of like that idea.  I especially felt that Egwene's and Gawyn's relationship just felt like pairing up left-over characters.  i didn't have as much as a problem with Rand's relationship, but I don't suppose it would have changed Elayne's and Aviendha's roles too drastically if they hadn't been in love with Rand.  Not sure what would have happened to Min though.

 

I think we could have done with some more in-depth internal POVs from Rand and Egwene on each other prior to AMoL because after book 3 most of their thoughts towards each other seem to be of frustration, anger, irritation, etc., rather than affection.  I liked the scene in AMoL where Rand gave her a ribbon and tried to patch things up a bit, but it felt a bit too jarring, and 'too little, too late', especially when they go to Merrilor and bicker without showing each other any respect.  I just think we could have done with a few more reminders that they still cared about each other.

 

I didn't get their interaction at Merrilor as lacking respect, more of a disagreement between near equals.  Nor did I ever get the impression that Egwene ever stopped "loving" Rand.  But she loves him as a brother, and one she thinks has gone wayward.  And Rand's affection toward Egwene is the main reason he didn't just walk over her, other than his political manueverings.

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Egwene thought she was Rand's equal...mistakenly. They would never have worked in a relationship.

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Egwene thought she was Rand's equal...mistakenly. They would never have worked in a relationship.

I'm not disputing that Egwene isn't Rand's equal - I don't think anyone is the 'equal' to the Dragon Reborn, but many of the relationships in the series consist of one partner who is the other's superior: Mat isn't Tuon's equal, Gawyn isn't Egwene's equal, Lan isn't Nynaeve's equal (although he is a King, so maybe that's not quite fair), Thom isn't Moiraine's equal, Tallanvor isn't Morgase's equal (even if she is only a lady of House Trakand).

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