Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Natural 20
Sep 17, 2007

So long, Ex-Ma Fergie!


Data Graham posted:

So aaaaanyway, what's the consensus on the oddball textual flourishes in the first couple books, like the deja vu scenes in the abandoned town, or the much subtler one in book 1 where two separate guys give them two identical sets of scarves with identical wording? Were those foreshadowing of madness (even though he's barely started channeling by that point)?

Jordan's using the text to portray the confusion and basically utter terror the boys are facing. It's used to punctuate the first time that you obviously see Rand channel for the first time.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Legacyspy
Oct 25, 2008


Data Graham posted:

Well um, I mean the Seanchan aren't a problem because of their politics.

It's more just that there's a whole ooky factor to the general idea of damane, and not for purely diegetic reasons. I mean like, yes you're supposed to react with revulsion to the idea of women on leashes being treated like literal dogs because in-universe it's a horrific thing for these people to do. But on another level, you have to ask "Why exactly did he feel it necessary to write about this?" I mean it's not like it's an inevitable logical extrapolation of his universe's rules, and even if it were, he didn't need to spend so much time focusing so graphically on it.

Data I think you are reaching here. I mean, its pretty clear you don't like the books but your consistently going out of your way paint things in a bad light. You are leaving out the people holding the chains are also women, and are also women who are the same as those whose chains they hold. I don't see why that would make it problematic for feminists. If it were all men in charge of them or something you would have a compelling argument, but it isn't.

And "magical slavery" is a recurring theme in fantasy, and in a series that explores how different cultures attempt to control what they fear such an inclusion is not surprising.

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE
Aug 1, 2004

whoa, what just happened here?





College Slice

Legacyspy posted:

If it were all men in charge of them or something you would have a compelling argument, but it isn't.

Nah, based on how horrific it is consistently depicted as I think it'd slide either way.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





Btw

Old Kentucky Shark posted:

Post-Amyrlin Egwene is worse than pre-pregnancy Elayne, but nothing in the series is worse than post-pregnancy Elayne.


I did appreciate how Elayne gets to be as awesome a general as Literally Hannibal.

I wish something more had come of her briefly philosophizing about creating things (i.e. ter'angreal) as a personal driving force, though. That was neat.


E: also her Iron Chef scene

Data Graham fucked around with this message at 18:29 on Jun 24, 2016

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE
Aug 1, 2004

whoa, what just happened here?





College Slice

I kind of wish she got to actually command a Seanchan army with their s'redits. That would have been a better, more obvious way to drive home the parallel, and would have been a nice callback to her time with Cerandin in Valan Luca's traveling show.

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE fucked around with this message at 05:18 on Jun 25, 2016

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





^^ That's one of those things I kept wondering whether Jordan had planned all along but Sanderson just forgot to do, or something: give Valan Luca a purpose in the overall story.

I kept expecting his appearances and his fantastical animals to comprise a subplot that would culminate in something Seanchan-related, but his part in the story just sort of petered out.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


I'm almost certain he's based on a character in Book of the New Sun and if Jordan had a plan for him Sanderson was not privy to it.

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

In terms of storylines just petering out, Padan Fain's is the biggest for me. He seemed like he was going to be really important and I had all sorts of theories about whether Rand would destroy the Dark One and Padan Fain would replace him in the next cycle of ages or whatever.

But no, he just turned up at the end after not appearing in the last few books and then died like a chump.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


That definitely felt like ticking a box to me.

The Glumslinger
Sep 24, 2008

Coach Nagy, you want me to throw to WHAT side of the field?




Hair Elf

I'm fairly sure Sanderson said that there were zero notes on Fain, and that he never figured out how he was supposed to fit into the end game

rchandra
Apr 30, 2013




Fain is one of those things that seemed to mean more to Jordan than to an objective outsider. I really wish he'd just died in ACoS, there was a perfect moment and everything he'd done would have continued fine.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





I wish there had been more clarity on whether that fog that turns people inside out on the hilltop was Mashadar on a field trip, or just a different fog that turns people inside out.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


It's at that point that I think it is left to the reader whether or not bubbles of evil are real or if the Pattern was unraveling from use of bail fire. And how Fain fits into that, who knows.

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Atlas Hugged posted:

It's at that point that I think it is left to the reader whether or not bubbles of evil are real or if the Pattern was unraveling from use of bail fire. And how Fain fits into that, who knows.

Was this something I was meant to question when reading it? I just assumed yes, the bubbles of evil are real and yes the Pattern is unravelling from bale fire. Fain doesn't fit into either one as far as I can see.

Bubbles of evil are described as like "(B)ubbles that sometimes rise up in a bog, only they are rising from the Dark One as the seals weaken, and instead of rotten smells, they are full of...well, evil. They drift along the Pattern until they burst, and when they do, anything can happen" and I don't think this is at any point disputed in the books.

The pattern was unravelling from the use of balefire which was described lots of times as being a specific effect of that weave and one that had been known about waaaaaaay before Fain was born because it was mentioned that in the war against the shadow in the Age of Legends they used it then, then both sides came to an unspoken agreement about it because neither wanted to destroy the pattern - which was a risk due to how much they were flinging it about.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


The bubbles of evil to me feel like the characters describing an event they don't fully understand. They also coincidentally happen after every major use of bale fire. Cards coming to life to murder people, a man vomiting out bugs until he's nothing more than a skin suit, a town murdering each other and coming back to life again and again, these all seem like the same thing to me and that's really falling apart.

Fain fits in here because when he attacked Rand it was in the middle of what could have been a bubble of evil or the pattern unraveling or whatever you want to call it. The question is was he being opportunistic or was he causing it or did a bubble of evil happen to burst on him or was the pattern itself unraveling around him.

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Atlas Hugged posted:

The bubbles of evil to me feel like the characters describing an event they don't fully understand. They also coincidentally happen after every major use of bale fire. Cards coming to life to murder people, a man vomiting out bugs until he's nothing more than a skin suit, a town murdering each other and coming back to life again and again, these all seem like the same thing to me and that's really falling apart.

Do they? I can't remember any balefire for quite a few of those and there are major incidents of bale-fire that don't have. Like when Matt's cards come to life he's just chilling, playing cards while Rand is fending of Berelain's advances. Hinderstap was just some random village where no-one used balefire.

quote:

Fain fits in here because when he attacked Rand it was in the middle of what could have been a bubble of evil or the pattern unraveling or whatever you want to call it. The question is was he being opportunistic or was he causing it or did a bubble of evil happen to burst on him or was the pattern itself unraveling around him.

During his duel with Toram Riatin? I think that's just Fain's magic fog powers which we see again in A Memory of Light and more to do with him having the power of Shadar Logoth.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


It was shortly after Rand took the Stone where bale fire was used extensively.

Now my memory could be shakey but I think that's where Rand first got lectured about the dangers of using it. I could be wrong though.

As for Fain fog, I tend to agree that it is just a power he has, except I remember the characters all thinking it was a bubble of evil. And again these powers of Fain are never clearly defined. Why isn't there a constant fog around him laying waste to the countryside?

As for the village, that represents the end game of bale fire. The pattern is unraveling in general as opposed to responding to specific events.

I feel like bubble of evil is just something they made up on the spot to sound wise because they didn't realize this is what the pattern unraveling looked like. It also rarely comes up whereas the reality distortions become more common place.

silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS



There were mentions of bubbles of evil a lot off screen though. And, the aes sedai camp?

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


Yeah it's been way too long since I did a proper read through to defend this theory. Honestly I'm mostly rehashing discussion that's already taken place in this or previous Wheel of Time threads. It was a popular theory for awhile.

OAquinas
Jan 27, 2008
Ye Olde Newb





Fain didn't manifest Mashadar-like behavior until much later than that inside-out fog incident. That was probably just a BoE, that Fain used to his advantage. He might have been more familiar with it because of the Mashadar similarities? But he wasn't so far gone as to be spilling out the stuff yet, or he'd have built his zombie army much sooner.

And he was totally a checkbox tick. Shame, but yeah--after Far Madding he was basically done as a character. Maybe Jordan had something amazing planned, but if so he either didn't document it sufficiently or just forgot.

Bubbles of eeeeevil were thought to be tied to the seals breaking, not balefire. Balefire had the Cracks of Dhoom Nothingness that were the hallmarks of its "world-breaking" effects. Probably didn't help BoE frequency though. By the time of the Killer Cards 3 seals were smashed, and Hinderstrap and the Aes Sedai camp incidents were at...what, 4, 5 broken?

OAquinas fucked around with this message at 03:20 on Jun 27, 2016

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

If I were writing Fain, I'd have left him alive at the end as a dangling thread. Maybe with his powers mostly gone, or trapped somewhere, like Mordeth.

silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

If I were writing Fain, I'd have left him alive at the end as a dangling thread. Maybe with his powers mostly gone, or trapped somewhere, like Mordeth.

Trapped would have been pretty sweet; caught somehow in the lake that used to be shadar logoth or maybe in the ruins of caemlyn?

Strom Cuzewon
Jul 1, 2010



I came to the series long after it ended, so didn't get to see all the insane speculation that I can only assume happened. What were the common/outlandish predictions floating round? I was convinced that Rand was gonna seal himself inside the prison with the dark one, breaking the cycle at last and battling him for all eternity, in a yin and yang type way (see? It's symbolic)

But then I also thought Moridin was evil - Rand from the future. So clearly I don't know anything.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


Verin pretty clearly lied in book 2 ("Moiraine sent me" - "I did not send Verin"), so there were a lot of speculations. That's she's Black Ajah, that she is a lot older than she looks and predates the White Tower or was part of it's founding, etc. Later, when people found out/reasoned out that the Oath Rod causes the ageless look, some people thought she belonged to some secret purple ajah, basically the opposite of the Black.

Then there was the speculation about Asmodean's killer. Moiraine coming back from Finnland as part of her three wishes to kill him? Was it Moridin ("Death took him")? Theoryland.com (one of the foremost WoT speculation sites) has more than 40 different theories about who did it.

People also suspected all manner of characters of being darkfriends, even obvious lightside ones like Moiraine or Cadsuane.

Taimandred was super popular, and this apparently caused Jordan to change this part of the story.

And of course, there was endless speculation about all manner of prophecy, from foretelling over Min's vision and Egwene's dreams to the Karatheon Cycle.

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE
Aug 1, 2004

whoa, what just happened here?





College Slice

It was really hard to tell if any given thing was a reference or actual plot guidance. Lots of funny connections could be made between the book characters and the actual historical or mythical people that ultimately did not pan out.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


Rand as Tyr and Mat as Odyn fit the story reasonably well.

Hogge Wild
Aug 21, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Pillbug

Torrannor posted:

Verin pretty clearly lied in book 2 ("Moiraine sent me" - "I did not send Verin"), so there were a lot of speculations. That's she's Black Ajah, that she is a lot older than she looks and predates the White Tower or was part of it's founding, etc. Later, when people found out/reasoned out that the Oath Rod causes the ageless look, some people thought she belonged to some secret purple ajah, basically the opposite of the Black.

Then there was the speculation about Asmodean's killer. Moiraine coming back from Finnland as part of her three wishes to kill him? Was it Moridin ("Death took him")? Theoryland.com (one of the foremost WoT speculation sites) has more than 40 different theories about who did it.

People also suspected all manner of characters of being darkfriends, even obvious lightside ones like Moiraine or Cadsuane.

Taimandred was super popular, and this apparently caused Jordan to change this part of the story.

And of course, there was endless speculation about all manner of prophecy, from foretelling over Min's vision and Egwene's dreams to the Karatheon Cycle.

Best one was "You? No!" -> "Uno!"

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





Torrannor posted:

Rand as Tyr and Mat as Odyn fit the story reasonably well.

And Perrin has Mjolnir, etc.

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Torrannor posted:

Rand as Tyr and Mat as Odyn fit the story reasonably well.

Odin is a really good match for Matt considering:

- Both have one eye
- Both hanged and survived while trying to attain wisdom
- Both are associated with raven iconography
- Both wield a spear
- Both typically wear a large hat

There are some other weaker parallels, like Matt's comprehension of the Old Tongue perhaps being equivalent to Odin's learning of the Runes.

Rand is a bit weaker, I can't think of much aside from the one hand. Perrin could be Thor because they both have hammers...?

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Strom Cuzewon posted:

I came to the series long after it ended, so didn't get to see all the insane speculation that I can only assume happened. What were the common/outlandish predictions floating round? I was convinced that Rand was gonna seal himself inside the prison with the dark one, breaking the cycle at last and battling him for all eternity, in a yin and yang type way (see? It's symbolic)

But then I also thought Moridin was evil - Rand from the future. So clearly I don't know anything.

If you can find old versions of the Wheel of Time FAQ online they're great for this. They were fan maintained compendiums of all the usenet theorizing and generally were updated after every one of the early books.

Unormal
Nov 16, 2004

Mod sass? This evening?! But the cakes aren't ready! THE CAKES!

Fun Shoe

team overhead smash posted:

Rand is a bit weaker, I can't think of much aside from the one hand. Perrin could be Thor because they both have hammers...?

It's also named Mah'alleinir to Thors Mjölnir; so seems like a clear connection.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





And the Trolloc bands are named things like Bhan'sheen and Ghob'hlin and Dhai'mon, but I dunno, the jury's out

the JJ
Mar 31, 2011


team overhead smash posted:

Odin is a really good match for Matt considering:

- Both have one eye
- Both hanged and survived while trying to attain wisdom
- Both are associated with raven iconography
- Both wield a spear
- Both typically wear a large hat

There are some other weaker parallels, like Matt's comprehension of the Old Tongue perhaps being equivalent to Odin's learning of the Runes.

Rand is a bit weaker, I can't think of much aside from the one hand. Perrin could be Thor because they both have hammers...?

Perun is the Slavic god of thunder (though he's an ax guy, Perrin's previous weapon of choice), more or less Thorish in that Indo-European pantheon way. Which I think fits the whole Wheel aesthetic. Yin and yang iconography is all over Randland but only vaguely related to its real world connotations, you get Zulu redheads related to tinkers, a good chunk of the Arthurian mythos (only he went batshit and besieged Avalon his descendents went all fascist) while half his round table show up in Camelot Camelyn or whatever only they don't at all play the same round tabley roles, again, except vaguely. Oh, and the Dark One is Arabic Satan.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


There were a lot of goofy Bella theories if I recall. But I think most were tongue in cheek.

mossyfisk
Nov 8, 2010

FF0000


One of the biggest things people were expecting that didn't pan out was: Rand dies, the sun goes out (solar eclipse), three days later Nynaeve raises him from the dead and the sun comes back. There is a LOT of textual support for this and I was actually really surprised it didn't happen. The Rand=Jesus stuff was fairly heavy (crown of thorns, spear in side, returned to save mankind, died for our sins etc), but the actual result we got was rather different.

Also Thom tells a story at one point which sounds like the USA and USSR destroying the First Age with nuclear warfare, which doesn't really matter but is quite fun.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





Well if you want to list off all the First Age real-world references it's also amusing to see which "historical" figures were big in the 90s. I mean yeah, Mosk and Merk/Yangs and Coms are one thing.... but also there's Anla the Wise, which is apparently a nod to Ann Landers

Haerc
Jan 2, 2011


There is a Mercedes hood ornament in the Panarch's Palace in Tanchico, too.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Data Graham posted:

Well if you want to list off all the First Age real-world references it's also amusing to see which "historical" figures were big in the 90s. I mean yeah, Mosk and Merk/Yangs and Coms are one thing.... but also there's Anla the Wise, which is apparently a nod to Ann Landers

Didn't Fel say in one his rants that the Age of Legends was actually the Third Age rather than the current one, thus making Real Life the 2nd Age? I always liked that because it implies to me that the First Age is all that pre-history before humans and the event that ended it was THE DEATH OF THE DINOSAURS

Blind Melon
Jan 3, 2006
I like fire, you can have some too.

I don't think so, but third age is always couched in "called the third age by some". I think Fel wondered if the AoL thought of their age as the second age or whatever.

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

If I were writing Fain, I'd have left him alive at the end as a dangling thread. Maybe with his powers mostly gone, or trapped somewhere, like Mordeth.

It could have been done much better, and Fain was absolutely a plot thread cut short due to time and page constraints, but I like the core concept of him being soundly defeated / destroyed with the lingering question of where did marshdar come from in the first place.

Blind Melon fucked around with this message at 02:43 on Jun 29, 2016

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Blind Melon posted:

It could have been done much better, and Fain was absolutely a plot thread cut short due to time and page constraints, but I like the core concept of him being soundly defeated / destroyed with the lingering question of where did marshdar come from in the first place.

I really liked the theory that Fain was the Pattern hedging its bets against the possibility Rand actually did kill the Dark One in order to avoid Stepford Universe. I vaguely recall Fain saying early on that he wanted the Dark One to die for what it did to him as much as he wanted to get Rand. I don't think it would have taken much more effort to develop the idea that the Cosmos was worried the Chosen One would do something really stupid and thus was taking the absurdly dangerous risk of preparing an alternate Source Of All Evil in case that the first one was slain. But on retrospect I feel like Fain's plotlines were shaved or cut from a LOT of the books after he gave Rand the second wound, not just in Sanderson's stuff. His appearances after that in Jordan's books are few, make almost no sense from the context of his previous actions, and accomplish almost nothing.

  • Locked thread