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All said, I cannot understand people berating the job Sanderson has done with a story that the original author passed sadly away before completing, leaving notes on how the story would conclude.

 

Surely the criticism should be directed at Robert and not Sanderson??

You seem to have a misunderstanding in regards to how robust the notes were. BS created over 50% of the material from scratch with no guidance and per Brandon's own words Androl was "his" character that he greatly expanded into the story.

 

Lastly as has been stated a number of times critique ≠ berating or hate. It's simply and honest discussion around the flaws of AMoL in writing quality, plot work and characterization.

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I will grant all of the griping about him being Mr. Sanderson's creation and taking away too much screen time from Nynaeve, morraine, etc, but IMHO, of all the characters in AMOL, Androl was the most Jordanlike. When I was reading his POV's, it felt natural, like the way Mr. Jordan would develope a small character. On the other hand, many of the others (Mat, in particular) felt "forced", "off". Truthfully, I enjoyed his POVs (especially the way he and his merry band of black ops players lured Alviaran, Misrihaile et al into that trap and for all of you grumbling that all of these tricks were his, remember that using the Ogier grove was Pevara's).

I never got that Androl was Jordanlike because Jordan didnt all of a sudden make characters really important and uber powerful. It would be like if during Lord of Chaos all of a sudden Vanin was introduced as this badass poacher who can outfight anymore despite being fat and immediatly forms an attraction with Birgitte, and all of Mat plans now revolved around Chel Vanin doing something awesome.

 

You forgot Cads ;) she came out of nowhere ;)

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Cads came out of nowhere, as previously stated.

 

As for Anrol's "Uber power"  He has none.  He's a dangerous adversary on one vs a few tactics and can protect himself.  As for the rest?

 

His summoning Lava, his talent, but he only managed it with a full circle.  Giving him sole credit it like giving Siuan sole credit for healing Mat.  She did it, drawing on resources of 12 other women.

 

As for the Black Tower?  He snuck in, got overwhelmed and captured.  Tricked a few into causing some ruckus, but ultimately failed to escape.  Managed to beat the Dreamspike just enough to not die, then fought well once a lot of reinforcements came.

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You make it seem like the reinforcements were some overwhelming force that Taim couldn't defeat when the reinforcements were losing by the time that Androl started to reverse weaves, and then Androl forced Taim and Graendal to run away.

 

As for Cadsuane the reason that she all of a sudden became really important and uber powerful was because she just showed up. The difference between Androl and Cadsuane is that Cadsuane is initially presented as a legend and certainly shakes things up but at the same time she never overshadows Rand or any of the other important characters.  Jordan knew were Cadsuane's place in the storyline was and it was as Rand's advisor helping him make decisions.  Most of Cadsuane's legendary deeds are done in the past and she's mainly there to make sure Rand doesn't screw up.  She doesn't start fighting Forsaken nor does she cleanse Sadin.

 

Compare that with Androl who basically replaces Logain, is presented as the main reason why Taim is forced to leave the Black Tower, his the one who steals the seal, and his the one who drops a Volcano and saves Elayne.  Yes Androl was a part of a circle but you certainly remember Siuan for healing Mat because she was the main person doing it.  I don't even remember if another Aes Sedai was even mentioned as being a part of that circle.  At the end of the book you are left with the promise that Logain is going to be this big important person whose going to know glory like no one else when he plays second fiddle to Androl for nearly the entire book.  

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The fun thing is, all those things he did, from what I understand, those are all in Jordan's notes.  The issue is that the notes don't mention names, just "Ashaman does X".  So Team Jordan decided to make that Androl.

 

Would it have been nice to have Narishma, Flinn and Logain more involved?  Sure.  But if they were the ones who did it, I'd imagine Jordan's notes would have specified name.

 

And the Reinforcements were, Taim was beating the group that was there, in the basement with them and Androl threw out something he had no idea what to do with so he backed off.  I'll chock that up to interpretive difference in the narrative, but while Androl is very clearly the leader and dangerous, I never took his actions as singlehandedly doing anything.  Not unless you count his being a leader and inspiring the troops such as it was.

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The fun thing is, all those things he did, from what I understand, those are all in Jordan's notes.  The issue is that the notes don't mention names, just "Ashaman does X".  So Team Jordan decided to make that Androl.

That is not correct. Brandon asked for a chacter that could be his own and it was given to him. His role and actions went well above and beyond what was in the notes however.

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For personality and such, yes.  You could even argue in terms of how much was given to him to do.  But from the Q&A in the first post to this topic...
 

"Brandon did mention that he wanted a character that he felt like was his own, which he got to do the most development on. That character became Androl. A lot of what Androl did were things which RJ said had to happen. Brandon picked Androl to do them, and gave the character his own touch more than any other."

 

So I do need to apologize and rephrase since I wrote "All the things"  which was not true and based on my faulty memory, but a lot of it is going to include his major points, I'd guess.  (IE maybe the lava gate is all Sanderson, because the notes just said "Ashaman save Elayne")

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It's been quoted many times but the notes aren't what some people seem to think they were. I would be suprised if that battle had been worked out in detail since we know Brandon created over 50% in these last three books from scratch with no guidance. This should give you a better idea of what they looked like.

BS

The thing about the notes is that a lot of the notes were to him, and so he would say things like “I’m going to do this or this” and they’re polar opposites. And so there are sequences like that, where I decide what we’re going to do, and stuff like that. And this all is what became the trilogy that you’re now reading.

As you can see there is a great deal of room there for Brandon and something like Androl.

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I'd argue that even somewhat supports my point.  The Androl quote states that a lot of things he does are things RJ said Had to happen.  Had to happen would seem to contradict an idea of 'A or B" that much of his notes were.

 

I wouldn't even be surprised if Brandon really only had notes that said "Ashaman saves Elayne's troops".  "Ashaman gets seals back from Taim."  Or "Ashaman fights off Taim and saves Logain"

 

Which does very firmly mean that Sanderson did a lot in terms of Androl's power use, which I don't disagree with.

 

But, the core actions were in RJ's notes.  As for the rest, we've seen wierd talents prior and Team Jordan signed off on the gateway talent, so that's good enough for me.

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As I clearly stated we know in many places the notes weren't even as detailed as "Ashaman saves Elayne". Again he created over 50% of the three books from scratch with no guidance from any notes. You can not possibly make a statement like "the core actions" were in the notes with any certainty.

 

To be clear I have no problem with the gateways and the like. I thought Sandrolson was kind of a lame character but that's just me.

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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.

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Androl was first seen in the prologue of Winter's Heart, according to http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/

 

Several Dedicated including Androl Genhald, Canler, Donalo Sandomere, Evin Vinchova, Mezar Kurin and Welyn Kajima meet with Logain. Androl reports that he has found two men interested in learning Nynaeve's style of Healing. (WH,Prologue)

 

RJ created Androl, but obviously it was Brandon Sanderson who added far more depth to the character than what he was originally created by RJ to have. 

 

As for stealing the limelight from other Asha'man characters, I'm amazed that some fans here on Dragonmount had invested a lot towards them. With relatively very, very few exceptions, the Black Tower asha'man ((those who spent most of their time in the Black Tower)) had not been written with strong depth of characterization by Robert Jordan himself. Does it really really take away from your enjoyment of AMOL that Androl became more prominent than the rest of the Black Tower asha'man?

 

Also, compared to the long list of primary and secondary characters created by RJ, which all of us WOT fans have been following for many years,  Androl still had a relatively minor amount of screen time in AMOL. He had an important role, but I believe it is more than just a little bit of exaggeration to say that Androl had a starring role in the book as compared to most of RJ's primary and secondary WOT characters.

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My point is his 'screen time' should have been zero. The finale of someone else's work, with a huge stable of characters requiring important roles and story resolution is not the time to be injecting your own personal mary sue to do the heavy lifting. Saying that RJ created him is arguing semantics. He was an extra.

 

Unfortunately the good folks here have left their work unfinished, so the key information (% of words) is missing, but even what is there is pretty damning:

 

http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/A_Memory_of_Light/Statistical_analysis

 

8th on the list for POVs, topped only by the big 3, lan and the supergirls. (Tangentially, the Nynaeve and Moiraine counts are appalling).

 

In either case, it is the importance of the roles he is given, not quantity of appearance, that is my criticism. 

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amolcomment, your opinion regarding Androl was not shared by either Harriet or Team Jordan. I respect your opinion, but I agree with Harriet's and Team Jordan's choices about Androl much more so than I do yours. We shall have to just agree to disagree, agreeably, and move on. 

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As I clearly stated we know in many places the notes weren't even as detailed as "Ashaman saves Elayne". Again he created over 50% of the three books from scratch with no guidance from any notes. You can not possibly make a statement like "the core actions" were in the notes with any certainty.

 

To be clear I have no problem with the gateways and the like. I thought Sandrolson was kind of a lame character but that's just me.

Yes, you clearly state that every time anyone says RJ's influence is in anything. At the rate your going, I'm starting to think there are no notes at all, or that the shoe box was full of blank paper.

 

You cannot take that quote and apply anytime anyone suggests anything. There was SOMETHING said on SOME of the notes. Unless you have a copy, how can you know what that stuff was or was not?

 

"I'm going to have the ashaman save elayne" fits perfectly into the level of detail described in the BS quote but you brush that away as an impossibility too...?

 

If you don't agree, say you don't agree, don't try to fit the facts into your narrative.

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I've a question..Has anyone actually seen the "notes" in their entirity? If so, please confirm so that we can examine them and answer questions definitively. Absent that, any claims to absolute certainty as to what was or was not contained within are unsupportable and any statements regarding what Mr. Jordan may or may not have intended are likewise un-supportable.

 

For myself, i rather liiked having Androl around if for no other reason than to have a non-super/non noble character  actually do something that was significant. (Yes, i know that Grady blasted the dam , Tam and the Two Rivers Archers and Aludra and the Band rocked the battle field, but my  major knock on the entire series has always been that almost everyone who played a major role was either an Aes Sedai, one of the Uberfolk...Rand, Mat, Perrin, Nyneave, Egwene, etc... or some  sort of noble).  The fact that Narihma, Flinn and several others didn't get more screen time is regrettable (And literally dropping Nyneave into a black hole borders on criminal),  but I think that is more a result of having to end the book somewhere, somehow, than some failing on the part of Mr. Sanderson. 

 

  You should also remember that Mr. Jordasn had a habit of doing the exact opposite.. He'd invest in a character for any number of books and then just drop them..Bael, Rhurac and most especially, Dobraine are prime examples.After Rand left Carihien they dropped out of sight almost completely (Both Rhurac and Dobraine appeared briefly in TGS, but before that hardly anything for several books and in AMOL, Rhurac appeared only briefly, Bael barely and Dobraine (Who did so much and was so loyal) not at all.

 

  Frankly, I actually found Androl's POV's to be more in keeping with the way Mr. Jordan would have written Tarmon Guidon than any other character in AMOL.. Re-read the other battle scenes and you'll find that it was always mostly told through the eyes of diverse particpants rather than the commanders. I felt that way when  Androl's POVs appeared more strongly than when any of the others did (Mat in particular, but then again, Mr. Sanderson almost never got Mat "right").

 

  Anyway, that's my two cents on the matter...

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As I clearly stated we know in many places the notes weren't even as detailed as "Ashaman saves Elayne". Again he created over 50% of the three books from scratch with no guidance from any notes. You can not possibly make a statement like "the core actions" were in the notes with any certainty.

 

To be clear I have no problem with the gateways and the like. I thought Sandrolson was kind of a lame character but that's just me.

Yes, you clearly state that every time anyone says RJ's influence is in anything. At the rate your going, I'm starting to think there are no notes at all, or that the shoe box was full of blank paper.

 

You cannot take that quote and apply anytime anyone suggests anything. There was SOMETHING said on SOME of the notes. Unless you have a copy, how can you know what that stuff was or was not?

 

"I'm going to have the ashaman save elayne" fits perfectly into the level of detail described in the BS quote but you brush that away as an impossibility too...?

 

If you don't agree, say you don't agree, don't try to fit the facts into your narrative.

What are you on about? That is exactly my point as I said there is no way for us to know and further that I had no problem with Androl. All I did was dispute the claim that RJ had everything plotted out. Not sure what your odd response has to do with any of that? In addition please don't mischaracterize how the discussion went or how I apply that quote. It is used to show people who seem to think RJ has every little detail in an outline that it wasn't the case.

 

@tud

 

No one has seen the notes but Team Jordan has answered many questions on the matter. In the case of Androl along with a number of other things we know definitively RJ did not plan to expand his role in that manner.

 

As for the characters you mention RJ dropping that is not correct. For example we see Dobraine in ACos, TPoD, WH, CoT and KoD. That hardly supports the point you try and make.

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Sutree, regarding dobraine,  you misread my post..go back and re-read it..I will qoute the relevant part, to wit:

 


 

 " You should also remember that Mr. Jordasn had a habit of doing the exact opposite.. He'd invest in a character for any number of books and then just drop them..Bael, Rhurac and most especially, Dobraine are prime examples.After Rand left Carihien they dropped out of sight""""" almost completely""""" (Both Rhurac and Dobraine appeared briefly in TGS, but before that hardly anything for several books and in AMOL, Rhurac appeared only briefly, Bael barely and Dobraine (Who did so much and was so loyal) not at all.

 

Accent on the words," almost completely.", not never..I never said he disappeared completely...I'm not going to deny that Dobraine appeared occasionaly (and briefly..as he did in Arad Doman), but  after being a major player for several books he ....almost ..completely drops off the stage. As for Bael and Rhurac, you  don't even try to dispute the point.

 

All in all, I think my point is a valid one.


 

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S

Accent on the words," almost completely.", not never..I never said he disappeared completely...I'm not going to deny that Dobraine appeared occasionaly (and briefly..as he did in Arad Doman), but  after being a major player for several books he ....almost ..completely drops off the stage. As for Bael and Rhurac, you  don't even try to dispute the point.

 

All in all, I think my point is a valid one.

Ahh but now you are simply backtracking and splitting hairs. Hedging with qualifiers is a sure sign of weakness in an argument. I never said they disappeared completely nor did I take that as your meaning.  I showed quite clearly that your claim of RJ "dropping" characters doesn't happen in these instances. This is true of Dobraine and I didn't bother to bring up the others because they are close to the same. Bael in ACoS, CoT and KoD. Rhuarc in ACoS and KoD. Aside from appearances all these characters get mentions from other people as well throughout the other books in between. If you understand how stories are constructed, as a story evolves certain pieces change in how they are emphasized during a story arc, that doesn't mean they are dropped as Brandon did Dobraine in AMoL. The point you were trying to make in relation to Androl has no basis in the reality of the text. RJ did not have a habit of doing the opposite of Androl. Not by any stretch and those characters certainly didn't just get "dropped". No amount of focusing on the one qualifier in your post changes that.

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Androl was first seen in the prologue of Winter's Heart, according to http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/

 

Several Dedicated including Androl Genhald, Canler, Donalo Sandomere, Evin Vinchova, Mezar Kurin and Welyn Kajima meet with Logain. Androl reports that he has found two men interested in learning Nynaeve's style of Healing. (WH,Prologue)

 

RJ created Androl, but obviously it was Brandon Sanderson who added far more depth to the character than what he was originally created by RJ to have. 

 

As for stealing the limelight from other Asha'man characters, I'm amazed that some fans here on Dragonmount had invested a lot towards them. With relatively very, very few exceptions, the Black Tower asha'man ((those who spent most of their time in the Black Tower)) had not been written with strong depth of characterization by Robert Jordan himself. Does it really really take away from your enjoyment of AMOL that Androl became more prominent than the rest of the Black Tower asha'man?

 

Also, compared to the long list of primary and secondary characters created by RJ, which all of us WOT fans have been following for many years,  Androl still had a relatively minor amount of screen time in AMOL. He had an important role, but I believe it is more than just a little bit of exaggeration to say that Androl had a starring role in the book as compared to most of RJ's primary and secondary WOT characters.

Yes I did become invested in the Black Tower arc, I loved Toveine Gazal, I loved Logain, and I loved the ideas presented in it like how Taim disdained swordsmanship.  I even become invested in the minor characters like Donalo Sandomere and Yuriko because Robert Jordan was a writer who could make the audience do that. In a part of the series were Jordan slowed down the pace you can be sure that when the Black Tower was involved something exciting would happen.  Logain was jam packed full of characterization, and yet Sanderson decided to use none of it.  The vast majority of characters were written out by being turned evil including my beloved Toveine Gazal, Logain's rich characterization was dropped by putting him through a bunch of Turnings just so Sanderson could turn him into a blank slate.  

 

Tud: The scenes you're talking about are from minor characters who are given short PoVs, the vast majority of the battle are told through the commanders.   The strong point of Robert Jordan battle scenes is that Jordan himself knew strategy and could therefore have the commanders talk about the strategy they are doing as the battle is raging. In comparison Androl is given the 5th most amount of PoV more than Lan, Moraine, Nyneave, Logain, and Cadsuane despite the fact that the last two are actually supposed to be the leaders of the Black Tower and White Tower at the end of the book. 

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When I read that RJ planned for certain things to be done by Ashaman, I got the impression that things would have played out quite differently.

 

In the earlier books, when Rand visited the farm, he would get updates on what was happening. He would be told that so-and-so was working on X. (The Aes Sedai had similar details.) Then, when whatever project played a role in the story, it would be referenced or shown.

 

So let's say RJ's notes said Ashaman make lava gateway. I envision that Logain would have at some point before the Last Battle been walking around the Black Tower and come upon some Ashaman discussing the possible uses for gateways. Maybe Logain would have thought about how some new Dedicated had a particular Talent and had revealed the possibility of making a horizontal gateway. Then the discussion might hint at using the gateway to transport deadly stuff or to change how arrows are directed at opponents. Cut to the Last Battle and Logain, commanding the Ashaman or advising Mat, could direct that the gateways be used offensively. Mat sees the tactical uses and he and Logain work up the strategy that defeats the Trolloc horde. Then various Ashaman perform the maneuvers on the battlefield.

 

That is 100% consistent with RJ's notes, but it doesn't elevate some bit character to the forefront and doesn't undermine Logain. And it seems far more consistent with how RJ used the minor characters without taking away the focus from the main characters.

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As I clearly stated we know in many places the notes weren't even as detailed as "Ashaman saves Elayne". Again he created over 50% of the three books from scratch with no guidance from any notes. You can not possibly make a statement like "the core actions" were in the notes with any certainty.

 

To be clear I have no problem with the gateways and the like. I thought Sandrolson was kind of a lame character but that's just me.

Yes, you clearly state that every time anyone says RJ's influence is in anything. At the rate your going, I'm starting to think there are no notes at all, or that the shoe box was full of blank paper.

 

You cannot take that quote and apply anytime anyone suggests anything. There was SOMETHING said on SOME of the notes. Unless you have a copy, how can you know what that stuff was or was not?

 

"I'm going to have the ashaman save elayne" fits perfectly into the level of detail described in the BS quote but you brush that away as an impossibility too...?

 

If you don't agree, say you don't agree, don't try to fit the facts into your narrative.

What are you on about? That is exactly my point as I said there is no way for us to know and further that I had no problem with Androl. All I did was dispute the claim that RJ had everything plotted out. Not sure what your odd response has to do with any of that? In addition please don't mischaracterize how the discussion went or how I apply that quote. It is used to show people who seem to think RJ has every little detail in an outline that it wasn't the case.

 

@tud

 

No one has seen the notes but Team Jordan has answered many questions on the matter. In the case of Androl along with a number of other things we know definitively RJ did not plan to expand his role in that manner.

 

As for the characters you mention RJ dropping that is not correct. For example we see Dobraine in ACos, TPoD, WH, CoT and KoD. That hardly supports the point you try and make.

 

Suttree, the point is a very simple one.  Since we're all agreeing that we have no idea of what exactly was in the notes, we can't know for certain.  That said, when Brandon flat out says "A lot of what Androl does are things RJ said HAD to be done..."  Then I feel it's safe to assume he means that there was something in the notes that an ashaman had to do, and Androl became the Ashaman.  Kind of exactly what I said before.

 

As for Tud's point, it's valid.  Having someone show up briefly for a page shows that the author hasn't forgotten they exist at all.  What that doesn't do is establish them as still important or major players.  It is wholely and logically within RJ's writing to have someone important for a while, then fade away because they've done their job.  He mentions them from time to time so you remember they exist, but they still don't do anything.

 

Beyond all that, I still point out that a new character coming is not unknown, Cadsuane is the shining example.  I know some disagree with me on the premise that she doesn't take center stage as much, but let's face it, that was done to give her an air of mystery and questionable nature.  Despite that she IS center stage.  She saves Narishma, Flinn and Eban by convincing them to become warders, she leads the battle of the cleansing and saves Rand/Nynaeve from the Forsaken.  Her and Logain lead the fight against Semirhage.  Her and Sorilea basically plot the entire effor to keep Rand Human.  Against all that, Androl and Pevara leading a failed attempt at a rescue and then stealing the seals before handing them to someone else is hardly a huge issue.

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When a new character rises to sudden significant prominence in the narrative, to the point that their efforts and personal arc vastly overshadow that of long-standing established characters of import, at the very end of a series, in the final volume, it's a problem.

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Except for better or worse he didn't rise in the final volume.  He began to have POV's in TGS.  You can argue the specifics of what that counts as since it was originally intended to be one but was split, but factually, we had three volumes to the end after KoD, and Androl came in at the first of them.

 

Beyond that, your disapproval of a character showing up at the end and being more important than other secondary and tertiary characters is an opinion.  Subjective and valid as my opinion that there was no problem with him at all. 

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@Kakita

 

Perhaps I wasn't clear but your answers above have nothing to do with either point I was making. In fact they serve to bolster my point in places. Take Tud's point for example where you basically describe exactly what I said about how things change throughout a story arc but put them in your own words. In regards to Androl what you said before was:

 

The fun thing is, all those things he did, from what I understand, those are all in Jordan's notes.

 

Now you say:

 

Since we're all agreeing that we have no idea of what exactly was in the notes, we can't know for certain.

Please stop moving the goal posts.

 

Also TGS is part of the final volume. All three books fit under "A Memory of Light". Lastly comparing Androl to Cads is utterly ludicrous. You may not have an issue with how it was handled, but it isn't generally considered good writing. Mat's is absolutely correct about that.

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