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Why is Elayne's Story so criticized


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I still fail to see how it could have altered her circumstances enough to be a great failure. She is Queen of Andor and Cairhein. She resolves all of the disunity and discord in these countries and unites them for the Last Battle. Her circumstances aren't changed and her victory is still virtually total by the end of ToM. 

 

I didn't read that scene but the repercussions seem non-existent. All that came from it is that Elayne realizes that Birgitte was right to watch over her and that she should be more cautious. Though TBH, her behavior and role in MoL seems to make even that resolution seem tenuous at best.

 

I'm unsure what you are looking for. 

 

She has made plenty of mistakes, but has recovered from them. If she had made a total mess of things, she would have been de-throned and killed. 

 

Her story is one of unifying Andor. She hits many speed bumps along the way and makes several mistakes, but ultimately comes out as Queen. 

 

So in that sense, no, she doesn't make any grievous errors, because she can't afford to. Unless you are saying she should have been killed, she acted how a Queen needs to act to keep her throne.   

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I still fail to see how it could have altered her circumstances enough to be a great failure. She is Queen of Andor and Cairhein. She resolves all of the disunity and discord in these countries and unites them for the Last Battle. Her circumstances aren't changed and her victory is still virtually total by the end of ToM. 

 

I didn't read that scene but the repercussions seem non-existent. All that came from it is that Elayne realizes that Birgitte was right to watch over her and that she should be more cautious. Though TBH, her behavior and role in MoL seems to make even that resolution seem tenuous at best.

 

I'm unsure what you are looking for. 

 

She has made plenty of mistakes, but has recovered from them. If she had made a total mess of things, she would have been de-throned and killed. 

 

Her story is one of unifying Andor. She hits many speed bumps along the way and makes several mistakes, but ultimately comes out as Queen. 

 

So in that sense, no, she doesn't make any grievous errors, because she can't afford to. Unless you are saying she should have been killed, she acted how a Queen needs to act to keep her throne.   

 

 

Well, usually victory should come at some great cost, the difficulties should be considerable and come across as challenging. Plus, some of the heroes actions simply shouldn't work or backfire. You would expect important people or allies she cares about to die. I understand that we need Elayne to have an army and many people alive for the Last Battle. However that does come at the expense of her cause being in serious danger; chiefly because her real enemy is largely absent in the shadows and doesn't kill her in the two times they have her at their mercy. Given how many times the supergirls have been captured and escaped during the series I am not going to believe that Elayne is going to die. So, I would have expected her to have lost people around her and for her forces to have taken major damage securing Andor (not be strengthened exponentially by it). Plus, frankly, she could have lost Rands children. 

 

Incidentally I read that chapter and I don't see how Elayne can be at fault. She is in her palace going to talk to a shielded black ajah, surrounded by her guards and kinswomen. That is the safest place she could possibly be. The simple fact that the Black Ajah and Mellar could just materialise out of thin air really can't be held against Elayne. I could get if she went to a den of black ajah pretending to be a forsaken. But in those circumstances theres no reason to assume that there is a great personal risk, any more than just talking to the prisoner normally.

 

I wouldn't say that Elayne faces a major challenge or setback until the final book. Same goes for Egwene. In fact the difference in situation is huge compared to how their arc went for most of the novel. 

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I still fail to see how it could have altered her circumstances enough to be a great failure. She is Queen of Andor and Cairhein. She resolves all of the disunity and discord in these countries and unites them for the Last Battle. Her circumstances aren't changed and her victory is still virtually total by the end of ToM. 

 

I didn't read that scene but the repercussions seem non-existent. All that came from it is that Elayne realizes that Birgitte was right to watch over her and that she should be more cautious. Though TBH, her behavior and role in MoL seems to make even that resolution seem tenuous at best.

 

I'm unsure what you are looking for. 

 

She has made plenty of mistakes, but has recovered from them. If she had made a total mess of things, she would have been de-throned and killed. 

 

Her story is one of unifying Andor. She hits many speed bumps along the way and makes several mistakes, but ultimately comes out as Queen. 

 

So in that sense, no, she doesn't make any grievous errors, because she can't afford to. Unless you are saying she should have been killed, she acted how a Queen needs to act to keep her throne.   

 

 

Well, usually victory should come at some great cost, the difficulties should be considerable and come across as challenging. Plus, some of the heroes actions simply shouldn't work or backfire. You would expect important people or allies she cares about to die. I understand that we need Elayne to have an army and many people alive for the Last Battle. However that does come at the expense of her cause being in serious danger; chiefly because her real enemy is largely absent in the shadows and doesn't kill her in the two times they have her at their mercy. Given how many times the supergirls have been captured and escaped during the series I am not going to believe that Elayne is going to die. So, I would have expected her to have lost people around her and for her forces to have taken major damage securing Andor (not be strengthened exponentially by it). Plus, frankly, she could have lost Rands children. 

 

 

So every good story ever written should all have the exact same elements, or they're no good?  It sounds like you have some kind of arbitrary checklist that you're measuring Elayne up to. 

 

And it was a civil war.  Of course her forces will be augmented when it's over.  Same thing happened in the US when the South rejoined the Union.  Andor was still significantly weaker than it would have otherwise, so it's not that  her army was strengthened, it was just reconstituted.

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I don't disagree with what you say, I just see it differently. 

 

RJ was not writing the story for the elements that you want. He explored other things in his writing, he wasn't focused on gritty realism. 

 

There's no denying that it doesn't conform to real world logic at times, but that isn't the purpose of the story. 

 

You are frequently comparing it to ASOIAF. The two stories are completely different. RJ was not writing like GRRM, and they explore different aspects life. You can't compare the two, because they are written differently with different goals.

 

I can understand if you prefer ASOIAF, but because RJ doesn't have similar "rules" to GRRM, it doesn't make it wrong. It isn't that RJ failed to do something - he didn't intend to write it for that purpose in the first place. 

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I'll give you an example.

 

I have just finished HP. While I like Tonks, Remus, Fred their deaths  are nothing to me because they are not developed persons they are just empty names "without substance".

 

Same goes for Aram ,Berelain, Masuri, Grady, Arganda, Balwer, Seonid, Neald, Dannil, Elyas etc.

You don't care about Tonks?

 

*** shakes head ***

Edited by csarmi
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I wouldn't say gritty realism. But it did come across as though her victory was inevitable and theres a distinct lack of hurdles to cross in her arc. We get a few attacks by the black ajah where they capture Elayne but after all the times this has been done it would take quite a lot to convince me that she is going to be in true danger. Actually the same goes for Dany, the attempts on her life by assasians, angry dothraki and everything else are obviously not going to kill her; because its been done so many times. Also, ASOIAF is NOT realistic where everyone is either a nihilist, a sadist, insane and view normal standards of humanity as weakness. Also, Elaynes actual enemies aren't really a threat. Despite one battle sequence where they attack the gates to remind us of their presence they really can't affect her. Its also offset by the fact that her position seems to get stronger throughout her arc without her actually doing anything. Houses declare for her, important lords decide they like her and the old Queensguard rejoin her; all aided by the kinswomen n seafolk gateways. It didn't feel like they were really putting the pressure on Elayne and the POVs from their perspective (as is often the case in WoT) only serves to make them seem less of a threat and incompetent.   

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The Shadow didn't want to kill Elayne, or dethrone her. 

 

Their goal was to keep the civil war going until the Last Battle if possible. 

 

The Shadow's plan involves sowing chaos from the shadows, making the "Light" fight amongst each other while it builds its strength. (Hence all the civil war and the Tower split).

 

They wanted Elayne to keep fighting the rebels, and they didn't want the rebels competent enough to win, just enough to keep the Kingdom at war. 

 

So for a long period Elayne was simply gathering enough support to fight the rebels, and the Shadow was cool with that, they even helped her out.

 

It is only after she had stopped the civil war when the Shadow attacked. Considering that at the end of ToM, her capital is overrun by Shadowspawn, their plan worked well. 

 

Of course, Elayne is a main character, and she is supposed to stop the civil war and unite Andor - but she was doing exactly what the Shadow wanted by fighting that civil war. The longer they fought amongst each other, the better. 

 

The whole point with the Shadow's strategy was to act as if there was no threat for as long as possible so people didn't take it seriously, then hit hard and fast when the time came. 

 

So you get the false impression that everything is going well and there isn't really much danger - then you get hit in the face when they really start their attack. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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Then why was it several books long if it was just to set us into a false sense of security before Caemlyns fall? If its point was to be too easy going for Elayne whilst the real threat gets ready then it doesn't require vast embellishment.

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It was Elayne overcoming the Shadow's plans to gain the throne. It wasn't meant to be easy for her to win. It was meant to be just hard enough to keep her busy. 

 

When she started actually winning, it got serious. 

 

And it wasn't meant to be obvious that's what was happening.

 

However, you come to the main point: It didn't require as much time as it did. Which is one of the major complaints about Elayne's arc. I think it was purposely slow - because that's what the plan was, to slow things down and keep everyone at war. However, it doesn't make for exciting reading for a lot of people, he did go a bit overboard in the arc. 

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I still found that the arc dida good job of making it seem like Elayne was really getting bogged down in the tedious busywork. If they'd focussed more on that and less on Egwene schooling the Aes Sedai then I might've been much more receptive to Egwene's arc. You just don't see villains scheme to bog a character down in pointless busiwork all that often. XD

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Then why was it several books long if it was just to set us into a false sense of security before Caemlyns fall? If its point was to be too easy going for Elayne whilst the real threat gets ready then it doesn't require vast embellishment.

 

The Shadow didn't start the invasion until they failed with Rand at the end of tGS, it seems.

 

Also, as for the length of Perrin/Elayne/Egwene's plot lines, I really attribute that to a "bottleneck" effect. There was so much going on at once (in some ways) that you could only progress very little in all the arcs in a book.

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They don't want her dead "yet". 

 

While she is at war with the rebels, they don't care. 

 

However, if she comes into power, then he is in an ideal position to strike. 

 

Also, he is in a position to manipulate the ranks to allow Darkfriends into key positions. 

 

Some of the noteable ones are the Mercenaries who betrayed Caemlyn and let the enemy in.

 

 

It is also revealed that soldiers loyal to Elayne were Darkfriends and betrayed them, guarding the Waygate so the Shadospawn could enter Caemlyn.

 

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Wait, if The Shadow doesn't want Elayne dead, then what's with that Darkfriend spy she has as the head of her bodyguards?

 

The goal is to cause chaos. If Elayne being alive is beneficial to civil war in Andor, it's good that she's alive. Once the civil war is over, though, her death would probably be beneficial. Maybe.

 

It's all about whatever will keep the forces of Light in disarray and not working together. Let the Lord of Chaos rule.

Edited by Agitel
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