I just finished AMOL about 30 minutes ago. Words fail me, they truly do. Yet I feel the need to find the right words, much as Thom was doing.
I've been reading WoT for 12 years. Not as long as some of you, true. But it helped to shape me, make me into who I am today. I felt such sadness that it was ending, that there would never be another Wheel of Time book. But then, there are no true endings, are there?
For everyone who died, I cried. Having grown up with these characters, these friends, every death was painful (yes, even Gawyn's.) The only part I didn't like was Siuan's death, the way that it happened "off-camera", so to speak. I feel that she deserved a better ending than she got, but I also feel that she wouldn't have wanted her death to be distracting, somehow. And of course, Gareth charging the Trollocs in full battle mode was a fitting end for him.
Bela. So she wasn't the Dark One, but she survived to carry Olver when he needed it. And of course Olver would be the Hornsounder; very fitting.
Faile not dying was good. I know many have hated her, and while I never loved her, the hurt that would have caused Perrin would have been too much.
Egwene's death, while sad, was perfect. The Amyrlin's Flame, turns the Shadow to Crystal. Beautiful.
I can't begin to express how glad I am that Lan survived. Not only survived, but killed Demandred! Perfect. Tai'shar Malkier!
Mat, Fortuona, Min, Aviendha, Elayne, Birgitte...I think they all were wonderful in this. So glad we have a name for Min's Talent now! I wish that we somehow could see Mat's child, and Elayne's, and Avi's (because I'm sure she's pregnant), see them grow up, and become the next generation of awesome...but I think that's probably best left to us, isn't it? Us, the generation of people who read the Wheel of Time, will never let it end. We, the fans, will keep it alive, introducing it to our children, who will grow up with it, and get to ask (for a while) "But what happens next??" with eyes of wonder and souls of adventure.
For a while.
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain.