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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Just finished reading AMoL... emptiness and sadness.


Blasph
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[spoilers Warning]

 

Hello everybody,

 

This being my first post, I suppose it will be as good an introduction as any.

My name is Mark, I'm from Poland, I'm 29.

I've been reading Wheel of Time for around a year now and have just finished the last tome today.

From the first part to the last I was pretty much sucked into RJ's world and kept living it half the time, the other half being the real world.

I had ~40 days of break from reading around the time when Mat journeyed with Tuon and Luca's show.

Can't really say why, I was probably afraid of reading it all too fast and running out of books.

Admittedly, those were some of the less exciting sequences of the whole story but that has never been a problem for me, I like prolonged narration without much happening.

I don't have the most or least favorite tome, though the first three or four had rather huge impact for many reasons.

That doesn't mean I felt disappointed by the latter ones, oh no.

 

Now that I've finally reached the end of the journey, I feel such a profound loss.

People I've been following for all this time suddenly disappeared and I'm not talking about those who perished, or at least not only them.

I felt as if I had really known them, been with them through all the good and bad moments, laughing at one point and terrified a moment later.

They have all been close to my heart, they lived in my head as I continued to read, they grew and matured, changed and evolved, while I silently supported or chided them.

Perrin, Mat, Rand, Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, Avienda, Moiraine, Lan... all of them so unique, different, so well developed, brought to life in my head.

All their stories, adventures, challenges are now over.

The journey beats the destination, that saying is so true now.

 

I don't exactly now why I'm writing all this, I suppose I need to tell somebody about how I feel after reading this amazing story.

Did anybody else have this feeling of loss, of something being suddenly over and irrevocably done once the last tome has been read?

I mean it is bittersweet; they have succeeded, the Bore has been resealed, the Dark One defeated at least for now.

Probably in a few thousand years, when it's eventually forgotten, another Collam Daan is established, and once more Bore is drilled into the Dark One's prison.

The wheel weaves as the wheel wills.

 

But nevertheless I have such a profound feeling of... sadness. It is over.

Most of the heroes are still alive and yet... they are somewhere I can't reach them anymore, can't see the new challenges ahead of them, can't silently cheer them up and encourage to continue.

This image of them I've been bearing in my mind all this time as they struggle and fight, it's fading since the Last Battle was won.

 

Egwene is dead, this hurts the most. She's one of my favorite characters and after all she's been through, I was certain she could survive the last battle and see to the rebuilding of the world.

But instead, she's gone. I can't make up my mind if this was necessary or not, I suppose that's what RJ envisioned and I should respect that but it doesn't make it easier to accept.

All other Two Rivers folks managed it and they were cutting it close, but not Egwene.

After journeying with Moiraine and the rest, being collared by Seanchan, hunting the black ajah, training with the wise ones and finally becoming the Amyrlin, I was certain that this buildup through the entire series would end in glory.

And it did. She has defeated one of the most powerful and dangerous channelers, a forsaken, fought the Shadow to the last and likely saved the day. Yet it has cost her her life. This was a major blow.

I'm accustomed to deaths in books. I've read Song of Ice and Fire not long before and I was afraid of getting attached to any fictional heroes after this; a kind of a trauma inflicted by George Martin.

But in Wheel of Time, though it was perilously close so many times, our heroes survived. They lost hands and eyes, the were captured by strange beings of another realm, they were wounded and had to recover but they were still there.

Until Egwene. I guess it's the single most touching death of the whole series.

 

At the end I have to say that no other book or series of books have done this to me before.

I loved Stephen King's Dark Tower. It was also lengthy and had smaller cast, thus more time and opportunity for character development.

There have been many tense, dramatic and horrifying events there, many difficult losses, but even that has not touched me as Wheel of Time did.

 

One problem I see here is that the ending wasn't satisfactory, at least in my opinion. The Last Battle was fine, I'm talking about the final few pages. The loose ends have not been tied, immediate fate of the protagonists was not revealed.

It would be nice to have a few lines about Lan and Nynaeve overlooking the ruins of the Seven Towers, now surrounded by fields of green and looking into the future with hope, remnants of Lan's Malkieri army around them.

Rand going off in Moridin's body to have an adventure? I mean, the man deserves that peace after what he's been through, but letting his father and all those who fought for him attend his burial and mourn him? It did not feel right.

Of course his three lovers knew he was alive so at least this is a relief, albeit small one. He could have stayed and helped rebuild the world, or perhaps just enjoy what life he had left around people he loved and that loved him back.

Noal or Jain Farstrider joined the heroes of the horn, perhaps the same could happen to Egwene and Gawyn? It would have felt right, at some point in the distant future they could have been reborn.

Amyrlin and her Warder, there was no such pair among the heroes as far as I remember, they should be there.

I wanted to see Seanchan finally question the validity of their treatment of channelers and perhaps revise their tradition of collaring damane,

I would love to read a few lines about how Perrin and Faile decided to run two kingdoms after all this.

See how Avienda and the rest of her people gather the clans and decide how to best fulfill their part of the Dragon's Peace.

So many loose threads. I realize a lot of it one can imagine given all the past events, as I just did, but it still leaves me without a closure.

 

I feel like the Wheel of Time has been my saidin and although I did not use it all the time, I felt it's sweetness out there, ready to embrace it.

But now, I feel as if I have been gentled.

Oh well, this wall of text is big enough I guess. If you got this far then please tell me it will be better tomorrow. That I will recover. I'm a man and yet dangerously close to weeping.

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I totally understand the emptiness you feel now that its over.  I started readin the WoT when book 7 had just come out.  I spent almost half my life waiting for the next book to comeout.  Not having one i'm waiting to read next is a feeling i'm still not quite use too.  Though i guess i am waiting on the Encyclopedia but that isn't really the same.  I think your right about teh very end being a let down.  Though i think its the best we could hope for given the situation with RJ dying.  I'm personally happy it got finished at all, which i was afraid for along time wouldn't happen.

 

As for Egwene's death, I've been unable to reread AMoL because she died.  Egwene was the character who seemed to change the most from book to book.  In one book, I would love her, and in the next book i would hate her.  At the end i didn't like her very much, but her death has pretty much kept me from really being able to reread the book.  Its probably the most a death of any character has effected me in anything i read.  I'm currently rereading the series so by the time i get there i should be ready to go through it again.

 

The emptiness will pass though and you'll accept that its really done.  Then your reread it

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I totally understand the emptiness you feel now that its over.  I started readin the WoT when book 7 had just come out.  I spent almost half my life waiting for the next book to comeout.  Not having one i'm waiting to read next is a feeling i'm still not quite use too.  Though i guess i am waiting on the Encyclopedia but that isn't really the same.  I think your right about teh very end being a let down.  Though i think its the best we could hope for given the situation with RJ dying.  I'm personally happy it got finished at all, which i was afraid for along time wouldn't happen.

 

As for Egwene's death, I've been unable to reread AMoL because she died.  Egwene was the character who seemed to change the most from book to book.  In one book, I would love her, and in the next book i would hate her.  At the end i didn't like her very much, but her death has pretty much kept me from really being able to reread the book.  Its probably the most a death of any character has effected me in anything i read.  I'm currently rereading the series so by the time i get there i should be ready to go through it again.

 

The emptiness will pass though and you'll accept that its really done.  Then your reread it

 

 

Well, Egwene was one of the characters that I was sure would die anyway.  I don't know why, I just had a gut feeling that she would end up dying in the Last Battle.

 

 

I am far more surprised that Fain did not have a bigger purpose than about Egwene dying.  That is the biggest letdown of the series really.  He was built up from the start as a major villain and was killed without any real fluition to his plans.  For years, I had been thinking that he would end up being linked to the Dark One.  I used to have a theory that the Dark One had no physical body, and needed a vessel to use when he finally escaped.  I had thought that Fain was being set up to serve as the Dark One's body and that he and Rand would be the final fight of the series. 

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Well, I have not yet read the New Spring as I've just discovered.

I remember getting it in the same package with the rest of ebooks but read somewhere that I should skip it and start from the Eye of the World as this is the true beginning.

I totally forgot there was a prequel tome. Now I can ease the pain of finishing AMoL at least a little bit, by reading the New Spring.

Are there any other Wheel of Time related works by RJ or BS that I don't know about?

I read something about a companion book and an encyclopaedia?

Edited by Blasph
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The night I finished AMOL, I tossed and turned all night, unable to sleep.  I truly missed these characters, and ached that I would never find some of the answers I've been seeking since my dad insisted I read Eye of The World some seventeen years ago.  The bittersweet ending of some characters, mixed with a whole new set of plots and stories that will never be resolved, sent me into a pretty nasty bout of depression for a couple days.

 

As to your question about more books, no, there are no more forthcoming.  BS and Harriet, RJ's widow, have decided to leave the WoT alone.  There is one encyclopedia out, and another one is being produced for a late 2014 release.  One can hope that the new encyclopedia helps ease some of our plot-related woes, but I doubt it.  There are no endings in the Wheel of Time.

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My god, I'm reading this and I'm like THIS IS ME!! I don't mean this as a bad thing at all. I love the fact that me and another person can see the ending of the same series so similarly. Apart from one or two differences of opinion (which don't matter) the feeling you describe is exactly the same one I had. I agree with Dagon Thyne about Fain but Egwene's death really did hit me hard (I thought it would be Tam who died) but Egwene would definitely be a Hero of the Horn but Gawyn I doubt because apart from Saving Egwene from the Seanchan all he did was get himself killed. But yeah I totally get what you're saying. I'll probably give the Dark Tower a go!

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Why... why are you sad about Egwene? All she did was sell her friends out to every group of strong women she met, and then decide that the Aes Sedai who are repeatedly proven to be incompetent are more deserving of her loyalty than Rand or any of the other people she grew up with.

Edited by Tranovious
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Sigh. Why do people with these absurd, overly simplistic, anti-Egwene stances always seem to end up at DM? Surely Theoryland is in need of an increase in post count these days?

Edited by Suttree
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Because it's not absurd. She literally goes from farm girl to the most powerful woman in the world within two years. Her storyline dumbs down every opponent she faces to a ridiculous level in order to make up for the fact that this non-ta'veren, childish girl who doesn't have a loyal bone in her body needs to become one of the leaders of the forces of the light. Mat gets memories and abilities from the Aelfinn/Eelfinn. Perrin has Faile, someone who has been trained to lead from childhood to help him become a ruler. Rand is able to draw on the memories of Lews Therin Telamon, and has the wisdom of everyone from Davram Bashere to Moiraine Sedai at his disposal. Elayne is a princess, and she has a mythical hero as her sidekick. 

 

What do all these people have in common that Egwene does not? They actually have reasons to get into the positions they end up in. Egwene is just a farm girl who is lucky to know how to read, and within two years she's somehow a better leader than Aes Sedai who have been around for centuries. For no reason.

Edited by Tranovious
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Because it's not absurd. She literally goes from farm girl to the most powerful woman in the world within two years. Her storyline dumbs down every opponent she faces to a ridiculous level in order to make up for the fact that this non-ta'veren, childish girl who doesn't have a loyal bone in her body needs to become one of the leaders of the forces of the light. Mat gets memories and abilities from the Aelfinn/Eelfinn. Perrin has Faile, someone who has been trained to lead from childhood to help him become a ruler. Rand is able to draw on the memories of Lews Therin Telamon, and has the wisdom of everyone from Davram Bashere to Moiraine Sedai at his disposal. Elayne is a princess, and she has a mythical hero as her sidekick. 

 

What do all these people have in common that Egwene does not? They actually have reasons to get into the positions they end up in. Egwene is just a farm girl who is lucky to know how to read, and within two years she's somehow a better leader than Aes Sedai who have been around for centuries. For no reason.

Wrong. She's naturally gifted for leading, just as Rand is at sword-fighting, She had  Siuan training her, her time with the Seanchan improved her offensive capabilities far more than many other Aes Sedai, so did her time on the run, she has strength in Earth, a primarily offensive Power...

 

I could go on but I think I've made my point.

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No, you really haven't. She spends several months being taught by Siuan during which she learns the entirety of the Aes Sedai's secret histories, which they somehow brought with them even though logic would dictate all that stuff is locked up deep inside the tower, as well as everything from how to run an army to how to play rulers against each other. She literally condenses what takes centuries for normal people into less than a year. I get the whole, "of all ajahs and none" thing that the Amyrlin is supposed to embody. But that doesn't mean that she should out-logic the logic people, out battle the battle people, and out history the history people. If Siuan is that good of a teacher, then she should never have been deposed and stilled in the first place.

 

Rand conquers the wetlands because he has entirety of creation working for him. Mat and Perrin have the same schtick, with other supporting characters to help them on their way. All the other non-ta'veren characters, though, have much better reasons than just saying, "Oh, yeah. I have a natural talent for, like, everything." 

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She was learning from the best - Siuan and Moiraine both have sacrificed everything to finding and guiding the Dragon Reborn, it stands to reason they had more than extensive knowledge about everything related to that.

They had to know history, prophecies, things about madness and saidin or the One Power in general in order to better understand the Dragon.

Those two have arguably had the greatest knowledge that was required at the time of the Dragon and they both guided and trained Egwene and prodded her in the same direction.

 

Egwene felt to me like the embodiment of both their pursuit of the Dragon and desire to help/guide him and at the same time being a good Aes Sedai.

Egwene was competent, she followed the spirit of the White Tower training, she put duty ahead of everything else, much like Lan.

Why do you say she's not loyal? She does what she has to do still within the confines of White Tower training, she doesn't betray anybody.

She is not without Aes Sedai shortcomings and flaws but who really is?

I felt that she was wrong in disagreeing with Rand about the seals and breaking them - after all at that point Rand has all the memories of LTT, thus more knowledge about all things Dark One related than all the Aes Sedai combined.

This is however the only thing I feel she was wrong about.

 

Classic example of "Live fast die young", she came to power in very troubled times and had to learn much more quickly than her predecessors; in a short time she had the equivalent of training equal to 10 times that of other Aes Sedai in more peaceful times.

She was trained by several different One Power-wielding cultures and was a result of cross-referencing their respective views on channeling, something no other Aes Sedai could boast of.

She wasted no time while asleep and also learned and trained while in TAR, as well as taught fellow sisters about it.

Her hatred of the Seanchan is fully understandable to me, I share the notion that everything Seanchan do about/with channelers is plainly wrong.

She succeeded in tying all female channelers to the White Tower in one way or another, making a deal with the Kin, Wise Ones and Athan Miere.

She brought more novices to WT than anybody else for several past decades if not more, rediscovered Traveling and the creation of Cuendillar.

With information from Verin she performed the greatest purge of Darkfriends from the White Tower in its history.

She defeated one of the Forsaken in direct contest of will and unified the single greatest military force of Randland to stand against the Shadow in Tarmon Gaidon.

 

Then suddenly she's gone. Everybody's rejoicing after the Last Battle, all the Two Rivers folks are alive and well, people look into the bright future.

But all this without Egwene. Except Rand, if anybody deserves the peace and prosperity that come after Tarmon Gaidon, it's certainly her.

 

It's why her death was so unsettling to me, she was the greatest Heroine of her time and had crucial role in the defeat of some of the most powerful agents of the Shadow and its armies.

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She has no loyalty because every time she meets an organized group of women she instantly sets to work selling her friends out to them. First for the Wise Ones and then for the Aes Sedai, she manipulates and spies on Rand. She also manipulates Mat to serve Aes Sedai, as well as his Band of the Red Hand. Whenever Rand tries to do his duty as laid out by creation itself, she opposes him. Rather than saying, "Look. I get that you're the hero of creation itself, why don't I help you instead of manipulating you," she decides to try to tie him to the tower. At one point she even tries to make him kneel to her and obey his commands. When he refuses, she spends a month trying to organize every ruler in the wetlands against the hero of creation itself. And this is the woman who managed to out-logic the White Ajah somehow. 

 

It doesn't make any sense how a non-ta'veren (read: SHOULD NOT HAVE PLOT ARMOR) character with no knowledge base in anything is smarter, wiser and better at everything than people who have literally lived more than ten times as long as her. Even with the help of a couple people. The other Aes Sedai have not been living through a peaceful period wherein their skills can atrophy. There have been trollocs on the blight border, the Aiel have invaded, etc. The Aes Sedai are constantly doing things, and their skills should be sharp enough to best a sixteen year old girl. Your list of her accomplishments is, if anything, proof of just how ridiculous of a character she is. She only succeeds because her opponents get dumbed down into oblivion when she's around. The best example of this phenomenon being the entire White Tower sequence. The first time anybody intelligent actually argues with her is when Moiraine shows up AMOL. And guess what happens? Moiraine trounces Egwene like a child. Because Egwene is a child. There's a reason you only find yourself rooting for her when she's facing someone even more obnoxious than she is (Seanchan, Moghedien, Elaida, Tuon).

 

Honestly, the best explanation for Egwene is probably to assume that she is ta'veren. The other three have their individual super powers - Egwene's can be a magical field of retardation that affects everyone around her in order to allow her to win. 

 

And let's not even get into her bossiness with Gawyn and the character destruction of Nynaeve.

Edited by Tranovious
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I get the feeling you're addressing her character buildup and progression as RJ and/or BS faulty writing/character development, rather than purely considering her achievements from the perspective of the whole story.

I don't think that is right. You claim she has no knowledge base in anything, I claim she has universal knowledge about a great many things.

As for her outmaneuvering White Tower Aes Sedai that have many times her age, I always felt that those Aes Sedai have drifted too far away from reality, focusing on their petty issues, internal WT politics etc, instead of the more important things, and I'm not just talking about Browns.

Egwene was a breath of fresh air as she had very vivid memories and experiences fighting the Shadow compared to other Aes Sedai and was not yet "specialized", as in, she did not belong to any Ajah.

Once an Aes Sedai joins an Ajah it seems she gets consumed by the specific approach to life and reality that a given Ajah represents.

Egwene avoided that and instead retained a full picture, which is how she was able to convince other AS to accept her leadership.

I'd go as far as to claim that Black Ajah has covertly been directing the White Tower toward this inefficiency, indecisiveness and apparent apathy for several decades if not hundreds of years before the Dragon was reborn.

Egwene spent little time in the tower and so was not affected by this corrupted mode of operation.

She resists Rand for a good reason - his behavior before events at the top of Dragonmount has been increasingly erratic and dangerous; she simply tries to play it safe as can be expected of her.

As a watcher of the seals she must have been terrified by his announcement of planning to destroy the seals, without explaining his reasoning behind this.

If he said something along the lines of "I now have all the memories of LTT from the Age of Legends, I know what we did wrong with the seals last time and now I can do it better", I'm sure Egwene would have given these words a thought and attempted to find some common ground for both of them. Instead he comes in and just tells them what he's going to do.

 

Rand has been manipulated and controlled by Aes Sedai since the beginning but once he severed those ties of control, he instead became the true Aes Sedai, manipulating and controlling people around him.

I don't think they are that much different, Rand and Egwene. They are the true Aes Sedai, both of them.

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If you want to talk about the vices and virtues of Egwene, create a new thread or continue one of the numerous ones already done. 

 

Let's not derail the thread any further (unless the OP doesn't mind). Might be a good idea to get back to the original point of the thread, about the end of the WoT and that. 

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If you want to talk about the vices and virtues of Egwene, create a new thread or continue one of the numerous ones already done. 

 

Let's not derail the thread any further (unless the OP doesn't mind). Might be a good idea to get back to the original point of the thread, about the end of the WoT and that. 

 

That's a good idea Bao the Wyld. I mean Demandred. I should probably look around for that thread.

 

Anyway going back to the original thread, reading New Spring feels like taking medicine for this loss I've been experiencing.

Also, knowing that there is an Encyclopaedia yet to be released later this year, raises my hopes regarding some loose ends being tied and closure for several characters.

Maybe some previously unanswered questions to be addressed.

Edited by Blasph
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