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DRAGONMOUNT

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Randlander123

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  1. I think the Seanchan are abominable. They are by far the worst culture in Rand world. They practice the vilest forms of slavery for both damane and dacovale, employing murder, torture and mutilation. Sure, a miniscule number of slaves rise to considerable power but that is entirely dependent on their patron/owner and can be withdrawn at any time for any or no reason. They have a secret police empowered to torture and kill anyone at will excepting immediate members of the royal family and even they are subject to arrest on the word of the lowliest secret policeman. The Blood and even apparently common soldiers may murder anyone below them - peasants and merchants at least - in the pecking order so long as someone in the hierarchy above them has no objection. Their vaunted justice and tranquil order is belied out of their own mouths with tales of incessant rebellions needing to be put down and endemic assassinations among the aristocracy back home. Their cultural tolerance is a joke - sure they tolerate anyone who doesn't step one toe out of line with their culture in which case they are murdered in the most painful and public way possible to spread terror, as they did on Toman Head in innumerable villages. Of course, if you come across a super tolerant Seanchan like Egeanin, they just beat and humiliate you for being ignorant of their norms - unless you resist, of course, which brings us back to painful and public death. Most of the Randland societies are more or less awful - based as they are on medieval style aristocratic priivilege - but the Seanchan are almost Nazi in their criminality.
  2. The most admirable woman to me is Verin. She has her quota of AS arrogance but it's the lowest by far. Her infiltration of and exposure of the BA is epic in it's scope and dedication. Second is Moraine but only after she swears to obey Rand. Up to that point, all her pleas for him to let her guide him were really just hissy fits because he wouldn't take her orders and do as he was told. Once she realized she couldn't make him her good little puppy and gave the oath to placate him, she really did start to try to help and not control him. Even though that was very hard for her. Third was Birgitta because, again, though she had her share of female chauvinism, it was much less that most and she didn't indulge in nearly as much drama and pettiness as most of the other major female characters did. Fourth, Nynaeve after she broke her block and could finally stop being such a 24 carat gold plated harridan 24/7. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of residual bitchiness left but it dialed back considerably. And even at her worst, it was made plain in her POV's that she did genuinely care for her friends and the world at large - unlike some others (cough*egwene*cough). Fifth is Min - mostly because of her wholehearted, selfless love for Rand which neither Elayne or Avi share to anywhere near the same extent. She also has one of my favorite scenes when she tells Cadsuane and the others - Hey, how about trying to help Rand instead of controlling and manipulating him? Sixth - and this will surprise some considering my comment above and especially if you've read some of my other posts - is Egwene. But only when she is a damane and a prisoner in the tower - under duress she is quite simply magnificent and no one anywhere in the books come close to matching her courage. The rest of the time she's mostly utterly vile- a lying, cheating, power hungry megalomaniac willing to do almost anything to get what she wants - YMMV, of course
  3. Just angry with the womens (har) of the story:) If you don't consider them arrogant and hypocritical - what do you consider arrogant and hypocritical? Truly, I do understand the basis of the arrogance and sexism considering the 3000 years of the taint and the brush tarring even men who can't channel and women being the sole safe users of magic for the same time, giving them the ultimate hold on power and that spilling over even to non channeling women. I do get it. It's just the sheer unrelenting repetitiveness on every single womens POV in this regard gets very old. It would have been nice if even one or two of the main female characters (the only POV's we consistently get to see) had grown and changed a bit. Nynaeve does a little bit but none of the others do in regard to their arrogance or sexism. My charge of shortsighted provincial stupidity actually applies to everybody, man or woman, despite nearly all the major characters saying that only fools expect strangers to not follow their own customs. Everyone is idiotic in that regard. But let me add fuel to the fire. The wonder girls are extreme ingrates also. Look at how many times they are saved by the guys and how long does their gratitude last? Usually about five seconds and they are right back to regarding the guys as irresponsible retarded boys. And their POV's always make it plain that they are absolutely furious that they feel they should be grateful and would almost rather have died or whatever rather than be beholden to a man.
  4. Really? Serious question - are you joking? No, none of the men hate women with the exception of the mentioned riverboat captain and all the men respect (or fear) all the women whether channeler or no. Of course, this only applies to men on the side of the light - all male darkfriends seem to hate and wish to harm women - that's one easy way to identify darkfriends. But there is not a woman, light or dark, in the books that has more than a shred of respect for any man and not one who has even that shred for men in general. Name me one passage in 14 books that any women thinking about or talking to a man does not precede or follow that without fool man, idiot man, stupid man or some other denigrating comment? The men may think - gee, women sure are strange and mysterious and I'll just never understand them but they are almost never insulting and contemptuous the way the women are even to the men they supposedly love. Think about it - virtually every time one of the main character women think about the man they love, it's almost always along the lines of how dare he this and how dare he that and how dare he make me love him and it's all his fault, stupid man! With only a very few exceptions, every female character is arrogant, hypocritical, rather stupid in their narrow provincial shortsightedness and just .... petty.
  5. It always amazes me how people talk about how Egwene grows as a character. How, exactly? She starts of as a spoiled arrogant hypocritical brat willing to tell any lie and to cheat to get what she wants while rationalizing it with a "I want to learn, I want to learn" mantra. Her only saving grace, which I would be the first to admit, is her physical courage. The only change by the end is that the AS, having gone totally insane, have made her Amyrlin with her official policy of "Do as I say, not as I do".
  6. If I can only pick one - has to be Egwene. Very close behind her are Gawyn, Fail and Perrin. My biggest regret with the conclusion was that Fail and Perrin didn't bite it, too.
  7. The one change I would make? I'd rewrite every female character so that every single one wasn't an insanely shrewish man hating harpy. I remember the first time I read the passage where Nynaeve was astounded to find the riverboat captain who sincerely didn't like women. My immediate thought was "Why does any man on this world like any woman?" given the way that every woman regards every single man - even the ones she supposedly loves - as a contemptible incompetent retard incapable of the smallest thing without direct and minute female supervision.
  8. Gawyn's chief problem was that he was a moron. Who but a moron would fall in love with Egwene? Unless of course you regard true love as being treated like a retarded servant. Of course, it probably didn't help that he'd been treated as such by everyone for his entire life despite being a prince. From the very first scene when Rand climbs the wall, he's bullied and bossed by his younger sister -who as far as they know is several decades away from being Queen - to the WT where that sister and the woman he has inexplicably fallen in love with are constantly telling him to mind his own damned business whenever he expresses any concern for them and absolutely refuse to tell him anything to alleviate his worry. They don't even deigned to tell him soothing lies. When he basically secures Elaida's revolt he's rewarded with disdain and a plot to murder him. After nearly going out of his mind with fear and worry, he rescues his great love and saves her life. Does she sit down with him for fifteen minutes and say "Gawyn, I love you and trust you but I wish you hadn't done that. Let me tell you what I know, what I think, what I plan and what I hope you'll do for me." Instead, she basically tells him that if he really loved her he'd shut up and do as he's told - and if he can't do that, to get the hell out. Which he does, momentarily igniting the hope that at least one man in this world is about to grow a pair. Alas, he soon decides that he must be the totally subservient one or he will never be happy and goes crawling back. His irrational hatred of Rand is just another sign of his idiocy. When a total stranger tells him a rumor that Rand killed his mother he simply won't let it go even after several people - including his loving sister and great love Egwene - tell him it's not true. As badass as he inexplicably is with a sword, he'd be truly dangerous if he had two brain cells to rub together.
  9. It has been well broken down elsewhere but Cads took the only option available to her after a very careful study of Rand and the situation. Old post below: In fact we know she did a ton of research on Rand and tested his character and sanity in their first meeting. She fell on a course of action based on the results that the WOs advocated as well. Here decision on how to proceed was absolutely correct: After how he was treated by other AS there was no other course of action she could have taken. He would have been distrustful of anything else. It should be noted that Moiraine told Eggy and AVi that this was exactly what Rand needed. Towards the end the deterioration of things was mainly do to Rand's psychological darkness, he saw not only Cads but everyone in the worst possible light. The reality is she saved his life multiple times, she backed him to the hilt/executed a perfect defense at the cleansing, and she out of all the AS swore to do what was best for him, not herself or the WT. Compared to all of that calling him "boy"(often when he is acting like a child) is hardly an issue. It may have taken a lucky stroke at the end but Rand himself flat out states she took the correct course: She doesn't care for titles, she hates politicking, and she never suffers fools. It's part of the reason the WO's respect her so much. She keeps her word and always works towards Rand's benefit(a driving piece of her character is trying to better those around her and we see her show compassion on a regular basis). Despite that all many fans seem to care about is "but ZOMFG she was a big meanie to the Dragon Reborn!" "Exaggerated a wee bit" doesn't even begin to properly characterize the op's opinion. There can be no realistic discussion on the topic when one side starts from such a place. Agreed. 'Come on, dude, one of the major criticisms of WOT is that all the female characters are variations on one uber character.' Nope... nope. Do you seriously think that Nyneave has the same personality as Egwene? Or Tylin? Or Elaida? Or Greandal? Or Mistress al'Vere? Do you think ANY of those characters have the same personality? What about Setalle Anan? 'you are an unconventionally wise man, Matrim Cauthon.' She says that to Mat. WHABAM! See, women are not always telling the men that they are stupid. You are off base! They do all have the same personality in regard to men - contemptuous and dismissive. For every example of grudging compliment or reluctantly offered shortlived gratitude or half hearted begrudged apology, there are a thousand "manstupid woolheaded fool" examples - either thought or said outright. It's not even that every woman has the attitude - it's the utter relentlessness of it that gripes me. Right, right right. Very good. I'm probably a LITTLE more tolerant of Egwene than you are but thats fine. You're right, we could go on all day naming female characters that are just fine. [removed]
  10. No, they're not. Especially not the BDSM part - just because a few people get spanked, doesn't mean everyone is into BDSM. If a child is spanked, would you say the child is into BDSM? While they may all display a number of faults, it's simply not fair and not accurate to tar them all with the same brush like this. Yes, they are. Into S&M, that is. Every time a novice/accepted/even a sister is punished for anything it always seems to involve corporal punishment of some type, no matter what else is assigned,such as onerous chores or isolation or even exile. Admittedly they are most of them much more heavily into discipline and sadism than bondage or masochism. Well, it works for me. Again, maybe you should look up what BDSM actually means. If anything, a girl's time in the Tower is more likely to be one of heavy to industrial strength lesbianism than anything BDSM related. Also, they do not swear an Oath against lying, they swear one against not speaking the truth. And they do speak the truth - phrased misleadingly, perhaps, but they abide by the letter of their Oaths. And physically punishing someone is not the same as using a weapon. Nor do we see them complain about others using these tricks against them - they are hardly hypocritical. It's true that the Oaths don't really serve any useful purpose, and have helped the AS to lose their way, but just because they are a bad thing doesn't mean that any term for a bad thing can be used to describe them. To speak no word that is not true is a prohibition against lying and intentionally manipulating words to make someone believe a lie is lying by any rational sense of morality. Therefore they are both untruthful and liars. Except that while Tower law dictates all objects of the Power rightfully belong to the Tower, this is not an edict they attempt to enforce. It's a paper claim. When do we ever see them trying to enforce Tower law on those who are not either sworn to the Tower or on the Tower's land? Except that they do whenever they can get away with it. Look at how Moraine basically robbed the Aiel at Rhuidean - using they ignorance and the awe they still felt at that time to appropriate the objects. And not just angreal and such. The Aes Sedai feel they have the right to arrest and punish anyone who pretends to be Aes Sedai and they attest to this several times themselves. They also feel that channeling is exclusively their property and that even wilders who have successfully weathered learning on their own had better not channel too openly. Just exactly where does this authority come from - other than there own arrogant presumption. This is simply not true. Egwene is ambitious, but she has goals far bigger than herself and her own power. She does end up sacrificing herself. Due to the nature of her position, she has to win the support and the obedience of others in the Tower, to convince them to follow her in a way she wouldn't have had to under normal circumstances. She had to reunite the Tower. She shows no interest in "absolute power" as an end in itself, she intends ot use the power she obtains as a means to an end. She's a megalomaniac. I never said she's evil or cowardly or lazy. Her base, that she always comes back to no matter what temporary insecurity, hiccup or setback pops ups, is her unshakeable belief that she always knows best, she is always basically right whatever her desire and everyone should be doing exactly as she thinks they should do. Of course she would deny she wants absolute power, which is why she sublimates it into a desire to make the Tower itself as the strongest power in the world. But since she is the rightful ruler of the Tower - well you do the math. She's eighteen. How is that not pyschopathy? Well, up until the Semi incident it was working. She's hardly stupid. It's worth noting that she uses many different ways of dealing with people, and tailors her methods to the person in question. Would Rand have followed her advice if she had offered him trust and compassion? No. He saw AS and thought them out to manipulate him. So Cadsuane swore she wouldn't put the Tower's interests ahead of his own, and was bluntly critical of his mistakes. She did not display the weaknesses that might have led him to steamroller her, but nor did she give the impression of a false friend trying to manipulate him for her own ends. Instead, she was a trusted advisor, someone to be listened to and respected, someone who had his back and who saved his life more than once, but not someone who ever tried to control him, overtly or otherwise. She's not without her flaws, but she still stands as a great example of what an AS should be. Except that it wasn't working. The only reason Rand kept her around was because of Min's viewing. He saw her as being out to manipulate him because she was, making her oath a big fat lie. Now it wouldn't have been a lie if she'd said she'd do what she considers his best interests - because she considers controlling him as his best interests. She is absolutely no different than any other AS in this. The only time I can even recall her giving Rand any helpful or valid advice was in Tear and even then she delivered it in the most insulting, humiliating way possible. Do you believe that the best way to treat abuse victims is to slap them until they snap out of it? Her so-called success in turning Rand back to the light had absolutely nothing to do with her and her plan except thru blind, dumb luck. She didn't bring Tam in to provide any kind of catharsis but to try to manipulate and control Rand. When he snapped, he might well have destroyed the world because of her blundering. Only his upbringing from Tam, his sense of duty and the love he felt for those he cared about brought him back from the brink. Cadsuane had zero to do with that. Your hyperbole does your argument no favours. Dude, it's the internet. The home of Hyperbole :)
  11. Come on, dude, one of the major criticisms of WOT is that all the female characters are variations on one uber character. If I'm so off base, take up my challenge and point me to a single POV passage where a women is thinking about men in general or a man in particular and doesn't ruminate at some point in the passage about how stupid they/he are/is? Personally, I've never been able to decide if RJ was a rabid feminist who thought all men were scum or a rabid sexist who took the empowerment of women to a ridiculous negative extreme. Point me to one female who doesn't think her husband, father, boyfriend, lover, etc., let alone a stranger, isn't a moron who requires her close supervision even though she may consider him a loveable idiot and may take offence if another woman calls him stupid. Even Min, the most sympathetic female in the whole series who absolutely does love Rand, spends half her time calling him stupid, woolhead, etc. Of course, all the women aren't terrible all the time. As I pointed out, even Egwene is awesome when she's being tortured by the Seanchan and Elaida. But I absolutely stand by my opinion that she's a powermad egomaniac. I never understood why rand ever even liked her, let alone thought he loved her. Think back to Eye. She's introduced as a girl 2 years younger than he who makes him feel uncomfortable and vaguely guilty and has apparently dedicated her life to keeping him in his proper place on the straight and narrow as she sees it and keeping him from getting a swelled head - though what a poor shepherd boy is going to be arrogant about is a mystery to me. Throughout the entire series, she spends the majority of her time wondering what stupid thing he's done, is doing or is planning to do without her guidance and castigating him for it. As for Nynaeve, when I first read the series I absolutely hated her with a passion. Come to think of it, the first few books the first time around I absolutely loved Egwene. But now I quite like Nyneave because as you say, as infuriating as she can be, she does genuinely care for people. Egwene, on the other hand, I think would sacrifice anyone for the good of the White Tower which she conflates with the good of the world and so justifies anything that increases the power of the Tower. Getting late - I'll come back later.
  12. I'm probably on my dozenth relisten (Audible) of the series and realize that as much as I love the series, I'm coming to hate most of the characters - particularly the women. I expect to dislike and hate the baddies but it applies equally to the light characters. There are like five characters I don't utterly despise - Rand, Mat, Moraine, Min and Verin. Let's start with the women. How can anyone like any of them or think them "strong" as if that word excuses their appalling personal characteristics. They are all shown as arrogant, shrewish, self centered, hypocritical, petty, vain, cruel bullies heavily into BDSM. Their base emotion towards everyone else seems to be contempt. Everyone they meet is assumed to be an idiot who needs to be bullied and bludgeoned onto the right path - unless, course of, they instantly fall into the properly obsequious attitude in which case they will be treated with the contempt due any lickspittle. This applies not only to men - for whom every women appears to hold both utter and bottomless contempt - but to every other women as well including their so called friends. As to their feelings about men - can anyone point me to a single POV passage in 14 books where a woman thinking about a man doesn't reflect on how stupid men are in general and what a moron the particular man she's contemplating is? Even when she's supposedly thinking about how much she loves said man! The Aes Sedai are the worst, of course. The oaths they swear against lying and using the Power as a weapon except in self defense are a hypocritical farce. They lie - through omission, misinformation and misdirection - so often that there are folk sayings against believing a word they say. They constantly use the Power to physically punish people for doing something they don't like or saying something they don't like or for not cringing sufficiently when they are given a "look". Their training in the tower seems to mainly consist of instilling overweening arrogance, an unfailing sense of infallibility, a sense of entitlement and a taste for BDSM games in the initiates. The extortion racket they run to support themselves seems to have convinced them that Tower law supersedes all other and gives them authority over all other channellers and objects of magic no matter what land they reside in as well as the right to tell anyone, noble or peasant, what to do. They all regard anyone not a "servant of all" as dirt and most treat everyone they meet exactly as that. The Wise Ones and Windfinders share most or all of these traits, too. I've had a hard time deciding which female character I loathe the most - Egwene or Cadsuane. Egwene wants exactly the same things that Elaida wants - unquestioning, instantaneous, blind obedience, White tower rule of the world (under her absolute rule of the Tower, of course), and Rand on a leash as her trained attack dog without any stupid plans of his own. The chief difference between them is that while both are megalomaniacs, Elaida wants both the absolute power and worship while Egwene simply wants absolute power while pretending to be first among equals. Cadsuane I hate because she is so stupid. Her stated purpose is to make Rand laugh and cry again - in other words to reclaim humanity. Her brilliant plan? Offer him a little sympathy, a bit of respect, a modicum of trust and maybe a smidgen of gratitude for the sacrifice of his life? Why, no! I'll berate and belittle, embarrass and humiliate, insult, manipulate and deride him and occasionally physically assault him. In public whenever possible. And I'll always derisively call him "boy" rather than use his name or title. Yeah, that'll restore his humanity and help him win Tarmon Gaidon. At the end of the day, I hate Egwene the most. Probably because she does have one massively admirable quality when under duress - her sheer, almost Hitlerian will. Which is also her most abominable trait when not under duress. As to the men, what can you say, at least in regard to their interactions with women? Pathetic, stupid and completely petrified of all women unless they are a darkfriend, in which case they are usually wannabe serial murderers/rapists. There's not a single man who gets more than the sheerest shred of respect from any women. Think of all the male characters, including the main ones, who have backed up in fear just because some women gave him a hard look. Think about how the women always think of the men as mentioned above. Now think of how the men think of women - almost always "boy, those women sure are unknowable and mysterious but I've got to protect them even though they tell me every single time that I'm an idiot and they don't need my damned protection no matter how many times I do save them". My biggest question is why every single good guy male in this universe feels compelled to be willing to lay down his life for every woman and bigger yet, why isn't every dude gay? As to the male character who I hate most? Easy - Perrin. He was easily my favorite character in Eye but was totally ruined by his obsession with Fail. He went from the everyman determined to do what he could to save the world even though he had no special powers to whiny wolfboy (even though any other guy would be "Wow, cool! I can talk to wolves!") to completely whipped scumbag willing to sell the world to the DO for Fail. What a douche he became although he was working to redeem himself in Memory. Well, enough ranting. And don't worry - got my flame suit on:)
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