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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Aiyen kin Leary

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Posts posted by Aiyen kin Leary


  1. A lot of people have been posting similar opinions lately, especially after "the Dark One was not the enemy.  He never had been." (Rand's revelation at the end of AMOL).  However, doesn't this kind of turn good and evil on their heads?  Evil is specifically that which should not be, that which leads to a bad world.  If the DO is nessessary to make a person whole, that would make him good!  Maybe not warm fuzzy good, maybe more a good like war or surgery (both of which have horrific costs, but can sometimes be nessessary), but still good.  And Shai'tan is anything except good.  It sounds to me more like RJ was trying to make a point about the value of free will then the value of evil. 

     

    Just out of curiousity, how much do we know about how much of that was RJ and how much BS?  The part about "to choose is our fate" is in the epilogue, which was written by RJ, so it sounds like he had at least some of that idea planned.


  2. So much that wasn't in the book.  I loved it, I'm overjoyed we finally have the ending, but I can't help thinking that this book could have been much better if we knew a little more...

     

    The Wyld.  Out of nowhere.  We get it, Demandred pretended to be (or maybe actually was) a leader out of Sharan prophecy, but that's litterally all we know.  What exactly is a Wyld?  What was he prophesied to do?  Why are the Sharans fighting alongside Shadowspawn completely unconcerned?


  3. Wow.  Just, wow.  Finished last night (well, early this morning :wink: ) after reading for twenty hours straight.  There's so much that happened absolutely beautifully, either as I has expected or even better.  There's also a lot that seemed as though it would be awesome with the proper build up, but we didn't get that (the Wyld, the Wild Hunt, Lanfear, Moridin, Shaisam...)  I'm not certain what to make of this book.  So much wonder, so many answers and incredible moments, but also some things coming out of utter left field, or not being explained at all.  I've barely posted at all during the build up to AMOL-I was more interested in just finding out as much as I could.  But now that the Wheel of Time is well and truly over, well, it's great to have a place to discuss.

     

    The actual duel with the Dark One was epicness and confusion mixed together.  I was under the impression that the Dark One would leave absolute nothingness if he won-RJ implied it pretty strongly, as well as the idea that the "breaking the Wheel and remaking it in his image" was a misconception.  In the place that was not, though, it seemed that this was a low priority for the Dark One, and he really would rather keep the world going-just without love or Light.  Not sure if this is a Sandersonism or I just misunderstood RJ's intent.  That said though, the scene was amazing.  The obvious threat (though I'd always imagined a truly Shadow-controlled world to be far more oppressive), the obvious hope.  The world without Light, the world without Shadow.  The Nothing.  The final reality. 

     

    However, WTF on the True Power being used to seal the Bore?  I know it's been a popular fan theory, but it's never made sense to me.  The whole time, the True Power is portrayed as pure evil, vile as the Taint.  Using the Dark One's own evil against him seems strange.  I can imagine a build up and foreshadowing that would make that a wonderful ending, but the build up we actually got seemed to dismiss the possibility.  "Cast it away!  That is death we hold, death and betrayal.  It is HIM."  Doesn't sound like something one would want to use in the Sealing, and didn't RJ say that using True Power at Shayol Ghul would fry you instantly?  Of course, having a TP sa'angreal might change that.  How did they discover that about Callandor anyway?  It just gets mentioned, as though it's suddenly obvious.  For that matter, how did the Light end up with a TP sa'angreal anyway?  I always had the impression that there was nothing special about Callandor other than accidental defects until prophecy pointed out that it would be needed.  Can one attune an angreal to the Dark One by mistake?  Were there Darkfriends working in the factory that day?

     

    I loved the part about nobility, not strength, being the key.  It answers so many questions!  Why did the Dark One not simply go all out to kill the Dragon and anyone else important?  How can the Light keep winning if the Last Battle is endlessly repeated with a real danger each time?  If there isn't a real danger, how does the story not lose its poignancy and suspence?  So much that I'd longed to see answered, all answered beautifully at one stroke.  I'd guessed it might turn out that way, but the way it was written was glorious.

     

    The Dark Prophecies still don't seem to make sense.  Who "served [Lanfear] and died, yet served still"?  Perrin worked with her for a while, but he never died.  The Shining Walls never knelt.  The Broken Wolf seems to be Ituralde (the Little Wolf), but how has he known Death? 

     

    Really wish we knew more about the Sharans.  Bringing them in almost out of nowhere was an awesome effect, but the impact was dimished to a degree by question overload.  What is a Wyld?  Why is an entire nation perfectly alright with fighting alongside Shadowspawn?  It seems like a little more information would have increased the impact a lot.


  4. I doubt RJ ever went through substance addiction-we probably would have heard at least something about it otherwise.  However, I can report from personal experience that using Ritalin feels exactly like the description of holding saidin.  (No I'm not addicted either-it was medically prescribed and I quit without any difficulty when it proved to be less useful than the doctor had hoped). 


  5.  

     

     

    As far why he doesn't just start Turning people en masse, keep in mind we don't know the specifics of the 13x13 trick, but my guess it that it kills all the Fades involved, so you can't just Turn the whole Black Tower in a single night unless you have 13000 Fades lying around.

    Dude no way could it kill the Fades. They're too valuable to throw away like that. If that was the case only the absolute best of the best channellers would be taken and turned, not mid level toadies and Taim's sycophants.

     

    We don't know how many Fades there are.  Someone was fine with sending hundreds of Fades after Rand at Algarin's Manor, and they had to know that it probably wasn't going to work.  Even if he hadn't managed to defeat 100,000 shadowspawn, what's to stop him from Traveling to safety?  Remember, Brandon has said that there are "an order of magnitude/orders of magnitude" (the signing report wasn't clear which) more Trollocs than could be supported in the Blight, which means incredible numbers of Myrddraal too (since they're the children of Trollocs).  There has to be a reason they haven't simply started Turning channellers right and left, and lack of Fades might well be it.


  6. The writing frequently alternates between painfully slow and epic, so it feels odd to choose an entire book when part of it might have been amazing and far too much of it feeling like filler. The Cleansing at the end of Winter's Heart, for example, is one of my favorite scenes, but I didn't like most of the rest of the book all that much. Overall though, I'd have to say The Great Hunt, The Shadow Rising, The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight in no particular order. The last two were faster paced and had a lot of pay off, but there was so much good storytelling in TGH and TSR that I have to put them up at the top as well.


  7. One of the things that I've always wondered about in this series is the fact that just about everyone believes in the Wheel of Time. How would anyone know about it? If even the faintest memories of a given Age are long lost by the time it comes again, circular and linear time would look identical. How is it that the people of Randland know little of two Ages ago beyond garbled tales of the Cold War, and absolutely nothing of the Age before that, yet they are certain that seven Ages ago the world looked reasonably close to the present day? Was the Pattern itself examined in the Age of Legends and found to be weaving a wheel rather than a straight path?


  8. Not sure on Slayer. He certainly seems to have a surprising amount of compassion left, but I think his hatred of Perrin tells too strongly against that. I wonder if Slayer's seeming quasi-goodness is a Brandonism, or if RJ meant for him to be a slightly reluctant villain. There's certainly forshadowing that "no one can be so far in the Shadow that they cannot return to the Light", but it's unclear if that was just for Ingtar, or if another Darkfriend will turn.


  9. Probably Rand's memory of Light on Dragonmount. He was getting more and more depressed, to the point he almost did the Shadow's work for it. The Dark One wouldn't nesessarily want to interfere with that! We don't know exactly why they stopped trying to kill Rand in the first place, whether they felt he was more likely to throw his life (and the world's life!) away if he wasn't constantly fighting for it, or if a dead Dragon isn't actually a total victory for the Shadow, or what. However, that was almost certainly when the Shadow changed its mind.


  10. Very interesting points. I still think it might be a mistake though, since RJ explicitly cited Ishamael's Healing of Lews Therin as something that required the True Power. LTT had Taint insanity, so we know the "OP can't heal madness" quote applies to the Taint just as much as "normal" insanity. It would be fun to ask Brandon-it's no big deal if it is a mistake, but if RJ intended this that would be a very interesting twist.


  11. In Towers of Midnight we see Nynaeve healing Naeff of his madness, seeing the corruption as a "darkness" on his brain and pulling it off. Compare that with this RJ quote: "In the prologue of TEOTW we saw the True Power being used to heal insanity. The One Power cannot be used to heal insanity." (from an ACOS signing report; I looked it up an Theoryland.)

     

    Is this simply a mistake on Brandon's part, or something else? I'm inclined to call it a mistake, but what does everyone think?


  12. Or zemais (corn, also Aiel). Turns out an ancient real world term for corn was zea mais. Made my day when I found that! Not to mention the names-I keep meeting people with names that obviously served as the models for WoT names and thinking "wait, that's a name in real life too?"

     

    Or tiganza (a Tuatha'an dance) from German zigande (spelling? It's a little sad I know the WoT spelling of the word and can't quite remember the German one!)


  13. Quote

     

    Edit: Re: War of Power: Remember that this was not like a world war. WW1-2 lasted what, 4-5 years. But these wars, neither side actually wanted to fight, as soon as a reasonable peace could be arranged, and their leaders subdued, they quickly made peace. With the Shadow, there is no peace. The Shadow would not stop short of total victory, so the Light had to fight tooth and nail to survive. Take World War two for example, it wasn't really a "world war", imagine the Nazi's with 10 times as much firepower, and how long it would take to conquer the entire world, nation by nation, while those nations fought to the bitter end to defend their country. It would take a long, long time.

    I believe you have that backwards.

     

    With 10 times the firepower on both sides WWII would not have been able to last even as long as it did before both sides were devastated and the victors contemplated thier Pyrrhic victory amidst the rubble. And if only the Nazis had 10 times the firepower Britain and Moscow would have fallen before the US even entered the war.

     

    It's the low intensity conflicts which simmer on forever. And that is something the War of Power was not. By all accounts it was total war.

     

    And the War of Power would have had far more than 10 times the firepower of the Nazis. The magic of the AoL far outshined the magic of current Randland, and by all implications their technology far outstripped ours. If they were really going all out, balls to the wall, than their war would have been settled one way or another quicker than Mosk's and Merc's dance with Spears of Fire.

     

    Or do you think the 1980s USA and USSR could have kept up a total war for a protracted period?

     

    Edit: Also, re: your assessment of WWII, in what world is unconditional surrender considered a reasonable peace?

     

    Their technology far outstripped ours, but we don't know what a war fought with that level of tech would look like. In our Age, advances in military technology have generally put the edge more and more towards the offense. We don't know that that was true during the Age of Legends. What do we know? On one side, a population of billions, ready to mobilize. On the other, nearly unlimited capacity for Shadowspawn creation. The shear time it took to grind through those numbers might have dragged out the war. Both sides had gateways, but also the ability to disrupt their creation. Who knows how long Generals spent fighting to establish enough of a stable Traveling connection to actually be able to engage on any significant scale? The devastation unleashed by the Power eventually reduced the armies of the Light (I'd assume of the Shadow as well, but I only have an RJ quote for the Light) to using "horses and swords" in place of "armored tanks and shocklances". But remember, this was the infrastructure of the entire world being destroyed. It's not implausible at all that it could have taken a while, especially if the Age of Legends had advanced ways to rebuild and repair. Also, were battles simply a matter of charge in and hope you can kill faster than your enemies? Remember, neither side was being led by Weiramon! Modern battles have a great deal of manuvering, trying to get into a better firing position before actually pulling the trigger. Battles in Iraq and Afghanistan between relatively small forces have dragged on for hours, even though the actual act of killing in a gunfight takes a fraction of a second. Indeed, increased lethality can sometimes slow down a battle by forcing each side to be more cautious-compare the simple trading of volleys from the Napoleonic Wars to modern tactics and evasion.


  14. What would I give up? Nothing. Back when no one was sure if there would even be an ending I was actually kind of scared by how much I wanted AMOL, and how much I would have given for it. Now though? Knowing that it's coming out soon is enough. I'm incredibly glad that the end has been written, and that we'll get to see how it all plays out. Between now and then though there's plenty to read.


  15. My absolute favorite scene would have to be the history of the Aiel. The juxteposition of the modern Age of Legends and the primitive Third Age is incredibly well done. We're reading about spears and horses and then... "A hoverfly buzzed overhead on its patrol, a deadly black metal wasp containing two men"... "Strike on Shayol Ghul this morning... something is disrupting communications." Wow. Just wow. The anachronisms in this scene come hard and fast, but that's the point-we're seeing so far back in time that the out of place was normal then. I love the whole WoT, but nothing has ever quite matched that scene, IMO.


  16. I understand, which makes my post more of an explaining to what you wanted to say.

     

    Summary:

    Mindtrap: traps your soul into the hand of the holder. You remain your own self, but will have to jump when they say 'jump'

    Crushed mindtrap: turns you in a puppet in the hand of the holder. You don't have any control left and will never get that back.

    13x13: your soul is warped into a version where all your dark treats are stronger and serving the DO is the only logical thing to do.

     

    When I asked how much we know about mindtraps, I wanted to indicate that we don't, in fact, know a lot about them. fikkie summarises what we do know. I suggest that they may be more flexible that we have so far been told. The EncWoT ref says they give 'complete control' of the trapped person; exactly how complete is this control? Can it be taken to the edge of mindlessness but still allow the mind to survive, trapped and helpless?

     

    That's what a crushed mindtrap is said to do. Moghedian's thoughts on the matter: "The part of her that was her would be separated; she would still see with her eyes, feel what touched her and taste what crossed her tongue, but she would be helpless within an automaton utterly obedient to whoever held the cour'souvra (mindtrap)." The mind definitely survives, but it never gets control of the body back.


  17. Wheel of Time-An Age of Legends Aes Sedai. It sounds far more exciting to say Rand or Mat, but all the adventures that make their lives so fun to read about would make their lives miserable to live. RJ himself said he really wouldn't want to live in this world and I can't blame him. Living at mideval tech levels under the constant threat of the last battle makes for a wonderful story, but I wouldn't want it in real life. On the other hand, the Age of Legends sounds like an even better place than real life (plus I'd finally get the answers to all those questions about vacuole experiments, standing flows, rema'kar, etc.)

     

    Other stories-that's much harder. Someone who either got a happy ending or a life so wonderful it would be worth the sad ending.


  18. The thing about reading WoT is that it has a lot of padding, intersperced with truly epic scenes. If you're on TFoH, there's good news and bad news: it gets even slower, particularly once you hit TPoD, and CoT is an entire book of build up that doesn't pay off until KoD. However, there is plenty to make books worthwhile, and as Tarmon Gai'don approaches, the world really does fall apart. The plot is incredible (IMO, at least, keep in mind that this is a fansite after all), and while some parts are a slog, others are some of the best writing I've ever read. Once you hit the Sanderson books the pace jumps dramatically-very little filler in TGS or ToM! And it looks like AMoL might be the best of all...


  19. Excellent theory my friend, But Im willing to bet that it will Be Nynaeve and Moraine with Rand with Callandor.

     

    Thanks! I could see that happening too. It would be fitting-they couldn't stand each other, but they have to work together to save the world.


  20. I've been a long-time lurker and occasional poster on Dragonmount, but I haven't done much theorizing. This is something I've been wondering about for a while though:

     

    Lanfear is clearly set up as someone very significant. Lews Therin's former lover, as strong as a woman can be, and with a very ominous prophecy about her. Yet so far, she's been a bit of a disappointment. She has a great introduction, tries to seduce Rand and gives him Asmodean as a teacher... and then is tackled into Finnland by Moiraine and killed by the Eelfinn. Cyndane is her "Last Chance", but so far we've seen her in combat at the Cleansing, and precious little else. RJ was big on hype, but I can't see him setting her up with all that build up for nothing more than what she's already accomplished. And there's one more book to go...

     

    I think Lanfear is going to be the second woman to use Callandor with Rand and Nynaeve. She's appeared in Rand's dreams on the eve of the Last Battle, obviously forshadowing something big. He still cares for her, and would likely rescue her if he could. She's still mindtrapped, so even if she does want to turn back to the Light (a big if, as RJ described her in interviews and signings in the harshest possible terms) she currently can't. Rand obviously won't trust her, at least not immediately, but a rescue would set Cyndane up perfectly to take her Last Chance.

     

    Min fears that Callandor will be used against Rand. How? The sa'angreal could be stolen, of course, and there may be ways to interfere with angreal use that we haven't seen yet. The most elegant solution, though, would be to be part of the circle controlling the sword, controlling Rand himself. It's already been established that a woman needs to be in charge of the circle-not particularly important to the plot if it's Nynaeve or Egwene in charge. But Cyndane? That's a different story.

     

    The Dark Prophecy regarding the Daughter of the Night claims that her "new lover" would "serve her and die, yet serve still." The lover is most likely Rand-he's implied by the prophecy, makes sense storywise, and who else would fit the bill? I've seen it theorized that the lover is Moridin, but Brandon said he didn't know if Moridin was gay or not. If he was Cyndane's lover it would be pretty easy to tell! But Rand never served Lanfear. If the prophecy is valid, he will have to in A Memory of Light. At this point, Rand in powerful beyond belief. It's unclear whether he's merely unlocked the full potential he had as Lews Therin, or if his ascension on Dragonmount made him into something more. Either way though, Cyndane doesn't stand a chance in a fair fight with the Lord of the Morning. If he is to serve her, she'll need another way to gain control.

     

    "Who can stand against her coming? The Shining Walls shall kneel." In command of the Dragon Reborn himself, not to mention the most powerful sa'angreal left after the destruction of the Choedan Kal, Lanfear would be ready to wreak unimaginable destruction. It is possible Rand's only escape would be death itself (to live you must die). Even that might not be sufficient if he is going to "serve her and die, yet serve still." Certainly a situation that would justify the warnings about what has so far been pretty much just another Forsaken.

     

    Any thoughts?


  21. I'd like to keep all of the plot as such, but a lot of it could be told much faster than it actually was. Books 1-3 could be short or medium length books rather than long ones, 4-5 might be able to be combined, 6 and part of 7 could be combined, and after that the possible abridging gets even greater. All this is just my opinion obviously, some people love every word. On the other hand, TGS and TOM I'd say were nearly perfect in length. I never felt the story was dragging in the Sanderson books.


  22. I have a few thoughts on Asmo, i am probably wrong but will share them anyway.

     

    First off, i think the reason he didnt try to escape in the beginning was fear. Fear of Rand catching him, fear of the other forsaken and mostly fear of Lanfear. If i remember correctly she did threaten to kill him if he didnt do what she wanted.

     

    The second thing is also why i think the DO cant bring Asmo back (unless he was balefired, which hasnt been proven yet). I believe that after a bit he saw hope and was helping Rand because he wanted to. I believe the DO cant bring him back because his soul no longer belongs to him. Asmo always seemed to be the least dedicated of the Forsaken to me and i think that he believed that by helping Rand he could return to the light.

     

    If i am totally wrong on this Luckers can come beat me with a stick.

     

    That's a great theory, but RJ debunked it. He said that Asmodean couldn't be brought back by the Dark One because of "how he was killed, and where he was killed. Not either one, but both together." If it was due to Asmo turning to the Light, neither place nor means of death would have been the cause.

     

    Sadly, we don't know what he meant by that, and it probably wasn't in the notes either, since Brandon said he didn't know how Asmodean died, but he'd always imagined it as balefire. Thing is though, balefire would prevent Asmo's resurrection regardless of where in the world he got hit. It sounds like RJ had something planned out that we'll never get to see, even with the WoT being finished. :sad:


  23. Rand a Marty Stu? That really depends on how you define Marty Stu. He's incredibly powerful, but spends most of the series in situations where that power really doesn't help him as much as you might think...

     

    He can win nearly any battle toe-to-toe, but ends up facing Darkfriends that he can't tell apart from innocents and thus can't fight. He had the power to destroy the Seanchan with the Choedan Kal, but he needs them. Annihilating the Empire would be a victory for the Dark One, possibly a decisive one. Few dare to defy him openly, but few follow his orders without trying to twist them for their own benefit. He walks the land in power not seen since the Age of Legends, but still greater power waits in the Blight, ready to destroy him. As for his three lovers, presented by some as evidence of his Marty Stu-ness, RJ based that off of his own life!

     

    I may be reading too much into the story, but the Wheel of Time almost strikes me as a fantasy version of the Vietnam War (and RJ was a Vietnam veteran, so there may be something to it). In Vietnam, the U.S. military could win nearly every battle they fought directly, but the Viet Cong hid among the ordinary people. Officials that should have been directing operations with an eye to winning the war (or in the case of civilian leadership, letting those actually trained in combat give the orders!)too often made decisions based on domestic political concerns or simple ignorance. And always, the Western forces feared an open war with the Warsaw Pact against forces that could literally have destroyed the world in a nuclear exchange.

     

    Initially, looking at a battle between one of the deadliest militaries in the world and the tiny nation of North Vietnam, one might have expected the fight to be rediculously one-sided... and yet America lost. That is how Rand seems to me, a character who initially appears to have the world at his feet, yet is fighting a losing battle. Obviously, the Wheel of Time is going to end more happily than the Vietnam War did, but I feel RJ did an excellent job portraying a conflict where seemingly unstoppable power doesn't really get you where you need to be.

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