Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-14' started by Zednelem, Jul 14, 2015.
Egwene started out the weakest and least relevant of all characters. She grew into her role; and the pattern had plans for her. Outside the 3 official ta'veren, I think she's the next thing to it. Like Rand, from obscurity to world leader in less than 30 months. Just wow!
I love Egwene, her drive, her dedication, her sacrifice, her ignorance, her tenacity, her daring, her recklessness, the rebel in her, just about everything She was lucky to have a good group of people to help and get her through; mainly the wise ones who beat much of the nonsense and Aes Sedai arrogance out of her. She found her Aiel heart with them; and it carried her till her final glory.
Siuan, whose death is more heart-wrenching for me, was another solid friend who helped Egwene more than the latter realized. Siuan sacrificed herself to make Egwene succeed in order for the White Tower to survive and succeed. And Siuan was on a mission to save the world well before Egwene was born. She went through so much; suffered so much; and in the end died in an almost haphazardly, irrelevant way. She deserved better. I could just imagine Moiraine and Thom visiting Siuan and Gareth and remembering old times. The women share so much; and the men go back decades in the past in their acquaintanceship.
But back to Egwene, her arch suffered, in my opinion, from the difference in depth, understanding, and intellectual and writing ability between RJ and BS. And she wasn't the only one to suffer in such a way. Her battle against the Seanchan raid was glorious; her meeting with the other channeler factions was not. So it is a mixed bag in one way or another, till the final scene which is epic.
Egwene al'Vere, you did well; you did so well
That sounded a lot like a eulogy Al'Amar, and i couldn't have expressed it better myself
Maybe it turned out to be an eulogy; although that wasn't my intent. But I love Egwene enough to get emotional when writing about her.
I'm torn about Siuan. On the one hand her death was so random and understated ... it just ... HAPPENED and the story went on around and past it with no real attention given to her passing. Ugh! On the other hand I see that as very realistic in a real world battle - people die in the most, well, mundane ways in a real battle. They are still dead and often their passing is not really noticed or appreciated until after the battle is over. So in that way I feel like Siuan's death was the most realistic.
This part in the audiobook gives me chills and makes me tear up EVERY SINGLE TIME. I love it so much. I remember reading it for the first time (actually reading, not listening to it) and being blown away by that part of the story. <3
I feel like i glossed over Siuan's death a bit when i first read AMoL because i knew that Egwene's death was coming (if it had not happened already; i can't remember who died first) and was more worried about that. However, now that i think about it, i do feel like she deserved to go out with more of a bang considering everything that she went through, or at least with more attention given to her passing, so i agree with Al'Amar in that respect. Having read A Song of Ice and Fire, i feel i should have been more prepared for all the death in the last book, but i guess i was more invested in the characters from WoT. I'm going to have to try these audiobooks everyone keeps going on about lol.
True! Battlefields and butcher bills are cruel and don't stop for individuals. But Siuan is well ... Siuan. The only person other than Moiraine who safeguarded the most dangerous secret and hope for mankind. She dedicated her life, over two decades, to this mission. She handled it well right from the start. Rand was in her grasp in Fal Dara; but she did what was right ... give him the freedom to fulfill the prophecies and save humanity. She battled the whole White Tower, and stood against an the most powerful establishment in the world to see that fulfilled; knowing how that establishment is not fit to handle the Dragon in the right way.
She was deposed, tortured, stilled, made a refugee, and then patted to the corner in Salidar as an insignificant. Yet, she persevered and remained true. To me, she's more of a heroine than Egwene (whom I love dearly); because she laid the foundations for what Egwene needed to do. May the Creator shelter your soul, Siuan.
I agree about how abrupt Siuan's death was but I agree that is what it would be like on a battlefield. I actually think that due to how abrupt her death was it's made me think a lot about her post book and made me even respect her more as a character (I really liked her in the first place but still).
I enjoy reading everyone's views on aspects of the books but I particular enjoy your views/interpretations Al'Amar I think not only because they resonate with my views most of the time but also because you seem to know/remember so much more than I do!
Egwene was one of my top characters especially since she was captured by the Tower. The scenes in Book 11 and 12 are brilliant and I was so sad when she died. But it was beautiful at the same time. There were quite a few instances in which I cried.
To me Rand's whole speech to the Dark One about "It wasn't about me. It was never about me...." and then he goes on to describe all the other "major" characters was superb and is a highlight of the whole series to me. If I read that page now I'd probably get a tear in my eye...
I'm of the "pro-Egwene" camp in the lively WoT debate regarding her. I enjoyed how she started out as the weakest character, afraid and almost helpless for the most part in the first 2 books. He captivity in Falme was heart-wrenching. I didn't research this; but I think she suffered the most physical abuse (mortification of the flesh) of all characters. But she grew into her role; with the aid of of a near-ta'veren experience. She was lucky to have good people help her along. But she wasn't without her flaws; in fact, many flaws and mistakes. But in the end, her compass was in the right direction: supporting Rand throughout the books, despite exceptional circumstances that tested that support many times.
I think I posted in one of these threads how the quality of Egwene PoV's started to fluctuate after Sanderson took over. It was a combination of several factors; but she was had me fluctuating between tears and pulling my hair over the last 3 books.
I gotta agree here. I read of Siuan's death soon after starting to watch Game of Thrones. My first thought after reading of Siuan's death was, "Ack, Sanderson is gonna go all Game of Thrones on us! :S"
I don't have much to add to the conversation, otherwise, especially since I haven't reached this part in my (re)listen. But I'll list my original read-through thoughts.
Siuan's death was by far more shocking, imo, because it came out of nowhere. I liked Siuan from the beginning; Egwene only after she stopped taking crap from the Aes Sedai. Maybe the longer period of admiring Siuan is what made her ending more significant for me. That and I can only imagine (obviously ) Moiraine's reaction of first hearing the news after Tarmon Gai'don. I know Sanderson wrote Moiraine was told, but it seemed like an off-handed mention... Like "Oh, hey. Siuan died, btw." I would have liked to read more of an emotional reaction, especially from Moiraine since they were so close, but Sanderson or the publishers were probably ready to wrap this thing up by then. Kinda off-topic, but it seemed like everything involving Moiraine after the Tower of Ghenji was rushed
Egwene's death was indeed spectacular. I remember not feeling entirely satisfied with it for some reason, though. I may revisit this topic once my memory is refreshed. It could have simply been my own exhaustion after finishing AMoL in three days
Looking forward to your thoughts on her death after you read it again!!
I cannot get my head around why Egwene would want to keep the three oaths.
Using the Oath Rod to separate Aes Sedai from other channelers (Wind Finders, Wise Ones, and Damane) makes since. The Oath Rod is supposed to make nations trust Aes Sedai but everyone knows that Aes Sedai break those oaths. The truth you hear is not always the truth an Aes Sedai says.
I think keeping the Oath Rod is a good idea but there needs to be a new Oath.
I like Diane Duane Wizards' Oath best:
"In Life's name and for Life's sake, I assert that I will employ the Art which is its gift in Life's service alone, rejecting all other usages. I will guard growth and ease pain. I will fight to preserve what grows and lives well in its own way; and I will change no object or creature unless its growth and life, or that of the system of which it is part, are threatened. To these ends, in the practice of my Art, I will put aside fear for courage, and death for life, when it is right to do so -- till Universe's end."
The problem is that the Oath Rod (Binder) was used as a de facto death penalty in the Age of Legends. It cuts down the lifespan of a channeler from 800-840 years to 270-300 years for the strongest ones. And in the Age of Legends it was used against criminal channelers to bind them against committing further crimes.
The Oath Rod remains an ignorant utilization of a ter'angreal to try and stop Aes Sedai from achieving total control of the world; and I guess prevent them from being hunted down by non-channelers. In Seanchan, they solved Aes Sedai plotting and power grabbing with the a'dam. In Randland, it was the Oath Rod.
But the interesting thing is that Asha'man, who are now legit, do not use the Oath Rod. They're gonna be living double or triple the lifespan of their female counterparts at the start of the 4th Age.
I always imagined that Elayne would eventually have been able to make a new and improved version of the Oath Rod. Basically, it would still make oaths just as binding, but would no longer have an affect on the lifespan of a channeller and would perhaps not bestow an ageless look because of this. I know, the ageless look is part of what contributes to the mystique of the Aes Sedai, but i think trading it for doubling their lifespan is a pretty fair trade.
The Companion says that Aes Sedai continued to use the oath rod in the 4th age; at least at the start.
As to Elayne, that is an intriguing alternative. But I don't remember any foreshadowing specific to an improved oath rod. The ter'angreal she has created so far have been simple or imperfect copies of complex ter'angreal (Mat's medallion). It would be nice if she solves that problem, though
I think Elayne's ter'angreal are imperfect because she needs to pair up with a guy to make them work properly.
I like that idea. Elayne and Aviendha both have talents with ter'angreal and they could work together to make a new Oath Rod.
That makes perfect sense, Ninya Sedai . AoL wonders were created by a combined effort of men and women.
Im going to say that I am glad that didn't happen though. I felt that Noal was soooo Appropriate.
I don't cry often but I teared up when Noal showed up and Olver realized Someone cared enough for him to come back and never leave him......
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