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What was wrong with the Mat/Rand scene?  When old friends meet, especially young males, of course they are going to have a pissing contest.

Everything was wrong with that scene, not only are they out of character but come on a pissing contest just because they are young? They could have had a contest when Mat blew the horn or when Rand killed Ishmael but they didn't. Both of the characters have memories dating back thousands of years they are not normal young men. Both characters have seen a trend towards more maturity this is especially true for Rand and to a lesser extent even Mat before Sanderson had him capturing badgers again and giving Aes Sedai blister wart. Like I said before Mat doesn't talk up his bravery he is self deprecating even calling it foolish because it nearly gets him killed. And bragging about marrying the Seanchan Empress? He has been dreading it since tSR and now he is bragging about it? The scene felt very unnatural.

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Thanks Pm. The link is broken though. Does the interview talk about Brandon's outlines?

 

As an aside we actually know Harriet did the outline for AMoL.

Sorry.  Link fixed now.  It doesn't talk about Sanderson's outlining in this particular interview but Sanderson has talked about his extensive outlining in his writing excuses podcasts.

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What was wrong with the Mat/Rand scene?  When old friends meet, especially young males, of course they are going to have a pissing contest.

Everything was wrong with that scene, not only are they out of character but come on a pissing contest just because they are young? They could have had a contest when Mat blew the horn or when Rand killed Ishmael but they didn't. Both of the characters have memories dating back thousands of years they are not normal young men. Both characters have seen a trend towards more maturity this is especially true for Rand and to a lesser extent even Mat before Sanderson had him capturing badgers again and giving Aes Sedai blister wart. Like I said before Mat doesn't talk up his bravery he is self deprecating even calling it foolish because it nearly gets him killed. And bragging about marrying the Seanchan Empress? He has been dreading it since tSR and now he is bragging about it? The scene felt very unnatural.

Yes both have been maturing but some of the scenes before have specifically referenced how Rand is different (and in some cases better) than LTT of previous ages.  This was from the point of view of other characters, including Lanfear.  We see many instances in this book, not just this scene, where Rand is still the sheephearder from the Two Rivers.  That was the whole point of the Dragonmount scene and the significance of his being able to laugh again (the very first scene of this book shows that).

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What was wrong with the Mat/Rand scene?  When old friends meet, especially young males, of course they are going to have a pissing contest.

Everything was wrong with that scene, not only are they out of character but come on a pissing contest just because they are young? They could have had a contest when Mat blew the horn or when Rand killed Ishmael but they didn't. Both of the characters have memories dating back thousands of years they are not normal young men. Both characters have seen a trend towards more maturity this is especially true for Rand and to a lesser extent even Mat before Sanderson had him capturing badgers again and giving Aes Sedai blister wart. Like I said before Mat doesn't talk up his bravery he is self deprecating even calling it foolish because it nearly gets him killed. And bragging about marrying the Seanchan Empress? He has been dreading it since tSR and now he is bragging about it? The scene felt very unnatural.

Yes both have been maturing but some of the scenes before have specifically referenced how Rand is different (and in some cases better) than LTT of previous ages.  This was from the point of view of other characters, including Lanfear.  We see many instances in this book, not just this scene, where Rand is still the sheephearder from the Two Rivers.  That was the whole point of the Dragonmount scene and the significance of his being able to laugh again (the very first scene of this book shows that).

Sure I agree Jesus Rand even with his consolidation of LTT is still more of the sheepherder Rand than Dark Rand. Rand points out some of the mistakes he made as LTT like how he treated Demandred. He understands that his arrogance was part of why he failed the first time. I'm not really sure how much that plays into Rand/Mat's scene. Lets just assume that he is sheepherder 2.0 he's seen some shit gone through some dark times has big things to come, hes there trying to convince the Seanchan into an alliance, is he really going to get into a bragging match with Mat?

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First, I'm not trolling despite this being a new account. 

 

Given that, I just finished the last 120 pages and I'd seriously rather reread Eragon than the middle of this book again.  The ending was fair and roughly what I'd expected after lurking the forums and theory sites for years, but the entire Last Battle portion was without merit.

 

I think the tipping point for me was either when Graendal was returned or when M'Hael was raised.  It just really made it obvious how pointless everything was that wasn't directly related to what Rand was doing in the Bore.  Everything else was just fluff.  The book either should have been 300 pages shorter or there should have been a better Rand storyline.

 

I stopped to whine to my wife about how terrible the book was so far, and she wouldn't take me at my word.  I told her it was the Phantom Menace of WoT.  Her immediate reply was who is Jar Jar Binks?  Immediately, I said Demandred.  Mesa Wlyd.  Mesa gonna destroy yous!

 

And seriously, how much new, random BS was inserted in this book?  Binding sa'angreal?  WTF was a Sharan army suddenly doing in Randland?  Reverse balefire (the Flame?  Seriously?)?!  Sa'angreal with no buffers?  I liked this series because of the theories and the internal consistency, at least in part, and this was a train wreck.

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Both Mat and Rand laughed about it at the end.  Clearly both were arguing in jest.

 

Besides, had that scene occurred in real life (as opposed to words on paper), that particular spat would have lasted what? 5 seconds?  Surely even the Dragon Reborn is allowed to forget himself as he reminisces with an old friend for all of 5 seconds.  He loses himself for much longer periods of time when speaking with Elayne and Aviendha. 

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I laughed at the Mat and Rand scene because it was funny, but it was also pretty far out of character and not very well written.  As a bit, it was pretty great, but that's all it was good for.

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First, I'm not trolling despite this being a new account. 

 

Given that, I just finished the last 120 pages and I'd seriously rather reread Eragon than the middle of this book again.  The ending was fair and roughly what I'd expected after lurking the forums and theory sites for years, but the entire Last Battle portion was without merit.

 

I think the tipping point for me was either when Graendal was returned or when M'Hael was raised.  It just really made it obvious how pointless everything was that wasn't directly related to what Rand was doing in the Bore.  Everything else was just fluff.  The book either should have been 300 pages shorter or there should have been a better Rand storyline.

 

I stopped to whine to my wife about how terrible the book was so far, and she wouldn't take me at my word.  I told her it was the Phantom Menace of WoT.  Her immediate reply was who is Jar Jar Binks?  Immediately, I said Demandred.  Mesa Wlyd.  Mesa gonna destroy yous!

 

And seriously, how much new, random BS was inserted in this book?  Binding sa'angreal?  WTF was a Sharan army suddenly doing in Randland?  Reverse balefire (the Flame?  Seriously?)?!  Sa'angreal with no buffers?  I liked this series because of the theories and the internal consistency, at least in part, and this was a train wreck.

But this is mainly wrong. What Sa'angreal are you talking about? Rand Gift's Elyane with a Ter'angreal capable of making angreal and Sa'angreal, meaning that the Forsaken could have easily had soemthing similar and time to create power weapons in the run up to the LB. The Sharan army has been foreshadowed for a while now, considering that RJ himself said that we would see Sharans but not Shara itself, and the fact that Demandred had been in Shara posing as someone from their legends and rallying them to fight for the Shadow. I mean it even says that he was marshalling an army somewhere. The Flame of Tar'valon thing, ok it's a stupid name but the concept of the pattern being balanced? If a weave can destroy the pattern, it stands to reason that there has to be one that shores up the pattern.

 

And how was Graendal or Taim a tipping point? That makes no sense considering it's been known for years Taim was a darkfriend and that Greandal was being punished and tortured but not dead.

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And seriously, how much new, random BS was inserted in this book?  Binding sa'angreal?  WTF was a Sharan army suddenly doing in Randland?  Reverse balefire (the Flame?  Seriously?)?!  Sa'angreal with no buffers?  I liked this series because of the theories and the internal consistency, at least in part, and this was a train wreck.

 

 

Demandred claims it. Wtf not? This is Last Battle! Story has always been from POV of Rand landers. How could we have "last battle" when most of the humanity is sitting and watching? And how could you get "sharan" POV since we don't know any? I give you the flame of Tar valon thingy. Callandor is  a Sa'angreal without buffer! 

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And seriously, how much new, random BS was inserted in this book?  Binding sa'angreal?  WTF was a Sharan army suddenly doing in Randland?  Reverse balefire (the Flame?  Seriously?)?!  Sa'angreal with no buffers?  I liked this series because of the theories and the internal consistency, at least in part, and this was a train wreck.

 

 

Demandred claims it. Wtf not? This is Last Battle! Story has always been from POV of Rand landers. How could we have "last battle" when most of the humanity is sitting and watching? And how could you get "sharan" POV since we don't know any? I give you the flame of Tar valon thingy. Callandor is  a Sa'angreal without buffer! 

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Yeah okay sure they were both arguing in jest but I still don't buy that scene still felt out of place

How? Barring the times when Rand was being moody and Dragon Rebornish, the whole scope of there friendship was the fact that Mat brought out the kid in Rand. Note him catching a badger to set loose in the first book and them getting in trouble together, and then it happening again when they meet and Mat's caught another badger.

 

The whole point of the scene was to show the story coming full circle, that even thought they'd been fighting for the fate of the world and had lost people, they were still boys. And the end even more shows this point with Rand pointing out that he's getting a second crack at his Childhood. Rand got thrust into adulthood so fast and quickly and Mat is the only person that can bring out his childish side, Mat is the only one Rand can be a goofball with. That's the whole point of Mat avoiding him throughout the series, it's not because  Rand is going mad, it's because Rand has changed and Mat doesn't want to see the change that's happened to his buddy, because if Rand can change that much, what does that say about himself?

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I thought I'd post my 2 cents worth...

 

I enjoyed the book overall. How much of that is from a WOT hangover, I'm not certain. The books through the middle were downright tortorous but I thought that was some marked improvement with the last. I just wish that less time had been spent on the Faile plotlines etc, and more time given to this book and its stories. I think a lot of the comments are already written. I found the writing jarring in places, like it was breaking down certain characters and the way that I expected them to perform in certain situations. It's all well and good to say 'it's the last battle... hoorah!' but that becomes too much of an excuse for changing characters personalities and turns everyone into a suicidal hero who may just save the day. There was a LOT of that going on. Lan, Egwene, Gawyn, Galad, Logain...

 

What was possibly the most annoying element of this is that the world and its history was essentially closed off to the reader just so that the novel could be ended. I admit that it is a fine line between opening up new plot lines and rounding out the story (like the Dem from Shara deal), but it needs to come with the history and the story. Moridin seemed essentially untouched other that the fact he wanted to obliterate himself. Balefire his foot? Anyway, I thought at stages that there was just sooooo much fighting, then more fighting, then more... it lost meaning. Whatever happened to the way overhyped point of 'balance'.

 

The fact that Rand didn't kill the Dark One, when he could. I found that to be a weak justication. Firstly, the Dark One really sucked. Like really, really, really sucked. He was weak if all he could do was give Rand a 'will wack' then show him some visions to make him despair. Then he had nothing at all... nor did he seem to have any contingencies when all of this failed. That is so very, very, very impressive for an omnipotent (now impotent) being. Anyway, he doesn't get killed. Why? I know people have this idea of balance and what not. But what difference is there when you seal the Dark One outside of the pattern (so he can't affect it) to just killing him? All that has happened is that now the cycle can repeat? Was that the point? The bore can be reopened, everyone can go again etc etc. Some people might like that ending but it wasn't for me. Admittedly, choices with this sort of thing are limited. Win/lose, kill/show mercy... it is at the end of the day, standard fantasy.

 

Elayne being made overall commander despite the fact that she has no kingdom? Then her constant fighting whilst carrying children? Just weird.

 

Lastly, a lot of the plotlines tied up were way too convenient. The 'it's just a weave' quote the Egwene kept repeating obviously meant she was going to figure it out. And she did - again - while not knowing how or what she was weaving. It was just perfect... Hey look, I'm in Moridin!... Oh there you are Faile, you couldn't possibly be dead. Or you Olver. And look Birgitte, you died, but you're not even dead, plus you've got your memory back and you're being reborn! Yay.

 

Despite these things, somehow I still enjoyed it.

 

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I don't understand why the Dark One was suddenly retconned into being the source of all evil. It's been established that the Dark One is outside the Pattern, and is completely sealed off from it at all times, except from the end of the Age of Legends until the end of the Third Age. It's also been established that the Pattern is neither good nor evil, and that the Creator doesn't influence it at all. This means that evil is part of the Pattern as much as good, and that the DO is just this one guy who shows up and trashes the place - why would killing him suddenly mean that evil vanishes from the world, and everyone is lobotomized into being good all the time? Why is an immortal bodiless entity even killable in the first place?

Edited by Wool-headed lummox
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I created an account just so I could post my two cents worth on this thread.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the book and I give BS a lot of passes because I'm just so happy that the series was able to be completed, even if it wasn't done perfectly.

 

However.

 

The one thing that was incredibly jarring in this was the blatant mentions of sex.  I am not a prude by any means, it's just that Robert Jordan handled it a lot more gracefully.  Very fade to black.  In this book particularly, it was so much more obvious.  Avi saying, "You will bed me now."  I won't even get into Avi acting rather like a giggly-girl the morning after as she sneaks up on Rand to throw her arms around him for a kiss.  Then there was Rand mentioning that at least "this time I don't have to worry about freezing my bits off."  Jebus, that right there *shakes head*  Mat and Tuon naked right there in the garden.  It all felt very fanficcy.  If I wanted to read fanfic, I wouldn't have spent money on the book; I'd just go to fanfic.net or something.

 

Another thing:  Min.

 

Rand was going around having his swan songs with all the other major characters and there was NOTHING between him and Min.  I understand that they had been together for the last hundred books or whatever, but still, not even a goodbye scene between those two?  In fact, Min was hardly in the first half of the book other than to say something along the lines of, "Oh Rand, you look so sad."  And something else along the lines of, "That sucks."  (An exaggerated quote, not an actual one).  Then, bam, she's with Mat and Tuon right after Siuan's "blink and you miss it" death.

 

The head hopping drove me insane.  I said outloud, multiple times, "Those symbols at the beginning of the chapter used to mean something, you know."  If there were dice, you knew it was a Mat chapter.  If there was a wolf, you knew it was a stupid Perrin chapter (I don't like Perrin.  Never liked Perrin.  I really really wished Perrin would have died messily, along with his awful, AWFUL wife).  Instead the chapters had those symbols and all it guranteed was that Mat would PROBABLY have a PoV bit in there, somewhere.  I get that during The Last Battle chapter it would have been impossible to restrict it to one character's PoV and I would have given it a pass.  For THAT chapter.  But other than that, it drove me nuts.

 

People have mentioned the more casual way the characters talked and I found myself nodding in agreement.  And then the word "tempest."  Gawd.  I find it ironic that there was a PoV section of Thom trying to find the right words to describe the last battle when obviously BS was struggling with the same issue.

 

All in all it wasn't terrible.  I know BS did what he could and it's impossible to emulate someone else's writing style (which he outright said he wasn't going to do anyway).  It's just...Jebus, he could have at least tried to be consistent with how the world was portrayed :/

 

ETA:  I know there are a lot of complaints that the epilogue was very abrupt and that we have no glimpse of how things will be in the future.  I wish there could have been as well.  However, whenever a series does that (Harry Potter and Hunger Games comes directly to mind) people throw fits over it.  Fits that things are wrapped up too nicely.  People they don't like together ended up together.  "Lol, Katpee (Katniss/Peeta's awful ship name) babies!"  So in a way, Team Jordan was kind of "Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't" in that respect.  Far better to speculate for many years to come rather than have everything set in stone.

Edited by peasant007
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I don't think that Mat/Tuon in the garden has been handled much differently than Mat's sexual encounters with Tylin.

 

Outside of this site, the bragging contest seems to be one of the universally best loved scenes in the book.

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@peasant 007

 

Personally I think the ending would be fine -if- there was going to be more written, or a chance of more being written (there is even a chance of HP really). The fact that you know there isn't going to be (it is stated on Sanderson's website), to me means you need to do a better job of tying down the loose ends.

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First, I'm not trolling despite this being a new account. 

 

Given that, I just finished the last 120 pages and I'd seriously rather reread Eragon than the middle of this book again.  The ending was fair and roughly what I'd expected after lurking the forums and theory sites for years, but the entire Last Battle portion was without merit.

 

I think the tipping point for me was either when Graendal was returned or when M'Hael was raised.  It just really made it obvious how pointless everything was that wasn't directly related to what Rand was doing in the Bore.  Everything else was just fluff.  The book either should have been 300 pages shorter or there should have been a better Rand storyline.

 

I stopped to whine to my wife about how terrible the book was so far, and she wouldn't take me at my word.  I told her it was the Phantom Menace of WoT.  Her immediate reply was who is Jar Jar Binks?  Immediately, I said Demandred.  Mesa Wlyd.  Mesa gonna destroy yous!

 

And seriously, how much new, random BS was inserted in this book?  Binding sa'angreal?  WTF was a Sharan army suddenly doing in Randland?  Reverse balefire (the Flame?  Seriously?)?!  Sa'angreal with no buffers?  I liked this series because of the theories and the internal consistency, at least in part, and this was a train wreck.

But this is mainly wrong. What Sa'angreal are you talking about? Rand Gift's Elyane with a Ter'angreal capable of making angreal and Sa'angreal, meaning that the Forsaken could have easily had soemthing similar and time to create power weapons in the run up to the LB. The Sharan army has been foreshadowed for a while now, considering that RJ himself said that we would see Sharans but not Shara itself, and the fact that Demandred had been in Shara posing as someone from their legends and rallying them to fight for the Shadow. I mean it even says that he was marshalling an army somewhere. The Flame of Tar'valon thing, ok it's a stupid name but the concept of the pattern being balanced? If a weave can destroy the pattern, it stands to reason that there has to be one that shores up the pattern.

 

And how was Graendal or Taim a tipping point? That makes no sense considering it's been known for years Taim was a darkfriend and that Greandal was being punished and tortured but not dead.

I think the Taim part made no sense since there really was no point in needing to raise him choosen, since the job he was tasked to do on the battlefield he could of done as a dreadlord.  Making him a chosen to me made very little sense. The Sa'angreal I think he is talking about is Demandred's mace and how he binded it to just himself so it couldn't be used against him..

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I don't understand why the Dark One was suddenly retconned into being the source of all evil. It's been established that the Dark One is outside the Pattern, and is completely sealed off from it at all times, except from the end of the Age of Legends until the end of the Third Age. It's also been established that the Pattern is neither good nor evil, and that the Creator doesn't influence it at all. This means that evil is part of the Pattern as much as good, and that the DO is just this one guy who shows up and trashes the place - why would killing him suddenly mean that evil vanishes from the world, and everyone is lobotomized into being good all the time? Why is an immortal bodiless entity even killable in the first place?

Outside the pattern he coan't die, in order to kill him Rand needed to bring him into the pattern which is what he was going to do.  breaking the seal would allow him to freely enter the world.  The DO IMO does mean evil since when they bored into his prison all the evil feelings folks had were increased.  Murders started happening, robberies, wars, etc.   Anyone who felt they had been wronged had tthose feelinss hightened.  Things that age had no idea how to deal with since before the DO could touch the world they never had to deal with most of that sort of behavior.  Rand saw that by killing the DO and in his mind removing evil would of been just as bad as the DO winning since the pattern is about balance.   So in some ways since in the AOL there was so little evil, drilling into the DO's prison was the patterns way to balance itself out.

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I created an account just so I could post my two cents worth on this thread.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the book and I give BS a lot of passes because I'm just so happy that the series was able to be completed, even if it wasn't done perfectly.

 

However.

 

The one thing that was incredibly jarring in this was the blatant mentions of sex.  I am not a prude by any means, it's just that Robert Jordan handled it a lot more gracefully.  Very fade to black.  In this book particularly, it was so much more obvious.  Avi saying, "You will bed me now."  I won't even get into Avi acting rather like a giggly-girl the morning after as she sneaks up on Rand to throw her arms around him for a kiss.  Then there was Rand mentioning that at least "this time I don't have to worry about freezing my bits off."  Jebus, that right there *shakes head*  Mat and Tuon naked right there in the garden.  It all felt very fanficcy.  If I wanted to read fanfic, I wouldn't have spent money on the book; I'd just go to fanfic.net or something.

 

Another thing:  Min.

 

Rand was going around having his swan songs with all the other major characters and there was NOTHING between him and Min.  I understand that they had been together for the last hundred books or whatever, but still, not even a goodbye scene between those two?  In fact, Min was hardly in the first half of the book other than to say something along the lines of, "Oh Rand, you look so sad."  And something else along the lines of, "That sucks."  (An exaggerated quote, not an actual one).  Then, bam, she's with Mat and Tuon right after Siuan's "blink and you miss it" death.

 

The head hopping drove me insane.  I said outloud, multiple times, "Those symbols at the beginning of the chapter used to mean something, you know."  If there were dice, you knew it was a Mat chapter.  If there was a wolf, you knew it was a stupid Perrin chapter (I don't like Perrin.  Never liked Perrin.  I really really wished Perrin would have died messily, along with his awful, AWFUL wife).  Instead the chapters had those symbols and all it guranteed was that Mat would PROBABLY have a PoV bit in there, somewhere.  I get that during The Last Battle chapter it would have been impossible to restrict it to one character's PoV and I would have given it a pass.  For THAT chapter.  But other than that, it drove me nuts.

 

People have mentioned the more casual way the characters talked and I found myself nodding in agreement.  And then the word "tempest."  Gawd.  I find it ironic that there was a PoV section of Thom trying to find the right words to describe the last battle when obviously BS was struggling with the same issue.

 

All in all it wasn't terrible.  I know BS did what he could and it's impossible to emulate someone else's writing style (which he outright said he wasn't going to do anyway).  It's just...Jebus, he could have at least tried to be consistent with how the world was portrayed :/

 

ETA:  I know there are a lot of complaints that the epilogue was very abrupt and that we have no glimpse of how things will be in the future.  I wish there could have been as well.  However, whenever a series does that (Harry Potter and Hunger Games comes directly to mind) people throw fits over it.  Fits that things are wrapped up too nicely.  People they don't like together ended up together.  "Lol, Katpee (Katniss/Peeta's awful ship name) babies!"  So in a way, Team Jordan was kind of "Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't" in that respect.  Far better to speculate for many years to come rather than have everything set in stone.

 

I dont think it's ironic that there was that Thom chapter.  It seems like it is a trait of Brandon's to do things like that intentionally.

 

Look at the duel scene between Rand and Tam.  After learning in a Q&A session that Brandon wrote himself into the story as the sword he gave Tam, it seems clear to me that the entire scene was designed to show how Brandon feels he has a lot left to learn from RJ.  And then take a look at the Cadsuane scene where she says she wishes she knew what Rand had planned with the Black Tower.  That is very clearly Brandon writing to tell the readers that RJ gave him no clues or notes whatsoever on how the whole Black Tower fiasco should have ended or played out.

 

I'm not sure what the technical word is for scenes like those, but I know they are common in literature.  I personally feel like they should never be included in the story except on rare occasions, but they are defintiely not unique to Brandon.  Either way, Brandon does this far too often.  There could have been a nice scene or two crafted in this fashion during the last three books, but he tends to have a couple in each book.  And his are typically very blunt and not so subtly done.

Edited by Mark D
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Since the wheel turns and what has come to pass happens again, that becuase Rand just sealed the prison and didn't kill the DO that in a future age this will happen all over again?  Someone later on will drill into his prison, etc...?

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Since the wheel turns and what has come to pass happens again, that becuase Rand just sealed the prison and didn't kill the DO that in a future age this will happen all over again?  Someone later on will drill into his prison, etc...?

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