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Everything posted by Erunion

  1. I really like Elayne as a character - she's 18, was raised as a pretty, spoiled, entitled princess (literally, and figuratively) and, instead of being brave (which is facing down your fears) she simply does things that she isn't aware she should be afraid of. Consequently, she is a reckless, entitled mess. And she should be, because that really fits her character. I think she's a great character, but I really, really do not like her. (Guillotine sounds like a good idea...) However, I fully support the idea of limiting her power. Elayne's nobles/citizens need to make Andor a constitutional monarchy, because as it is, having Elayne as Queen is a very, very dangerous situation for Andor. She is unstable.
  2. fades are sterile. What about the female fades? There are no female fades. Or so we've been led to believe...
  3. Not quite, Malkier ends at the end of Tarwin's gap - beyond the Gap is the Blight. In front of the gap is a long stretch of territory that is currently part of the blight, but used to be Malkier. Lan and co entered Tarwin's gap at the Malkieri end, and saw a massive army gathered at the Blight end. As Lan's army is a force of heavy cavalry, holding a defensive position would be a waste of the significant advantage that his horses give him. Because of this, he is charging head first into the Trolloc horde, which is still in the gap. This means that Lan and co will be able to, for a time, negate the effect of the Trollocs superior numbers. Unfortunately I don't know the width of the gap so the exact tactic used will vary, but a head on charge is really the only option - it will allow the humans to use their mounted advantage while keeping the Trollocs from surrounding them.
  4. While I have a lot of interest in books, studying, philosophy and the like, I would (if their were Ajah's in the Black Tower) go for Green. Then I'd head north, and spend most of my life helping Borderlanders against Trollocs.
  5. Interesting point, but is the pattern really being cruel? Or is it merely trying desperately trying to fix things that are being screwed up by the Dark One? Then, it's less the pattern is being unnecessarily cruel and more the pattern is in desperation mode, and using any means to achieve it's end (which, while not very nice, is better than all of existence being destroyed by the Dark One, imo).
  6. Appreciating that the pattern already controls most of these peoples destinies anyway does not make the acts of the Seanchan, in their creation and treatment of Damane/Da'covale, any less reprehensible. These are humans, doing awful things to other humans. Whether or not the pattern already controls their lives is irrelevant. Furthermore, there exists no comparison between Da'covale/Damane and people accepted/novices/apprentice WO's/Seafolk. The a/n/awo's/sf's all have ample opportunity for improvement, and everyone who would be ordering their punishments/work details is (or was, at one point) in the exact same situation the a/n/awo's/sf's are currently. These people are being trained towards improvement. Da'covale and Damane, on the other hand, are being beaten into submission. There is an incredibly large gap between these two things.
  7. Birgitte is the name Birgitte goes by. As Birgitte the legend is pretty famous, it would be a reasonable name for parents to give their child in this day and age, so she just says that her parents named her Birgitte, and people assume she's trying to live up to the name. Some might suspect that she's the real Birgitte, but most think she's just a wannabe.
  8. Just reiterating this - we now know what the BUT is... personally, I think it would be helpful if Luckers edited the sticky post, as leaving the post as-is makes it seem like it's still a big mystery. Wait, we do know what it is? What is it, then? (Is it the dark not-Aiel?) How did I miss this discovery!?
  9. One thing to keep in mind - the pattern is actively working to keep the Dark One down. It probably realized that Lan was going to be needed twenty years later or the Dark One would win (Rand/Mat/Perrin/Nynaeve/lotsofotherpeople would all likely be dead without Lan). Consequently, it kept him alive. Another possibility is that Lan was a mild Ta'veren, but his ability deactivated before he ran into Siuan.
  10. The breaking started with the remnants of the Hundred Companions. However, it didn't go into full swing until a most of the other Male Aes Sedai went bonkers, which (as evidenced by the mental health and casualties of the Black Tower) probably took a few years. During this time the Shadow Controlled territories ripped themselves apart, while the light-controlled territories desperately tried to survive. Then the amount of madmen breached the breaking point and the world went to pot. (Source: The Big White Book, Rand's trip through the columns and a logical look at what they conclude) So it's possible that Latra took the title. However, I think it more likely that the position simply disappeared.
  11. Here's the thing - openness and honesty about your feelings is a part of good communication. Rand is communicating well (imho, anyhow). Something that most people in the WOT world don't do, so it sticks out. I'd say like a sore thumb, but that would imply that it's a bad thing. It's not. It sticks out sort of like a single flower in a field of grass. Three cheers for good communication!
  12. Keep reading Risa! The Gathering Storm / Towers of Midnight have some of Nynaeve's best chapters (imo, of course). Please also remember that Nynaeve just sent Lan to his probable death at the end of KOD, so no surprise if she's a little grumpy, especially when people don't seem to want to help him/her. Yes, some of the characters voices are a little different, especially in TGS when Brandon was just getting his feet in Jordan's world, but I think that overall he's done an admirable job with the material.
  13. It is a shame that Jordan was unable to finish it, and Sanderson will not do the same job that Jordan would have. However, Sanderson still did an excellent job. Not perfect, but excellent nonetheless.
  14. That's what I thought at first, but in that passage, Rand mentions being kept in the box, which sounds like when he was captured by the Aes Sedai with the intent of being brought before Elaida in LoC. If he is indeed referring to LTT's suicide, then A) why did he keep referring to it as HIS suicide when he refuses to acknowledge that he and LTT are the same person? and B) why would he mention his kidnapping and LTT's suicide out of chronological order? There exists a very simple explanation for this. Rand Al'Thor is insane. He has lost his grip on sanity, and things blend together somewhat messily.
  15. The written word has less of an immediate effect than the spoken word, but lasts far longer.
  16. I will admit that much of my statement on the treatment of Da'covale comes from inference. As seen from Amethera's state and Liandrin/Suroth's POV's, it is safe to assume that the treatment of Da'covale is very, very harsh. On the case of sleeping with Damane, it isn't considered a problem because Damane are property, it's considered disgusting because Damane are animals. Too many of the Seanchan, it would be like sleeping with your favorite horse. I have seen no such stigma applied to Da'covale, and the clothing and mannerisms of the Cupbearers is certainly... Suggestive. Nevertheless, this is implicit evidence, not explicit.
  17. Thanks for the comments guys. @Durinax: I actually do think we have enough evidence to make those claims, based on what we've read of Seanchan culture in the books and in the Big White Book. I agree with you on this though - the Seanchan peasant does have some mobility within their nation, but you cannot leave Seanchan dominance. The settlers were still thoroughly under the dominance of the upper ranks. But there does exist some mobility within the seanchan nation itself (as evidenced by the Damane flyer back a few books ago who intended to buy an inn one day). On the rape issue, remember, Tear is the worst of the Randlander societies we've seen in regards to power disparities, and even their the Tairens have the opportunity to leave the country and go somewhere more equitable. Not many do it, but it is possible. Property, on the other hand, would be executed if they tried to flee (or maimed, mutilated or otherwise punished). EDIT: Thanks Suttree, we posted at about the same time
  18. Yes, he did, and that is totally how Rand is going to win the last battle - by finding a finished copy of AMOL and figuring out what he had to do. Probably contained in the jolly old man Ter'Angreal.
  19. On the Sleete thing, I just read it last night (re-reading TGS/TOM), Sleete beat Lan 2 out of 7 times 'back when he was still sparring', probably some 10-15 years ago. Age is only a hindrance when it is allowed to be, or in extreme cases. Most of us don't work out nearly as much as we should, or as well as we should, in order to maintain our physical prowess. Because of this, we become less effective with age, when working out is more important. The average person will work out roughly the same amount from their twenties to their forties, then start to work out less as they grow older. This is the exact opposite of what we should do for our bodies, as the older we get the more our body tends to decay, so the more work we have to do to maintain/improve. Lan, on the other hand, has been training constantly, never missing a beat since he was five or so. Since Moiraines death, he has increased his training load in order to compensate for the grief, putting a razor edge on his already well-honed fitness. Add this to to the advantage of the Warder bond (which, with it's endurance increasing nature, allows every one of your workouts to be more effective, therefore increasing your fitness faster) and I really see no disadvantage with Lan's age. He likely won't really slow until he hits his late fifties/early sixties, but with Nynaeve fixing specific problems (Knees, back, joints/etc) , he'll still be in decent shape for a long, long time.
  20. Ok, just to make everything clear for everyone, I'll do a comparison between Seanchan and Randland (an average of Randland, anyway. Pre-Rand Tairens society sucked, but Andorans and Borderlanders seem to have a relatively reasonable, just and equitable society). The Aiel, Sharans and Seafolk are not taken into account, as their societies are just too different. The Classes TOP CLASS (IE, the Ruling Monarchs) SEANCHAN: WHAT THEY CAN DO: The Empress and her family have absolute power. They are able to, legally, do whatever the hell they want, whenever they want to. The only checks and balances are each other - an Empress who goes too far will be assassinated by someone else who wants the power. They are considered near-gods by the commoners, who are unable to look at, touch or even directly speak to them. WHAT THEY DO DO: The Empress/Family rule by decree. They order executions on a whim, are immune to the rule of law and are known to have people killed, basically for fun (the Empress was known to chain a Damane to a man to see if they would both die screaming. Some did.) They do these things, without fear of reprisal, as they are the Royal Family, the top of the top, the pinnacle of society. RANDLAND: WHAT THEY CAN DO: The King/Queen has nearly absolute power. The Monarch can order a death on a whim. The Monarch is checked by the High Nobility, and the general populace. While they could go on a reign of terror, it wouldn't last long, and wouldn't be supported by law. WHAT THEY DO DO: Not a whole lot, really. As all the Randland societies (AFAIK) are Feudal in nature, the Monarch cannot significantly influence the entire nation without working with the High Lords and Ladies. Furthermore, the cultural stigma that are present in Seanchan (don't look, touch or speak to the Monarch on pain of death) the Monarch is much closer to their populace, understands them better and is kinder to their plight. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect system. An arrogant Monarch/Ruler (like those in Tear, for example) can ride roughshod over the lower populace and get away with it. However, the populace, even in Tear, can at least talk with the nobility and work with them (even though most of the nobles of Tear (the worst of the Randland nations that we've seen, by far) would be shocked by the idea). SECOND TIER (The Nobility) SEANCHAN: WHAT THEY CAN DO: Pretty much anything the Empress can do, but only to people lower than them. They do, however, have some checks. If they anger someone above them, or act against the good of the Empire, the Seekers will come for them. WHAT THEY DO DO: Pretty much whatever they want, as long as no one above them gets angry. They treat the populace worse, even, than the Tairen nobility do. RANDLAND: WHAT THEY CAN DO: A lot, but not everything. For the most part, they have to stay within the rule of law or the Monarch will come after them. However, they have a great deal of power, and can get away with way too much. WHAT THEY DO DO: A lot of stuff, some good, some bad. For the most part, their is an understanding that they will provide justice and be good rulers, elsewise the populace will not be pleased, and the noble will likely get in trouble from above. Still, they have far too much power. Less than in Seanchan, but too much still. THE THIRD TIER (average folk) SEANCHAN: WHAT THEY CAN DO: Not a lot. There is some mobility, but only real upward mobility is through the army. Still they have some small freedoms. HOWEVER, law dictates that they may not look at, touch, or even talk to the majority of the nobility. They are completely at the mercy of the nobility and the Seekers. They have no protection against the nobility, who can oppress them however they want. WHAT THEY DO DO: They live, eat, work and the like in relative safety from crime and the like. While they have security from outside threats and hunger, they have no security against the nobility. RANDLAND: WHAT THEY CAN DO: They can move. They can leave the nation they are in, and go somewhere better if they don't like it. They can work with the nobility, or petition them. Failing that, they can petition the Monarch for justice. WHAT THEY DO DO: Live in relative freedom and safety. Unfortunately, most of their safety has been eroded by the machinations of the Dark One, which has driven some of them to accept the relative safety of Seanchan rule. THE FOURTH TIER (property) SEANCHAN: WHAT THEY CAN DO: Grovel. Pray. If they work really, really hard, they may get to become an Upper Servant, but there are only a few of those. Occasionally they have some mobility if they are part of a government organization (Deathwatch Guards, Seekers). They can be bought, sold, moved, carried, killed, raped, imprisoned or outright slaughtered in the streets with minimal repercussion. WHAT THEY DO DO: Work. That's about it. They do what they are told to do, or they are punished. Pretty simple. RANDLAND: THIS CLASS DOES NOT EXIST (as far as I am aware. Tear was close, but they had some level of mobility, and the freedom to switch occupations or leave). BOTTOM TIER (Non-persons) SEANCHAN: WHAT THEY CAN DO: Nothing. These people (Damane) aren't considered people, they are creatures who would be put down if they weren't so useful. Treated like animals, they are kept, broken, tortured and manipulated. WHAT THEY DO DO: Nothing. Occasionally eat sweets, if they've been good Damane. RANDLAND: THIS CLASS DOES NOT EXIST. Conclusions: Seanchan society has one great benefit, a brilliant, clean and efficient bureaucracy. They are organized, and it pays off, with the populace being controlled, contained and fed. However, in Seanchan the separation between classes is incredible, with commoners being so ridiculously below the nobility, the fact that their is any upward mobility is a testament to the Seanchan Bureaucracy. However, the treatment of fellow humans as cattle is unconscionable. The Seanchan buy, sell and use members of the lowest two classes mercilessly. Randland society is not much better in the distinction between the first three classes, but the lowest two classes do not exist, and humans are always treated as humans, however low. Furthermore, many of the Randland societies show the possibility of improvement, both technologically and governmentally. Specifically, you have a Constitutional Monarchy in Illian which has the King, the Council of lords and the Council of Commons (names are wrong, sorry, it's been a while). This shows a shocking level of openness and the potential for growth, with power being eroded from the King/Lords and handed to the commons, which is exactly what happened in Great Britain. Andor, while not as developed as Illian, has some small level of election in the choice of government (even though it is rarely used, and disagreements often lead to bloodshed). Their, it is probable that the nobility and the (surprisingly powerful, if you read the text) peasantry will assert itself and the government will grow more and more constitutional. Yes, Seanchan provides some level of stability through it's superb bureaucracy, but the governments of Randland show potential for true growth, as well as support to the rights and freedoms of the individual (although they lack the right to vote for federal government, they are rarely oppressed). EDIT: Wow, that's a long post. Please forgive any spelling/grammatical errors, I'm really tired, and that's really long.
  21. I was under the impression that he was in Ghaeldean (sp?). The current reigning monarch of that nation has sworn fealty to Perrin, so charges would not likely be pressed.
  22. On the contrary, it does solve the problem, as is shown by the fact that sul'dams do NOT control the Empire. By using the a'dam, damane has been turned from agents of free will into simple tools of destruction, and the sul'dams are the wielders of that tool. A fighter jet has immense destructive power, far greater than any damane. Wouldn't you agree that it is far easier to control a pilot than it is to control, say, Starscream? That's not a problem solved, it's just a problem shifted. The Sul'dam do not control the empire (unless, of course, you count Tuon) but the Sul'dam themselves are controlled. All the Sul'dam/Damane system does for the problem is shift it up the ranks. The Damane are cruelly oppressed and unable to control themselves, the Sul'dam control the Damane, but the Nobility control the Sul'dam (the nobility, ultimately, should follow the orders of the Emperor/Empress). This system does not deal with the problem (that problem being that the One Power is used in combat against order/the Empire), it merely shifts control out of the hands of the Damane and into the hands of the Nobility.
  23. The problem, however, remains this: that the primary concern of the Seanchan Empire about Marath'Damane is not that they will randomly go around killing people, it is that they will seize political power, using the power to enforce that rule. Turning the Marath'Damane into Damane doesn't deal with this problem, it simply changes it. Now, instead of worrying about the channelers, the Seanchan now have to worry about the people who are controlling the channelers. Certainly, the Seanchan have many methods of control over the Damane themselves, but that does not stop the problem, as is instanced by the references to rebellions in the Seanchan homeland where Damane fought on both sides. So yeah, I pretty much agree with Mr. Ares.
  24. Nice post Red, 'specially on the bloodline thing. One mistake though, the three Dragon's are not male, as, according to Maester Aemon, Dragon's are neither male nor female (hence the original belief that the Prince that was Promised would be a guy, but the fact remaining that Azor Ahai Reborn could actually be female). So there is a possibility that the Dragons will be able to breed, as they aren't all guys. Technically speaking, none of them are guys (despite their masculine names).
  25. This thread is really, really funny. While I do get where JustAnotherFacet is coming from, I'm guessing (this is an assumption, so it's probably wrong, but hey) that he doesn't have a lot of personal experience in the Martial Arts. First off, let's split martial arts into three main categories (there are more, and tons of subcategories and whatnot, but for the purposes of this thread three is enough). Firstly, you have 'Sport' Martial Arts. These art's are all about speed and precision. You want to place your hand/foot/elbow/whatever exactly where it needs to be, when you need it to be there. Do this, and you score 'points'. Here, age is a factor as you slow down and become less flexible (at least, most of us do). However, the loss of physical abilities is more than made up for by a gain in experience, the ability to read your opponent and precision of timing. The second category are the 'Brawling' Martial Arts, like Boxing and the UFC. In these Martial Arts, fights can take a long, long time (as far as time is measured while fighting, anyhow). During these long, long fights, you are constantly getting pounded. While skill, precision timing and the like matter, in these Martial Arts physical ability is of paramount importance, and can often override pure skill. Age becomes a significant factor, and a fighter over forty is often considered over the hill, because their body simply can't take the extended pounding like the body of a man still in their prime. The final Martial Arts that I'm going to use today are the 'Killer' Martial Arts. The point of these arts is, simply put, to incapacitate the opponent as rapidly as possible while remaining healthy. Into this category I lump Krav Maga and 90% of the weapon's arts (certainly Kendo, Kumdo and other sword arts. Fencing is 50% this, 50% sport). In these arts skill, speed, stamina and physical ability are all important, but precision, timing and situational awareness are everything. A Martial Artist using a 'Killer' martial art, will end fights as quickly as possible, often in seconds. Even in longer fights, like those between master swordsmen, often show a great economy of motion. Simply put, in these arts nothing is more important than experience (although once you get really old, you will no longer be able to do what you once could. Lan is not there yet, and he won't be for some years because of Healing/Warder Bond). Source: Seven years experience in the Martial Arts, having trained a lot in sport MA's, some in brawling MA's and some in killer MA's. I am young, fit, healthy and relatively skilled, but I tell you this now - I know many 40-60 year olds who I would never, ever, dare to mess with. In any of the three styles of art, not just in killer or sport arts. Yes, physical ability is important, but not in a way where more = big advantage. Think of it as a curve that is approaching a horizontal asymptote - the difference between no physical ability and lots of physical ability is huge, but once you reach a certain point, you don't get a lot of advantage. When you are there, it is skill, experience and timing that will make the difference.
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