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Am I the only one who is pissed over the anticlimactic end to Fain's story?


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Fain was certainly more than the fandom making a big deal out of nothing.  Part of the reason the ending of aMoL was so disastrous was because of how Fain's ending was handled.  Like I said before, he didn't need chapters devoted to him...he just needed an ending that didn't feel like it was tossed in there casually after totally forgetting about him.  He literally did not fit into aMoL AT ALL despite implications that he would somehow play an important part in the ending.  He was the third side to the whole Good vs Bad thing and I have no doubt in my mind that RJ had intended for him to play an important part in the ending - albeit a small part.

 

BS dropped him out of the sky and said "oh and Mat kills him and then him and the dagger just magically disappear."

 

This is the exact same problem I have with Verin's letters and Alanna.  Brandon Sanderson, NOT RJ, intentionally put cliffhangers into the book about those subjects (just like he did with Fain) and then just totally forgot to deal with them or dealt with them in such a poor and rushed manner that it was almost laughable.

 

Fain was an extremely well developed character that was slowly building up and changing throughout the series.  RJ would not have wasted time developing a character so thoroughly for no reason whatsoever.  For that reason alone, Fain deserved a fitting ending that did not feel like an "oops, forgot Fain, brb" scene.

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I have to agree with Finnssss here.

 

For me Fain was never a big thing, and ToM didn't do much for the cliffhanger. Perhaps it did for some people, but I think it was put in pretty much so the casual reader didn't forget about the bugger. 

 

Personally, I think we fans did it to ourselves. The fans built up Fain with the multitude of theories about him killing the DO and all that. In the story, Fain is nothing but a minor irritant with some amusing powers. 

 

Of course, RJ - intentionally or unwittingly - magnified this hype with the Q&A about Fain being unique. Fans had a field day with that one. 

 

Having said that, I don't think it was a perfect execution either. Personally, I think a few more PoV's from Fain were needed. I believe I recall Brandon saying that he wished he could have put some more Fain in (don't quote me on that). But, as Brandon has also said, he wished he could write 3 more books out of aMoL and that a heap was going on that was left out. Fain - likely due to his insignificance - was probably one of the things that were deemed unimportant and left out. 

 

I can see the logic in it. I never thought anything of Fain, though, even with all the debate about him being special. I always said that he would be useless and die in obscurity. So perhaps that might be me being nonchalant. 

 

However, while certainly not perfect execution by Brandon, I believe that the disappointment with Fain lies largely with the fandom making a big deal out of nothing.  

 

Edit: At first, I did think it was a silly move - as can be seen in earlier posts. But after going over the series as a whole, I came to this conclusion.

 

Hey Barid, looking at the time stamps we criss crossed with our posts last night. Think you are familiar enough with my history to know I never went for any theories around Fain playing a role. In fact I argued many times when he was brought up as a "wildcard"  that this was just a nother turning of the wheel as RJ told us in the "wheel is endless" quote. As I said above I am speaking merely from a literary perspective when I talk of how it was handled.

 

Although Fain has been a minor presence, he has impacted some important things in the development of the story. If RJ heightened fan anticipation for some with Q&A's I hardly see how people can dismiss the ToM cliffhanger. He is seen heading to the same place as our heroes, thinking about killing the DO, gathering an undead army and showcasing evolving powers. There are numerous ways to check in with the character without building it up like that. That is an author building anticipation, not the fans and as you said not good execution. He seems to have undergone a huge change and then dies after a page or so of screen time in AMoL. It's poorly set up and doesn't flow naturally from where we last saw him. It was in essence handled as a check off the list death. People countering with "he was never important/had delusions of grandeur" doesn't really address the criticisms of how it was handled.

Edited by Suttree
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Yeah, I wasn't directing the post at you specifically, rather in a general sense. 

 

I don't disagree that it was an odd choice and I definitely think it could have been done better. 

I just think that the majority of complaints about Fain's story (of course, yourself and some others aside) are fan-induced hype. For that majority, I don't think Fain's ToM preview made much difference. Even had it been done better, I think the disappointment would have been the same. 

 

Now that's not to say that the point is invalid - Brandon is prone to being overly-dramatic - but I don't think the Fain disappointment was something Brandon created. Certainly it made things worse that the ToM zombie thing was over the top and dramatic, I just don't think it made too much difference. 

 

A large portion of the WoT community - some of the hardcore fans included - had built Fain up beyond his importance. Most people thought he would be a major player in the end before ToM was published. 

 

So my point isn't that Brandon did a super job at it, just that his part in the Fain-hype wasn't as big as all that. 

 

Edit: Again, however, I was never interested in Fain even before all that. I always thought he was a useless sack of worms, and for me personally, the ToM scene was just Brandon putting in something to look scary and cool. It's just his style, I didn't think much of it in regards to Fain actually being important. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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 It's a perfect ending for a character who's been an afterthought for most of the series.

 

Agreed.   PF was a legend only in his own mind.

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Fain/Mord served his purpose in shaping all 3 of the boys to become what they needed to be.

 

He was the wildcard right from the beginning, forced each of the boys past what they might have been in past tellings of the Wheel.

He was integral to each of their development.

 

His part was played by the end and served no other purpose in the story.

 

Granted, I still think it would have been more poetic if Perrin was the one who killed him but Mat finishing him makes sense as well and there was some foreshadowing of it very early.

 

And seriously @Mark D, does every single bloody post of yours have to be a slam against the writing and/or BS???

If Fain had no further part to play, why was he there at all? The problem with Fain's end lies not with the concept, but the execution. ToM establishes that Fain is on his way to SG to wait for Rand so he can kill him. In AMoL, nothing is done with that set up. The changes to Fain don't feel organic, a development from where we left him, they feel like they were tacked on. Fain dying an inglorious death is not what is being objected to. Fain being tossed in as an afterthought is what is being objected to. Why was he there? What was the point? How did he get from where we last saw him to what we saw in AMoL? Actually, I was long predicting Fain to have an inglorious end that didn't involve Rand - someone killing him to tie up a loose end or just because he was in the way. Conceptually, I'm fine with what happened. It's all in the execution. It was a fine idea, badly handled.

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Fain/Mord served his purpose in shaping all 3 of the boys to become what they needed to be.

 

He was the wildcard right from the beginning, forced each of the boys past what they might have been in past tellings of the Wheel.

He was integral to each of their development.

 

His part was played by the end and served no other purpose in the story.

 

Granted, I still think it would have been more poetic if Perrin was the one who killed him but Mat finishing him makes sense as well and there was some foreshadowing of it very early.

 

And seriously @Mark D, does every single bloody post of yours have to be a slam against the writing and/or BS???

If Fain had no further part to play, why was he there at all? The problem with Fain's end lies not with the concept, but the execution. ToM establishes that Fain is on his way to SG to wait for Rand so he can kill him. In AMoL, nothing is done with that set up. The changes to Fain don't feel organic, a development from where we left him, they feel like they were tacked on. Fain dying an inglorious death is not what is being objected to. Fain being tossed in as an afterthought is what is being objected to. Why was he there? What was the point? How did he get from where we last saw him to what we saw in AMoL? Actually, I was long predicting Fain to have an inglorious end that didn't involve Rand - someone killing him to tie up a loose end or just because he was in the way. Conceptually, I'm fine with what happened. It's all in the execution. It was a fine idea, badly handled.

 

 

 

I look at it this way...Fain is unique to this Age.

The evil that now consumes him was created to fight the Shadow.

 

His "purpose" in this Age, was to push the "saviors" to another level so they could accomplish what they needed to do in this Age.

 

He played a key role in advancing Rand, Mat and Perrin's development past what would have normally happened.

 

Think about it for a second.

Not only does Rand not figure out to cleanse saidin, he doesn't even have a way to without Shadar Logath being there.

Without Fain/Shadar Logath, Mat doesn't have holes in his memory and doesn't end up asking for the memories he will need to lead the Last Battle. 

If Fain doesn't kill Perrin's family, does he become the man he needs to be? I don't think so. That event pushed him faster than his usually slow, meticulous personality would have allowed him to otherwise.

 

In the end, the Evil created in Shadar Logath to fight the Shadow all those years ago ended up doing exactly that. Just not in the way it thought it would. 

 

 

Once that purpose was done, so too was Fain.

Blaming BS for it is not going to get you any where either as RJ didn't mention him even once in his final two books sooo....

Edited by Finnssss
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Fain has scenes in WH and is thought about in KoD. CoT is the only one that doesn't mention him. Again though aside from Barid most of these responses don't address the points being raised.

Edited by Suttree
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Fain has scenes in WH and is thought about in KoD. CoT is the only one that doesn't mention him. Again though aside from Barid most of these responses don't address the points being raised.

 

What point?

 

Your point rests on the fan induced hype surrounding Fain and, IMO, a cliffhanger that is nothing more than illusions of grandeur spouted by a madman.

 

Barid did indeed address this so why should anyone else have to repeat it?

Edited by Finnssss
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Because you seem to still be denying that there is no issue with how it was executed. Again you always say you have no problem admitting the issues and yet for one that is so cut and dry(as Barid even admits) you seem to be saying it is great writing/was the right way to handle it and then continue to raise points that have little beating on what we are saying. If you think it wa handled the right way from a literary perspective explain why.

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Because you seem to still be denying that there is no issue with how it was executed. Again you always say you have no problem admitting the issues and yet for one that is so cut and dry(as Barid even admits) you seem to be saying it is great writing/was the right way to handle it and then continue to raise points that have little beating on what we are saying. If you think it wa handled the right way from a literary perspective explain why.

 

Never said it was great writing, nor would I as this is NOT the thread for such things.

 

If I were to comment on it, I would say that I don't believe BS was overly comfortable writing Fain and since his purpose was already at an end, less was more.

 

Again, Fain had no significant part to play other than in his own mind.

 

I asked you earlier to provide any examples of where Fain accomplished anything he set out to do without it falling apart or completely blundering it?

 

You have to provide some points as to why I should entertain your premise that Fain should have been more involved or that his end should have been more...dramatic.

Just show me the evidence from Fain's vast list of successful accomplishments that would change my mind.

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[deleted] No one on this thread said that was well written. It is just a matter of interpretation of the importance of character. Sutt and company want to make out that character was more important and deserved more time and others are saying that he got what he deserved but his end was abrupt and needed better treatment, now how hard is that  to understand.

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Because you seem to still be denying that there is no issue with how it was executed. Again you always say you have no problem admitting the issues and yet for one that is so cut and dry(as Barid even admits) you seem to be saying it is great writing/was the right way to handle it and then continue to raise points that have little beating on what we are saying. If you think it wa handled the right way from a literary perspective explain why.

 

Never said it was great writing, nor would I as this is NOT the thread for such things.

 

If I were to comment on it, I would say that I don't believe BS was overly comfortable writing Fain and since his purpose was already at an end, less was more.

 

Again, Fain had no significant part to play other than in his own mind.

 

I asked you earlier to provide any examples of where Fain accomplished anything he set out to do without it falling apart or completely blundering it?

 

You have to provide some points as to why I should entertain your premise that Fain should have been more involved or that his end should have been more...dramatic.

Just show me the evidence from Fain's vast list of successful accomplishments that would change my mind

He was one of the more effective villians in the series (which is perhaps not saying much really). His association with Nial helped to ensure that Nial would be less trusting, possibly playing a role in Nial's miscalculation regarding the troubles in Tarabon. His brief association with Elaida was also completely succesful, acquiring the knife and also turning Elaida more thoroughly against reason. His journey to the Two Rivers was not succesful in the sense of killing off a protagonist as he wanted but this being the Wheel of Time it is not like there was much chance of that happening, but he did scour the Two Rivers. His turning Mydraal to his service was nice and creepy (and foreshadows his eventual ressurection of the dead Shadowspawn I suppose) and he nearly killed Rand outside Carhienan. His plans did not fail any worse than those of the Forsaken, and sufficient attention was lavished on him in the later books to mean that the reader could reasonably expect him to play an interesting role in the finale.

Edited by threadnecromancer
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Because you seem to still be denying that there is no issue with how it was executed. Again you always say you have no problem admitting the issues and yet for one that is so cut and dry(as Barid even admits) you seem to be saying it is great writing/was the right way to handle it and then continue to raise points that have little beating on what we are saying. If you think it wa handled the right way from a literary perspective explain why.

 

Never said it was great writing, nor would I as this is NOT the thread for such things.

 

If I were to comment on it, I would say that I don't believe BS was overly comfortable writing Fain and since his purpose was already at an end, less was more.

 

Again, Fain had no significant part to play other than in his own mind.

 

I asked you earlier to provide any examples of where Fain accomplished anything he set out to do without it falling apart or completely blundering it?

 

You have to provide some points as to why I should entertain your premise that Fain should have been more involved or that his end should have been more...dramatic.

Just show me the evidence from Fain's vast list of successful accomplishments that would change my mind

He was one of the more effective villians in the series (which is perhaps not saying much really). His association with Nial helped to ensure that Nial would be less trusting, possibly playing a role in Nial's miscalculation regarding the troubles in Tarabon. His brief association with Elaida was also completely succesful, acquiring the knife and also turning Elaida more thoroughly against reason. His journey to the Two Rivers was not succesful in the sense of killing off a protagonist as he wanted but this being the Wheel of Time it is not like there was much chance of that happening, but he did scour the Two Rivers. His turning Mydraal to his service was nice and creepy (and foreshadows his eventual ressurection of the dead Shadowspawn I suppose) and he nearly killed Rand outside Carhienan. His plans did not fail any worse than those of the Forsaken, and sufficient attention was lavished on him in the later books to mean that the reader could reasonably expect him to play an interesting role in the finale.

 

 

What attention?

He had a single scene spanning Cot, KoD, tGS,ToM and 95% of the way through aMoL.

 

As Barid pointed out earlier, most of Fain's build up was by the fans and RJ stoked that fire ingeniously by using words like "unique" and "wildcard".

Wild was the right word except goose chase should be following it.

 

I never thought Fain would play a role in the final confrontation, there was no evidence for it.

What I always thought was that Perrin would kill him while attempting to kill Rand and then Rand would then make use of the Dagger on Shadar Haran, weakening the DO before that final confrontation.

I was wrong about all that obviously but I wasn't wrong about Fain not playing a part in the end.

 

Do we even know if Fain's death scene was written by BS?

And even if it was written by BS, was it in the notes? I'm guessing it was and BS knowing that Fain would die somewhat uneventfully, only gave him the one scene.

 

Either way, this really isn't the place to be debating the quality of the scene, we should just be sticking to the facts and in that light, the actual facts support his uneventful passing. 

Edited by Finnssss
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Because you seem to still be denying that there is no issue with how it was executed. Again you always say you have no problem admitting the issues and yet for one that is so cut and dry(as Barid even admits) you seem to be saying it is great writing/was the right way to handle it and then continue to raise points that have little beating on what we are saying. If you think it wa handled the right way from a literary perspective explain why.

 

Never said it was great writing, nor would I as this is NOT the thread for such things.

 

Not all that clear with the rules the mods have established for that sort of thing are you?

 

In this case the execution is very much linked with the topic at hand.

 

If I were to comment on it, I would say that I don't believe BS was overly comfortable writing Fain and since his purpose was already at an end, less was more.

Which says nothing about the points being raised, in fact it makes the problems people have concerning execution with the ToM cliffhanger even worse.

 

 

You have to provide some points as to why I should entertain your premise that Fain should have been more involved or that his end should have been more...dramatic.

That's not my premise.

 

Edit: Oh yes btw, you wanted only one example? He "infected" Elaida and the WT which played a significant role in the deterioration which ended in the WT basically being an armed encampment with sisters assaulting those from other ajahs for entering their territory. This was pretty major for when the Seanchan came calling. I have never thought he was going to be important to the ending. Again though the way you are trying to downplay him into some hapless fool bumbling around the story isn't based in reality.

Edited by Suttree
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But that is the point. One does not use a cliffhanger set up in ToM if the ending is going to be rushed/inconsequential as it was in AMoL. It is poor execution.

 

 

Not your premise?

I'm sorry, I must have misread this post of yours.

 

Sure looks like this is the exact POINT and premise you are working from *Shrug*

 

 

Either way, I'm out of this thread before the goal posts get moved again and I get annoyed enough to get in trouble again.

 

Good day sir.

Edited by Finnssss
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Reading comprehension is important.

 

What you just quoted from me says absolutely nothing about him needing to be more important to the ending(In fact multiple times I have said I believe the exact opposite for his character).  What it says is if he is not going to be, you don't present the section in ToM in the manner Brandon did. That is the author raising expectations. So please show me where the goal posts have been moved? :rolleyes: The issues raised should be very clear and have been explained in detail by multiple posters. Even Barid has agreed that the execution was bad while holding to the view most of us do seem to agree on, that Fain would never be important to the end. *Shrug*

Edited by Suttree
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Fain/Mord served his purpose in shaping all 3 of the boys to become what they needed to be.

 

He was the wildcard right from the beginning, forced each of the boys past what they might have been in past tellings of the Wheel.

He was integral to each of their development.

 

His part was played by the end and served no other purpose in the story.

 

Granted, I still think it would have been more poetic if Perrin was the one who killed him but Mat finishing him makes sense as well and there was some foreshadowing of it very early.

 

And seriously @Mark D, does every single bloody post of yours have to be a slam against the writing and/or BS???

If Fain had no further part to play, why was he there at all? The problem with Fain's end lies not with the concept, but the execution. ToM establishes that Fain is on his way to SG to wait for Rand so he can kill him. In AMoL, nothing is done with that set up. The changes to Fain don't feel organic, a development from where we left him, they feel like they were tacked on. Fain dying an inglorious death is not what is being objected to. Fain being tossed in as an afterthought is what is being objected to. Why was he there? What was the point? How did he get from where we last saw him to what we saw in AMoL? Actually, I was long predicting Fain to have an inglorious end that didn't involve Rand - someone killing him to tie up a loose end or just because he was in the way. Conceptually, I'm fine with what happened. It's all in the execution. It was a fine idea, badly handled.

 

 

 

I look at it this way...Fain is unique to this Age.

The evil that now consumes him was created to fight the Shadow.

 

His "purpose" in this Age, was to push the "saviors" to another level so they could accomplish what they needed to do in this Age.

 

He played a key role in advancing Rand, Mat and Perrin's development past what would have normally happened.

 

Think about it for a second.

Not only does Rand not figure out to cleanse saidin, he doesn't even have a way to without Shadar Logath being there.

Without Fain/Shadar Logath, Mat doesn't have holes in his memory and doesn't end up asking for the memories he will need to lead the Last Battle. 

If Fain doesn't kill Perrin's family, does he become the man he needs to be? I don't think so. That event pushed him faster than his usually slow, meticulous personality would have allowed him to otherwise.

 

In the end, the Evil created in Shadar Logath to fight the Shadow all those years ago ended up doing exactly that. Just not in the way it thought it would. 

 

 

Once that purpose was done, so too was Fain.

Blaming BS for it is not going to get you any where either as RJ didn't mention him even once in his final two books sooo....

 

All of which is irrelevant and doesn't address my point. If Fain's purpose was done, he should have been written out. If he still had a role to play, keep him around. He was kept around with no role to play. Worst of both worlds. Now, Brandon was handed a series with an alive Fain and so killing him in WH wasn't an option, so he had to find something for him to do. He failed. Fain could have been left out of ToM, but he wasn't. He was put in. If you're including something, you should do so for a reason.

 

 

Fain has scenes in WH and is thought about in KoD. CoT is the only one that doesn't mention him. Again though aside from Barid most of these responses don't address the points being raised.

 

What point?

 

Your point rests on the fan induced hype surrounding Fain

Wrong.

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Fain had a worse and longer lasting influence on the world than a number of the Forsaken after all, that should be pretty self-evident. And there's something to what BS tried to do with him, it just wasn't handled well.

 

Fain is also interesting as a concept for a villain within WoT norms. He doesn't have a huge amount of power (probably less than say any black Ajah), although it is pretty useful as he easily infiltrates any power structure wherever he turns up with the exceptions of Caemlyn and Far Madding.

 

What are two glaring problems with tGS? Nothing going on for ages and not scary enough. Solution: Mat or Perrin deal with Fain there, perhaps injured in some way that makes things look worse for team light. Or trade in one of the 50 Perrin v Slayer fights in ToM. Or have Dark Rand do something silly to him when he visits Far Madding... Granted ideally you'd lose a book there somewhere too or have a lot more meaningful content :)

Edited by Cybertrolloc
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At one point I felt the same, but I'm starting to see it differently now that I've started looking at Fain as more than just Fain, and largely as Mordeth, which means his story goes back a hellovalot further and has far more depth.

 

Consider the fact that Mordeth, in his search for power for Aridhol, has been to Sindhol, suggesting that there is not just some link between the two nations in name, but perhaps in a journey that mirrors Mat's own. Given that Mordeth's serpent tongue was the likely death of Manetheren, it comes across as highly appropriate that his end as the King of Worms was so piddling and insignificant - both of his basic natures - the peddler and the counsellor are pathetic and nasty creatures who had a highly poisonous miasma, and yet come down to little more than squealing mites.

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At one point I felt the same, but I'm starting to see it differently now that I've started looking at Fain as more than just Fain, and largely as Mordeth, which means his story goes back a hellovalot further and has far more depth.

 

Consider the fact that Mordeth, in his search for power for Aridhol, has been to Sindhol, suggesting that there is not just some link between the two nations in name, but perhaps in a journey that mirrors Mat's own. Given that Mordeth's serpent tongue was the likely death of Manetheren, it comes across as highly appropriate that his end as the King of Worms was so piddling and insignificant - both of his basic natures - the peddler and the counsellor are pathetic and nasty creatures who had a highly poisonous miasma, and yet come down to little more than squealing mites.

 

 

Interesting thought but the main fall of Manetheren was due to the jealousy fueled, purposeful inactivity on the part of then Amyrlin Seat, Tetsuan.

 

And by the time the Trolloc Wars rolled around, Aridhol was already deserted.

Edited by Finnssss
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At one point I felt the same, but I'm starting to see it differently now that I've started looking at Fain as more than just Fain, and largely as Mordeth, which means his story goes back a hellovalot further and has far more depth.

 

Consider the fact that Mordeth, in his search for power for Aridhol, has been to Sindhol, suggesting that there is not just some link between the two nations in name, but perhaps in a journey that mirrors Mat's own. Given that Mordeth's serpent tongue was the likely death of Manetheren, it comes across as highly appropriate that his end as the King of Worms was so piddling and insignificant - both of his basic natures - the peddler and the counsellor are pathetic and nasty creatures who had a highly poisonous miasma, and yet come down to little more than squealing mites.

 

 

Interesting thought but the main fall of Manetheren was due to the jealousy fueled, purposeful inactivity on the part of then Amyrlin Seat, Tetsuan.

 

And by the time the Trolloc Wars rolled around, Aridhol was already deserted.

 

 

150 years into the Trolloc Wars, according to Seven Spokes, which only makes sense since Aridhols's self-destruction stemmed from Mordeth's desire for the nation to be more vicious than the Shadow itself. Even if I'm overthinking the toxic influence of Mordeth himself, there's still a blood debt for what he did to Prince Caar. He's got a history with both Manetheren and the descendents of Manetheren through Fain, one that wraps up nicely in being cut down by Mat.

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Yeah, I wasn't directing the post at you specifically, rather in a general sense. 

 

I don't disagree that it was an odd choice and I definitely think it could have been done better. 

I just think that the majority of complaints about Fain's story (of course, yourself and some others aside) are fan-induced hype. For that majority, I don't think Fain's ToM preview made much difference. Even had it been done better, I think the disappointment would have been the same. 

 

Now that's not to say that the point is invalid - Brandon is prone to being overly-dramatic - but I don't think the Fain disappointment was something Brandon created. Certainly it made things worse that the ToM zombie thing was over the top and dramatic, I just don't think it made too much difference. 

 

A large portion of the WoT community - some of the hardcore fans included - had built Fain up beyond his importance. Most people thought he would be a major player in the end before ToM was published. 

 

So my point isn't that Brandon did a super job at it, just that his part in the Fain-hype wasn't as big as all that. 

 

Edit: Again, however, I was never interested in Fain even before all that. I always thought he was a useless sack of worms, and for me personally, the ToM scene was just Brandon putting in something to look scary and cool. It's just his style, I didn't think much of it in regards to Fain actually being important. 

 

Indeed.  I agree with you 110%

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Wasn't the ToM zombie thing only written that way because Harriet wanted more "creepiness"?

 

Even if it was though, I agree it was poor execution on Brandons part, although in fairness to him I think he was given an almost impossible task.

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