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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Joshua Hendrickson

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Everything posted by Joshua Hendrickson

  1. That was very nice indeed--especially the way he just does it--seizes her neck and snaps it. Quick, even merciful, and light-be-praised not drawn out into a 20-page fight scene.
  2. Perrin/Slayer conclusion scarcely registered for me, largely because I'd felt the highest points of that drama had already been played out, with the resolution artificially delayed (but then that was a problem with 90% of the conflicts in this story; Jordan could never just wrap something up and move on).
  3. Maybe. It's a clear suggestion of such creator-powers, and I interpreted it as such, with the caveat that here was an ultimate power that lacked the ego-tugging quality of the other powers; in other words, Rand would not be tempted to play God, because only someone mature enough to resist such a temptation could have such powers bestowed upon him. If there's ever a future-based epilogue written for this story, I could see Rand having such powers--so long as they are used subtly.
  4. Maybe you guys are right, and Verin did receive the right amount of spotlight; it might well have spoiled her mystery. But considering how many other, much lesser characters got much more attention, I still wish Verin had gotten more of a lion's share.
  5. From her first appearance in TGH, Verin Sedai was my favorite Aes Sedai, and soon enough she became my favorite character. She always suggested depths without that bullying quality that marred so many other Aes Sedai, was always mysterious and yet had a surface which was the epitome of a Brown. During the course of the series, hints that she might be Black kept me intrigued, but I never had a strong opinion one way or another--although I felt that her personality was all wrong for the Black. And then (was it in TGS or TOM? don't recall right now) came her final hour of life, confirming, for me, that she was the most intriguing person Jordan ever conceived. I was absolutely blown away and it felt absolutely right. Here was the perfect blend of courage and curiousity, of intelligence and integrity: the Darkfriend who wasn't a Darkfriend; the Black who subverted and studied the Black from within. I cried for her as for no one else in this story (not that many people asked for or deserved our tears). Looking back, I wish her character had been given ten times as much storytime, but I'm grateful for all that we got. There anyone else out there who shares my passion for the Little Plump Dark Brown Who Could?
  6. Rather a good point, about Rand Mat and Perrin all being at Shayol Ghul (though doing separate things) at the same time when the DO is defeated. I had always supposed they would come together at that crucial moment, and was pleased that it came through. As for Egwene v Cadsuane, sorry, but Cad should have been taken down a peg or three, and Eggy ought to have been the one to do it. Face it: all Aes Sedai are bullying snots, but I feel that, at least in the last three books, that Eggy earned her status and then some (and her sacrifice didn't hurt either). Cadsuane seemed to me more reputation/legend and less substance.
  7. Lan's "sheathing the sword," a bit of early foreshadowing that I had hoped would have an intense resolution; I was not disappointed. "I'm not here to win; I'm here to kill you." Brilliant. Egwene's sacrifice was unexpected--really, she's the only major (or at least the only Two Rivers) character to be killed? The only one? But it was still a triumphant moment. Wish she could have shown up in the Heroes of the Horn, though--if Noal/Jain Farstrider could make it, why not Egwene? There are a lot of Egwene haters on this site, I know, but I was always impressed by her bravery--she really proved herself worthy of being Amyrlin. She should have been a Hero.
  8. If I had to choose an Aes Sedai, though, I'd pick Verin. Not for sexual or romantic reasons, but just because she's so damned interesting. Never a dull moment, either intellectually or physically.
  9. Min, hands down. Tomboyish but hot, smart, intellectual, a reader. My dream girl.
  10. Simply put, I like Brandon's lighter touch on the prose, and his use of metaphors/similes seems a bit more creative to me. My biggest problem with RJ's prose was the density--and I like dense prose, like the work of Mervyn Peake, so it has more to do with RJ's choices of emphasis. RJ's ploddingly heavy use of beats (the interior monologue and commentary in between brief fragments of dialogue) grew very wearying over time, and worse, didn't necessarily help us to understand his characters any better; give me a subtle sword stroke than a hammer over the head any day. Plus he repeated himself ad infinitum. I don't notice this problem with BS. In the end, for all its strengths, WOT is simply too long. 11,000 pages, only about half of which were absolutely necessary for the scale of the story, leaving room for another 2000 perhaps for atmosphere and artistry. Still, the magnificence of the imagination on display makes up for the wealth of longeurs and makes me glad that I've read all the way through this behemoth of an epic.
  11. Who killed Asmodean? Was it Moridin? I always found this assassination to be needlessly enigmatic and annoying.
  12. Not to mention that the whole WOT concept is predicated on the inevitability of Shaitan's defeat. After all, there are quotes from history books written from the perspective of the Fourth Age--after all these contemporary events. And I don't think there'd be much writing if the whole of Creation were consumed in fiery darkness.
  13. I certainly think of the concept of ta'veren as an excuse for deus ex machina, or at least for coincidence. Just because it is woven into the WOT universe doesn't make it any less convenient. After all, the ancient Greeks who invented the God From the Machine did so under presumption of the existence of gods, so the concept wasn't just out of the blue for them. In any case, it's a common enough device in fantasy, and not worth our concern. If it were absolutely realistic, it wouldn't be WOT!
  14. Birgitte, in TFOH: "I have not seen anyone trussed like that since the Tourag took Mareesh." If I remember correctly, there used to be (maybe still is) an Arab warrior tribe called the Touregs, and there is a city somewhere in the middle east called Mareeshekesh. Could be! Also, in the following chapter, Birgitte takes the alias Maerion, saying she was once called that. A Robin Hood reference, perhaps?
  15. Yeah because saving the world by righting the weather counts for nothing? Totally agreed on Faile though... Aside from riding to gather reinforcements for the Two Rivers, in doing so saving many lives, including, most probably, one of the three ta'veren on whom the continued future of the world may depend :P And, you know, having the political and practical knowledge to do much of the management of Perrin's forces and helping him act as a leader when he seems determined not to. Yep. Faile does nothing :P OK, in case that came across as a little snappy, not intended, I just haven't let out the Faile love for a while ;) I wouldn't label Faile as "necessary" in a sense- her role COULD have been played by another. But then, the same's true of many other characters in the book. Faile works well with Perrin because they complement each other, at least in terms of their skill sets. He is strong, cautious, he wants, or believes he wants, a simple life. Faile is political, she has knowledge of how to manage a large force of people on the move, and how to deal with other politicians- bear in mind that whilst we see Rand and Mat accomplishing a lot, not only by their ta'veren natures- Mat has his luck, Rand has his memories, and the knowledge by the world that he is the Dragon Reborn- when dealing with powerful leaders and other authority figures with much more experience behind them. Perrin, on the other hand, relies a lot on Faile in these matters- in ToM, for example, he lets Faile take the lead in negotiations with Elayne, because it is her strength, not his. Faile is very much a supporting character in a literal sense of the word- she's almost tailor made in her skills to be a good team with Perrin- and when he doesn't have her, he goes a little crazy trying to get her back- he allies with the Seanchan, he'd probably have allied with the Dark One himself. That's my thoughts on why Faile works for the plot, at least in part. I enjoy her as a character in her own right, though I recognise that most people disagree ;P I totally agree. I have always liked Faile, especially since she provides the impetus for one of the few genuinely emotional scenes in WOT, when she gets Perrin to grieve for his dead family. Also, the love between Faile and Perrin is a great deal more believable than the romances between Rand and his somewhat fabricated three "wives" (to say nothing of Mat and Tuon!). The Perrin-rescuing-Faile-from-Shaido plot goes on WAY too long, but that is the only complaint I have about Faile's presence in the books.
  16. We not only can know everything, we already do--we just tell ourselves we don't to make it all bearable. --Death, THE SANDMAN by Neil Gaiman (slight paraphrase) I love God. He's my favorite fictional character. --Homer Simpson, THE SIMPSONS (episode uncertain)
  17. @Werthead: (I'll leave the technical/classical definition of "epic" out of this, as it is irrelevant to the layman's understanding of the meaning.) Epic fantasy is mostly a question of scale (not length of story) rather than of particular plots, characters, or elements. By that standard, I would say HP counts. Your points for and against seem drawn from the particular subset of epic fantasy called sword and sorcery (as if you didn't know!), but that kind of fantasy is not the whole of the genre. In my opinion, it isn't even the best of it.
  18. Tel'aranrhiod. It always bored me before, but this time through the series I am struck by just how phony and unsubtle the whole concept is. Incessantly repeated stereotypes: stout innkeepers; cooks who wield wooden spoons as weapons; ugly commoners/beautiful nobles; Brown ajah aes sedai with ink smudges on their noses; women with hard stares that should knock a horse flat and cause everyone around them to jump or run scared; "soft, as a stone is soft"; characters never ever guessing right about what someone else thinks; characters constantly lying to themselves and others out of sheer stupid pride; everyone thinking Rand's insane when he's just thinking out loud; shadowspawn attacks that are all too easily defeated and which serve little or no purpose, just an excuse for action in an otherwise frequently tension-free storyline. And Mat's a jerk to Rand.
  19. Thanks, everyone! It's funny--this time through TSR and the prologue of TFOH, that particular Aes Sedai struck me as a possible candidate for Mesaana, (that smirk and the stuff with the masons were hints) but she was just one among others, and I would never go so far as to claim that I "guessed correctly." Still ... what a coincidence! Again, thanks ... knowing this will really boost my enjoyment of her scenes.
  20. A question for which I WANT a spoiler answer: Who is Mesaana? Obviously, having only read up through KOD, the Aes Sedai whom Mesaana is disguised as has not been revealed to me. I'm rereading WOT now, but I confess to feeling some impatience with RJ's frequently irritating mysteries. Frankly, I would like to know ahead of time who she is, so that when I encounter her on the page I can feel some genuine suspense vis a vis her interactions with others. This will enhance my enjoyment of the story, not ruin it ... at least that's how it works for me. I don't need all secrets to be revealed ahead of their time, but I would appreciate this one. Pretty please, and thank you.
  21. 1. Encroaching insanity (whether from taint or pressure or both). 2. Link with Ishamael was actually forged at Falme, with the wound. After his death, Ishamael was just riding around in Rand's body until the Dark One found a new one for him. Ishamael flees just in time to escape the Fain wound. 3. Rand had reason to believe she was a Darkfriend. He knew he was being hunted. We just don't see much of that because we don't get his POV much. Most of what we see of Rand in TDR is in Perrin's POV. Anyway. RJ himself said that the Gray Man was supposed to show us that Rand wasn't just paranoid. Didn't know that about Ishy riding Rand's body between the end of TDR and the appearance of Moridin ... is that an established fact, or just conjecture? Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you ... especially if you're the Dragon Reborn! What I wonder is this: were the woman and her retainers Darkfriends or not? If they were, fine, though I fail to see how we readers know this (unless it is revealed much further down the line). If they weren't, then Rand murdered innocent people and made their corpses pay him obeisance. That's more than encroaching early-onset insanity from the taint or from pressure. That's full blown psychosis, and it's more than a little strange to me that he recovers from it. It's downright disturbing, in fact.
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