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Everything posted by drewk

  1. I came into this thread expecting the same hate you were describing, and I was pleasantly surprised. I completely agree with you. Maybe in 2 or 3 years when eBooks are a lot more widespread it will be a big issue when 40-50% of readers can't get a book on time. On the other hand, for the few days before I read ToM I was scared to even visit DM for fear I would be spoiled on something (mostly just paranoia but wanted to make sure). For a book so many people are anticipating, the readers shouldn't be forced to wait for their preferred medium.
  2. This whole topic is pretty much a ToM spoiler...I've read it but other people might not have. The state of the world and factions at the end of the book is pretty big spoiler.
  3. I really don't think RJ could be railing against philosophy as a branch of knowledge. After all, who hasn't thought about the world and their own place in it? This is, after all, what sets us apart from animals. We question the state of the world instead of just accepting it. Society as we know it today could not exist without philosophers, America in particular. Unless RJ is suggesting we revert to the state of nature? Somehow I don't think so.
  4. As far as we know, the breaking is exactly what the pattern intended. Up to this point in the books, the only thing we know that can alter the pattern away from its original intent is balefire, which creates the balescream effect you described. There was no groan of the pattern rearranging to account for this (which would have happened immediately), nor, as Didymos pointed out, did anyone feel anything out of the ordinary. Surely such a monumental re-weaving of the pattern would have had these effects on a global scale. Also, what we know about the Land of Madmen suggests that the breaking was a man-made occurrence. Apparently the interior of the Land of Madmen is as if the breaking never ended. The channelers there are constantly reshaping that landmass, like the breaking never ended.
  5. 100% agree. I've been reading WoT for more than HALF of my life! Constant re-reads have been justified because I've been brushing up to get prepared for the release of the next books. When its over I don't know what I will do with myself. I read Eye of the World in the same year I read the first Harry Potter ('98) and one of those is already done. I'm going to be an empty shell when WoT is over. Will we ever see another series that's even half so epic? I sincerely hope so, but I doubt it can happen at this level. The other day I told myself that I wasn't going to read A Memory of Light because I didn't want it to be over. Then I told myself that was ridiculous. But still... I guess there's still ASoIaF, I'll probably be middle-aged before that series is over.
  6. Well, not everyone does. A very large percentage do, but, for instance, I highly doubt most Tairen peasants are at all literate. We also know that the Tower has had to regularly teach many of its novices to read and write after they arrive. Anyway, it's largely due to printing surviving even during the Breaking and the existence of very long-lived folk like the Ogier and Aes Sedai that kept the habit of literacy alive. The early post-Breaking AS especially, I'd imagine, as they'd have wanted to keep as much of the AoL alive as they could and also make sure the world knew and remembered the Shadow. Then later you have Hawkwing's empire, which was actually quite socially progressive in many ways and able to influence the entire continent. I guess it all comes down to ta'veren. That's one of the most ingenious parts of WoT, the main characters can have the most unlikely things happen to them during their whole lives and we can't question it because they are the most important part of the pattern during the present. We see all the most unlikely things occur because the pattern needs those things to happen to our guys. I'd like to propose a toast to Robert Jordan, who's foresight is unparalleled and who is also a complete badass. To RJ!
  7. It says "until the age that gave it birth comes again." The third age is different from the second age in many ways. The only real constant is the One Power. Maybe in history, the 2nd age was always the one where the enlightened people discovered a way to reach the dark one, and then they attempted it and then tried to reseal it. And then maybe the third age was always the one where they had to try again, with the reincarnated Dragon. Maybe when this is all over there won't be any more One Power until the next 2nd age occurs and the process repeats itself. Just because the Dragon isn't something that is forgotten doesn't mean he's the most important thing to happen during the turnings of the Wheel. Plus, I love that opening sequence. Don't ruin it for me. :)
  8. Well, obviously not, but we weren't talking about that kind of education. The original question was about how your average Randlander learns to read and write and suchlike, not how some eccentrics figured out how to bottle "lightning" or build some really nasty ballistae. Yeah but a little more like "why does every Randlander, even the farmers from the most forgotten part of Andor, take time out of their farming every day to learn how to read books and such?" Also the Fal Dara football team will wreck Illian. Heavy cavalry ftw.
  9. I guess I'm like you. Mat is definitely the best character in the whole series.
  10. Yeah: he's essentially fostering scientific research. These places also gather numerous scholars together in convenient locations, and collaboration will inevitably result given time. Students will also come to learn from the people there. Many already have, basically having become research assistants. I.e., he's started up universities. Higher education. And historically, universities were more common than widespread public education for children. I suppose you're right. But this means Rand is going to have to stop a breaking this time otherwise we'll lose everything. Look at how advanced the AoL was and we lost almost everything from then because of the breaking.
  11. I agree with that for the most part, though I'm having a difficult time reconciling some of the facts that we see in the books. It kind of comes down to the chicken and the egg, and nature vs nurture. Does their power determine their mindset and position? Or vice versa? Myself, I think the pattern needed some strong people to make some changes, so that's what it did.
  12. Read ToM already! Answers there. Also its awesome.
  13. Brandon said he was not going to try and imitate RJ's writing style, a decision that I agree on. I really like the way that the 2 new books have turned out so far. I can easily overlook any discrepancies; I'm just glad we have such a capable writer with a love for the series to finish it.
  14. Doctorate in Applied Badger Easing. I might be a bit too old for this, but why does "ease the badger" sound like every male masturbation metaphor ever? And there's always been an inn named that? Randland house of ill repute? I think so. Also, Rand's academy doesn't seem like its really tries to educate people, its more for people who want to mess around with new things. Like the steamhorse. Doesn't really seem for kids to learn grammar, math, and social studies. Bachelor's in Utterly Ridiculous Units of Measurement Daes Dae'mar 101 (Assassinations aren't til 203, FYI) Masters in Fine Tuning Daily Dress
  15. I don't think the Borderlander plot was quite as bad as you all make it out to be. After all, it wasn't as if they Traveled to Far Madding then told Rand to meet them. Their journey has taken them the better part of a year, including wintering in Andor. Much has changed since then, initially they had to assume he had his armies of Aiel, Asha'man, Dragonsworn, and was completely f'ing bonkers. Zen master Rand is quite the different story, but I don't think they foresaw how long it would take to actually get to talk to him. I believe they left when the Blight was receding and Trollocs and Myrddraal hadn't been seen for quite a while up north. It was badass when he said "Not even a month ago my response would have been balefire." and they're all "Pffft. That's why we met in FAR MADDING."
  16. I would say we have different opinions on what constitutes good vs evil and the gray scale of characters. One of the things that really struck me about WoT was how most characters are NOT black or white. Sure some are devoted to winning the last battle for the good and some are devoted for the bad, but everyone has their own motivations. Moiraine wants to help the Dragon Reborn win the last battle, but she's not a shining beacon of morality or anything. She expressly claimed she would kill anyone and everyone she had to (including herself...kinda) to see that done. Our three heroes? Perrin wants his woman, and puts the world on hold and "dances with the Dark One" to see her safe. Mat wants to stay alive, and is particularly good at it, so he managed to round up a group of soldiers with similar interests and skills. He also has a soft spot for women. Rand is trying his best to fulfill his destiny, which is DEFINITELY not something you can paint with black and white (destroy a people, kill friends, innocents, maybe destroy the world anyway). In fact, the one faction you could assume are the White Side (which the one truly white character, Galad, goes to) are in fact ignorant zealots which FORCE themselves to see the world in black and white, are always wrong and the results of their actions end up resembling evil anyway. To sum up, most of the characters aren't evil, in the sense that they revel in killing or suffering, but they also aren't good in the sense that they try and correct every wrong they see or live without sin. They are people trying to make the best of the hand they are dealt. They act with the information in front of them, most of the time without some higher cause in mind. As for the stormtrooper effect, Jordan built in an explanation for this while defining his world. It is called ta'veren. It ensures that characters central to the story STAY central to the story. I would say this ta'veren insurance plan safely covers the threads in the pattern that those ta'veren rely upon, namely people like the wondergirls who aren't around the ta'veren for significant periods of time in the later books. Also, though the human agents of the Shadow are cunning and brutal, they are not always wise. They are also petty and mistrusting. And on top of that, we have NO IDEA what the Dark One wants, or what he values, aside from some supposition on Verin's part. He's not always going for the kill. We know that people are more valuable to him if they serve him in life, rather than as a reanimated or transmigrated soul. Maybe the Dark One wants a happy ending after all, just with the lights off (see what I did there?). We just don't know. As far as pacing goes (in response to the thread at large), I admit the middle of the series seemed to drag on a bit. After reaching these later books, however, the scenes and the action that takes place means all that much more. For instance, from the beginning through book 12, we go from being in awe of the Tower and Aes Sedai, to (somewhat) agreeing with them, to shock and outrage at the brutality which takes place therein, to frustration at the stagnation and the divisiveness and politicking in both sides (especially Salidar), to shame at the impotence of this once-mighty faction that should be bending kings and queens to their will. I had run the gamut of emotions while dealing with the Tower through the series. AND THEN FINALLY it is united under someone who has clear goals for their power, the un-indoctrinated viewpoint of an outsider with few of the Aes Sedai prejudices built-in, the strength to defend it, and the pure willpower to do dirty work that would have broken a lesser woman. You can't buy that in 3 books. Egwene welcoming the rebels back inside, choosing Silviana as keeper, and the tongue-lashing she gives the hall made me love the boring as hell Salidar scenes for the goosebumps on my arms alone, and the tears in my eyes. The boring parts were not simply speed bumps along the road for Richard Rahl to cruise past doing 80 with Kahlan in the front seat. They were the trials and tribulations of real people with *mostly* human goals. The above applies to the Perrin/Faile/Malden arc as well. Perrin and Faile were NOT a love at first sight kind of relationship, but over several books they grew to love each other (including one of my favorite parts of the entire series, the defense of the Two Rivers). Then I was bored to tears by Perrin dwelling on his missing Faile in the same words chapter after chapter, book after book, once she was taken. But through his determination, willpower, ta'veren-ness, and just a wee bit of badassery, and the simultaneous leadership-building of Faile in Malden, we now have two extremely strong characters who get ready to do some AWESOME things in ToM (no spoilers from me! :) ) TLDR: If you don't like the pacing, it sucks to be you.
  17. I agree with most of the ones listed here, and most of the sentiments regarding the characters. I did like Mat, I thought Egwene was annoying etc. Although one overlooked scene IMO was where Egwene totally schooled the Hall of the Tower. The only part of that I didn't like was how two AS walked in and said "What are we standing for?" "Something important." "Oh well I guess I'll stand too." "Me too." Other than that it was great how the one was sitting there trying to figure out what Eg was doing and she finally realized...just a second too late. Then Egwene finally shakes a little sense into them by rewriting Tower Law. I also like how Rand discovers that love etc is the key to staying alive and winning and this book has loves finally getting together (or discovering each other in the case of Galad and Berelain). Honestly Galad and Berelain were made for each other, and I've been thinking about them getting together for 2 books now. "I'm fond of the horse." made me burst out laughing. I was rather proud (I don't know why) of the way Galad took hearing that. Maybe he realized he got what he deserved for being such a tunnel-visioned nutjob for most of the series.
  18. Rand would complain about being in a box if he was forced to stay inside a palace. The main problem he has isn't with the size of the cell. He is afraid of a situation where he can't "move", whether that is making his own decisions or physically moving. Throughout the entire series he has made a big deal out of not being on Aes Sedai strings, and this fear, while remaining on the back burner for most of the first half of the series, was given a physical representation during his time in the actual box. The fear of being imprisoned is definitely real, but it has a psychological counterpart as well. OT: This definitions of measurement really didn't leave me wondering at all. I just assumed "pace" was the length of a step a man could take, or ~3 feet. I had never heard the definition of the Roman pace before, nor does it make any sense calling that a pace. That length in WoT is a span.
  19. I want to read about Verin's life, focusing on early life in the tower complete with Accepted and Aes Sedai tests, friends, studies etc. Also what she did after being raised, how she found Tomas, but especially her decision to join the Black Ajah, and what she was doing during all the time offscreen in the big books. Same with Cadsuane. I also want Tam's biography.
  20. No, I'm not Demandred, and no I haven't given my blessing to any of the other Forsaken. All hail the Great Lord of the Dark...server room. ;-)
  21. Masters in Manipulation with a minor in Rumor-Sowing Bachelor in International Relations (If you can name someone in Randland who holds this degree, you win a cookie. Gray Ajah fails, hard.) Masters in Aiel Humor @JonPaul: I love "so-called" sixth order rationality. How do you feel about it?
  22. Yep, Rand is not the same old farmboy he was in EotW, rendered starstruck and slack-jawed by every little thing seen out in the world. In TGH, more is required from him than just tagging along behind Moiraine and living to reach the next farmhouse. He is forced to make difficult decisions and also to come to grips with the the fate revealed to him in EotW. Coz what was your favorite scene in EotW?
  23. Hmmm...I'm having a tough time remembering the exact year, but I believe I started it while waiting for the second Harry Potter book to come out (ironic, no?). So this must have been '98 or '99 and I was still in middle school. I remember getting it but skipping the prologue, as back then I thought they were optional. I didn't even finish the first chapter before I put it down for at least 6 months. I'm kicking myself for that now, that's 6 months I could have been reading WoT!! It took me a long time to get through my first read, including a month or two break halfway through PoD. I think Winter's Heart had been out for a couple months when I finally finished PoD, so my first wait in the series was for CoT. I guess I have some sort of sick attraction to unfinished series. Harry Potter (unfinished when I started, and I waited for EVERY SINGLE BOOK), Wheel of Time, ASoIaF (probably never going to be complete), Pat Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles (been 3 years already since NotW and I first read it more than 2 years ago). So far the only one of these books/series I haven't managed at least 3 read-throughs is ASoIaF which I have read a grand total of once. Anyway it has been a long bumpy road with all of my favorite series, but I am going to stick each and every one of them out. I'm in shock approaching disbelief that we're getting a new book only 1 year after TGS.
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