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

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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.

 

That was Hinderstrap.

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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.

 

That was Hinderstrap.

 

 

http://library.tarvalon.net/index.php?title=Brandon_Sanderson_Q%26A According to Sanderson Harriet asked him to rewrite that scene because Fain wasn't crazy enough. As I said though, poor execution.

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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.

That was Hinderstrap.

http://library.tarvalon.net/index.php?title=Brandon_Sanderson_Q%26A According to Sanderson Harriet asked him to rewrite that scene because Fain wasn't crazy enough. As I said though, poor execution.
Crazy yes, she also wanted the bubbles of evil to be more "creepy" and out of that he came up with Hinderstrap. Edited by Suttree

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I think part of Fain's problem is that he was presented, and quite effectively, as a potential Big Bad at the moment he merges with Mordeth - burdened with a history and a short-term story arc in which he's appeared to be as dangerous as any Forsaken. I mean, here's a guy whose been tortured and starts off with his own set of mini-powers for the Dark One, then has the pure misfortune to stumble into what is arguably THE most dangerous area in the world, merged with a character who was so badass he managed to wreck the Dark One's minions alive, and scare the hell out of them in undeath, further gaining powers out of the merger of both, and ultimately coming across as a threat to either Rand or at the very least, the DO's top minions. The Shadar Logoth introduction, IMO, was presented so perfectly that it's impossible for even RJ himself to live up to that character based on his author's intentions, much less story-wise in a world where Fain's enemies are no longer scared farm kids.

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I'll be honest: Fain seemed fine up to the tendril touching Mat. Creepy, wildcard, sudden arrival: excellent.

 

The odd thing was Mat somehow survived and then went on to ingloriously kill him. The story didn't convince me Mat should survive, and so I was not satisfied with his beating Fain so easily. If he had prepared even one moment, the cliffhanger would be lessened (we'd "know" Mat would live) but the final thing wouldn't feel so meh.

 

Plus, noone important died to the mist, that we know, despite the potential being there. If Amys/Sorilea/... had died before Mat could get to him, at least he'd seem properly threatening and risky; even if my pet theory is that he was around as a backup in case Rand decided to kill the DO, to either stop it happening or otherwise ensuring evil was allowed to endure. That would give him a point, even if he was eventually unnecessary (just as the false Dragons all toppled over like nothing special once Rand was in place as the real deal, so too Fain fell away uselessly once the DO was properly incarcerated).

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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.

That was Hinderstrap.
http://library.tarvalon.net/index.php?title=Brandon_Sanderson_Q%26A According to Sanderson Harriet asked him to rewrite that scene because Fain wasn't crazy enough. As I said though, poor execution.
Crazy yes, she also wanted the bubbles of evil to be more "creepy" and out of that he came up with Hinderstrap.

 

And I agree it was executed poorly, my original question though was wasn't the Fain scene written that way because Harriet wanted it that way, which it appears it was.

 

I agree both scenes should have been better written, and probably in the Hinderstap case left out altogether. I would have liked to have seen more anguish from Fain, maybe a desire to be finished with it all and be able to die much like Rand wanted to for a while. At least that way he wouldn't have ended up so two dimensional at the end and wouldn't have needed more book time to be a fleshed out character.

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Guest PiotrekS

For me, the main problem with Fain was that his powers were not sufficiently explained. Some of them were quite formidable. There were quotes from Brandon to the effect that Mordeth found something connected to the DO that influenced him. I completety disagree that speculation regarding Fain was only "fan made hype". When you introduce an independent evil power that totally does not fit the mechanics of the otherwise perfectly dualistic word RJ created, it's legitimate to wonder about its purpose.

 

I also agree with Mr. Ares. If Fain had no purpose in AMoL, then why keep him around?

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For me, the main problem with Fain was that his powers were not sufficiently explained. Some of them were quite formidable. There were quotes from Brandon to the effect that Mordeth found something connected to the DO that influenced him. I completety disagree that speculation regarding Fain was only "fan made hype". When you introduce an independent evil power that totally does not fit the mechanics of the otherwise perfectly dualistic word RJ created, it's legitimate to wonder about its purpose.

 

I also agree with Mr. Ares. If Fain had no purpose in AMoL, then why keep him around?

 

The actual quotes were these:

 

"Did Mordeth go to the Finns?" ~ Answer: YES. (BS)

 

"Padan Fain will be seen again. He's a mixture of two things—Mordeth's power, which he got by seeking out all of the evil things that weren't related to the Shadow, and the Dark One's Hound. Brandon said that Fain's number one goal is to kill Rand, and a close second is to kill the Dark One." (BS)

 

"He was seeking things that were related to the Shadow. I think that that might be a misquote. He was looking into the power of the Shadow in order to defeat it, was his goal. He was looking into everything. He was looking into things that were not necessarily related to the Dark One as well. He was looking for everything that he could get." (BS)

 

Anyway, it boils down to three sets of powers, probably not fully listed here and possibly inexact.:

 

1. Mordeth's powers, gained from answers to his questions gleaned from the 'Finns at Sindhol prior to his counsel at Aridhol.

a. Basic Illusion

b. Drawing Mashadar

c. Power over unnatural creations ala Trollocs etc.

 

2. Fain's powers, as the Shadow's Hound

a. Tracking Rand

b. Safe passage, dark

 

3. Shaisam's powers, those developed as an amalgamation of the two men.

a. Soot-stain viewing - Darkfriends at a glance.

b. Advanced illusions

c. Mashadar tendrils

d. Toxic influence

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As others have said, I really feel Fain has a purpose.  It's just a purpose that was made moot when Rand chose the right path of not killing the DO.  The Pattern always balances itself, Evil is needed for proper balance.  Rand kills DO, Fain replaces, or at least serves the same purpose.

 

I know this isn't confirmed anywhere but it was the theory I was looking at pretty much from Crown of Swords. 

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I tend to believe that there's more to Mordeth/Fain's presence in the story than meets the eye - he's acted as a very real spoiler for some serious threats to Rand throughout the books. List that immediately comes to mind from looking at his bio:

 

1. Two of the Shadow's top hunters eliminated or sent on snipe hunts - Fain himself as the Shadow's hound, and Slayer (as commented on in AMOL) wasting his time trying to track down Fain as an ongoing and secondary objective.

 

2. He assassinated Turak's so'jhin, likely the reason why Rand and company were able to stumble unseen onto the premises. No telling how much effect Turak handling Fain's ruby dagger had on his fight with Rand.

 

3. He counselled and corrupted Pedron Niall in a fashion that led the man to completely remove the Whitecloaks as a threat to Rand, and caused the Whitecloaks to cripple both the nations of Altara and Tarabon, making them easy meat for the Seanchan. Not that they were a huge threat, but setting the ball rolling matters when there's a press for time and prophecy.

 

4. The attack on Two Rivers basically set Perrin on the path to generalship.

 

5. Directly responsible for widening the schism between Elaida and Alviarhin, right under Mesaana's nose, eventually sending a corrupted Elaida down the road of having Alviarhin investigated for treason and the Black Ajah rooted out of the Tower. And of course seriously damaging the Tower's influence by encouraging her to put strings to one close to Rand. I'm presuming that's Moiraine as Fain probably wouldn't know about Elayne and those were the only two that Elaida immediately went after.

 

6. Fain's attack on Rand led to the cleansing of the Light.

 

7. Basically he was the king of all wrecking balls, unintentionally working for the forces of Light while being his plain old evil insane self, and when RJ was done with him, he fed him to Mat for some good old fashioned Manetheren Payback.

 

8. For some reason he wiped out a good number of some of the most powerful creatures in the Blight right before the final battles.

 

Given that most of his strength stems from his toxic influence, it's appropriately that he died the way he did, though the sequence was very much anti-climactic.

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As others have said, I really feel Fain has a purpose.  It's just a purpose that was made moot when Rand chose the right path of not killing the DO.  The Pattern always balances itself, Evil is needed for proper balance.  Rand kills DO, Fain replaces, or at least serves the same purpose.

 

I know this isn't confirmed anywhere but it was the theory I was looking at pretty much from Crown of Swords. 

The problem with that theory is that Fain has sidestepped the pattern, (well I also don't think he had the capacity to replace the DO either but whatever) so I do not think it would work that way, he was basically free of the Pattern, or at least that is how I understood RJ.

 

 

6. Fain's attack on Rand led to the cleansing of the Light.

 

7. Basically he was the king of all wrecking balls, unintentionally working for the forces of Light while being his plain old evil insane self, and when RJ was done with him, he fed him to Mat for some good old fashioned Manetheren Payback.

 

8. For some reason he wiped out a good number of some of the most powerful creatures in the Blight right before the final battles.

 

I don't think Fain was working unintentionally for the victory of the Light, Mordeth had enough infuence that coupled with Fain's hatred of the DO the victory of the light was the goal, he simply did not care for the Dragon and his supporters. His attacks on the Blight monsters were entirely an element of his attempts to achieve victory for the Light as Mordeth understood it, (although why no army of eyeblinders/worms/anything was able to kill him when Mat finished him off so easy, remains a question.

Edited by threadnecromancer

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I don't think Fain was working unintentionally for the victory of the Light, Mordeth had enough infuence that coupled with Fain's hatred of the DO the victory of the light was the goal, he simply did not care for the Dragon and his supporters. His attacks on the Blight monsters were entirely an element of his attempts to achieve victory for the Light as Mordeth understood it, (although why no army of eyeblinders/worms/anything was able to kill him when Mat finished him off so easy, remains a question.

 

 

It feels to me like Fain's work on behalf of the forces of Light was entirely a byproduct of his unwillingness to let anyone other than himself kill Rand - there's really not much in the way of suggesting that either Mordeth or Fain gave a fig about anything other than their personal goals.

 

As far as Mordeth's ability to kill Shadowspawn and not Mat, it's heavily implied throughout the books that Mordeth's powers include some sort of rough control over Shadowspawn. That makes some sense as Shadowspawn creatures are the result of Aginor's experimentation on natural creatures  and Modeth's abilities are suggested to go down that same path. The tendency is to think of Shadowspawn as creatures of the Dark One, but that's not precisely true, and the most the Dark One ever seems to have to do with them is taking one as its personal host, a completely unsustainable relationship.

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I don't think Fain was working unintentionally for the victory of the Light, Mordeth had enough infuence that coupled with Fain's hatred of the DO the victory of the light was the goal, he simply did not care for the Dragon and his supporters. His attacks on the Blight monsters were entirely an element of his attempts to achieve victory for the Light as Mordeth understood it, (although why no army of eyeblinders/worms/anything was able to kill him when Mat finished him off so easy, remains a question.

 

 

It feels to me like Fain's work on behalf of the forces of Light was entirely a byproduct of his unwillingness to let anyone other than himself kill Rand - there's really not much in the way of suggesting that either Mordeth or Fain gave a fig about anything other than their personal goals.

 

As far as Mordeth's ability to kill Shadowspawn and not Mat, it's heavily implied throughout the books that Mordeth's powers include some sort of rough control over Shadowspawn. That makes some sense as Shadowspawn creatures are the result of Aginor's experimentation on natural creatures  and Modeth's abilities are suggested to go down that same path. The tendency is to think of Shadowspawn as creatures of the Dark One, but that's not precisely true, and the most the Dark One ever seems to have to do with them is taking one as its personal host, a completely unsustainable relationship.

 

 

 

Actually, they are creatures of the DO. At least in the case of Trollocs and Fade's. They wouldn't and couldn't exist without the DO.

Aginor's experiments failed badly until he introduced the True Power/DO's essence into their making and he didn't even create the Fade's, they came as a by-product of Trolloc reproduction.

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No, you are not.

 

I don't think that the ending with Fain is very different than what RJ had intended though.  I do think that Brandon wrote it so poorly that it felt like it was just dropped in as an after thought though.  In an RJ book, I feel like Fain would have received relatively little screen time but it would have been epic and grand all the same.  Fain would have died as an inconsequential loser, but during the moments leading up to his death he would have been a big deal.

There was many side stories that felt the same way with this book...one of them that really ticked me off was how it was ended...sure now Rand can bend the pattern at will...but he just walks away from his Father, Matt and Perrin who gave up a large chunk of their lives and the epilogue...they could had done a better job at that...Did Perrin and Faile had any children? what Happened to Matt or Tam? Did they go back to the Two Rivers, what of the white tower? You can tell where RJ stopped writing and the rest was fllled in...RJ made his characters come alive from Matt's Shannanigans to epic battles..

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I wonder if one of the big problems was too much to do, Brandon had his own career, and he wasn't RJ and couldn't say to TOR I need 4 books instead of three. With respect to fain killing shadowspawn, I hope there weren't enough not and Fain was a plausible excuse. I wanted worms and things that worms feared and everything else. Biggest thing with Fain I think was no enough time. People complained about the books before brandon, The big battle took 13 large books to get to, too many fan theories and other stuff to satisfy everyone.

Stuff left undone, some of Perrin, Mat, Faile, etc., would've been done in one form(outriggers) or another, but RJ died. Even if Brandon were willing, given the abuse and ingratitude he's gotten from fans, I don't blame him in the least for saying goodbye and good riddance.

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I wonder if one of the big problems was too much to do, Brandon had his own career, and he wasn't RJ and couldn't say to TOR I need 4 books instead of three.

 

Three was already too much as evidenced by all the bloat and filler. 1 book split into two volumes would have been more than sufficient. Space was not used wisely. The above also rings hollow considering he finished TWoK during that same period.

 

 Even if Brandon were willing, given the abuse and ingratitude he's gotten from fans, I don't blame him in the least for saying goodbye and good riddance.

 

Except that isn't what happened. If they had decided to do the prequels and outriggers Brandon wanted to be the one to do them. Harriet decided to uphold RJ's wishes and not continue.

 

Further what abuse and ingratitude are you talking about? I have seen a handful of fans at most that have crossed the line and those were mainly borderline trolls on this site. Most just called what they saw in reacting to the books. Critique ≠ abuse.

Edited by Suttree

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@thethreadnecromancer.

 

I'm afraid I'm not sure what you mean.  How did Fain "sidestep" the pattern?  To me (and again, I know this is theory, not confirmed) he was set up as a filler in case he was needed, then he wasn't needed so his thread was cut by Mat. 

 

Much like you might have a spare tire on your vehicle and through good maintenance and care never actually use said tire until it dry rots and needs to be disposed of.

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@thethreadnecromancer.

 

I'm afraid I'm not sure what you mean.  How did Fain "sidestep" the pattern? 

 

Think it was a reference to this quote...

 

 

Interview: Dec 9th, 2002 Question

Has the Padan Fain/Mordeth character been present in previous Ages, or is he unique to this particular Age?

Robert Jordan

He is unique to this particular Age. A very unique fellow, indeed. In some ways, you might say he has unwittingly side-stepped the Pattern.

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Ah, thank you, had forgotten about that quote.

 

Hmm, wonder if Fain is kind of the Wheel's Agent Smith.  The unintended glitch in the matrix that if left alone will destablize everything.

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Ah, thank you, had forgotten about that quote.

 

Hmm, wonder if Fain is kind of the Wheel's Agent Smith.  The unintended glitch in the matrix that if left alone will destablize everything.

 

 

He really kinda was yeah.

 

Shadar Logath and its evil was needed by the Pattern, Fain was not. He was a by-product, that really, was created by the DO. Without the DO's touch on Fain, he never would have survived SL, been able to host its evil and leave the place.

 

The difference of course was that Smith's assimilation of the Matrix was calculated and meticulous. There was order in his actions.

Fain was anything but. He was completely insane, random and rarely did anything planned, or at least he rarely followed through on anything he planned.

His only goals were to recover the Dagger, kill Rand and the DO. Anything else he did was like a cat playing with a random mouse until he got bored and Fain got bored quite often and quite quickly.

 

He accomplished very little of what he set out to and most of what he did accomplish were all but after thoughts and side effects of his passing. 

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I don't disagree that they ran out of time and space to flesh out Fain's climax properly. Then again, that's a tough pill to swallow in a 14 book series.

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For me, Padan Fain = Boba Fett.  Built up as a legendary badass by fans, but objectively, didn't do shit.

 

Actually, he objectively did do an incredible amount of damage, but unfortunately RJ left it to extremely short passages of one sentence or slightly more that you have to read way into to realize exactly what he accomplished. He was directly responsible for Pedron Niall's shenanigans which had serious world-based consequences, after all.

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For me, Padan Fain = Boba Fett. Built up as a legendary badass by fans, but objectively, didn't do shit.

Actually, he objectively did do an incredible amount of damage, but unfortunately RJ left it to extremely short passages of one sentence or slightly more that you have to read way into to realize exactly what he accomplished. He was directly responsible for Pedron Niall's shenanigans which had serious world-based consequences, after all.

Indeed. Those saying he wasn't responsible for anything are greatly oversimplifying the situation.

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For me, Padan Fain = Boba Fett. Built up as a legendary badass by fans, but objectively, didn't do shit.

Actually, he objectively did do an incredible amount of damage, but unfortunately RJ left it to extremely short passages of one sentence or slightly more that you have to read way into to realize exactly what he accomplished. He was directly responsible for Pedron Niall's shenanigans which had serious world-based consequences, after all.

Indeed. Those saying he wasn't responsible for anything are greatly oversimplifying the situation.

 

 

They were side effects of his passing/touch.

 

He didn't go out of his way to "infect" Niall or Eladia.

He went to the Children so he would have a force he thought capable and willing to assail The Two-Rivers in an attempt to draw Rand to him.

He went to the white Tower to retrieve the Dagger.

 

The entity Fain became certainly had the intelligence and capability to conceive of elaborate schemes pertaining to long range goals.

Actually carrying any of them out a midst the Chaos and insanity that was Fain is a whole other story.

 

Everything and anything Fain accomplished or, mostly tried to accomplish, were short term in nature period.

 

He didn't control the Chaos he created, he couldn't! 

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