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  1. You're giving Perrin credit for things he never even thought. The story-telling medium allows us to know exactly what Perrin was thinking. He thought things like, "I have to get back Faile. I don't have sufficient strength. I'd make a deal with the Dark One himself if it put her back in my arms." He never thought, "Let's see, I could try tracking Rand down, but it would take time, and it's possible that he's gone completely crazy and would just crush the whole Shaido in one fell swoop, without worrying about collateral damage, despite the fact that he bawls any time a woman might be harmed." He never thought, "Rand might assume I'm just some soldier who'll take his orders and he'll send me off somewhere else where I can't participate in this rescue. He also might be going darkside as a result of things around him becoming increasingly grim." If we were given good reasons within the context of the story why Perrin didn't contact Rand, I might accept this. We're not, which leaves it up to you to justify using explanations that are somewhat inconsistent with the story. The only context we're ever given is that Perrin is on a "secret" mission, which is the flimsiest possible rationalization given how long he's gone, and the fact that the mission itself changed (or was completed) by the end of WH. The fact that his reasons for doing things are no longer relevant already by the halfway point of his sideplot makes it poorly written, even worse than the Elayne/Andor sideplot, where at least much of the action/inaction is justified. It's just hard to imagine why he never took the time to weigh the possible pros and cons, especially after learning that there was a GIANT pack of Darkhounds in the area, who ignored him for some reason. He correctly surmised that they were hunting something else, but what if they had actually caught what they were looking for and turned back around to descend on his camp, slaughtering pretty much everyone? He really had zero defense against them, since BF is still the only thing we've seen used on them that definitely works. Given that DarkHounds never get tired and can run down horses, I'd have been pretty frightened that they might just catch what they were looking for, and then double back to finish him off. He never came up with a plan for stopping them, even though something like that could represent a freaking huge obstacle in his plan for rescuing Faile. He didn't even seem concerned that perhaps they might descend on the Shaido at some point, and Faile would be really, really helpless in that case. That seemed like a great moment for him to say, "Crap, I really need some back-up on this." The pros surely outweighed the cons in terms of contacting Rand, but we never even got to see him weigh them so that we could understand his faulty logic. A flawed character who makes mistakes is actually interesting to read. A flawed character who makes mistakes, continues to actively make the same ones, all while they're being ignored by the writer is intensely FRUSTRATING to read. If I had had the chance to see Perrin reason some of this out for himself, even if he'd made some dubious mistakes in his reasoning, that would have been a better read. He could then think back on his reasoning, and decide that perhaps he'd taken too many risks, he could see where he'd made errors in his past, and he might realize that more people had died because he'd insisted on trying to do things himself. He could experience some character growth, perhaps he could reasses the paradigm he uses for making decisions. Heck, maybe he'll even find himself unable to cope with the decisions he's made, and he'll start creating flimsy rationalizations for himself, so that we can see he's torn up by mistakes along the way. That would have made for an interesting story, but instead, Perrin's story remained simply the SidePlot That Would Not Die.
  2. I don't know why he'd be that worried about Rand causing pointless collateral damage. Pretty much the last time he saw Rand, Rand was torn apart attempting to remember the names of every female who had died in the battle of Dumai's Wells. And Perrin understood that it was about killing women, since he was raised the same way, with the same culture....so naturally, he'd probably take some kind of care not to butcher innocent women when attacking, right? I mean, he'd obviously be worried for the sake of Rand's sanity, but he takes much bigger gambles. If he's worried about Rand blasting the camp and causing collateral damage, why should he trust the Seanchan? How can he trust them to not accidentally kill Faile during the battle? Or not to betray him immediately following the battle? Including that possibility, he also allowed a loose cannon like Masema openly run around. Plus there was a huge pack of darkhounds which conveniently ignored him, and that he probably couldn't have done anything about without someone channeling balefire. And, frankly, he'd never been able to study the effect of forkroot tea, so he had to take a wild guess that he'd put enough into the water supply, that it had fully spread throughout the camp in one day, and that it had incapacitated enough of the channelers in the camp in order for his plan to work. What would have happened if most of the Aiel Wise Ones had stockpiled water in order to avid going to the reservoir every day? They'd have had no chance, Perrin's army would have been defeated, and since he never got word out to Rand about what was going on, pretty much all hope of rescuing Faile would have been lost. He risked all that without even TALKING to Rand. He didn't even know about Rand going Darkside. Even if he was worried, he could have tried tracking Rand down and talking to him, gauging Rand's sanity for himself before asking for his help, if he was that worried. It wasn't like he didn't have a lot of time, and wasn't Traveling all over the place to set his plans in motion anyway.
  3. This doesn't make sense to me either. He didn't want his enemies to know that he was forming an alliance with Ghealdan? He didn't exactly hide that he was ruling Tear, Illian, and Cairhein at any point, and none of this caused the Forsaken to drop into the Stone or the Sun Palace and massacre his allies. It doesn't make sense that he wanted to remain behind the scenes since it's inconsistent with the rest of his actions. I get that he can't be everywhere, but honestly, she was eager to swear fealty in exchange for protection, so I don't know why he didn't just Travel there and offer her protection. The only reason is that the Plot wouldn't allow it, because we needed Perrin to get lost for 7 or 8 books full of sideplot.
  4. Been away from these boards since forever, but this is one topic that really burned me. The problem isn't with Perrin himself (even though he is written rather stupidly) but the fact that the entire plot is one big, big Idiot Plot. I'd have been happy to read much more of Perrin, even his pointless side-show, if it was written in a fashion that made sense. I love these books, don't get me wrong-I don't mean to be overly critical. But this side plot should never have been written. To recap: It really starts when Queen Alliandre of Ghealdan writes Rand a letter, asking him to come and deal with the Prophet, and she's willing to swear fealty to his cause if he can help restore a bit of order to her country. It's a completely legitimate request, too, since the Prophet is a person who knows Rand personally, and all the people who are rioting and creating this chaos are people who ostensibly call themselves his followers. That's not to say they're necessarily all that interested in following, or that it's his fault the country is in chaos, but since she's willing to swear fealty in exchange for helping him solve a problem that is related to him, it's a very fair deal. So what is Rand's solution to this? Remember, he's shown himself completely willing to occupy Tear, Illian (later), Cairhein, and Caemlyn at this point (though he's not personally attempting to rule Andor in general, just hold it and restore order for a while). Rand may not like the idea of taking Asha'Man into a volatile situation, but then, he's already crossed that bridge repeatedly. We're never given a reason he doesn't take himself with a dozen Asha'Man, a few of his loyal Aes Sedai, and a portion of his army to deal with this. All he really needed to do was show up and speak to Alliandre-that's essentially all Perrin did before she swore fealty to HIM-and then tell Masema that it was time to go. Obviously it's problematic for Rand himself to risk walking through areas where there's perhaps active rioting, but that's hardly crazier than some stuff he's already done sucessfully, and the fact that some Aes Sedai have sworn oaths of obedience, and the fact that he has Asha'Man willing to obey his orders should be enough to protect him. Dealing with a rioting crowd instead of an army of Aiel should be fairly simple. If they're willing to follow him, he'd be smart to divide them up so they can cause fewer issues, and send them to be trained into an army as he's done with other segments of his followers. But okay, perhaps he thinks it would take too much time and he has other important things to be doing (we'll ignore the fact that, in the same book, he spends several days literally moping about in his room doing nothing). So he sends Perrin, along with a few loyal Aes Sedai and a couple of Asha'Man, along with a force sufficient to subdue any rioting, should it come to it. I might be misremebering the strength of Perrin's forces, but really, two Asha'Man ought to be able to cut a swath through these people if necessary. For some reason that still makes no sense to me, they stage a fight in order to hide Perrin's purpose. To this day, I've never understood why this was a big secret. He was fully willing to have Perrin openly lead his armies attacking Illian to use him as a diversion; perhaps he was afraid of Sammael attacking Perrin if he turned up someplace else while doing work for Rand. Again, this makes no sense in context with other actions-he let Mat march his band without any channeler support quite openly while moving to meet up with the rest of his army, practically begging for HIM to be attacked. And naturally, Sammael did attack, but, being a big fat idiot like the rest of the Forsaken, instead of squashing Mat's tent by ripping open the earth and crushing, he instead launched a very survivable surprise attack using Aiel. So I'm still not sold on that being Rand's motive. Regardless, Perrin actuallly underook this secret mission while openly displaying banners that said, "Hey, Perrin Aybara is right here!" and succeeded. He pretty much had accomplished his mission. Masema, of course, refused to use the OP to Travel, but he agrees that he will go to meet Rand. At this point, Faile is captured by the Shaido. The next bits are perfectly reasonable, if you give Perrrin a pass for panicking and making stupid mistakes as a result of panicking. He doesn't know the strength of the Shaido, so he thinks he can intercept them and catch up with Faile and rescue her. If they'd caught the raiding party itself before it hooked back up with the Shaido, it's quite likely, since they had no channelers. But he screws this up, and ends up taking quite a while before catching up with her. I'll give him a pass for this-people screw up, it makes for good literature. Also, he's still essentially following Rand's directions, since he was sent specifically to secure Queen Alliandre's allegiance, and she ended up kidnapped along with Faile, so rescuing her is an acceptable part of this mission. If we accept the premise of Perrin's mission, we're quite, quite fine with everything that happens in his side plot through Winter's Heart. Then came Crossroads of Twilight. This is where good plotting went to die. The entire plot hinges on Perrin's inability to quickly resolve a problem in order for the rest of the plot to work, so in a world where you can instantly Travel from anywhere to anywhere else, we're forced to endure filler. This is so full of stupid crap I can barely tolerate it. Perrin no longer gets a pass for being stupid since he's no longer panicking or behaving irrationally. It's almost as if RJ knows how idiotic Perrin is being and seeks to drive this home, despite the fact that Perrin has no excuse anymore. Perrin finds the Shaido encampment, he sees that it's way too big and well defended to defeat, and he learns that there's something like 200 channelers in the town. He's literally thinking about how he's ever supposed to defeat this force when an image of Rand is shoved into his brain. It's like an epiphany is trying to shove itself down his throat. At this point, there's no reason he's not saying, "Hey, I should get Rand's help-as soon as he's finished with what sounds like a very dangerous task, as it's creeping out all the channelers I have with me." He doesn't though. I guess he's still under whatever secret oath of secrecy he took, or something, but honestly, there's four major reasons he should be seeking Rand here. 1) He's on the same side as Perrin and has a force indisputably strong enough to crack open the Shaido camp like an egg. 2) Rand had already expressed a desire to find the rest of the Shaido and stop them from causing more havoc. 3) Rand also told him specifically to bring back Masema, who is present and creating problems that Rand can readily solve with his mere presence. 4) Perrin cannot complete the mission Rand sent him on without defeating the Shaido, since Alliandre is a prisoner. There are certainly a few problems for Perrin to overcome. That is, immediately after the battle at Shadar Logoth, Rand goes missing. Of course, three different factions, each searching for Rand, ALL managed to track him down by the end of this book (Logain, Bashere, and Loial/Karldin). If Perrin had had the decency to look for him, he'd probably have stumbled on the same method of tracking him down. He also has another advantage none of them had-a freaking psychic connection that allows him to see where Rand is and what he's doing. He has zero excuse for not trying, especially given his singular focus on rescuing Faile. The most obvious method to her salvation is completely ignored by him, as well as any responsibility he feels toward Rand's mission being thrown out the window-he jeopardizes it by leaving Alliandre in bondage longer than necessary. It gets worse. He has the ability to travel anywhere in the known world to purchase grain. Instead of going to Tear, Illian, or Cairhien (remember how Tear had all this extra grain that they sent to Illian and Cairhein?) he travels to a small town nearby where the grain is completely infested with weevils. He ignores this obvious health hazard, refuses to allow anyone to try to help these townspeople, and continues on his way. RJ was toying with us by creating this So Harber sideplot (a sideplot of a sideplot) that screamed: OBVIOUS FILLER. Perrin continued to be idiotic. He continues to get reminds of where Rand is and what he's doing, even learning that Rand loses a hand through his psychic connection, and never tries to contact him. He thinks that he'll make a deal with the Dark One himself if it will get Faile back. Better to make a deal with the Dark One than call your best friend, right? Also, Rand at this point stops obviously hiding from the whole world, which means Perrin might have a chance to find him. Perrin's clearly thinking about using some of his actual friends to help him out, since he sends Grady to the Two Rivers and brings Tam al'Thor with a legion of bowmen. Hey Tam, I know you'd like to see your son and all, and I know we can create magic holes in the air that can take you anywhere in the world, but sorry, we're not taking you to see your son. There's obviously no reason Perrin shoudln't have thought of this, and using his psychic connection to track him down. What he opts instead is to make an alliance with a second powerful force, one completely opposed to Rand, and making a proposition that will make them considerably stronger by consigning 200 women to slavery. He was upset about Rand mistreating the women who threw him in a box and tortured him, but he's completely okay with forcing slavery onto Aiel women. It gets disgusting at this point, since, despite making common cause with the Seanchan, he's still taking an ENORMOUS gamble because he's relying on his ability to poison the Aiel water supply. He just barely has enough strength to pull off his victory thanks to a great deal of luck, rather than taking the relatively easy method of asking his best friend for help. So we've had two books full of idiot plot at this point just for the payoff, stuffed with filler. People might have started to forgive Perrin if his idiot plot had had the decency to die, at this point. It did not. It's gone on for two more books-he rescued Faile, but the Sideplot of Doom refuses to die. He's accomplished what Rand asked of him. He has too many people to logistically move at once since he has only two channelers who can create Gateways. Common sense dictates, since he's achieved what Rand asked of him and just needs to get back and report, he send someone to track down Rand, using a combination of his psychic connection, the ability to Travel anywhere instantly, and a tiny bit of detective work. Let's keep in mind that, while it's nice to point out that Gateways have some logistical problems with using them, the more pressing issue of how he's keeping 100,000 refugees (plus his own army) fed is tidily ignored. He can feel Rand pulling him to rejoin him, so he's marching slowly with this big press of refugees instead of trying to find him. The only reason for this contrivance is so that Tam al'Thor can avoid showing up until the end of the book. The side plot didn't end there, but it should have. Perrin has all these refugees, keeping them fed has got to be a major pain, and he should have told Tam to ask Rand for some channelers to Travel his people, or he should have gone with Rand himself. He knows he needs to be reuniting with Rand. This side-plot continues to go on through Towers of Midnight, with no one from either Rand's or Perrin's camp attempting to contact the other, and Tam not asking Rand to send people to collect them (even though he has friends from the Two Rivers with Perrin). Perrin is likeable. His sideplot is written so stupidly that it is not.
  5. Actually it's a counter argument for sexism in general. WoT in the TA is an example of a world built on reverse sexism (as we would see it) where the stupid stereotypes and superstitions are always undermining. There are some patriarchal societies which aren't looked up too favorably either (like Tear). The most idealized societies in the plot are always the ones where there's some shared or mixed leadership by both genders, such as the Two Rivers and the Aiel. The only really society that has built-in sexism which seems to be written of favorably (or at least, mostly so) is the Sea Folk, entirely matriarchal. There's certainly flaws amongst the Sea Folk, but for the most part, you see them making fun of Aes Sedai and plenty of other continental characters.
  6. It's not even a plot hole. Aviendha's gateway is exactly explained in the mechanics of the story-when the girls (Nynaeve and Egwene) first show up at the Tower, they learn that one reason wilders aren't looked at kindly is that they've subconsciously discovered ways to weave things in a certain way that can't be unlearned-learning to make the same thing again results in weaving at less-than-full effectiveness. Aviendha stumbled onto how to make a gateway, with her own gesture, but couldn't remember it. Thus, when she learned the "kosher" method for making gateways, she doesn't do it as easily as Elayne or Egwene. There's even a quote-might even be from ANS-where someone mentions that AS can name who taught certain weaves to AS by the gestures they use with them-they'll always use those gestures since that's how they learned the weave. There's also a conversation between Sorilea and Cadsuane about the Aes Sedai taken on as apprentices, and how they won't be able to learn how to use Wise One style weaves as effectively. There's too many people who have jumped on this Aviendha Gateway Time Travel theory, and I NEVER picked up any hints of it from the books. It's pretty exclusive to the discussion forums.
  7. This thread would be more interesting if people were coming up with amusing answers to the question instead of seriously talking about BT shenanigans. "Logain is busy inventing the perfect margarita." "Logain is taking dance lessons in Tarabon." "Logain has been rehearsing for his Ghealdon Civil War Re-enactment with the 12th Boannda Infantry." "Logain is touring with a group of players-ever since landing the role of Gaidal Cain, he couldn't be bothered to do anything else." "Logain is smoking the Caralain Grass. If you know what I mean."
  8. I kind of hate that you're comparing the Silmarillion to WoT. The entire point is that the Silmarillion characters die off-it's supposed to show how the age of Elves came and went, about how they bravely fought an unbeatable foe, and ultimately lost until the Valar came to finally take care of Morgoth. The subcontext of it is completely different, also-it's basically all backstory to LotR, which he actually published (Silmarillion was published after his death), and naturally, basically every character in the main focus (except for Galadriel) was dead or gone long before the events of the Third Age. Didn't really matter if they died in battle or of old age. If you look at LotR, Tolkien has the same kind of reluctance to kill off main characters. Boromir is the only fellowship character to die, Gandalf literally returns from the death, Faramir and Eowyn survive nearly fatal wounds, and Bilbo lives to be over 130 years old before sailing off into the undying lands. Only three remotely relevant characters died during the main events, which is about as much as can be said of WoT to date.
  9. Anyone else distraught by just how seriously Verin miscalculated with that letter? Obviously, she was still bound by her Black Oath, so she couldn't have just told Mat what was going to happen, but she could have worded his promise a bit differently: "Mat, you're conveniently here. I'm off somewhere dangerous, might die in a day or so. There's some secrets in this letter here-I'll take you to Caemlyn if you promise to read this letter in three days and not before. I need your word that you won't open it in less than three days, or I will not take you to Caemlyn. You're known to keep promises." Wouldn't that have been way too easy and still solved everything?
  10. There is a point here beyond making comparisons to GRR Martin, who may have gone overboard-let's be honest, almost nobody has survived a prologue. What he did was build up 13 evil, legendary characters, and he made a world in which everyone knew their names and shivered in terror because they were the most badass, wicked, and effective villains you can imagine. Almost every significant character for the Light has a thick plating of plot armor. Let's be honest, characters like Faile, Nynaeve, Egwene, Lan, Thom, and Rhuarc aren't so important that they couldn't have been killed off to drive home the danger of the enemy. Instead, you've got characters like Juilin and Bayle Domon basically surviving well beyond the point where they're useful, so they've been practically written out of the story, while the Forsaken, as a whole, seem to have accomplished very little, and gotten themselves killed off in the most ridiculous ways. I liked it much better when the Forsaken seemed like an unstoppable force-it was really cool when you could get a POV and see them when they seemed dangerous, but they've become utterly impotent by all the convenient devices and ridiculous planning. Sending the Gholam after Mat, for example, instead of Rand or Perrin, while Mat is the only character with a defense against him. Or that really poorly concieved plan to kill Perrin with trollocs instead of the big-freaking-huge pack of darkhounds he encountered. We don't even know if anything short of BF can kill a DarkHound, so sending them after people you want dead who can't produce balefire, like Perrin (or Mat) would have been smart. They've got frightening resources, and they're supposed to be extremely clever, but it's hard to find them clever when you're wondering why they aren't properly using their resources, and coming up with stupid plans which get them killed (like Messaana). I think just occasionally killing off someone unexpected would have helped keep the enemy from appearing impotent.
  11. Am I the only one that agrees with Mat, wondering exactly what the Thom/Moiraine relationship was based on? In its own way, it's even more baseless than the beginning of the Perrin/Faile relationship-they've probably spent less time together than any other couple in WoT to date, and they've decided to get married. They also aren't hormone-driven teenagers. Here's the catalogue of their interactions: 1) They meet on Winternight in EotW. Lan doesn't really trust Thom because he didn't see him when the Trollocs showed up (it's a red herring). Thom doesn't trust Moiraine because he dislikes Aes Sedai. 2) They travel together for 11 days before being separated in Shadar Logoth. At this point, they've not really established a rapport, since Thom still doesn't trust Aes Sedai and tries to dissuade Mat and Rand from going to Tar Valon. 3) They don't meet again until over a year later, when they show up at the same time in Tear. They're in the same place for 19 days, then. I would infer that their interactions are pretty limited there because it's only on the day they both leave that they share what they know of each others' pasts, and then that they talk about Thom's knee (as Moiraine Heals it) which is old news. 4) Hard to say exactly how much time passes until they meet in the Tower of Ghenjei, but it's over a year later, and they immediately decide to get married.
  12. One thing that bugged me was that Lord Agelmar wasn't present on-screen with the rest of the Borderlanders. He was there before they left. I kind of expected to see him there acknowledging Rand, since they'd met before. As one of the Great Captains, he needs to have some kind of role.
  13. Very unlikely to be anybody we've heard of. Also not the murderer. That was Semirhage, and she's dead now. Very very dead. As completely dead as it is possible to be in the Wheel of Time where there "are neither beginnings nor endings." I only regret that balefire does not leave anything to bang forcefully on a shop counter. In the immortal words of John Cleese, "This is a former parrot." It could be someone we've heard of, like General Galgan or even someone like Beslan or Tylee. But it's not any character that we'd find particularly significant; I doubt it's Mat or Demandred or anything along those lines.
  14. I think it just has special properties against Shadowspawn. Maybe an alternative to Balefire for killing Darkhounds. Mah'alleinir: +5 warhammer. Does 2d4 damage to all shadowspawn. May cause effect burning upon strike.
  15. It's kind of a glaring detail that we never got an answer to, at least. I mean, at first, no one seriously believed the Ashandarei was of huge importance, even though people did question how Mat came by it. A lot of discussions asking why Mat got it ended with the conclusion that they picked up something that "laying around" to hang him with. Even people who thought it was significant didn't manage to tie it in to his request for leave-taking. Also, considering that getting out of Finnland is always a bigger trick than getting in, I'd say it was pretty significant to the story. No one really came up with a good answer about how to exit since we didn't know what the spear did.
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