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The Androl Thread

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Anyone could have doen it? How so without his talent with gateways?

 

As for Lord of the Rings I don't know much about it's history. Did it start out being written as one and then was split after the fact? We know that all three books are considered part of AMoL by Team Jordan. Not sure where the argument is here?

Edited by Suttree

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Suttree, his talent is that they open faster, he doesn't need to memorize landscape he's on.  He has an easier time making them.  But the orientation is something others were doing, so that's not unique to him.  His only real edge in the Lava Gate situation is that he opens them fast.  But from what I read I don't get the impression that it's instant vs a one minute thing, more like, instant vs a few seconds.  Logain had him do it for that speed edge, but there's no reason that I can find that anyone else would have been unable to open a gateway to Dragonmount like that.

 

Don't get me wrong, it was better that Androl did it vs others in terms of effectiveness, but not by a level that would make the tactic bad for anyone else to have done.

 

As for LOTR, Tolkien wrote it as one book in a two volume set (other being Silmarillion).  Publisher, for economic reasons, forced it into being three books.  Author wanted it to be one novel, but it was published in three and the community as a whole thinks of it as three.  The same is going to be true with TGS/ToM/AMoL.  The majority of the fan  base and probably the literary world doesn't really care what was intended originally, they're going to see three volumes with three titles and consider it three books.

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All of the situations you yourself described however are actively resolved by the actions, specifically by design, of Androl.

Not, could have been done by someone else. They were done by Androl.

Not, oh we've seen other people do this before. You're seeing it done by Sanderson's very own new pet character, specifically. Androl.

Not, these situations could have been resolved in some similar or other manner by character xyz. By Androl, the new character with, by design, a specific skill placing him as the figure of extreme importance, at the critical juncture of major plot points.

You want to say Androl isn't Deus Ex, because AMoL is physically split into three volumes. By the writer's(Sanderson's) own admission, those same three physical books collectively are also considered, correctly, as a single volume.

Androl, in A Memory of Light = Deus Ex Machina.

_____


Unless of course you were fully expecting a bullshit character to rise out of nowhere in the final volume of an epic series, overshadow established characters and take on a major role in preserving the ability of the forces of Light to combat & survive against the Shadow?

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Sutree, regarding my response regarding Dobraine and other major characters, I fail to see how you can say I was backpedaling and/or splitting hairs. All I did was quote my original post where I used the phrase "almost completely". That doesn't weaken my arguement because, in point of fact, I wasn't making an arguement. I was echoing an observation which numerous others have made regarding Mr. Jordan's habit of building up a character into prominence and then "almost completely" (there's that pesky phrase again) disgarding them. The phrase isn't even a "qualifier". It's a statement of fact. I mean exactly what I wrote..Dobraine, Rhurac,Bael, etc after playing very prominent roles in several books almost completely disappear. I wrote "almost completely", not "completely". If I had originally written "completely" and then corrected myself by modifying the statement into "almost completely", then that, indeed, would be backpedaling. Othewrwise, I haven't.

 

As regards late introduced characters like Androl, we could make pretty much the same arguments for one of my favorite characters of the entire series..Rodel Ituradal (sp?)..He didn't show up until very late in the series , but has a major role throught out the entirity of the AMOL trilogy (Since GS, TOM and AMOL were intended to be read as one book, I think trilogy is a suitable way to look at them as the capstone to the entire series). Both Bashere and Bryne came to prominence much earlier and were featured for far longer, but Rodel gets way more "screen" time than either. Yet not too many people seem to complain.I certainly didn't. I liked his character. Is this because his actions are not something that could be characterized as a "Deus Ex Machina"?

 

What I find interesting is the fact that of the four "Great Captains", he is the only one to be able to resist Greandal's compulsion. The others give the orders until they are found out. He doesn't. He doesn't throw the compulsion off completely, but he resists giving the order. Would that qualify as a "Deus Ex Machina" since if he had given the order, the forces of light would have almost certainly been defeated? It does raise the question of whether those compelled by Graendal can be healed.

 

And Charred Knight, your point about Mr. Jordan's style of describing battles, is a valid one. I think that is why Mr. Sanderson's style felt off except when he was writing through Androl's POV. To me that makes sense since Androl was the only character who was solely his.The others were all his interpitation of what Mr. Jordan would have done. It makes me wonder how TG would have played out if Mr. Jordan had been around to write it.

Edited by Tud

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As far as the possibility of Deus Ex Ituralde:

The thing, for me, that sets Ituralde apart from say Androl, is that when we first witness the appearance of Ituralde in Lord of Chaos, from that point on up through the final book his actions are the result of a natural course of events. It's not a surprise, or unexpected at all to see him leading men in the last battle, as a great captain, in the final act of WoT - because we see the development of his character over the course of more than the final volume.

We know he's one of the four great captains. We've seen him in a featured role, in Crossroads of Twilight. Again in Knife of Dreams... Rodel's role isn't something that feels contrived for say a specific need to tie up loose ends or plot points in the final volume.

He, Rodel, isn't someone that feels out of left field, because it's his natural role as we've been privy to on the journey, so to speak.


 

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Mat's Spare Hat what you've written makes sense. I guess it helps that I really like Ituralde. I'll concede the point except to wonder whether his ability to resist compulsion is a form of "deus ex machina". The counter to that is that Morgase also was able to resist. However, that was compulsiion via Rhahvin as opposed to Greandal which everyone seems to agree is a much greater version.

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Ituralde is first mentioned in TFoH and shows up in LoC. Nowhere close to being the same.

 

@Tud

 

Not sure who you are echoing but that is not a hallmark of RJ's writing. Again you have to understand story arcs and how they are constructed. Its' not as if it's something unique to RJ. Not even "almost completely" unique.

Edited by Suttree

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Sutree, I understand what a story arc is..I'm betting everyone on this website understands what a story arc is..

 

If you want to assert that I am incorrect in my observation that several times throughout the series Mr. Jordan has built up a secondary character into a prominent role and then shifted said character off screen and almost completely forgotten about them (Take Dobraine as an exemplar. Aside from Moraine, he was Rand's most prominent Cairihenen supporter, was notable as being just about the only Carihenen that kept his word, was one of the major reasons Rand was rescued at Dumai Wells, was trusted enough to be sent to Arad Doman to sort the place out and yet he is never even mentioned in AMOL? Yet, Gregorian, who only appears sporadically, does? ) and you provided a solid arguement to back up your assertion (As Charred Knight and Mat's Spare Hat did), then I'd be willing to change my position and concede the point. You haven't and therefore I'm not..

 

Now, since this argument isn't even close to being on point (and was a very minor portion of my original post in the first place) I'd suggest we get back to discussing whether Androl deserved to be given the screen time he got.

Edited by Tud

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Sutree, I understand what a story arc is..I'm betting everyone on this website understands what a story arc is..

 

Missing the point...again. Move on. Shrug. Edited by Suttree

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Dude I think what Suttree's getting at is, for instance in the case of Dobraine, his arc comes to it's own conclusion - thus there's no need, or reason, for his involvement from that point further.

His own personal arc has reached its intended closure. There was no other plan for him beyond the role he had played, so there would be no sense, from a writing standpoint, to continually insert him, Dobraine, continually into the overarching plot when he has no bearing, or planned impact beyond playing a role that would otherwise detract from the course of the narrative.

You have to look at those characters you feel were put in a prominent position, and 'forgotten about' and recognize the role they filled. Further along those lines if you find yourself feeling they were then left out or make no appearances down the line, ask yourself what purpose would that character actually have in impacting the story. Would the narrative be significantly modified in order to accommodate the inclusion of a character, and if so than is it for a reason, or just for the sake of appearance value.

Dobraine played his role. He served no purpose in driving or supporting the plot beyond that which he'd already accomplished. His part, like those of other 'forgotten' characters, had come to its end.

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That's fine so far as it goes (and I still dispute the point since others who finished their "arc" were brought back and if I recall correctly,in TGS Dobraine was sent off to prepare for TG, so his story arc wasn't completed), but I was accuseed of backpedaling, when in fact I hadn't. Dobraine finished his arc and was occasionally mentioned further on in the series, but in AMOL he (One of the major Charihen Lords and a trusted ally of Rand's) wasn't mentioned at all.

 

Besides all of this, it wasn't even the point of my original post.I included it to indicate that something of the reverse of the Androl situation had occurred throughout the series with characters of seeming importance almost completely disappearing. My original post was that we can't speak definitively to any of what was or was not intended by Mr. Jordan since we haven't seen his notes in their entirity and in context. all we can go on is what Mr. Sandrson said during a Q&A.

Edited by Tud

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Mazrim Taim. That story arc started big, died and stayed dead to the end with no real conclusion to justify the original build. Though I'm confused as to how this relates to Androl.

 

Androl was a terrible late comer who just stole too much screen time and chalked up too much epic-ness that should have been spread throughout the Asham'man as a whole.

 

But he wasn't DXM. Barely not. We know talents exist, we know then can exist for just about anything. And I know that as soon as I heard he has a traveling talent, I assumed we'd see all the stuff that we saw him do. It's the same stuff we've speculated about on these websites. So how can that be DXM when unexpected and unpredictable are kind of key to being DXM. Though it might be one of those things scholars would argue about for years because it might be kind of gray... maybe. I just fall on the NO side -- just bad uninspired writing.

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On the topic of Iturlude the reason he can resist compulsion is because Greandel was interrupted by Aviendha when she went into his tent. So the compulsion was not as strong in him as it was with the others.

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I really enjoyed Androl as a character and his interactions with Pevara were entertaining and "a breath of fresh air" so to speak. It was nice to see another Asha'man with a good heart, like Grady or Neald or Flinn. That being said, I feel his/Pevara's POV/arc could have been shortened a bit to maybe lengthen others. Maybe adding just a bit more to Perrin, who had the least stage time of the three boys, or Min or Moiraine who didn't seem there at all really, or Loial who barely appeared in the last three books. If you combine the Androl/Pevara POVs, they are more numerous than Perrin's, a ta'veren.

 

I don't know. I could complain for the rest of the year; it doesn't change anything. But I don't feel like having a "late player" is necessarily a bad thing, it's just like having earlier character's never return to real importance, look at Hurin, Juilin and Uno. Their job is to fulfill a role. Sometimes for a writer, it's more exciting to create a new character rather than recycling old ones.

Edited by abischel06

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Slightly different Androl-related topic: I was wondering if anyone knew whether the effects of the double-channeler bond felt by Pevara and Androl were Brandon's idea or RJ's?

This part of Androl's story is what I imagine (do we know?) was left in the notes per RJ for the BT. The linking with Aes Sedai, working with Reds, etc. If Brandon came up with the mind reading part I wouldn't mind, it works with the theme. Despite screwing up the linking, this part of Androl's story worked well (even if it was out of place being left to resolve in AMoL).

 

The part that Brandon went overboard with was Super Androl Hero of The Last Battle. Not only was it cringe-worthy, it ruined Logain completely. If you never read any of the other books you'd never guess Logain even mattered.

 

I really doubt RJ made up the gateway Talent / shortcut around the rules either. That laziness screams Brandon.

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This part of Androl's story is what I imagine (do we know?) was left in the notes per RJ for the BT. The linking with Aes Sedai, working with Reds, etc. If Brandon came up with the mind reading part I wouldn't mind, it works with the theme. Despite screwing up the linking, this part of Androl's story worked well (even if it was out of place being left to resolve in AMoL).

The part that Brandon went overboard with was Super Androl Hero of The Last Battle. Not only was it cringe-worthy, it ruined Logain completely. If you never read any of the other books you'd never guess Logain even mattered.

I really doubt RJ made up the gateway Talent / shortcut around the rules either. That laziness screams Brandon.

 

I would have thought the stuff RJ left behind were to rescue Logain and steal the seals (as these are things that had to happen), possibly rescue Elayne & army...  I also see him leaving behinds notes on the Reds, but I'm not sure about the Double Bond.

Edited by BFG

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I liked him.  Yeah, I definitely got the impression that Androl was "Brandon's" character, but I found that he was my favorite Asha'man, behind Logain.  Of course, not many of the Asha'man were developed, so Brandon got to really seize upon this opportunity.  I'm glad he did, since the Black Tower was lacking in presence in the story up to that point.

 

 

 

 

You mean Brandrol the Incredible Marty Stu? That guy can die in a fire

 

I really feel like people don't understand the literary meaning of "Mary Sue".  Sometime his Talent did prove more useful than it probably should have, but he's no more a Sue than some other characters.

 

I do somewhat think this series was fall of Marys and Martys, but I guess the whole epic sci fi/fantasy genre would vanish if this weren't allowed now and again.

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Taking Androl out of the context of this story, he is a likeable, interesting character with interesting abilities. The issue is, he is not a character of this series up to this point. He steals the roles and limelight from innumerable established characters. He does everything that they should have done instead, and his POV consumes a substantial portion of what should have been the defining moments for figures with years of backstory and development. I didn't wait 15 years to see "Tarmon Gai'don: Starring, An Extra from the last book". I assume all the praise for Androl as a fantastic character would be equally effusive for ASOIAF finishing with Bob the hitherto-unknown stableboy sitting on the Iron Throne? 

 

Having a new character enter the story at the endgame and tie up all the loose ends because of the author's inability to get inside the heads of the actual story's characters is why he is a failure. It would be like batman being a secondary character in his own film. Oh wait that happened too, which is AMOL is another conclusion to a beloved work of fiction I must now pretend never happened.

Very well said.

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In AMOL most threads twisted around main characters were cut off. Most relationship are lost. Perrin spent his time in TAR and slept during the last battle. He had nothing to do with people he gathered. Mat almost abandoned Olver and Redhand. He and Abell were in same field and had no dialog. Moiraine and Nynaeve played as angreal for the whole book.

 

And now comes Androl. He's such a well developed character, he's so smart, so cool and so interesting. He have more POVs than three ta'veren.

 

I admit his story is very good.  That's why I feel sad for the original characters. 

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Taking Androl out of the context of this story, he is a likeable, interesting character with interesting abilities. The issue is, he is not a character of this series up to this point. He steals the roles and limelight from innumerable established characters. He does everything that they should have done instead, and his POV consumes a substantial portion of what should have been the defining moments for figures with years of backstory and development. I didn't wait 15 years to see "Tarmon Gai'don: Starring, An Extra from the last book". I assume all the praise for Androl as a fantastic character would be equally effusive for ASOIAF finishing with Bob the hitherto-unknown stableboy sitting on the Iron Throne? 

 

Having a new character enter the story at the endgame and tie up all the loose ends because of the author's inability to get inside the heads of the actual story's characters is why he is a failure. It would be like batman being a secondary character in his own film. Oh wait that happened too, which is AMOL is another conclusion to a beloved work of fiction I must now pretend never happened.

Very well said.

 

I completely disagree, for reasons which I have already stated previously in this thread.

 

In AMOL most threads twisted around main characters were cut off. Most relationship are lost. Perrin spent his time in TAR and slept during the last battle. He had nothing to do with people he gathered. Mat almost abandoned Olver and Redhand. He and Abell were in same field and had no dialog. Moiraine and Nynaeve played as angreal for the whole book.

 

And now comes Androl. He's such a well developed character, he's so smart, so cool and so interesting. He have more POVs than three ta'veren.

 

I admit his story is very good.  That's why I feel sad for the original characters. 

 

I'm not even sure if you and I read the same book.

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Personally, I thought that Androl was an interesting character concept, except for the whole "been everywhere, done everything" bit, which was pretty unbelievable in a medieval-era world where Traveling had not yet been rediscovered.

 

However, he was criminally overused in the book, at the expense of established characters.  I have no problem with his character being crucial to the resolution of the BT arc, but when it's at the cost of established characters getting just about zero screentime?  No thanks.

 

In addition, his overuse of Gateways quickly grew monotonous.  Yes, we get it, his Talent is creating Gateways.  It's not necessary to have him do every single freaking thing with one so that we remember.

 

Seriously, though, I think that the overuse of Gateways was a major weakness in AMOL's battle scenes.  It broke immersion for me repeatedly -- if you're going to use a Gateway to smother Trollocs in molten lava, why aren't you doing that all the freaking time?  It's not like only Androl can open a Gateway to Dragonmount.  Unlike RJ, I don't think BS thought through the implications of what that meant.

 

---

 

On another note, and this isn't necessarily BS's fault, I was pretty unsatisfied with the way that the BT arc ended.  Rand knows that it's a trap, but does he really think that Taim is just sitting there twiddling his thumbs and waiting for him to show up?  Grab as many channelers as you can -- most of them will be women, so they can form circles, show up, and stomp Taim into oblivion.  It's not like convincing anyone is going to be a problem.

 

"Hi, Egwene, Taim is almost certainly a Darkfriend, so I need you and the Aes Sedai to help me get rid of him."

 

"Rand al'Thor!  You can't tell me what to do!"

 

"Did I mention that he has at least 20-30 'favorites' who are almost certainly Darkfriends as well, so he could be Turning at least 2-3 channelers at once?  Because I can't remember if I mentioned that."

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Although I don't necessarily disagree with your sentiment, I don't think including the AS in the BT arc would have been a good thing from the characters perspective.  I do think that was something that the BT group had to sort out for themselves.  It maybe would have been nice for Rand to be a bit more concerned, but (to be fair) he was pretty busy. 

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