Glad to hear I wasn't the only one to chortle a bit at Gawyn's death. I've long thought him an idiot, and the way he died was... expected.
It was in striking counterpoint to the way everyone else fell in the last battle. I *liked* that so many fell to inglorious death, barely noticed in the numbing, ever growing list of the fallen. It was realistic. It was sad. Pretty much everyone there was giving it their all, and virtually all of them fell to indiscriminate bursts of the power or Trolloc blade.
Gawyn stood out in that he wanted the heroic, meaningful death, and it was sad that, alone among so many, his end was fruitless, pointless, and just his own damn fault.
I didn't think of it till afterwards, but Siuan's death was rather poetic. Back when she first met Mat, she asked him if he would be there to save people in the burning building. How does she die? Running into a burning building trying to save Mat, despite knowing it might cost her and her love their lives. Tai'shar Tear.
Olver's buildup was great too. Even in the Blight he's still thinking about what a Gawyn-like hero he's going to be, hunting down the Shaido who killed his parents. Then he sees what battle really is, but still tries to get to Mat. A terrified boy crying in a hole and desperately blowing a Horn was one of the great heart-wrenching images of the series.
Totaly agree about Gawyn. His entire POV should be filed under WTF. Using the rings, not telling Egwene. Riding off alone to be a hero. WTF Gawyn,none of that was even necassary. I even said that out loud "WTF". My poor husband, I kept talking out loud to the book the whole way through.