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


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RJ didn't do much with him either (he was vestigial by book 7 or 8--yes he should have still been able to be a threat, but meh). His PoVs sure were fun though, especially 4-6.

But in RJ's case you can at least claim he's being kept around for a reason, that he has a part to play - then he does nothing and dies in the last book.

 

 

And that claim is based on what exactly?

Must have been in all those PoV's and mentions of Fain in RJ's last 2 books...opps, there weren't any.

 

The only possible purpose for Fain remaining after Rand chased him away in WH was to serve in some way to be used by Rand to defeat the DO. Since RJ wrote the ending and quite obviously Fain had no part in it, his purpose (which IMO was to serve as an added protagonist that would push the 3 boys faster and prepare them further than the Shadow alone would have, Fain was instrumental in each of the boys quick advancement and played a direct role in the path each took) was outlived as he too would soon be.

 

If he had no purpose in the last book, he should not have been in the last book. RJ clearly understood the concept of Chekhov's Gun, as he demonstrated its use on a number of occasions (Brandon the same in his own work), and it is that which informs my claim. Now, Fain played no part in an ending that Brandon made a number of decisions for, but that says nothing about how RJ would have used him. Even if we accept that RJ wrote the scenes in the Pit and Fain wasn't there, that doesn't mean Fain would have no part to play in the defeat of Shai'tan. Or he might have had some other part to play that justifies his inclusion - fundamentally, what he's doing is less important than that he is doing something.

 

All you have to support your point is the ramblings of a lunatic proclaiming his own greatness.

What Fain has to say on the matter is irrelevant, and not even remotely a part of my argument. My argument is about story structure, and the inclusion of plot threads that have no purpose. Whether or not Fain ever achieves what he sets out to do doesn't matter in the slightest. What matters is a) that he act in a way consistent with his character, and b), that he serve a role in the narrative. A was achieved consistently - I don't object to Fain's characterisation in the last book. B was lacking - he had previously served a role, and had been absent from books where he had no part to play. His inclusion in ToM sets him up as having a role in the finale. That role does not materialise to any meaningful degree. Please, ditch the strawman and address my point.

 

 

You're arguing facts not in evidence. If RJ had a place for Fain in the final showdown with the DO, BS would have included it.

 

If there was nothing in the notes indicating what Fain's role was, a role should have been invented for him. We know Brandon had to do a significant amount of invention for things which were either not in the notes or had multiple options (and I don't consider inventions by Brandon to be inherently bad). The rules of writing might be more like guidelines, but those guidelines still exist for a reason - to help the story work better. Now, Brandon is a writer, and a writing teacher, he knows the rules. He is doubtless of aware that authors can break those rules if they do it well. Whatever RJ had planned for Fan, whatever was in the notes, does not matter. Maybe it was a sentence, maybe he wasn't mentioned at all, maybe there was a lot of stuff, it's unimportant. What matters is the end product. If the end product is made better by giving Fain a meaningful role in the story, then give him a meaningful role. How did the story benefit from Fain's off screen death between books?

 

Fain's inclusion in the final book was simple...he needed to die.

So why did he die off screen, after his appearance in ToM? What we see in AMoL is Shaisam, a being which includes Fain, but is not Fain. Fain is dead.

Based on Fain's progression from the very beginning, the more powerful he became, the less effective he was, Fain had to be at his most powerful when he was killed.

An assertion made repeatedly, but not backed up. After all, in WH he kills Kisman, Gedwyn and Torval - three Asha'man are killed by Fain. That seems fairly effective. He was also more powerful than his first appearance. In ToM he is more powerful still, but his effectiveness doesn't seem to have dropped off. His sanity, yes, but where is the evidence of lessened effectiveness. Please, back up your assertion that Fain declined in effectiveness. In fact, he grew in effectiveness after the first couple of books.

 

And since when did Fain's inclusion need to fill a narrative?

Please explain to me what narrative Fain fulfilled in WH?

Why do you think Fain is different from the other characters? Perrin sat out a book when he had nothing to do, as did Mat, and Egwene, Loial missed several, Taim and Logain the same, and so on. You don't just have a character show up for no reason, do nothing and die. If there is nothing to advance their characters, or if they are not advancing someone else's character, or advancing the plot, or possibly as a check in to break up a lengthy absence, then why are they there? AMoL should have been the climax to Fain's character arc. In WH, he killed three of the four Asha'man in Far Madding, thus ending Rand's reason to stay in the city. And he told Rand two of the Asha'man were in Blue Carp Street, and it was his attack there that got him captured, which led to Cadsuane freeing him, and thus driving him to carry out the Cleansing. Fain's involvement their did drive the plot forward. It also served to remind the reader that Fain was still out there as a threat, a still lingering plot thread. After that, we get the check in in ToM which sets him on the road to Shayol Ghul. And then he dies on route, replaced by Shaisam, who is killed awfully easily. The last of these things is not like the others. It's not fitting, it's not following a pattern, it's not continuing a theme, it's different. He's not advancing the plot for other characters, he's not fulfilling a character arc in his own right, he's not even alive. Shaisam would have been less jarring if we'd had a couple of scenes on the road to SG that showed the change in him from Fain to Shaisam, but we didn't.

 

Fain I don't feel was ever meant to be the main villain, instead he was a trouble maker.  Did all of his plots fail maybe, but his presence probably made sure Elaida and Pedron would never support or accept Rand.  He murdered the Asha'man trying to kill Rand and did try to kill Rand twice with the dagger.  I didn't mind his ending simply because I don't think RJ really meant for him to be a big player.  Had that of been the case he would of received a lot more book time.  Once Fain saw Rand wouldn't be drawn to defend the Two Rivers and his stirring up the rebellion was destroyed by the cloud, what was there really for him to do?  I think it would of harmed the books if it seemed like every book Fain had to have time to try another plot.  Fain wasn't as powerful as he thought, had Mat not of killed him a channeler easily could of blasted him from somewhere.  So for me it made sense that Fain would stop chasing Rand around everywhere and would simply wait for the last battle.  Once that was decided wasn't a hole lot you could write about him.  I thought it was fitting Mat would kill Fain.

Except those dissatisfied with Fain's end are not expressing dissatisfaction because they think he was the main villain. Yes, he was a trouble maker. So what? He should not have been in the book if he didn't have anything to do. He should not have been killed and replaced off screen. It should have been Fain getting killed by Mat, Fain should have died knowing he would never kill Rand, that Rand wasn't even there killing him, that Rand might not even know or care he was dead. For years before the last book my theory on Fain's death was based on Linsey's from Angel - he thinks he's the protagonist's nemesis, he dies knowing he wasn't, that our hero has bigger fish to fry. But we didn't get that. Fain was killed by Shaisam, Shaisam was killed by Mat, and because we had no real attachment to Shaisam we just didn't care.

 

I think its fairly simple rj and maybe bs had more in mind for fain than got put into print in the final book but circumstance prevented that from happening. Its ovious that by the end of tToM that fain is going to play a major roll in the last battle, but maybe when it come to the writting of aMoL that wasnt possable and more important plot linws took presidence.

There was much in the last book that could have been cut. Even if nothing was cut, the last book could have been longer (both by the simple fact of adding more pages, or by manipulating text size and margin to get more words on the page). More time could have been taken in the writing and editing to fit in things that were underwritten or left out. Simply put, it was possible for Fain's role to be expanded and satisfactorily concluded. What circumstance prevented it from happening? The deadline to the book? Then that should have been pushed back.

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If there was nothing in the notes indicating what Fain's role was, a role should have been invented for him. We know Brandon had to do a significant amount of invention for things which were either not in the notes or had multiple options (and I don't consider inventions by Brandon to be inherently bad). The rules of writing might be more like guidelines, but those guidelines still exist for a reason - to help the story work better. Now, Brandon is a writer, and a writing teacher, he knows the rules. He is doubtless of aware that authors can break those rules if they do it well. Whatever RJ had planned for Fan, whatever was in the notes, does not matter. Maybe it was a sentence, maybe he wasn't mentioned at all, maybe there was a lot of stuff, it's unimportant. What matters is the end product. If the end product is made better by giving Fain a meaningful role in the story, then give him a meaningful role. How did the story benefit from Fain's off screen death between books?

 

Now you're arguing semantics. No matter the name he used, Fain, Ordeith or Shaisam, it was the same single character. If the Fain part of him is as dead as you say, then why does he still have a hatred of the 3 boys then? That was a Fain instilled hatred for what was done to him by the DO because of them. 

No, Fain has evolved to the point where the Fain personality is no longer the dominant one but Fain is still very much alive as part of the amalgamation known as Shaisam.

 

It was never said there wasn't anything about Fain in the notes, what was said was that there wasn't much and it was also made clear that Fain did not have a role in the final showdown between Rand and the DO.

 

 

 

BS- I COULD have expanded, and perhaps I would have, given more time. However, at the same time, there is an argument to be had that RJ wanted Fain to have a lesser-than-expected place in the Last Battle, and expanding him would undermine this.

 

I'm not sure in what warped, illogical or just plain grossly exaggerated way (done in some huge rambling paragraph where the point is lost and found half a dozen times I'm sure) you're going to interpret this statement but it seems pretty clear that RJ did NOT have Fain included.

Fain needed to die, that's all that was left and is was just a matter of who would do the deed, Mat or Perrin. There are strong arguments/justifications for either, much stronger than any for Rand to be the one to do it. 

 

 

 

 

So why did he die off screen, after his appearance in ToM? What we see in AMoL is Shaisam, a being which includes Fain, but is not Fain. Fain is dead.

 

An assertion made repeatedly, but not backed up. After all, in WH he kills Kisman, Gedwyn and Torval - three Asha'man are killed by Fain. That seems fairly effective. He was also more powerful than his first appearance. In ToM he is more powerful still, but his effectiveness doesn't seem to have dropped off. His sanity, yes, but where is the evidence of lessened effectiveness. Please, back up your assertion that Fain declined in effectiveness. In fact, he grew in effectiveness after the first couple of books.

 

Why do you think Fain is different from the other characters? Perrin sat out a book when he had nothing to do, as did Mat, and Egwene, Loial missed several, Taim and Logain the same, and so on. You don't just have a character show up for no reason, do nothing and die. If there is nothing to advance their characters, or if they are not advancing someone else's character, or advancing the plot, or possibly as a check in to break up a lengthy absence, then why are they there? AMoL should have been the climax to Fain's character arc. In WH, he killed three of the four Asha'man in Far Madding, thus ending Rand's reason to stay in the city. And he told Rand two of the Asha'man were in Blue Carp Street, and it was his attack there that got him captured, which led to Cadsuane freeing him, and thus driving him to carry out the Cleansing. Fain's involvement their did drive the plot forward. It also served to remind the reader that Fain was still out there as a threat, a still lingering plot thread. After that, we get the check in in ToM which sets him on the road to Shayol Ghul. And then he dies on route, replaced by Shaisam, who is killed awfully easily. The last of these things is not like the others. It's not fitting, it's not following a pattern, it's not continuing a theme, it's different. He's not advancing the plot for other characters, he's not fulfilling a character arc in his own right, he's not even alive. Shaisam would have been less jarring if we'd had a couple of scenes on the road to SG that showed the change in him from Fain to Shaisam, but we didn't.

 

Except Rand didn't travel to Far Madding to hunt Fain, he went there to hunt the renegade Asha'man. It was only after he found the first 2 dead and his side started throbbing that he even realised Fain was there.

 

As far as Fain being less effective the more powerful he became, he went from being the guy that had the boys chasing him across the entire continent to the guy that incited the Whitecloaks into attacking/occupying the Two Rivers while having his own little personal army of corrupted Whitecloaks, Trollocs and Fades to a guy sowing a little chaos here and there (some accidental-Elaida, some not-AS that was attacked in Caemlyn) to the guy that screamed like a little girl and ran away to play pick up jacks on his own in the Blight.

 

The more powerful he became, the less far reaching his actions were in scope.

The explanation for this is two-fold.

First, that the Pattern was tightening up while everything was being brought together for The Last Battle. Fain's ability to affect it on a large scale was quickly diminishing.

Second, because the more powerful he became and the more the Shaisam persona emerged, the more brutish and obsessive he became. His thinking became much more straight lined and his ability to see much past the end goal of revenge on the DO and the 3 boys stopped him from being able to carry out or finish any plans or schemes that did not accomplish that goal in a very direct manor. There wasn't an ounce of subtlety left in the character by that point.  

 

Point being that the Fain that was running around Randland in the first half of the series was many times more effective on the large scale than the Fain that simply tried to brute force his way at the end.

 

I can't help how you feel or that you wanted there to be more with Fain but the reality is that by the end of WH, there wasn't really any justification for there to be.

The Chapters where he is shown killing a Worm, playing in the Blight, proclaiming his greatness and what he was going to do should, IMO, be looked at not to show us how powerful he was now but to show us just how single-minded and brutish he had become which was going to serve as his downfall and did. 

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RJ didn't do much with him either (he was vestigial by book 7 or 8--yes he should have still been able to be a threat, but meh). His PoVs sure were fun though, especially 4-6.

But in RJ's case you can at least claim he's being kept around for a reason, that he has a part to play - then he does nothing and dies in the last book.

And that claim is based on what exactly?

Must have been in all those PoV's and mentions of Fain in RJ's last 2 books...opps, there weren't any.

 

The only possible purpose for Fain remaining after Rand chased him away in WH was to serve in some way to be used by Rand to defeat the DO. Since RJ wrote the ending and quite obviously Fain had no part in it, his purpose (which IMO was to serve as an added protagonist that would push the 3 boys faster and prepare them further than the Shadow alone would have, Fain was instrumental in each of the boys quick advancement and played a direct role in the path each took) was outlived as he too would soon be.

If he had no purpose in the last book, he should not have been in the last book. RJ clearly understood the concept of Chekhov's Gun, as he demonstrated its use on a number of occasions (Brandon the same in his own work), and it is that which informs my claim. Now, Fain played no part in an ending that Brandon made a number of decisions for, but that says nothing about how RJ would have used him. Even if we accept that RJ wrote the scenes in the Pit and Fain wasn't there, that doesn't mean Fain would have no part to play in the defeat of Shai'tan. Or he might have had some other part to play that justifies his inclusion - fundamentally, what he's doing is less important than that he is doing something.

 

All you have to support your point is the ramblings of a lunatic proclaiming his own greatness.

What Fain has to say on the matter is irrelevant, and not even remotely a part of my argument. My argument is about story structure, and the inclusion of plot threads that have no purpose. Whether or not Fain ever achieves what he sets out to do doesn't matter in the slightest. What matters is a) that he act in a way consistent with his character, and b), that he serve a role in the narrative. A was achieved consistently - I don't object to Fain's characterisation in the last book. B was lacking - he had previously served a role, and had been absent from books where he had no part to play. His inclusion in ToM sets him up as having a role in the finale. That role does not materialise to any meaningful degree. Please, ditch the strawman and address my point.

You're arguing facts not in evidence. If RJ had a place for Fain in the final showdown with the DO, BS would have included it.

If there was nothing in the notes indicating what Fain's role was, a role should have been invented for him. We know Brandon had to do a significant amount of invention for things which were either not in the notes or had multiple options (and I don't consider inventions by Brandon to be inherently bad). The rules of writing might be more like guidelines, but those guidelines still exist for a reason - to help the story work better. Now, Brandon is a writer, and a writing teacher, he knows the rules. He is doubtless of aware that authors can break those rules if they do it well. Whatever RJ had planned for Fan, whatever was in the notes, does not matter. Maybe it was a sentence, maybe he wasn't mentioned at all, maybe there was a lot of stuff, it's unimportant. What matters is the end product. If the end product is made better by giving Fain a meaningful role in the story, then give him a meaningful role. How did the story benefit from Fain's off screen death between books?

Fain's inclusion in the final book was simple...he needed to die.

So why did he die off screen, after his appearance in ToM? What we see in AMoL is Shaisam, a being which includes Fain, but is not Fain. Fain is dead.

Based on Fain's progression from the very beginning, the more powerful he became, the less effective he was, Fain had to be at his most powerful when he was killed.

An assertion made repeatedly, but not backed up. After all, in WH he kills Kisman, Gedwyn and Torval - three Asha'man are killed by Fain. That seems fairly effective. He was also more powerful than his first appearance. In ToM he is more powerful still, but his effectiveness doesn't seem to have dropped off. His sanity, yes, but where is the evidence of lessened effectiveness. Please, back up your assertion that Fain declined in effectiveness. In fact, he grew in effectiveness after the first couple of books.

And since when did Fain's inclusion need to fill a narrative?

Please explain to me what narrative Fain fulfilled in WH?

Why do you think Fain is different from the other characters? Perrin sat out a book when he had nothing to do, as did Mat, and Egwene, Loial missed several, Taim and Logain the same, and so on. You don't just have a character show up for no reason, do nothing and die. If there is nothing to advance their characters, or if they are not advancing someone else's character, or advancing the plot, or possibly as a check in to break up a lengthy absence, then why are they there? AMoL should have been the climax to Fain's character arc. In WH, he killed three of the four Asha'man in Far Madding, thus ending Rand's reason to stay in the city. And he told Rand two of the Asha'man were in Blue Carp Street, and it was his attack there that got him captured, which led to Cadsuane freeing him, and thus driving him to carry out the Cleansing. Fain's involvement their did drive the plot forward. It also served to remind the reader that Fain was still out there as a threat, a still lingering plot thread. After that, we get the check in in ToM which sets him on the road to Shayol Ghul. And then he dies on route, replaced by Shaisam, who is killed awfully easily. The last of these things is not like the others. It's not fitting, it's not following a pattern, it's not continuing a theme, it's different. He's not advancing the plot for other characters, he's not fulfilling a character arc in his own right, he's not even alive. Shaisam would have been less jarring if we'd had a couple of scenes on the road to SG that showed the change in him from Fain to Shaisam, but we didn't.

Fain I don't feel was ever meant to be the main villain, instead he was a trouble maker. Did all of his plots fail maybe, but his presence probably made sure Elaida and Pedron would never support or accept Rand. He murdered the Asha'man trying to kill Rand and did try to kill Rand twice with the dagger. I didn't mind his ending simply because I don't think RJ really meant for him to be a big player. Had that of been the case he would of received a lot more book time. Once Fain saw Rand wouldn't be drawn to defend the Two Rivers and his stirring up the rebellion was destroyed by the cloud, what was there really for him to do? I think it would of harmed the books if it seemed like every book Fain had to have time to try another plot. Fain wasn't as powerful as he thought, had Mat not of killed him a channeler easily could of blasted him from somewhere. So for me it made sense that Fain would stop chasing Rand around everywhere and would simply wait for the last battle. Once that was decided wasn't a hole lot you could write about him. I thought it was fitting Mat would kill Fain.

Except those dissatisfied with Fain's end are not expressing dissatisfaction because they think he was the main villain. Yes, he was a trouble maker. So what? He should not have been in the book if he didn't have anything to do. He should not have been killed and replaced off screen. It should have been Fain getting killed by Mat, Fain should have died knowing he would never kill Rand, that Rand wasn't even there killing him, that Rand might not even know or care he was dead. For years before the last book my theory on Fain's death was based on Linsey's from Angel - he thinks he's the protagonist's nemesis, he dies knowing he wasn't, that our hero has bigger fish to fry. But we didn't get that. Fain was killed by Shaisam, Shaisam was killed by Mat, and because we had no real attachment to Shaisam we just didn't care.

I think its fairly simple rj and maybe bs had more in mind for fain than got put into print in the final book but circumstance prevented that from happening. Its ovious that by the end of tToM that fain is going to play a major roll in the last battle, but maybe when it come to the writting of aMoL that wasnt possable and more important plot linws took presidence.

There was much in the last book that could have been cut. Even if nothing was cut, the last book could have been longer (both by the simple fact of adding more pages, or by manipulating text size and margin to get more words on the page). More time could have been taken in the writing and editing to fit in things that were underwritten or left out. Simply put, it was possible for Fain's role to be expanded and satisfactorily concluded. What circumstance prevented it from happening? The deadline to the book? Then that should have been pushed back.

 

 

Simply it wasnt deemed important enough for the deadline to be pushed back. The pressure to deliver on time must of been huge and if the plot didnt have much impact on the overall ending, why bother? The same thing happened with the prophet. No doubt that that if RJ would of lived we would saw a vastly different aMoL, but he didnt and so we have the unique position BS was put in and for the tale we all wanted to see finished to be finished within a reasonable amount of time, sacrafices had to be made

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Plot decisions should never fall behind deadlines in order of precedence(as was done a number of times in this process). The schedule was insanely rushed, that's on TJ and Tor.

 

As for Fain and the notes, Brandon was pretty clear on this:

 
Brandon Sanderson

No, no deleted scenes here. I did Mashadar the way I did because of the small amount of information in the notes about it or Fain, and I felt that going with what little I did have was better than exploring widely without knowing where RJ wanted to go.

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Plot decisions should never fall behind deadlines in order of precedence(as was done a number of times in this process). The schedule was insanely rushed, that's on TJ and Tor.

 

As for Fain and the notes, Brandon was pretty clear on this:

 
Brandon Sanderson

No, no deleted scenes here. I did Mashadar the way I did because of the small amount of information in the notes about it or Fain, and I felt that going with what little I did have was better than exploring widely without knowing where RJ wanted to go.

 

 

All he's saying is he that didn't know the exact details of Fain's demise and didn't have the exact details of how Mashadar should behave.

I highly doubt that Maria and Alan didn't ask RJ about Fain when he was bedridden and they were getting specific point form answers about individual characters. Something along the lines of Mat kills him at SG is most likely and BS took it from there.

Either way, Fain was NOT part of the big ending, ie: Rand's final battle with the DO, which was more or less already written or at the very least heavily outlined.

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Plot decisions should never fall behind deadlines in order of precedence(as was done a number of times in this process). The schedule was insanely rushed, that's on TJ and Tor.

 

As for Fain and the notes, Brandon was pretty clear on this:

 
Brandon Sanderson

No, no deleted scenes here. I did Mashadar the way I did because of the small amount of information in the notes about it or Fain, and I felt that going with what little I did have was better than exploring widely without knowing where RJ wanted to go.

 

 

All he's saying is he that didn't know the exact details of Fain's demise and didn't have the exact details of how Mashadar should behave.

I highly doubt that Maria and Alan didn't ask RJ about Fain when he was bedridden and they were getting specific point form answers about individual characters. Something along the lines of Mat kills him at SG is most likely and BS took it from there.

Either way, Fain was NOT part of the big ending, ie: Rand's final battle with the DO, which was more or less already written or at the very least heavily outlined.

 

I think that as that was what Rand needed Mat for at SG because only he could kill Fain/Mashadar, it was supposed to be more epic.  Perrin, good job.  Egwene, good job.  Faile, really got me during the horn hand off, good job.  Mat could have been more cunning and skilled while still being thwarted or the victories small and almost insignificant but still good job, I think that people were just underwhelmed and I don't see what more could have been done at that point of him getting to SG but I think that were were already riding a high/desensitized to the softer cleverness of Mat's ending with Fain.  There was so much more that needed to be said/done/written, but BS was suffering from burnout.  The original AMOL could have been split into 4 books to allow better pacing, better use of the One Power.  We forgot all about Wards that could kill shadowspawn to protect the flanks or made into mines that could be seeded on the battlefield, wards to detect shadowspawn on the prowl trying to flank positions, all the intricacies.  Mat's Dragons shooting through gateways with gateways changing to vent the cavern and get orders from Aludra wasted more power that could have destroyed more than the dragons, but then again I could argue the enemy channelers could have cut those weaves or blocked them, they couldn't track the "dragon's eggs" as they were so fast and equally destructive.  

 

I just think that it dissolved into the brutal hacking and slashing of a regular battlefield far too much without the awe and the amazing other "tricks" the various Ajahs had kept secret.  And I would have liked to see the opposite effects of Egwene's counter to Balefire, possibly people burned away reappearing as it was an exact opposite to counter Balefire and its devastating effects on the pattern.  We have pattern repair, but nothing else.  However, I must say that even with a team of five people helping me keep track of the arcs and the can and can't dos and to brainstorm with I couldn't have accomplished it.  This required a lot more writing than the original AMOL which, had RJ been able to continue the writing, would have been realized and would have been generally close but with the awesomeness.  Having had a torch pass to him, overlooking the flaws and acknowledging the awesome things he contributed, it was a damn good story.  Had it not been, none of us would be motivated to seek out Dragonmount or the other fan sites, and undertake our great debates. 

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If there was nothing in the notes indicating what Fain's role was, a role should have been invented for him. We know Brandon had to do a significant amount of invention for things which were either not in the notes or had multiple options (and I don't consider inventions by Brandon to be inherently bad). The rules of writing might be more like guidelines, but those guidelines still exist for a reason - to help the story work better. Now, Brandon is a writer, and a writing teacher, he knows the rules. He is doubtless of aware that authors can break those rules if they do it well. Whatever RJ had planned for Fan, whatever was in the notes, does not matter. Maybe it was a sentence, maybe he wasn't mentioned at all, maybe there was a lot of stuff, it's unimportant. What matters is the end product. If the end product is made better by giving Fain a meaningful role in the story, then give him a meaningful role. How did the story benefit from Fain's off screen death between books?

 

Now you're arguing semantics. No matter the name he used, Fain, Ordeith or Shaisam, it was the same single character. If the Fain part of him is as dead as you say, then why does he still have a hatred of the 3 boys then? That was a Fain instilled hatred for what was done to him by the DO because of them. 

No, Fain has evolved to the point where the Fain personality is no longer the dominant one but Fain is still very much alive as part of the amalgamation known as Shaisam.

 

So you concede my point - he is no longer Fain, using a different name, he is a new creature which includes Fain. Ordeith and Mordeth were aliases, but he thought of himself as Fain. Fain was a mortal human with a few extra powers, but Shaisam is not human, it is merely tied to a human body, a weakness it intends to outgrow. Shaisam is something new, and the transition from Fain to Shaisam is entirely off screen.

 

It was never said there wasn't anything about Fain in the notes, what was said was that there wasn't much and it was also made clear that Fain did not have a role in the final showdown between Rand and the DO.

But no-one is saying he should have a role in that fight. Only that he should have a role in the narrative.

 

Fain needed to die, that's all that was left and is was just a matter of who would do the deed, Mat or Perrin. There are strong arguments/justifications for either, much stronger than any for Rand to be the one to do it.

There are plenty of characters who could have done the deed, I'm not really bothered. I've been saying for years it shouldn't be Rand. So your point is irrelevant. But if he had no further role than to do, if he had nothing else to do to push the plot or the characters forward, if there was nothing more for his own arc, he should have died in WH. Why didn't he? Well, the obvious answer is that he still had a role to play, he still had something to do. Not some sort of three way duel in the Pit of Doom, not necessarily a major role, just a role. A task. And you've not addressed this, you just keep dodging.

 

 

So why did he die off screen, after his appearance in ToM? What we see in AMoL is Shaisam, a being which includes Fain, but is not Fain. Fain is dead.

 

An assertion made repeatedly, but not backed up. After all, in WH he kills Kisman, Gedwyn and Torval - three Asha'man are killed by Fain. That seems fairly effective. He was also more powerful than his first appearance. In ToM he is more powerful still, but his effectiveness doesn't seem to have dropped off. His sanity, yes, but where is the evidence of lessened effectiveness. Please, back up your assertion that Fain declined in effectiveness. In fact, he grew in effectiveness after the first couple of books.

 

 

Why do you think Fain is different from the other characters? Perrin sat out a book when he had nothing to do, as did Mat, and Egwene, Loial missed several, Taim and Logain the same, and so on. You don't just have a character show up for no reason, do nothing and die. If there is nothing to advance their characters, or if they are not advancing someone else's character, or advancing the plot, or possibly as a check in to break up a lengthy absence, then why are they there? AMoL should have been the climax to Fain's character arc. In WH, he killed three of the four Asha'man in Far Madding, thus ending Rand's reason to stay in the city. And he told Rand two of the Asha'man were in Blue Carp Street, and it was his attack there that got him captured, which led to Cadsuane freeing him, and thus driving him to carry out the Cleansing. Fain's involvement their did drive the plot forward. It also served to remind the reader that Fain was still out there as a threat, a still lingering plot thread. After that, we get the check in in ToM which sets him on the road to Shayol Ghul. And then he dies on route, replaced by Shaisam, who is killed awfully easily. The last of these things is not like the others. It's not fitting, it's not following a pattern, it's not continuing a theme, it's different. He's not advancing the plot for other characters, he's not fulfilling a character arc in his own right, he's not even alive. Shaisam would have been less jarring if we'd had a couple of scenes on the road to SG that showed the change in him from Fain to Shaisam, but we didn't.

Except Rand didn't travel to Far Madding to hunt Fain, he went there to hunt the renegade Asha'man. It was only after he found the first 2 dead and his side started throbbing that he even realised Fain was there.

 

That's hardly relevant - what matters is that he served a role while he was there, not that he was the reason for Rand being there. My point is that he should have a role in the plot, not that he need be the primary driver of the plot.

 

As far as Fain being less effective the more powerful he became, he went from being the guy that had the boys chasing him across the entire continent to the guy that incited the Whitecloaks into attacking/occupying the Two Rivers while having his own little personal army of corrupted Whitecloaks, Trollocs and Fades to a guy sowing a little chaos here and there (some accidental-Elaida, some not-AS that was attacked in Caemlyn) to the guy that screamed like a little girl and ran away to play pick up jacks on his own in the Blight.

 

The more powerful he became, the less far reaching his actions were in scope.

The explanation for this is two-fold.

First, that the Pattern was tightening up while everything was being brought together for The Last Battle. Fain's ability to affect it on a large scale was quickly diminishing.

Second, because the more powerful he became and the more the Shaisam persona emerged, the more brutish and obsessive he became. His thinking became much more straight lined and his ability to see much past the end goal of revenge on the DO and the 3 boys stopped him from being able to carry out or finish any plans or schemes that did not accomplish that goal in a very direct manor. There wasn't an ounce of subtlety left in the character by that point.  

 

Point being that the Fain that was running around Randland in the first half of the series was many times more effective on the large scale than the Fain that simply tried to brute force his way at the end.

In TGH he manages to inconvenience our heroes when they are at their weakest in terms of power and influence - he's a minor problem for a small band. In TSR he ravages the home of our lead characters and causes great personal pain to one of them, Perrin, by murdering his family. In ACoS he wounds Rand close to death - if anything, that demonstrates his effectiveness increasing as the series progresses. His next appearance, in WH has him kill three Asha'man as they present a threat to Rand, distract him and come close to killing him again - Fain flees because he's an ambush predator rather than a straight fighter like Rand, and Rand has a sword to Fain's knife. So he uses his abilities and preferred methods to come close to killing the main character - again, quite effective, albeit not as much so as ACoS. His effectiveness in ToM cannot be judged, save in his increased ability to kill Shadowspawn and control them. That scene is there as set up for his appearance in AMoL. His effectiveness declines catastrophically in AMoL, as he accomplishes nothing despite his significant power increases. So, again, one of these things is not like the others. It is AMoL which breaks the pattern of Fain's effectiveness, which should be at an all time high.

 

I can't help how you feel or that you wanted there to be more with Fain but the reality is that by the end of WH, there wasn't really any justification for there to be.

After WH he was alive. That alone is a justification for there to be more with him - if he had no further role to play, he should have died there. That's the exact same point I keep coming back to and you keep dodging. If it doesn't have a role it shouldn't be there. When Fain had a role, him being there was justified, when he did not have a role it wasn't.

 

Simply it wasnt deemed important enough for the deadline to be pushed back. The pressure to deliver on time must of been huge and if the plot didnt have much impact on the overall ending, why bother? The same thing happened with the prophet. No doubt that that if RJ would of lived we would saw a vastly different aMoL, but he didnt and so we have the unique position BS was put in and for the tale we all wanted to see finished to be finished within a reasonable amount of time, sacrafices had to be made

If you don't have to wait for the book to come out, whether it was out on time is really of no consequence. But whether it is good or bad, that matters whether you read it the day it come out or twenty years from now. Favouring expediency over quality might have got us the book a little sooner, but what we care about is a good book. I would have been happy to wait another year if what I got at the end was a book I loved reading. Plus, even aside from Fain and the Prophet there are a mass of issues with the book (see the quality discussion thread for more, it's been covered at length). Taking more time to write it properly would fix more than just this one, minor issue. There are books that are a joy to read, books that drag you in an compel you to keep reading, books that keep you up half the night as you just have to read one more chapter and you can't put it down. AMoL was not one of those books. It was a slog, I had to force myself to keep reading. Pushing back the deadline to solve that would have given more time to solve issues like Fain as well, but no. They just didn't care enough about the book to make it as good as it could have been.

 

All he's saying is he that didn't know the exact details of Fain's demise and didn't have the exact details of how Mashadar should behave.

I highly doubt that Maria and Alan didn't ask RJ about Fain when he was bedridden and they were getting specific point form answers about individual characters. Something along the lines of Mat kills him at SG is most likely and BS took it from there.

Either way, Fain was NOT part of the big ending, ie: Rand's final battle with the DO, which was more or less already written or at the very least heavily outlined.

Except no-one is saying they think he was or should have been a big part of the ending. In point of fact, everyone is saying the reverse. And yet even with him getting the small role that was anticipated, it is still problematic, because it serves no real purpose in the narrative and has profound change come to a character off-screen.

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Only so many characters could be part of the big ending.  You can't have Rand, Fain, the DO, Lanfear, Perrin. Demandred, moraine etc....  Some like Fain just can't play that big of a role.  I always expected Fain wasn't going to do that much, I honestly had hoped he would kill a Forsaken in the last battle who was about to kill Rand.  Fain was a character that as the book went along got pushed down the list of importance.  Whatever you call him I never had any attachment to the character, I honestly felt he should of died off earlier and Taim should of gotten more time as person who wants Rand dead. 

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In reply to Mr Ares on his response on my last post, i would like to say i agree with him 100%. aMoL was not a classic and its only good (IMO) was the seeing how the plots developed.

However i dont think more time would of made that much of a differance, as the truth is i dont think BS is that good of an author to keep you up of a night even if he had 10 years to finish the book.

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Only so many characters could be part of the big ending.  You can't have Rand, Fain, the DO, Lanfear, Perrin. Demandred, moraine etc....  Some like Fain just can't play that big of a role.  I always expected Fain wasn't going to do that much, I honestly had hoped he would kill a Forsaken in the last battle who was about to kill Rand.  Fain was a character that as the book went along got pushed down the list of importance.  Whatever you call him I never had any attachment to the character, I honestly felt he should of died off earlier and Taim should of gotten more time as person who wants Rand dead. 

I'd forgotten of the whole "what if" that was tossed out there a long time ago about Fain maybe killing a forsaken or being the Gollum-like creature that helps to seal the bore with maybe his other-evil evilness since whatever touched the DO became tainted.  

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So you concede my point - he is no longer Fain, using a different name, he is a new creature which includes Fain. Ordeith and Mordeth were aliases, but he thought of himself as Fain. Fain was a mortal human with a few extra powers, but Shaisam is not human, it is merely tied to a human body, a weakness it intends to outgrow. Shaisam is something new, and the transition from Fain to Shaisam is entirely off screen.

 

Ummm...no, I do NOT concede your point as I clearly indicated, it is not that he was no longer Fain, it's that he was no longer JUST Fain.

AS I SAID, the hatred of the boys was a Fain trait, a trait that was present right till the end. Fain was very much still present and was definitely not "dead".

 

 

 

 

 

But no-one is saying he should have a role in that fight. Only that he should have a role in the narrative.

 

 

I don't agree though. The only role or narrative left for Fain was his death. 

 

 

 

 

There are plenty of characters who could have done the deed, I'm not really bothered. I've been saying for years it shouldn't be Rand. So your point is irrelevant. But if he had no further role than to do, if he had nothing else to do to push the plot or the characters forward, if there was nothing more for his own arc, he should have died in WH. Why didn't he? Well, the obvious answer is that he still had a role to play, he still had something to do. Not some sort of three way duel in the Pit of Doom, not necessarily a major role, just a role. A task. And you've not addressed this, you just keep dodging.

 

It's not irrelevant though and the obvious answer is not that he still had a role to play, the obvious answer is the issue of vengeance/justice in Fain's death that still needed to be settled. That's why it was important that Fain's death came at the hands of Mat or Perrin, it had to.

 

 

 

 

That's hardly relevant - what matters is that he served a role while he was there, not that he was the reason for Rand being there. My point is that he should have a role in the plot, not that he need be the primary driver of the plot.

 

Again, that's not what you argued. You tried to say that Fain played a role in the plot and Rand's actions at the end of WH, he didn't. Your argument I believe was that Fain killed them because they were a danger to Rand.

Please explain to me how they, in Far Madding mind you, were a threat to Rand and Lan. You know, two of THE most dangerous swordsmen on the face of the planet? Can't wait to hear this one heh

 

 

 

 

 

In TGH he manages to inconvenience our heroes when they are at their weakest in terms of power and influence - he's a minor problem for a small band. In TSR he ravages the home of our lead characters and causes great personal pain to one of them, Perrin, by murdering his family. In ACoS he wounds Rand close to death - if anything, that demonstrates his effectiveness increasing as the series progresses. His next appearance, in WH has him kill three Asha'man as they present a threat to Rand, distract him and come close to killing him again - Fain flees because he's an ambush predator rather than a straight fighter like Rand, and Rand has a sword to Fain's knife. So he uses his abilities and preferred methods to come close to killing the main character - again, quite effective, albeit not as much so as ACoS. His effectiveness in ToM cannot be judged, save in his increased ability to kill Shadowspawn and control them. That scene is there as set up for his appearance in AMoL. His effectiveness declines catastrophically in AMoL, as he accomplishes nothing despite his significant power increases. So, again, one of these things is not like the others. It is AMoL which breaks the pattern of Fain's effectiveness, which should be at an all time high.

 

What are you talking about? He's the reason they even go west in tGH, he's the reason Mat blows the Horn for pete's sake. Fain brings about 7 different factions together in a grand showdown.

The scope of his actions becomes less and less as the series progresses.

The next big thing he does is incite the Whitecloaks into invading the Two Rivers. Still affecting a large scope but smaller than the scope at Falme.

Next time we see him, the scope of his actions have shrunk further to barely affecting a city block in Caemlyn, then not even that much in Cairhien, then to next to nothing in Far Madding then to playing games with Shadowspawn in the Blight.

 

It's not even possible to argue against this. It's blatantly clear and well documented. It's simply fact!

The more powerful he became, the less affect he had on the World and the less successful he was.

 

As far as when Fain slashed Rand...first of all it was not planned, it was pure impulse on Fain's part using the distraction of the Bubble of Evil to do it.

Second, it served a purpose in the plot. That slash allowed Rand to figure out how to cleanse Saidin.

Fain's encounter with Rand in Far Madding however, served absolutely no purpose or part in the plot/narrative or anything else.

 

As I have argued previously, one of Fain's purposes in the overall narrative/plot was force the 3 boys to learn or advance themselves faster than they would have otherwise. That slash was Fain's final "lesson" for Rand and the final lesson he would "teach" any of the 3.

Fain's purpose was now at an end, the only thing left was his death and the justice due from it.

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Only so many characters could be part of the big ending.  You can't have Rand, Fain, the DO, Lanfear, Perrin. Demandred, moraine etc....  Some like Fain just can't play that big of a role.  I always expected Fain wasn't going to do that much, I honestly had hoped he would kill a Forsaken in the last battle who was about to kill Rand.  Fain was a character that as the book went along got pushed down the list of importance.  Whatever you call him I never had any attachment to the character, I honestly felt he should of died off earlier and Taim should of gotten more time as person who wants Rand dead.

The problem is not about the size of his role though. The problem is the lack of a role. That he did nothing. And why can Fain not do something? Why can he not be a part of that ending? And why is he around if he has no part to play in the ending? His continued survival makes clear that he should have a role to play.

 

 

So you concede my point - he is no longer Fain, using a different name, he is a new creature which includes Fain. Ordeith and Mordeth were aliases, but he thought of himself as Fain. Fain was a mortal human with a few extra powers, but Shaisam is not human, it is merely tied to a human body, a weakness it intends to outgrow. Shaisam is something new, and the transition from Fain to Shaisam is entirely off screen.

 

Ummm...no, I do NOT concede your point as I clearly indicated, it is not that he was no longer Fain, it's that he was no longer JUST Fain.

AS I SAID, the hatred of the boys was a Fain trait, a trait that was present right till the end. Fain was very much still present and was definitely not "dead".

 

In essence, though, you did concede the point. Fain is the character we've been following all this time, not Shaisam. Now, a new entity has arisen, and Fain is a small part of that new creature. While it expresses a desire to kill Rand, it doesn't express much hatred to him.

 

 

But no-one is saying he should have a role in that fight. Only that he should have a role in the narrative.

I don't agree though. The only role or narrative left for Fain was his death.

 

Then why didn't he die in WH? I've asked that, you've not answered.

 

There are plenty of characters who could have done the deed, I'm not really bothered. I've been saying for years it shouldn't be Rand. So your point is irrelevant. But if he had no further role than to do, if he had nothing else to do to push the plot or the characters forward, if there was nothing more for his own arc, he should have died in WH. Why didn't he? Well, the obvious answer is that he still had a role to play, he still had something to do. Not some sort of three way duel in the Pit of Doom, not necessarily a major role, just a role. A task. And you've not addressed this, you just keep dodging.

It's not irrelevant though and the obvious answer is not that he still had a role to play, the obvious answer is the issue of vengeance/justice in Fain's death that still needed to be settled. That's why it was important that Fain's death came at the hands of Mat or Perrin, it had to.

 

Why? Why not Rand, or Lan, or Moiraine, or Nynaeve, or any other character? You continue to make these assertions without backing them up.

 

 

That's hardly relevant - what matters is that he served a role while he was there, not that he was the reason for Rand being there. My point is that he should have a role in the plot, not that he need be the primary driver of the plot.

 

Again, that's not what you argued.

Actually, that's exactly what I argued. "Fain's involvement there did drive the plot forward."

You tried to say that Fain played a role in the plot and Rand's actions at the end of WH, he didn't. Your argument I believe was that Fain killed them because they were a danger to Rand.

Actually, he did play a part. From the encyclopaedia: Fain sends a note to Rand telling him that Gedwyn and Torval are staying in a house on Blue Carp Street. (WH,Ch32). That's a part in the plot. His actions led to Rand going to Blue Carp Street, his actions there led to his capture, which led to his release, which led to the Cleansing. He also killed three of the four Asha'man. The plot advanced because of Fain's actions. That's not an opinion, it's a clearly stated fact. Further, the text is clear: Fain kills them because he wants to kill Rand himself.

Please explain to me how they, in Far Madding mind you, were a threat to Rand and Lan. You know, two of THE most dangerous swordsmen on the face of the planet? Can't wait to hear this one heh

As I'm sure they would both tell you, a guy with a sword is always dangerous, and Rand was outnumbered. As for "in Far Madding, mind you", let's bear in mind that in Far Madding Rand doesn't have the OP, and they can't legally have swords - they're either kept at the gates or peace bonded. Thus Far Madding is one of the most dangerous places for Rand to be, putting him at his weakest. So with numbers of their side, with Rand lacking his strongest asset, with them able to pick their fights and take Rand on on ground they've prepared when the situation is in their favour, how are the Asha'man not a credible threat here? Even if Rand is the better swordsman, he only needs to make one mistake.

 

 

In TGH he manages to inconvenience our heroes when they are at their weakest in terms of power and influence - he's a minor problem for a small band. In TSR he ravages the home of our lead characters and causes great personal pain to one of them, Perrin, by murdering his family. In ACoS he wounds Rand close to death - if anything, that demonstrates his effectiveness increasing as the series progresses. His next appearance, in WH has him kill three Asha'man as they present a threat to Rand, distract him and come close to killing him again - Fain flees because he's an ambush predator rather than a straight fighter like Rand, and Rand has a sword to Fain's knife. So he uses his abilities and preferred methods to come close to killing the main character - again, quite effective, albeit not as much so as ACoS. His effectiveness in ToM cannot be judged, save in his increased ability to kill Shadowspawn and control them. That scene is there as set up for his appearance in AMoL. His effectiveness declines catastrophically in AMoL, as he accomplishes nothing despite his significant power increases. So, again, one of these things is not like the others. It is AMoL which breaks the pattern of Fain's effectiveness, which should be at an all time high.

 

What are you talking about?

 

How effective Fain is at achieving his goals. It's seems like the most relevant measure of effectiveness to me. His goal of "kill Rand" remains consistent - he manages to severely inconvenience him in 2, hurt him emotionally in 4, and nearly kill him in 7. That's an increase in effectiveness, not a decrease. He might become less central to the plot, but that's hardly relevant. I mean, you could define effectiveness in any number of terms - his effectiveness at killing Shadowspawn and creating zombies both have sky-rocketed by ToM, for example. So the crucial question is, effective at what? Well, what he's trying to to do is kill Rand and, to a lesser extent, Perrin and Mat. So let us judge his effectiveness by that metric.

 

It's not even possible to argue against this. It's blatantly clear and well documented. It's simply fact!

Irrelevant fact. In terms of how effective he was at achieving his goals he hit the high point in book 7, and tailed off marginally in book 9. Book 13 was him at the planning and preparation stage, so a little unfair to judge. It is only in book 14 that his effectiveness declines drastically.

 

As far as when Fain slashed Rand...first of all it was not planned, it was pure impulse on Fain's part using the distraction of the Bubble of Evil to do it.

So? What's being judged is effectiveness, which is measured by results. If the point was one of how effective his planning as, you might have a point here, but it isn't, it's just effectiveness. It was opportunistic, but it came the closest anyone has come to killing Rand.

 

There are two reasonable conclusions to be drawn from Fain's survival in WH: the first is that RJ had something in mind for Fain, he needed him kept around for some reason; the second is that he anticipated that he might need Fain, and kept him around in case. The second necessitates that some role be found for Fain to play, though, otherwise you end up with things like threads of ten pages or more complaining about the unsatisfactory ending the character received.

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In essence, though, you did concede the point. Fain is the character we've been following all this time, not Shaisam. Now, a new entity has arisen, and Fain is a small part of that new creature. While it expresses a desire to kill Rand, it doesn't express much hatred to him.

 

I'm not conceding anything. If anyone has conceded their point, it's you. You went from flat out stating Fain was dead to "Fain is a small part of that new creature".

I don't know what your definition of conceding a point is but what you just did here friend, that is the text book version.

 

 

 

 

Then why didn't he die in WH? I've asked that, you've not answered.

Oh I have, a few times in fact. You have simply ignored it in favour of your own narrative. It wasn't Rand's "right" or place in the story to be the one that Killed him. That belonged to either Mat or (as I still believe to have an even better case poetically) Perrin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually, he did play a part. From the encyclopaedia: Fain sends a note to Rand telling him that Gedwyn and Torval are staying in a house on Blue Carp Street. (WH,Ch32). That's a part in the plot. His actions led to Rand going to Blue Carp Street, his actions there led to his capture, which led to his release, which led to the Cleansing. He also killed three of the four Asha'man. The plot advanced because of Fain's actions. That's not an opinion, it's a clearly stated fact. Further, the text is clear: Fain kills them because he wants to kill Rand himself.

 

 

This would be me conceding a point. I was mistaken, Fain wasn't completely a non-factor in the plot in WH, Just mostly a non-factor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I'm sure they would both tell you, a guy with a sword is always dangerous, and Rand was outnumbered. As for "in Far Madding, mind you", let's bear in mind that in Far Madding Rand doesn't have the OP, and they can't legally have swords - they're either kept at the gates or peace bonded. Thus Far Madding is one of the most dangerous places for Rand to be, putting him at his weakest. So with numbers of their side, with Rand lacking his strongest asset, with them able to pick their fights and take Rand on on ground they've prepared when the situation is in their favour, how are the Asha'man not a credible threat here? Even if Rand is the better swordsman, he only needs to make one mistake.

 

 

Remind us all again what Rand used to to break Fain's illusion and what Lan and Toram were doing in the other room during this...yeah.

 

 

 

 

How effective Fain is at achieving his goals. It's seems like the most relevant measure of effectiveness to me. His goal of "kill Rand" remains consistent - he manages to severely inconvenience him in 2, hurt him emotionally in 4, and nearly kill him in 7. That's an increase in effectiveness, not a decrease. He might become less central to the plot, but that's hardly relevant. I mean, you could define effectiveness in any number of terms - his effectiveness at killing Shadowspawn and creating zombies both have sky-rocketed by ToM, for example. So the crucial question is, effective at what? Well, what he's trying to to do is kill Rand and, to a lesser extent, Perrin and Mat. So let us judge his effectiveness by that metric.

 

 

No, lets not. Lets judge him for how effective he was on the entire plot and how much of the world around him he actually affected. Fain goes from being a master manipulator that affects things on entire country level to, as he became more and more powerful, a single-minded brute.

I'll judge his effective on the big picture, not just the one that fits your narrow narrative thank you very much.

 

 

And here's the part you tried to cut out my post that you didn't even attempt to counter...

 

"He's the reason they even go west in tGH, he's the reason Mat blows the Horn for pete's sake. Fain brings about 7 different factions together in a grand showdown.

The scope of his actions becomes less and less as the series progresses.

The next big thing he does is incite the Whitecloaks into invading the Two Rivers. Still affecting a large scope but smaller than the scope at Falme.

Next time we see him, the scope of his actions have shrunk further to barely affecting a city block in Caemlyn, then not even that much in Cairhien, then to next to nothing in Far Madding then to playing games with Shadowspawn in the Blight.

 

It's not even possible to argue against this. It's blatantly clear and well documented. It's simply fact!

The more powerful he became, the less affect he had on the World and the less successful he was.

 

As far as when Fain slashed Rand...first of all it was not planned, it was pure impulse on Fain's part using the distraction of the Bubble of Evil to do it.

Second, it served a purpose in the plot. That slash allowed Rand to figure out how to cleanse Saidin.

-Fain's encounter with Rand in Far Madding however, served absolutely no purpose or part in the plot/narrative or anything else.-(This is the only line out of all it that you even attempted to answer to. Most likely because it is the only line you could.)

 

As I have argued previously, one of Fain's purposes in the overall narrative/plot was force the 3 boys to learn or advance themselves faster than they would have otherwise. That slash was Fain's final "lesson" for Rand and the final lesson he would "teach" any of the 3.

 

Fain's purpose was now at an end, the only thing left was his death and the justice due from it."

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In essence, though, you did concede the point. Fain is the character we've been following all this time, not Shaisam. Now, a new entity has arisen, and Fain is a small part of that new creature. While it expresses a desire to kill Rand, it doesn't express much hatred to him.

I'm not conceding anything. If anyone has conceded their point, it's you. You went from flat out stating Fain was dead to "Fain is a small part of that new creature".

I don't know what your definition of conceding a point is but what you just did here friend, that is the text book version.

 

Fain, as a character, is essentially dead. I haven't conceded anything. What is crucial to my point is not whether or not Fain is literally dead, only that the thing in book 14 is Shaisam, not Fain-now-going-by-the-name-Shaisam. As you have admitted it is not Fain, that Fain is merely a part of the amalgamation that is Shaisam, you have accepted the most important part of my point. Hence, in essence you conceded the point. Yes, we disagree on the details, but I'm not hung up on them. I'm only concerned with the core of the point - was it, or was it not Fain. You have admitted it wasn't Fain, therefore we're done.

 

 

Then why didn't he die in WH? I've asked that, you've not answered.

Oh I have, a few times in fact. You have simply ignored it in favour of your own narrative. It wasn't Rand's "right" or place in the story to be the one that Killed him. That belonged to either Mat or (as I still believe to have an even better case poetically) Perrin.

 

Except you haven't explained that, you've just stated it. Yet I asked you to explain it. As for ignoring it in favour of your own private narrative, that's rich coming from you, given that that is exactly what you do, consistently. Your last post has this: "the obvious answer is the issue of vengeance/justice in Fain's death that still needed to be settled. That's why it was important that Fain's death came at the hands of Mat or Perrin, it had to." That's lacking as an answer, and I've asked you to expand. You haven't. You feel that you have addressed this adequately - fine, show me. Provide a quote or a link. But you don't do that either. Why must it be either Mat or Perrin, and no-one else, especially not Rand? Is Rand not owed vengeance?

 

 

Actually, he did play a part. From the encyclopaedia: Fain sends a note to Rand telling him that Gedwyn and Torval are staying in a house on Blue Carp Street. (WH,Ch32). That's a part in the plot. His actions led to Rand going to Blue Carp Street, his actions there led to his capture, which led to his release, which led to the Cleansing. He also killed three of the four Asha'man. The plot advanced because of Fain's actions. That's not an opinion, it's a clearly stated fact. Further, the text is clear: Fain kills them because he wants to kill Rand himself.

This would be me conceding a point. I was mistaken, Fain wasn't completely a non-factor in the plot in WH, Just mostly a non-factor.

 

A miracle. I only had to repeat myself a couple of times before you stopped ignoring it. Of course, this is perhaps the most crucial point in the argument - much of this debate is irrelevant fluff. In showing that Fain has always had a role in the narrative before AMoL, and you agreeing to that, you concede that my assessment that AMoL is different is correct. Which is a tacit admission that my point, at least on the face of it, has merit and should be given deeper consideration.

 

 

As I'm sure they would both tell you, a guy with a sword is always dangerous, and Rand was outnumbered. As for "in Far Madding, mind you", let's bear in mind that in Far Madding Rand doesn't have the OP, and they can't legally have swords - they're either kept at the gates or peace bonded. Thus Far Madding is one of the most dangerous places for Rand to be, putting him at his weakest. So with numbers of their side, with Rand lacking his strongest asset, with them able to pick their fights and take Rand on on ground they've prepared when the situation is in their favour, how are the Asha'man not a credible threat here? Even if Rand is the better swordsman, he only needs to make one mistake.

Remind us all again what Rand used to to break Fain's illusion and what Lan and Toram were doing in the other room during this...yeah.

 

What on earth does this have to do with anything? I said they can't legally have swords. Rand was unarmed in the initial ambush (WH22). Two guys with swords took on Rand who was unarmed - the fact that Rand got his sword back later doesn't change that.

 

 

How effective Fain is at achieving his goals. It's seems like the most relevant measure of effectiveness to me. His goal of "kill Rand" remains consistent - he manages to severely inconvenience him in 2, hurt him emotionally in 4, and nearly kill him in 7. That's an increase in effectiveness, not a decrease. He might become less central to the plot, but that's hardly relevant. I mean, you could define effectiveness in any number of terms - his effectiveness at killing Shadowspawn and creating zombies both have sky-rocketed by ToM, for example. So the crucial question is, effective at what? Well, what he's trying to to do is kill Rand and, to a lesser extent, Perrin and Mat. So let us judge his effectiveness by that metric.

No, lets not. Lets judge him for how effective he was on the entire plot and how much of the world around him he actually affected. Fain goes from being a master manipulator that affects things on entire country level to, as he became more and more powerful, a single-minded brute.

I'll judge his effective on the big picture, not just the one that fits your narrow narrative thank you very much.

So why should I accept your narrow narrative? Why should we judge him by his effectiveness on the entire plot? Let's take TGH as an example - he stole the dagger and took it to Toman Head. There, things were out of his control. Several factions went to TH for reasons unrelated to him (Seanchan, Whitecloaks, the girls), and the one faction he did draw to him scuppered his plans by arriving late. So while a lot happens as a result of his actions, he was incredibly unsuccessful in doing what he set out to. His plan was a disaster with impact on the story. His cutting Rand in ACoS came the closest he has ever come to achieving his goal, even if the consequences of it were less profound. Although, as one of the consequences of it was Rand figuring out how to cleanse saidin, I'd say he had a pretty massive impact there. Because of Fain's actions as a "single minded brute", men can now channel without risk of insanity. That's a massive change to the world and affects more people than his actions in TGH, even if it doesn't move the plot forward as much. So why should quantity of plot movement be considered as the relevant metric? Why not any other? It's crucial to your argument that I accept your narrative - but why should I when there are plenty of other narratives, plenty of other themes that can be applied?

 

And here's the part you tried to cut out my post that you didn't even attempt to counter...

Actually, I did counter it. I said it wasn't relevant. Simply repeating it without addressing the issue of its irrelevance doesn't make it a more worthwhile point. And I did give a reason for dismissing it as irrelevant. That means it is up to you to offer a counter argument as to why it is relevant. There's no point to me going through what you say point by point if it has no bearing on the discussion. I didn't cut it out because I couldn't address it, I cut it out because I addressed the root point and that left no reason to address the rest.

 

As I have argued previously, one of Fain's purposes in the overall narrative/plot was force the 3 boys to learn or advance themselves faster than they would have otherwise.

One of. Your words, often stated. The mere fact of one of his purposes being at an end doesn't mean the others must be - and there must be others, you admit it yourself - nor that he cannot be given new purpose. Nor even that nothing more could be found for him to teach.

Edited by Mr Ares
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Fain, as a character, is essentially dead. I haven't conceded anything. What is crucial to my point is not whether or not Fain is literally dead, only that the thing in book 14 is Shaisam, not Fain-now-going-by-the-name-Shaisam. As you have admitted it is not Fain, that Fain is merely a part of the amalgamation that is Shaisam, you have accepted the most important part of my point. Hence, in essence you conceded the point. Yes, we disagree on the details, but I'm not hung up on them. I'm only concerned with the core of the point - was it, or was it not Fain. You have admitted it wasn't Fain, therefore we're done.

 

I'm getting real tired of arguing this. All you're trying to do now is run in circles so you don't have to admit you were wrong.

 

You claimed Fain died off screen between books.

 

I then said...

 

 

No, Fain has evolved to the point where the Fain personality is no longer the dominant one but Fain is still very much alive as part of the amalgamation known as Shaisam.

 

To which you just said...

 

 

 

Now, a new entity has arisen, and Fain is a small part of that new creature

 

[Removed]

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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Fain, as a character, is essentially dead. I haven't conceded anything. What is crucial to my point is not whether or not Fain is literally dead, only that the thing in book 14 is Shaisam, not Fain-now-going-by-the-name-Shaisam. As you have admitted it is not Fain, that Fain is merely a part of the amalgamation that is Shaisam, you have accepted the most important part of my point. Hence, in essence you conceded the point. Yes, we disagree on the details, but I'm not hung up on them. I'm only concerned with the core of the point - was it, or was it not Fain. You have admitted it wasn't Fain, therefore we're done.

 

I'm getting real tired of arguing this. All you're trying to do now is run in circles so you don't have to admit you were wrong.

 

You claimed Fain died off screen between books.

 

I then said...

 

 

No, Fain has evolved to the point where the Fain personality is no longer the dominant one but Fain is still very much alive as part of the amalgamation known as Shaisam.

 

To which you just said...

 

 

 

Now, a new entity has arisen, and Fain is a small part of that new creature

 

[Removed]

Look at my initial argument (#176): "What we see in AMoL is Shaisam, a being which includes Fain, but is not Fain." You have now said that what we see in AMoL is Shaisam, a being which includes Fain, but is not Fain. In other words, other than a discussion over whether or not Fain is literally dead - which is irrelevant and I have no interest in - we substantively agree on the point under discussion. I'll also note that you have still failed to address many of my points and answer many of my questions. If you wish to carry on the debate, I've given you the questions to answer. If you don't, that's fine.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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What a heated discussion around Gollum! (I mean Fain, err, no, I mean Gollum. :wink:)

 

Fain is a great example that the storylines were never chiseled in stone. Ever. Robert Jordan had no idea what to do with him (or Perrin etc.) in later books. 

 

The only logical solution should have been this: killing Fain in around book 4-5 (and of course killing Perrin in book 4).

 

Fain had no real motives in longer terms, plus the story introduced us many new enemies, so his 'role' was unnecessary. 

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For some reason my quote button isn't working.  But to answer Mr. Ares statement that because Fain survived he had a role to play.  He showed up at the end and died (not trying to be a jerk, but that was his role and too much was already going on to put a big Fain arc in there).  Again I think it comes down to with so many characters there wasn't room for everyone to play huge parts.  What really could fain do, his only real power to be of use in the battle was the fog.  His main role was to antagonize Rand early on, would I of liked to see him kill Grendal at the end instead of her becoming compulsed (didn't really like her ending, seemed simply put in to be ironic).  But I think Fains brief appearance in the book and quick ending was simply there were too many people and not enough time.  There were alot of characters that had screen time yet in the last few books sort of vanished.  At least Fain had an ending, look at Weriamon, what ever happened to him?  I really wanted to see him leading a charge in the last battle and as he died Dem making a comment on what a fool that guy was.

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What a heated discussion around Gollum! (I mean Fain, err, no, I mean Gollum. :wink:)

 

Fain is a great example that the storylines were never chiseled in stone. Ever. Robert Jordan had no idea what to do with him (or Perrin etc.) in later books. 

 

The only logical solution should have been this: killing Fain in around book 4-5 (and of course killing Perrin in book 4).

 

Fain had no real motives in longer terms, plus the story introduced us many new enemies, so his 'role' was unnecessary. 

Neither killing Fain nor killing Perrin was logical. If you have a character with no immediate purpose but a future role, killing him off here and now is a very bad decision. You either keep him off screen, or you give him a different task in the meantime. Fain sat out a few books because he had nothing to do, but keeping him out of the action does not indicate there wasn't something planned for the finale.

 

For some reason my quote button isn't working.  But to answer Mr. Ares statement that because Fain survived he had a role to play.  He showed up at the end and died (not trying to be a jerk, but that was his role and too much was already going on to put a big Fain arc in there).  Again I think it comes down to with so many characters there wasn't room for everyone to play huge parts.  What really could fain do, his only real power to be of use in the battle was the fog.  His main role was to antagonize Rand early on, would I of liked to see him kill Grendal at the end instead of her becoming compulsed (didn't really like her ending, seemed simply put in to be ironic).  But I think Fains brief appearance in the book and quick ending was simply there were too many people and not enough time.  There were alot of characters that had screen time yet in the last few books sort of vanished.  At least Fain had an ending, look at Weriamon, what ever happened to him?  I really wanted to see him leading a charge in the last battle and as he died Dem making a comment on what a fool that guy was.

The problem here is, you're not really answering my point. I haven't said anything about a big Fain part, only a part. I pointed out that he had a role in WH, he advanced the plot there, small though it may have been. Nothing similar has been pointed out for AMoL. He just shows up and dies. Well, Shaisam does, because Fain's already gone - we have Fain's body, but the mind is AWOL. That's why I keep saying he's dead. And pointing out that many other characters were mishandled does not excuse Fain being mishandled. No-one is saying Fain was the only problem, nor even the biggest. Yes, a lot of characters didn't get enough or any screen time; that's a problem. Pointing out that Fain is one of them indicates Fain's ending was a problem, and we are justified in being "pissed".

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aMol-47

Cauthon rammed the dagger right between the ribs, in Shaisam's heart. Tied to this pitiful mortal form, Mordeth screamed. Padan Fain howled, and felt his flesh melting from his bones. The mists trembled, began to swirl and shake. Together they died.

 

First off, Fain is there and is part of the whole together part.

 

Second, tell me, out of the 3 entities that make up Shaisam, which one would not only know Mat's last name but would actually use it as such. It was Shaisam's PoV after all.

 

 

And he didn't just "show up and die". He was in the process of overwhelming the entire freakin field and just about to reach Rand. He was about to destroy everything and consume, as he put it, the greatest soul of them all.

So what part of this was not good enough for you exactly?

Basically you're pissed because something came to fruition that was set up to happen 11 books ago when Mat was cleansed and protected in tDR.

Or are you pissed because Fain failed at achieving his goal or a victory in something he set out to do because Gee, that's something new lol 

 

Stop dancing around and trying to muck up the real points with irrelevant ones and moving the goal posts every time you're cornered.

It's getting ridiculous.

Edited by Finnssss
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aMol-47

Cauthon rammed the dagger right between the ribs, in Shaisam's heart. Tied to this pitiful mortal form, Mordeth screamed. Padan Fain howled, and felt his flesh melting from his bones. The mists trembled, began to swirl and shake. Together they died.

 

First off, Fain is there and is part of the whole together part.

 

Second, tell me, out of the 3 entities that make up Shaisam, which one would not only know Mat's last name but would actually use it as such. It was Shaisam's PoV after all.

They would all know Mat's name. Fain no longer exists as a separate entity, after all. As his motivations and desires have been subsumed into a new character, I maintain that "Fain", as a character, is functionally dead. And regardless of whether or not you agree with whether or not he is dead, I've already admitted it's unimportant. Arguing whether or not he's dead is a pedantic nitpick which doesn't address my point, which is that Fain is the character we've been following, not Shaisam, and Shaisam has replaced Fain. Shaisam is a new entity, not just a new name for the same entity - that is the problem. 13 books in, empowered, crazy human Padan Fain was a character. In book 14, inhuman mist monster Shaisam is.

 

And he didn't just "show up and die". He was in the process of overwhelming the entire freakin field and just about to reach Rand. He was about to destroy everything and consume, as he put it, the greatest soul of them all.

So what part of this was not good enough for you exactly?

Well, the field was fighting itself anyway, thus nothing changed, fundamentally. And "just about to" means he didn't. So what did he do to advance the plot? Nothing. As opposed to WH (as you've conceded), ACoS, and all his other appearances.

Basically you're pissed because something came to fruition that was set up to happen 11 books ago when Mat was cleansed and protected in tDR.

Or are you pissed because Fain failed at achieving his goal or a victory in something he set out to do because Gee, that's something new lol

No, I'm pissed for the reason I keep giving - he served no function in the narrative, unlike all his previous appearances. That makes his inclusion a waste of space. Filler. Padding. And thus bad writing. If he had no role after WH, he should have died in WH. You might say he can't because Rand isn't allowed to kill him for mysterious, unexplained reasons, but that's actually a point in favour of the "bad writing" argument - it means he was worked in so badly that he ran out of usefulness and wasn't in a position to have his storyline terminated. Granted, that would make it RJ's bad writing, not Brandon's, but it still validates the point that we are pissed because his end was badly written. RJ has been called out on his failures of writing plenty of times, so I've no problem doing it here. This isn't some sort of Brandon witch hunt. My problem is with the writing, not the writer.

 

Stop dancing around and trying to muck up the real points with irrelevant ones and moving the goal posts every time you're cornered.

It's getting ridiculous.

What you accuse me of is exactly what you're doing, or at least that's how it seems. As I said in my last post to you, there are still questions you've not answered - if you'd like to do that, go ahead. If you don't, then really you're just not willing to engage in debate. I've answered all the points you've put to me, I've addressed your arguments and your counter-arguments, but the same is not true of you. Even now, you state that I'm pissed for a reason that has nothing to do with my actual reason for dissatisfaction, which has been stated repeatedly. That implies that my writing is unclear, that you aren't reading it properly, or just that you have no interest in discussing this. Which is it? If I'm unclear, I'll be happy to try and clarify for you - misunderstanding happen, after all. But for the others, I'm afraid I can't help you. I'm not trying to be insulting here, I'm trying to have a conversation, and I get the distinct impression the person I'm trying to talk to isn't interested. If you don't want to talk to me, just don't. I'm not forcing you.

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aMol-47

Cauthon rammed the dagger right between the ribs, in Shaisam's heart. Tied to this pitiful mortal form, Mordeth screamed. Padan Fain howled, and felt his flesh melting from his bones. The mists trembled, began to swirl and shake. Together they died.

 

First off, Fain is there and is part of the whole together part.

 

Second, tell me, out of the 3 entities that make up Shaisam, which one would not only know Mat's last name but would actually use it as such. It was Shaisam's PoV after all.

They would all know Mat's name. Fain no longer exists as a separate entity, after all. As his motivations and desires have been subsumed into a new character, I maintain that "Fain", as a character, is functionally dead. And regardless of whether or not you agree with whether or not he is dead, I've already admitted it's unimportant. Arguing whether or not he's dead is a pedantic nitpick which doesn't address my point, which is that Fain is the character we've been following, not Shaisam, and Shaisam has replaced Fain. Shaisam is a new entity, not just a new name for the same entity - that is the problem. 13 books in, empowered, crazy human Padan Fain was a character. In book 14, inhuman mist monster Shaisam is.

 

And he didn't just "show up and die". He was in the process of overwhelming the entire freakin field and just about to reach Rand. He was about to destroy everything and consume, as he put it, the greatest soul of them all.

So what part of this was not good enough for you exactly?

Well, the field was fighting itself anyway, thus nothing changed, fundamentally. And "just about to" means he didn't. So what did he do to advance the plot? Nothing. As opposed to WH (as you've conceded), ACoS, and all his other appearances.

Basically you're pissed because something came to fruition that was set up to happen 11 books ago when Mat was cleansed and protected in tDR.

Or are you pissed because Fain failed at achieving his goal or a victory in something he set out to do because Gee, that's something new lol

No, I'm pissed for the reason I keep giving - he served no function in the narrative, unlike all his previous appearances. That makes his inclusion a waste of space. Filler. Padding. And thus bad writing. If he had no role after WH, he should have died in WH. You might say he can't because Rand isn't allowed to kill him for mysterious, unexplained reasons, but that's actually a point in favour of the "bad writing" argument - it means he was worked in so badly that he ran out of usefulness and wasn't in a position to have his storyline terminated. Granted, that would make it RJ's bad writing, not Brandon's, but it still validates the point that we are pissed because his end was badly written. RJ has been called out on his failures of writing plenty of times, so I've no problem doing it here. This isn't some sort of Brandon witch hunt. My problem is with the writing, not the writer.

 

Stop dancing around and trying to muck up the real points with irrelevant ones and moving the goal posts every time you're cornered.

It's getting ridiculous.

What you accuse me of is exactly what you're doing, or at least that's how it seems. As I said in my last post to you, there are still questions you've not answered - if you'd like to do that, go ahead. If you don't, then really you're just not willing to engage in debate. I've answered all the points you've put to me, I've addressed your arguments and your counter-arguments, but the same is not true of you. Even now, you state that I'm pissed for a reason that has nothing to do with my actual reason for dissatisfaction, which has been stated repeatedly. That implies that my writing is unclear, that you aren't reading it properly, or just that you have no interest in discussing this. Which is it? If I'm unclear, I'll be happy to try and clarify for you - misunderstanding happen, after all. But for the others, I'm afraid I can't help you. I'm not trying to be insulting here, I'm trying to have a conversation, and I get the distinct impression the person I'm trying to talk to isn't interested. If you don't want to talk to me, just don't. I'm not forcing you.

 

 

You haven't addressed my points, all you've done over and over is move the goal posts and then pretend they've been addressed.

It's exactly what you're doing right now over whether Fain was dead or wasn't dead.

When it was important to your narrative, Fain was dead for you and it must have served some importance in your argument or you wouldn't have said it in the first place. You stated flat out and i quote "he died off screen, in between books" which he clearly didn't as I showed above from his death scene, among other Fain only nuances that the amalgamation known as Shaisam exhibits constantly and you even conceded clearly when you said "Now, a new entity has arisen, and Fain is a small part of that new creature".

So now, because you have moved the goal posts 3 or 4 times since and whether Fain was already dead doesn't mean anything to your narrative any more, it's now suddenly a "pedantic nitpick".

 

Now you're just making me laugh.

Edited by Finnssss
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TO BE Honest after all of these long multiple quote posts I am not sure what the original point was.  Was it he should of had a bigger part or his death just seemed blah?

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