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Leopoled Boothe

"This character dies." -Harriet McDougal-

"This character dies" -Harriet McDougal  

56 members have voted

  1. 1. Which character's death did Harriet insist upon?

    • Egwene
      10
    • Gawyn
      0
    • Siuan
      3
    • Gareth Bryne
      0
    • Davrem Bashere
      1
    • Rhurac
      1
    • Hurin
      0
    • Bela
      41


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As some of you may remember in one of his many interviews before the release of AMoL Brandon Sanderson stated that he had found a way that a certain character could survive but Harriet put her foot down saying "This characters dies."  Now that we know which characters did die I thought I'd create a thread for speculation on which character she was referring to.  Any thoughts?

Edited by Leopoled Boothe

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  Interview: 2013
Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)
Jeffrey Bernard (23 January 2013)
With all the deaths that occurred in A Memory of Light, were there any that hit you harder than any others?
Brandon Sanderson (23 January 2013)

Egwene. After that, Bela. I'd promised she would live, but Harriet decided that I was cheating to keep her alive.

 
Interview: 2013
Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)
Can (13 January 2013)

@Terez27 Do we know which character is dead by Harriet's choice?

Terez

Bela. @BrandSanderson told us twice that she would survive. :( But apparently Harriet later insisted she should die.

Brandon Sanderson (13 January 2013)

Yeah. Harriet felt that we had painted that character into a corner, and the story demanded that conclusion.

Daniel Shepard

Is that the GRRM moment? Or the character that was gonna recover from their injuries?

Brandon Sanderson

Character was going to recover.

Brandon Sanderson

She was right to make that call, but it does turn me into a liar. That's what I get for speaking too soon...

 

Edited by Suttree

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I believe the original story about Brandon finding out that someone dies as mentioned in the first post is Bela.

 

Which is a sepate point from his statement about his having characters live or die based on RJ's notes and that if no notes were left they lived with the exception of two characters, on he killed and one Harriet killed.  That was Siuan.

 

I have to imagine No one really thought about Bela one way or another until she was placed in the situation she was.

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Oh, wow, I'm kind of annoyed at BS now. Well, not really. But bummer. It's weird he decided to kill her off after Siuan's been the ultimate survivor pretty much all her life. 

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He didn't decide to kill Siuan if that's what you mean.  Harriet made that call.  There is one character BS was responsible for killing but he hasn't said who yet. 

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He didn't decide to kill Siuan if that's what you mean.  Harriet made that call.  There is one character BS was responsible for killing but he hasn't said who yet. 

 

Brandon did say he was the one who killed off Hurin.

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He didn't decide to kill Siuan if that's what you mean.  Harriet made that call.  There is one character BS was responsible for killing but he hasn't said who yet. 

 

Brandon did say he was the one who killed off Hurin.

 

 

Think they may have been referring to Brandon being coy about who was responsible for Egwene's death. There has to be a story there else why not just lump it in with the others.

Edited by Suttree

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The Hurin thing is also a bit sketchy.  I know he's said it was Hurin that he decided a death for.  But then in a later panel he was very specific in saying that if RJ didn't specify live or die on a character then they lived with two specific exceptions, one Harriet chose (Siuan) and one he chose.  He then specified that he wasn't revealing his at this time.

 

So he may just have forgotten he already divulged it (Hurin)  Or he might be responsible for another death.

 

As Suttree said, a lot of this points at Egwene.  (For what its worth I have no problem with Egwene death, RJ's decision or BS's.)  Basic theory is that RJ's notes specify Cadsuane is Amyrlin in the end but BS had to decide between her dying or being burned out in her fight against Taim and the Sharans.

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As Suttree said, a lot of this points at Egwene.  (For what its worth I have no problem with Egwene death, RJ's decision or BS's.)  Basic theory is that RJ's notes specify Cadsuane is Amyrlin in the end but BS had to decide between her dying or being burned out in her fight against Taim and the Sharans.

 

At first I thought Egwene's death had to have been RJ's decision, as there are many things in the books that could be interpreted as foreshadowing of that, but I'm not so sure anymore. I do think it's strange that Brandon is so reluctant to tell us anything. It's certainly possible that it was one of RJ's "either I will do this, or I might do this" type of scenarios that Brandon's mentioned before. Also, keep in mind that Brandon and Team Jordan are very good at Aes Sedai speakBrandon told someone "I was instructed to make Cadsuane Amyrlin," but he never said by whom. It could just as easily have been Harriet who told him to do that.

 

In any event, I hope they'll settle the issue at some point, because I'd really like to know what RJ's vision was, and Egwene's ultimate fate is IMO a very important part of that. Some people are already convinced that Brandon killed her off out of personal dislike or to please the haters, but I find that unlikely. If Egwene's death was decided by anyone other than RJ, my guess would be that it was actually Harriet's decision. I also think it's worth remembering that Siuan was reportedly one of Harriet's favorite characters, so a character being killed off isn't necessarily a sign that someone wanted to see the character punished. Egwene dying and moving on to the afterlife/being reborn is arguably a kinder fate than being left widowed and burned out.

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As Suttree said, a lot of this points at Egwene.  (For what its worth I have no problem with Egwene death, RJ's decision or BS's.)  Basic theory is that RJ's notes specify Cadsuane is Amyrlin in the end but BS had to decide between her dying or being burned out in her fight against Taim and the Sharans.

 

At first I thought Egwene's death had to have been RJ's decision, as there are many things in the books that could be interpreted as foreshadowing of that, but I'm not so sure anymore. I do think it's strange that Brandon is so reluctant to tell us anything. It's certainly possible that it was one of RJ's "either I will do this, or I might do this" type of scenarios that Brandon's mentioned before. Also, keep in mind that Brandon and Team Jordan are very good at Aes Sedai speakBrandon told someone "I was instructed to make Cadsuane Amyrlin," but he never said by whom. It could just as easily have been Harriet who told him to do that.

 

In any event, I hope they'll settle the issue at some point, because I'd really like to know what RJ's vision was, and Egwene's ultimate fate is IMO a very important part of that. Some people are already convinced that Brandon killed her off out of personal dislike or to please the haters, but I find that unlikely. If Egwene's death was decided by anyone other than RJ, my guess would be that it was actually Harriet's decision. I also think it's worth remembering that Siuan was reportedly one of Harriet's favorite characters, so a character being killed off isn't necessarily a sign that someone wanted to see the character punished. Egwene dying and moving on to the afterlife/being reborn is arguably a kinder fate than being left widowed and burned out.

 

 

I haven't been around the boards for a while so just the thought of BS changing Egwene's fate is shocking. I have a hard time believing he would twist a happy ending around and kill her off. Maybe it was something heinous (RJ tortured women far more often than killing them, unlike their male counterpart) and BS didn't want that on his hands.

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I haven't been around the boards for a while so just the thought of BS changing Egwene's fate is shocking. I have a hard time believing he would twist a happy ending around and kill her off. Maybe it was something heinous (RJ tortured women far more often than killing them, unlike their male counterpart) and BS didn't want that on his hands.

 

 

Actually, that is exactly what he would do. 

 

INTERVIEW: Feb 22nd, 2013
 
QUESTION

Was Robert Jordan's original draft of that as bloody as the way it came out?

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

A lot of the deaths, he didn't write any of the actual death scenes, he just indicated who lived and died. I just upped the ante somewhat. I wasn't going to have the Last Battle come without substantial losses, and so, where he didn't instruct me, this person lives, I had some measure of, yeah. And so, I did up the body count. I know he was planning to kill off a number of characters, but he also, killing people, and letting them stay dead was not one of Jim's strong suits. He was very fond of his characters, and I know there were lots that he was planning to kill. I don't think that he would have killed as many as I, maybe. I don't know. It's what we felt the story needed, in talking to Harriet and Team Jordan. Maybe he would have. I did what I thought made the best story.

 

 

 

I was the same as Sleepinghour, but there are very strong indications that Brandon made the ultimate decision. Personally, I think it was one of the things that RJ said "this or this could happen".  I don't think he went against anything RJ had, but it may not have turned out that way under RJ. 

 

In regards to who Brandon had killed. Hurin was one, but that's not who he was talking about. In the interview about Suian, it says: 

 

 

 

INTERVIEW: Feb 21st, 2013
 
TRAE COOPER

Harriet killed Siuan.

 

Brandon also killed someone significant but he won't say who.

 

Bold mine. Hurin wasn't significant.

 

Personally, I don't like that. He thought it was fine to tell the fans who Harriet had killed of and subject her to the subsequent criticism or praise it would bring, but won't reveal what he did. 

And he refused to say who killed Egwene. That is extremely suspicious. He had no problems talking about most others and often liked to point out what RJ had done.

 

Put it together with him choosing the death of "someone significant"... 

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I won't try and presume his reasons, if he did indeed do it. 

 

Brandon's intentions and reasons aside, I think it was a good decision in terms of the story. Her antagonism with the Seanchan and particularly her talk with Tuon was a huge problem to the peace of the fourth age. The theme of the Wheel of Time and the third age is healing and peaceful change. War against basically two continents would defeat the purpose, regardless of who won - the war would devastate all. The general idea is that the Seanchan will "come to their senses" in a peaceful fashion, and eventually righting the wrongs of their empire. 

 

Also, Egwene was a war-time leader. She, like Rand, is best suited to times of hardship and war. While I don't think Egwene would be a bad leader in peace, it doesn't suit her. She would chafe under the monotony of it all. A heroic end is much more fitting for her character. 

 

Furthermore, it's exactly something Egwene would do. She puts her whole being into whatever she does and pursues it with determination. So it isn't exactly unnatural for her to give herself to defeating the Shadow. With Gawyn dead - I believe that was RJ - living wouldn't be all "happy endings" in any case. So again, her heroic death fit. 

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True, those are fair points. And Egwene was all about adventure in a storybook type of way early on in the story, so it was fitting that she would go out in a blaze of glory.

 

It's just strange to think that RJ might have thought to take her elsewhere.

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Personally, I don't like that. He thought it was fine to tell the fans who Harriet had killed of and subject her to the subsequent criticism or praise it would bring, but won't reveal what he did.

 

It seems like it was Harriet who revealed that at a signing; only then did Brandon start mentioning it to fans. At the Phoenix ComicCon (at the 44:40 mark), Brandon also talked a bit about the two major characters who were killed off by him and Harriet and added: "I haven't announced mine. [Harriet] announced hers, and it was Siuan."

 

It also seems like RJ hadn't said specifically what the fate of that character should be. I think it would be strange for RJ not to have said anything about Egwene's fate; on the other hand, I also found it surprising that RJ had apparently left no notes about Siuan after TGS. So who knows.

Edited by sleepinghour

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I don't really feel like RJ left no notes.  Just think maybe no notes on her ultimate fate.  He could very easily have left notes showing that Cadsuane will become Amyrlin after TG.  He could also have detailed in vague terms Egwene's battle against the Sharans and Taim.  So it could have been the notes left BS and Harriet with a choice of have Egwene live but either be burned out or disappear.  Or have her die.

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I agree that it is suspicious that BS won't say anything about it, but I do find it hard to believe that RJ didn't have an ending in mind for Egwene.  She's arguably the main female character, and as prominent as Rand in the second half of the series.  I really can't believe he didn't know how she would end up.

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We know Brandon added the scene with Cadsuane becoming Amyrlin in the epilogue. That kinda lends credence to  BS killing off Egwene, since the original epilogue script had no mention of a new Amyrlin being needed.

I agree with it, though, Egwene was a very black and white type of thinker, and would not have led well in a time of peace, when compromise is needed as opposed to her single minded "do whatever it takes to get things done" way of controlling the white tower.Almost reminiscent of Lincoln, now that I think of it. But yeah, Cadsuane is a much better choice for the 4th age. 

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Regardless of what was in the notes about Egwene I think her ultimate fate as intended by RJ should have been apparent as RJ did write the epilogue.  Egwene was a major character and therefore if she survived that last battle she surely would have been present in the epilogue.  Its possible that the notes on her death were sparse and that Brandon had to come up with a way to kill her off, but it seems impossible that her ultimate fate was unknown.  Therefore, I am pretty confident that RJ did kill Egwene.  As to Brandon being coy I think he just has a bit of his predecessor in him, RJ did love to keep fans in suspense and watch them squirm.  Being a WOT fan himself I think Brandon just wants to carry on that tradition.

Edited by Leopoled Boothe

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We know Brandon added the scene with Cadsuane becoming Amyrlin in the epilogue. That kinda lends credence to  BS killing off Egwene, since the original epilogue script had no mention of a new Amyrlin being needed.

Cadsuane as Amyrlin is referenced in other POVs.  I also think the fact that Egwene doesn't have an epilogue POV is pretty suggestive that RJ intended her to die - otherwise why give the other major characters one and not write one for her?  I think (but I'm not 100% sure) that Egwene's death is referenced in Tam's POV and Perrin's POV as well.

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Personally, I don't like that. He thought it was fine to tell the fans who Harriet had killed of and subject her to the subsequent criticism or praise it would bring, but won't reveal what he did.

 

It seems like it was Harriet who revealed that at a signing; only then did Brandon start mentioning it to fans. At the Phoenix ComicCon (at the 44:40 mark), Brandon also talked a bit about the two major characters who were killed off by him and Harriet and added: "I haven't announced mine. [Harriet] announced hers, and it was Siuan."

 

It also seems like RJ hadn't said specifically what the fate of that character should be. I think it would be strange for RJ not to have said anything about Egwene's fate; on the other hand, I also found it surprising that RJ had apparently left no notes about Siuan after TGS. So who knows.

 

 

Ah, fair enough. My mistake. 

 

For the rest, I can believe that RJ left out a lot considering all the things that have been revealed to have either little or no notes on them, which you would think they would. 

 

But, personally I'm not too bothered. The story will never truly be what RJ intended, and Brandon and Team Jordan had to make choices and fill in the blanks. Even if I may disagree with some of those choices, I respect that they had to be made. The only real issues I have is with tone and style - I don't think the story itself was destroyed, so I am fine with whoever did whatever. 

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Egwene was a major character and therefore if she survived that last battle she surely would have been present in the epilogue.

 

You're assuming that what RJ actually left behind is the entirety of what he would have wanted to include in the epilogue. Personally, I think he would have added a few more scenes before the last scene with Rand, considering that Brandon ended up writing some.

 

Cadsuane as Amyrlin is referenced in other POVs.  I also think the fact that Egwene doesn't have an epilogue POV is pretty suggestive that RJ intended her to die - otherwise why give the other major characters one and not write one for her?  I think (but I'm not 100% sure) that Egwene's death is referenced in Tam's POV and Perrin's POV as well.

 

Yes, but Brandon wrote Perrin's POV, and modified some of the others. The epilogue was not all RJ.

 

Brandon: It was the last few scenes I was working on, Perrin after the Last Battle and a few of the Loial sequences in the epilogue, which were parts I had a hand in writing as opposed to putting in what RJ had written.

 

Brandon: In here [RJ's notes], there were some completed scenes that Robert Jordan had written before he passed away. This included much of what is now the epilogue in the last book. That was the last scene, that he talked about. There are some parts of the epilogue that are mine. You can bring out the book and I can point them out to you. But the last scene and various... The bulk of the epilogue was his.

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One thing that does strike me about the final scene is Nyneave's absence.  When RJ sated that he had known the end even before be began to write the series he noted that Nyneave was in the final scene.  This leads me to believe that it was originally going to be Nyneave who watched Rand riding off in Moridin's body but that at some point she was replaced with Cadsuane.   Thus, I do believe that at some point  Cadsuane's involvement in the epilogue was expanded .  This could lend some credence to the notion that Brandon decided to make her Amyrlin and did so because he had decide to kill off Egwene.  However, a few points that also must be considered are that there is no reference to Cads being Amyrlin in this particular scene, and the comment about Nyn was from a very old quote so it may have been RJ who decided to remove her from the scene in favor of Cads.

 

Granted the above is all speculation but personally I do think that Nyneave would have worked better in this scene. Not only had Nyn known Rand since he was a small child, but by the end to the story of all the Two Rivers folk she was the one who was closest to him.  The other three Two Rivers youths had all spent the later part of the series going about their own agendas, while Nyn is the only character who remained constantly loyal and dedicated to Rand. Thus she of all people would be equipped recognize him even without his original body.  It would also provide a nice contrast as her story began with her relentlessly pursuing Rand and would have ended with her letting him go. 

Edited by Leopoled Boothe

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