Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Ending: Aviendha, Elayne, & Min

This post contains spoilers for A Memory of Light

Read at your own peril.  

I feel the need to say this every time I talk about these ladies: Rand al'Thor has way too many women. Seriously. Waaaaaay too many. I mean I get that he's ta'veren. I imagine that makes him ridiculously attractive, since the Pattern is sort of pulling everyone towards him. We see that with all our boys to a certain extent. Perrin has Faile and Berlaine fighting over him; he just had the good sense to pick one of them and stick with her. Mat has always had a lady on arm, but even he had the good sense to settle down with one. But Rand? No. Our Rand can't settle with just one lady. That would be much too easy. He has to make his life super complicated by having three. Silly boy. And silly ladies for going along with it.

Anyway, moving on from Rand's love life, let's discuss our three ladies.


Elayne

The almost c-section and the death of Birgitte was the most traumatizing part of the entire book. For the most part, the other battle scenes left me completely unaffected. Sure people were dying, but it just wasn't in a way that disturbed me greatly. Mostly because it was what I expected in an epic fantasy Last Battle. But the entire sequence with Elayne and the babies and Birgitte's death is probably one of the more horrifying things I've ever read in my life. For a moment, I really thought they were going to kill Elayne. Which would have been bad. Really bad. Because Rand is bonded to her. As he is to all of his ladies.

And let's take a moment to think about that. Remember the whole Alanna thing? How the Shadow was going to use her to kill her and make Rand go all Warder crazy? Killing any of Rand's three ladies would have accomplished the same affect. So you would have thought the Shadow would have been majorly targeting them. Instead, they didn't seem to be targeted any more than any other character. Methinks that's a small flaw in the Shadow's plan. I would have sent assassins after Elayne, Aviendha, and Min long ago. Because surely the answer isn't that the Shadow is unaware of the Bond. I feel like everyone else knows it. And the Shadow has spies everywhere. So yeah. If Elayne had been killed you wouldn't have needed her babies to unstable Rand. Rand would have been knocked into a Warder rage by her death.

Aviendha

The whole asking for a boon for the Aiel thing was really anti-climatic for me, but oh well. I really think the solution was rather nice, though I wonder how having this sort of separate police society is going to work. I'm not sure it can work. You would think that overtime the Aiel would be absorbed into whatever society they live in. But I guess that's a better end than what Aviendha saw.

I also wonder if now that the Dragon's Peace has been enacted with this new consideration for the Aiel, if the Wise Women will see a new future for the Aiel. And if this device is going to show the future from now on, I feel like everyone will want to go through it, to see what could come and perhaps change it. Perhaps through that the Aiel really can bring about peace, because they will know the possibilities and know the best decision to make. Maybe. That's a lot of faith in one people group.      
Min

Min being Tuon's Truthsayer is probably the best thing that happened to any of Rand's three ladies. I loved the sequence where Mat was all like, "Oh, don't mind Min, she just sees these visions that always come true."  That was great.

As Truthsayer, Min can say whatever she wants to the Empress of Seanchan and not get into trouble for it! Even without her visions, that will give Min a great way to bring about change. Between Min and Mat, Tuon doesn't really stand a chance, does she? (Though there is that one concerning incident of Mat using a damane, but I'll trust Min to keep him honest.)  

Anyway, I really think this is the best Min could hope for. Without Rand she's really sort of purposeless. Her whole point was to be there to support him and do research to help him in the Last Battle. It's good for her to have a new purpose, a new job to do, especially considering Elayne and Aviendha already have such callings. Now Min has a chance to change the Seanchan Empire and Randland forever. And that's great for everyone.

What Not to Do When Your Boyfriend Fakes His Death

I seriously wanted to slap all three of these girls upside their heads at the end. Your boyfriend is trying to fake his death (sort of) so he can disappear into obscurity and not be the Dragon Reborn anymore. Instead of helping everyone buy this story by being super sad that your boyfriend and (in some cases) the father of your children is dead, you act like it's nothing. Hello! No wonder Nynaeve was suspicious. Who wouldn't beYou've got to sell it if you want people to think he's dead! Sure you could argue that you accepted his death because you always knew it was coming, but...these three didn't even shed a single tear! Not a single tear! 

They are like the worst actresses ever. No Oscars for any of them. They fail.

Rand is lucky everyone didn't guess he was still alive. Luckily for him, most people were too distracted by everything that happened to really latch onto the fact that his ladies weren't mourning him at all. Except Nynaeve. You can't pull anything over on her. She's too smart for that.    

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