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Flaws in the Story - The Forsaken

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Showing 1-25 of 406 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 8, 2005, 7:20:20 PM PST
I thought that we should start some discussion about the flaws present in the wheel of time story. I have read all the reviews on all the books but have not found many people discussing them so I just wanted to know whether there really are flaws in the story or have I gone mad reading this series. I will mention some below and would appreciate if you people can comment on it. Otherwise, I will make an appointment with my doctor.

Well to begin with, let me talk about the Forsaken. In the beginning of the series, we were told that the Forsaken are powerful Aes Sedai from the age of legends capable of doing things that are not possible to do in this world or can not be done now as people have forgotten how to do them. Now, read the books and tell me if the forsaken truly know about everything that is to be known about the One power, then why do they keep on attacking Rand and Co with shadowspawns ( Trollocs, fades, draghkars, darkhounds etc) when they know that Rand would be able to sense them and be alerted to their presence as soon as they get near him. Even Moraine and Lan could feel shadowspawn. Don't the forsaken know this simple fact? or is this just Jordan's way of adding a little excitement in the story from time to time. It happens many times to Rand especially when he was in the Aiel waste.

My second point is concerning the Forsaken Belal who was in Tear and Moraine balefired him. In the book we are told that he is practically ruling Tear and did so for a long time. Does it not seem strange to you that during all this time he never ventured down in the great holding of Tear. I mean Rand went down there and found a powerful Angreal of the fat little man. Why didn't Belal try to find it? I mean, if you could use the one power and there was a possibility of enhancing your power with an Angreal, won't you be looking for something like it? Also, Loial mentions that he was known as the net weaver (i.e he weaves traps). So my question is, in the story what net did he weave that a 10 year old could not have woven? I mean, Rand was not lured to Tear, he went there of his own free will. Plus when the black sisters, obviously working for Belal, kidnap Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve they tell them that they are bait. Bait for who? Rand did not even know about their presence. He even mentions this fact at the end. So why weren't Egwene and co killed by the black sisters on the spot?

Going further, Belal wanted to have Callandor, the sword. Did he not know that the sword was flawed? How was he planning to use it then. I mean can you imagine Belal linking himself with two women in a situation where the women are in control. I can not. It goes against his character. Obviously "Callandor being flawed" idea was developed later by Jordan just to satisfy the readers who criticized him for making Rand leave one of the most powerful Angreal in Tear because it had made Rand invincible and taken the suspense out of the story. But his idea back fired as he could not change his already published work.

Sammael was known as the greatest general in the age of legends. What did he do throughout the series to merit this claim. It is obvious from the story that the man does not know anything about warfare.

Look at the character of Aginor in book 1 and then compare it with the character of Dashiva. They appear to be totally different persons unless of course being reincarnated causes brain damage.

I guess that is more than enough for the time being. I would like to read your comments on these and some other time I will write about some of the other stuff that is wrong in the story. If you have also noticed a flaw in the story, feel free to add it here. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2005, 8:44:43 PM PST
Matt says:
"why do they keep on attacking Rand and Co with shadowspawns...happens many times to Rand especially when he was in the Aiel waste."

*Every* time the Forsaken attacked Rand in the Aiel waste they were trying to lure him into attacking Sammael. They knew that any attack they levied against him would be beaten. The goal was to make him react.

Also, with what else would they have attacked him? He was surrounded by Aiel. It's not like the Aiel would let normal human beings walk through their camp. Yes, he could sense the shadowspawn, but does that really make up for the fact that the average human is considerably weaker than the average shadowspawn?

"So why weren't Egwene and co killed by the black sisters on the spot?"

That assumes that the black sisters had known that Rand would come without bait. Part of the reason Rand won there was that he jumped ahead of their plans (i.e. he showed up early). If they had known that, they might have acted differently.

Also, it has been mentioned numerous times in the series that the Dark One's goal was to turn channelers rather than to kill them. Egwene, are the most powerful female channelers we encounter who are not Forsaken. They would have been more valuable alive.

It's quite possible that Bel'al did not know that Callandor was flawed.

There was no warfare in the age of legends (until the very end). Being known as the best general then was not the same as being the best general now. In truth, Rand was probably better read in tactics than Sammael. It's also worth noting that Sammael was used to having much more advanced weaponry than was modernly available.

In my paperback of the first book, Aginor is introduced 35 pages before the end of the book. In that span, he gets killed by a much weaker group. Dashiva is more fully realized and we have more time to realize just how nuts he is. While Aginor is described as intelligent and a good scientist, he is not described as being clever (in a street smart way) or a good strategist. Without any specific citations to discuss, I don't have any more to say on that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2005, 8:19:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 19, 2005, 8:57:05 PM PST
Thanks for your comments Matt. I respect your opinions and believe that everyone has a right to his or her views. Saying that I do not agree with your explanations, here is why:

First, saying that Belal does not know about the flaw in Callandor is absurd. The man is obsessed with the thing. Obviously, he knows what Callandor is. He wants it badly because he knows its power and he could only have known about its power by watching Lewis Therin use it. It is not mentioned clearly, but Lewis Therin must have used it sometime in his life, as people know it is one of the most powerful Angreal ever made. You cannot know something like this by not using the thing. If someone like Cadsuane knows about it then surely Belal would have known about it. So, imagine an arrogant person like Belal linking with two women where the women are controlling the flows. This is an unrealistic situation.

Second your point that Egwene and Co were not killed by the black sisters as the Dark One's goal was to convert channelers instead of killing them might be true but you are assuming that all the forsaken have the same goal in mind and are following a coherent plan, which is not the case. Each forsaken is looking for his or her own advantage. For example, Belal wants to get hold of Callandor and become the most powerful forsaken around. Lanfear wants the two most powerful Angreals as she wants to overthrow the Dark One and rule the world etc. The black sisters were following the orders of Belal and not the Dark One. Belal would not have cared to convert Egwene and co because doing so is not in his favor. He would not want someone as strong as Nynaeve, Egwene and Elayne to become Black Ajah as they would become a threat to himself. This mentality of the forsaken is quite apparent from their reactions after seeing Cyndane (reincarnated Lanfear) for the first time. They do not want others to be included in their circle. It is also obvious that they do not care a damn about the dark one's plan as Ishamael tried to kill Rand at the end of book 3, clearly against the dark one's orders of keeping him alive.

Plus, if the dark one wants channelers converted why haven't the forsaken started to kidnap Aes Sedai from the white tower and forcefully convert them to black Ajah. This would have been the most sensible thing to do. I mean Messana is already there and over the course of time they could have abducted Aes Sedai one at a time, transported them through gateways and converted them. Nobody would have known what was happening and by this time all the Aes Sedai in the tower would have been black.

As for using Egwene and Co as bait, how was Belal going to lure Rand in, I mean, was he going to put an add in a newspaper telling Rand that he will kill them unless he showed up?(ignore the pun) I do not think so. He knew it was Rand's destiny to take Callandor and this is the reason he chose to rule tear in the first place. He knew Rand was going to end up in tear sooner or later. He might have planned to use them as hostages when Rand finally arrived, to persuade him to dislodge Callandor thereby taking it into possession himself after killing Rand. However, he does not even do this. Therefore, the whole idea of bait thing is just pointless. And we are still not told what prompted Lanfear to direct Egwene and Co to tear in the first place.

Okay now to Sammael. Your comment that there was no warfare in the age of legends is not true. Many conventional battles from that age are mentioned. In fact, Sammael was a leader fighting against the Dark one. In addition, you do not have to be a military genius to see the things that he failed to see. He knows that a huge army is moving towards him. What does he do; waits and gives that army ample time to gather fully and become a potent threat. Remember the time when Mat was heading towards Illian and someone, probably Sammael opened a gateway through which some Aiel appeared to kill Mat. Can you see how stupid this sounds? Out of the three, Mat is the only person who can not detect shadowspawn and what does Sammael use against him AIEL!! Had he sent a soulless Mat's career would have been over. In fact, what stopped him from appearing himself and blasting Mat and the Red Arms to smithereens? Mat had nobody there to protect him. This would have been the most logical thing to do as Mat was going to Illian to fight him. Soulless are reserved for Rand and Perrin only, as both can detect them and the Gholam is reserved for Mat, as only Mat can defeat a Gholam. I do not know about you but this appears very childish to me. Had it been the other way around all three would have been dead. Finally, when Rand does appear in Illian there is nobody there to stop him. Sammael is sitting all alone in the palace. What a brilliant plan, hats off to Sammael, put all your forces a thousand miles away when you know that Rand can Travel through Gateways....

Comments would be welcome

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2005, 12:03:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 21, 2005, 12:12:49 PM PST
kabumpo says:
I have a complaint a little off topic. In New Spring (What was the point of that book again??), at the end of chapter 2 after Moiraine and Siuan witness the fortelling about Rand's birth, Tarna,(Was that her name?) the Amyrlin at the time, says the keeper died without speaking (I don't have the book with me or I would quote it.), which is clearly a lie (unless you say that fortelling is not speaking, in which case you need to define the word "speaking"). And as only Black ajah and tell a lie, I most conclude that Tarna was black.

But if she were Black, why did she not alert the other black sisters? Obbously, she did not, and was not black, or why did the black sisters murder her? Unless the Black Ajah is like the Forsaken in that they don't work together, but rather working for their individual means. In which case, Why did Tarna forget about Moiraine and Siuan? It seems the Black are more competent then the rest of the Aes Sedai, Moiraine aside, so why didn't she have them die in their beds?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2005, 12:51:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2006, 5:33:53 AM PST
Kabumpo you have a valid point. I also do not have the book with me as I had borrowed it from a library to read but I do remember this point quite clearly. Only I think that it was mentioned as if the Amyrlin Seat (Tamra Ospenya) had let the rumor spread that the keeper died without saying anything. But even if it was a rumor the Amyrlin Seat would have had to start it either by telling someone or by writing it out which would not have been possible because of the three oaths, as it was a lie. The possibility that Tamra was a Black sister can not be true, because if it was true than the whole point of killing her and her messengers who were searching for the Dragon Reborn would have been senseless as obviously she would have only appointed Black sisters as the ones doing the searching and by the same token Moiriane and Siuan would have been dead too as Tamra knew that they knew about the foretelling.

A similar incident also occurs later, in book 4, when Min goes back to the White Tower and the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan in this case, spreads the rumor that Min has actually run away from her two suitors to seek the protection of the White Tower. Min mentions it herself somewhere that the Amyrlin Seat had let the rumor spread. Now again in order to spread the rumor either Siuan or Leane would have had to lie. And since we know that neither of them is Black so this is a flaw in the story.

Please do not write only on the topic. Feel free to share any other flaws that you have noticed in the story. I cannot change the topic of the discussion now, although I thought that being the creator of the discussion, I would have complete control over editing and deleting the discussion too; but apparently I can only delete my posts inside the discussion but cannot edit the discussion itself nor can I delete it. You might have noticed this discussion posted three times on the front page. That was due to an error in the Amazon page, but now since the discussions are created, I cannot delete them, even though I am the creator. It does sound strange but probably that is why Amazon is still calling it "Customer Discussion Beta".

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2005, 3:05:47 PM PST
Okay here are some more flaws in the story. I have already mentioned one of them in one of my reviews but I thought that this is the appropriate place to write it down again.

In book 7, Egwene makes a gateway to transport Lan to Abu Dar. While in the gateway she mentions (CoS, chapter 12): "If two sisters wove gateways on the same spot only moments apart, aiming to skim to the same place, they would not see one another, not unless it was exactly the same spot, with the weaves exactly identical , and neither precision was as easy to achieve as it might seem". Which makes perfect sense. Now look at the situation at the end of book 4, Rand and Asmodean both make a gateway to go to Rhuedien from different locations. Rand was at Alcair Dal and Asmodean somewhere outside the canyon. How did their gateways manage to intersect with each other? I mean, how could Rand see Asmodean skimming in front of him? They could not have been aiming for the same exact spot; the possibility of that happening, provided that they both started from different locations and could not see each other's weaves is nonexistent. In addition, from Egwene's above statement this was quite an achievement. Unbelievable achievement in my point of view.

In the prologue of book 9, Mazrim Taim walks in on Elayne with his two Ashaman. Elayne makes the following observation about him. (WH: Prologue) "Taim strode into the room as though he owned the palace. She did not need him named. Blue-and-gold Dragons wove round the sleeves of his black coat from elbows to cuffs, in imitation of the Dragons on Rand's arms. Though she suspected he would not appreciate the observation." Now, Elayne has never seen Rand in person since their meeting in Tear. It was after their last meeting that Rand got branded with the Dragons in Rhuedien. Even if Egwene or Nynaeve have told Elayne of the Dragons, she still should not be making the above statement. The above statement should only be made by someone who has a first hand experience of carefully examining the Dragons on Rand's arms. Since Dragons are an extinct species in the WOT world and only Aiel know about them so Elayne should not know what a dragon looks like in the first place.

In the earlier books, we are told that Fades like to operate at night. Their powers are greater at night and they can ride shadows like horses, hence are named night-runners by the Aiel. We are also told that Trollocs can see better then cats at night and bright light does not agree with them. All their attacks in books 1 and 2 have been in the night and it makes sense. Now, with all these things going for them they chose to attack Emond's field in book 4 in the MIDDLE OF THE DAY!!. In fact, it was closer to noon. The time is mentioned when Perrin is writing a letter to Faile, just before the battle, as "late morning". After that, he goes for a tour of his soldiers and the women circle and it was after this that the Trollocs and fades attacked. Now I ask you why would the fades choose to attack Emond's field when their own powers are weakest and the advantage is with the archers of Emond's field. Since, it was they who chose to attack, does it not make sense that they would choose the night, as then they would have the advantage. Jordan is of course free to write what ever he likes, but he should have given some explanation for why, having all the time in the world the fades chose to attack Emond's Field around noon. The only possible reasoning is that had the attack been in the night then Jordan would have had to change the ending, as the particular ending in book 4 would not have been possible in the night.

More flaws and inconsistencies coming soon....

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2006, 6:25:35 PM PST
R. DuBois says:
First of all here is an excellent site with theories and other wel discused topics relating to WOT.

As for the skimming issue, that can perhaps be explained in the simple manner that the male and female halves of the source are totally different. It is even mentioned in detail that the females have to make a gateway different then males do, so skimming could fall into the differences category.

As for the Tiam/dragon issue. Elayne is back in Caemyln at this point in time and has more than likely been told about the dragons on Rand's arms. As for how she would know what a dragon looks like is fairly simple, Rand had his dragon banners flying at the palace and around the city. She ordered them taken down, not to mention didn't he put one up in Tear, where Elayne also was with him? Throw in the fact that she may have seen one on Rhuarc as well. So she had many chances to see a dragon.

The Amrylin seat letting a rumor spread is not the same as starting the rumor, as with Tamra. She told Moiraine and Siuan not to say anything and to lie to sisters if they had to. They did mention that to contradict rumors of a foretelling. As for Siuan starting or spreading a rumor, I'm not sure of the specifics there so I will not comment.

So there's a couple little things from me at this time. I may jump back in here later with more.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2006, 10:14:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2006, 10:37:45 AM PST
kabumpo says:
I have my copy of New Spring with me now and i'm going to quote it, as followes:

Chapter 2, pg 38
"With your permision, Mother," Siuan said in a husky voice, "I'll send Elin to fetch the Keeper's serving woman to do what's needful."
"Stay!" Tamra barked. That iron-hard gaze studied them both. "You will tell no one about this, not for any reason. If necessary, lie. Even to a sister. Gitara died without speaking. Do you understand me?"

Saying that, "Gitara died without speaking.", all of that as one sentance, is crearly a lie. but as I said before, fortelling may not be conserded "speaking". And we also know from book 11:

chapter 24, pg 527
Sharp spots of red appeared in Beonin's cheeks. "I tell you, I have betrayed n-!" She finished with a strangled grunt and put a hand to her throat as if refusing to let the lie leave her tougue. That proved she was not Black Ajah;.....

that you can't accedently tell a lie.
Also, as to what Raza Ali said, Aes Sedai can "write" a lie, the three oaths only restrict them from "telling" one. So again you need to define somthing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2006, 9:36:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 14, 2006, 11:35:27 AM PST
R. DuBois, thanks for your comments. First, let me point out that Tiam/Dragons issue. The fact that Elyane would not recognize the dragons was just an after thought and you are right, she may know what a dragon looks like; but what I wanted to point out was the fact that if you read the statement Elyane makes, it appears she has closely observed Rand with the dragons on his arm and feels confident that now she can compare Tiam's dragons with Rand's, which is not the case. Put yourself in Elyane's shoes, will you make a statement like that, if you had never seen Rand (with the dragons) in person?

About your comment that there are websites available for this sort of discussion, you are right again but the problem is that most of these websites discuss future theories, the thing that I avoid as it spoils the suspense of the new book. I did go to such a website about a year ago and put something similar there. But instead of healthy comments I got back one liners like "If you hate the books why are you still reading them" or "is this the only thing you noticed in the entire book", well you get the idea. Now, of course I like the story. I have never said that I do not enjoy the books. Do you honestly think that I would keep on reading them if I did not enjoy them. I have read each book almost 3 times except the prequel and book 11. I would still give the entire series a 3.8/5 or 75/100. The point is that these flaws in the story just leave a bad taste in my mouth and I am just trying to point them out and trying to tell people who compare Jordan's work with all time classics that it can never become an extraordinary work because of all these problems in it. I mean you cannot honestly give this series 5/5. I do not say that other series do not suffer from flaws; take the example of Harry Potter, another of my favorites, if you read it closely you will find there are one or two flaws present in it but they are minor and do not spoil the story a lot. I mean the authors are human after all but it is just the sheer magnitude of the flaws present in WOT that makes it an average series. Therefore, in short, that is why I do not go to these others websites. Well, maybe someday I will open my own website and put all this there and that probably would be a good place for this.

I meant to write some more flaws in the story related to Perrin today but I guess I will have to do that some other time, as I am a graduate student in Electrical Engineering and can seldom find time to do anything other than studying. So maybe I will mention them some other weekend.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2006, 1:19:45 PM PST
Proffittess says:
I would just like to say that I appreciate you talking about the inconsistencies or flaws in these books. It is hard enough to remember and sort out all of the details and names and places, some of which are just details that don't need that much attention, without trying to figure out why some things just don't add up or mesh with what I thought to be true. Now that I know that I am not just confused we can move on.
I feel that for many reasons, possibly how long it is taking to write this series, Jordan's world has gotten away from him a bit. Detail is a good thing to an extent, but between the time that he finishes one book and begins another the wheel keeps weaving and he has to try to catch up and he is losing control of all the different directions, characters, and rules that his story is made up of. If he doesn't have a grasp of his own world and how exactly to extract his story from it then the story will get swallowed up. That seems to be where inconsistencies pop up. Every time I pick up the newest book, which I cannot help doing because I have to finish the series, I am struck by irritation at the fact that I have to consult the dictionary in the back for half the book because there is such a modge podge of names and places and it has been so long since I read the last book. That is not to say that I don't WANT to read it I just wish it wasn't so complicated. I am ready for this story to come to an end and I feel that Jordan is too. I wonder how often he goes back and reads the previous books.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2006, 2:41:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2006, 2:53:53 PM PST
Aes Sedai can not write a lie either. Rand asks Moraine that after he gets those 2 letters from Elaida and Alvarian. They aren't supposed to be able to lie by ommission, but do that all the time. Just another major flaw in Jordans writing.

Another one that bothers me is that in book 1, Thom tells Mat, Perrin, Rand and Egwene that he was once a court-bard in the chapter that introduces him. Later on, they all acted shocked that he was a court-bard.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2006, 4:21:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2006, 2:54:14 PM PST
Another one: In #3 Rand was camped at night and a woman and a few guys showed up. He killed them all(wasn't clear if they meant him harm, BTW), including the woman and it did not bother him in the least.

Fast forward a bit and Rand is refusing to kill Lanfear even though Egwene and Avendha(sp?) are about to die. Not to mention all the whining Rand does about women dying throughout much of the series. Another lame device that Jordan added in after it was too late to make sense.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2006, 9:19:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2006, 10:06:47 AM PST
A letter from Gawyn Trakand to Elayne Trakand which was not published in the WoT.......

Dear Elayne Trakand,

How are you doing? I hope you are enjoying life and the lovely weather. I am writing to reiterate the oath I swore while I was barely tall enough to peer into your cradle. (LOC: Prologue, paperback pp.47) "My blood shed before hers; life given before hers." Gareth Bryne had to explain to me, that it meant, I had to be your sword arm and I had to protect you at all cost and I had to keep this oath if I failed in everything else in my life. Rumors are rife that you are under siege in Andor and that other major houses have amassed a large army to topple you. It is therefore quite natural that under these trying circumstances, I should not only be absent from your side, but absent from the actual story itself for a long period of time. This is because I have decided that the best way to "shed my blood before you" and "give my life before you" is to disappear from the story. Now, you must think that this is extremely courageous and clever of me, not to mention fulfilling my oath in the entirety, but you must understand that you have been battling these life-threatening odds for only since book 9, and now it is book 11. So you see, there was actually no time for me to make the journey from my current location to Andor (which by the way takes less than three weeks by my estimation) and aiding you. Of course, meeting you will solve a lot of things, to begin with, I will not have to try to kill Rand next time I meet him and this will reduce a lot of paper in the books and thus less money for all concerned. Please do not think too much of it because we are a part of the Wheel of Time series that is considered by many as one of the classics of the fantasy genre so our readers will not consider it at all unusual.

Dear Elayne, while spending my time here and doing nothing I hit upon an other unusual thing, I have noticed, considering that house Trakand is one of the ninteen major houses of Andor, it has only three members !! Elayne Trakand, Morgase Trakand and Gawyn Trakand. We do not possess a large number of retainers or any hired soldiers or anything, but we are still considered a major house in Andor. You also might have wondered this while gathering loyal soldiers to defend you. Of course, all our rival houses have about 5000 soldiers each. But please do not let this startling fact dishearten you, as our mother became the queen of Andor when there was only one member of house Trakand i.e. Morgase Trakand. She still became the queen and all the other major houses saw the power of house Trakand and were humbled by it.

Anyway, enough of this chit chat. I sincerely hope you will figure out a daring solution to your problems soon.

Your loving brother who is oath bound to protect you at all cost,

Gawyn Trakand

p.s. I am also in a bit of a dilemma here, I do not know what to call Egwene next time I meet her, sweetheart or mother?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2006, 2:56:47 PM PST
Just awesome :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2006, 7:57:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2006, 7:59:41 AM PST
Here is another one:

Morgase is tower trained, and really can't channel. yet the Whitecloaks want her dead because she spent time in the tower.

Yet, her son Galad, is tower trained and a whitecloak. Whoops.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2006, 8:05:48 PM PST
Moi, I do not think that all Whitecloaks wanted Morgase dead. They knew Morgase was tower trained and she wore the Aes Sedai ring but they also knew that Morgase could not channel. It was only Rhadam Asunawa, the high inquisitor of the hand of the light, who wanted her put down as she had spent time in the tower. Pedron Niall and Eamon Valda had nothing against her. Pedron Niall even let her enter the Fortress of the light. They would not have done that if they thought Morgase could channel.

The story of Galad is slightly different. Eamon Valda did not actually like Galad, this is plain from his many comments. He just wanted to have someone linked to the tower on his side, so as to infiltrate the tower from within. Moreover, Galad cannot channel so Whitecloaks would not have any thing against him. Whitecloaks have nothing against Tar Valon itself; it is only the White Tower that curdles them. It is clear from the fact that during the siege of Tar Valon most Whitecloaks came to visit the taverns within the city.

All the above statements are from memory, I will confirm them sometime later when I have time.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2006, 8:07:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2006, 8:13:07 PM PST
Okay, I was refraining to comment further on the Aes Sedai and lying business (Kabumpo and Moi) as I wanted to confirm some facts first. Aes Sedai cannot tell a lie nor can they write a lie down. Yes, they can side step the truth but cannot lie straight out. If this is true then the statements of Tamra Ospenya provided by Kabmupo were a flaw in the story. Similarly, as I pointed out earlier, some of the statements made by Siuan Sanche also fall under this category. Here are the ones that I could find.

In Dragon Reborn Siuan tells Nynaeve, "I will put gold in your rooms for the journey. And I will let it be whispered about that I have sent you out to a farm to hoe cabbages" (TDR: Ch 291, paperback pp. 336). In order for Siuan to let it be whispered, she would have to start the whisper; otherwise how can a specific whisper such as "they are working on a farm" spread?

Jordan justifies this later, in words of Elaida as; "The Amyrlin was hiding the whereabouts of those three. Elaida was sure of it. All reports that they were serving penance on a farm had come at third or fourth hand from Siuan Sanche, more than enough distance to hide any twisting of words to avoid an outright lie" (TSR: Ch 1, paperback pp. 36).

This statement does not make any sense. In order for the information to come to third and fourth hand, someone had to inform the first hand. Since only Siuan could tell the first hand, thus Siuan had to lie. Try to work this out yourselves, what could Suian have told the first hand that led to such a specific whisper that they are doing Penance on a farm spread. Siuan would have to say something concerning them and a farm, which is a lie.

Now how Siuan could have spread the rumor becomes clear later, when she tries to hide Min's true identity. This is what Siuan mentions to Min. (TSR: Ch 1, paperback pp. 35), "As to why you are staying in the tower.......The Amyrlin frowned thoughtfully, ignoring Min's efforts to break in. "Yes. I will let it be put about that Mistress Elmindreda managed to encourage two suitors to the point that she has to take shelter from them in the tower..." This is clearly a lie and she just spoke it quite fluently in front of Min. How could she do that when all Aes Sedai choke while uttering a lie?

I am sure there might be some other instances where Aes Sedai tell a lie and get away with it but I do not have the time to dig them out.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2006, 6:33:15 AM PST
Anh Vu says:
I just wanted to point out that while Aes Sedai cannot lie directly, they can make it seem like they are lying by making observations about lies.

For example, about sending Egwene and Naynaeve to the farm, Siuan does not have to say "they are working on a farm," she could simply make an observation in passing that "they would not LIKE working on a farm" somewhere where others would hear her. Then when they suddenly dissapear, those who heard her say that would simply assume that she sent them to a farm. Thus how the rumor is formed.

"Now how Siuan could have spread the rumor becomes clear later, when she tries to hide Min's true identity. This is what Siuan mentions to Min. (TSR: Ch 1, paperback pp. 35), "As to why you are staying in the tower.......The Amyrlin frowned thoughtfully, ignoring Min's efforts to break in. "Yes. I will let it be put about that Mistress Elmindreda managed to encourage two suitors to the point that she has to take shelter from them in the tower..." This is clearly a lie and she just spoke it quite fluently in front of Min. How could she do that when all Aes Sedai choke while uttering a lie?"

She said "Yes. I will let it be put out..." and this makes all the difference in the world. She is simply saying what she WILL do and if she goes and does it, then it isn't a lie. I hope that clears it up some. Oh, about Tamra, like kabumko said, fortelling might not really be speaking, although I think that is a lame way to cover a flaw.
Finally, underneath all that, you have to keep in mind that what a person believes is truth, they can speak it as truth. One of the Sisters made this reference when speaking to one of the "ferrets" in the White Tower when they were playing with the oath rod.

As to the attack on Edmond's field, you have to remember that Padan Fain was behind the attack and he very much wanted them to know that it was coming. Also he mentioned that there should of been 2-10 times as many shadowspawns there, so he was sure they would have won even in broad daylight.

Rand and his list is getting rediculous. It would be interesting to see what happens to it when the top named person shows up again ^^

Finally, my contribution to the thread: Anyone else notice how we get this nice, detailed prologue about Galad and his rightesousness and then for the rest of the book he and the entire whitecloak gets a mere mention from a different POV about them being deserters and a general idea of where they were?
I'm a little peeved about that since the prologue was about the only time I even felt anything when reading about Galad.

P.S. I love that letter Ali.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2006, 4:10:51 PM PST
I forget what book it is, but Niall flat out says that being tower trained makes it illegal to be in Amadacia. He does not say that channelling is a requirement either.

It makes no sense that the fundamentalist and hard core tower haters would allow anyone that is tower-trained to be a whitecloak or stay in the fortress of light. Not even for political purposes.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2006, 4:15:15 PM PST
"As to the attack on Edmond's field, you have to remember that Padan Fain was behind the attack and he very much wanted them to know that it was coming. Also he mentioned that there should of been 2-10 times as many shadowspawns there, so he was sure they would have won even in broad daylight."

No, Isam was behind the attacks from the trollocs, at the behest of a forsaken. It was Isam who didn't bring enough Trollocs. Fain brought the whitecloaks, independantly, and only took up with the trollocs when he found out they were there. If Isam had found Fain he would have killed him.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2006, 12:32:30 PM PST
Anh Vu says:
Yes, Isam was the one that brought the trollocs into The Two Rivers, the part where all the shadowspawns yelled ISAM right before charging made that a bit obvious. But Fain was the one that manipulated Isam (therefore the trollocs) into attacking the Two Rivers itself. I remember after the attack, it gave an exerpt on Fain's perspective about how he tricked Isam into his plans.

On the topic of the flaw that trollocs attacked in broad daylight, I was trying to point out that it wasn't really a flaw, just that the trollocs was suppose to be much, much more numerous and they could afford that disadvantage. It wasn't that Isam didn't bring enought trollocs; it was Gual and Loilal permanently closing the waygate, so the shadowspawns were expecting to have much greater number than they actually had.

Actually, now that I think abou it, didn't Perrin wound Isam in the dream world just before the trolloc attack? That would put some sense into why the shadowspawns yelled "ISAM," to let them know who had come to kill him as a way to get his revenge.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2006, 11:51:41 PM PST
Lan talking about Rands sword:

"Many that survived the breaking of the world were DESTROYED by men who feared and hated aes sedai work..."

a bit further in the same paragraph:

"The reality is enough. Blades that will NOT shatter or break..."

I can understand that sometimes there are glaring inconsistancies. I imagine it is hard for him to keep track of all the insignificant details scattered over nearly every page of this convoluted series. But to say one thing, and then contradict it in the same paragraph is amusing. Perhaps they can be melted down by normal men, but unlikely I think.

The Great Hunt(paperback page 6)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2006, 9:33:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2006, 5:47:25 AM PST
Okay lets recap, Fain actually came to the Two Rivers to destroy it, as he had promised Rand he would. He brought the Whitecloaks to do this. Isam, went there on the orders of a forsaken to do something, (I cannot remember exactly what it was right now), but he was also told to kill Fain. Fain, could not do his job of killing and spreading chaos in the Two Rivers, as Dain Bornhald would not let him. Therefore, Fain kidnapped a Fade and forced him to do his bidding. However, he was not in charge of all the Trollocs. The Trollocs were under Isam's command and it was he who carried out the attack on Emond's Field.

In reply to Anh Vu. What I was trying to point out was that Trollocs and Fades operate at night. Rand had mentioned it many times during the first 2 books, how difficult it was to see Trollocs at night time. Considering both Trollocs and Fades are dressed in black, it makes sense. Trollocs on the other hand can see better than cats at night. Fades can ride shadows like horses. Knowing all of this Isam ordered them to attack during the day. You are right, the shadowspawn outnumbered the humans 10 to 1, so why did Isam wait for the morning to attack. He could have easily attacked the night before and still won. It would have made sense as the Two Rivers people are famous for there long bows and Isam knew that this was how they would defend themselves. Since Trollocs are hard to spot at night the long bows would have been useless, as the villagers would not have been able to see the Trollocs at the range of 300 yards. If Isam just wanted the destruction of Emond's Field, it would not have mattered whether he did it during the day, or the night. By choosing the day, he gave all the advantage to the humans and deprived his forces of their tactical advantage. Being a Borderlander, Isam could not have been this thick. I can only conclude that the time was deliberately chosen by Jordan to facilitate the rescues by the Deven Riders and the Watch Hill folks, as that particular rescue would not have been possible during the night. Let me ask you, if you had an army of owls what time would you use to attack your enemy, day or night?

I do not even want to go into the issue of how a bunch of farmers with no military training were able to fight hand-to-hand with well trained and war hardened Trollocs.

This brings me to another issue related to Perrin. Perrin held the axe for the first time in his life in book 1, when he was practicing with it in master Luhhan's forge. Watching him master Luhhan gave it to him as a gift. He is given some lessons by Lan during their trip to Baerlon, but Lan being a swordsman could not have given very extensive lessons about using the axe. Anyway, the duration of the lessons was only 1 or 2 days. Now after this point, for the rest of the series Perrin is never seen practicing with his axe even once. But, the strange thing is, he still manages to fight fully trained Whitecloaks, Trollocs, Seanchan, Fades and even the best fighters in the Wot the Aiel, quite successfully. Now how can someone just pickup a weapon and become a master without learning or practicing it? I know that the author probably decided that it would be a pointless digression from the main story but considering all the other countless useless things like description of clothing etc it would not have been out of place to add a couple of line saying that Perrin was practicing with his axe. It only takes about 2 lines to say this. Rand is shown repeatedly practicing with his sword, which is perfectly normal but this makes Rand look foolish and dim, as Perrin is an axe master without practicing and poor Rand has to practice so hard to remain on top of his sword fighting skills. In truth, it should have been the other way around.

Now Jordan tells us that a skilled person with a quarterstaff can easily defeat a skilled person with a sword. That makes perfect sense, as the range of movement you can get with a quarterstaff cannot be achieved with a sword. Similarly, a good swordsman will easily defeat a good axe man. Jordan knows this as when Aram tries to kill Perrin in book 11, Perrin mentions something about an axe being useless against a sword. I do not have the book with me so I cannot quote it but I remember he said it and it is true. Now after this, consider how Perrin has been able to fight Seanchan, Whitecloaks, Trollocs, and Fades who are all trained swordsmen and Perrin is not a trained axe man. Strange, isn't it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2006, 5:20:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2006, 8:05:54 PM PST
Here I wanted to talk a little bit about Min and her sudden new found ability at throwing knives. Min was the only female lead in the WoT that did not have any combat ability. Jordan later decided that she could do with some fighting skills and settled on knives. I have nothing against that but the way he chooses to introduce this ability in Min leaves some gaping holes. Somewhere in books, 6/7/8 Min mentions something similar twice, while checking her knives, "Just as good old Thom Merrilin had taught her, she remembered fondly." (I am sorry, I could not find the exact place where this line has appeared but I remember it quite clearly -- updated-- Found one of them ACoS, Chapter 36. paperback: pp-729). Now, the above statement gives one an erroneous view that Min and Thom had known each other for a very long time. However, the reality is that Min and Thom could not have known each other that well, here is why:

The first time Min and Thom ever came anywhere close was in book 1, TEoTW. It was quite obvious that they did not know each other as when Min mentions Thom to Rand she refers to him as "the gleeman". Rand was the only person who had any talk with Min other than Moiraine. In addition, when Min tries to tell Rand about the arrival of Nynaeve, Thom looks surprised and asks Rand incredulously, "Does that girl know something". (Emphasis on THAT GIRL). Thom had no idea who Min was. After this, the two were never in the same place together until book 5. Neither of them knew that the other was working on the same side. The only other time they ever came in contact was when Thom arrived in Salidar with Nynaeve and Elayne, and Min was already there. It is quite apparent from their reactions, as they did not talk to each other, that they did not know each other. Now, you must remember, at that time Min was very busy doing Gareth bloody Brynes's laundry, as Siuan was not; and initially Thom was busy trying to help Nynaeve and Elayne to escape and later, after they made it clear that they do not want to leave, he frequently left with Juilin to do scouting. Now the time-period at this point is rather murky but considering that, Min left soon after with the Aes Sedai embassy to Rand, so Min and Thom could not have been together for more than 10 days at the most. During this time, Min and Thom would barely have had time to introduce one another, let alone to find time for Thom to teach Min to throw knives in such a way that Min fondly remembers afterwards "just like old Thom Merrilin had taught her".

In fact, from Min's statement, it appears to a casual reader that she and Thom had known each other for years and years, and over that long period of time, during Min's summer holidays, Thom gradually taught Min how to throw knives. Which is of course not true. Now, considering (however an unlikely scenario) that Thom had somehow managed to teach Min to throw knives during the 10 days they were together, he still could not have made her an expert. Nevertheless, later Min proved that she actually was an expert at throwing knives. In fact, on one occasion she throws a knife at a person who had grabbed Rand from behind and killed him. Now you would only throw knives anywhere near a person you love if you had great faith in your ability and provided that Min had only 10 days of instructions and no practice at all, it appears rather strange.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2006, 5:35:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2006, 5:36:33 PM PST
"""Actually, now that I think about it, didn't Perrin wound Isam in the dream world just before the trolloc attack? That would put some sense into why the shadowspawns yelled "ISAM," to let them know who had come to kill him as a way to get his revenge."""

Anh, Perrin and rest of the Emond Field people would not know who Isam is. Only Verin would know that. Perrin knew Isam as the Slayer. So Trollocs shouting Isam had nothing to do with Perrin and the Emond Fielders but it was actually a hint given by Jordan for the readers that Slayer/Lord Luc was actually Isam and that the Trolloc army was under his command.
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Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11)
Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11) by Robert Jordan (Hardcover - October 11, 2005)
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