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To be quite honest, I think Rand's epiphany could have been the end of the whole series, with just an epilogue to describe what happened after. Sure, there was something extra in what AMoL gave us (not only did Rand need to know why he fought, he also had to know he wasn't alone), but it's rather thin for two extra books.

 

However, I don't think RJ would have avoided that extra message. So then I am left thinking BS could have tried for 2 books (with Rand's epiphany at the end of 1, and the epilogue at the end of 2). This seems reasonable, especially if Rand had started gathering his armies seriously even while still Dark. TGS/ToM would have to be slimmed down, and AMoL could not start all the way at Merrilor (I'm thinking it could start with Rand's armies marshalling, while Egwene brought hers after the meeting at the Tower, and the borderlanders right after), but it might be possible story-wise.

 

But yeah, as I disagree with the story in some sense (I thought the end of TGS was a better ending than AMoL), it's more about personal preference too :)

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You keep talking about the "structure" and why, in your opinion, the last three books have so many flaws. But, you have yet to provide any reasoning to support your conclusory statements beyond pointing to what others have said. Do you have any thoughts of your own on the matter?

I also stated why I was avoiding going into it. If people wanted to find my reasoning, it had already been provided elsewhere in greater detail.

 

Personally, I think any structural flaws are minimal, to the point where they did not affect my enjoyment of the last three books at all. I think the perfect example of why a single book would never have worked is how solid The Gathering Storm was from a structural perspective, especially with regard to Rand's plot arc. IMHO, Rand's arc in tGS is the best in the series, by far, since LoC. This is primarily why tGS is one of the fans' favorites. Rand's internal struggle and epiphany on DM works perfectly as a climax to a single book. How do you propose this would work as part of a single book? It's an extraordinary claim on your part, and you need to back it up so show beyond stating "others have addressed this." Do the hard work.

I have done the hard work, over the course of the previous 96 pages of thread, and other threads. Your bad attitude is not doing a good job of convincing me it's worth the effort to do it again. As for Rand's arc, he didn't have a lot of ground to cover after that. Strikes me that if your main character has the climax to his character arc two books before the end and then doesn't have enough to do, you might, just might, have a problem.

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@leopoled boothe,

"moiraine was the first to realize that the dark one was a necessary part of the greater syslem..."

when exactly did she figure this out?

I remember early on in the Dragon Reborn, Perrin asking Moiraine about the strange events that happened in the villages and towns Rand passed on their way to tear because of Taveren. The fact that both good things and bad things happened around Rand confused Perrin as he thought the pattern was a force of good and that evil things were a distortion of the pattern. Moirainne pointed out that you cannot have a pattern with one color. Remembering this conversation reinforces my belief that Shi'atan never wanted to break free and that he/it also pursued balance.

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I remember early on in the Dragon Reborn, Perrin asking Moiraine about the strange events that happened in the villages and towns Rand passed on their way to tear because of Taveren. The fact that both good things and bad things happened around Rand confused Perrin as he thought the pattern was a force of good and that evil things were a distortion of the pattern. Moirainne pointed out that you cannot have a pattern with one color. Remembering this conversation reinforces my belief that Shi'atan never wanted to break free and that he/it also pursued balance.

 

 

Isn't it a bit of a one-color world if everyone is just pursuing balance?

 

To me, the Dark One as destroyer of balance/order makes perfect sense, even if he is integral to the pattern he can still try to break it.

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I remember early on in the Dragon Reborn, Perrin asking Moiraine about the strange events that happened in the villages and towns Rand passed on their way to tear because of Taveren. The fact that both good things and bad things happened around Rand confused Perrin as he thought the pattern was a force of good and that evil things were a distortion of the pattern. Moirainne pointed out that you cannot have a pattern with one color. Remembering this conversation reinforces my belief that Shi'atan never wanted to break free and that he/it also pursued balance.

 

 

Isn't it a bit of a one-color world if everyone is just pursuing balance?

 

To me, the Dark One as destroyer of balance/order makes perfect sense, even if he is integral to the pattern he can still try to break it.

 

 

Well the problem I can't get out of my head is that Rand, Mat and Perrin were under the forsaken's nose for much of the story. Yet they spent much of the time either protecting him so that he might join them - absurd. Or let him lose in the world to cause chaos again, silly or protecting him till the last battle. They always had some excuse. This doesn't strike me as a being going all out for the win. So either Shi'atan is just impotent or he wanted to be defeated. I think he wanted to be defeated either because he wanted balance or because his death would be the worse fate for the world. Either way I am almost certain for a lot of reasons that Shi'atan wasn't looking to win. I know it seems paradoxical but it's the only way I can make sense of the series.

 

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Yet they spent much of the time either protecting him so that he might join them - absurd. Or let him lose in the world to cause chaos again, silly or protecting him till the last battle. They always had some excuse. This doesn't strike me as a being going all out for the win.

 

The DO has acheived lesser victories, just never the "ultimate one" that would break the wheel. There is nothin absurd about his strategy. You are assuming that killing Rand would result in an ultimate victory for the DO and we know that was not the case in the past. Hence "I win again..."

 

Interview: Nov 1st, 1998
SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)
Rothaar
When Rand takes Verin and the others through a Portal Stone in The Great Hunt, at the end of each life he hears "I have won again Lews Therin". I thought that if the Dark One won even once the Wheel would be broken and therefore the Dragon would not be reborn again. How could the Dark One have won before to be able to say "again"?
Robert Jordan
There are degrees of victory. The Dark One can achieve victory by breaking free, but can also achieve lesser victories. Such as by stopping the Dragon Reborn from doing other things he was born to do. It isn't as simple as him being born to fight The Dark One. It's never simple.
 

You also seem to be forgeting that "Dark Rand" was seconds away from doing exactly what Moridin and the DO wanted him to. Go back and read the bits on the game of sha'rah for some hints. Also from RJ:

 

 

Interview: Sep 25th, 2005Robert Jordan

The Forsaken are a group of power hungry people who don't like one another and vie with one another for power as much as they vie with the forces of the Light. Much like the internal politicking in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. But look at the situation in the world as it actually stands, from the White Tower divided to crop failures caused by a too-long winter and a too-long summer and people fleeing their farms because the Dragon Reborn has broken all bonds, meaning still less food, and that spoiling at a fearsome rate, from chaos in Arad Doman to a large part of the Borderland armies out of position, from the arrival of the Seanchan focusing too many eyes on them instead of the Shadow to the strongest single nation, Andor, riven by civil war in all but name and Tear split by open warfare, from.... Well, take your pick. There are lots more to chose from. Take a step back and look at what the forces of the Shadow have wrought. The world and the forces of the Light are in bad shape. At this point, boys and girls, the Shadow is winning. There are glimmers of hope, but only glimmers, and they MUST pay off for the Light to win. All the Shadow needs for victory is for matters to keep on as they have been going thus far and one or two of those glimmers to fade or be extinguished. The forces of the Light are on the ropes, and they don't even know everything the Dark One has up his sleeve.

Think of it this way. The bell is about to ring for the fifteenth round, and the Light is so far behind on points the only way to win is a knockout. Our boy is game, but he's wobbly on his legs and bleeding from cuts over his eyes. Now he has three minutes to pull out his best stuff and deliver the punch of his life. The Dark One has taken a few shots, but nothing that has really damaged him. He's still dancing on his toes and talking trash. His head shots can fracture a skull, and his body punches can break ribs. And now he's ready to unveil his surprises. You didn't think all it would take is for Rand to show up at the Last Battle, did you? According to the Prophecies, the Light has no chance without him, but his presence doesn't ensure victory, just that the Light has a chance. Gotta stiffen your legs and blink the blood out of your eyes. Gotta suck it up and find that punch. Three minutes to go, and you gotta find that knockout. That's your only chance.

 

Edited by Suttree

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I always wondered what RJ meant by this. I have a feeling he wrote himself into a corner a little bit in The Great Hunt without fully thinking it through and then retconned the whole "lesser victories" thing. I am not sure it makes sense. If the Dragon Reborm dies or is turned, then who re-establishes the Bore? Someone had to, obviously, since something has always prevented the DO from fully breaking free from his prison. And if that's the case, then what really is the point of the Dragon Reborn?

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I always wondered what RJ meant by this. I have a feeling he wrote himself into a corner a little bit in The Great Hunt without fully thinking it through and then retconned the whole "lesser victories" thing. I am not sure it makes sense. If the Dragon Reborm dies or is turned, then who re-establishes the Bore? Someone had to, obviously, since something has always prevented the DO from fully breaking free from his prison. And if that's the case, then what really is the point of the Dragon Reborn?

 

I once heard it said that all stories have their problems and plot holes and the real test of a great story is if it is engaging enough that the listener will ignore or overlook the problems.  While I think WOT does pass this test, it does indeed have its problems.  One of the biggest problems I see with the story is that there is no clear reason why The Shadow or the DO would want to turn Rand.  The prophecies state that if The Dragon Reborn is not present at the last battle then the Light has no chance.  Therefore, it seems that the best strategy for the Shadow would be to kill Rand ASAP.  I always suspected that it would turn out that the DO could not escape unless the Dragon himself set him free but it did not turn out that way, so why attempt to turn Rand?

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...the fact that a young, northern, nonmilitary guy was chosen to write the end of this epic based on a EULOGY blows me away more and more. Hell, people HERE wrote lovely eulogies! Maybe I should have finished it. Or Jason. Or Mr Ares.

 

../ /...

 

He is not my cup of tea and I am saddened beyond measure that he was the choice to finish my WOT.

 

Fish

 

Are you still around Fish?

Suttree?

Anyone know how to get in contact with them aside from this forum?

Edited by Mik

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I always wondered what RJ meant by this. I have a feeling he wrote himself into a corner a little bit in The Great Hunt without fully thinking it through and then retconned the whole "lesser victories" thing. I am not sure it makes sense. If the Dragon Reborm dies or is turned, then who re-establishes the Bore? Someone had to, obviously, since something has always prevented the DO from fully breaking free from his prison. And if that's the case, then what really is the point of the Dragon Reborn?

 

I once heard it said that all stories have their problems and plot holes and the real test of a great story is if it is engaging enough that the listener will ignore or overlook the problems.  While I think WOT does pass this test, it does indeed have its problems.  One of the biggest problems I see with the story is that there is no clear reason why The Shadow or the DO would want to turn Rand.  The prophecies state that if The Dragon Reborn is not present at the last battle then the Light has no chance.  Therefore, it seems that the best strategy for the Shadow would be to kill Rand ASAP.  I always suspected that it would turn out that the DO could not escape unless the Dragon himself set him free but it did not turn out that way, so why attempt to turn Rand?

 

 

Because the DO wanted creation unmade, and The Dragon had the power to do that (via the CK). The moment in Veins of Gold where Rand nearly unmakes the world is, for the DO, the climax of the age.

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I always wondered what RJ meant by this. I have a feeling he wrote himself into a corner a little bit in The Great Hunt without fully thinking it through and then retconned the whole "lesser victories" thing. I am not sure it makes sense. If the Dragon Reborm dies or is turned, then who re-establishes the Bore? Someone had to, obviously, since something has always prevented the DO from fully breaking free from his prison. And if that's the case, then what really is the point of the Dragon Reborn?

 

I once heard it said that all stories have their problems and plot holes and the real test of a great story is if it is engaging enough that the listener will ignore or overlook the problems.  While I think WOT does pass this test, it does indeed have its problems.  One of the biggest problems I see with the story is that there is no clear reason why The Shadow or the DO would want to turn Rand.  The prophecies state that if The Dragon Reborn is not present at the last battle then the Light has no chance.  Therefore, it seems that the best strategy for the Shadow would be to kill Rand ASAP.  I always suspected that it would turn out that the DO could not escape unless the Dragon himself set him free but it did not turn out that way, so why attempt to turn Rand?

 

 

http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/21003-why-does-the-shadow-want-rand-to-be-alive-for-the-last-battle/?do=findComment&comment=592697

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Also comes down to what the DO views as victory.  Is it not better to turn the champion facing you to your side?  Imagine what a coup that would be to turn the one destined to fight you.  But as Rand said in the last book, the DO isn't simply about killing everyone.  He wants mankind to lose hope, to beg for mercy.  What better way to achieve that then to turn the Dragon?  But the DO has never been able to get mankind to lose hope, no matter what they are willing to fight to the death even if it's hopeless. 

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Also comes down to what the DO views as victory. 

 

I think it was Mr Ares (and other posters too, ofc), who said that TGLOTD (what an idiotic title) sees/perceives everything the same time (because "he" is outside), so he really does not know what's happening right now. Ergo, he does not know that he's a winner already, or not.

 

The real trouble is that we, humans, cannot comprehend these supernatural "beings" at all, we could only project our ideas into them.

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 As for Rand's arc, he didn't have a lot of ground to cover after that. Strikes me that if your main character has the climax to his character arc two books before the end and then doesn't have enough to do, you might, just might, have a problem.

 

Well...

 

Rand's arc ends in LOC.

Mat's arc ends in FOH.

Perrin: TSR

Nyn: LOC

 

So, yes, there are very big problems in our hands.

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