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Which characters have changed, developed, matured at most trough the series.

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Of course. All three ta'veren have. But Nyn has also. Remember how hard it was for her to handle her fear and anger. Despite being over twenty, in some aspects she was still a kid when it came to that. I noticed she started to change after she hooked up with Rand. They had really great influence on each other, very strong relationship, and that's why theirs is my favourite friendship in the whole story.


Egwene i started to love and respect in FoH. She is considerably more adult and interesting there. Not that i disliked her before but i thought she was a bit bland. And after LoC everything about her has fascinated me ever since. :)

Edited by Rachel_VIP.
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Just as a precursor to my (probably long) post, I'd like to say that all of the characters I list have evolved to a great degree, so when I'm talking about the 'lesser evolved' characters, that's only in comparison to others, not 'they didn't change at all'. 


The most evolved would definitely have to be Rand by far. All the crap he went through is by far the most challenging and rigorous of all. Just look at Rand getting scared at shadows in the Westwood on his way home compared to Rand balefiring Graendal's palace in tGS then his intergration with LTT and his revelations of the DO. No matter how much Rand says he is the 'same old sheepherder', at the end of the series he has totally evolved into something beyond that of plain Rand al'Thor.



Egwene would probably be the second most changed character for me. From the erratic, emotional little girl out seeking adventure she is tested and becomes an iron handed Amyrlin leading the White Tower. She always had the potential of course, but like Rand, she was changed and forged into something because of her situation.


Perrin to me didn't exactly change, he just evolved. Of course, none of the characters truly 'change' completely, they all maintain various aspects of their initial personalities, but Perrin seems to me to be the most like his initial characterization in EotW, it seems that he is matured by experience without really changing his character. Even with the addition of his wolf powers, he is still Perrin, just with a few problems to sort out. He was always the steady, thoughtful blacksmith, he just came into his own element rather than 'change'. Of course, I don't mean to say he was unchanged, he obviously does a lot. It's hard to explain, but I feel that Perrin's personality was augmented by his experiences- they added to the solid core of Perrin whereas Rand and Egwene were forced into something new, and had to find a balance between their old and new selves, much more so than Perrin. (Even his struggle with his wolf side was merely a matter of accepting who he was, rather than a real change.)


Mat would be in the middle. He grows up a lot, but at heart he is still mostly Mat to the end. Like Perrin, his personality is added to, but he always fundamentally stays Mat at his core. I think he changes much more than Perrin simply because he is forced into a more responsible role. Perrin was reluctant, but he was always the type of person who would do what he eventually does. Mat on the other hand - he had to change his ways, not just his attitude. Capricious EotW Mat never looked like becoming a dependable general, whereas you can see the beginnings of Perrin being the down to earth reluctant leader right from the start. Also the memories from the Finns play a huge part in changing him. 


As mentioned, Nynaeve is one of the most changed characters. Egwene always had that drive and ambition and the qualities of leadership. Nynaeve on the other hand had to change many of her pre-conceptions .and biases, whereas Egwene was always open to learning and adapting. While she did not 'change' as much as Egwene or Rand, her changes were in many ways the hardest and most impressive (bar Rand, who is on a whole other level, what with LTT, the DO and Creator-knows how many people messing with him). Most of her changes are not evolution through experience, but actually confronting and overcoming her own flaws. This is a part of every characters journey of course, but more so with Nynaeve, perhaps because she is older, and much more set in her ways compared to the younger cast who adapt more easily as is the case with most young people. Confronting her anger problems, her hatred of Aes Sedai, protectiveness of the TR lot and a host of other problems makes her development very impressive. It's very telling in the readers' reaction to Nynaeve throughout the series. In general (and I say this in a loose way) many find her annoying and abrasive in the first half of the series, then she goes on to be one of the most liked female characters nearing the end. 


So that's the TR gang, I thought I'd comment on them in detail, now I'll only (you'll likely be relieved) do short notes on the other major characters and only elaborate if I think a character has made significant change. 


Elayne - She doesn't exactly change, she just becomes who she was raised to be. 


Aviendha - She never really adapts to wetland culture. Not truly. She always remains predominantly the Aiel we know and love, or love to hate. 


Major characters done, here's a few that are notable for their changes. 


Logain: Unfortunately most of his development is off-screen or from an outside perspective, so he can be overlooked, but I think Logain is only second to Rand when it comes to suffering and overcoming hardships. First he is Severed and a captive of the White Tower. Then he his healed and restored. He becomes a focal point for the Light in the Black Tower against Taim. Then he goes on to suffer days of 13x13 Turnings. Most of the others take a matter of hours, Logain endures - and eventually overcomes - for days. Then he lets go of his madness and chooses to become the hero Asha'man against all the crap he endured. He was morphed by several potentially life-destroying events into a decent guy. Perhaps it is sheer stubbornness and he is actually remaining the same throughout the whole ordeal, but I think of it as an impressive change for the better against stacked odds.


Lastly something a bit different than what the thread probably intends, but it does fit.


Fain - probably the most changed of all characters because he goes from a DF peddler to Fain/Mordeth to mist-monster. Barely any of Fain is left in Shiaisam at the end.   

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I don't think Mat changes that much. Well, a lot of things happen to him, but he doesn't really act any different than he used to.


And I agree with you about Fain. He's changed even more than Rand.

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Actually, i like long posts. Thank you for this explicit and very insightful post, Barid Bel Medar! I agree with everything and couldn't have expressed it better. :)


So it turns out that our initial protagonists, the TR folk, have had the biggest development. I think that is great how RJ has managed to create characters who change so much from what they have once been and is still possible for us to love their "old" and "new" selves equally. It is this way with me and it is because, as you say, the core is still there. I think Rand's change has many layers and it is definitely the most complex and when the last piece of this change comes, his accepting of his past self (even if you don't consider the rest, just the sheer experience of seeing yourself as two different men is terrifying enough) he is still who he was in the beginning but much more experienced and wiser. The same is true for Egwene, Nynaeve, Matt and Perrin in full degree.


As for Fain, it's true that he wasn't on my mind when i created the topic but you are right that it fits. The thread is open for opinions about all the characters, not only the major ones.


That got me thinking about Moridin who i think was the only deep villain in the books. The other ones were very much alike but there was some deep mystery about him and in the end he seemed nothing like the man he was in the TEotW's prologue and later as Ba'alzamon. :)

Edited by Rachel_VIP.
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I agree that Mat grew up, but seems to be the least changed of all the main characters. To me, he the main way he changed is that he got smarter. I'm always a little surprised when I go back to reread and see him do something really dumb in the first book, like talking about Trollocs out-loud in Baerlon when he'd just been told not to, or going off to explore in Shadar Logoth, when they'd just been told not to. He was tricksy and mischievous back then, but he didn't truly have a grasp on true deception. I think his experiences in the world and his memories from the Finns ultimately changed that a lot for him.

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I´m not sure that I can say that Rhuarc and the other clanchiefs (or WO) evolve but when facing new situations they adapt very fast. They are ready to change their whole lives if needed. 

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changed and developed could be considered the same; depending on interpretation.


matured, I would say Mat.  early in the series (and before the series) he often did pranks; at the end he seemed to seek to meet the needs of others.

second, probably Nynaeve.  In the first books, she seemed to dislike/hate Moiraine; at the end she seemed to have gotten over that.


changed/developed; Rand seemed to gone through the most number of changes, yet the end result seems not much different than the beginning.

character whose end was most different from beginning; probably Fain.  In the beginning, he was human; in last book he seemed to be something other than human, not sure what.

Edited by mb
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  • 4 weeks later...

As you can tell by the profile pic, I'm a big Mat fan. I thought he was one of the more brilliantly but more quietly complex characters. He always says he hates 'sticking his neck out' yet will not hesitate to attempt to rescue someone in danger. We also learn from Egwene (I can't remember which book) that he was like this from a young age. But I agree with what you've all been saying, he mostly matured, not changed/developed. By the way, Am I the only one on this website who enjoyed the whole book 9-11/12 Mat sections? Because people always seem to give out about those.

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