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My thoughts after finishing the series last night (spoilers)


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Wow, what a journey.  I started this series in junior high, around 1995 or so, and picked it up later in life like many others upon completion.  A pretty deep feeling of emptiness started to overtake me as I reached closer and closer to AMoL, and now that it's done, I really have a sense of sadness I wasn't expecting.  I already miss these characters like I knew them personally. I realize how truly great this series is, and how commendable a job BS did bringing it together in the end.  Sure there were flaws, but I feel like he truly did it justice with what he had to work with.  A few random musings, forgive me if theyve been discussed, I havent searched any of this and its just my morning-after thoughts:

 

- So I guess Sammael died to Mashadar after all.  I kept waiting for him to show back up but it never happened. 

 

- Random theory: Olver is Gaidal Cain.   Born a few years before Brigitte, ugly as sin, brave... Maybe?

 

- The whole time I was expecting Berelain to be Lanfear in disguise, given her beauty, attachment to Perrin, etc (maybe the timelines dont fit)...  On that note, I was pretty disappointed with the end to the Lanfear arc.  I was really hoping she'd turn out to be not such a bad babe after all, or at least have some discussion with Rand where we find out more about their history

 

-  Padan Fain was probably the single coolest thing I remember about this series as a kid.  Boy did he go out with a whimper and barely a mention.  Sure, his re-surfacing in the LB was pretty neat, but I thought he deserved much much more.

 

- The Lan/Demandrad scene was incredible (ignoring the plausibility of how he approached Demandred).  It might sound weird, but I was kinda let down that Lan actually lived.  Given the badass way his "death" was presented,  the dialogue involved... it kinda takes a little away from that scene when he just randomly stands up and is fine later. Sigh

 

-  Not over-thinking the number of channelers, plausibility of certain battle scenes, plot holes, channeling power level inconsistencies, etc is an absolute necessity to enjoying this series.  Trollocs really suck at fighting.

 

- Why was Androl introduced to the story line at all?  Sure, gateways as a weapon was a cool addition, but I felt like that could have been tacked on to another character.  Lots of extraneous characters like him that get fleshed out a bit then kinda end up being an afterthought. Strange

 

-  About the women.  Egwene was the true badass of this series.  Elayne's scenes bored me to tears and I generally just had to power through them.  Loved the way Min's foretellings were used, and her brief interaction with Tuon was hilarious to me.  I also felt like she was the only one of the 3 that actually loved Rand in a real way. Avhienda didn't do much for me.  Nynaeve was another very strong character, if a little too braid-tuggy.  Could have used more of her later in the series I thought.

 

- Perrin.  Couldnt stand his personality, absolutely loved his character from a combat standpoint, his connection with wolves and the wolf dream.  I really really wish we could have some more detail in to who Slayer really is, what it means to kill him etc... the ending to that arc seemed so abrupt to me. (still awesome)

 

- What happened to Shaidar Haran??

 

-  The Sea Folk and Kinswomen could have been removed from the series entirely, along with CoT imo

 

I could go on and on, but I'll try to keep this post somewhat brief :) And thanks in advance, maybe sharing my thoughts with you guys will help me fill this hole a bit.

Edited by Hoggle14
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Olver = Gaidal Cain was a popular theory for a long time, but I believe RJ himself debunked it.

 

Androl was made into a semi-main character because Brandon Sanderson wanted a character of his own that he could expand on, so an Asha'man of little importance that little had been written about was chosen for him to make his own.

 

As for Shaidar Haran, I don't have the exact quote, but when Rand is in Shayol Ghuk in AMoL, he encounters a Fade's corpse and Moridin remarks that it is a form the DO no longer needed.

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I agree with you on Egwene being awesome and Elayne being boring. I liked Aviendha, though. And Berelain = Lanfear? I've never heard that before.

 

Olver was confirmed to not be Gaidal Cain, though it does make sense. Apparently he was just a few years to old for it.

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I remember sitting around at the silly DMV and suddenly jumping up and saying, "OLVER IS GAIDAL." Unfortunately, it turned out to be untrue. It made me pretty upset, actually.

 

I agree with you about Egwene and Elayne, the tenth book was terribly humdrum in that respect, all about Elayne's politics and not a mention about Egwene! So sad.

Most of the women are a little iffy, though, always trouble.

 

I suppose there were a lot of people (like seafolk and kin, and Androl maybe) who could have been left out, but that was what I loved most about Robert Jordan, he didn't just write a story, he created a whole world for us, not just those people important to the main story.

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Yes Shaidar Harran was the dead  husk. 

 

I am still not sure if Lan did live on his own or Rand somehow brought him back.

Edited by Sabio
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I still hope they change their minds and expand the world. There is so much there that could be explored.

 

(Yes, I know that they currently said that they will not expand beyond the original series, so you don't have to point that part out. However, that doesn't mean that they won't change their minds at some point.)

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Olver is more than a few years than Gaidal reborn.  Gaidal reborn I take was in his mother's womb when Olver was introduced.

If I recall correctly, Olver was 9 or 10 years when he was first on-screen.

 

The upcoming Companion I take will be the last Wheel of Time book they will publish; unless they do more omnibuses of the books.  The planned Outriggers & prequels; only a few sentences were written by Robert Jordan.

Any more stories would likely come from fans.

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@sabio,

"i am still not sure if lan did live on his own or rand somehow brought him back."

you know,i probably read these few sentences more than a hundred times in a futile attempt 

to understand what exactly rand was doing concerning lan:"rand stepped forward,hand stretched

out.in his palm sat the world,and upon that world a continent,and upon that continent a battlefield,

and upon that battlefield two bodies on the ground"...

i'm inclined to believe that rand somehow tampered with the pattern's threads and changed the

outcome of lan's dual with demandred.

leaving friendship aside,the forces of light needed an ace,something that was completely out of

the ordinary and rand gave it to them:"then the voice was no longer in mat's mind.it could be heard

distinctly by everyone on the battlefield.that one you have tried to kill many times,rand said,that one 

who lost his kingdom,that one from whom you took everything...that man,rand shouted .that man still fights!"

to say nothing of the possibility that a dead lan could have played havoc with rand's plan to entrap moridin.

the last thing rand needed was a grief-stricken nynaeve going berserk inside the pit of doom.

Edited by jack of shadows
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Great post Jack, I also wondered if because of Nyn and them being in a place where time was different if she would of felt the severing had Lan died.  Since time was different where Lan was compared to where Nyn was. 

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can really relate to feeling quite sad and lost after finishing the series. One thing I got lucky with was that I only found out about it last November and have been reading almost non-stop since then! 

 

One thing I don't understand though- what was the point of the Sea Folk apart from raising my blood pressure? They made annoying bargains, generally disagreed with everyone and pretty much had no role. They seem to be superfluous characters. If they hadn't been written in anything that they did could have been done by the Kin instead. Especially after how long they waited to meet Rand, I thought they would have vital information for him and provide great aid. What was even their role in TG? Am I missing something? 

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can really relate to feeling quite sad and lost after finishing the series. One thing I got lucky with was that I only found out about it last November and have been reading almost non-stop since then! 

 

One thing I don't understand though- what was the point of the Sea Folk apart from raising my blood pressure? They made annoying bargains, generally disagreed with everyone and pretty much had no role. They seem to be superfluous characters. If they hadn't been written in anything that they did could have been done by the Kin instead. Especially after how long they waited to meet Rand, I thought they would have vital information for him and provide great aid. What was even their role in TG? Am I missing something? 

 

The Sea Folk used the bowl of winds to stop the DO obliterating everything at Shayol Ghul in his storm. They were fighting to keep the weather under control. 

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Like you, I started reading the series around 1995, and I also finished reading the series fairly recently.  (I think I read AMoL a couple of months after it was released.)  I enjoyed reading your thoughs on the series, and I can really identify with several of your comments, including the sense of sadness at the series ending.  I have a few replies below, in blue:

 

 

Wow, what a journey.  I started this series in junior high, around 1995 or so, and picked it up later in life like many others upon completion.  A pretty deep feeling of emptiness started to overtake me as I reached closer and closer to AMoL, and now that it's done, I really have a sense of sadness I wasn't expecting.  I already miss these characters like I knew them personally. I realize how truly great this series is, and how commendable a job BS did bringing it together in the end.  Sure there were flaws, but I feel like he truly did it justice with what he had to work with.  A few random musings, forgive me if theyve been discussed, I havent searched any of this and its just my morning-after thoughts:

 

- So I guess Sammael died to Mashadar after all.  I kept waiting for him to show back up but it never happened. 

 

- Random theory: Olver is Gaidal Cain.   Born a few years before Brigitte, ugly as sin, brave... Maybe?

There was a big section on this theory in the old Wheel of Time FAQ (which I first read sometime around 1996).  This was a popular theory, but I think it has been definitively ruled out based on comments from RJ, if I remember correctly.

 

- The whole time I was expecting Berelain to be Lanfear in disguise, given her beauty, attachment to Perrin, etc (maybe the timelines dont fit)...  On that note, I was pretty disappointed with the end to the Lanfear arc.  I was really hoping she'd turn out to be not such a bad babe after all, or at least have some discussion with Rand where we find out more about their history

 

-  Padan Fain was probably the single coolest thing I remember about this series as a kid.  Boy did he go out with a whimper and barely a mention.  Sure, his re-surfacing in the LB was pretty neat, but I thought he deserved much much more.

I agree that Padan Fain's end was very ant-climactic.  There was a huge and cool build-up, but then it turned out that he was completely irrelevant (and barely mentioned) in the end.

 

- The Lan/Demandrad scene was incredible (ignoring the plausibility of how he approached Demandred).  It might sound weird, but I was kinda let down that Lan actually lived.  Given the badass way his "death" was presented,  the dialogue involved... it kinda takes a little away from that scene when he just randomly stands up and is fine later. Sigh

 

-  Not over-thinking the number of channelers, plausibility of certain battle scenes, plot holes, channeling power level inconsistencies, etc is an absolute necessity to enjoying this series.  Trollocs really suck at fighting.

 

- Why was Androl introduced to the story line at all?  Sure, gateways as a weapon was a cool addition, but I felt like that could have been tacked on to another character.  Lots of extraneous characters like him that get fleshed out a bit then kinda end up being an afterthought. Strange

I believe that Brandon Sanderson introduced Androl (with Harriet's permission) as the one character that he himself created, that was not in RJ's notes at all (or maybe was mentioned in the notes, but with very little detail).  If I am not mistaken, Brandon always thought that gateways were really cool, and he wanted to explore some possible uses for gateways that we hadn't seen in the books yet.

 

-  About the women.  Egwene was the true badass of this series.  Elayne's scenes bored me to tears and I generally just had to power through them.  Loved the way Min's foretellings were used, and her brief interaction with Tuon was hilarious to me.  I also felt like she was the only one of the 3 that actually loved Rand in a real way. Avhienda didn't do much for me.  Nynaeve was another very strong character, if a little too braid-tuggy.  Could have used more of her later in the series I thought.

I also had trouble getting through many of Elayne's scenes, though at times I liked her and found her interesting.  I have already decided that I am skipping the entire storyline of Elayne contending for the throne of Andor, if I ever re-read the series again.

 

- Perrin.  Couldnt stand his personality, absolutely loved his character from a combat standpoint, his connection with wolves and the wolf dream.  I really really wish we could have some more detail in to who Slayer really is, what it means to kill him etc... the ending to that arc seemed so abrupt to me. (still awesome)

I thought that the battle between Perrin and Slayer went on way too long, and was too repetitive.  I would have liked to see a much quicker resolution to that conflict, preferably even before the final book.  Maybe the extra time could have been used to do something more interesting with Padan Fain at the end.

 

- What happened to Shaidar Haran??

 

-  The Sea Folk and Kinswomen could have been removed from the series entirely, along with CoT imo

I agree that both groups could have been removed without affecting the main storyline.  But I enjoyed reading about both the Sea Folk and the Kin from the perspective of RJ's worldbuilding, more than from a plot perspective.  I thought that the gradual revelation of the Kin, through Nynaeve's and Elayne's investigations, made for good reading.

 

I could go on and on, but I'll try to keep this post somewhat brief :) And thanks in advance, maybe sharing my thoughts with you guys will help me fill this hole a bit.

Edited by Paul H
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The only thing interesting about Elayne was that her hair-brained schemes inevitably led to predictable disaster. Of course she never suffered for them, just countless followers. Egwene and Nynaeve started out the series equally dopey and impulsive, but they both grew as characters and started taking risks that actually had commiserate rewards. Elayne never changed, never will. 

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Nyn grew, I honestly didn't see any growth from Egwene.  She till the very  end acted as a I know it all and must to everything myself type.

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can really relate to feeling quite sad and lost after finishing the series. One thing I got lucky with was that I only found out about it last November and have been reading almost non-stop since then! 

 

One thing I don't understand though- what was the point of the Sea Folk apart from raising my blood pressure? They made annoying bargains, generally disagreed with everyone and pretty much had no role. They seem to be superfluous characters. If they hadn't been written in anything that they did could have been done by the Kin instead. Especially after how long they waited to meet Rand, I thought they would have vital information for him and provide great aid. What was even their role in TG? Am I missing something? 

 

The Sea Folk used the bowl of winds to stop the DO obliterating everything at Shayol Ghul in his storm. They were fighting to keep the weather under control. 

 

 

Ahhh yes! My reading of AMoL was very hurried and I missed the significance of that! Still don't like them though :p

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Yeah, it wasn't a spectacular thing. It was basically mentioned in passing almost. It was important, but if you blinked you could have missed it. And yes, the Sea Folk still remained annoying hah. 

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I kind of hoped that Shaidar Haran would have survived and disappeared. There was that bit with his POV where he wanted his ties to Shayol Ghul to be severed. That kind of implies he wanted independence from the DO. It would have been interesting if he found some way to survive in the world without the DO and became a new kind of evil.

 

The Sea Folk and Kinswomen stuff weren't that bad. They could have done more to justify the amount of time devoted to them but I think they contributed enough. I was far more disappointed by the lack of Aiel and Seanchan. They were both built up to be these awesome armies feared even by shadowspawns (heck, the Seanchan wiped out all their shadowspawn) but they didn't do nearly enough in the Last Battle.

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Shaidar Haran was the Dark One. 

 

He used a Myrddraal to 'possess' and gallivant around the world. The PoV where he feels restrained is the DO wanting to break free of the seals. 

 

It is possible that a bit of the Myrddraal remained, and it wasn't a complete version of the DO, but Shaidar Haran was what the DO used to travel around and 'see' the world for himself. Hence, when Rand arrived at Shayol Ghul, the body was discarded and no longer needed, because the DO was going to be free in any case. 

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Great post Jack, I also wondered if because of Nyn and them being in a place where time was different if she would of felt the severing had Lan died.  Since time was different where Lan was compared to where Nyn was. 

From what I skimmed, at least Rand seemed aware of various deaths that were happening.  There might be some chance of the others also being aware of those deaths.  There might also be some chance of all of them being aware of various things happening to the other person of their respective Warder bonds; emotions, wounds, etc.

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okay just thought of something else... why did Jain Farstrider need someone to tell the Malkieri that he "died clean"? I'm not aware of any crimes he committed. In fact wasn't he the one who captured the Malkieri darkfriend who had been responsible for downfall of the kingdom? 

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Shaidar Haran was the Dark One. 

 

He used a Myrddraal to 'possess' and gallivant around the world. The PoV where he feels restrained is the DO wanting to break free of the seals. 

 

It is possible that a bit of the Myrddraal remained, and it wasn't a complete version of the DO, but Shaidar Haran was what the DO used to travel around and 'see' the world for himself. Hence, when Rand arrived at Shayol Ghul, the body was discarded and no longer needed, because the DO was going to be free in any case. 

 

I know that Shaidar Haran was supposed to be the DO but it's implied that it had some degree of independence from the DO. I was kind hoping for another Padan Fain type situation where Shaidar Haran somehow becomes an independent entity.

 

 

okay just thought of something else... why did Jain Farstrider need someone to tell the Malkieri that he "died clean"? I'm not aware of any crimes he committed. In fact wasn't he the one who captured the Malkieri darkfriend who had been responsible for downfall of the kingdom? 

 

He was under the influence of Ba'alzamon. Remember all the way back in "Eye of the World," there was that story about a badly wounded man who visited an Ogier stedding and told them of a prophecy about the Dark One trying to use the Eye of the World. Ba'alzamon confirms at the end of the book that that was Jain Farstrider and the story he told to the Ogiers was to lead Rand to the trap at the Eye of the World. It's likely that Ba'alzamon coerced him to do other things for him.

Edited by Giantevilhead
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Shaidar Haran was the Dark One. 

 

He used a Myrddraal to 'possess' and gallivant around the world. The PoV where he feels restrained is the DO wanting to break free of the seals. 

 

It is possible that a bit of the Myrddraal remained, and it wasn't a complete version of the DO, but Shaidar Haran was what the DO used to travel around and 'see' the world for himself. Hence, when Rand arrived at Shayol Ghul, the body was discarded and no longer needed, because the DO was going to be free in any case. 

 

I know that Shaidar Haran was supposed to be the DO but it's implied that it had some degree of independence from the DO. I was kind hoping for another Padan Fain type situation where Shaidar Haran somehow becomes an independent entity.

That's one interpretation, but not a particularly likely one. Wanting to be free of SG is more easily seen as Shai'tan's own frustration with the limitations upon Him, and His desire to be free.

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okay just thought of something else... why did Jain Farstrider need someone to tell the Malkieri that he "died clean"? I'm not aware of any crimes he committed. In fact wasn't he the one who captured the Malkieri darkfriend who had been responsible for downfall of the kingdom? 

 

He was under the influence of Ba'alzamon. Remember all the way back in "Eye of the World," there was that story about a badly wounded man who visited an Ogier stedding and told them of a prophecy about the Dark One trying to use the Eye of the World. Ba'alzamon confirms at the end of the book that that was Jain Farstrider and the story he told to the Ogiers was to lead Rand to the trap at the Eye of the World. It's likely that Ba'alzamon coerced him to do other things for him.

 

Okay wow I had honestly forgotten that. I'm going to need to actually read the series again instead of gobbling it up like I did the first time. 

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Always wish RJ had written a book on Jain especially the stuff leading up to like why he needed Malkeri forgiveness, he might of been forced to play a role in the nation being overrun.

Edited by Sabio
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