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Everything posted by Sbond91

  1. Yeah, I agree LTT never "existed" other than as a construct of Rand's subconscious to separate his previous life from his current one, but I was just noting that that view isn't unanimous. Did LTT come back when he was going to kill Asha'man? I thought it came back before that in PoD, but I might be wrong - which I probably am, because that would make perfect sense.
  2. I don't think it's ever been explicitly stated (not that I know really) but I guess it depends on what you think of the LTT voice (real or madness). It disappears after Cadsuane tells Rand that hearing voices is a symptom of taint-madness. If it was some kind of saidin-induced way Rand dealt with his past memories, I've always thought that hearing it wasn't a real voice stopped Rand's subconscious from generating the voice as an outlet for his memories for some time (until the taint started wearing his sanity down again). If you believe LTT was a real voice in Rand's head, then I guess you could say that Cadsuane scared him away. Of course, someone from TJ might have answered this in the plethora of interviews and panel discussions that I haven't read!
  3. I've read and re-read these books a lot. I still adore them, simply because I find that Eddings' writing feels so natural if not exemplary. I prefer the Malloreon to the Belgariad. The characters are better written, Garion's a lot more awesome and there's some pretty cool moments throughout (Torak's letter to Garion, for example). I also like the character of.... the emperor. His name escapes me, but I liked him and his friendship with Garion.
  4. I find Hobb's writing style extremely hard to cope with. I find it gives the impression of nothing happening even when something is. Saying that, I find the story and elements of it so compelling that it didn't matter the first time I read it. The magic system is interesting. However, I simply cant read it again. I've tried, but to no avail. Unfortunately the ending of the Tawny Man trilogy is a let down (particularly, Fitz has what could have been a crowning moment of awesome in a decision he makes which is suddenly and inexplicably ignored simply because Hobb seemed to want him to end up a certain way, even though the whole series has been leading up to the decision)
  5. Why do characters have to die to make the books good? Some books and/or other artistic outlets handle character deaths extremely well and their implications, and I agree, that's great. But I don't think it's necessary, or even always appropriate. WoT already has so much death, destruction and angst that if one of the main characters died I think it would just be too dark. I also think it might have distracted from the main "dark" storyline of the books which is of course Rand. I mean, it's not like the main characters are immortal. They've almost all had brushes with mortality, including Rand. As for the Forsaken doing nothing... really? They very almost drove the Dragon Reborn to destroy creation. They've instigated wars and battles between men which have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands who should have been fighting for the Light. They split the White Tower, and through the split prevented reconciliation between AS and the Dragon. They've turned the most powerful force of Channelers - the Asha'man - in the Westlands into a nest of Darkfriends. Every book has literally been the main characters putting out fires that the Foresaken have already caused considerable damage with. Just because our heroes score (often pyrrhic) victories in the end, you don't win a war by constantly being on the defensive.
  6. Veins of Gold, and all the scenes leading up to it. Completely my favorite sequence of the series; a brilliant payoff from everything that came before re: Rand going mad. Both sets of glass column scenes were brilliant. The first was startlingly well written and interesting. The second made me angry to the point I hard to put the book aside for some time. In a good way. Way back in TGH where Rand sees all the alternative lives he could live... I win again Lews Therin was chilling and just a tad scary. It's the only time I think epic fantasy has every really managed to convey a sense of complete hopelessness to me.
  7. I think he would be able to. But I think in general he'll be doing a lot less killing of people (except in terms of dispensing justice).
  8. I think he was clinging to what humanity he thought he could; the old Rand that wouldn't hurt a fly. He couldn't not kill anyone, so he tried to just not kill women. When you're holding onto sanity by a tether and you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, I can imagine something like that - your last connection to the humanity you're so scared of losing - becoming something of an obsession. It's irrational, but whoever said madness was rational? I think it's quite telling that as he gets more and more affected by the madness he gets more irrational about not hurting women until he snaps in tGS. By that point, he doesn't have the humanity left.
  9. I starterd reading when TGS was released so I could read through them all. Parts of the story dragged in books 7 to 10 - the Bowl of Winds specifically - and the whole Shaido thing passed me totally by. Honestly, the Perrin-Faile thing wasn't bad but by that time I was just bored of the Shaido. Honestly, I wanted to read more about Rand than I did about Elayne/Perrin/Mat. Re-reading has been different. Now that I know what happens with Rand and the bits of the stories I liked before I'm less hurried getting to it all. I'm in the middle of these books at the moment and far from finding them slow and uninteresting, I'm actually surprised I thought that on my first read. I still don't like the Shaido though.
  10. Egwene's had some possible foreshadowing in this area back in TGH, although it doesn't necessarily mean she will betray him (red herrings and all). She doesn't fit in with the Arthurian legends (unless you take the Guinevere comparison seriously and link her infidelity in the legends with betraying Rand. She doesn't fit Morgan Le Fay at all.) The biblical link doesn't necessarily work for her either. Judas was a trusted apostle and Egwene certainly isn't one of Rand's apostles. Oh, they're friends, but she's not a follower of the Dragon Reborn. As well as that, I really don't get the sense that Egwene's plot arc has been leading up to her "betraying" Rand. For one, her arc has been diverging her from Rand quite consistently. It would be odd for "betrayal" to come from someone who clearly doesn't agree with him very much. I think Mat works quite well. He sortof fits with Arthurian legends (Lancelot was Arthur's most trusted general, and "betrayed" him by sleeping with Guinevere), and I suppose he's one of Rand's trusted "apostles". Of course, I'm not sure the links of mythology/religion should be taken too far. But it's an interesting idea anyway.
  11. I think the sword thing is a constant Rand-ism. It was big in tFoH, and although he got better at relying on the Power he often used it to create a blade. It would make sense he'd rely more on his sword the harder it got for him to channel. Maybe it's a discrepancy, but I'm not sure. That's not the important bit really. Maybe the "sword" foreshadowing is Callandor? He's so focused on how that's important that he ignores the more important thing that has to be done (which causes his death somehow)? Or it might have just been minor foreshadowing for later in the book: Rand disregards the Callandor prophecies and rejects the "sword" for the more potent CK. Doesn't really explain the "killed" part though.
  12. True. I'd even hazard that the ONLY inequality in magic is that the Dragon soul is male in every iteration, and is (as far as we can tell) the most powerful, and most dexterous, when at its full realization. For proof, look at Rand in Maradon. RJ said that there is a female equivalent to the Dragon. Not the Dragon soul, and not with the same purpose, but one that exists if needed by the Wheel.
  13. Rand, for reasons already stated. I think his thoughts in VoG say it better than I could:
  14. Wow, really? I find it hard to believe anyone could have interpreted this scene in such a way. How could you possibly be enjoying the books so far if this is what you're seeing in your mind's eye when you read them? I agree I don't understand the way you saw that scene. At all. Egwene and Rand are effectively sworn to each other. Oh, it's obvious by now it won't happen, but that doesn't make a difference when they haven't even spoken about it. Engaged is engaged until said otherwise. So when Egwene is clearly jealous of Rand's (totally imaginary) "flirtation" with Elayne and Min, what's wrong with Perrin jumping in and pointing out Egwene's hypocrisy? Becuase she is being hypocritical - she's getting all uppity about Rand meeting Elayne and "flirting" with Min, and Rand doesn't even have a clue that she did a hell of a lot more than talk with Aram. Would you have seen the scene in the same way if it hadn't been those 4, but rather Nynaeve, Egwene and Rand, and it had originally been about Aram? If Rand had been jealous of Aram, and Nynaeve had asked "What about Elayne?", making Rand (inevitably) blush and making Egwene laugh? Would they have been "fucking heroes" for making Rand flustered and embarrassing him? Above that though, it was a joke. They're friends, and they've been through a lot. What one earth was wrong - or sexist?! - about it?
  15. Spoilers be here. He stopped their advance East towards Illian, but more importantly it had three profound plot effects: 1. Made Rand absolutely certain he had to cleanse Saidin, and fast 2. Exposed the possible second flaw in Callandor. 3. Rand has his first real defeat. 1 obviously sets the next book up, 2 is an ongoing plot point and 3 contributed to dark-Rand (at least in my view) with the whole "I have to do anything to succeed" mantra.
  16. Knife of Dreams is a very good book, and has a couple of very fulfilling scenes that you don't want to miss. Winters' Heart has the best finale of the series, so don't miss that. Really, all of them are good books - even CoT, but then I really liked the AS politicking that took place in the book - and I'd recommend reading them all.
  17. Aiel aren't your stereotypical desert folk; they're closer to the celtic in terms of physical appearance (red or blond hair, pale-eyed) - Rand has red hair and pale eyes, which is why he looks Aiel to people who know what Aiel look like. The two rivers probably didn't really notice because they don't generally know what Aiel look like - to them, Rand probably looked a bit outlandish but not considerably different. The differences are pretty subtle. A minor point on the trollocs - the AS that were with Logain couldn't have done anything because Logain would have been free then.
  18. For me, it's been a lot of things, but always since the beginning it's been a sense of the question being asked "can a good person do evil things for the greater good?" At the extremes of this you have Shadar Logoth and Dark-Rand. But also you have the Whitecloaks and the Aes Sedai as "good" organisations who, while not doing evil deeds, certainly doing questionable or completely misguided things in the name of good. From the examples there the answer from the books would seem to be "No" but then we had Verin in TGS who did awful things but was clearly on the side of the light. I guess the moral message of the books was more "sometimes, as long as the good person doesn't lose sight of the reason they're doing it."
  19. Isn't one of Rand's titles 'Lord of the Morning' and 'Prince of the Dawn' - need it be a literal dawn that comes twice, or Rand? Or is "twice dawns" some metaphorical reference to the importance of the Moridin link? I find it hard to believe the sun will actually rise twice.
  20. Rand met the Tinkers at the end of TGS - he stayed with them outside Ebou Dar before he tried to destroy the city and before the VoG epiphany. Or do you mean Rand Sedai meeting the Tinkers? I'm looking forward to a Rand/Moiraine reunion. And just more Moiraine, really.
  21. There's a similar quote re:Min in I think LoC (although I don't recall exactly, been a little while) where he says he would "cut off his own arm" before hurting her - and proceeds to both lose his hand and then strangle her within half a book of eachother. Pretty clever foreshadowing to put something like that in plain sight in a phrase that is used offhand in everyday life.
  22. I actually think there you're looking at the whole gender issue in the books from the wrong angle. You said you've come to the Wheel of Time having been told it's some kind of gender-utopia with complete equality (or even women "on top"). I don't think that's right at all. I'll not tread too far into spoiler territory, but one of the WoT's bigger themes is the necessity duality and balance between pretty much everything, including the genders. The WoT is set at a time when things are "off-balance"; women have a monopoly on magic and that causes distrust between genders which filters through to society. Everyone in the WoT has sexist preconceptions (men and women). I'd say the gender story in the novels is not a story of women being "too powerful" or even "more powerful" (although on balance, they probably are in most WoT cultures), it's more a story of what happens when men and women don't work together or society has evolved in such as way that men and women don't understand and/or necessarily trust each other in certain circles. And of course, one of the most important things in the idea of duality is that yin/yang; male/female; x/y are equal but different. And there's a lot of "different-but equal" in the gender-differences in the WoT-verse. In short - don't worry about the gender stuff too much. It's really not the main point of the story - it's a part of the pattern of the story's central moral I suppose - and you'll probably go a little crazy if you try and apply a feminist critique on a lot of the WoT - it's after all set in a society which has evolved in a much different way to ours! Oh, and I just wanted to say I really enjoy your blog posts (some of the things you notice are cool, some of the things you've got very wrong are entertaining in the "I've been there" way). I don't really post... ever but I thought I'd stop lurking to say hi :P
  23. Lord of Chaos. Which is strange, because I don't remember a lot of what happens in it. Purely for Dumais Wells, I suppose. The thing is, I don't really like the whole "Bowl of Winds" storyline, but I think Rand's storyline makes up for it. I like the discovery of the Kin. Going for rankings: 1. LoC 2. tGS 3. tSR 4. tDR 5. KoD 6. tFoH 7. ToM 8. WH 9. CoS 10. PoD 11. TGH 12. EoTW 13. CoT To be honest, though, the top 3 are almost interchangeable. LoC only gets out ahead because of Dumais Wells, and tGS because I really was hooked on Rand's storyline there. I actually didn't like EoTW the first time I read it, and was going to place it last (I didn't really get into the series until tDR). I'm reading it again now, though, and it's better than I remember. CoT is just... not bad, because this is WoT, but nothing like the others. Too much Shaido.
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