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Poobah

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  1. New poster revealed after a lil social media puzzle thing.
  2. Yeah it's a bit complicated when it comes to the whole free will situation. The Wheel of Time does have the pattern when it comes to the shape of the ages and other corrective measures to bring things back on course (ta'veren) but there's also somewhat of a multiverse situation going on which we can see through the portal stones, all the chances Rand had to live different lives, all the worlds that could've been. I wonder if the main characters aren't ta'veren as a result of the pattern forcing them to follow their destinies, but because they are following them if you see what I mean? This is the main, golden, timeline in which they are ta'veren and get to affect the pattern around them because they are making the "right" choices. Personally I think Mat is actually a very similar character to Nynaeve in that there's all these different layers to who he is where how he thinks of himself, how others see him and he presents himself to them, how he talks, and then how he actually acts tell quite different stories. Mat does, always, when the chips are down and it actually matters come through no matter the difficulty, danger, or cost. However much he moans and complains, protests and comes up with his own justifications, he is actually a hero and someone who can be relied upon. He might not want the aggro but he also won't willingly let someone down or leave someone in danger - he has hundreds of opportunities to just fuck off down the pub and let the world burn, say it's Rand's problem not his, but he never makes that choice.
  3. I mean all that is well and good but it doesn't stop the assassin or other threat that you don't see. That's why you have a highly trained Warder whose life is pretty much literally tied to yours to be obsessively paranoid for you. As we see with Moiraine at the start sometimes an Aes Sedai might not want to reveal that she's a powerful magic user and scare all the nearby commoners shitless, but still might want to y'know not get mugged or otherwise attacked for being a lone woman so a big guy with a sword is a pretty useful tool to have, and means you can avoid getting your hands dirty. Plus using the power is a pretty major escalation, a sword is something anyone can use in theory, it's a threat but something people can understand, whereas the power is a terrifying invisible force of magic to almost everyone so having to use it to protect yourself from all who mean you harm is a great way to scare even more people into wanting to do you harm: Verrin chews the girls out at the start of book 3 for definitely not attacking some whitecloaks to scare them off, because there are ways to handle situations that don't make you and by reflection your entire organisation look like a bunch of dangerous scary witches that more people would do well to want to assassinate. In other times what Moiraine does as they exit Baerlon in book 1 might be cause to get her in serious trouble in the tower, certainly it'd be major political ammunition on account of how scaring the shit out of half a town isn't good PR for the White Tower. Honestly a better argument would be that Aes Sedai should have to learn to use a weapon of their choice in training to a high level.
  4. Personally I'd say that by the standards of the time it's obvious to me that they were in a relationship, everyone in town knew and assumed that they'd marry and in the normal course of things it's clear they would've - we even see that in What Might Be in TGH (one of my favourite chapters of WoT, such an interesting and memorable sequence). The Two Rivers is extremely puritanical even by the standards of the setting it's in (I mean see how damaged Perrin is, and how slutshamed Mat gets for kissing a few barmaids) so I agree that their relationship as written was absolutely not sexual, but Egwene was dancing with Rand (and only Rand) and so on, they were pretty locked in with eachother in that very old times kinda way - there was courtship happening there. Also in Eye of the World we get some jealousy between them over Egwene dancing with the tinker whose name I forget and Elsie Grinwell being all over Rand while they were split up. I'd even suggest that they probably kissed given that Rand doesn't, for instance, think about how Elayne is the first girl he ever kissed or anything like that and, looking up the scene in TSR, doesn't exactly kiss like a first timer either. Actually the scene before that where Egwene formally breaks up with Rand is probably a pretty good piece of evidence that there was something there originally: "I do not love you! At least, not in the way to want to marry you [...] People change, Rand. Feelings change. When people are apart, sometimes they grow apart. I love you as I would a brother, perhaps more than a brother." She doesn't say "I never loved you" or "I never wanted to marry you" but rather that her feelings have changed y'know from something that they were before.
  5. Balefire is one of those weird things where how it worked was always clear and obvious to me and yet I've seen a bunch of people assume it worked differently. It doesn't annihilate someone's soul or cause permanent destruction, but I have to admit this is a take I've seen before and from people who have been enjoying the books and merely looking for more information so I have to wonder where the weakness in the explanation is? I can't believe that all fantasy readers need some Brandon Sanderson-esq scene where a scientist explains in detail exactly why and how the logic of the magic works. The talk of burning threads from the pattern is, I suppose, what causes the confusion? And yet there's other talk of cutting threads as a metaphor for death elsewhere in the story - the thread is the life in the metaphor, and it's length is the duration life - so it isn't a novel image or complicated concept the only thing Balefire does is, depending on the amount of power used, cause that thread to end at a moment before the "fire" started, ie. kills someone back in time. This prevents the Dark One from capturing their souls to keep them around because He's constrained by linear time when interacting with the pattern, but doesn't otherwise have any effect on them. We can see this clearly as various enemies are Balefired over the course of the series - the absurd changes to reality that would happen if they were completely deleted from existence and everything they've personally ever done is erased don't happen, instead we have their most recent actions undone as the pattern retcons itself to account for them dying minutes or hours earlier then "originally" happened.
  6. Been a while since this board had a WoT-bashing thread. I have neither the time, energy, nor inclination to defend WoT in it's entirety - certainly there are things about the series that are dated, or irritate even me as a fan , and plenty that I meme on, though those jokes hit rather different coming from fans than when ya'll are just actively hating / deriding the series. That said I do wanna reply to a few of Varys' points, starting with some fact and then moving down more into taste/ymmv territory: For Rand, who from what I recall is primarily responsible here there is an explanation provided in the book for the astute reader to pick up on. I don't know if this is a spoiler thread so I'll tag it, from EotW Chapter 23 when Moiraine explains self-taught channelling to Nynaeve, with a little extra explanation/commentary from me that a first time reader might not pick up on: I mean it's a fantasy/medieval/renaissance setting, I don't think the author needs to work very hard to explain why the mysterious magic users are mistrusted. Beyond that Jordan does show quite a few reasons why they might be disliked, including one that you mention and then dismiss - that they're reputed to be manipulators and puppet masters pulling the strings of nations, this is inherently viewed by most people as a bad thing, and is actually correct in this instance unlike in many real world conspiracy theories where it's also used as an inherent negative. Also we see that Emond's Field is a backwater ass end of nowhere full of yokels who rarely get a proper Gleeman, let alone someone like Thom who'd actually know something close to the true history in the stories he spins, and in the mob scene I believe someone shouts about the Aes Sedai breaking the world which strikes me as very much a classic bigoted talking point - completely missing the point but just true enough that someone trying to respond in good faith has to clarify with a more lengthy far less explosive explanation vs the initial talking point which is simple and easy to stick in the minds of the ignorant and stupid. Also we see the existence of the Whitecloaks an active Aes Sedai hate organisation whose business is spreading hate and fear. Finally and we're getting in to the territory already covered in the TV show thread (though I think you passed over my post since I tagged it with full spoilers? certainly you didn't respond to it) but the White Tower is a fallen organisation at this point, they're literally at their all time low, they barely have any members relative to the size of the continent, and certainly have no PR branch. Even someone we know to be good and working for the good like Moiraine is shown to be rather unconcerned with the impression she gives to outsiders and given to little explanation of her motives - she scares the protagonists multiple times, including for instance when she sinks the Taren Ferry with magic, and probably scares half the town when she uses the giant illusion to cover their escape from Baerlon which is probably something that in the normal course of events where the world doesn't start ending soon thereafter something they'd be talking about for generations in that town. I never found this hard to believe - the actual mechanics of the sealing are pretty much left unknown beyond the knowledge that there are seven seals, the Strike at Shayol Ghul added that they required precise placement around the bore. Given that Lews Therin went to the Shayol Ghul with just over 100 male Aes Sedai (mentioned in the prologue, the hundred companions) and an entire army of 10,000 soldiers it's pretty much a given that a large battle took place there and it wasn't a stealth mission, so the Forsaken wouldn't have been caught off guard or just chilling in a board meeting with the Dark One when they're suddenly all stuck in stasis. Maybe Ishamael was in the middle of Travelling away from the battle, maybe he had his foot over the line of the seal, maybe the Dark One managed to yeet his favoured champion slightly out in to the world to make sure it stayed sufficiently fucked up. It's not super relevant to the present narrative beyond giving explanation for how the world has remained in decline so I don't know that it's explained (or that explanation is really necessary) in the main books but the companion offers that he gets spun out once every thousand years which fits with the events he boasts about being responsible for to the boys in Eye of the World.
  7. Why couldn't, or wouldn't, having UBI be a part of raising wages and reducing the work week? If, as you suggest, huge swathes of people would quit their jobs overnight with the introduction of UBI would that not drive employers to offer higher wages and better hours in order to retain or reacquire employees so they can continue to exist?
  8. My headcannon re: the seanchan sequels is that Tuon would end up channelling instinctively after getting in some shit, and that'd lead to her ending the enslavement of channellers after some extra civil war and political action. IMO this is supported by the (unfulfilled) Legend mentioned in the companion and ToM glossary that "in a time of dire need, the Imperial family would return to the Towers of Midnight and "right that which is wrong."" which also notes that the creator of the a'dam was imprisoned there. IIRC the companion stuff (errors and all) is all from Jordan's notes? And it seems nicely circular that Tuon would end up channelling and probably be imprisoned there herself before learning the error of her ways. I feel like Jordan was going somewhat in the direction of her learning from Mat (plus Setalle Anan) and showing that she was somewhat open-minded, just socialised / indoctrinated into the ways of her evil empire and had never had any of her beliefs questioned before. Sanderson didn't really develop that arc at all though and rather had her reset back to factory default as Fortuona, but assuming that Min was intended by Jordan to become a member of the imperial court (which does track, it seems very reasonable that the Seanchan "omens" are a warped legend of others with Min's talent) I think the double team of Min and Mat would've done well to carry some books and however whipped Mat gets around Tuon, Min doesn't take shit from anyone and wouldn't have put up with the evil ways the Seanchan treat channellers.
  9. The number is probably lower in the current age because of the genetics of it all, but not necessarily that much lower. Many people born with the inborn spark just die because the Aes Sedai never find them, and most of those that survive don't become Aes Sedai since they don't meet the criteria for youth - they need to be young enough to indoctrinate afterall - even Nynaeve was nearly denied for being too old to start and she's only in her mid-twenties. There are significantly more people who can learn if they want than have the inborn spark (as we see, for instance, with the radio of sul'dam to damane) and while everyone who could channel or wanted to learn was found and taught if they wished in the Age of Legends the options for learning to channel in the third age are strictly limited - the Aes Sedai do zero active recruitment so in the wetlands you need to be in that tiny venn diagram slice that matches both "able to learn to channel" and girl / young woman willing to leave home between your mid teens up to maybe early twenties and travel to Tar Valon for the chance to maybe become an Aes Sedai, though given how superstitious and backward we see most places have gotten (see how Emond's Field reacts to Moiraine) they're as likely to go with the word witch with all attached stigma so that's a pretty rare young woman even before considering the travel distances and how poor most people are.
  10. Meanwhile at the primary school where my mother works covid is running rampant: half the children have it after one boy (who had been on holiday with his parents!) returned with it two weeks ago, and now the staff including her are getting infected. The school leadership seems utterly shambolic and of course there's none to be had from the government whose guidelines seem to be "not our problem any more." It feels like the government isn't satisfied with their covid response and all we had to deal with over the past two years of lockdowns just having been pretty fucking useless and half arsed, instead they're driving forward as rapidly as possible with undoing anything it achieved in stopping the spread of the virus. With their spineless mix of cowardice and avaricious callousness the government is instead looking to give the morons all the holidays and shopping they want for one last popular sacrifice to the economy before we all die of plague. I'm beyond furious.
  11. I know we have a spoiler warning on this thread but I might as well spoiler box this because it's got some major full series spoilers and I'm sure we have some tv show only people glancing at this.
  12. Slightly reordered Kaligator's message here (hope you don't mind) to highlight the final bit because it can be quite important and ties in to his other comment, and I also want to build on it and mention legendary boons as well as others that have pre-requisites and how knowing them can help you build towards a much stronger more synergetic run. In this the in-game Codex is invaluable, though there are various (possibly more useful for clear understanding) flow charts and such on the internet too that could help with understanding the "tech tree" each god has and how they intersect with the duo boons. It's worth mentioning also, because while there's a Nyx dialogue when she unlocks it for you I don't feel it's very clear and some players miss it, that checking out the options on the other side of the mirror can be very helpful - Dark Foresight in particular is generally regarded as much stronger than Olympian Favor, but in other cases the differing mirror options are balanced well and can simply give you new options that could be favourable to you and your play style. To elaborate a bit on what Kaligator mentioned about having control over your run: when putting together a Hades run I already have most of an idea what sorta thing I'm going for by the time I've actually entered the run - in selecting a weapon and an aspect, and a starting Keepsake I'm already making some very significant decisions. I try and think about what a given weapon does, how it feels to use, what it's strengths are, and then pick a god to start with with the Keepsake that will synergize with that - for instance the Rail's attack is very fast hitting so it's going to work well with flat damage and applying debuffs quickly, which lends itself well to Zeus with his on-hit damage from the lightning, or perhaps Dionysus with stacking the hangover stacks up quickly for example. Just in case it isn't clear the reason I start with one of the Keepsakes given you by the Olympian gods unless I'm going for a different run feel is that they force that god to appear as the next god you find, and as such is one of the major ways you can gain control over your run since you can also swap Keepsakes out between floors and thus take on a new god Keepsake or swap to something more useful for the late game once you have the gods you want active in your run. I also prefer the flip-side re-roll talent which instead of allowing you to re-roll rooms allows you to re-roll the boons offered you by the gods, albeit with less charges, but I find it rather more powerful in forcing my way to the boons I truly want and need. Hope that helps. If you have any specific questions or need less generalised advice feel free to let me know! Hades rapidly became one of my favourite games and while I'm not on the level of some of the streamers or speedrunners I have put in a lot of hours and don't think it'd be bragging to say that I think I've gotten pretty good at it at this point.
  13. TFW no one is talking about the actual best Star Wars game series, Dark Forces.
  14. Yeah Logain was always a dick, long before Sanderson got his hands on him. He declared himself Dragon - knowing he obviously wasn't - and started a war as a result that killed a bunch of people - I don't think his motivations are ever really discussed (the whole thing of "the red ajah made me do it" was certainly a fabrication of Siuan) but it doesn't exactly say anything good about his character. And while he's no darkfriend in the glimpses we get of him from Jordan later he's still hungry for power and glory, and seems rather resentful towards Rand - showing some Gawyn levels of denial with his refusal to believe that Rand (and Nynaeve to give her her due) cleansed Saidin. I actually liked his arc in AMoL, and if not for the omnipresence of the hilariously Sandersonian Androl would've considered it one of the more Jordan parts of the book with its more... I dunno how to put this exactly: when Sanderson sits down and says "I'm gonna write a character with x mental health issue" he just writes an essay about what it feels like to live with that thing from inside that character's head every few chapters, whereas Jordan just writes the depression, anxiety, paranoia, PTSD, imposter syndrome, and so on into the characters in WoT without any of that "I did a ton of 21st century therapy and I'm really self aware" type of internal monologuing. I got much more of that feeling from Logain in AMoL who's clearly suffering from his imprisonment and torture and feels an overwhelming need to feel safe, to gain power, to make sure no one can ever hurt him or cage him again - he doesn't talk about it he just lives it, and so his struggle and ultimate decision to give up on that to do the right thing and save others instead of himself feels far more real to me than most Sanderson style "big character emotional (and also power) growth / level up" moments. Androl is a weird character to me. I think the concept is cool. He does work as a plausible to exist character within the universe of WoT - Jordan already established that one Kinswoman with the exceptional Talent for shielding to the point that she pretty much defies all known rules about shielding with her Talent - and in theory I like the idea. And yet he really does feel incredibly out of place. It is somewhat of the issue with the One Power where in theory it can be used to do all kinds of inventive and exotic things, and if you use it smartly especially with modern knowledge of how the world works there're so many "broken" things that one can do, and yet all our main characters, both protagonist and antagonist who are all on the world-destroyer level of power and have access to an unlimited toolkit of weaves in theory never actually do anything more than lob slightly larger than average basic elemental spells at one another. Perhaps if the rest of the cast did more with their magic then he wouldn't feel so out of place. The thing that really bothers me about him though is that Sanderson linked him so tightly with Pevara who is unequivocally one of my favourite characters. In the few chapters Jordan gave her he wrote a unique, competent, and interesting character and did a bunch of work to show an entirely different side to the Red Ajah far from the misandrist morons and darkfriends that they'd almost universally been shown as prior to his introduction of her. She's someone I really hope is kept.
  15. You're entitled to your own tastes but it seems pretty fucking rude to take shots at and pass sweeping judgements on, probably a good chunk of posters in this thread. The last time I fully read Wheel of Time I was in my late 20s and still found it enjoyable with a great deal of depth and many things of interest, Certainly my nostalgic attachment to it plays a part in colouring my appreciation for it (though in part I think as a series heavy with foreshowing and characters who take some understanding / don't view eachother or themselves and their motivations clearly it benefits greatly from hindsight) but if I thought it was an unreadable morass I wouldn't bother with it - there're plenty of books and other pieces of media that I've jettisoned as I've grown and evolved but Wheel of Time isn't and will never be one of them. Not to mention that Wheel of Time is somewhat foundational in modern epic fantasy and was appreciated by many writers I presume you esteem including GRRM who included a couple of references to Jordan in A Song of Ice and Fire and credited his cover quotation with doing a lot to help the success of A Game of Thrones.
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