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  1. I agree 100%. This part along with Oliver blowing the horn were the highlights of the book by far.
  2. In the ending that BS wrote, Moridin was not redeemed in any way shape or form. He was pure evil and there was nothing unclear about that. The theme of redemption is throughout the series though and I do suspect that RJ had originally planned for some form of redemption for one of the forsaken. Moridin is a likely candidate because of the reasoning behind his choices for turning to the dark and due to the link between Rand and him. I would not have been surprised to see a last minute redemption if RJ had written the ending himself. That being said...it is a fact that throughout the series that the bad guys are bad and the good guys are good. As much as RJ had lead up to a possible redemption scenario, the primary characters are pretty black and white in their disposition throughout the series. Outside of Moridin, I think the only other forsaken that would have been a good redemption candidate would have been Moghedien. Lanfear also had a very strong case for redemption, but the way BS finished her story seemed to follow a predetermined path from the notes so I think it was more of wishful thinking on my part. Possible bolstering to the thought that Moridin may have originally been intended for redemption: RJ wrote the ending in advance. Rand carried out Moridin's body. Why would he do this? Unless he really knew a great deal about what needed to happen in the end and wanted Moridin's body purely to trick everyone into believing he was dead, there was no reason not to leave the guy in there to rot. Perhaps Rand thought to save him? We'll never know.
  3. You would imagine wrong. While all of the content is officially approved by Team Jordan, Mr. Sanderson had taken (and needed to due to lack of notes/info) many liberties in writing the last two books. The parts that RJ wrote (or mostly wrote) are very clearly a different author. I believe he wrote the majority of the epilogue. He also wrote the portion of the prologue with the town in the Blight I believe...I forget if that was the last book or the second to last book though. It's been awhile since I've cracked mine open and I've more or less just taken to pretending the series stopped when BS started writing since so much of what he wrote was not the real story anymore and was instead more or less fan fac written with some insider tips.
  4. I think a lot of people are forgetting that they need to take the ending with a grain of salt. It is Brandon Sanderson's ending; not RJ's. We can see hints of what RJ wanted if we pay attention to the details, but a lot is awash with Sanderon's own theories and designs. My sense of things is that the DO was never going to break free and remake the world. He never could break free and annihilate the world. The DO was merely a force of nature outside of the pattern that evil men could use to help spread their malice. He never could break free and take direct action in the pattern. Rand could win or lose, but the world was never going to end. If the good guys had lost then we would see a terrible world for the next 1000+ years where tyrants and evil ruled. Eventually, a champion would rise up and change things. If Rand wins, there is a period of prosperity and peace for 1000+ years. It will always repeat; hence the familiar theme of the books about how the wheel of time will turn forever. The whole "the DO will break the wheel of time and kill the great serpent" is a bunch of rabble used to rally evil men to his cause. Given the above, there is only ONE situation where the DO could win. Complete and total annihilate of everything. Why is that a win? Because there is no tomorrow. There is no continual battles between the good guys and bad guys. It's over. Absolute and utter nothingness. Now, given this situation, who would undertake such a task? How could it happen? Well, the DO is powerless to do this on his own His only power is manipulating idiots and projecting an illusion of force while providing them some additional tools (true power, etc). Would anyone who follows his cause do this? Destroy the world and creation completely and utterly forever? No way. They are lured to his side purely through the promise of power and life eternal. Killing themselves and all their potential kingdoms is not going to happen. Only Ishamael thinks like that (hence why he is special and its a shame that we did not get to see his character play out the way his plot was intended by RJ). So who is left? The good guys. The Dragon being chief amongst men. The DO has learned through infinite repetitions of this conflict that the only way to win is to cause humankind to destroy themselves through war and conflict. Literal destruction, not the typical conflict destruction we think of. In the age of legends, balefire almost achieved this. In the age with Rand, Rand almost achieves this himself using the access keys. I firmly believe that if RJ had written the final books we would have learned quite a bit more about balefire and its impacts on the world. So...why does the DO want Rand alive most times and other times want him dead? Well, being locked up for 1000+ years sucks and if the conflict looks like its turning in a direction that the DO doesn't like he would prefer to just kill Rand and let the bad guys reign for 1000+ years. Not ideal, but it would allow him to continually influence the world and that presents a greater chance of victory the next time because he can set the table for the next match. When the DO gets locked up he is at a disadvantage for the next round. The ultimate goal is to win fully and completely, but when that goal seems like its at risk of not even occurring...its best to plan for the future. Of course, the DO wants Rand alive because he is the catalyst for war and the one who can really do his bidding. Manipulating the dragon into destroying the world was the real goal. The DO had nearly succeeded in the AoL; LTT just didn't take the rest of the world with him. The reality is that the DO lost the ability to win the moment Rand had his epiphany on the mountain. Additionally, I believe that Rand's moment on the mountain was meant to occur much closer to the conclusion of the series than it actually occurred. I also suspect that Demandred was preparing an alternative road to victory for the DO through his use of balefire in the background and that was going to play out in the final part of the book. Unfortunately, we never got to see what RJ had planned for Demandred. Anyways...a little bit of rambling here, but I suspect this is pretty close to what RJ had planned. I haven't spent a tremendous amount of thought on this theory so I'm sure there are some logical holes that will be poked through it here and there. However, the general idea feels right.
  5. Leave the books unwritten after RJ. Instead just release as much information as possible (including all the material he had written that was intended for the final books) about how the series was meant to end. A companion book, encyclopedia, etc. would have been a great end to the series rather than have it tarnished the way it was. So many changes that I would make to the series actually depend on the ending. An ending that was entirely fan-fiction for the most part. It's hard to say how things would have turned out if RJ had written the final few books himself. Already mentioned though, one change I would make would be to add some depth to the Forsaken and show that they actually can return to the light. Then again...I strongly suspect that we would have seen something like this in the final book had RJ written the ending...so who knows. In general though, they were far too one dimensional across the series. Asmodean and Lanfear were great characters because they had some shades of grey to them (even if only slight). The others...nothing. I would have loved to see more of those two characters throughout the series. In regards to the mechanical structure of the series as a whole, I would probably have clipped some of the female plot-lines down in the RJ books. There is a tremendous amount of writing that really strayed far from main story even if it was enjoyable to read. Egwene and Nynaeve were core characters and their storylines were mostly OK. Elayne...not so much. The entire bowl of the winds story arc was not necessary. All of the material about Elayne trying to take control of her mothers empire is mostly useless. Unless the story arc advances the main plotline somehow or provides information about the main characters and their story arc then it should be removed entirely IMO.
  6. It's a standard G-rated romance. The only issue I really have with the whole thing is Elayne. Rand never had any substantial time spent with her other than a few weeks. That bit was entirely ridiculous IMO. Avi and Rand's relationship developing is some of the best writing in the whole series IMO. Min and Rand is a bit boring because it's so typical.
  7. The only person who pulled that off well was like Sammael =P ha I don't know...that always bothered me. When I saw it once or twice I was like, OK, this is just a super leisure scene and it's showing off how comfortable these guys are. But later on, that seemed to become the "goto pose" for how important people sat in chairs and it is just absurd. I mean seriously...try to sit in your chair like that right now. You end up looking like a fool.
  8. If my memory serves me properly (and it may not, I haven't read that part in quite awhile), Sammael just showed up during particularly important battles where Rand's ashaman were pushing through his wards and defenses. He would show up, kind of shove them away, and then leave when it was secure. I don't think Rands forces had made a concerted effort to invade yet and were more or less just testing boundaries along the perimeters. Also you need to keep in mind that the Ashaman were very new at this point and were relatively weaker and untrained at this point in the story. For the most part, they were children compared to Sammael when it came to the OP. Be'lal is mentioned as a master of the sword. Sammael is actually the best swordsman in the series as he was a professional athlete and world champion at the "bloodless" sport before it became used for war. edited - added spoiler tags Aside from Be'lal and Sammael, we know that Lan is the greatest swordsman in the series with Rand being second place. Galad follows Rand (we're not sure by how much), and Gawyn is next. It is entirely possible that Be'lal and Sammael (or just Sammael) are significantly better than Lan due to their literally hundreds of years of training/experience. I don't think we'll ever know though.
  9. Ares, There is nobody who would ever smack Putin/Obama/etc. in public and call them a child in front of others while belittling them and talking down to them at every opportunity. It is patently absurd for anyone to behave that way. The only exceptions could be their wives or mother maybe? And even that is stretching it. Like I said, behind closed doors amongst Rand's utmost inner circle, this behavior is not too jarring. It is ridiculous when she acts that way towards Rand with others around though. It is one of my only pet peeves with RJ's writing. The other being how so many rulers and people of extreme importance sit on their chairs with their legs lounging over the side as if they're about to teeter and fall off the chair at any moment.
  10. While the WT is certainly a fallen institution the above is not all AS. Just like any other group of people there are great ones, average ones and terrible ones. Your average AS is mainly just out in the world working for the greater good. That said the WT culture needs a major overall. Ya you're right...however I disagree that your average AS is just out in the world working for the greater good. The average AS is out in the world working for the White Tower's goals; sometimes its for the greater good and sometimes not. And I think that is clearly one of the problems with Aes Sedai in the story.
  11. Actually, jed, I think you are wrong on the whole thing about Nynaeve benefiting from being a novice. Quite to the contrary, Nynaeve represents what a real Aes Sedai should be. The White Tower ruins people and turns them into the horribly flawed human beings we see run around as Aes Sedai in the series. A bunch of manipulating, secretive, holier than thou, liars. I felt that one of the core themes in the book is that Nynaeve was developing into what was closer to a real Aes Sedai from the AoL and less one of the childish idiot Aes Sedai in the modern age. Who knows now, but I often felt like the series was leading up towards a big confrontation between Nynaeve and her Aes Sedai on Rand's side and the White Tower/traditional Aes Sedai. Nynaeve and the AS/channelers on her side gave up their interests in politics and essentially gave up their "Aes Sedainess" to try to save the world and work for the greater good. I felt like RJ was leading up to a pretty serious event where Nynaeve teaches the White Tower what it REALLY meant to be Aes Sedai while at the same time learning to appreciate some of the White Tower's attributes. But again, with the change of authors who knows what RJ had in store or not.
  12. The only thing about Cadsuane I didn't like was how she acted towards Rand in public. She can call him boy and talk down to him all she wants in private because that is their understanding, but it was just flat out unrealistic and absurd for her to treat him that way with others in the room. Nobody would ever act that way in the real world.
  13. Nynaeve has pretty much attained Forsaken level skill in OP by the end of the series. I mean she definitely has a ton left to learn no doubt, but her strength and skill have elevated her significantly above the rest of Randland that she probably belongs in the AoL channeler category more so than the modern Randland category. Notice that there are others who are stronger than Nynaeve, but their training/skill is so far beneath even Nynaeve's that they are insignificant during the series and nowhere even near Nynaeve. I tend to subconsciously lump channelers into two categories in this series. AoL style channelers and modern channelers. When I think of AoL channelers, I think of all of the Forsaken, Rand, and Nynaeve. Rand, Lanfear, Ishamael/Moridin being the top dogs. When I think of Randland channelers I lump everyone else into this category and think of Egwene/Elayne/Avi/Cadsuane being the top dogs. (yes, I know I forgot Alivia but she isn't featured enough to really place her; all we really know about her is that she is an incredible talent but lacks even basic training outside of war) I really feel like Nynaeve and Rand are the only two modern channelers to ascend to AoL skill. Both were essentially taught by an AoL master to some degree.
  14. I think we all just imagined Fain dying falling into a pit of lava screaming precious anyways
  15. Fain was certainly more than the fandom making a big deal out of nothing. Part of the reason the ending of aMoL was so disastrous was because of how Fain's ending was handled. Like I said before, he didn't need chapters devoted to him...he just needed an ending that didn't feel like it was tossed in there casually after totally forgetting about him. He literally did not fit into aMoL AT ALL despite implications that he would somehow play an important part in the ending. He was the third side to the whole Good vs Bad thing and I have no doubt in my mind that RJ had intended for him to play an important part in the ending - albeit a small part. BS dropped him out of the sky and said "oh and Mat kills him and then him and the dagger just magically disappear." This is the exact same problem I have with Verin's letters and Alanna. Brandon Sanderson, NOT RJ, intentionally put cliffhangers into the book about those subjects (just like he did with Fain) and then just totally forgot to deal with them or dealt with them in such a poor and rushed manner that it was almost laughable. Fain was an extremely well developed character that was slowly building up and changing throughout the series. RJ would not have wasted time developing a character so thoroughly for no reason whatsoever. For that reason alone, Fain deserved a fitting ending that did not feel like an "oops, forgot Fain, brb" scene.
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