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  1. Did RJ intend for Egwene to die, or was it Brandon's idea? He's being coy about that, if you can believe it. Per the Birmingham thread: That's pretty mind-boggling to me that he would even hint that something as big as this might not have been per RJ.
  2. What the hell was the Light membrane thing surrounding Rand's brain? Did they ever explain that?
  3. Min can see the future choices people make and the consequences thereof. Look at Siuan, Min told her what would happen and she chose it. She can see their future threads in the Pattern, but how those threads came into being are the result of choices upon choices. Erdrick is correct, omniscience doesn't negate free will.
  4. Free will doesn't mean doing everything you want to do. Re the Pattern, you miss the point entirely. The Pattern wove Rand to be Dragon, but the entire point of VoG was that he had to CHOOSE to be the Dragon, it wasn't enough to trudge around for duty's sake. While he held all of the OP and debated whether or not to end existence, love is what convinced him to fight. He had every opportunity to end the world, Pattern be damned. Like Tam and Cadsuane and everybody tried to get him to understand, he had to want to do it. The Pattern put him into position, but in VoG he had to decide what to do about it.
  5. The competing-worlds duel was definitely Brandon. The paraphrased answer in the Raleigh thread isn't as explicit as you say it is, anyway. The DO and Rand originally had just a conversation. Likely he tried to tempt Rand in the same way, and we've no reason yet to think that Jordan's version didn't result in Rand coming to the same conclusion. The ending makes perfect sense, so much so that I'm surprised we didn't come to that very same conclusion earlier. The Wheel of Time is about balance. We have our answer about why we needed to be so concerned about Rand's state of mind and why it mattered how he went to the Last Battle. This type of conclusion was hinted at even in tGS and ToM, before it was suggested that Brandon make the confrontation more "interesting". We should have foreseen the Dark One's continuing existence being necessary. We just didn't ask the question, because we assumed that killing him would be an impossibility. And if this whole theme that came out of that ending was Brandon and Brandon only (which I don't believe it is, but IF it is) then I think it's one of the things he did right. You're conflating the entire ending - which did have much foreshadowing and worked on some levels - with a specific part of it, my problem is with the revelation that evil in the world exists only if the DO does, and that is why he had to be sealed, or free will would vanish. I was fine with him being sealed for a reason that actually made sense. Rand's state of mind has nothing to do with that. He decided in VoG not to wipe the world out, being offered oblivion again was redundant, he already made that choice when he rediscovered LOVE, something the DO and Moridin knew not of. His struggle with becoming like Moridin ended on Dragonmount, not the Pit of Doom. Tossing in the free free will thing was a clumsy attempt to raise the stakes of the confrontation. It would still be "all about balance" if evil was abstract, like in the entire series up to that point, and the DO evil by description, rather than the essence of. Besides, where is the balance in a Creator who refuses to interfere and a DO who does nothing but interfere to the point that people need to fight him off with no help from the Creator? Wouldn't they both be locked in an infinite struggle with each other if it was really "all about balance?" I can't stress it enough, this wasn't even in Brandon's first draft. He said himself the DO wasn't like this at first. So if everything was leading up to it, why did he suddenly forget when sitting down to pen the first draft of the final confrontation of the entire series?
  6. Turning doesn't belong in a conversation about the nature of the DO, evil, and free will? To answer your question about Creation, no. But if part of that creation made people's choices dependent on outside forces to be possible, they wouldn't be real choices. Free will with strings attached is an oxymoron. That's why this only entered the story when Brandon was told to fix that scene.
  7. So, year of 4 Amyrlins similarity, parallels to Rand who didn't die, a namesake who didn't die, and a foreshadowing of her husband dying. I don't have a problem with her dying as a plot choice, but none of that indicates it very much to me.
  8. Nothing in the final three books prefigured this twist, read the Raleigh thread. Harriet told Brandon to make the final confrontation with the DO more interesting and this, in his next draft, was the result - the two prior books were already written. The DO wasn't like that in his first draft. Why would he be???
  9. I just finished explaining how either of our analogies aren't free will free will at all. A decision that is defined by someone else's terms isn't an example of free will. Think of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. If we accept Brandon's innovation, Moridin was right all along and can be seen much more sympathetically from a philosophical, if not moral, standpoint. But what is morality in such a construct anyways? It's pretty clear this isn't where RJ meant to take things (we weren't "misled" at all).
  10. Remember also, it wasn't like this until Brandon got notes back that he needed to make Rand's confrontation more dramatic, so don't worry too much about it. RJ didn't conceive it and Brandon didn't put much thought into it, so we don't need to either.
  11. Except that nobody has free will if their thoughts depend on outside entities to originate from. If I give you an apple and an orange to choose between and you rely on me to provide food for you to eat, you don't have free will just because you get to choose which fruit to eat of the ones I provide. Your choices are dependent on me, and I shape the terms of your agency. Similarly, if people must rely on the DO or Creator for the ability to have choice, their free will goes only so far as either of those allow. And we know the DO overrides free will when he can. So people's free will is limited in this regard and thus is not free at all. Pieces on a shara board.
  12. This part of Androl's story is what I imagine (do we know?) was left in the notes per RJ for the BT. The linking with Aes Sedai, working with Reds, etc. If Brandon came up with the mind reading part I wouldn't mind, it works with the theme. Despite screwing up the linking, this part of Androl's story worked well (even if it was out of place being left to resolve in AMoL). The part that Brandon went overboard with was Super Androl Hero of The Last Battle. Not only was it cringe-worthy, it ruined Logain completely. If you never read any of the other books you'd never guess Logain even mattered. I really doubt RJ made up the gateway Talent / shortcut around the rules either. That laziness screams Brandon.
  13. Right, that's because we were misled (like Moridin) until the end of the books. That's kinda what that whole post is about. Thanks for catching up. You need both. End of story. Literally. "We were mislead until the end of the books" is another way of saying "Brandon's decision is inconsistent with the rest of the books" which is my point, so thanks for rephrasing it as if it's a new contribution to the discussion. We weren't mislead, however. RJ didn't come up with the new definition of the DO, Brandon did (see Raleigh signing thread). And Brandon didn't worry about how it fit into the world RJ built.
  14. The DO isn't described as "the option of evil." He IS the very concept of evil, and the BWB explicitly states his effect amplifies evil in people the weaker his prison. Right after that very scene he reminds Rand he can make people do evil totally against their will. His existence corrupts free will. Except for when free will depends on it to exist, to then be corrupted by him. Or something. The BWB isn't 100% canon, but I'd be interested in the exact quote you're referencing. And your last line seems to complete miss the distinction between existing and meddling. It's quoted in a different thread about this topic, forget which one. You're misreading the sentence I think.
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