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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Thrasymachus

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  1. It feels like it might not be fair, because it feels like being sexist should be abnormal or unnatural. But that's exactly why sexism, and racism as well, are such difficult social issues to deal with in a constructive way. It is both normal and natural for people to be sexist and racist. That's why it takes moral progress and effort to overcome them. If they were abnormal or unnatural, there wouldn't be a need to investigate, reflect on or educate about those issues, or create behavioral strategies to overcome them. That Rand had no choice but to feel sexist feelings about women because that's the way he was raised doesn't mean that he's not really sexist. And just because sexist feelings and attitudes have long been normal also doesn't make them not sexist. It means that blameworthiness is more complicated than simply, "Sexism is bad, Rand is sexist, therefore Rand is bad." And this isn't really judging a different culture by modern standards either. Sexism, and dealing with and overcoming it, is one of the deeper themes of these books. The very "normal" and natural gender-biased feelings held by Rand, how he grapples with them and overcomes them, and what they mean for the people around him, are important parts of the story. The fact that the Maidens are displeased with Rand because of how he, quite naturally, feels and that how he acts on those feelings robs them of their honor and autonomy is an important part of Rand's personal growth, as he struggles to understand, accept, and ultimately respect that. Arguably, the whole series is an exploration of sexism and gender-based bias, with gender-discrimination built into the very metaphysical structure of the world.
  2. I don't think we have any reason to believe that lions are extinct, though. Even the wolves know of them, Hopper chastises Perrin for being a cub trying to fight a lion when he wants to go after Slayer. And aren't there lions in Valan Luca's circus? I seem to recall Mat noticing them, or one of them "coughing" at any rate. Plus there's that time Tuon compared Mat to a lion being stuffed into a horse's stall. Lions seem to be ubiquitous, at least, enough so that we don't need to be assured that they're still around. And there's plenty of wilderness for them to thrive in, and has been since the Breaking. If they were around in the Age of Legends, and if they were they were probably all in carefully managed nature preserves or zoos, there's no reason to believe they wouldn't have escaped and thrived in the Breaking (especially since lions are as comfortable as scavengers as predators), and that they wouldn't be relatively common in the Third Age. There's just not anything special about them being around, so not much reason to draw our attention to that fact.
  3. Honestly? Yes. Starting a new thread is preferable to replying to a thread where the last post was made a decade ago. Or even just a year ago. For one thing, the original participants are unlikely to see it or still participate. So you're effectively talking to ghosts. And if you do come across an ancient thread that sparks some idea or topic that you want to talk about, you'll be better off starting a new thread about it.
  4. I wonder how hard it would be to put a little pop-up when you click in the reply box, just on posts that are more than a couple of months old that says, "Yo, the last time somebody posted in this thread was X years ago, are you sure you wanna do this?"
  5. Moiraine's sudden change of direction, and the reasons for it, are one of the few plot elements that actually do become more relevant in the rest of the series. They have to implement ta'veren and demonstrate (some of) its effects on others. I doubt we're going to see a wholesale re-write of the Eye of the World, and I would be dubious if they tried to change too much. At the same time, in the books, the Eye serves no real purpose to set up much of the rest of the plot. It's not part of the Prophecies, and nobody had any clue about it's connection to the Dragon or its role in safeguarding certain necessary relics that would be needed for Tarmon Gaidon. All they really need to do is add to the Prophecies with some vague interpretable wording connecting the Eye to the Dragon and much of its disconnect is fixed.
  6. What is going on here? I don't understand how this level of thread-necromancy has become so common. Are people just doing Google searches now that the TV show is reaching more mainstream levels of consciousness and not realizing they're replying to threads that are half a decade or more (or much more) old?
  7. I reckon we're gonna have to take this series about two seasons at a time. It really depends on how popular it gets. If the first two seasons are knockout hits, and that popularity can be sustained through the fourth season, we may end up with as many as 10 or 12 seasons. If the first season is lackluster, we'll still definitely get a second, but if the second season doesn't see improvement, it probably ends there. If popularity is great for the first two seasons, but drops off in the third and/or fourth, we may just get five or six in total, six if it maintains or improves slightly in the fifth season. The trouble is that one can reasonably see a closure point at the end of the second season, if they make it to the fall of the Stone, which it looks like they're on pace to do. After that, there's not really any good places to stop, and only a few ways to accelerate the story, all of which would involve cutting out some pretty major parts. The other problem is that if this series does really well, some of these younger actors are gonna be eyeing other projects, and may decide to bail if they get a big movie role or a different series project that interests them (and pays them) more. Recasts or replacement characters can kill or seriously hurt even a successful series.
  8. Sexism, like racism, isn't necessarily a conscious thing. Being raised to think and act as if women are specially vulnerable and need to be protected, or that violence against them is more egregious than similar violence against a male, is definitely sexist. That's a big reason why social movements to fight and dispel that kind of bias and discrimination can be so difficult and emotionally fraught. Consider a lone white woman walking down the sidewalk who sees a couple of young black men walking towards her. The fear she may feel from that is real, and it's not really fair to blame her for feeling it; she doesn't really have a choice regarding how she feels. But those feelings are also socially constructed and engineered by her parents, teachers, coaches, religious leaders, and peers. And that which is constructed can be deconstructed. The blame lies in reinforcing those constructed, but unconscious feelings and biases, and building those biases and feelings up for others. And while this hypothetical woman may really be afraid, she may still be blameless insofar as she consciously chooses not to act on it, and refuses to contribute to causing others to feel similarly. Crusaders against racism would be wrong to chastise her for her feelings, but they would be right to criticize her for acting on them, or contributing to normalizing those feelings in others. Rand spends nearly the entire series wrestling with his feelings about protecting women. And he's never really successful in changing how he feels about it. But his moral progress doesn't lie in merely accepting that his feelings and reality are incompatible, but in his actively pushing through his feelings, which never go away, to allow women to have their own autonomy and choose to fight, suffer and die for what they think is right.
  9. The Dark One stirs. The dead are rising to walk among us again.
  10. Moiraine is explicit that no one knows why the Eye was created. If it was to re-seal the Dark One's prison, why hide a seal in the bottom of it, where it wouldn't be revealed until after it was used up? And she later questions whether it was intended for the use to which it was put, or for some other reason. The EotW is a good introduction to the characters, but it's almost wholly disconnected from the larger plot. The Dark One's army at Tarwin's Gap exists only to raise the stakes for Moiraine and Lan, and to be destroyed by Rand. Ishamael didn't want Rand to channel it, he was freaking out when Rand was channelling it. And he certainly didn't want to be the one to kill the Dark One. He wanted utter annihilation.
  11. They went because of ta'veren. Moiraine very nearly explicitly says so. Both Perrin and Loial bring independent news of a threat to the Eye, and the boys' dreams including threats regarding the Eye all cause Moiraine to think the Pattern is leading them there, so off they go. The Eye of the World doesn't appear in the Prophecies of the Dragon (rather like the Horn of Valerie) and nobody knows why such a vast amount of pure saidin was kept there, as safeguarding the Dragon's banner, a seal of the Dark One's prison and the Horn seems like overkill. And there's still uncertainty as to whether it was used for the purpose it was intended. Of all the events of the books, the Eye is the oddest. Almost all the world-building done there ends up not being all that relevant later on. If it weren't for the fact that the diversion keeps Rand out of Tar Valon until the Pattern is ready for him to face the Amrylin's anger, and that the aftermath of it sets up the next book which is important, I would almost agree that the Eye and Someshta could be cut entirely. It only confirms for Moiraine and the audience that Rand is the Dragon Reborn, while Rand takes two more books to really accept it.
  12. If they compress books 1 and 2 into the first season, (or at least the first bit of book 2) then they could have Elayne and Elaida be used more often in the first season. Rand meeting Elayne is important, but it's not like she drops out of the story entirely after that. She hooks up with Egwene and Nynaeve as soon as we see them in Tar Valon. I just don't see how they're gonna manage to compress the first book enough to do that, though, particularly with Valda, Bornhald and Mrs Grinwell also as confirmed cast. In fact, I don't know why Valda is already cast, unless he's taking the place of Byar. Even if they cut Niall, which would be a shame, he's not actually important until book three/four. It seems like we're gonna have a serious mash-up and reordering of a lot of disparate plots from what's in the books.
  13. We also meet Loial and Basel Gill in Caemlyn, both of which are confirmed cast. It'll be interesting to see what and how they cut, but it seems a lot of things readers expect could be cut, won't be. Which leaves us with a question of what will be.
  14. That was months ago, though. Back when we only knew there was going to be a show, and it was barely confirmed that they even were casting yet. And those were for main or central characters, where it made sense to keep things relatively secret so they could release the full main cast in a media hype announcement all at once. I don't recall anybody announcing that, for example, Priyanka Bose had been cast under the name "Amanda," only for it to later be revealed that it was Alanna. And even with just this last cast announcement, why is Steve still a code-name, when Marin and Cenn aren't?
  15. Yeah, could be Someshta. Though again, if it's a code name, why the code for just the one character? That's weird. I refuse to believe they're introducing a new character named Steve. I could see Seve, or Stven, or even S'teve, but Steve? That's hardly a Wheel of Time sounding name.
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