The Egwene Hate Threat

HighWiredSith

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Perhaps hate is too strong a word, perhaps not strong enough. I was kindly asked to tone down my anti-Egwene rhetoric over at Dragonmount - perhaps I can find more license to vent my Eggy frustration here but I've come to loathe her in the second half of The Wheel of Time. She is a self righteous, snotty, immature, power hungry, little brat whose obedience to some unrealistic vision of the Aes Sedai and the White Tower has her standing against the Dragon Reborn. I wouldn't mind seeing her re-leashed by the Seanchan or suffer more of those bare ass beatings (which were kind of hot to be honest) before the end!
 

Timba

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Perhaps hate is too strong a word, perhaps not strong enough. I was kindly asked to tone down my anti-Egwene rhetoric over at Dragonmount - perhaps I can find more license to vent my Eggy frustration here but I've come to loathe her in the second half of The Wheel of Time. She is a self righteous, snotty, immature, power hungry, little brat whose obedience to some unrealistic vision of the Aes Sedai and the White Tower has her standing against the Dragon Reborn. I wouldn't mind seeing her re-leashed by the Seanchan or suffer more of those bare ass beatings (which were kind of hot to be honest) before the end!
I disagree. I would accept that description of her in the first books of the series but as the story evolves so does she and one of my favorite scenes is her dropping her husband a long, long ride from his goal forcing him to traverse all those miles and then her jumping ahead and extending the challenge to many that "My husband rides to battle, will he fight that battle alone?" Good stuff.
 

HighWiredSith

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I disagree. I would accept that description of her in the first books of the series but as the story evolves so does she and one of my favorite scenes is her dropping her husband a long, long ride from his goal forcing him to traverse all those miles and then her jumping ahead and extending the challenge to many that "My husband rides to battle, will he fight that battle alone?" Good stuff.
Huh? I think you are confusing Nynaeve with Egwene, referring to Nynaeve dropping Lan off so far from the Blight.

I actually like Nynaeve, most of the time...
 

Timba

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Yikes, so true, sorry, brain freeze.

Okay, now that I have my thinking cap on straight, nope, still disagree with you. Traditions have power and she has learned to use those traditions as a leader. I think you underestimate her and I believe she has a bigger plan and vision than you give her credit for.
 

pyan

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Hmm - so the reason you've joined our forum is in the hope that we'll be more lenient than your last one about your views on Egwene?

Interesting...
 

David B

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Perhaps hate is too strong a word, perhaps not strong enough. I was kindly asked to tone down my anti-Egwene rhetoric over at Dragonmount - perhaps I can find more license to vent my Eggy frustration here but I've come to loathe her in the second half of The Wheel of Time. She is a self righteous, snotty, immature, power hungry, little brat whose obedience to some unrealistic vision of the Aes Sedai and the White Tower has her standing against the Dragon Reborn. I wouldn't mind seeing her re-leashed by the Seanchan or suffer more of those bare ass beatings (which were kind of hot to be honest) before the end!
Within the context of the world Robert Jordan created, there is every reason for Egwene to seek to limit the destructive potential of the Dragon Reborn. Lews Therin Telamon’s closure of the bore didn’t work out that well.
Characters within the book have no right to assume there will be a happy ending to the series.
 

HighWiredSith

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Okay, here is my problem with Egwene. The sum it up, she didn’t have to suffer or struggle for the power she has. Yes, I am quite aware of her THREE WEEKS of spankings and dishwashing when she was captured by Elaida. But in the context of how Rand and Perrin and Matt have struggled with their newfound powers and responsibilities, how even Elayne, who was raised from birth to ascend to the throne and Andor, struggles with her newfound power – its seems both trite and naïve to believe that a girl barely out of the farmhouse could be granted so much power and wield it like she was born into it. She has no experience, no background, and no rational reason to be wholly and unflinchingly devoted not to the White Tower but to some idealistic image of the White Tower that may not have ever existed. It’s completely irrational to see a character willing to sacrifice her life for an ideal that she has no real reason to embrace. Egwene’s experience with the Aes Sedai and White Tower prior to her tagging along with Moiraine was through cautionary tales and bedtime stories.

Therefore, how can she not be viewed as arrogant, self-righteous, and ambitious? What great cause is she working toward? Does she actually think she can prevent Lews Therin reborn from breaking the world again? Can she undo the Wheel of Time itself? She treats those whose experience she should value as her underlings. She demands that the man she loves knuckle under and crawl to her before she will even consider him worthy of reciprocation. Worse, she stands as if she’s above the Dragon Reborn, daring and hoping to manipulate him, no different from what the Black Aja or Elaida have attempted to do and failed.

Yes, yes, yes, I hate Egwene.
 

David B

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It’s completely irrational to see a character willing to sacrifice her life for an ideal that she has no real reason to embrace.
People aren't rational, we only pretend to be so. Why else would we have suicide bombers?
 

Clansman

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Character development was never one of this series' strengths. They are pretty much as they were in the beginning, at least relatively, given that we have 13 huge fat novels. How many words is that? Somewhere between 3 and 4 million, as a rough estimate. Lots of room to develop the characters, but little was done until the last two books.

As a result, I understand HWS's problems with Egwene: she ain't got the experience or the training to pull this off, and RJ never gave her enough gravitas to make her leadership of the world's most powerful group of women plausible. This being said, I don't think she is deserving of so much vitriol. I mean, we heard about Rand being "hard" for 8 freakin' books, to the point where I hated the Rand chapters. Since the end of TGS, I like the Rand chapters for the first time since he came out of the Aiel waste.

Having Suiane Sanche to assist her explains part of it, but it wasn't enough.

I did like the Egwene chapters that Sanderson wrote. In fact, I like the series for the first time in about ten years, since Sanderson took over.
 

C Of K

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Egwene’s experience with the Aes Sedai and White Tower prior to her tagging along with Moiraine was through cautionary tales and bedtime stories.
I see where you're coming from here, but The Wheel of Time was never as mature a series as many people want it to be. It's about idealistic young people, who overcome the greatest of challenges the world can offer. Their success is often due to their idealistic ways. Stories, and storytelling meant a lot to these characters, and though it wouldn't usually be enough in our world, it is enough in the world RJ created.

I did like the Egwene chapters that Sanderson wrote. In fact, I like the series for the first time in about ten years, since Sanderson took over.
Agreed.
 

Talysia

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It's funny, but I've got mixed feelings about Egwene as a character. In the first few books, I didn't really care about her either way, but as the series progressed, I found her chapters more difficult to read, especially the Salidar storyline. That said, I thought that she was one of the best characters in The Gathering Storm - her fightback against Elaida, and then the Seanchan was one of the best things in the book.

However, in Towers of Midnight, I really disliked what she did to Nynaeve in her testing, and I even felt sorry for Gawyn at one point.

It really will be interesting to see how her storyline continues in A Memory of Light.

Edited to add - I agree with the comments about Sanderson. I've really enjoyed the pace of the last two books.
 

Sephiroth

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I'm pretty much the same as Taly, in that I didn't really care much about Egwene for a long time -- she was the least interesting of the three girls -- and I didn't enjoy the Salidar storyline (that and the Perrin stuff seemed to go on forever in the later RJ books, and yet nothing really happened).

it seems both trite and naïve to believe that a girl barely out of the farmhouse could be granted so much power and wield it like she was born into it.
I had a problem with this too. The rationale for choosing Egwene as Salidar's Amyrlin always seemed somewhat contrived to me. However:

She has no experience, no background, and no rational reason to be wholly and unflinchingly devoted not to the White Tower but to some idealistic image of the White Tower that may not have ever existed. It’s completely irrational to see a character willing to sacrifice her life for an ideal that she has no real reason to embrace.
While I see your point, I also think it's entirely possible that a naive, impressionable young girl from the provinces could be wholly taken in by the trappings of power and grandeur, the history and tradition of the ancient and august society to which she has been admitted. New converts often make the most zealous adherents to a cause. I don't think it's necessarily unbelievable that she has bought into the Aes Sedai ideal so utterly. In fact, I think it can make perfect sense. For her, partly because of her youth and naivety, it is rational that she should try to restore the White Tower to its ideal.

Therefore, how can she not be viewed as arrogant, self-righteous, and ambitious?
I have to admit, I often find her all of those things too, particularly in her thoughts about / dealings with the Dragon Reborn and Gawyn. But I also agree with Taly that she was badass in TGS.

I don't hate her (I'm closer to hating Elayne than her these days, to be honest, although even that has reached its high tide and receded somewhat). I'm ambivalent, I guess.


Nice title, btw. See you in the Black Sun. ;)
 

Clansman

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Except that Elayne WAS born to it. Privilege that is, not necessarily morning sickness and sensitive nipples. She already had the mood swings.
 

Clansman

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Hey, let's face it. Except for Min and Aviendha, all of RJ's women are pretty hard to take. They are over-bearing and domineering witches who think all men are stupid. Kind of gives you an insight to RJ's view of women.

Thank goodness that Sanderson has pretty much done away with braid pulling, sniffing, arm crossing (beneath the breasts) and spanking. Crap, did RJ ever like his women characters being spanked! Obsessive about it, he was.
 

C Of K

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Thank goodness that Sanderson has pretty much done away with braid pulling, sniffing, arm crossing (beneath the breasts) and spanking. Crap, did RJ ever like his women characters being spanked! Obsessive about it, he was.
He sure was. Lol. Now, if Sanderson would just cool Mat down a bit...
 

chongjasmine

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I love Egwene. Yes, she is annoying at times, and very demanding, too.
But I just like her. She has grown so much through the series, from the young innocent village girl she used to be.
 
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