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  1. It's that very "innocence" that I'm worried might sink the show. People who are trying to compare this to Game of Thrones are seriously delusional. Many people joined the GoT band wagon only because of the sex and brutal violence. I'm not in any way demeaning the actual content of the show (and books), but it's a different audience that will appreciate the almost-Romantic vision of Jordan's pre-industrialized world. I think many of those people were tricked into liking a fantasy series (perhaps for the first time). The brilliance of WoT lies in foregoing cheap "jump scares" and "overly mature themes" in favor of creating a living, breathing alt-reality with amazing new rules ... and then proceeds to show us how heroes/villains can cleverly break (or bend) those rules. For this reason, I feel it's more Harry Potter than GoT. I'm hoping that the show succeeds without sinking to artificially-darkening the series.
  2. For me I was 19 and the first book I waited on was Crown of Swords. I remember when my best friend compelled me to read the first book, and I remember not being that thrilled with the story at first. Even with the Winternight action, I still wasn't hooked, and I wondered why my friend had led me astray in this Lord of the Rings ripoff. Then they arrived at Baerlon, which kinda felt like Bree... compounding my frustration. Then they arrive at Shadar Logoth, and the fellowship is forced to split up... and THAT was when the story finally clicked with me. I was suddenly engulfed in the fantasy storytelling genius of RJ. The inner monologues of each of the characters drew me in, and even if I didn't like some of the characters, I FELT like I understood where they were coming from. When he described Nynaeve's braid-pulling and growing-frustration with the Aes Sedai, I felt like I was right there experiencing it with her! Anyway, I was just curious what everyone else's entry point into the series was. For me, this series has been a touchstone with my teenage years. So much has happened in my life between when I started to read the series, and when I finally finished it that it's refreshing to go back to a place before my life got complicated. I know it sounds corny, but the characters became like long-lost friends that I would rediscover every time a new book was released. For 15 years I had that feeling that I was only a few months away from learning new things about my "friends". So it's not hyperbole to say that Jordan's death hurt me more than any other death I had experienced in my actual lifetime. I was glad that Sanderson took up the mantle and did a passable job of finishing the story. But am I alone in the feeling the sense of loss when finishing AMoL?
  3. I don't know, i feel like you're giving Gawyn's character WAY too much credit. He's as two-dimensional as they come, and his thinking is likewise obtuse. Jordan makes it quite clear that Gawyn's sole motivation for his hatred of Rand was the murder of Morgase. He didn't even have the wit to show jealousy over his "beloved's" ex-boyfriend. At least THAT would be a normal human motivation. I think you're onto something, though, concerning the "need to be a hero" syndrome though. But I think you can tie that back to how he was raised, as well. He was born and raised to respond to duty before desire. When his mother died he reacted not as a grieving son, but to the personal failure that needs to be avenged. He was unable to protect his mother, so he takes it out on Rand. He was unable to protect his sister, so he takes it out on Siuan's leadership. Egwene won't let him protect her, so he throws his life away (much like Lan wanted to do before he met Nynaeve, actually). He has a NEED to be a hero, but I don't think it's what he wants. It's the only thing he knows. He needs a cause, because when you peel away his superficial layers, you find nothing beneath.
  4. Thanks, The Don, for asking this question that's been on my mind as well. And thanks, Sabio, for providing a plausible reason. I like the idea of the DO giving them each a "crash course" the best. For someone that can put souls into new bodies, it probably isn't too much of a stretch to add a "Rosetta Stone"-type of transference into the mix.
  5. I know he's everyone's least favorite character. I'm not immune to this. However, rather than focusing on the like/dislike of the character, I starting thinking about Gawyn's motivations, and the "why" he is what he is. Psychoanalyzing him was more interesting than I expected it to be. It seems to me that Gawyn grew up without a sense of self. He was told from birth that his life wasn't as important as the life of his sister. Even his mother, in her secret thoughts, worries way more about the safety of her daughter than her son. I think that he took this lesson to heart. I think his feelings towards Egwene was a subconscious rebellion against the path that he'd been forced to follow (and maybe even a resentment of his mother's favoritism). He needed a reason to rebel, and Egwene presented a perfect target. However, this rebellion can only progress so far. His whole life was dedicated to the protection of his sister. That's all he knows. But when he finds that Egwene returns his "feelings", he transfers his dedication from Elayne to Egwene. But Egwene never needed/wanted his protection. Gareth Bryne tries to teach him this lesson when they meet again at Egwene's camp, but Gawyn never really was able to overcome the "my life before hers" mentality that was instilled in him at birth. I don't believe his desire for Egwene was ever real (nor hers for him, to be honest). Gawyn is incapable of love, because he doesn't know how to appreciate/love himself. His only sense of worth was in how well he can keep someone else from dying. Gawyn is a truly tragic character. But at the same time he's perhaps the greatest example in the WoT books of the point that Jordan hammered home again and again: real life seldom reflects the story books. Handsome prince meets pretty village girl and they live happily ever after. In the story books, every one of Gawyn's decisions would be the right one, and his brother's "black and white" view of the world would prove his downfall. Conclusion: Gawyn suffers from mommy issues.
  6. Yeah, the Sharans are another victim of "imagine what RJ could've done with them had he lived" syndrome. There are many prequel possibilities here. I think (now that the cat is outta the bag with how the Last Battle turns out) RJ could have made a book apiece for the Forsaken and we would've eaten it up! I mean, i think there's a fair number of Origin Stories that hadn't been explored fully.
  7. Ha! I love "subtle top notes of horniness"! I think that's the newest Axe body scent. And I agree wholeheartedly on Perrirn. On that note, though, I kind of liked Berelain's character throughout. I'm sure I'm again in the minority here. She was such a professional when needed, but her alter-ego Super Whore was interesting, and gave her character a much-needed boost. Otherwise she becomes "just another Randite". I'd like to add Logain to the category of "couldn't stand him at first, but warmed on him later on".
  8. I do agree that the resolution of the Seanchan was unsatisfying. Destroying them entirely, or seeing the cracks in the facade would have been at least something. But for Tuon to walk away from that initial meeting with Rand really disappointed me. I really wanted to like her, since Mat's relationship with her kind of started to humanize her. There's being "strong" and then there's being "stubborn". She knows the lie, and she perpetuates it because she sees it as her claim to power. As for the post above written by therealElyas, I'm not sure if you're joking or not. But I think you can tell a lot about a person who believes that "savage beatings to ALL the female protagonists" is warranted or remotely funny. I think we can all agree that there are so many loose ends, and so many interesting ideas that are not fully fleshed out due to RJ's death: I also would have liked to see some way to combine the talents of all three Ta'veren at the same time in The Last Battle. I know that it would have just been fan pandering, but the three Emond's Fielders hadn't been altogether since the first book. I would have liked to see Cadsuane die. She was a bully, pure and simple. I agree that Rand was getting too big for his britches, but how would any of us react if we were told that we had to be the savior by probably being a martyr? Would have liked to have time for Moiraine to make the rounds, reuniting with all the people's lives that she touched. I'd read that book. Gawyn's life and death... all of it so pointless. He had real potential to be an interesting character, and yet fails each and every time. Yeah, that's more than the "one thing that you'd change" as was presented by OP, but I just couldn't help myself!
  9. Sabio, I agree with you completely! I'm just proposing that if the White Tower attacks the Seanchan directly, and the WT has no allies, then I think this hands the Seanchan a win. This windoesn't violate the Dragon's Peace since they were not the aggressors. If the Seanchan can eliminate the WT, and then wipeout the Black Tower in a quick guerilla-strike, who would stand toe-to-toe against them? Rand had a hard enough time uniting the nations against the Dark One, and he was the freaking Dragon Reborn? I fully expect Tuon to keep the Dragon's Peace (especially with the help of Mat), but who's to say what their offspring will do? "The great battle done,but the world not done with battle."
  10. Okay, Devil's Advocate here: Although I agree with all of your points, I can see a way forward towards the apocalyptic future that Aviendha saw. Let me take you on a hypothetical journey: The new Amyrlin (with Egwene dead) screws up complete unification with the Black Tower. The White Tower (without the support of the Black Tower) goes to war with the Seanchan territories. This is more-than-likely, since many Aes Sedai were still damane captives of the Seanchan after The Last Battle. The Seanchan ultimately win this war since they have channellers that can actually channel without provocation, a huge standing army, and air superiority. Now they have several hundred (or thousand) more damane, and add Tar Valon to their territories. Possible rebellions within the new Seanchan territories are put down hard, like they've always been. Plus, a good majority of the population is quite content to live in the newly prosperous and crime-free lands. After the destruction of the White Tower, Randland sees several hundred years of peace while secretly New Seandar prepares for a New Corenne. The Seanchan, taking a lesson from Perrin, hit the Black Tower with a forkroot gambit. They seed the clouds with forkroot and unleash a rain storm on the Black Tower... which goes into the drinking water. The Black Tower, secure in their own invincibility, never sees the threat of a non-channeling army, and is utterly destroyed before they realize it. Leaving only a handful of trained male channelers to defend the rest of Randland. And the rest is alt-history ?
  11. Hi WOT1402, sorry, i was responding to the OP, not to your post. I agree that the Seanchan were handled all wrong at the end, and it aggravated me no end to see Rand agree to it. If I were a conspiratorial fan, this pact might have been done on purpose to leave room for Aviendha's ter'angreal viewing to become a reality in the future? The Seanchan were villains that I loved to hate. The Foresaken and Black Ajah were outright evil, and they made no excuses. The Seanchan, however, were evil and did evil things, but the way they were written was just amazing. I wouldn't take them out of the books if I could! They have a believable history, and one that's gets more incredible the more you think about it. Talk about the snowball effect: Artur captures the false dragon Amalasan He has to recapture him within the walls of the White Tower, and instead of gratitude from the Amyrlin Bohnwhin, he's treated as an invader and told to leave Shortly after, three nations attempt to invade Artur's nation of Shandalle. All of them are repelled and defeated by the Hawkwing. But it's strongly implied that the Amyrlin is behind this. Several other personal tragedies follow Artur (all possibly laid at the hands of Bonwhin) Artur conquers all of Randland with the exception of the Aiel Waste, and (under the influence of Ishamael-in-disguise) goes to war with the White Tower. Artur sends his son, Luthair, across the Aryth Ocean to conquer the distant lands there. Luthair knew only mistrust and hatred of Aes Sedai from his father, and his new empire would reflect that Absolutely incredible. And yet believable motivations make it feel real to the reader.
  12. Interesting post, but I'm confused on if you're asking what you'd change about Randland or about the books? If you're talking about the books, I couldn't disagree with you more. You NEED villains. And a villain that makes you vocal while reading about them for the first time, is a win. I remember enjoying my first read of the WoT, but it wasn't until we finally meet the Seanchan that I had a "holy cr*p" moment! This was something new and surprising and downright evil. The fact that they have a rational justification for treating people like animals makes it that much more despicable to me. And also that much more enjoyable to watch them fail. If I could change one thing about the books, however, it would be pacing. After Lord of Chaos, the series seems to have become a little wordy. I enjoy backstory as much as anybody, but Jordan started adding new names at astonishing rates. There were times when I was sure that I was supposed to care... but didn't; just because I couldn't remember why the person we're reading about was important in any meaningful way.
  13. I hear ya, Sabio, and I can definitely see where you're coming from. She didn't experience the same type of growth as did the other main characters. I guess I just view it differently. For me, Egwene is the embodiment of women empowerment that WoT strived for. I think her character arc beautifully portrayed a girl who was destined to lead from the very beginning. Unlike the boys who began the journey with her, she never played the "reluctant hero" archetype. She was subservient only to those whom she deemed worthy of it. I think the biggest lesson she learned was from the Aiel when they schooled her in the "do what you want, and pay for it" philosophy. Maybe the biggest reason I'm able to give her a pass, is that I really admire her thirst for knowledge. In Randland, that thirst could have taken a very dark turn, since it seemed to be the downfall of many of the Forsaken. But in the end, she winds up... doing what she wants, and paying for it. Not to sound like an Egwene fanboy, but out of all the available candidates, I'm voting for her to be the newest addition to the Heroes of the Horn.
  14. Ha! Well, I can see Gawyn not working for someone, but Egwene is pretty amazing once she hits Salidar. She got me through the brooding Rand, boring Perrin and emasculating Mat story lines. At some point I realized that I was looking ahead to see when we'd get an Egwene update, and seeing how she was going to put the idiotic Aes Sedai in their respective places. ?
  15. So, I was rereading EotW (for what seems like the hundredth time), and it occurs to me that many of the characters that were introduced to us throughout the series undergo such great character development as to be unrecognizable from their roots. Am I the only one who couldn't stand Mat in the first couple of books, and then suddenly he becomes a favorite? Same thing for me with Egwene until MUCH later. Whereas, Rand and Perrin undergo a reverse metamorphosis for me (going from favorite to... not-so-much). Here's my incomplete list. Any other ideas? Anyone flat out disagree with me? LIKE -> DISLIKE Rand Perrin Gawyn Siuan DISLIKE -> LIKE Mat Egwene Galad Thom Moiraine DISLIKE -> LIKE -> DISLIKE Tuon
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