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Aoife Mac'alar

Gawyn - "Nice Guy"

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I just finished Towers of Midnight, and I just cannot get over how much of a stereotypical "Nice Guy" Gawyn is. I'm not talking about being a genuinely good man with pursuits of his own, healthy appreciation of the range of male and female relationships, etc. I mean this in the negative, one-dimensional definition of a singularly woman-obsessed guy who's just been SO NICE and SO DEDICATED and becomes confused, angry and resentful about why his persistent NICENESS hasn't been rewarded with a relationship or sex or in this case, Wardership. After all, he's just been so nice, he deserves to be compensated for that, and if she'd *get over herself* she'd see that!

 

He is insubordinate, he refuses to respect Egwene's feelings and commands, he thinks he knows better and he bungles her plans with his interference. Then....he wins the girl! His last interference happens to end well and he gets the Warder bond for which he lusts. After his previous and last bungling, he has that conversation with Bryne, resulting in an epiphany that he needs to get over this obsession and dedicate himself to another cause besides getting into Egwene's brain/bond, and leaves the White Tower to pursue that. But then he just goes back into interfering and in the deus ex machina of Brandon Sanderson's writing, he happens to luck out. I didn't feel there was any character growth there and was pretty disappointed.

 

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To be fair, she kind of tells him repeatedly that she loves him and they had their little romance in that city whose name I forget. She led him along for like eight books. I was actually pretty happy when he started standing up to her, and more than a little annoyed when he decided to be her bitch. 

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The thing to remember when talking about Egwene and Gawyn, is that from Gawyn's point of view, she basically went from being a college student to being the president in the short time they were away from each other. That would be jarring for just about anyone. Egwene suddenly became one of the most important and most powerful individuals in the world.

 

Now I don't know about him being woman-obsessed, but I think the main thing Gawyn was looking for was some kind of recognition and appreciation. Egwene isn't willing to give that because she doesn't trust him due to him rescuing her in tGS, which frankly I find rather unfair. It's one thing for Egwene to expect Gawyn (and Siuan, and Gareth) to leave her in the WT when she was just a prisoner. It's quite another for her to expect them to just stand down and do nothing when there are Seanchan attacking a completely divided WT, and she can't channel at all. And she never had time to give the orders on what to do in that situation, so as far as they were aware the situation had changed completely. And there's the fact that the rebels were falling apart according to Siuan, so all things considered Egwene was anything but objective there. Gawyn also knows that Egwene loves him, but she herself won't (or rather can't because of the current political situation she finds herself in) allow herself to be just Egwene rather than the Amyrlin around him, which of course has to be rather hurtful.

 

Now Gawyn didn't exactly do himself any favors by refusing to trust Egwene himself, but then allowing the person you love to put herself in mortal danger, and not even be allowed to protect her, isn't really the easiest thing in the world. And Egwene's overconfidence in her belief that the assassin was Mesaana, rather than acknowledging the evidence Gawyn had brought her would have led to her death. Yes, stubbornness in trying to protect her messed up one of her plans, but it also saved her life and Egwene herself recognizes that it was foolish of her to be so distant from him.

 

And after this episode, they thankfully both allow themselves to trust each other. Gawyn's decision to go off and face Demandred is justified, because someone has to take him down, and thanks to the rings, Gawyn has a pretty good chance. He's also doing exactly what you think he should, find another cause, rather than just focus on protecting Egwene.

Edited by Master Ablar

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Personally - i think there were just too many storylines that needed to be wrapped up or addressed in some way or another and Gawyn and to lesser degree Galad, got the shaft.  

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You bring up good points, Master Ablar. I didn't quite appreciate the depth of her transformation while he, in essence, remained the same. She gained immense wisdom and experience while he didn't (or gained wisdom and experience that wasn't helpful in this situation). So, In his role as a man who loves Egwene, I can feel bad for him. But I feel there's an important difference here - a man who wants to protect his beloved can be excused for disregarding her orders; a Warder or intended Warder cannot, because giving into fear like that and insubordination might get them both killed. I understand that the Warder is meant to be the Aes Sedai's shield and weapon when she cannot defend herself, but I can't get over him disregarding the other core part of that bond: obedience and trust.

 

Egwene, Rand, et al. are all somewhere in their young adulthood so rationality and wisdom aren't any 20something's strong suit, I'll admit.  Still, to me, if he wanted to demonstrate how good a choice he was for Warder, he should have tempered himself with the discomfort and uncertainty of trust and obedience instead of just indulging in the more interesting "save the maiden" aspect.

 

Re: Gawyn and Galad. Yes, this does seem to be very rushed towards the end. But with Galad, at least, he's becoming a dynamic character. He's demonstrating the ability to change, reconsider his prejudices, accept that he does not know it all. He's behaved in a similarly single-minded fashion as Gawyn, but he's moving beyond that.

 

Hopefully when I read AMOL I can see some character development of Gawyn's part but based on my lurking here and numerous folks mentioning how they ended up liking Galad better than Gawyn by the end...I won't hold my breath.

Edited by Aoife Mac'alar

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You bring up good points, Master Ablar. I didn't quite appreciate the depth of her transformation while he, in essence, remained the same. She gained immense wisdom and experience while he didn't (or gained wisdom and experience that wasn't helpful in this situation). So, In his role as a man who loves Egwene, I can feel bad for him. But I feel there's an important difference here - a man who wants to protect his beloved can be excused for disregarding her orders; a Warder or intended Warder cannot, because giving into fear like that and insubordination might get them both killed. I understand that the Warder is meant to be the Aes Sedai's shield and weapon when she cannot defend herself, but I can't get over him disregarding the other core part of that bond: obedience and trust.

 

 

I totally agree that a Warder has to accept to follow the Aes Sedai's orders, even if those orders put her in danger. But the fact is that, had Gawyn followed her orders, she would be dead. He was wrong to disregard her orders the first time when he fought off the bloodknife, but he was also right to disregard her orders the second time around. Like Gawyn told her, in private a Warder must challenge the Aes Sedai. Egwene disregards this because he isn't her Warder. That nearly gets her killed. 
 
Gawyn certainly handled the situation rather badly, but he was also put in a very difficult position, and that was in part Egwene's fault. Though admittedly, she was also in a difficult position. 
 

 

Egwene, Rand, et al. are all somewhere in their young adulthood so rationality and wisdom aren't any 20something's strong suit, I'll admit.  Still, to me, if he wanted to demonstrate how good a choice he was for Warder, he should have tempered himself with the discomfort and uncertainty of trust and obedience instead of just indulging in the more interesting "save the maiden" aspect.

 

 

And yet had he acted as a model Warder, she would be dead, and the Light would have been dealt a terrible blow. Gawyn being rather inadequate for the role of a Warder, particularly because of his impulsiveness, ended up being very important.

Edited by Master Ablar

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90% of the readers' opinion like this: give me Faile and Gawyn, I will kill them instantly!  :wink:  Personally, I will never understand why Jordan kept them alive.

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Personally I think a lot of Gawyns problems stem from whose story his revolves around, Egwenes story line tends to dumb down her opponents and nearly everyone around her

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Wow "Refuses to respect Egwene's feelings and he thinks he knows better" in some way this also sums up Egwene.  In many ways I think she was pretty unfair with Gwayn.  For most of the series Egwene sort of had the I know better then you attitude.  The issue I think is they are both similar, both don't accept commands very well after all Gwayn was a prince so wasn't really use to being given commanded about, so it was probably hard for him to play second fiddle to Egwene.

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90% of the readers' opinion like this: give me Faile and Gawyn, I will kill them instantly!  :wink:  Personally, I will never understand why Jordan kept them alive.

more accurately:: 90% of those who express their opinion.  We cannot be sure what the other readers think.

 

one reason for keeping them alive could be prophecy in earlier scenes.

Not sure why those prophecies were written.

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I never really minded Gawyn untill the last three books, i know we didnt see alot of him before then but he was ok and couldnt be blamed for following Elaida. But come tGS he comes across a right tool. He finds out that his sweetheart ( musta missed that one) has been captured by the WT the side hes on by the way and goes to the rebels to free her, now it seems to me that if he can get into Tar Valon he would have a better chance getting to her as a loyal soldier. And then is his hatred for rand. Were did that come from? The spleel about him being jealous because rands a farmer doest make sense, the guys been getting ordered around by AS most of whom are from comman birth. Hes not too bad in the ToM i supose but hes back in idiot mode for aMoL, rushing of to get killed while the AS hes bonded to is fighting the last battle like it would not impact her when he died.

I liked him over all, but the lad had s**t for brains

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I never really minded Gawyn untill the last three books, i know we didnt see alot of him before then but he was ok and couldnt be blamed for following Elaida. But come tGS he comes across a right tool. He finds out that his sweetheart ( musta missed that one) has been captured by the WT the side hes on by the way and goes to the rebels to free her, now it seems to me that if he can get into Tar Valon he would have a better chance getting to her as a loyal soldier. And then is his hatred for rand. Were did that come from? The spleel about him being jealous because rands a farmer doest make sense, the guys been getting ordered around by AS most of whom are from comman birth. Hes not too bad in the ToM i supose but hes back in idiot mode for aMoL, rushing of to get killed while the AS hes bonded to is fighting the last battle like it would not impact her when he died.

I liked him over all, but the lad had s**t for brains

 

Gawyn hated Rand ever since Lord of Chaos, due to him believing that Rand killed his mother.

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I never really minded Gawyn untill the last three books, i know we didnt see alot of him before then but he was ok and couldnt be blamed for following Elaida. But come tGS he comes across a right tool. He finds out that his sweetheart ( musta missed that one) has been captured by the WT the side hes on by the way and goes to the rebels to free her, now it seems to me that if he can get into Tar Valon he would have a better chance getting to her as a loyal soldier. And then is his hatred for rand. Were did that come from? The spleel about him being jealous because rands a farmer doest make sense, the guys been getting ordered around by AS most of whom are from comman birth. Hes not too bad in the ToM i supose but hes back in idiot mode for aMoL, rushing of to get killed while the AS hes bonded to is fighting the last battle like it would not impact her when he died.

I liked him over all, but the lad had s**t for brains

Gawyn hated Rand ever since Lord of Chaos, due to him believing that Rand killed his mother.

Yeah forgot about that, though he did carry it on even when he knew the truth.

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He didn't find out Rand didn't kill him mom till like ToM I believe, his other reason was hatred of Rand was jealousy.  As he said why should Rand a farmer be the savior of the world over someone like Gawyn a prince.  He resented a commoner being chosen the dragon reborn over a noble.

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He didn't find out Rand didn't kill him mom till like ToM I believe, his other reason was hatred of Rand was jealousy. As he said why should Rand a farmer be the savior of the world over someone like Gawyn a prince. He resented a commoner being chosen the dragon reborn over a noble.

A prince yes, who followed AS without a hitch, most of whom were born commoners.

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I never really minded Gawyn untill the last three books, i know we didnt see alot of him before then but he was ok and couldnt be blamed for following Elaida. But come tGS he comes across a right tool. He finds out that his sweetheart ( musta missed that one) has been captured by the WT the side hes on by the way and goes to the rebels to free her, now it seems to me that if he can get into Tar Valon he would have a better chance getting to her as a loyal soldier. And then is his hatred for rand. Were did that come from? The spleel about him being jealous because rands a farmer doest make sense, the guys been getting ordered around by AS most of whom are from comman birth. Hes not too bad in the ToM i supose but hes back in idiot mode for aMoL, rushing of to get killed while the AS hes bonded to is fighting the last battle like it would not impact her when he died.

I liked him over all, but the lad had s**t for brains

 

Well, Elayne, Min and especially Aviendha were all in great danger, and if any one of them died the Light was finished. Gawyn's death had far less impact, and he was one of the only ones who had any chance of taking down Demandred. Lan did exactly the same thing, and in even riskier fashion, and Nyneave was vital to the Light's victory.

 

 

He didn't find out Rand didn't kill him mom till like ToM I believe, his other reason was hatred of Rand was jealousy. As he said why should Rand a farmer be the savior of the world over someone like Gawyn a prince. He resented a commoner being chosen the dragon reborn over a noble.

A prince yes, who followed AS without a hitch, most of whom were born commoners.

 

 

AS get respect pretty much just by virtue of being AS. It comes with the title regardless of origins. Not the same thing for DR since he was the first. Not saying he was right but they're not equivalent situations.

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From the moment Rand bonded Elayne, Min and Avi, it was always a risk that one might be killed. Even so during the last battle though they where in battle they were surounded by their armies, min( seachan) elayne ( andor) avi ( aiel) non of them decided to engage the shadow' most deadly warrior in a duel. His decision nearly cost the WT the battle, by rights egwene shouldnt have been able to fight afterwards only because of Leilwin that she could and prevent taim destroying them all.

 

 

For the other, not all respect AS though admitidly in andor they are for the most part held in respect. The dragon should be held in even more imo by all who knew of the prophercies. Im sorry that reason for his hatred was very weak, even his own sister called him selfish because of it he debated if he would kill Rand! For his own selfish reasons. I dont see how the title DR, a title that had inspired fear and awe for centuries would be seen as any less than AS. The hatred was unreasonable and served no purpose and imo just seemed a bit of a filler.

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For the other, not all respect AS though admitidly in andor they are for the most part held in respect.

All either respect or are wary enough for it to make no difference. Even The Lord Captain Commander would not refuse a summons from the Amyrlin.

 

As for Rand, MA has the right if it. Also you seem to be forgetting the stigma attached to male channelers.

Edited by Suttree

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I havent forgotten the stigma attached to men who can channel, but hasnt the world always known the DR would be a male channeler?

However i will concede MA has point, though imo that of all the chaos caused by the comming of the DR to hate him because hes not a noble is infantile, maybe using his obeying common born AS was a bad example and has distracted from the point i was trying to make, which is the reasons for his hating Rand was very weak and was consistent with the stupidity of his character in the last 3 books.

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From the moment Rand bonded Elayne, Min and Avi, it was always a risk that one might be killed. Even so during the last battle though they where in battle they were surounded by their armies, min( seachan) elayne ( andor) avi ( aiel) non of them decided to engage the shadow' most deadly warrior in a duel. His decision nearly cost the WT the battle, by rights egwene shouldnt have been able to fight afterwards only because of Leilwin that she could and prevent taim destroying them all.

 

 

There's taking a risk and there's being plain suicidal. As it is the Light are remarkably fortunate that all 3 came out alive considering how close each of them came to death: Min in sharan attack, Elayne in Hanlon's attack, and Aviendha often during the battle at Shayol Ghul? And while Leilwin helped, considering Egwene's often proven strength of will, she might still have been able to fight in spite of the pain of losing Gawyn. And again, Lan took an even greater risk by putting Nyneave ability to help Rand in danger.

 

 

 

For the other, not all respect AS though admitidly in andor they are for the most part held in respect. The dragon should be held in even more imo by all who knew of the prophercies. Im sorry that reason for his hatred was very weak, even his own sister called him selfish because of it he debated if he would kill Rand! For his own selfish reasons. I dont see how the title DR, a title that had inspired fear and awe for centuries would be seen as any less than AS. The hatred was unreasonable and served no purpose and imo just seemed a bit of a filler.

 

Gawyn had both a mother and a sister who were Aes Sedai, as well as Elaida. And like you said he lived in Andor where they're generally very respected. Respect for Aes Sedai was instinctive for him.

 

I don't know if the Dragon Reborn should be particularly respected, not until he proves he deserves that respect. LTT's achievements, even if they were still remembered and respected by common people, which they are not, are not Rand's. Rand needed to prove himself before people truly believed in him. Like you said the Dragon inspired fear, but more so hate than awe. It's difficult for someone to be respected when their very existence is loathed. Obviously I'm not saying any of this is right, and Rand was clearly treated unfairly, and held responsible for the deeds that not only were those of another man, but also the knowledge of which had been corrupted by time and prejudice. Gawyn failed to rise above this, and worse his hate was strengthened by the belief that Rand had killed his mother and taken over his country. Probably wasn't too pleased about him kissing his younger sister too.

 

 

I havent forgotten the stigma attached to men who can channel, but hasnt the world always known the DR would be a male channeler?

However i will concede MA has point, though imo that of all the chaos caused by the comming of the DR to hate him because hes not a noble is infantile, maybe using his obeying common born AS was a bad example and has distracted from the point i was trying to make, which is the reasons for his hating Rand was very weak and was consistent with the stupidity of his character in the last 3 books.

 

Definitely infantile. I think he was just very jealous, partly because he felt like his own talents and abilities were being wasted. The Dragon Reborn being a commoner was in my opinion just an excuse on Gawyn's part.

Edited by Master Ablar

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For Elanyne, Min and Avi its true that they were all lucky to survive, but Rand knew they were going to be involved in the battle and accepted it. They had as much chance as anyone of surviving the same with Lan. But Gawyn left without Egwene' blessing with only a very slim chance of coming out alive, giving no thought of the impact his dying would have on Egwene and the battle at large. Who knows if Egwene would of carried on without bonding another perhaps your right, then again she did almost lose control and had to be carried from the battle field.

 

By the time in the series im talking about were imo Gawyn is being stupid Rand had, defeated the seachan at falme, took the stone, united the Aiel behind him, saved cairhien, liberated Andor, conquored illian and cleansed the true source, most of which was common knowlage in the WT, where he also learned Rand didnt kill his mum.

Surely some of that is worthy of a little respect.

 

 

Anyone can be jealous or envious without hatred. There were times in tGS when he was thinking whether he would kill rand or not if he could and thus doom the world, just because he did stuff that Gawyn hadnt that just reinforces my point of how far he fell in the last 3 books.

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From the moment Rand bonded Elayne, Min and Avi

Actually, Elayne/Min/Aviendha bonded Rand; not Rand bonding them.

 

 

 

 

 

I never really minded Gawyn untill the last three books, i know we didnt see alot of him before then but he was ok and couldnt be blamed for following Elaida. But come tGS he comes across a right tool. He finds out that his sweetheart ( musta missed that one) has been captured by the WT the side hes on by the way and goes to the rebels to free her, now it seems to me that if he can get into Tar Valon he would have a better chance getting to her as a loyal soldier. And then is his hatred for rand. Were did that come from? The spleel about him being jealous because rands a farmer doest make sense, the guys been getting ordered around by AS most of whom are from comman birth. Hes not too bad in the ToM i supose but hes back in idiot mode for aMoL, rushing of to get killed while the AS hes bonded to is fighting the last battle like it would not impact her when he died.

I liked him over all, but the lad had s**t for brains

Gawyn hated Rand ever since Lord of Chaos, due to him believing that Rand killed his mother.

Yeah forgot about that, though he did carry it on even when he knew the truth.

 

It seems to me that the disliking started to stop after Gawyn learned the truth; or at least after he saw Morgase.  And that the stopping was complete before Gawyn died.

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From the moment Rand bonded Elayne, Min and Avi

Actually, Elayne/Min/Aviendha bonded Rand; not Rand bonding them.

 

 

 

 

I never really minded Gawyn untill the last three books, i know we didnt see alot of him before then but he was ok and couldnt be blamed for following Elaida. But come tGS he comes across a right tool. He finds out that his sweetheart ( musta missed that one) has been captured by the WT the side hes on by the way and goes to the rebels to free her, now it seems to me that if he can get into Tar Valon he would have a better chance getting to her as a loyal soldier. And then is his hatred for rand. Were did that come from? The spleel about him being jealous because rands a farmer doest make sense, the guys been getting ordered around by AS most of whom are from comman birth. Hes not too bad in the ToM i supose but hes back in idiot mode for aMoL, rushing of to get killed while the AS hes bonded to is fighting the last battle like it would not impact her when he died.

I liked him over all, but the lad had s**t for brains

Gawyn hated Rand ever since Lord of Chaos, due to him believing that Rand killed his mother.
Yeah forgot about that, though he did carry it on even when he knew the truth.

It seems to me that the disliking started to stop after Gawyn learned the truth; or at least after he saw Morgase. And that the stopping was complete before Gawyn died.

Not like you to nitpick. Plus he found out Rand didnt kill his mum when he went to the rebels and carried on with his hate until well after it had been unified.

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But again, I think he was simply using his mom's death as a reason to justify hating Rand.  After he learned she was alive he was forced to admit to himself his true reason for hating Rand was jealousy.  That a commoner would be the Dragon Reborn and not him. 

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