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Wheel of Time Discussion (Spoilers)

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35 minutes ago, Lord Patrek said:

Just meant that it was not just about the Tower of Ghenji stuff.

But Sanderson always had problem with shades of gray. All his characters are black and white, so there were a number of WoT protagonists we all knew he'd have a hard time getting right. . .

I don't know. What was done to Waxillium in Alloy of Law was pretty messed up. Even if it was for the "Greater Good". 

Edit: and it turns out the Lord Ruler was pretty grey. 

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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A lot of what made Mat a fun character to love reading about was the combination of his inner monologue, and the dialogue he was involved with. Unfortunately, Sanderson's dialogue is often cringy, and I don't recall anything worthwhile that he gave Mat for an inner monologue.

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17 hours ago, Maithanet said:

Tf you're speculating on what great victory Demandred had achieved such that he's so proud of himself when meeting the Dark One, the Black Tower is the top of the list.  It looks like the "official" story is that Demandred recruited Taim, and thus Demandred could still take some credit there, but really, why not cut out the middleman?  Not that it's a crucial point in WoT overall, but I think the story would have worked better with Taimandred than what they ended up doing. 

The great victory is Dumai's Wells and the whole plot that led there. Leaves Rand and the White Tower on hostile terms and weakens Elaida's position in the Tower, so the Shadow can take control.

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His "great victory" was giving us the answer to the best swordsman in Randland question.

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Just checked the prologue of Lord of Chaos. Demandred definitely doesn't know what happened to Asmodean.

Quote

The Great Lord already knew how Rahvin had died. And seemed to know more of Asmodean than he.

So if RJ really ever intended Demandred to be Asmodean's killer he changed it before LoC was published. Makes one wonder about those notes. I guess there is no date on them? 

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13 hours ago, Jamie Lannister said:

Unpopular opinion, but I feel like Sanderson did Elaida a disservice as a character. Sure, she was an awful human being and probably deserved what she got in the end, but even at her worst and most megalomaniacal, I never quite felt like Jordan wanted her to be the just... irredeemable monster she was in the Sanderson novels.

I don't know, maybe I'm crazy, but even more than Mat I think this was the character whose nuances, however small, got lost in translation between the two writers.

She was a decently written character at the beginning, but after she became AS, she lost her plot, and became a caricature. Sanderson just continued it.

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9 hours ago, Loge said:

Just checked the prologue of Lord of Chaos. Demandred definitely doesn't know what happened to Asmodean.

So if RJ really ever intended Demandred to be Asmodean's killer he changed it before LoC was published. Makes one wonder about those notes. I guess there is no date on them? 

Seems pretty straightforward.

The notes were written before Lord of Chaos and RJ changed his mind before that book was published and misled readers. I don't see the conspiracy here. Sanderson confirmed the notes are legit. 

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23 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Didn't Jordon write most of the Tower of Ghenji stuff?

Yup. I think Mat was like 90% Sanderson in Gathering Storm and A Memory of Light, but 90% Jordan in Towers of Midnight. Egwene taking down the Tower and defeating the Seanchan and Mat in the Tower of Ghenjei was the stuff Robert Jordan actually wrote for the final book(s) before he passed away (along with the final chapter and I think a couple of chunks of the Last Battle chapter).

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On 5/15/2018 at 11:39 AM, Maithanet said:

So it's been a long time since I read this series.  Was there ever an adequate explanation for why the Shadow always usually had the official policy that Rand was not to be killed?  Was it that the Dark One has to defeat the Dragon at the Last Battle, and there's no other way for them to win?  Does anyone else find that explanation very unsatisfying?

I don't think it is straight up explained, but the hints are there:

From the Prologue, we see agents of the Shadow always try to turn the Dragon to their side. 

And we see what would have happened had they succeeded: Rand nearly destroyed all of Creation in his despair, doing the Dark One's work for him, while thinking he was doing the "right" thing. 

Seems clear to me that the Dark One has seen the futility in trying to win head on against the Dragon. Instead, it sees that the only path to victory is to turn the Dragon in one way or another. 

Hence, "Let the Lord of Chaos Rule", and the strict orders to not kill him (except when his activity seems poised to really hurt the Shadow, like cleansing Saidin).

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On 5/15/2018 at 4:19 PM, Werthead said:

Later on there seems to be a little bit of a retcon there, with the idea that if the Dark One does escape, only that one reality/turning of the Wheel is lost, not all of them, and the Dragon will be Reborn in those worlds to continue the fight.

I'm not sure where this is stated or even implied. The Dark One breaking free ending the Pattern and breaking the Wheel was always held up. Heck, Egwene's entire opposition to Rand is based on that risk.

On 5/16/2018 at 10:11 AM, Maithanet said:

Tf you're speculating on what great victory Demandred had achieved such that he's so proud of himself when meeting the Dark One, the Black Tower is the top of the list.  It looks like the "official" story is that Demandred recruited Taim, and thus Demandred could still take some credit there, but really, why not cut out the middleman?  Not that it's a crucial point in WoT overall, but I think the story would have worked better with Taimandred than what they ended up doing. 

Yup. It would also have fit that Demandred, Semirhage, and Mesaana, who were in an alliance, would choose to infiltrate three channeling organizations they knew would play a role in the final events. 

On 5/16/2018 at 5:51 PM, Jamie Lannister said:

Unpopular opinion, but I feel like Sanderson did Elaida a disservice as a character. Sure, she was an awful human being and probably deserved what she got in the end, but even at her worst and most megalomaniacal, I never quite felt like Jordan wanted her to be the just... irredeemable monster she was in the Sanderson novels.

I don't know, maybe I'm crazy, but even more than Mat I think this was the character whose nuances, however small, got lost in translation between the two writers.

Yup. Elaida in Knife of Dreams is unrecognizable from the Elaida of The Gathering Storm. In Knife of Dreams, we have a PoV from Elaida, and chapter from her second in command's PoV. In both, we see her definitely slipping and becoming more suspicious and entrenched in her positions, but we don't see anything like a raving lunatic. 

The problem is, Brandon just cannot write a scene where two characters have a different view point, but neither is clearly "owning" the other. He always likes to show whoever he sees as the protagonist of the scene clearly overawe and destroy their opponent. It is quite fanboyish.

The great victory is Dumai's Wells and the whole plot that led there. Leaves Rand and the White Tower on hostile terms and weakens Elaida's position in the Tower, so the Shadow can take control.

Yup. This was a Demandred-Mesaana plot. Between them, they basically put the Black and White Towers at war, broke up the White Tower and engineered the installation of a "puppet" to lead the White Tower rebels, and installed a Darkfriend as Rand's "rescuer" and leader of his Black Tower. Demandred had plenty of reason to be pleased with himself. 

Why he decided to move on to Shara is a mystery.

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2 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

I'm not sure where this is stated or even implied. The Dark One breaking free ending the Pattern and breaking the Wheel was always held up. Heck, Egwene's entire opposition to Rand is based on that risk.

"The Creator had made the world and then left humankind to make of it what they would, a heaven or the Pit of Doom by their choosing. The Creator had made many worlds, watched each flower and die, and gone on to make endless worlds beyond. A gardener did not weep for each blossom that fell."

Lews Therin agrees with that analysis. That's a sign that the Dark One would only be able to destroy/affect that one incarnation of the Pattern, not the entirety of creation forever.

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This might be kind of obvious, but once Rand and co were using the Choeden Kal to cleanse Saidin, couldn't any of the Forsaken just have gone to either Tremalking or Carhein and balefired them away?  Obviously this would have robbed them of the potential to use the Choeden Kal in the future, but since you'd only need to destroy one, any Forsaken could destroy the opposite gender's half with little downside.  This seems way easier the confronting the linked Aes Sedai and Ashaman there to protect Rand.  Even assuming the Forsaken underestimated the defenders (as they obviously did), it seems crazy that risk-averse Forsaken such a Moghedian and Graendal would chose an open confrontation over a simpler and less dangerous path.

Am I missing something? 

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

This might be kind of obvious, but once Rand and co were using the Choeden Kal to cleanse Saidin, couldn't any of the Forsaken just have gone to either Tremalking or Carhein and balefired them away?  Obviously this would have robbed them of the potential to use the Choeden Kal in the future, but since you'd only need to destroy one, any Forsaken could destroy the opposite gender's half with little downside.  This seems way easier the confronting the linked Aes Sedai and Ashaman there to protect Rand.  Even assuming the Forsaken underestimated the defenders (as they obviously did), it seems crazy that risk-averse Forsaken such a Moghedian and Graendal would chose an open confrontation over a simpler and less dangerous path.

Am I missing something? 

When the Cleansing was going on, both statues were utterly engulfed in the One Power. I suspect balefiring one of them in that state would have been ill-advised, at best. Definitely not an experiment the ultra-cautious Graendal or Moghedien would undertake.

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2 minutes ago, Werthead said:

When the Cleansing was going on, both statues were utterly engulfed in the One Power. I suspect balefiring one of them in that state would have been ill-advised, at best. Definitely not an experiment the ultra-cautious Graendal or Moghedien would undertake.

Yeah, I'd imagine they'd need one of their lackeys under compulsion to do it.  Although it's likely those puppets (even the AS ones) wouldn't know balefire. 

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Buuuuuut… Balefire burns the thread out of the pattern backwards at a factor of how strong the BF weave was.  So, could they not go to said location and wait for the statue to stop glowing and then balefire the shit out of it and have it destroyed at a time before Rand used it?

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2 hours ago, Rhom said:

Buuuuuut… Balefire burns the thread out of the pattern backwards at a factor of how strong the BF weave was.  So, could they not go to said location and wait for the statue to stop glowing and then balefire the shit out of it and have it destroyed at a time before Rand used it?

I suspect any kind of channelling around the Choedan Kal without knowing what you were doing would be an extraordinarily bad idea: there's a reason you need the access keys. Maybe you could destroy them through the keys (Rand does destroy the male statue, if inadvertently). There's a good reason that the Forsaken didn't do this in the Age of Legends, given the proscription even the Shadow had on balefire at the time. The Choedan Kal probably have enough power to unravel the Wheel altogether if you balefired them.

There's also the fact that the Shadow could do with the Choedan Kal themselves for their own purposes, so capturing them would be more preferable.

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9 hours ago, Werthead said:

"The Creator had made the world and then left humankind to make of it what they would, a heaven or the Pit of Doom by their choosing. The Creator had made many worlds, watched each flower and die, and gone on to make endless worlds beyond. A gardener did not weep for each blossom that fell."

Lews Therin agrees with that analysis. That's a sign that the Dark One would only be able to destroy/affect that one incarnation of the Pattern, not the entirety of creation forever.

I never read it as anything but pessimism and cynicism from Lews Therin. Verin's statement about the Creator, the Dark One and Tel'aran'rhiod being the three constants, and the Dark One being free in one world meaning he's free in all felt to me to be the author speaking. They referenced it again, in Towers of Midnight, I think.

8 hours ago, Maithanet said:

This might be kind of obvious, but once Rand and co were using the Choeden Kal to cleanse Saidin, couldn't any of the Forsaken just have gone to either Tremalking or Carhein and balefired them away?  Obviously this would have robbed them of the potential to use the Choeden Kal in the future, but since you'd only need to destroy one, any Forsaken could destroy the opposite gender's half with little downside.  This seems way easier the confronting the linked Aes Sedai and Ashaman there to protect Rand.  Even assuming the Forsaken underestimated the defenders (as they obviously did), it seems crazy that risk-averse Forsaken such a Moghedian and Graendal would chose an open confrontation over a simpler and less dangerous path.

Am I missing something? 

We know Callandor resists balefire, and is almost Cuendillar like. I suspect the same was almost certainly true of the Choedan Kal. They were designed and manufactured after balefire was known, as the potential last weapon against the Shadow. Makes sense to me that they'd make it balefire proof.

The Access Keys themselves are nearly impossible to destroy:

Quote

Nearly everyone began to talk at once.

“I thought the keys were all destroyed!” Aran’gar exclaimed, surging to her feet. Her eyes were wide with fear. “He could shatter the world just trying to use the Choedan Kal!”

“If you had ever read anything besides a history book, you would know they’re almost impossible to destroy!” Osan’gar snarled at her. But he was tugging at his collar as if it were too tight, and his eyes seemed ready to fall out of his face. “How can this girl know he has them? How?”

 

All the Forsaken know balefire, so if it can destroy the Access Keys, it wouldn't be "nearly impossible".

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