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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Quality Discussion Thread


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@hope

Pace in relation to TGS and ToM as well, the three books were pretty equal in that regard although KoD had less filler(and had the disadvantage of not being as far along in the story arc). He had things pointed in the right direction and again we know RJ was capable. If you judged him on pace after TSR you would say it was a strength.

Again, I disagree that Jordan had anything effectively pointed anywhere.

 

He ended the Mat/Tuon road trip. He had Perrin finally rescue Faile. Rand continued to be relatively idle; enemies came to him, rather than Rand making forward progress. Jordan may have known where he was going, but KOD was more like coming to the end of a road than it was turning onto a new one. We'll never know if Jordan really would have been able to finish AMOL in one, but given the bloat that began in TSR (I say that with TSR being my favorite book in the series, but the Jordan of the first three books would have been able to write TSR and TFOH as one book), I expect it would have taken Jordan three or four books to finish things himself. He would have started new plots, he'd move the characters into place, he'd establish where the current relations between the characters stood, he'd have them resolve a few issues generated by minor characters, and he'd have written another 700 pages without the end in sight yet.

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The quality was good, I found it satisfying for the most part. There were a few times when the book would say something, I'll have to look up quotes later, but along the lines of: so and so had his sword, of course, and that's how he was able to do what he did. It read like someone inserted a note during the beta read and BS kind of just added in the note to explain away the paradox or lack of information. By in all, it's a huge ass book and a Herculean effort that I think worke dout really well. I definitely don't think I could have done better myself and I'm glad we got an ending to this amazing series.

 

The mega re-read starts next week.

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I really enjoyed the book. I wish BS would have done more with Fain though. I wish he would have maybe put something like half a page in like 3 or 4 chapters prior so as to set up his big entrance. I really believe RJ would have had Fain more relevant and involved i.e. the killing of a main character or something but I don't think RJ really knew all the specifics of that character and others at the time (probably equates to not having all the specific details to some characters in the notes). From what I understand RJ doesn't have things set in stone in his outlines when he writes so he makes adjustments when needed.

 

I also wanted more moiraine but sadly didn't get much.

 

Overall, I thought the book was very well done. While there were flaws I was very satisfied.

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The four front war plot line before chapter 37 was pretty bland to me. I think the reason for this was in large part due to a lack of descriptiveness. It felt like the battles fields and the people fighting on them were not genuine. I was hoping to get more numbers other than the four generic trolloc hordes we witnessed. I couldn't wrap my mind around the battles. Was that group of pike men fighting hundreds or tens of thousands of trollocs?  What was the landscape like? Who was fighting? How big was the battle field? miles?There was a lack of scope. It seemed like the author decided that the question of numbers was not even going to be addressed. I understand that the logistics behind the last battle are ridiculously big and keeping track of the numbers of hundreds of thousands of men and trollocs over a month long period of fighting would be nearly impossible but he still could have given us a description that wouldn't have to draw him into the job of trying to keep his numbers straight. 

 

That being said I really enjoyed the fighting from ch. 37 on, quality was much better.

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@hope

Pace in relation to TGS and ToM as well, the three books were pretty equal in that regard although KoD had less filler(and had the disadvantage of not being as far along in the story arc). He had things pointed in the right direction and again we know RJ was capable. If you judged him on pace after TSR you would say it was a strength.

Again, I disagree that Jordan had anything effectively pointed anywhere.

 

He ended the Mat/Tuon road trip. He had Perrin finally rescue Faile. Rand continued to be relatively idle; enemies came to him, rather than Rand making forward progress. Jordan may have known where he was going, but KOD was more like coming to the end of a road than it was turning onto a new one. We'll never know if Jordan really would have been able to finish AMOL in one, but given the bloat that began in TSR (I say that with TSR being my favorite book in the series, but the Jordan of the first three books would have been able to write TSR and TFOH as one book), I expect it would have taken Jordan three or four books to finish things himself. He would have started new plots, he'd move the characters into place, he'd establish where the current relations between the characters stood, he'd have them resolve a few issues generated by minor characters, and he'd have written another 700 pages without the end in sight yet.

 

There is no way he could have finished it in one book.  Definitely two though.  The whole theme of Rand going nuts and turning dark then having is epiphany needed a whole book IMO.  Perrin needed to forge his hammer and wrap up the whitecloak situation, Mat needed to rescue Moiraine, and Egwene still had to rise to power.  All of that could have been done in one book prior to aMoL.

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I am happy after 23 years we have an end.  It was a long, strange, and at times amazing journey.  While I certainly didn't expect every storyline to be wrapped up I did expect a few more finales.  Seems like the only closures we had were with people who died :)  And while on a personal level you can't help but be happy for Rand, that last page was just lame.

The last few pages were fine. It doesn't provide all the answers, but it provides enough.

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One major difference between RJ and Brandon is that Brandon seems to not understand the finer points of suspension of disbelief and has a hard time pulling it off for me.  RJ really focuses on small details and works around them to work very hard to get the reader to feel like everything is real and there are no problems with it.  RJ set up very clear rules and played by those rules.  Brandon seems to just let his creative juices flow at maximum level and imagines a scene that is super cool and then just forgets about making sure it fits all the basic rules of the world.  The result is something that yanks the reader out of the story and makes him scratch his head.

 

Perfect example:

 

Galad and Lan just sauntering up through the enemy army to fight Demandred 1 on 1 with a sword.  Can we buy that somehow they got through enemy lines to fight the enemy general in single combat?  Yes, we can buy that even though it's absurd.  But guess what throws the entire scene into the trash?  The fact that Mat's medallion does not make you immune to channeling and there has been clear examples in the books showing that is is far from perfect protection against channeling!  RJ set this rule and made it very clear.  Brandon just completley ignored it because he didn't think it was a big deal and could be ignored for his scene.  According to RJ's rules, any one of those channelers could have just shot a ball of fire at him or a lightning bolt (not to mention balefire) and instantly killed anyone wearing the medallion.

 

Suspension of disbelief is a big deal for me.  Maybe some other readers dont have a big problem with it though.

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In regards to quality, there was some vocabulary that was a little jarring, but that didn't overly bother me (and its always been an issue I've had with WoT, just in a different way) but that is a pretty minor criticism. My main issue with the book is the amount of battle scenes, and sometimes the delivery came out pretty dry. I get that there needed to be tension and the constant looming threat of destruction, but I felt at times that was taken away from by often repetitive battle scenes.

 

 

I had a few issues with the plot, and the one that stood out the was the great captain/compulsion story line. It wasn't that the idea itself was bad, but having them all be compulsed, and having to be drug through suspicion, then confirmation three times was kind of painful. I liked the idea of at least one of them making human mistakes, or even tactical errors. I liked that the captain at shadow ghul resisted. I just didn't necessarily like having essentially the same plot repeated. This is very intertwined with my previous gripe. There was definitely some lack of (overall, not the necessarily the compulsion parts) foreshadowing, but I'm willing to overlook most of it due to needing to wrap things up, but with Fain it really stuck out for me. For the most part though, I was overall very pleased with the main story lines and resolution. I was satisfied by all of them and impressed by some. I am eternally grateful to Mr. Sanderson for taking on the difficult task of bringing this beloved series to a close.

 

 

I've been reading this whole thread, and find some of the gripes to be pretty silly. I definitely think Sanderson is a talented author, and calling him out on matters that are your own speculation seems not to be criticisms so much as lashing out from emotional attachment. Reading some of the comments, I groaned, and thought "wow next they'll be saying they could do a better job" sure enough that comment popped up. Is Sandrson RJ? No. Being different doesn't make him worse. Sure certain things may not have been written the way you liked or imagined, but that doesn't make it bad. That doesn't mean the guy didn't try or take it seriously. And speculating on how he felt writing it is just kind of absurd. It comes across as trying to give emotional justification to some of your more picky complaints. Why do you want confirmation on what was written by whom? Doesn't the fact that you can't be completely sure in most cases mean Sanderson did a pretty good job? Do you really need someone to say "oh yeah, Brandon did that chapter so you can have your opinions validated?

 

 

I also saw some people having issue with Jesus Rand and feeling as though he was retconned. I didn't really think that way, specifically about Moridins comment regarding Rand being able to see darkfriends and his "trick". IMO that was obviously Moridins not wanting to believe that Rand could do what he actually did (also recall Rand was previously able to see and sever Asmodeans ties to the DO). I thought the situation where he went to the gap wasn't implying that he was too powerful in Maradon, rather reinforcing that he couldn't win all of The Last Battle all by himself. The shadow was now prepared for him showing up at battle fronts.
As for the comment to Avi about watching out for darkfriends, there were still supply lines coming in and out of camp, easy enough for a do to slip I that way, or even take a gateway kill someone, hide a body and put up a mask. Even if Rand had made sure everyone there walked in the lit before he went into the cave.

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Edit whoa wall of text, box not reading my white space sorry.

Edited by Trueself
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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.

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Perfect example:

 

Galad and Lan just sauntering up through the enemy army to fight Demandred 1 on 1 with a sword.  Can we buy that somehow they got through enemy lines to fight the enemy general in single combat?  Yes, we can buy that even though it's absurd.  But guess what throws the entire scene into the trash?  The fact that Mat's medallion does not make you immune to channeling and there has been clear examples in the books showing that is is far from perfect protection against channeling!  RJ set this rule and made it very clear.  Brandon just completley ignored it because he didn't think it was a big deal and could be ignored for his scene.  According to RJ's rules, any one of those channelers could have just shot a ball of fire at him or a lightning bolt (not to mention balefire) and instantly killed anyone wearing the medallion.

 

Suspension of disbelief is a big deal for me.  Maybe some other readers dont have a big problem with it though.

 

I can agree with this to some extent, with Gawyn, there was definitely pretense and an explanation of how he got there. Not so much with Galad, a little bit with Lan.

 

I disagree a bit on the gateways, even though the pretense was slim (Androl being a gateway specialist, and the gray as well), it didn't break it for me. Having someone seemingly weak and then come up with something clever to save the day actually seemed very fitting for the series IMO.

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One thing I think Brandon handled very well is the Slayer sections. Along with Perrin that is certainly one of his stronger characters.

 

Perrin was probably his strongest character IMO, I liked reading his sections more than I had in many previous books.The stand out character for me though in the book was probably Androl. I really enjoyed him being a total underdog, and his personality and banter with Pevara grew on me a lot.

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Perfect example:

 

Galad and Lan just sauntering up through the enemy army to fight Demandred 1 on 1 with a sword.  Can we buy that somehow they got through enemy lines to fight the enemy general in single combat?  Yes, we can buy that even though it's absurd.  But guess what throws the entire scene into the trash?  The fact that Mat's medallion does not make you immune to channeling and there has been clear examples in the books showing that is is far from perfect protection against channeling!  RJ set this rule and made it very clear.  Brandon just completley ignored it because he didn't think it was a big deal and could be ignored for his scene.  According to RJ's rules, any one of those channelers could have just shot a ball of fire at him or a lightning bolt (not to mention balefire) and instantly killed anyone wearing the medallion.

 

Suspension of disbelief is a big deal for me.  Maybe some other readers dont have a big problem with it though.

 

I can agree with this to some extent, with Gawyn, there was definitely pretense and an explanation of how he got there. Not so much with Galad, a little bit with Lan.

 

I disagree a bit on the gateways, even though the pretense was slim (Androl being a gateway specialist, and the gray as well), it didn't break it for me. Having someone seemingly weak and then come up with something clever to save the day actually seemed very fitting for the series IMO.

Didnt the weave of fire stop before galad and merely singe him? or was that someone else

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I didnt mind the gateway bits until they started using them to dump lava on people and teleport cannon shots around the battlefield.  It didnt so much break the suspension of disbelief as much as it felt awkward in the WoT world.  It just felt like a modern flare to something that was very traditional and conservative.  Almost like someone walked into a traditional church on Sunday wearing a hawaiian shirt and a bathing suit when everyone else is dressed up.  There's nothing really wrong with it...it just doesn't fit that great.

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One thing I think Brandon handled very well is the Slayer sections. Along with Perrin that is certainly one of his stronger characters.

probably because jordan hadn't really done as much with perrin and slayer, so brandon felt he had a lot more free space there? it has to be hard to try and fill the shoes of all the other characters

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Perfect example:

 

Galad and Lan just sauntering up through the enemy army to fight Demandred 1 on 1 with a sword.  Can we buy that somehow they got through enemy lines to fight the enemy general in single combat?  Yes, we can buy that even though it's absurd.  But guess what throws the entire scene into the trash?  The fact that Mat's medallion does not make you immune to channeling and there has been clear examples in the books showing that is is far from perfect protection against channeling!  RJ set this rule and made it very clear.  Brandon just completley ignored it because he didn't think it was a big deal and could be ignored for his scene.  According to RJ's rules, any one of those channelers could have just shot a ball of fire at him or a lightning bolt (not to mention balefire) and instantly killed anyone wearing the medallion.

 

Suspension of disbelief is a big deal for me.  Maybe some other readers dont have a big problem with it though.

 

I can agree with this to some extent, with Gawyn, there was definitely pretense and an explanation of how he got there. Not so much with Galad, a little bit with Lan.

 

I disagree a bit on the gateways, even though the pretense was slim (Androl being a gateway specialist, and the gray as well), it didn't break it for me. Having someone seemingly weak and then come up with something clever to save the day actually seemed very fitting for the series IMO.

Didnt the weave of fire stop before galad and merely singe him? or was that someone else

 

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.

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Well, even disregarding the medallion, cutting through hordes of people solo to get to Demandred without falling or being taken down by an arrow is a bit much. Gawyn had the rings to get him there without anyone noticing because he was nearly invisible, could move at super speed, and was not channeling.

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Well, I finished a reread about two weeks ago, and then this book. Nynaeve didn't have much screen time in the book, but if BS wrote most of her character through the last TGS and ToM, then he wrote Nynaeve as less funny, but a way, way, way nicer, smarter, capable woman than RJ managed to. Min, Teslyn, Leane and probably one or two others are the only women in the whole series that would not turn me celibate if I lived in Randland. Holy crap. I think it's a common complaint that RJ was not great at writing women. Someone can disagree with me there. Don't get me wrong, I've liked Nynaeve for a long time, she had a lot of depth because of her PoVs. I suppose Elayne improved somewhat during the Ebou Dar trip as well.

 

Gender relations under RJ = horrid. BS did a way better job there. Having said that, Nynaeve and Moiraine didn't have a lot of screen time here, though they were both very important.

 

On another note

 

By the time Lan went, I think the forces had been whittled down quite a bit, and he had Two Rivers archers clearing the way for him. It was kind of a comic book scene but whatever. Galad, well, maybe every woman in the world won't fall over every time he enters a room now (yech).

Edited by Viperswhip
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I honestly dont know what parts of the book have been admittedly written by RJ and by BS.  I know the last couple scenes are RJ so I am assuming that the entire Epilogue is written by him, but other than that I can only speculate.  My initial run through had me so thoroughly satisified with Chapter 37 that I was convinced it was all RJ - it FELT like him.  The more I thought about it though and the more I looked back through it, the more I realized it looked like very little was him.  Yet, Brandon wrote it beautifully.  The timing of the scenes, the feeling of pressure that the Light was losing, it all coming together at the end with Olver blowing the horn...just awesomely timed.

 

Things I felt off that bugged me in Chapter 37...

 

- Demandred.  Pretty much all of him.  What Brandon wrote was epic and it worked well, but it was not WoT and that was not Demandred.  I'm not sure if its quoted, but I always thought Demandred had an aversion to swords?

 

- Gawyn and Galad and Lan charging in and fighting Demandred one by one.  Don't get me wrong, Lan doing this was the absolute pinnacle of the entire book...it was GREAT.  But it really didn't fit in the WoT the way it happened right after Gawyn and Galad.

 

- Foxhead medallions.  I was pretty sure they dont make you mostly invincible to channelers.  They just dissolve weaves that touch you.

 

- Egwene's death scene.  The whole "flame of tar valon" thing didn't feel like it fit into WoT.  The opposite of balefire?  Just not necessary.  I would be surprised if this was in the notes.

 

- The general way that the entire chapter seemed to be designed to satisfy the fans.  Scenes were designed to show the fans what we wanted to see and have been asking for and begging for.  Examples: Tam using his sword and Lan complimenting him, the wonderboys and Lan testing themselves against Demandred, Bela dying, etc.  On one hand this was incredibly awesome, but on the other hand it felt very unlike WoT.

 

So...ya, there was plenty wrong with Chapter 37 in my mind the more I think on it.  But somehow Brandon wrote it in a way that pulled it off and managed to suck me in well enough that I could ignore the inconsistencies and really just enjoy the story.  He had been mostly unable to accomplish this during the rest of his writing - at least for me.

 

On another note, in what I can only assume is RJ's actual ending, it felt really weird to me that the wonder girls were not at least pretend crying.  I also didn't like how we dont know exactly how Rand swapped bodies...and how Nynaeve clearly had nothing to do with it despite all the foreshadowing that she would resurrect Rand in the end.  I didn't think I would like Rand surviving, but it felt right the way RJ wrote it.  I also kind of liked the little saa in his eye and the way he lit his pipe; they were nice little touches that threw in a bit of harmless mystery to an ending that was satisfying.

 

Does anyone know for sure what parts RJ wrote yet aside from the Epilogue scenes?

 

 

I strongly think that Egwene's death scene fits very well into Wheel of Time- better than many realize.   I think we have finally learned the fate of the Jenn Aiel.

 

Her death sequence fit in well, but some of the details surrounding it were ridiculous.  The Flame of Tar Valon?  Anti-balefire?  That is just absurd stuff that didn't feel like it belonged in the WoT world.  I feel like those were both definitely Brandon inventions, and if they were not then he handled their implementation very poorly.  He could have written a perfectly wonderful death scene with Egwene that was nearly the same thing except just having her explode like LTT from too much One Power and killed everyone that way.  And then just have someone look in wonder and say "The Flamer of Tar Valon...."

I think the concept fits very well into the larger themes of the WoT.  What feels out of place is the internal dialogue describing it.  I'm not sure about you but when I fight I don't try to put names to the actions I perform... you just act.  The whole scene makes Egwene's assertions of fatigue, pain, and dismay a lie by turning her thoughts towards philosophic BS.  Seriously, does every action she perform have to revolve around her proclamation of "I'm the Amrylin?"

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.

I just happened to like the WoT world the way it was and really don't like seeing fantasy elements from other worlds just zip on over for literally no reason other than the new author wants to be creative.  So...ya tidbits like Egwene's death details annoy the hell out of me even though it was a great read and for once I got through a massive part of the book while being able to overlook the inconsistencies and enjoy it.

I don't mind new concepts during the first, I don't know, 10 books.  After that much face time with the authors world it feels like a deus ex machine to throw in new story saving concepts.

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I think the quality is on par with TGS and ToM--decent pacing, overly repetitive phrasing, some mangled or missing characterization, and some rule breaking to serve the immediate needs of the plot. Mainlining the story was fun, but I expect re-reads will be frustrating.

 

 

There are two things I'll go into in more detail, but first, some trivia:

 

I thought Siuan's death was written very well. Though it was clearly telegraphed a few paragraphs earlier, it still managed to be jarring. On the other hand, her earlier death-feint in the first Sharan attack was obvious and made me roll my eyes.

 

I thought Egwene's death was written poorly. I guess it worked for the plot, but it somehow came and went without a lasting emotional punch. I did appreciate how "Egwene died." was the intro line of Rand's next PoV.

 

I noticed some interesting foreshadowing regarding the damane. It seems clear that the a'dam will eventually be replaced with ter'angreal that simply restrict channelling.  Nice and subtle, assuming it was intentional.

 

Moghedion should not have been collared. It would have been far more satisfying (and more subtle) to just let her escape. We know she's an idiot and that she'll find some way to botch her grandiose schemes.

 

 

On 'The Last Battle':

 

This chapter was a peculiar mix of greatness and failure. The pacing and intercutting of PoVs was great. The time dilation was great. The description of the fighting was... incomprehensible and monotonous.

 

Let's compare it to, of all things, the Battle of Thull Mardu in the Belgariad. Both situations involve an army fighting a necessary, futile and delaying battle while the hero goes off to deal with the big evil. In the Belgariad we know where everyone is, what they're trying to accomplish, and why their actions are important. When things go sour, we can clearly see why it happened and why it's going to suck.

 

In 'The Last Battle' we do not. Mat's strategy is incomprehensible at best, tactical technobabble at worst. About half way through the chapter I just stopped caring about where people were and what they were doing. None of it seemed important, except as a running tally of which named characters were still alive.

 

I should also point out that the Sharans were another Amayar moment. We simply don't know enough about them to know what to feel, so we feel nothing.

 

 

On Padan Fain:

 

My mental process as Mat killed Padan Fain went something like this. "Well, that was anticlimactic. Hmm. Ah, I see what this has been building to!  Now that's a clever way to tie these things together, and it fits nicely with the cyclical nature of the wheel as well!"

 

Then, a few pages later: "Wait... what?"

 

So let me explain. Rand seizes the DO with a hand of power. Padan Fain, an old friend/enemy of the DO is swatted without fanfare. Does it not then follow that Rand will pull the DO into the pattern, thereby binding him by the laws of the pattern (as was suggested in the possibility dueling between them), and thus neutralizing him as an omnipotent malevolent threat?  That Mashadar was, in fact, the remnant of a DO from an earlier turning of the wheel? That the overarching theme is that evil/chaos is a part of reality, and only by accepting it can it truly be fought and extinguished?

 

Now this thread is all about writing quality, and this is a huge one for me. I think putting the DO back in his bottle is a weak ending, yet I can accept that. But you don't build up mythology, characters and themes only to discard them at the last moment. Is Padan Fain's entire plot arc for the latter half of the series just irrelevant?  Does the "wild card" actually have no meaningful impact on ending of the story?

 

-- 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 :)

Edited by BFG
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So let me explain. Rand seizes the DO with a hand of power. Padan Fain, an old friend/enemy of the DO is swatted without fanfare. Does it not then follow that Rand will pull the DO into the pattern, thereby binding him by the laws of the pattern (as was suggested in the possibility dueling between them), and thus neutralizing him as an omnipotent malevolent threat?  That Mashadar was, in fact, the remnant of a DO from an earlier turning of the wheel? That the overarching theme is that evil/chaos is a part of reality, and only by accepting it can it truly be fought and extinguished?
 
Now this thread is all about writing quality, and this is a huge one for me. I think putting the DO back in his bottle is a weak ending, yet I can accept that. But you don't build up mythology, characters and themes only to discard them at the last moment. Is Padan Fain's entire plot arc for the latter half of the series just irrelevant?  Does the "wild card" actually have no meaningful impact on ending of the story?
 
-- dwn

 

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.

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Now this thread is all about writing quality, and this is a huge one for me. I think putting the DO back in his bottle is a weak ending, yet I can accept that. But you don't build up mythology, characters and themes only to discard them at the last moment. Is Padan Fain's entire plot arc for the latter half of the series just irrelevant?  Does the "wild card" actually have no meaningful impact on ending of the story?
 
-- dwn
 

 

This upsets me too. Alot. Because it's one of the weaknesses of the story that can't be put on BS. Why not get rid of Mashadar / Fain earlier (at the cleansing?) instead of keeping him to the end, where his contribution was nothing what so ever, except maybe just another hurdle they had to leap before they were safely out on the other side like some simple trolloc needed to be gutted.

 

 

All in all, definetly the worst one out of the three last books. I mean, come on, Bao the Wyld??? "He Who Is ... blah... Owned only By the Land ... blah ... name to make a twenty letter acronym". That is just atrocious and it made me furious. I refuse to believe that Jordan wrote that, which would mean that BS felt he had the right to add something like that. It felt almost a mockery. The funny thing is that I absolutely loved tGS and TOM..

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