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  • Birthday 12/31/1952
  1. And it seems Germany turked the Turks by getting a last minute crucial turn around goal.
  2. Only have 4 picture of myself on the HDD. So enjoy: Bottom left in this picture. Striped sweater. Guy on Right.
  3. If I were to drop into Tar Valon. My first deed would be getting some clothing. My next objectives would be to leave Tar Valon, in favor of a city in the south. Illian, Tear, Ebou Dar or so. Once there I would use my knowledge (advanced compared to theres) in the poor quarters of the cities to gain a following. I would continue living out in the slums of the town and rally the disenfranchised and poor around me. Probably in a manner emulating Hitler, holding speeches in alehouses and inn common rooms. Once I feel secure enough in my standing and control of the people of the slums, I would send out my most trusted followers into the slums of other great cities to increase my following even more. Eventually depending on the mood of the time or moves against me by apprehensive nobles/authorities I would stage an insurrection in the like of Spartacus. I would use past military victories and losses in human history as my template. As well as train the rabble I control to use longbows, as well as use my knowledge in chemistry to have them tip their weapons in acetylcholine inhibiting substances or other more potent substances, etc.. Just to add some private irony into it. I'd probably proclaim my name to be Arminius Spartacus. Or I would die trying.
  4. The SS. Now hear me out. Just from a cursory look I can list quite a few comparisons, and I wonder if RJ was trying to give us a hidden message concerning their purpose and fate. Let us take the most bland comparisons; 1) Black uniforms with a high collar. 2) Upon promotion the first thing you would get would be the Sig-run, a silver double "S" which was put on your collar. First thing given to a promoted Ashaman is a silver sword put on the exact same spot. 3) SS stands for Schutzstaffel. Meaning protective legion/troop, the guarding legio/troop. Asha'man stands for guardian/defender as well. 4) Both are an elite military order outside of the standard military. Their loyalty is to be only to the leader. In the SS's case the Führer. In the asha'mans case the Dragon. 5) Both have the creators as semi-rebellious. Himmler the head of the SS was deeply mistrusted by Hitler who feared his growing power (as shown by Hitler in several political filibusters and maneuvers where he weakened Himmler where he could from gaining more power). As well as near the end of the war signing a death warrant and treason charge on Himmler. Same many members of the SS despite their actual oath to the Führer, would probably have supported Himmler over Hitler in a putsch. We all know Rand's similar issues with Taim. 6) Some of the rank names are almost plagiarized from the SS rank of order. Storm Leader vs Sturmführer (German directly translated into Stormleader) or Attack Leader vs Scharführer, etc.. etc.. 7) Both have an obsession for ancient history. The Asha'men for legend and trappings from the old tongue, the SS for ancient Germanic history. Both seek to use these to form a shroud of mysticism around their orders. 8) Both are military orders with no definite borders or nationhood. The SS had members from 30+ nations. The Asha'men also have members from all Randland. etc.. What was RJ's purpose in drawing such painfully obvious comparisons between the Asha'men and the SS? Seeing his Q&A, he doesn't seem to ignorant about military history and probably purposly did it, but to what end? What is he trying to show or say?
  5. I just thought the similarities were very overbearing for anyone taking a deeper look into it. Some of the similarities between the Catholic Church vs Aes Sedai I noticed: 1) Single sex order 2) Members are seen as more educated and wise than laymen. Often they are asked for advice when the possibility arises. Both tend to speak in riddles. 3) Members are deeply respected where they are presented it is considered grave manners to be rude to Priests/Aes Sedai. 4) The Amyrlin is called "mother", whereas the Pope is called "father." 5) Amyrlin is elected by a council of high ranking Aes Sedai. Not much unlike the Pope being elected by the Cardinals, who are nothing more than the highest ranking priests 6) Different orders. Where the Aes Sedai have their blue, reds, yellow's, etc.. the Vatican has the Dominicans, Jesuits, Franciscan, etc.. orders. Each also having different emphasis. Jesuits being concentrated on education and science. Franciscans history, poverty and nature. Dominicans law, charity and order. 7) When rising to the rank of bishop, the priest in question is given a ring. Very similar to an Aes Sedai receiving their ring. Both are symbols of seniority and power. 8) Amyrlin Seat and the Papal Seat 9) One of the stages of Amyrlin vote is assuring she is a woman by baring her chest. Same in the papal vote before it's conclusion, the Pope sits on a chair to show he has male genitalia to prevent an imposter. 10) Both the Pope and the Amyrlin manipulate the leaders of foreign nation "for their own good." 11) It was not uncommon for monarchs to have Jesuit advisors, as it is not uncommon for the monarchs in WoT to have Grey advisors. Both orders being schooled in diplomacy and worldly matters. 12) Both live in a closed compound of spectacular beauty, filled with marble and architectural wonders inside a big city. 13) Priests and Accepted seem to share quite a bit. Both are in tradition a minimum age before the Bishop/Aes Sedai ordains them to the position of Priest/Accepted following years of being a novice. Exceptions to the tradition which is followed so rigidly it's almost a rule can only be dispensed by the Amyrlin or Pope. 14) Same as with Aes Sedai, in the Catholic Church some thousand year+ old traditions are so ancient they are seen almost as rules, despite not being rules but merely traditions. 15) The Hall of Sitters and the College of Cardinals almost carry out the same function. Also the hierarchy and membership base is practically the same. I decided to leave the comparisons at #15. There are doubtlessly many more. So am I the only one who has noticed how RJ seems to have based much of what is and constitutes the Aes Sedai off of the lay order and structure of the Roman Catholic Church? Since it seems awfully coincidential... all the similarities.
  6. Of course not. I mean culture has only degenerated to the point where we name our prodigy and legacy after false caricatures of images or words burned into reels/paper to entertain us. Nevermind naming your child something personal, familiar or trusted when one can inanely name them after a pop culture icon... On top of expressing a wish for your child to be an outcast. Alienating them from the social norm, and probably opening them for some nice abuse in their youth if one was particularly creative about their surname.
  7. RJ borrowed very heavily off of Tolkien & Herbert (Dune). Is this a bad thing? No, since Dune is considered the best sci-fi series written, same with Lord of the Rings taking the same position in the fantasy section. All it does is make RJ a smart man, he cherry picked many themes from what he knew to be very successful franchises. He altered them just enough to not be sued for royalty checks. The worst one could accuse him of being would be very unoriginal in not developing fresh new ideas. But seriously what few authors do that today? Since this topic dealt with mostly the Tolkien themes that reappear rather shamelessly in WoT I thought I might list some of the more prominent themes from Dune; Many parallels between Dune and the Wheel of Time have been noted. Some of the more important similarities include: 1) Rand / Paul Atreides : Messiah figure from the outside leading great rising of desert warriors (Aiel / Fremen) in fulfillment of prophecy. Has powers usually only available to women. There are also similarities in the way we see both characters develop: a young, rather naive and powerless adolescent changes into an extraordinary leader with great powers. 2) Aes Sedai / Bene Gesserit : Powerful, secretive and manipulative female caste with extraordinary powers, sometimes known as witches. Both go through intensive training and painful rites of passage. Somewhat similar internal power structures and mindsets. Similar remarks may also be made about the Aiel Wise Ones, the Kin, and several other groups in RandLand. 3) Foretelling the future / dreaming : Appears in various guises in both books. 4) Aiel / Fremen: Kick-ass desert warriors who ally themselves with the Messiah figure. The strong similarity makes perfect sense once one knows that Herbert's real-world sources for the Fremen were the Israelites, Native Americans and Zulu ), and RJ "coincidentially" claims his sources for the Aiel of all people are also the Zulu and Native Americans.... 5) Some common words are used: "Shaitin" and "Mahdi" are two examples. "Shaitin" derives from an Arabic word which in turn is derived from a Hebrew (and Arabic) word, meaning "satan". In short out of all languages RJ could choose from, he chose the old arabic/israelite tongues from which Herbert took his inspiration. But the most important similarity between Dune and WoT is that RJ for a large part seems to have partially adopted Frank Herbert's style of writing. The books of both series are written from the same viewpoint. 3rd person with a shifting point of view, sometimes looking through the eyes of the protagonists and sometimes the enemies. Though there is always a key character around which the story revolves, they are also both ensembles, with no real starring role. Whatever the viewpoint, you're privy to the thoughts and feelings of whoever you're following, including all their biases. Both series, especially WOT are fraught with dramatic irony and foreshadowing and both display complex, intertwining relationships between the main characters. PS: A random Tolkien similarity that has not been mentioned: the name Andor is noted in the Silmarillion as the "original" name for Numenor, and means "Land of Gift."
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