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DRAGONMOUNT

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But that's always been my personal peeve with Brandon.  He feels the need to ADD things to the canon.  And typically the tid bits that he adds don't belong in the WoT world and they feel very much off.  Take the use of gateways in aMoL for example.  Was the use of them extremely creative and really neat to see in the story?  Yes, it definitely was.  However, it felt very much unlike the way RJ would have implemented those into the story.  We have thousands of pages of notes and story that clearly define gateways and their usage...WHY did Brandon feel the need to totally redefine their implementation in aMoL?  The whole anti-balefire and Egwene exploding with it really felt the same to me despite how well it was written and how well it worked in the story.

I almost feel that the authors felt that in order to remain relevant the books had to continue to add to the rules of the universe during each book.  The gateways did immediately remind me of BS Mistborn trilogy and their impressive three dimensional battle scenes.  Androl in general I could have done without for the same reasons the gateways were annoying to you.  One couldn't help but feel annoyed at the time wasted on a character who wasn't going to do anything that couldn't have been done by other already developed characters.  Also, the Magma gateway's (demandred's and Androl's) raise serious questions as to why the likes had not been seen before.  On first read 15 years ago I thought envisioned most of the uses gateways eventually were put to use but then dismissed them because their rigid nature would only be possible if there was some unspoken rule or if every person EVER in the Age of Legend was specially inept.

 

 

And Deathgates, which were clearly invented by RJ, didn't "break" the previously established usage of gateways? I thought this new use of gateways, from battlefield observation to unleashing a torrent of lava, felt like a natural development. 

 

Why wouldn't the lava thing work? Is there a single reason why it shouldn't? I've always imagined that being one of the reasons why the weave for Travelling was lost during the Breaking - because it was useless. You didn't know if the gateway would open to a place that was still safe, or if it'd open into a vulcano or an ocean, and thus killing you. 

 

Why weren't these things widely used in the AoL? Most people couldn't create gateways large enough for unleashing large torrents of magma There are perhaps better ways of killing people, unless you happen to be very Talented with gateways. And it was basically the only thing Androl could use as a weapon. Other people could rupture the earth, call down lightning, use balefire, and so on. 

 

I imagine that battlefield observation wasn't used that way because during the AoL there were other means available to observe things from afar. Ter'angreal, for instance. 

 

I don't see it as flawed in any way. 

 

I found the little inconsistencies annoying, though. Like, how could Egwene draw too much of the One Power while channeling through an ordinary sa'angreal? That's not supposed to be possible.

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Another thing with the suspension of disbelief is the Graendal compulsing the captains from TAR.  That clearly did not follow the rules that RJ set forth, but it was convenient to the plot for Brandon so he used it.  Mabye he just doesn't pay attention to those little thing?  Idk, but things like that bother the hell out of me.

 

Isn't it established that a compulsion put onto someone in TAR is carried back to the waking world? We do not know when or how Graendal actually Compelled them. Talking to them in their dreams might just have been a way to convey information that would be filtered through an already woven Compulsion weave and then be interpreted in the "right" way. Graendal is a master of Compulsion, after all. 

 

Which rules did it break? 

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But that's always been my personal peeve with Brandon.  He feels the need to ADD things to the canon.  And typically the tid bits that he adds don't belong in the WoT world and they feel very much off.  Take the use of gateways in aMoL for example.  Was the use of them extremely creative and really neat to see in the story?  Yes, it definitely was.  However, it felt very much unlike the way RJ would have implemented those into the story.  We have thousands of pages of notes and story that clearly define gateways and their usage...WHY did Brandon feel the need to totally redefine their implementation in aMoL?  The whole anti-balefire and Egwene exploding with it really felt the same to me despite how well it was written and how well it worked in the story.

I almost feel that the authors felt that in order to remain relevant the books had to continue to add to the rules of the universe during each book.  The gateways did immediately remind me of BS Mistborn trilogy and their impressive three dimensional battle scenes.  Androl in general I could have done without for the same reasons the gateways were annoying to you.  One couldn't help but feel annoyed at the time wasted on a character who wasn't going to do anything that couldn't have been done by other already developed characters.  Also, the Magma gateway's (demandred's and Androl's) raise serious questions as to why the likes had not been seen before.  On first read 15 years ago I thought envisioned most of the uses gateways eventually were put to use but then dismissed them because their rigid nature would only be possible if there was some unspoken rule or if every person EVER in the Age of Legend was specially inept.

 

 

And Deathgates, which were clearly invented by RJ, didn't "break" the previously established usage of gateways? I thought this new use of gateways, from battlefield observation to unleashing a torrent of lava, felt like a natural development. 

 

Why wouldn't the lava thing work? Is there a single reason why it shouldn't? I've always imagined that being one of the reasons why the weave for Travelling was lost during the Breaking - because it was useless. You didn't know if the gateway would open to a place that was still safe, or if it'd open into a vulcano or an ocean, and thus killing you. 

 

Why weren't these things widely used in the AoL? Most people couldn't create gateways large enough for unleashing large torrents of magma There are perhaps better ways of killing people, unless you happen to be very Talented with gateways. And it was basically the only thing Androl could use as a weapon. Other people could rupture the earth, call down lightning, use balefire, and so on. 

 

I imagine that battlefield observation wasn't used that way because during the AoL there were other means available to observe things from afar. Ter'angreal, for instance. 

 

I don't see it as flawed in any way. 

 

I found the little inconsistencies annoying, though. Like, how could Egwene draw too much of the One Power while channeling through an ordinary sa'angreal? That's not supposed to be possible.

 

The new uses of gateways didn't break any rules really, but like I said...it felt like someone with a hawaiian shirt and bathing suit just walked into Sunday mass.  It stood out even though there really is nothing wrong with it.  It's annoying to me personally, but last on my list of complaints about this book.  I do think that using the gateways as mini-satellites was very creative and worthy of a clap on the back.  It's the whole spilling lava and teleporting cannon balls that irked me.

 

And ya, Egwene drawing too much of the power through her sa'angreal is a clear violation of the rules.  A clear example of Brandon envisioning and writing a scene and casually tossing aside the rules because he doesn't think it's a big deal.  He could have subtly told us a book or two ago that Egwene's sa'angreal lacked the protection buffer similar to Callandor and then the scene would have worked much better.  Instead he just drops it on us at the last second - beating us over the head with an obvious fact.  Because apparently the reader is not smart enough to figure out that the sa'angreal lacks the buffer of protection considering Egwene just OD'd on the OP and blew up...?  A major problem with these books is Brandons clear lack of planning and foresight.  I get the sense that he is not very big on outlines and meticulous planning.  He seems to prefer to envision a scene and write about it immediately with his "flow" guiding him.

Edited by Mark D

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And ya, Egwene drawing too much of the power through her sa'angreal is a clear violation of the rules.  A clear example of Brandon envisioning and writing a scene and casually tossing aside the rules because he doesn't think it's a big deal.  He could have subtly told us a book or two ago that Egwene's sa'angreal lacked the protection buffer similar to Callandor and then the scene would have worked much better.  Instead he just drops it on us at the last second - beating us over the head with an obvious fact.  Because apparently the reader is not smart enough to figure out that the sa'angreal lacks the buffer of protection considering Egwene just OD'd on the OP and blew up...?  A major problem with these books is Brandons clear lack of planning and foresight.  I get the sense that he is not very big on outlines and meticulous planning.  He seems to prefer to envision a scene and write about it immediately with his "flow" guiding him.

 

It could also be that he simply missed that point. And I would imagine that, apparently, those who proof-read it also missed it ... When I've read BS's other books, I've always felt that he's good at sticking to the rules he's creating, unless the exceptions make a lot of sense.

 

This felt like a mistake, and I can definitely forgive it. It just ... breaks immersion. Something as little as Egwene getting her sa'angreal knocked out of her sands would've made it better. Then she could've just drawn too much because she needed it to win. You can obviously, as previously established in the books, draw an insane amount of Power unaided, but dying as a result of it. Like LTT did creating Dragon Mount, or Eldrene in Manetheren.

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*Appears suddenly after having been a very small-time poster about a year and a half ago*

 

I loved loved loved this book. I thought Brandon and RJ absolutely nailed the ending, although I can definitely see some flaws in it. I did start happily screaming when all the Chekhov's Guns came together.

 

(Before I speak, I'll say that I started reading WOT in January 2011, and have only read the series once. Also, I decided to get into Brandon's other books in March 2012, and he's now my favourite author ever. So my thoughts won't really have any "hardcore WOT" points, because I'm not really a hardcore WOT fan.)

 

I thought the last third was absolutely, wonderfully fabulous, but there were some pacing problems earlier on.

 

Slayer and all the Forsaken are practically immortal, as they are all being saved for the ending. In TGS and TOM, major battles happened in the middle of the books, and bad guys like Mesaana and the Gholam were actually defeated there. It meant that climactic parts could come at any time. However, as I said, all the major bad guys were just running around being invincible. The "Darkest Hour" feeling of Chapter 37 was neat, but I wanted to see the good guys actually win fights against the villains at some point. In fact, they could have had Bel'al revealed to be not dead, having sent a decoy to fight Rand. And then he would die immediately. That sounds mindbendingly stupid even to me, but it would have allowed someone to be actually defeated.

 

Also, some villains had long overstayed their welcomes. Taim could have gone down when Androl reclaimed the Black Tower, seeing as he bored me during the final battle. I was okay with Graendel (spelling?) and Moghedian still around as long as they something awesome, but they didn't accomplish much. Egwene's death could have been against one of those two, and it would have made them feel more relevant that some random fight with Avi.

 

Demandred has always been my favourite Forsaken (with Semhirage and Moridin behind him), so his focus in this book was nice. However, his random invincibleness was the most obvious and bothersome.

 

The last hundred pages were perfect though, IMO. Everything was done right, with all those guns being fired.

 

The first two thirds of the book were nice, but there was too much of an emphasis on the fighting. It was hard to understand what was going on, and the lead-up to Chapter 37 seemed to drag on and on and on. I wish that we had gotten more character interaction instead of all the fighting. We could still see stuff happening, but Brandon excels at interaction between characters (Mistborn is great and you should read it). I think he could have delivered a stronger finish if he had scaled back the lead-up battles and added in some more tying down of character arcs for the big finish. (My favourite chapter in the first two thirds was "Older and More Weathered", where Mat and Rand were meeting up again while Tuon was talking.)

 

Also, while I loved Rand Vs. DO, Rand's speeches were almost exactly the same as the ones Vin gave during the conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy. Brandon is awesome, but Rand is in no way Vin, so it felt kind of jarring.

 

Still, despite the failings I found with the book, it was still an incredibly strong finish. (I think I like Mistborn 3: The Hero of Ages more, but it's pure Brandon, so it's my favourite thing ever.)

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A major problem with these books is Brandons clear lack of planning and foresight.  I get the sense that he is not very big on outlines and meticulous planning.  He seems to prefer to envision a scene and write about it immediately with his "flow" guiding him. 

He actually has annotations for all his books, so you can learn a lot about his writing process. He plans everything out (he has hundreds of pages of notes on The Stormlight Archive), but he also likes throwing in a few new things as he writes and is willing to break from his careful plans when he finds something that feels more "right".

 

Brandon's style of writing is amazing, but the differences that Wheel of Time has from Mistborn and The Way of Kings make it harder to write.

 

Also, Brandon is working off of Jordan's plans, not his own.

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It could also be that he simply missed that point. And I would imagine that, apparently, those who proof-read it also missed it ... When I've read BS's other books, I've always felt that he's good at sticking to the rules he's creating, unless the exceptions make a lot of sense.

 

This felt like a mistake, and I can definitely forgive it. It just ... breaks immersion. Something as little as Egwene getting her sa'angreal knocked out of her sands would've made it better. Then she could've just drawn too much because she needed it to win. You can obviously, as previously established in the books, draw an insane amount of Power unaided, but dying as a result of it. Like LTT did creating Dragon Mount, or Eldrene in Manetheren.

 

Exactly.  It was laziness.  There is no other explanation I can think of outside of sheer laziness in writing.  The fact that he added the sentence in about the sa'angreal lacking the buffer shows that he is aware that the scene didn't make sense and he felt the need to explain a quick fix.  If he had not mentioned the sa'angreal we would all conclude that it was an oversight instead.

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Oh man, I truly grimaced when I read the back-and-forth exchange between Mat and Rand when they first meet up in Ebu Dar. They were trying to one up each other and it was so poorly written and contrived. Ugh.

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I thought it was made quite clear in earlier novels that Mashadar was created as a result of an "any means necessary" attitude to fighting the shadow by the citizens of Aridhol. They fought the shadow with shadow, and did terrible things in their war, and in doing so created Mashadar and corrupted Aridhol into Shadar Logoth.

 

It's suggested several times that the evil in Shadar Logoth was (re-)discovered, rather than created, by Mordeth when he sought out a way to fight the Shadow on its own terms. Certainly Mordeth helped it take root and grow in Aridhol, but its thoughts as Fain/Shaisam imply an existence beyond that. In TEotW Aginor recognizes it--or at least recognizes that sort of evil--which he wouldn't be able to do had Mordeth created it entirely.

 

Regardless of the actual metaphysics of Mashadar/Fain/Shaisam, that plot element was building to something, then discarded at the last moment as a punchline for one of Mat's quips.  It's a situation much like the BA hunter plot arc that just fizzled out.

 

-- dwn

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Oh man, I truly grimaced when I read the back-and-forth exchange between Mat and Rand when they first meet up in Ebu Dar. They were trying to one up each other and it was so poorly written and contrived. Ugh.

I loved that part and was grinning through it.

 

To each their own I supposed.

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Oh man, I truly grimaced when I read the back-and-forth exchange between Mat and Rand when they first meet up in Ebu Dar. They were trying to one up each other and it was so poorly written and contrived. Ugh.

 

ya that was bad.  real bad.

 

i learned to just gloss over stuff like that though.  what is really disappointing to me is the sloppiness and apparent casualness of how some major plots are "wrapped up".  the series has ended now, and we still dont know why the DO wanted to turn Rand rather than kill him.  it seems like there is no reason whatsoever.  there also seems to be no reason as to why they didnt just flat out kill Rand.  this is all just horribly sloppy writing and whether or not it was addressed in the notes doesnt matter - it could have been wrapped up by BS.

Edited by Mark D

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As we all know, Robert Jordan intended the final 3 volumes to be one book.  Do you think he could have pulled it off without making the final volume 2700 pages?

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As we all know, Robert Jordan intended the final 3 volumes to be one book.  Do you think he could have pulled it off without making the final volume 2700 pages?

He was going to invent new binding techniques or use a 3 point font. Maybe remove all vowels too. tempest/tmpst...

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Oh man, I truly grimaced when I read the back-and-forth exchange between Mat and Rand when they first meet up in Ebu Dar. They were trying to one up each other and it was so poorly written and contrived. Ugh.

 

ya that was bad.  real bad.

 

i learned to just gloss over stuff like that though.  what is really disappointing to me is the sloppiness and apparent casualness of how some major plots are "wrapped up".  the series has ended now, and we still dont know why the DO wanted to turn Rand rather than kill him.  it seems like there is no reason whatsoever.  there also seems to be no reason as to why they didnt just flat out kill Rand.  this is all just horribly sloppy writing and whether or not it was addressed in the notes doesnt matter - it could have been wrapped up by BS.

They hadn't seen each other since, wow, umm Lord of Chaos I think? How is the meeting supposed to go without having pages of dialogue with a Mat who doesn't really like disclosure. I enjoyed it.

 

@RandMatPerrin

 

I agree, Taim should have been killed in the Tower Coup, but you are underestimating the effects of the various Forsaken

 

1) Graendal effectively destroyed almost 1/3 of the Lights initial armies, sure the trollocs did most of the work, but the great Captains were making serious errors that cost the Light major manpower. Then she killed a bunch of the channelers guarding Rand's back.

 

Well, I can't remember what Mogy did at the moment.

 

Taim's Dreadlors did a lot of damage, he's probably just behind Demandred and Graendal for effectiveness in the campaign.

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As we all know, Robert Jordan intended the final 3 volumes to be one book.  Do you think he could have pulled it off without making the final volume 2700 pages?

 

I think he could have pulled it off with 2 books quite well.  If you look at the actual major events that each character still needed to complete, there aren't many left at all after KoD.  Egwene had to secure her rule, Perrin had to deal with whitecloaks and forge his hammer, Mat had to rescue Moiraine, Rand had to turn dark and then turn back.  That's basically a book and a halfs worth of material at most - then you need to write the Last Battle.  How much of this book was just endless battle ramblings?  If you break it down into actual events, there wasn't that much to cover in aMoL.  You could literally erase almost the entire first half of this book.  The only actual event necessary was the meeting at the Fields of Merrilor.

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I think that Mogy was just comic relief by the end there.  She had lost so many times, and her plans always backfired horribly in this age.  Apparently in the AOL people thought differently, and she never caught on.

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I think that Mogy was just comic relief by the end there.  She had lost so many times, and her plans always backfired horribly in this age.  Apparently in the AOL people thought differently, and she never caught on.

 

Moggy was the mole in Mat's command staff.  I thought that was an excellent example of character build up and follow through. As soon as we knew there was a spy, we also knew it had to be Moggy given her history--it's the same role she played in the AoL where she infiltrated Lews Therin's inner circle. I also liked the scene where Min reveals her, because, again, it confirms her identity through her behaviour without bluntly spelling it out.

 

I just wish she had been left uncaught... it would have made her ending funnier and more satisfying.

 

-- dwn

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I haven't finished reflecting on the novel yet, but I thought I'd have a stab at this.

 

@MarkD

 

 

 

 

It did, but its basically a mistake. We saw that the medallion doesnt work that way when Mat got hit by Rahvin's lightning and we have PoV's mentioning how it doesn't protect against channeling like that. It only dissolves weaves that directly touch it or the wearer - if someone weaves fire from afar then the fire is created by the OP and doesn't actually have any weaves in it anymore so the fire won't have any issues hurting the medallion wearer.

 

I think you're wrong about this specific example. Fire has three requirements: heat, fuel and oxygen. Balls of fire (as are generally used) don't have any fuel to them, so they must still be a weave (or logically their wouldn't be any fire). When Eg and Perrin are alone (in EotW) and she uses the weave to set fire to fuel then it becomes a regular fire, if this was thrown then the fire is independent of the weave so would hurt Mat. If a ball of fire is thrown at them (without a fuel supply) then they should get singed from the heat (from before the ball hits them), but the weave and thus ball of fire should dissapate when it touches them.

 

In your previous post you also mentioned balefire - don't know what would happen, theoretically it should stop as it's a weave, but Elaynes copies work until the channeling gets to a certain level. Same could be true of Mats original ter'angreal it's just that it hasn't been tested to the balefire extent yet. Or it could be that balefire is unique, I don't think their's been any textual proof (that I remember) of balefire going up against a ter'angreal.

 

You also previously mentioned lightning (which is the one example we have), in this case the Power is used to create the conditions for lightning and used to guide and start the lightning, but the lightning becomes a natural phenomenon in the way that the fireball doesn't.

 

In a similar track - you can't hold somebody in place (or lift them) with a weave of air, but if you could create a wind that would affect the person...

 

All my opinion and understanding, may be wrong :)

The only real "problem" I had with the mechanisms and magic set forth in the book, which is better cast as a question I can't quite answer, is the issue with Matt's terangreal. According to Rand, Mat died from Rahvin's lightning strikes because the terangreal was not effective against saidin. Rand, of course, must have been wrong in his assumption and perhaps I don't recall something in the novels that disproved his theory earlier? Something like your suggestion and theory must have been the reason for the terangreal's failure. Edited by CTGryffindor

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The only real "problem," which is better cast as a question I can't quite answer, is the issue with Matt's terangreal. According to Rand, Mat died from Rahvin's lightning strikes because the terangreal was not effective against saidin. Rand could, of course, must have been wrong in his assumption and perhaps I don't recall something in the novels that disproved his theory earlier? Something like your suggestion and theory must have been the reason for the terangreal's failure.

It doesn't protect against indirect weaves. We have seen it work in text against Saidin.

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The only real "problem," which is better cast as a question I can't quite answer, is the issue with Matt's terangreal. According to Rand, Mat died from Rahvin's lightning strikes because the terangreal was not effective against saidin. Rand could, of course, must have been wrong in his assumption and perhaps I don't recall something in the novels that disproved his theory earlier? Something like your suggestion and theory must have been the reason for the terangreal's failure.

It doesn't protect against indirect weaves. We have seen it work in text against Saidin.

Ah, thanks. I missed that then in earlier books, and only remembered Rand's apparently mistaken explanation that the terangreal had failed to protect Mat against Saidin because it only worked against Saidar.

Edited by CTGryffindor

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Two of the most admired fantasy series at the moment, though this one just ended were meant to be trilogies. I don't see GRRM getting to 14 books, but probably 7 or 8.

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