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Randlander123

Anybody else love the series but hate almost every character?

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I'm probably on my dozenth relisten (Audible) of the series and realize that as much as I love the series, I'm coming to hate most of the characters - particularly the women. I expect to dislike and hate the baddies but it applies equally to the light characters. There are like five characters I don't utterly despise - Rand, Mat, Moraine, Min and Verin.

Let's start with the women. How can anyone like any of them or think them "strong" as if that word excuses their appalling personal characteristics. They are all shown as arrogant, shrewish, self centered, hypocritical, petty, vain, cruel bullies heavily into BDSM. Their base emotion towards everyone else seems to be contempt. Everyone they meet is assumed to be an idiot who needs to be bullied and bludgeoned onto the right path - unless, course of, they instantly fall into the properly obsequious attitude in which case they will be treated with the contempt due any lickspittle. This applies not only to men - for whom every women appears to hold both utter and bottomless contempt - but to every other women as well including their so called friends. As to their feelings about men - can anyone point me to a single POV passage in 14 books where a woman thinking about a man doesn't reflect on how stupid men are in general and what a moron the particular man she's contemplating is? Even when she's supposedly thinking about how much she loves said man! 

The Aes Sedai are the worst, of course. The oaths they swear against lying and using the Power as a weapon except in self defense are a hypocritical farce. They lie - through omission, misinformation and misdirection - so often that there are folk sayings against believing a word they say. They constantly use the Power to physically punish people for doing something they don't like or saying something they don't like or for not cringing sufficiently when they are given a "look". Their training in the tower seems to mainly consist of instilling overweening arrogance, an unfailing sense of infallibility, a sense of entitlement and a taste for BDSM games in the initiates. The extortion racket they run to support themselves seems to have convinced them that Tower law supersedes all other and gives them authority over all other channellers and objects of magic no matter what land they reside in as well as the right to tell anyone, noble or peasant, what to do. They all regard anyone not a "servant of all" as dirt and most treat everyone they meet exactly as that. The Wise Ones and Windfinders share most or all of these traits, too.

I've had a hard time deciding which female character I loathe the most - Egwene or Cadsuane. Egwene wants exactly the same things that Elaida wants - unquestioning, instantaneous, blind obedience, White tower rule of the world (under her absolute rule of the Tower, of course), and Rand on a leash as her trained attack dog without any stupid plans of his own. The chief difference between them is that while both are megalomaniacs, Elaida wants both the absolute power and worship while Egwene simply wants absolute power while pretending to be first among equals. Cadsuane I hate because she is so stupid. Her stated purpose is to make Rand laugh and cry again - in other words to reclaim humanity. Her brilliant plan? Offer him a little sympathy, a bit of respect, a modicum of trust and maybe a smidgen of gratitude for the sacrifice of his life? Why, no! I'll berate and belittle, embarrass and humiliate, insult, manipulate and deride him and occasionally physically assault him. In public whenever possible. And I'll always derisively call him "boy" rather than use his name or title. Yeah, that'll restore his humanity and help him win Tarmon Gaidon. At the end of the day, I hate Egwene the most. Probably because she does have one massively admirable quality when under duress - her sheer, almost Hitlerian will. Which is also her most abominable trait when not under duress.

As to the men, what can you say, at least in regard to their interactions with women? Pathetic, stupid and completely petrified of all women unless they are a darkfriend, in which case they are usually wannabe serial murderers/rapists. There's not a single man who gets more than the sheerest shred of respect from any women. Think of all the male characters, including the main ones, who have backed up in fear just because some women gave him a hard look. Think about how the women always think of the men as mentioned above. Now think of how the men think of women - almost always "boy, those women sure are unknowable and mysterious but I've got to protect them even though they tell me every single time that I'm an idiot and they don't need my damned protection no matter how many times I do save them". My biggest question is why every single good guy male in this universe feels compelled to be willing to lay down his life for every woman and bigger yet, why isn't every dude gay?

As to the male character who I hate most? Easy - Perrin. He was easily my favorite character in Eye but was totally ruined by his obsession with Fail. He went from the everyman determined to do what he could to save the world even though he had no special powers to whiny wolfboy (even though any other guy would be "Wow, cool! I can talk to wolves!") to completely whipped scumbag willing to sell the world to the DO for Fail. What a douche he became although he was working to redeem himself in Memory.

 

Well, enough ranting. And don't worry - got my flame suit on:)

 

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      I too, dislike the Aes Sedai and their never-ending pride,  but not ALL of the women act that way. Many are just fine. Egwene is, as Rand says, (SEE! they DO stand up for themselves) she is a self-certain unmitigated brat SOMETIMES. When she was trying to free the tower from Elaida I was rooting for her. I was laughing and fist pumping at her victories and grating my teeth at her loses. All are flawed characters: THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS but all or almost all are REDEEMABLE. You accuse Egwene of wanting absolute power but that is easily refutable, she does NOT ask for command of the armies at the last battle. She does not want the command of nations and she does not try to get it. She is not as bad as you make out. 

 

     I totally disagree on Perrin. Perrin loves Faile. That should be enough. He wouldn't sell the world to the DO' he worries that he'd be TEMPTED to, that's different, that's human. Also, you're accusation of 'winy wolfboy is absurd and ludicrous. He is not worried because he can TALK to wolves, he is worried that he will become like Nome. Consumed by the wolf, an animal. To snarl and bite at people he knows and loves, to kills things with his teeth, to go mad. And if that is not something to fear than what is? 

 

    The women are infuriating at times, but not always. But think of it this way. They call men fools, we are. 'Such is the nature of the world, that no man may know everything.' We all make mistakes. Nyneave is stubborn, she doesn't like to admit she is wrong, but SHE MAKES AN EFFORT. These characters aren't perfect, neither are you or I. No one likes to be wrong. But she is a good person at core, it would be hard to live with Nyneave but if you love someone, you forgive them their faults.

 

Also, Elayne does not act as badly as you describe, neither do the Aiel women. I am also rather fond of all of the borderlanders, Lan, Moiraine who never acts like you describe. I may not approve of everything the characters do, but  I don't approve of everything my FRIENDS do in real life.

 

As for that whole things about 'all the male characters should be gay,' I'll let the ignorance of that statement speak for itself.  

Edited by Jak 0' the Shadows

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Come on, dude, one of the major criticisms of WOT is that all the female characters are variations on one uber character. If I'm so off base, take up my challenge and point me to a single POV passage where a women is thinking about men in general or a man in particular and doesn't ruminate at some point in the passage about how stupid they/he are/is? Personally, I've never been able to decide if RJ was a rabid feminist who thought all men were scum or a rabid sexist who took the empowerment of women to a ridiculous negative extreme. Point me to one female who doesn't think her husband, father, boyfriend, lover, etc., let alone a stranger, isn't a moron who requires her close supervision even though she may consider him a loveable idiot and may take offence if another woman calls him stupid. Even Min, the most sympathetic female in the whole series who absolutely does love Rand, spends half her time calling him stupid, woolhead, etc. Of course, all the women aren't terrible all the time. As I pointed out, even Egwene is awesome when she's being tortured by the Seanchan and Elaida. But I absolutely stand by my opinion that she's a powermad egomaniac. I never understood why rand ever even liked her, let alone thought he loved her. Think back to Eye. She's introduced as a girl 2 years younger than he who makes him feel uncomfortable and vaguely guilty and has apparently dedicated her life to keeping him in his proper place on the straight and narrow as she sees it and keeping him from getting a swelled head - though what a poor shepherd boy is going to be arrogant about is a mystery to me. Throughout the entire series, she spends the majority of her time wondering what stupid thing he's done, is doing or is planning to do without her guidance and castigating him for it. As for Nynaeve, when I first read the series I absolutely hated her with a passion. Come to think of it, the first few books the first time around  I absolutely loved Egwene. But now I quite like Nyneave because as you say, as infuriating as she can be, she does genuinely care for people. Egwene, on the other hand, I think would sacrifice anyone for the good of the White Tower which she conflates with the good of the world and so justifies anything that increases the power of the Tower. 

 

Getting late - I'll come back later.

Edited by Randlander123

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They are all shown as arrogant, shrewish, self centered, hypocritical, petty, vain, cruel bullies heavily into BDSM.

No, they're not. Especially not the BDSM part - just because a few people get spanked, doesn't mean everyone is into BDSM. If a child is spanked, would you say the child is into BDSM? While they may all display a number of faults, it's simply not fair and not accurate to tar them all with the same brush like this.

Their base emotion towards everyone else seems to be contempt. Everyone they meet is assumed to be an idiot who needs to be bullied and bludgeoned onto the right path - unless, course of, they instantly fall into the properly obsequious attitude in which case they will be treated with the contempt due any lickspittle.

Well, it works for me.

 

The Aes Sedai are the worst, of course. The oaths they swear against lying and using the Power as a weapon except in self defense are a hypocritical farce. They lie - through omission, misinformation and misdirection - so often that there are folk sayings against believing a word they say. They constantly use the Power to physically punish people for doing something they don't like or saying something they don't like or for not cringing sufficiently when they are given a "look". Their training in the tower seems to mainly consist of instilling overweening arrogance, an unfailing sense of infallibility, a sense of entitlement and a taste for BDSM games in the initiates.

Again, maybe you should look up what BDSM actually means. If anything, a girl's time in the Tower is more likely to be one of heavy to industrial strength lesbianism than anything BDSM related. Also, they do not swear an Oath against lying, they swear one against not speaking the truth. And they do speak the truth - phrased misleadingly, perhaps, but they abide by the letter of their Oaths. And physically punishing someone is not the same as using a weapon. Nor do we see them complain about others using these tricks against them - they are hardly hypocritical. It's true that the Oaths don't really serve any useful purpose, and have helped the AS to lose their way, but just because they are a bad thing doesn't mean that any term for a bad thing can be used to describe them.

The extortion racket they run to support themselves seems to have convinced them that Tower law supersedes all other and gives them authority over all other channellers and objects of magic no matter what land they reside in as well as the right to tell anyone, noble or peasant, what to do.

Except that while Tower law dictates all objects of the Power rightfully belong to the Tower, this is not an edict they attempt to enforce. It's a paper claim. When do we ever see them trying to enforce Tower law on those who are not either sworn to the Tower or on the Tower's land?

 

I've had a hard time deciding which female character I loathe the most - Egwene or Cadsuane. Egwene wants exactly the same things that Elaida wants - unquestioning, instantaneous, blind obedience, White tower rule of the world (under her absolute rule of the Tower, of course), and Rand on a leash as her trained attack dog without any stupid plans of his own.

This is simply not true. Egwene is ambitious, but she has goals far bigger than herself and her own power. She does end up sacrificing herself. Due to the nature of her position, she has to win the support and the obedience of others in the Tower, to convince them to follow her in a way she wouldn't have had to under normal circumstances. She had to reunite the Tower. She shows no interest in "absolute power" as an end in itself, she intends ot use the power she obtains as a means to an end.

Cadsuane I hate because she is so stupid. Her stated purpose is to make Rand laugh and cry again - in other words to reclaim humanity. Her brilliant plan? Offer him a little sympathy, a bit of respect, a modicum of trust and maybe a smidgen of gratitude for the sacrifice of his life? Why, no! I'll berate and belittle, embarrass and humiliate, insult, manipulate and deride him and occasionally physically assault him. In public whenever possible. And I'll always derisively call him "boy" rather than use his name or title. Yeah, that'll restore his humanity and help him win Tarmon Gaidon.

Well, up until the Semi incident it was working. She's hardly stupid. It's worth noting that she uses many different ways of dealing with people, and tailors her methods to the person in question. Would Rand have followed her advice if she had offered him trust and compassion? No. He saw AS and thought them out to manipulate him. So Cadsuane swore she wouldn't put the Tower's interests ahead of his own, and was bluntly critical of his mistakes. She did not display the weaknesses that might have led him to steamroller her, but nor did she give the impression of a false friend trying to manipulate him for her own ends. Instead, she was a trusted advisor, someone to be listened to and respected, someone who had his back and who saved his life more than once, but not someone who ever tried to control him, overtly or otherwise. She's not without her flaws, but she still stands as a great example of what an AS should be.

 

Your hyperbole does your argument no favours.

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Honestly Egwene is the one of the only irredeemably bitchy characters this side of Elaida and Tuon... which is why her being considered the go-to "strong woman" of the series always irked me. She's the closest thing the books have to a Mary Sue if you ask me, and the [removed] she pulls on Nynaeve (and the fact that Nynaeve lets her do it) is a perfect example of other characters dumbing down and bending themselves to fit her whenever she's in the scene.  The only times I found myself rooting for her were those rare moments when she is faced with an opponent even more frustrating than she is. Otherwise, she simply tries to sell out her friends to every group of authoritative women she meets (first helping the Wise Ones manipulate Rand, then the Aes Sedai, then manipulating Mat for the Aes Sedai, then trying to manipulate Rand into giving up his prophesied duty to her because of course the farm girl who's been outside Emond's Field for two years knows better than the Dragon Re-goddamn-born).  I was glad she died, I just wish she'd died sooner and less gloriously, as befits her personality.

 

There are plenty of examples of strong, likable female characters in the books: Birgitte, Moiraine, Siuan [Removed], Faile, Berelain, Verin,  Nynaeve, Elayne (I guess), Aviendha, the Wise Ones, Setalle Anan... Christ, I could probably sit here for an hour writing out names. But Egwene should be left in a small box somewhere, because she's terrible.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
language

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I'm probably on my dozenth relisten (Audible) of the series and realize that as much as I love the series, I'm coming to hate most of the characters - particularly the women. I expect to dislike and hate the baddies but it applies equally to the light characters. There are like five characters I don't utterly despise - Rand, Mat, Moraine, Min and Verin.

Let's start with the women. How can anyone like any of them or think them "strong" as if that word excuses their appalling personal characteristics. They are all shown as arrogant, shrewish, self centered, hypocritical, petty, vain, cruel bullies heavily into BDSM. Their base emotion towards everyone else seems to be contempt. Everyone they meet is assumed to be an idiot who needs to be bullied and bludgeoned onto the right path - unless, course of, they instantly fall into the properly obsequious attitude in which case they will be treated with the contempt due any lickspittle. This applies not only to men - for whom every women appears to hold both utter and bottomless contempt - but to every other women as well including their so called friends. As to their feelings about men - can anyone point me to a single POV passage in 14 books where a woman thinking about a man doesn't reflect on how stupid men are in general and what a moron the particular man she's contemplating is? Even when she's supposedly thinking about how much she loves said man!

The Aes Sedai are the worst, of course. The oaths they swear against lying and using the Power as a weapon except in self defense are a hypocritical farce. They lie - through omission, misinformation and misdirection - so often that there are folk sayings against believing a word they say. They constantly use the Power to physically punish people for doing something they don't like or saying something they don't like or for not cringing sufficiently when they are given a "look". Their training in the tower seems to mainly consist of instilling overweening arrogance, an unfailing sense of infallibility, a sense of entitlement and a taste for BDSM games in the initiates. The extortion racket they run to support themselves seems to have convinced them that Tower law supersedes all other and gives them authority over all other channellers and objects of magic no matter what land they reside in as well as the right to tell anyone, noble or peasant, what to do. They all regard anyone not a "servant of all" as dirt and most treat everyone they meet exactly as that. The Wise Ones and Windfinders share most or all of these traits, too.

I've had a hard time deciding which female character I loathe the most - Egwene or Cadsuane. Egwene wants exactly the same things that Elaida wants - unquestioning, instantaneous, blind obedience, White tower rule of the world (under her absolute rule of the Tower, of course), and Rand on a leash as her trained attack dog without any stupid plans of his own. The chief difference between them is that while both are megalomaniacs, Elaida wants both the absolute power and worship while Egwene simply wants absolute power while pretending to be first among equals. Cadsuane I hate because she is so stupid. Her stated purpose is to make Rand laugh and cry again - in other words to reclaim humanity. Her brilliant plan? Offer him a little sympathy, a bit of respect, a modicum of trust and maybe a smidgen of gratitude for the sacrifice of his life? Why, no! I'll berate and belittle, embarrass and humiliate, insult, manipulate and deride him and occasionally physically assault him. In public whenever possible. And I'll always derisively call him "boy" rather than use his name or title. Yeah, that'll restore his humanity and help him win Tarmon Gaidon. At the end of the day, I hate Egwene the most. Probably because she does have one massively admirable quality when under duress - her sheer, almost Hitlerian will. Which is also her most abominable trait when not under duress.

As to the men, what can you say, at least in regard to their interactions with women? Pathetic, stupid and completely petrified of all women unless they are a darkfriend, in which case they are usually wannabe serial murderers/rapists. There's not a single man who gets more than the sheerest shred of respect from any women. Think of all the male characters, including the main ones, who have backed up in fear just because some women gave him a hard look. Think about how the women always think of the men as mentioned above. Now think of how the men think of women - almost always "boy, those women sure are unknowable and mysterious but I've got to protect them even though they tell me every single time that I'm an idiot and they don't need my damned protection no matter how many times I do save them". My biggest question is why every single good guy male in this universe feels compelled to be willing to lay down his life for every woman and bigger yet, why isn't every dude gay?

As to the male character who I hate most? Easy - Perrin. He was easily my favorite character in Eye but was totally ruined by his obsession with Fail. He went from the everyman determined to do what he could to save the world even though he had no special powers to whiny wolfboy (even though any other guy would be "Wow, cool! I can talk to wolves!") to completely whipped scumbag willing to sell the world to the DO for Fail. What a douche he became although he was working to redeem himself in Memory.

 

Well, enough ranting. And don't worry - got my flame suit on:)

Exaggerated a wee bit but, have to agree with the spirit of the point. Supose we cant blame the women too much as it seems like they were taught at mothers knee that all men are fools, even the female characters i like, and theres many there not all bad.

While i understand where Mr Ares is coming from about cads i have to say i disagree, its one thing to stand up for ones self and not to back down in a contest of wills with the DR, quite another to constantly goad and try to humiliate him in front of his men, i think just seeing how the others treated her convinced him she wasnt just another AS, she tried to get him to respect her or at least fear her, all she ended up doing was getting him to hate her and see her as just another arrogant manipulater.

 

And the same with the men, while not as bad as the women there is far to little respect for the intelligence of others for my liking, except for the forsaken, so when its there its misplaced.

Edited by damandred

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While i understand where Mr Ares is coming from about cads i have to say i disagree, its one thing to stand up for ones self and not to back down in a contest of wills with the DR, quite another to constantly goad and try to humiliate him in front of his men, i think just seeing how the others treated her convinced him she wasnt just another AS, she tried to get him to respect her or at least fear her, all she ended up doing was getting him to hate her and see her as just another arrogant manipulater.

 

It has been well broken down elsewhere but Cads took the only option available to her after a very careful study of Rand and the situation. Old post below:

 

In fact we know she did a ton of research on Rand and tested his character and sanity in their first meeting. She fell on a course of action based on the results that the WOs advocated as well.

 

 

"Most men will take what is offered, if it seems attractive and pleasant," Sorilea said. "Once, we thought of Rand al'Thor so. Unfortunately, it is too late to change the path we walk. Now, he suspects whatever is offered freely. Now, if I wanted him to accept something, I would pretend I did not want him to have it. If I wanted to stay close to him, I would pretend indifference to whether I ever saw him again." Once more, those eyes focused on Cadsuane, green augers. Not trying to see what lay inside her head. The woman knew.

 

- The Path of Daggers, New Alliances

 

Here decision on how to proceed was absolutely correct:

 

"If you want to see what a man is made of, push him from a direction he doesn't expect. There's good metal in that boy, I think, but he's going to be difficult." Steepling her fingers, she peered across them at the wall, musing to herself. "He has a rage in him fit to burn the world, and he holds it by a hair. Push him too far off balance .... Phaw! Al'Thor's not so hard yet as Logain Ablar or Mazrim

Taim, but a hundred times as difficult, I fear."

 

- A Crown of Swords, Diamonds and Stars

 

 

After how he was treated by other AS there was no other course of action she could have taken. He would have been distrustful of anything else.

 

But I must wait for him to come to me. You see the way he runs roughshod over Alanna and the others. It will be hard enough teaching him, if he does ask. He fights guidance, he thinks he must do everything, learn everything, on his own, and if I do not make him work for it, he won't learn at all."

 

- Winter’s Heart, Bonds

 

 

It should be noted that Moiraine told Eggy and AVi that this was exactly what Rand needed.

 

Rand will need both of you in the days to come. You handle his temper well – though I may say your methods are unusual. He will need people who cannot be driven away or quelled by his rages, who will tell him what he must hear instead of what they think he wants to.”

 

- The Fires of Heaven, News Comes To Cairhien

 

Towards the end the deterioration of things was mainly do to Rand's psychological darkness, he saw not only Cads but everyone in the worst possible light. The reality is she saved his life multiple times, she backed him to the hilt/executed a perfect defense at the cleansing, and she out of all the AS swore to do what was best for him, not herself or the WT. Compared to all of that calling him "boy"(often when he is acting like a child) is hardly an issue. It may have taken a lucky stroke at the end but Rand himself flat out states she took the correct course:

 

"I was broken," Rand said, hands behind his back. "And then, remarkably, I was reforged. I think he almost had me, Egwene. It was Cadsuane who set me to fixing it...

 

- Towers of Midnight

 

She doesn't care for titles, she hates politicking, and she never suffers fools. It's part of the reason the WO's respect her so much. She keeps her word and always works towards Rand's benefit(a driving piece of her character is trying to better those around her and we see her show compassion on a regular basis). Despite that all many fans seem to care about is "but ZOMFG she was a big meanie to the Dragon Reborn!"

 

"Exaggerated a wee bit" doesn't even begin to properly characterize the op's opinion. There can be no realistic discussion on the topic when one side starts from such a place.

Edited by Suttree

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Alright credit where credits due, she played a blinder with Rand, IMO some of her antics were unnecessary, but yeah she was brilliant at times, i didnt say i didnt like her, im not one of these Cads bashers, but i still think she went overboard and it all nearly went sour for her at the end.

But lets face it, you (Suttree) make a compelling argument for Cads' treatment of Rand, but she still treats everyone else like their a idiot, except the WO' of course, though she was more often than not in the right the woman had a ego with a capital E that took the shine off her a bit for me.

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While i understand where Mr Ares is coming from about cads i have to say i disagree, its one thing to stand up for ones self and not to back down in a contest of wills with the DR, quite another to constantly goad and try to humiliate him in front of his men, i think just seeing how the others treated her convinced him she wasnt just another AS, she tried to get him to respect her or at least fear her, all she ended up doing was getting him to hate her and see her as just another arrogant manipulater.

 

It has been well broken down elsewhere but Cads took the only option available to her after a very careful study of Rand and the situation. Old post below:

 

In fact we know she did a ton of research on Rand and tested his character and sanity in their first meeting. She fell on a course of action based on the results that the WOs advocated as well.

 

 

"Most men will take what is offered, if it seems attractive and pleasant," Sorilea said. "Once, we thought of Rand al'Thor so. Unfortunately, it is too late to change the path we walk. Now, he suspects whatever is offered freely. Now, if I wanted him to accept something, I would pretend I did not want him to have it. If I wanted to stay close to him, I would pretend indifference to whether I ever saw him again." Once more, those eyes focused on Cadsuane, green augers. Not trying to see what lay inside her head. The woman knew.

 

- The Path of Daggers, New Alliances

 

Here decision on how to proceed was absolutely correct:

 

"If you want to see what a man is made of, push him from a direction he doesn't expect. There's good metal in that boy, I think, but he's going to be difficult." Steepling her fingers, she peered across them at the wall, musing to herself. "He has a rage in him fit to burn the world, and he holds it by a hair. Push him too far off balance .... Phaw! Al'Thor's not so hard yet as Logain Ablar or Mazrim

Taim, but a hundred times as difficult, I fear."

 

- A Crown of Swords, Diamonds and Stars

 

 

After how he was treated by other AS there was no other course of action she could have taken. He would have been distrustful of anything else.

 

But I must wait for him to come to me. You see the way he runs roughshod over Alanna and the others. It will be hard enough teaching him, if he does ask. He fights guidance, he thinks he must do everything, learn everything, on his own, and if I do not make him work for it, he won't learn at all."

 

- Winter’s Heart, Bonds

 

 

It should be noted that Moiraine told Eggy and AVi that this was exactly what Rand needed.

 

Rand will need both of you in the days to come. You handle his temper well – though I may say your methods are unusual. He will need people who cannot be driven away or quelled by his rages, who will tell him what he must hear instead of what they think he wants to.”

 

- The Fires of Heaven, News Comes To Cairhien

 

Towards the end the deterioration of things was mainly do to Rand's psychological darkness, he saw not only Cads but everyone in the worst possible light. The reality is she saved his life multiple times, she backed him to the hilt/executed a perfect defense at the cleansing, and she out of all the AS swore to do what was best for him, not herself or the WT. Compared to all of that calling him "boy"(often when he is acting like a child) is hardly an issue. It may have taken a lucky stroke at the end but Rand himself flat out states she took the correct course:

 

"I was broken," Rand said, hands behind his back. "And then, remarkably, I was reforged. I think he almost had me, Egwene. It was Cadsuane who set me to fixing it...

 

- Towers of Midnight

 

She doesn't care for titles, she hates politicking, and she never suffers fools. It's part of the reason the WO's respect her so much. She keeps her word and always works towards Rand's benefit(a driving piece of her character is trying to better those around her and we see her show compassion on a regular basis). Despite that all many fans seem to care about is "but ZOMFG she was a big meanie to the Dragon Reborn!"

 

"Exaggerated a wee bit" doesn't even begin to properly characterize the op's opinion. There can be no realistic discussion on the topic when one side starts from such a place.

 

 

Agreed.

 

'Come on, dude, one of the major criticisms of WOT is that all the female characters are variations on one uber character.' 

 

Nope... nope. Do you seriously think that Nyneave has the same personality as Egwene? Or Tylin? Or Elaida? Or Greandal? Or Mistress al'Vere? Do you think ANY of those characters have the same personality? 

 

What about Setalle Anan? 'you are an unconventionally wise man, Matrim Cauthon.' She says that to Mat. WHABAM!  See, women are not always telling the men that they are stupid. You are off base! 

 

 

 

Honestly Egwene is the one of the only irredeemably bitchy characters this side of Elaida and Tuon... which is why her being considered the go-to "strong woman" of the series always irked me. She's the closest thing the books have to a Mary Sue if you ask me, and the bullshit she pulls on Nynaeve (and the fact that Nynaeve lets her do it) is a perfect example of other characters dumbing down and bending themselves to fit her whenever she's in the scene.  The only times I found myself rooting for her were those rare moments when she is faced with an opponent even more frustrating than she is. Otherwise, she simply tries to sell out her friends to every group of authoritative women she meets (first helping the Wise Ones manipulate Rand, then the Aes Sedai, then manipulating Mat for the Aes Sedai, then trying to manipulate Rand into giving up his prophesied duty to her because of course the farm girl who's been outside Emond's Field for two years knows better than the Dragon Re-goddamn-born).  I was glad she died, I just wish she'd died sooner and less gloriously, as befits her personality.

 

There are plenty of examples of strong, likable female characters in the books: Birgitte, Moiraine, Siuan [removed], Faile, Berelain, Verin,  Nynaeve, Elayne (I guess), Aviendha, the Wise Ones, Setalle Anan... Christ, I could probably sit here for an hour writing out names. But Egwene should be left in a small box somewhere, because she's terrible.

 

Right, right right. Very good. I'm probably a LITTLE more tolerant of Egwene than you are but thats fine. You're right, we could go on all day naming female characters that are just fine. [removed]

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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They are all shown as arrogant, shrewish, self centered, hypocritical, petty, vain, cruel bullies heavily into BDSM.

No, they're not. Especially not the BDSM part - just because a few people get spanked, doesn't mean everyone is into BDSM. If a child is spanked, would you say the child is into BDSM? While they may all display a number of faults, it's simply not fair and not accurate to tar them all with the same brush like this.

 

Yes, they are. Into S&M, that is. Every time a novice/accepted/even a sister is punished for anything it always seems to involve corporal punishment of some type, no matter what else is assigned,such as onerous chores or isolation or even exile. Admittedly they are most of them much more heavily into discipline and sadism than bondage or masochism.

Their base emotion towards everyone else seems to be contempt. Everyone they meet is assumed to be an idiot who needs to be bullied and bludgeoned onto the right path - unless, course of, they instantly fall into the properly obsequious attitude in which case they will be treated with the contempt due any lickspittle.

Well, it works for me.

 

The Aes Sedai are the worst, of course. The oaths they swear against lying and using the Power as a weapon except in self defense are a hypocritical farce. They lie - through omission, misinformation and misdirection - so often that there are folk sayings against believing a word they say. They constantly use the Power to physically punish people for doing something they don't like or saying something they don't like or for not cringing sufficiently when they are given a "look". Their training in the tower seems to mainly consist of instilling overweening arrogance, an unfailing sense of infallibility, a sense of entitlement and a taste for BDSM games in the initiates.

Again, maybe you should look up what BDSM actually means. If anything, a girl's time in the Tower is more likely to be one of heavy to industrial strength lesbianism than anything BDSM related. Also, they do not swear an Oath against lying, they swear one against not speaking the truth. And they do speak the truth - phrased misleadingly, perhaps, but they abide by the letter of their Oaths. And physically punishing someone is not the same as using a weapon. Nor do we see them complain about others using these tricks against them - they are hardly hypocritical. It's true that the Oaths don't really serve any useful purpose, and have helped the AS to lose their way, but just because they are a bad thing doesn't mean that any term for a bad thing can be used to describe them. 

 

To speak no word that is not true is a prohibition against lying and intentionally manipulating words to make someone believe a lie is lying by any rational sense of morality. Therefore they are both untruthful and liars.

The extortion racket they run to support themselves seems to have convinced them that Tower law supersedes all other and gives them authority over all other channellers and objects of magic no matter what land they reside in as well as the right to tell anyone, noble or peasant, what to do.

Except that while Tower law dictates all objects of the Power rightfully belong to the Tower, this is not an edict they attempt to enforce. It's a paper claim. When do we ever see them trying to enforce Tower law on those who are not either sworn to the Tower or on the Tower's land?

 

Except that they do whenever they can get away with it. Look at how Moraine basically robbed the Aiel at Rhuidean - using they ignorance and the awe they still felt at that time to appropriate the objects. And not just angreal and such. The Aes Sedai feel they have the right to arrest and punish anyone who pretends to be Aes Sedai and they attest to this several times themselves. They also feel that channeling is exclusively their property and that even wilders who have successfully weathered learning on their own had better not channel too openly. Just exactly where does this authority come from - other than there own arrogant presumption.

I've had a hard time deciding which female character I loathe the most - Egwene or Cadsuane. Egwene wants exactly the same things that Elaida wants - unquestioning, instantaneous, blind obedience, White tower rule of the world (under her absolute rule of the Tower, of course), and Rand on a leash as her trained attack dog without any stupid plans of his own.

This is simply not true. Egwene is ambitious, but she has goals far bigger than herself and her own power. She does end up sacrificing herself. Due to the nature of her position, she has to win the support and the obedience of others in the Tower, to convince them to follow her in a way she wouldn't have had to under normal circumstances. She had to reunite the Tower. She shows no interest in "absolute power" as an end in itself, she intends ot use the power she obtains as a means to an end.

 

She's a megalomaniac. I never said she's evil or cowardly or lazy. Her base, that she always comes back to no matter what temporary insecurity, hiccup or setback pops ups, is her unshakeable belief that she always knows best, she is always basically right whatever her desire and everyone should be doing exactly as she thinks they should do. Of course she would deny she wants absolute power, which is why she sublimates it into a desire to make the Tower itself as the strongest power in the world. But since she is the rightful ruler of the Tower - well you do the math. She's eighteen. How is that not pyschopathy?

Cadsuane I hate because she is so stupid. Her stated purpose is to make Rand laugh and cry again - in other words to reclaim humanity. Her brilliant plan? Offer him a little sympathy, a bit of respect, a modicum of trust and maybe a smidgen of gratitude for the sacrifice of his life? Why, no! I'll berate and belittle, embarrass and humiliate, insult, manipulate and deride him and occasionally physically assault him. In public whenever possible. And I'll always derisively call him "boy" rather than use his name or title. Yeah, that'll restore his humanity and help him win Tarmon Gaidon.

Well, up until the Semi incident it was working. She's hardly stupid. It's worth noting that she uses many different ways of dealing with people, and tailors her methods to the person in question. Would Rand have followed her advice if she had offered him trust and compassion? No. He saw AS and thought them out to manipulate him. So Cadsuane swore she wouldn't put the Tower's interests ahead of his own, and was bluntly critical of his mistakes. She did not display the weaknesses that might have led him to steamroller her, but nor did she give the impression of a false friend trying to manipulate him for her own ends. Instead, she was a trusted advisor, someone to be listened to and respected, someone who had his back and who saved his life more than once, but not someone who ever tried to control him, overtly or otherwise. She's not without her flaws, but she still stands as a great example of what an AS should be.

 

Except that it wasn't working. The only reason Rand kept her around was because of Min's viewing. He saw her as being out to manipulate him because she was, making her oath a big fat lie. Now it wouldn't have been a lie if she'd said she'd do what she considers his best interests - because she considers controlling him as his best interests. She is absolutely no different than any other AS in this. The only time I can even recall her giving Rand any helpful or valid advice was in Tear and even then she delivered it in the most insulting, humiliating way possible. Do you believe that the best way to treat abuse victims is to slap them until they snap out of it? Her so-called success in turning Rand back to the light had absolutely nothing to do with her and her plan except thru blind, dumb luck. She didn't bring Tam in to provide any kind of catharsis but to try to manipulate and control Rand. When he snapped, he might well have destroyed the world because of her blundering. Only his upbringing from Tam, his sense of duty and the love he felt for those he cared about brought him back from the brink. Cadsuane had zero to do with that.

 

Your hyperbole does your argument no favours.

 

Dude, it's the internet. The home of Hyperbole :)

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While i understand where Mr Ares is coming from about cads i have to say i disagree, its one thing to stand up for ones self and not to back down in a contest of wills with the DR, quite another to constantly goad and try to humiliate him in front of his men, i think just seeing how the others treated her convinced him she wasnt just another AS, she tried to get him to respect her or at least fear her, all she ended up doing was getting him to hate her and see her as just another arrogant manipulater.

 

It has been well broken down elsewhere but Cads took the only option available to her after a very careful study of Rand and the situation. Old post below:

 

In fact we know she did a ton of research on Rand and tested his character and sanity in their first meeting. She fell on a course of action based on the results that the WOs advocated as well.

 

 

"Most men will take what is offered, if it seems attractive and pleasant," Sorilea said. "Once, we thought of Rand al'Thor so. Unfortunately, it is too late to change the path we walk. Now, he suspects whatever is offered freely. Now, if I wanted him to accept something, I would pretend I did not want him to have it. If I wanted to stay close to him, I would pretend indifference to whether I ever saw him again." Once more, those eyes focused on Cadsuane, green augers. Not trying to see what lay inside her head. The woman knew.

 

- The Path of Daggers, New Alliances

 

Here decision on how to proceed was absolutely correct:

 

"If you want to see what a man is made of, push him from a direction he doesn't expect. There's good metal in that boy, I think, but he's going to be difficult." Steepling her fingers, she peered across them at the wall, musing to herself. "He has a rage in him fit to burn the world, and he holds it by a hair. Push him too far off balance .... Phaw! Al'Thor's not so hard yet as Logain Ablar or Mazrim

Taim, but a hundred times as difficult, I fear."

 

- A Crown of Swords, Diamonds and Stars

 

 

After how he was treated by other AS there was no other course of action she could have taken. He would have been distrustful of anything else.

 

But I must wait for him to come to me. You see the way he runs roughshod over Alanna and the others. It will be hard enough teaching him, if he does ask. He fights guidance, he thinks he must do everything, learn everything, on his own, and if I do not make him work for it, he won't learn at all."

 

- Winter’s Heart, Bonds

 

 

It should be noted that Moiraine told Eggy and AVi that this was exactly what Rand needed.

 

Rand will need both of you in the days to come. You handle his temper well – though I may say your methods are unusual. He will need people who cannot be driven away or quelled by his rages, who will tell him what he must hear instead of what they think he wants to.”

 

- The Fires of Heaven, News Comes To Cairhien

 

Towards the end the deterioration of things was mainly do to Rand's psychological darkness, he saw not only Cads but everyone in the worst possible light. The reality is she saved his life multiple times, she backed him to the hilt/executed a perfect defense at the cleansing, and she out of all the AS swore to do what was best for him, not herself or the WT. Compared to all of that calling him "boy"(often when he is acting like a child) is hardly an issue. It may have taken a lucky stroke at the end but Rand himself flat out states she took the correct course:

 

"I was broken," Rand said, hands behind his back. "And then, remarkably, I was reforged. I think he almost had me, Egwene. It was Cadsuane who set me to fixing it...

 

- Towers of Midnight

 

She doesn't care for titles, she hates politicking, and she never suffers fools. It's part of the reason the WO's respect her so much. She keeps her word and always works towards Rand's benefit(a driving piece of her character is trying to better those around her and we see her show compassion on a regular basis). Despite that all many fans seem to care about is "but ZOMFG she was a big meanie to the Dragon Reborn!"

 

"Exaggerated a wee bit" doesn't even begin to properly characterize the op's opinion. There can be no realistic discussion on the topic when one side starts from such a place.

 

 

Agreed.

 

'Come on, dude, one of the major criticisms of WOT is that all the female characters are variations on one uber character.' 

 

Nope... nope. Do you seriously think that Nyneave has the same personality as Egwene? Or Tylin? Or Elaida? Or Greandal? Or Mistress al'Vere? Do you think ANY of those characters have the same personality? 

 

What about Setalle Anan? 'you are an unconventionally wise man, Matrim Cauthon.' She says that to Mat. WHABAM!  See, women are not always telling the men that they are stupid. You are off base! 

 

They do all have the same personality in regard to men - contemptuous and dismissive. For every example of grudging compliment or reluctantly offered shortlived gratitude or half hearted begrudged apology, there are a thousand "manstupid woolheaded fool" examples - either thought or said outright. It's not even that every woman has the attitude - it's the utter relentlessness of it that gripes me. 

 

 

Honestly Egwene is the one of the only irredeemably bitchy characters this side of Elaida and Tuon... which is why her being considered the go-to "strong woman" of the series always irked me. She's the closest thing the books have to a Mary Sue if you ask me, and the [removed] she pulls on Nynaeve (and the fact that Nynaeve lets her do it) is a perfect example of other characters dumbing down and bending themselves to fit her whenever she's in the scene.  The only times I found myself rooting for her were those rare moments when she is faced with an opponent even more frustrating than she is. Otherwise, she simply tries to sell out her friends to every group of authoritative women she meets (first helping the Wise Ones manipulate Rand, then the Aes Sedai, then manipulating Mat for the Aes Sedai, then trying to manipulate Rand into giving up his prophesied duty to her because of course the farm girl who's been outside Emond's Field for two years knows better than the Dragon Re-goddamn-born).  I was glad she died, I just wish she'd died sooner and less gloriously, as befits her personality.

 

There are plenty of examples of strong, likable female characters in the books: Birgitte, Moiraine, Siuan [removed], Faile, Berelain, Verin,  Nynaeve, Elayne (I guess), Aviendha, the Wise Ones, Setalle Anan... Christ, I could probably sit here for an hour writing out names. But Egwene should be left in a small box somewhere, because she's terrible.

 

Right, right right. Very good. I'm probably a LITTLE more tolerant of Egwene than you are but thats fine. You're right, we could go on all day naming female characters that are just fine. [removed]

 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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While i understand where Mr Ares is coming from about cads i have to say i disagree, its one thing to stand up for ones self and not to back down in a contest of wills with the DR, quite another to constantly goad and try to humiliate him in front of his men, i think just seeing how the others treated her convinced him she wasnt just another AS, she tried to get him to respect her or at least fear her, all she ended up doing was getting him to hate her and see her as just another arrogant manipulater.

 

It has been well broken down elsewhere but Cads took the only option available to her after a very careful study of Rand and the situation. Old post below:

 

In fact we know she did a ton of research on Rand and tested his character and sanity in their first meeting. She fell on a course of action based on the results that the WOs advocated as well.

 

 

"Most men will take what is offered, if it seems attractive and pleasant," Sorilea said. "Once, we thought of Rand al'Thor so. Unfortunately, it is too late to change the path we walk. Now, he suspects whatever is offered freely. Now, if I wanted him to accept something, I would pretend I did not want him to have it. If I wanted to stay close to him, I would pretend indifference to whether I ever saw him again." Once more, those eyes focused on Cadsuane, green augers. Not trying to see what lay inside her head. The woman knew.

 

- The Path of Daggers, New Alliances

 

Here decision on how to proceed was absolutely correct:

 

"If you want to see what a man is made of, push him from a direction he doesn't expect. There's good metal in that boy, I think, but he's going to be difficult." Steepling her fingers, she peered across them at the wall, musing to herself. "He has a rage in him fit to burn the world, and he holds it by a hair. Push him too far off balance .... Phaw! Al'Thor's not so hard yet as Logain Ablar or Mazrim

Taim, but a hundred times as difficult, I fear."

 

- A Crown of Swords, Diamonds and Stars

 

 

After how he was treated by other AS there was no other course of action she could have taken. He would have been distrustful of anything else.

 

But I must wait for him to come to me. You see the way he runs roughshod over Alanna and the others. It will be hard enough teaching him, if he does ask. He fights guidance, he thinks he must do everything, learn everything, on his own, and if I do not make him work for it, he won't learn at all."

 

- Winter’s Heart, Bonds

 

 

It should be noted that Moiraine told Eggy and AVi that this was exactly what Rand needed.

 

Rand will need both of you in the days to come. You handle his temper well – though I may say your methods are unusual. He will need people who cannot be driven away or quelled by his rages, who will tell him what he must hear instead of what they think he wants to.”

 

- The Fires of Heaven, News Comes To Cairhien

 

Towards the end the deterioration of things was mainly do to Rand's psychological darkness, he saw not only Cads but everyone in the worst possible light. The reality is she saved his life multiple times, she backed him to the hilt/executed a perfect defense at the cleansing, and she out of all the AS swore to do what was best for him, not herself or the WT. Compared to all of that calling him "boy"(often when he is acting like a child) is hardly an issue. It may have taken a lucky stroke at the end but Rand himself flat out states she took the correct course:

 

"I was broken," Rand said, hands behind his back. "And then, remarkably, I was reforged. I think he almost had me, Egwene. It was Cadsuane who set me to fixing it...

 

- Towers of Midnight

 

She doesn't care for titles, she hates politicking, and she never suffers fools. It's part of the reason the WO's respect her so much. She keeps her word and always works towards Rand's benefit(a driving piece of her character is trying to better those around her and we see her show compassion on a regular basis). Despite that all many fans seem to care about is "but ZOMFG she was a big meanie to the Dragon Reborn!"

 

"Exaggerated a wee bit" doesn't even begin to properly characterize the op's opinion. There can be no realistic discussion on the topic when one side starts from such a place.

 

 

Agreed.

 

'Come on, dude, one of the major criticisms of WOT is that all the female characters are variations on one uber character.' 

 

Nope... nope. Do you seriously think that Nyneave has the same personality as Egwene? Or Tylin? Or Elaida? Or Greandal? Or Mistress al'Vere? Do you think ANY of those characters have the same personality? 

 

What about Setalle Anan? 'you are an unconventionally wise man, Matrim Cauthon.' She says that to Mat. WHABAM!  See, women are not always telling the men that they are stupid. You are off base! 

 

 

 

Honestly Egwene is the one of the only irredeemably bitchy characters this side of Elaida and Tuon... which is why her being considered the go-to "strong woman" of the series always irked me. She's the closest thing the books have to a Mary Sue if you ask me, and the bullshit she pulls on Nynaeve (and the fact that Nynaeve lets her do it) is a perfect example of other characters dumbing down and bending themselves to fit her whenever she's in the scene.  The only times I found myself rooting for her were those rare moments when she is faced with an opponent even more frustrating than she is. Otherwise, she simply tries to sell out her friends to every group of authoritative women she meets (first helping the Wise Ones manipulate Rand, then the Aes Sedai, then manipulating Mat for the Aes Sedai, then trying to manipulate Rand into giving up his prophesied duty to her because of course the farm girl who's been outside Emond's Field for two years knows better than the Dragon Re-goddamn-born).  I was glad she died, I just wish she'd died sooner and less gloriously, as befits her personality.

 

There are plenty of examples of strong, likable female characters in the books: Birgitte, Moiraine, Siuan (until Egwene raped her), Faile, Berelain, Verin,  Nynaeve, Elayne (I guess), Aviendha, the Wise Ones, Setalle Anan... Christ, I could probably sit here for an hour writing out names. But Egwene should be left in a small box somewhere, because she's terrible.

 

Right, right right. Very good. I'm probably a LITTLE more tolerant of Egwene than you are but thats fine. You're right, we could go on all day naming female characters that are just fine. But WHEN did Egwene......?..... Siuan?..... I don't get it...  :huh:  :blink:  :unsure:  :ohmy:

 

I don't either....I think he's making something up. 

 

And my least favorite female characters are Elayne and Elaida. Actually, they are the only ones I really, really dislike.

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I wouldn't say I hated almost every character but you are right it was a little annoying the whole men need to be bossed, women are always right that many of the main female characters had.  If you look at it Mat, Perin, and Rand all came to leadership but none of them wanted it (yes Perin's arc on finally accepting leadership did take too long imo).  The women Egwene, Ny, and Elayne seemed to always assume they should be in charge from the start.  Ny I really liked, especially at the end because as a character I think she really developed and grew.  Egwene and ELayne, I never liked and they never seemed to grow.  They time and time again ran in to danger, got caught, always felt they needed to do everything themselves, always felt they new best, etc.   Not to mention the big push at the end to make Egwene seem uber powerful, coming up with a new weave, and killing all the sharan channelers seemed to much of a push to make her seem like the best Aes Sedai ever.  Taking out every sharran channeler seemed like a lazy way to get rid of the channelers.  Elayne seemed to take putting Rand and Brigette into danger as a joke, the whole well Min says my Babies will be born healthy so I can go put myself into danger repeatedly annoyed me.  She was linked to the dragon reborn and if he did something stupid the world might fall to darkness.  Elayne and Egwene to me just stayed as spoiled children who didn't trust anyone to get things done.  So I didn't hate every character, I just feel as if some characters just never grew or changed as the series went on.

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Alright credit where credits due, she played a blinder with Rand, IMO some of her antics were unnecessary, but yeah she was brilliant at times, i didnt say i didnt like her, im not one of these Cads bashers, but i still think she went overboard and it all nearly went sour for her at the end.

But lets face it, you (Suttree) make a compelling argument for Cads' treatment of Rand, but she still treats everyone else like their a idiot, except the WO' of course, though she was more often than not in the right the woman had a ego with a capital E that took the shine off her a bit for me.

Actually, Cadsuane treats a number of different people in rather different ways - she offers praise and reinforcement to Samitsu, for example, and is respectful of Verin (and clearly sees through Verin's facade). Those people she does treat like idiots usually are, and those she treats with respect are those deserving of it.

 

 

 

They are all shown as arrogant, shrewish, self centered, hypocritical, petty, vain, cruel bullies heavily into BDSM.

No, they're not. Especially not the BDSM part - just because a few people get spanked, doesn't mean everyone is into BDSM. If a child is spanked, would you say the child is into BDSM? While they may all display a number of faults, it's simply not fair and not accurate to tar them all with the same brush like this.

 

 

Yes, they are. Into S&M, that is. Every time a novice/accepted/even a sister is punished for anything it always seems to involve corporal punishment of some type, no matter what else is assigned,such as onerous chores or isolation or even exile. Admittedly they are most of them much more heavily into discipline and sadism than bondage or masochism.

 

No, they're not. Corporal punishment and S&M are not the same thing. There's very little sign that any of them enjoy the punishment - either giving or receiving. That means it is neither sadism nor masochism, simply a culture which uses corporal punishment, with no sexual or fetishistic overtones, in their minds at least, to that punishment. That you see it as S&M says more about you than about the AS. It's worth comparing with Therava's treatment of Galina, which has definite elements of domination and sadism, and Semi's sadistic tendencies are noted as well.

 

 

 

The Aes Sedai are the worst, of course. The oaths they swear against lying and using the Power as a weapon except in self defense are a hypocritical farce. They lie - through omission, misinformation and misdirection - so often that there are folk sayings against believing a word they say. They constantly use the Power to physically punish people for doing something they don't like or saying something they don't like or for not cringing sufficiently when they are given a "look". Their training in the tower seems to mainly consist of instilling overweening arrogance, an unfailing sense of infallibility, a sense of entitlement and a taste for BDSM games in the initiates.

Again, maybe you should look up what BDSM actually means. If anything, a girl's time in the Tower is more likely to be one of heavy to industrial strength lesbianism than anything BDSM related. Also, they do not swear an Oath against lying, they swear one against not speaking the truth. And they do speak the truth - phrased misleadingly, perhaps, but they abide by the letter of their Oaths. And physically punishing someone is not the same as using a weapon. Nor do we see them complain about others using these tricks against them - they are hardly hypocritical. It's true that the Oaths don't really serve any useful purpose, and have helped the AS to lose their way, but just because they are a bad thing doesn't mean that any term for a bad thing can be used to describe them.

 

 

To speak no word that is not true is a prohibition against lying and intentionally manipulating words to make someone believe a lie is lying by any rational sense of morality. Therefore they are both untruthful and liars.

 

But you admit they are not hypocrites? To speak no word that is not true is an Oath against untruth, not against lies. They utter no untruths. The strictures of the Oaths are not moral, they are literal. They swear to speak no word that is not true, and it is to that they are bound. The Oath Rod holds them to the letter, not the spirit. Now, I'll grant that the Oaths are useless and counter-productive, but it's simply untrue to call the AS hypocritical in this matter, and to accuse them of lying is arguable, as they have uttered no untruths. They have been misleading rather than false. You might no see a distinction there, but it exists.

 

 

The extortion racket they run to support themselves seems to have convinced them that Tower law supersedes all other and gives them authority over all other channellers and objects of magic no matter what land they reside in as well as the right to tell anyone, noble or peasant, what to do.

Except that while Tower law dictates all objects of the Power rightfully belong to the Tower, this is not an edict they attempt to enforce. It's a paper claim. When do we ever see them trying to enforce Tower law on those who are not either sworn to the Tower or on the Tower's land?

 

 

Except that they do whenever they can get away with it. Look at how Moraine basically robbed the Aiel at Rhuidean - using they ignorance and the awe they still felt at that time to appropriate the objects. And not just angreal and such. The Aes Sedai feel they have the right to arrest and punish anyone who pretends to be Aes Sedai and they attest to this several times themselves. They also feel that channeling is exclusively their property and that even wilders who have successfully weathered learning on their own had better not channel too openly. Just exactly where does this authority come from - other than there own arrogant presumption.

 

I would say the AS have every right to be protective of their name and their identity - if people go around calling themselves AS and the AS do nothing to stop it, they tacitly admit these women have the right to the name - it's sort of like copyright law. If you don't defend your intellectual property against infringements, you can lose the right to it. And if people get killed or ripped off by AS, you don't think that would reflect badly on the WT, and potentially put the lives of Sisters in danger? It's worth noting that they have known about the Kin all along, and have tolerated them - because the Kin keep their heads down and don't go around pretending to be AS. They don't have a problem with other channelers. Only with perceived threats.

 

 

I've had a hard time deciding which female character I loathe the most - Egwene or Cadsuane. Egwene wants exactly the same things that Elaida wants - unquestioning, instantaneous, blind obedience, White tower rule of the world (under her absolute rule of the Tower, of course), and Rand on a leash as her trained attack dog without any stupid plans of his own.

This is simply not true. Egwene is ambitious, but she has goals far bigger than herself and her own power. She does end up sacrificing herself. Due to the nature of her position, she has to win the support and the obedience of others in the Tower, to convince them to follow her in a way she wouldn't have had to under normal circumstances. She had to reunite the Tower. She shows no interest in "absolute power" as an end in itself, she intends ot use the power she obtains as a means to an end.

 

She's a megalomaniac. I never said she's evil or cowardly or lazy. Her base, that she always comes back to no matter what temporary insecurity, hiccup or setback pops ups, is her unshakeable belief that she always knows best, she is always basically right whatever her desire and everyone should be doing exactly as she thinks they should do. Of course she would deny she wants absolute power, which is why she sublimates it into a desire to make the Tower itself as the strongest power in the world. But since she is the rightful ruler of the Tower - well you do the math. She's eighteen. How is that not pyschopathy?

 

Again, more words you clearly don't understand. She is neither megalomaniacal nor psychopathic. If she truly desired absolute power, why would she relinquish it, by sacrificing her life? Why would she not seek it out, by letting Elayne be the Light's supreme commander? She's ambitious, as I said, but she simply does not fit the profile you're trying to construct for her.

 

 

Cadsuane I hate because she is so stupid. Her stated purpose is to make Rand laugh and cry again - in other words to reclaim humanity. Her brilliant plan? Offer him a little sympathy, a bit of respect, a modicum of trust and maybe a smidgen of gratitude for the sacrifice of his life? Why, no! I'll berate and belittle, embarrass and humiliate, insult, manipulate and deride him and occasionally physically assault him. In public whenever possible. And I'll always derisively call him "boy" rather than use his name or title. Yeah, that'll restore his humanity and help him win Tarmon Gaidon.

Well, up until the Semi incident it was working. She's hardly stupid. It's worth noting that she uses many different ways of dealing with people, and tailors her methods to the person in question. Would Rand have followed her advice if she had offered him trust and compassion? No. He saw AS and thought them out to manipulate him. So Cadsuane swore she wouldn't put the Tower's interests ahead of his own, and was bluntly critical of his mistakes. She did not display the weaknesses that might have led him to steamroller her, but nor did she give the impression of a false friend trying to manipulate him for her own ends. Instead, she was a trusted advisor, someone to be listened to and respected, someone who had his back and who saved his life more than once, but not someone who ever tried to control him, overtly or otherwise. She's not without her flaws, but she still stands as a great example of what an AS should be.

 

 

Except that it wasn't working. The only reason Rand kept her around was because of Min's viewing. He saw her as being out to manipulate him because she was, making her oath a big fat lie. Now it wouldn't have been a lie if she'd said she'd do what she considers his best interests - because she considers controlling him as his best interests. She is absolutely no different than any other AS in this. The only time I can even recall her giving Rand any helpful or valid advice was in Tear and even then she delivered it in the most insulting, humiliating way possible. Do you believe that the best way to treat abuse victims is to slap them until they snap out of it? Her so-called success in turning Rand back to the light had absolutely nothing to do with her and her plan except thru blind, dumb luck. She didn't bring Tam in to provide any kind of catharsis but to try to manipulate and control Rand. When he snapped, he might well have destroyed the world because of her blundering. Only his upbringing from Tam, his sense of duty and the love he felt for those he cared about brought him back from the brink. Cadsuane had zero to do with that.

 

People often bring up Min's Viewing, but I've never seen the relevance. That was a way in, but there's no reason to believe it was her only way in, that she wouldn't have gotten herself attached to Rand regardless. Given that she's capable and adaptable and has Rand's number, if anything it would be rather out of character had she not found another way to get him to trust her. Yes, she was out to manipulate him - is that a bad thing? She wasn't doing it for her own ends, she was doing it to save him, and the world. And it was working. See Suttree's post. She never lied to him. If you can't recall her giving Rand other helpful advice, a re-read may be in order. Consider the following: she Heals him after Fain attacks him, she tells him of Callandor's flaw, she rescues him in Far Madding, she insists that Rand and Nynaeve have back up for the Cleansing. That's two times she has saved his life, and I'm not guaranteeing this list is exhaustive. Her plan involved provoking Rand - note how differently she treats him from other people. She prevents him cutting himself off from his emotions. She has come to the same conclusions as the Wise Ones about the best way to help him, and is actually in a position to make use of these insights. Rand does trust her. Her plans were working up until TGS and the Semi incident. It's worth noting that Brandon has expressed a dislike of Cadsuane, which did not help her characterisation in that book. But even then, the incident which leads to Rand breaking and Cadsuane's exile is not of her making, and was outside her control.

 

 

Your hyperbole does your argument no favours.

 

Dude, it's the internet. The home of Hyperbole :)

 

That's no excuse.

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Alright credit where credits due, she played a blinder with Rand, IMO some of her antics were unnecessary, but yeah she was brilliant at times, i didnt say i didnt like her, im not one of these Cads bashers, but i still think she went overboard and it all nearly went sour for her at the end.

But lets face it, you (Suttree) make a compelling argument for Cads' treatment of Rand, but she still treats everyone else like their a idiot, except the WO' of course, though she was more often than not in the right the woman had a ego with a capital E that took the shine off her a bit for me.

Actually, Cadsuane treats a number of different people in rather different ways - she offers praise and reinforcement to Samitsu, for example, and is respectful of Verin (and clearly sees through Verin's facade). Those people she does treat like idiots usually are, and those she treats with respect are those deserving of it.

 

 

Indeed, Cads adapts almost constantly. We see her use a variety of methods to accomplish goals based on the situation including making a pact as equals with Sorilea, a wary exchange of info with Verin, propping up confidence with Samitsu etc, and yes she can use strength as everyone knows when people step out of line or she is testing their character. All in all as RJ said, a "remarkably adaptable" woman. Below is an example and she states straight out that she uses what works in any given situation:

 

CoT

"I expect you to watch her, Samitsu. No more than that. I want to know what on eof these Dragonsworn sisters does when neither I nor the Wise Ones are looking over their shoulders and holding a switch. Youve always been very observant." Patience was not always her strongest trait, but sometimes it was required with Samitsu. The Yellow was observant, and intelligent, and strong willed most of the time, not to mention the best alive at Healing -- At least until the appearance of Damer Flinn -- but she could suffer the most astonishing collapses in confidence. The stick never worked with Samitsu, but pats on the back did, and it was ridiculous not to use what worked...

Another good example of this is with Daigian. To the other AS she was someone to ignore based on hierarchy. Cadsuane however didn't like that she had low self confidence and worked towards building it up. She valued Daigian's analytical mind and even showed her how to use the negative perception based on low strength to her advantage. One of Cad's defining characteristics is recognizing peoples worth despite strength or titles and working to better those around her. Granted it's often(but not always) through tough love. I always liked this quote from RJ:

 

She's the tough maiden aunt a lot of us have had. Not the one who tries to keep you a child your whole life. She's the one who began expecting at least some adult responses out of you at about age six, the one who was willing to hand you responsibilities that everyone else thought you were too young for. You probably had a more nerve-wracking time, and more excitement and adventure, with her than you did with any three or four other adults in your life.
Edited by Suttree

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I both agree and disagree with this topic. I agree that most of the women in the book were very annoying to the men and Egwene definitely WAS becoming tyrannical as Amyrlin (making people swear fealty to her and other things I can't recall ATM). However I was quite a fan of Jordan's Cadsuane and found her  a really good character.  True she was a bitch to many people, but most of Randland was a bunch of squabbling children so she had cause

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The thing people seem to miss about Egwene is while one can question her unwavering faith in what is essentially a fallen AS institution, but one can not question her motives. Her internal thoughts are all about working towards the greater good and facing the shadow at the LB. Time and again we see the pressure she puts on herself to achieve that goal. To say she is motivated by personal power clearly has no grounding in the text. She even states the WT needs to  give up power and reform their ways:
 

"The world as it was cannot be ours any longer," Egwene said softly...if we try to hold too tightly to all of this, we will either become tyrants or fools, depending upon how successful we are. I accept neither title."

 
Also important to note that we as readers have an outside view of how far the WT has fallen. That said they have still been the major force holding the Shadow at bay for thousands of years. They are the only reason most people even remember the DO exists so from an in world perspective Egwene's faith makes sense.
 

'TFOH 15, What Can Be Learned From Dreams'

Moiraine sighed, a soft sound. "Do you expect me to be happy that the White Tower has split apart? I am Aes Sedai, Egwene. I gave my life to the Tower long before I ever suspected the Dragon would be Reborn in my lifetime. The Tower has been a bulwark against the Shadow for three thousand years. It has guided rulers to wise decisions, stopped wars before they began, halted wars that did begin. That humankind even remembers that the Dark One waits to escape, that the Last Battle will come, is because of the Tower. The Tower, whole and united. I could almost wish that every sister had sworn to Elaida, whatever happened to Siuan."

Edited by Suttree

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The thing people seem to miss about Egwene is while one can question her unwavering faith in what is essentially a fallen AS institution, but one can not question her motives. Her internal thoughts are all about working towards the greater good and facing the shadow at the LB. Time and again we see the pressure she puts on herself to achieve that goal. To say she is motivated by personal power clearly has no grounding in the text. She even states the WT needs to  give up power and reform their ways:

 

"The world as it was cannot be ours any longer," Egwene said softly...if we try to hold too tightly to all of this, we will either become tyrants or fools, depending upon how successful we are. I accept neither title."

 

Also important to note that we as readers have an outside view of how far the WT has fallen. That said they have still been the major force holding the Shadow at bay for thousands of years. They are the only reason most people even remember the DO exists so from an in world perspective Egwene's faith makes sense.

 

'TFOH 15, What Can Be Learned From Dreams'

 

Moiraine sighed, a soft sound. "Do you expect me to be happy that the White Tower has split apart? I am Aes Sedai, Egwene. I gave my life to the Tower long before I ever suspected the Dragon would be Reborn in my lifetime. The Tower has been a bulwark against the Shadow for three thousand years. It has guided rulers to wise decisions, stopped wars before they began, halted wars that did begin. That humankind even remembers that the Dark One waits to escape, that the Last Battle will come, is because of the Tower. The Tower, whole and united. I could almost wish that every sister had sworn to Elaida, whatever happened to Siuan."

 

 

Yiss, yiss. I agree. Egwene, while sometimes pig-headed also really cares about the world and acknowledges the Tower's failures. To dismiss her as simply anything or anyway would be shortsighted. 

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Cads did have a ego, ok she helped Samitsu with her lack of confidance but it was all very condecending, and what was up with her keeping Darlin and Caroline prisoner the rebelion was over.

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Here is one of the better breakdowns on Cads that I have seen from Dom over at Theoryland:

 

What I especially didn't like about the way Brandon handled Cadsuane is the post-epiphany scenes. I hated how Brandon didn't have Rand still get his emtions in the way, still resents her deep down, how he only grudgingly and only to himself admits she was right. It felt as if Brandon gave Rand his own personal feelings towards Cadsuane, and Brandon's reaction to Cadsuane is... a little immature, more like a teenager's vision of her that than of an adult who taught kids himself. Maybe he just had the wrong background, didn't met any Cadsuane, or never overcame his encounters with some. I was very rebellious whenever I bumped into Cadsuanes as a teen, but in adulthood I looked back and have come to understand what they really gave me.

It made perfect sense that their relationship totally spiraled down the drain during his darkness, that he did to her all he did, but after his epiphany he should have more than "forgiven" her, he should come to see her as another Nynaeve, see that all Cadsuane had done was aimed to help him, and proved how much she cared, and not just about saving the world, about him. He should also have come to admire Cadsuane, her courage to face him no matter what, the fact she never gave up on him, even cast out, even under threat of death.

Brandon has this irritating vision of Cadsuane as an arrogant woman who thinks no one can meet her standards and who despises nearly everyone. RJ presented this as her image to some outsiders (the younger they are, the more negative their perception), but through her POVs he rather presented her as a woman who cared a lot about others and was extremely keen to recognize their worth, but who wasn't patient and who easily became frustrated with lack of maturity, unrealized potential, bad habits etc.

But rather than despising people for that, Cadsuane made it her mission to help, and could be very grating with her "tough love". The best example of the real Cadsuane behind the façade was maybe with the Daigian arc (though how she did try to give gentled men reasons to live on was also a strong sign of how human and caring Cadsuane is).

To Aes Sedai, Daigian was someone to ignore, good just to serve tea, and not to speak, while whatever a woman like Cadsuane said was the next thing to an Amyrlin's order. But Cadsuane didn't care Daigian stood all the way down the hierarchy, little better than an Accepted in rank. She saw immediately the exceptionally fine analytic mind of Daigian, and relied on that. So much for her arrogance, that this woman who was formed in a culture where her strength was equaled to her capabilities and it's taken for granted she knows better than anyone about everything finds Daigian's analyses priceless to her... Cadsuane's arrogance is mostly a mask, inside she has no illusion about her flaws and blind spots and knows to avoid them, it's what Brandon didn't understand.

She didn't like the fact Daigian had no self-confidence and let herself be treated like that, and through the arc she subtly worked on trying to build up her confidence through respecting her, showing her she valued her a lot, trusted her to lead even, showing her how she could exploit the fact she was perceived as negligible. RJ sought to show Cadsuane was flexible, and bullying was far from the only weapon in her arsenal, that she could use positive methods, compliments and encouragements when it's what would work on someone. She could have just used Daigian like a tool and not give a damn for her, but that's not Cadsuane. Cadsuane cared for Daigian, and cared to see her potential realized. She was the same with everybody. She realized Nynaeve's potential immediately, Rand's.

It was okay to shake Cadsuane to the core and make her fear she doomed the world, to put her on the brink and make her doubt herself. But the counterpart, when she realized she actually did the right thing, and accepted the personal price she had to pay, didn't come.

Post-epiphany Rand has all the experience to have understood this, and to understand the way she treated him as a child was because he acted like a temperamental 5 y.o. and humiliating him, and alternating between the carrot and the staff was a way to make him see how he was acting, to shape him into what he's become.

The other thing Brandon didn't "get" is that Cadsuane didn't need an "eureka" moment with Semirhage. She didn't need this "how best to break myself? By destroy my image" reasoning, because she was always aware of this method, and was using it. Pre-TGS Cadsuane had a love-hate relationship with her own image to begin with. She didn't believe in it the way Brandon had her believe in it, first of all. She resisted that. She had a POV where she comes close to believing she's really that fearless woman nothing can shake, and immediately sees it and laughs at herself, admits she's so frightened and ruffled she's taken to wearing her paralis net to sleep. That's Cadsuane in a nuthshell.

And she found her "legendary status" as irritating to bear as it was useful to her. She didn't need an epiphany. First of all, she just spent months purposefully breaking Rand's image the same way she dealt with Semirhage. He had hidden himself behind an image of fearsome, temperamental tyrant who could explode in anger at even his closest allies any minute. He played on the terror he inspired to get obeyed, much like the Forsaken. Cadsuane's answer was to destroy this image, make him look like a temperamental child in serious need of a good spanking, all the while telling him : always be fair, respect your own words, don't blame others for your own mistakes or for your own decisions to delegate your authority, show respect and act so you gain theirs in return, it's how a real leader acts.

She had the same problems with Nynaeve, who also tend to rely on the fear she inspired, and lately on using her strength in the power to get obeyed. Cadsuane was trying to teach Nyaneve she had to earn her respect, that shows of strength for the gallery didn't impress her. Nynaeve is another whose image Cadsuane sought to undermine, not to destroy her, but to show Nynaeve what she had to do to become strong for real, realize her full potential and earn the rank in the Tower hierarchy she deserved. It irritates Cadsuane a lot that strong sisters think their potential in saidar is enough and they don't have to work on the rest - the lesson herself learned from the Wilder, and that she was passing to Nynaeve.

The "real" Cadsuane knew all along how to break Semirhage. The instant she saw her she knew. The way she reacted to Semirhage's "I am the almighty Semirhage, fear my wrath!" with "I'm Cadsuane Melaidrhin. I'm looking forward to long conversations with you" shows Cadsuane understood right away Semirhage's weakness was the same as Rand's or Nynaeve's, or her own long ago as a newly raised, powerful Aes Sedai. The rest was simply a matter of waiting for the right moment and angle to use to give Semirhage a good spanking the same way she broke Rand's image of tyrant in the Stone of Tear. Cadsuane shouldn't have gotten frustrated, just lie in wait in the corner for the right moment to become involved. The actions were right, the final spanking, letting the others deal with her in the meantime (and we know this came from RJ), but Cadsuane's thought process was wrong.

 

One thing people need to keep in mind is Cads "pride" was shut down very early by that wilder. The lesson learned there shaped her entire life.

 

And she [Nynaeve] had not been put through the lessons that what must be endured, could be endured. In truth, Cadsuane sympathized with her. Somewhat. It as a lesson not everyone could learn in the Tower. She herself, full of pride in her new shawl and her own strength, had been taught by a near toothless wilder at a farm in the heart of the Black Hills.

Winter’s Heart, The Humming Bird’s Secret
Edited by Suttree

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Yes Egwene saw the Aes Sedai weren't perfect and had made mistakes, and did want to help the world.  Egwene's problem was pride, she assumed she knew how to fix everything.  Yes early on she took advice but for the most part she imo had the I know better and the I need to do everything myself attitude. 

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I hated most of the characters at various times in the story, but none all of the time.  In the early books I couldn't stand Mat and Nyn, but later in the story I came to love them both.  Nyn was never exactly fun, but her loyalty and strength was beyond doubt.  There were points in the story where Rand was annoying or infuriating, but it was all part of his evolution into what he needed to be to save the world.  Egwene's pride and arrogance could be hard to take, but I don't see how anyone could fail to admire her courage and commitment.  Perrin's self doubt, even after he had accomplished so much, was frustrating but he eventually accepted his role.  Elayne was only major character I consistently disliked (and Min was probably the only one I that I can't remember ever disliking).  

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