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Elayne's Arc (Full Spoilers)


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Don't have much to say about her, aesthetically I'm glad she was put in charge of the armies, but only because it gives some meaning to the joyless securing the throne plot that's been going on since WH. Elayne was always a weak character, she became a true liability when Sanderson took over.

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I am not a fan of the character, but I thought she did pretty well. Was worried for her safety at the end when Mellar was going to cut her open but all went well. As usual, Elayne has the biggest plot armor ever :P

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I am not a fan of the character, but I thought she did pretty well. Was worried for her safety at the end when Mellar was going to cut her open but all went well. As usual, Elayne has the biggest plot armor ever :P

 

Elayne needs that plot armor to beat Mellar though. :P Seriously, no one but the ta'varen themselves have more plot armor than Mellar. He's a no-name rapist with no magic powers (and pretty much zero character concept besides the word "rapist"), and somehow manages to be a threat to a woman who under normal circumstances could kill him with a wave of her hand.

 

It was pretty much the darkest point of the whole story though, which reversed as soon as Olver blew the Horn.

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She was alright.  That part with Mellar was not bad.  I'd completely forgotten about him with everything going on.   Then she really annoyed me right before the end with that bit about trying to keep the horn.  With the way all the monarchs in this book were acting it doesn't lead me to believe the Dragon's Peace with end up lasting more than a month or two.

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I never thought the "Lion Sword" description of Elayne from Nicola's Foretelling was a very appropriate one, since Elayne didn't have the first clue how to use a sword. So it was entertaining to see her try to kill a Trolloc with one, and also fitting for both the Foretelling and her character's overwheliming desire to emulate her ancestor Modrellein.

 

Birgitte's death and Elayne's almost-forced delivery was definitely Brandon's "GRRM-esque" moment. I can see why he wasn't sure whether to be pleased, mortified or go take a bath. It rivaled Rand's collaring in terms of sheer horror. 

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I have always been a great Elayne hater. She's a bad person and incompetent to boot. But she acquitted herself well in AMoL. And, as Birgitte noted, she finally, after 14 books, grew as person just a little bit.

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So much hate for Elayne.  Can anyone explain please?  Yeah she's a little snobby, but she was born and raised a princess and a very pretty one by all accounts.  She's also always told that she is one of the strongest channelers since the breaking.  That alone would make her feel quite invincible. 

 

One part I didn't quite like was her sneaking around corners at the Stone of Tear kissing Rand.

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I have always been a great Elayne hater. She's a bad person and incompetent to boot.

A bad person? On the contrary she has always put her country and people first. We are hammered over the head with the pressure she feels to be a good Queen. She is caring and is always trying to help others. For a noble from the get go she was remarkably open to being friends with the people around her and she certainly has never been incompetent. A bit rash perhaps but even that is overblown. For instance many people cite the BA raid as being such. In reality it was a well though out plan based on the evidence available. She used the neat circle trick to hamstring the BA member in her midst and used all the resources available to her in the raid. It took an aritfact that no one knew existed(and no one reasonably could have prepared for) from the AoL to throw the whole thing off.

Edited by Suttree
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So much hate for Elayne.  Can anyone explain please?  Yeah she's a little snobby, but she was born and raised a princess and a very pretty one by all accounts.  She's also always told that she is one of the strongest channelers since the breaking.  That alone would make her feel quite invincible. 

 

One part I didn't quite like was her sneaking around corners at the Stone of Tear kissing Rand.

I don't want to turn this in to a huge rant, especially since I have mainly nice things to say about her in AMoL, so I'll try to sum up. She's a noble, yes, but so are a lot of characters in WoT. She's a very powerful channeler, but again, so are a lot of characters in WoT. But most of those characters (primary and secondary characters, at least) rise above that. Most don't, but they're usually tertiary characters at best. Elayne looks all the worse for being one of the most popular (i.e., frequent) POV characters but frequently putting her own interests well above the greater good. I don't see any reason why the world (or Andor and Carhien) were better off with her fighting a lengthy succession war to gain control of Andor (and eventually Carhien) instead of Dyelin and Dobraine getting the respective thrones and Elayne giving up her claim to help the Aes Sedai. Of the three original Supergirls (Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne), she showed by far the least growth.

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I liked it mostly. Except the ridiculously contrived "Fall of Caemlyn" plot, but I complained enough about this when the prologue came up, so won't repeat it.

 

Things I liked the most:

1)She and Rand actually had a good talk in Chapter 9, the first one since Book 4.

 

2) She dealt very well with her duties as a leader throughout. It was good to see she didn't let Birgitte keep her out of the fighting when her channelling was very much needed. The scene with her rallying the Andoran troops by getting in the midst of the fighting was a nice callback to the mentioned before story of a former Andoran Queen doing the same.

 

3) No "Going away with Rand and leaving her responsibilities" ending, this would've been silly and totally out of character.

 

Things I disliked:

1) Mellar's appearance. Jordan's obsession with getting his main female characters was one of his worst traits as a writer. Thankfully it was short this time, and this guy's thick plot armor (why wasn't he executed ASAP after the events in KoD?) was finally breached by Birgitte's arrow. ;)

 

2) Not showing her reaction to Egwene and Gawyn's deaths and Avi's serious injuries. Come on, Brandon, we should've gotten something, even if brief.

 

3) There was a good setup for a confrontation between Egwene and Elayne in this book - the Kin, Elayne being made the commander of the Light forces, etc, but it was never developed.

 

Speaking of things related to Elayne and her plotline, I was disappointed that the Andoran nobles who played a major role in her plotlines in the previous books, neither didn't appear at all or got a very brief cameo (Dyelin). I know there are thousands of characters and those guys weren't that major, but given that their freaking capitol was destroyed and their Queen is a major character, there should've been more of this than what we got.

 

The Cairhien nobles didn't appear at all IIRC (bar Talmanes).

Edited by David Selig
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. Elayne looks all the worse for being one of the most popular (i.e., frequent) POV characters but frequently putting her own interests well above the greater good. I don't see any reason why the world (or Andor and Carhien) were better off with her fighting a lengthy succession war to gain control of Andor (and eventually Carhien) instead of Dyelin and Dobraine getting the respective thrones and Elayne giving up her claim to help the Aes Sedai.

What? All Elayne does is for the greater good of her country, we see this time and again. Dyelin did not want the throne and thought it should be Elayne's. The only way she would have gone against that would have been if Elayne had said she was going to "accept" the throne from Rand. In that case Dyelin would never have supported her and the succession would have been far longer and more bloody with all the different groups vying for it.

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So much hate for Elayne.  Can anyone explain please?  Yeah she's a little snobby, but she was born and raised a princess and a very pretty one by all accounts.  She's also always told that she is one of the strongest channelers since the breaking.  That alone would make her feel quite invincible. 

 

One part I didn't quite like was her sneaking around corners at the Stone of Tear kissing Rand.

I don't want to turn this in to a huge rant, especially since I have mainly nice things to say about her in AMoL, so I'll try to sum up. She's a noble, yes, but so are a lot of characters in WoT. She's a very powerful channeler, but again, so are a lot of characters in WoT. But most of those characters (primary and secondary characters, at least) rise above that. Most don't, but they're usually tertiary characters at best. Elayne looks all the worse for being one of the most popular (i.e., frequent) POV characters but frequently putting her own interests well above the greater good. I don't see any reason why the world (or Andor and Carhien) were better off with her fighting a lengthy succession war to gain control of Andor (and eventually Carhien) instead of Dyelin and Dobraine getting the respective thrones and Elayne giving up her claim to help the Aes Sedai. Of the three original Supergirls (Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne), she showed by far the least growth.
Not this again...The war in Andor would've happened anyway thanks to Arymilla. And Elayne offered to support Dyelin for the Lion Throne - Dyelin refused.

 

She took Cairhien peacefully, so I don't see the issue there.

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Egwene and Nynaeve were country village girls.  Of course there is a lot of room for them to grow.

 

The throne of Andor was Elayne's mothers.  Elayne was groomed from the time she was born to be queen.  Of course she is going to fight for it.........

 

There were 2 people in the entire book besides the Forsaken and Rand who were stronger in the power than Elayne: Nynaeve and Alivia (who didn't appear until near the end).  Neither of those two became queens at 19.  Berelain perhaps came close to Elayne in beauty and she ruled a nation (albeit a very tiny one) but she couldn't channel.  Morraine was a noble but neither strong in the power nor close to becoming queen.  I'm having trouble seeing why we are comparing Elayne to a commoner.

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So much hate for Elayne.  Can anyone explain please?  Yeah she's a little snobby, but she was born and raised a princess and a very pretty one by all accounts.  She's also always told that she is one of the strongest channelers since the breaking.  That alone would make her feel quite invincible. 

 

One part I didn't quite like was her sneaking around corners at the Stone of Tear kissing Rand.

I dislike her because she's written so poorly. From book 6 onward, every Elayne chapter is essentially:

 

1. Sentence about goat's milk

2. "Aren't you all surprised to hear me using foul language?"

3. Complaining that she's being mothered too much

4. Doing things Birgitte doesn't want her to do

 

BAM, 9 books worth of Elayne chapters right there. 

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I was actually pleasantly surprised by Elayne's sections in AMoL.  I'd found her very boring to read for the second half of the series but I liked her plot and the way her character behaved in the final book.  I think it was a bit bizarre to put her in control of the armies from the start, as she had no experience leading battles and was heavily pregnant, but I think she actually dealt with it well.  Where I was expecting her to be arrogant and ignore everyone's advice she actually seemed to do a pretty good job.  Big chance from how the Egwene of earlier books would have behaved.

 

I was really pleased to see her get a chance to talk to Rand, and it was a nice scene before the battles start, but having spent nearly the entire series apart their relationship is difficult to care about. 

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 I think it was a bit bizarre to put her in control of the armies from the start, as she had no experience leading battles and was heavily pregnant, but I think she actually dealt with it well. 

 

^^This. I really liked Elayne in AMOL with the exception of her being put in charge of the army's of light just because she held more land than any other ruler. I really thought this should have gone to Egwene/Bryne. The White Tower, while not perfect, was the only political force that everyone recognized as being more or less neutral (as far as relationships between nations go) and they had Bryne who would have brought the military experience needed. I thought they were leading up to this due to Bryne's map making and preparations in ToM. That and once Egwene peacefully reunited the tower he didn't really have a clear purpose anymore. 

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When they picked Elayne to be the leader, they hadn't split up the 4 great generals yet.  Bryne could have just as easily went with Elayne.  The White Tower has never been politically neutral.  The rest of the world recognized them as being manipulative for their own gains.  Rand certainly didn't trust them.  The White Tower breaking and the attack from the Seanchan did serve to humanize them a little bit though.

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Did anyone else get the sense that Birgitte is actually being reborn as one of Elaine's twins, or was that just me?

The timing doesn't work based on comments in the book. The general consensus is that Elayne's kids will be Calian and Shiva who are the hearalds of a new age.

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