JenniferL

Egwene al'Vere: Jumped Up Inkeeper's Daughter

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I don't really know what I think about Egwene, she's certainly not the person I hate most and I don't like her the most either.

 

In the first book she's important because she's what drives Rand to start progressing. While she does not provide much in terms of usefulness except learning how to make a fire for herself with the power, she makes Rand curious about listening in to talks about the powers, she constantly gets in trouble and Rand knows this so he is determined to protect her. Now I just started a re-read and am currently discussing with myself the very last section of The Eye of the World, so I haven't actually gone much further than that to fully remember, but don't we start seeing her own progression from her point of view first when she meets Elayne in the White Tower? Perrin was always more important to portray when they were separated from the other group right before Caemlyn, she was the girl the boys had to "whiteknight" and protect untill she starts her training for real (and the hunt for Black Ajah). As someone said her major character trait is to simply want to learn things, whether it be culture or abilities such as dreamwalking, which doesn't really seem to fade untill the whole Amyrlin business and she's semi-officially done with her training. This all makes sense to a degree and I'm not too bothered with it either if I should be honest. She's really not a mega-part of the plot between not being love interest for Rand and up untill she starts with her Amyrlin training, she is simply a character that introduces the reader to Aiel ways, T'A'R and what it's like to learn the one power as a female(Nyn has her block and can't introduce the reader to this fully yet, Rand is a male).

I guess that's mostly why people don't like her, Egwene doesn't develop a whole lot in character, but I'm grateful that she was something that showed me these things so I didn't have to wait for Nyn to get her block away or for Elayne to start becoming one of the often-returning main point-of-views in the series. Sure things HAD been shown from her perspective at times but she's often not the highest priority for that untill later when she starts playing a bigger role (post-Salidar IIRC). I can accept that role for Egwene and because how little she changes despite her world chaning it's also easy to follow all the new explorations to be made.

 

While I like her more than Elayne in the latter books (11-13) because I agree with her ways of ruling more than Elayne (I know, it's silly), I suppose that also is because the whole progression from "captivity" is simply a thing I enjoy to read. Even if the comparison might not be fair, I'll bring it up anyways. In another series, Sword of Truth, which I don't like as much as WoT FYI (it does not have Mat or Nyn) the main character also gets stripped of his grandiose titles and gets to live as one of the "lowest" and slowly starts to build his own rebellion in order to deal with the surrounding tyrrany. The main difference between their situations is that everyone knows who Egwene is in the White Tower but in the Sword of Truth book they don't know shit about the Main Character (except for his captor). Reason I bring this up is because story-lines like these are often very enjoyable to read. Someone who you know is powerful but has to work themselves up from the bottom and eventually they go OP-mode and overthrow the big pain-in-the-backside that annoys you most (Elaida in Egwene's case).

Egwene's plot started to bore me more after she finally reunited the tower and the progression wasn't there any longer.

I also think Gawyn helped me not hate Egwene as much too, because things from his POV were more annoying, I think he was even more of a dull, arrogant noble swordsman who was more than simply dense, moreover his complete, and instant, flip from "I don't know what orders mean" to "Oh, I understand everything now!" was simply easier to hate than Egwene's firm hold of the post-split tower.

Main point - I never found Egwene annoying because there was always something more annoying going on at the same time. I actually enjoyed reading the parts where she has passages of progression (training in T'A'R, with the power, Wise Ones, Captive as a Novice...).

 

I guess this might mean that she's a dull character, since her persona does not change a whole lot, mainly her current tunnel-visionish approach to whatever she was doing and the progress in that field. But I think she's a good character for what she provides, which mainly is knowledge about the WoT universe that Rand can't or won't explore.

Edited by GregerMoek

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The thing with Egwene is that she takes her motivation to learn into overdrive, at the expense of some morality. Although she paid for her toh to Amys and the Wise Ones for lying about Aes Sedai and entering TAR, she still lied for months. And in a context where only a Darkfriend breaks a verbal oath, lying for months is as big as it gets.

 

And we also have multiple assessments from Nynaeve, Rand, Perrin, and others about Egwene's "wholeheartedness" plunge in anything she does. Occasionally that portrays her as a flippant character; but more often it gives her considerable flexibility in adopting to different situations.

 

One of Egwene's most consistent traits that is often ignored is how often she puts Rand first and ahead of herself and her affiliations. She put him ahead of the WT as a novice and accepted, and she continued to be motivated by helping him succeed even as Amyrlin of a rebel faction and of a united WT.

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I have to admit I've allways been unfair in my assesment of egwene. This is partly due to the underlying similarity between the main female chars. So I started to mash their flaws together, but after rereading the series I have to say that if you take away Jordans "intressting" views on women, one can find a liking in her char. Especially in the later books she becomes interessting, and the first chapter of aMoL explains and softens one of her biggest mistakes.

 

Honestly I think it's nessecary to be a jumped up egotist to make it as head of all the other jumped up egotists with their godcomplex.

 

I 'm not saying I agree with most of her actions, just saying that while she might be no "selfreflecting altruistic" ninive she is neither a powercrazed inconciderate, thoughtless piece of ..... princess.

 

All in all it's hard to really like Jordans female chars, but at least I don't want to rip up the book when I read her passages...

 

sorry for my spelling i'm german

Edited by SirKlee

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Well, one could say that her progress in AS politics was a bit rushed but The Last battle was coming and I'm sure they couldn't expand the books to let her get more room for a more "reasonable", if we wanna call it that, time before true Amyrlin, not to mention that her Gawyn-relation feels very forced compared to many other relations in the series.

 

I think she provides something while not being my favourite character still, I prefer Mat and Nyn as I guess the stereotype WoT-fan does(I honestly don't know) but that's mainly because they are so ridiculous at times, Egwene is never really extreme except for her AS-politics success.

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I think she provides something while not being my favourite character still, I prefer Mat and Nyn as I guess the stereotype WoT-fan does(I honestly don't know) but that's mainly because they are so ridiculous at times, Egwene is never really extreme except for her AS-politics success.

 

And that success, in the most part, is due to Siuan Sanche's advice and tutoring. Without Siuan, Egwene would still be twaddling in Salidar.

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Egwene has wanted to be Aes Sedai since the beginning of book one. She had other interests too, and she delayed her training as Aes Sedai in order to learn dreamwalking from the wise ones, but that was always her final goal.

 

She's a cultural chameleon, definitely--she quickly internalizes different value systems and understands different perspectives much more than other characters, imo. Her character development is largely experiencing a wide variety of situations and cultures--she's the mayor's daughter, wisdom-in-training, novice, damane, accepted, apprentice, Amyrlin. All of these play a role in her usurping Elaida, i think.

 

Ultimately, she becomes somewhat of an embodiment of the Aes Sedai, so if you don't like Aes Sedai you aren't going to like her. Personally, i feel the main flaws that the Aes Sedai fall into--working solely to establish dominance, letting politics cloud judgement, believing you always know better, and preferring feigned knowledge to learning--are mostly reduced in Egwene. She is (more) willing to look at how she may be wrong. She utilizes good council. While she works to consolidate power, she often prefers to force necessary action that simply try to stop her political "enemies". She freely admits that the Aes Sedai will no longer be able to dominate the world, and instead of trying to subjugate the Aiel or Windfinders she opens up favorable relations.

 

Of course, Egwene still has her flaws. Failings in communication and arrogance are a part of it--but this is hardly unique to Egwene. It's easier to make a list of characters who don't exhibit these traits, which as far as i can tell is none of the main cast (even Perrin keeps unnecessary secrets), no channelers, and perhaps a few side characters. I think Egwene is much more willing to admit fault than most of the cast, and at least her secret-keeping has a purpose--it allows her to maintain her edge as Amyrlin. She has the habit of throwing herself into something 110%, and often functions on ideals more than pragmatics. A lot of her success was obviously twists of the pattern making her lucky. She keeps her incredible fear of the Seachan, which will indubitably cause problems in the future, and is sometimes too willing to change her perspective and sometimes too unwilling--she cant change her opinion of Mat and thinks Rand's assumption of responsibility is arrogance, and then later is willing to consider the fact that Rand may have used compulsion on Aes Sedai.

 

I suppose her greatest "failing" is her undying faith in the White Tower and Aes Sedai as an institution. And how problematic that is depends on how much you like the Aes Sedai. I don't think the Aes Sedai are amazing, but i have much higher opinion of them than the rest of this board, and i uncoincidentally find Egwene to be one of my favorite characters.

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I never really liked Egwene until the last books, where she seemed to mostly grow up. The major failing of hers is due to the interaction with the Wise One's whom themselves have failings. I think she needs to meet Cadsuaine, with her particular and ofter abrupt view of the people around her. I also believe that her learning from the Aes Sedai is very heavily hampered by being the only tolerated channelling group for the past 3000 years or so, due to the taint. I also believe that contact with the Aes Sedai with Rand will lessen these failings, otherwise if unchanged they will play into the Dark One's hands; as He has planned.

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She has done more in her short time as Amyrlin to change the WT than any other in history. You may have been using hyperbole with the Shara statement but she certainly would not let her values stray that far, if placed in Shara or Seanchan. She would change the system as she is doing now.

 

Sure she has, all for the purpose of keeping as much political power as possible. She firmly holds the AS view that the WT should have political stewardship of the world. Given the rise of the WOs, the Windfinders, and the BT, this is obviously delusional. A bunch of women in an ivory tower doling out commands to rulers is not balance. How many times in Siuan's and Egwene's chapters do we hear about Egwene being an Amyrlin to make thrones tremble. That's her end goal. She will have to make peace with Logain's leadership, and I believe she will, but her current, unrealistic view of the WT are annoying.

 

If the AS are to be accorded respect simply for being able to channel, then Egwene should be kissing Rand's feet. Their interactions in ToM are basically akin to Obama ordering Jesus around.

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Sure she has, all for the purpose of keeping as much political power as possible. She firmly holds the AS view that the WT should have political stewardship of the world. Given the rise of the WOs, the Windfinders, and the BT, this is obviously delusional.

 

Errmm what? You need to dive back in and start actually basing your views on the text my friend. She has called them fools and vowed they must change. We are hammered over the head with the responsibility she feels in unifying, changing and having the WT whole to serve the world at TG. She literally advocates the exact opposite of what you claim above. Also the channeler exchange program will do more to change AS views than anything they have done in the last 2,000 years. Imagine the good it will do for accepted to get those real world lessons that Cads says "not everyone can learn in the WT". Once they get real life lessons from the other cultures in it will forever change how the WT operates. At the end of the day you can question Egwene putting her faith in the WT as the best institution to lead the light but that is another discussion entirely. What you can not do is question her intentions...

 

ToM

"Please take care," Egwene said, summoning herself a cup of tea. "I am not only one of those fools, my friend, but I am their leader. Queen of the fools, you might say."

 

Bair hesitated. "I have toh."

 

"Not for speaking the truth," Egwene assured her. "Many of them are fools, but are we not all fools at some point? You did not abandon me to my failures when you found me walking Tel'aran'rhiod. In like manner, I cannot abandon those of the White Tower."

 

ToM

"The world as it was cannot be ours any longer," Egwene said softly, not wanting the Wise Ones to overhear. "Was it ever? The Black Tower bonds Aes Sedai, the Aiel no longer revere us, the Windfinders have hidden their best channelers from us for centuries and are becoming increasingly belligerent. If we try to hold too tightly to all of this, we will either become tyrants or fools, depending upon how successful we are. I accept neither title.

 

It is quite clear she knows the world is changing and she is calling out the WT on how they have operated. I challenge you to provide one passage that supports your interpretation of some secret plot for world domination. She even explicitly states what her goal is and far from personnel power it is....

 

ToM

Obliquely, she realized what she was doing. She was using Rand's proclamation as a beacon by which to gather and tie the monarchs to the White Tower. They would come to support her arguments against breaking the seals. But in the end, they would serve humankind in the Last Battle.

 

A bunch of women in an ivory tower doling out commands to rulers is not balance. How many times in Siuan's and Egwene's chapters do we hear about Egwene being an Amyrlin to make thrones tremble. That's her end goal. She will have to make peace with Logain's leadership, and I believe she will, but her current, unrealistic view of the WT are annoying.

 

If the AS are to be accorded respect simply for being able to channel, then Egwene should be kissing Rand's feet. Their interactions in ToM are basically akin to Obama ordering Jesus around.

 

Which is exactly why she says they must change. They will certainly join with the men equally post TG to fill out RJ's theme of balance.

 

As for your point above about Rand what else would you have had Egwene do at that time? She has been receiving reports of his insanity and atrocities and then he wanders into the WT claiming he needs to break the seals which is madness according to all in world info outside of what Rand, Min and Fel know. He then refuses to explain or discuss it despite her entreaties(and we know he antagonized her on purpose to get the very reaction he did). Now as readers we understand he doesn't have any plan and is hoping Min finds the answers but you can not look at this from a reader perspective. Based on what she knows it is her duty as Amyrlin to question his actions. Further if you have read the AMoL early release materials it makes her stance way more clear and shows the research she has done on the topic.

Edited by Suttree

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Sure she has, all for the purpose of keeping as much political power as possible. She firmly holds the AS view that the WT should have political stewardship of the world. Given the rise of the WOs, the Windfinders, and the BT, this is obviously delusional.

 

Errmm what? You need to take the blinders off and start actually basing your views on the text my friend. She has called them fools and vowed they must change. We are literally hammered over the head with the responsibility she feels in unifying, changing and having the WT whole to serve the world at TG. She literally advocates the exact opposite of what you claim above. Also the channeler exchange program will do more to change AS views than anything they have done in the last 2,000 years. Imagine the good it will do accepted to get those real world lessons that Cads says "not everyone can learn in the WT". You can question Egwene putting her faith in the WT as the best institution to lead the light but that is another discussion entirely. What you can not do is question her intentions...

 

ToM

"Please take care," Egwene said, summoning herself a cup of tea. "I am not only one of those fools, my friend, but I am their leader. Queen of the fools, you might say."

 

Bair hesitated. "I have toh."

 

"Not for speaking the truth," Egwene assured her. "Many of them are fools, but are we not all fools at some point? You did not abandon me to my failures when you found me walking Tel'aran'rhiod. In like manner, I cannot abandon those of the White Tower."

 

ToM

"The world as it was cannot be ours any longer," Egwene said softly, not wanting the Wise Ones to overhear. "Was it ever? The Black Tower bonds Aes Sedai, the Aiel no longer revere us, the Windfinders have hidden their best channelers from us for centuries and are becoming increasingly belligerent. If we try to hold too tightly to all of this, we will either become tyrants or fools, depending upon how successful we are. I accept neither title.

 

It is quite clear she knows the world is changing and she is calling out the WT on how they have operated. I challenge you to provide one passage that supports your interpretation of some secret plot for world domination. She even explicitly states what her goal is and far from personnel power it is....

 

ToM

Obliquely, she realized what she was doing. She was using Rand's proclamation as a beacon by which to gather and tie the monarchs to the White Tower. They would come to support her arguments against breaking the seals. But in the end, they would serve humankind in the Last Battle.

 

A bunch of women in an ivory tower doling out commands to rulers is not balance. How many times in Siuan's and Egwene's chapters do we hear about Egwene being an Amyrlin to make thrones tremble. That's her end goal. She will have to make peace with Logain's leadership, and I believe she will, but her current, unrealistic view of the WT are annoying.

 

If the AS are to be accorded respect simply for being able to channel, then Egwene should be kissing Rand's feet. Their interactions in ToM are basically akin to Obama ordering Jesus around.

 

Which is exactly why she says they must change. They will certainly join with the men equally post TG to fill out RJ's theme of balance. As for your point above about Rand what else would you have Egwene do? She has been receiving reports of his madness and atrocities and then he wanders into the WT claiming he needs to break the seals which is madness according to all in world info outside of what Rand, Min and Fel know. He then refuses to explain or discuss it despite her entreaties(and we know he antagonized her on purpose to get the very reaction he did). Now we know he doesn't have any plan and is hoping Min finds the answers but you can not look at this from a reader perspective. Based on what she knows it is her very duty as Amyrlin to question his actions. Further if you have read the AMoL early release materials it makes her stance way more clear and shows the research she has done on the topic.

 

She recognizes that the world is changing, but her motives for the exchange are partly to bring the WOs and the Windfinders under the fold of the WT. I don't remember the exact quote, but she specifically mentions at one point having to "deal with the WOs without letting them realize she was dealing with them". Does this sound collaborative? She participates in the exchanges because she must. It is the only measure of influence she can exert on these "wilders". I'm not arguing that she doesn't want to change the culture of the WT, I'm arguing that she wants to retain the political influence that the WT had.

 

As for her dealings with Rand, how about showing him some respect? Rand speaks to her politely, while she commands him to show respect to the Amyrlin Seat. She also mentions the bonding of Sisters as a crime that needs to be discussed, while AS bonding Asha'man are perfectly legitimate.

 

Look, Egwene has admirable qualitites but she also has a lot of AS arrogance and hypocrisy. I like her plans for changing the Sisters' attitudes, but from reading up to ToM anyways, I am not so certain of how she will react to giving up political power. You said it yourself, she questions Rand's sanity. Why then would she trust the BT? As of ToM, she does not believe Rand is sane, is skeptical of whether or not Saidin has been cleansed, and thus, has no plans to show any deference to men.

Edited by Ghost

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She recognizes that the world is changing, but her motives for the exchange are partly to bring the WOs and the Windfinders under the fold of the WT. I don't remember the exact quote, but she specifically mentions at one point having to "deal with the WOs without letting them realize she was dealing with them". Does this sound collaborative? She participates in the exchanges because she must. It is the only measure of influence she can exert on these "wilders". I'm not arguing that she doesn't want to change the culture of the WT, I'm arguing that she wants to retain the political influence that the WT had.

 

The thing about the deal though is it has a fair starting point and doesn't give any of the groups a leg up or unfair advantage over the others. As a leader it is her duty to look out for the WT's influence but the deal is absolutely collaborative. Each group knows that the other will be jockeying for position within the framework of the deal, do you truly think Sorilea or the WFs will not be doing the same? They all know this going hence the following statement "Then we have to play the best," Egwene said."

 

As for her dealings with Rand, how about showing him some respect? Rand speaks to her politely, while she commands him to show respect to the Amyrlin Seat.

 

Ah but he wasn't. In fact we know he purposely antagonized her in true AS fashion to get the response he did.

 

ToM

"Not yet, Nynaeve. I've poured hot oil into the White Tower, and it will be boiling soon. Time. We don't have time! I will get help to Lan, I vow it to you, but right now I must prepare to face Egwene."

 

"Face her?" Nynaeve said, stepping forward. "Rand, what have you done?"

 

"What needed to be done. Where is Bashere?"

 

You said it yourself, she questions Rand's sanity. Why then would she trust the BT? As of ToM, she does not believe Rand is sane, is skeptical of whether or not Saidin has been cleansed, and thus, has no plans to show any deference to men.

 

May have to wait until you have read the advance materials or AMoL to discuss this one. Let's just say it is easier to look at her in a better light on this topic post new material. To your point about Saidin though people not believing it is clean until seeing proof is highly realistic, if still frustrating.

 

TGS

Saidin is cleansed now,” he said to her. “This practice must stop.”

 

She pursed her lips, regarding him. “Your . . . man spoke of this, Coramoor. Some find it difficult to accept.”

 

“It is true,” he said firmly.

 

“I do not doubt that you believe it to be so.”

 

Rand gritted his teeth, forcing down another burst of anger, his hand forming a fist. He had
cleansed
the taint! He, Rand al'Thor, had performed a deed the likes of which had not been seen since the Age of Legends. And how was it treated? With suspicion and doubt. Most assumed that he was going mad, and therefore seeing a "cleansing" that had not really happened.

 

Men who could channel were always distrusted. Yet they were the only ones who could confirm what Rand said! He'd imagined joy and wonder at the victory, but he should have known better. Though male Aes Sedai had once been as respected as their female counterparts, that had been long ago. The days of Jorlen Corbesan had been lost in time. All people could remember now was the Breaking and the Madness.

 

They hated male channelers.

 

It is my belief that during TG this proof will become widespread. They will have to work hand in hand as equals and that will be the spring board for the future. I will agree though that she drinks a bit too much of the AS kool-aid for my liking. Think it is obvious that she has the greater good in mind however with her actions. I always go back to her being the one friend who really stuck by Rand's side when it came out that he could channel. That type of thinking will go along way in her views towards male channelers moving forward.

Edited by Suttree

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She recognizes that the world is changing, but her motives for the exchange are partly to bring the WOs and the Windfinders under the fold of the WT. I don't remember the exact quote, but she specifically mentions at one point having to "deal with the WOs without letting them realize she was dealing with them". Does this sound collaborative? She participates in the exchanges because she must. It is the only measure of influence she can exert on these "wilders". I'm not arguing that she doesn't want to change the culture of the WT, I'm arguing that she wants to retain the political influence that the WT had.

 

The thing about the deal though is it has a fair starting point and doesn't give any of the groups a leg up or unfair advantage over the others. As a leader it is her duty to look out for the WT's influence but the deal is absolutely collaborative. Each group knows that the other will be jockeying for position within the framework of the deal, do you truly think Sorilea or the WFs will not be doing the same? They all know this going hence the following statement "Then we have to play the best," Egwene said."

 

Yes, but looking at the context of the conversation between Egwene and the WOs reveals a lot. Bair is clearly aware of what Egwene is trying to do, and even warns her half-jokingly, that Egwene should not expect WOs to become AS. Egwene recognizes this warning. Her intent is quite clear: eventually she wants the WOs and Windfinders to be under the fold of the WT. This is in line with AS viewpoints. They think of themselves as the ultimate keepers and authority of the One Power, and Egwene represents this line of thinking.

 

 

As for her dealings with Rand, how about showing him some respect? Rand speaks to her politely, while she commands him to show respect to the Amyrlin Seat.

 

Ah but he wasn't. In fact we know he purposely antagonized her in true AS fashion to get the response he did.

 

ToM

"Not yet, Nynaeve. I've poured hot oil into the White Tower, and it will be boiling soon. Time. We don't have time! I will get help to Lan, I vow it to you, but right now I must prepare to face Egwene."

 

"Face her?" Nynaeve said, stepping forward. "Rand, what have you done?"

 

"What needed to be done. Where is Bashere?"

 

He antagonized her, yes, but he did so politely. He even asks her permission when withdrawing. Whereas she still views him as a jumped up sheepherder, given her thoughts on his cultured demeanor being at odds with his upbringing. Hypocritical?

 

 

You said it yourself, she questions Rand's sanity. Why then would she trust the BT? As of ToM, she does not believe Rand is sane, is skeptical of whether or not Saidin has been cleansed, and thus, has no plans to show any deference to men.

 

May have to wait until you have read the advance materials or AMoL to discuss this one. Let's just say it is easier to look at her in a better light on this topic post new material. To your point about Saidin though people not believing it is clean until seeing proof is highly realistic, if still frustrating.

 

TGS

Saidin is cleansed now,” he said to her. “This practice must stop.”

 

She pursed her lips, regarding him. “Your . . . man spoke of this, Coramoor. Some find it difficult to accept.”

 

“It is true,” he said firmly.

 

“I do not doubt that you believe it to be so.”

 

Rand gritted his teeth, forcing down another burst of anger, his hand forming a fist. He had
cleansed
the taint! He, Rand al'Thor, had performed a deed the likes of which had not been seen since the Age of Legends. And how was it treated? With suspicion and doubt. Most assumed that he was going mad, and therefore seeing a "cleansing" that had not really happened.

 

Men who could channel were always distrusted. Yet they were the only ones who could confirm what Rand said! He'd imagined joy and wonder at the victory, but he should have known better. Though male Aes Sedai had once been as respected as their female counterparts, that had been long ago. The days of Jorlen Corbesan had been lost in time. All people could remember now was the Breaking and the Madness.

 

They hated male channelers.

 

It is my belief that during TG this proof will become widespread. They will have to work hand in hand as equals and that will be the spring board for the future. I will agree though that she drinks a bit too much of the AS kool-aid for my liking. Think it is obvious that she has the greater good in mind however with her actions. I always go back to her being the one friend who really stuck by Rand's side when it came out that he could channel. That type of thinking will go along way in her views towards male channelers moving forward.

 

 

She certainly does have the greater good in mind, no arguments there. But she wants to do it the AS way. She wants to make thrones tremble. She wants to be respected. She wants to be an Amyrlin for the ages. Yet, the BT sits pretty in Andor, and Elayne has plans to tie them to her. Why would Andor fear or deal with the WT, when the BT sits pretty within their borders. See how that conflicts with the all-powerful, ever influencial image of the WT?

 

I think Egwene will have to cede political authority to others, but she will not do so happily. Again, I haven't read AMoL yet so perhaps I'm wrong.

 

At the end of the day, Egwene is, as you said, a bit heavy on the AS kool-aid. Said kool-aid is very hypocritical and arrogant. Thus, it is fair to say that given her short tenure as AS and Amyrlin, her bias against the saviour of their world (a bias which stems partly from AS views, and partly from plain sexism), and her bias against male channelers and all who encroach on her (Egwene, as the Amyrlin seat) authority, she is a jumped up inn keeper's daughter.

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I'm not a fan of Egwene, but I don't hate her. I still have a desire to see her killed off though. She's very much matured, but I don't like how she treats Rand, she just assumes the worst about him, rather then actually talking with him. That has already been mentioned. I also do not like how she treats Gwayne(spelling?) I mean, the guy sabes her life, hey may have had to disobey orders to do it, but he loves her, and saved her life. Yet, all he gets is yelled at, not one thank you. When he left for Camylen(spelling?), I applauded and really wish he would have stayed away. I don't like Gwayne much either, he hated Rand because he thought he killed his Mom, but he still hates Rand even after learning Morgase was alive, idiot.

 

Anyway, I'm not a fan of Egwene, definitly my least favorite character. Elayne isn't my favorite either, but that's another topic.

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Suttree, Egwene does want to change the Tower but she is inconsistent. She knows the binder is killing sister yet makes Nyneave and other swear or reswear. She approves of Nyneave yet if she hadn't disappeared and ignored Egwene, Saidin would still be tainted and she wouldn't healed madness. Nyneave has character progression, Egwene is just a fully formed goddess from the beginning. Finally, Egwene had absolutely no plan for taking Tar Valon, without Seanchan interference, she would have most likely caused a battle royale among AS

Edited by DemandredFO

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no plan?  It seems to me that she did.  Just that she changed it when circumstances changed.

 

About the binder, she did at one time consider to no longer require the oaths.  Her changed opinion seemed to be due to mainly Arangar's Compulsion on her; and slightly due to talks with Suian.

As far as I recall, her last opinion about it was to have Aes Sedia foreswear shortly before age 300 and retire into the Kin.

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Eg,

 

we are still disappointed that you did not come yesterday. Rand and Tuon were devastated, especially T, you know, how much she loves you. The kids missed their second favourite aunt too, so the mood was really terrible. I get it - to a certain extent - that Rhuidean is still full of suprises, but the Restrictions were lifted two months ago. If Perrin were able to come...

I have some good news: Min's new viewing about Matuon is amazing! It looks like everybody has to go with them! And the Ogier will come back too!

 

I have to inspect El's new Wind, so ...

look, being 36 is not a great thing (I was there too), but it's still better than being 37, or 38, or 39. (40 will be a KO, they say; 25 was my first KO.)


If you want call me, I will be at the Coralla this evening. Nyn, Merana, Sorilea, Caddy, F - quite a company! don't you think? Call us!

 

Oh, almost forget: Happy Birthday, little girl! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOMyS78o5YI#t=1m59s

 

 

 

--

 

I think that she really shines in ACoS, she is the highlight of ACoS - I cannot find any flaws in these chapters even if I use a magnifying glass to search for them (I could even laugh out loud reading Jordan's joke:)

 

Quote

Not even a rim of the sun showed above the hills to the east. The land humped up all around in long ridges and irregular mounds, sometimes hundreds of feet high, that often looked as though monstrous fingers had squeezed them. Shadows like twilight bathed the camp lying in one of the broad valleys between, but it was well awake in the heat that never really lifted. Smells of breakfast cooking filled the air, and people bustled about, though there was none of the rush that would have meant a day’s marching ahead. White-clad novices darted about at a near run; a wise novice always carried out her chores as quickly as she could. Warders never seemed hurried, of course, but even servants carrying the morning meal to Aes Sedai appeared to stroll this morning. Well, almost. In comparison to the novices. The whole camp was taking advantage of the halt. A clatter and curses as a jack-lever slipped announced wagonwrights making repairs, and a distant tapping of hammers told of farriers reshoeing horses. A dozen candlemakers had their molds lined up already, and the kettles heating to melt the carefully hoarded drippings and tag-ends of every candle that had been burned. More big black kettles stood on fires to boil water for baths and laundry, and men and women were heaping clothes up nearby. Egwene gave little notice to any of the activity.


I love this Egwene.
 

Not just because Jordan did a retcon to her character (and he will turn her back to her original nature in the next book, unfortunately), not just because she's in a passive (observing) mode in this book (like all POV characters), but this is the first time when we can see her maturing into a person who gets what is important, and what is not. I always get the impression that Jordan had no idea what to do with her until ACoS - she was just a clog upon him, because that's her real role: being the Amyrlin Seat. And Jordan had no idea what to do with her after ACoS, that's why he used deus ex machina f. e. in TPoD (chapter 19)

 

Maybe it is better this way. Maybe rereading and rereading these five precious chapters is better than reading 500 empty Eg-centered ch-s...

 

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Egwene is one of my, if not the definitive, favourite characters. I also liked her chapters way better than, let's say, Mat's (I know he is a fan favourite, so I'm not going to go into that debate right now) or Perrin's (all he thinks about is wolves, wolves, wolves then Faile, Faile, Faile).

 

She adapts to her surroundings, she learns from them, and she uses that knowledge. She understands the Aiel when the Aes Sedai don't even want to bother to do so. She understands the Windfinders' culture better than most, even Elayne, with her posh diplomacy classes. She sees the Kin not as a threat but as an opportunity and potential allies with the Aes Sedai. She is motivated to learn and to try to excel in whatever she does.

 

This makes Egwene a stayer, a survivor. She doesn't automatically think she has all the answers, but she is stubborn when needed be. She adapts to new situations and try to learn from them. She is curious and observant.


I don't agree that her personality doesn't change all that much. She starts out as this sweet, naive and, yes, a bit dull village girl, and grows to take on one of the most important roles in the world, and she takes it on well. Along the way she learns talents believed to be forgotten, learns to live in other cultures and learn from them, she travels the world and she makes up her mind about how she thinks she can improve. She is not perfect as an Amyrlin, but at least she has some new thoughts, knowing the institution has to change (and adapt - like her) or it will die. 

 

When it comes to her views on Rand: she barely sees him throughout the series. They separate quite early on, for several books they are far away from each other. She only hears about what he does. What is she to think? She tries to "spy" on his thoughts, but he keeps her out. She and Rand need each other because Rand has the raw force and she has the right thoughts on how to use it, but I can understand that based on what she hears about him during the books, she doesn't trust him. We see Rand through the omnipotent reader's mind, but if we see him through the characters, we can understand why people think he's mad, are afraid of him, dislike him etc.

 

And let's be honest, Rand isn't polite. He bullies everyone around because he thinks he has to. I remember well that scene where Aviendha thinks about him being so ignorant as to how difficult it is to keep the Aiel rallied around him, because he completely disregards their cultural customs (which, btw, Egwene would never do) and he demands unreasonable things and gets mad when they can't deliver. If you think Egwene has tunnel vision, well, it's nothing on Rand's...

Edited by OlwenaSedai

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37 minutes ago, OlwenaSedai said:

And let's be honest, Rand isn't polite. He bullies everyone around because he thinks he has to. I remember well that scene where Aviendha thinks about him being so ignorant as to how difficult it is to keep the Aiel rallied around him, because he completely disregards their cultural customs (which, btw, Egwene would never do) and he demands unreasonable things and gets mad when they can't deliver. If you think Egwene has tunnel vision, well, it's nothing on Rand's...

 

Yup, Rand is quite the anti-hero in the latter parts of the series, but I guess people make excuses for him because we kind of "grew up" with him.

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10 hours ago, solarz said:

 

Yup, Rand is quite the anti-hero in the latter parts of the series, but I guess people make excuses for him because we kind of "grew up" with him.

Of course, that's also one of the strengths of him as a character - he is unlikeable at some points of the story, but at the same time, your heart aches for him because of what the world has forced him to become, and what he thinks he has to be. Characters that never do anything you disagree with or stay likeable all the time, are less interesting (that's also one of the reasons why the fifth Harry Potter book is my favourite - Harry is really quite an arse for a lot of the book, but that's HUMAN. No one is all nice all the time, we all have thoughts we are not proud of, we all rage at the world sometimes).

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Well Rand deserves a little pass because he was going insane.  Eg might not have all the answers but she had the Aes Sedai arrogance to assume Rand and other's were wrong.  Honestly I don't see a lot of growth from EG throughout the series.  Also lets not forget her blackmailing Aes Sedai to swear loyalty to her or her treatment of Nyn in the dream world.  She manipulates everyone so benefit her.

Edited by Sabio

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You don't see a difference between the Two Rivers girl and the Amyrlin? I think she is one of the characters with the MOST character development. She grows into the queen Elayne thinks she is. 

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Honestly no, she was arrogant and I'm right you're wrong from the start to the end.  When she was wrong, like leaving Tear, she would change her position to make it seem like she was right.  She humilitaes Nev in the dream world, manipulates and threatens Mat (her friend), blackmails sisters to swear oaths to her etc..  Why Gawyn ever wanted to be her warder, I have no idea.  She did things that she would of called anyone else out on.  She has no issues using or manipulating people to benefit herself.  Rand at least felt remorse for using people, she doesn't.

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Reading your posts here, I more and more feel we have not been reading the same series. Sure, she was at times arrogant - but not at all as bad as many of the other characters (including Rand, and virtually all the Aes Sedai we meet, maybe with Verin and Moiraine - and post-stilled Siuan - as exceptions). She much more than a lot of other characters learns from her mistakes, and does not blame others for them. 

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Egwene learns from her mistakes?  Only time I can think that Egwene admitted she was wrong was Gawyn saving her life against the assassins, even then she was still angry with him for disobeying her.  Look at Nyn and compare Nyn from the first to the last book.  Now that was someone who grew and changed.  Egwene was the I am right type from the first to the last.

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