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The Gathering Storm Thread

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Bias exists. Everyone has it. Everyone uses it. Everyone is a little sexist, racist, and all other manner of unpleasant things because our entire realities are not grounded in objective facts, but subjective perceptions.


What we are dealing with here is a book, written by a man with some older values then most of the posters here, so the books themselves reflect his bias.


Then we, the readers, pick up on that and form opinions on that as well, adding our own biases.


Then we come to this forum to discuss how we perceive what he wrote and how it reflects on him and his characters, mingling his bias, our own bias, and the bias of others. This creates a wonderful, God given (if you believe in God) gift. Opinions.


I for one cannot state what RJ's intent was with the way men and women were portrayed. I do think there was a male-bent to his writing, as there is a male-bent to any short stories I write, and there is a male-bent to the books I read by male authors, just as the opposite is true. But that's human nature, isn't it? I would say, though, that in his mind, RJ was trying to make it a largely egalitarian world. That he fails in the eyes of some (usually women, especially younger ones or notably leftist ones) is understandable, believable and to to be expected even.


I will argue that women tend to despise Rand as much as men dislike Cadsuane, at least on this forum. I cite my own opinion that RJ overcompensated by making both men and women on either side major characters who were also rather distasteful to one crowd or another. Then again, there are frequent counterparts to many things.


Myrelle has 3 Warders, with whom she has sex with.


Rand has 3 women, with whom he has sex with. Some of them may even sleep with each other, I don't know. I tend to skip Elayne and Avi's chapters.


He also uses his views as a means to demonstrate his themes. Women are generally weaker in the Power and must submit to the Power to use it. This does reflect a set of norms established for him as a child, yes, but he uses it also to show that men and women, while the same, are fundamentally different as well. But women still possess powers men do not, and while governments seem fairly egalitarian, the Westlands/Randland/What have you has been dominated at least behind the scenes by Aes Sedai, which are all women. Evil women are portrayed as manipulative, perhaps most women are portrayed as manipulative. Men are portrayed as thick-headed, muscle-brained, and often "honor" bound to ridiculous ideas.


His use of lesbian relationships but lack of gay ones, I cannot personally justify. This odd habit of pairing young, beautiful women with much older men is also somewhat odd, but at least Thom had the good graces to be confused about Dena. But then, consider the source.


All in all, I think RJ manages to produce a world rife with social flaws and sexual stereotypes within his characters. Perhaps it isn't always flattering to the reader, either way, but it does add a dose of realism.



Okay, my book is done here. Sorry if I leave things out or it seems disjoint, I'm waiting for the laundry to finish so I can run other chores.

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I shouldn't be in here. O.O

I love Nynaeve missing Moiraine! I'm hoping for a hugging moment when they eventually meet again.

There, there. We're here for you.

I don't like how the Tower ranks its Aes Sedai: I really really hope that changes soon. It was so annoying how Elayne was all "but they have to listen to me: I'm stronger!" with the delegation of Egwene's.


But I love me some Cadsuane. You go, girlfriend! :blink:


It always amazed me, that these Aes Sedia, who prize themselves on being oh so wise, would do such a foolish thing you think would be associated with men, and do ranking by pure raw "power". Rather than basing it on many other attributes they would have. Experience, wisdom, intellect, negotiation, etc. I mean, what else have they been training so long for?


Since were on the topic of Fealty. Wasn't that because a certain character *I forgot who, think it was a Brown though*, put compulsion on alot of them?


Remember RJ grew up in a different time and wrote the book in a different time than now too.


Uppity...lol...so many of those people here where I live.


Besides that I'm not commenting anymore, way too much to read, that all seems on the verge of everyone flaming everyone else.


The light Illumine RJ's soul. And we'll actually never 100% know the truth behind what he did, for he is no longer with us.

Edited by AshSnow
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Since were on the topic of Fealty. Wasn't that because a certain character *I forgot who, think it was a Brown though*, put compulsion on alot of them?

Nah, the sisters who swore fealty to Rand did so because his "ta'veren-ness" made them, a plot point I found absurd and disappointing.


I think you're thinking of Verin, who put some minor Compulsion on the sisters who had already sworn fealty or the ones who were holding off swearing after being captured at Dumai's Wells. We don't find out exactly what she Compelled them to do, but it probably had something to do with helping Rand. Again though, it was pretty minor Compulsion so she didn't outright Compel them to obey him or anything.


I completely agree with you and Marie on the absurdity of AS rankings though. I think it is partly because the wetlands have nobility by birth - so the idea that some are just naturally born to lead (because they were born with high Power levels) seems normal to them. Contrast the Aiel, who have no nobility, no inheritance of chief/Wise One position, and who rank Wise Ones by wisdom and willpower.

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I have just realized that, as a Murandian, Elaida must have an Irish accent (according to the NS audiobook). This makes her raging alcoholism approximately 4.6 times funnier than it already was.


edit: I feel like I might have come to this realization before. Am I an idiot? Kinda woozy on cough meds atm, so please let me know.

Edited by Olivia
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We don't find out exactly what she Compelled them to do, but it probably had something to do with helping Rand. Again though, it was pretty minor Compulsion so she didn't outright Compel them to obey him or anything.


I will reply a year late now that you've bumped it :P


We have a pretty concrete idea by looking at Elza. Elza was compelled by Verin, and she's a darkfriend. She was vehement (crazy) about Rand needing to survive until he faced the Dark One (so the Dark One could defeat him), so they were compelled to protect/serve Rand. Perhaps there was an "until" thrown in there and that's why it was possible for Elza to help him. Or "Help him reach the Last Battle" or something. In the Semirhage/Shaidar Haran scene, one of them mentions that there is already a weave on her that's preventing her from doing something, so they (can't remember which one) removes Verin's compulsion from her.

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