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Nygma7

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  1. I think one of the top things I love about WoT is how... unfocused... the protagonists are on the Bad Guy. "The Dark One" is so clichéd in fantasy, but he's almost an afterthought for most of the series. I think my favorites are based on this. The first three books, while good, were all about Ba'alzamon and ended with Rand "killing" the Dark One. It wasn't until Shadow Rising that we know/Rand acknowleges he is the Dragon Reborn, and from there it's all about how everyone - Dark One, Forsaken, Aes Sedai, Aiel, Seanchan, Sea Folk, nations - deal with the Dragon. TSR, TFoH, and LoC are the best block, and I think LoC wins out for best for the great confrontations and the fact that it's the first book that doesn't end with Rand defeating a Forsaken. KoD is right up there with them, mainly for the awesome Mat and Tuon chapters. CoT narrowly avoids bottom place for the same reason. PoD is the only book that completely skips one of the main characters. It's also the one where Rand seems to begin his slide, listening to people like Weiramon over Bashere in his pride and ending with killing one of his Asha'man. I don't remember any great moments from it like the Cleansing and it ends... huh, I can't remember how it ends. Which is among the reasons it wins least favorite for me.
  2. I thought Mat remembered warning Aemon (or was it someone else?) of a trick. Thom is reciting the story of how Aemon's enemy was so impressed with their valiant defense that he let them leave. Mat remembers that that wasn't how it happens, and when they started retreating, they got cut down trying to ford the river. I wonder if the red eagle Min saw around Mat means anything other than a reference to his bloodline. It is odd that the only one to have anything to do with raising the Red Eagle is Perrin but Mat was the one with the vision.
  3. Mat is by far my favorite. These lines from ToM sum up why pretty well: "Burn me, but it does," Mat said. "What ever convinced us to go hunting those fool girls? Next time, they can save themselves." Thom eyed him. "Aren't we about to do the same thing? When we go to the Tower of Ghenjei?" "It's different. We can't leave her with them. Those snakes and foxes --" Of course, Thom's right. It is no different. But that's the kind of hero Mat is. No melodrama, no angst, no weighty introspection. He'll constantly claim he's no hero and "those fool girls" can save themselves, but if any one of them gets in trouble, regardless of whether he likes them, if they're total strangers to him, even if he can't stand them, he'll be dashing off to rescue them while every other hero is still thinking about it. The hat, spear, luck, battle skills, and smirk are just gravy.
  4. Could be, but I think it was more about the Aiel themselves. They're too rigid in their vision of ji'e'toh, too quick to fight. While the Seanchan leashing damane is a great evil, their willingness to abide by the peace makes them containable. It's hard for people to live for a long time beside other nations where Aes Sedai are not chained and not start to question whether or not their ways are messed up. Also, by fighting, the Aiel kept handing over more and more channelers to live chained by the Seanchan. By refusing to abide by the pact, the Aiel of the future not only destroyed themselves, they destroyed the rest of Randland as well by dragging them (by deceit) into their conflict. Basically, the vision shows the Seanchan as just too powerful. The Aiel were bashing their heads against a brick wall, when there was the opportunity to live in peace. I think Aviendha, a former Maiden of the Spear, is going to have to be the Wise One to say, "We need to swallow our pride and try diplomacy with the Seanchan." The Aiel have never met their match in battle before, but the Seanchan are it.
  5. I don't know. At some point in the books, Rand makes the fair point that the Tower splitting was the best thing that could have happened for him - both sides were too busy eying each other to do anything about him. And if the Tower *were* whole and by some miracle weren't interfering with Rand, would they have done anything constructive against the Shadow? Frankly, I think they would have been much like they are now that they're whole again - wasted potential.
  6. Good one. She probably is the most abrupt reversal among the Forsaken. Mierin was always power hungry, Demandred was always envious, Semirhage always sadistic. Balthamel was a liar, gambler and lecher; Mesaana always felt slighted; Aginor was a mad scientist. Ishmael thought too much and went insane. Not really sure about Moghedien, Be'lal, or Rhavin's motivations. Be'lal was one of the great generals, right? Asmodean's reason seemed a bit flaky, but then he was an artist. Sammael and Be'lal probably the best bet after Graendal. But unlike her they weren't 180 degree turn arounds, they just got fed up with taking orders from LTT.
  7. Yeah, we also see Tuon thinking that she has to retrieve Mat and make him presentable, though she finds this thought regrettable. First, Mat is too stubborn to bend over as quickly as Beslan did. As free-spirited and egalitarian as he is, he's not going to like the idea of putting on the airs of a Seanchan lord, which even royalty on this side of ocean find mind-boggling. Would it ever come to Tuon *forcing* him to do it? Rather hard to believe. More likely she'll let him get away with it with the thought that he'll come around eventually, and in the meantime having a distinctly non-Seanchan husband will aid in the assimilation of their conquered nations. Second, Tuon herself is about as open-minded as Seanchan come. And it is mentioned throughout the books how quickly Seanchan as a culture adapt to new challenges. I would be surprised if Mat doesn't influence Tuon's thinking on a lot of things, though since she's pretty strong-willed herself, she will have to be convinced he's right. Since on some things he *is* right, she'll come around eventually.
  8. Egwene can't rely on those girls she knew from home, other than Nynaeve. First, they're just too insignificant, really. They're all just novices and accepted without any particularly useful abilities. Friendship's all well and good, but they just haven't gone through what Egwene, Nynaeve, and the ta'veren have gone through since leaving their home to really have an idea of what's going on that will help Egwene at all. Second, and most importantly, as Amyrlin Egwene can't fraternize with people who think of her as just the innkeeper's daughter. We see in one of the books how she has to have some of them disciplined for being too familiar with her. She has to maintain her authority, and can't do that by being buddies with the... children, really... from the Two Rivers.
  9. One of the biggest plays imo isn't up there. You forgot Semirhage's obliteration of the Imperial family, throwing the entire empire into chaos and effectively removing them from being any threat at the Last Battle. The Seanchan on this side, while formidable, are quite different from having the entire might of Seanchan behind them. If I were to rank them: 1) Infiltration of the Black Tower - this one was a huge coup. 2) Semirhage's wiping out the Imperial family - the empire was arguably as strong as the rest of Randland combined, and in one stroke it was made a non-issue except for the Return. 3) Semirhage's attack on Rand with the Domination Band (and consequences) - tough to rate this one. The fact that a Forsaken got the Band on Rand was one of the top plays made. But it turned out fine. 4) Asmodean setting up Couladin as a false Car'a'carn - cemented the Shaido behind Couladin and almost lost four other clans. 5) Be'lal taking control of Tear - going to rate this takeover top because of the chance to get Callandor. Would have worked if it weren't for that meddling Aes Sedai. 6) Sammael taking control of Illian - held onto it the longest 7) Rahvin taking control of Andor - most dubious takeover. Using a strong, known leader like Morgase as a puppet should have raised alarm bells earlier than it did. 8) Sammael and Graendal scattering the Shaido - caused chaos and made Perrin a non-player for several books. 9) Mesaana's split of the White Tower - Rating Mesaana low mainly because she was pretty superfluous. Elaida handled this just fine on her own. 10) Mesaana orchestrating the WT's kidnap of Rand - even more so. Elaida has the hidden aid of the Black Ajah in her coup, but this one was all Elaida's orders. 11) Dashiva and the Asha'man attacking Rand - clumsy attack that showed their hand. Against orders. 12) Darkfriends sabotaging the defence of the Borderlands e.g. at Maradon - honestly, it was hardly needed
  10. Depends on what point of view I'm looking at, the (near) omniscient reader or Randlander. As a Randlander: The Dragon Reborn says the Bore can NOT be resealed unless the Seals are broken. Further, he says we can't wait for the seals to fall apart naturally, because the world is unraveling and the longer we wait, the worse it will be when the last seal finally breaks. Can't really argue with any of this. I'm not sure I take the word of any Aes Sedai with respect to the seals over that of the guy who actually put them into place. Given that the Dragon is supposed to be the one to seal the Bore, if he says it can't be done with the old seals in place, I don't see any reason to argue with him here. Sounds like he knows how to close the Bore without the old seals, but not with them. If that's the case, then yeah, let's get this over with before ALL our stores of food are gone and more people randomly die to bubbles of evil. As a reader: Wait, you can't break the seals before you have a plan! Actually, might have this opinion as a Randlander as well if you were privy to Rand's conversations with Egwene or Min. The seals may be weak, but they're better than nothing if the Bore can't be sealed back up immediately. Rand needs to have his plan in place before he breaks the seals. Yeah, you may need to bulldoze your house before you can build a new one, but if you can't start building till spring, don't knock down the old one in autumn if you're still living there. The problem is, we don't know that this isn't already Rand's plan. I can't believe he would start the assault without some idea of how to patch the Bore. Egwene, of course, doesn't even consider this. Really, I think I'm with Rand either way on this. Sadly, I think he's counting on Egwene's automatic "Rand's wrong" instinct to get her to summon up his allies and others for him.
  11. Seems like this would be a good question for BS since there seems to be so much confusion about it. "Is Perrin now an Andoran High Lord or isn't he?"
  12. I don't think Elayne was intending to make Rand an Andoran lord, and thus one of her vassals. Her main intent was to find some reason to elevate the Two Rivers to account for Perrin's High Lordship and to do that she decided to give TTR to the Dragon Reborn as his seat. Two things with this, I think. One, this doesn't make Rand an Andoran lord subject to Elayne. It just means that when THE DRAGON REBORN - *trumpets sounding* - visits Andor, he has his very own province to stay in. Second, it doesn't need his approval or even knowledge to finalize it. Compare it to providing and setting up a beautiful mansion exclusively for a foreign Emperor to stay in when he visits. It doesn't need his approval to do such a thing, though he may not want to stay there when he sees it. Nor does it need his approval to appoint a major domo to see that it's all kept up, though he might decide that he wants his own people there later.
  13. But that's more a comment on the relative strength of France and Burgundy at the time and not of how the system was intended to work. Powerful lords had lesser lords swear to them for protection, but over the years as things changed, a lord could easily find himself in the position of being unable to force obedience of a recalcitrant subject. But that doesn't change the fact that Elayne can rightfully expect Perrin to muster forces for her which includes his fiefdom of Ghealdan. Which doesn't mean that Elayne owns Ghealdan, or even Perrin does, but it is an asset she can count on unlike, say, the aid of Murandy.
  14. 1) it is absolutely not clear, I'll refer you to the many, many pages of discussion of that in the Elayne thread, starting here: http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/53176-elaynes-arc/page__st__587 2) Perrin was not made high lord, and evenb if he was, fealty is only owed in a feudal system where fealty has been sworn. Perrin has not sworn to Elayne, and is not subject to here if he WAS made a lord (which he wasn't). 3) TTR is not given to Perrin, it is Rands, Perrin's line rules it for him per the arrangement, like Dobraine ruled Cairhien, Darlin rules Tear and... erhmm, whatshisname rules in Illian for Rand. 4) Rands obligations to Andor are not Perrins obligations. Ghealdan is not subject to The Lion Throne, otherwise you can be sure Faile would have prevented any deal, as she is in line for the throne of Saldaea - and if Ghealdan is subject to Elayne because of the fealty owed to Perrin, then Saldaea would become subject to Elayne by the same extended thinking if Failed inherited the broken crown. For realworld examples, someone else has mentioned several examples in teh discussions of Perrin and Elayne (I believe in the linked thread) Not to go off on too much of a tangent, but the Two Rivers was not given away like a present to Rand, no longer Elayne's and not part of her nation anymore. It was made the Dragon's seat in Andor, which is not at all the same thing as making Rand an Andoran lord subject to Elayne's rule. Compare Tuon with Beslan in TGS. She pronounces Altara her seat on this side of the ocean, making Beslan preeminent High Blood on this side only to Tuon herself. Elayne was doing a similar thing. By making TTR Rand's seat, she elevated it in position within Andor, giving her legal reason to make Perrin, its steward for the Dragon, a High Lord. And yes, Perrin owes loyalty to Elayne now.
  15. Not sure where the idea that the Two Rivers is an independent state came from. It was made pretty clear in ToM that all the involved parties agreed that the Two Rivers is still part of Andor. Elayne got creative with the bookkeeping to placate the other nobles, but the result is that - legally - she gives the Two Rivers to Rand (who grew up as an unknowing subject of Andor and is not only the Dragon Reborn but the Queen's... consort?... and liberator of Andor) as his seat IN ANDOR, which in turn he "gives" to his best buddy Perrin to rule. Cutting through the legal mumbo jumbo, the upshot is that Perrin rules the Two Rivers as a High Lord of Andor (the *only* high lord) and as Elayne's subject. The Two Rivers is now confirmed as a province of Andor.
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