I waited 18 years for THIS? (no spoilers)

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-14' started by Rick of mudbottom, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Aulrick Vendour

    Aulrick Vendour Gaidin

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    Well I'll start by saying the DO didn't "win," so much as he has managed to prevent his own loss. He is the father of lies. By convincing Rand that he is, in fact, required for the choice between good and evil, he is basically preventing his own death, thus insuring the continuation of the circle until he might actually win some day. I find that turn of events... Refreshing.

    Now, while LTT was indeed a scholar in the age of legends (or so I was told), he lived most of his life with no knowledge of the DO at all. The writers of the BWB had, so RJ said, vast knowledge, including things that were known during the age of legends. Now, they were mere theorists, but they still had knowledge of probably hundreds, if not thousands of years of knowledge of a world influenced by the DO. Rand's knowledge by himself was very limited to basically nothing concerning the DO. Everything he learned was from books of theories, prophecies and Aes Sedai. Those are the same Aes Sedai who thought, for example, that the heroes of the horn would fight for the shadow as well, should they be called by a darkfriend blowing the horn. In other words, he had very limited knowledge about the nature of the DO, so did LTT. The writers of the BWB had a vast knowledge, AND they had resources of research from previous theorists.
    The best example I gave in the other thread was Harrid Fel - he was Rand's best source of information on the DO, his prison, etc. He was a theorists, I assume one much like those who wrote the BWB, and we know for a fact that Rand indeed listened to him about clearing LTT's seals before attempting to reseal the prison.

    LTT lived most of his life without the DO at all, as he was sealed. If we accept that while the DO is sealed he is unable to touch the pattern, then I fail to see how he can be required for a choice, since we KNOW that people did bad things during the age of legends even before he was rediscovered. So there are two options - either he can effect the world even when he's sealed, which goes against everything we've been told in the books, or he simply has nothing to do with the choice. Now, the authors of the BWB indeed described something like this (I brought the quote in the other thread), saying that the DO doesn't MAKE people evil, he just "enhances" their evil and pushing them towards it. We see this during the book many times - people can choose for themselves if they want to follow the light or be evil, but once they've chosen the DO, their choice becomes limited. So saying that the DO "gives people the choice" makes no sense to me, when all along the books it was the exact opposite - people following him had LESS choices then other people.

    Another example someone gave (not mine, but I liked it) was the evil of Aridhol, or the whole plot with Fain. The evil of Shadar Logoth started BECAUSE of the DO, but it was AGAINST him, not choosing him. It was so against him, that we've seen it used against him in the cleansing of Saidin and the half healing of Rand's wounds. If the DO is the SOURCE of evil, the SOURCE of the choice, then how can there be an evil opposite it's own? Would there now be a choice between 3 options? Does that mean there could be also another choice for good except the maker? What if Rand would have killed the DO but Fain would have survived? Is he not evil? Could people not choose to support him? Those are important questions that no one seems to be able to give me a logical answer to.

    Then we have Rand himself, while battling the DO. The fight was most likely no more then a few hours, and the part after he discovered the DO's lie was probably very short, which means there wasn't a lot of time to think about everything. And we know that he's been wrong before, during this very battle - when he first encountered the DO, he thought that the DO can't be killed at all, because he's too strong. We know from a later scene that he was, in fact, wrong, and that he COULD have technically kill the DO, should he choose.
    All in all, there are just too many things that don't "add up" for me. I can't point at one thing and say "that's it," it's more a combination of information, things that contradict previous information in the books, things that make little sense...

    I hope that made sense to you. That's the core of my theory.
     
  2. MuKen

    MuKen

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    Not to be antagonistic, but individually each of those reasonings seems pretty weak, and to me they don't "add up" to become anything stronger than they are apart.

    People don't consider a Rand an authority on the subject because of what he studied during his life or who he talked to. They consider him an expert because he was THERE with the DO manipulating reality in the same way and from the same place that the DO does. That gives him a pretty unique perspective that easily places him as the single best person to listen to when discussing the nature of the DO. How can we possibly put more weight to some random scholar who wrote a book and just theorizes with no first-hand experience? The guy has never once even spoken with the DO, that puts him below dozens of other people in terms of how well he understands the DO.

    The third option, and the one I think we are 'supposed' to glean from what we are told at the end of the book, is that the DO is the embodiment of one side of that choice. So of course, being the embodiment of one side, when he takes on his own consciousness, that consciousness' goal is to add an influence to everyone choose that way. And by sealing away that conscious form, they prevent it from exerting its additional influence. That doesn't make it no longer what it is: the embodiment of that side of that choice.

    Aridhol isn't the opposite of the DO, Aridhol opposes the DO. Those are two very different things. Aridhol is itself a part of the DO, they said early on in the books that they used the "Shadow's own tactics" against them. It's no different from having the DO's own True Power turned on himself at the end of the series.

    He may not have had time to think about it, but we do, and the reasoning he came up with stands: the world without the DO was created by Rand. He wove it in its entirety from the base fabric of possibilities. Those pieces weren't given to him by the DO, so they can't be part of the DO's lies. That reality is what would happen if there were no DO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  3. Eluial Aldaran

    Eluial Aldaran Aes Sedai Head of the Brown Ajah

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    I don't see how you can separate Aes Sedai knowledge from 3rd age scholar knowledge. Aren't they going to be the same? I mean, if you're talking 3000 years of accumulated knowledge (since the breaking), you HAVE to take into account Aes Sedai records, because honestly, that's where the bulk of the saved information is going to come from. Herid Fel and his ilk were not theorizing or researching in a vacuum. You can't simultaneously discount one source of 3rd age knowledge (Aes Sedai) while raising up another (scholars that wrote the BWB).

    3rd age scholars got things wrong (Heroes of the Horn is a great example). They were all working on hearsay and speculation. Rand had first hand knowledge from 2 different lives.

    That is a big, BIG assumption to make, and one that is not in the least supported by cannon, and really depends on what your definition of "touch the pattern" is. Was he able to do things like talk to people directly, or influence dreams, like he did in the 3rd age? Clearly not. But something of his was leaking through, or else Mierin would never have discovered the True Power and drilled the bore in the first place.

    You can't equate "sealed away" with "not existing." We KNOW that evil can be done while he's sealed away, and we KNOW that at least some of his essence leaked into the world while he was sealed away. We don't KNOW that if ceased to exist, if evil itself would cease to exist, but we have reason to believe it.

    I can't help but feel like you're purposefully mischaracterizing this point. Choice isn't something the DO consciously gives. And the choice isn't just about choosing to follow the light or be evil. It's much more than that.

    Look, if there's no CONCEPT of evil, then there's no concept of anything we consider bad -- stealing, lying, cheating, murder, etc -- then people can't do those things. It's not just that people don't want to do those things. It's that they have NO IDEA. It never occurs to them to do so. I know this is an incredibly foreign idea to us. As humans, I don't think we even know what that would possibly be like. The best example I can give is if you've seen the movie The Invention of Lying (if not, read up about it, not gonna summarize it here).

    So the choice isn't the DO saying "oh, you're my minion, but do whatever you want." It's his mere existence. I get you don't accept that the DO *is* Evil, not just an evil thing, but even so, you've strawmanned this particular part of the argument enough times that I wanted to make this point clear.

    So far, I think this is probably the best point. However, MuKen (above) is quite right. Aridhol's evil still stems from the shadow. It came from peoples' cruelty and mistrust, sparked by Mordeth's advice. Without the dark one, there is no cruelty. I mean, it's not even that "without the dark one, there would have been no armies of the shadow to fight." It's that those emotions that created Mashadar and made Aridhol what it became could never have existed without evil -- there would have been no choice to feel those emotions.

    Anyway, if we take the DO's death to be equivalent to being Turned to the Light, then Fain would no longer be evil. He wouldn't have the choice to continue killing or all the other things he does. Mashadar is a tougher question, though. It seems to be a natural (well, magical) entity, now, so maybe its existence is independent of its origin, and it's more like a mindless animal than something actually evil. But I don't know enough about it to feel comfortable saying anything.

    Exactly this. *Rand* is creating those worlds from the pattern. If the DO had woven the threads, then you'd have a point. But he didn't. If we're to accept that a mere human (albeit a many-times-reincarnated one) is able to defeat the DO, then we have to accept that in some capacity or another he is the DO's equal (at least, the equal of the sentient, anthropomorphised part of the DO). He manipulated the pattern, but the pattern itself is neither good nor evil, so it just showed the truth. It's like a mathematical function or a machine -- garbage in, garbage out.
     
  4. AnAnonymousWOTFan

    AnAnonymousWOTFan

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    Eluial and MuKen make good points. There's really nothing to add.
     
  5. Aulrick Vendour

    Aulrick Vendour Gaidin

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    Well see, this is EXACTLY what I didn't want to happen ^^
    We already have an ending theories thread. I'll just say that you guys are wrong. Nothing you said was accurate, especially about Rand's fight with the DO, as I've brought many quotes from the book to show in the other thread. I also think you're wrong about Aridhol and it's evil.

    Also, regarding the DO as the embodiment of evil - that's another theory that's been around that thread. If he's the embodiment of evil then he isn't part of the choice, but the RESULT of the choice. He's the embodiment of the evil people do, created at the moment of creation, once the creator gave people the choice between good and evil.
    In that sense killing him would achieve nothing, since the choice is given and a new DO will simply be created immidiatly. It's just an idea, haven't really thought about it a lot.

    If you want, copy-paste your messeges to the other thread so we can discusse this further there :p
     
  6. Eluial Aldaran

    Eluial Aldaran Aes Sedai Head of the Brown Ajah

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    Sure. I'd like you to at least respond to mistakes in reasoning I pointed out you're making (believing 3rd age scholars while discounting Aes Sedai and mischaracterizing the choice argument). Will copy/paste in a moment.
     
  7. MuKen

    MuKen

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    I admit I'm new to this forum, but most forums I post in would rather not have two copies of the same exact post in two different threads. If you'd rather the discussion take place in a different thread, doesn't it make more sense for you to quote the relevant parts of our posts that you are responding to in that thread, and then refer us there?
     
  8. Aulrick Vendour

    Aulrick Vendour Gaidin

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    Actually that happens here A LOT! ^^
     
  9. MuKen

    MuKen

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    Lol alright, fair enough, I'll copy my post over.
     
  10. Morrighan Daghdera

    Morrighan Daghdera Aes Sedai

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    Mod note: Thanks, y'all. ^^ This thread kind of derailed while I was working waaaaaaaaaay too much. I appreciate you starting moving this topic. As you were. :D
     
  11. Mattrim al'Korin

    Mattrim al'Korin

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    I liked the open-ended ... ending :lol The main theme was that life goes on and people will adapt and survive according to their talents and determination. We get the idea that The new rulers of the nations will do well having survived the chaos, death, and destruction of the last 2 years, not to mention the last battle itself.
     
  12. Jas'yn Al'Dragoran

    Jas'yn Al'Dragoran Gaidin

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    It was my least favorite book in the series as well overall, I liked it, but I agree the ending is just terrible. It hardly seems to justify all of the effort and much better writing that led up to it. I don't think we should have expected something that would neatly tie up all of the loose ends and answer every question. But, the notion of Rand walking off smoking a pipe apparently abandoning the women who loved him and stood by him to get him to this point (to do what....? go back to playing music in pubs without being chased....?) strikes me as very uninteresting as an ending and quite out of keeping with his character. The ending was actually the one moment in the whole series I felt really let down by the author(s).
     
  13. Almira ni'Caldazare

    Almira ni'Caldazare Citizen

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    I love fanfictopn when it's done right but after reading some really bad ones even the dullest wot book sounds amazing!
     
  14. Rowain Sikar

    Rowain Sikar

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    While Tolkien didn't extend the series for money, he did have to split it. It was originally intended to be a stand-alone. No series is ever as short as the author originally intended.
     
  15. Ninya Evoneigh

    Ninya Evoneigh Super Cool Kid Aes Sedai

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    I am amused that MuKen and Eluial provided very well thought out rebuttals, whereas Aulrick's response was "You're wrong, you're wrong, you're wrong." :rolleyes
     
  16. Aulrick Vendour

    Aulrick Vendour Gaidin

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    Well to be fair, I DID say that the discussion was in the other thread, and this is not the place to have it again, and THAT'S why I didn't want to reopen it :p
     
  17. Sabriane Diamodred

    Sabriane Diamodred Aes Sedai

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    Maybe I'm the odd one out but I loved the last book. It wasn't the best book but it was a good ending. I feel a lot of other series have delivered less and I laughed, cried and felt from beginning to end :)
     
  18. Neityva Dehion

    Neityva Dehion Citizen

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    Yeah, this was exactly how I felt and what bothered me. It's kind of like what even? Not to mention I'm a sucker for romance and theirs never got settled. I didn't feel like I wasted my time though like I have with some things (mostly TV shows).
     
  19. Iria Saronin

    Iria Saronin Novice

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    I loved the ending. I didn't see it as Rand "quite out of keeping with his character". I think that in the end, Rand was finally able to fully be himself, and fully rest. He never asked for his burden, and more than once he hoped to die, hoped to be "just a sheephearder". Now he has a chance for that. And thanks to the bond, he knows that the three love him - and they know he lives and loves them. What more can there be? They can be reunited as soon as all the fuss with funerals and celebration of the victory is over.

    Ordinary life is, indeed, very uninteresting, and that's why so few books have been written of it. But after surviving the Last Battle and finally being able to exist without pain, I think all of us would welcome a life of "playing music in pubs without being chased" with great pleasure.
     
  20. Slynese

    Slynese

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    I love the ending. But moan at the death of some of the characters.