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About ajfurst

  • Birthday 01/01/1
  1. The ones that I expect to happen that will annoy me. - It's not clear to all the AS and Egwene that Rand deftly manipulated her into doing exactly what he wanted. - And following on from that, she dances away from publicly having to admit Rand was right and she was wrong about the Seals. The ones that will probably happen that would annoy me. - No '2nd tier' character dies - one of Elayne, Egwene, Nynaeve, Moraine (permanently), Avi, Min, Faile, Suian, Gawyn, Galad, Fortuona, Loial kicks the bucket. Now I like a few of these, but hello Last Battle. - And even more if AT LEAST two '3rd tier' characters don't die - Amys, Melaine, Bair, Sorilea, Rhuarc, Lan, Cadsuane, Logain, Tam, Leanne, Bashere, Bryne, Ituralde, Gaul, Bain, Chiad. It's the Last Battle, time for someone other than red-shirts to die.
  2. I think #24 the imperfections are not the obvious ones cured by technology, but more subtle - complacency, arrogance against those who would question the status quo that the AOL is the pinnacle and there is almost nothing left to achieve. The quote is not a bolt out of the blue IMO. We know from Aginor that part of the reason he turned to the Dark is he chaffed under the restrictions that society was at the apex and he should not do research (at the time not the unethical kidnap people and experiment on them sort). I can see the AOL as being much like we've been told Hawkwings time was (without the wars, AS hate and obviously with technology) - great, justice for all, but woe to anyone who goes against this being the best thing since sliced bread, even if it's not for personal gain.
  3. An excellent list! I'll add in Fortouna having an a'dam snapped onto her neck by Avi in front of the Seanchan nobility. This occurring after she finds out the Seanchan Empress can channel and see's it as the way to make the Seanchan agree to release all the damane who want to be released immediately and agree not to take anymore ever. Dire future vision averted. On the Great Captains I agree with Suttree that Bashere has proven himself 'on screen' in APOD. The Great Captain that has always seemed out of place to me is Gareth Bryne. Agelmar and Niall were commanders in the Aiel war and also along the Blight and in the Whitecloak war respectively. Titles earned through large battles there. Bryne wasn't Andoran commander in the Aiel war, so where'd he earn his stripes? The last succession wasn't the battles that Elayne's was. And with Tigraine's marriage to Taringail the Cairhein were at peace before he would have commanded forces against them. And Murandy was such a patch work of unconnected lordlings, a country in name only, they hardly were raising armies to invade Andor. Hopefully in AMOL he can justify his title fighting the Seanchan or the Shadow, as IMO, we haven't seen or heard of anything to indicate he deserves it so far.
  4. That was a great prologue. It feels like 100% Jordan magic. And Casco. Anyone can buy it. Just put in a US billing address, it's not like they need to physically send it out to you :)
  5. Hoozle is right. Just enter a US billing address. Here from Australia I was able to use my Australian issued credit card without problems. I got the ebook, publisher got their money, dragonmount gets their cut, win-win-win in my eyes.
  6. He only got nailed by Toram Riatin because Rand turned his attention to the bubble of evil that appeared and Toram took advantage. Up till that point they were pretty evenly matched. Lan later killed Toram 1v1 in WH but it wasn't completely one sided either, Lan definitely took some hits as well. Rand was toying with Riatin, which is dangerous. Rand wore gloves and was taking the fighting as a game. If anyone tried doing task X wearing gloves, a considerable disadvantage. Only when Rand got distracted did he get hit. Rand was on the back foot (but not yet hit) when distracted by the bubble of evil. However he also had his coat on IIRC. So he's got a less then ideal grip AND restricted movement in comparison to Riatin. If he hadn't needed to hide he was The Dragon Reborn, I think he would have won.
  7. That he destroys the CK in itself isn't an issue. There's an inherent risk as shown with Semirhage that even as Zen Rand he needs to sleep or rest without having to guard his back 24/7 from potential CK thieves. And that the DO won't be defeated by (or just by) the One Power, so he doesn't want to have something that makes him think that's possible. All good. However once he's Zen Rand the problem I have is he could have given the CK one last run then destroyed it. Go to the Blightborder above World's end in Saldaea, send a 20 mile wide, 1 mile high sheet of Fire racing north to burn a massive swath of the Blight. Hop east and repeat. Do this till you reach Tarwin's Gap. Goodbye Blight above the borderlands for a good distance, toasted Shadowspawn. THEN and only then trash CK, return south as Zen Rand and visit Egwene knowing not only are you right in the head now, but you've just bought the world extra time to get it's crap in order. No Balefire (the as bad as Nukes argument), no leaving the CK around to be stolen, no trashing where people live, all upside, no downside. Except for the plot of needing to start the invasion of the borderlands and Caemlyn as soon as it's obvious it's Zen Rand, not dark Rand anymore.
  8. I agree with Elayne - she's still annoying, but not quite so much. In books 1-4 when she was just an Accepted and Daughter-Heir she was my favourite female character. Then as she assumed responsibility she started to exhibit some of the bad behaviour of the Nobles/Aes Sedai in the series. She still does, and I still don't like her character currently, but it did tone in down from her peaks of annoying. Mat - his growth took place earlier, it was across TFOH, LOC and KOD that he accepted the full responsibilities of leadership and caring for the men under his command - without the whining of Perrin or 'woe is me' of Rand. Sure he still likes to gamble and look at women (only for his friends of course now!), but growth doesn't mean they become boring. And I'm loath to agree with your Egwene comment in case it becomes another thread on it, but I agree 100% she's the only character not to have grown as a person, rather then just acquire power, responsibilities and abilities. A better channeler, a better politician and a better dreamer - yes to all. The only one (along with Elayne) yet to have the epiphany/revelation to themselves or others that they've majorly and regularly stuffed things up in the past or not been right about everything.
  9. Showing the AOL too early would have ruined the story. My favourite bit of the whole series (so far) is Rand in Rhuidean going through the glass spheres. The glimpse of the AOL after seeing during and right after the Breaking gave the human faces to the fall of civilisation from the AOL to when the WOT starts with Rand and Tam. It's only after we're all acquainted with and supporting the current characters and by extension their world, can it's fall be truly appreciated in the way intended. Whilst, if he had lived, I would have very much liked a book or books from before the Bore being opened through to the Bore being Sealed and the start of the Breaking, it would have made a key part of the WOT look even more contrived. That being the Forsaken and their uselessness. Any story from the AOL has them winning against the Light, with only a desperate raid lucky enough to capture them all. Knowing about their past successes is one thing, but if we had book(s) of how they outwitted, out fought and just out did the Light, their complete and utter uselessness in the WOT (Demandred pulling off something useful in AMOL the only chance to avoid that in total left) seem even more contrived then these ultra strong, extremely knowledgeable channelers, all at least a couple of hundred years old, getting consistently beaten by kids or young adults does already.
  10. Now I get for plot reasons why the Forsaken couldn't be super smart and logical in the first few books or the TR folk would have been toast before they acquired any power. However by WH or at least KOD, it would have been nice to see a race to see who wins because they are the most intelligent in using their full forces and abilities, not the still on-going who can communicate the least, trust the least and act in the stupidest fashion to let the other side win by 'Not QUITE as dumb as the other side' victory.
  11. If Rand hadn't been so squeamish the sensible thing would have been to dress all Asha'man as Altaran's wander into Ebou Dar like anyone else and let them wreak havoc. Asha'man don't need to wave hands as they throw fire or the like as Aes Sedai do, so they could basically have wandered around pretending to be part of any crowd wondering what the hell is going on, whilst weaving Saidin to blow holes in palaces, barracks and Seanchan patrols and Damane. Unless they started waving their hands over their heads and shouting 'It's me! Attack me', they could have blended in and caused massive chaos. The Damane would have had to shield every male on the street and hold said shields. Which was/is of course impossible. Then once the Seanchan are in chaos bring the full forces in and mop them up. Rand's forces ability to blend in, whilst the damane/sul'dam will always stick out like a sore thumb, has had me at times wanting to throw the books at the wall for the sheer stupidity and lack of any intelligence by Rand or any of his Great Captains on how to beat the Seanchan. Ituralde without Asha'man showed in his Tarabon raids how deadly it could have been. Along with Mat he's my favourite Great Captain, as he's the only one who seems to have any idea beyond a single battle how to actually use your resources in a fashion anyone with any sense and 15 minutes to think could do things with Rand's forces.
  12. Ishamael wasn't completely free all the time. A good 20 year stretch would have allowed some significant defensive building beyond what they've done. Though I blame the Aes Sedai more. Even if they were unwilling to go into the Blight, sending a DECENT number of Aes Sedai to the Borderlands to help defend them whilst they construct defensive positions shouldn't have been too taxing. And help construct them - as Elaida noted when building her palace it doesn't take much strength to bind stone with the Power. The Aes Sedai could have helped make the borderlands a much stronger shield. Since the Trolloc Wars the Aes Sedai have done 9/10's of jack all to help stop the Shadow where it matters in the borderlands.
  13. It is never wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Also, the Seanchan could match those numbers with the damane they have in Ebou Dar. Yes, because jumping into a city in which hundreds of thousands of Seanchan just recently landed is strategic genius. Rand was whipping the Seanchan and Damane until Ebou Dar when the Seanchan were up to 200 - 500 damane and 50 thousand soldiers (all fresh from being sitting around Ebou Dar) against Rand's battle weary remaining < 50 Asha'man and 5000 odd remaining troops. I.e. it took the Seanchan 4 - 10 times odds to force the Asha'man onto the back foot. Rand made many mistakes around Ebou Dar. First and foremost was on deciding to attack Ebou Dar not adjusting his forces for facing a large army rather then hit and run raids. If Rand had sent for reinforcements (another 100 - 150 Asha'man) from the Black Tower AND the 200 strongest Wise Ones (you know the one's that other then 100 odd at Dumai's Wells have been several thousand channelers sitting on their arses doing nothing whilst the world is in peril) plus 30 - 50k of the Aiel spear carriers and he could have easily wiped the Seanchan out. Pair Wise Ones with Asha'man with spear carriers to protect them. A small group of 2 -3 channelers plus 2 - 3 bodyguards. Wise Ones to block incoming Damane weaves, Asha'man to attack. Split the force in two. Half to engage the Seanchan army (still enough Asha'man to force a standstill). Then once they 'come out to play' the other half to Travel into Ebou Dar whilst the army is in the field and capture the palace and damane kennels (with 10 Asha'man dressed like Ebou Dari to blow the Seanchan ships to bits, without any Aes Sedai handwaving to shout 'It's me! Attack me out of 100's of random people on the docks watching the ships sink!'. Of course that would have ended the Seanchan threat back in book 8, but then this thread is at least in part about how bloody awful Rand has been at using the forces at his disposal.
  14. The central conceit you are making is indeed what Egwene believes - "Pretty much the whole world is riding on her". Which, like it or not, just isn't true. As a 4th Wall/Reader you KNOW this. Egwene hasn't been empowered to save the world, RAND has, and therefore Egwene's actions throughout the series, which appear to accomplish little more than consolidate her own political power annoy a large fraction of the reader base. And even if you decide to stay "in universe", there is no excuse for this. After all, the prophecies aren't about her, they are about HIM. And she isn't relying on rumor and smoke, Egwene was WITH Rand for the first half of the series. She KNOWS he used the EotW to save Shienar. She KNOWS he lead the heroes of the horn at Falm and drove back Seanchan/fought Ishmael. She KNOWS he somehow, unaided took Callandor out of Tear. She KNOWS he went into Rhuidean, what that entails, and why the Aiel now follow him. She now KNOWS that he, and not some random creator act is responsible for cleansing Saidin. The list goes on and on. And YET, her response to all of this is always the same "I am TEH MOTHER, you must kiss my ring and submit to my guidance !" Which again would be fine - just fine - if she ever used her power to DO something. When Rand gained control over the Aiel, he used them to liberate Cairhien and Andor. When he gained control over Tear, he forced them to send food to their mortal enemy Illian. When he gained control over the sea folk, he did the same for the western countries. And so on. Now of course none of this has gone as smoothly as planned, but at least he appears to be doing SOMETHING instead of "Oh I got some power, now I must use it to get more power" Even the latest idiocy at the Field of Merrilor. A lot more people would find it palatable if she said "You know, I think breaking the seals would cause _____, I really think we should do _______ instead". But it's not that. Its "Oh no, you can't do that but instead you must accept my guidance" What exactly does her guidance consist of ? When Darlin and Gregorin refuse to toe the line her thoughts aren't "Well they are in charge of independant countries, ces't la vie", it's "I must replace them with someone more biddable". WTF. Bingo! Those on the side of the Light have mostly done three things - 1. Acquire Power and/or Abilities 2. Utilise said Power/Abilities as more then a means to get more Power/Abilities 3. Admit to themselves and/or others character flaws Now Rand, Mat, Perrin, Min, Aviendha, Nynaeve, Morgase, Lan, Galad (in TOM) and even Gawyn (to some extent) have done all three. Egwene and Elayne are the only two major characters on the side of the Light that have done the first and a lot less of the second and none of the third (I'm invincible! Min said so! Saviour of the world, waited for 3000 years, man with knowledge of 450 years, don't turn your back on the 100th or so in a line of Amyrlin Seat's, whose an 18 year old girl. I'm the one who must lead!). Now to fix Egwene (and to a slightly lesser extent Elayne) first and foremost they have to admit to themselves - and preferably like Rand and Perrin publicly as well, that they've made mistakes in the past. Not just in what they've done, but why they did it. That they aren't all knowledgable and the Last Battle requires the world united behind Rand, so he can leave the world to fight it whilst he deals with the Dark One without having to try and simultaneously put out spotfires as the Light can't act as a coherent group. And then after this start acting as Aes Sedai in name - Servants of All - not twisting it to All are Servants Of.
  15. The Crystal Throne has never been stated or implied as a title for the Empress/Emperor. The Empress being the Empire yes or the Nine Moons, but not the Throne. With the exception of the Amrylin Seat, which is clearly stated as both, it's always the Empress is the Empire or the King is the Kingdom, not a throne or crown or the like. No where else in any prophecies is an object or land stated so explicitly as what's to occur. It's blade that cannot be touched, People of the Dragon, slay them with the Leaf etc. Not Callandor, Aiel or drive them away by telling them they were followers of the Way of the Leaf. Heck, even the non-corrupted Seanchan prophecies are about the Wolf King and his hammer or Prince of Ravens, not the name of Perrin's hammer or the like. Unfortunately Rand will give the Seanchan and Aes Sedai some sop instead of binding Egwene and Tuon both with an Oath Rod to stop doing a better job for the Shadow then any of the Forsaken have done in the whole series.
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