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I guess I'm the first.... (Towers of Midnight SPOILERS)
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Jade
Seven of Jade


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:12 am
Post subject: I guess I'm the first.... (Towers of Midnight SPOILERS)
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I received the book a day early, so I got a bit of a headstart. I'm sure I'll have lots to say later, but for now it's late, so I just have one or two things I want to get off my chest.

Towers of Midnight? What bloody flaming towers of midnight?

They're brought up in, like, the 2nd paragraph of the 1st chapter as the silly wind blows past them. Okay...
Then again in Chapter 3 in a rather obscure Dream.
And then .......

WTF? Hell, the Seanchan barely make an appearance at all.
No mention of these towers at all, except for the wacky prophecy at the very very end of the book.
I'm very confused by this prophecy. The first paragraph is totally clear, sure. Mat reference, fine, although I'm not sure what the halls of mourning are referring to. Perrin reference - are the last days of his pride referring to him finally growing a pair?

But who's First Among Vermin?
And WTF does Hopper have to do with anything? Especially, what does Hopper have to do with the Towers of flaming Midnight, which according to the Glossary, are some abandoned military towers over in Seanchan ???? And why is Hopper's death significant to anyone other than Perrin?

Am I missing something?

A couple other comments:
I thought Mat was a little better in this than in TGS. Not quite right, but a little better. There were quite a lot of other things that did bother me, though. In particular, there were a lot of characters being reunited or brought together, scenes we've been anticipating for about half the series or more, and they just didn't quite have the zazz they should have... Although Mat and his badger did make me laugh *lol*

Anyway. Other parts were good. The new Rand is maybe a little over the top, but kind of a relief after so long of the old Rand.

About 3/4s of the way through, I started worrying about the remaining pages and the lack of progress of Mat towards Ghenjei. I actually thought we might get left with him going inside in the last chapter, and no resolution till the next book! Thank god that didn't happen! I liked the Ghenjei scenes, although I'm a little sad about Jain...

Is there really supposed to be just one book left? Yeah, it looks like everyone's about to go off marching to the Last Battle, but I feel like there are some prophecies still remaining!
What's Moiraine going to do? Why does saving her save the world?
Isn't Rand supposed to die or something still? and that Seanchan ex-damane is supposed to help him?
He still has to somehow deal with the Seanchan. Whether he bows to the Crystal Throne, or binds the 9 moons to him, or whatever it is, the prophecies of both sides refer to it.
He has to deal with the Black Tower. I'm confused, has Taim just been compelling people one by one? Or something worse? What happened to Logain? Isn't he supposed to find glory somehow? Maybe even wield Callandor? It doesn't sound like there are very many Ashamen left.

Anyway, it's bedtime... But I have mixed feelings about this one.

Jade

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hurtta
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:04 pm
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I have some mixed feelings about the book as well, but I just finished it a few minutes ago.

I think Taim has been turning Asha'man and Aes Sedai to the shadow, hence the lifeless eyes.

First Among Vermin coul dbe Lews Therin, since these are the Prophesies of the Shadow. Or not, since Rand is deifinitely the Broken Champion. Very confusing.

I was waiting for Mat to figure out the way out, I _knew_ there was more to the spear, since it was part of the bargain he made.

And yes, some parts of the book felt like they were going through the prophecies, with a checklist. *s*

It'll be interesting to see what Avi will do now that she knows what will happen with the Peace of the Dragon and the Seachan. Will she allow Rand to make peace with them?

I hated how they added a glossary mention for Graendal, since none of the other Forsaken got one. I get why they had to do it, since even the mention of three Chosen meeting their demise because of her would not be enough for some crazy-theory supporters. I'm SOOO glad it's finally over. *l* And I was right. *g*

I'm extremely miffed we didn't get more of the Black Tower. I'm guessing there's another dreamspike there. Wonder if Androl will be able to make a gateway with the help of a circle.

One more book!
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Salamander



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:35 pm
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Here are my thoughts of the book.
I finihed it last Tuesday.

Indeed, towers of midnight....
Only a couple of direct references in the book, and no seanchan plotline.
What did we get? One chapter with Tuon ... err ... Fortuona in it?
(How I hate that name ... Mat, please keep calling her Tuon, please!!)

I also hate how this is Perrin's book. Damn it, I wanted some more Mat.
The snake and foxes storyline seemed a bit rushed to me. I am relieved that Moiraine is finally rescued, but I expected a little bit more....

Nonetheless I liked Perrin and Faile in this book.
(Did I just say that?? Eeew)
I liked this storyline, but it got so much more playtime than any one else...

The new Rand is a relief compared to the old one. A little over the top, as
Jade said, but I like this one better. I lke it the way LTT and Rand seem
to blend into one person. Rand with all these ancient memories.

Logain, wtf happened to him?? c'mon man, come back to the dark tower,
with or without Rand, and mess Taim and his cronies really up.

Elayne still is a pain in the backside, but at least she's acting more lke a
queen now.

Eggy....well, with her it is a go or no go for me. In TGS she was great.
In ToM well, ... not so.

Just my few cents...
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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:49 am
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So, I am done as well. I don't really know where to start commenting on this monster of a book. I think I'm actually going to re-read it after I've had a little break. You know, taking it one chapter at a time and savoring it instead of madly rushing towards the end.

How about starting with the title, since it's been mentioned a lot already. I can't say it bothers me or made me confused. I had thought before starting to read that (if anything) it referred to the Tower of Genjei and the Black Tower. Now those towers in Seanchan and Eggy's dream seem to indicate there was more to it but whatever. There are quite a few "generic" titles in the series anyway (like tFoH and tPoD).

As for my other expectations, I thought that we might get more Black Tower resolution. The little that was there was good and as Leigh Butler pointed out in her spoiler review, it was pretty cool (in a horrible way) to finally see (although it was off screen) the trick of using 13 channelers and 13 fades to turn a channeler to the Shadow. I also like that it looks like Pevara will be one of the front figures on the good side in the BT battle. She is one of the few Aes Sedai I like. I'm just a little disappointed that we will have to wait for the next book. Also, it seems like almost everyone in the BT are now Taim's minions. That's going to be a lot of support for the DO at the Last Battle.

I had also thought that Rand and Fortuona (*snicker*) would make up, or at least that we would see some progress on that front in this book. Instead we get her making promises to level the White Tower to the ground. I don't see how she will be brought into the fold, but once again, there has to be something left for the next book I suppose.

Other than that, this book certainly delivered on the content front. Of the two central storylines I have to (very grudgingly) admit that I liked the Perrin storyline. He finally became a man! And Faile is almost a normal person, how about that? (I Can NOT believe I just wrote that!)

I will say that the single most amusing scene by far in this book was when Perrin taught Egwene just how much she has to learn before she can call herself a master of the World of Dreams. It was so satisfying to see her taken down a notch or two (thousand). On the other hand, I was a little underwhelmed with Graendal's plan to kill Perrin, especially after the whole prophesy thing in the beginning. By the way, who was the channeler she used to bring in the Trollocs? It had to be a man since the Ashaman could feel it. Some random minion of Taim?

Regarding Mat's storyline... well, BS had a better grip of Mat in this book, but there were still some shaky moments. I was also getting worried when we hit the late 700s and they hadn't even entered the ToG, but thankfully we got the full Rescue and Return in this book. It was interesting to learn that Lannie and Moiraine got to make their three requests of the Finns. I suspect whatever Moiraine asked for is going to be crucial for the Last Battle. For some reason I'm even more curious what Lannie asked for, though I doubt we'll ever learn that.

Other than Mat, all the characters seemed more or less fully normal. I was very relieved to see that BS made an attempt to return Talmanes to normal. Or maybe he was just more in the background in this book?

OK, that will have to be it for now. I need breakfast!

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Jade
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:25 am
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I agree, Mat et al. were a lot better, but there were still a couple moments that kind of made me wince. As someone already mentioned, the letter wasn't right, although it did make me laugh.

I also liked Perrin and Faile. Egwene was not as awesome as in TGS, but not as annoying as previous books. I agree, the moment between her and Perrin was awesome!

On Tuon: now that Rand is kind of human again, maybe he'll rethink another meeting with her. The way I figure it, the three heroes will (FINALLY!) all get together in one room, and share a few stories, and there will be some collective WTF moments. Once Rand learns that Mat's married to her, maybe he'll use that to contact her and have another go at diplomacy.

Of course, that leads us to Aviendha. That whole thing in Rhuidean was cool. Question is, how to prevent it? It sounds like there will be peace with Seanchan, but it will be broken within one generation. How to make peace that actually lasts? It sounds like it's down to her....

Is it just me, or is there kind of an implication that Rand survives the Last Battle? At least for a little while? Because it sounds like he has several children with Aviendha, and unless she has them all in one pregnancy, and the two of them get really busy pre-battle, it seems like he has to survive?

Jade

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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:09 pm
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Jade wrote:
Is it just me, or is there kind of an implication that Rand survives the Last Battle? At least for a little while? Because it sounds like he has several children with Aviendha, and unless she has them all in one pregnancy, and the two of them get really busy pre-battle, it seems like he has to survive?


I could be wrong, but I think those kids were quadruplets. Whether they were conceived before or after the last battle wasn't clear, but I got the impression Rand never came back from it. Now that doesn't necessarily mean he died of course. He could just have decided he was done with a life in public and gone off somewhere to relax and play golf all day after sealing the DO away again.

In any case, this whole section was definitely the biggest surprise in the book for me. Well done, but rather sad. Also, it gives some (much needed) importance to Aviendha's story line over the last two books.

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Jade
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:35 pm
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quadruplets, eh? *lol* You could be right. I guess Rand will be getting busy before he rides off to Shayol Ghul. ;-) Aviendha is probably owed a little Rand-time by now!

What about Min? Does she get any kids? *lol*

Jade

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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:42 pm
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I was wondering that too! She is the one of the Love Trio that has gotten most action by far, so you would think she was pregnant by now unless she has been taking precautions.

But yeah, Aviendha should be pretty horny by now... *l*

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Salamander



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:53 am
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At least we know from Avi tha the black tower will be there
to put a resistance to the Seanchan (if those visions come true), so likely
Rand or Logain or someone else will take care of those shadowspawn
ashaman.

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Alle
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:51 pm
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Well I finally finished and figured to make a few comments. The Mat in this book is better done then tGS Mat, thank the Light. But besides the letter, there were some passages that were pretty bad. That conversation about boots springs to mind. Whatever. Also, what a complete and utter idiot he was NOT to have read Verin's letter...great job, jackass! *lol* And speaking of morons, Verin is justt as stupid to deliver news of that import in such a way to Mat. Geez....and she was supposed to be one of the smart ones?

The rescue mission started off well, but ended up a bit rushed. I knew that once Noal was really going that he was dead meat, as I am sure most of you all knew too. And the losing the eye bit as well. Still, I mostly enjoyed thoses scenes and am very glad that that has FINALLY been resolved. I especially enjoyed Mat's and Birgitte's ToG conversation...that was one of my favorite scenes.

So New Perrin isn't as whipped as Old Perrin, but although I sort of enjoyed his storyline, it dragged on way longer then it should have. New Perrin and New Faile are still an annoying couple, as well as a boring one to me, but at least I didn't have the urge to shred the book when I saw the PoV coming back to them again and agin. I just gave a resigned sigh and read on.

Rand is certainly over the top. But much better then that travestiy of a character that appeared in tGS.

The BT is a mess. They must have a Dreasmspike there, and sure hope the few decent folk left there can get out of it okay.

The less said about Tuon, the better. Fricking little hypocrit. you can CHANNEL you stupid beotch, and yet you enjoy 'breaking' domane? And freaking Elaida is the one to give Travelling to the Seanchen...good job, 'Amyrlin'. *snicker* Blech. Loathe Tuon and all Seachen. *lol*
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Rhodric
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:10 pm
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I"ll try to address Points already brought up before I delve into exactly what I thought of the book. I thought the title was meant more metaphorically or perhaps metaphysically than literally. Sure there are is a real "towers of midnight" in Seanchan, but we've had this theme for a couple decades now of equating Tarmon Gai'don and Shai'tan with night and the Dragon with dawn/morning. I just figured it was referring to TOG, the White Tower, the Black Tower, etc at "midnight" so to speak.

The Ending prophecy was definitely more cryptic than usual. I'd like to know if its an RJ original. I'm sure the content is but I just wonder if its verbatim. In Winter's Heart, Moridin refers to Fain as vermin, so I think that passage might refer to Fain. The rest is somewhat vague. I don't know what Hopper's use could be, although he's been Perrin's wolf guide for 13 books, so who knows. It could also not refer to Hopper at all. Slayer is still alive, and is connected to wolves. He kills them and there was some indication that maybe he was making Darkhounds with the souls of dead wolves. so its really hard to say. The last paragraph is worrisome. It seems that while Rand dying is needed for the Light to win, it is also needed for a total Dark One victory. So either the death itself, or something that happens after the death is key. Very scary.

When Moridin gave Graendal the dreamspike, there were two there. The second is pretty obviously the one now at the Black Tower. Also remember that Taim's palace has a distinctive red and black color scheme, that almost perfectly matches Moridin's livery, that he had Cyndane and Moggy wear. It would be funny if we've been dupped this whole time. Everyone was so certain that Demandred was Taim, what if Taim was Moridin? It would explain a lot, but I don't think its true just because of the face time Ishy would have to put in at the Black Tower.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of asha'man left, and at least 130 full asha'man. The problem is they are almost all either turned to the shadow, darkfriends, or lackeys of Taim. It looks to be very very bad for the Light at this point in time.

There was so much in this book that I don't think I can encapsulate it in one post, but that's ok, we have at least 15 or 18 months until AMOL :P

The writing seemed to me to be broken down into three parts. There were parts that seemed pure RJ, parts that were BS but very good, almost, "on," and parts that made me go WTF. Brandon seems to have two modes when he's not following a pretty detailed RJ script: extremely wooden (Rand at the stone) to so over the top painful that i wanted to set the book on fire (the more painful mat scenes). I think it was an improvement TGS, and I think its pretty obvious that Egwene and maybe Nyn are his best characters. He sucks at Rand, but that's to be expected since Rand was basically RJ.

I've been having this reoccurring fantasy that involves Caddy, Eggy, El, and Gawyn and extremely high amounts of napalm. Gawyn, well I didn't think he could get any more stupid, but he surpassed all expectations. Caddy is Caddy and I"m glad she didn't have very many lines. Maybe I"m the minority here, but I thought Elayne was a heinous b*tch. She seemed like a power hungry lunatic to me. Everything from possessing Cair. b/c it would make her the most powerful single monarch, to getting all PMSy jealous about Rand's power bloc, to threatening to murder Perrin. Yeah whatever.

Egwene definitely has a pair and she's smart is some areas...too bad she's f***ing idiot in others. She got schooled in chapter 3 and then spends the whole book trying to co opt all of Rand's work from the past twelve books and stop the only person with a snowball's chance of hell of actually saving the world. When you get right down to it, she's not any different that Elaida, in fact, she's worse, because she's better equipped to succeed. I know stupidity is rampant in WoT but seriously...

OMG GUYS HE'S GONNA BREAK THE SEALS, WE'VE GOT TO STOP HIM!!!!

Let's put aside the fact that 4 are broken and the other 3 are like swiss cheese. The fact that there are 13 forsaken that have been lose for nine or ten books or so, and the Pattern is rippling, should be a clue by four that HEY THE BORE IS ALREADY OPEN. I also find it funny that Eg and El have a fit when Nyn and Perrin don't automatically sell out Rand in the first five seconds. This is setting up to be the Fateful Concord all over again. If Rand sneezes wrong the rest of the seals break, if Eg tries to take him prisoner, well...they'll break anyways.

As a life long Rand-fanboy seeing him bring the pain to the Maradon shadowspawn army was way cool. I'd hazard to say that, except for perhaps Moridin, he's capable of handily killing almost any living channeler, including Taim. Unfortunately, I don' think he'll be fighting many of the actual battles at TG, besides the DO. Logain is all well and good, but Rand is a lot stronger, and the BT is rotten to the core. Sadly, even though he's essentially Lews Therin now, minus the madness, I don't think Rand stands a chance as of the end of ToM. Egwene and all her sheep aren't helping matters either. If indeed, the deed involves him and two women in a circle, I think Nynaeve and Moiraine are the obvious choices. They are the two most selfless women channelers and damnit Moir was rescued for a reason.

I liked Perrin ok in this one. Well except for the first 550 pages of whining. The forging was Mjollnir by any other name, completing Perrin's wolf king/thor transformation. Mat is Odin, and Rand is Tyr/Arthur/fisher king/Dragon.

BS sucks at Mat, sorry to say. He does ok when he's just sort of going down the checklist and working through the outline, but you can tell when he wants to jazz things up. He tries to get in Mat's "voice" while using his old additions and different wording that RJ and it always ends up being painful. There's the boot chapter, the letter, and the scene after they escape TOG....god.

He also sucks at Lan. Why is Lan acting like an emo bish? He's had more dialogue in this book than in the first twelve combined, and why is he saying bah? Lan doesn't say bah!

I think I'm probably more saddened than most about Jain. I was seriously crying pretty hard. It seems like every time the main characdters have had 5 minutes of leisure time in the last 20 years (real time), they always curl up with the travels of Jain Farstrider. Jain's also one of the reaons that Lan even survived the fall of Malkier, and he also revealed Ishy's plot to blind the Eye of the World. Major Hero. Yeah you knew he was toast going in, but I still didn't want to believe it. I"m glad RJ wrote the TOG sequence. I can just picture BS pulling some "boots" or "hinderstap" bullsh*t and ruining the whole thing.

I don't know about the Avi stuff. To me it felt like a parody of tSR. tSR had the best writing in the series and I was groaning pretty bad at the BS ter'angreal trip.

A lot of stuff was saved for the last book, the BT, Taim, DEMANDRED'S IDENTITY WTF. I'm glad Asmo's killer was revealed, though it was a little disappointing. I mean Graendal was an obvious choice, but it seemed a little too easy. We talk about Min getting action but I think Shaidar Haran is getting more than anyone. GRaendal is the fourth female forsaken he's raped. Man RJ was really into S&M....

Lan is only outnumbered 13 to 1, I"m sure he'll be fine. I hope Rand breaks the seals across Egwene's forehead WWE style. I guess Mat and Verin and that whole thing was stupid as well but I have to admit, when we saw Caemlyn in flames....I cheered.

That's all I can think of for now, I'm sure i'll have more to say later.
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Rhodric
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:13 pm
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Wouldn't it be nice if someone who wasn't named LTT, Rand, Moridin, or Ishy got a clue of what's really going on? There's not going to be fire and blood, there won't be an evil nazi regime. There won't be immortality. It's the total dissolution of your reality. I don't know which is more sad the good guys who want to drop Rand in the pit of doom and then happily rule the world, or the bad guys who actually think they are going to live forever.
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Alle
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:59 pm
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Ao more random thoughts:


'I guess you can call me Rand Sedai'.(or words to that effect) Awesome.

The BS Lan is just really bad, I must agree. Oh, and I hate when BS uses words and phrases like 'being played'. That sort of nonsense should have been edited out.

The Towers of Midnight also referred (per Eggy's dream) to The Forsaken.
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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:24 pm
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So... before we return to the regular programming:

Who are the guys with the pointy teeth in the epilogue?

Is Demandred behind the invasion of Andor?

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Rhodric
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:00 am
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No one knows on the pointy teeth. Every question, even the ones hedging around that scene has been RAFOed harder than a Far Madding spank. I don't know if he is, if he is that would be totally cool. I hope Caemlyn falls. Do you think that Talmanes can make a difference? mat's gone and at least 20% of the band is in Cairhien with her royal pain in my backside. At this point I hope people are wrong about him being King of Murandy because that seems lame +3.
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Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:38 am
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Finally done...more later, but first, what the heck was the deal with Weiramon? At first I was like, wtf, is HE Demandred? I don't get it.
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Rhodric
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:34 am
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He's just a DF, as far as I know. It was obvious as far back as tPoD, because of conversations he had with gedwyn and torval. Verin sent him a note that was delivered by tiana in chapter 3. There were quite a few things in that note, the least of which was the information about the former king of Illian being in the white tower (which lead Rand to the King of Arad Doman) and the identities of a few others sworn to the Dark, which lead Rand to Weiramon. It also seems that whatever transformation took place atop Dragonmount, Rand's "aura" for lack of a better word, hurts Darkfriends and Shadowspawn. So when Weiramon flinched, Rand know for sure he was a Darkfriend, although I'm sure something was in the letter too. With all these world leaders lined up by Egwene, should be pretty easy for Rand to "blind them by the light." hahaha.
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Alle
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:47 am
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Big Bubba wrote:
So... before we return to the regular programming:

Who are the guys with the pointy teeth in the epilogue?



WoT is catering to the latest vampire craze? *snicker* Theories abound, but there is too little information. I liked the speculation that has them as the Aiel men who can channel that go to the Blight to 'spit in sightblinder's eye' but who really get captured and turned to the DO. That would be evil...but cool.
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Loial



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:01 pm
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Finally finished the book.
Took me a week.

Random thoughts :

I was amused when Perrin considered destroying the Dreamspike by throwing it to Mount Doo... err Dragonmount.

The forging of the hammer reminded me of Alvin Maker forging his golden plow.

And Avi's flashforwards are so Lost :)

And who was that woman Avi met? Could she have anything to do with those flashforwards? In that case they might be fake.

Egwene's ToM vision was about the 6 surviving forsaken. Is the one that almost fell but then rose above all others Moridin? Or could it possibly be Graendal? She was the closest one to nearly die recently.

That's all for now
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Patrick
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Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:51 pm
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Okay, here are my thoughts.

1. I have to admit, and no offense to anyone here, that I'm just ever so slightly annoyed at the amount of nit-picking I've seen on the Net over BS' character "voices." Now, the word choice stuff, yeah, that bugs me (Mat saying "gonna?" Really? And everyone saying "son?"), but let's face it, BS ain't RJ, and never will be, and frankly I'd rather have our beloved (or despised) WoT characters feel somehow "off" and be riddled with BS quirks than have BS try to ape verbatim RJ's verbal mannerisms and characterizations. He's not RJ, but he's the one who is finishing this massive work, and I'm going to cut him a lot of slack, character-wise. That said, I think the characters in ToM largely felt better than those in TGS. Mat especially was largely improved. Now, he's not the "old" Mat (who happens to be my favorite character in all of fantasy literature), but how could he be? He's good enough for me.

2. You know, I never really did like Egwene. I didn't like the way she treated Rand going back all the way to TEoTW, when she started training with Moir and acting "special." I didn't like her among the Aiel, when she thought she was so powerful and cool and should be able to roam TAR freely, and who were these killjoy old fogies to tell her she couldn't!? I didn't like her as the rebel Amyrlin. In fact, the only time I did like her was in TGS, when she was pretty rad, as we said in my youth. But now comes along ToM and I am reminded, again, why I really don't like her. She has the gall to think of Rand as arrogant and stubborn, when her assertion that "omc* he wants to break the seals we can't have that I'd better rally everyone to show him how stupid he's being! Ahh!!" is about as arrogant as can be. What the heck does she know about it? She's about to repeat history in a very bad way, a second Fateful Concord, presuming with almost no evidence that Rand is doing A Very Dumb Thing And Needs To Be Shown The Right Way.



Grr. Don't like that girl! Maybe Perrin can knock some sense into her at this gathering. And speaking of which....

3. Perrin, again, rocks. I never really stopped liking him, even though the whole stupid Shaido/Faile fiasco is and probably always will be my least favorite WoT plot. I felt a thrill when I realized he was forging Mjöllnir, especially when the name came out. So freakin' cool! I'm glad he's finally come to terms with the Wolf and found the right balance, and the Boundless thing surprised me in a very happy way (though I was a bit disappointed to discover that Noam's brother was, in fact, a douchebag, because in TDR he seemed nice, you know?).

4. Mat. Oh man. I have been waiting for this ever since I read TFoH in 1997. Thirteen years, and in the thirteenth book, I finally get to the Tower of Ghenjei! While I (and probably everyone else) would possibly have liked it better if it had come somewhat earlier in the book, if only because by the time I got to page 700 I was really getting anxious to see it, it pretty much fulfilled all my expectations. And that's saying a lot, considering how much I love Mat and how long I've been waiting for this.

Poor Jain Farstrider. I admit, I cried a little at that part. it was, in fact, only the second time that WoT has made me cry, the first being when Perrin finds out his whole family was killed by Trollocs, way back in TSR. Sadly, with Lan and his little army facing 12-1 odds at Tarwin's Gap, the Malkieri may never know about Jain's final, and probably most important (if the whole "Moir is going to save the world" thing pans out) adventure. One question, though, is why both red doorways were toast? Did I miss something in some prior novel? I don't remember the Tear doorway being shattered.

Aww. Thom and Moir. Awww. AWWW!!

Mat rocks!

5. Aviendha. Hoo boy...I'm not sure I liked that part at all. I know some people think it's plausible, but I'm really not seeing it. For the past 3,000-odd years the Aiel have inhabited the Waste, they have lived, breathed, ate, drank, and probably crapped honor, thought it was a twisted and violent sort far removed from their peaceful origins. That's what, something like 120 generations. And yet, in a span of only two generations, they fall from all honor, to the point where they trick various Wetlanders into launching an unprovoked preemptive strike against the Seanchan that ends in the destruction of the White and Black Towers, the subjugation of the nations who (presumably) won the Last Battle, and the dissolution of the Aiel into dishonorable wretches, basically because they're bored.

Even if they think Rand abandons them, even if the perpetual peace after the Battle grates on them no end, I just can't see the Aiel falling so far. And it's funny. because I've never been much of an Aiel fanboy and they're not among my favorite characters. Even the Shaido, who went nuts, taking hordes of Wetlanders into perpetual gai'shaindom and led by a bunch of power-hungry Wise Ones, didn't abandon their Aiel ways so thoroughly. Besides, as someone else pointed out above, this whole idea conflicts with the prophecy that only a remnant of a remnant shall remain.

Having enough troops to even think about conquering the world doesn't really jive with a remnant of a remnant. So, I don't think I liked Avi's part in this at all, and I hope to the Creator she averts this.

6. Elayne. Yeah...I'll get back to you on that. Still not sure. She's slightly less annoying than she was in recent volumes, I think.

7. Gawyn. Alright...I'll cut him a little slack now. He got slightly less moronic in this book, and maybe being a Warder and finally seeing his mother will snap him back fully into reality. A reality, you know, where other people aren't the cause of all his problems and Rand/Elaida/The Man/whoever exists for the sole purpose of keeping him down.

8. Hmm. What else.... Oh, right. Caemlyn and the Trollocs! Woohoo! BURN BABY BURN! It'll teach both Mat not to leave letters unopened and Verin to think Mat would actually open the thing. It'll also hopefully teach Egwene that it's not a great idea to pull all these armies away from their homelands not to, you know, fight the Last Battle or anything, but to chastise Rand for being such a little boy (that's honestly the impression I get from her...she's the awesomely wise and super-duperly life-experienced and more mature woman, so naturally she *must* know what's right and surely knows how best to spank this undisciplined, rascally little boy whose hand is in the cookie jar, about to break her precious Dark (One) Chocolate Chip(ped and cracked and broken) Cookies. Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike the battle of the sexes thing in WoT?).

Ugh. I really don't like her.

Talmanes is gonna kick some major horned butt, I think. The Trollocs think they're invading a city filled to bursting with tasty civilians and guarded only by unreliable mercenaries.

But they didn't count on the Band of the Red Hand and its dragons.

Anyway, that's it for now. More later, maybe! Overall, I really liked ToM.

* "oh my Creator"

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On a mountain of skulls in a castle of pain, I sat on a throne of blood. What was will be, what is will be no more. Now is the season of evil!
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