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Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Did Jordan or Sanderson ever talk about what happened with the Seafolk? Iím at The Shadow Rising in my re-read and got to the introduction of the Seafolk and the Coramoor prophecy. It seemed like they would be a bigger deal or at least have some more interactions with Rand than they did.

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Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


COOL CORN posted:

Do we ever find out why Emond's Field is so special? People keep saying things like "wow, 2 Aes Sedai and 3 ta'veren from one place, it must be very special!" But like... is there actually something more going on?

Note: I'm like 1/2 through The Dragon Reborn so no spoilers if it's after that, I was just curious.

Keep reading. Some of the pieces are there, but itís not fully clear yet.

I hate being cryptic so hereís some spoilers you shouldnít look at. On a reread I really liked Ingtarís speech from Book 2 about nations receding - it sets the tone for a lot of the world building to come. Every nation has been on a downward spiral, including the White Tower. The problem isnít that magic has receded, itís that no one is looking for it. The Wise Ones, the Windfinders, the Kin - there are plenty of other groups doing their own thing. The White Tower is just sclerotic and atrophied and doesnít have the capacity to look for better channelers.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Zore posted:

Part of that is They've only been looking for 'sparkers' for the last few centuries, that is wen who naturally channel the one power accidentally or the few that make their way to Tar Valon to try to be Are Sedai or that an Aes Sedai ran into by chance. The greater population of channelers are dormant unless taught, so once they actually start looking for them they fall over them

It speaks to the decadence of the Tower. Itís everywhere when you look for it. In one of the first scenes between Siuan and Moiraine, theyíre both aghast at the assertion that Siuan is a blue while Moiraineís inner narration explicitly talks about how many blues had risen to the seat. Even the most dynamic Aes Sedai is stuck thinking in these petty power politics systems.

Speaking of distinguishing features in Jordanís writing, I love how he constantly weaves in dramatic irony and not-quite-reliable narrators. Itís like Hieronymous Alloy says, heís very invested in making sure everyone only knows what they know and thinks how theyíd think.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Zore posted:

I mean a lot of it is in reaction to things like Artur Hawkwing's siege of Tar Valon and the latent or overt prejudice the Aes Sedai have faced since the Trolloc Wars. In many ways the Tower itself has internalized a lot of anti-Aes Sedai propaganda which is why the training methods they employ are almost exclusively about producing women who act the way they want them to instead of anything to do with the power (besides handling it safely).


All of it eventually boils down to some of Ishamael's machinations where every time he manages to get free he dedicates himself largely to loving with the Tower and undermining it. This in turn feeds into dissatisfaction which helps the Black Ajah grow, which further helps cripple the Tower etc.

Great points. Internalized self-hate and self-limitation is a recurring theme in the series. Perrin and Rand both struggle with it. Since the Trolloc Wars the Aes Sedai have used a tool for criminals to limit themselves. The taint on saidin is that process literalized.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Itís been a theme for me on my re-read, but man the Aes Sedai suck. Iím at Lord of Chaos, Nynaeve and Elayne are still with Salidar. The Salidar Aes Sedai suuuuuuuck. Almost every one is dumb as a brick, easily manipulated and focused only on the acquisition of power.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


ConfusedUs posted:

I take comfort in the rebelsí ultimate triumph because, as lovely as they are, Elaida and the tower group is worse.

Yeah, the black sister in the prologue thinking Rand would be overawed because three (or was it six?) Aes Sedai were coming to meet him was pretty lol.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Finished Lord of Chaos on the re-read today and holy hell, Taim was absolutely supposed to be Demandred, right? Did Jordan or Sanderson ever talk about that?

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Vavrek posted:

"So-called Aiel" is such a big tipoff.

It's also been interesting to pick up on all the references between Demandred and Shara, in the scenes with Graendal, given where he ends up having been. (AMoL spoilers.) Definitely stuff I didn't pay much attention to my first couple times through, before A Memory of Light was out.

I mean that and the constant ďkill him kill him kill himĒ from LTT that doesnít seem to come up for other male channelers. The last nonprophecy narrative from the LoC, ďHave I not done well, Great Lord?Ē makes a lot more sense of itís about the slaughter at Dumaiís Wells than if itís about, I dunno, killing a big monster offscreen?

Also, Verin is one of the best characters on my re-read. Sheís a little creepy and one of the most canny movers in the series. Very fun to see in action (even if she hasnít done that much yet).

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Those chapters buoyed my affection for Perrin & Faile through my first read. Great writing, absolutely. Getting through their chapters on my re-read in Lord of Chaos and A Crown is Swords feels like a chore.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


I got to that scene between Mat and Tylin. To borrow from Perd Hapley, it had the ďcadence of a jokeĒ but everything about it was stomach turning. How was that scene initially received? I know our understandings have changed, but that felt egregious even for the 90s.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE posted:

Is it just that for once it's from a relatively sympathetic major character doing it to a main character?

Nah, itís that itís intended to be read as funny. The text itself is very clear that itís a surprise sex- lots of ďknife at his throatĒ and noís all around. But everyone, including Mat, laughs at it and treats it like a joke. There are long descriptions suggesting the tables have turned on Mat and treating it like a comeuppance. Compare it to the previous instances of sexual violence with Fain and Valda - dark, terse passages filled with implications and without explicit mention of what happened.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Again, the way itís narrated is completely different from past episodes of sexual violence. Thereís certainly stark descriptions of the act the leave no room for alternative interpretation, but the tone is a lot more ďah shucks.Ē

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Someone earlier mentioned it earlier, but it wouldíve been cool to see Elayneís conflict between being Aes Sedai and daughter-heir earlier in the series. Part of itís just the change in time scale beginning in the middle of the books, but it feels like a long time from Morgaseís fall to where I am at the end of CoS. She keeps reminding everyone sheís the daughter-heir but even with the ability to make a gateway sheís uninterested in returning.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Invalid Validation posted:

Funny thing is I donít think you know heís forsaken until right before he gets smoked.

On the re-read there are a couple little clues. Rand picked him at random to join him after Dumaiís Wells and Taim was very surprised and put off by it. Later, when Flinn heals Rand he says Dashiva proposed a bunch of ideas for healing but was unable to do them himself. Not nearly as clear as the LoC Taim clues.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


JOHN SKELETON posted:

THE DARK ONE: Wow and I thought this hole in my prison was a bore!!!!!!!!!!


Reading through Path of Daggers right now, and from a re-read perspective it feels a bit surprising so many people are calling it part of the slog. Okay, it doesn't start off great, with a chapter dedicated to Elayne and Aviendha etc talking in a room - the same room that had a chapter dedicated to it at the end of the last book.

But after that, bam Bowl of the Winds gets used, and Seanchan show up. Elayne finds a magic dildo. Egwene's storyline isn't the most interesting one but I don't mind it, since Aes Sedai plots are usually at least a little bit interesting. Even Perrin's story hasn't yet reached the most boring poo poo yet.

But most importantly Rand's storyline is pretty metal, and tense as gently caress! He's waging brutal channeling warfare on Seanchan and the scenes feel all grimy and depressing in the right way. I don't know, I just feel like Jordan really knows how to sell those scenes. Also Rand can't seize saidin with anyone else around or the arrogant wizard lunatics will likely try to spot his weakness and kill him immediately, if the regular arrogant assholes won't do it first.
That's some great dramatic tension.

But boy I am not looking forward to the storyline reaching Caemlyn again.

Yeah, I thought PoD had less fat than CoS. I just started Winterís Heart and itís where the slog really hits. Perrin becomes a dumb rear end in a top hat and Elayneís plot slows to a crawl.

Iíve found I really like Berelain on the reread. Her (admittedly very minimal) father/daughter thing with Rhuarc was fun and she really is just doing what she needs to in order to keep Mayene independent.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Iím at the finale of Winterís Heart right now. I can confirm it rules.

On my first read I remember thinking Cadsuane was a little too late in coming and a poor replacement for Moiraine in the advising Aes Sedai role. On the re-read her introduction was still a little jarring (hereís the most badass person that weíve never thought to mention before) but sheís a fun character. Retired, super competent adventurer is a cool niche. And of course sheís wasting fools left and right at the moment.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Comrade Blyatlov posted:

I love how Demandred is like ok I'm gonna gently caress up his poo poo OH HOLY gently caress

Yup, that was so good. The first time I read it I didnít remember Verinís role in getting Elza to break good and kill a Forsaken.

There are so many callbacks that I probably missed on the first read, with years between books. CoT starts off with a reference to Graendelís forged letters to Ituralde, which was from how many books back?

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Submarine Sandpaper posted:

My big issue with Sandersons super boy is the lack of fatigue. Making a gateway is super duper tiring and i don't see how being weak in the power mitigates that. Back in the jordan days the person who was a fantastic shield holder still couldn't do that forever.

Jordan set that up in the beginning of A Crown of Swords. When Aviendha makes a gateway to escape the farm (before she successfully unweaves it), they talk about how it takes so much more energy for her to do than it does for Elayne (or was it Egwene). In a subsequent book thereís another throwaway line about how itís less tiring for some women to make gateways than others.

A Crown of Swords has a second theory for Aviendhaís difficulty making a gateway though. Thereís a Cadsuane chapter where she thinks about how thereís multiple ways to do a weave, and if you try doing a weave in a different manner than the first time you did it, itís particularly more draining. Aviendha was the first character to make a gateway, and maybe she used a different weave.

I donít know if Jordan ever came out and explicitly said why Aviendha had difficulty weaving gateways, but thereís enough set up to say, ďactually itís like a Talent.Ē

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


silvergoose posted:

It was Siuan, btw; reminding him that, yes, even if he doesn't want to, he's gotta be at the Last Battle to toot the brass.

That was a tidy little character reset. Mat was kind of a turd in the first two books (for good reason). Positioning that scene at the beginning of Book 3 was a great way to frame Matís character going forward.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


The Seanchan are so awful. I had forgotten that they had (Knife of Dreams): started mass production of forkroot so they could systemically weed out and enslave every woman who could channel. A lot of their culture is cool and unique and then the rest of it is just grinding dehumanization and slavery.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


I havenít reached it yet on the re-read, but Aviendhaís second trip to Rhuidean was such a bummer re: the Seanchan. Iíd guess Jordan believed that incremental change would be necessary to move the Seanchan on the issue and that starting a war with them would just cause them to entrench further.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Data Graham posted:

Fuckin succdragons

He (or Sanderson) literally had Egwene form a coalition government with an official from Elaidaís government! Biden chooses Huckabee-Sanders as VP, but only after she spends a couple weeks spanking him.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

My guess is that Jordan wanted the world to still be obviously, deeply flawed post-series. Winning the Last Battle doesn't automatically usher in a utopia.

This is right on the money for me as well. People making decisions on their flawed understandings of the world and ingrained biases is a core principle in WoT. Hell, look at how long it took Mat to come around on trusting Aes Sedai. (did he ever?)

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Johnny Joestar posted:

speaking of that, i'm coming up to the end of crossroads of twilight

how long does egwene stay trapped in the tower. it's legit like my least favorite part of the series because i don't want to read about jordan's spanking fetish. again.

I just looked and itís not great. Thereís not much spanking in KoD, Egwene is in the prologue and one other chapter. Thereís a lot of it in TGS, and worse, Gawyn returns. She escapes the Tower near the end of the book, looks like Chapter 41.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


ConfusedUs posted:

TGS is awesome and Egwene actually does a lot of cool stuff in it.

Good to know. I skipped one or two Faile chapters in KoD, but I canít skip that many chapters in TGS and justify the cost

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Elayne's quest for the throne might've gone better with a different enemy. I think there's only one chapter (or even portion of a chapter) with Arymilla, and she's not especially interesting.That scene is shared with another character whose previous role had been to tell Rand he could kiss Elayne without feeling gross. Maybe she's conceited, maybe she's secretly deft, but it just doesn't matter that much. The camera doesn't care about her, so why should we?

It might have been more interesting if Jordan had given the role of trouble maker to the red sister from the Tower. Or just handled the Black Ajah plot better so that Elayne came out as a hero rather than a dope who got 500+ soldiers killed.

e:

CharlesThunder posted:

i forgot how good book two is. i almost skipped it because I was so excited to get to three. setting up the different ajahs, introducing the politics and politicking that are present throughout the series, the detailed descriptions of saidar and saidin, so many characters the world seems huge and strange things like the traveling stones make it seen like anything can happen. it's heavy on world building but Jordan is drat talented at showing rather than telling .

Books 2-5 are some of the best writing in the series. Cairhein's slow implosion in Book 2 was fun as heck.

Prairie Bus fucked around with this message at 05:02 on Jun 30, 2020

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Colonel Cool posted:

It suddenly occurs to me that male channelers are going to be a big problem for the Seanchan in the future. They presumably don't have a means of controlling them, which means even if they stick to killing them then other nations are going to have an advantage over them when they get their poo poo sorted out and start training large numbers of men to channel.

Forkroot affects both men and women, so Iíd assume theyíd start dosing every man in their domain and then summarily execute any man who reacted to it

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


My favorite Elaida moment comes from the prologue to Knife of Dreams, when Seaine (the Aes Sedai who kicked off the Black Ajah hunt) tells the group of Black Ajah hunters that Elaida actually wanted her to go after Alviarin for other reasons. Itís underplayed but itís such a body blow. They violated all of these laws and made themselves targets without any authority or backing.

I recall thereís some great, tense moments in TGS related to the hunt, maybe with Yukiri? Iím wrapping up KoD now and looking forward to the paranoia.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Johnny Joestar posted:

that poo poo still chills me to some degree and really drives home the kind of hosed-up things people are capable of with the power

I liked the contrast between Lanfearís previous activities and the end of Book 5. She spent a lot of time doing high school drama with the Mask of Mirrors but as soon as she finds out Lews Therin has been ďunfaithfulĒ she immediately separates a man from his skin like sheís pulling off a sock.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Started the first Gawyn chapter in TGS and it immediately asks the obvious question: why the gently caress is he on the Towerís side? Hell, why hasnít he gone back to Caemlyn? Gawyn is the absolute worst.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


silvergoose posted:

Great loving question. Does he even know? No, not even a little bit.

Yup, that was a short chapter. I expected him to maybe come up with a convincing excuse but nah. Galad was always the better brother.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


aparmenideanmonad posted:

They cast Valda and the older Bornhald. Considering Valda is barely mentioned in the first few books other than as Bornhald Jr's commanding officer who is hanging around Tar Valon causing trouble, what do you want to bet they're going to compress Byar, Bornhald Jr and Valda into a single character?

Weird to cast him for the first season otherwise - his character isn't even "on screen" until LoC.

https://www.tor.com/2020/07/01/the-...ecloak-leaders/

That would be a good choice, honestly. The payoff on Bornhald is delayed from Book 4 to Book 14, lol. Itíll be better to have Valda show up in the Two Rivers personally, let the audience grow to hate the bastard.

Iím not sold on that headshot for Valda. The guyís got a good smile and I canít imagine Valda without a constant sneer.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


For what itís worth Hurin was part of the prophecy of the Dragon, right? One of the ďfive ride forth,Ē if Iím remembering right. Reminds me that one of my favorite bits of writing is at the very end of The Great Hunt (I think), when the language becomes lofty and poetic, talking about the legend of the Dragon.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Vavrek posted:

We were talking about Mat and consent earlier, and listening to that book has made me realize it has a lot going on about consent and lack thereof. Something I completely missed before: Rand's bleak depression isn't motivated by Perrin at all, it's that he believes he raped Min and is certain that he's gone mad already, and as THE DRAGON REBORN he's too important to face the justice he deserves.


Rand's attitude towards women throughout the series suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. Thinking he raped Min in that situation is pretty condescending. But his list is so much worse. I get that the books want us to understand it's a failing of his (to allow a woman to choose to sacrifice her life for his), but it's just so static. Sulin confronts him in Book 5 and he agrees to change, but nothing does. The Maidens beat him up in Book 8, nothing changes. If he had sent them away and lost their favor, that'd be some kind of interesting change. But nah, it's just book after book of people complaining about it and him saying, "ah shucks" as he gets walloped over the head again and again.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


eke out posted:

Maybe it'll feel differently when I get through the latter books again, but I always got the opposite impression: the books want us to understand that it's a failing of his that he can't allow others to sacrifice themselves for him, and that he can't see their deaths as anything but a reflection of his own lack of control and power, because of his combination of internalized misogyny and insanity.

Yeah, that's poor phrasing on my part. Your understanding is correct.

I didn't know that about Jordan and Vietnam. That makes a lot more sense, but I still wish that plot point had been more dynamic.

I forget - does Mat have another woman killed after ordering Renna to be shot before she gets to the Seanchan? As an aside I just looked Renna up on Fandom and the picture they chose is pretty creepy. Really drawing out the sexual undertones of the a'dam.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


quote:

what rj does well for the most part is show rather than tell personality traits. the exception that comes immediately to mind is Galad. even then, characters say galad is "good to a fault" and you think what could that even possibly mean? then he goes and immediately tattles to morgase and it makes sense kind of.

Halfway into TGS and I can tell it's a different writer. It feels like Sanderson peppers his paragraphs with similes - everything is like this, doing that. And his dialogue is a lot more stilted. People go on long monologues, explaining everything to the most minute detail. The Hinderstap resolution where the mayor carefully lays everything over a couple minutes of dialogue is a particularly egregious example of the tendency.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Invalid Validation posted:

So I guess going into dreamland physically doesnít really corrupt you like everyone keeps saying throughout the books.

Egwene put the lie to that belief when she traveled by dream to Salidar before becoming Amyrlin. Perrinís wolves had the better understanding- itís just very dangerous.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


Invalid Validation posted:

I kind of assume if Jordan hadnít died he would have shown how the corruption worked eventually but Sanderson didnít want to deal with it when he needed the time for the big parts. Itís just kind of hand waved away in the second to last or last book, whichever one it was.

Thinking about it, does Sanderson ever explain why Egwene didnít just dream travel out of the Tower once her captivity ramped up? Forkroot doesnít interrupt her ability to enter the dream. Where Iím at in TGS sheís in the cell and thinking about escape. Why doesnít she just dream herself out? Sheíd look super powerful (she can travel when dosed to the gills on forkroot) and could just dream back into the Tower to foment dissent on her own time.

Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


The Lord Bude posted:

Every time Rand or Egwene entered the dream in the flesh they did it by weaving a gateway to the dream world. She wouldn't have been able to do that when dosed up on forkroot because. Perrin is the only one who learned how to enter in the flesh without some form of channelling involved; and it's unclear if all dreamwalkers can do that or if it's tied to Perrin's wolf powers.

Thanks, I guess I conflated them all together with Perrinís process.

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Prairie Bus
Sep 22, 2006


I think Jordan was going for something on the danger of small-c conservative thinking and ossified orthodoxy. Healing is a great (and historically appropriate) example - the Aes Sedai are locked into their lovely battlefield Healing through a fear of the one power, the legitimate danger, and the force of tradition. Then Nynaeve (and eventually Sumiko) comes from outside the orthodoxy like a bolt of lightning to dramatically change how healing is done entirely. In the real world, western medicine orthodoxy was stuck on Galenís / Ibn Sinaís theory of the humors for centuries.

Iíve been thinking a little bit about how Rand and the prophecy of the dragon more generally fit into the concept of creative destruction. At the start of the books, Jordan keeps mentioning that every nation is unable to exert its laws far beyond its capital and that most nations are in decline. The prophecies focus on how much Rand will destroy, and he caused chaos in every nation he went to by destroying the old orthodoxy. But that chaos was usually followed by beneficial changes for the people. Cairhien was nearly swallowed by rioting and famine after Rand made the game of houses collapse in on itself, but he was able to build strong institutions following that period of unrest. Cairhien came out of it as a strong city (even though it was swallowed by Andor).

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