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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Himiko

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  1. I started reading this series pretty recently, too (I'm on A Feast for Crows atm), and loving it so far. As I've said in another thread, Littlefinger and Varys are tied for my two favourite fantasy characters of... well, ever. I feel like I'm missing out on the appeal of some of the popular characters, though. I mean, I love Arya and Tyrion so far, and can understand why they're well liked characters. But I don't see why the big fan following of Jon and Jaime. I find them both pretty uninteresting as characters. I mean, I don't dislike them as such, and I have sympathy for their hardships, but I just find them pretty far down on the "interesting characters" scale. Maybe once I finish AFFC and ADWD I'll feel differently, does anyone think? Or is this just a case of me latching on to the weird characters again? XD EDIT: As far as ASOIAF comparing to WoT, I enjoy them in different ways, and think the authors both have their own strengths. For me, WoT is immersive because the world is so detailed- you have the different regional accents and speech styles, you have the world history, etc. ASOIAF doesn't seem to have this to quite the same extent, its a little more of a fantasy cliche world (mediaeval Europe style, patriarchy based system, etc). ASOIAF is very different, for me- its still immersive, because the characters are engaging, there's an element of risk and reality that is less present in WoT -characters you like, or that have played major roles, can and will die- getting out of such situations via "Author protection" is a much rarer thing than in the WoT. Many characters fall into a grey middle ground- sympathetic characters still do bad things, and "bad guys", if you will, are actually reasonably effective at dispatching their enemies. I think its quite refreshing to read after much of Wheel of Time, if only because it's more unpredictable in terms of its characters and how the storyline will progress, comparatively speaking. On the other hand, I've yet to read a series, ASOIAF included, which worldbuilds quite as well as WoT.
  2. Himiko

    Fave Character

    If we're just going by books, I'm currently reading ASOIAF, so I'm a little bit fixated around the characters there atm. I think Tyrion, Arya and Asha are probably all up in the favourites section. Going to have to give Faile and Nynaeve honourable mentions, too. Currently, though, my favourite fantasy characters are Littlefinger and Varys, by far and away. I'm such a Littlefinger fangirl at the moment, its not even funny.
  3. I started reading around the time Knife of Dreams was published (maybe just afterwards), and I didn't really have much of an issue with the kidnapping plot. Perrin's chapters were a little slow going and repetitive, I suppose, but if you don't have to wait between books for them to be written/ published, perhaps it's less of an issue than if you do. Personally, I'd say if you've got all the books tohand, go for it and read the plotline. I always like to think that if the opposite had happened, and Perrin had been taken instead of Faile, the whole business would have been resolved much quicker :P Of course, I know that wouldn't be likely, as all the men with Faile and co. were killed, but, meh.
  4. I'm female (Age 22, and started reading Wheel of Time aged 16, if that's any help, either). I definitely agree with a lot of others, in that I find the total inability of men and women to understand each other, despite the fact that, by and large, they don't come across as massively different. Women sniff and straighten their skirts more. Of course, there are other differences, but still... I definitely agree with whoever said that the female Forsaken tend to be more interesting than the males- I don't know if that was because there were initially more males than females, so characterisation of all the males was left to one side a little? That aside, I don't think there's a massive difference between how I view males and females. I love Mat, and I'm quite fond of Perrin. I love Nynaeve, and Faile. I loathe Egwene and Gawyn. Rand and Elayne both annoy me at various times in the story (Rand moreso overall, but Elayne's increasingly annoying me in the later books). Galad's grown on me over the series, as has Cadsuane. Lan's gone downhill in my estimation. I used to like Min, now find her kind of dull. Basically, I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's male and female characters in pretty much every category of my esteem, from high to low. I can definitely see how the overwhelming female perspective of men being woolheads who need to do what they're told is grating, but we do see some of their opinions change for the better over the series, so in some ways, I'm willing to write that off as the product of their society. The same as I try very hard to accept that Rand's "Women list" is a result partially of his upbringing, and partially of going mad. But it's hard, sometimes, particularly when its a viewpoint that irritates you.
  5. I think the Brandon Sanderson quote is being thrown around a little too easily in some cases. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are essentially what he says, right? "It would be unwise to say Perrin was better than Egwene BASED ON THAT SCENE" and "Bear in mind that Egwene was rusty and distracted during that fight and Perrin had just done a lot of combat training" Whilst I can definitely see why people think this implies that this means Perrin isn't better than Egwene in general, at the end of the day, it doesn't actually say that outright. Using it to counteract statements saying "Perrin is obviously better because look how surprised Egwene is!" is not only understandable, but obvious, but it doesn't say that Perrin is definitely not better than Egwene, no matter what suggestions/ evidence you see to the contrary- hence my capitalisation of the words "Based on that scene". I definitely see why people use the quote from BS to say "Well, I think this implies that Egwene is stronger", but that's different from saying "Brandon says everyone who think Perrin might be better than Egwene is being unwise". Not everyone bases their arguments off that scene, a lot of the ones I've seen mention their differing training experiences and fighting strategies. I think the willpower trick/ strategy might well come down to who has the strongest willpower, yes... but I wouldn't be so quick to assume that Perrin would definitely cave in under those circumstances. I think he's pretty determined and stubborn when he wants to be. I like the idea of a big TAR battle with Egwene/ Dreamwalkers taking on another Forsaken, and Perrin and the wolves taking down Slayer. Though, I confess, I'd kind of like Moghedien's final showdown to be with Nynaeve, and I can't help but think that it might well be Rand that takes down Cyndane/Lanfear, based on their backstory. Admittedly, its unlikely that a battle would slot so neatly into story/character applicable battles, but I suspect the Wheel of Time might go down this road to some extent, anyway :P Maybe Black Ajah, or Darkfriend Aiel Dreamwalkers, if not Forsaken? Are there any Darkfriend Aiel Dreamwalkers? One would assume they'd have some tricks up their sleeve, we've seen how adept the Wise Ones are at using TAR. Of course, ideally, as people have said before, Perrin and the Dreamwalkers should get together and exchange some tricks, to make them all more effective in TAR. But that would require communication, and everyone in the Wheel of Time seems to think that too much communication will give them herpes or something.
  6. Do you think the reforms she has instituted and her thoughts on how the WT needs to change in the future are a step in the right direction? I think some of Egwene's reforms have definitely been good ideas- opening the novice book to older ages, changing the laws on ter'angreal, the motion in the Hall to prevent secret meetings, etc. Egwene's political outlook as leader of the WT is interesting in the sense that whilst in some ways, she comes across as very open to change and willing to accept it, in other areas, she is quite traditional. She acknowledges that the WT cannot expect to hold onto its perceived channeling supremacy and ter'angreal possessions now that other channeling factions, male and female, have made themselves public. She opens the novice book, despite the fact that "its not how this is done" in the eyes of many other AS. She admits to the Wise Ones that "she is the leader of those fools", implying she is aware that AS are not perfect and almighty. But whilst her reforms have definitely showed a positive and necessary attitude towards change, they have also worked largely for the benefit of the WT- they have gained more novices, strengthening their numbers and power. They have lost some ter'angreal, but have gained the possibility of new knowledge (and potentially powerful new AS) from amongst the WO and WFs. The banning of secret meetings will hopefully prevent anything like the Tower split from happening again. And of course, this is all understandable, she is the leader of the AS, and is expected to make decisions that will benefit her organisation. But where are her apologies for the wrongs the tower has done? Apologies to Rand, as the leader of the AS, apologies to the people of Tar Valon who have suffered as a result of the Tower split. Where are her commands that the Greens should be out fighting in the Borderlands, or the Yellows travelling around and offering healing? Or commanding the Browns to open schools, or offer learning? The idea of "AS must be seen as strong and aloof, we must command obedience and not admit to faults or weaknesses" is still there, I think, the problem is, the rest of the world has seen the Tower split in half and fight itself, the world is no longer blind to their faults, and I think they may risk fostering resentment if they keep trying to appear that way. I think that, whilst she is definitely aware of TG approaching, and the need to fight the Shadow, and whilst I don't believe she would consciously decide to do something that would put the Light at risk, however much it benefitted the WT, I do think she has the "traditional", if you like, attitude of believing that the WT and the AS need to be seen as respected, and leader, etc. which IS an attitude that has bred arrogance over the many years it has been held by the Tower. Egwene's far from the worst culprit, and there's a lot to be said for her attitude in some respects, but IMO, rather than the channelers (both male and female) seeing themselves as somehow above, and more important than other non-channelers, they need to be taught to use their powers to serve all. And that's not really an attitude we've seen from Egwene, or from many AS at all in the series. Nynaeve's words after her test, about how the AS let the WT become an end in itself, and how stupid it is to walk slowly and reservedly when there are people who need your help, purely to give off the serene AS image is something that I think many readers can agree with, but it seems that this is definitely seen as a view held by "outsiders" amongst AS, rather than the organisation itself, and that's something I don't see changing under Egwene. In other words, I think her reforms are a good thing for the WT, and I think they, as an organisation, need someone leading them who accepts change, because its coming, like it or not. But I don't think they are necessarily steps that will lead to the AS accepting a lesser status, or expecting respect and obedience as their due. Aes Sedai meaning "Servants of All" has been mentioned, but I don't see Egwene being the one to take the steps to make it the case once again.
  7. To the Aes Sedai, it's similar to a president/ruler acting as a servant to another country's president/ruler or even to something lower than that, such as an average foreigner. That is the highness of the opinion they have of themselves. Either that or the whole taint and how male channelers were viewed thing. You know, that three thousand year old guaranteed death, insanity and destruction that was only fixed in WH and not made widespread(if that) knowledge until much later. Sure that wouldn't have freaked anyone out. Not to say AS don't think they are better than everyone else but compared to the above it's not really relevant. Except that even after Ny told Egwene and Siuan that saiden is clean, Egwene still is upset about AS being bonded to Asha'man and thinks of it as a crime Rand must answer for. There is that... I think its a mixture of factors. The horror of men who can channel, and their fate, is definitely, IMO, a factor in the early horror of the idea. But I think its also to do with the AS attitude- the bonding between Warders and AS isn't exactly an equal bond- Warders do as commanded, and protect and defend their AS, or that's the idea. And AS have been "on top", so to speak, for many years. They hold immense political power, they're seen as being "above" normal people, they take command and demand respect as their rights (I'm not saying they're a terrible institution, nor that they haven't done many good things in the past, but there does definitely seem to be an arrogance in the organisation and the vast majority of its members), and now, there are several of their own number on the opposite end of the Warder bond- something that puts them, if we go by the traditional AS/ Warder dynamic, under the command of these channeling men. As I've said, for an organisation that largely sees respect and deference from outsiders as its right, that has to be galling. There may well be the issue of forbidden bonding, too, but given that they did go in there to kill the Asha'man, its difficult to see another way to safeguard themselves from these AS without stilling or killing them. So, in conclusion, I think its a mixture of the traditional horror of men who can channel, and the idea that these women will share their fate, and the attitude and outlook of the AS that believe AS should command obedience and respect. Hence why, after Egwene knows that the taint is cleansed, she is still angry at the idea of AS bonded. That's my thoughts, anyway.
  8. Well, I think Brandon's pro Egwene opinion outweighs a lot of yours, so I'm not too worried about that. When has Brandon ever said that Egwene is superior to Perrin? He's said it would be unwise to assume that Perrin is better than Egwene based off that one scene, because Egwene was rusty and distracted, and Perrin has just spent time training. I still interpret it as being "Well, OK, it kind of looks like Perrin pwns Egwene massively based on that scene, so let me try and correct that assumption." It doesn't mean Egwene is stronger than Perrin, it doesn't even mean than Perrin isn't stronger overall (just that we would be unwise to assume this was the case based purely on that scene). Personally I think they're probably about equal in skills, just have different strengths, and that BS, when confronted with the question "Doesn't that scene show that Perrin's better in TAR?" (words to that effect, I know that's paraphrased) didn't want that impression to be given off by that scene. I could be wrong of course. Its very unlikely that we'll find out, since unless one of them is turned to the Dark in the last book (in which case, yeah, I could definitely see them fighting as the two TAR heavyweights of the main cast), which I think unlikely- we've had ample oppurtunity for this to happen to both of them in the series so far- its much more likely they'll team up in TAR to defeat other enemies there. And when Brandon says "Dreaming is Egwene's thing", isn't he referring to a comment about whether or not Rand is a Dreamer?
  9. Firstly, PiotrekS, I agree with pretty much everything you've said above. Why do a few of the anti-Egwene crowd always reference this like it was a bad thing. This was one of the more progressive WT reforms and will benefit all channeling groups in the long run. Egwene says flat out the WT can not continue as it has. ToM I think the quote below proves a source of contention: No Amys, Egwene thought, I will not tie you in bands of steel. I'll use lace instead. Some people read this as "We'll be linked to each other by something that makes us want to be linked", and others read it as "We'll tie you to the WT, but we'll use lace so you don't realise you're being tied at first". Difference of interpretation, obviously if you read it as the first, it sounds lovely, and if you read it as the second, not so much. I agree that uniting the channelers is a good step in the right direction, and will certainly be useful against the shadow. But- and this is a negative point for all involved- it shouldn't matter in the battle against the shadow who is "on top", and the superior force. Indeed, I personally don't think any of them should be. I think the fact that the AS get a lot more backlash from this scene, though, is the fact that they have had the most coverage in the series of all the groups, and much of that has been a pretty negative view of the organisation as a whole, especially compared to the Wise Ones- in other words "Why should these women be in charge of the channelling women, they suck!" Individual AS are quite well liked by the readers, but a lot of readers, judging by this forum, seem to dislike the AS as an overall organisation. That's my thoughts, anyway.
  10. As far as rescuing the other AS go, its simply not practical. Bear in mind, that for all Egwene's firepower, and for all that she was saying afterwards about how she was a magnificent fighter called by the horn, and they wouldn't dare face her again, she, and the rest of the Tower, I'd suspect, know they are no match for the Seanchan in firepower. They know the Seanchan have collared many AS, to add to their existing forces. If they gateway'd in, many damane would sound the alarm. They'd have to be ready to fight, and to be effective in a fight (and bear in mind, this would not just be against a raiding force, this would be into the heart of the main Seanchan forces), they'd need a fair few AS, preferably strong ones, to link with, and possibly some angreal and sa'angreal, as Egwene used. They risk more sisters being killed or captured, even if they manage to defend themselves in a fight, they risk sa'angreal falling into the Seanchan's hands. Very few in the WT would be willing to risk it, and I think in this case, they've got it right. Now, I agree it is a horrible thing to allow these women to be subjected to, however, whilst I'm no lover of Egwene by any means, I think with the Last Battle on the doorstep, to put themselves at risk like that (not to mention potentially depleting the Seanchan army, which will likely be an asset against the dark, though I doubt the WT is thinking of that aspect) would be foolish.
  11. Interesting question. I think what we've seen is Nynaeve not so much deciding she doesn't need the WT, as being part of their organisation, and following their rules and power structure (we see her officially acknowledge Egwene as Amyrlin, and she agrees to take the test for the shawl, etc.), whilst at the same time, acknowledging that, if at some point in the future she has to choose between following the WT, and doing what she believes is right, then she won't hesitate in following her own judgement. She's not the only example of this, I think- we've already seen Moiraine and Siuan do much the same (hiding their activities from the WT, even though they knew they'd be punished for it, because it was the right thing to do), and I wouldn't be surprised if Cadsuane and her followers, or some of the bound AS, or some that are/ have been attached to various armies (Teslyn, etc.) may well come to the same realisation in this last book. That's not to say that they will need to- theoretically, after all, they are all aiming for the same goal of defeating the DO. But they may well disagree on methods, and we have seen several AS coming to realise that their organisation, and they themselves, do not always know best, and may well be more willing to listen to, and side with others, than just simply following the WT. For example: We know that Nynaeve plans to go to SG with Rand. I imagine that Teslyn will have a good deal of respect for Mat's viewpoint, etc. That's very different from saying "Screw you!" to the WT as a whole, though. That's saying "I'll be part of you, but if it comes down to you telling me to do something that I don't think is the right thing to do, then I'm not just going to agree with you automatically." Which I don't think is a bad thing at all. I think the WT, and AS as a whole are likely to lose some influence in the world, as new channelling groups are springing up. The exchange program with WOs and Windfinders may counter some of this, that remains to be seen. But as a whole: other cultures no longer have to hide away their own channelers for fear the Aes Sedai will try and take them away to the WT (some might argue over the exchange program students, which might be a sticking point, but again, we will see). The Kin have also come out into the open, and whilst they might be tied to the WT, I can see some women choosing to train to Accepted level, and leave for the Kin, rather than become AS. Whether the AS and Asha'man become two parts of the same organisation, or whether they remain separate, and (possibly) accept opposite gender members, female channelers will no longer be seen as the ultimate authority. So, yes, I do think we will see some powerful and/or skilled female channelers choosing not to be part of the WT. I can see many joining the AS but without seeing them as the kind of all powerful institution that they are perhaps seen as now (they have, after all, just recovered from a massive split and been raided by the Seanchan- even if they keep the number of Black Ajah quiet, people are bound to notice those two events). As for people joining but putting their own judgement before the Tower, I think that's always been the case for some sisters, Nynaeve's just an obvious recent example. On a slightly different note, I was kind of disappointed Nynaeve didn't literally decide she didn't need the WT. More for her character arc than anything else. The whole series we've seen Nynaeve struggling for acceptance from people- when we first meet her, she is an extraordinary Wisdom, but one who is frequently criticised simply for being "too young", an argument which we see brought up again with the Kin. Several in the WT look down on her because she is a wilder, despite her potential. Later, despite her impressive discoveries, her actions in healing stilling, helping cleanse the taint, and being the sole AS representative that the DR would have anything to do with for a while, other AS consistently look down on her because of the manner of her raising. She is an excellent Wisdom, a powerful channeler and an uncommonly skilled healer, but she does seem to crave recognition and resents it heavily when she is not given it. This testing and its aftermath would have been a good oppurtunity for her to realise, and state, that she has spent the last year proving herself as an AS, more so than most of those testing her, I'd wager. She passed the test, with all of them trying to make sure she failed, and she did it in her own way. She proved that she was more than worthy of the shawl, and rather than having this group of women who'd just treated her like crap telling her that she'd passed "narrowly", and she lacked the "proper AS calm", tell them that if that's how they want their organisation to behave then they're not worthy of her :P I mean, I understand why they didn't do that- Egwene would have lost an ally and the WT would have lost a powerful channeler, and RJ/BS are unlikely to let this happen. But still, it would have been a nice "end" for that aspect of Nynaeve's character growth. OK, so kind of off topic, but against my better wishes, Nynaeve IS AS, so I guess its not too OT.
  12. Of course that isn't entirely accurate--there was an entirely selfish element to Egwene's actions after being caught out in the Dream where she shouldn't be, and with Nynaeve threatening to expose her--I've no desire to protect Egwene, but sensationalistic extrapolation such as offered by randsc achieves nothing. No offence, but your presentation is pretty much exactly the same as randsc's first suggestion, except that you have exchanged the word "friend" for "daughter", and then gone on about the great motivations your hypothetical person has for doing so. Except, as you then admit, Egwene's motivations aren't really anything to do with that, thus making your own scenario just as invalid. If your issue is the parent/child dynamic with the earlier examples, then fair enough. If we take this into account, added to the fact that most people in this discussion agree that Egwene was mostly, if not solely, motivated in her actions by trying to cover her own arse, whilst also agreeing that some of the points she made were fair ones, then perhaps a better scenario would be thus: "I hang out in this dodgy area of town. I am aware of its dangers, but choose to hang out here anyway, because I'm seeing someone who lives here, and I know my parents would try and stop me if they found out. Recently, my friend began walking through this area on her way home from college- we know each other pretty well, and she sometimes talks to my parents. I was worried that if she found out that I was seeing this guy and hanging out here a lot without permission, she'd tell my parents. So, I got some of my boyfriends friends to grab her when she was walking home to scare her. They scratched her up a bit, and tore her clothes, and she ran off. She's doesn't walk down here anymore, so my secret's safe! But I realised afterwards that I probably did her a favour, because it WAS a dangerous area, after all, so its not like she wasn't at risk." Admittedly, still not entirely accurate, as whilst Nynaeve avoids Egwene after this encounter, she doesn't avoid TAR, but by and large, would we agree that this is a reasonable comparison? Don't get me wrong, I can understand that sometimes people can do bad/unfriendly things (ie. insulting and attacking Nynaeve) for the right reasons (to teach her a lesson in TAR). Except that we know from Egwene's own POV that her bad/unfriendly actions were motivated by much dodgier reasons of wanting her friend to keep quiet and keep herself out of trouble, and the "teaching of a lesson" was just a beneficial side effect. Especially galling given that, as others have said, she was doing exactly what she was chastising Nynaeve for (wandering TAR without permission or adequate training, whilst covering up the truth to make herself look better), IMO. (This last bit isn't really aimed at you, Luckers, I know you already said that you didn't deny this aspect of it)
  13. I think this is true, and I hope Egwene will start leaning in this direction (I'd also chuck Siuan's name in there as well). I'm of the opinion that the more power a person gains, the more they need people to stand up to them, and be honest with them, especially to the point of disagreeing where necessary. For example: its pretty clear that without Nynaeve, Cadsuane, Min, etc. around Rand, there would have been even more destruction than happened in the books- the Borderlander army, for starters. Now, Nynaeve has gone to the WT, but Rand still has his advisors around him who, in some cases, WILL disagree with him, or give him advice when necessary- I don't think it would hurt him to have a few more, either. The Seanchan royal family have actual political stations for people to do just this for their members. But Egwene, and indeed other Amyrlins that we've seen, don't seem to have this so much. I mean, they have obstacles to overcome, they know that not every AS will agree with their decision, but its usually presented as something that has to be gotten around, rather than listened to. Obviously in some cases this idea has merit- Siuan and Moiraine seeking out the DR, for example- but Egwene does seem to take dissent and disagreement from other AS (and Gawyn) to be measures of disrespect or stubbornness, or simply being wrong, rather than something she should listen to. I don't know if this was an unintentional suggestion by the author, but at times it does come across a bit like "You need people around you willing to question your decisions and stand up to you- unless you're the Amyrlin Seat, in which case to do so is to show disrespect, or just be wrong." Still, perhaps the events with Gawyn were leading up to a realisation that this isn't the way to go, and we'll see that reflected more in the next book... OK, that was rambly... basically, yes, I agree with what you said. Public respect is a good thing for AS to express to their leader, exceptional circumstances aside (I think Elaida could have done with some tough love rather than respect :P), but expecting that close friends and lovers should treat you in private as they would in public is also stretching it. In public, you are their leader, they the followers, in private, you are friends/ lovers. If, in private, you require them to treat you like their leader, then you're not really friends/ lovers, as such, IMO.
  14. Bizarrely, I've never given this much thought.. I mean, in terms of purely looks, its got to be Galad, objectively. Everyone thinks he's great looking. He doesn't sound much like my type, but if we're talking world consensus. For the whole package- looks, personality, etc.- I'd say probably Mat. He's obviously got enough charm and wit and looks to get plenty of women, he's somewhat more experienced than Galad in his dealings with women. For myself, I don't have an opinion, really. I guess Mat, if I had to pick?
  15. I really, really hope that if there is a meeting between Cadsuane/ Moiraine and Egwene (which I assume there will be) then it will be done well. We have evidence that these are two strong willed, intelligent women- if they get written as idiots so Egwene can look good then I will cry. I imagine they will have respect for each other (well, I'd hope so, anyway), whether they agree with each other on methods/ viewpoints or not, and I'd rather see it as a disagreement than pretty much every other Egwene vs *insert AS name here* we've had in the series. That said, maybe they'll all agree with each other and get on great. Who knows?
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