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  1. I am inclined to agree with this explanation, as I think it makes Verin not appear a total fool. Plus, I kinda like the idea that she'd realize Mat will, one way or the other, end up what's doing best for the Pattern. Additionally, I'm of the opinion that Verin isn't Black simply due to her suicide. It would seem very odd and out-of-character for a Darkfriend to willingly commit suicide for the "greater good" of the Dark One. Darkfriends generally seem cast as rather selfish, power-hungry individuals, and suicide to benefit others runs rather against such ideas of personal benefit. Still, I suppose there's always the true believers, and it definitely would be one hell of a twist.
  2. Now that I can get behind. Although I don't always agree with what Egwene does, I am fully in support of more Egwene ass-kicking in TAR; her TAR scenes usually make for quite an enjoyable read.
  3. Given the above Sanderson quote, I'll give that one to you, although I remain convinced that the binding was grossly unnecessary and highly arrogant on her part. A quick explanation or even a simple attempt to shift would have served far better. Oh, I agree entirely that she's in full right to demand proper obeisance from Nynaeve in public. What I can't agree with is how she also demands such cold formality in her personal life. Again, very few (if any) of the other young WoT characters who ascend to such precarious positions of power (Elayne, Perrin, Mat, and Rand, to name a few) demand such coldness and formality even in private. Rand's position is just as precarious, as is Elayne's, yet you don't see them demanding that Min or Birgitte bow and scrape before them. At least, not to my knowledge, anyways. And what she does to Nynaeve, and allows others to do, during the test is cruel torture, plain and simple. She not only permits but encourages and aids in the intense physical and mental torture of Nynaeve far, far above and beyond what the test requires. There's no excuse for what she does there, none whatsoever. She practically sends Nynaeve to her death and then doesn't even truly apologize. It's appalling. Furthermore, her cruelty nearly allows Nynaeve's enemies an excuse to fail her as she is placed in situation after situation which go far beyond what the rules of the test were constructed for. The test was cited as, what, at least dozens of times more difficult than it should've been? It's Egwene's responsibility as Amyrlin to ensure fairness and justice among Aes Sedai, and she fails utterly here. Egwene's so afraid to lose even a shred of her power by appearing biased that she doesn't intervene at all, and that's simply not okay by my standards. Additionally, she fails in her primary goal of retaining power and influence. She does not intervene in order to "avoid bias", correct? Yet by failing to stop a grossly unfair test, she fails on a number of levels. She fails in her duty as Amyrlin, to ensure fairness and justice between all Aes Sedai. She fails in her desire to reign in her enemies, because she gives them the impression that she won't intervene against them when she has just grounds for doing so. She fails in her desire to retain power again, by making it clear to her allies that she'll hang them out to dry if they risk endangering her authority even a little. It's not only a grossly cruel move but also an entirely foolish one from a political perspective as well. She shows an exploitable weakness to her enemies (fear of appearing biased) and a lack of reliability to her allies. Overall, a very bad move no matter what angle you examine it from. I would disagree. Egwene, as demonstrated in ToM, has become rather arrogant to a degree. She's always been so (note in tSR when she thinks she's a match for Rand) but it's especially pronounced in ToM, and logically so; she's just achieved a great triumph as Amyrlin. As such, I have no problem with the idea that she'd run into Perrin and immediately assume that he had no idea what he was doing and restrain him. The exact same thing happens with Gawyn; she assumes she's more knowledgeable when in fact she's not and ends up making a terrible decision as a result. In my eyes, her attempt to tie up Perrin doesn't serve to show how much more skilled he currently is in TAR (balefire demonstrates that well) but rather, how Egwene has become more arrogant; this is corroborated by her actions re: Gawyn earlier in the book. She thinks she knows best and acts on it immediately without including Perrin at all. To me, it's much like Rand when he was slipping into the Dark Side; he assumed he knew what was best to the detriment of others, and things ended badly. Egwene's going through the same phase at the moment; hopefully the events of ToM have snapped her out of it.
  4. I'm not entirely sure on Alanna. The time they spent together in the Two Rivers would seem to indicate that Verin had ample time to ferret out whether or not Alanna was BA, but as indicated, Verin didn't get everyone. I won't be surprised if she's Black Ajah, but I'm not sure that she is.
  5. I would actually love a showdown between Fain and SH. That would be truly fantastic.
  6. It'd be a hell of a lot of wolves to overcome a massed army one hundred thousand strong in an enclosed area. I don't doubt that they will fight en masse at the Last Battle, but there's got to be a better way to use them than that. If we follow the assumption that the Last Battle will take place all over the continent, wolves would seem ideally employed in order to protect far-flung villages, etc, that would otherwise suffer under Trolloc depredations instead of throwing themselves away charging a spearwall. I'm of the opinion that we will see some kind of dramatic gateway entrance of some sort; hopefully Nynaeve herself, but who knows.
  7. Haven't planned anything out yet at all. I usually tend to limit my "what if"-ing until after I've completed a work, at which point I will do it relentlessly.
  8. Given the buildup, I'd be shocked if we didn't see something along those lines in aMoL. I fully expect Egwene & Perrin to lead some kind of battle in TAR at some point while their counterparts fight in the physical realm. Egwene's a skilled channeler, but she can be of far more use there. Seeing the two of them team up to take down Slayer would be interesting, although I'd prefer it if Perrin did that one himself.
  9. I'm inclined to agree. Slayer's sheer refusal to die in TAR is enough to convince me. How many times has it been, now? Three, four hundred? Even the Forsaken fold before the main characters like a deck of cards by comparison.
  10. I never really hated Egwene until Towers of Midnight. I respect her as a character and I have no problem with her leadership of the Aes Sedai; it's entirely in keeping with what she's built up to be, and no more unrealistic than what some of the other characters get up to. What I do have a problem with is her treatment of friends and loved ones; specifically, Gawyn, Perrin and Nynaeve. While I don't object to her demanding the proper respect from Nynaeve in public, seeing her browbeat one of her closest friends into submission even in private with her newfound authority greatly displeased me. Rand, the freaking Dragon Reborn and prophesied savior of all mankind, doesn't demand anywhere near the same level of formality in private from friends. And if I recall correctly (which I likely may not) neither did Siuan during her time as Amyrlin. There's also Nynaeve's farce of a raising. Egwene nearly allowed her friend to die, she subjected her to horrific and utterly unnecessary torments, and what for? Other characters amply demonstrate that Egwene could easily and justly have stepped in (or at least ordered them to dial it back) with plenty of justification, and she doesn't. And that last test was pure cruelty, plain and simple. Utterly distasteful. Then we've got Perrin. She encounters him in TAR. And there, she binds him in the middle of an Aes Sedai free-fire zone. That really flummoxed me. I have no problem with her being in a rush and taking hasty action, but I simply can't justify essentially attempting to leave a friend trussed-up and unable to move in a warzone, especially when he is explicitly known to and hunted by servants of the Dark One. She should know better. Finally, she actually made me feel sorry for Gawyn, which is something I was sure I'd never be able to do, and she's just so utterly cold towards him. Again, I've got no problem with formality in public; if she wishes to claim what's due her station, that's fine. But her friends and loved ones deserve better in private. The man defeats three unstoppable assassins and nearly dies for her after she chased him away, she bonds him and pledges to marry him, and then she makes him sleep in another room? The things he puts up with for love. I'm sure all of this has been said many times before, just figured I'd iterate my own personal position on Egwene. I enjoy the Aes Sedai in general; they're quite an interesting organization, as the idea of a female-dominant power is quite intriguing to examine in contrast to the modern male-dominated society we have today. Additionally, they've produced one of my favorite characters (Nynaeve) although it could be argued that she's often not much like most of the other Aes Sedai. It's mainly just their current leader that I really don't like.
  11. Quite honestly? I'm rooting for Rand to balefire the entire Seanchan continent out of existence. I find them interesting, but I simply can no longer tolerate their utter and abject stupidity. World clearly ending? Ancient prophecies of the lord of all evil rising being fulfilled? Yup, sounds like a good time to attack the other humans. Bleh. I strongly, strongly hope Rand humbles Tuon in some way in the next book. If she gets her way and retains the upper hand 100% of the way I might throw aMoL against a wall. Only briefly, but still. Mat humbling her would be even better, but that's probably too much to hope for. Realistically, I'm inclined to agree with Mystica's assessment; incontrovertible proof of a massive army of Shadowspawn would probably be enough to convince even the utterly intractable Seanchan that there might, maybe, be a teensy-weensy problem with an imminent apocalypse. And given how much "we've got to keep these out of the hands of the Seanchan" has been said re: the dragons, I can see them somehow popping in to Caemlyn.
  12. I have to come down on Perrin's side simply because, well, it is the Wolf Dream at the end of the day, and Perrin's a wolf. Egwene may be highly skilled in surviving and manipulating Tel'aran'rhiod, but Perrin is a wolf; it's his home turf. They're both skilled at TAR in different ways, but Perrin understands the nature of it much better and has the wolves within to guide and aid him. I think Egwene will now be more effective as Perrin's made her realize using the Dream itself is far more effective than using the OP within the dream, but I still don't think she'll surpass Perrin. And yes, Egwene did down a Forsaken, but Perrin bested Slayer, and Slayer's proven himself far, far more dangerous of an opponent in the Wolf Dream than any of the Forsaken. I doubt that Eggy or Nynaeve (whom, unlike Eggy, I actually do love, so no bias here) could beat Slayer in the wolf dream simply because, like Bair, he isn't shackled by his use of the One Power. He has no restrictions in his ability and as such would easily steamroll over any Aes Sedai who will reflexively turn to the Power instead of simply acting. Furthermore, he seems far more powerful than even the Forsaken in the Wolf Dream; his immense strength has been cited time and time again. I think Egwene will be far more effective now that she's seen vividly how much more efficient it is to simply think instead of use the Power, but she's still got that reliance at the core of her being, and I can't imagine it'd be easy to shake. Perrin, with no such reliance, is free to manipulate TAR to its full potential without unconsciously holding himself back. I also can't imagine Egwene could beat Perrin in a contest of wills. They're both Two Rivers stubborn born and raised, and out of the two, Perrin's the ta'veren. I'd give them parity in a contest of wills for sure, but either side the victor? I highly doubt it. And again, Perrin will react just as fast as Egwene, if not faster; see his teleporting battles with Slayer. He's got extensive experience with acting lightning-quick in the Wolf Dream. So Egwene teleporting him to her and locking him down...not likely to be effective. Not that I'd put it past her to try, after what she did to Perrin in ToM.
  13. I thought the idea was this time they were going to try and change the Pattern? It would be kind of a hollow victory if we knew the whole thing was just going to happen all over again, and the Dark One still had the chance to possibly break free. I'm also inclined to agree with the person who said that the Forsaken's reputations have simply been so hugely inflated by legend that we expect crazy things from them, perhaps unrealistically. We know Nynaeve is just as strong as at least one of the Forsaken, for example. They're powerful channelers, but not gods.
  14. Yup, that was priceless. "But that's balefire!" "It's just a weave." "It's not just a weave-" "Yeah, okay, sure, kbye." It was nice to see a male character actually show her up. I'm reaaally hoping Rand does the same at the Great Meeting. I'm sure Moiraine will have something to say about what she's been doing as well; Moiraine is perhaps the only Aes Sedai so far who has understood that they need to step off their holier-than-thou pedestal to truly succeed. Even Cadsuane, with all her experienced, botched that one; Rand wilingly accepted Moiraine's help and nearly killed Cadsuane.
  15. Luckers, I couldn't agree more about Slayer. Guy needs to die, hard, and soon. He's been an unkillable pain long enough.
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