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Everything posted by PhantomSoul

  1. The Wheel of Time turns as history repeats itself - you know, that whole passage about memory fading to legend, legend fading to myth, and myth being forgotten before it all happens again? The one that every book starts with? The Dragon is reborn whenever he is needed by the pattern to restore balance. Last time it was LTT; this time it was Rand. The actual person is less significant than the greater role the person needs to fulfill to preserve the pattern. Same goes for other legendary roles, like the Gambler (Mat), Jain Farstrider (Noal), and Birgitte. You could even claim this for the shadow - how many times was Moridin resurrected to be Nae'blis, just within this story? The Dark One cannot be destroyed, as doing so is no better than the Dark One himself, and would probably destroy the pattern at the opposite extreme. Rather, the world (pattern) is about balance, and the fate of any one person is his/her ability to choose. For that, you must have both light and shadow. Without that ability to choose, people are mere puppets, enslaved by the lack of any alternatives to choose from, where there can be no pattern.
  2. I liked Androl, and in the end he was one of my favorite characters. Maybe it's because he was a BS creation - he did kind of seem to have a much more contemporary personality, now that it's mentioned. I really do wish there was more on him... That being said, I have to admit that I didn't really see that coming. I always thought Logain would rise to be the hero of the Asha'man and Black Tower...
  3. I think my favorite character was Perrin. He grew from kind of like the outcast kid in the group into the Lord of the Two Rivers, if not king of resurrected Manetheren, depending on what Faile might have helped him get from Elayne, though I suppose we'll never know. I also liked Androl, who despite being introduced as a physical weakling, was able to develop strength from alternate unexpected resources and defeat Taim to save the Black Tower. I really wish there was more on him... The most respected character has got to be Tam. A real, every-day, down-home hero who continues to remind us throughout the series that its author is about as American as it gets, Tam really is about as close to the perfect father that just about anyone would want. Also, Gaul, and the Aiel as a whole. Gaul stands out in particular because of how he bonded with Perrin and overwhelming loyalty that most of us couldn't even dream of, but the Aiel in general are very respectable. Our world could definitely use a little ji'e'toh. The funniest character has got to be Mat. His soldier's potty mouth, alone, had me howling many times, not to mention all the other rather unconventional ways he had to go about just about anything. Also, Nynaeve for her temper and Siuan for her unabashed grittiness, despite being the Amyrlin Seat, and even after. Who here hasn't at least chucked at all the passages describing Siuan trying to ride a horse? I think RJ must have amused even himself with that one...
  4. The ending doesn't exist; it is merely an ending. The very end of the story emphasizes this unmistakably, for there are no beginnings nor endings to the turning of the wheel. There's nothing further to explain; it is whatever you make of it.
  5. Rand totally escaped in Moridin's body. The references to being pain-free and use of his other hand suggest that. Cadsuane also knew. What's less clear to me is, did this trap Moridin into continuing the existence that he was oh so desperately trying to end, or did it allow the death he'd been wanting via Rand's old body? But maybe even more importantly, does it matter? Somewhere near the end, Rand discovers that the fate of man is the ability to choose, because without that, he is a mere puppet. Does that not imply the ending is whatever you want it to be? It's not the ending; it's an ending, for there are no beginnings nor endings to the Wheel of Time.
  6. How was Olver able to blow the horn? How about pure adrenalin? That poor kid was terrified... Balefire has weird and unpredictable effects on the pattern. Cutting someone out of the pattern may undo some of their recent actions, but it doesn't necessarily undo things that may have happened as a side effect to those actions. Take, for instance, when Rahvin killed Mat, Mat's death unlinked him from the horn. Then when Rand cut Rahvin out of the pattern with Balefire, it was soon enough to "unkill" Mat, but it didn't restore Mat's severance from the horn. The horn is a strange artifact (is it ter'angreal?) whose workings aren't completely understood, but apparently a severed link by death cannot be undone, even by balefire causing you to be brought back to life.
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