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Why so few fight scenes with the female characters?


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Rand, Perrin and Matt all get to have some really epic and awesome fight scenes to show how badass they are throughout WoT. But up until the very end (books RJ did not write) I don't recall there being a major fight scene for any of

the women. Yes, we might occasionally get a Rand chapter where it's mentioned off hand that Egwene or Moraine is shooting something but that's really about it. You never get anything along the lines of Egwene blasting a load of Seanchan or Trollocs with a fireball; whilst Rand does this all the time.


Which is odd because Egwene is part of this Battle Ajah and takes great pride in this. Shouldn't fighting with magic be a prominent part of her character? Why does Aviendha only start using her warrior maiden skills with her channeling at the end of the series? I mean there's an enormous shift in the final few books. You have Egwene fighting the Seanchan and in the Last Battle. You have Avienda against a Forsaken and Black Ajah. In all the dozen or so books preceding this there's absolutely no attempt to portray the characters like this. The focus is absolutely on their will and adventures which never involve fighting.


I just think it's a shame because, when we re first introduced to Morraine, I though that was a really cool moment where she uses her powers and that this was something which would a recurring thing in the book. So we d see lots of cool female characters using powerful magic. But it's a tone RJ never goes back too and it kind of hurts a lot of the female characters and makes them feel less important.

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short (and "incorrect") answer: one can see the classic male/female approach; a representative of one gender does that, a representative of the opposite gender does this etc.



I know exactly what you are talking about, but I don't feel the same way about it.


First of all, fightning/war is not the central theme of the series. (I mean the physical part.) I get it, youngsters need big battles (I like them too), but if you look closely it is not a coindidence that the battle scenes are so short. RJ got critisized all the time by readers who demanded longer fights, more engagements but I think he did it the right way. Fight scenes are easy, one can churn them out "in minutes", but creating real characters, make the reader to care about them is unimaginably hard. The relationships between the characters what is matters not the battles.


You never get anything along the lines of Egwene blasting a load of Seanchan or Trollocs with a fireball; whilst Rand does this all the time.


KoD is the finish line for me, so I cannot comment on the other books, but I tell you this: Winternight is so chilling every time, but Vows is just mildly interesting (mostly because of the inner turmoil). Too much power/experience is boring.


Back to your question. Our heroines fights very often (no offence, maybe you should reread the series :wink: )


and it kind of hurts a lot of the female characters and makes them feel less important.


Are you sure that you talking about WOT? Look, the most important character is Rand, there is no question about it, of corse the series belongs to him, but if you cut out the others (and especially the female characters), the result is depressingly poor. Without Avi, Min, El, Eg, Moi etc we get these horrible campaings in later books (Rand, El) etc. Who cares about the nobles, I want to read about Avi and El, that was the slippery slope where RJ took the wrong turn. Main characters missing in action, terrible new characters (Deaine, Pevara - RJ cannot give them life in one chapter, he needs many!) etc


Shouldn't fighting with magic be a prominent part of her character? Why does Aviendha only start using her warrior maiden skills with her channeling at the end of the series? I mean there's an enormous shift in the final few books. You have Egwene fighting the Seanchan and in the Last Battle. You have Avienda against a Forsaken and Black Ajah.


WOT is all about parallels, it is all about putting the pieces together. I have that piece, you have this one, we put them together. We complete each other.


Just an example: what Avi does in Threads is sufficient for me. I don't need 40 pages fluff, when 2-3 short sentences are enough.


an enormous shift: new author, new ideas.


In all the dozen or so books preceding this there's absolutely no attempt to portray the characters like this. The focus is absolutely on their will and adventures which never involve fighting.


New author, new characters. They are not the same ones.

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Yeah but Rand, Perrin and Matt have all of those things without compromising on character development or compelling arcs. There's multiple large scale and small scale fights The powers and abilities are a huge part of the appeal of those characters. I mean there's LOADS of fight scenes and OTT moments in the books. But none of them involve the female characters whilst RJ was the author. Moraine in the first book and Nynaeves fight with the chosen are the only notable exceptions.


It's been a while since I read them but I remember most of the big fight scenes and being pretty annoyed while reading. So, I am not sure what you're referring to. Just mentioning offhand that Egwene is shooting something isn't the same thing and even that's very rare.


Well if the female characters are constantly being captured and never use their powers well yeah they are going to come across as weak. RJ even makes a point of stressing how generic Seanchan channellers or ransoms they encounter are as strong as them. I mean why are the three Taveren all guys? Seems pretty clear cut.


I mean, I recall one scene where they're fleeing the Seanchan (again) rather than use their powers to kill the Seanchan. But this is literally just after RJ gave all three of them angreals and stressed how powerful they were. Yet instead of demonstrating that he has them focus on running away. In fact Nynaeves literally gives her Angral to a more powerful Seanchan who can make better use of it. Whereas Rand literally kills tens of thousands of Seanchan and Trollocs.


I mean it really became a running joke how there was always some ridiculous excuse for why the female characters couldn't just use their powers. They get drugged, Seanchan are OP because reasons, golems are immune to magic, they got the drop on me, amulet that blocks channeling, we should act as if we re bound by the code etc etc A few times is reasonable but when it was literally all the time for multiple characters it really just came across as an excuse to keep them from fighting. Why can't Elayne or Aviendha fireball those Seanchan?

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I do not agree with the thesis, that there are no greather fight scenes of female characters after Nynaeve has fight against Ravhin.


Big and epic scenes involve Egwene in the White Tower against the Seanchan (I really enjoyed that), the fight against Mesaana (very exciting!). And Egwene has a big part in the Last Battle as well.

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As I mention above those are only in the last few books written by another author and only after 10 books of the female characters literally not doing any fighting. Those scenes only emphasise its absence in most of the series.


When does she fight Messana? Is that in the last few books as well?

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You can't see the forest for the trees.

Well if the female characters are constantly being captured and never use their powers well yeah they are going to come across as weak.

It's clear that we are talking about two totally different series.
OFF (sort of)


And one more thing.

You know, it's like feminism. Down with the manspreading!

1.  Sarah B. Pomeroy writes an excellent book (Goddesses, Whores, Wives And Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity), and with this book she gives us a fantastic view about women in Greece and Rome. She works "silently" (I cannot find a passage with WE, WOMEN/I HATE MEN*/OPPRESHUN! etc), but her work speaks for itself.

2. amy schumer (spelling?) is also a "feminist". Her "achievement": (Explicit Content)

I'm a fat, drunk, who**. Worship me!

Honey, this is not feminism.

In short, I prefer real accomplishments (btw, Pomeroy's book is a tour de force) without any fanfare, and I give these empty flashboombang things a wide berth.

*an example: it's really funny reading Budin's books or books by historianesses: "dead, white, male historians - I hate them" Don't hate them, write better books! (Budin's books are really good, just these remarks...)



I will finish here, because discussing anything with a troll is meaningless.

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No it's my opinion, I remember the books well and I am not making a "feminist" argument at all. I am making the point that I was disappointed that there is almost no big power moments for the female characters. They don't have scenes where they blast a few hundred Trollocs or Seanchan. Even though this is a recurring thing with Rand and even though RJ puts great stress on how powerful the female channellers are supposed to be.


They do use their powers, just the purely non violent ones. They do effect the plot and have important storylines and character arcs. But the series was recommended to me on the basis of having lots of powerful female characters and to me that implicitly means actual fighting for at least a few of them over the course of ten novels in this swords and magic high fantasy setting. If you give your hero superpowers I kind of expect them to use them.


I mean if I think it's entertaining when Rand nukes a few thousand Trollocs or Perrin leads his army to defend Emond Fields or Matt being a general then it follows that Egwene or Aviendha doing stuff in that vein would be cool. But that isn't what happens and it really got annoying after a while.

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Like the others i think you are a bit mistaken.  For instance Egwenes job wasn't to be going out killing everything, she was trying to unite the white Tower.  Had she ran about trying to kill everything then the WT never would of been united.  Ny and Elayne were going about trying to capture the BA. find the bowl of winds, unite Andor, keep Rand alive etc.. They had other things to do.   Not everyone's job was to just run about killing everything.  You are too focused on simple killing things are lost sight of what they were trying to do during the series.  Not every fight needs to be an epic attacking thousands, 

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I thought the girls were in plenty of fights. That said many of the females that could fight are Aes Sedai and bound by the Three Oaths. That said:


1) EoTW: They were right in the thick of things as much as the guys (very much novices for everyone from the TR). Moiraine kicked plenty of ass throughout.


2) TGH: Nyneave in the Accepted test, rescueing Egwene, and the Seanchan/Falme battle.


3) TDR: The got into some fights against bandits on the way to the stone, then the fades/trollocs when the aiel rescued them. They also fought their way out of the cell. More Moiraine kicking ass (Darkhounds, Belal)


4) TSR: They all faught at the stone battle. Nyneave and Elayne at the end getting the male a'dam. Tons of Maidens in the fights. More Moiraine kicking ass during the trolloc raids.


5) TFoH: Elayne\Avi channeled bigtime in the battle at Cairhien. Moiraine quite literally saved the world (according to her Rhuidian visions) by tackling Lanfear into the 'finn door. Maidens


I could go on, but there is plenty of female characters fighting in all of the books. At Dumai's wells, at Ebou Dar, in TAR, the cleansing, etc... there are very few battles where females aren't represented well. Granted, outside of the Maidens there aren't a lot of females in the melee.

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Most of them aren't as POV characters. I think at Tear they mentio that Egwene and Moraine are shooting stuff for a sentence and then move on. It just isn't the same as the stuff that happens in te last battle where it's their POV and the focus is them being badass.


Yeah Aviendha and Egwene helping Rand was pretty cool at Caurhein. But that's another one of those exceptions and it never happens again; with the rest of the series dedicated to excuses why they can't use their powers.


I mean with those Adams they could have just killed all the Seanchan in their main city if we follow that they're more powerful and there's more than two of them. Instead they run away from them. The oath excuse makes no sense because the Seanchan are unambiguously evil and trying to kill them.

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Just because we disagree with how the Seanchan act doesn't make them evil.

1. Speak no word that is not true

2. To make no weapon with which a man may kill another

3. Never use the power as a weapon against shadowspawn or darkfriends, or in the last extreme defense of her own life or that of a warder or another Aes Sedai.


Notice nothing in that says it's ok if you view someone as evil.  The Aes Sedai easily could view the White cloaks as evil.  Moriane or someone (I forget who) basically said that in the series why they can't just blast the whitecloaks.  You saw the Aes Sedai with Mat how close the Seanchan had to get before they considered their lives in danger enough to use the power. 


To my knowledge nothing about a a'dam makes the channeler any more powerful.  It basically a forced linking, in many ways it's actually weaker since it limits it to two people.  A circle is still more powerful.  Not to mention there may of been a hundred damane in the main city.  Don't forget Rand's power mostly comes from his memories.  Everyone else is basically whatever they had been taught or learned along the way, and none of the girls ever actually received that much training.  Egwene from the Seanchan, but besides book 5, the next time she faced anything to be considered a fight was the attack on the white tower.  it mostly comes down to until the last battle, the women had other things to do besides fight in battles.


Also don't forget Elayne riding into battle after she was freed from the BA to end the rebellion.

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The Seanchan attack Aes Sedai on sight. You should be able to act in self defence just as a presumption of their ill intent. It really got stupid that no Aes Sedai think that people with Channelers walking around don't constitute a threat.


They're "a bit preoccupied" for 10 door stopper novels? That just isn't believable because Rand & Co get given many opportunities to be awesome whilst still having lots of non combat stuff to do. They win in those situations because the writer wants them to. If RJ wanted them to be in fights they'd win then they'd triumph.


Do the Seanchan channellers even know about linking? I thought the whole point was they didn't know you could do this because ten they would notice that a handler and suldam is much more powerful than an individual channeller? I mean personally I despise how much it's rubbed in your face how much better the Seanchan are to everybody; especially the Aes Sedai. Apparently slavery makes you a better spell caster.

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"rand's power mostly comes from his memories."

rand's power comes from his soul,not his memories,memory seepage only accelerated

the learning curve and enhanced his abilities as a channeler(and so was trial and error

and asmodean).


"everyone else is basically whatever they and been taught or learn along the way..."

have you forgotten that moghedien was prisoner in salidar?elayne,nynaeve and egwene

continuously extracted secrets  from her until she was freed by aran'gar.

to be honest,i don't see any advantage for rand(beside being a lot stronger),the last 

battle was approaching and everyone was doing the best they could to learn as fast

and as much as the could.

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Yes I consider Moghi as teaching them.  Rands memories/soul seppage far outdo any thing Moghi might of taught the girls. Since he immedietly knew how to do it.  he never had to learn to make a deathgate, it just popped in his head and he created it.


Seanchan might not know about linking, but that's what the a'dam effectively does is force a linking between channelers.  There is no real increase of power since one of the people in the link has no idea how to channel.  So she isn't adding strength to it.  But it's basically forcing someone into linking with the Suldam in charge.   They weren't better spellcasters, they are better at war since that's one of the few things they are taught unless you have a skill like finding metal.  It was commented in the book how Alivia knew a lot about destroying things but almost nothing else.  Some might make nightflowers, but damane basically do nothing but fight.  There is no attempt to make them learn anything else.

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Then why can't the Aes Sedai and male channellers just use circles and beat the Seanchan? If they don't know linking and the Adam doesn't add any power they should be terrible at spell casting? How could they even have assaulted the White Tower without linking?


How are the Suldam good at war? The Seanchan United the continent, this should be the first war they be been involved in for centuries?


Plus if they're supposed to be weak at healing and other aspects of magic then why isn't this weakness stressed. As far as I can tell it's just more a case of making the Seanchan over powered and better than everybody else.

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"just because we disagree with how the seanchan act doesn't make them evil".

 tell that to the damane.

5 percent of the seanchan's  population undergoes a brutal process of dehumanisation,

subject to abuse,torture and mind control until nothing remains of their humanity,not

because they are evil or insane-because they are born with an inheret ability to channel.

luthair mondwin(hawkwing's son) with aes sedai's help,created this sul'dam-a'dam-damane

system to conquer and later tighten his grip on the then newly-formed seanchan empire,1100

years later(rand's birth),unsurprisingly,not even one ruler rethought,reconsidered,reevaluated,

changed or abolished this despicable system(if it's not broken,don't fix it).

if creating the damane slave class is not evil,i don't know what evil is.


you have no idea how many times i wished that rand would go to ebou dar with the choedan kal

and FRY their stupid arses. lol.

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This isn't about if someone thinks the Seanchan are evil or not.  Nothing in the 3 oaths say its ok for Aes Sedai to blast things they see as evil.


In the Big White Book says and there are hints in the series that Seanchan is a continent in constant fighting.  Rebellions, fighting between rivals of the ruling class, etc..  Mean they are use to warfare.  Seanchan isn't a fully united continent at peace.  Its a united nation, but there are plenty of power struggles.


Read the Big White Book.  The series would of been another book if they had to go into detail about all the Seanchan weaknesses etc.  The BWB even says the ability to heal is very rare in damane   And frequently healing is refused as its viewed as the same as allowing a dog to heal you.  The two main jobs of damane are warfare and construction.  It also says "The abilities shown by damane differ widely from those displayed by Aes Sedai in many areas. "  So some things they are better at, but in many other areas Aes Sedai are better. 

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You are reading too much into things.  RJ and BS aren't going to go into such detail about the Seanchan, it was about Rand and co. The was no need to put that in the series.  We have no idea of disease rates, etc the Seanchan have.  The BWB is going to give you the most depth you are going to find on the Seanchan.  Maybe had RJ started the series about Mat and Tuon we would learn more about the Seanchan.  There was already too much needless detail in the series without going in depth into the Seanchan. 


How could they assault the white tower without linking????? By flying in attackers under the cover of darkness and achieving surprise.  The White Tower was totally unprepared for an attack. .   

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Well yeah, linking only requires you to be in the same room as any other Aes Sedai. So unless the Seanchan got every single Aes Sedai by themselves they would have lost. It doesn't require a lot of planning. As shown by Egwene, who beats them near enough single handed whilst depowered. Which was an awesome moment sullied only by the fact that so few dirty Seanchan died.


Also, it was pretty stupid that Egwenes besieging army wasn't able to shoot down the attackers or intervene more decisively. I mean why didn't they go for the army outside of its walls? Didn't Egwene have more channellers by that point? Isn't that the more obvious point of attack. I mean we the audience know that those channellers are much better and that army she has is much better and led by one of the best generals in the world. But the Seanchan have no way of knowing this and they seem to constantly underestimate their opponents anyway.


Personally I think all of those Seanchan should have died and had their heads thrown through a portal and dumped in Tuons throne room. What else does RJ want me to feel for these people other than contempt. Making Moghdiam and the bad Aes Sedai a Suldam is just plain distasteful. Why punish them and not the Seanchan? The Seanchan woman who was serving the Dark One wasn't even worse than Tuon or most Seanchan; she just did essentially what was always their plan because it directly aided the Dark One. Yet RJ made a big deal out her getting what's coming when really she's not the problem. It's the criminal enterprise that is the Seanchan.


Oh yeah I forgot that. The Seanchan also leave their assassins to murder Aes Sedai and indirectly kill Egwenes love interest. It's not like the world is ending or anything. You know, priorities instead of Tuon doing more to sabotage the heroes than the Forsaken.

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I mean there isn't any justice to it. The head of the Aes Sedai who opposes Egwene gets turned into a Suldam and her faction humiliated. But the Seanchan aren't? Even though that faction and Tuon do far more evil and imperil the Last Battle than any other group?


Also turning her into a Suldam? Nobody deserves that. Its not funny that that happens to her. It's not the same as Nynaeve getting Moghdian, because it dignifies what the Seanchan do and their system. I mean we needed the Soviet Union to win WW2 but that doesn't mean I'd enjoy the idea of the Gulag and Stalinism. Much less having characters like Matt getting associated with them.

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to take your Soviet metaphor to its logical conclusion based on your arguments for annihilation of the seanchan, you figure the west should have murdered every soviet citizen after the war in the name of justice?


honestly, I'm

uncomfortable with the level

of hatred you're spewing for even a completely fictional people, but maybe that's what fiction is for.

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The only Seanchan we meet are members of an invading colonial army. I am pretty sure there are lots of people the USSR oppressed who would have had no qualms about killing members of the Red Army or NKVD. So when I say kill Seanchan, to be specific, I mean this army of fascists. We never see any Seanchan civilians, but given that they have pogroms against their own people I wouldn't call them a model society. But yeah, if you could get all the Seanchan army in a field and put them down then that would be a good thing. I honestly don't think Rand would have thought twice about it if he could have done it without destroying the occupied cities. We spend like 12 novels of our heroes doing exactly that and nobody complains. Killing them all is no more or less immoral than what the heroes did. It's self defence as long as they continue to occupy half the continent, make unprovoked attacks against the other half and enslave and torture innocent people for stupid reasons.


I mean could you imagine if Red Dawn happened and the US gave up half the United States to the Stalinists so they could deal with a greater threat? If that situation happened and they started enslaving your people would you not think that's something that would get people wanting to fight back and hate that occupying army. That's the situation at the end of the series. That's the deal they make. They make obscene concessions to this faction.


I don't like how the series resolved their storyline. Why is it that all the villains get what's coming to them, evil Aes Sedai, all the Forsaken, the Whitecloaks ad everyone emerge for the better; except the Seanchan. There's no justice for the hundreds of thousands they murder, the people they enslave and torture, taking the first steps towards the genocide or cultural annialation of the Sea Folk and Aiel. No recompense for the fact that they helped the Dark One right up until the last few books. Them getting away with everything they did is extremely out of touch with the rest of the series.


Yeah, it's a fictional faction and Iam talking about them as a reader of the books. I thought they were a horrible story idea and one that left a bad taste in the mouth. I am being colourful in my language but I did feel that the author gave them a free pass despite being one of the most evil factions in the series. Why make all other villains get their due but not Tuon and her bug armoured Stormtroopers.


It wouldn't have been a big deal if RJ hadn't made such a good job of making Egwenes captivity such a really emotional part of her story and it stuck with with me. I really wanted Egwene to get revenge on these people, just as much as the usurpers in the White Tower; if not more. I don't think that's too difficult to understand being annoyed that we re just supposed to trivialise that and all the horrible things the Seanchan did.

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