Tue
Jan 8 2013 12:59am

The Wheel of Time: A Memory of Light Spoiler Review

A spoiler review of A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon SandersonHappy New Year, people of Tor.com!

And a very happy new year it is, this 2013, for not only have the Mayans not killed us all calendarially, but it is a new year in which for many of us, at Tor Books and in fandom alike, a completely different and much more awesome end of an era has been achieved: today is the official publication date of the final novel of the Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light.

Allow me to say that again: the Wheel of Time series, at long last, is complete.

I would like y’all to just gaze upon that sentence a moment, because if it doesn’t awe you even just a little bit then you have really not been paying attention to this not-so-little corner of the art world. I know it awes the hell out of me.

It took almost a quarter of a century, two authors, and the combined effort, care and dedication of literally hundreds of people to make it happen, but make it happen they did, and now we the fans get to reap the happy result. And I certainly hope that everyone who has ever been at any point even remotely involved in the process of bringing this baby home takes a moment today to look at themselves and say damn, I am awesome.

Because you totally, totally are.

And as promised lo these four weeks ago (and/or years ago, depending on how you look at it), please find attached my second and totally spoiler-filled review of A Memory of Light, and also incidentally a place on Tor.com where you may discuss the final novel to your heart’s content.

And at the risk of repeating myself, Be Ye Warned: that means there are COLOSSAL, ELEPHANTINE, BOOK-ANNIHILATING SPOILERS for A Memory of Light below the cut.

Therefore, I VERY VERY STRONGLY suggest that you read the novel first before reading this review, because if you don’t it will not only ruin nearly all of the biggest moments of the book for you, but it will simultaneously also manage to probably make practically zero sense otherwise, because I am writing it with the assumption that you, the reader, have read it. Read AMoL, I mean, not the review. You know what I mean!

Seriously, people, just read the book first. I ain’t going nowhere, and neither is this post. It’ll be waiting for you on the other side, promise.

Right? Right! Then click on, brave ones, for my very last new WOT novel spoiler review! Whoo!

(Sigh.)

A Memory of Light, the final book of the Wheel of Time is, regardless of any other considerations, a simply massive book. And I mean that in every way possible, not just in terms of the actual physical weight of the thing. There is nothing small about this novel—not in events, not in emotions, not in theme or plot or characters, not in anything. It is just—freakin’—big.

It is so big, in fact, that it is difficult to hold it all, and again I don’t just mean physically. Already a lot of the smaller details—and some not so small—have slipped out of focus for me, subsumed in the hugeness of everything else that occurred. It will certainly require more than one reading to fully encompass everything that happened in it. (Fortunately I’m slated to do just that, eh?)

Again I am impressed anew at Brandon Sanderson’s sheer courage at taking on such a daunting task. Actually, scratch that word. I thought the task was daunting after TGS and TOM; having read this, “daunting” doesn’t remotely cover it, any more than it adequately covers “dancing a quadrille across hot coals in a snake pit while being threatened by bears and reciting the Gettysburg Address.” You know, like you do.

And it is also this enormous heft of the book (and breadth, and scope, and look this thing is positively brobdingnagian, okay?) that has made it so difficult for me to put together anything coherent and yet reasonably concise to say about it. I mean, where do I even start?

And on reflection, as counterintuitive as it might seem, I think in this case the best place to begin might actually be at the end.

Because that is, after all, the big prize we’ve all been waiting for: the Big Ass Ending to (we’ve been hoping) end all Big Ass Endings. For all its complexity and complications and Moments of Awesome (and Moments of Really Not Awesome) and cast of thousands and so forth, the question this book really needed to answer was simple: does the resolution of the story measure up to the vast buildup (by both design and circumstance) leading up to it? What we want to know is, does the Chosen One’s confrontation with his destined opponent—Evil made manifest—does that final battle, ultimately, work?

And not to put too fine a point on it, I think that it did.

I think that the necessary and vital central conflict that absolutely had to be resolved in this novel—the conflict between Rand and the Dark One—happened pretty much exactly the way it had to happen. It seemed to me to be a completely inevitable progression, even as I was surprised by some of how that progression, er, progressed.

I’m not sure that entirely makes sense, to say that it went precisely as I thought it had to, in the same breath as saying it didn’t actually go how I thought it would, but, well, I’m not sure I can do much better than that, because that’s how I feel about it. I think, though, that in the end there are honestly only a fairly limited number of ways a story like this can end, and so even if the specifics of the ending of this particular version of this story were not necessarily what I expected, the ultimate result was. So in this way it was both surprising, and not surprising at all.

And I think, for the kind of story that this has always been, that that is as it should be. And more importantly, as a reader of this kind of story in general and of this story in particular, I think that that is satisfying.

Which, if you think about it, is probably the most important criteria to consider in any case.

I do not think the ending was perfect, mind you. I don’t think the novel as a whole was perfect either. I think that in some of the details, the… hm, choreography of its progression, the symmetry of how the pieces came together, it sometimes veered off the mark.

For example, to pick out one specific thing that bothered me, I think the deployment of Mat and Perrin in the final showdown was—uneven, especially in Mat’s case. It seemed like Perrin had far more to do than Mat did, and the thing that should have been Mat’s central conflict in the final battle (his connection/addiction to the ruby dagger and/or the evil of Shadar Logoth) was not sufficiently built up enough beforehand for his defeat of Fain to have anywhere near the impact that Perrin’s defeat of Slayer did. It’s not that it didn’t work, but it felt unbalanced. (You’ll notice, however, that I’m not including anything in this complaint about Rand’s role in the final showdown.)

Beyond that, I feel that while all of the broad strokes of the story (and most of the smaller ones) hit the target, in terms of emotional resolution and catharsis, there were definitely some grace notes that were missed, particularly in the denouement. There were a few things I had been very much looking forward to happening that did not end up happening, particularly in terms of character interaction, and there’s no point in lying and saying that that didn’t disappoint me a little.

Without disregarding the logistical difficulties involved, for example, I was really rather upset that we never actually got one of the biggest things I had been looking forward to, which was Rand, Mat and Perrin all in the same room at the same time—something I had been waiting for since the end of Book 3, and now apparently will never get to see. Rand was with both of the other two at separate times in AMoL, and that was great and all, but I wanted to see them all together, dammit. Similarly, I am disappointed that as far as I recall, we never got to see all the Supergirls together at once either, even if you leave Min and Aviendha out of that category. I didn’t even really want or need either group to do anything together; I just wanted them to have a moment to just look at each other and be like, wow. You know?

(I had had lesser hopes of perhaps seeing not just the Superboys or just the Supergirls, but all the original Two Rivers contingent, the ones who started it all—Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, Thom, Lan, and Moiraine—together in a room before the end, and I really didn’t get that. But that’s perhaps more understandable.)

And while I certainly recognize that there just wasn’t room to give every character the sendoff they each deserved, I also can’t help being a little let down by the way we said “goodbye,” so to speak, to some of Our Heroes. Or rather, by the way we sometimes kind of didn’t. I’m not saying the book should have had a curtain call or anything, but, well.

That said, the way we said goodbye to Rand, specifically, was just about perfect. If the end scene that Jordan was said to have written forever ago was the actual last scene in the book, where Rand rides away, anonymously whole (as opposed to the scene where he defeats the Dark One, which I think is what a lot of people had been assuming), then I say it was more than worth waiting for. It wasn’t a happy ending, as such, but in my opinion the bittersweet tang of it was better than any deliriously (and unrealistically) happy ending we could have gotten.

It was lovely, actually, in a sad, hopeful, quiet, heart-squeezy kind of way. And, I guess, as long as that ending works, all the others are… of less importance, as far as making the overall story work goes.

Like I said, flawless? No. Pretty damn stupendously awesome anyway? Yup.

Right, and what I’ve said above (at length) is not even touching on everything else there is to talk about re: what happened in this book. The battles ALONE could take up a whole post by themselves, much less everything else. Suffice it to say there is no way in bloody hell I’m going to even attempt to get to everything in AMoL that needs discussing in this review, because that’s why God (or Tor.com) made Re-reads, and rest assured that we will be getting to all of it, in probably horrifically exhausting detail, in the months to come.

However, I do believe I owe y’all at least a few specifics, in the form of explanations of my hilariously vague teaser comments from the non-spoiler review, so without further ado, here they be!

“A familiarity,” indeed. Very funny, Team Jordan.

Well, this one was in the Prologue, so many of you saw it already:

[Demandred] met each of their eyes in turn, then finally those of M’Hael. There seemed to be a familiarity to them. The two had met before.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who snorted at this, since it was the great similarity between the way Demandred and Taim were both described, especially in terms of mannerisms and personality, that helped kept the Taimandred theory alive until Jordan point-blank debunked it—and even then some fans wouldn’t let it go. “Familiarity” may not exactly equal “similarity,” true, but c’mon, this was totally a shoutout to that whole brouhaha.

Geez, no consent issues here. I am not sure a proportional response is always actually proportional, you guys! What the hell?

Seriously, what the hell, Pevara and Androl. “Oh, you’re going to bond me without asking? Well I’m gonna do it right back!” It was sort of funny, like the metaphysical equivalent of a slapfight, but it was also kind of very not cool at the same time, especially when it becomes clear that while Pevara can release the Warder bond, Androl evidently can’t (or at least doesn’t know how to) do the same with the “wife” version of it. So, yeah, consent issues like whoa.

Dammit, dammit, no, don’t agree, don’t agree to – DAMMIT. Well, there goes the neighborhood. You MORON. (Maybe?)

Yeah, well. The treaty Rand actually came to with Tuon was better than the one Aviendha saw in the Way-Forward Ter’Angreal, maybe, but damn did the Three-Fifths Compromise damane clause of it make me grind my teeth. Basically it guarantees that at some point Rand’s hundred-year peace will be challenged, and probably by the Aiel, and rightfully so if you ask me.

That’s part of the story we’ll never see, of course, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be annoyed by it anyway. Because I am special like that.

I have definitely been on the Internet too long, because everything I’m coming up with to comment on/wonder about re: this is SO not fit for polite company. Y’all would be SCANDALIZED. …Wait, what am I talking about, most of you have been on the Internet just as long, you’re just as bad. Never mind.

This is basically me being pervy and wondering if Aviendha, Min and Elayne will ever decide that maybe they don’t have to take turns with Rand. If You Know What I Mean, And I Think You Do.

…Yep, definitely going to the special hell.

Hah, so sure of that theory, were you? Well, so were a lot of people. So much for that!

I laughed out loud when Rand was all irritated that Roedran turned out not to be Demandred, especially at his “Where are you?” complaint after. If that’s not a fan shoutout I don’t know what is. Ha, awesome.

His pocket? Seriously?

No, seriously, Rand. Keeping the by-now-extremely-fragile seals that are the only thing holding Ultimate Evil at bay in a COAT POCKET, I can’t even. Like, not even wrapped in something! WTF?

And yeah, I know that unlike me, Rand is all deadly graceful and stuff and probably doesn’t regularly accidentally hipcheck tables or desks (or, er, doorways), but dude.

And here would be where I get choked up for the first time. I suspect it will not be the last.

This would be when Lan makes what he thinks is his final hopeless charge against the Trollocs. Al Chalidholara Malkier (for my sweet land Malkier), damn. I’m getting choked up again writing about it, even knowing now that he gets a reprieve!

DAMN STRAIGHT, MAN. Thank you.

[Lan:] “This war is everything or nothing. If I could round up each woman in the Borderlands and put a sword in her hands, I would. For now, I’ll settle for not doing something stupid— like forbidding some trained and passionate soldiers from fighting. If you, however, decide not to exercise that prudence, you are free to tell them what you think. I promise to give you a good burial once they let me take your head down off the pole.”

*beams* Lan is my favorite.

…Yup, here’s Choked Up Incident #2.

This would be Rand’s conversation with Elayne about his unborn children, and his thought that he would never get to meet them. Because, yeah.

Huh. It just keeps coming back to truth, doesn’t it.

That old recurring theme of WOT, that total honesty is the only thing that works. Of course, it’s not every day you’re in circumstances where you can literally lay your heart out for someone to see, like Rand did for Lanfear. Even with his Zen thing, I’m still rather shocked that he did it.

Wow, I totally forgot that ______ didn’t actually know that. And yes, dude, your timing sucks balls. Sheesh.

Bornhald’s revelation to Perrin that it was Fain who’d killed his family and not Trollocs was not only badly-timed, but for a minute there I thought it was going to ruin everything. Because let’s just say, if it had been me, and the guy in front of me had just inadvertently confessed that he stood by and watched while someone slaughtered all my loved ones, I don’t know that he would have walked away from that conversation. At least not with all his teeth.

And here’s Choked Up Incident #3, and over a sparring session!

This would be, of course, Rand’s sparring session with Tam. It may not have seemed like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, Rand losing his hand, but this was a strong reminder that uh, actually, losing a hand is a HUGE deal, especially to someone who so strongly depended upon its use. I mean, not that everyone doesn’t strongly depend on their hand(s), but it’s even more for swordfighters, yo.

And more importantly it was something that Rand had never had a chance to really come to terms with, that loss. It was just so appropriate that it would be Tam, who gave him his first sword and taught him the most important part of wielding it (the flame and the void, natch), should be the one to address that oversight.

God, they are so WEIRD. I totally don’t know how to feel about this relationship. But then, apparently neither do they, so that’s… all right? I guess?

Mat and Tuon, who else? “I totally don’t love you, and even if I did I wouldn’t admit it. Now, let’s have public sex in a garden!” WHAT. Seriously, so bizarre.

Holy crap, THROW IT AWAY RIGHT NOW ARE YOU CRAZY. …Wait, stupid question.

I’m not sure if I was supposed to have figured out before Rand’s conversation with Moiraine that Callandor’s second flaw was that it allows unrestricted channeling of the True Power as well as the One Power, but if I was, well, I didn’t. Of course I know now how that turns out, but when I first read this revelation I was duly appalled, because holy crap.

*blink* *blink* Well, I’ll be damned. Mentioned twice, even! I’m not sure if that’s a sop to shut me up or a nod that I was right, or both, but I don’t care, because awesome. The most likely option, of course, is that it didn’t have a damn thing to do with me at all, and ultimately it is totally irrelevant anyway, but I don’t care, because thank you. I am Pleased.

Open and unambiguous mentions of male characters who are gay, CAN I GET A WITNESS. That is all.

AHAHAHA. Just in case there were any trolls out there still insisting on it, eh?

[Rand:] “Not to tell you your own family history, but Elayne is not related to me.”

In WOT fandom, one of the more annoying and omnipresent varieties of troll were the ones whose unrelenting mantra was that Rand and Elayne were committing incest. (Actually I’m thinking of one troll in particular, way back in the mists of Internet Time, but I’m sure he/she was not the only one.) I have no idea whether this comment is actually a shoutout to that particular tired dead horse, but it amused me anyway. The fact that he said it to Gawyn was just icing on the cake. Ha ha ha.

God, FINALLY. Also: whoever had that development in the betting pool is gonna make a mint, yo. It wasn’t me, but that’s probably because I didn’t bother to guess.

Well, once you’ve actually read the book this one is probably pretty obvious. I was initially prepared to be rather skeptical of keeping Demandred out of the action until the last minute, but (a) it’s a fair cop to suppose seducing an entire continent to the Dark Side is a rather long-term project, yo, and (b) I think it ended up working quite well that he wound up being the last major boss to beat before the end game, so to speak. It wouldn’t have done so well if the last boss had been Moridin, as I (and others, I’m sure) had long assumed, but it turns out Moridin’s role was… a little different.

Hey, don’t you know you’ll go blind if you do that? Heh heh.

Okay, I am twelve, whatever. But seriously, people, stop looking directly at the extremely symbolic solar eclipse, you will burn your retinas. Sheesh.

Uh. Is that who I think it is? Because whooooa.

Yeah, that was totally who I thought it was. And it kind of puts paid to the debate over whether it had really been the Creator talking to Rand in TEOTW, too. At least as far as I am concerned.

What? Are you kidding me? That is the worst name EVER! Ugh! I protest! I stomp my foot in your general terrible-nomenclaturing direction! Gah!

Seriously, Knotai? Who likes this name? Not I!

*runs*

Learned a new word: abatis. Also, ouch.

Medieval battle tactics are seriously ouchy to read about—even when they’re being used against Trollocs.

…And yeah. I don’t know why I put this one in here, actually, because ooh, guys, spoiler: BAZILLIONS OF TROLLOCS DIE IN THE COURSE OF THIS BOOK. Please attempt to contain your shock.

Well, that wasn’t tense or anything. Also: PREACH IT, SISTER.

When Egwene meets with Tuon and dares her to put on the a’dam I was like, daaaamn. And also, SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU. Even though of course Tuon has a rationalization in place to justify why sul’dam should not be collared. Of course she does. So convenient. God, I hate hypocrisy.

WHAAAAAT. That seriously can’t be right. …Can it? [later] Well, okay, I was right that it wasn’t right, go me, but that sucks almost as badly! Gah!

The subtle subversion of the Great Captains was really nicely done, and the way it provided the segue into Mat taking over the armies completely worked very well, I thought. Which isn’t to say it didn’t deeply suck for Bashere et al, of course (she understates, blandly).

This would be one of those points in a story where there is really only one applicable phrase, and that phrase is oh shit.

Well, there were a bunch of these points, of course, but the one I was specifically referring to here is when Faile’s party ends up tossed into the Blight. Because, yeah.

Hey, no, that is NOT COOL. Whhhhyyy do you suck so much, seriously?

No, really, Tuon is just fired. You can’t just—just—collect people, like stamps, because you think they are neato! Well, I mean, if you are a totalitarian dictator-type Empress you can, evidently, but that doesn’t make you suck less for doing it! Give Min back, woman!

Ah, damn. Well, one prophecy fulfilled.

Tenobia’s death. *shrug* Pretty much saw that one coming a mile away.

Ha ha ha, really? That is hilarious. I sort of feel like it is cheating. Actually there is no “sort of” about it, it is totally cheating, but it’s also kind of awesome in its blatant cheatiness. Or something. I am Amused.

Convenient proximity-dependent time dilation for the win! I mean, it also sort of makes actual sense, that the Bore would function as a sort of black hole/event horizon, warping time and such so that the closer you are, the slower time passes, but don’t think I missed how well it functioned as a forced pacing device for the divergent storylines, either. Heh.

*wide eyes* Now that would be a thing to see. Daaaaamn.

I have three words for you: Lava fire hose. Except GINORMOUS. Holy shit.

Well, there’s a finally dropped shoe that came out of bloody nowhere. I have no idea whether to be annoyed or pleased. [later] Oh. Well, that’s okay then. Good for you!

Alanna, of course. Well, she was such a Chekhov’s Gun the entire time since she bonded Rand back in LOC or whenever, I suppose it would have been even more annoying had she never been fired. So to speak. And, you know, kudos to her for doing the only thing she could to fix it when it came down to it—even though she SHOULD have done it ages earlier. But better late than never, I suppose.

Holy Law of Conservation of Characters, Batman! When was the last time we saw ________, TGH? Heh.

Urien, I think our first on-screen Aiel! Hi! Not to mention the unnamed farmer Mat notices in the same scene, who is almost certainly Hyam Kinch, the guy who gave Mat and Rand a ride (and scarves) back in TEOTW. 

(Although, on checking I find that we’ve actually seen Urien since TGH, in LOC, but whatever.)

ZOMG they are adorable. That is probably disturbing. It should be disturbing! Why isn’t this disturbing? STOP BEING SO CUTE DAMMIT YOU’RE CONFUSING ME

Androl and Pevara, natch. Because two people blending their brains together like a damn milkshake should not be this endearing, dammit. And yet!

Yeah, well, dude, what did you expect? That wasn’t bringing a knife to a gun fight; that was bringing a knife to a Global Thermonuclear Warfare fight. Sheesh. Also: Damn. That sucks.

Gawyn vs. Demandred. Because, dammit, you idiot. Though in light of what happens later, “that sucks” is… an understatement.

Well. That… that sucked more. Like, a lot. Wow.

Siuan! No! And jeez, she didn’t even get a death scene. Wow.

And that sucked too. Clearly I have come to the portion where things suck, a lot.

This being the “later” from above. Sadness. Gawyn was more or less a fool to the end, but that didn’t mean I wanted him to die.

Oh, yeah, that’s going to go well. [later] …Aaand it really, really didn’t. Toldja.

There’s a whole essay to be written on the hypothetical world-creating contest slash philosophical debate between Rand and the Dark One which I will undoubtedly be getting to eventually, but for now let’s just say it wasn’t exactly a hard call to predict that Rand’s attempt to create an evil-free version of the universe was going to go… poorly.

That is not how I expected that prophecy to be fulfilled. Awesome.

Leilwin as Egwene’s replacement Warder, whoa. Nice.

Well, jeez. Things can stop sucking anytime now! [later] Oh. Never mind. Sort of.

Oh, Trakand boys, how many *headdesks* have you given me, let me count the dents. At least Galad survives, though I somewhat shamefully confess I was dismayed that he gets disfigured in the process. Hey, sometimes I’m shallow, apparently.

AHAHAHA. It’s like Alias, except without the blue rubber dresses. And less government oversight. And with, you know, magic. Okay, so it’s not really anything like Alias, but it was damn funny anyway.

Androl is seriously my favorite Johnny-come-lately character in WOT ever. He already was that, what with the lava thing and the rescuing Logain thing, but the fact that he basically pulled a con job on Taim in the middle of all this madness completely cracked me up. (Which is why this teaser comment also sucks, because White Collar was what I should have referenced instead of Alias, and didn’t. Oh well.)

Okay, it is RIDICULOUS that I just had Choked Up Incident #4 over this, but – but – NOOOOOO. Not fair! The sads, I have all of them right now.

Bela! No! Really, Bela? Did we HAVE to kill Bela, Team Jordan? Did we? WHY SO MEAN, WHY.

…And so this wasn’t Choked Up Incident #5, so much as it was straight-up actual crying. Dammit. Dammit.

I mean, shit, all in one page—Bashere and Karldin and Hurin and Enaila and ow, make it stop. Which is basically what Rand says a second later, watching them all die, and I don’t blame him. Ow, my heart.

Wow, that was perfect. That was perfect.

Lan. Fucking Lan, you guys. He is the Lannest Lan that ever Lanned, and it is glorious, and I can’t even handle it. With Demandred, and the sheathing the sword, that he taught Rand all the way back at the beginning, and, and. *flaps hands uselessly*

You’re just going to have to imagine me flailing at this point, because I have no idea how to textually encompass my reaction to this revelation. Or to this entire scene, really, but especially that bit. I would almost have to *headdesk* at it, except for how diabolically clever it was. How can something be so awesome and piss me off so much in the same breath? Holy shit!

I’m going to have to just say “Olver and the Horn” right here, and leave it at that, because this entire scene is a pile of absolutely amazing crazy that will have to be dealt with (and flailed at) in detail at a later point, because OMG what is this I can’t even.

NO WAY. OMG YAY. Sorry, must clap like a seal for a moment, brb. Also, how did I not see that coming? My hindsight, she is so 20/20!

JAIN MOTHERFUCKING FARSTRIDER, HERO OF THE HORN, THANK YOU. And he saves Olver! Because of course he does. So, so awesome, you guys.

Oh, yeah. I was wondering when they would show up. Not that I’m particularly thrilled that they’re here, of course.

Remember that giant pack of Darkhounds we saw back in COT and then never again? Yeah.

*falls over laughing* Oh my God, that is hilarious. And somewhere a certain someone is saying SO THERE, IT WAS RELEVANT, WASN’T IT. Touché, Team Jordan. Touché.

Hinderstap and its Amazing Regenerating Berserker Army, I salute thee. HAHAHAHA.

Holy crap, it’s like Jack-in-the-Box! Except with lots and lots of death! Awesome!

I think several people actually guessed this one. Which probably isn’t that surprising, as it’s perfectly obvious that the combination of Traveling and cannon makes for just about the perfect ambush combo. Pop in, BANG, pop out. Sweet.

WELP, WE ALL KNEW THIS WAS COMING. But fortunately not in the way we were – expecting? Sort of? …And that does divide up nicely this way, doesn’t it. Well done.

Well, I’m not sure how I feel about calling the combo of Fain/Mordeth/Mashadar “Shaisam” (sounds a little too Marvel-ous, ba dum dum), but I am too pleased that there was no finger-biting or gold rings or jumping into volcanoes involved in his appearance to quibble about it too much. As for my “dividing up nicely” comment… well, I actually had to take that back, on reflection. See my comments on Mat and Perrin’s roles in the ending above.

And then:

Oh.

 

 

 

 

Right, walking away for a moment.

 

Maybe several moments.

 

Oh, Egwene. Oh, my Ooh Ooh Girl. I just.

There’s… nothing else to say. Not yet. I will do her justice later. Maybe by then I’ll actually be able to write about her without tearing up. Maybe.

I will do all of it justice later, I hope. But for now, I think this is a pretty good place for the rest of you to start, until the Re-read gets back underway (the when of which being Soon To Be Determined).

Until then, I hope that you have enjoyed your last first visit to Randland at least as much as I did, O my Peeps. But either way, I invite you to pull up a comment box and tell us about it, because this is a book and a series and a time to be savored and debated and shared, and times like that do not come along every day. As we are told by a couple of very wise and talented guys:

There are no endings, and never will be endings, to the turning of the Wheel of Time.

But it was an ending.

And what an ending it was.

859 comments
Twinks
1. Twinks
Wow. Thanks Leigh ... And Team Jordan
Pramod Korathota
3. Oxylus
Thanks, Leigh! I'm agreeing with the "it was totally emotionally draining" part. That was a lot to get through, and not just because of the number of words.

I'm not sure if anything (even written by Jordan himself) would have entirely satisfied me. This series has been such a huge chunk of my life, with so much invested, how do you wrap it up? Sanderson and Team Jordan have done a mighty job, and it was a great read. I still feel somewhat empty though. Not sure if it's because of what wasn't in the books (those "everyone together" character moments, more clarity on how things ended) or if it's a general emptyness of it all being over.

I have a bunch of nitpicks (well, some pretty big objections) which have been raised on DM, but will pull those out later during the re-read.

One thing I agree on - Egwene. That really, really hurt. More so than anything else in the book, or the series. Her end kind of took the gloss off everything, even what everyone else achieved. Maybe I'm just too attached to her, after all, the world was saved. But still.
Twinks
4. neverspeakawordagain
Leigh, the incest troll from rasfw-rj you're remembering went under the user name Student, and I think he was from Australia. He was literally my first contact with internet trolling, in like 1997. Good memories.
Twinks
5. neverspeakawordagain
When a friend of mine asked me if all the loose ends were tied up, I told him the only one I could think of that wasn't was finding out who Nakomi was. If that's the biggest dangling thread in your four million plus word series, you've done a good job.

That said, one MAJOR beef with TOR (or whoever did the typesetting): right after Egwene dies, the POV shifts to Rand, and his first line is "Egwene was dead" or something to that effect. This POV shift happened at the very bottom of the right hand page - so of course, when I turned the page, my attention was drawn to that single, set off line, with the blank space above it, because I'd just been read in that physical spot two pages earlier when I flipped the page. Thus, I got the "Egwene is dead" line without the two pages of Egwene POV leading up to, which I hadn't had a chance to read yet. Major typesetting foul, guys.
nat ward
6. smonkey
Heh.

The series ended for me somewhere in book 3 when I got bored. This was some time in 1992. And I've thanked my luck ever since for having dodged that collective giant nightmarish waiting game of a series ending.

I think now that its all done it'll be a nice read some year.

Yay for complete series!
Chin Bawambi
7. bawambi
Leigh my only regret to meeting you tonight for the first time is that Mike who introduced me to the series (around book 5) didn't get to meet you before Mr. Rigney had moved on. The only reason that he finished the series with Sanderson's followthrough is that I told him it was worth it. Your dedication to this story is inspirational. Kudos!
Twinks
8. cantwaittogetthebook
This can't happen, I mean, Gawyn, DEAD, he was like my favorite character, next to Mat anyway. Mat better not die or I'm going to be real mad, guys. Thanks anyway Leigh, Team Jordan.
JAMES MCCLELLAN
9. ZEXXES
I think on this point only I can speak for everyone who has ever read your Re-Read:

You Rock!


Thank you!

Hope to meet you at one of these shindigs, one of these days.

Peace and love!


Z
Theresa Wymer
10. Tekalynn
Congratulations! I'm so happy for you TWOT fans.

What a long strange trip it's been. Cheers.
Billy Abbey
11. felix
Awesome job Leigh.....I can't read this yet , but imma go out on a limb. Thanks for all your efforts!
Twinks
12. Chun Yu Chen
I got the audible book now!!!!
Just downloading the audio book. Yahoooo~~~~
Twinks
14. Marks
Awesome review.

Concerning Rand's treaty and the damane question. If you look at all the books, there are these fragments of ideas that scream out for further books. Not of the series, rather, short stories or separate side stories. Maybe RJ had a half formed idea for these short and/or side stories and put these idea fragments into the series to provide anchors for these further stories to be developed. For example, how much was made of the actual 'Towers of Midnight' - even though there was a book with that title? Yet we know what the towers were supposed to be used for. That purpose could easily have had some relationship to the injustice done to damane....etc etc. That is just an example of a fragment in one book perhaps being able to be combined with a fragment in another book, btw, rather than a prediction. Similarly, we have some of the story from Aviendha's second trip to Rhuidean, but fragmentary in this book - possibly also linked to how the treaty pans out? And what about Shara itself?

Given that RJ is no longer with us, we will probably never know now what these fragments mean. (There are plenty of other fragments in other books - eg was the Deathwatch Guard originally the Band of the Red Hand? ).

Or are we going to see a few of these short/side stories come out in the years ahead? I sort of hope so
Martin Cohn
15. arixan
Halfway through...

Rand: Good thing I went back to Dumai Wells and happened to find the fat man before I did that awesome thing at Maradon in the LAST BOOK!

Took me right out of the book. had to put the thing down for the rest of the night and I got the thing three days early

Knotai = perfect new Seanchan name for Mat.
Tuon : Did you do that thing?
Mat: (incredulous) Knot-ai...?

BTW Thanks so much Leigh. Can't wait for the re-read.
Twinks
16. snihed
damnit! i ordered thru amazon and do not expect to have my copy until the 30th. didn't know my local bookstore took it and have about 20 copies. got the 17th! omg omg omg

don't mind having 2 copies! im psyched!
Twinks
17. Freyr
Emotionally draining.. Yeah. That about sums it up! It's 7 A.m. and I haven't slept since my copy showed up yesterday.

I'm pretty numb at this point. I knew I would be. I've been following this series since 1997, not as long as some, but I turn 30 this year and this series has been with me my entire adult life.

I'm rambling at this point. Ultimately I am at a loss for words, and almost unimaginably sad that this series is over. No other series has held a candle to what this one has made me feel...
Jacques duplessis
19. Kahooza
This is exactly how I sound when talking about the book. OMG!!! It's AMAAAAZING! I wouldn't expect the review to be written any differently.
Twinks
20. Igglybuff
I read the spoiler free version a while and came back for the spoiler version today having finished the book last night.
i can't get it out of my head that it is all finsihed.

agree with a lot of what you said - Olver, Egwene and Lan. Oh yes Lan. And I too will be going to a special kind of hell wondering if Avi, Elayne and Min will rand Rand together.
Twinks
22. JamesEdJones
About one of Chekhov's many munitions on display: Do we ever get to see the 6 and 66 link in action? Jordan set it up so that the most
channelers possible in a link was also the number of the beast in
christian lore. And he calls the hero of the story the "dragon". I've been
waiting for 13 books to see if anyone ever puts together a maximized
circle of magic in the final scene(s). I'm still on the fence about buying
the book, since my favorite character, Mat, seems to have died with
Jordan. So, any speed readers out there, please let me know about this
missing plot device. Does it make an appearance? Would like to know
because I think it would be worth it just for this.
Matthew Smith
23. Blocksmith1
I have not read Leigh's review nor any comments as yet...book not in hand as my local store does not open til 9 am EST.

I hope everyone able to is enjoying this last book (but not last story...something to look forward to in May!!!) and I look forward to hopefully reading the review and reviewing/adding to comments as soon as possible.
Twinks
24. WheelOfTimeFanOnKindle
Can I just post that not releasing an eBook on the release date of the hardcover is not very smart marketing. Simply charge what you would for a hardcover and many fans will pay the price. I, for one, will not purchase a non-electronic book. It is the reason I have both a kindle and an iPad.
Twinks
25. neverspeakawordagain
@22: No idea what you mean about the number of the beast, but, yes, during the last battle Demandred fights in a circle of 72 with a sa'angreal.
Twinks
26. MadExcitement
i'm yet to pick up the novel and here i am reading the review... smh
Stephen Ruth
27. srr
Hi Leigh,
Been here since week one, i agree with you " satisfying" sums up my feelings. I finished the book about 8 hrs ago, many thanks to Team Jordan, Tor.Com and of course you.
Kristoff Bergenholm
28. Magentawolf
That... wasn't a review. It was a stream of consciousness with words, and shouting, and crying.

I'm not entirely sure what I just read.
Twinks
29. TChesser
Finished it at 10:12 AM Eastern time this morning. Loved it. Thought the ending was wonderful, wrapped things up nicely. We didn't get really any of the "And what happened after was..." stuff but part of me likes that. We get to form our own ideas based on the clues scattered around.

I really wanted to see Tuon and Hawking's conversation. "Let's talk about this slavery thing you've done in my name, Tuon..." but alas no.

Also, I am interested in others thoughts on Nakomi and the role of the Creator at the end of the story.

Eqwene was tough for me. She is, and always has been, my favorite character in the series. I wanted a happy ending for her as she helped to rebuild the land. Cadsuane will be an interesting Amyrlin...
Twinks
30. JamesEdJones
@25: Thank you! Can't wait to see it in action. Although, I'm sure it doesn't end up quite like Demandred would hope.
Roger Powell
31. forkroot
My full reaction now that I've read the whole book:

Wow.

{:: pauses for some time ::}

I thought Brandon did a wonderful job. In fact, I suspect that he went out of his way to "patch up" some of the continuity holes from earlier volumes (though I could never prove it and he probably wouldn't admit it.) BUT A BIG VOICE TOLD ME SO.

Some of my favorite moments:

1) Moiraine at Merrilor - What an entrance!

2) Dannil talking to Perrin about how he should have gone with the 3 boys in TEoTW. I laughed when I read this as I realized right away it was Brandon's homage to RJ's original plan to have four of them (one character was dropped) - this explains the head count on TEoTW cover.

3) Taim putting the Mask of Mirrors on "Nensen" to make him look like Androl - OK, that was pretty funny!

4) Jain coming back as a Hero of the Horn. I had called that one early :-), but I'm sure many others did too. Did anybody else happen to notice that Shivan and Calian didn't show up with the HotH? I told you - they are Elayne's babes!

5) Agelmar giving Lan the same tongue lashing that I've been giving him in the re-read. Pointing out how selfish his little war was in the context of the Last Battle. Thanks Agelmar - sorry about that compulsion bit later.

6) Mat meets with Almen Bunt and Renald Fanwar - Nice touch tying together the two "everymen" from the previous prologues.


Some of my least favorite:

1) Rhuarc's fate - especially after he was so badass, plus a favorite character

2) Losing Bela - damn

3) When that creep Mellar killed Birgitte - fortunately that all turned out OK

Gripe department:

1) Loved Mat's immunity trick taking out Fain, and it was nicely foreshadowed -- but BWS missed a chance for a bit more dramatic buildup and climax there - just my .02

2) Poor retcon attempt as Slayer mentions Gitara's prophecy, but in the end it didn't seem to matter that Luc went to the blight. Looks like RJ fumbled on that one, and Brandon tried his best with the retcon.

3) Whatever became of Verin's letters? We see nothing about them in AMoL. There's no explanation about what Verin may have said to Alanna or how Moridin nabbed her.

4) There's one sentence mentioning the Seanchan Ogier fighting alongside Loial and Co. RJ had promised that they would meet - I was expecting a bit more.

Sir "Not Appearing in this Book" department:
Brandon did a great job of letting virtually all of the characters get a last little bit of screen time. I really appreciated that, however there are a LOT of characters, so there were still a few overlooked:

1) Merille - plot line with Talaan was a dropped ball. We see Talaan, but with no real explanation
2) Tallanvor/Morgase (Morgase gets the briefest of mentions - a paragraph would've been nicer)
3) Dobraine - MIA
4) Mattin Stepaneos - Talked about a little, but no screen time. Scratching his rear end in the White Tower still? Sorta strange.
5) Suffa - As others have mentioned, it's a pity she wasn't there for Fortuona's meeting with Egwene.
6) Halwin Norry and Reene Harfor - I'm curious if they made it out of Caemlyn alive
7) Joline - Just wanted to see if her mouth was still blue

Living/Dying department:

1) I was stunned that Cadsuane made it - I felt sure she was on the take out list

2) I was not surprised that Lan made it, because of Min's visions always being for the future and the whole bit with a baby.

3) We all expected Tenobia and Bashere to get it. Check. A lot of people suggested that Siuan and Bryne wouldn't make it. Check. (Too bad ... they had such a sweet "courtship" - a pity they didn't get the time together that Moiraine and Thom will.

4) It hurt to lose Egwene - but she really went out in a blaze of glory. I was expecting it once Gawyn bought it.

RJ isn't GRRM and has always been reluctant to kill off Light-side characters. I thought the body count was appropriate: painful enough for an End-of-the-World battle, while retaining the more upbeat WoT feel.

Best Movie Scenes department
OK - Turning WoT into a series of movies would be a disaster. If nothing else, it would LOOK like it was Moridin riding off into the sunset. With that said, there are a few scenes in AMoL that would be awesome on screen:

1) My fav: Lan riding Mandarb toward Demandred with the flaming arrows taking down Trollocs, lighting the way

2) Thom's view of the battle high above Thankan'dar

3) Talmanes and the dragons blast the wall of Caemlyn (and all the Trollocs)

4) The initial ginormous gateway that opened onto the AS camp, showing the assembled might of the Sharans.

A final thought. I don't mean disrespect to the departed DKS - who did a lot of great, great fantasy covers; however his planned cover for AMoL would have been grossly out of sync with the scene as written. In contrast, Michael Whelan's actual cover is pretty close to the text.
Twinks
32. joshman
spolier shmoilers... it is definitly the journey to the results where the memory is made. thank you for the spoilers and all the awesome noise around this release. For myself I still await the delivery of AMOL, and , like an addict "jonesing" for a fix... my mind is so wishing that amazon would open a gateway (not the old desktop in the cow spotted box) and give it now !

And since i am in wish mode, it would be awesome if retailers would price a pkg deal where you can get both "ole-school style" and ebook as a combo. i think if one drops $40 for a hardcover.. the ebook should come along with it. just sayin. & throw in the audio (would be cool if they had differnt voices for each character too)

At least it should be here in a few days... and then this reality will temporarily cease to exist as i emmerse, absorb, and injest this final 900+ pages in the world Jordan spun up and Sanderson caps off. my excitement is boundless.

Question: is there a Loial the Ogier cameo? or do are y'all gonna make me waitand see?

Thank you Tor, Jordan, Sanderson !

in full jitter-mode,
Joshman
Illinois
Theresa Gray
33. Terez27
Loial POV = one of the best scenes in the book.
wes carlton
34. Dorman
I was on here at 7.00 am this mornig; With the intent to read! Thanks Liegh for talking me out of it!!!

Just got my book and i,m ready to go!!!

Coffee and baily,s Check.
Classical music Check.

Life dont get much better!!! lol
Henry Loose
35. schrodinger
I found out this morning that you can make yourself sick by reading too much. I finished the book at 3:30 in the morning (got it a day early). My next activities, in order, were: dance around the apartment like a loon; fall onto bed, exhausted; cry myself to sleep with tears of... contentment?; and finally, wake up 5 hours later and immediately throw up.

(blech)... and immediately grab some mouthwash. ugh.

Back to the tears. There was a lot to get choked up about in this final novel. Not only the loss of some pretty major characters who have been with us since the beginning (or pretty close to it), but the sheer volume of minor characters and major minor characters who were lost was almost overwhelming. Some of my favorites died. Some of my least favorites died. Some died well, and some did not get the sendoff they deserved.

It was brutally realistic.

I think, though, what made it, all the death, all the loss, something bittersweet, instead of just bitter, was Egwene. Like Leigh, I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to put into words what I'm feeling right now, but none of the words I have are enough. Thom's predicament on the slope of Shayol Ghul is now very understandable. However, I have to say something now. I have to have something to start with.

She was the difference. There were many characters who played significant roles in the last battle, but there was no one who matched Egwene in how pivotal her role was. Both at Merrilor and Shaol Ghul, she showed why she deserved the title of Ooh Ooh Girl. Her roles at each location were different, but no less important than each other. She did what she had to do, what she wanted to do, and she accomplished it as only she could. I know my thoughts on this will change over time. As of right now, my emotions are pretty raw.

One last thought (at least for this post) on the series at its end. A large part of the fun in reading these books has been the wild conjecture and theorizing that their incompleteness allowed. The thrill of a correct guess at each reveal, or the humbling chuckle at something so obviously, yet intelligently done that we didn't even see it coming will be missed (Seriously?!?!? we missed that? Us? the most detail oriented fanbase on the planet?). The theorizing is not over, but relegated to a more minor role. Now that the series is complete, some question have to be asked: Is it strong? Does it work? Is it beautiful? For me, the answer to all three is yes, and I wouldn't hesitate to call this the most strong, functional, and beautiful series of books I have ever read, or am likely to read in my lifetime. That said, I wish us all a satisfying re-read.


p.s. my that moment is Leigh's “Olver and the Horn” moment.
Christopher Turkel
36. Applekey
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the reviewer was high when she wrote it. It made it difficult to read.
Twinks
37. rboodle
I got the book on Thursday, when my local bookstore called me and told me a special order had come in. When I came by to see what it was, they pulled out AMOL. I thought it was a trap, but then decided to play along, and walked out 3 minutes later 37 bucks poorer but 909 pages richer. Wow.

Finished it today, and I am amazed, and drained, and elated. Wow.

Egwene was a punch in the gut - I did not see that coming.

How did Mat un-die after Fain?

Doilion Mellar did not die painfully enough. His abduction of Elayne made be cry out in fear.

Still not sure how Demandred subverted an entire continent into being Darkfriends. And I'm not sure how comfortable I am with the idea that most Sharans are dark-skinned. Actually I am - not comfortable at all.

I thought Rand kneeling and extending a hand was too cute by half, and also made no sense. Did he know about the prophecy too, and was just trying to get out of it in the same way I assume Brandon Sanderson was?

Lan. Of course, Lan.

What happens with Graendal? Predictions?

Is there anyone who'll see Rand's... new form, and recognize him? Hilarity will most definitely ensue. Also, can he just alter reality now, without channeling? Is he the Creator? A Creator with a smoking habit?

The Tinkers coming through the gateways to help made me tear up a bit.

Taim certainly abandoned the Black Tower quickly. If Androl was that effective with gateways during that battle, I'm kind of shocked they didn't just circle up behind him and have him take out all Trollocs and Dreadlords!

Perrin and Faile's lastr scene together finally made me not dislike them/her. A bit. Oh okay fine it was heartwarming. *sulk*

I had to google "*good guy* darkfriend" a lot in this book to see if there'd been any evidence before now. Wow with the generals.

Logain was more... dickish than I remembered.

How do that many Trollocs grow and thrive? They can't have abducted THAT many Borderlanders. And even if they "grow their own food," the food needs to eat plants, and I think the Blight isn't a major agricultural center. Thoughts?

Can we have a Deathly Hallows-like epilogue that describes whever everyone is 20 years later? Please please please?

Let's just say I eagerly await the re-read of AMOL!!!
Twinks
38. Mostlyanthony
ooh, I'm really angry now. I'll never read WoT again after this. Rand should have killed Empress Tuon (may she die soon) for this. Get your filthy Seanchan paws off of Min, the sweetest character in the whole series! And even worse, Bela dead, while Cadsuane, who ruined the whole series since she appeared LIVES! Ugh!
Karen Fox
40. thepupxpert
Still waiting for my copy to come from Amazon and I promised myself I would not read this until I've finished the book... and I'm keeping my promise!
Twinks
41. neverspeakawordagain
@37: Tearans are mostly dark skinned, and they're largely ok. Tuon is dark skinned. The sea folk are dark skinned. They're not dark friends.

Mat didn't undie -- he was immune to Mashadar and just faking it until Fain got close enough to stab.

Rand isn't the creator, but he can manipulate the pattern of reality, much as other people can in T'A'R. Makes sense, after all the pattern-weaving he did during the last battle.

The only people who would recognize Moridin and are still alive are Moghedien and Graendal -- not sure what would happen to them, but not too worried they'd sound an alarm on it -- and Nynaeve and Moiraine. Nynaeve already suspects, and I don't think Moiraine would mind.
Twinks
42. littleleicesterfox
I was lucky enough to get the book about 4pm GMT on Monday and I have read it pretty much constantly until then and I've just finished.

Exquisite is damn right.

I must admit I absolutely kicked myself when Olver blew the horn and the heroes came, I don't recall seeing anywhere a prediction about Mat's link being broken but I'm probably totally wrong and some clever soul thought of it. For a moment I thought Olver was Mat reborn after he died the first time, which meant he was the hornblower that way but then I thought a little bit more :)

Egwene: I just did not see that coming. I just burst into floods of tears. It makes sense of course, the quote that they used for one of the quotes building up to the release but I was sure she would live. Even the sentence as she died I was thinking 'How's she going to get out of this one?'.

Omg I thought for a minute there that Faile was Lanfear all along. But I'm glad Perrin got his girl back :) He deserved it, the scene with Master Luhhan was also beautiful.

I cried quite a lot when Kwamesa got zapped. And at Rhuarc's fate. And Bashere. Oh and Birgitte I was like 'You B******** MELLAR NOOOO!'. But Olver helped a lot there and saved a lot on therapy for both me and Elayne I think :)

I felt sure, 100% sure, that Cadusane was going to die. After all this was the moment that she had lived for, fought for and survived for. I was also sure that Mat would die. And I was half right there.

And Bela. The moment Bela died, the whole battle changed course. The world shifted on it's axis. I thought a tiny little bit that Olver would turn around and one of the heroes would be Egwene riding out on Bela :) Oh god I made myself cry again.

Can't resist a bit more speculation. Does anyone think that one of Melaine's babies is Birgitte? Yeah, and who the hell is Tinni? She was in like every scene!
Ryan Jackson
43. KakitaOCU
@37 rboodle,
I really don't think Demandred got all of Shara, just a large portion that fell behind him due to the prophecies he fullfilled. Shara is huge, if he got the whole continent he should have showed a MUCH larger force, both in troops and in channelers, than he did.

Logain is about as he always was, though he's also undergoing a Heroic BSOD after his imprisonment.

The Blight has a LOT of wild life, wierd, evil plants and animals, but still plants and animals.

@42, little.
The Horn issue was long debated. The debate basically came down to "Does Balefire mean the death didn't really happen or not?" And was never really settled on before now. Answer is that death did happen but was then undone apparently.

Mellar and Birgitte was sad and then hillarious. "I killed you" "I'm an immortal hero, didn't cha know?"
Gwen Potter
44. tariqata
I work from home. Despite numerous attempts to convince myself that I could work a normal day today, productivity utterly ceased the moment the doorbell rang at around 11:00am. I'm on page 808 now, and have probably definitely been rushing through too fast to appreciate the story fully, because Egwene's death didn't hit me the way I know it will when I read it a second time.

But then I hit the line "Am I not allowed to be a hero here, too?" and now I'm in floods.
Twinks
45. littleleicesterfox
@Kakita

Ah, thank you, that debate completely passed me by!
Twinks
46. Marks
@ 43. KakitaOCU

I think it was more the question of whether Matt's 'death' at Rhuidean was picked up as the point when his link with the horn was severed. This book specifically says that it was the events at R that broke the link.

@25. neverspeakawordagain

The number of the beast (666) is a reference to the 'final battle' in the Bible.

I was a little jarred by the final Matt/Tuon scene. Here comes the winning general back to his wife, and she basically says "Since I'm pregnant, I don't need you any more and can kill you." Is this supposed to be Tuonian humour? It certainly makes no dynastic sensc since everyone who wants to pass on an inheritance would like to have: an heir and a spare, and those surviving to at least the age of six to get them past childhood fatal illness. An empress barely pregnant would hardly be doing her dynasty a favour by having all her egg in one basket and her only husband disposed of. So maybe it was just her sense of humour....
Twinks
47. JamesEdJones
@38: Yeah, but she's stuck being Amyrlin. That's like, a fate worse than death for her.
Richard Boye
48. sarcastro
The Wheel of Time has ended, go in peace.

It is done! I am saddened. I am elated. I am bummed yet thrilled.

I still wish "Robert Jordan" was able to see the whole project home, though, despite the herculean effort of Brandon Sanderson.

Thanks Mr. Rigney. It was quite the ride.
Twinks
49. SteelBlaidd
Cant get it yet :-(
but read ch3 &4 at B&N over lunch. First tears p118 where Rand is thinking about Tam sendig him to check the fence.
F Shelley
50. FSS
Finished about an hour ago. It's still sinking in. I'll re-read it slower over the coming days and weeks, but for now...wow. I can't believe it's over. Just...wow.

also - my favorite part by far was Birgitte and Mellar during the last battle. Just awesome!
Ian B
51. Greyfalconway
I thought Egwene naming her anti-balefire weave The Flame of Tar Valon was just so moving, and it was extra powerful since they already covered "Watcher of the Seals" earlier, making all of her titles meaningful, instead of just fluff.

When Faile, Saldean and uber-knowledgable of horses rode Bela through the trollocs and said she was better than the finest Tairen stock I teared right the fuck up and made kitten noises through my beard.

I'm so glad Mat wasn't off in this book, I was so worried, since he was absolutely atrocious to me in The Gathering Storm, and then in Towers of Midnight when everyone considered him fixed I still thought he was off, with his boots and stump steward and such. This book brought him back in line, and although some things were off like that sample we got beforehand and a couple of offhand jokes that fell flat, he as himself was back and he shone.

Noal returning and saving Olver was another major teary moment for me, it was so perfect and emotionally fullfilling. Olver wasn't abandoned after all. Did anyone catch Androl saying springs (I think) reminded him of Jain, maybe he's Noal's son?

Rands ending was perfect, things finally started to fully sink in when Tam carried the torch to his sons funeral pyre and my whole face started aching from trying not to cry.

I am so glad this book exists, and so sad this book exists.
James Reid
52. JamesReid
I had a feeling that the if/or fortelling of Gawyn and Egwene ment only one would get to live, and seeing how Gawyn saved Egwene in ToM i figured those rings would get him killed and they did. So when Egwene died it was a real gut punch.

But, least Brigitte and Gaidal Cain will be back together in the fourth age.

The Perrin/Lanfear stuff was interesting. Reminded me of her tempation of Perrin back in TDR. Way to go, Perrin, you beat compulsion!! Shame Rhuarc wasn't so lucky.

Ishamael/Mordin's punishment made me laugh. The DO does have sense of humor, restoring a suicidal person to life and then naming them death.

And dammit, why couldn't Alviarin die!! Grr!!!
Jeremy Preacher
53. Jeremy Preacher
Twenty years of waiting, and you know what? It was worth it. The series got a bit rough in the middle, but it all came together in the end, and I'm content. I only wish Jordan had lived to see it through.

Thanks, Leigh. From your work on the FAQ to the Reread, I've been following you for almost as long as WoT itself, and you've been a great tour guide.
Twinks
54. soda
@46
This book specifically says that it was the events at R that broke the link.
Hawkwing says that it was "Another moment, one that you cannot remember" on page 817.
Liz J
55. Ellisande
OMG EGWENE. I just. cannot. But you go, take out that smug jerk and his smug face. that was spectacular.

I read way too fast for true coherency, and need to read again more slowly, but what a ride.
Jonah Feldman
56. relogical
That was... an exhausting book. Can't believe it's over.

Mostly satisfied. Sanderson is always great with building up and pulling big reveals, so those turned out great even though they were waiting to be used for so long.

When I realized "The Last Battle" was 200 pages long, I just laughed and said, "Of course."

In the end, I wasn't so shocked at the characters who died as the ones who lived. I've imagined what the Last Battle would be like for over a decade, and I got used to the idea of all these people dying.

And Androl, where the hell has the baddest dude in Randland been for the first twelve books?
Cassandra Cookson
57. cass
A wild ride and a satisfying ending. It's after 1am and I have to go to work tomorrow/today, but I could not stop. I started reading when EOTW showed up at the bookstore and I liked the cover. Was that 1991? A long time... Many thanks to James Rigney, Harriet and Team Jordan, and Brandon Sanderson for bringing this epic to a fitting and moving close. I agree with Leigh that there were some issues of pacing, tone, and character names, but these were minor compared to the punch the conclusion delivered. Now to try to sleep and resist the urge to reread "The Last Battle" again.
Cassandra
Twinks
58. marks
@54 soda

Arr, you are correct. Pays me for reading too fast. LOL.
Twinks
59. HudsonFysh
Thanks Leigh for keeping us company on the journey. Am a huge fan of your re-caps and reviews.

Team Jordan nailed a solid landing on the final jump - A Memory of Light nails what has been a long, frustrating and rewarding narrative. And that it does it with still some questions and half answers floating I think is a perfect way to finish a series that has prompted so much debate and speculation.

For me Sanderson grew with every novel, and by the end I felt comfortable with his handle on all the characters and felt he even took some previous minor characters like Talmanes and made them shine.

I am positive that on my first read through I missed things. Just. So Much. Stuff.

Egwene's passing was so perfectly, exquistely done.

As was in no order but Olver, Brigette, Shara, Hawking, Noal, Androl and Pevara, the Great Captains being broken, lava, Gaul, Talmanes, Moraine reciting the prohecy, Tam and Rand, Rand and Elayne and the babies, Rand's gifts and more that I just can't remember ...

but perhaps most of all the skill in bringing Matt into the lead role and the management of the battle scenes - and to make that level of detail interesting, make sense and with the right pacing for special moments. That was an author at full command.

I feel flat though, I have spent my life always knowing there was another book coming. And now there isn't. This is it in all it's imperfect glory. Thank you Sanderson and Harriet for bringing us home.
Twinks
60. skillr
Light but the Last battle was long and draining.

I was waiting the entire last battle for Dremandred to figure out that Rand was at the Bore fighting the Dark One, how thick can one man be?

This book could so easily have been 2 books rather than 1.

There are still so many things that i want to know.
Do the Tinkers find the song?
What were these prophecies that Dremandred fullfiled with the Sharan.
Was 'The Town' only in the book so Faile and her people could break through.
What did Loial say at the Great Stump?
How did the Trollocs reproduce?

A lots of things happened that I thought would, even the Seanchan truce - tho that is probably the thing i hate the most, still havin suldam and damane. Damn those Seanchan, they did the least amount of fighting out of everyone, took the least damage, they should have been bloodied beyond imagine, broken and built back up by Mat.

I would have loved to have seen an extra chapter set 10-20 years after, just for some little closure, and to know that Rand is happy.
Don Barkauskas
61. bad_platypus
Although a lot of things affected me powerfully, my one-and-only bout of actual tears was Noal returning as a Hero of the Horn to save Olver. Wow.

Marks @ 46:
Somehow, I never noticed that particular formation of a full circle is 6 + 66 "=" 666. Neat. However, a 35+37 circle is actually more powerful, as it contains a more nearly equal number of men and women.

As a side note, I know a character said that Demandred was in a circle of 72, but did we ever get confirmation of that, or was it merely that he was using the sa'angreal (which I'm guessing was the one between Callandor and the Choedan Kal in power)?

Also, the last Mat/Tuon scene completely summed up their entire relationship. It is absolutely Tuon being humorous---she knows that it is her duty to the Empire to produce many heirs to compete and prove their fitness to rule after her. She's just making Mat uncomfortable---something she clearly enjoys doing.
Don Barkauskas
62. bad_platypus
@2 and similar: This was Leigh basically taking her non-spoiler review and explaining all the teasers (with some extra analysis thrown in). If you hadn't read the original one, then I can understand why you'd be frustrated. For those of us who had read the original, it was interesting (or, it was for me, anyway).

skillr @60:
How did the Trollocs reproduce?
Per RJ, "There are female trollocs, but you don't want to know more than that."

neverspeakawordagain @5: If you think that Nakomi's identity is the only loose end left unresolved, then you are much better at reading between the lines than I am. While I'm certain that there's a lot to read between the lines, and I'm certain that lots of people are better at it than I am, I'm willing to bet that ever with our best collective effort, there's a lot more than Nakomi to be revealed in the Encyclopedia (or never revealed, as RJ specified some things to be left open). I'm pretty certain the speculation will never die.
Cameron Tucker
63. Loialson
Some thoughts:

Well, Egwene, go in peace. You are my hero girl. Majorly choked up, deservedly.

Also, when she died I was all WTF girl!!! I love you but PASS ON your shiny new weave that heals the Pattern from everyone who's been balefirin the crap out of it! Alas....

Min's viewing of Egwene "A white flame" (all the way back in tGH ch. 24) had a double meaning I never expected.
"Egwene strode around a frozen pillar of glass in her dream. It almost looked like a column of light. What did it mean? She could not interpret it."
Took me 10 minutes after finishing the book to realize the interpretation of this one. I felt a bit wool-headed for not recognizing it sooner.

Logain: your head is all kinds of messed up, brother. Glad the kids were there to set it straight. Somehow kids have a funny way of doing that to people.

And Moghedien! Low blow!! Hit the innocents?! Seriously? Your just desserts were so sweet for me.

And count me in the Surprised boat that all the theories of the True Power being the buffer for healing the Bore was right! I had dismissed them.

And no mention of the Jenn Aiel :'(. One theory I cherished go up in a poof.

One thing that makes me curious, is the Wise Ones speak of going through the Columns a third time, and we never get to see what they saw there. Interesting....
Twinks
64. whoneedssleepanyway
I finally got to start reading after I got off work last night and found that Amazon had delivered on time. 12 hours later, it is finished. I have to be at work again in 4 hours.

TOTALLY WORTH IT.
myles Gilvarry
65. Shaisam
Just finished it and still sinking in-- It was awesome but I agree with Leigh that the Matt/Fain resolution was too skimpy.
Twinks
66. Nimander
Had a fellow member on another forum accuse me of reading this too fast and not doing the story and its author enough justice as a result (burned through it in 9-11 hrs by my estimate) but dammit, this story was just too awesome to put down. Seriously.

I had many of the same reactions myself. Androl is officially the Asha'man MVP. For all of Min's viewings about Logain getting mad props in the future, it was Androl who stole the show in my opinion.

I would pay good money, and I'm talking premium ticket prices, to see the Perrin vs. Slayer scenes in T'A'R on the big screen. In Real3D. There's a very likely chance that my mind would explode from the awesomeness of those fights if they play out even half as well with actors as they did in my mind.

There's so much more I could say, but I think I'll save the specifics for each of the chapters as they come out, if I'm still around to comment. This story wasn't perfect, and there were those parts that did fall flat for me. But overall, this was oh-so-satisfying and worth the wait. To everyone that contributed in any way to this series, well done.
Jim Millen
67. jim.millen
Never has a day off work been so worthwhile.

Epic. Amazing. Emotional. Heh, exquisite.

Yes, AMOL had its flaws, but how could the conclusion to such a grand series not? But frankly, who cares. It was as fine and fitting an end to the series as I could imagine

Phew... Can't really believe it's over. At a bit of a loss for words really...

Oh, apart from one little thing - I bloody knew it! ;-)
Twinks
68. thetipsytaveren
Things I liked:

Roedran dropping in like a drunken uncle in the middle of a Thanksgiving dinner when all the fights have started.
Faile having something to do, and her thinking on the funny ironies of life re: her mission.
Perrin taking Gaul with him to TAR. Gaul has always bordered on hilariously personalitiy-less, but it was fun to see him actually do something exciting and unexpected.
Gawyn's death. Fitting death for the biggest idiot in the entire series.
The Ogiers battles. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Why did Loial have to vanish for like five books again?
Mat's command posts, although he took his sweet time setting up that up.
Demondred was awesome, and what the Forsaken should have been all along.
Lan's defeat of him "surrender after you die" moment was the highlight of the entire book. Although I didn't buy that Demo had no idea who he was.
Rand's entire battle of wills/worlds was very creative and very well done. I don't understand the philosophical complaints. It entirely makes sense in the cosmology of the WOT world.
Also Callonder's purpose was neat and not many peope called that out.
Min gaining a purpose post-Rand.
I personally loved the body switch.

Things I didn't like:

The Band of the Red Hand being split up and not really mattering a whole lot after Caemlyn.
Perrin being asleep for the ENTIRE LAST BATTLE.
Egwene's death. Happened way too fast and I didn't find the scene clear or well written.
TUON CALLING PEOPLE BY HER STUPID MADE UP NAMES IN HER HEAD. I never flat out hated the girl. Now I do. Knoti or some crap. Ugh.
Alanna popping up out of no where (what was the point of Verin's letter to her?)
Moriane and Nyneave being spectators for 99% of the last battle. Sure, their key moment mattered and they did more in the previous 13 books than most characters... but still. They felt like afterthoughts.
Slayer and Fain finally dead. If it was going to be that pointless it should have happened ages ago.
The battles became a bit repetative - one reason I enjoyed the unique storylines like Olyver and Rand.
Twinks
69. BPR
Note: Nyneave, Elayne, Egwene, Min AND Aviendha were all in the tent while Rand presented the Dragon's Peace. Not that they really interacted with each other, as you would've liked, since their focus was all on Rand. Even Moiraine eventually joined them. The only ones missing really were Mat and Lan.
Pat .
70. dolphineus
Overall, it was fantabulous. Perfect? No. I'm sure there is lots to
nit pick at, lots of things that seemed deus ex machina-ish. But
fabulous.

Loved Tuon and Mat's last exchange. Now I am free to kill you, lol! I mean, owning people sucks, the whole Seanchan culture sucks. But that was funny. And Mat smiles ...
Hey Lan, I knew what you meant. I was listening.
From the first moment Androl make that little itty bitty gateway to save himself from Taim's balefire, I knew we'd be seeing that trick again.
Androl be one gateway making genius. Dude make tea! With a freaking gateway! Oh yeah, and pulled a few miracles out of his but too!
Yukiri's idea was pretty cool too. Plus the fall and don't die weave was a good idea.
I soooo wanted to see Perrin smack Greandal in her ugly face with his hammer. Oh well, he got to break Lanfear's neck, close enough. Min's viewing was Perrin would have to be there twice, or something bad would happen to Rand. Dumai's Wells, stopping Slayer's arrow, and killing Lanfear would be three, though. I guess there is no rule saying you can't overachieve your prophecy!
Loved Olver saving the day, not to mention blowing the horn. Plus, how can you not t have tears in your eyes when Noal appeared and saved him. "Suddenly, Olver felt a deep warmth. He had lost so many people, but one of them ... one ... had come back for him."
Hey Moghedian ... say "hi" to Elaida, lol!
I literally cheered out loud, pumping my fist in the air when the horn was blown for the 2nd time and The Last Hunt appeared. That was awesomely epic.
Oh, almost forgot. Min telling Tuon whats what and outing the spy. Wouldn't you love to hear Hawkwing telling Tuon a thing or two.
Don Barkauskas
71. bad_platypus
Loialson @63:
And count me in the Surprised boat that all the theories of the True Power being the buffer for healing the Bore was right! I had dismissed them.
I'm already anticipating the howls of those who said the DO's own essence could never be turned against him. Honestly, I agreed with them. But, assuming the DO is not omnipotent (which we pretty much knew), then it comes down to Callandor being a True Power sa'angreal, and as the book said "...the conduit flowed too freely, too powerfully to shut off now. Even for Shai'tan himself." Think of giving access to True Power as turning on a faucet; maybe the DO could eventually have shut it down, but it would have taken too much time.
One thing that makes me curious, is the Wise Ones speak of going through the Columns a third time, and we never get to see what they saw there. Interesting....
Well, Bair does say that she saw essentially what Aviendha saw, although she doesn't go into specifics.
Eric Hughes
72. CireNaes
@137, 36, 28, 13 & 6

Allow me a metaphorical moment, if you will. As disinterested window shoppers to Leigh's reread, kindly clean up the sneeze residue you left on the display case before moving on in your browsing. It's not that you all popped in or didn't like what you saw, it's more the manner in which it was said.

@Leigh/tor.com

I'm looking forward to the reread. I will save my storyline comments for that occasion. I do have one applicable comment though. As I read the book sporadically over the last few days, I missed my "book club." Thank you for making the fun and enjoyment I have had here possible. I liked the book, depressing as it was. But I felt as though I was sitting in a movie theater watching my favorite series and every time something moving or lambasting or awesome or fun happened, I looked around and no one was there to share it with. I don't think I will truly enjoy the last installment until I experience it with the community here. To all you reread followers, Leigh, tor.com, and ultimately Team Jordan, thank you all. And here is to many shared experiences to come.

Edit: To clean up some commas and to add a few things.
Twinks
73. carl_the_second
I had a longer reply, but I guess I screwed it up?

I liked the book. I didn't love it, though. I thought ToM was a better, tighter book. I thought, along with others, that some things got rushed. Logain's "glory" prediction (which Min mentioned I don't know how often) stands out as a disappointment to me, for instance. And I really don't understand what purpose Allana served at Shayol Ghul, or really why it was SO important for Moiraine to be there that Noal had to die and Mat had to give up an eye.

That said - Demandred showed why Forsaken are really dangerous if you don't have Rand or one or more of the super-girls around. Graendal, too. And Egwene was awesome. I'm not sure her death was necessary, to be honest.

I loved the moment Elayne realized that she could die and her babies still live. I like Elayne as a character, but that was a "uh oh" moment.

I'll read it again ;)
Twinks
74. ChrisBeckstrand
Could someone explain to me how, in the end, Perrin is even relevant to the series?

Everything he did that actually matter to the plot could have been done by any one of the hundreds of secondary characters.

Imagine the WoT without Perrin/Faile...in the end, the outcome of the series is completely unchanged. All he does is get married, defend the Two Rivers from Fain (which COULD have been relevant, had Fain not also been an unecessary character), follow his wife around for four books, then spend two books fighting Slayer in TAR...all of which ended up affecting the Last Battle exactly zero percent. You could have cut Perrin/Faile/Fain/Slayer/the wolves out of the series completely, and had almost the exact same outcome.

What a waste of a character. And don't get me started on how freaking POINTLESS it was to bring Moiraine back from the dead, skip all the emotionally satisfying reunions and character moments we'd been waiting for for LITERALLY twenty years, give her a page and a half of dialogue at the beginning of the book, then have her sit and watch Rand throughout the Last Battle. She should have just stayed dead if that's all she was going to do.

Even without mentioning all the other ways in which I think we got shortchanged, I feel like I read a poorly thought out fan fiction(this isn't necessarily a slam on Brandon, I have no idea how constrained he was by RJ's plot shortcomings). 80% of the secondary characters and sub-plots which made this series so rich and enjoyable ended up being completely irrelevant... If this was really the planned end from the beginning, there is no reason it should have gone on longer than five books.

Ugh.
Twinks
75. Mountain-Dancer
I hothotdog the book at noon on Jan-7 and finished it at 11pm Jan-8

But I can't recall what happened to Bayle Doman and why he wasn't with Liewin when she was bonded.

Did Bayle die?
Twinks
76. deBebbler
Nice work Leigh.

So this book is 900+ pages, of which like 600 are battle scenes. Good luck recapping those. I do look forward to it.

Not to laugh at you too much for the task ahead, but I will give one Nelson HA HA!
Cameron Tucker
78. Loialson
74. ChrisBeckstrand

Personally I really enjoyed the Perrin/Faile plotline, just felt it got a bit wordy during Faile's capture. Seeing them grow into legitimate heros on their own. Faile being just a normal girl with the hope of the light in her hands, and Perrin becoming the Wolf King...their moments in this book got me choked up again and again. I loved their arc.

I cant say as much for all the screen time given to all the battles-which I felt got a bit dragged out and tedious. I get it, it's war, I love details, but I believe I could use less arm hacking and gutting (after the 15th bloody description each paragraph), and still see the picture of sacrifice the soldiers gave. After seeing people fight battles on all fronts for prolongued amounts of time, with only small character developments in -between. But it's the Last Battle, Big Smash endings in swaths are part of the shenanigans; gotcha, I'll deal.

I cherished every moment that I had with the character driven moments, especially Faile's little entourage through the Blight. I was just so relieved to find out Olver was okay, but not hearing that he didn't die at Caemlyn until chapter Upty-teen made me all WHAT?! Kid, don't give me a heart attack like that!!! I thought you were a trollocs dinner, was beginning to mourn you!

Cheeky little devil, you deserve the glory Hornsounder. For all the children who've been abandoned or left alone in their life, you got to represent and have One come back for you, boy. Another got me so choked up and tearing moment for my boy Olver, THREE CHEERS!

And Vanin and Harnan were good guys, outed at last. That was some rascally writing there boys! I was impressed! Far more interesting A Darkfriend Among Us plot than the belabored and extended one Elayne had for what, 4 books? THAT's the way to get suspense for the little guys without nukes of Power! BRAVO Team Jordan for making me love to itty little bits Perrin and Faile again and again in ToM, and again in aMol. I never thought I'd be so endeared towards them again since tSR.

Fain OTOH, ended up rather redundant, after being a thorn in everyone's side for how long? I thought it funny how he died, just anti-climactic :).
Pete Pratt
79. PeteP
Finished about a few hours ago. I felt an overwhelming sadness, having spent 22 years with tWoT. Still trying to digest.

I am just sad that Jordan did not get to see this day.
Twinks
80. images8dream
I haven't been following this series as long as some, but I still have been with it for 13 years. I knew that I would be emotional once it was over, but I am surprised at the intensity of my reaction. While there were some flaws, the work delivered as a whole.

One of the things that I have been thinking about as I sort through my thoughts is how Rand's realization that he must let himself care rather than be hard. It is so easy to be hard in this world, to not care. But the wheel of time has made me think about caring more than anything else in my life. I let myself care about the characters and the series, and now I am deeply saddened that it is over, which is compounded by the fact that Robert Jordan cannot share this moment with his fans.

Finishing the series was amazing; but it also hurt. I think that this range of emotion that I and many other are feeling as well is the nobility of the human experience that Rand refers to in his battle with the Dark One. It makes me what to care more, to be more. Not only does the series expemplify this theme, but Mr. Jordan himself did, by passing his baby on to another person. That must have been incredibly difficult; but he cared enough to make that sacrfice for us.
Don Barkauskas
81. bad_platypus
carl_the_second @73:
You're right that Moiraine was essentially irrelevant at Shayol Ghul; her big effect was at the Field of Merrilor, where the treaty would almost certainly not have been signed without her.

As for Alanna, Verin sent her off on her mission, and we don't know how she got to Shayol Ghul, but the end result was perfect for what was needed: Alanna willingly let go of Rand's bond before she died. If she had died first, Rand would likely have gone into the death rage and probably all would have been lost. If she had lived but not released the bond, she might have known about Rand surviving in Moridin's body. Maybe that was what Verin intended all along.

As for Logain's prediction, I strongly suspect that this not the fulfillment of it---or, at least, only the beginning of it. (We know of at least one other of Min's visions that hasn't happened yet (or may have begun but not been finished)---namely, her vision of Aviendha having Rand's babies.) It looks to me as if the glory to come for Logain is leading the Black Tower in the Fourth Age.
Jeremy Heater
82. nexus
It's done! And so fulfilling... That's about all I can say having just finished it.
It definitely needs a reread in a week or so :D
Darth Agilus
83. darth.agilus
Wow! I finished last night and am still recovering. After 22 years, the finale was enjoyable and tragic at the same time, both in RandLand and RealWorld. What the Shayol Ghul am I going to do with myself now?

Thanks Leigh and all the re-readers for helping enrich this experience. Thanks to Tor, Harriet, and Brandon for making sure we weren't left unfulfilled. But thanks most of all to RJ for a staggerging work.
Twinks
84. Sarmis
Just wanted to say that I'm still apalled that the ebook isn't coming out until April. I read everything on my kindle - so much easier to read at night in bed, so much easier to read on the train to school, so much easier to carry around, and I simply don't have room to store books anymore. I spend a TON of money buying ebooks. Yet, for some reason, you wouldn't allow us to buy this book in an ebook version until April. It took about 35 hours from release for the clean .mobi and .epub versions to show up on common torrent sites.

Don't get me wrong - I'll purchase the ebook when it comes out in april. But there is something seriously perverse about forcing people to pirate the ebook if that's how they read, when it simply has absolutely no effect on preventing piracy. I can't imagine the number of sales was increased by delaying the piracy at most 35 hours, while I know I won't be alone in only reading it in ebook form. Looking forward to actually reading this post tomorrow when I finish the book.
Joseph Blaidd
85. SteelBlaidd
Soooo, finished CH 5 at lunch today.

Teared up with Lan at the Gap (thats two) and with Rand and Elayne's dinner, and at Loyal's mom explaining why she was argueing for opening the Book of Translation. It made me think of one of my favorite poems and forshadows Rands realization at the end for why not to kill the Dark One.

Good Timber
by Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.
Twinks
86. Mountain-Dancer
I loved the series!

But ... one thing that would have made the ending better is for in the end for Rand to have thought to himself that:

"One of my first stops will be to visit the Tinkers, to teach them the song"

Without that one single missing line, we simply just don't know if the Tinkers will find the song or not.
Twinks
87. inzey
This was a demanding, emotionally draining and great book to read, and I was almost vibrating with excitement the whole time I read it. Then I spent the last hundred pages crying.

This has always been my favorite book series, and I strongly believe that it will always be. I really liked the book, and felt really satisfied with it, at least for now. I might find things that I frown at when I re-read it, but regardless I really enjoyed the book.
Twinks
88. Ben W
The reason Mat and Padan Fain felt so... so... Deus ex Machina to me,
in spite of their past history, was because of the passages involving
the cleansing of Saidin - THE TAINT AND MASHADAR TOGETHER cancel each other totally. All the passages about Fain being something new that has never been in the pattern before were made null and void by a simple dagger between the ribs.

Fain, Mat, the Dark One, and Rand should have been in the prison
together during the metaphysical exposition and many world creation, all participating. Chronologically after Mat controls all the armies though, I would not give up those passages.

Egwene breaks my burly, manly, bearded heart into tears.

But in spite of how I think it should have gone with the other great evil of hate that has never been in the pattern before, I'm very satisfied on the whole.
Barry T
89. blindillusion
I finished the book a few days ago. I must say…I’m still trying to encompass it all. So many things happened in this book:

Loial – He had some of the best internal monologue in the entire series. Great, great writing here.

Tam – We were finally shown the best swordsman in the series…perhaps (I’ll come back to this). This man’s interactions with everyone he..err..interacted with throughout this book SHOWED us who Tam is as a person, a friend and a father. His understanding of the Void was…wondrous.

Lan – What can be said about Lan throughout this book? Was I surprised by his accomplishments? Not in the least. Perhaps Lan is the best swordsman in the series…I don’t suppose it really matters. As Rand said: everything was taken from this man and HE TOOK IT BACK!

Perrin – If it takes the combination of two souls to move between the Dream and the Real in the flesh…whose soul did Perrin acquire? One would assume it was Hopper, though I’m not one to make assumptions. I enjoyed his path through this book. I was truly happy that he found Faile alive and was able to have her Healed.

Mat – Completely lived up to my expectations as my favorite character. From my foxhole, there was not a single misstep throughout the entire book. His interactions with Tuon were spot on. I would like to know what Hawkwing had to say to her though.

Rand – Is there anything that can truly be said about Rand’s battle with the Dark One? It did not happen in the way I expected. I thought it played out perfectly. The true Last Battle turned out to be, for the most part, a philosophical debate. As Verin said…the battle would not happen as Rand expected. And it was exquisite…. (Oh..and kudos to a second Matrix-like plot point. Rand: I’m going to show them a world without you. Turns out it was horrible, but hey, Rand’s only human. And sure, I realize this is not the case…but it’s amusing…you know it is.)

Egwene – There aren’t really any words.

In all, this book was worth every moment I’ve spent waiting for it. Which, just to put it out there, has been half my life. I started reading this series because one day in the book store I grabbed the thickest book I could find, which just happened to be The Eye of the World. I’ve enjoyed every moment of the journey.

Leigh, thank you for all you’ve done here at Tor. Brandon, thank you for bringing us to the end of an Age. Team Jordan, thank you, thank you, thank you. Harriet, God bless. You didn’t have to do this for us, but you did for the love of your husband and his work. Thank you. James…thank you is not enough. You gave us your world. And what a world it has been.

Blind

looking forward to the re-read.
Twinks
90. Zeal
The book was wonderful, but was I the only one who missed Dobraine? He was such a prominent character and he didn't make an appearance at all.
F Shelley
91. FSS
Re: the tinkers and their song. The song doesn't exist. In the Aiel way-back machine we see thru Rand's eyes the beginning of that myth. They were half remembering stories of seed singing. I think the quote was something like...mygreatfather used to tell me stories of people coming for miles around to hear Aiel singing. We're off to discover what that was. And a myth was born...
Twinks
92. Androl
This book certainly marks a change for many of us. Echoing what Brandon Sanderson wrote on his blog, I will wake up tomorrow for the first time in nearly 20 years without a new WoT in my future. I enjoyed the book, and thopught the plot was a fitting end to the epic story RJ set out to tell. Here are some things I loved/hated about aMoL:

A few things I loved:

- Rand's final moments are certainly what I wanted to see happen. After the pain (physical, emotional, etc,) that he bore throughout the series, I certainly hoped that he would have a chance to just be a normal person for a while after the last battle.

- As others have said, such as @29, I would love to be a fly on the wall for the Hawkwing/Fortuona conversation. Mat's idea to set that up was brilliant. It might even help remedy the less agreeable parts of the Dragon's Peace.

- I have always been on the fence about Cadsuane. Becoming Amyrlin certainly seems like a fitting punishment for her. I can't imagine anything she would hate more than this. Replacing Egwene with her also solves the problem of having s very young Amyrlin who is so powerful that she lives (and remains Amyrlin) for 300 years.

- Egwene's new weave -- the Flame of Tar Valon -- was very moving. I hope one of the other Aes Sedai saw the weaves so it is not lost with her.


A few things I did not:

- I agree with what several others have written abou Mat's role here. He was brilliant in command and the plot devices Sanderson used to put him in charge were clever, but the ending of the Mat/Fain/Mashadar plotline was really weak. As I neared the end of the enormous battle chapter, I remember thinking that we should have seen Fain. The confrontation as written was very anti-climactic. If the Fain plot line wasn't going to play a bigger role elsewherein the book, he should have been in the cave with Rand and Moridin.

- The solar eclipse seemed meaningless in the plot. After the early prophecy about "twice dawns the day", I expected the eclipse to play a bigger role. People couldn't really see the sun because of the storm anyway.

- I always wanted a known good character to turn to the Shadow. It happened in the AOL, when Ishamael and Demandred changed sides. Why not now? We certainly were surprised that some characters turned out to be darkfriends, but we never saw anybody that we new for a fact had served the light willingly go over to the shadow becaue of jealousy, greed, lust, or any other temptation. I thought Bashere was the first, but the compulsion storyline shot that down.

- Like many of you, I loved Lan in this book, especially his battle with Demandred. Keeping him alive after he impaled himself on Demandred's sword seems forced to me, though.

- I agree with @68 about Moiraine and Nynaeve sitting around for most of the book. I was thrilled to have Moiraine back, but other than her speech at the Field of Merillor near the start of the book, she doesn't seem to do much. She probably helped Rand come up with the trap he used on Moridin, but I would like to have seen some of this interaction. She seemed as wooden to me as the characters in Rand's "no Dark One" vision.

- I thought the lava fire hose was cheesy. I really liked Androl with his many used for gateways, but the lava was jumping the shark for me.


Some speculation:

- Regarding the Tinkers and the song -- does anybody think that what Rand was singing when he was in the garden with Mat and Tuon was "the Song?" We know that Lews Therin knows the Song, so perhaps Rand will teach it anonymously to the Tinkers at some point after he rides into the sunset.

- Regarding Mat's death @46 and @54 - Hawkwing was referring to the balefire incident in Caemlyn. Mat died there, and the link ith the Horn was broken. Rand's balefire brought Mat back.


Despite the nits I mentioned above, I really did enjoy the book, and the series as a whole. I feel like I have grown up with these characters, because in a very real was, I have. I have probably read (or listened to) the series 10 times. If my math is correct, I have literally spent more than 100 full 24 hour days with them. Thank you RJ, Harriett, and Brandon for enriching my life by creating this wonderful story with all of its highs, it lows, and everything in between.
Twinks
93. boo boo
Sarmis @ 84 -
I too would like to do the same, but I have no experience with this. Any tips? Thanks.
Kimani Rogers
94. KiManiak
Wow. Just, wow. An "exquisite" finale. Now I finally get to reward myself with Leigh's review and the comments.

Still have a lot of questions and I think maybe I missed somethings?

Let's see what Leigh and the folks have said...
Twinks
95. ZanyYooper
OH what I ride it has been. Just finished the first read, working on re-read, but damn.... still in shock. It has been a wild ride, and thank you Robert and Brandon for the good times
Twinks
96. esolo
Oh my lord. I actually cried when Egwene went down. She was always my favorite of the powerpuff girls.
Mo -
97. Astus
Read it in a a blur. Thank you RJ, for creating and building this world. May you rest in peace. Thank you Brandon, for taking on this monumental task and giving us a great ending. Bravo.
Thank you Team Jordan. It has been a great ride.

It just seemed to me that most characters seemed to die or survive in pairs/groups. Siuan/Bryne, Gawyn/Egwene, Beldeine and her Ashaman, Bashere/Deira. On the opposite we have Thom/Moiraine, Mat/Tuon, Lan/Nynaeve, Galad/Berelain, Perrin/Faile, Rand/Min/Aviendha/Elayne. Although Elayne is an interesting case, she lost her Warder but she belonged to another group.

We didn't really see much of pairs being broken up amongst our main cast. If one died, they both died. Although, I suppose you could count Ituralde and Alsalam as a pair in which one died. Logain and his Aes Sedai too although that doesn't really stick out in my mind.

Just a thought, haha.
Twinks
98. Kartikeya GS
Okay, first off - it's over! After 11 long years (for me), I no longer have a WoT book to look forward to with feverish anxiety. But, whether intentional or not, the final book did not resolve a whole lot of issues leaving ample opportunity for continued speculation and theorizing for the years to come!

There were many parts of the book I absolutely adored and (inevitably) many parts that I disliked or took exception to.

Stuff I liked:
(a) Lan behaeding Demandred and holding the head aloft to the battling forces. That was fifty shades of epic right there. And it was just freakin' befitting that the great Demandred falls to a person who could not even channel. Sometimes, it just about sheer cussed determination.
(b) Androl's Gateways. Really inspired stuff - both at the Black Tower and the Lavaland magic.
(c) Rand and Mat's "who came out on top" debate.
(d) Egwene become the Flame of Tar Valon.
(e) Perrin killing Lanfear - take that you sick old bat!
(f) Graendal's and Moghedien's fate - brilliant! Death is simply too good for those two.
(g) The moment when it revealed that Callandor was to be a trap for Moridin! (certainly NEVER saw that one coming).

And now, unfortunately, for the not so great stuff:
(a) Nothing happening. Seriously, I always thought the book would a revelation a minute, with each long-awaited plot resolutions in each chapter. Aside from the Black Tower and the Seanchan no real resolutions took place until the last 200 pages of the book.
(c) Logain did not step over Rand's dead body laughing.
(d) Moiraine came back and...did squat. Seriously, you wait until the penultimate book to reintroduce her and she does not do anything! (okay, okay, Dragon's Peace, etc. but really, that' not what we had in mind)
(e) The Forsaken - alive until the very last pages...and then flicked off like flies in a hurry.
(f) Okay, please, someone tell me WHAT THE HELL THE ENDING MEANT! How did Rand switch bodies? What point is there is becoming close to everyone again only to leave them? Why did the Dark One simply not kill Rand (or any Moiraine or Nynaeve for that matter) and be done with it instead of my dream vs your dream?The Dark One is not dead, so he will eventually be broken open again...sigh.
(g) And the Dark One. I guess this can happen - you build up a character as so epically bad and then it's tough to have your hero just up and beat his butt (Garth Nix, Paolini anyone? No one? Not surprised). The Dark One was so...so powerless. The infinite power of evil did not have the foresight to have some guards (other than one mentally addled helper) hang around within Shayol Gul in order to waylay our intrepid Trio . C'mon.

But I think this is just the sadness talking. I miss WoT already. Over the past decade, it was always there...

I have to thank Team Jordan so very much for their effort. It was a gargantuan challenge and they rose to it magnificently. I think even Christopher Tolkien did not have as difficult a task in piecing together the culmination of what is undoubtedly the best modern Fantasy series there is (there I said it!).

Please please please consider the outlier novels. I think WoT is too large and beautiful a series to ever die. So many stories, so many possibilities, it would a wonderful. Hey, if I sound desperate...er...oh, shush! It's been a ordeal for us all!

There are no beginnings or endings. But this ending sure leaves behind a large gaping hole which no series will ever even come close to filling.
Twinks
99. RobertMee
Egwene = DAMN... yes. Certainly sad, but she went out the way she should have, leading the White Tower in a last-ditch effort against one of the Forsaken. I think what hit me MORE with her was the counter-weave to BALEFIRE. I mean, holy CRAP. Even to the end, the SuperKids were doing things thought impossible in the Age of Legends. While I hated Egwene for a while (as only a teenaged male could...) over the last 4 books, I really came to appreciate her. I wonder if she will be chosen to be tied to the Horn the next time around.
Mo -
100. Astus
There were a few funny moments in the book even if I can't recall them all. From Mat's chandelier comment about Min to Moghedien finally showing up, taking disguise as Demandred and having a dragon fired at her almost immediately. Then later when she manages to escape that, she gets caught by the Seanchan. I might not have been too hung up if she had managed to escape totally.


As for the Dark One. He just generally felt underwhelming to me. He just seemed too human for a primordial force. Too petty. That's one thing that I didn't like although I don't think that could have been helped as it was set in motion a while back. Even having the Creator talk (or some such) in TEOTW was just cheesy to me. THE ALL CAPS DIDN'T HELP.

Fain also seemed to be rushed in. His confrontation with Mat was abrupt. The Slayer/Perrin battle had considerable build up whereas was just a blink and you'll miss it moment.
Gerd K
101. Kah-thurak
As far as a confrontation with a force of ultimate evil can be realized without seeming ridicoulous, it was done quite well in this book, I guess.

On the whole the book was "OK" in my opinion. Sadly it had no brilliance in it, which I had hoped for, as some of WoT books did have brilliant moments (Rands self revelation moment on Dragonmount in TGS for example or Perrin defending the Two Rivers in Shadow Rising), but I guess the baggage accumulated in the last 13 books, including the strong indications where the story would have to go and which things would have to happen before the end did not leave much room for brilliance.

So in the end the book was the logical end to the Wheel of Time, a fitting and satisfying final volume, which was - naturally - not able to repair the serious flaws that were made with the series after the first few books.

One thing I really did not like though, but which again could have been foreseen, was that so few major characters died in the last battle. But using the death of a character as powerfull element in a story was never something Jordan could do, and Sanderson obviously was not in the position to change this.
Twinks
102. Tirf
So, it's finally over. I might be a bit biased in my opinion as I really, really didn't enjoy the books after the 7th or the 8th, I can't even recall which, but I had to keep on reading. I would like to say that I liked it, I would like to say it was exquisite. I would even like to tell you that I loathed it. I didn't. All I really got was a kind of bland, mild dislike, no great feelings, which I consider even worse than all-out-loathing.

All the way from the start. I just couldn't really get into the book. At first I really just looked forward to the Mat-chapters, let me see some nice general-action, more seanchan and Tuon. And when I got to those I just really hoped they would end. Never before in reading the Wheel of Time have I been so badly thrown out of a book. I just can't but help think that Sanderson didn't really grasp Mat as a character. The jokes felt clumsy and not really funny, the Seanchan generally felt bland and downright stupid. Meh.

Which brings me to the writing in general. Which was downright bad IMO. This was most likely the reason I couldn't get immersed in the book. Clumsy is probably the best way to describe the writing. It was kind of something that I did expect. Too much baggage, too many plotlines, not enough time, what can you do?

There were parts I did like. I'll be honest. When Mat got to be the general. The battles were nice, Mat vs. Demandred clashing with armies. I almost got warm and fuzzy feelings about it. I almost didn't even mind Mat's character being off, I almost didn't mind the general quality of the writing, and for quite a large part of these fights I do think the quality did improve, even if the pace was a bit sluggish.

However, the parts I didn't like. The first to come in mind was Egwenes anti-balefire, every weave has a counter-weave or something. I can't recall anything like that ever mentioned or discussed, leading my reaction to be something along the lines of "Wait, what?" The emotional reaction of Egwenes and Gawyns death turning into mild dismay and me just shrugging them off. Not that I was really fond of either character to begin with. No sadness, no screams of joy and shouting "FINALLY." just.. a shrug, okay, they're dead.

The absolutely worst part was the "philosophical" debate of Rand vs. The Dark One. I just couldn't grasp it. It seemed so non-sensical. Even kind of Deus ex Machina, what with the reason why Rand couldn't just be done with all the BS and kill the DO. And while I've always symphatised with Moridin, this book just strengthened those feelings. I always had a feeling that Moridin wanted oblivion. Freedom from the endless cycle. And just for himself if that was possible. That being impossible just really highlighted to me how much I view the cosmos of WoT as fundamentally flawed to a depressing degree. I couldn't but root for Moridin. So Rand's victory was to me mostly well, a bad thing, especially considering how it happened. The wheel turns, and they have to go through the same things over again, while it was expected and the only way t0 really end it, I can't really be happy about it. And really, nothing on Moridins fate? I had really hoped that in the final pages there would've been something, an unexpected opportunity, a way Moridin could have gotten what he wanted for himself.

So. In the end, it did go the way I excpeted it would go. I knew I wouldn't like it. That is what I get for rooting the bad guys, Go Seanchan and Moridin. At least the Seanchan got nice bonuses on the treaty, I'm just really bummed about the treatment they generally got in the book.
Twinks
103. Lynd
It's six in the morning, and I've just finished. Like many, I'm feeling sad -- I started reading these at 14, and I'm 31 now, so these books (and the anticipation surrounding them) have been important to me for over half my life. I feel a bit at loose ends.

I loved the book. I'm one of those people who basically sobbed for the last 100 pages... starting with Egwene. I did not see that coming and it hit me really hard. Gah. Loved the Flame of Tar Valon imagery, though.

The piece that worked the least for me was Fain. He was set up as this sort of dark trickster, Mat's foil, and now it feels like his only purpose was to provide Mat with something to do so that there could be a sort of Super Boy Final Defeat triptych at Shayol Ghul. That was disappointing.

I'm looking forward to reading everyone's comments over the next days/weeks. The fan community has long been one of the very best things about WoT; I don't expect that will change. Thank you all. :)
Twinks
104. Inzey
Just a thought, that I hadn't seen anyone else voice. In Aviendha's POV she mentions eating more and drinking a lot of water. Could she be pregnant already?
Jamie Watkins
105. Treesinger
(Puts Hands over his eyes so he doesn't see spoilerific comments.) I just scrolled to the bottom quickly so I could leave a comment and I can't believe that so many have commented already. Did that many of you use undue influence and receive advance copies? Or do you have advanced curcuits implanted in your brain so that you can inhale and digest a 800+ page book instantanously? How can you enjoy a book when you read it so fast? This is the very last WOT time ever (pauses briefly to reflect on that thought) and I plan on reading and enjoying this book slowly. By the time I finish in a month or two there will be, what, a thousand comments already, at any rate, far too many to read all of them and I want to say how much I have enjoyed re-reading along with Leigh and wish everyone a Happy New Year.
Susan Brownhill
106. SusanB
To Harriet: Thank you. My dearest & most sincere thanks for allowing the completion of Mr. Jordan's masterpiece. I feel honored to have read it.
To Brandon: Thanky you & your family for all the time you have invested in completing this work. I think you did a masterful job. I thoroughly enjoyed your writing.
To Team Light...(meant to say Team Jordan, I guess my mistake says a lot about how I feel about you): Thank you for all your hard work in seeing this work completed.
To Leigh: I absolutely loved your review. You put into words what I felt about the book. I think the people who don't understand your review didn't read the book, because it made perfect sense to me.
To whom ever decided to have Thom's word choice debate: Thank you. My husband kept asking me how the book was & I couldn't find the right words to answer him with. Awesome, perfect, heartbreaking, sad, triumphant, it was all these things and none of these things. Thom gave me the word I was looking for. The book and the series as a whole are exquisite.

Now for the book....I am heartbroken & proud of Egwene's death. I didn't want her to die, I wanted her to lead the AS into a new golden age. But at the same time i do see it fitting that she and Taim had to die...clear away the rubble, start afresh. Allow the towers to move forward together with amyrlins of equal status. And I think Cadsuane is an awesome choice for amyrlin.
I loved Logain's storyline and his change at the end.
I really loved Androl/Pevara's storyline & love story. It felt very real to me and gives me great hope for the future of male/female channelers. Though I was a little sad that androl didn't open a tiny gateway in Taim's heart & kill him. I thought that would be fitting.

Loved Olver and the horn.
Glad Lan survived.

Something about the scene near the end with Rand & I assume Alivia....makes me think that Alivia is Nakomi. Is this possible? I know she came from the seanchan, but could she have gone to their land with Hawkwing's decendants? Could she be Jenn Aiel?

I wished we could have seen the tinkers sing the song of growing & have that make some sort of difference in the battle.

I'm a little sad that rand just rode off into the sunset. I wished we could have seen a happier ending with him & his women. And I feel especially sad that Tam thinks he is dead. But I understand he could not have lived a normal life if people new he was still alive.

I loved that Birgette (sp?) returned to the horn & then was born again! That was perfect & that Noal became a hero of the horn too! I was balling over that.

Speaking of crying...I started crying while waking my kids to school this morning just thinking about the book. I think it will be a few days before I fully recover.

Again....thank you to everyone who made this happen. And Leigh...I look forward to rereading this with you.
Katie Frey
107. TalithaSedai
I'll have more to say later, but for now...Mat got out lucky with his name. I mean.. Darbinda?? Is there a joke here I am not getting? Because ugghhhhh, lol.

Edit:
I thought someone said this earlier, but looking over the comments again, I don't see it mentioned...

You could perhaps pronounce Knotai as "Naughty" or at least as something close to that.
Twinks
108. Latasha
@98 I didn't see it as useless for Rand trying to get close to everyone and then leave them. Giving away your things is one of the things people do when they know they are going to die, and one other character does mention that they know what he is doing and that he should allow the possibility for life (I forget who at the moment).

I loved Rand and Mat's debate as well, and longed for the reunions that hadn't come, like others.

Loved Androl and Pevara.

My favorite characters to read have always been the Forsaken. I was a little annoyed at Demandred's blindness to Rand's not being at the battle, but upon further reflection, think it fits. The mistake the Forsaken all make is undervaluing the people of the current age and the Pattern's ability to provide what is needed for balance. Demandred, already blinded to any mission outside of Lews Therin, cannot think of a general capable of matching his forces without legends age knowledge (which is true). He just thinks Rand is the only possibility.

The thing that pulled me out of the book a little was the rule of three. Gawyn, Galad, Lan. Lan is always awesome, but by being the 3rd, his victory is assured.

Graendal's plan with the generals was brilliant. Being under her own compulsion to serve Aviendha was also a great move.

Moghedien's spider-like personality that she was so proud of, was likewise her downfall. I appreciated the symmetry.

Lanfear seemed really weird to me. I liked that Perrin finally took care of her, though.

Waiting for my friends to finish so I can talk about it...
Twinks
109. GenPender
I've been reading this story for 15+ years now, over half my life, and can't even say how terribly disappointed I was in AMOL. I'll start with what others have mentioned, the ending, or lack thereof. I understood coming in that there would be loose ends not tied off, and accepted that. Who Nakomi was, what else Moiraine asked for in Finnland, that I can let go without needing to know. But those loose ends shouldn't be people. I want to know if Mat and Tuon ever love each other, if Faile and Min are going to have children, what the Two Rivers will be like, and what's going to happen to these people ten, twenty, two hundred years down the line. Instead, it was like RJ had a list of major characters and checked off "Dead" or "Alive" by everyone's name, and that was that. The series doesn't owe me anything, so it's stupid to feel cheated by it, but that's absolutely how I felt. Rand could fall off his (stolen) horse and break his neck one hour after the book closes for all we know. It was a wretched way to leave the characters I've been following and have grown so close to over the last decade and a half.

Second, I also felt cheated by Egwene's death. That's something I never thought I'd say, seeing as she was my least favorite of the major characters, but she deserved better than that. Lan gets run through, Galad gets his arm chopped off in the middle of the enemy army, Talmanes runs around for hours with a Thakan'dar wound, and they all survive, while Egwene dies from overdrawing/wearing herself out? Give me a break. And taking out Taim and a bunch of nameless Ayyad isn't good enough, either. I don't care what his new status is or what sa'angreal he was using, Egwene for Taim is not a fair trade, and I never got the sense, what with there being tens of thousands of Seanchan who still hadn't seen battle, that Egwene's sacrifice was necessary to turn the tide. And how convenient was it that all the above-the-cut talent who was killed off, with the exception of Rhuarch, was either paired up (Egwene/Gawyn, Siuan/Gareth) or romantically unattached (Birgitte)?

But the book's biggest flaw, IMO, was that it was all doing and no feeling. Sure, someone might feel angry or relieved or worried at some point, but those emotions were hardy ever the driving force behind any determinative actions. Instead, everything over the last third of the book was motivated by survival, either of the individual or the army, and that destroys individualism and agency. When everyone acts for the same reason, they're all the same.

This was especially pointed given the importance attached to love in the climax of TGS. In this entire book, did we ever hear anyone say the words "I love you"? I can't think of any instance, with Perrin thinking "I love Faile" whilst being Compelled the closest we come. Had Egwene's death come while trying to reach Gawyn out of love, it would have been exponentially more meaningful. The same could be said for Tuon returning to the battlefield, or half a dozen other events. Instead, all mention of love was seemingly purged from the story--even Egwene and Gawyn's wedding was cut (and did her parents ever make it?)

There are other qualms I have with the book--some minor, some less so--but nothing I couldn't have overlooked. Unfortunately, the above was more than enough to leave a sour taste in my mouth. I remember reading other fantasy series, and feeling hollow at the end because I wouldn't be able to read about those characters anymore. This time, the hollowness is from potential unfulfilled, and smacks of dissatisfaction. Short of a Dark Tower-type ending, I have a hard time seeing how I could have been more disappointed. Like Egwene, the series deserved a better end.
Twinks
110. ilsorcio79
just finished it, need sleep! took a couple of days off work to read it, like most of you i started reading this when it first started, at the age of 13, it was hard at first then by my mid teens, started re reading it since, and never put it down waiting for the next book, and if that took too long starting again from book one! And now it is over, i have mixed feelings, a part of me has finished with the end of the series, yet a part of me is now released from what seemed like a never ending wait for the end!

thank you leigh for the fabulous re read, and looking forward to the re read of the final book.

And also A MASSSIVE thank you to MR Jordan and MR Sanderson for what i consider a wonderful masterpiece of fantasy! Whether or not i can find a story that comes close to this for me, i do not know, but if i do not i will be forever grateful of going on this journey, that countless times took me away from real life, to a place where nothing else mattered, but that what i was reading!

But just quietly, i am a little bit sad that it has ended!
Twinks
111. GenPender
In looking back, it strikes me that my initial post was rather harsh. There were many parts of the book I liked--Thom finally being a badass again, the Roederan trolling, so many threads from the past resurfacing--but the ending and lack of distinct emotion throughout really drained the book of any momentum or goodwill it managed to accumulate. Still very grateful to RJ for giving us the series, and to Brandon and the rest for finishing it.
Tomas Gerst
112. IamnotSpam
Just finished this morning, could not take off from work the last two days and have been dealing with the crud as well but I had to spend the rest of the time plowing through this ending, eager for each new detail of the story's end. Yes, I can see exquisite as the best word to describe this story. Yet there are places where I definitely wanted more. I almost want to anticipate the director’s cut to be coming out soon. It felt like a great movie that had to come under a time limit and so scenes had to be thrown out or only given lip service. I will wait for the read through to comment/discuss more. I also wanted the tinkers to find the song but I thought Loiol’s song of growth during one of the battles could be the one. I liked what Gawyn tried to accomplish but thought that some where the acknowledgement of the rings acquirement should have been noted in one of the interactions between Egwene and Tuon. What can I say I have been reading and rereading this series since the start over twenty-plus years ago; longer then I was married, longer then my children have been alive and I want it to be all and everything that I loved when I first began the story. That’s all, but I am “Satisfied”. Everyone take care until the reread.
Thomas
Twinks
113. Shiatan
I haven't finished the book yet so didn't read your spoiler review yet. I have to ask though, does anyone else feel like all the characters have become over exagerated versions of themselves. I'm glad that he took up the task of completing the series and the story is still great. But all the conversations and characters seem wrong to me now. Mat is the biggest example I can think of, he almost seems.. campy is the word that comes to mind.
Twinks
114. Uberpluses
I agree, it was a wonderful ending to my favorite series of all time. Still had some complaints here and there(not bad and not many tho), but nothing that distracted from the whole. My heart tho, it broke when Egwene died, she really deserved to live, or at the very least the hill that she died on should have remained standing as a monument to the supreme and beautiful sacrifice she made killing Taim. That one point is probably my only real complaint with the book.
Andrew
115. trickster001
I soo LOL'd at redarms stealing Mat's tabac and finding the horn and squeeling like a bitch. was awesome
Andrew
116. trickster001
oh yeah best scene. mat overlooking battle " just give me five mins alone" then proceeds to KICK ASS!!!!!
Kat Blom
117. pro_star
okay...that Last Battle chapter...had me wanting to throw the book across the room, stick in in the freezer, possibly scream and curse...

Instead I settled for set the book down, vent gibberish on facebook and grab the book again. My boyfriend was quite amused. Though amazed I blazed through a 900+ page book in two days (while working too!) So be forewarned, there's some sleep madness going on with me right now.

I am sad. Sad the series is over. Sad we won't get to see what happens next. And when did the steam wagons become reliable enough to use in transport? I must have missed that memo?

For a while though I was thinking GRRM got involved in the writing process somehow...there was a lot of me going "NOOOO!!!!!!!! oh wait, not dead yet..."
Twinks
118. Lynd
@117 pro_star re:
For a while though I was thinking GRRM got involved in the writing process somehow...there was a lot of me going "NOOOO!!!!!!!! oh wait, not dead yet...
Hah, I had the same thought... multiple times.
Twinks
119. DougL
Okay, so I get some people saying that Moiraine and Nynaeve did not do much in this book. That is false. They did not have much screentime, that is true.

1) Moiraine. Gets the Peace of the Dragon for Rand. Rand is walking out of that tent when she shows up. Then she does a jedi mind trick and the Peace of the Dragon happens.

She and Nynave establish a respected annoying mentor relationship, like Amys and Sorilea. I was waiting more for her reunion with Nynaeve than I was with Lan.

Then she goes and stands ready with the Dragon Reborn to ambush the Shadow and kill or trap the Dark One. Then she gets it done. Rand has here there, mostly because she will kill him if he falls to the Shadow, or at least try to.

2) Nynaeve establishes that she is super healer. Talmanes is up around and fighting later in the book because of her.

She is staying in Rand's camp, not with the Aes Sedai. It was kind of understated, but WOW. She is firmly in his camp, no matter what waffling she earlier showed.

Then she saves the world by saving Alanna with herbs and sewing, right in front of the woman who had basically mocked her for those very things heh

Then she helps punt the Dark One back into the void.

Then she puts on a crown.

They both did a lot, but didn't take much screen time to do it.
Twinks
120. Bernardette
I've only read one person mention this in the thread but....

Lan BOWING to Tam over his mastery of the blade. This WHOLE time, I've been waiting and waiting for a description of Tam fighting in battle, with a blade, and it finally came. He was glorious. My only quibble is that I don't think that we ever find out who exactly he was -- if he's so amazing with the blade that LAN is impressed, if he practiced with both his hands like Rand notes, if he is so good that he basically kills scores of Trollocs single handedly and brings a corner of the battlefield to a standstill in awe of his talent... I just think there was way more to him that just never got explored. Still, it just made the whole book complete for me to have Lan witness Tam's excellence.

Gawyn was a twerp and lost my favored status three books ago; I'm just glad that his death served a purpose.

Egwene's final battle scene was the best in the whole book although I was hoping that it would be a final showdown with one of the Forsaken, rather than Taim. Still, I get the whole "Battle of the White Tower against the Creator of New Dreadlords" symmetry of the scene and she is just perfect. A fountain of crystal, healing the cracks in the universe and vaporizing hundreds of Sharan and Dreadlord channelers? awesome.

Finally, a MAJOR quibble. Rand getting to skedaddle off into the wild blue yonder and leaving behind the women who love him and his responsibilities to his children. As he's leaving he has this fond moment where he wonders which of the women he loves will follow him and find him. Dude. One basically ruined her legs and feet for (maybe) years and will have to shepherd the reconstruction of the Aiel culture, one is pregnant and the ruler of the second most powerful nation on the continent, one is truthsayer to an empress who will probably raze every town on the face of the planet to find her if she runs off looking for you. Um, i think that none of them will go after you. So, silly/offensive? dunno.

Overall, it was a satisfying ending if somewhat workmanlike prose and a bit of a rush to tie off most of the loose ends. There will be plenty of fan fiction and maybe even some real spin off stories that will fill in holes or continue to tell the story of the world. Still, this was well done.
Mike Giroux
121. RMGiroux
Finished it - liked the contents a lot, though not the packaging.

Back to the contents, one thing that puzzled me: when Lan fought Demandred, didn't he have a foxhead medallion? If so, where was it when Lan was healed? Did I miss something?

Back to the physical book: I *hated* the packaging. A book that heavy and with such a small font really needed to be an ebook, for my ancient eyes... Many grumbles in Luddite Harriet's direction.
Mike Giroux
122. RMGiroux
Oh, one more minor thing: I had hoped that a tinker would overhear Rand's song in front of Tuon, or that they would learn the song in some other way.

That's the one unresolved thread I wish we'd seen sorted.
wesley
123. wagman26
Twenty years later, and I am satisfied with the series. For me, The Shadow Rising was the peak, and I wish RJ would have finished the series, but BS did a wonderful job with a hard situation.
Twinks
124. Broken Hearted
This is a sad day.
Rand deserved better than the weird ending he got (please, like he would ever leave them, though it does seem he will come back? Anyway. It was weird).
Worst of all, Cadsuane being Amyrlin means not only does she have power (yeah she will whine about it but she does not have to do it, she's just upset about having to interact with people in order to bully them), it also means that the bloody books long let's-reform-the-White-Tower sequence will not take. Egwene deserved better than to have her work come crashing down on her. Also, the White Tower and the Black Tower will probably have a Civil War. Ultimately, this message of the series is: while in some cases the good guys do triumph, bullies win. The Seanchen are in the best situation, and so is Cadusane. Just be a jerk and wait and good things will come to you.
Sam
125. bluecansam
I doubt I'll ever read as good a series as WoT. Even though the messages it contains about nobility, love, the nature of conflict and how that defines us aren't unique, the characters are.

Brandon Sanderson said it, how he picked up the series as a teenager, and at that time, he loved the series for the adventure, the excitement, but as he grew older, it became about something else. I echo those sentiments.

The end satisfied me because, in this stage of my life, I understand that the series, as are most well written, truly good books, are about philosophical, mental and emotional conflict, and how those things shape and reveal who we are.

Everyone knows the saying about how it isn't the end that is important, but the journey. Well, I'd add to that, that it isn't the end, but the journey, and who you are at the end of it. In WoT, for me, all those things harmonize with my expectations and desires for this story.

Anyway, just my humble opinion.
Twinks
126. E Ric
I generally concur with you Leigh...so, nice review :)

I was a little surprised that you didn't make a clever comment about the horror of Birgitte getting chopped up then the gloriousness of her returning as a hero of the horn to save Elayne.

Overall it wasn't as poetic as RJ would have done it, but it did get finished. I have a feeling if RJ was to have written it, we would have gotten at least 1 or 2 more books. That being said, we should not understate the quality of Sanderson's, and team Jordan's, accomplishment in finishing this series. The book definitely had an artistic ebb and flow that lead the reader on a great, INTENSE ride.

It is a testament to the greatness of Jim's work that it inspired such love and belief that his work outlived him. Major props to Sanderson for doing what I thought no one could.
Twinks
127. MikeTimbers
Loved to be able to finally read the ending after >20 years of reading it, hated that I've read the end. Maybe A Way of Kings can compensate.

I didn't think Mat was off; maybe I just liked New Mat so didn't care or notice. Enjoyed his and Tuon's interplay a lot and want some fan fic to live up to the Far Snows Dance please!

Eggy dying like that was glorious but sad. Her counter-weave was a little contrived but beautiful nonetheless.

Not surprised Lan could beat Demandred but amazed Demandred let him get that close. "No, I expect you to die, Mr. Bond!"

Disappointed that Mat killed Fain so easily but then we've seen other heavily-featured characters killed off just as quickly (Masema).

The Hinderstap plot was brilliant - absolutely did not see that coming until Grady used the village name.

Thought Androl's use of the double gateway was great but somewhat unbelievable as was making tiny gateways to catch balefire, liked his by-play with Pevara.

The resolution for the corruption of the Black Tower was too understated and sudden. I get that most of the bad guys - turned or otherwise - had left but the remaining good guys shold not have been a match for the remaining bad guys.

Need to re-read it now that I can take my time because some of it did not make sense. But overall, great job!
Twinks
128. Kyfe
I disagree that Mat and Perrin's roles at the end were disjointed. Mat was forever not wanting to be a hero, this is how he would have wanted to participate in the end. Perrin was more solid (read: trustworthy for this particular act) than Mat to take out Lanfear, and the battle between Perrin and Slayer is better correlated to the Last Battle and Mat, not Mat vs. Shaisam. Mat vs. Shaisam = Perrin vs. Lanfear.
Ashley Fox
129. A Fox
Dazed, sleep deprived & emotionally drained.

And glad for it. Half way through I was rather worried: clumsy sentances, silly mistakes, characters that that simply did not exist or were wooden. Argh. But it pulled through: I strongly suspect this happened where Jordan's notes/scenes were more fleshed out/written in rough. At times I found myself slowly reasured, getting comfy then BAM. Back to not-quite-right.

When Elyane asks "Where is Norry?" I sympathised...greatly!

On one hand I am pleased with this, the story, the completion...on the other. There are a lot of faults here.

And in a strange way that sort of encompasses the heart of the battle between Rand and the DO...and with humanity itself.
Twinks
130. Borgen
A great ending, all in all. I think that Fain had too little time in the book compared to the buildup the entire series. It was not bad, just not perfect. That part ending to quickly. The some with the Black Tower incident.
All in all, the best series ever!
Twinks
131. Jonellin Stonebreaker
Dear Leigh,

It was wonderful to finally meet you at the book release party. I started reading my copy (thanks for the autograph!) on the train and didn't stop until 5:00 a.m. (if not for the pesky deposition I had Tuesday, I would have taken the day to read...).

What an amazing ride it's been. The true Last Battle was surprisingly what I thought it would be like from the moment the cover was unveiled,
the only difference being that I thought that Moridin would take the part of the Champion of the Dark, and that the metaphorical Battle would be reflected in the physical battle, mirroring that first fight at Falme.

Androl and Pevara... Made of Awesome in so many ways.

Tam, Lan,Demandred....the question of who is the blademaster of the ages has been answered authoritatively. The Trakand boys were thoroughly outclassed.

Egwene...she was annoying in life, but if she doesn't become a Hero of the Horn for what she did, the selection process has some serious flaws.

The Great Captains.... I felt cheated that we never got to see the what they could truly do when given the resources of a continent, but the terror I felt when it looked like they were all ultra deep cover Darkfriends!

While I agree with previous commenters that too many loose ends were left and that certain deaths and confrontations we were looking forward to we're given short shrift, overall it was a satisfying conclusion.

The final WOT re-read will be epic, and once again, thank you for this community.
Twinks
132. Hafty
Hey all

So pleased with the end of the series.

I just wanted to comment on a few posts I have read. I notice a few people mentioned they were dissatisfied with the resolution of the Dark One. They were upset that the whole thing would just happen again in the future. I didn't read it this way. Rand sealed the bore. He didn't patch it up or force it shut. He actually sealed it. Doesn't that mean that the pattern won't repeat itself unless someone does what Lanfear did and tear open the bore again?

Or is that the pattern? Someone opens the bore, the dragon seals it and then the dragon reborn closes it? Hmm. Thoughts, anyone?
Anthony Pero
133. anthonypero
@54: Which doesn't make any sense, actually. He would have been refering to Mat's balefire ressurection. If the link was severed when he died then, it should have been unsevered when Rahvin was balefired, as if Mat's death had never happened. I was unsatisfied with this part, I have to admit. One of a few places. But overall, I was very satisfied.
Twinks
134. Tamyrlin79
Wow, that was awesome. A few quibbles re: if breaking the seals before "the light" would served the Dark One, why didn't Taim ever do it? I can only think 'for leverage,' which he'd lose once he broke them. Also, wanted more epilogue regarding "what happens after," obviously. Also hated that moghedien was captured by Seanchan (without knowing who she actually was, of course), but glad this is balanced by the Dragon's side/Aiel having Graendal, with the advantage that they KNOW it is Graendal and she is under Compulsion with no reason to hold anything back from her beloved mistress Aviendha. Moghedien has already proven that she's able to "hold things back" while in an a'dam, so I'm not certain the Seanchan would be able to get at all her AoL knowledge out of her, even if they knew to ask for it.

Also wanted more explanation re: how Rand now channels Pattern Threads of Reality (TM), or how he ended up in Moridin's body and vice versa. I do hope he runs across the Tinkers in his travels and teaches them The Song. Also would have liked more about Androl and Pevara's little channeling mixup when they were linked that allowed Pevara to also channel (using Androl's Talent...) while Androl was still in control of the circle.

Hated HATED Egwene's death, epic though it was. Though, honestly, Gawyn I was actually...not happy, exactly, because I WAS hoping Egwene would get to him in time or that Galad would get him to Egwene (or any aes sedai) in time, but was nonetheless satisfied in a "foolish fools getting what they deserve for being a Light-blinded fool" kind of way. Because seriously. Gawyn hasn't been foolish all of ONE time in this whole series: when he came to his senses enough to go back and save Egwene from the Seanchan Bloodknives. Still, his wrecklessness did keep Demandred occupied for a bit, saving more Light-side forces so there is a bit of a silver lining to his foolishness.

Re: the old question of Nakomi, I always assumed she was one of the ghosts of the Jenn Aiel hanging around Rhuidean (for some unexplained reason, obviously). Not sure why it was ever really a debate.

However, more relevant, I think, is, "Who was the gray-haired woman Rand didn't recognize when he carried Moridin out of the Pit of Doom and collapsed?" Was that supposed to be Alivia? If so, then, why didn't he recognize her or her voice? Maybe this was a second ghost-Nakomi appearance, since she's decribed as looking kinda Aiel?

I'm still in the shock of it, having just finished. So, I'm sure there'll be other things that come to mind as the whole of it begins to settle in a bit.
Twinks
135. LetThemBeHeroes
Just finished the book last night, and I had to sleep off the myriad buff and debuff effects. But I feel better now..but I still tear up at Rhuarc and Sarene..AND I THOUGHT THAT PASSIONATE LOVE VIEWING WOULD BE AWESOMELY NICE!! What a subversion..

I cried quite a bit..maybe I was jaded by other works wherein you can actually guess who is likely to die and who is more or less decked in plot armor, but DAMN Team Jordan had to pull off Everyone Can Die. I liked (and hated) how familiar names got offed as if an aside. But Egwene did go off in as brilliant fashion (if not more) as Rashima Kerenmosa.

And Mat. Is. Awesome. I shared Grady's disappointment at sending townsfolk to their deaths..and then came the name of the town..and that was a Chekhov's Army. I DIDN'T THINK OF THAT!! And damn if Mat wasn't just an awesomeMarshall-General. But I do agree with you Leigh that Mat's confrontation with Fain could have been built on better..even casual mention or errant thoughts on either side would've been nice.

And Olver. THE KID GETS TO SHINE!! Fitting that Mat's protege blows the Horn.

And I find it funny how Cadsuane spent much of her time outside the Tower to run away from the Hall and the Amyrlin Seat and find it catching up to her in the end..her similarity with Mat's reaction to Offices of Responsibility was worth a laugh..

And Rand was as awesome as any Hero Protagonist can be. I wonder about his new-found power though..is it what he called the pure form of the Power?
Anthony Pero
136. anthonypero
I just finished an hour ago. Without any sort of structure or organization, here are my thoughts.

Favorite Moment: Min's Crowning Moment of Awesome where she outs Moggy.

Least Favorite Moment: Bela's death. No, seriously, I booed on Facebook. I'm not even an animal person, but Rand really needed to ride off into the sunset on BELA, not some random stolen horse.

Most Surprising Moment: Lan surviving his duel with Demandred. Thought he was a goner in the Last Battle for sure. I was PLEASED he made it, of course. Also, boy, TALK MUCH Demandred? There's a certain internet list for people like you. Geesh.

Least Surprising Moment: When the Sharans came through to attack Egwene's army led by DEMANDRED. I've only been saying that was going to happen since, oh, about 1997. That also made me deliriously happy because I was wrong about... well, just about everything else.

Least Surprising Moment, Part II: Gawyn. You died just like you lived. Stupidly.

What I Could Have Done Without The Most: Anti-balefire Weave. Left field anyone?

What I Could Have Done Without The Most, Part II: Faile lives? Really? Sorry Perrin.

What I Would Have Changed: I had it in my mind for a LOOOONG time that the Seals, while preventing the Dark One from escaping through the Bore, were also holding the Bore OPEN. After Harid Fel's death, I had postulated that when Meiren opened the Bore, it was a pin prick, and the DO worried at it like a rat, making it grow bigger, and bigger.

My thought was that the Bore would close itself if left alone, like a cut that heals if you stop picking at the scab; that the Pattern would be able to heal this tear on its own. So how I THOUGHT the series was going to end (once we got more information about the merging of Rand and Moridin), was that Rand would use the Three Powers to hold the DO in place after the Seals were broken, and the Bore would close on its own... with Rand and the Dark One on one side, and Moridin, Nynaeve and Moiraine on the other. And that somehow, Rand would swap bodies with Moridin, and get to live on in secret, probably with Min. There was more to my theory, but the rest of it doesn't apply to what I'm saying. I just didn't like RAND sealing the Bore. He shouldn't be able to do something like that, I guess, in my mind. Oh well. Also, it would have made sense that that would kill him. What in the heck caused Moridin and Rand to almost die (and Rand's body, in point of FACT, to die?)

Biggest MEH Moment: Mat killing Fain. If that was how it was going to go down, why in the heck did Fain even need to be there? You could have killed him off ages ago, guys. At least have Fain be NECESSARY in some way. I mean, you didn't even MENTION him until after 800 pages.

I loved the last scene (except for random non-bela getaway vehicle), but I really wanted to see Nicola's Foretelling of the 3 girls in a ship happen. I wanted a much, much better explanation for Nakomi as well. The Wise ones seemed to nod in the direction of the Jenn by saying the name was Ancient. It could have been some sort of triggered projection, I suppose. But that was the single most debated thing in the last 6 books. It seems unnecessary now, to have had that scene. The third trip through the Columns could have served the same purpose for Avi.

Now, what I absolutely LOVED:

• Intelligent use of the OP by Ashaman and others
• Double bonding mind-melds (This is the FUTURE of the Aes Sedai)
• Egwene and Tuon's separate bargin from Rand. Its a workable compromise that will eventually lead to no more damane
• The Great Captains' plotline, and Mat taking over.
• The Shadow being far less stupid than ever before this book
• Demandred. Finally a worthy villain. If maybe a bit too talky.
• Lan attacking Demandred in the middle of a sentence.
• Brandon's refusal to soften the Seanchan or Tuon. It's not believable that someone can change customs that are centuries ingraned in them in the course of three months, which is how long its BEEN since Tuon showed up.
• Pg. 522: A very long two years indeed, lol.

Final Thoughts on the Series as a Whole

21 years. That's how long I've been reading this series. I was in Middle School when I was handed The Eye of the World. I finished it and The Great Hunt, then forgot about it while reading other things. Picked it up again in 1994, read the first 5 books. Then I waited. And I waited again, and again, (I WIN AGAIN, LEWS THERIN!). 9 times I waited 2 or more years for the next installment. I literally had Robert Jordan tell me in 1998 that I better pray he finished the series before he died, because no one else was going to touch it afterward. I'm glad he changed his mind, and I'm extremely grateful that Harriet chose Brandon Sanderson to finish the series.

Are there things I would change? Certianly, starting with Mr. Jordan's death. But part of the magic of a series like this is that the characters live and breathe, both within your imagination and within the imagination of countless others. The characters in this series are more alive than most to me because I got to share them with all of you, something I've never done with another series in 20 years. And I may never do it again.

How the story ends, the dangling threads, what I would change and what I wouldn't; none of it is really important. The journey was incredible, and I'm glad I was on it. Most importantly, I'm glad that I was able to share that journey with a bunch of other people. So, thank you Robert Jordan, thank you Harriet, thank you Tom Doherty, TOR, Irene, Brandon, MODS, Team Jordan. Thank you Dragonmount, and the old guard from the WOT-FAQ and rawsf-rj, the old wheeloftime.com message board peeps, Stone Dog from Stone Dog's Hold, Leigh, and all the peeps from the Bunker.

You guys have made this a worthwhile investment of 21 years of my life. No story on its own is worth that kind of investment, outside of the relationships it helps foster.
Michelle Bilokrely
138. GardenGnome
When Egwene died, it was sad but it was also AWESOME! I like to imagine Egwene with the personality of Toph (from avatar the last airbender) saying to Rand "Did you see that? I was AWESOME! " (During the let others be heroes too scene).
Anthony Pero
139. anthonypero
Also, did I miss something? Where was Suffa? She really should have been at the meeting between Egwene and Tuon!
Twinks
140. Enigmoxical
I started the series in 1993. 20 years. I've read - and re-read - the entire series at least seven times. I've not yet read the conclusion.

There's something I'd like to note, though. Jim, aka Robert Jordan, is a person I would very much have liked to meet and have a long conversation with over a couple brews. Because he wrote WOT? No. Instead, because of his knowledge and love of history, mythology, religion, politics, and sociology...not ot mention his talents as a wordsmith.

No diss on Brandon - he had some big shoes to fill - but Brandon doesn't have the depth of perception that Jim had as far as humanity and its influences on our lives are concerned. And, Jim had an explosive and select sense of humor (thus the Mat conundrum). Yet, Brandon did as well as anyone could expect. Imagine trying to finish "Lord of the Rings" had Tolkien died after The Two Towers? Personality and life experience are everything in writing.

No, Brandon is not Jim, but we can't and shouldn't blame him for this. I look forward to reading this last book, and at the same time I don't. I never knew Jim, but I love him. I'll miss him in reading the finale.

To Harriet: You were blessed to have known this man intimately. I envy you. And I sorrow for your loss. Your bereavement must be excruciating.

To Brandon: I give you thanks for finishing this project. Having said that, spend enormous time studying mythology, history, religion, and sociology as Jim did - it will bode you well. Be Frank Herbert, not his son. And drink some beers with friends and crack jokes. Remember, Jim was the "Trickster."

To Jim: You would have been my friend had we met. I miss you as a man and a person. Deeply.

I will read the book eventually, and as with the last two books, I'll miss Jim as I'm reading. I loved him as much, if not more, than his writing because I caught a glimpse of who he was as a man. He attempted to show us the meaning of Light.
Anthony Pero
141. anthonypero
While I appreciate your right to your opinion, Enigmoxical, I'm unsure that anyone who hasn't met either man is qualified to judge who "doesn't have the depth of perception that Jim had as far as humanity and its influences on our lives are concerned." To your sentiments toward Mr. Jordan? Two thumbs up.
m g
142. mdgberg
I can imagine Jim sitting around one day in the late 80's thinking, "If I wanted to write the mother of all battle scenes, how would I lead up to it?"
Eric Hughes
143. CireNaes
anthonypero@136

Got to ask Brandon a question about Moridin’s soul during the book signing in Skokie, IL. I mentioned I was a tor.com reread participant. He made mention that we have "interesting debates." I was curious as to how the whole soul transmigration happened from a standpoint of in world governing rules, but what I was more curious about was whether Moridin's soul had survived or if it was obliterated by the amount of True Power flowing through him since channeling allows for use of the TP and is a feature that follows/is attached to the soul (per Lanfear in AMoL and RJ).

For me it has possible fun long term implications on Ishamael’s philosophical belief system (or TP induced madness) regarding his previous lives and conflicts with the Dragon.

There’s also the practical or functional in world governing rules as to how transmigration works and how it worked in this particular case. Would Rand need an empty body to inhabit in order to avoid soul bonding/merging (ala Slayer)? Do the Chosen avoid soul mingling with their new bodies because the DO has removed or eliminated the original soul? I like the symmetry behind the idea that Moridin’s soul was destroyed as it grants a last wish and anyone can be named Nae’blis, but it’s perfectly plausible that it wasn’t and he was reborn once Rand's body stopped breathing. Although if I remember correctly, Rand didn't "wake up" in Moridin's body until that happened. I need to reread it to be sure.

Brandon’s reply was amusing (and this is a paraphrase). The only thing I remember word for word was his starting sentence, “Here’s the thing.” Brandon went on to say that RJ wrote the ending and there were a lot of questions that Brandon had too about how everything worked out in it that can’t really be answered. He also made mention that he had to be careful so he didn’t spoil the ending for anyone behind me in line (courteous as usual). He then turned to Maria and asked if she knew about Moridin's soul surviving and she said no.

It was also nice to get a chance to shake Harriet’s hand and thank her for stewarding the series for such a long time, even though I had to buy a second copy of AMoL to do it. Totally worth it.

The implication to all this being there will honestly be things about the WoT series that only RJ knew and the fan base can debate ad nauseam for years to come…
Twinks
144. Enigmoxical
@anthonypero:

Thanks for your comment. My observation is based purely on Jim's writing and Brandon's and the depth displayed by both. As a student of
History, Mythology, Religion, Sociology, Politics, etc, I recognized early on Jim's talents and understranding of (as well as his humorous approach to) these too-often august disciplines. Such understanding frequents Jim's writing, and sadly is often missing in Brandon's efforts at completion of the project. I wished only to offer the young, but accomplished writer some perspective, but more importantly I wanted to honor Jim.
Twinks
145. WoT Youth
I finished AMoL sometime last night and I couldn't put it down; my fingers refused to set it down. I just sat there with the book in my hands, unable to move, in a state of shock, for a good five minutes.

I'm only eighteen and I only started reading WoT six or seven years back, but Light am I heartbroken to see that it's finally over. I can't even bring myself to call the people in these books "characters", it feels offensive. To me they're Real, each and every one of 'em. It feels like I've just parted ways with irreplaceable friends. I can't even imagine how the rest of you folks who've been on this journey since before I was born feel!


Obviously it wasn't perfect but I'm content for the most part. I know some people got a little tired of the continuous battle scenes and some of you might have found them gratuitous but while to a certain degree it may have been a little excessive, it's the LAST BATTLE. It's got to put everything we've witnessed before to shame and it does so spectacularily. Besides, while I may feel bad for those who found the fight sequence over the top, the selfish part of me was delighted, as I live for them. Especially when they serve as a way for Mat to show his genius.

Androl and Pevara. Need I say more? I certainly wasn't expecting to see two new badasses emerge this late in the series. Those two were my hope throughout this book. While things seemed to be growing more and more desperate these two were busy falling in love and showing the true capabilities of the Warder Bond.

I feel compelled to respond to those above who've written off Gawyn as a perpetual screw-up who eventually got himself killed. While he's an obstinant tool for much of the series I actually thought better of him after his death. He tried his best to do what he thought needed doing. Regardless of the results you can't ask for more than that.

Pretty bummed that Perrin slept through the Last Battle. It almost makes up for it when he snaps a Forsaken's neck with his bare hands though.

Tuon... and her ridiculous names. Also anyone else a little ticked that the Seanchan essentially sat out the Last Battle?

Slightly sad that Nynaeve isn't told that Rand's alive. Even if she has her suspicions I feel that she above all others deserves to know. Although I did find Rand's thought about Moridin being honored as the Dragon Reborn hilarious.





Surprsingly I feel much better after writing all of this; guess it's closure or some such. Maybe it's because some of you guys probably care as much as I do. Take from it what you will ^^
Jamiel1 Haynes
146. Haynes1
I frowned, I smiled and I got really pissed. So many times as I read it was so bleak, but the saying "it's darkest just before dawn" gave me the push to keep reading. It is an experience to be relived, over and over again. Thank you for completing the series.
Rob Munnelly
147. RobMRobM
I liked it. Nice job by Team WoT. I especially liked Mat as battle leader, which was the highlight of the book. Lan sheathing the sword was great. Graendel going after the Great Captains was well thought through - nice to see actually effective Foresaken for once. Olver blowing the Horn and Jain coming back - nice touch. I definintely had some things that didn't work for me but I'll save those for other posts.

I'm more interested in thinking about what open items didn't get addressed in the book.
-Nakomi is one.
- What happened to all the young Andoran nobles - including Sylvase and young Mantear.
- Where did the Sea Folk lady who was supposed to be with Rand at all times go?
- What was the important job that Elayne had in mind for Morgase - she appears only in a brief mention helping wounded.
- Where or how did Morgase learn Two Rivers speech in her youth (EOTW shoutout)?
- Where is Mr. Not-Appearing in this book Tallanvor? Any efforts to get the Shaido to the LB? - guess not.
- What was in Verin's letters to Alanna, Galad and Rand, respectively?
- What is the "strange thing" about Avi's upcoming kids with Rand - obviously (and I called it) that he'd be in Moridin's body.
-Why is the book called A Memory of Light? I assumed Moridin or Lanfear would have a conversion, but I don't recall anything like that happening, or whether memories of light played a key role in anything.
- Why was Talaan lost for several books and ended up with Dragonsworn at SG, and what happened to Merlille?
- Who is Miss Dragonsworn leader lady and why haven't we heard from her before?
- Who is Tam going to end up with as his lady wife during the happy ever after section - still rooting for Leane if it can't be Morgase (as I had long anticipated).
-
Twinks
148. Curtain Jerker
Just finished. A few random thoughts to add the the collection.

- Hated that of all the "major" characters, only Egwene dies. Lan and Galad for sure should have been goners. Lan's death would have been exceptional. Not because I hate Lan (I love him, and love his I've only ever been a man" line to Demadred when the later things he's Rand). This book needed more people to die. It's the Last Battle! After Egwene, the next most important person to die what who - Gwayn? Rhurarc? Where's the body count?

- In a related note, absolutely despised Faile living. These characters should feel LOSS, and it would have been so much more moving if Perrin's decision to save Rand (and the world) while at the same time abandoning his wife didn't get him the best of both worlds. He shouldn't get a "Get out of Jail Free" card for this. Faile should be dead.

- Loved the fleshing out of Demadred's character after only half a book. Sure, there had been hints about his motivations, but he was totally and completely believeable to me.

- Loved Demadred and Mat each complementing each other on generalship. Enjoyed Mat's "Fish out of water" scenes with the Seanchan.

- Hated the lack of Fain and how causally he was discarded. It is almost as if Sanderson was writing and said "crap! I'm 850 pages in and I need to kill Fain fast! I know, I'll write three paragraphs and have Mat kill him, all the while spending hundreds of pages on Perrin's personal demon Slayer!

- I was ok with the whole Übermensch-ian aspect of Rand choosing to simply re-seal the Dark One. Reminds me of the Matrix: "Why do you keep fighting! Because I choose to."

- Teared up after Tam burned Rand's corpse. It was a touching moment.

- Loved how subtle changes in style and vocabulary helped transform each POV character. For example, young Olver said stuff like "this is pretty scary!" while more mature characters used more mature words.
Twinks
149. Nik_the_Heratik
Finished it in one long read and it felt like I was living through the last battle for 6-8 hours (out of the 12 hr read). I think this was a good thing.

I do get the criticism that more main characters should have died, but the problem is that so many of the core group were doing vital "fail and the world dies" things that it was hard to pick on any one other than (maybe) Lan and Faile. Lan's character arc was about him not being fatalistic, so it makes sense that he would live inspite of his best efforts.

Many good moments and a very satisfying book as a whole. Will have to reread it more slowly to pick up on things I've missed, but it was worth the wait
Rikka Cordin
150. Rikka
Made me cry like four times. And I just. Yes. Not perfect, but damn good.
Twinks
151. OwMasha
Re: choked up moment #2:

That's the passage Harriet chose to read at the Provo Q&Aa, but I somehow didn't GET the layers until this review, Leigh. I mean, the "don't talk about death" resonated, and her readung was powerful, but finally it hit me how these last books were the unborn ... well, triplets that RJ didn't get to see released.

Oh, Harriet. Oh, everyone involved.

It's been an amazing journey.
Ashley Fox
153. A Fox
Sigh.

Touching on that broader discussion though: Did anyone else get the impression that Egwene had, I'm not quite sure, become the light in a more literal sense? Her body died yes. Clearly, by her convo with rand in the Pattern, her soul did not. It also did not get woven back in, but retained her identity. Its strongly implied tha thelight that burst forth from the carvern was not, perhaps, Rand but Egwene.

Is it she that is the Mirror of the DO? I know it seems like Rand is...but that doesnt quite fit. It seems as if his soul is the battlefield of light and dark, of that push and pull. The greatest of men so often in his lives, perhaps this is quite literal. Rand's continuos disagreements and friction with Egwene, vs his running from/temptation of the DO.

It would also create a lovely irony with the Whitecloaks...they worship the Light and despise the AS, and yet it is the Amyrilin herslef who embodies the Light.

I wonder if that anciant Mantherin AS Queen used the flame of Tar Valon?
Anthony Pero
154. anthonypero
Also, did Egwene release the warder bond on Leilwin before she, erm, went up in flames? Did I miss that part? Also, how in the heck Leane get free from Demandred? I totally missed that part.
Gerd K
155. Kah-thurak
@anthonypero
Did you really expect every minor detail of every minor plot line or character resolution to be presented on-screen in this final volume? It would have taken at least one additional book to do it that way I guess. A very boring book.

If the WoT suffers from anythings it is the ridiculous abundance of the things you are asking for. I personally think that the series could have been so much better if it had been ~5 books shorter. But as it is... you have characters like Padan Fain that get carried along right up to the final, just to fizzle out because he has no function there.
Ashley Fox
156. A Fox
Yes she released the bond, Leilwin offered a brief shocked face and No!

We all missed Leane getting free of Dem, she briefly thought back on it. I can't remember quite what she said, as at the time I rolled my eyes at the hand-waveum. ;)
a a-p
157. lostinshadow
I can't believe it's over...now that I've finished AMOL, I'll immediately reread the whole thing from start to finish!

That said, maybe it's because I am at one level sad that there won't be another WoT book in the future, not sure how I feel about this book.

Love the whole Rand storyline, totally works for me, including him riding off to the sunset without any of his women.

Egwene's death also really works for me, not because she was one of my least favorite characters but because she was just too powerful, too forceful and too sure she knew what was right. She would have made a horrible "peacetime amyrlin" - especially in light of the peace with the Seanchean. as her interactions with Tuon illustrated quite aptly.

For those who are annoyed she is not a hero of the horn, I really don't get why this is so insulting, she'll probably be reincarnated as some future Amyrlin.

For those not satisfied with the body count, I thought it was impressive for Jordan/Sanderson. I mean, we are talking about a series that did not really kill off a single vaguely important character through 13 books - and now, in this one, main characters and important secondary characters dropped liked flies. I mean they killed Bela *sniff* If that's not committment to a high body count I don't know what is. (though I agree with Anthony that Rand should have ridden off into the sunset on Bela)

Not sure if I will feel this way when I reread the book (and the series) but something about the pacing of the first 400 pages of so bothered me. Can't quite put my finger on it but just really put me off somehow and I just couldn't get into it (maybe subconsciously I was refusing to get into it because I didn't want the book to end, honestly not sure).

but I will say I was a bit disappointed with how the black tower conflict was resolved, it really felt a bit abrupt for me - I mean after all the time dedicated to the black ajah and ferrets in the white tower, I would have liked some more time in the black tower.

I also really don't get how the glorious future Min kept harping on about for Logain was realized, he seemed really off this book - did not like where that character was going at all.

Also yeah, while I don't have a problem with how Mat disposed of Padan Fain, I really don't get why we had to put up with him for so many of the books if he was to only make a cameo appearance in the end.

And while Morainne and Nyn may have done `important stuff` off scene, I would have definetly liked to have seen more of them, esp. Morainne.

Seems like there were some bits in the plot that were actually setting up a new series (maybe 20 years in the future) and we know some outrigger novels were planned and were to focus on the seanchean. it's a shame we won't get to see that pan out.

This post has probably become wayyyy tooo long, so I'll sign off to go back to Eye of the World now.
Anthony Pero
158. anthonypero
@Kah

I think you mistake me. Read my earlier post. I agree with you. I just asked if I'd missed it. I read pretty fast.
Katie Frey
159. TalithaSedai
After reading so much speculation about how this or that character would die, I was shocked that most were left alive, but I'm glad. The main characters have all had glorious moments of heroism throughout the series. It may not seem fair, but the second string characters...they had their moments of heroism in death. The heros of the Last Battle, aside from the Dragon Reborn, will be those who gave their lives for the victory. Egwene, sure, but also Hurin and Bashere and Bela and Rhuarc and Tenobia and Siuan and Bryne... These characters who gave their lives, they'll be remembered and memorialized in ways that Perrin or Mat or Moiraine or Nynaeve (despite all the great things they did throughout the series and even in the Last Battle), will not be remembered.

Re: Faile...
Not sure why everyone seems to think Faile should die as a trade off for
Perrin making the "right choice" of helping Rand. He did what he had
to do, even though he was worried it would mean Faile's loss...but Faile
has been shown to be pretty capable on her own throughout the series.
Rather than having her die simply so a main character can be emo over
her death, it's nice that they are both rewarded for being selfless
(thinking of the world before their own feelings), for knowing the other
would deep down understand if one had died, for doing the best they
could, and for doing what had to be done.

RE: Dem and Leane...
I don't have the book with me, but I have the impression that when Demandred captured Leane he said something like "make sure you tell Rand blahblahblah" or he wanted her to send a message. I don't think she escaped so much as he let her go.
Twinks
160. Planeswalker
Finally! :) Took me a while to finish this book. Lots of MOA. But lots of disappointing events also. Fain kind of died quickly... Moiraine's first meetings with Rand/Cadsuane/Egwene kind of lacks MOA. And this really sucks more that I kinda have expected that major part of the ending (Rand taking in Moridin's body). I really was expecting something... well, better. In any case, one thing that strike me as odd: Was Lan still wearing that foxhead medallion when he was being healed by Narishma?
Anthony Pero
161. anthonypero
@159: For my part, I just thought Faile's death would have strengthened Perrin's storyline... I'd be interested in seeing how he handles it. I also just wanted her gone for Perrin's sake, lol, crazy Saldean.
Anthony Pero
162. anthonypero
@160: obviously not, lol. Good catch though.

I assume that the Rand who walked out of Shayol Ghul carrying a body was Rand in Moridin's body carrying himself. He may not have even known that at the time, since his vision was all messed up.

I also think the gray-haired women he couldn't quite see was Cadsuane, and that's why she suspected that Rand was in Moridin's body, and allowed him to just walk off. She saw Moridin carrying Rand out of the Pit of Dhoom.
Twinks
163. Owen Kenney
I was a fiend waiting to get my hands on this final book, it was worth every crazed moment. I picked up the Eye of the World in 1991 and have waited with baited breath for every book since. It is a rewarding and at the same time a sad day now that I have finished reading it. I love Matt, Perrin and Rand, it broke my heart to have egwene die. But in an all out conflict with the Dark one there is going to be those who will make the ultimate sacrifice. I will miss these characters. I woould love a short story to show the tinkeers getting the song, rands childern, the two rivers becoming a major center of learning and power in the new age, Loail's book, Perrin as prince consort of Saldea, I never wanted this ride to end.

Thank you Mr Jordan, thank you Brandon for picking up the fallen banner, thank you Harriet for seeing the dream complete, thankk you team Jordan for a wounderful excape from the daily grind.

May the wheel of time always turn and if the creator chooses to bless us with insight to this wounderful world Mr Jordan created we can only hope to be this blessed again.
Gerd K
164. Kah-thurak
@anthonypero
Ah, sorry, I thought you were complaining about things that should have been included ;-)

As for Faile, she could have died, and should have, if Jordan had not gone for the "Happy Ending" approach he used. To me it seems very strange. The last Battle ended and only one major character died. Even three that wanted to sacrifice themselves for the good cause somehow survived in a not all too convincing manner (this is true for Faile but more so for Galad and Lan). I almost think that Gawyn only died because Egwene was also dead and so noone had to mourn a spouse ^^
Anthony Pero
165. anthonypero
I sort of wish that Egwene had died earlier, and it had been that that caused Gawn to put on all three rings and go after Demandred. It would have served a few purposes:

1) If Egwene had done her trick earlier in the battle, it would have raised the stakes in the book earlier. It would have signalled that anyone could bite it at any point.

2) It would have allowed LOGAIN to defeat Taim. Logain was probably my biggest disapointment in the whole book.

3) Gawyn wouldn't have ended as such a tool.

The other thingsI imagined throughout that maybe wasn't the case, since it wasn't made explicit:

Wish they would have shown time in Mayene going by much faster than even Merillor. Maybe even months faster. There was a lot of cool concepts regarding the DO as a singularity that Brandon could have explored. Oh well, it was still awesome. And if the time dialation effects were spread out over that great an area, it may have made Traveling impossible.
Damon Garner
166. IrishOmalley
Finished the book last night in howling coastal winds. (Oceanside, ca. ) Was a very fitting atmosphere to read the Last Battle in. :) ..

I enjoyed the entire book start to finish. That was an amazing, epic and yes exquisite yarn that Mr. Jordan told and shared with us. Thank you Mr. Jordan.
Twinks
167. EgwenealVere
Gawyn's death was heart-wrenching. I thought it was devastatingly sad. To see (and hear from his own mouth) that not only he did have issues but that he was well aware of them - and unsuccessfully fighting them.. :'( I felt really bad that - always comparing himself to others - he had kind of gotten used to feel lacking and kept trying to make up for it, in the end by attempting to buy the others time and relieve them of Demandred on something that was from the very beginning a suicide mission (which he very well knew). It was sad to see him fail yet again, when he deserved some success, finally (admittantly, Demandred was a great ostacle.. (by the way Bao the Wyld?!?) And then, giving advice to Galad about Rand.. *sigh* He was .. confused and infuriating and frustrating and all these things. But in the end, he just wanted to make his life matter. Don't we all?

Leigh, thanks for your review! I find myself agreeing with you on .. kind of everything, but particularly the lack of momentum and MOA of Mat's final role..

As an aside: did anyone actually pick up on what the three things Moiraine demanded of the Aelfinn were? (We were told about the angreal, but otherwise...?) I'm at a loss here.
Twinks
168. drahcir
Liked the book, mostly. Didn't like the "idiot plot" about the Horn.
An idiot plot is when the characters act like idiots (e.g. the detective doesn't look in the obvious place or ask the obvious question; or the people for no reason don't tell each other something so there can be a story). In this case it was retrieving the Horn. Egwene could have traveled to the White Tower and gotten the Horn in two minutes (remember that Gawyn had convinced her it was okay to sleep in a bed accasionally, so she could have gotten the Horn at the same time). Instead we get this silly plot about Faile, Olver, and an errant gateway. That was absurd. It's the very essence of the idiot plot concept.
Sean Dowell
169. qbe_64
If you gave Androl a full circle and taught him how to make horizontal gateways, I'm fairly certain he could effectively open a whole big enough to drop an entire army. Especially if he learned how to move it.

Also, gateway+cannon = destroy waygate in Camelyn.

I really liked Demandred. If LTT wasn't such a giant douche to him he would've turned out alright.
Anthony Pero
170. anthonypero
of course, you only have Demandred's word that LTT WAS a douche to him to go on. Any thought from Rand or LTT himself could simply be humility.
B. Dowdle
171. Lancer
I am the man who is going to kill you! GO LAN!! And very AWESOME that Olver is now the Hornblower

And you have to love the banter between Hawkwing & Mat!

Absolutely LOVED the Book!
Sean Dowell
172. qbe_64
@170
There were a few scenes in ToM, where Rand reflected on his life in the AoL. And how things might have been different for Demandred if he had shown him a hand of friendship vs. ungrateful smirks or something to that effect.

They even played into a redemption arc for Demandred learning to love again with that Sharan Ayyad, that just kind of got overshadowed by his hatred for LTT. It strikes me as odd that he doesn't show up for 13 books, and then is the major foil for every character but Rand, when all he wants to do is fight LTT. Greatest general of an age for Mat, greatest swordsman of an age for Gawyn, Galad and Lan. And then to kill him off without him getting a chance to fight Rand? I'll need to revisit my feelings in a couple days about how it feel. As of now, I'm dissapointed with how his character was used.

If you ever watched Angel (Buffy spin-off), remember in the last episode when Lindsay gets killed by Lorne and he's incredulous that he was killed by a lackey and not by Angel himself? I didn't like that at first either, but came around after a few more re-watches. Maybe this will be the same.
Don Barkauskas
173. bad_platypus
RobM^2 @ 147:
What is the "strange thing" about Avi's upcoming kids with Rand - obviously (and I called it) that he'd be in Moridin's body.
Not necessarily. Aviendha could easily already be pregnant from her encounter at Merrilor, when Rand was still in his original body. After all, she said in WH, "I will not drink the (heartleaf) tea myself if I—" (presumably "get another chance" or something like that) after Min reveals Elayne's going to get pregnant from her encounter with Rand.
Twinks
174. Syllabus
Just finished the audiobooks. Hot DAMN.

Points:

- Sooooo, we've got ourselves a Nightcrawler now (Perrin). Cool.

- I am really not comfortable with the Seanchan having Moghedien. Seems like a very big advantage to give to, well, some very undeserving people. But, on the plus side, Moghedien is a damane! And I can't say I'm sorry.

- Spirit Wolves FTW.

- Didn't see the Horn bit coming immediately, but I did about at the bit with Olver in the ditch thingie. And I proceeded to kick myself for it. Well played, Jordan.

- Holy SHIT. Demandred. As far as grand entrances go, that's... well, pretty damned scary/awesome. After so long without seeing what he was up to. And then he shows up, with a continent worth of soldiers, a full circle and a fucking sa'angreal. Dude's a superweapon. And he went through the Wonder Brothers like an arrow through butter.

- And seriously, by the end, the thing was a fricking George RR Martin book. I mean, it's the Last Battle and all, so everything was not going to be sunshine, unicorns, and puppy dog tails but holy hell.

- I didn't really see Mat's luck come into play at any point, at least not in an obvious way. Which is odd, because we saw the other ta'veren's Specials come into play (Rand's reality warping/Song stuff, Perrin's newfound teleportation, etc.), but we never saw anything like, say, ten trollocs coming in and decapitating a myrddraal who was about to kill him, or anything. Though the killing of Fain was, I admit, pretty cool, and I guess could count as a Special, but still. Colour me somewhat disappointed on that score.

- Also, Perrin resisting compulsion and killing Lanfear? Awesome sauce, m'boy.

- LAN. Al-bloody-Lan-muthafricking-Madragoran. Your wallet, it bears a four-letter inscription.
Twinks
175. Seamus1602
Finished AMoL last night. Still processing, but I loved it. Some thoughts:

There were multiple points at which I felt I could see how this book was in fact Act 3 of AMoL - specifically in the amount of fighting (beginning right after FoM and pretty much not letting up), and the Black Tower storyline. For the BT, I felt like it might have possibly been originally designed to be more directly juxtaposed against Egwene's TGS struggles in the WT. Also liked the parallel between Egwene's greatest weakness (fear of a'dam/capture) and Logain's capture/partial Turning that played up his negative qualities (i.e. forcing glory rather than letting it happen organically - by saving the children).

Many, many MOA scenes/acts/whole characters:

-Androl/Pevara - But especially Androl for creativity with his Talent - also, who was he (I'll note that, at one point, Androl points out how he's a traveler/seeker of knowledge by nature and shortly thereafter Rand says the same of LTT - made me say 'hmm')
-Egwene - The Flame of Tar Valon (I loved the 'It's just a weave...' anti-balefire story. Makes sense to me. What can be woven can be unwoven.)
-Perrin - Was convinced that Bornhald's reveal re: his family would mean that he'd take Slayer and Fain (and then later I also added Lanfear to this list when he became her new toy). That didn't happen. But his battle with Slayer was great (and something I'd love to see on film) and him and Gaul being the T'A'R guard for Rand was excellent. I think that Min's viewing, in the end, was about the Slayer arrow and Lanfear in this book and not Dumai's Wells. Also completely cool with Faile living bc one major theme of WoT has always been that karmic aspect of doing the Right Thing and getting rewarded for it - also exemplified by Those Who Live and He Who Doesn't after fighting Demandred.
-Lan - Is awesome, but for all that, just a man. Malkier lives.
-Tam - Great storyline that got almost no screentime, relatively speaking, until this book was the Void/Tam/Rand one. His teaching saved the world from before the series right up to his last lesson. Let go. Still frustrated by no reveal re: Tam/Kari/Morgase's knowledge of TR speech. Plus, Tam's first time/second time thing with the True Voidness - it may be contradicted by his tEoTW rantings, but this made me think he was the one that actually dealt the fatal blow to Shaiel/Tigrane, lost the Void cause he just realized he'd pretty much killed a pregnant woman, kind of loses it in the snows, and comes back upon her after she's delivered. Maybe a stretch.
- Moiraine - I laughed out loud when I realized how she would save the world: Which was, of course, coming in at exactly the right time to prevent The Fateful Accord, Part 2 (I always thought Egwene was Latra Posae reborn, anyways).
-Faile - I liked her Horn storyline, especially the Vanin/Avarine DF portions/mislead and her ride at the end. But I really like how she stepped up and owned her responsibilities re:organization/administration that she had been raised to do and had always fought against.
- Ituralde - I was sure that Bryne's Warder bond would make him the Great General to be able to resist Greandal, so to see the Little Wolf NOT give the Compelled order just reinforced how awesome he is.
-Elayne - The only time I yelled at this book was, at FoM, when they have the discussion re: who is the Light Side General and 1) no one mentioned Mat, and 2) Rand gave this spot to Elayne. I was seriously like, WTF? Then, I realized my wrong assumptions. First, Elayne's position was essentially Commander in Chief, not General. Second, Mat (as was later shown) is much more suited to tactics than strategy. This is not to say he's bad at strategy, just that he's the Son of Battles, not the Son of War.
- Mat - Loved how he 'felt the pulse', ID'd issue, then got made Supreme Commander. The whole The Last Battle chapter was one extended MOA for Mat. I also kinda thought that Mat would end up taking down Demandred - He'd step up to him, see Gawyn and Galad lying there and be like, "Please, dude, I beat these two, together, when I could barely walk and now you're crowing about it? Come get some"
- Min - I LOVED her Seanchan storyline. 1) It was not, that I can recall, foreshadowed in any way which I liked (not everything has a Viewing/Foretelling). 2) It is the true closure of the Seanchan storyline, and ending precipitated by 3 characters in this book: Mat (enable Dragon Peace), Egwene (updating WT/Seanchan agreement with the 'Free Will' clause), and then Min (becoming the one person Tuon cannot ignore - as she sometimes does Mat - that is also bonded to Rand. IMO, this is how Rand 'binds the Nine Moons', not merely getting a sig on the Dragon Peace - which Tuon later reveals to be Not All That Binding). Loved that Mat tav'eren'd her into outing herself to Tuon. The pattern wants this. Also, re: Seanchan. The thing I've hated 2nd most about their culture was their entitlement/oathbreakers attitude toward Randland. Rand effectively counters this with his "my claim predates Hawkwings" argument, but the true value of this repugnant cultural aspect is shown in the Sharans. Without that entitlement, the Seanchan would not have returned to Randland and would have instead joined the last battle alongside Demandred/Shara, follwing Semirhage. So the Seanchan beings dicks was essential to victory for the Light. Who knew?
- Avienda - My heart definitely lurched when she killed Rhuarc. Sad face. Liked the Unweaving call back, but did think that the 'random' effect seems to be very pro-Light in both instances was eyebrow-raising.

I'm sure I've missed some awesomeness, but wanted to close on my thoughts re: Fain.

Fain was always necessary to WoT, as a whole, because he imparts on Rand the final knowledge of how to cleanse saidin (the 2nd unHealing wound). And I had no problem with Fain's specific death scene because it's so themeatically appropriate to have him be Tricked by the Trickster. What I did have a problem with was his complete lack of screen time before that. I always thought that his purpose at TLB would be to screw up Rand's plans/calmness/Oneness somehow. By the time he appeared, Rand's battle was too far gone for me to believe that Fain would, in any way, be able to influence it. So, I wasn't bothered that his death was quick, I was bothered that he failed to add any tension to the narrative of this book.

Thank you for such an amazing story to Robert Jordan, Harriett, Brandon, and all involved. Exquisite.
Twinks
176. EPFehr
Amazing book. Just finished it last night. Too many things to say about thge scope and awesomeness of MOL. I could barely read the last chapter and I'm a guy who never chokes up from a book. A fitting end for a superb series. 16 years of reading, waiting and reading this series is over. Bittersweet but it is an ending that I can live with and enjoyed.
Good review BTW.
Twinks
177. Edd
I received the book around 1 or so on the day of release, via Amazon. I was so tempted to go out and buy it at the midnight release in Provo, but I waited. Then when it came, I waited a bit longer, I couldn't bring myself to read it, knowing it was the last book. Would I be disappointed? Happy, Sad, what?

As a whole I liked the book and am satisfied with the way things turned out. I am looking forward to the re-read to catch things I might have missed during the speed read.

I thought the battle scenes were too damn long and too many of them. I guess I was thinking along the same line as another commenter about there being a reveal of some sort per chapter.

I knew that Olver was going to sound the horn, as soon as I read that he was with Faile and the wagon, not sure if that is an idiot plot as described in #168, but no surprise there. I had assumed that Matt had alread died, once with the Balefire and twice when he was hung, IIRC Rand had to 'revive' him (but the hanging was actually first).

Not sure how the whole switched bodies thing happened, period. Did Rand become the creator? Able to speak in ALL CAPS and demand fire to be? Why not just stay there and be the "uncle" he couldn't 'channel' anymore....

Padin Fain, totally worthless and seemed to be just a quick wrap-up. Weird.

Alanna, why didn't she just release the bond when she saw what was going on? Why wait for the knife attack?

I guess not all the answers can be given but I am satisfied with the book.
Twinks
178. Hafty
Lan.

That is really just all I need to say on the epicness and majesty of that man and his storyline.

He has always been my favourite, even though I always knew he would die. How humbling to realize he gets to live.

Whether people like this end or not, whether we argue over it for years to come...none of that matters. We all just need to be grateful. Jordan died 5 years ago. In another series this probably would have spelled the end. But we got 3 books and closure. Do I like everything that happened...hell no. Do I cherish it and realize how lucky I am...hell yes.
Twinks
179. sumillebonus
Personally, I'm just going to believe that Bela was Jeade'en reborn - she had to die so Noal had a ride when he came back.
Twinks
180. Cromax
Half way through. Toun is an idiot. That is all.
Anthony Pero
181. anthonypero
@173: I always took the "strangeness" about Avi' s babes to be that they could touch the Source at birth. That's what Avi saw in her way forward vision.
John Pigott
182. AbEnd
Was fully expecting Elayne to have her emergency c-section via Mellor as karma for her constant "the kids will be fine, Min says so". Probably reading too much GRRM!
Jonathan Levy
183. JonathanLevy
37. rboodle
Is there anyone who'll see Rand's... new form, and recognize him? Hilarity will most definitely ensue.
Oh that's easy. And yes, six der'sul'dam trying to puzzle out how an A'dam was actually chewed off by the wearer certainly qualifies as 'Hilarity'.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rand wanders the land, drinking in life, never staying long in one place. After half a dozen years his path leads him to Ebou Dar, where he finds a post as a butler in the Empress' palace. Life is good and easy, but takes an unexpected twist when he starts receiving the attentions of a stunningly beautiful black-haired girl. There's only one problem - she's a damane.

She was engaged to be married when she was collared, and has never had a man. It's been a while since he's seen his own girls, and the whole point of surviving Shayol Ghul was to live a little, right? They start stealing kisses in unguarded moments, but still, he hesitates.

Then one stormy winter morning he finds a note, blurred with tears. They are taking me to Seanchan tomorrow. Come to me tonight. Floor 3, corridor B, room 18. He knows he will go - the rain will provide cover. At night he sneaks into the damane kennels. It's dangerous. In the darkness he runs down the hall, counting doors. Thunder crashes outside. He stops at hers, pulse racing. He hesitates again, then goes in.

He rushes into her embrace on her bed. She seems surprised to see him. Something is wrong. She struggles. His hands pawing at her shirt have torn off some sort of necklace - small and rectangular and pulsing in his hand. Shit. He's in the wrong room! Lightning flashes and he sees her face as she sees his.





It is Moghedien.
Twinks
184. DuncandenBoer
I have been reading the Wheel of Time series since I was sixteen, which means that I have literally been waiting for new installments for half my life. Then when the final end came near, I was looking forward and dreading the moment.

Not dreading it because this would mean there would never be a new installment (thought that is sad as well), but dreading the possibility that it would not live up to my expections. I have read a lot of different series in which the ending fails to deliver, which for me immediately means that the entire series becomes degraded. I almost never recommend a series if the ending let me down.

I was really scared that the ending of the wheel of time would ruin the series for me. After all, there were some books along the way that I did not enjoy that much, so the possibility of the ending not living up to the expectations was a real one. Dreading the end and looking forward to it.

It was great. I have been enthralled the entire book. I loved the way the characters interacted, and the way the book gave us the possibility to see all of them one final time. I choked up when Noal came back and (maybe even more so), when Moiraine saved the day during the treaty of the Dragon's peace. Also Mat and Rand's reunion was really nicely done. And finally Graendal has an awesome plot with the generals of the Light.

I liked the book, I liked the way many storylines were resolved and how many aspects from the series came back. I found the ending of this book really fulfilling (and I am personally really glad there was no "20 years later"-part). The first few wheel of time books I bought as pocket books. Then gradually I started buying the new installments in hardcover, since I could not wait to read it. At some point I replaced the pocket books with hardcover versions, because I thought the series deserved it. And it does deserve it. Thank you, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson and all the others that worked on the series. It was an amazing adventure.
Sydo Zandstra
185. Fiddler
Finished! And overall, me likes :)

A few first impressions and comments. I have followed this thread from even before I started reading, since spoilers never have changed my reading experience. I'll start with a few things. More later.

- 'Who is Demandred? He has to be posing as someone, because other Forsaken do so too!!!'
I've been seeing people theorize from logic like this from even back in the rawsf-rj times, and I've always denied the logic in that. Latest theory being Demandred=Roedran, which I also didn't go for. And I was right.

This is where I smugly say 'Hah! Told ya!' He simply was Demandred playing from behind the scenes. And good to finally see a badass Forsaken, although Graendal made a good come back as well.
(This is also the only thing I was right in during the series, so please allow me my smugness for a short while... ;-) )


- Elayne and Faile: this is the first book where both haven't been annoying me one single moment. Well done, Brandon!


- Annoura: Bringing back Galad to Mayene after he was defeated by Demandred, while burning herself out in the process is a big sacrifice. I'm not sure if burning out is healable but, if so, I'm also not sure if she was aware that being stilled can be healed anyway. Still I applaud her.


- Padan Fain/ ShaiSam: I've read complaints that his scenes/actions seemed to be put in as an afterthought, with too little screentime. I do not agree. We saw what he was doing at the end of ToM, and we saw from his PoV what his target was: Rand at Shayol Ghul, and starting a new base of power there. So him getting more zombies while getting there did not really need to be shown onscreen. Mat and him just never were in the same area before.

BTW, I'd have to check, but when I read that ShaiSam was the power in Fain, I was sure I had seen that name earlier in the book. It just didn't say it was Fain there. We'll see.


- Moiraine and Nynaeve being offscreen for so long: Once it was clear they were to join Rand in using Callandor, and I think that was clear as soon as Moiraine showed up, they had to stay at the Fields of Merrilor, waiting for when Rand would be hitting Shayol Ghul. And once there, time went a LOT slower for them while there, then it did for the rest of Randland.


- Rand morphing into Moridin's body: This has been building up, with Rand and Moridin getting more and more similar ever since they crossed balefire beams in ACoS. I guess using Moridin as a shield/conduit for the TP channeling and Rand pushing initiated the transfer. I can live with the outcome without that having to be explained step by step.


- Rand disappearing/ Alivia: I loved how the 'She'll help you to die' viewing turned out. I like how this ended with Min/El/Avi, Cadsuane knowing and Nynaeve suspecting.


Of course there are a few things I would have liked to see that weren't there as well. I can understand they were left out, because the size of this book reaches the ultimate limit for one book.

An example would be Mat meeting his dad. I cheered at Abell saying 'That's my boy!' though. Would have loved to see a meeting between Mat and Bode as well. :D


Edit: Moghedien being seized by a sul'dam reminds me of the last POV we saw from Galina...
Anthony Pero
186. anthonypero
Yeah, here's the problem with the Moghedian thing... Egwene and Tuon begin negotiations for their own truce, on PG 474. If those are finalized the way they left it, then damane will be given the choice to be freed if they want to be freed. If this happens... both Suffa and Moghedian will go free.
Sydo Zandstra
187. Fiddler
Except that Egwene is dead, and I don't think Cadsuane is going to head in the same direction, if she even gets to know about those. Cads is a harsh practical woman....

Edit: Cads was also in Rand's camp regarding the negotiations.
Twinks
188. Seamus1603
Doing some prophecy review on WOTFAQ in light of some of the interestingly-fulfilled prophecies in AMoL (i.e. Alivia 'helping' Rand die):

Egwene's Dreams

She stood before an immense wall, clawing at it, trying to tear it down with her bare hands. It was not made of brick or stone, but countless thousands of discs, each half white and half black, the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai, like the seven seals that had once held the DO's prison shut...the wall stood strong however she beat at it. She could not tear it down. Maybe it was the symbol that was important. Maybe it was the AS she was trying to tear down, the White Tower. Maybe....

This one seems to refer to Egwene needing to accept working together with the Dragon - accept her role in breaking the seals. I used to think this was just one of her normal 'Rand breaks seals' prophecies.

A golden hawk stretched out its wing and touched her, and she and the hawk were tied together somehow; all she knew was that the hawk was female.

Egwene bonds Leilwinm, not some Egwene/Berelain connection)

A man lay dying in a narrow bed, and it was important that he not die, yet outside a funeral pyre was being built, and voices raised songs of joy and sadness

Spoiler: Check the next bed over.

Rand, wearing different masks, until suddenly one of those false faces was no longer a mask, but him.

This sounds like a direct reference to the part that went something like: 'the one they called king, Dragon Reborn, killer, lover, ruler..." and, subsequently, Rand becoming just Rand (in Moridin's body)

Min's Viewings:

(On Rand) three woman standing over a funeral bier with him on it, A bloody hand and a white hot iron, and black rocks wet with blood.

Always thought the 'bloody hand' was Semirhage burning it off. Now, this seems like a reference to the final moments of the Moridin/Rand battle, though I'm unsure about the 'white hot iron'

(On Perrin) broken crown, trees flowering all around him.

Never did get that broken crown thing explained (Bashere refers to it as this before the Tenobia/Bashere deaths). Also, not sure about the tree flowering. Just reference to blooming at the end in the valley of Thakan-whatever? Dunno.

EGWENE: A white flame

... *tear*

LOGAIN: A halo of gold and blue, signifying glory to come.

Don't know why gold and blue, but his journey in AMoL was nice to see, accepting greatness rather than forcing (or taking) it.

SIUAN SANCHE/GARETH BRYNE: "When Bryne came in, I had a viewing. An aura, and a bull ripping roses from around its neck. All I know is this. If he stays close to you , you live. If he gets too far away, for too long, you are going to die. Both of you."

Yeah... That last part happened.

SARENE: "A tempestuous love affair, of all things!"

'Loves' Graendal. Compulsion. Yuck. That wasn't how I thought that was going down.

ALIVIA: "Rand, I like Alivia, But she is going to kill you." : "You said she was going to help me die… Those were your words."

'Helps him die' = 'Helps him fake his death'. I did have a somewhat sarcastic guffah on reading this.

BASHERE: "And there's something... dark... in the images I saw around Lord Davram. If he turns against you, or dies..."

More Graendal, more Compulsion.

Nicola:

"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance out the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."



A boat? World not done with battle (which, yes, I realize the Dragon Peace won't hold indefinitely, but, still...)? Dunno.

Aelfinn:

(to Rand) "He had been told by those he had to believe. To live, you must die."

Interesting, when combined with statements at the end of his battle with Moridin, specifically saying something like, "I asked the wrong question. It's about choice..." This could be explanation for the body switch (Rand chose life, Moridin chose death and their bodies/souls worked it out for them)

Elaida:

The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever. Rand al'Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger. The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds."

I thought the 'remnants' = Elaida, but Teslyn's comments with the Dragonsworn army about the WT being uncomfortable made me think of this. Egwene's anger at FoM.

Rand: "That is what the Jendai Prophecy says. The Sea Folk will serve the Coramoor."
Harine: "The Jendai prophecy says you will bring us to glory, and all the sea of the world will be ours. As we give to you, you must give to us."

Good thing Egwene remembered the Sea Folk, cause I think Rand forgot about this part of the prophecy.

Dark Prophecy:

Daughter of the Night, she walks again. The ancient war, she yet fights. Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still. Who shall stand against her coming? The Shining Walls shall kneel.

Don't know about the Shining Walls, cause Lanfear has never done something like that. But I did like how this could definitely apply to Perrin by the end of AMoL, which I never anticipated.

The man who channels stands alone. He gives his friends for sacrifice. Two roads before him, one to death beyond dying, one to life eternal. Which will he choose? Which will he choose? What hand shelters? What hand slays?

Interesting mainly because it seems to say that the DO's thinking is very black and white. They seem to have more than two roads during their pre-fight dreammaking. He is both the slayer (breaking the world) and the shelterer (Dragon Peace, growing stuff/The Song)

Into the heart he thrusts his sword, into the heart, to hold their hearts. Who draws it out shall follow after, What hand can grasp that fearful blade?

Seemed to be already fulfilled, but... combined with 'slays with the sword of peace', this could refer to the Dragon Peace. 'Who draws it out' could refer to Logain's decision to save the children (peace) vs. get the Wyld Rod. As for 'fearful blade', 'peace', as represented by the Way of the Leaf, scares people all across Randland whenever they get near. This is all very shaky, but came immediately to mind on re-reading this prophecy.

There is no salvation without destruction, no hope this side of death.

First part could mean that salvation cannot occur without 'destruction' (Dark One), meaning this might be first warning against killing DO. 'No hope this side of death'. Heh. Maybe on the other side, then.

There can be no health in us, nor any good thing grow, for the land is one with the Dragon Reborn, and he one with the land. Soul of fire, heart of stone, in pride he conquers, forcing the proud to yield. He calls upon the mountains to kneel, and the seas to give way, and the very skies to bow. Pray that the heart of stone remembers tears, and the soul of fire, love.

Loved how this went from general 'Fisher' stuff to the specificity Moiraine points out at FoM.

Master of the lightnings, rider on the storm, wearer of a crown of swords, spinner-out of fate. Who thinks he turns the Wheel of Time, may learn the truth too late.

To paraphrase Moiraine "You do now weave the pattern, Dragon Reborn". Again, don't kill the DO.

Tuon speaking: "'I must find a way to make contact with the Dragon Reborn as soon as possible. He must kneel before the Crystal Throne before Tarmon Gai'don, or all is lost.' The Prophecies of the Dragon said so, clearly

HA! Some predicted it, but I loved how Rand expressed his claim to the land, pretty much yelling at Tuon, then just goes down to a knee and says, 'Be my ally' while also singing The Song to make the garden explode. Found a way to kneel without bowing down.


Sorry that's so long, but this became a facinating project, so I had to keep going.
Ashley Fox
189. A Fox
Did anyone...did anyone get the awful impression at the end that Rand was living in a reality he created for himself, akin to the ones in his duel with the DO.

"Yes, that is good. That is what you need to do." I assumed Nakomi was reffering to taking Moiridin's body. But. He didnt want to be alone. Was she encouraging a fantasy of succour? Nobody else dies after this. Previously Perrin felt the truth of Failes' death, and that he couldnt face it. After this she miraculously recovers. As does Mat. The people he loves come together, are with the one's they love. Loial gets to write his book when earlier we had a snippet from his notes. When I read that I wept, with it's implications that he would not survive to write it.

The Aile saying: To awaken from the dream.

TAR and the abilities to create from it.

Rand's pipe: " He inspected it in the darkness, then thought of it being lit. And it was."

Mins visions always come true. And yet we did not see the three women in the boat with Rand, dead. Unless it did happen...in reality.
Twinks
190. Syllabus
Oh, and one other thing:

What the hell happened to Shaidar Haran?
Debbie Solomon
191. dsolo
Just finished this afternoon, and the first thing I did was come to read LB's post and the comments. I agree with the anti-climatic Padan Fain storyline. About halfway through the book, I started wondering when he was going to show up. Oddly enough, the moment that really made me cry was when Bela died. Really, she was always so reliable and there. Poor Bela. I'm torn about Egwene's death, because she had become so awesome, but it seemed inevitable once Gawyn died. I knew she'd go out in a blaze of glory.

I'm looking forward to the reread, as it will help me digest everything. Thanks to Team Jordan, Brandon and Leigh for this amazing journey.

As for the Dragon's Peace, I think including the Aiel will help to change Avi's vision. Also, the image of the damane being frozen into inaction without her sul'dame points out a flaw in their use as weapons. I think the combination of Mat and Min is going to be have a big effect on the way Seanchan have always done things. Especially after Hawkwing's visit.

Someone asked about Bayle Doman. I don't think he died, just couldn't come along with the Amyrlin and her warder. When Egwene first bonded Leilwin, I thought how was that going to work with her being married.

I wasn't too upset about Egwene finding a counter to balefire. Perrin had already foreshadowed that with his "just a weave" comment.

I always figured Birgitte would have to die to be reunited with Gaidal. Glad she didn't let it keep her from killing Mellar.

As for what happens in the future, the Blight is restored (no more Trollocs), the Dragon's Peace survives, the Aiel and the Tinkers make peace with each other and the Seanchan give up slavery. That's what I see happening, in my vision of Randland.
Sydo Zandstra
192. Fiddler
Bayle Domon lives. He is with Leilwin when she tells Logain Egwene's last message about having to break the Seals.
Debbie Solomon
193. dsolo
Just finished this afternoon, and the first thing I did was come to read LB's post and the comments. I agree with the anti-climatic Padan Fain storyline. About halfway through the book, I started wondering when he was going to show up. Oddly enough, the moment that really made me cry was when Bela died. Really, she was always so reliable and there. Poor Bela. I'm torn about Egwene's death, because she had become so awesome, but it seemed inevitable once Gawyn died. I knew she'd go out in a blaze of glory.

I'm looking forward to the reread, as it will help me digest everything. Thanks to Team Jordan, Brandon and Leigh for this amazing journey.

As for the Dragon's Peace, I think including the Aiel will help to change Avi's vision. Also, the image of the damane being frozen into inaction without her sul'dame points out a flaw in their use as weapons. I think the combination of Mat and Min is going to be have a big effect on the way Seanchan have always done things. Especially after Hawkwing's visit.

Someone asked about Bayle Doman. I don't think he died, just couldn't come along with the Amyrlin and her warder. When Egwene first bonded Leilwin, I thought how was that going to work with her being married.

I wasn't too upset about Egwene finding a counter to balefire. Perrin had already foreshadowed that with his "just a weave" comment.

I always figured Birgitte would have to die to be reunited with Gaidal. Glad she didn't let it keep her from killing Mellar.

As for what happens in the future, the Blight is restored (no more Trollocs), the Dragon's Peace survives, the Aiel and the Tinkers make peace with each other and the Seanchan give up slavery. That's what I see happening, in my vision of Randland.
Debbie Solomon
194. dsolo
Sorry about the double post. I was trying to reply to syllabus@190 about Shaider Haran, and it reposted my long post instead. I believe that Moridin was referring to Shaider Haran when he is facing Rand, and there is a husk of a body laying on the ground. Moridin says that the DO no longer needs it.
Twinks
195. bbelch
"Sure," Mat said. "By the way, I saved Moirane. Chew on that as you try to decide which of the two of us is winning." Finally Mat is back in this book!
Twinks
196. darkksilk
I thought it was well done. Very satisfying. I thought the balance between Perrin and Mat was actually very close. Considering all of Mat's generaling, the on screen time was pretty close.

Fain did add a moment of suspense with the mist coming back, but really, the wacko was just dispactched pretty darned easily once they came face to face. I was fine with that. Everything didn't need to be an epic struggle. Nice to have something go easily for once. And I thought the scene was good. The "trick" then the dagger disolving.

Good stuff.

I try not to be irritated by some of the comments above. I suppose people don't have to like it. LB's review was great! (as long as you read both parts!) Some of the posts though, just sounded mean. I feel kinda defensive, like "your too stupid to understand it then, frickin' moron". But I know everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Even if it's wrong.
Twinks
197. Gabemar
After more than 20 years of reading I am sad but satisfied with the series ending.

As far as the book goes, I think it went the way it was supposed to go. Obviously a decision was made to include as many POV characters and close as many plot and characters arches as possible. A few were left open most of those were related to events that could happen after the the Last Battle. (Nakomi, Seanchan, etc).

This decision gave the book a massive epic feeling. It was almost like reading an Steven Erickson's Malazan book, but one in which you care about the characters and the plots are clear.

Obviously this came at a price and that was the overall lack of intimacy with the characters and subsequently reduction of emotional punch. In spite of this there were several touching moments and a few tears were shed.

I believe the decision to write it this way was the correct one. There was no way you could have the same type of personal approach to write this book as the earlier ones in the series. Not once the story expanded after book 3 and especially after it expanded again after book 5 or 6 .

Overall this is my favorite series and for me the ending did it justice.
T C
198. Freelancer
I wish to extend my humble and heartfelt thanks, to everyone who contributed to the completion of what must now be considered the defining fantasy story of modern literature.

To Robert Jordan
To Harriet McDougal
To Brandon Sanderson
To Tor Books
To Team Jordan

The journey was worth the effort.

Leigh, thank you for the re-read, the reviews, and what they represent, and for your diligence and consistence in providing them as you do.

I will reserve this space for expanded comments when I am able to take the time. For now, I am saddened that the truly central point to the entire saga seems to have escaped the notice of so many readers. The reason why it would be wrong for Rand to eliminate the dark one.

Choice.

Humanity without choice is hollow; empty. Without choice there is no love, no glory, no redemption, no compassion. There would be something worse than oblivion, to any who were able to notice.

Choices such as Logain helping to save innocents instead of reaching for his own power.
Choices such as Annoura destroying her ability to channel to bring Galad to Healing.
Choices such as Faile drawing away the Trollocs to give Olver a chance to get the Horn safely to Merrilor.


One of the things that Robert Jordan said time and time again was that he intended to leave numerous subplots unresolved, because it was more real. This is genius. Real life doesn't show us the back-story or the resolution of everything we experience or witness. Does Moghedien ever get recognized? How does Aviendha handle her new pet, Hessalam? Do the White and Black Towers unify under the leadership of Logain and Cadsuane? Where did Tinna come from?

Clearly, there will not be answers for those things, and that is well. Knowing any of those things doesn't change what is important. I'm more focused on things like recognizing that in most cases, where people on the side of the Light failed, it was because men and women stopped working together. Gawyn and Egwene, Siuan and Bryne, each pair should have remained together. In most cases, when someone on the side of the Light tried to operate independently, the outcome was bad, or not as good as possible. The main exception to that being Mat taking supreme control of the war, which was handled excellently.


Several commentors think that Logain was a worse character than he had previously been. This is inaccurate. He has always been this guy. Perhaps a reader's perception is colored by awareness of Min's viewing, and is so expecting him to become a super good guy, that it feels wrong when he isn't. But he was always selfish and grandiose. His desire to be uber-powerful is a different matter, however. That is borne of his multiple cases of captivity; first in the Tower, gentled, then semi-captive in Salidar, then Healed and sent away to join the Black Tower, and finally the capture by Taim and attempt to Turn him. This has damaged his mind to the point that his primary objective is preventing anyone else from ever taking his freedom away again. Certainly he would have still had a touch of taint madness, and however that had manifested itself. But it seemingly all washed away when he realized that people were blessing him for saving the innocents.

I am not of the opinion that Fain's buildup was lacking. Sometimes you spend all night trying to swat that one noisy little mosquito, and another time you snipe a rattlesnake with a .22 and it takes all of one minute. Fain's combined powers/abilities could easily have wrecked everything, and there wasn't a person in the area of Shayol Ghul who could stand near him while he was wielding mashadar. There's no situation where a protracted fight against him was viable. He had to fall to a sneak-attack of some sort. I see no real need to force a "balance" of screen time between that and Perrin's fight with Slayer. Especially given Mat's screen time as Prince of the Ravens, and as Supreme Allied Commander of the Light.

Cadsuane. Hmm, everyone seems to have wanted her dead. Well, don't worry, she doesn't have long left at best, given the Binder-induced cap on her life. Also, we all presume that she ends up being Amyrlin. Last I checked she was still saying no. Maybe they'll fetch Sorilea to get her in line.

Rand's agreement with Tuon. I waited, but nobody else (and I truly expected Leigh to see it, but her blinders were on good and tight) recognized that Lincoln parallel. In his 1862 letter to Horace Greeley, the Editor-in Chief of the New York Tribune (later the Times) Lincoln made clear his determination to serve his duty first:
I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.
This is what Rand did. To advance the goal of saving humanity, he permitted the status quo to remain, because without saving humanity being the only priority, everything else is ruined, and nobody is free. The later agreement between Fortuona and Egwene improves things drastically, though the Seanchan will certainly reneg on much of the spirit of that deal, as could be seen by those who captured Moghedien. The deal didn't specify Aes Sedai as the only exemption to collaring, and yet they claimed she was fair game because she didn't wear the Great Serpent ring.


Squeezing in a few lines to say that Gawyn's attack on Demandred wasn't stupid. I get it that many readers can't stand him, consider him an idiot. But he's the guy who beat three Seanchan assassins who were wearing a virtual cloaking device, complete with strength/speed/stamina buffs. He's beaten at least two blademasters in straight up fights, and was regularly besting Sleete, who occasionally out-sparred Lan, LAN!! for goodness' sake. The only piece of information he was lacking was that Demandred was previously acquainted with the enhancements he was employing, and clearly knew how to adjust to them. That and a very long life of swordfighting practice. Still, all other things being equal, wearing the three rings was a substantial advantage, and Gawyn didn't overestimate his own skill at all. He underestimated Demandred's breadth of experience.

All in all, it wasn't a stupid move, it was a reasonable risk. One Warder who otherwise doesn't count for all that much, in trade for taking out the Forsaken who is acting the Marshall General of the shadow's martial forces. Would you die to put in disarray an enemy army which is currently thrashing your friends and allies at whim? Gawyn would. Tai'shar Andor!


Much more to come.
Twinks
199. Weird
Um, "too sure she was right"? "Horrible peachtime Amyril"? Doesn't that describe the one who is now Amrylin? To a tee? The one who makes people want to either kill her or knuckle under like an idiot? Ugh.
Judy Carmona
200. Farstrider
Wall of Text
@197 Gabemar: Thank you for using the phrase "emotional punch"- I was searching for a way to describe exactly how so many moments felt to read. I completely disagree about the "overall lack of intimacy with the characters"- we have had 14 books (and some of us have had over 20 years) of intimacy with the characters.
@198 Freelancer: You expressed quite succinctly what I felt the book was all about. It certainly parallels the Christian idea that Satan is able to tempt man because God has given man that same "choice."

While this is only my second post, I have been nothing less than a devotee of WOT for the past 23 years. A big hug and thanks to Leigh and all of you regular posters for the fun re-read that helped me get caught up for this final installment. I used to be able to re-read the entire series every time the new book was published; alas, marriage, motherhood, and a career prevented that this time around. I made it all the way through LOC and then decided to rely on Leigh's re-read. Again, thanks a million.

A few notes:
1) Do I remember correctly that RJ said he would absolutely wrap up the series in 12 books? How the hell....Thank you Brandon for the last 3 books- I am MORE THAN HAPPY with my precious.

2) Someone else (Tektonica?) mentioned above the issue with "Egwene is dead" catching her eye as she turned the page. It happened to me too. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, and then had to read the next page and a half already knowing she was going to die. Her blaze of glory was magnificent and perfect, though I loved her throughout the series.

3) Mat's build up was killing me up until he stripped off that dorky ass Seanchan battle gown. He probably looked like Osho. I felt like no one was taking him seriously at that point and hello? Most Badass General and he wasn't in charge from the get-go? Its like he was an afterthought to the other characters. Why weren't Bashere and Lan looking everywhere for him? Well, I guess we know now why Bashere wasn't looking for him.... Anyway, when Mat stripped down and put on his old coat I shouted "FINALLY!" and made my husband jump. (He also kept commenting how I would go from crying on one page to laughing out loud on the next). Also- I was pronouncing Knotai as "Know-tie" and didn't mind the sound of it at all.

4) Moiraine and Nynaeve: They HAD to be the ones to accompany Rand because they were the ones he trusted most- to link with, to be able to withstand the magnitude of the fight, and to do the right thing should it become necessary. Their purpose was so great that their physical inaction was irrelevant. Besides, Thom came along with Moiraine and we got a lovely little snippet of his bad-assery when we saw his Little Hidden Pile of Bodies. Good thing he was there.

5) Bao the Wyld blew my mind. I want to know so much more about the Sharans and the prophecies that led them to willingly fight alongside Trollocs. Demandred's conversation with his new Sharan beloved led me to believe that they didn't know they were the bad guys until they showed up to the fight. And after they figured it out, they stayed. Must be some serious prophecy. Oh- was I the only one who wanted Demandred to end up with the copy of Mat's medallion that rendered the wearer unable to channel? Could have been an interesting moment.

6) Fain/Shaisam: By the time he had showed up, Rand had already brought us to the understanding that evil forces weren't as all-powerful as they believed themselves to be. I though Mat's mini-climax with Fain was a perfect cherry on top of that little sundae. Why give Fain more attention after we just saw how beautifully Rand's conflict with the DO concluded? Just because he had given himself a new name? Puh-lease. Squish, you puny ant.

7) One last thought on the True Power: Has anyone else ever given any thought to this- the True Source gives us the One Power (Saidar and Saidin) but the DO's essence is called the True Power? WTH? Perhaps this power belonging to him was just another one of his Lies. How else could it have been used against him? I think this bears more discussion.

Exquisite is a nice word, but I prefer Ineffable. My nerves are frayed, my eyes are red, I'm exhausted. I feel like I have lost several dear friends. But I am oh so grateful to RJ, BS, Harriet and all others for sharing with me the Last Battle in High Chant.
Twinks
201. Glint
I read The Eye of the World sometime in 1990 and I could never have guessed the journey I started 23 years ago. I mourned the loss of RJ and feared that I'd never see my beloved series come to its conclusion, I was somewhat skeptical of the Brandon Sanderson take-over of the series but after the first chapter of A Gathering Storm I was hooked. Brandon breathed new life into the series and I once again found myself breathing hard at the end of a chapter. I can honestly say that A Memory of Light was one of the most enjoyably reads of my life, and I think Brandon did a tremendous job bringing all the various threads together to finish this series. It was a masterful effort and I for one want to say Thank You to Brandon Sanderson and the Team at TOR who have carried this series all these years, Thank you for taking an 11 year old boy on an epic journey to adulthood.
T C
202. Freelancer
Farstrider @200

I still plan to use my previous comment for expansion, but I'll open a new one to respond.

Regarding the True Power, I'm fairly confident in saying that's a name given by the dark one himself. If he thinks that he's the only honesty that world has ever known, he'd do exactly that, pretending to one-up the Creator, and who would say otherwise?

As for it being used against him, I was very pleased with the mechanics of that. I had always hated the idea of Rand using the True Power to fight evil. Well, he did, but indirectly, and that is fine by me.

First off, it was Moridin channeling it through Callandor, so Rand didn't suffer any effect of it, as he was weaving it through a link.

Second, because of Moridin's explicit permission to use it, that I am still certain Rand never had, if using it at Shayol Ghul was going to hurt anyone it would have only been Moridin.

Last, once the massive flow of it via Callandor was going, it was used not precisely as a weapon against the Dark One. At first, before Rand realized what not to do, it was being used to pull him out of the prison. Then, it was being used as a temporary barrier to protect saidar & saidin while he wove the perfect repair. Many people believed that was what would happen, but believed that Rand would channel both Powers. I couldn't accept that as fitting to the morality of the story. This worked.

It also burned the ability to channel out of Moridin's body.
Twinks
203. Ceku
I was definetely expecting Egwene to do something incredible after Gawyns death and it reminds me of the last queen of Manetheren who pulled a similar trick destroying dreadlords taking herself out with them.
Twinks
204. Louis Theodore Tellman
Glad to see that I wasn't the only one who actually shed a tear when Bela died. And I NEVER cry at movies, tv shows, books, etc.

I cried for a fictional horse.

This was truly Epic.
matt
205. graftonio
Now we all have to do what Tam taught Rand "Let go"

Overall as far a huge apocalyptic finishes go I can't complain.

I echo many others that Padan Fain seemed to really be a throw away after all this time.

My absolute favorite Mat line/interaction in the whole book was a toss up between Mat and Rand's game of one up in the garden OR Mat's note to Galad when he sent him the Medallion and told him if he ran into anyone with a quarterstaff he should have his friends handle them.

I love that in the middle of the last battle Mat still had time to remind Galad that he kicked his ass.
a a-p
206. lostinshadow
@ 187 & 188

My reading of the Egwene-Tuon damane compromise was not so much that existing damane would be freed if they asked but that when new chanellers were discovered they would be given the choice of being collared or leaving seanchean lands.
Twinks
207. Wes S.
I finished AMoL about an hour ago. The ending - OK, an ending; there are no beginnings or endings to the Wheel of Time, etc. - of a journey that began for me twenty years ago. A journey along a pathway that I'll likely return to over and over again in years to come, like visiting an old friend.

Wow. Just...wow. I'm totally blown away.

I keep seeing complaints in the comments about how this or that aspect of AMoL didn't work for somebody. Well, as the old Russian proverb goes, "Better is the enemy of good enough." And AMoL - the entire three-book cycle; not just this final book itself - was more than "good enough," especially given all the plotlines left unresolved by RJ's untimely death. Brandon Sanderson, you done good.

I'll likely be re-reading this one again very soon, but for now here's my initial impressions:

--No coddling the cast of characters here; there's enough blood and death to sicken George R.R. Martin.

--Talmanes was just awesome. "Dreadbane," indeed. And the whole "peek-a-boo" thing later on with cannon and gateways...bwahaha.

--Androl was awesomeness SQUARED, both on his own and in combination with Pevara. You just knew Taim's guys were making a mistake picking on him...and one of my favorite parts of the book was Androl actually overcoming the dreamspike (and his own taint-caused madness) to deflect Taim's first blast of balefire before Perrin actually switched the thing off.

Right before Androl then caused the Dreadlords to shoot themselves in the back with clever use of gateways...and then dropped the floor out from under the survivors. "Pageboy," huh? Bwahaha, again.

And the "lava fire hose." Bwahaha, cubed.

(I was also remembering Seaine Sedai's observation of Pevara from a couple of books ago, where she recalled that Pevara joined the Red Ajah because she thought her best chance of finding Darkfriends was by hunting male channelers. Talk about getting what you wished for...!)

(Also, as for Logain's newfound dickery: Between getting both personally tortured, and experiencing the horrors of Toveine being forcibly turned to the Shadow through the 13X13 trick while she was telepathically LINKED to him...Holy crap.)

--The various scenes where Rand is basically saying goodbye to his friends and family before going to face the Dark One were particularly poignant, especially the sparring match with Tam and Tam's final, most important, lesson to his son. Glad we finally got to see Tam in action as a true blademaster. Tai'shar Manetheren, indeed.

(Except for the impromptu bragging contest between Mat and Rand in Ebou Dar, which had me both laughing and facepalming myself at the same time. I'm not sure which had me laughing/groaning harder: Mat and Rand's juvenile behavior, or Tuon and Karede totally losing their s**t at facing the Dragon while they were doing it.)

--The Borderlanders grieving for their fallen at Tarwin's Gap with laughter and jokes, in the Spartan fashion, had me on the verge of tears. And then came Lan's final charge...at which point the gateways opened and the armies poured through to join with him and his handful of survivors...just BEAUTIFUL.

--Another crowning moment of awesome: Demandred coming into the open for the first time with the Sharan armies. Yikes. Talk about a grand entrance...!

--Although Moiraine's no slouch in the "grand entrance" department herself.

--Thom and his little collection of would-be Black Ajah assassins, there at the entrance to the Pit of Doom. Compose a few lines, throw a knife, add the newest corpse to the pile, go back to composing...snork.

--Here lies Gawyn Trakand, who died as he lived: Impulsively stupid, as usual. *facepalm* (Was it wrong of me that I was sort of rooting for Demandred in his duels with first Gawyn and then Galad? I know Demandred is really evil, but Gawyn has been annoying the hell out of us ever since "Lord of Chaos" and Galad has been doing the same since "The Eye Of The World." Plus being a goody-two-shoes Ken doll with no sense of humor, for good measure.)

--And Elayne isn't much better. Jeesh. How many times during the course of this series has somebody had to come swooping to her rescue because she keeps getting herself in trouble? Is there, like, something in the water in Caemlyn affecting the intelligence and self-preservation skills of House Trakand?

(The scene early one where Elayne was informed of the fall of Caemlyn was another *facepalm* moment for me. To paraphrase Elayne's discussion with her generals: "No, we mustn't divide our forces to retake the capital, because that's what the Shadow wants. So instead we'll divide our forces and besiege the city to starve the Trollocs out, because the fast citizens have already escaped and the Trollocs have mostly eaten the slow ones. That's a WAY better plan. Oh Aviendha, what are you doing there? Just give me a few more moments to berate my generals properly, and then I'll help you get laid, because what are sister wives/spear BFFs for?")

--Min vs. Tuon. Don't screw with the Doomseer, Empress.

--Lan vs. Demandred. Really, did anyone other than Demandred NOT see the whole "sheathing the sword" thing coming? I was ready to start grieving like a Borderlander for him, laughing through the tears...and then he didn't die after all. Which adds just another layer to the pure awesome that is al'Lan Mandragoran, last King of the Malkieri and the reigning Crown Prince of Awesomeness.

--Androl vs. Taim. Androl disguised sorcerously as another Dreadlord, swiping the seals from Taim as Taim in turn was using the Power to disguise Androl as Androl (!) so he could get close to Logain...I was reading that passage in bed, and literally fell laughing off the mattress.

--Birgitte vs. Daved Hanlon. Didn't see THAT one coming, did you Davey?! Yeah, there's a reason she thought she was "Birgitte from the stories..."

--Speaking of heroes from the Horn of Valere: Jain "Noal" Farstrider. "I'm baaaack...!"

--Speaking of the Horn of Valere: I didn't expect Olver to be the one to blow it. That initially confused me. Guess I should have really re-read the whole series again before picking up AMoL. Otherwise I might have remembered a crucial bit of plot at the end of "Fires of Heaven."

--Graendal vs. Aviendha. Didn't see THAT one coming, did you Heffalump?! (Or whatever her new Forsaken name was. I just knew when we saw her in the prologue, still arrogant as ever despite being soundly beaten with Shaidar Haran's ugly stick - take that as you will - that when Graendal finally fell, she was going to go down HARD.)

I'm pretty sure there's a grim Aiel sort of joke in there about Aviendha meeting all the "toh" she's built up over the course of the series by losing a couple of toes fighting Graendal, but I'm too much of a gentleman to make it... :P

--Egwene's final confrontation with Taim. Whoa. Epic. Not only going out in a true blaze of glory - shoving Taim's own balefire right back down his throat as she becomes the living embodiment of the Flame of Tar Valon - but somehow stitching the Pattern back together as the Forsakens' use of balefire threatened to unravel it completely. Oh, hell yeah. No tears here. Save 'em for Bela, the most loyal plowhorse in epic fantasy.

--Mat vs. Fain. Didn't see THAT one coming, did you Shaisam? And he did it with Fain's own precious, just to add salt to the wound.

--Perrin vs. Slayer. You know, I almost kind of felt sorry for Isam, given what we learned in the prologue about Isam's deprived (depraved?) childhood in the Village of the Damned, but then Isam had to go and start whining to Perrin about it during one of their several confrontations. (Kind of a false note, that.) Have a mouthful of hammer, Isam. Bye.

--Perrin vs. Lanfear. Didn't see THAT coming, did you Lanfear? "Got you in a stranglehold, honey, you better curse your fate..." Bwahaha.

--Hats off to Faile. Glad that whole horrible "Fifty Shades of Shaido" plotline that she (and we) were tortured with for several books had a point after all... :P

--"Moridin," (Rand) thought. "He's being cremated with full honors as the Dragon Reborn." Which also had me laughing. Pity that Elayne, Min and Avi weren't better actors...

OK, I'll stop here. Didn't mean to write a review of my own...much less a novella. Besides, I really need to start reading this one again.

Or heck: just start all over with "The Eye Of The World." The fact that we finally know the destination makes path no less sweet.

God bless, Mr. Rigney. And thank you as well, Brandon.
Twinks
208. lburns05
WYLD STALLYNS!!!
Twinks
209. lburns05
I cried about different things. The scenes that made me cry the most were when I thought Lan was dead and when Noal/Jain came back.

Lewis
Twinks
210. lburns05
When you said Jack-in-the-box, umm I thought you meant the burger joint. I was trying to figure out how that could be relevant. I am stupid.

Lewis
Twinks
211. CoraBlue
While I think I mostly loved the book, there were some disappointing aspects, mainly the lack of Nynaeve, Moiraine, and Min (to an extent), and the lack of a scene with all three boys together. I loved Pervara and Androl as much as the next fan did, but it was a bit frustrating to spend so much time with them and not with characters we've been following for 20 years. That being said, I understand that Nynaeve or Moiraine probably couldn't have POV chapters without giving away what they were planning to do. While it wasn't completely satisfying, at least I knew that what they were doing was important.

I've always found the relationship the three boys have to be realistic and somewhat sad, and that continued to the end. They have a bond, but the secrets they kept from each other, and the journeys they each took meant that their friendships were strained and fractured. Mat and Rand's friendship, for me, has always been one of the most bittersweet and well written aspects of the series. The banter between the boys is always a highlight and Mat finally allowing himself to be pulled to Rand was an unexpectedly poignant moment in the book.

The ending scene of a pain and burden free Rand was a nice idea, truly (his not having any pain when he woke up made my eyes well), but to start with there is the small matter of walking out on his unborn children. Wondering which of the girls would be the first to drop everything in their lives and chase after him was almost offensive in that it disregards everything they had gone through and were going through. On top of that, not telling Tam or Nynaeve that he was alive seemed cruel. I mean, walking away from the people who had given everything to make sure he succeeded seemed to fly in the face of his character. For someone that had been so interested in brokering a peace that would last for generations, he seemed totally ready to turn his back on people who probably still needed him. For me, his riding off into the sunset seemed an odd and anti-heroic message to end the series on.

Best scenes (and best line), imo, belonged to Lan, a man who never turned his back on his responsibilities. I don't think I've ever cried so hard over a fictional character's death in my life. The resurrection was totally far fetched, but I didn't even care.

I was never a big fan of Egwene, but her death also got me emotional. It was a fitting and heroic ending for her, and also a redemptive one for those of us who found her immature and grating over the years. It was a beautiful scene and I had to stop for a moment when it ended.

Like so many above, I'd like to thank Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson for bringing these books to us. I've been reading them for so long and I am terribly grateful that the series was completed. No matter how much griping I've done (or may do), I love this series. I know that in about a year, I'll find myself thinking that it's time for the next book to come out and I'll probably get sad all over again when I have to remind myself that there will never be another. Thanks guys, it's been one hell of a journey.
Twinks
212. Vitch
Just finished this morning. I thought it was a fitting climax to my favourite fantasy series.

Thank you to all involved over the last 21 years.
Twinks
213. RobertWV
Two questions. How is Mat not a hero of the horn? How did Rand light that pipe?
Twinks
214. Zizoz
"Uh. Is that who I think it is? Because whooooa.

Yeah, that was totally who I thought it was. And it kind of puts paid to the debate over whether it had really been the Creator talking to Rand in TEOTW, too. At least as far as I am concerned."

Huh. Totally didn't get this until just now, when I searched back through the book to try to figure out what Leigh was talking about.
Gary Singer
215. AhoyMatey
Thanks for the review, Leigh. I thought it was great! And thanks to Brandon, Jim and Team Jordan for giving us an awesome series and a fabulous ending. For me, it was truly satisfying.

A lot of comments have brought up things I felt. I could write a huge essay, but just a few points:

I like that everything isn't tied up in a pretty bow. It makes the book more realistic. And people die. Some things never get resolved. That's ok and that's life.

I loved the scene where Rand gave Tam the sword that had belonged to Hawkwing. And the aftermath. And yeah, Lan bowing to Tam? Awesome! Lan was awesomeness himself.

The subversion of the great captains was great, and gave Mat a chance to be his bad-ass great captain self.

After all the fan speculation about "his blood on the rocks...", it was nice and mundane :)

Egwene's death was a great death. She helped fix the world and the pattern.

Fain was deadly, but I liked how vaccinated Mat could defeat him easily.

Perrin was great. Loved the Last Hunt.

Logain gets to rise to greatness because he made an unselfish choice. Unlike a darkfriend.

Callandor trap? Brilliant! Rand managed to get his hand back. Dragon claw saa? Cool! Lighting his pipe with a thought? I speculate it's because he held the powers of creation and destruction, and can use them if he wants. He's superseded channeling. And he's free. He's had this huge destiney and burden for a long time now...
steve cook
216. scook
Rand's damane clause with Tuon turned out not to be a big deal because of the clarifications made between Tuon and Ewgene.

Paidan Fain was always more of an irritant than anything else. He didn't deserve any more screen time.

I "discovered" the WOTFAQ between LOC and ACOS in the mid-90's. Out of everything that you can read on the internet about the WOT, the WOTFAQ was simply the most comprehensive and eye-opening discussion available. The pipe-lighting scene will perserve the need for the FAQ, even if get clear answers from Team Jordon.
Maiane Bakroeva
217. Isilel
Well, I have just finished the AMoL audiobook (which I had to get due to my foolish trust in our utterly incompetent booksellers and lamentable lack of the ebook) and...

I am reasonably satisfied. I liked it, despite it's failings on several issues that were, IMHO, rather important. There was a point where I loved it, but the ending coudn't sustain it.

I am very grateful to Team Jordan and Tor that they have finished the series and glad that Leigh's re-read led me to picking it up again.
At the same time I feel that it didn't reach it's potential - which, few lengthy works do, of course.
And not because of the tragic circumstances that caused the change in authors either, IMHO.
It just sprawled beyond anybody's capacity to do everything justice as well as slowed down unnecessarily after LoC and RJ made a few unfortunate decisions about certain over-powered abilities, such as Travelling and general power inflation, as well as gendered aspects that really muddled certain aspects of the series and necessitated large retcons in AMoL.


The Good:

Most of Rand's storyline. I loved the insight into the very real flaws of Lewis Therin and Rand and the way they helped to cause the end of the First Age and had to be finally overcome.
I loved how most of criticisms of Rand and his plans that have caused a lot of outrage from certain parts of the readership... have turned out to be completely valid. And required Rand to rise over them.
I have heard Rand's philosophical dispute with the DO called "juvenile", but it worked for me, since Rand's (and LTT's) views were always portrayed as rather naive and maximialistic. I was happy to see that they were finally anknowledged as such and a weakness on his part.

Egwene's storyline. Perfect. After all the outrage at her daring to compare herself to Rand, daring to oppose him? They were the 2 sides of the same coin. Both flawed. Both necessary to save the Pattern. And unlike Rand's cheesy ending, hers was genuinely moving and poignant, IMHO. Personally, I always liked Egwene and I am very sad at her death, but her arc was magnificent.

Redemption of female channelers and particularly Aes Sedai. Basically, until this book they were, with a few exceptions, portrayed as annoying and useless, and inferior to men in so many ways. Stomping them was a de-facto required rite of passage for all important characters.
I really feared that they would remain like that until the end and am so glad and relieved that they finally, finally got their shit together, stepped up and made their contribution with cool competence and courage. And that their ways were actually shown to have some merits along with a slew of flaws that we were treated to previously.

The Forsaken were actually pretty clever and dangerous too and came up with several schemes worthy of the name, that came close to succeeding.
Yes, they all failed because of their personal forms of hubris and insanity, but they weren't the bumbling buffons that marred a lot of earlier books.

Lan. I really loved that he was allowed his awesomeness. And unlike all other characters that should have remained dead and whose survival felt cheap, his was actually a pleasant surprise, since he seemed marked for death from the beginning. And unlike with Rand (IMHO), well, there was no thematical necessity for his death.

Pevara and Androl - seriously, they were great, separately and together.
Too bad that Logain, who, I felt, always was a dick, is the one to reap the rewards for their heroism and hard work, as well as impend the re-unification of male and female channelers that they would have undoubtedly initiated, but stuff like that happens.
It was actually rather refreshing, how Logain's "glory" was mostly stolen.
Nice that he resisted temptation, but seriously, he is no longer fit for leadership, if he ever was. Androl is just so much better at it than he and an incomparably better person, to boot.

Olver. His horn-blowing was such a great moment... and Noal coming back for him.

Perrin and Faile - I actually _liked_ their parts! The only other 2 times I liked Faile were when she set Perrin's head straight after his first defeat and when she brought help to Two Rivers. Too bad that she didn't stay dead, though - that robbed their story of poignancy and grandeur, I felt.
Also, it was just too forced and tidy how nobody actually lost a spouse and survived. It should have been another price of victory, an important facet of war, even just and necessary war, to explore and remember.

Mat - I liked his storyline in this book, the way he became a supreme commander, the way he played the field against Demandred. How it happened naturally and didn't excessively depend on his luck and ta'verenness.
I was never a fan of Jordan's Mat or his storylines, but this worked well.
I also loved that he wasn't the one to beat Demandred physically. Because isn't it the point? That everybody had to pitch in, rather than a couple of supermen doing everything? Isn't it why the Shadow failed, in the end?

Birgitte! She was such a BAMF. A bitter-sweet ending for her indeed.

To be continued.
Twinks
218. Nightbaron
This was a fitting end to the series, despite me not getting all of the small boons I wanted, like Nynaeve's POV on Moiraine's return, or Rand's.

Egwene's death was tragic in that I feel her legacy won't be kept after her death, her deal with the Wise Ones and Winfinders, accepting all ages to the novice books, etc... especially if Cadsuane is made Amyrlin. Buy then this ending lets me imagine her running away that night and someone else more pro-Egwene being chosen. (Nynaeve, or Saerin, or someone else she won over).
Twinks
219. Curtain Jerker
@ 214 re:
"Uh. Is that who I think it is? Because whooooa."

I still don't get this one. Can you explain? Thanks in advance!
Twinks
220. Nightbaron
Also, who was the pretty woman, not a forsaken, who ordered Isam to kill Rand in the Prologue?
Twinks
221. Curtain Jerker
@220.

I think Lanfear/Cyndane. That's why she's not at the dreamshard meeting later in the prolouge.
Twinks
222. alfa sprouts
I liked the review. Couple of questions/ thoughts on the book.

1. Maybe I missed it a while back, but who killed Asmodeon? Minor detail, really.

2. I really, really wanted a line where Mat would think for a moment that he was done with battles then Tuon reminds him that he's now expected to reconquer the entire Seanchan Empire and will spend the rest of his life in battle and he considers running but ends up bringing the Band along with him. Something like that.

3. I liked the ending. Curious about the logistics of the body switch with Rand/ Moridin. But, I think a bit more time with the women (Rand + Min + Aviendha + Elayne) before wandering off would have worked. I know there are circumstances and probable reunions, but he did just walk away from the 6-month pregnant mother of his firstborns.

4. Overall, the battles got a tad tedious to me. I suppose it had to be done and was inevitable, but those scenes were always best when short and interspersed with Mat trying to run away.

5. Got to end on a high note - loved the ending overall.
a a-p
223. lostinshadow
Re Rand leaving his threesome and children behind: i think this is actually part of his sacrifice. The dragon was part of the third age, and the fourth age needs to be free of him. If any one of the three maintain a relationship with him in his new body their secret is likely to be outed since none of them are low profile women. And if people know he is around they will try and use him instead of forging their own way.

And while sad for the kiddies, well at least mom is well off and able to care for them. Maybe rand can show up as a love interest and stepfather figure several years down the line though that's unlikely since he would have to stick to Elayne alone so as not to rouse suspicion.

That's probably why he expects the girls to come after him rather than him sneaking into any one of their abodes sans any power except lighting a pipe. Though not stated there's also the likelihood none of the girls can get away any time soon so I view this as another sacrifice by Rand.
Twinks
224. Tom M.
Finished the book last night at 4am. Just could not stop reading. Definately a wonderful end to a great series. Not perfect, but what is? Had quite a few holy crap moments (Androl and his use of gateways---love the sheer imaginativeness of it). Finally, Perrin wasn't boring (not too much MUST SAVE FAILE). Matrim was awesome as usual, and Rand and the Dark One brought up some pretty deep philosophical points. Something I did miss was maybe a post-script to the story (like in the final Harry Potter). Kinda ended abruptly for me. Oh well. Glad to know my quite large time investment was worth it in the end. This series is HIGHLY recommended.
a a-p
225. lostinshadow
Also I'm curious, how are the girls supposed to find him, did the bond somehow transfer to the new non-chaneller body? Did they somehoe rebind him while he was in recovery?
Twinks
226. Nicole764
I'm a frequent reader here but rarely post. So glad this thread is here now that I've finally had the chance to read AMOL.

I think I need a little more time to process, but my overall feeling is one of disappointment. I don't know if that's because I know it's all over - or because of the way it ended. I feel like there are still so many loose ends.

I always remember when I finished reading David Eddings' "The Seeress of Kell" when it first came out - that must have been about 1991 or so? The "battle" was halfway through the book, and the final chapters were spent wrapping things up. I loved that. I felt similar things when reading Brandon's "The Hero of Ages" - that everything was "right" just for a moment.

I had re-read TOM just previous to AMOL and I loved that one - felt like so many things were coming together. I didn't feel that with this one.

But I suppose that's always going to be the price you pay when one author has to finish the work of another. Would I have preferred to never see an ending? To be given just the words RJ had written, without the parts BS added? Of course not.

Bittersweet. That's the word I'd pick. I had hoped for Exquisite.
Twinks
227. Jasc
How was "Moridin" able to not be under strong guards, when someone identified him as a forsaken ("we don't know why Rand would save one of the forsaken")? When does the body switch actually happen? At the start of "to see an answer" it seems that Rand carries Moridin (it's his POV, so he should know :-) ) and together with the above comment means that he was still in his body and the switch happend after?

Also some questions for the people who were to the signings:

Is it already known which scene was cut and then added to the charity book "Unfettered"?

Also: will the encyclopedia include a "twenty years after" section and will we get some more closing views on the characters or will the currently unresoveld storylines stay unresolved?

Thanks! :-)
Twinks
229. zaboke
I think that the book was more than to hope for! 10 years of waiting for the end, does feel long, but i didnt want it to end really. I consider Robert Jordans work one of the best by far and I miss his presence in AoL. The storyline of the book is somehow crammed , nonetheless entertaining and eventful. We wanted the end and we got it, (although a split might have been a great idea) I would like to thank brandon for doing such a great job of undertaking such a difficult task.

/elisabeth

one thing though(in my opinion), felt a bit off was the ending. It just seemed off character. would Rand really walk away, just like that? in a way finding peace through solitude and walking away, letting go, didnt strike me as something he would do...seemed little too easy, unrealistic and less of an ending..to abrupt. i dont know how to explain it.
but..

I grew up with the series and they were a huge part of my life. I fell in love with the wheel of time the first time I read the Eye of the World. I thank first and foremost ,Robert Jordan, for creating the wonderful world of the wheel of time, and for Harriet and Brandon for finishing the epic story.
Rob Munnelly
231. RobMRobM
Grandel killed Asmo. She had taken to wandering halls of castles after Foresaken were killed looking for objects of power. Rahvin died, and G ran into Asmo. Then here comes the boom....
Cathy Brown
232. totoro-in-randland
On Egwene

Reading and rereading The World of Time over the past 20 years or so, I never found Egwene anything but irritating.

So earnest, so sure she knew what she knew, so much a true believer in institutions, whether it be the Aiel way or the supremacy of the White Tower.

Yes, she could learn and change, yes, she set out from the very beginning to seek new horizons, but that underlying earnest 'I'm a good girl' in her character never stopped annoying me. Of the five who set out the The Two Rivers, it was Egwene that I never warmed to.

And then I turned a page in Memory of Light and began sobbing as if my heart was breaking. Part of it was just the shock, I suppose; I never saw this coming. But most of it was 'no! not Egwene!' As I write this almost a day later, tears have come to my eyes.

And I have to ask myself why I care so much. And I can only answer that these characters from The Two Rivers have become part of the fabric of my life and having one of them ripped away is a death indeed.

Although there won't be other books or stories about Rand, Mat, Perrin or Nyneave, I'll still know they're out there somewhere growing and changing, having adventures, loving, living their lives.

But Egwene is gone forever, resting in the light.
Twinks
233. flicker
I just finished the book and I wouldn't change much in it. If I could rewrite the book, I wouldn't have Egwene or Gawyn die and I would make the book longer, although this way, what happens after is ours to make in our own minds. I knew someone important would die, someone important always dies. I think Rand dead wouldn't have been as bad as Egwene dead, because it was kindof expected that Rand die. I will anyway give this final book of the WOT five big stars.
I imagined the Channalers to open gateways that lead into the middle of the ocean and drowning tens of thousands of trollocs as the water poured out, but what Androl did with lava was close to what I though would happen.
Anthony Pero
234. anthonypero
Jsac@227:

I think Rand and Moridin switched bodies BEFORE Rand carried Moridin out. So, when Rand carries him out, he's in Moridin's body carrying out his OWN body, with Moridin inside. He's almost blind at this point from the bright light, and can't really see anything, so the narrative is intentionally vague. Its also possible that they were BOTH Rand and Moridin at that point, had merged, and hadn't separated yet.

I believe Cadsuane and Alivia were two of the people waiting outside the cave when Rand came out, that's why Cadsuane had a clue what was going on. She would have been the person most likely to take charge of any guards on Rand and Moridin as well. I think the implication of the ending is that Rand might have suspected what was going on with himself and Moridin, and that this was one possible outcome, and that he informed her.

I also think the Warder Bond is still on Rand. I think that's who his ladies knew he was still alive, and were never worried about it.
T C
235. Freelancer
I felt that it was a man's body with two good hands who carried the other out of the Pit. I also felt that it was Rand's body which was far more physically abused during the confrontation, making it the one which needed to be carried. But it was definitely Rand's soul who was doing the carrying, so the switch must have occurred inside.

I also get the sense that this particular scene occurred in tel'aran'rhiod. Otherwise, why wouldn't Moiraine, Nynaeve and Thom be at the entrance waiting for them? Instead, while nearly blinded, Rand hears an unfamiliar voice, then sees what appears to be a gray-haired woman in Aiel clothing. Well, this must be Nakomi, and Brandon has openly confirmed that she was skilled in the World of Dreams. Perhaps that is her home, and she doesn't exist in the waking world at all. When she met Aviendha, there was great speculation along those lines, and it seems to have been confirmed.

So, in tel'aran'rhiod, a strong mind can make almost anything into reality. I have to believe that Rand planned for this and performed the switch there. Then, as he was losing consciousness at the mouth of the cave, he slipped from tel'aran'rhiod, and that's when he heard the shouting, as people outside saw him and Moridin appear on the ground.
Matthew Smith
236. Blocksmith1
Read the book, read the review, read the comments.

I picked it up 0930 EST on tuesday and due to many work/life issues, finished it on a plane en route to California on Thursday. I was sitting in between to ladies that were senior to me who noticed me tearing up at one point. One was actually reading the brief review in USA today and then saw what I was reading. Both ladies decided they had to look into reading this series...so maybe two converts FTW?!

Anyway, to say I loved the book is an understatement. With only one exception, I was absolutely blown away. I felt tired reading about the soldiers going back and forth to the lines. I cried with Egwene's sacrifice, Tam and Rand sparring, Noal coming back, Birgitte coming back (her dying was too shocking for tears). If Elayne had died, I swore on that plane, that I would never use, write, or acknowledge the number 786. That would have been more wrong than...I don't know what. I took a 10 minute break there including a bathroom trip, some Faith No More, and some blue chips. I loved that Faile almost redeemed herself for almost three books of being annoying. I loved that Logain had to battle within himself to truly do the right thing...it fit his character and his trials. And I am very glad that Brandon did not go Martin on Elayne.

My only teeny tiny critique is Shaisam. It felt very abrupt and I think I was expecting a little more...fleshing out (pardon the pun)...of what Padan Fain had become. I had no issue with how Mat took him out though.

I loved that some of the minor characters were once again shown to be badass. Thom, Tam, Karede, Androl/Pevara, Hurin, (all the Ogier), Gaul, too many others to name.

My sincere thanks to Brandon, Harriet, Team Jordan, Leigh, Jason, and so many others for all their hard work and dedication. Amazing job. Truly amazing.

On to the comments....

First, if those that were not satisfied with the review couldn's ask themselves maybe there was a reason for the format and do some research as to the first non-spoiler review...I have no time for your criticisms. Leigh is more than capable of handling that.

Second (had to comment on this), ChrisBeckstrand @ 74...did you actually read all the books? Does that level of ignorance come with some special hat? Without Perrin, Slayer kills Rand. EOS. and Moiraine's return was critical to Rand...the one he failed to save came back. And as Bad Platypus @ 81 pointed out, the meeting at Merrilor likely fails without her. You can think the book was poor, that's your opinion, but at least base your criticisms on some facts.

Brokenhearted @ 124 Cads being the Amyrlin is punishment. She has tried to avoid that role for literally centuries...not this time.

Anthonypero@139 YES...Suffa needed to be there!!!! Egwene may have said something like "We want all the collared sisters back...except HER (finger pointing)!!!!!"

RobMRobM @ 147 Great idea...Tam and Leane. And I agree, those are good questions that I wish we would get answers to.

AnthonyPero @ 154 Yes, Egwene releases Leilwin just before she goes to confront Taim and Demandred releases Leane to send the message to Rand, which she can't do because he is at Shayol Ghul.

Syllabus @ 190 Shadar Haran was the husk that was near Moridin at the Bore...I think. Dsolo beat me to it.

Freelancer @ 198 As usual...very well said. and @ 202...That is exactly what I thought, Moridin burned out the ability to channel using Callandor and that is why Rand cannot channel not. Also, I recall our discussion many months ago about the use of the TP to reseal the prison. I was excited that I was about 33% right.
T C
237. Freelancer
Blocksmith1,

And I am perfectly happy being about 20% wrong about it. It was nicely twisted, that while Rand did employ the essence of evil against its source, it was done using the Nae'blis as a conduit, and as describe in the scene, once the flow was turned on full blast via Callandor, it couldn't be stopped. So all the issues about permission and access become moot. Moridin had complete access, and by that time it was too late to attempt to rescind it. Then, that the True Power was used, not as an offensive weapon, or for itself to make the repair, but as a shield against tainting the One Power, was well done.

Finally, and I didn't mention this before, all the 20-year long concerns about calling saidar and saidin the One Power, also became moot when Rand blended them into the pure force of Creation. The only thing missing is a view of the now-shattered Callandor, as a sign that nobody ever need fear this problem for the remainder of this turning.
Matthew Smith
238. Blocksmith1
Freelancer...

The 33% was an estimate and I think I rounded up. I thought the scene was amazing and met my expectations. The use of Moridin as the tool, I think, was even better than using the TP. And the weaving of both Saidin and Saidar to close/reforge/create the DO's prison (or shut him out of the world entirely) was perfect and was great symmetry.
Twinks
239. Haman
Wow, just wow. I mean whoa. Great article, Leigh, on a wonderful book-- and fun to reflect one more time... there were some things I wanted to see and knew had to happen, but enough surprises and last-second gasps to keep me hooked.

Just a few of my own thoughts to add:
1. Ogiers fighting!?!? Thrilling. I loved when Loial's treesong made the trolloc weapons bloom.
2. Hold on, according to the Three Oaths, the Aes Sedai couldn't have attacked the Sharans... right? Does the fact that they were Demandred's buddies make them officially Shadowspawn? Kind of an important technicality...
3. Lan's the man. Sometimes you have to sheathe the sword.
4. Regarding Pevara and Androl's stedding trick, how did Androl cut the fireball weave if he was inside a stedding? Or was that Mishraile's wrong interpretation of the stedding's effects?
5. Good for Logain. Not what I thought, but he earned his aura of glory.
Twinks
240. lburns05
It is funny to me how we can all have different impressions of the ending. I have read many people saying the end was bittersweet. That wasn't my impression at all. The end to me seemed deliriously happy. I was grinning ear to ear. Rand is free, he is whole, he seems happy, he'll be fine. Beloved characters dying to me only seems bittersweet if they accomplished nothing. Gawyn wasn't beloved to me, and I even cried when he died, even though it was more for Galad. Speaking of Galad, his face injury is funny to me because he is not vain at all about his physical appearance, but I wonder how Berelain feels since she seems very vain, I think she'll be fine with it.

Lewis
Twinks
241. rstarr
ok, I said I wouldn't add an epic to all the epics in this thread already, but here goes:

Moiraine – yes her role was small, but she was back, and in a sense that’s all that matters. She saw through to the very end what she started so many years ago in the Aiel War, and she gets to live happily ever after with Thom.

Nynaeve – Yes I wish she had been written better at the end, and would have loved more of her inner monologue. I’m also not sure Sanderson ever got her (or many readers, either) but she’s always been my favorite, so loyal to who SHE is. Anyway, all that aside, her moments of awesome were there –being firmly in Rand al’Thor camp, not the Aes Sedai one; helping seal the Bor;, falling back on her herbs to save Alanna and make her just lucid enough to release Rand from the bond. And my god now she gets to go be Queen of Malkier and make babies with Lan. Squee. Also, after 18 years of wearing a braid, it’s time to get Nynaeve’s new shoulder-length ‘do.

Lan – Which leads me to Lan. I always assumed these books were a long drawn-out suicide mission for Lan, so in many ways, I had reconciled myself to his death long ago. That he made it out alive… That’s one thing. That he made it out with so much AWESOME is still almost too much for me to handle. My mind went rushing back to book 2, to Lan’s final lesson to Rand, and it all came full circle in this giant burst of awesomeness, and he got to live through it to boot. And Malkier is reborn. Honestly, this was the happiest ending/plotline for me in the entire series.

Mat/Tuon – Those who think this relationship is strange must not get it: they are the only two people to successfully challenge/intrigue the other in a lifetime of looking (er, well, a decade of looking). The games they play delight them, keep them sharp; they’d both grow bored soon otherwise. Plus Mat knocked her up on the first go. Don’t forget Jordan at one point planned a series in which we see Mat and Tuon reunite Seanchan after the Last Battle, so I think there is plenty of time for Tuon to come around regarding damane, the fact she can channel, and all her other ingrained Seanchan habits, so I’m at peace leaving the two of them this way. Mat loves her, and I think Tuon already loves him, just doesn’t even know how to recognize the emotion yet. She will.
Rand – oh Rand. The last scene was beautiful. You get to go back to anonymity, you get to play your flute and remember a simple shepherd named Rand al’Thor. You get to put down the mountain. I am still confused as to how the whole transmigration of the souls worked with Moridin, but I buy it, and I see how we were set up for it from the moment the TP and saidin merged in Shadar Logoth. Did Moridin plan it? Was this his final suicide to avoid rebirth? When did Rand realize it would work, and is that Alivia or Nakomi or both helping out at the end? I look forward to exploring these questions, delving into the research and physics (metaphysics?) behind it, but I get it, and it’s the only ending that makes sense in so many ways.

As to how he lit the pipe, I’m assuming that’s his Creator-avatarness. The same power that lets him grow green grass and bring forth Avendesora trees. IMHO

Min/Aviendha/Elayne – as to who will follow Rand, I truly hope (and believe) it’s Min. Both Elayne and Aviendha are preggers by him now, and that is the legacy they will build, the Dragon’s children, one in a royal lineage, and the other to lead the Aiel, whatever they may become. But if my calculations are correct, and Rand can no longer channel, then he has a mortal lifespan ahead of him. As does Min. And provided she can sneak away from being Tuon’s Truthspeeker, I wish the two of them the happiest, most ordinary, most loving life they can have together. My guess is he drops in on Elayne and Aviendha, to peek in on the children, to give them a sweet caress, but that A and E know that and will have their love as first-sisters as the love that sustains them moving forward.

Egwene – holy cow. She’s the true martyr here and we never saw it coming. So many of us planned for, prepared for, braced for Rand’s death, how could we not have seen? I have never loved Egwene. I have never disliked her, but nor have I cheered her. She was too… pure. And yet, I am certain her actions in this life will have bound her to the Horn, and no one deserves it more. She figured out how to recreate threads in the Pattern. Even more likely, she was tied to the Horn already (wonder who she was in the past…) which explains the age old question of how she understood Mat’s Old Tongue in EotW. I hope this is the case anyway…

Siuan – Sad :( Wish it hadn’t been so abrupt, and yet… She gave her life to the Dragon Reborn. There may not have been enough in the world to sustain her in the aftermath.

The Dark One – the philosophical debate. I have to go back and read this more carefully, but if I understand it correctly, Rand wanted to remove the DO from existence, but saw that in doing so , without any need to ever fight or be strong, people become automatons. It is a philosophy I’ve long held: that good has to balance evil. To be truly happy you have to know what it is to have been truly sad. So ok, Rand realized that too and sealed the Bore, but DO is still back there? Which does open the possibility that the Wheel will come around again… But then, if it didn’t we couldn’t go back for re-reads… Or more seriously, don’t we see now that the “Lord of the morning” blurb at the back is now Fourth Age, not Third? Talk about a Wheel.

Gender – I was happy to see much of my college gender thesis came true here, that men and women did have to learn how to work together again, and only then can the wonders of the age be complete. Androl and Pevara are the first manifestation of this; I look forward to more (whether I read it or not, I have high hopes now for Logain and the Black Tower, and yes even Cadsuane working well with them). I do wish the two towers had merged. Maybe in a few centuries.

Perrin/Slayer Mat/Fain – I was ok with this too. Another, holy s**t full circle. In a sense, you got to see how Jordan imagined he could do this whole series in 4 books. Because we came so abruptly back to plot lines from the 1, 2, 3, and suddenly it all made sense. The “can’t catch a disease twice” – AMAZING. Makes up for watching Mat go through that dagger sickness. And him leaving the dagger there at the end… my man finally learns wisdom. It does make books 6-12 in some ways filler, I get that. But I wouldn’t trade all the time I have spent with these characters for the world, so I’m ok with that too.

Faile – and aw heck, Perrin and Faile get to be king and queen of Saldaea. She was at her best in this book. Her “little one…” to Oliver – break my heart.

oh yes and Olver. Never saw that coming. Ah-mazing.

Bela – sad :( But she died a hero.

The writing – Yes sometimes clunky. No, not RJ. But I got to see the end. It is enough. Let go...

Jordan, Brandon, Team Jordan... thank you all. I picked up these books at 12, I am now 30, there is nothing that has defined my life and the woman I am more. Thank you.
juanita heath
243. nanajade
Took approx 3 days to complete reading ...My Goodreads review was initially 5 stars but I downgraded it to 4 stars. I loved so much in this final book. I cried when Gawyn died esp when Egwene was so close. (Galad's whitecloaks passed her in the background). The end came rather abruptly IMO. Agree that Nynaeve should know Rand survived. She would keep it secret.
Twinks
244. lburns05
I think King Roedran was Beidomon.
Judy Carmona
245. Farstrider
@202 Freelancer and @236 Blocksmith1:
IIRC, RJ stated that the ability to channel is connected to the soul, not the body. Perhaps Rand and Moridin were both burned out?
Debbie Solomon
246. dsolo
@240lburn05 - re: Berelain and Galad, I'm going to still a bit from HP. She's beautiful enough for the both of them. I'm wondering if there are any Whitecloaks left, and if so, how their attitude is going to change now that their commander's sister is AS and his life was saved by an AS. Looks like there are lots of attitude changes ahead for everyone. I'm not so sure that Cadsuane is a bad choice for Amyrlin. She got an abrupt lesson in the consequences from being overbearing with Rand, and she's spent a lot of time with the Wise Ones. Plus, she hasn't spent a lot of time shut up in the White Tower, so she's going to be more worldly. Now that the White Tower isn't the only power in town, it's time to start forging bonds with the Sea Folk, the Aiel, the Black Tower and the Kin.
Tricia Irish
247. Tektonica
Rstar@241: Just a thought.....Rand lights the pipe because he is now One with the pattern. He doesn't channel....he doesn't have to.

More later....
Twinks
248. Lurking Canadian
First, I must give a friendly Nelson Muntz HA HA to all those who were loudly convinced there was NO WAY DAMMIT that the True Power could be used against the Dark One, even after Rand said he needed something other than the One Power to touch him with.

Second, on Fain...on the one hand, just a big nothingburger. I agree. Basically, I think he was there to create suspense. When he and Mashadar showed up at the end, Rand was still planning on "killing" the Dark One. There was at least the possibility that Rand would destroy the DO, then have to seal away Shaisam, who would then become the DO of the new cycle (note the similarity of names). There's a nice bit of "people are their own worst enemy" in that idea that would have worked, where in each cycle, humanity creates the evil it will have to face in the next cycle. As such, right up until the end there was still more than one ending that was possible.

LOVED Egwene's smackdown of Tuon. It's a shame she *didn't* put an adam on the little sadist. Somebody should.

I thought the story worked as an ending, and I wish some of the obvious ends were tied up (who is Nakomi, what did Moiraine ask for, and so on), but most of the burning questions I really wanted answers to and didn't get are theological (or at least metaphysical) in nature:

1) Is there a Creator? Is *Rand* the Creator? The only things we know for sure that the Creator can do are talk in all-caps and imprison the Dark One. Well, Rand can do both of those, and apparently he can weave reality like it's tel'aran'rhiod, too. (BTW, I like the suggestion, upthread, that Rand is actually dead, but living in a dreamshard of his own making. I don't think that's what we're supposed to get, but I like it.) Also, neat touch that the DO just calls Rand Adversary, which (if I am not mistaken) is literally what "Satan" means.

2) By the way, Ishy insists "all this has happened before, and all this will happen again", and at Dragonmount, Rand remembered not just his life and Lews Therin's life, but *every incarnation of the Dragon*. So why was he still trying to figure out how to re-seal the Bore, instead of just remembering how he did it the last time it was the end of Age 3?

3) And on the subject of wheels with seven spokes, I've always been kind of dissatisfied with the whole concept. I was hoping, especially with Moridin there at the end, that there'd be more discussion of what the various Ages are. Here's what I think we know. The First Age is basically us, with the divergence that it ended with the war of Mosk andMerk, that probably we aren't going to get. OK, after that was the Second Age, which was the Age of Legends and ended at the Breaking, but we don't know how long it took, or just how flat the nuclear war pounded us.

We know the outline of the entire history of the Third Age. Great, fine.

So now it's the end of the Third Age. The Dark One is sealed away, humans can still channel, there are still Ogier and technology is making a comeback. So there are *four* more Ages until you get around to us? Or five, really, since we are living at the end of Age 1? Five Ages with no Dark One in them, but somehow we manage to retain at least a mythological memory of him? The Ogier die out or Translate out, or whatever they did/do? Also, along the way, we completely forget how to channel AND forget technology and regress at least to the Bronze Age? How early does the First Age start, anyway? With Cro-Magnon man? With the birth of Christ? Has everything since the Big Bang been the First Age, and the Third Age just happens to be freakishly short?

And speaking of Christ, who was he, exactly? With all the messianic imagery associated with Rand, he seems to have been an incarnation of the Dragon, but what did we need him for, since the DO was safely locked away, unable to touch the Pattern? Or maybe there just isn't a Dragon except for Ages 2 and 3, and the entire Gospels are supposed to be myths that are actually based on dimly remembered stories about Rand but set by their authors in the "present day"? Which means the memory-fades-to-legend-fades-to-myth process takes six Ages, and the only Age that has no memory of the Dragon is the one in which he actually lives?

I was hoping for some kind of heavily disguised and metamorphic, kaleidoscopic explanation for all this during Rand's outside-of-time encounter with the Dark One. Alas, I am left only with my guesses. Oh well.

Oh, and as if this isn't already long enough, there are people reacting to Olver blowing the Horn like it's something we should have seen coming. Is there some foreshadowing about it that you are finding obvious in retrospect? I mean, that Mat was not *actually* bound to the Horn because Hello? Died twice? has been a theory since at least the late 1990s, but is there something that we should have interpreted tying the Horn to Olver?
Janet Hopkins
249. JanDSedai
Loved, loved, loved it! Just walking about in a daze since I finished it.

As for some who felt that there were missteps or clumsy characterization; I feel that perhaps Brandon was drawing heavily on the notes Jordan wrote. Jordan may have intended to change or embellish the phrases he sketched in his outline. But Brandon tried to keep as much as the Word of Jordan as possible.

How did Jordan think The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight, and A Memory of Light would all be on volume?! If I recall correctly, he joked that it would need a break-through idea in the binding process!
T C
250. Freelancer
Farstrider,

You are correct that channeling is tied to the soul, and the aim of that answer relates to a channeler being reborn or transmigrated, such as Balthamel still being tied to saidin in a female body. But that body had to be capable of channeling; that was part of the issue for transmigrating the forsaken, the availability of appropriate bodies.

But gentling/stilling/severing/burning out is a physical disruption in the body's ability to access the Source. Rand is now inhabiting a body whose ability to embrace saidin has been destroyed. The last word I recall on authorial answers is that gentling/stilling can be Healed, burning out cannot. Too bad for Setalle Anan.
steve cook
251. scook
All those who think that Rand is "running away" from his three girls and his children, turn your books over to someone with an ounce of imagination. Even without considering Rand's new ability/talent, the girls know where Rand is and two of them can travel anywhere nearly instantly. Does everything have to be spelled out in infinite detail?
Alex
252. decgem
Something I haven't seen commented on here that I think was really lovely: the vignette between Ila and Raen in the slaughteryard. I think this provided excellent closure for the story of the Traveling People--with one of their elders wavering, just a tiny bit; his fiercely firm, even dogmatic, Better Half calling him on it in horror; and both of them ending up solid in conviction to their beliefs, but with just enough capacity for compromise to see the value of other paths. (And a last shout-out to Aram, a character who had it rough, that had me welling up.)

What about the Song, you ask? Shouldn't the Tinkers have their Song? No, I think it is perfectly fine for them to keep looking. Perhaps some now suspect--and surely Rand knows--what their song is. I think that it would be sad, irresponsible even, to give it to them. Imagine if somebody walked up to a person of whatever faith here in the real world and said, "Oh, here's the actual, incontrovertible reality of the basis of your entire worldview as well as the context in which it was originally intended." That would probably be a bit of a bummer. Anyway, the Song gives the Tuatha'an purpose. "To seek, to strive," etc. What would they do if that were taken away? I don't think many of them are actually staying up nights, shaking back and forth, jonesing for that Song. It's a metaphor at this point, and they, as most people of faith, are aware of that on some level--a metaphor that gives shape to their lives. Let them look, and suspect, and take strength from the evidence of things unseen that sprouted briefly in their world.

Another point. I've read some sympathy for Elan's position--the incessant grinding of the Wheel, a desire to be done, etc. I can understand that sympathy. It's very, very sad that his awareness of cosmology has driven him to that state. I sympathize with him in the same way I do Judas Iscariot--the terrible fate of the one with too much perception. But I have also picked up on hints that some would have preferred that Elan get his wish, that this would somehow be a truer, better, more moral end to the Wheel of Time.

I think Rand's realizations during his struggle with Shai'tan speak to the error of that position, as indeed does the series as a whole. Cynicism is a very real result of valid feelings; nihilism is one lens to look at the world. But to me, cynicism and nihilism have always been weaknesses masquerading as strength, a sentiment and a philosophy best passed over quickly. I would wager that Robert Jordan felt the same way about the world. Hope is strength; naive, simple, light-spirited hope. Elan Morin could never get past cynicism. Rand represents the opportunity, the strength to forge through cynicism and return to hope.

A wonderful, heart-wrenching, flawed final volume to a flawed but ultimately 'exquisite' body of work. I will not soon forget the jolts of joy and sorrow presented in this book. Thank you, Mr. Sanderson, Ms. MacDougal, Team Jordan, and above all, Robert Jordan.
Chris Chaplain
253. chaplainchris1
I finished reading the last book of the Wheel of Time on Thursday, Jan 10, at 12:26 p.m. EST.

I haven't really been able to form coherent thoughts since then, and I don't know that I will now. (Mostly I've limited myself to snarkiness on the reread FB group. Only way I was able to get through this intense experience!)

Wall of Text warning. I'm gonna share a couple general reactions, then talk a bit about Mat, Rand, Egwene, the Shadow, and a little about the Seanchan, Nynaeve, Lan/Tam, and Moiraine. In case you get tired of reading and want to skip to those parts. :)

The first thing I want to say is...wow. What an amazing read. What a great book. Heart-wrenching, but really well done.

Second, thanks to Brandon, Harriet, and all of Team Jordan for bringing us home.

Third, thanks to Leigh and to the Reread community. Once I finished the book, after 5 minutes of stunned disbelief that the last 16.5 years were done (I found the WOT in 1996...during Finals of my Senior year in college!), I eagerly came here to see our Fearless Leader's thoughts. I wanted to hear her/your jokes, Leigh, and see how many of your non-spoiler review comments I'd guessed correctly, and...to be in the (cyber)company of folks who understood.

I"m so glad for this group. The Wheel of Time *has* ended. But because of this community - because of this thread, and the future reread of AMOL, and JordanCon, et. al. - because of that, I know that it is *an* ending, but not *the* ending. That helps immensely. Otherwise, I think I'd be in the throes of an immense post-series depression.

Instead, I get to come play in the bunker!

Though Bela's carcass is kind of distracting and sad. Seriously, Brandon...you *had* to kill Bela?!?

Some otther reactions:

Mat really shone in this book. I felt his personality was spot on, he was hilarious, he was MOA, and I finally understand why the rest of you love him so much.

Egwene. I...

I'm really sad about this.

I won't get into all the sadness right now. Some immediate story implications, instead, come to mind. I'm bummed that she won't be the longest-serving Amyrlin in history. I'm bummed she won't live for centuries and watch the Seanchan crumble (GREAT line with Tuon, Egwene!). I'm nervous that her moves to reform the White Tower will go by the wayside, though Cadsuane will at least be open to mutual Black Tower/White Tower bonding and has good relations with the Wise Ones.

I'm glad that at Merrilor she showed both how she'd grown and how she was still the girl from Emond's Field. Loved her and Rand's interactions, on the whole. Loved that they'd both grown so much, and both almost worked things out, and both brought out the immaturity in each other, and needed Moiraine to set things right. (More on that below.)

I'm pleased she trusted Mat as a general. I'm pleased our Ooh Ooh Girl got another Forsaken, and pulled out another Shiny New Weave in the process.

I'm pleased Rand had pretty much the exact reaction to her death that I did, and that her voice (real or not) helped make the difference for him. Mostly I'm sad that she got married without Bran and Marin there, I'm really sad she's dead, and I'm pretty furious that she didn't come back when the Horn was blown - esp. after her line to Rand about him letting the rest of them be heroes, too. (Hurray about Noal, though!)

Lan and Tam are MOA and full of win. Loved them both. Lan bags a Forsaken, and we have a definitive Lan > Galad > Gawyn. Tam was awesome throughout, but I think my favorite is the sparring match with Rand.

Rand, by the way, was RAND. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the revelation that Zen Master Rand is, at least in part, a front. I love that some of his new Jedi Powers are mind tricks. I love that he didn't get a massive OP upgrade, as it seemed at Maradon, but instead a) found his angreal and kept it secret, b) exploited his new understanding of his taveren nature, c) and is freaking people out by singing the Song from the AOL! A song Aiel KIDS used to sing! Hahahahahaha that is hilarious.

And his personality is basically Rand. Changed and grown, like all of them, but when he relaxes with Perrin (I love Perrin calling him on being all Aes Sedai-faced, and I love Moiraine's 'does that work on others' and I love his glee that it has!), when he argues with Egwene, when he and Mat are quietly bragging to each other in Ebou Dar...
Rand is finally, fully, really back, and I love it. He's funny, heroic, and he's clever - faking people out with the Song and his taveren-ness, plotting to capture Moridin via the flaw in Callandor (BRILLiant).

This is the guy who mastered the Game of Houses. This is the guy who saw through Lanfear and Asmodean's disguises. This is the guy who figured out how to cleanse the Taint, who trapped and tricked so many opponents.

I love that despite all the chicanery there is obviously still SOMEthing to the One with the Land stuff.

I love that he met Ishamael/Moridin and Lanfear separately, confronted them each alone, and completely freaked them both out. He’s grown so far beyond them both! (I also love the dream shard stuff, and that we got some hints of clarity about why the dreams in the first three books didn’t quite match the rules we later got for T’A’R; some more info on what Slayer’s motives were and what was done to create him; the True Power teleportation as an explanation for why the Forsaken’s popping in and out in early books didn’t look like Traveling; and I forget how this sentence was going to end. Moving on…)

I still don't love the True Power use at the end, and I'm not sure about the end. I expected him to end up in Moridin's body and to get to live out a peacefu life in obscurity. And I expect his ladies will Travel to him via the Bond and so that's ok. But I don't like Tam thinking he's dead - nor Mat or Perrin - nor knowing if he'll ever let them know he's not.

And I suspect this is now ridiculously long. I'll put the rest in a second post, maybe that will help with the Wall of Text effect.
Lindy Brown
254. lbrown
I think Gawyn should have been able to kill Demandred. From previous descriptions of the Bloodknives, they were barely visible and just blurs to others. Gawyn got lucky in defeating them. When Gawyn was fighting Demandred, it seemed he didn't have any edge, at all. Is Demandred seriously that good?
Chris Chaplain
255. chaplainchris1
So quick other thoughts without much explanation:

Pleased at how effective the Shadow was. Demandred was great (despite his "STELLA" shenanigans), very competent and impressive. He almost had to be in Shara, but I'm still irritated a bit that the Sharans' appearance wasn't telegraphed a bit more.

I'm a little annoyed that there's never a clear sense of Trolloc numbers.

I can't seem to account for all the lightside channelers. The White Tower had close to two thousand novices and Accepted, right?

Where were all the Kinswomen who never got accounted for?

Shouldn't there have been a couple thousand Wise Ones who could channel who could've been more in evidence against the Ayyad?

With all the Windfinders out there, they were seriously ALL needed for the Bowl of the Winds, even though only 13 at a time could use it? Really?

Pleased (and horrified) at Graendal's corrupting the Great Captains. I was so pleased they would each get a front, and so horrified when I realized what was happening.

I'm also horrified by Graendal's new name. I was sure that was going to be Leigh's nomenclature complaint! Knotai doesn't bother me - Mat may like a jacket, but despite Tuon's attempts to dress him, he's not wearing any bloody neckties.

Pleased, and horrified, at how close Lanfear came to winning, after seeming to do nothing useful for the Shadow throughout.

Tuon and the Seanchan are fired. I liked Tuon and Mat’s interactions, but sending Karede to commit suicide uselessly? What a tool. And the whole horrible slavery tremendous hypocrisy thing. And I’m INFURIATED that the Seanchan were so much less devastated by the LB than anyone else.

Moiraine – didn’t do much, but loved her reunion with Nynaeve, and loved her appearance at Merrilor. She gave me goosebumps. Her quoting prophecy at everyone reminded me of Egwene’s debate with Elaida where she did the same, but this didn’t require everyone else to be idiots for Moiraine to be awesome. Good as Egwene became, Moiraine dominated that gathering. I remember we were told several times in early books how effortlessly she could take control of a room; awesome to be shown it here.

Sad that Nynaeve and Moiraine didn’t get more screen time. Glad I was right about them being in the circle with Rand. Loved the line, when Nynaeve is patching up Alanna, that if any other woman had been with Rand but her, the world would have ended.

Surprised Cadsuane got so little screen time and was so quiet at Merrilor. Could be interpreted as just too much else to do in the book. I choose to interpret it as her finally having confidence in Rand. Crazy?

Loved Pevara and Androl. Loved Gateway shenanigans (though after Androl wiped out a whole army with lava, why did we never see that tactic again?) and jack in the box with cannons.

Logain went pyscho. Did not see his storyline going the way it did, but glad that he helped the kids and the kids seem to have helped him heal a bit.

So many other thoughts and feelings, but I’ll end here for now. Thanks all.
Chris Chaplain
256. chaplainchris1
Oh...about Egwene's death via overdrawing the Power in her grief and rage and determination. Reminded me of the story of Eldrene's death and the destruction of Manetheren. So, I liked, unwillingly, that bit of resonance. Tai'shar Manetheren, and all.

And I also loved, during the Battle, that the Two Rivers men fighting were described as a thorn to the Dark One's foot and a bramble to his hand. Very nice callbacks.

Siuan and Bryne. Sad - but I find in interesting that so many of us thought the 'fulfillment' of Min's viewing for them was lackluster. Apparently we should have considered the possibility that it wasn't fulfilled after all....

No reunion for Siuan and Moiraine - sad.

No more book to read - sad. Guess I'm gonna start my reread now!
Twinks
257. Firemyst
The end.....I really am so sad to see it go. As much as I wanted "the rest of the story" it's so very odd to not be thinking of what may happen in the next book. I want to post a coherent post here so I have to think for awhile. Quickly:

I loved the body switch at the end....'you have to die to live again'.
Egwene...GASP! Bela.....awwww.....Rhuarc.....NOOOOO! Logain....WTF dude?
Love love Pevara and Androl. And Lan!!!! All manner of wonderful.
Mat....Tai'shar Manetheren!
Noal a HotH! GREAT! And Olver the new Hornblower, nice move!
I loved the Hinderstap connection! And firing the dragons through gateways...brilliant.

Anyway, this book was astonishing. The ending perfect. Bittersweet, yes, but just right. Was everything perfect in the story, no, but hey.... I still have no complaints.

A major kudo and thank you to Brandon Sanderson for finishing it in such a marvelous manner.
Thank you to Wilson for pointing Harriet to BS and to Harriet for hiring him.
And last but not least.....to James 'Robert Jordan' Rigney! Without him we wouldn't have been given this wonderful story, gotten to know our 'super kids, and for me personally.....introducing me to the genre.
Anthony Pero
258. anthonypero
of course, Egwene's detractors will now say: There she goes again, what a hypocrite. She gets all up in Elidas business about building herself a palace and then makes a monument to her own greatness
Twinks
259. Nanaimobar
What a story. I have been excited and couldn't wait to get it, yet hesitant because I was worried about who wouldn't make it through the Last Battle.

My reactions:

First *Gasp* moment: Moiraine's entrance. Should have seen it coming, but was so involved in the room full of preschoolers I forgot all about the teacher.

Biggest shock: Egwene. Never expected that she would be the sacrifice. I thought everyone from the Two Rivers expedition would make it except Lan. I was preparing for bloodletting of Epic Proportions, but didn't predict that.

First tears: Bella. Seriously, you Had to take her down? I would have hoped to see Egwene on Bella with the Heroes of the Horn, but maybe that would have been too cheesy. Still. WTH?

Major Shudder: Birgitte. Seriously, I knew she was going to die in this battle, but I felt physically ill when she was executed.

All in all, a very satisfying read. In a word, exquisite.
Twinks
260. AndrewB
I really enjoyed AMoL. Thank you to Brandon, Harriett and the rest of Team Jordan. This was a satisfying end to a wonderful series. In this post I will set forth what I liked and did not like in AMoL. I wanted to post this before I read Leigh’s review or the almost 260 comments. I intend to read Leigh’s review and all of the comments.

Before I get to what I liked/did not like, I would like to note that the absence of Nakomi in AMoL reinforces my opinion that it was an unnecessary scene in ToM. Aviendha could have just had those thoughts internally. She did not have to meet with Nakomi.

BTW, did Amys survive the Last Battle? Did Agelmar survive? Did Mat get the fox head medallion back from Lan?

What I especially liked:
1) Moirainne during the meeting of the rulers at the Field of Merrilor.
2) Graendal’s use of Compulsion on the 4 Great Captains.
3) Gawyn’s death. I find this totally consistent with his character. Throughout the series, he acted rashly and without thinking of the consequences. In this instance, using the Rings to try to kill Demondred. I wish it had been otherwise due to the effect it had on Egwene (who, along with Mat and Elayne are my favorite characters). IMO, I think that his death lead Egwene on the path she did when she killed Taim.
4) Elayne’s performance as head of the Coalition of Light. She may have been the only character who could have effectively soothed all the egos of the Coalition’s rulers.
5) Lanfear’s interactions with Perrin. I would never have guessed such an interaction.
6) Rhuric’s fate (both his Compulsion and death by Aviendha.
7) I believe that BWS got Mat’s voice down in this book. (Although, to be fair, I felt that for the most part, BWS got Mat’s voice correct in TGS & ToM.) The portrayal of Mat as outwardly sarcastic with a good bit of immaturity but underneath very capable and cunning was spot on.
8) The death of a major hero (i.e. one of the TR boys or Super Girls). Personally, I would have preferred Egwene to live and Nynaeve to die. (As Nynaeve is my least favorite character). I am unsure which would have made a better storyline – Egwene’s death as written or her surviving and having to deal with Gawyn’s death.
9) How Min’s viewing of Siuan and Bryne played out. They saved each other’s life by being together in TGS. Yet once they were apart, they both died. I also liked that we saw Bryne die “off screen.” It felt more poignant that way.
10) Graendal and Moghedien’s fate. How appropriate for both. However, I still feel it would have been more realistic for at least one Chosen to be free in the Fourth Age.

What I did not like:
1) Perrin and Slayer’s battle. Should have had less “on-screen” time.
2) Demandred’s turning borderline insane. Throughout the series, he was portrayed as a level headed schemer who wanted to kill/best Rand (as the reborn LTT). Yet in this book, he becomes so focused on defeating Rand in combat that he losses the big picture. I also found his love of Shendla to be out of left field. None of the other Forsaken seemed to be capable of caring about anybody but themselves. However, the reader suddenly learns that Demandred has fallen in love? I found that odd.
4) Rand and the Dark One’s different visions of the world did not work for me. Too similar to what we saw in TGH during the Portal Stone trip. Although, I did like how Rand saw what would happen if he killed the Dark One.
5) How did Egwene (pg. 163), Nynaeve (pg. 605) and Moirainne (pg. 891) know Moridin’s name? I did not think that Rand had told anybody Ishy’s new name.
6) Rand's new way of lighting his pipe. I would have kept him as being able to channel.

One other note. I beleive that if Egwene had survived, she would have realized that Rand still lived. She suspected that Elayne had bonded Rand. Thus, she would have known that her stoicism over Rand's "death" was an indication that he really lived.

Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB
Thomas Keith
261. insectoid
Finished the book tonight (at around 9:30p PST), and still have 6+ pages of notes to sort through before I post about my reactions to the book, save these: AWESOME. Breathtaking. A real heart-wrencher, especially in That Long Chapter of Chaos and Death.

Thank you, TOR and Team Jordan. Thank you, Brandon and Harriet. And thank you very much, Mr. Rigney, for creating this world we all love to talk about.

Your commentary and teasers are hilarious as always, Leigh. I'll probably be laughing and/or tearing up the rest of the night... XD

Size: I did notice, when I first got it home, that it's got to be at least 1/4" narrower than ToM, despite being 50 pages longer. Different paper, perhaps?

And yes, it's a lot to take in—hence my taking 5 days reading and taking notes.

"Brobdingnagian": Okay, I HAVE to look that up.
(later) Huh. Didn't know that name. (Never read it.)

I'll have a LOT more to say later, once I compose my notes into something more coherent.

Only 260 comments? (Well, 253.) I guess I'm not too surprised; it's a lot of story to process, and I notice a lot of these are verbose. I'll read them all eventually, once I finish my own Post of Verbosity. ;)

Bzzz™.
Jonathan Levy
262. JonathanLevy
256.chaplainchris1

re: The story of Eldrene and Aemon from TEoTW

I was wondering if anyone else picked up on that. It's chilling to go back and re-read that scene, now knowing that it's a forshadowing of Egwene's death.

Edit to add:

165.anthonypero

The deaths of Gawyn and Egwene couldn't be reversed because they are made to match Eldrene and Aemon's from TEoTW.
Erin Oliver
263. Nederin
I love what Freelancer wrote regarding choice. Right on! But there have been themes from many spiritual traditions thoughout this book, including (in particular) surrender, which is prevalent in Islam. I feel like there were themes of many religious/spiritual/philosophical schools that all were finally embraced by Rand in this book, if not earlier in the series. I found it profound and lovely and befitting of "humanity's" hero.

I did not like Egwene dying but I understand how her message to Rand "embrace mine" (regarding her death) along with what Tam tought him in his final lesson "let go" served Rand in his final spiritual development. This was forshadowed in ToM when he explained to Min that, what was different this time, was that he was raised better (and referenced Tam and Egwene, etc.) It might have been that Moiraine had well and truly died in this book and said the words Egwene said from death, and that may have been more powerful given the history of Rand's remorse over her death, but that would have been complicated in other ways.

What I want to talk about is Nakomi! I feel like we were all as tired as the light by the time we got to the end that we passed over it (I loved all of the commentary on how tired everyone was and how long they hadn't slept - it felt like a tribute to us!) - when Rand leaves the pit of doom he notices a woman - of Aiel dress? he can hardly see but assumes she's an old woman based on her gray hair. She says that he did what he needed to, and then she leaves... he explains himself and longs for company... (sorry, I can't quote directly, the book is not here...) and so, was that her? Did she have to do with the transmigration of souls from rand to moridin? Wasn't that her, and if not, who was it?

I feel like the Nakomi secrets were revealed, I just haven't sorted them out.

Thanks Leigh and Team Jordan - suberb! I'm dumbfounded and humbled by your work.
Erin Oliver
264. Nederin
PS- those who bitch about Leigh's "non-coherence" missed the point completely! And! Her rave around the non-ambiguous someone-in-this-series-is-gay is so right on! I was awestruck and super-satisfied by Pevara's thought-comment regarding Emarin... finally! Thanks Team Jordan for that moment!
Roger Powell
265. forkroot
I edited my original comment @31 to put my full initial reaction to the book in. If you're curious why I think Dannil's conversation with Perrin is a nice little "Easter Egg", scroll back there.

AndrewB@260
Did Mat get the fox head medallion back from Lan?
Remember it was one of the copies, not the original. Mat couldn't risk taking off the original because of the fear of Compulsion that had already struck the four Great Captains.

RMGiroux@121 makes an excellent point though ... how could Narishma heal Lan? Looks like a future edition will need to add a couple of sentences where Lan takes the medallion off (or someone does it for him.)
T C
266. Freelancer
forkroot @31

That would be Hyam Kinch, not Almen Bunt. Kinch was the one who gave them scarves and drove away all guilty and asking forgiveness. Bunt is the one who drove them into Caemlyn.


scook @251

You presume quite a bit. Rand is in Moridin's body. We have nothing to tell us the bond remains, and his ladies have no idea where he's headed. That's why his specific phrasing is to wonder which of them will follow. Because they can't simply Travel to him.


lbrown @254

Keep in mind, Demandred knows what Gawyn is using. Those bloodknife ring ter'angreal are from the Age of Legends, not a recent creation of the Seanchan. He told Gawyn he knew of what they did, and made sure Gawyn realized that he was a dead man no matter what. That raises an interesting point, actually. In a world of strong channeling, for the assassin rings to be a suicide sentence is more significant. It means that Gawyn couldn't have used them and then simply gotten Healed of what they did to his blood. Anyway, back to Demandred. As one who helped bring the art of war back to humanity, something like these rings would have gained his attention, and clearly he knew how to fight through the advantage they gave Gawyn. Heck, Gawyn beat the advantage against three of them, and Demandred surely knew more of what he was doing.


AndrewB @260

But we do see Nakomi again. It must be she who Rand sees at the entrance of the cave while carrying out Moridin. Old woman, unrecognized, Aiel Dress, gray hair. Yep, same description as Aviendha gave. And likey both met her in tel'aran'rhiod. Aviendha almost certainly never realized that, but perhaps Rand knows he's in the World of Dreams at that point.


Nederin @264

There was more than Emerin. Lord Baldhere as well. NTTAWWT.
Bhargav Desai
267. Knotai
Honestly I feel that Team Jordan,BS n Tor have done a superb job..
I am sad,shocked,surprised and satisfied at the same time.
The re-read will be more enriching bt I feel that the characters of Mat,Egwene ,Olver and Avi were given due justice.Egwene is certainly the Ooh Ooh Girl.The end of ,according to me, the most detailed,awesome and overwhelming series of all time will take time to sink in.
Each and every character has contributed to my life.WOT goes further than giving a wonderful story.It gives us characters with whom we can relate to.It gives us values, convictin and love wich we must adhere to.
I am looking forward to the discussions after the re-read.Congratulations to all WOT fans who have stuck till the end.
RJ, if u are up there somewhere,know that we pay homage to you by UNDERSTANDING what you wanted to tell us.
Tai'shar RJ!!
wes carlton
268. Dorman
WOW! What a book! What a way to finish off the series!

Thanks Team Jordan! Needed to Finish this story and you did!

That,s one checked off on my bucket list! took 21 years to do it.

I Think Im ready for a new Adventure! I just got an E= reader and now im ready to start the re-read. This time It should only take 3 months.

Ride The Dragon
Twinks
269. marks
fl @ 266

P905 "...Min nodded, feeling the pulsing throb of the bond in the back of her mind..."
Jonathan Levy
271. JonathanLevy
31.forkroot

Some thoughts on your thoughts:
Did anybody else happen to notice that Shivan and Calian didn't show up with the HotH? I told you - they are Elayne's babes!
I'm not sure that would be a sufficient reason. Birgitte showed up, but she tells Elayne that she's about to be reborn. Elayne's babies have 3 months to go.
Poor retcon attempt as Slayer mentions Gitara's prophecy, but in the end it didn't seem to matter that Luc went to the blight.
How about this as an attempted justification: The only reason Perrin was around in T'A'R to stop Lanfear (at the very end) was because his struggle with Slayer pulled him there - and made him strong enough to deal with her.
Twinks
272. jasc
anthonypero@234: But later *others* say that it was Rands body who carried the other. So if we can trust that Rand knows that he carries someone and then others saw his body doing it, at that time it was still Rand in Rands body.

What I could imagine is that he comes out, falls unconcious and then Nakomi is there (see Freelancer@266) and performs the switch.

chaplainchris1@255: I don't think the suicide mission was useless: he would have wanted to fall into his sword right there (remember the guards when Rand killed the first commander of the Return?) and Tuon pointed him to something usefull...

Freelancer@266: it is even mentioned in the book that the bond is still in place: Min feels the "pulsing throb of the bond in the back of her mind" (p.905, white cover edition) when the tree stand in front of the fire. I read the "which would follow" question that he wonders which one will give up her life/position or at least "get curious"of his new life... (Elayne: "I'm gone for a few weeks, please mind my country for me. -- No I won't tell you where I go." ...time spent with Rand... "I'm back. And I'm pregnant again..." ... some years later... "Mom, why do we children look so different, do we have different fathers?")

From my point it fits that Egwene had to die: the boss of the BT (=Rand) went away, so the boss of the WT also has to go. Both towers start fresh...
Twinks
273. Zizoz
@219: "@ 214 re: "Uh. Is that who I think it is? Because whooooa." I still don't get this one. Can you explain? Thanks in advance!"

If I've understood it correctly, it's in reference to this:

IT IS TIME. LET THE TASK BE UNDERTAKEN.

on page 431, just before Rand enters the cave.

Also, was I the only one who found Demandred's love for Shendla hilarious? We've seen several similar romances between Light-side characters (e.g. Lan/Nynaeve, Siuan/Bryne, Pevara/Androl) where someone who expected never to fall in love unexpectedly does, so seeing this happen to one of the Forsaken just struck me as incredibly funny.
Twinks
274. JackMyDog
Started crying in the prologue "Oh Talmanes..."
Eric Hughes
275. CireNaes
JL@271

I agree. And there were two elements to the pulling. Enacting justice for Slayer's slaying of the wolves as well as Rand and the wolve's inability to counter Slayer's unique qualities. Those combined gave Perrin the initial motivation and the follow-on energy to stick with Rand despite Faile's difficulties.

A nice symmetry at the end was the pay off of Perrin's love and devotion to Faile which propelled him away from Lanfear's Compulsion commands. It provided the mental momentum needed to transition from, "this is wrong" to actually doing something about it. Without Faile the Pattern would have ended. Funny that is.
john massey
276. subwoofer
Here's the one thing that really got my attention last night. I got up to check on my kid and couldn't go back to sleep. I'll just read a little out of tEotW, that usually relaxes me. I couldn't get into the book because now I know how it all ends.

As much as I love this series, I am scared that it will become like the Belgariad or tLotR or Masquerade, it is great to visit old friends, but now that relationship is finite and predictable. I will have to ponder this some. This is uncharted territory for me.

Woof™.
juanita heath
277. nanajade
It was my understanding that Mat sent one of the copies from Elayne to Galad who then returned it via Lan. @266 The bond is referenced in the back of his head as he rides away. The "lack of reaction" of the 3 women also implies the bond exists. It was one of my questions but since Rand did not die but transmigrated I guess the bond stays.
juanita heath
278. nanajade
double post
john massey
279. subwoofer
Righto, now to it.

Hi Leigh *waves*

I know it has been a while, but I needed to step away from this. Most of the stuff I had to say was said, the rest seemed to be dependent on what others have said and my reaction to them. That was getting very formula, and I have too much going on in my life to constantly reinvent the wheel. So I spent quality time with my daughter and contemplating my navel.

Right off the top I gotta say "THEY KILLED BELA?! Who came up with that plan? IT SUCKED". Was this some kind of lame way of saying Bela is not the Creator? Because let me tell you, Jesus died too. So there.

Lan. The Main Man. Bags of awesome. Coverd with awesomesauce. With a cherry on top. The Main Man is single handedly responsible for killing an army of Trollocs. 2 fades in one go? Mickey Mouse couldn't do any better. Demandred? Lan fodder. A while back on the Chosen thread on Facebook we had a cage match thing going on as to who was the best. Lan was kept out because it was obviously him. SEE? All that garbage about Gawyn vs. Warders and Galad... Well here it is on paper. Lan stomps all. And he is " just a man. That is all ever has been."

And thank you for putting Demandred out of my misery. It was really starting to grind on me him standing in the middle of a battlefield crying because he didn't get the last chocolate. It reminded me of David vs. Goliath. Come face me... kid, sling, Goliath dead.

Tuon. Sweet holy Mother of....! What on earth does Mat see in her? OTOH I do think it is fitting that the two characters most destined to piss each other off should be married together. But Tuon has some major, major character flaws to overcome. Her terrible fashion sense just being the start.

Suian. Nice. I felt something coming along when she started talking about her legacy. Only rich people and geezers talk like that when they see the end coming.

The stuff with the Great Captains, good times. Should of seen that coming because that was the only legit way to have Mat step up and step in. Good on him. BTW the thing with the gateways in the sky?

*facepalm*

Brilliant.

Perrin and Faile. I've changed my mind, they are awesome. This end makes the whole PLOD thing worth while. Although I have said in previous comments, being married, I do understand where Perrin is coming from. You find a good woman, you stand by her, she is worth moving Heaven and earth, and a really heavy horse for.

Rand... I liked the end bit, Rand and the new body, I liked the bit about putting Humpty Dumpty back brand new, the duel with the DO, well, Garion vs. Torak, anybody?

Major kudos to Brandon about making the fight epic and the centerpiece of the whole book. It is the Last Battle, it cannot come and go in a couple of chapters. Leigh? I can't wait for you to get to that chapter in the reread. You MUST cover it all. In one go ;)

Loved all the one liners.

Loved Loial. Big furry lumox. I will keep him and hug him and squeeze him and call him George.

Tam. See? Sheepherders kick butt. One of the best scenes ever was Tam in the pike formation at the head, whopping ass. Then Lan comes along and salutes him. "I have long wondered, about the man who had given Rand that heron-marked blade."

Sooo many good one liners. So much to cover... the Song, the Way of the Leaf .... Gawyn being a tool Ohhh!- "The Shadow didn't need to fell the Amyrlin herself to stop her. It just had to kill one idiot boy". Truer words were never spoken.

There is much more, but I will start a new post as this is getting epic, like the book.

Woof™.
john massey
280. subwoofer
Uno... Yay Uno, old age and experience win out over youth and enthusiasm, every day. Lan, Uno and Tam proved that out. See? { This has nothing to do with you, Freelancer ;) }

"Are you sure you want to set down in there?"
"No!"
"Good answer!"

Ogiers ridin' dirty. Trollocs, they be hatin'.

"If he ever needed someone to yell a message from Caemlyn to Caihien for him, he knew who to ask."

Those Sharans. That Wyld dude, really irritating. And those what of Aiel channelers? Yeah, the Aiel have massive t'oh for that one. At least Rand gathered them all in and they were a known quantity.

Logain- what kind of glory was that? Other than resisting being turned, super lame. Androl really came forward in this fight, and his touchy feely interchange with Pevara? Loved it. Older than most trees, comparing to an old strap of leather.... ahhh, memories. My big regret is that we will not see the reunification of the Black/White Towers, men and women channelers coming together onscreen at the end.

Cadsuane lives. Hehe for all the haters.

I have to give a nod to the rest of the Forsaken. They sowed chaos and wreaked havoc as was fitting their tittles. Even Taim, the douche. Glad to see they all get what was coming to them.

Echoing Leigh's sentiment, I am sad to see that things did not come full circle in the end and we did not see all the OG people in the same room, prior to Rand's death. That would have made a great Hallmark card. At least it would have mirrored the Last Supper.

Birgitte. Hard death, but seeing what was happening to her was harder. Glad she is tied to the Horn again.

Somebody explain to me the Hornsounding thing. At what other point did Mat die after the hanging? Or was it the Ruby thing or the Balefire thing? Anyways, Glad to see Jain, that was bags of awesome. I would have loved to see Hawkwing talk with Tuon about things onscreen. Maybe have her a little dumbstruck for once.

Rhuarc. Started awesome, ended... gah. Bad taste in my mouth, and it isn't just the breakfast. At least we can assume that Gaul gets a new chief position. Gaul totally kicked hiney, btw. Did me proud, big guy.

Yay for wolves too! Not just all cuddly balls of fur either.

Woof™.
john massey
281. subwoofer
BTW- folks? Head on over to the bunker... serious finale party going on there!

Suffa is serving and we have horrydovers and oosquai stuff.

Woof™.
Gary Singer
282. AhoyMatey
@279 Subb, I find the Belgariad very simplistic compared to WoT. The Belgariad and Malloreon used to be my fave and most reread series back in the day...
john massey
283. subwoofer
@Ahoy- that is the point. The fight between Rand and the DO- picture the exchange between Garion and Torak and the big lug needing someone to love him. Darkness, absence of light, I think I saw that in Legend too. Anyways, my point is, I've seen that whole exhange before. The bit about comparing the two complete stories, is not what I meant if you read me :)

Woof™.
Gary Singer
284. AhoyMatey
@266 Free, FWIW, I got the impression on 661 that Demandred thinks Gawyn has a weave on him called Night's Shade. He doesn't realize it's because of the Blood Rings, and thinks LT lay the weave on Gawyn. We don't know when the rings were created either.
Twinks
285. theemptyone
On the Fain thing.. I'm almost positive that the short story that is coming up in "Unfettered" will be filling his story out. Per Sanderson..

-----

Well, I wasn't sure I'd be able to be involved, because A Memory of Light has taken...it was taking quite a bit of my time. It's quite the big project, and finding any time at all to work on anything else was really difficult. At the same time, however, there's a sequence of viewpoints in A Memory of Light—and I'm not at liberty yet to say who it is, but it's a character that you will know—that I was working on that were somewhat more daring than some of the viewpoints I've done. I wanted to try and give some deeper backstory to someone, and at the end of the day, showing the scenes to Harriet, we all liked them, but they didn't fit in the book. Harriet felt that they were too distracting, because of the new, sort of...new things I was adding, the things I was fleshing out. This is something that sometimes you want to avoid in storytelling, where you're near the end of the climax, introducing new concepts to kind of distract and derail.
She felt that these scenes were doing that, and so after some discussion, we decided that they should be cut. And I always kind of felt sad, because while I agree that they were distracting, I really felt that they were strong and that they added a lot to the character, and give a lot of extra motivation—a lot of extra poignancy to some of the things going on in A Memory of Light—and so I began to think maybe this would be the place for them. I approached Harriet, and she said she thought that was a good idea.
So what we'll be doing, it's a story called "River of Souls" but it's actually a sequence of deleted scenes. They are a complete arc for a certain character; they are meant to be read companionly to A Memory of Light. It's not going to make a whole lot of sense if you haven't read at least the rest of the Wheel of Time, but I find them very exciting; I think you'll really like them, and I think this is a good place for them because they won't be distracting from the rest of the story.

---

The new 'Things" he's talking about is most likely the new that Shaisam was. I'm sure everyone has noticed the similarity between the names of Shaisam and Shaitan (i'm likely not spelling these right from memory). Also all the references to Souls in the scenes with Shaisam.

So.. in the immortal words of Robert Jordan... RAFO
Tricia Irish
286. Tektonica
Finally finished. I'll gather some thoughts and be back. Awesome. Wondrous.
Twinks
287. AmyT
Wow. That was INTENSE. And wonderful.
I have a lot of thoughts, some of which are escaping me now, but among them:
-Throughout the series we are told that the purpose of the Green Ajah is to stand ready for Tarmon Gai’don. Apart from Elayne and Alanna, where were they and what were they doing?
-Shaisam/Fain’s scenes felt like an afterthought, but that was a great use of Mat’s trickster persona. -The Pevara/Androl two-way-bonding-mind-meld was an interesting concept I’d never considered. Hilarious at times, too. Not to mention Androl’s ingenious - and at times, silly (fetching tea?) - uses of gateways. It looks like the purpose of the Red Ajah has been completely turned on its head. Oh, and let’s not forget Logain’s rescue, tricking Taim and grabbing the seals - this was just an awesome plotline and I’m kind of sorry we didn’t get to meet Androl earlier in the series.
-I think I actually whimpered out loud at each death of a familiar character - even some of the minor ones.
-The “town” in the Blasted Lands was one of the creepiest settings in the entire series…and the red veils? shudder
-I would love to read Loial’s book!
Thank you, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and everyone else who was involved in bringing this Age to a close. It's been a wonderful 15 years for me.
Alex
288. decgem
Subwoofer @280--my sense is that Logain's glory is just beginning, and it starts with letting go of the desire for individual power and revenge in order to save the innocent. He has a long way to go to achieve it, but with Androl and Pevara on hand, I think he will get there in spades.
Alexander Foff
289. Abbumaru
I just finished the book about half an hour ago, and I'm so grateful and happy and just a little bit sad because of all the death and pain and destruction. I feel raw and exposed emotionally but it's all overlaid with a wordless feeling of peace. Thank you so much Robert Jordan in your last embrace of the mother, and thank you so much Brandon Sanderson for rising to the challenge and carrying that Dragon's banner through till the end, which of course is no more than an end. There are so many things swirling around in my head right now but foremost is the wonderful feeling that a long and beautiful journey has finally come to an oh so satisfying ending.
Thank you also Leigh Butler for years and years of dedication resulting in endless joy and entertainment in all its facets.
Now on to read this post! =)
Twinks
290. Grant C
Finished this off last night... my personaly highs and lows (I guarantee this is incomplete):

Highs:

More action in this book than any other four in the series put together... it was like several hundred pages of Dumai's Wells. Yay.

Not afraid to kill off primary characters. It's the Last Battle, people were going to get dead. Glad they didn't shy away from it. Sometimes that "NOOOoooo!!!!" reaction is what you're *supposed* to have when you're reading.

Demandred. Now *that's* a Forsaken.

Lan doing him in. Because it absolutely had to be him or Rand and let's face it, how satisfying was it that Demandred didn't even get to meet Rand after all of his obsessing about taking him on in some giant climactic one on one showdown to determine who was the Chosen One? Ha. Ha. Ha. (Also, Lan taking out the to Mydrall solo earlier... and also, pretty much anything Lan ever does)

Hinderstap. Genius.

Olver as hornsounder... and the wolves have Heroes too!!! And Jain! Awesome.

Perrin Vs Slayer throwdown, and just generally Perrin coming into his own as a badass master of the dream.

Pretty much everything Mat did except the final showdown with Fain.

And, yes, that was how it should have ended with Rand.


Lows:

I got pulled completely out of the story when Aviendha reacted to Rand giving them his power heated shower by saying it was "completely crack-brained and irresponsible". That's how Elayne would have said it, not an Aiel. I know it's a little thing but it just jarred. Set me off worrying Aviendha in this book was going to be like Mat two books ago, just... off. Fortunately that didn't happen again. At least not like that.

Mat killing Fain/Mordeth/Shaisam/Mashadar with about as much dramatic effect as we would see some red shirt in a star trek episode getting dispatched was just weak. Totally anti-climactic. Oh here's one of the baddest most deadly entities on the planet, the Shadow itself is afraid of this guy, it's going to take something absolutely epic to take him out... can't wait to see how they pull this... Mat grabs him and stabs him. Oh, he's dead? Come on. And the explanation for that was also pretty weak.. Mat has Mashadar *antibodies* or something? Nope, sorry, can't make my brain go long with that.

Tuon needs to be smarter. Seriously. Yeah, great at political maneuvering... *stupid* about women who an channel. Some excuse for it a few books ago when she hadn't been exposed to anything outside Seanchan but for cripes sake, open your eyes and look around and learn something woman. You've been here long enough to get a clue. And stop re-naming people!!!!!


Biggest dissapointment:

We don't get to see Hawkwing go have a sit down with Tuon about what the Seanchan have been running around doing in his name? After they dangle it right in front of our faces? We don't even get a MENTION of it when Mat goes to see her later, not one single hint it even happened? DID it even happen? Evil. Unforgivably evil.
Bonnie Andrews
291. misfortuona
Well I see I'm a 'little' late to the party, but I wanted to finish the book and think about it for a couple of days before jumping back in here.

First and foremost: Thank you Leigh!!!
You have taken what was already an important part of my life and turned into a conduit to awesomeness.

Through this re-read, I have met some truly amazing people who I am thrilled to call friends in real life. (WAVES)
I know that I am far from the only person who has experienced this phenomenon, but since it's me it makes it special. :P

No on the re-read! You took most of my feelings on completion of this book and wrapped them up better than I could have said them. Thank you again because you allow me to be lazy.

I too find the ending 'mostly' satisfying. There were things that I really wanted to see happen on screen that won't ever, in some cases. Others that might happen someday, but we won't get to see them. (No Two-River's reunion- Salute Egwene). Of course some of those, like a meeting of Rand and Galad will be, by necessity, different than I have imagined in my head.

I was really disappointed at first because of the number of untied threads left at the end, but on reflection I realized that this is a blessing.
For those of us who 'see' future Randland events, we are left with imagination fodder. And perhaps more importantly items to debate within the community.

I have not decided which events take my personal award for most gut wrenching or cheer inducing. There were plenty of both. At the moment it is Bela's death, and Lan sheathing the sword. (But I'm pretty sure they are gonna change by the minute as I consider other events)

Thank you Robert Jordan, Harriet, Brandon, and the rest of Team Jordan. It's been a hell of a ride to the top of the hill, and I can only assume that it'll be just as much fun down the other side.

Mis-contented with this ending, and awaiting the next beginning.
Maiane Bakroeva
293. Isilel
Continuing from @217, where I listed what I liked about AMoL (which I liked, but not loved):

The Bad

Moraine's re-appearance. OMG, how could they drop the ball so badly on such an important storyline? On something that was billed as crucial for Rand's victory? On an awesome character, whose return we were (im)patiently waiting for, for how many books?!!!
Moraine has a good entrance, I'll grant you, but she has nothing else! Even what she does at Merrilor could have easily been accomplished by a combination of Min and Cadsuane.

In no way was her return otherwise worth risking Mat, whose role is more crucial by far and Noal/Jain, whose role is also much more crucial than Moiraine's, could have died some other way.

Really, instead of letting it all go out with a whimper RJ should have just left Moiraine (and preferrably Lanfear) die for good. Memory of her would have done everything her presence did and more! And I blame RJ here, because it is clear that he had fleshed out nothing for Moiraine except for the fact of her return and her presence at the Sealing and Brandon didn't dare to invent anything.

Moraine becoming weaker in OP and her boons from the Finns along with the fact of her not using one of them to escape were clearly intended to be important, but nothing was done about it.

Yet even Moiraine's and Nyn's role in the Sealing is reduced and hollowed-out to the max. Even the rules of linking, where a woman had to always lead a 2:1 circle were changed just to make them more irrelevant.
And sharing of emotions in a link, something that would have allowed them to bolster Ran in his battle of wills with the DO? Forget about it. Doesn't happen at all, for some reaon.

Along with false advertising re: Moiraine's role in saving the world, there also was little to no emotional pay-off. No scenes between her and Lan/Siuan, extremely brief moments between her and Emond Fielders, rather creepy (or maybe it was my impression because of how she is being voiced in the audiobook) and pointless interactions with Rand, also very short...
Heck, Moiraine, the adept at reading people and reconstructing their actions from minute signs was seemingly fooled by the body-switch shenangians and it is Cadsuane(!) who waves Rand on his way.

WTH was that, coldness and avoidance between her and Lan and Lan not thinking about her in his PoV at all? They have been each other's closest person for 20 years! They have found the Dragon together and she saved his life by the bond transfer, however he might dislike some particulars of it.

The same applies in somewhat lesser degree to Nyn, who, at least, had a chance to be awesome and on-screen in intervening books. Still, I would have liked to see more of her.

People have been saying that no space could have been spared for these and other character interaction scenes because all the battles needed to be fit in, but this is completely backwards. The battles by themselves aren't and couldn't have been interesting. And to be clear about this, I blame RJ for it.

RJ was the one who refused to give channeling rules and structure, except as a strawman of false beliefs of hidebound AS that were getting overturned at every opportunity.
RJ was the one who inflated power levels and numbers of channelers and made overpowered abilities, such as Travelling, widespread, while offering no counter, which made any notion of "holding a territory" into a travesty.
RJ was the one who had people use or not use hiding their channeling ability or inversion/reversion of the weaves and other clever tricks without rhyme nor reason, even though any rational person would have used them all the time whilst in danger, etc.

And yet the whole time he planned to have this humongous Last Battle, where a non-channeler was supposed to be in command(!) and other non-channelers were going to be depicted as important. That, after a small group of channelers easily despatching 100K Trollocs in KoD.

So, battles involving channelers were going to be, by definition, complete handwavium and not engrossing by themselves.

Brandon tried to make the best of it by retconning the huge numbers of channelers and their powers to much more reduced levels, illogicaly keeping WT recruits off-screen and having armies with very small amounts of channelers who were attacked only by those with none (Demandred didn't read Sun Tzu, apparently), but it comes through as extremely contrived, IMHO, and doesn't solve the root problem.

So, depicting battle minutiae should never have been a priority. Battles are there to:

show that humankind needs to work hard and sacrifice hugely for it's salvation.

set-up and show-case emotional character moments. And I do blame Sanderson for not including nearly enough of those.

The Seanchan. I really hated how they participated in LB the least, how they weren't there to see the sacrifices of channelers, how Min didn't bring up Siuan's role in rescue of Tuon when she was raised to the Blood, how their face wasn't rubbed into superiority of circles, how nobody except Egwene challenged their beliefs in significant ways and she is now dead, how nobody (not even Rand!) spoke up for the male channelers, whom, they will presumably continue to kill, as they will continue to collar female ones, how nobody brought up the wrongness of enslaving non-channelers, how treaties aren't considered binding for the Empress, how they are snatching up people to collar on the very eve of victory when nobody is looking, etc., etc.
I understand that it was left as a hook for the Outriggers in the outline, but now that they will never happen more should have been done to at least force the Seanchan to think about the matter, IMHO. As it is, Mat is getting all too comfortable with using damane and d'acovale... which is omnious.

All the fake deaths, except maybe for Lan's. I don't care that Rand's body-swapping was extensively foreshadowed, it was cheap cheese that severely diminishes him as a character and the motive of sacrifice of humanity at the Last Battle.
Galad and Faile should have stayed dead too - what's this with contrived keeping together of couples in life or death?

And oh, how much of stuff turned out to be a complete filler! Perrin's PLOD as yet another reluctant leader of men (after we already had that with Rand _and_ Mat)?! OMG, what a waste! His role in LB had nothing to do with it!
Morgase? Should have died when Amador fell to Seanchan and spared us.
Re-invention of cuendillar? Pffft, who could think that it might be useful at the Last Battle, with all the balefire, eh?
Egwene's reforms and recruitment drive, which brings tons of strong channelers with life experience for the last battle? Have to keep them on-screen and send children fight Trollocs instead...
Etc, etc.
Eric Hughes
294. CireNaes
@Isilel

That 100K in KoD is what happens when channelers have no foil on the field to prevent it. Rand tried it again after getting away with it twice and was eventually forced to withdrawal.

I do miss how RJ describes a channeling duel and duels in general, but that was something RJ was particularly talented at. I don't expect the same from other authors with different strengths in different areas. Although I think BS well with the Demandred duels in particular.

As I read through AMoL it became clear to me that there easily could have been a 4th book to round out the series. I'm looking forward the the Encylopedia. I think it will be a phenomenal companion read to the series as a whole and will satisfy some of the minutiae that we WoTers love to ponder.
Maiane Bakroeva
295. Isilel
CireNaes @294:
That 100K in KoD is what happens when channelers have no foil on the field to prevent it.
And? 3 of 4 armies in AMoL had no such foil and full numbers of channelers _RJ_ had introduced would have overhelmed them easily.

Also, they don't seem to use weaves such as in KoD or even at Dumai's Wells to prevent non-channeler troops from complete irrelevance. Nor do they build big circles. Nor do they hide their abilities/weaves, which would make "foiling" them extremly difficult. All contrivances, IMHO.
I do miss how RJ describes a channeling duel
IMHO, RJ's strength was in depicting feelings and perceptions of a person fighting, the actual moves didn't really make sense, nor did they allow any appreciation of tactics, since except for balefire, it was never made clear why one would use one weave over another and what advantages/drawbacks there were. It was mostly the matter of brute strength and "anything goes".
I always thought that it was a pity, but it goes hand in hand with annoyingly handwavery approach to channeling that RJ adopted.

Tricia Irish
296. Tektonica
Thank you Team Jordan, for completing this in a most satisfying way! It really was an epic ending and I'm so very glad I got to read it.

There were a few flaws....I could've used more character interaction and a bit less battle, but the battles were good. I'm definitely going to have to do an immediate reread, as the ending was so powerful, that it's hard to remember the rest of the book, and it was all a great emotional roller coaster.

No doubt my thoughts will come out in dribs and drabs, as I manage to reflect on it all.

Some of my thoughts on the ending;

I do wish that Nynaeve and Moraine would have had a pov. They just were kind of "there". I like that we found out what Min's discovery was, at the proper time. Yay, Min! And I loved Rands battle with the DO, in fact, I would've liked a bit more of it. His conclusion was wonderful. Choice. Yes.

I really would've liked Rands thoughts on the body switch. I'm assuming that he did it while still in the Pit, while both he and Moridan were still using Callandor and channeling. But HOW did he do it? Was Moridan a burned out husk? He was holding Callandor, after all. They were obviously connected and knew it (the hand cutting and sword dropping), and it seems like something that would require the One Power. (I'm kind of calling authorial shenanagins on this small, but crucial omission.)

So when he carried his old, used, punctured, one handed body out of the Pit, and collapsed on the outside, was the woman he saw Nakomi? Is she a Jenn Aiel then? She says, "Yes, that's good. That is what you need to do." Does that mean switch bodies with Moridan? Does he do it then? If she is a Jenn, she would know LTT, she would've served him perhaps, in the AoL. Does she live in TAR to guide the Dragon each turning of the Wheel?

I'm assuming this meeting with the old woman (Jenn?) took place in TAR, as no one saw Rand and Moridan exit the Pit. They were "found" just outside of it. Maybe they switched bodies in TAR just outside of the Pit. TAR is everywhere, in all worlds, and I'm assuming that is where Rands battle with the DO took place. ?

In the tent, as Rands old body dies, Moridans body becomes stronger. How is this happening? Energy transfer? Soul locking into a new body? Did Rand actually "free" Elan to the true peace of death? Did Elan see the Light, through Rand at the end? I would've liked some of this!

As for the Bond...The three widows aren't the slightest bit upset about "Rands" (body) death. They know he's switched bodies. Nynaeve knows they know something. Min talks about feeling "the pulsing throb of the bond in the back of her mind". They will be able to find him, anytime, anywhere! He will get to have a normal life! Know his children! Travel, see the world! Maybe buy a nice farm in the Two Rivers, governed by his old buddy, Lord Perrin. At least that's my fantasy......

So did Rand discuss this switching possibility with his wives? He certainly discussed something with Alivia! When?

As for lighting his pipe as he rides away, while not being able to channel anymore....I believe Rand is now One with the Pattern. He has been outside of it, has viewed the whole of existence, and has rewoven part of it. He has a certain, um, control.

I'm looking forward to the reread, when we can get into everyone's MoA. There was SO MUCH!!
steve cook
297. scook
from freelancer@266:...We have nothing to tell us the bond remains"

Yes we do. Page 905 just before the break:

"Min nodded, feeling the pulsing throb of the bond in the back of her mind."
Twinks
298. rstarr
amys @287 -
"-I would love to read Loial’s book!"

I think we just did. In 14 installments :)
Twinks
299. AndrewB
My comments/questions onposts through #146.

thetipsytavern @68: If Demandred was in Shara since he escaped the Shayol Ghul, it makes sense that he would not be able to guess Lan's identity. He mau of known of Lan. However, Lan never gave his name. Demandred would have no reason to know Lan by sight.

re Egwene's death (along with GenPender @109). I disagree. I thought it was exceptionally well written. It had a nice symmetry with what occurred with LTT and the Breaking. LTT died by intentionally drawing in too much Power and levaing a "natural monument" -- Dragonmount. Although, the Crystals at the Polav Heights would shortly sink into the ground due to the wait. The wheel contiues to weave although each turn is slighlty different.

Androl @92: "twice dawns the day" I thought that this was the Light generated by Rand's stuffing the Dark One back in his prison and creating a new "wall" with Saidar and Saiden as the sealant, buffered by the True Power. (pg. 883). I did not view this as an eclipse.

Inzey @104 re Aviendha eating more and drinking lots of water. If this was mentioned after she was healed, it may be due the the effects of the healing. I do not think enough time has passed from the time she slept with Rand and that scene for her to know she is pregnant. IIRC, it was only 1 -2 weeks. The only reason Tuon knew was that Min confirmed it.

(Query -- Did Min say Tuon was preganat as of the end of the book or that Tuon would be pregnant at some point in her life?)

Broken Hearted @124. I agree that a Cadsuane Amyrlin regin does not bode well for cooperation among different channeler groups in the new Age. From a forward looking perspective, it would have been better for Egwene to survive the Last Battle.

Does anybody have an idea as how you could have structured the plot so that Taim (with his super sa'angrael) and all the Ayyd were killed without sacrificing Egwene?

Anthonypero @136 re irrelevance of the Nakomi scene in ToM given how AMoL was written. I could not agree more.

(I cannot wait to read Wetlander's comments regarding the lack of Nakomi and/or Jenn Aiel. She made some thought provoking posts regarding her Jenn Aiel and Nakomi theories.)

More comments to come latter.

Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB
john massey
300. subwoofer
Grrrr... don't get me started on the Ayyd... but all that, plus the Dreadlords, plus the pointy teethed Aiel are the response to Is's comment in regard to channeling. It was a stalemate because they were outnumbered, outgunned and everything when it came to the advantages of channeling.

Edit- my spelling sucks, and I think Dreadlords is supposed to be capitalized too.

Woof™.
Deana Whitney
301. Braid_Tug
Reading the final book while I have a massive work project and a toddler at home forced me to slow down and really enjoy my first read of the final book.

I finished it at 1 pm on Saturday while my son watched a video of singing animated kittens learning their numbers. So there is a bit of a disconnect in my memory. But still, I loved being able to finish this series after 20 years.

This was the first time I wrote down my reactions to things as they happened because I knew my Tor.com friends would be there to share my reactions soon. Thank you Tor.com, thank you Re-Read buddies!

Reading "The Last Battle" chapter in a quiet house between midnight and 2 am was gut wrenching. Almost hyperventilated after Egwene's death. Guess all those comments about she "will be the longest serving Amyriln in history" were to set our expectations. Who knows, maybe she will be reborn to be Amyriln again.
I couldn’t go to sleep until a few more chapters.

Looking forward to the start of the re-read again to share more reactions.

Thank you to the hundreds (thousands) of people who were part of making the Wheel of Time a wonderful journey. Especially James O. Rigney, Harriet McDougal, Tom Doherty and Brandon Sanderson!!!!
Tricia Irish
302. Tektonica
Just had a kind of symetrical thought about Rand and Tam. .....

At the end, Rand (a swordmaster)in Moridans (a swordmaster) body, leaves SG anonymously, with Laman's Heron marked sword. He will go live a "normal" life somewhere....just as Tam (a swordmaster with a Heron marked blade) did after the Aiel war. Kind of cool.
Antoni Ivanov
303. tonka
I hope you allow me to share my thoughs.

OMG
...
Egwene, ...
just I mean
...
Wow

I was reading Leigh's review, and I was eagerly anticipating your (Leigh's) reaction to Egwene's CMoW.

If there is a scene that I will remember from the book it will be Egwene's last scene - fighting after losing her Warder, beating Taim, discovering anti-balefire, having the presence of mind to release her new Warder, and figure out and order exactly when the seal should be broken, and dying taking multitudes of enemy channelers. (*)

It was amazing and gut-wrenching moment.

Rand has always been my favourite character, and seeing the mind of this new Rand through his POV was absolutely amazing. I was afraid he would be changed too much but he was not, the core was the same Rand I've always loved.

But the simple truth for me is that both Egwene and Rand really did shine in this book so,so brightly. Rand was much more slow burner (because time was flowing slower with him (half a book), and it was hugely satisfying for many reasons I won't go now because I do not want to write a wall of text).

Egwene's death though is the most memoriable moment for me in this book.


(*) And of course while not part of this scene was that in the end actually Egwene's spirit that appears to berate Rand for the last time (eeer. I mean to help him see how to defeat the Dark One)

PS: Was I the only one who though that Mat had reversed almost back to Mat from book 5, by book 10 Mat had already accepted that he was trapped in his ta'veren thingy and had more or less resigned to it, and now he must have forgotten that, Bah. Still I can totally led it slide because it was hugely amusing

PPS: Oh and One of my favorite quotes from KoD was (by my memory) "Tuon, you are not my enemy but your empire is. ... Husband you are not either but I live to serve empire" ... What I am saying is that I wish Mat has spent more time actively trying to convince Tuon to abolish slavery.
john massey
304. subwoofer
Just speaking to the topic off the top of my head- like I ever rehearse this stuff- I have mixed emotions about the way the channeling was dealt with on the Light side. There were supposed to be hordes of Kin, triple the Tower number of channelers. They went "poof', for the most part, I know that a fair chunk were used for gateways and stuff but the numbers don't add up. There were also a whack of novices and stuff and they all took a back seat. I do recall stuff being said about the Baddies having superior numbers and skills, but the good guys have keen fashion sense, and it wasn't after Labour Day.

The main thing that grinds on me about the Ayyd, the pointy teeth guys and all these other channelers is that the White Tower missed them all. We constantly see the bits about Tower numbers dwindling and less and less folks with the inborn ability, and lo and behold, the dudes the Aiel sent away are fine, mental, but fine for fighting. There are a whole race of people who have excelled at channeling beyond any skill the White Tower could match. Gah.

I will give props to the Windfinders, because they held their Bargain. They were given the hard task on the DO's doorstep and they did not back out. The Battle Ajah at least had the grace to admit their faults and start living up to the hype too.

Cadsuane, while mostly off screen held her own too.

The folks we did see, Androl, Egwene, Logain, and all the POVs from non channelers help fill in the pictures. I don't think we needed the graphic descriptions like we had in earlier books with Rand's fights with the Forsaken.

What I like about Team Light was the hospital they set up, that was brilliant thinking. Having triage off site and Healing folks in a safe spot was a very good idea and executed well by Brandon.

I also loved the way that Mat finally figured out how to properly use the Dragons. Instead of carting them around and positioning and aiming and all that painful stuff that folks in artillery divisions have to deal with, the eye in the sky picks a target and they pop out through a gateway, go boom, and off to the next bit. Best targeting system ever. Talmanes was brilliant in his role here. I also see that Aldura is on her way to rebuilding the Guild, good for her.

The biggest thing for me is that everyone helped out. The Last Battle was about everyone and folks got that message. The refugees wanted to help in whatever way possible, children, old women, Tinkers, gathering arrows or helping wounded. The end of the world is not about sitting on the sidelines and hoping for victory, it is about doing what you can to help, and even if you didn't win, live, whatever, at least you did something. Olver proved that out. A little boy, scared, alone and abandoned, and he did what he could too.

Wow, I could go on for days here. I am still processing stuff, and will be for a time, and will probably go back and read again, time permitting, but there is a lot going on and the filler was minimal. RJ, Brandon, all the set up and epically long books are all worth it if this is the pay off.

Thank you.

Sweet ghu, one of my drivers crashed and I almost lost this, whew!

Oh, look, I scored the 3 hunny as well. Whoot! And I'm back in the game :)

Woof™.
john massey
305. subwoofer
Hehe, the whole cannon out of thin air reminds me of a scene in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure".

Instead of: Knock, knock, "candy gram"; grab, stuff, abduct, it was: knock, knock, "boom", "surprise".

Had me laughing for hours.

Woof™.
matt
306. graftonio
@239 The AS could use their powers against the Sharans. Their oath states they can only use the One Power against the Shadow or to protect their life or that of their Warder.

So no conflict there as the Sharans probably arguably fufill all three of those requirements and definately fuflill the last two.

"Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai"
steve cook
307. scook
from AB@299...I agree that a Cadsuane Amyrlin regin does not bode well for cooperation among different channeler groups in the new Age.

I'll take the contrary view. Cads doesn't put up with fools. But she worked quite well with Sorilea. Why shouldn't she work well with the other groups?
Twinks
308. AndrewB
Comments on posts 147-210:

Seamus1603 @188 re Elaida's foretelling: I take that to be the purge of the Black Ajah from the Tower.

A.Fox @189: what a brilliant theory. That would be so RJ. I never would have thought of that on my own.

Syllabus @190 (to further what dsolo @194 wrote): Shaidar Haran was a vehicle for the Dark One to go out into the world. Once the Bore was sufficiently weakended, he no longer needed Shaidar Haran's body. Thus, the black void gehind Moridin and the husk of Shaidar Haran.

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
Joshua John
309. j_Ashaman
(Formerly Joshman(#32 above) but.. poste the ending of AMOL, re-woven as J'Asha'man .... and hopeful that one day, we would be able to experience a return to the 4th Age in the world Jordan spun)

Just finished AMOL after receiving it on the 10th.

Wow , what a ride. 20+ years.

THANK YOU to all that made this possible. So priviledged to have experienced the TWOT in this lifetime. What a treat.

Some of my favorite things (outside of the main struggle)
Androl 's character
The Gleeman's deadly knives while searching for the right word
GoldenEyes mastering his conflicts & the world of dreams.
Loial's song.
The Gambler's wily tactics.
Lan the Man
Tam's Void
Olver
Bao & the Sharans

To all the WOT Fans:
May the light of the Creator revive you
when you thirst, may refreshment be near
May the Flame and Void help you through your struggles and
the Gambler's luck to you as you "spit at sightblinder" thru your own battles
Twinks
310. janina sedai
Just finished reading the book and....wow. i first started TWOT when a friend who had seen me checking it out idly at a b. daltons bought it for me for my bday. little did she know how much it would change my life and that 20 years later it would still be having an impact on me. I agree with leigh. it wasn't perfect. i don't think anything could be after livingand breathing a story for 20 yrs. but it WAS satisfying. and although i am not happy personally with some of the plot devices or deaths, i am happy that Robert Jordan brought me on this beautiful journey. And i find that not only do i mourn the loss of beloved characters, but i am also saddened that this particular chapter of my life is over. Tai'shar Team Jordan! Thanks for the memories!
Roger Powell
311. forkroot
And... subwoofer's back! And Isilel is grouchily pointing out plot holes! The reread has achieved balance again. (OK, so it's the Spoiler Thread, but you know what i mean.)

Just to fair to Isilel:
1) She wrote substantial praises first, in a prior post
2) Her complaints, as always, were well thought out

Anyway, it just feels more like old times here all of a sudden.

{:: waves to subwoofer and blows a kiss to Isilel ::}
Twinks
312. sabreman
Like many here I have been reading WOT for more then 20 years -I picked up EOTW in Forbidden Planet in London on the day after it and TGH were published here in the UK- and have been waiting for the endgame since then. There have been a few lows along the way and the middle three or four books were mainly a trudge that I still have little interest in re-reading. However the return to top form of the last several books have made all the waiting worthwhile, the distinct lack of sniffs, raised eyebrows, braid pulling and dress twitching has markedly increased my reading pleasure.
On to the meat of the matter, AMOL was overall a distinct pleasure to read, there were obviously low points -unavoidable in a massive 900 pages- but the events of the Last Battle played out over an immense 200 page chapter were suitably tragic, heartbreaking, heartlifting and ultimately triumphant.
The shocks like Rhuarc being taken by compulsion, deaths of Egwene, Suian, Bashere and many others both expected and not, the victories in single and group conflict, the heroic defeats all contributed to one of the most compelling passages of the whole series.
High points included Lan v Dem, Tam in the void displaying real blademaster skills and being saluted by Lan, the cannons firing through gateways, Mat and Rand having their p1ssing contest over who had done most to contribute, Lan's charge with his way cleared and lit by Two Rivers arrows, Galad fighting Dem realising he was going to lose, Birgitte coming back to life, Hawkwing and Mat meeting, Thom at the tunnel composing his ballad and killing darkfriends with equal skill, loved Mat's recovery from Mashadar to kill Fain so casually and still looking at the ruby dagger for a moment before turning away, Perrin finally sorting himself out and kicking Slayer's arse, Mat and Tuon's final meeting still sniping at each other.
Egwene was a pain with her I know what's best and you're a stupid sheepherder meeting with Rand, -really? still peddling that same old crap? Cadsuane was what she has always been, didn't particluarly like the Rand/DO debates, they were too much like a teenagers debating club for me,Gawyn was a spoilt kid who wanted to prove he was worthy to the grown ups as usual but didn't think about the consequences of his actions.
I guess all the Olver == Gaidal Cain speculation was correct after all if Birgitte is about to be reborn?

Even with the above caveats it was a real pleasure to read and well worth the three late nights and bottle of 25 year old Talisker it took to get through it.
Good work Mr Sanderson, overall I think you really pulled it off, top marks for finishing this epic journey
Gary Singer
313. AhoyMatey
@283 Subb: Ah, I see what you meant now. Makes sense to me :)
Twinks
314. AndrewB
Comments on posts 211-265

Freelancer @235 & @266: That could be one explanation (Of course, if it is, I may owe Wetlander an aopolgy). However, I would not go as far as to use the word "must". There is no in text support to make that conclusive statement.

BTW, how would Nakomi know where to find Rand? Is she perhaps some ancestor of Rand.

I believe that if the woman that Rand met (whether he was in Rand's body or Moridin's) was Nakomi, some further clues were needed. I think this is too big a mystery not to have provided more clues. I think this because not that it was a unresolved issue. Rather, it was only mentioned for the first time in the ToM. In RJ's original plan, the ending scene would have been in the same book as the Nakomi scene. I do not know why that should make a difference. But it does to me.

Haman @239: IIRC, the 3 Oaths allow for use of the power against somebody to defend your life or your Warder's life. As the Aryyd were trying to kill the Aes Sedai, they could use power to defend or kill them.

Iburns05 @240 -- Galad lost an arm and had a scatch on his face. It was Logain whose face was burned beyond repair.

Forkroot @265 -- Pg 797 -- the medallion that Galad takes off and gives to Berelain is in the shape of a fox's head (although this may be a typographical mistake as IIRC, the note that Mat sent to Galad contained a medallion with a Tar Valon mark.

Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB
Marcus W
315. toryx
After 22 years I've finally finished the Wheel of Time. I'm typically not one to read a book quickly, preferring to savor it and the experience of reading it as much as humanly possible, but for this one I cleared my schedule and did little more but read throughout the weekend.

I paused when I got to the epilogue, almost reluctant to move on. Those were the last words of Robert Jordan's that I would ever be able to read, after all, and I wanted to let them soak into my consciousness slowly, hesistant to let them come to an end. I savored those last moments and then slipped back into the story.

In the end, the final lines were much as I have long imagined them to be. That made me smile because I'd first imagined them in such a way because I believed it was the only way the story could. Everything fell together as it should.

The saga of the Dragon is finished, and now I will be putting it aside. Some day, perhaps many years in the future, I'll take it up again and relive it from start to finish. For now, though, I'm so grateful to have had the story, and those characters, live within my minds eye. I bid them all a regretful, but warm goodbye.
john massey
316. subwoofer
Hi Fork :) *waves back*

I've always been around, just commenting on other stuff. I found myself in the interesting position here that did not sit well with me, so I had to step away or I'd start regaining my sanity. Not a good thing. It is good to comment again, I have been noticing a lot of fresh faces, ideas and blood, and it is a good thing. Let's keep this going.

As far as what Isilel has said, I do applaud the comments, because as always, they are spot on. It got me to thinking about the position of Moiraine and Nynaeve. First off, them being back in the same tent was somewhat anticlimactic, I suppose one could argue that Nynaeve has matured. As for their role with Rand in el Cavo, well, that is tough. Option A was what Brandon did, lend Rand power and not much else. Option B was for them to take a more active role and leave Rand more vulnerable. Remember, Rand still is not completely comfortable when it comes to seeing women hurt, and while the intention to help may be there, the opposite would very well happen. Of the three boys, only Perrin seems to have got past this. BTW nice killing of Lanfear.

I do agree with Is about Nynaeve having a chance to shine in previous books. We see Ny's power growing, her becoming a full Aes Sedai and gaining respect beyond just being a "wilder". Moiraine, we get squat, but it has never really been about her. I felt cheated by Suian's death, like I said, I felt something coming with her going on about legacy then Min spazzing about her and Bryne not being in the same room together.

About the Rand vs. DO battle. Let me just say that it is a hard topic and I do not have any answers, just questions. The way I see it, what it comes down to is what all the other series I have read comes down to, some poor schmuck fresh off the farm being the chosen one vs. , for all intents and purposes, a god. How do we equalize this because there is no way even the chosen one should be able to fight a god, and all through the books we see that. Rand gets a jump in power, but is it enough? The other danger being, if Rand becomes so powerful that he can defeat a god, does he then become a god? So it always comes down to a choice instead of a direct confrontation. That is what I have seen time and again. That is all I was saying.

Oh, and Mat was bags of fun too. Brandon has him down much better here. Kudos.

Woof™.
Daniel Goss
317. Beren
For me, it started in October of '94 with a fifteen-year-old boy asking the librarian if that huge book sitting behind the shelf was reserved. It was, but the first book in the series was available, so he checked it out with the librarian telling him that if he liked it he could get the rest later. A few days later, he came back and checked out books two through five and reserved book six. Fast-forward a few weeks, and he asked the librarian if she knew anything more about the series. Exasperated, she pointed him to the library's lone computer and inadvertently introduced him to message boards, newsgroups, internet fandom, other high-fantasy series, MUDs, BBSs (where he met his wife, incidentally) an unfortunate incident with printing out the WOTFAQ to keep in a three-ring binder (he didn't know any better) and much, much more. And now, a little over seventeen years later, that fifteen-year-old boy who was just looking for another series after his parents took away his copy of The Lord of the Rings (he wouldn't read anything else) finally knows how the story ends.

How to judge the impact of something that has practically been part of my blood for so long? How to put into words the joy, the sadness, the satisfaction of seeing the series come through to its fruition. To Brandon Sanderson and all at Team Jordan I say Well Done, and Thank You for undertaking the task of giving us this ending. To everyone I have met, interacted with and befriended over the years due to our mutual appreciation for this phenomenal series I say Thank You for sharing, and for allowing me to share in our amazing community. This may be an ending, and what an ending it was, but this is not the end.

Oh, and the scene with Olver and Jain Farstrider had me crying like a little girl.

-Beren
Twinks
318. AndrewB
Correction to my post at @314 above (which I just now realized). My apology should have been directed to "Wetlandernw" and not "Wetlander"

-AndrewB
Twinks
319. Bittersweet Fountain
@Andrew B (comment 314)

Mat's note to Galad contained a foxhead medallion and a Tar Valon Mark, not a medallion on which there was a Tar Valon Mark.

"Galad frowned, then upended the envelope, dumping out something silvery. A medallion on a chain. A single Tar Valon mark slide out beside it."

The mark is for the bet--that even with the medallion Galad can't kill twenty Sharan channelers.

So not a typographical error. :)
William Fettes
320. Wolfmage
Thank you Team Jordan for giving us the joy of this last chapter to our favourite epic fantasy series. It was a grand and fitting conclusion to these books which have been a big part of my life.

As a longtime reader who had little connection with early usenet discussions or the FAQ, it has been a true pleasure to find this Tor community and discuss the books with passionate and erudite fans within the framework of Leigh’s wonderful re-read. So I feel it’s a great privilege to appreciate the last book in the context of this great community.

After seeing some of the negativity around the web about aMoL, I was admittedly a little worried, but I needn’t have been. I really enjoyed this excellent book.

Re Rand:

I generally loved Rand's story arc – it was obviously always going to be a core of the series. But it was executed well. It was great seeing how Brandon took Rand’s newly reconciled personality and had him do everything better than LTT would have notwithstanding that he was still a fallible human being. That said, the second half of the book was significantly better than the first half, I thought. Really loved the sparing with Tam scene. Wonderfully written.

Ultimately this book was going to stand or fall on how well it portrays the disparate pockets of humanity banding together within the context of the Last Battle and the orbits of the major characters and the final obstacles that surround them. In that, Brandon and Team Jordan really triumphed. It was moving it was cohesive. I really loved how the perspectives were interspersed with tragedy, struggle, conviction and hope.

For a series that is sometimes criticised for protecting too many characters, I felt the book did a good job of showing us the harsh consequences of war. It struck a delicate balance between not soft-peddling the arbitrary outcomes of this kind of large-scale and relentless loss and destruction, and still harnessing the themes and character arcs of the series in a poetic sense. So, for example, alongside the grand acts of victory and death, there was senseless deaths, and compulsion and collateral damage.

A lot of people have complained about Siuan. But even though she is one of my favourite characters, I didn’t feel outraged about what happened. She made a calculated choice to observe and influence the Seanchan, and had her moment of reconciliation and acknowledgement from Egwene, and that was worthy. Siuan will always live on in my mind and heart as one of the stronger characters so nothing is tarnished. Sometimes good people get crushed by fate. Not everyone can go out in a grand confrontation because it’s just unrealistic.

Gawyn –poor Gawyn. His death echoed the sense of futility and recklessness that pervaded his choices in life. But I think ultimately you have to acknowledge that even distracting Demandred from performing his duties as general, leader of a full circle, and holder of a sa’angreal was potentially very important. It’s hard to assign concrete values to counter-factuals, but we have no idea what kind of untold damage he might have done if he wasn’t occupied by fighting duels for all this time and bearing in mind Gawyn’s duel led to Galad’s etc.. The only thing that was a little odd was that Gawyn’s swordmanship was built up to such uber uber status and then he puts on three of those damnable rings, and he still doesn’t have an edge on Demandred? That was odd though possibly Demandred being able to recognise the phenomenon meant he could counter it; we just don’t know.

Speaking of Demandred – it was great to finally have such an effective, albeit flawed, Forsaken. Loved that he had feelings towards the Sharans and he felt maybe he should have been otherwise. It echoes Rand’s realisation that he had played some role in making Demandred the man he is…. In many ways I’m disappointed we didn’t get more time with him previously though it may have made his final reveal less dramatic.

Re: Egwene – she was appropriately impressive in the preparations and execution of the Last Battle and had a fitting death in the end, I thought. The new weave she discovered was cool – I hope it isn’t lost.

I disagree with those above who imply that her role in this book somehow neutralised every objection about her behaviour (especially opposing Rand). I think this mistakes the objections to her character completely. Even with the dialogue at the FoM restraining Rand from making the sort of plain argument he made earlier to Perrin, there were still plenty of moments where her gonzo personality managed to be obnoxious despite all the good she was doing. Indeed, her flaws were perfectly consistent with the positive role she did play as they have been from the beginning of the series. Far from validating everything affirmatively, the book echoed these flaws - including having her singled minded determination never give way for serious self-reflection or self-doubt that is a habitual for most other characters, or the way she tends to filter every interaction, including those with dear friends, to analyse whether it would enhance or encumber her authority and the power of the White Tower, (making little black marks and ticks), and her totalising mentality which was reflected in her aggressive and uncivil rants against Tuon. These qualities existed for her character as the other side of the coin to her being such a decisive and politically adept leader, who was completely and utterly committed to her current cultural anchor –the White Tower. Let me just say, I had a teary eye.

I really enjoyed the Great Captains sub-plot and Mat’s emergence as a the ultimate military commander. Great idea to have the Great Captains subtlely deploying the armies wrongly due to compulsion. Very clever combination of Grendel's mastery of compulsion and Demandred's mastery of war.

I have much more to say but it’s going to have to be split into future posts.
T C
321. Freelancer
AhoyMatey @284

RE: The Bloodknive's ring ter'angreal. They were not created in Seanchan. Per a previous tour question asked by me, suggested by someone else here (sorry, I forget who):
Q: Mr. Jordan stated that the Seanchan only know how to make one kind of ter'angreal. Then there are the Bloodknives' rings. Is this a departure from Jordan's notes, or a discrepancy in a past answer?

BWS: Neither. The Seanchan only know how to make a'dam.
The conclusion is that the rings were already in existence from a time before the loss of talent for making ter'angreal, and either brought to Seanchan with other belongings, or intentionally delivered there during one of Ishamael's periods of freedom. I would extend this thought to say that most probably, the name for the weave enacted by the ring once activated is, in fact, Night's Shade. This fits the facts at hand, and makes sense with the story.



RE Cadsuane:

We're not certain she would accept the Stole and Staff, but supposing she did, anyone thinking that means a return to the worst traditions of the White Tower are sorely mistaken. She has always turned tradition on its head. To name the top two indecent things to speak of directly, relative strength in the Power and a Sister's age. She worked with Rand, no matter the attendant friction. At Far Madding, at the Cleansing, in Tear, etc. She was available and willing.

Also, in her past is a record of gentled male channelers who lasted longer than expected, and who, as far as we can tell, bore her no ill-will after the fact. We can only speculate about her behavior in those cases, but it would have to at least include significant compassion.

So, blustery and abrasive exterior aside, she is capable of seeing what must be done, and of doing it. With all of the changes upon the world, this is the right person for the job. Let's hope that Logain has softened up enough to work well with her.


subwoofer @304

The Kin didn't transfer it's entirety to Caemlyn when they left Altara, so while it's true they had well over a thousand members, nowhere near that many joined Elayne. Then, they lost many members in the fight to rescue Elayne from the Black Sisters outside of Caemlyn. They lost more to Mellar's sneak attacks. As for the crowd of novices acquired in and on the road from Salidar, they should certainly have been represented in the fighting. If the children of refugees can collect arrows from the battlefield, then young channelers can be linked in circles with fighting Sisters.
Twinks
322. isismaat
Two quick points of clarification:

1. The novices and Accepted were sent by Egwene to the hospital in Mayene to help the Yellows heal. That's why we didn't see them in the battle.

2. @312 - no, Olver is NOT Gaidal. This has been debunked by RJ himself years ago. Olver is what, 8-10 years old, I think? Gaidal is reborn before Birgitte is ripped out of TAR and bonded to Elayne. Doesn't someone in AMOL say something about the story taking place over two years? That puts Gaidal somewhere between 18-20 months old...Olver is clearly too old.
john massey
323. subwoofer
Whoot! Hi Free, glad to see you're still north of six feet under :)

Yeah, the Kin thing does bother me. I have been thinking about the attrition, but as you did mention, children and aged folk and Tinkers were on the battlefield. The refugees understood the significance of the Last Battle, anybody that holds a spark should get it too, no Novice or Kin should sit on the sidelines. Further to this point, Team Baddie took great pleasure in ridiculing Androl, the least of the male channelers. Androl was weak, he should not have been raised a Soldier or Dedicated or a full Ash'aman. Great. But he's the one that ultimately wrested control of the Black Tower from Taim. If Androl could rise above, imagine what contributions others could have made. At least share their strength in circles or something, it sucks being a coppertop, but there you have it.

Question- when you are put up/ nominated as Amyrlin, can you refuse? I don't think you can. I don't think Egwene could. I also think that was why Cadsuane was doing laps in no man's land, because she was avoiding nomination. The Sitters/ Ajah heads cornered her before she could weasel out. Heh.

As for the rest, I suppose what bugs me is that the numbers of channelers were so skewed. Did the Baddies have a better PR department than Team Light? Because, dang, that battle was fairly one sided for a while there. A lot of good folks died and I demand a recount.

At least we saw Gardeners and Ogier fighting side by side. That was wayyy cool to see, a very gratifying payoff indeed.

Woof™.
Twinks
324. Cwbys21
I intentionally spread reading this out over several days, so not to be hit to hard emotionally by it (I feel I made a mistake in that regard with Harry Potter, reading it all in one day). After reading these books for 12 years, all I can say after finishing to Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, and everyone who worked to bring these books to us is Kiserai ti Wansho.
Twinks
325. Zizoz
@296: What was Min's discovery?

Also, perhaps relatedly, something else I've been wondering about: How did Egwene know when to break the seals? (Was it one of her dreams?)
T C
326. Freelancer
Zizoz @325

Two bits to Min's final discovery about Callandor: That if used by a male, someone else could sieze him into a circle; and that it was a sa'angreal able to magnify both saidin and the True Power. That gave Rand the last piece of the puzzle for how to get at the dark one. He couldn't afford to "touch" him with saidin or saidar, lest they be tainted as before, but he didn't dare channel the True Power himself. So he let Moridin "take" Callandor, then used the flaws once Moridin began to draw through it.
Twinks
328. Cwbys21
Didn't one of the Aiel say he had an exceptionally ugly son that was born not to long ago? I would think that is the most likely choice for Gaidal.
Michael Rideout
329. SeaGtGruff
Thank you for mentioning Hinderstap; I had totally forgotten about that. When I read that part I was a little confused, thinking Mat must have arranged to have some people dress up like the ones who'd been killed, presumably hoping to unnerve the trollocs et al. But, yeah, now I remember it from a previous book. It was a nice way to tie up a loose end, if you can call it that.
Janet Hopkins
330. JanDSedai
For Andrew B.
The note contained a fox-head medallion *and* a Tar Valon mark.
A necklace and a coin-- not a medallion with the mark of Tar Valon.
An easy mistake to make when you're reading too fast...!
Twinks
331. Rooish
On Friday night I stayed up until 3. Then on Saturday I was up until 4. Finally I finished this book at 3 this morning.

Egwene you guys.

I mean... she was never my favourite, but I didn't realize until this book (well maybe TGS) just how much she is at the heart of it all. So her death was beautiful, and gut-wrenching, and... I kind of just want to pretend it didn't happen.

Seriously, Jesus Christ, Egwene. I don't know who I expected to die for realz in the Last Battle--not Lan or Nynaeve even though Lan has thought he would die through the entire series, not Siuan or Gareth due to thinking they were off the hook, not Gawyn. I thought that Birgitte would bite it and come back (little did I realize how horrific her death would be). I thought maybe Perrin and Faile would die, and/or Moiraine and Thom, and that Rand would die and come back (man, how did everyone figure out he'd live in Moridin's body)? I didn't think Elayne, Min or Aviendha would die--maybe Min, but when Mellar was about to cut the babies out of Elayne I just put the book down in disgust because I thought it would really happen. (I sobbed like a baby at her final goodbye with Birgitte--I'm glad that they, at least, got a final scene together, since we never got a final Rand-Mat-Perrin scene).

But guys, for some reason it just did not even cross my mind that Egwene would die--and be the only really main character to do so.

Really sad.
Twinks
332. snihed
to quote someone from the WOT FB group:
it just stuck me. I feel sad for Brandon Sanderson, as he read the ending 4-5 years ago, and had nobody to talk about it as a fan of the book.
must have been hard. good god Brandon...
Jonathan Levy
333. JonathanLevy
293.Isilel

Good, constructive, thoughtful criticism. I haven't read all the replies yet, but I'll pile in with some random thoughts.
Moraine's re-appearance. OMG, how could they drop the ball so badly on such an important storyline?
Ok, so the effect of her appearance at Merrilor is clearly supposed to be the reason it was so important to save her. I agree that the effect was disappointing, but a Min & Cadsuane combo would have been far worse. What felt lacking to me was this: Moiraine's presence makes a difference because everyone at Merrilor is in awe of her reputation, not because of her special connection to Rand. In TGS Rand thinks to himself that everything started going wrong when Moiraine died - but this is not picked up on AMoL.

Here's a scenario which might illustrate what I felt was missing: At Merrilor, suspicion and distrust abound. Rand's proposals are not even listened to. Instead, arguments break out, leading to drawn swords. Rand tries to calm things down but he is ignored - everyone knows he's going to SG anyway. He flies into a rage and is about to destroy the whole lot of them when Moiraine comes in.
So, battles involving channelers were going to be, by definition, complete handwavium and not engrossing by themselves... So, depicting battle minutiae should never have been a priority.
Well, yes and no. I found the battle at Merrilor to be sufficiently engrossing. I can't say this for the three (or was it four?) long, drawn-out battles at Tarwin's Gap, Saldaea (?) and Caemlyn. The third or fourth time I encountered a scene with Lan + temporary sidekick running about in exhaustion, I confess I started skimming.

I think I know why these scenes were put in - we have a major plot element (Graendal's Compulsion) happening behind the scenes, with a slow build-up (with little hints) and a dramatic reveal. To make this effective - and provide context for the little hints (e.g. two reserve squads sent to plug the same breach) many detailed battle scenes were necessary.

I am of two minds here. True, we exchanged good character scenes for repetitive fight scenes. But I like Graendal's task, I liked the scenes where Bashere and Bryne come under suspicion (also necessary to set up Min's identification of Moggy and Mat's Command). But would these have been credible without the dramatic tension provided by the battles? And would the book not have suffered by excising all these plot points? I don't know what to say.
Galad and Faile should have stayed dead too - what's this with contrived keeping together of couples in life or death?
I had the same thoughts. But are you really ready to risk having both Perrin and Berelain on the dating scene together? I'm willing to let both Faile and Galad live to avoid that. :)


295.Isilel
Also, they don't seem to use weaves such as in KoD or even at Dumai's Wells to prevent non-channeler troops from complete irrelevance.
It's worth remembering that military habits change slowly, even when in hindsight it's obvious something is irrelevant. You'd think no-one would question that machine guns, barbed wire and artillery make a cavalry charge irrelevant, right? Well, WWI had been going strong for more than a year or two before this was accepted. Same goes for huge masses of infantry marching forwards together - 20,000 dead on the first day of the battle on the Somme (halfway through 1916!) speaks otherwise.


296.Tektonica
I really would've liked Rands thoughts on the body switch. I'm assuming that he did it while still in the Pit
I always assumed that it just sort of happened, not something which Rand actively attempted to do.
...was the woman he saw Nakomi? Is she a Jenn Aiel then? She says, "Yes, that's good. That is what you need to do."
My understanding was that he is now in Moridin's body (since it usually takes two hands to carry another adult), and the woman is pleased that he brought out his old body. As for her identity, I completely missed this while reading, but gray hair and Aiel clothing sound like pointers to Nakomi.

As for TAR or not TAR, well, Lanfear says that the barriers between the worlds have broken here, so I'm not sure if it's a relevant distinction at that moment in time.

In the tent, I think it's simple. Rand wants to live, Moridin wants to die, so that's what happens. All the soul-switching has already happened.

The degree of his foreknowledge is an interesting question. I think the absolute minimum is that Rand hoped somehow to survive and slip away unnoticed, with no certainty that it would be possible; his trio was able to figure out what was going on thanks to the Bond, without being advised of it ahead of time. If Rand knew what was going to happen, I would expect to find hints to that effect - perhaps a few re-reads are necessary to identify them.

@general
Did anyone notice the BIG VOICE Rand heard when he entered SG? He was anticipating it, and whispered 'Thank you' in response, which strongly implies it's not the DO. Pretty much the only candidate left is the Creator.

It also fits well with the short conversation in TEOTW.
Eric Hughes
334. CireNaes
Yeah, Rand thanking the DO would just be awkward.

As far as the details surrounding the body switch I think there were 3 factors at play, their strange bond, their forced link, and perhaps Calandor's prophecy that "all he is can be seized." Pevara and Androl show the idiocyncricies of a dual bond made in the more traditional manner. Crossed emotions, even getting lost in one another's thought processes, having access to one another's abilities and having a difficult time self orienting. Rand and Moridin's bond could be different since it was proposedly made in a different manner, but I think the results are the same, it's just Calendor made the exchange extremely one sided. So the mechanics of the switch has enough substance to make it possible.
Twinks
335. Tenesmus
Just finished...whew! A couple of comments;
-Noal rescuing Olver was the most emotional scene for me.
-Mat-Fain resolution; not a fan. Just seemed dumped in there.
-Berelain/Galad, Perrin/Faile: Perhaps Galad and Faile should have both died in Mayene and Perrin's arc ends with him and Berelain crying in each other's arms...
-Tam the Blademaster: Leading the wedge, Lan's feedback. Awesome.
-Alivia's "help." Sometimes simpler is better. Nice touch.
JAMES MCCLELLAN
336. ZEXXES
Has anyone ever seen "Scanners" a movie from, ohhhh the late seventies or thereabouts? The ending where the hero switches bodies with the evil guy.... I was thinking of this earlier during a discussion over Rand, the prophecies and whether and how he could live through it all. But I didn't say anything because I knew I'd get laughed outta Dodge.

Wish I did now.

Z
Twinks
337. merchantjvo
Wonderful ending to the series! One kind of silly thing: there is a reference early in the book to a clock, as in someone looks at the clock realizing the time. Clocks?! First ever reference to clocks in WOT, am i right? Just wondering. I was struck by this small detail.

I'm also wishing that Rand, Perin, and Mat had all been able to get together at one point. I enjoyed any and all bits of humor in the book...and the end of the book with Rand was lovely. It makes you imagine all the fun/exciting adventures that he could have. No need for a 20-year-out epilouge. Our imagination is enough.
Twinks
338. Cromax
Finished yesterday and my mind, it is boggled. I laughed, I cried, I got up and walked away (several times). Looking forward to the re-read because I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around everything that happened. Going to have to read this again now to absorb it all.

My heartfelt thanks to Robert Jordan for creating this epic and seeing it through. Without his insistence, we may have never seen this ending after he passed. Also to Brandon Sanderson for a job of work well done. Though it may have been a labor of love, it still took an incredible amount of time and effort to complete this saga. And to Harriet McDougal for bringing her husbands wishes to fruition.

Oh! Also to Tor for providing these forums and to all the folks posting in them. The internet is an amazing tool and sometimes when the right combination comes together, real Magic can happen.

I'm going to save my comments for later except for a quick one re: Egewene. When she went up in a blaze of glory I flashed on the story of the Aes Sedai Queen of Manetheren. The old blood runs strong in the Two Rivers indeed.
Twinks
339. Stargazer
@328: "Didn't one of the Aiel say he had an exceptionally ugly son that was born not to long ago?"

That was Grady, actually, I think. Said that to Perrin around the time they were dealing with the Dreamspike in ToM, that he'd wanted to go back to the Black Tower to visit his family but couldn't Travel. I agree, that's by far the best candidate for Gaidal.

Another reason it can't be Olver (as if more was needed): don't you think Birgitte would recognize her eternally-beloved as the Horn Sounder himself?

Too many other topics to respond to. More later. Overwhelmed with thoughts rattling around my brain after staying up all night to finish it. :-)
Twinks
340. instantdeath999
I personally like to think that, in the same way that balefire erases one from the pattern, The Flame of Tar Valon makes one part of it. So, while I don't know if this is possible, I like to think that Egwene will be able to manifest herself as part of Tel'aran'rhiod. Egwene and Rand are parralels; in the same way that Rand had to die to live, I like to think that Egwene will be able to guide all future Amyrlin's. She did say she wanted to make TAR something regularly used at the White Tower.

Either way, though, she had a great death scene. I'll admit, once Egwene died, I was convinced that Rand was going to do something that would revive all killed in the Last Battle. So when I got to the epilogue, I was pretty surprised, since death for main characters is so rare in WOT. Definitely succeeded in shattering my expectations.
Matthew Smith
341. Blocksmith1
merchantjvo @336

Pretty sure Master Al'Vere has a clock in the inn in Emond's Field way back in TEOTW.

Great to read all the comments and see all the old usual suspects chiming in (Sub, Insectoid, Wetlandernw, Toryx, Isilel, Tektonica, etc.) as I am somewhat recently returned myself. Can't wait for Leigh's re-read. That should be some good fun...and a few more tears.
Lee VanDyke
342. Cloric
I don't know which was the first character death was the first that choked me up, but I do know the first to actually make me cry: Bela. I had to read the sentence where she died three times before I let it sink in. Then I closed the book, set it aside and cried.
Twinks
343. Third
All in all, my expectations were pretty low, so I wasn't too disappointed and enjoyed most of the book, though some things were poorly written.

Rand: Too much of a Jesus character in the last book, regressed too much in this one. The Rand/Mat bragging contest was cringe-inducing, but the Shayol Ghul scenes were mostly well done. Also, it's impressive that someone who began the series as a naive sheepherder ended it as a deadbeat father on the run from his two pregnant girlfriends. That's quite a transformation.

The Last Battle: Some of the battle scenes were enjoyable, but after a while it felt like the book had turned into a Trolloc snuff film directed by Michael Bay.

Demandred: Suddenly every Forsaken is a master swordsman. Asmodean was a baffling addition since he was useless with the sword in Fires of Heaven.
And Asmodean, sword held awkwardly and trying to look every way at once in case any Trolloc decided to turn back. Rand could sense saidin in him, though weakly; he did not think much of Asmodean’s fighting had been with that blade.

But hey, he got rid of Gawyn for us. Ultimately, Demandred's death felt more satisfying than most of the other Forsaken deaths in the series.

Shara: Put a nail in the coffin of the WoT TV series, at least one that includes the ending. Yes, yes, there are black characters in WoT who aren't evil such as the Sea Folk and some Tairens like Juilin, but they were largely invisible during the Last Battle, so it'll mostly be black villains vs. white good guys. The only major black character in the book is Tuon who advocates slavery... Good luck selling that concept to HBO.

Androl: Felt like a Sanderson character transplanted into WoT. He might as well have named him Hoid.

Moiraine: Apparently Sanderson didn't know what to do with her, so she became a background character, now strangely obsessed with tea.

Gawyn & Eggy: I guess their deaths were intended to be a sad moment, but it was the funniest scene in the book for me. They died the way they lived: Gawyn like a hotheaded idiot and Egwene like a Mary Sue. The anti-balefire weave was ridiculously deus ex machina; not to mention that Vora's wand was introduced in The Great Hunt, yet this is the first time we hear anything about it being flawed the same way Callandor is.

Bela: Someone call PETA.

Moghedien: Nice to see some of the Forsaken survive, though Cadsuane will probably see to it that Mesaana and Graendal are executed. The epilogue should have included Suffa being introduced to her new roommate.
Twinks
344. rstarr
@343
Bela: Someone call PETA.

haha you just made my day. I'll see if we can arrange for a suitable memorial, but I won't be pressing for cruelty-to-animal charges for BS.
Chris Chriserson
345. Captchas_are_annoying
Just a line from the book that I found hilarious (thought would have been mentioned already tbh):
Like a bit of yeast, the force of men she'd gathered grew, expanding to either side of and building a battle line.
*blink* Like a bit of yeast? Possible candidate for worst simile ever, there.
Twinks
346. Nightbaron
I'm still not convinced that Cyndane was the one who ordered Isam in the Prologue, her later actions in the book don't mesh with someone who would have ordered a hit on Rand. Plus she's been around long enough that Isam would have probably recognized her.
Twinks
347. instantdeath999
I know some have been vocal about hating that particular scene, but I actually liked the Rand and Mat conversation. It's worth noting that the last time Rand and Mat saw each other, Rand was well on his way to becoming a manipulative sociopath. It was nice to have some lighthearted banter that somewhat recalls their interactions in The Eye of the World. Of course, it's strange that Mat just kind of rolled with it, didn't even question that Rand had lightened up, but oh well.
Roger Powell
348. forkroot
JonathanLevy@1000/3
@general
Did anyone notice the BIG VOICE Rand heard when he entered SG? He was anticipating it, and whispered 'Thank you' in response, which strongly implies it's not the DO. Pretty much the only candidate left is the Creator.

It also fits well with the short conversation in TEOTW.
Yes, in my comments @31 I called it out (obliquely - thought I was being clever) as one of the "cleanups" for TEOTW. The Creator, he is a being of few words, eh?

One thing that was interesting was that Rand also SPOKE IN ALL CAPS during the time he held "god-like" power. Nice touch that.
Cameron Tucker
349. Loialson
285. theemptyone


The River of Souls excerpt is a Demandred POV they cut from aMoL. Brandon informed me of this in person at a signing.

He's said this elsewhere as well.
Twinks
350. KateSedai
LOVED the book. A few major things that are so not big in the main scheme of things but are COMPLETELY NAGGING ME:

1) We never get to see if being burned out can be healed the same as stilling!?!? WTF. Setalle Anan and Annoura, dammit!

2) WHO the frig is Nakomi - and was she the "instrument of the Creator or whatever??"

Finally - the only true disappointment which would have made the book so so so much better for me was for the Horn to have blown and for EGWENE to have shown up, bound as a Hero to the Horn, and able to live in Tel'aran'rhiod between her lives, the place she loved. In my head, I pretend that is what happened. Love that girl!! She may have died... but what a way to GO! And she'll be born again...
jim
351. jesusjesus
After waitning 20 years for this to book to be written, it wasn't worth the wait. I don't fault Sanderson, I blame the poor editing skills of Harriet and the greed of Tom D. This book was all over the place, going nowhere,fast! Series fell apart about 500 books ago....i'm sick-to-my-Flame of Tar Valon.PA-LEEZE....so much i hated.
Robert Crawley
352. Alphaleonis
By the time I was halfway through the book, I was convinced that the worst mistake Rand had ever made was not balefiring Tuon in the Ebou Dar palace. However, upon further contemplation, Tuon may be the best chance of civilizing the Seanchan kingdom - because of Mat's influence. About 75-90% of everything Tuon said or did in this book, and going back to TOM, infuriated me.

To those of you above who accused Egwene of being rude to Tuon in their meeting: please picture a survivor of Auschwitz meeting with Hitler. I think Egwene was admirably civil.

There are at least 2 indications that Rand's 3 girls still have the bond. One is the mention of it by Min that several pointed out above. The other was when Rand was riding out. All three girls turned to look at him. I don't think that one of them whispered to the other. I think all three turned in unison.

I think that Lan should have been able to beat Demandred in a fair swordfight. Lan has been religiously practicing with the sword since the cradle. What has that been - 30 or more years? Demandred was not even best at what can only be called a hobby in the age of legends, Belal and LTT being his betters - and maybe others. True, he has "been practicing" since his release to hopefully best Rand.I don't think that should have been enough. I was hoping that Gawyn and his three rings would have offed him.

Just a few random thoughts.
Twinks
353. jalla506
Well, that was quit a ride.

Started the series on the recommendation of a friend of mine in 1996 or 7, and was periodically obsessed with the series, doing a reread every 6 months or so.

Obsession waned quite a bit when A path of Daggers was published, and it was a disappointment. The two following books wasn't that great either before the series started to rise again.

Glad I stuck with the series however, as this was a satisfying end to the series despite the flaws.


The Good:

- It really felt as the last battle. People finally got their act together and finally joined in an all or nothing battle with the shadow. Making the ultimate sacrifice for there to be a future.

- Lan baddass fight with Demadred.

- The way new OP weaves was used in battle such as Androl gateway tricks.

- the shadows subtle trick of manipulating the great captains. The shadow was a bit more competent than they have been in the series.

- Mat and Demadread trying to out fox each other on the battlefield.

- Mat and Rand pissing contest, it's okay to have a little bit juvenile humour in a time that is so bleak..

- Noal returning and saving Oliver.

- Pevara and Androl rocks.

- The death of Egwene. It was a shock to so her die, but if she had to die this was the way to go.
Sad as well when Suian and Bryne died. Wasn't as upset as others has been on how they died. These things just happens in a battle.

Was a great deal more, but these are the ones I can come up with at the moment.


The Bad:

- Lack of several groups of channellers such as the Black Ajah, Kin, Accepted and Novices and partly Ashaman. Got to see some of them, but they should have had a bigger part in the battle.
At least the Accepted and some of the Novices should have been acting as batteries for the full Aes Sedai. Saving their strength so they would last longer.

- Egwene VS Alviarin, and Logain vs Taim with their respective towers would have been better symmetry than "White" White Tower vs the "Black" Black Tower.

- The battle plan was not really discussed much. They have the great captains of their age, and they had little to no input. Found that a little unrealistic, but
it probably had to be cut out because of size of book constraints.

- Perrins battle with Slayer lasted too long, and Fain could have been cut out all together. Although I was convinced he would be the new DO when he named himself
Shaisam, a name that is so close to Shai'tan. It sort of never went anywhere however.

- Flame of Tar Valon aka anti balefire weave was a bit contrived.

- Black Tower struggle could have been fleshed out a bit.

What I really wanted to see:

Mat + Tuon meeting Abell Cauthon. Better would be with the rest of his family as well, but I would have settled with his father.
Good comedy would have occurred.

- Meaning of the broken Crown. Guess Faile will be Queen of what is left of Saldea, but we never learned what the broken crown meant.

- Tuon been confronted by Alivia of what they had done to her, although that would likely ended in Alivia going all out on the Seanchan.
She is still not safe from them, as she is no Aes Sedai.

- And while I'm in wishful thinking mode we could have gotten Cadsuane to tell Tuon exactly what she thinks about them, but that would likely lead to full war.
Or even better would probably be Mat and Cadsuane. It would have been intresting to see how that conversation would have ended.

Hopefully the guide still is scheduled to be published, even if it looks like the outrigger novells sadly won't, and this will at least give us some answers.


Other observation:

- Cadsuane as Amerlyn. Sure she is forceful, and can probably rule without too much interference from the Sitters, and is by and large level headed ,but diplomacy is not her strongest side.

It could work if she got herself a grey, or another sister with diplomatic talent.

- In hindsight Egwenes death was sort of foreshadowed. Being praised as the new messiah for the White Tower, and an Amerlyn that will last forever is usually a death sentence in any story.
Her "I am the Amerlyn feel my wrath" all out attack she reaoeated in the last battle didn't help either.

- Verin, I think, managed to manipulate Allanna to bond Rand against his will so they could use her death to pull Rand over the edge when he confronted the DO. Maybe got her Warder killed so Alanna would be more
emotionally vulnerable.

At least the letter she gave/sent Allanna was probably the last dastardly act she did for the shadow. I wonder why she did it, as she really didn't want the DO to win.

- The Aiel fate that Avhinda sees in her third time through the ter'angeral, could be the fate they would have suffered if Rands plan on remaking the pattern without the DO, as we where witness to Rand trying when he fought the DO.
I think it may show the future as it is likely to pan out at the time someone enters it. Another WO tried as well (I can't recall who), and so the same thing. For the Aiel I hope it is so.

- To be a hero of the horns seems to be only reserved for those who cannot channel. No idea why. It suddenly struck me that none of the persons bound to the horn, that we have seen, can channel.

Just have to say thank you to Team Jordan for finishing the series, and Leigh for lot of entertainment reading her reread.
Twinks
354. jalla506
@346 I think it was Greandal using the mirrors of mist to make her beautiful again. The clue is how she uses the drink, or whatever it was, as a mirror looking at herself when she was beautiful again.
Anthony Pero
355. anthonypero
beren@317: Ha! Almost the first thing I did after I finally got the internet in 1998 was print the WOTFAQ!
Anthony Pero
356. anthonypero
337. merchantjvo


First mention of clocks in the series is in The Eye of the World, Chapter 21, Listen to the Wind by Nynaeve, so, no, its not out of place. In fact, the word clock appears 4 times in The Eye of the World.

EDIT: Out of curiosity, I checked the rest of my ebooks.

tEotW: 4 mentions
tGH: 1 mention
tDR: 4 mentions
tSR: 8 mentions
tFoH: 2 mentions
LoC: 6 mentions
aCoS: 10 mentions
tPoD: 3 mentions
WH: 16 mentions
CoT: 5 mentions
KoD: 8 mentions
tGS: 2 mentions
ToM: 0 mentions

Not all of these references were to actual clocks in the story, some where to clock makers, or the term clockwork (which implies a common understanding of what a clock is to even use the term), etc. There is one reference in aCoS to "one cannot clock the lord Dragon." I assume they meant one cannot time the Lord Dragon, because plenty of people clock him upside the head in this series ;)

I do think our preconceptions of Epic Fantasy tend to place Randland in a milieu that is not accurate. Randland is more pre-industrial revolution and post-Renaissance than medieval. Even the Two Rivers had a few clocks, so they were exceptionally common, in that case.
Twinks
357. CT12
Long time lurker.

I wanted to express my immense satisfaction with the overall conclusion of WoT, and maybe take a slightly different angle than sharing my various emotional reactions (Egwene - no! Lan - yay! etc).

I wanted to touch on what a great choice Harriet made in selecting Brandon Sanderson to finish this series and why. This was a massively daunting task and while we can quibble with certain moments (Mat in TGS is most egregious to me) overall I'd give him a 9.5 out of 10. To me there are two reasons why he was such an inspired choice and why Harriet deserves a TON of credit for making the pick:

1) Architect vs Gardener.
I read an interview with GRRM last year after Book5 of A Song of Ice and Fire came out and he was describing how/why he had managed to write himself into such a bad corner that it required years to figure out a way out of it. He said that there are two kinds of authors: architects and gardeners. Architects plan out their entire work as much as possible ahead of time, with outlines, maps, synopses, etc; while Gardeners use a more organic process, writing the story as it comes to them. Of course, no one is ever completely at one extreme or the other, but these are general archetypes. GRRM is a Gardener, and it bit him in the butt during books 4 and 5 and ASoIaF. Jordan is much more of an architect. Not completely, to be sure, but he's on that side. And given that the series-completing author would need to be comfortable working from notes and outlines, you needed an Architect. Harriet must have understood this, because evident in Sanderson's previous work and his blog posts is that this is the way he works. A Gardener-type could never have finished WoT.

2) Magic Systems, and comfort with thereof
One of the key structural components to WoT, as foundational as the concept of the Wheel itself, is the One Power magic system RJ devised. There were definite rules and structure to the system, and you needed an author that could not only understand that, but thrive with it. When Sanderson was named way back when, I went and started reading his currently published stuff, and immediately felt like they had the right guy. What Androl is to gateways, Sanderson is to magic systems. Not just in coming up with them and developing "real" rules and strictures, but then in coming up with amazing and inventive ways to do incredible things (without violating those rules) that the reader wouldn't have thought of. So much of the awesome in these last 3 books, especially AMoL, was unique uses of the one power. All of the gateway stuff I would wager came from Sanderson, not Jordan. The Perrin/Slayer T'A'R fights were better than their equivalents back in TSR. That's not slandering Jordan, but recognizing the unique talents Sanderson brought to the project. Seriously, if you haven't done so go read Mistborn and tell me Sanderson doesn't have amazing, hyperspeed magical combat down cold.

All in all, an amazing finish to an epic tale. If I had to pick I would of course have preferred RJ to live, finish his story, and get his own "Rand riding off into the sunset smoking his pipe" moment. But since we couldn't have that, I for one am completely satisfied with the author and the ending we got.
Alex
358. decgem
Regarding Verin's letter to Alanna:

I think what we have with Alanna is an Aes Sedai example of someone who, like Aravine, turned to the Shadow at some point in her life and came to regret it, and honestly hoped for a way out of it, but found it too hard. In the case of a Black Ajah member, those bonds would literally be too hard to break. I hypothesize that Verin was a member of Alanna's heart (or at least attached herself to Alanna b/c of her knowledge of Alanna's orders to Bond Rand) and was in a position, as a bit of a fake Black herself, to recognize the signs that Alanna was chafing to walk in the Light again.

This theory helps fill in the gap as to why Alanna didn't release Rand's Bond as soon as she was wounded, as any Lightsider would have. As a Black sister, she could not do so--she could not betray the Shadow 'until the hour of her death.' On the other hand, a truly committed Darkfriend would not betray the Shadow even then, thus my theory about her regret (which seems to fit her somewhat confusing character history anyway).

So, if I'm right, then we might know what's in Verin's letter to Alanna: the explanation of how Alanna could slip the Dark Oath in the same way Verin did (I assume that the loophole is something Verin kinda figured out and not a well-known fact to the Blak Ajah). Sure, it looks as though she held off for a photo-finish, but maybe her wounds left her too addled to do her thing, and it was not until Nyn stablized her that she was able to do the unbonding. (Which happily increases the importance of Nynaeve being there at the Pit of Doom!)

Sorry if this has been raised at, like, Theoryland or something...I'm not a frequent follower of other WoT sites at the moment!
Anthony Pero
359. anthonypero
Ok, based on what I've read on this thread... assuming Nakomi was the one outside the pit oh Dhoom... totally WILD theory:

What if Egwene became "One" with the pattern, as someone read, and SHE is Nakomi?
Ashley Fox
360. A Fox
It did occur to me that sorrelia was ;) I beleieve theres something about Nakomi that even reminds Avienda of her...
Vincent Lane
361. Aegnor
Just finished it an hour ago.

I'm wondering how many "parts" the reread of The Last Battle chapter will take.
Twinks
362. Cromax
Some Thoughts/responses:
@215...Blood on the rocks..mundane indeed. I don't think anyone got that one right.
re: Callandor. As it turned out, when Rand saw Callandor and the Dragon Banner at Paaran Disen in his flashback at the time that the Aes Sedai were getting ready to create the Eye of the World, the implication becomes that Callandor was created specifically for the Dragon to reseal the Dark Ones prison and that the Banner,Horn and Well of Power were all put in place to support that process. The Aes Sedai who did the foretelling was quite a fortuneteller.

@254...Lan thinks that Demandred is the more skilled swordsman during his fight.

@260...the FS were the DOs' minions and with him (it) sealed away had to go. Though neither Graendal nor Moghedien are dead. In Fantasy that means there is always a possibility that they could be freed from their respective traps and cause mischief in the future.
re: Bao the Wyld...Hadn't thought of that but perhaps those feelings of love were what made him crazy all of a sudden.

@262...Damn..Could it be that Nakomi was a manifestation of the Creator, because..Damn.
Twinks
363. Androl for President
Just finished this book after finishing rereading the whole series. Since this is my second full reread: ~20,000 words... I'm wondering where I get my undergrad degree in WoTism. Don't think I've read 20,000 words on another single subject and not gotten a degree... srsly.

Though a few scenes and some writing felt forced, I loved Mat/Rand scene and Lan/Tam scenes. The Forsaken were actually well written villians especially the Graendal.

And for everyone else re: Fain taken out like an Itch complaints... would you have preferred him to take the death wind on into the cavern and kill everyone off? Should Matrim, already heavily featured throughout the book, have been given a badly paced LONG chapter right at the end? I guess they could have killed him off sooner but then I wouldn't have felt the impending DOOM knowing windyFain was on his way. So maybe a little too quick but in retrospect I can't completely fault the result.

Re: The notDeath of Faile. Feel free to write into your book that he found her dead and then go read emoPerrin Books 8-10. Or even just lostPerrin on the snow moping with Tallanvor excerpt. From my PoV, I think Perrin already got enough EMO in this series. His movements in this book were a bit of a long padded arc but at least he found and let fully loose his inner phase-wolf.
William Fettes
364. Wolfmage
Alphaleonis@352 “To those of you above who accused Egwene of being rude to Tuon in their meeting: please picture a survivor of Auschwitz meeting with Hitler. I think Egwene was admirably civil.”
I don’t agree even putting aside that genocide != slavery. Whilst her anger and personal animus at being captured and forced to be a damane are human and understandable, there is little to admire about such a deficit of statesmanship and absence of self-control at such a critical time. Stridency and forceful diplomacy are one thing but naked hostility and name-calling are not productive.

Egwene was lucky that indulging her dander like this didn’t jeopardise the whole Seanchan alliance. Only Tuon’s imperial possessiveness and her relationship with Mat kept the Seanchan in the war to save everyone’s butt. Her personal demons are not important enough compared to the fate of the world to justify such an outburst.

Seanchan slavery is pretty evil, but compared to the ultimate victory of the Dark, a temporary detente with the Seanchan is trivially morally necessary. Egwene needed to suck it up and make her points in a civil manner. Do you think Roosevelt and Churchill would be speaking to Stalin (a far worse monster than Tuon) like that at Yalta?
Mike DMonte
365. MickeyDee
@89 blindillusion: I didn't read it as Perrin needing to be the melding of two "souls" to miove between TAR and the waking world. It needed him finding a way to wake/shift and sleep/shift respectively using his talent as a male Dream-Walker
Mike DMonte
366. MickeyDee
@261 insectoid: So size really does matter? ;)
Twinks
367. Syllabus
352:

Demandred was not even best at what can only be called a hobby in the age of legends, Belal and LTT being his betters - and maybe others.

Which, as with being a general, you will recall, he practiced for centuries. The War of the Shadow itself lasted something on the order of 200 years, if I recall correctly, and Demandred was a general on both sides for, I would assume, the duration. Thus, 2oo years vs. 30 years... well, you get the idea.
Rob Munnelly
368. RobMRobM
@353 - Broken Crown is the name of the crown of Saldaea. Faile as Queen satisfies the prophecy.
William Fettes
369. Wolfmage
Syllabus@367

Do you have a cite for that. I believe Be'lal stated LTT was a better swordman once, but I don't have a reference for him being better than Demandred. Also, I believe Demandred says he has improved since they last sparred.
Twinks
370. Jeff R.
Unlearned lesson: Deploying Aes Sedai and their Warders on distant parts of a large battlefield is a really, really bad idea. They're extremely lucky to have avoided some even more extreme failure cascades.

Contra Leigh, I don't think that it'll be the Aeil who come into conflict with the Seanchan. They've completely sacrificed all hope for those captives forever, to change that future, and the Wise Ones will likely live long enough for the issue to become moot. No, it'll likely be the Asha'man.

Because I'm not even sure that their male-channeller-detection method still works post-taint, and it can't be kept going socially speaking post-taint (and with Min having the office that requires her to publicly reveal inconvenient truths and be believed by everyone, keeping the cleansing or the sul'dam secret secret just isn't going to happen)

So they're going to have no real options other than to re-invent male collars, which will in turn lead to a real war with the Black Tower. Also, they have Moggie and are keeping her alive, which is a bad, bad idea. Being still nearly immortal, given enough time she'll find a way to top from the bottom even with all of the collar's limitations.
Twinks
371. TheZec
I so much wished to see Egwene again with the Heroes of the Horn! It would have washed away a little of the sadness to see her in such a great company!
Sam Mickel
372. Samadai
Though I finished the book last Tuesday night, I haven't yet separated the words from the emotions that reading this last book gave me. Grateful Joy and biting sadness that it is over. I will post my thoughts on it soon, but wanted to point out a few things that people have mentioned more than once.

We don't know that Egwene wasn't called back as a Hero of the Horn, she probably was in fact, But, that would have cheapened her going out in a blaze of glory against Forsaken M'hael. she just would have been another Birgit/Jain farstrider appearance after her MOA. That would have sucked. As for her new weave and peoples insistance that it is stupid.... Hello, have we all been reading the same books for years. Our heroes have been all about creating new weaves for the whole series. If there is something that unweaves the pattern, it is simple logic that there is something that will weave it too.

The war of the Shadow only lasted for 10 years, about 90 years after the drilling of the DO prison.

I believe Nakomi is/was the Avatar of the Creator. we only have in world testimony that the creator doesn't help, but that isn't the case at all. The Creator doesn't mess with free will, that isn't to say he doesn't/ won't help once a person has chosen ( Thus why I believe Rand is rewarded with his newfound power at the end
William Fettes
373. Wolfmage
Some more general observations:

I loved the final evolution of Perrin’s mastery of T’A’R. I think one of Brandon’s real strengths is around supernatural mechanics and this didn’t disappoint. Perrin’s stolid character and deliberate thinking makes him a natural T’A’R savant, and once he was liberated of his burdens of care he was a real monster.

Funny how channelling is almost a handicap in T’A’R when you think about it.

Also, take that Wise Ones and your misandrist presumptions about T’A’R!

I wasn’t at all sure Faile was going to be safe, so it was a very big relief that Perrin got to be reunited her. She saved the Horn with Olver which saved him and the whole world. Go Faile!

Re: Thom

Wow, that scene with him composing and killing was awesome. Thom is such a badass. Perfect.

Re: Min

Totally called (along with the rest of the fandom) that Min would figure out the big secret with Callandor’s flaw.

Re: Fain

Unlike some others I didn’t feel this was too anti-climatic. It did happen suddenly, but I felt the threat posed by him was acute, and Mat was really the only one who could have ignored the mists.

It was interesting that he was killed by the ruby dagger. At first I thought it was odd that his body blackened up, as he has licked cuts from that dagger before without ill-effects. But I guess what really happened was that the blade pieced his heart, killing him, and then his inner evil consumed the corpse.
Ron Garrison
374. Man-0-Manetheran
HE LIVES! HE LIVES! No, not Rand. Me. Whew! Talk about empathy with characters in a story. The Last Battle left me weak and completely exhausted — several times.

The construction of this chapter was incredibly intense. Everything happening at once and following the action on multiple fronts as well as Rand’s interaction with the Dark One. A complex, tight and effective weave. Just amazing. Every few hours I would awake from the dream to realize that my body was just stiff with tension — shaking with slight, invisible tremors. I would have to withdraw and fortify myself just to go on.

Brandon Sedai: Those were some powerful weaves. I bow to you.

In the past I would zoom through each of the new books to “see what happens.” Then I would read it again more slowly. Not this one. Just couldn’t do it. I wanted to make the experience last as long as possible. I didn’t want to skip over a single morsel. I even found myself backing up and re-reading particularly impressive passages.

A few things of note:
First tears (of joy) — the Ogier arrive - all of them!

Chapter icons — I loved turning the page and seeing a chapter icon that we haven’t seen for awhile (sometimes a long while). Lanfear (oh shit, what now?), the Horn (oh, yeah, oh yeah).

Knotai? — I read it as “no tie” but “not I” also seems like Mat.

p. 529 — “It was a thing of legends.” — What a way to start a chapter section! I held my breath. Rewarded with mega-awesomness.

Demandred’s entry — I’ll always see that enormous gateway with thousands of banners behind it. Holy shit!

Hinderstap — Ok, I sure didn’t see that coming. Never in a million years. Heh.

Bela — Did anyone doubt she would make it to the Last Battle, and would once again be a hero?

Wolfbrothers — Oh, man. I was so gratified that the wolves have Heroes too. I’m sure Bela will be a Hero of the Horn as well.

Tam — carrying the torch to the pyre. i love you man!

Lan — Just WOW. Just WOW. Superman ain’t got nothin’ on you.

Elayne’s babes: I immediately saw that Birgitte will be born as one of them. Gaidal? Why, he’s Olver, or course.
“I’m being reborn, Elayne,” Birgitte whispered. “Now. Somewhere, a woman is preparing to give birth, and I will go to that body. It’s happening.” . . . “This means the cycle continues. I get to be with him agian. Gaidal . . . I’ll only be a few years younger than he.”
Rand’s pipe — I think it’s one of those ter’angreal that doesn’t require channeling. He’s free now as the Creator’s reward for a job well done. No need to channel, no t’a’r. Just a pipe that lights itself when filled. Sweet.

The Ending — CHOICE — exquisite.

Freelancer @ 198
Couldn’t have said it better. Thank you.

subwoofer
Missed you buddy!

Samadai @ 372
Nakomi as Avatar of the Creator - I like that! A nurturer.
Robert Crawley
375. Alphaleonis
Wolfmage @364

Roosevelt and Churchill may not speak as Egwene did, but then they had not been immersed in a pot of boiling water by Stalin, as Egwene had by Tuon's minions. If they had, then yes, they might have spoken to Stalin as Egwene did to Tuon. Having never been immersed in a pot of boiling water myself, I don't personally know how I might have acted upon meeting the perpetrator, or the boss of the perpetrators.

Syllabus@367

I still maintain that Lan should have been the better of the swordsmen. Demandred "practiced" a hobby for centuries. Swordsmanship could not have been as critical a skill for him as it was for Lan in life and death situations. Now, if Demandred had not been a channeler, he may have used it when death was on the line. But I doubt that came up much in Demandred's life. Lan, on the other hand, has faced life and death situations hundreds of times where the sword is his chief skill to avoid death. Heck, I think Lan faced death with a sword in his hands hundreds of times in this book alone. Maybe you can say that Lan is the better swordsman of the two, because he is alive, and Demandred is dead. But considering Lan's own POV where he said that Demandred was better, I had to disagree. I guess Lan proved me right, and himself wrong, but I would think he should have been better even without the sheathing maneuver.

Wolfmage @369

I think your question about the relative talents of swordmen in the age of legends is really directed to me, since syllabus was merely quoting me as to their status. I think that in Demandred's POV earlier he had said that LTT had been the better swodsman in the age of legends. As to Be'lal. I thought that I had read somewhere that he was better than LTT with the sword, but I can't prove it. But Be'lal has been dead for some time, so if Demandred's extra practice over the past 2 years have not made him pass LTT after both of them have practiced for hundreds of years; and if Lan's POV that Demandred is the better swordsman of the two of them is also true; then I guess the rank goes thusly: Rand (with 2 hands and LTT's memory) > Demandred > Lan.
Twinks
376. D-Mac
Thought the story ended as well as can be expected. Probably my biggest gripe in the storyline has to do w/ Lord Luc's irrelevance, and I thought when Isam shifted to the real world he becomes Luc, so i thought he would have shifted from Isam to Luc and Luc to Isam when shifting between the wolf dream and real world during Perrins final chase...guess not.
Ashley Fox
377. A Fox
@374

I think Bridgitte was actually being born to Melaine. It was noted a couple of times that she was very near her time.

I too used to think Olver was Gaidel. That that age difference makes sense in light of the age difference that usually lay between them. But another poster up above said that Jordan denied this. And another poster reminded us of Grady's ugle kid ;) Which is a great catch and makes sense.

(Sorry to the folk who's names I forgotten).
Roger Powell
378. forkroot
Man-O@374
he’s Olver, or course.
C'mon Dude! You're way too regular a reader to have overlooked the dozens of times this has been refuted by a direct RJ quote.

With that said, glad you brought up what Birgitte said as it specifies when one of the Heroes gets spun out. Per Birgitte, it's at the time of a Babe's birth. Thus she can't be one of Elayne's babes since they have roughly three months to go.

Unfortunately, this also casts quite a bit of doubt on my pet theory that Elayne's babes are Shivan and Calian. Those two are NOT mentioned as coming back when Olver blows tha Horn. Originally that got me all excited thinking they were Elayne's babes, but now it seems they've already been born somewhere else - probably quite recently as they are supposed to signify the end of an Age.
Lannis .
379. Lannis
Repeating the “wow” of everyone who’s come before me... because... wow.

Still processing, because I just finished, but overall I’m pleased. Thank you, Team Jordan!

Lots of teary, goosebumpy moments! Lots of fun circularity (“wheelish” heh), plenty of didn’t-see-that-coming moments! Oooh!

And the “let’s just hack Elayne’s babies out of her” scheme... uh... wow... THAT went to a gruesome place I don’t normally attribute to WoT... O_o

Alivia... I really liked the way she “helped Rand die.” It felt... right.

Though apparently I am a cynic, because every main character who we thought was dead, but we were mistaken (like EVERY one, because let’s face it, even Lan’s death would have been fitting since he told Nynaeve he would only give her widow’s weeds BACK IN BOOK ONE!), I could have lived happily with having them actually being dead... Yeah... ??

Perhaps “cynic” is too strong... “realist”? Hm...

But to echo many again, thank you Team Jordan, and thank you, Leigh! :)
Ron Garrison
380. Man-0-Manetheran
Forkroot: tee hee! I wondered how soon someone would say that. I couldn't resist.
Roger Powell
381. forkroot
Gah! Pwned - by Man-O-Manetheran no less. I should have known better.

A Fox@377
Hmmm, interesting idea about Melaine. Good suggestion.

OTOH I can't believe you've read 14 books and still call her "Bridgette"?? Unless you've decided to pull my chain like Man-O did.

(And that also goes for the 1/2 dozen of you in this thread that think the kid's name is "Oliver")
Ron Garrison
382. Man-0-Manetheran
I am serious about my Rand's pipe theory though!
William Fettes
383. Wolfmage
Alphaleonis@375
Roosevelt and Churchill may not speak as Egwene did, but then they had not been immersed in a pot of boiling water by Stalin, as Egwene had by Tuon's minions. If they had, then yes, they might have spoken to Stalin as Egwene did to Tuon. Having never been immersed in a pot of boiling water myself, I don't personally know how I might have acted upon meeting the perpetrator, or the boss of the perpetrators.
Notwithstanding that Tuon wasn't her tormenter, Renna, I’m not discounting that she embodies the regime that gave her an extremely difficult and traumatic experience to deal with. I acknowledged that. I’m simply saying regardless of that, the Light’s victory depended on Seanchan participation and she risked a lot by indulging some cathartic vitriol by railing against Tuon.


Perhaps she was overcome by her experience, but if so, she was being ruled by her emotions at a time of crisis and great risk which is kinda antithetical to the Aes Sedai ideal that she embodies.

Egwene generally keeps herself cloaked in the trappings and formalities of her office, and she even carries this so far that she thinks of herself in the third person. But here she lacked this formality and detachment and it was supremely dangerous for the Light.

Now, maybe the maxim no harm no foul is appropriate here, but it made me think it is lucky Cadsuane is taking over because there is no way the Dragon's Peace could work if the strategy was confrontation and insult instead of uneasy detente, containment and cultural soft power influence to change their ways.
Twinks
384. D-Mac
...also my disenchantment with Min's character nicely memorialized in AMOL with more of the same type of things that i've hated about her character arc. Seems like she's just a lost puppy any other WOT character can pick up and use for a time and she's like "ummm, ok". 1st w/ Moraine, then Suian at the Tower, then Gareth Bryn(ok thats a little different), Then the Salidar Aes Sedai, Then Rand, Then a semi-attachment to Cadsuane, then finally she's scooped up and titled by Fortuona...and although she shows some spunk throughout the series, i just hate how her character is just passed around and she readily goes with the flow...just made her seem weak.
William Fettes
385. Wolfmage
I never personally understood the dislike of Min's character.

Though she doesn't get a huge amount of screentime or any big battles - she achieves two momentous things in aMoL.

1. She figures out the full nature of the flaws in Callandor and thus gives Rand the ultimate key to winning the Last Battle.

2. Regardless of how she got recruited, Min is now placed high up in Tuon's court and she is in a position of tremendous influence which will no doubt be immensely important in reforming the Empire. That seems pretty worthwhile and important to me.

Few people can match that kind of contribution in terms of winning the Last Battle and ensuring a viable future.

Not everyone has to exercise agency by imposing themselves on the world. Min's deal is that she takes people as they are both in terms her personality and ability.
Roger Powell
386. forkroot
A thought on Cadsuane as the Amyrlin:

She might be a good choice as transitional Amyrlin, to prepare for a more dramatic change. The following Amrlyin should be Logain.

Yup - you read it right.

saidin has been cleansed. If there's one recurring theme throughout the WoT it's that things go much better when men and women work together.

Back in the AoL, there was no artificial division between men and women - they were all Aes Sedai. (Yes, the "Fateful Concord" caused a split at the very end of the Age.)

It makes zero sense to continue erecting a separate "Black Tower" when there is a presumably undamaged facility in the middle of the most beautiful, Ogier build city in the world. (Also, *ouch*, there's a lot of available room in the White Tower now.)

It would obviously take some time for everyone to get comfortable with the merger, but Androl and Pevara have shown that not is it only possible to overcome your distrust of the "other side", but the sum is truly greater than the parts.

The suggestion for Logain to follow Cadsuane is much in the same vein as Egwene choosing Silviana as a unifying move. If the WT organization continues (Ajahs, Keeper, etc.) then it would probably be a good idea for the Keeper to be female.

Of course all of this presumes that Logain fulfills Min's vision and continues to "mellow" a bit. I personally cut him quite a bit of slack in AMoL considering what he must have endured at the hands of Taim.

We've seen before AMoL that he is basically a good guy. E.g burning Toveine's instructions from Elaida is one example of a pretty tolerant, far-sighted person.

Of course another candidate might be Androl - that would require the merged WT to be more like the Wise Ones and disregard someone's strength in the power when assessing their qualities for leadership. A bit more of a stretch, but who knows?
Twinks
387. Stargazer
Two things I really liked about it (out of many, and some flaws I'll leave for another time):

(1) Games with Gateways! Lava river gateways, reconnaisance gateways, message passing gateways, tiny invisible audio-only gateways, shoot-yourself-in-the-back-of-the-head gateways, insta-cannon gateways, escape-the-exploding-building gateways, and so much more. Once you let yourself go full-on Portal, there's a lot of fun to be had. And yes, I know that this just raises some more awkward questions (like, why not try the lava gateway trick again? many, many times?) but I'm willing to let suspension of disbelief and plot necessity carry the day on that one.

(Although... I wonder how long it will take Androl and some of the proto-geeks in Rand's school to realize they have the ingredients for perpetual motion machines. One water wheel, one gateway from right below to right above, and voila, cheap green energy for just the price of channeler chow. :-)

(2) The ending - and its open-ended ness. I'll admit, part of me does wish we'd gotten a lengthy "happily ever after", a la Tolkien or Eddings. (OK, maybe not so happily for everyone in Tolkien's case). But more of me is glad to have it left open like it was. No single written ending with all the details could satisfy everyone. Leaving some things ambiguous means we can all craft our own versions of those next scenes in our heads and hearts. Let a thousand winds blow, a thousand beginnings bloom.

Now, in my own version of the Extended Epilogue, Rand may travel down his escapist road for some months, sure. The poor guy's earned a break; his new body may be whole but his mind and soul are no less seared. But Rand won't go down that road forever, not with babes on the way. Lots and lots of babes, in due time, given the multiplicity of mothers. In some ways, Rand may be 400, but he's also only 20, and has a lot of growing up to do, and I see him rising to that in time, learning to be as good a father to his children as Tam was to him. Speaking of which, Tam, now there's a guy who knows how to keep a secret. Two decades a hidden swordsmaster, two decades raising a kid that only he knew was adopted. He seems like the sort of guy that a son could trust to stay nice and quiet about certain facts...

And so that's how the next bit goes in my head. Doesn't have to in yours. The Wheel weaves as we all will, now, each in our own Dream.
Roger Powell
388. forkroot
@384
Geez - Sorry you don't care for Min's style. Style is subjective, I'd rather look at accomplishments. Let's take a quick look at what she did in the story:

1) Saved Siuan and Leane from execution at Elaida's hands
2) Got to Cadsuane in time to clean up Nynaeve's mess at Far Madding
3) Provided comfort and acceptance to Rand through his darkest period.
4) Saved Fortuona's life (OK - Not everyone views this as an accomplishment. For them I ask: "You'd prefer Galgan as the head of the Seanchan?")

And there was something else ... hmmm... oh yeah.

She figured out how Rand needed to use Callandor to save the friggin Universe.

Other than that, she didn't do much.
William Fettes
389. Wolfmage
forkroot@386

Interesting idea, and I think it's suggestive that the original Tamyrlin position was most probably gender-neutral.

I agree that Cadsuane is best considered as a temporary safe pair of hands to right the ship. She is like the experienced person everyone respects that you pick in a parliamentary system after the party has suffered a disasterous loss. Nobody expects that person to form government, but they will be important to recovering the party.
Twinks
390. heelsnider
Awesome Book

Better than I hoped it would be and I had high expectations. Yes I missed a few things I wished had been in the ending, but it had so much I hoped to see and more that I didn't think of.

Had several moments where I had to set the book down and come back to it a few moments later. Egwene and Suian stick in my mind the most.

Matt's scenes couldn't have been written better. Wish there would be series just about him and Fortuna. So much potential there.

Have not been a big Perrin/Faile fan, but actually enjoyed them in this book.

I thought the battle between Rand/Dark One was written extremely well. It was not the way I thought the battle between them would go, but it totaly works.

Thank you to Sanderson and Harriett for keeping the series going on.... and of course Thank you to Robert Jordan for the countless hours of enjoyment.

ps. I LOVE MIN!!!
Eric Hughes
391. CireNaes
MoM@382

I can see the t-shirt now. I saved the WoTverse and all I got was this lousy Thinka'Light pipe...

:::Shakes Fist::: Nakomi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ron Garrison
392. Man-0-Manetheran
CireNaes!
OMG! I love it. We've been talking about a t-shirt for the Re-Read gang at Jordon.con. Braid_Tug, Ways, Tektonica! What do you think?
john massey
393. subwoofer
Hi Man-O! Try some chicken noodle soup. It is good for what ails you:)

Thanks folks for reminding me of some excellent points.

First off, Alpha@352 reminded me of the exchange between Eggs and Tuon. That was gold. Egwene telling Tuon her pants were on fire and that if she was such hot stuff, put a leash on and lets check the truth out. Hehehe. Too bad Mat got in the way of that one, I'da like to have seen the outcome.

Min also gave Tuon some smackdown. Her royalness or no, Min really told Tuon not to be such a tool and abuse Min's gift. Good times:)

Damn skippy Bela is a Hero! Hopper and all the wolves too. They made the ultimate sacrifice. And got to whoop some darkhound butt as a reward.

As for folks suggesting Egwene is a hero, question: Are there any channelers amongst the HotH? As far as I know I thought only LTT get's spun out again. Everyone else is Forsaken.

Cadsuane is an excellent choice for Amyrlin. I don't know how much longer she will live, but she has gained the respect and trust of the Aiel and the Windfinders have a healthy fear of her.

The Aiel. I don't see them causing a storm over the Seanchan. They have a whack of t'oh for the pointy teethed dudes that channeled. Perhaps letting the Seanchan keep the WO's is how they meet that t'oh.

Woof™.
Debbie Solomon
394. dsolo
A couple of things I wondered about (may have missed while reading). Did anyone catch the gray man that went after Tuon? Is he still following his last directive? How many gray men are left?

Did Mat give Galad his original foxhead medallion or the copy that Elaine made?

Seanchan vs Aiel - the Aiel have already commented that they will give the Seanchan a year and a day. Don't know if Avi's future vision will change that.

re: the Black Ajah, I think that Egwene via Verin got most of them, and the rest are either Dreadlords or lying in a pile behind Thom (his nonchalance while figuring out his epic song cracked me up).
William Fettes
395. Wolfmage
dsolo@394

It was the copy so more powerful weaves would overpower it.
Warren Soulard
396. Hrothgordo
74. ChrisBeckstrand

I have to totally agree with you that this book felt like bad fan fiction.

Now to be fair to BS, the amount of plot threads that needed to be resolved were simply too numerous to be done well without many more books (and I believe even Jordan would have been painted into a corner on that).

I thought the prologue and first chapter were done well; along with the Androl/Pevera chapters (at least their interactions and motivations, the actual resolution is lame).

Any time we got to see an actual coming together of Light-side characters, it seemed rushed. Character are given tasks just to have something to do, while others seem to do things because they know they need to be in another scene later in the book.

DEMANDRED
Apparently to be a master of war and strategy in this book is basically accomplished by stating that you are and not by actually being smart.

Despite Jordan himself telling us how absolutely asinine it is to think that a general would participate in a pointless duel we get not 1 but 3 such occurrences. Is it about honor or testing his sword skill? Sorry, but since he “cheats” in all of the duels that can’t be it.

And leaving every single one of them alive after the duel . . . uhmm . . . yeah that doesn’t happen.

Managing the war he decides to go after their army instead of pillaging the various countries or settling in at Shayol Ghul (where Rand has to actually go at some point).

MOIRAINE
Her return was absolutely pointless. The only apparent contribution she had was to help during the negotiation of the Dragon’s Peace; which amounted to her regurgitating a few lines of the prophecies. Cadsuane or even the Jesus-Rand aura could have done the same.

Not only was this an absolute waste of the character, but it pretty much ruins the heroism of her rescue in the previous book.

FAILE
Why is she carrying the Horn? The reasons for it are completely fabricated especially since Perrin is there at the time and can give them Mat’s location.

GAUL
Why is he involved in the dream fight besides just to keep him on screen? His presence in TAR makes no sense and his survival during Perrin’s absence was not believable to me.

LOGAIN
Why even include any story of him if the only thing you do is make him an unsympathetic character who really doesn’t feel deserving of any glory or reward.

FAIN
He may not have been anyone’s favorite character but at least attempt some sort of drama to a confrontation. This was the equivalent of the gholam being taken out by slipping on a banana peel and falling into a stedding.
T C
397. Freelancer
Nightbaron @346

Isam never met Cyndane, so he wouldn't recognize her in her newer body. And Isam was taken away from Graendal by Shaidar Haran's order, due to her last failure to get Perrin. They wouldn't give him under her orders again as Hessalam. It's Cyndane.


M-o-M @374

Elayne is still a couple of months short of term, Birgitte is going to be born within the hour. It could be Melaine.


D-Mac @376

No, it's a common misconception. Slayer is able to change identity when shifting worlds, but can become either in either place. When he intends to assassinate Rand and Min in Far Madding, he notes with satisfaction that he had become Luc as he stepped out of t'a'r. This suggests that the identity shift might happen somewhat randomly, if he doesn't specifically will one or the other. Also, he was definitely Isam when he killed Joiya and Amico in the Stone of Tear.


D-Mac @384

On the contrary, I believe that nobody knows better than Min the saying Moiraine loved so much, the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. She goes with the flow is precisely the right phrase to use. She has surrendered to the idea that her talent will help the cause of the Light, and is to be employed however the moment provides. She certainly put Fortuona in her place about abusing it, and other than that, she let it be of value. It's the End Game of all time, and she gets it that you can't be selfish and choosy about how you are used.
Michael Maxwell
399. pike747
@204. Louis Theodore Tellman I cried for a fictional horse.
You and me both along with many of our fellow enthusiasts I see.

Logain’s physical description and temperament resemble what we know of LTT more closely than Rand. I think he was a lot closer to being the Dragon Reborn than anyone realizes. Maybe the Pattern, the Creator or LTT/the Dragon himself noticed this and made a last minute substitution, just to try and dodge a bullet prophesy or something kind of like Avi and the Aiel.

@198. Freelancer Awesome point! Succinctly made.

@200. Farstrider2) “Someone else (Tektonica?) mentioned above the issue with "Egwene is dead" catching her eye as she turned the page. It happened to me too. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, and then had to read the next page and a half already knowing she was going to die. Her blaze of glory was magnificent and perfect, though I loved her throughout the series.”
I had a similar experience but was not jarred or bothered by it from a technical standpoint.From a “oh know not our girl?!” standpoint yes. In general my copy of AMoL is much better production and editing wise than my copy of ToM.

“Exquisite is a nice word, but I prefer Ineffable. My nerves are frayed, my eyes are red, I'm exhausted. I feel like I have lost several dear friends. But I am oh so grateful to RJ, BS, Harriet and all others for sharing with me the Last Battle in High Chant.”
Couldn’t state it better.

@251. scook
ROFLOL

@subwoofer “You find a good woman, you stand by her, she is worth moving Heaven and earth, and a really heavy horse for.

So funny and so true.

285. theemptyone
Looking forward to reading that!

@290. Grant C Had similar thoughts that the last battle made dumai’s wells look like a skirmish.

@298 rstar
15 including the prequel but who is counting and yes I think we did!

@332. snihed
Excellent point! He did have Harriet, Maria and the rest of team Jordan though.

Edit for clarity
Sanctume Spiritstone
400. Sanctume
(I had had lesser hopes of perhaps seeing not just the Superboys or just the Supergirls, but all the original Two Rivers contingent, the ones who started it all—Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, Thom, Lan, and Moiraine—together in a room before the end, and I really didn’t get that. But that’s perhaps more understandable.)

IIRC, only Lan was not in the middle of Field of Merillor.
Nynaeve was with Rand's side of the meeting. Egwene on the opposite. Perrin was there, and when Moiraine enter, Mat was around who overheard some. Thom was not mentioned, but I assume he is around Moiraine since coming back.

I love Rand and Mat's one up sequence, so awesome-sauce!
Roger Powell
401. forkroot
Sanctume@4-hunny
Nope - Mat was not there. He was on his way to Ebou Dar. He was deliberately avoiding Rand as long as he could.

Also, Thom is mentioned briefly (so he was there.)
Sanctume Spiritstone
402. Sanctume
@401 thanks forkroot, I probably fast read that early part about Mat.

Gateways are just OP (overpowered)!
- Gateway Battle Videos: from floor, to table, and eventually wall mounted battle viewing. It's nice how using that tech improved within a week.

- Vortex should have been used more, or just a simple line gateway 30 feet accross but move along the trolloc lines.

- Andol could have dropped more lava showers. Or better yet, flooded the field with ocean water over the trollocs camps since they hate water.

- Aviendha could have done her gateway unweaving nuke attack sooner and more often.

- The peek a boo gateway cannon trick should have been used as first strike instead of being bait at the Heights in the beginning.
Twinks
403. Syndar
So many great, emotional moments.

1) Rand singing the Song in front of Tuon
2) When the gateway opened on the army of Sharans - like, wait, what? The Shadow has an army that can move through gateways now? SHIIIII..
3) The Hinderstap moment almost made me tear up, oddly. Its just nice that those poor people can in some small way fight back against the evil that cursed them.
4) EVERYTHING with Loial in it.
5) The Perrin/Slayer battle was the highlight of all the fighting scenes, imo... perfectly drawn out, tons of tension, incredibly satisfying. (Unlike some - Mat/Fain, anyone?)
6) The moment when Rand stops seeing his list of dead as burdens, but as heroes. Egwene's line "You have embraced death - embrace mine as well" (sic.) was perfect, and made me tear up in a way that her actual death scene did not.
7) Mat's everything. I love how he wins over Galgan and all the others. It gives you hope for the impact that he will have on the whole Empire - I think Matrim Cauthon will be VERY good for the Seanchan. Also, Demandred's desperate "hurr, it MUST be Lews Therin I'm fighting, no one from this age could POSSIBLY be this awesome." Priceless.
Jonathan Levy
404. JonathanLevy
343. Third
Very clever re: TV series. Though I think the tropes could be easily inverted - just have all the Seanchan saying "Yes Massa" to Tuon when they prostrate themselves, and watch all PC hell break loose. :)

348.forkroot
You owe me 1/3 :)

349.Loialson
Really? And here I was hoping for more Androl & Pevara. Though I'll eagerly lap up any remaining WoT material.

372.Samadai
374.Man-0-Manetheran
and others re: Nakomi
At first I also liked to think of her as the Creator, or an Avatar thereof - but there's the question of the appearance she chooses.

Why does she appear as a grandmotherly Aiel woman to Aviendha? There are good reasons for this - this is the form to which Aviendha will be most receptive. Ok, that's fine. But why does she appear in the same for to Rand? By the same principle, shouldn't she choose a form to which he will be most receptive?


@general Regarding Lanfear - did someone forget about her cour'souvra? She channels next to Moridin without showing any sign of pain (Moggy told us that doing so is very painful). I keep wondering to what extent her actions are her own, and whether it's possible that Moridin broke her cour'souvra and is controlling her. It would be one explanation how she gets into his dreams all the time, and why Moridin kept her cour'souvra whereas he returned Moggy's.

That said, the motivations in her final scene - including adopting her old form (for Perrin?) sound more like Lanfear than Moridin.



Regarding Moridin - see how many backup plans the man had just to ensure his final death. He has Slayer to kill Rand via T'A'R. He has Alanna tied up and bleeding to death. He has men assigned to tear Rand's children out of the womb. He has a dagger to stab his hand and take Callandor.

Though to be honest, Moridin's bind has a few holes in it. Not happy with life? Balefire yourself, so the DO can't transmigrate your soul. Afraid to be reborn in 500 years? So what, you don't have memories of your previous life when you're reborn, just enjoy it and live like everyone else. You're afraid to regain them at some point? Well, when you do, see step (1) again.
Kurt Lorey
405. Shimrod
On the whole a very satisfying end to the series. Sure, I could have stood to see a few more loose ends tied up, and whoa!, but a lot of characters bought the farm (so much for those complaints).

But for now, I need to go through it again (once or twice) soon to make sure I didn't miss anything.
Marty Beck
406. martytargaryen
Have not read all the comments yet.

Overall, I really loved the book and the ending!

I am however DISTRESSED: I don't know the color of anyone's dress in all of Tarmon Gaidon!!
Marty Beck
407. martytargaryen
Serious question, though: Does anyone know what happened to the Army from Murandy? While reading the parts of the LB at the FoM, I assumed they were at Thakan'dar...but they were not, unless they were utterly destroyed early on.
Twinks
408. jensketch
Leigh, I enjoyed that review *mightily* and I hope you read these comments, I do, because what you said about Lan -- he is my favorite too! Made me grin huge and want to geek out over him with you! lol

And Egwene. Please write something - please, please write something. I don't even know how to cope with it yet. I need some catharsis. She was my favorite girl - it was Nynaeve at first (and it still sort of is?) I can't pick between them (and why did Nynaeve DO NOTHING the whole book? GAH) anyway, I would love to read what you say about Egwene. Please do.
Dawn Boyall
409. deebee
I didn`t understand the plan to rip the babies from Elayne-other than general evil. So Moridin needed their blood for some purpose?

On first reading it felt like that was put there to make the point that Min`s viewing doesn`t offer any protection to Elayne herself.

I don`t think we see blood-magic used anywhere else- even the blood on the rocks at Shayol Ghul turned out to be low-key.

(Except, now I think about it, blood was needed to trigger the Bloodknives- d'oh!)

So what was the womb slicing meant to be for?
Twinks
410. KateSedai
Okay, so I re-read the last few chapters again last night and I am having some difficulties I hope you guys can help me with...

1) I am completely convinced that was Nakomi in the cavern as Rand is running out after sealing the Bore - she is described as Aiel, unfamiliar but with graying hair, and I mean, who the eff else could be just chilling there while the place collapsed, telling Rand he is doing the right thing?? It seems she is indeed the "Agent of the creator" or whatever, and Rand seems to realize this as well, in how he speaks to her about his Aelfinn questions and expects her to understand what he is talking about..

BUT -- I don't fully understand what he meant about "asking the Aelfinn the wrong question" - as far as I remember, the only question we KNOW Rand asked was "How can I win the Last Battle?" -- was he referring to this, or a different question about "choice"?

And most bizarrely of all, how exactly did he switch bodies with Moridin!? He must have been himself (in his current body) coming out of the cavern, carrying Moridin's body -- but how did they switch? It couldn't be Mask of Mirrors or he wouldn't be able to feel/use his left hand. Did they switch when the Bore was sealed during the Balefire melding??? HELP PLEASE!!!
Twinks
411. KateSedai
** Sorry correction I meant BECAUSE of the Balefire melding complicated somehow DURING the Bore sealing
Marty Beck
412. martytargaryen
@409 - Just speculation on my part, but maybe Moridin wanted the babies brought to SG in order to drive Rand over the edge into dispair...another way the DO could win.
Valentin M
413. ValMar
So it ended. Few hours ago I finished AMOL. Since then I read Leigh's "review" (no carcasm, just it wasn't what one would call a conventional review), and about the first 100 of the comments.
I can't say right now about how I feel, in detail. Can't really put my thoughts together. I appreciate how fellow commenters put in detail likes/dislikes, etc. I hope I do it a little later.
I certainly feel sad that it is over. Totally empathise with everyone who feels something little lacking, now that WOT story is over. Actually, as I write this and think about it more, I feel it more keenly... Well, there are hundreds more comments to read, and a few to write. Then there's the re-read and the Encyclopedia. I hope it ties a few more lose ends.

I'm sad that James (Robert Jordan) isn't among us right now, I hope he watches from above. Big thanks to him. Big thanks to Brandon who did fantastic job, given the enormity of the task. And just as big a thanks to Harriet and the rest of Team Jordan.

PS How you guys manage to read it, remotely properly, in 10-12 hours!
Dawn Boyall
414. deebee
@Martytargaryen

That makes sense- though they definitely wanted the babies alive.
This is horrible to think about, real evil, in a creepy, give-me-nightmares way. More so for me than anything else that happens- though Olver trapped by Trollocs was seriously scary as well.

Valmar-
I`m with you , it took me four or five days to read - though I didn`t try to rush. There`ll never be another time I read without knowing how it`s all going to end. But there`s no way I could have read this in a few hours.
I need to do a slow re-read now to take everything in, I'm sure there`s more I`ve missed.
Nisheeth Pandey
415. Nisheeth
One tihng I expected to see was Hopper as a HotH. Someone mentioned that they beleived that Hopper was one, but I think that it should have been mentioned.
Otherwise, this is the most intense book I have read. It was excellent.
Twinks
416. Faculty Guy
It is 12:20 PM on a Tuesday and I'm just wonderin' if there will be a post of any kind from Leigh relative to AMOL. I realize it's too early for the formal re-read, but we've reached 400+ comments on the spoiler review, and many of us are still reading through the book for the first time (job, grand-kids, spouse, etc.). About half-way through and getting a LITTLE bored with the battle scenes with an (apparantly) endless supply of trollocs. Really, I'm starting to skim blood/gore scenes (although I realize this IS Tarmon Gaidan) in favor of dialog where significant information can be gleaned. Hoping to see something analytical from Leigh in an hour or so . . .
Sanctume Spiritstone
417. Sanctume
@413 I ordered my book Tuesday from Amazon and arrived Wednesday, and I did not start reading until that evening after work. Read at work during my 1 hour lunch break, and evenings after dinner until 1-2 am. Then my Saturday and Sunday was a blurr of no chores, just reading, eating, reading, and napping. I plowed throug The Last Battle chapter Sunday until 2 am, and finished the rest of the book last night on Monday.

And then spent another good hour reading this review and comments. And sneaking some more here while on break at work. :)
Twinks
418. fragrant elephant
My future hubby and I are both huge fans, and bought only one copy of A Memory of Light. He let me read first. I held back none of my reactions, and explained to him that:

-When I laughed, it was because Mat was being hilarious. Seriously, his one-liners are epic. Talmanes is damn funny, too. I laughed a fair number of times while reading.

-When I went, "Oooh," it was because it was clear someone was either going to kick the bucket, or do something ridiculously amazing.

-When I wriggle in excitement, it was for the battle descriptions, which are always a joy to read in this series.

Egwene's sacrifice had me sobbing my heart out. Bela's death was sad, too. But Bela was the horse that carried Egwene out of the Two Rivers. I should've seen it coming.

I'm in the anti-Gawyn camp. He made yet another reckless decision and paid for it. I do think he redeemed himself by revealing to Galad that Rand is his brother. It strengthened Galad's resolve. Still, I snickered when Demandred/Bao said to him, "...your pathetic brother? The dead one, I mean."

Still not convinced Alanna was BA. Verin could have been under orders to send her up north, and Alanna fell into Moridin's hands. Also, her POVs imply that she's not evil, just impulsive and emotional.

Speaking of emotional, Nynaeve is my favorite character, and I'm fine with her relatively limited role here. She earned her keep, as she always does, PLUS she gets her oily bohunk of a husband, the incomparable Lan. Mat's yelling about how awesome Lan is mirrored by feelings perfectly.

I did guffaw when Nynaeve suspected Rand was alive, went to the injured Aviendha, and straight out said, "I came to you first because you can't run away." omg she's the best.

Did Faile need to live? Yeah, for Perrin to have his happy ending. I'm glad emo-wolfboy finally became halfway decent, but I agree with the others in this thread that it would've been more poignant if his choice to save Rand ended up costing him his wife. But then again, characters tend to die in pairs in the Wheel of Time. Still, personally: death to Faile!

Min = awesome. That is all.

All in all, I thought it was a satisfying read. I took my time reading it, too, to savor all the vivid imagery that the words evoked, like Loial singing and causing the Trolloc weapons to bloom.

Badass, my friends, badass.
Alex
419. decgem
Question to ponder re: Hinderstap and anyone else in the WoTiverse stuck in a non-(permannently) fatal Bubble of Evil: Do you suppose any who were alive as of the sealing of the DO get to resume their normal lives? Or is being trapped in the Bubble a death sentence regardless--the Hinderstap folks just somewhat deferred--but once the evil magic sustaining them (however awfully) goes away, their souls are released to 'regular' death? I hope, obviously, that they get to live, preferably with the Bubble of Evil taking with it the visceral memories of everthing they had done while under its effects. (That's fantasy physics!)
Andrew Lovsness
420. drewlovs
I won't comment fully until I've read everyone else's comments, except to say if Jordan had survived to write this, it would have taken at least one more book. Maybe two. I can't say I am happy about where BS cut corners to keep it small enough, though the pressures of doing so must have SUCKED... but I understand.

This was like Thom telling us a story in high chant, only to leave the dream and Lolial take up the story, while trying to be hasty.
Twinks
421. NickInNC
For what it's worth, I think Brandon did a fantastic job of wrapping up the series. And to anyone who feels like the ending is lacking something, I'd ask how much more do they want? It took ~2500 pages to bring this epic to the closure we finally have. I do understand the feeling though. Knowing that this is the end of the tale is bittersweet. It's how I know I loved the series. I couldn't wait for the end and yet I'm sad the end is here.

Some thoughts on what's been brought up here.

I don't think the Mat/Perrin stories were out of balance. Mat's story isn't about Fain; that's just a thread to wrap up. It was a bit anti-climatic coming when it did, and it didn't adress the part of that evil that was causing the wound in Rand's side to never heal, but whatever. Mat's story was him bringing the pieces together as a gambler and a general, to accept both what he is and what was forced into him. Perrin's was learning when to seize control and when to let go.

I thought the "pissing contest" between Rand and Mat was perfect. Reuniting with a childhood friend you fall right back into the same patterns you had together as kids. That's not contrived, it's how life really works. It totally reminded me of conversations I've had with my best friend from High School now that we're adults, and it made me smile.

Someone was complaining about how Gawyn went from being a great swordsman to one easily defeated. I don't think he was suddenly a bad swordsman, just that he was missing the one concept that makes the difference between being great and true mastery. And that is perfectly consistent with the character. Gawyn is never able to see the forest for the trees. He is technically proficient at everything he does but never grasps the true meaning of why it's done, like the student who knows all the facts but fails to understand the lesson. True masters of the sword like Tam and Lan don't just know the right moves and perform them, they ARE the moves at a level that most swordsmen don't even comprehend. Gawyn is probably better than 99.99% of all other fighters with a sword, but the gap between him and the true masters of the sword is still there.

Some parts of the story I especially liked:

How Rand only gets one of the three things he demanded at Merrilor, but gets everything he needed. It shows that he's grown up enough to learn things don't always go as planned, and that that can be a good thing because sometimes your plans are wrong. I'm somewhat curious which other Aes Sedai he was planning to take to the pit before Moraine came back.

Androl/Pevara story and the creative use of gateways and the OP in general.

Rand riding off into the sunset. Although I do wonder how the girls will catch up with him. Elayne is a queen and can't just go wandering around. Min is stuck (probably) as the Truthsayer. Aviendha could probably get away from being a Wise One and go find him, maybe. I don't think they'll ever get the chance to "not take turns". ;)

I'm sure there's more but I'll have to read it (and by "it" I mean the whole series) again first.
Nisheeth Pandey
422. Nisheeth
@419:
If they were immortal, wouldn't it break the cyclic nature of the Wheel? If they can't die and live in the Real world(unlike the HotH), then they would be there until the cycle ends, and teh age returns. So by my logic, they would have to die sometime, so the curse must end.
Ron Garrison
423. Man-0-Manetheran
OK, here's a Foretelling from Nicola way back in LoC. It's one that has been discussed many, many times. I was one who took it literally, and waited for the moment in the story.
"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."
I guess the "boat" was figurative (all in the same boat), but the rest seems true, if not as dramatic a foretelling as we thought. "Edge of a blade" sounds dire, but it can also be just representative of balance and choice.
Twinks
424. simmeh
Well, it's over now. I'll say that much.

I finished two days ago, and I've had a day to mull over the events. I even wrote a big 6-page dissertation. I won't post it here for everyone's sake, but here's the gist of it:

My view of the WoT books tends to be different from most fans. I've only ever read the series once, and as such, I've not been able to keep complete track of everything that's happened. Picking up each new book was an exercise in trying to remember characters and plot points from previous entries every time. One of the major holes is the Forsaken. Lanfear, Graendal, and Moghedien may as well have all been the same character to me, and I don't think I can even name any of the male Forsaken off the top of my head, despite having just read about two.

I also tend to have different views on the protagonist characters. Min and Lan seem to be fan favourites, but I've never really liked either of them. Meanwhile, most people seem to hate Faile, Cadsuane, and Tuon, but I actually like all three of them (and I truly loved the Mat/Tuon dynamic - it's alright, I'm already packing my things for my exile).

So it was with some reluctance that I finally read AMoL. It almost felt like it I was just doing it to get it over with. I had stopped really enjoying the series at around the book 6 mark, and nearly quit outright at around book 10. I ultimately think that iwas worth my while to read the whole thing (series as well as book), though I'd say that AMoL is neither the best nor the worst we've gotten. It managed to convincingly end the series, but left a bunch of things dangling - strange, considering that ToM went about furiously tying up loose ends like an obsessive compulsive in a shoelace factory.

There were a bunch of little things that annoyed me, mostly with respect to certain characters being dropped from the face of the continent in the epilogue. There was also way too much writing about troop movements and not enough about character moments, and the book still spent too much time in the dream world for my tastes. These are all relatively minor, though. My major qualm is Egwene.

Now, I'm not one of those people who thinks that main characters shold never die, nor is Egwene my favourite character (though I did really like her Amyrilin arc). But Egwene is special. She is built up from a supporting character into probably the fourth-most-important character in the series, and does so gradually. Unlike her contemporaries Elayne and Min, who I felt just kind of got dropped into their important roles, Egwene grew into hers. I definitely feel like she's one of the most complete characters in the series.

That said, I'd still be okay with her dying, if it had been for a good reason. But this is just lame. Going super-saiyin and dying from exhaustion feels like a completely limp way of offing a character, especially when part of that exhaustion was from a broken bond to a character she never should have had any strong connection with in the first place.

Yeah, you heard me. I think that Egwene x Gawyn is an incredibly dumb pairing. Egwene is likely the most mature character for her age in the series. Gawyn is probably the least mature character in the series who isn't physically a child. They just don't fit together at all. I don't have a problem with authors 'coupling' characters - I loved The Belgariad even when it did this - but it felt like Egwene got stuck with Gawyn because he was the only semi-important character who was left, and RJ somehow felt that she needed some lovin’ as well.

That leads me to my second point: she didn’t need a romance. Egwene, more than any other character had a purity of purpose. Once she enters her Amyrilin arc, has one single goal: unite the tower for the last battle. That's it. She's utterly devoted to this, and nothing is more important. The other characters have multiple things they need to accomplish, so a romance just falls in naturally beside everything else. With Egwene, it just felt tacked-on. I have a hard time believing a character this devoted to something would take time out for a romance. Yes, I realize that the romance started before Egwene did her Amyrilin schtick, but then see point one: these two just don’t work together.

So yeah, not really upset at the fact that she's dead, just more about a certain reason leading up to it.

Well, that turned out a whole lot more negative than I was hoping (not to mention longer than I intended). I won't say that it was a bad book; I had a hard time putting it down and all, and there were things I liked (Talmanes, Mat/Tuon, Mat/Rand). Androl/Pevara in particular was good. They were definitely the glue that held this thing together, and it left me wondering were they where back when the series was dragging its feet. Maybe I'm just disenfranchised with the way the series went during the dark period, but even back when I was reading the objectively 'good' books, I think I was hoping for a better ending than this. But, at least we got an ending, right?

Anyhow, it's over now, and I can close this particular chapter of my life.
Matthew Smith
425. Blocksmith1
simmeh @424

Your opinion is yours and you are entitled to it but one correction I would offer is that Egwene did not die of exhaustion. She deliberately channeled too much of the one power in an effort to annihilate Taim and the Sharan channelers. And she did so. She went out in a blaze of glory. I do however strongly agree that her character growth and development was perhaps the most complete and very well done. As a fan, I wish she had survived Tarmon Gaidon, but accept that her sacrifice was needed to give the forces of Light a chance to win at Merrilor.
Anthony Pero
426. anthonypero
MoM@423: Or, it could be something that is yet to come. Most likely it just didn't turn out the way RJ was thinking when that Foretelling was uttered.
Twinks
427. CorDarei
did anyone else miss the dictionary at the end?


...

just me? OK
Twinks
428. Iavasechui
I missed the glossary too to be honest...
steve cook
429. scook
MoM @423....I guess the "boat" was figurative

Maybe not.
"South. East or west would do, but he figured he wanted to go someplace away from it all for good. South first, then maybe out west, along the coast. Maybe he could find a ship"

"'Edge of a blade' sounds dire"
I choose to think that peaceful resolution of the damane issue counts as "edge of a blade".
Don Barkauskas
430. bad_platypus
@427, 428: Initially, I missed the glossary, but after thinking about it, it seemed appropriate. Then, later, I read that BWS and Team Jordan left it out so that the last words we read were RJ's ending. That clinched it for me as a perfect decision.
Twinks
431. rhandric
One thing I wanted to comment on was the *need* for Siuan's death. Now, initially I was disturbed by it, but I've come to realize there is, in fact, a necessity for it. While Siuan accepted Egwene as the Amyrlin, the question of whether Siuan still has a claim to the position has gone unanswered. From what we know, legally no new Amyrlin can be named such until the previous one (if being removed as in the case of Siuan) has been executed. Since Siuan is still alive, she still has a claim to the Seat, even if she excused herself from the position during Egwene's reign. With Egwene's death, had Siuan survived the Last Battle, that barrier would no longer exist.
LT Tortora
432. Lucubratrix
Let's see... I got the book yesterday afternoon, didn't get a chance to start it until 10pm last night... so naturally I stayed up all night reading it and took a one hour nap this morning before I had to get up for work. All I can say is, well done.

If I had to pick a favorite storyline, I think it would have to be the developing relationship between Androl and Pevara. The Talmanes POV scenes were also great, and of course the final conflict between Rand and the Dark One. And poor little Olver with the Horn, finally summoning the heroes (including Jain, of course).

A couple parts seemed rushed--the one I found most jarring was the scene where we're informed in so many words that Loial's report about Lan's apparent death affected Mat deeply, along with the rest of the army. Surely we could have had a few lines of dialogue. Quickly reported deaths didn't jar--it gives the impression of a lot of terrible things happening too fast for anyone to really keep track--but if there is time for people to be affected by a death, I think that's worth showing, even briefly. But I nitpick. I'm looking forward to reading it all over again (maybe during normal waking hours this time, though).
Anthony Pero
433. anthonypero
If you really miss the Glossary, here you go...

http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/
Noneo Yourbusiness
434. Longtimefan
I also found it odd that there was no glossary. Not that I needed one but that in the previous books it had been a part of the structure.

As the age ends so ends the glossary. :)

I actually liked Logain's small storyline. I think in a way Hubris was his madness and he cured it on his own.

Nynaeve needs to check in with Avi to set up a new clinic for healing the Ashaman using her new devotee Hasslam.

Forgive the misspelling. I am just between things and cannot get to the book right now.
Twinks
435. CorDarei
sorry anthonypero,

that doesn't come close to what the glossary in the back of the book provides. (new details on old explanations, new names and their pronunciations, etc).
Anthony Pero
436. anthonypero
Well, we'll have a real encyclopedia soon enough.
Alice Arneson
437. Wetlandernw
As I read through the comments, I'm... amused at the number of times people have complained about not seeing something, when it actually was there but they missed it. And others who say "Yes, everyone missed that. There was a bit of a handwave in there because Team Jordan missed the continuity error" - and two comments later, someone provides the reference where it was addressed. I don't have a problem with those who ask "Did _____ happen?" - it's over 900 pages, not many can remember everything after a single read. It's the people who complain bitterly about something that "didn't happen" or those who answer wrongly that "No, it didn't" when, in fact, it did - they just don't remember it, and don't bother to go check before making definitive statements... They make me laugh.
Twinks
438. rhandric
I'm glad I'm not the only one laughing, Wetlandernw :D
Twinks
439. jalla506
@368. RobMRobM

I made the comment on a half remembered scene when Bashere asks if Faile has mentioned the Broken Crown, and Perrin having no clue to what it as.

It could very well just be the name of the crown, and I'm making it to be more important that it actually is.
Eric Hughes
440. CireNaes
@KateSedai

There are a several things going on that would facilitate a soul swap or vacancy in Moridin's body for occupation. I'm convinced that Calendor functions as a forced link in every respect. Something beyond the one power. Cour'Souvra level stuff. I'm basing this off of the "and all he is can be seized" prophecy about Calendor. Regardless, the specifics may be non-confirmable based off of the conversation I had with Brandon at a book signing.
Ron Garrison
441. Man-0-Manetheran
Wetlandernw @ 437;
If you find yourself "amused" here, don't go to Amazon and read the garbage being posted there as "reviews." Nearly half are 1-star gripes because they couldn't get their precious Kindle version on January 8. And the things a few of these trolls said about Harriet really pissed me off! Like I said, don't go there. Send Cadsuane.

P.S. I've been anxiously awaiting your comments on the book.
Twinks
442. Marks
420, drewlovs

I suspect that Jordan was setting things up for a lot of side stories/anthologies to hang onto the spine of the series, rather than make the series longer. In fact, iirc, there was only going to be one book after KoD, rather than the three which eventuated.

Now whether or not BS is going to write any side stories or anthologies to resolve a lot of the burning questions is a good question in itself.
Anthony Pero
443. anthonypero
Marks@442:

One which has been answered a lot already. most recently 6 days go by BS: http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog/1136/Its-finally-out

Check out the Q&A at the bottom of the blog post.
Twinks
444. Stargazer
@423 and following, re the boat:
The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."
I guess the "boat" was figurative (all in the same boat), but the rest seems true, if not as dramatic a foretelling as we thought.
Nah, I think it was literal, just didn't happen yet. In the very last scene as Rand is preparing to ride into the sunset, he even thinks "Hey, maybe I could get a boat." (paraphrased :-) So, my money is on Rand taking his gals for a 3x-honeymoon cruise sometime later on...

The core point of that foretelling, after all, is that the story doesn't end with the end of the Third Age. There's still a huge unresolved conflict with the Seanchan (The land divided by the return) and all kinds of potential issues between the Aes Sedai and Asha'man (the guardians balance the servants) for years and years to come. Plenty of room in there for Rand to take up sailing as a hobby... Roll on, oh big ol' Wheel!
Twinks
445. Cromax
@419 &422...When the prison was resealed the Dark One could no longer
trouch the pattern so all of the bad stuff that resulted from HIS touch would stop. It happened during the day so the people of Hinderstap would be up and about their business and I'd like to think that the curse was lifted and they got to go back to their regular lives. Unless they were still being used as "zombie shock troops" and had all died during the course of the day.
Don Barkauskas
446. bad_platypus
rhandric @431: One of Siuan's first acts after Nynaeve Healed her was to demand her job back. It didn't go well.

That aside, having Siuan die did avoid the awkward "there's a former Amyrlin among us" issue post-LB. I didn't have a problem with it.
Ashley Fox
447. A Fox
@437 wetlandw. Was that aimed at me re. 156? I have not read all the comments, though most and with much scanning. You do seem to paraphrase me.

To clarify I did not mean it was a cont error. We missed it as in it was reffered to not given actual page time. Leane? -hand wave. Oh, yes, she's back now lets move on now this obligatory line is out of the way.

If not, nevermind.
Rich Gold
448. richg25
Demandred: "Who ARE you?"
Lan: "No one of any consequence." - he didn't really say that, but it WAS sounding very reminicent of that conversation at the top of the Cliffs of Insanity!
Rich Gold
449. richg25
Gawynn's death was the first scene that got to me. Not because he died. But that it was in his brother's arms.
Twinks
450. Sethy
Ok, so when Egwene becomes the Amyrlin in Salidar, Robert Jordan took great detail (per the norm) in naming almost all of the Sitters and giving many of them more than just a base description. Reading through this and only having a few names dropped (and not knowing who survived!!!) really irritates me. The Sitters tend to embody the traits of their Ajah, as well as their own individual traits. Egwene had to manipulate, browbeat, and simultaneously inspire these women in order for them to accept her. And NO HEAD COUNT to see which of them made it and would continue to guide the Aes Sedai?!?!?! I know it is such a little thing but GRRRR.

The same goes for Liandrin's group of Black Sisters. They had a tendency to keep disappearing, only to reappear again!! I would have thought that meant the last few remaining sisters would be up to something particularly nasty. And, if not, I would have loved to see Elayne and Nynaeve stamp the last of them out! At least Jeane Caide saw justice....

End of rant :)
Alex
451. decgem
450--I was thinking the same thing, though wasn't Rianna among the group that Androl duped into the stedding? By my calculations, that leaves only Marillin Gemalphin unaccounted for. (Correct me if I'm wrong, please.) I was really hoping to learn what some of the Dark Orders were that had various baddies quaking in their boots at various times were. Well, maybe MG skipped out on her oaths to feed cats in Lugard or something...
Twinks
452. Mr. Mojo
I have plenty of thoughts on the books as a whole, and this one in particular, but first I want to provide my input on a few of the more controversial/debated topics.

Moiraine's role: No, she didn't nuke massive amounts of Trollocs, but Moiraine has always been much more of a talker than a doer. In reguards to her speech for The Dragon's Peace: sure, there are many people who could have quoted prophecy, but would it have had the same effect? I've always thought of Moiraine as an extremely persuasive person. She isn't domineering like Cadsuane, she isn't "tricksy" like Siuan (or to a lesser extent, Egwene), she doesn't have the godlike authority of Rand, or the insight/visions of Min, but when she talks, people listen to her.

The balance between Perrin and Mat: Perrin fights Slayer and guards Rand through a large section of the book = Mat fights Demandred/leads the armies of the Light through a large section of the book.
Perrin Kills Lanfear = Mat kills Fain.

Perrin/Faile's story arc: I didn't really dig the emo Perrin or the damsel in constant distress, but I can relate to Perrin more than probably any other character in the series. Like Perrin, I am a fairly large guy. I had several younger siblings and was one of the bigger people in my class, so I grew up being careful of my actions (and yes, I did get teased about it like Perrin does). I'm slow to anger and reluctant to argue/fight, but I would wade through Hell to help the ones I love, and I would show no mercy to those that cause them harm. It took me longer than usual to figure out who I was, who I wanted to be, and who I needed to be and to make them all fit together. It took the presence of a special woman to give me a reason to grow as a person. So in short, I did enjoy his story arc and seeing him reach his full potential. Besides, the fight with Slayer is probably the most cinematic fight scene in the whole series.

Brandon Sanderson finishing the series: like many here, I had not heard of Mr. Sanderson until I read that he had been chosen to finish the WOT series. Upon hearing the news, I bought "The Way of Kings". I was, to put it mildly, impressed. I picked up the Mistborn trilogy, Warbreaker, and Elantris shortly after. Every book I have read from him has been exceptional. Mr. Sanderson has the ability to tell a full story in very few words (not saying his books are short, just that he crams 3-4 full novels worth of action into every book). He is amazing in his ability to invent so many magic systems with unique rules, backstories, and limitations, and then immediately finding crazy ways around those rules and limitations. He is a perfect fit to WOT, especially in the latter books, as the supergirls, Rand, and the BT boys were really stepping up the "never been done before" weaving action. He also writes some of the best endings for stories...kind of an anti-King.

The delay on the ebook: I'm not happy. I can respect the decision to honor Harriet's opinion, and I hate to say anything negative about her, but I feel it is selfish and shallow to let your personal opinion factor in to such a major decision. Ebooks aren't going away. If anything, they are rapidly becoming the preference for many of us. If it would have been any other book, I probably wouldn't have bothered with buying it at all, or maybe waited for the ebook version to appear in the discount bin at Amazon.

Well, this is turning into a wall of text. Time to go reread AMOL!
T C
453. Freelancer
If every subplot were wrapped up (and ignoring that it would have required 600 more pages to accomplish), if every action were clarified beyond doubt, then this wouldn't be happening.
T C
454. Freelancer
Mr. Mojo,

On Harriet's decision regarding eBook release, it is the furthest thing from selfish. Her concern, whether well-founded or not (and that remains an open topic) is for the independent bookstores, which are growing fewer by the day, but remain the most faithful standardbearers for the works of top authors. If most readers downloaded the book on release day, the brick-and-mortar bookstores would be doomed. And perhaps this is an inevitable trend. But she had no wish to hasten it with the finale of her late husband's masterwork. It seems to me that her wish is to honor Robert Jordan's legacy and the independent bookstores at the same time.
Twinks
455. Mr. Mojo
454. Freelancer

I didn't really consider it that way, and what you say does make sense. On the other hand, it would also make sense to get the book out to as many loyal fans as possible, as quickly as possible, instead of using it as a pawn in a battle that has already been lost. Independent book stores are done. Trust me, I'm not really thrilled about it either, but that's just the way it is. It wasn't even ebooks that killed them really; it was Barnes and Noble, Borders, Hastings, Amazon, etc. Like everything else, the mom-and-pop book shops were killed in a war of attrition to the corporations.

On a related note, there isn't even a corporate book store within 50 miles of me, so I ended up buying the hardcover copy of AMOL from Amazon anyway.

With all that said, your post did convince me that Harriet wasn't selfish to withhold the ebook. Misguided maybe, but not selfish.
Twinks
456. Stuba
Hey Leigh,

thanks for the re reads and reviews. I actually only read yours as they're so entertaining and you're so considerate when it comes to spoilers.

But my brains do be a tad slow... and from Illian. What did you mean by this?

Uh. Is that who I think it is? Because whooooa.
Yeah, that was totally who I thought it was. And it kind of puts paid to the debate over whether it had really been the Creator talking to Rand in TEOTW, too. At least as far as I am concerned.

I feel like I missed something here. It IS the Creator right?
Michael Maxwell
457. pike747
I bought my copy at River Read Books a small local store in Binghamton, NY. ToM as well. The owner is not a fantasy fan but she is amazed at the buzz WoT gets. I met her at the door the morning ToM was released, I had held it the night before but she wouldn't give it to me until the correct date. It was sad because I hesitated after she went in, to let her disarm the alarm, and she said. "Nobody wants to steal books."
Rob Munnelly
458. RobMRobM
I keep thinking to myself "He's not the Messiah; he's a very Knotai boy...."

@457. We used to have good friends in Binghamton. They were visiting us in Boston, in the latter part of a winter in which Boston was approaching it's all time snow record of close to 12o inches. Our friends pointed out that was an average snowfall for Binghamton. Point taken, game, set and match.

@456. I THINK IT IS THE CREATOR, MESELF.
john massey
459. subwoofer
Mojo, what you are missing is that those ereaders are linked to said big box book stores. It is another nail in the coffin. Long live the little guys!

Ummm... this may be out of place but I'm sure would appreciate it if somebody wandered on over thataways to Amazon territory and said "shut your ungrateful pie holes, the book is out there, buy it, read it, be happy"... or words to that effect. Folks got nothing better to do than whine... this bed is too soft, this bed is too hard... Sounds like a kid crying because they didn't get the latest iphone for Christmas.

About Egwene, I know folks are choked up, but let's face it, her fate was sealed the moment she went loopy over boy blunder. There was no way that was ending happy. The only way to stop that was if an Aes Sedai put on their big girl panties and stopped that unholy union before Egwene could bond him, "no wait Mother, save your strength, he's too far gone. Look, he's starting to make sense, that's a bad sign..."

The Last Battle- loved it. Every gory page. I do believe I have said this in previous posts, but the Last Battle better be a huge slug fest, big ass armies, lots o' beasties that needed killing, sword waiving, badass characters being badass, the works, things falling down going "boom". Brandon did not disappoint. The only thing that had me scratching my head was the horse... I know Mandarb is a stallion and all , but doesn't he get tired, even just a little bit?

.... Oh yeah, and I still have an issue with Berelain not disrobing, I think the editors got over zealous in that department. Let the story flow, people.

Woof™.
Michael Maxwell
460. pike747
@458
The winters have been mellowing over the last five or six years. A little north and a little south of us gets the brunt. I am from WA where there are world record snowfalls up near Mount Rainier. I was raised in the Eastern high plains desert area that only averages a little over eight inches of precipitation per year. It is much wetter here!
Twinks
461. tkThompson
Re: Choked Up Incident #3, and over a sparring session
A most memorable scene indeed. For me, Tam's conversation with Rand in the Stone of Tear in TGS and the dynamics of their relationship seemed familiar. It took me a while to figure it out, and it was the sparring scene that made me realize that the relationship dynamic seemed familiar because it reminded me of the relationship between Jonathan Kent and Clark in Smallville (Smallville, because I'm not familiar with the comics, and Jonathan Kent isn't much of a presence in the Christopher Reeve movies). And John Schneider as Jonathan Kent seemed to have that grounded solidity that Tam is described as having.
T C
462. Freelancer
Stuba @456

This is the passage:
IT IS TIME. LET THE TASK BE UNDERTAKEN.
The voice spoke with the inevitability of an earthquake, the words vibrating through him. More than sound in the air, far more, the words spoke as if from one soul to another. Moiraine gasped, eyes opening wide.
Rand was not surprised. He had heard this voice once before, and he realized that he had been expecting it. Hoping for it, at least.
"Thank you," Rand whispered, then stepped forward into the Dark One's realm, leaving footprints of blood behind.
This occurs at the cavern mouth to the Pit of Doom, on the slope of Shayol Ghul. So, would Rand have been hopeful, or offered thanks, at hearing the Dark One's voice? Not likely.


Something else on that same page, which strengthens my thinking that the body-switch happened in the cavern, where the Pattern is thinnest:
Shadows from a returned sun dimmed the cavern mouth around him. Wind tugged at him, his foot warm with his own blood. I will not walk out of this pit alive, he thought.
I think this is foreshadowing that Rand's body is carried out. Not yet dead, but not walking. Yes, Rand does walk out alive, but not in the same body he used to walk in.
Sandy Brewer
463. ShaggyBella
I have been reading these comments for 2 days now and haven't caught up yet. So I guess I will add my 2 coppers worth.

First, Congratulations to Bannerman Brandon and the rest of his troops for continuing on after the Great Captain fell. I only found this series a few yeas ago, but have become throughly engrossed. I guess I will have time to explore other books now.

A few random thoughts and some fun questions...
Like, what will happen to Moggy when the Sul'dam remove her "necklace?" Damane are not allowed jewelry. Will she lose her soul?

Gawayn was looking peaked from wearing all three rings. He could have communicated with Egwene and received healing, before his big battle. She should have known through the bond that he was ailing.

Hmmm... Tuon has her cherry popped by Cougertown's favorite Boy Toy and has no reaction at all? All Mat has is a 'pleasant' dream after the first night with his wife? Rand and Perrin got much better love scenes! And Mat is the pro, with experience (Tylin & Melindhra) and the old memories. Something wrong with that girl.

I think after two frantic runs through the Trolloc camp, Bella would have been done for anyhow. She had already raced back and forth with Faile, and then had to do it again.

Since I listened to the audio book, it is hard to fix on all the details. I think a LOT of the White Tower AS died in almost every fight. Would they even have enough left for a Hall? When I read the book again, I will maybe keep count.

I kinda expected that sometime the Seafolk would acknolwedge Mat for freeing the damane in Ebu Dar. That could have become an advantage during negotions or something.

I liked Rand more, now that he wasn't acting like a stone or a jerk.

Kind of fitting that the active Aiel, Avi, looses her feet, Handsome Galad looses his looks and a hand. Shy Min is exposed to the world as a Doomseer. Humble Perrin will now be living a royal life in Saldaea.

And what was in Verrin's red sealed letters to everyone???

Great plot for the Forsaken turning the Great Captains, and returning with the Sharans and male Aiel Channelers. I guess they weren't just one of Jain's stories.

Perrin finding Faile was like when she was trapped with the hedgehog.
He also rescued the Whitecloak buried with Trollacs after a big battle by using his super powers. Little clues are just all through this series.

And very cool that the Spirit Wolves could take out the Dark Hounds. Love, Loved it.

Would have liked to see Rand and Galad meet, acknowledging that they were brothers. Too bad Eliada couldn't be there to see how wrong and how right she was. Andor's Royal line and all.

Looking forward to Leigh's reread to see what all I have missed.

SB
Twinks
464. Evan L
I agree with all of your statements in this. The amount of emotion that I had going through this tome.... is nothing compared to any other book I have ever read. I will certainly see its pages again.
I must say a lot of the smaller stories could have been elaborated on a little better to make it a little more fulfilling throughout rather then the mad dash to sit to throttle to dash to sit feeling I had throughout the book... but as you said above I believe it was -
I think that the necessary and vital central conflict that absolutely had to be resolved in this novel—the conflict between Rand and the Dark One—happened pretty much exactly the way it had to happen. It seemed to me to be a completely inevitable progression, even as I was surprised by some of how that progression, er, progressed.
I must say in the end I was very happy with the book and I can honestly say it is the best book I have ever read because it ended nearly half my life of waiting for this story. I only wish Egwene would have been given something more than what she was given.... Her ending seemed kind of diminished and as a character that I loved and hated throughout the series... it was just too much overall. My reaction was to put the book down for an hour and just digest that.... she deserved more.
Jonathan Levy
465. JonathanLevy
463.ShaggyBella
Like, what will happen to Moggy when the Sul'dam remove her "necklace?" Damane are not allowed jewelry. Will she lose her soul?
Well, if they're holding it next to her and try to make her channel, she will fall over, writhing in agony. This may convince them to make an exception.
a a-p
466. lostinshadow
@465 I am more concerned that instead of making an exception they get the secret of how to make and use them out of her.
Nisheeth Pandey
467. Nisheeth
@466:
I doubt that she knows how to make those. And I might be wrong (don't have the books at hand at the moment), but I think it was mentioned that it could be made only very close to Shayol Ghul or something like that? Anyone care to tell in which book was it was shown being made?
T C
468. Freelancer
Nisheeth @467
In those stunned moments, the Myrddraal forced her mouth open, scraped the blade along her tongue, then nicked her ear. And as it straightened with her blood and saliva, she knew, even before it produced what appeared to be a tiny, fragile cage of gold wire and crystal. Some things could only be done here, some only to those who could channel, and she had brought a number of men and women for this very purpose.
~ A Crown of Swords, ch25 "Mindtrap"

Yes, Moghedien knows the making of a Mindtrap. But as to whether they can still be made, or indeed whether hers remains in force, there is much room for debate. With the reconstruction of the prison, all natural contact with the DO is severed. It may well be that all forms of control and influence from the Pit of Doom are also neutralized. So here's the $64,000 question: Would you trade a Cour'souvra for and a'dam if those were your only options?
Nisheeth Pandey
469. Nisheeth
@468, Freelancer:
Thanks for the quote. Seems I had forgotten that she knew how to make those. Regardless of whether Moghedien is free or not, the Seanchan won't be getting their hands on those.

About the question, is it from the point of view of someone bound by one of those (Moghiedien) or from the point of view of a Sul'dam (or some other such person, who controls the wearer)?
And as far as I understood, an a'dam is far better (for the wearer) than the Cour'souvra.
William Dunkel
470. dunkelbo
Just finished. for the past 15 years there has always been another WOT book in my future. What do I do now? Thank you Team Jordan for giving us an ending. I guess I am still in shock that it is all said and done with. So it goes.
Marcus W
471. toryx
I'm really surprised at how many people were upset by Egwene's death and the manner in which it occurred. I thought it was perfect, one of the best moments of the book. Egwene was always near the top of my least favorite characters list (below only Elayne and Gawyn) and the scene still brought tears to my eyes.

I've been known to say a lot of things in criticism of Sanderson's writing and especially his contribution to the Wheel of Time but the one thing I thought that he absolutely excelled at was the portrayal of Egwene and her multiple moments of awesome. He did a fantastic job with her in every book but in my opinion he especially nailed Egwene's final moments. Talk about going out in a blaze of glory.
a a-p
472. lostinshadow
Oh and Fain has not dissolved into nothingness he has jumped into our age in the form of Windows8 and is happily spreading evil and destruction
Nisheeth Pandey
473. Nisheeth
I was wondering, whether it was just I who missed it, or Min's viewing regarding Cadsuane teaching something to the Asha'man and Rand which they wouldn't like.

@471, torysx
From what I read, it was more of sad than upset.
Ron Garrison
474. Man-0-Manetheran
subwoofer @459:
I'm with ya brother. I did leave a few "crybaby" comments and tons of thumbs down ratings on 1-star reviews, fwiw.

Mandarb: Well, no doubt he was partaking of some of the warder bond. Gotta be. And, like Bela, he is now a Hero of the Horn.
Twinks
475. NickInNC
@454 - It's a valid point about the independent bookstores, although not one of the independent bookstores I've been in over the past week has had AMOL (or any other Sanderson book for that matter). Either way I think it's Harriet's call. I love e-books but she's right that the industry still doesn't value their sales the same as it does traditional books. It was important to her to do what she could to see that this book sold well and was recognized as selling well. I don't know if she's right or wrong about how much e-book sales would cut into the hardback sales or if they hurt the independent bookstores, but I agree with you that she has the right and the responsiblilty to handle it as she sees best. That's not selfish.

@459 - I was also annoyed by the trolls giving one star reviews on Amazon and BN.com and enjoyed calling them out as whiners in my reviews. :)

@463 - Good point about Tuon and Mat's ... skills. More elaboration on that scene might have been interesting. Or disturbing. Hard to tell with those two.

@472 - That explains so much.
Twinks
476. rstarr
New interpretation of this prophecy just struck me:

"Into the heart he thrusts his sword,

into the heart, to hold their hearts.

Who draws it out shall follow after,

What hand can grasp that fearful blade?"

Always assumed it was fulfilled by Narishma, but really how did he "follow after" Rand. Maybe it refers to Moridin snatching Call from Rand's hand. If Moridin doesn't "follow after" (literally now, in rand's body and vice versa), not sure who does ;)
T C
477. Freelancer
I'm fully satisfied that that prophecy was settled by Rand thrusting Callandor into the rock of the Heart of the Stone, to hold the Tairen hearts to him, knowing he'd return to get it. And that Narishma, who was ordered to retrieve it and follow Rand to his next destination, almost got zapped by what was probably an extra trap set by one of the forsaken over the top of Rand's own weaves.
Roger Powell
478. forkroot
One interesting question going forward is: "Is this the end of the RAFO?"

When Brandon is asked a question about WoT stuff now, I can see several different choices for him:

1) Give the answer (or defer to Maria if it's an obscure issue that might require running to the notes.)

2) Note that RJ (or even he, Brandon) is deliberately letting the issue be left unsettled.

3) Give a "RAFO" - essentially promising that the answer will be coming in Harriet's Encyclopedia.

Personally I hope there's still some RAFOs coming - it would mean that the Encyclopedia will contain some interesting nuggets that we don't know yet. And it would give me something to look forward to.

Another point about the Encyclopedia: If the prequels are not going to be written, it would sure be nice to have some substantial information that we would have otherwise seen. Why did Tam leave the Two Rivers? Who mentored him up to Blademaster skill? What exactly happened when he found baby Rand?

I'd also like to find out the back story on the "near-toothless wilder" that had such an influence on Cadsuane.
Ron Garrison
479. Man-0-Manetheran
RAFO's: I was thinking the same thing, forkroot. I also hope that the encyclopedia contains lots of RJ's unpublished notes and story idea. Ideas that he tossed could be just as interesting as what he used.

"near-toothless wilder" Could it be. . . Nakomi???

:{ )
Marcus W
480. toryx
NickInNC @ 475: It's a valid point about the independent bookstores, although not one of the independent bookstores I've been in over the past week has had AMOL (or any other Sanderson book for that matter).

Interesting that you said that. There are three independent bookstores in my town and none of them have AMOL either. My only choice to buy it here is to go to bloody WalMart. So I ended up ordering from Amazon, who would have provided me with the ebook too had it been available.
Alice Arneson
481. Wetlandernw
BTW... I loved the fulfillment of Min's viewing of Rand from ToM: "...a pipe with smoke curling from it." After all the debate about what it could mean, it's just... Rand, smoking his pipe.
Sam Mickel
482. Samadai
I just thought of how Taim was able to steal the remaining seals. He put a finder on the one he gave to Rand, Duh, so obvious.
Roger Powell
483. forkroot
Sam - That is clever!

I had always wondered if Taim was Team-Dark, why did he give Rand a seal? It seemed like more than would be necessary to gain his trust. Your explanation gives him a perfect reason.

Tai'shar Oregon!
Sam Mickel
484. Samadai
Thanks Forkroot, every once in a while something brilliant pops out of my brain..... ;)
William Carter
485. wcarter
Been waiting for a few days before I posted, but then I've found I don't really have all that much to say.

Overall I quite enjoyed the book. It wastn't perfect, but I don't even know if a totally healthy RJ himself could have written a truly "perfect" ending to such a massive series (though no one least of all Sanderson would deny that it would have been more perfect had RJ been able to finish it). But it was satisfying.

@Wetlander 481

Sometimes a cigar pipe is just a pipe. Heh.
Twinks
486. Stubob
Now that I've had a chance to sleep & rest my eyes after plowing through in one marathon reading session:

It's easier for me to pick out what didn't fully work for me.

- Lanfear. I was hoping she'd actually earn her redemption.
- Demandred's felling about the Dragon Reborn (Otherwise he was a badass).
- The abruptness of certain plot points like Matrim & Padan Fain. I have no problem with how it ended, but I expected more buildup.
- The Last Battle chapter. Not in its setup or content, but its length! A 200+ chapter with no breaks. Having it in 3 or four smaller chapters would have been better.
- The "Just Mostly Deads" like Galad & Elayne. It felt kind of jarring to have them just still be alive.
- I'd have preferred that Moghedien be the damane that Mat caught.

Lastly, the very freaking end. I don't even dislike the ending as much as how freaking sudden it felt. The book is almost nonstop action then a very short Epilogue like that...it felt jarring. I'd have wanted a months, or least weeks, long Epilogue as the survivors start to try & move on.
Noneo Yourbusiness
487. Longtimefan
Was thinking about this for a mintue after reading the posts.

I noticed a lot of people were disappointed that Egwene did not become a Hero of the Horn for what I will agree with are good reasons. I mean come on. EGWENE! :)

But what if she was a Hero of the Horn who had been reborn as Egwene but unlike Rand who had to know what it was to be Lews Therin to be the Dragon Reborn she was just a regular hero who did not know of her previous lives?

Brigette said that in all her rebirths she never remembered who she was. She grew up. She lived. She kicked some ass (paraphrasing) and she died.

Since we do not know who all the Heroes are nor did Egwene meet any of them at Toman Head the way Rand did to reveal his Heroic identity we as the readers would not know if she was a living Hero.
Nor in the calling at the Last Battle is she seen by the charater observation however, two things. One the Hero would not look like Egwene as we know that LTT did not look like Rand and two, battle is kinda distracting. :)

So perhaps, since it is not known, one can spin a whisp of a theory that Egwene was a Hero we do not know who had to commit one last Heroic action before becoming available to the Horn to be called back when Olver sounded the Horn.

also have no idea who will see this since the post is amost to 500 and and that is usually when the posts break. :)

And another thing. If Hawkwing spoke to Fortuna would he have really minded the leashing of women? It happened under his rule. It was basically invented for him. Also, it did not keep him from being a Hero of the Horn. He probably just told her that the Last Battle was important and he was proud of her and that Mat sent him.

Which may increse Mat's odds of living with Fortuna but not by much.

She seems to set too much store in living by avoiding assassination. Which means she and Faile should get along well.
If you replace yelling at with sending assassins after. But still the end result is you honor the person by showing you think they are strong enough to handle it.
Micheal Jessop
488. moggle
Wow, lots of comments. I'm sure there's no lack of good, thoughtful ones, too. I'll have to find time to pick through them. But, for the moment, I just wanted to throw out a few thoughts I had about the book that'll get smooshed between more intelligent posts and a probably a few trolls. Yet, that's ok.

I teared up a lot reading this book. Part of it is probably due to some sort of deep-seeded emotional problems I've buried under a layer of practiced repression, but goddamn, there were just scenes, dudes. Scenes. Even if they were just quick flashes, like Siuan and Bryne's deaths, having grown up with these characters and now watching them move into the final arc, even if that finality was death... it hurt good. Or it was a good hurt. I dunno.

Full disclosure: Perhaps I'm in the minority, but out of the so-called Supergirls, I was never all that attached to Egwene as a character. I resonated more strongly with Nynaeve, weirdly, and Aviendha. Elayne to a lesser extent, but Egwene I never really got on board with. Yet, her final moments in A Memory of Light were outstandingly written. That last sentence in her PoV, especially, was heartbreakingly bittersweet. We may never know if that was Sanderson or Jordan, but either way, job well done.

Matt: I almost got worried that the guy wasn't going to show up. But I needn't of worried, obviously. I've long felt that Sanderson's Matt is more Matty than Jordan's Matt. I don't know if that makes much sense, but it's all I have to explain it. Yet, I've really come around to enjoy this more... what's the word? jokey version of Matrim. Like many of the subtle -- and not so subtle -- tweaks in the characters as they passed from Jordan to Sanderson, I've found that once I accepted them for what they are and not for what I wanted to be, I was happier with the books. I'm not trying to imply that Sanderson made these huge changes in these characters. He didn't. But there are some quirks, here and there. I hardly even notice them anymore. Shit, I've largely digressed from the damn point here. Matt shows up in A Memory of Light and he kicks ass. I love his screen time. Always have.

Perrin: In terms of character, he seems to have remained the most unchanged from his strictly Jordan-written counterpart, at least in my eyes. Solid. Grounded. And completely satisfying when he lays waste to Luc. No complaints.

Rand: It didn't play out exactly like I thought it would, but his tussle with ol' Shai'tan was engrossing. I thought it would be more him fighting Moridin with fireballs and lightening and... hurricanes. Sunburns, perhaps. Well, in any event, I expected more One Power and less alternate-reality duel between Rand and Dark-Izzle for Shizzle. But I /liked/ it. Alanna suddenly being there... well, wasn't quite sure what to make of that, but, hey. Gotta tie up loose ends. I get it.

Min: Not a ton to offer here. Often understated, usually overlooked, yet almost always a part of one decision or another that affects the entire course of X conflict. We got more of that here.

Aviendha: Always liked Avi. We got quite a bit of her here. Plus, she took out Graendal. Good job!

Nynaeve & Moraine: They were in the book? Oh, yeah, I guess they were for about three sentences. Okay, that's not entirely fair, and I get that they were just outranked by the Important Task Rand was about. Rand's reaction to Moraine's arrival was great, too. And Alanna gave Nyn something to do. Which is the most important thing Alanna has ever done. So, hey, win-win. Moraine, however, just got to stand around for most the book. Not too bad a gig, all considered.

Thom: I like how he stashes women's corpses away like some sort of Randland Ted Bundy. Somebody has done this before!

Gawyn, Galad, Logain: Kinda lumping these guys all together since they all took shots at Demandred and didn't cut the mustard. Gawyn was always a dum-dum. Out of the 'major-minors' that didn't make it, his death didn't really resound with me. I wrote him off after he denounced Rand after hearing a rumor from a peddler. No fact checking, Gawyn? Really? Whatever Taringail put into Morgase that made Elayne didn't quite make it when they made Gawyn. Galad, cool, calm, collected. Using the Children to hunt down Sharans was tits. He just needed, to use a modern parlance, learn2play better when it came to challenging daddy Forsaken. I suppose Gawyn had the same issue, even though he had Buffs. Not entirely either of their fault that they didn't measure up, relatively speaking. And Logain... well, I guess three times isn't the charm. However, this brings up the bigger issue that I had with the book. All three of these characters -- four counting Lan, but I'll address that momentarily -- were basically able just to drop in on Demandred's doorstep and challenge him to a bit o' mano-a-mano. The thing is, they all had /plausible/ reasons to be vist Dem, more or less. Through rings, through fox head medallions, through Gateway... I get that. I do. Yet, I could smell what the Rock was cooking and I didn't like it. Seemed somewhat contrived to me. Like Sanderson wasn't quite sure how to make them all have a Moment, so, fuck it, just throw them at Demandred and see what happens.

Lan: Badass. He's always badass. Butler said it best, so I won't get too carried aways: He's just Lanriffic. And whilst I /do/ have a slight problem with him just riding up to Demandred (I know, I know. Tam and bows and arrows and everything. Still, it seemed a bit hokey, in my opinion) and bitch slapping him back to the abyss -- especially after the motif had worn a bit thin with the three previous challengers -- the fact that he just rode up to Demandred and bitch slapped him back to the abyss was totally fucking cool. It's a paradox. But, like in baseball, the tie goes to the runner, so Lan Hulking it out on Demandred's stupid face wins.

Tuon: Major-minor character in this book, in my opinion. Kind of more of a presence, here, than a force. Still, she's fun with Matt. No real complaints.

Elayne & Bridgette: Elayne really grew on me over the series. Glad she made it through with gusto. Lots of belly holding, but, hey. That's to be expected. I didn't see the Mellar thing coming, at all. Actually, sort of forgot about the guy, even around the mentions, here and there. Nice surprise thread close, Sanderson! At least, for me.

Androl & Pevera: Who the fuck is this guy and just how, how, did he get such huge, steel-encased balls? I'm not motivated right now to do the research on how far back he made his first appearance, but for all intents and purposes, he owned this first third of this book. Pevera served as a nice foil/companion/buddy cop but it was truly Androl's show. And that's something, considering the cast of hundreds he was plucked out of.

Talmanes: Somebody best remember he pretty much won the war by getting those dragons out of Caemlyn. Pay the man!

Faile: I think out of the major characters, she was the one I was the most unsure of how A. She was going to be used and B. If she was going to Make It. Her little side-story ended up being A. More interesting than I thought it would be and B. I was a little dissapointed initially that she Made It, but then not, for Perrin's sake, 'cuz that guy needs some happiness in his life. Though I felt the 'Vanin lol your Dark? No, not really! LoL' thing was a little dopey. Oh well. It's forgiven for setting up the whole Olver Toots the Horn moment. Which I predicted from a Million Miles Away, like, five books ago! Though I have no documentation or substantial proof to back that up. Just take my word for it.

Demandred: Not what I expected, really. Wasn't surprised that he came out of Shara. But, then again, he's had relatively little screen time, so there's not much to judge his personality on other than the scraps we've been fed here and there. Shit, he killed Gawyn. I'm not going to complain.

The Other Forsaken: They came, they saw, they... should have taken lessons on how to work better as a committee. A Fighting Unit. I was more or less pleased with how they all panned out, save for Lanfear. No, Perrin snapping her silly neck was great. But everything leading up to that point as far as she is concerned seemed a bit tacked on. A few lines here and there, a few scenes there and here, and then she's suddenly at the climax. And then Perrin introduces her to Mr. McSqueezy Hands. I feel it was just a bit anti-climatic, just as far as her personal storyline goes. But, to be fair, I guess one could say she already had her major time in the lime-light. It was Demandred's turn, and M'Hael's. There's only so much Forsaken you shove into the book, after all.

Rhurac, Loial, Leane, Bashere, Siuan, Bryne, Morgase, Faine, Elyas, Uno, etc: Some of you made it. Some of you died like bitches. Some of you made bitches die. Most of you had at least a few paragraphs. Some I wish had a few more. Some of you didn't even get but a passing mention. Still, it was fun while it lasted. Thanks for riding it out for 14 books.

Brandon Sanderson: You did it, man. I know it wasn't exactly the smoothest of rides -- haters will always hate -- but you took the notes, the outlines, the sheer legacy of what was left after Jordan's untimely death and made it into something tangible. Not an easy task, I can only imagine, trying to piece together a proper finale to Jordan's work. I think more will agree with me than not that you did an admirable job. Not perfect, but how could it have been? It was never your child, and boy oh boy, what a complicated child it was. You did good. Thank you for finishing what needed to be finished. And to the people who didn't like your work: Fuck 'em. And some point, it becomes more on their capability as an audience to adapt, and less on your ability as an author. Because, sir, you are a fine author.

Robert Jordan: Thank you for creating a world that has engaged me since 1994. It's weird. I'm glad the series is finished, but there's a little part of me that is sad that I won't be looking forward to the next Wheel of Time hardcover in three or so years. The series was a huge part of my life for many years. Not just as far as the novels go: I've read and reread them many times, as many of us have. I also spent a good bulk of my life immersed in the culture. I played online text games almost purely in Wheel of Time themes. I made friends there, friends I still have. Met a few girlfriends, too. And probably made a few enemies. A whole life within a life, and it centered around a world you had created. I don't do that anymore, and haven't for some time, but... I'm glad I did. And I'm glad it was facilitated on your imagination.

I'm sure, as many of us do, remember hearing of your death with horror. The worst had happened: Robert Jordan died without finishing the Wheel of Time. It was interesting, in reflection, how the reaction wasn't exactly appropriate. A man died, and many of us could only think about a book series. But I suppose, in a way, that's something of a compliment: Your words meant that much to a whole legions of readers. If only all of us could leave something so profound behind when we wake from this dream. You're not forgotten, Mr. Jordan.

Micheal

ps or tl;dr

Book was good. Thanks Jordan for creating this world and Sanderson for wrapping it up.
Twinks
489. Rand al'Todd
@463 ShaggyBella: "I kinda expected that sometime the Seafolk would acknolwedge Mat for freeing the damane in Ebu Dar. That could have become an advantage during negotions or something."

The only Windfinder that saw him was the one he freed, Nestelle (WH Ch 31), but I don't think she made it out. (EncWot has no later activity for her character.) I don't think the SeaFolk know who to thank. (I may be wrong; anyone else have a reference to a comment from them?)
Twinks
490. CT12
Re: 487. I may be wrong, but the adam came into being AFTER Hawkwing's death for sure, and maybe after Luthair Paendrag's (sp?) death too. Not certain on that second one, but for sure Artur didn't have anything to do with it.
Twinks
491. charles purvis
Quick questions for the cosmere fans--I was struck by the fact that the term "dreamshards" was used a number of times to describe some sequences in t'a'r, most notably Moridin's meeting in the prologue, but a couple of other times as well, IIRC.

"Shards" is a loaded term in Brandon's cosmere, and I don't recall "dreamshards" being used prior to AMoL. Am I right about that, or has it been used before?
Valentin M
492. ValMar
A day after finishing the book I'll try to give a bit of my thoughts on it. There is so much worth saying that most of it I'll have to leave for the re-read.
Overall I think it was a satisfying conclusion of the series. The book was a wildride, as expected. I would've prefered a little less detail of the "in the thick of the fighting" scenes of the battles. Also, I bit less of Perrin vs Slayer. Instead of these, more on the characters. Also, a dozen more pages of the Epilogue, or the end- I know the very end is RJ.
On leaving many threads open and finishing others too quickly- I think it was inevitable. Not only for the need to be realistic. RJ expanded the story a lot in the middle of the series. He did it with lovely prose and careful detail. To complete most of these side story arks in the same style would've taken more pages/books that RJ/Team Jordan would contemplate. For example: KOD is great book. A fast paced book, one could see RJ trying to tighten up the plots. But even in his own prose it felt rather hurried, if necessary.

There are simply too many charaters, too much stuff to be resolved, too much detail, too many great/intersting/fascinating/wonderful things in there. To complete most (not all) plotlines/character arks in the style of books 1-9 would've taken a few more books. And that's if RJ was to do it. Simply not feasable.
It can be said that Robert Jordan was hoisted by his own petard, in this respect.
Basically, the sheer amount that was left unresolved or unknown was due to being impractical otherwise, IMO. Brandon couldn't do much more than what we read in AMOL.

Re: Rand. I like his plot and ending. His girls have the bond and can keep track of him. I'm sure they'll be seeing each other relatively frequently. I would like to think after time he will reveal himself to Nyn, Tam, Mat, Perrin, etc.

Re: Egwene. Got a little misty-eyed there. Sad and very surprised to see her go. A little surprised how much I regret her death. Perhaps, as someone wrote, with all the open endings we can think of the characters we've lived with from WOT- Rand, Nyn, Mat, Moiraine....- carrying on after TG and having more adventures and/or enjoying the love of their companions and friends. But not Egwene.
Gawyn, I'm afraid, did a boo-boo. One in character. And dragged Egwene with him. The guy knew that it would've hit her very badly and potentially have further bad implications for the Light Forces. He did occupy Demandred for a few minutes.

Re: Moiraine. She's probably my favourite so I was disappointed how little she featured in general. I get it that she had to sit there in SG and wait with Nyn to spring the trap for Moridin. But before that I wish for more influence, a few reunions... Just more. Maybe RJ didn't leave more notes on her?
Loved Thom at the entrance of the cave. It was a LOL moment when I realised that it wasn't Cads and the follow-up. Right before it, though, I freaked out, especially with all the Compulsion on the other old boys.

Re: Mat. He was great. Re: how quickly he offed Fain- good riddance to bad rubbish! I always found him tiresome from the moment he showed up with his peddler wagon in TEOTW. I was worried when he appeared at the end that he will eneter the cave and before Good won, kill Moiraine...

Re: Perrin. Liked his plot, except that it was too detailed. Pleased that Faile lived, she's alright now and the so-called PLOD was worthed, therefore.

Re: the Seanchan. Many things can be said of them. Right now I'll say that I'm pissed of how late they entered the battle. To say that they didn't bear the brunt of the fighting would be a huge understatement. Except for some to'raken their forces are intact, after the bloodbath of the last battle.
Probably the battle wouldn't have been won without their arrival, but they actually did very little. A bit like the Prussians at Waterloo, except that they made super-human effort to get there as soon as possible and fought hard at Ligny just before.

A side note- did anyone else noticed the "Cannae"-style defeat of the northern trolloc army at Cairhien?

Re: Logain. Freelancer @ 198 has him all covered perfectly.

Ok, it's past midnight so I'll start responding to comments tommorow. I've enjoyed reading them. It took me a lot to go through all of them and there will be a few more in the morning. 'night

sigh. Looks like I'll miss-out on the five hunny too.
Jeanette Donato
493. Djinn
Can't believe how similar our thoughts are with this book, Leigh. Did we mindmeld or something? Because a lot of the things that upset you were also the same for me.

The ending was both happy and sad for me. Egwene was my favourite character. Gross sobbing abounded when she died. I still am having trouble processing it. So it made me sad that everyone else of our Two Rivers cast got their happy ending but not Egwene.

If she died then at least I wanted her to appear with the Horn. But alas, not everyone goes that way apparently, not even Mat.

Still, this book was an acheivement. For all my problems with it it was pretty spectacular.
Noneo Yourbusiness
494. Longtimefan
Re: 490.

You are correct. the A'dam was Luthair not Artur. So the son not the father. The father just put a price on the head of every Aes Seadi and held a siege against Tal Valon for a few years.

Totallly different.
Roger Powell
495. forkroot
Longtimefan@494
In defense of Hawkwing, he had pretty good relations with Tar Valon until Ishamael showed up and started whispering in his ear.

It certainly would have been fun to see the conversation between Fortuona and Artur "onscreen". Oh well, that's one of many WoT scenes we'll just have to imagine for ourselves.

What would have been really weird would have been if Hawkwing had happened to cross paths with Tam Al'Thor. Each of them would look at the other's sword and go "Huh?"
Noneo Yourbusiness
498. Longtimefan
@ Forkroot.

That is true. It would have been interesting to see what Hero Hawkwing would think of his own past. Sadly it is left to speculation.

The two sword scenario would have been interesting.

also interesting is that when i posted this there was no 496 nor 497 between Forkroot's comment and mine at 498.

Too many posts. the thread, she is wonky with weariness. Soon it will be burned out and even Nynaeve cannot heal it. (yet)

Also just a random wierd though. Was Annoura Black Ajah? There was the scene where she meets Cadsuane for the first time and is fussing with her skirts in a way that could have been similar to the thumbs through the fingers sign Hamila gave Delanna in Salidar.

If she was did she choose to save Galad because she thought the Dark One would lose and in doing so she burned herself out running away from the battle field but taking him with her as a cover.

Or burned her self out doing it for a complicated dark scheme and then broke her oaths with burning out and was crying for many many reasons.

Just random thoughts. it was a long book.
T C
499. Freelancer
I had been half expecting that very thing, once Rand gave the waking-world Justice to Tam.

Of course, there were many possible things which could have been expected that did not happen, and many that did happen which were total surprises.
Noneo Yourbusiness
500. Longtimefan
and 500.

damn i wish i had something to say

Edit. well I will say this. Cadsuane makes sense as the next Amyrlin not just becasue of her age and reverence in the tower by other sisters but because after Egwene she is the only Aes Sedai to have gained the respect of the Wise Ones and that is important if she is going to continue Egwenes plan to connect the tower to all women who can channel.
The plan might change under Cadsuanes leadership but since many of the surviving sitters were fans of Egwene they may help promote some of her ideas.
It is kind of a shame that Egwene and Cadsuane were not able to meet and take the time to see the value in eachother.

I wonder if the Tower will have to issue rings to everyone they are connected to in order to keep the Seanchan from taking channelers. The one took Mogheiden becase she did not have the serpent ring.

not that the Aes Sedai know that.

Also are the Aiel going to just deny the Shaido and leave their wise ones in captivity? Would only the Shaido go agaisnt the Seanchan to get them back? The Aiel are know for being hard. Leaving the Shaido Wise Ones to the Seanchan would keep the Dragon's Peace even if it is terrible. It would be a very hard choice.
David Scotton
501. Kaxon
Knotai is an awful name, but the Worst Name Ever is still Fortuona. Holy crap that's a bad name.

I liked what Egwene said to Tuon but I would have liked it even more if she'd actually collared Tuon long enough for her to get the point. A'dam = bad.

Bela - Egwene was the character I was saddest to see go, but Bela was a very close second. At least she got her crowning moment of awesomeness. But she deserved to live to the end, and it would have been perfect for her to be there for Rand to ride off into his anonymous retirement.
Roger Powell
502. forkroot
Kaxon@501
At least "Fortuona" had the nice side effect of producing the coolest Tor handle (misfortuona I'm looking at you!)

Longtimefan@498
Most likely there were a couple of spam or trollish comments suitably balefired by our excellent moderators. Just like balefire cannot erase human memories, nor apparently can it erase someone's "unlinking" from the Horn of Valere ... well the balefire wielded by the moderators leaves the comment number unavailable for reuse.
Jonathan Levy
503. JonathanLevy
489. Rand al'Todd
I don't think the SeaFolk know who how to thank
FIFY.

492.ValMar
A side note- did anyone else noticed the "Cannae"-style defeat of the northern trolloc army at Cairhien?
Yes I did! :)


495.forkroot
What would have been really weird would have been if Hawkwing had happened to cross paths with Tam Al'Thor. Each of them would look at the other's sword and go "Huh?"
LOL.

498.Longtimefan
Also just a random wierd though. Was Annoura Black Ajah?
I think Annoura's fate was a carefully crafted hint for the readers that she is not BA. Saving Galad was an act of altruism, a huge risk taken for a friend - at great cost. This is precisely the opposite of the DO's most dominant trait - selfishness - which is also the trait he looks for in his followers.
T C
504. Freelancer
I believe quite strongly that every named character who was a darkfriend was revealed to be so by the time the Last Battle was well underway. Just as thoughtful cooperation and communication was always rewarded instantly throughout this series, likewise the sense of right and wrong in characters was fairly clear. Many people speculated off and on about different characters being evil; Bashere, Alanna, Lelaine, etc., but if it wasn't made clear that they were playing for team shadow, then they weren't. The only true wildcard of that type in the entire story was Verin, and Egwene nailed it when she said that Verin's soul was pure white.

And, before I get plastered with those who claim that there were evil people on the side of the Light, I would make a distinction between wickedness and evil. Eamon Valda was wicked; Jaret Byar was wicked; Elaida was wicked. They were not evil, they were just so wrong about the limits of behavior, about honor, that they did not serve the Light. They could take a lesson from Chiad, holding firm to her ji, no matter the cost. Real honor is paying the cost willingly, rather than betraying your own belief.
Valentin M
505. ValMar
A couple more points I forgot to include last night:

Re: Cadsuane. I didn't want her to die but, like many others, expected her to. I think she can do well as the Amyrlin. Probably there is no one else more suitable for the role at the moment.
Re: Greandal. Her plot with ensnaring the Great Captains, and others, was probably the most competent plot the Shadow has done. Very subtly done too.
Re: Elayne. Did superb job, she is clearly a very formidable monarch. The scenes with Birgitte's execution and the cutting out of the babes, etc, was really... stunning is one word. Hey grrMartin, what are you doing here, ASOIAF isn't going to write itself!

Freelancer @ 198
This letter of Lincoln's you quote is uncannily relevant to the situation Rand found himself in with the negotiations with Fortuona. I wonder if RJ or Brandon had it in mind for this plot.
I think it was very realistic that Rand, or anyone else living, couldn't bring resolution to the damane/slavery issue with the Seanchan. Artur Hawkwing's talk with the Little Bundle of Joy- Tuon, Mat, and Min will do the job, post Tarmon Gaidon. I hope. They'll be swiming against the current.

subwoofer @ 276
First of all, glad to see you around here! About getting "formula", it's true to an extent. Due to time zones, I read the posts hours late, in the evening, or next day, so much is said already that I wanted to.
What you can do is stop being so somber and wise and be more flippant ;)
About what you write @ 276, I really empathise. I hope I can come back to the Quarry Road, with only Rand, Tam, and Bela for company, and then meet again Mat, Perrin, Moiraine, Egwene... Right now, I don't know...

Isilel @ 293
Re: Moiraine. Very good point that Mo and Nyn could've participated with emotional back-up to Rand in his confrontation with the DO. Also about the lack of emotional pay-off of her return after her huge absense and the bigging-up of her return.
Channeling was inflated through the books, indeed. This made it hard for Brandon. One could argue that both sides cancelled each other out, to an degree. Found it strange that Demandred with his enormous Power couldn't break the Andorans despite pounding them for hours with little distraction.

JLevy @ 333
I also thought that the body switch sort of happened, without prior intent from Rand.

decgem @ 358
Assuming you overall point is true, there is one simple explanation why Alanna released the Bond in the last moment. As Nyn treated and stabilized her, Alanna thought that she will survive so she couldn't betray the DO. But as Moridin stabbed her and she was about to die in the end, she could release the Bond finally.
Having said that, I don't think Alanna was Black. I'd like to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Wolfmage @ 364
I agree that victory in the Last Battle was the priority. Egwene's lack of composure was dangerous. But she did well to improve on Rand's deal with the Seanchan.

forkroot @ 386
Like!

CorDarei @ 427
Not exactly missing the dictionary at the end, but at one point I went to "it" to check on something and nearly read the bloody ending! Given how anal I am about spoilers, this would've been hilarious to an Aiel.

RobM @ 458
lol

forkroot @ 478, MoM @ 479
I also have hopes for the Encyclopedia. Maybe some general outline of events in the early Fourth Age, at least. Or, for example, in the entry for Andor there to be a paragraph on the state after the Last Battle. Similarly for other places and, importantly, characters. A list of the first few Amyrlins in the Fourth Age- Cads, Logain, Moiraine...?

wcarter @ 485
I concur!

JLevy @ 503. Freelancer @ 504
I agree about Annoura and overall that there were no hidden DF left once the Last Battle begun in earnest. Annoura could've been one of the more reluctant DFs, like Delanna, but her sacrifice was too huge and personal, IMO. Also, Perrin already established what another suspicious AS was doing, Misuri (sp?)- trying some happles AS scheming with Masema.
T C
506. Freelancer
If you check out the already posted AMoL signing events at Dragonmount and Theoryland, you'll find that Harriet has substantial intentions for the encyclopedia. Aside from the normal academic matter expected of such a volume, it will contain some notes, plot outlines, character definitions, and even functional descriptions of many foreshadowings. It will certainly be over a year before it is published, and I haven't read anything to suggest that Brandon will be more than tangentially involved.
Twinks
507. Divad
Never thought Alanna was a Darkfriend, Rand saw her back in Tear when he exposed Weiramon in Towers of Midnight.... He would have exposed any others too...
Roger Powell
508. forkroot
@507
Actually, Alanna disappears right before the new integrated Rand comes back to Tear, so he would not have had a chance to play "Darkfriend detector" with her.

It's interesting that she disappears with a small amount of channeling, but allegedly not enough to make a gateway. After that, Rand can only sense that she is "up north".

I'm now wondering if Moridin showed up and kidnapped her (or she went willingly.) She could leave via his TP made gateway without anyone sensing it.
Wai Hoong Leung
509. huaixiong
I've read through most of the 500 comments posted so far. While there are a small number expressing extreme views (I absolutely hate it vs. It is perfect), most have voted for the "I love it overall, but certain parts could have done better" department. If I could quickly further summarize the parts that people thought could be improved, it can be categorized as (i) the content - how the story have unfolded/ended (ii) the delivery - how the story was written (iii) the focus - the amount of on-screen/POV time for certain characters (or the lack of) and specific interactions with other specific characters (or the lack of).

Personally, I belong to one of the masses - I adored some specific scenes and how some parts of the story unfolded (some to my expectations but also those "why didn't I think of that" moments), I also felt a tinge of regret why some interactions did not occur or wasn't given screen-time. But overall, I am satisfied with the closure of the series, and gratified that I have this opportunity to see this through the end after 18 years.

To me, it is perfectly acceptable for people to voice their opinions and others to comment on these opinions and add their own. In this spirit, I would like to make a few comments. First, in a metaphorical sense, RJ is both the Creator and the Wheel - he created the fabric of the WOT world and its rules, and weaves the Pattern of the series as he wills it. In his passing, he has left enough notes and voice recordings (almost akin to specific Prophecies) to dictate how the Pattern is to be woven at least until the end of the Third Age. BS, like Rand, is bounded to follow what was written in the notes was given enough room and choice to determine how to fulfill it. Thus, to those who gripe about (i) above, my suggestion to them is "just accept it, you are not the Creator, the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills".

The Last Battle was delivered using over 200 pages. Some commented that it could have been shorter and allowed more air-time to show other interesting POV or scenes. In my opinion, I thought it was necessary, and the delivery was actually very suitable. At some point in the middle of this long chapter, I acknowledge that I did start to feel impatient, but pressed on to complete this in one shot. Nearer to the end, I was groaning mentally, anguishingly thinking, "will this never end?". But when I took a step back to ponder, it hit upon me that this is probably what all the soldiers on the LB were going through (at least hundred times worse), with hope dimming by the minute. This parallel immersion is probably one of the key reasons so many readers felt dazed (aside from burning through the night reading the book, or staring hours unblinking reading pages after pages) after finishing the book. The Last Battle is draining and exhausting to the mind for our fictional participants, and the author actually made the reader (at least for me) feel similar effects in reality. So, in this respect, kudos to BS!

A number of people has expressed that they hated the last part where Rand rides off to the sunset in the body of Moridin, apparently leaving all his loved ones behind. However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought that this is a really apt ending. The Dragon Reborn needs to be "dead" in order for the Dragon Peace to survive. Rand specifically said that he was exchanging his life as a condition for the nations' rulers to sign and adhere to the Dragon Peace. If Rand is to be seen as surviving the Last Battle, any one of the rulers may decide that since Rand is alive, the Dragon Peace could be nullified (since Rand's life has not been exchanged for peace). Given that the Seanchan armies have largely survived the fight while most of the other armies are greatly depleted, I believe Tuon will likely break the pact and invade all the other nations to unify Randland. This will likely result in a Second Breaking or a Second War of a Hundred Years.

Furthermore, even if all the nations' rulers decide to honor the pact if Rand turns out alive, it is likely politically unstable for the peace to survive. Rand will be seen as a savior to mankind, a number of nations may decide to hail him as the Emperor (including the fact that he still holds the title of King of Illian) while others may resist this notion. It is likely that nations may go to war because of Rand! On further thoughts, even if all nations hail Rand as the Emperor, when he dies, will there be another War of a Hundred Years or Secession War, given that he has so many offspring’s?

Last but not least on this topic, Moriaine has said that the Fourth Age has to start with peace given the balance the Pattern, so in a way, it will "force" peace no matter what happens. As a result, I believe that Rand will definitely have to "die"!

Now, if the Pattern needs Rand to die because of the Dragon Peace, there will be likely only two options, one is that Rand REALLY dies, or that all the world (except for a few) thinks that Rand has died. In the case, the second option was chosen by the Pattern.

On a related note, regarding the need to start the Fourth Age with long-lasting peace, I believe that Nakomi was there twice to ensure it happened. She is an avatar by the Creator (if the Dark One can have Shaidar Haran as his vessel, why can't the Creator have one, "the Hand of the Light" too?), or in less likely terms spun out by the Pattern as a Hero of the Horn (I'll explain later why the latter is less possible). The first time she was there to influence or nudge Avi to decide to ensure the Aiel are part of the Dragon's Peace, as failure to do so means that the Peace can only last twenty years only (too short to be considered as starting the Fourth Age with peace). The second time, she was there to ensure that Rand (the body) makes it out of the cave to be displayed to the world that he really "died". But the second time no intervention was needed, as Rand (in Moridin's body) managed to takes Moridin (in Rand's body) out of the cave. That is why I believe she said what she said ("Yes, that's good. That is what you need to do"). On a little side mental note, I wonder, if Rand makes it out alive in his own body, would she somehow "kill" him to ensure that he really dies...?

Also, while the story has ended with Rand riding off, it does not mean that he is abandoning his friends and loved ones. He just need to remain hidden for a while for the world to believe that he has died. Perhaps after everything has settled down, he would quietly visit his 3 lovers and other friends.

Continuing with the topic of peace, Nicola has Foretold before that "the great battle done, but the world not done with battle". The great battle probably refers to the final battle at the FOM, which ended after the Heroes of the Horn were summoned for the first time. The second phrase should be read as the series of mini-battle/duels that the main characters - Avi vs Graendal, Mat vs Shaisam, Perrin vs Lanfear and of course Rand vs Shaitan. Perhaps the parts on Gaul+wolves vs Slayer, Perrin vs Slayer, the Last Hunt, Thom vs DFs could be considered too.

Regarding the Heroes of the Horn, it is to my impression that all those Heroes have some real skills in combat and ALL are non-channelers. Even Noal/Jain has some skills with the staff. Maybe a channeler cannot be a Hero of the Horn, since if one can use One Power once in TAR, could they escape TAR like using weaves like what Egwene or the Forsaken did? Then what? When the Horn is being sounded, the Heroes get summoned to the real world and FIGHT (not channel). If this assertion is true, then this implies that Egwene (and Verin as well), despite her heroics, will not be bounded by the Horn, and thus explain why she did not turn up when Olver sounds the Horn (plus, her fighting skills are next to pathetic, as shown during the scene with Demandred). This said, she may still be reborn again in future generations when the Wheel needs a heroine channeller (just as the speculation that Egwene is the reborn of Eldrene ay Ellan ay Carlan). Still, it is a pity why Bela can't be Jain's mount...

Opps, I actually turned a commentary into a theory post, sorry for that and I hope it is still appropriate!
Twinks
510. Divad
@508

She is present when he arrives in the Stone of Tear.... Check the book, I dont have it here but im sure she's there, she disappears right after his arrival...
Sam Mickel
511. Samadai
@510

No, she disappears just before he arrives. Cadsuane is talking to people about her just before Rand arrives.
T C
512. Freelancer
huaixiong @509

You hit upon a point that I was waiting to comment upon. Rand's anonymous departure was necessary in one very devious aspect. The Dragon's Peac is, in effect, his Last Will to mankind. To use far more eloquent words which make this point:
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
~Hebrews 9:15-17


A person's Last Will and Testament is not executed until their death. One can quibble and claim that Rand did, in a sense, die in the Pit of Doom, while he yet lives. Knowing what we do of the national rulers in this land, they would begin fighting almost immediately over the legal implications, forgetting in an instant that their entire existence had been protected by the Dragon. That would be unprofitable. Better that they all recognize that he fulfilled his part, and that their obligation is now in force.


@507, 508, 510 re: Alanna

She was unexpectedly among the delegation that met Rand when he came to deal with Darlin Sisneros at the Stone. This was before he met and almost killed Tam, before he considered destroying Ebou dar, before Dragonmount. Later, when Cadsuane, Bera, Min et al discover that Alanna is gone, it is just before Rand returns from Dragonmount. So no, we have no chance to have Rand look into her eyes. Whether or not he might have detected a connection to the shadow on her part via the bond, we never learn.
Bonnie Andrews
513. misfortuona
First of all this- this commentary - is awesome! Yeah, there are some haters, and troll-like individuals around, but for the most part everyone is just expressing their personal response the epicness (that is too a word) of the end. It takes me back to the days of server crashing and serious bunker parties. I have been away too long.

I see you Forkroot @386. :D Just a thought on your 'Logain for Amyrlin' campaign... I agree sort of, though I think Androl would make a better choice. He is a natural leader and, in truth with the mind-merging thingy (more technical jargon) between him and Pevara, they could lead the tower together for a true reforming of the Aes Sedai.

Knotai - Okay, maybe I'm just crazy, I've been told it's true, but I like the name. I won't be using it when referring to our Prince of Ravens, but given the possible origins of the name... No-toy, Naughty, No-tie, well I think it just works for our trickster. This may have been addressed, but you audio book peeps, how is it pronounced? Where is a good glossary when you need one!

BTW I am so looking forward to the Encyclopedia. I know it isn’t going to answer everything I want to know. We’d need another trilogy at least for that. But I am hoping that many of my questions will be addressed in it… and besides I’m not sure how I’d function without a WoT book to anticipate.

Mis-needs to get a copy of the Audible book as well now.
Twinks
514. Eric B
The one thing that I find I missed is that there was no real epilogue. The "epilogue" really was more of a last chapter -- I would have preferred something 15 years down the road, a little snippet thing. I hate to say it, but something like the end of Harry Potter - just a glimpse of the world well after everything is done... so you see that while there is an ending, it's not the end. But that is just me.
Ron Garrison
515. Man-0-Manetheran
huaixiong @ 509:
"The Last Battle is draining and exhausting to the mind for our fictional participants, and the author actually made the reader (at least for me) feel similar effects in reality."
That was certainly true for me. I thought The Last Battle was one of the most skillfully composed battle scenes I've read. The relatively short sections as the focus shifted from location to location, Rand's battles with the DO, the shocks and surprises, all maintained a tension and exhaustion throughout the many pages. I discovered that I was sneaking peaks at the page numbers seeking clues as to how much longer can this go on. But then when I'd turn the page I'd cover the right hand page with my hand so I wouldn't see anything too soon.
It was a very deft weave. There were numerous times while reading that chapter that I just had to stop and get up and go somewhere else. I've never had quite that experience reading before.
Bill Reamy
516. BillinHI
Finally made it through all the comments...Whew! It took me longer to get through the audiobook since, like an idiot, I forgot to specify next day delivery (actually 2nd day delivery out here) from Amazon. I'll start my reread shortly (or maybe wait for Leigh's reread to start).

Overall I thought the book was outstanding. Not quite exquisite as I had several disappointments, although I mainly expected them, particularly not wrapping up all the loose ends. I am one who really likes to have all the loose ends wrapped up but it couldn't have been done in this book. Hopefully a lot of that will show up in the encyclopedia.

The ending was bittersweet for me: Rand is at peace but he will be separated from his loves and others (not for too long I hope).

I thought Fain's ending was rather abrupt but not sure what else could/should have been done. Outside of giving Rand at least the germ of the idea of how to cleanse saidin, he didn't really have much purpose.

My only problem with Cadsuane as Amyrlin is her thinking about male channelers (in ToM she still thinks of Rand as "that boy" although I don't believe she says it aloud after Rand's comment on how old he is). But she's not likely to live much longer, so maybe she can get Egwene's ideas really rolling in the WT.

Demandred had to be in Shara but I will admit his entrance onto the battle field was pretty awesome, even if he was totally around the bend when it came to Rand. Did he really think the DO would let Demandred fight and possibly kill Rand before the DO/Rand confrontation?

Certainly did not see the Hinderstap zombies coming!! LOL

I don't believe Hopper can be in the Last Hunt since he died the final death it TAR. He will be missed. As will Bela. I would love to have seen Rand ride off into the sunset on Bela!
Sorcha O
517. sushisushi
Oh, wow, that was some wild ride - I read the book over three evenings and I've only now had the chance to gather my thoughts somewhat. I feel like Thom, trying to put words to something huge and epic and hard to describe, but Aunty Leigh wasn't wrong when she said it was going to be a hugely satisfying read. I mean, I didn't expect all of our cast of thousands to survive the Last Battle in one piece, but I still got the sniffles when Egwene died.

I know that given the choice between maybe 300 years of getting bitter, politicking with the Hall and going out in a blaze of glory, taking out a Forsaken and corruptor of the Black Tower during the Last Battle, Egwene would absolutely go for the latter, but damn, that *hurt*. I should have realised something like this would happen once her idiot Gawyn picked up those rings, but oh. This isn't GRRM, this is Robert Jordan, for crying out loud! She'd better come back as a Hero of the Horn, along with Bela (Bela! Oh, Bela). Actually, even better, she should go down in the history of the Third Age as the most Legendary Amyrlin ever, a story to inspire for centuries to come.

So much else went on in the book that I haven't had the chance to think through the half of it, so I'm really looking forward to the continuation of the re-read (although how Leigh deals with that GIANT chapter, I want to see!) Two things in the meantime - the first is the prize for the funniest moment in the book and possibly the record for longest shaggy dog story setup - poor Jur Grady and his confusion at the residents of Hinderstap. I stopped reading and laughed for about ten minutes when I hit that one :) The other is the biggest unsolved mystery - I know that there was no way in hell Brandon was going to be able to tie up all the threads, and RJ explicitly stated that many of them wouldn't be, but I want to know whatthehell happened to Alanna between disappearing out of Tear and fetching up in Shayol Ghul. That's not so much a loose end, as a gap in the narrative that I would love to be filled somehow. Anyway, it was long, it was epic, it was fun, and it's amazing to finally know the end. Now I'm going to have to go back and read all 400+ comments again and start thinking about what a re-read of the whole series would be like with it finished.
Dawn Boyall
518. deebee
I`m kind of puzzled that Fain could be killed by his own dagger, I thought it had become a part of him in some way. He wasn`t affected by nicking himself on it, so I didn`t think the turning black thing would happen. And somehow I thought he`d be immune from being stabbed by it.

And how was Mat immune from the effects of Mashadar? He says something about not being able to catch the same disease twice. But when was Mat caught by Mashadar the first time?

I could understand him being immune to the dagger`s poison, having been Healed of it once, but I found the Mat/Fain/dagger sequence confusing. Mat seemed to be too invincible and Fain too easy to kill. Is this still the Fain who tortures Myrrdraal for fun?

So I`m confused...
Twinks
519. CT12
@518 - well, he got stabbed through the heart with it, which tends to be fatal irregardless of whatever nastiness is on the blade. Maybe the blackness et al wasn't from the dagger per se, but Fain's own evil inside him eating away at his own dead body. So the dagger through the heart killed him, then his body melted from it's own evil, not anything added by the dagger. That's how I think about it.

Mat's immunity to Mashadar is in reference to the nastiness he took in when he had the dagger in books 1&2.
Valentin M
520. ValMar
huaixiong @ 509

Great point about connecting two extremely important issues in AMOL- Rand's "death" and the Dragon Peace. I feel a bit sheepish not thinking of it myself. Please post more often here!

misfortuona @ 513

Agree completely with you about the commentary! That's why it's taken me so long to catch up- very little to skim over or skip.

sushisushi @ 517

I think you are offering Egs a bit of a false choice there. Instead of 300 years of getting bitter and politicking, she was just starting her work as an Amyrlin to restore the WT to a greatness not seen since before the Trolloc Wars. Egwene was pretty skilled at this politicking and had great sense of responsibility, which probably led to her heroic death too.
She knowingly or willingly sacrificed herself but if she could avoid it I'm sure she would. Also, she was in a precarious mental state due to Gawyn's death.

deebee @ 518

Maybe Fain could survive a nick from the dagger but not being gutted with it? Maybe the body turned black since it was full with the vileness and after death nothing held it in check and it consumed the carcass. Mat "caught" Mashadar from the dagger, that's the only explanation.

PS CT12 got there before me.
Twinks
521. MAV
I just wanted to say thanks for this update, when I read your first spoiler review, I decided right then and there I would goto the New York release party just to say your horrible, LOL. The release party was too packed ;-). I was finally able to finish my AMoL rereads to my satisfaction (about 5 times) and thought about your review again. Thanks.
Alice Arneson
522. Wetlandernw
Well, I'm momentarily caught up on the comments... Just a few random thoughts for now, generated by the comments:

E-books - IIRC, ebook sales don't play into the big "Bestseller Lists" the same way hardcovers do, and as part of making RJ's final legacy the best it could be, Harriet wanted to make sure it would debut at #1. Which it did - on the NYT, USA Today, and several others. If you release the ebook the same day, or even within a few weeks, there's a serious risk that it won't even make the list, much less start at the top - especially for a fantasy, where a large portion of the fandom are tech types.

Knotai - Also consider: Not Eye, or Naught Eye, as part of the word-play.

Heroes - yes, it is possible for a Hero of the Horn to be a channeler. Rand is both, after all.

Okay, that was short. More in a half-hour or so. Life calls.
Dawn Boyall
523. deebee
Valmar@520

I guess in recent books Fain has seemed uber-powerful so I expected it to take something special to overcome him. I guess if he can whistle up Mashadar to subdue his victims first maybe he never was that powerful after all.

Whatever, I felt he was built up to have a wild-card role due to some abilities which were unprecedented in Randland. All the way through AMOL I was thinking "where`s Fain, he has some special role, what is he doing?"

And then- nope. No special relevance, unique to this turning of the Wheel or not. Just a moment when I wondered if Shaisam would become Shai`tan...so I guess there was some tension there, briefly.

I guess he joins Masema in the fishpool of red herrings.
Twinks
524. Divad
About Alanna

That's right, she is not there... But I still don't see how someone can think she is a Darkfriend.... I think Min said she could be trusted by Rand...???
Valentin M
525. ValMar
deebee @ 523

What you say is true, at least as I see it. But I never found Fain's story compelling so I'm not bothered about it. It doesn't make it right though. I think it's never good for a reader to find themselves in a "much ado about nothing" situation at the end of a plot line.
But if we think about it, Fain was more prominent in the first half of the series and that's when he influenced the plot significantly. Dagger + Mat (and the brilliant scene in the inn in Caemlyn), the Horn of Valere, Two Rivers... Later on he was in the background and had less influence, relatively speaking.
Little nuggets here and there and his absense probably made him seem more important. Plus we got less from what we expected elsewhere too.

I think it would've been best if Fain was killed in Far Madding.
Twinks
526. D-MAC
So Satella Anan...final resting place in a Trolloc Cook-pot? I'm pretty sure the last reference to her is just after Faile and Co. enter the waygate to the Trolloc/Sharan battlelines. That kinda sucks...I always thought at somepoint she was going to cross paths w/ Nynaeve and get restored, although i'm not sure "stilling" and "burn-out" is exactly the same.
Bonnie Andrews
527. misfortuona
Oh Yes, I just remembered a thought that I had been thinking before I commented and then couldn’t remember when it came time to write down my thoughts. But now since I have recalled said thought y’all can go ahead and tell me why it should have remained forgotten. Okay then!

Regarding Rand’s new handy dandy invisible pipe lighter. Could this be, rather than any manifestation of power; one, true, or creator’s hand, a side effect of the tear in TAR? Could it be that if Perrin decided now to call Mah’allrinir, might it come?

Mis-strange things happen when I think sometimes

P.S. @524 I don't recall at the moment that Min said Rand could trust Alanna, but I don't think being a DF would necessarily have made her untrustworthy.
T C
528. Freelancer
mis-returned @527

The immediate impression I got from Rand lighting the pipe was as you say, a leakover from tel'aran'rhiod into the Waking World, allowing him to have things as he wishes them by thought alone, while near that place. But he isn't really close to where the Bore was sensed at Shayol Ghul, so I don't think that's it. More plausible (?) is that his visit into the Halls of Creation, as it were, gave him an awareness which permits him some measure of elemental control.


About Alanna, Min tells Rand that the five Aes Sedai -- Bera, Rafela, Faeldrin, Merana, and Alanna -- would keep their word. Also that she saw them in his hand. A bit different than saying they are trustworthy, but there it is.
Alice Arneson
529. Wetlandernw
More random miscellany -

The triple bonding - As has been thoroughly clarified by now (I should hope) - YES, THE BOND IS STILL IN PLACE. Sorry for shouting. All three women are still bonded to Rand as he rides away. They will find him, or he them, when they want.

Leane - While we don't get it spelled out in so many words, it's clear from p. 406 that Demandred sent her on her way. No "escape" was required - he wanted her to take a message to Rand. While I was indeed curious as to how/where he sent her, we aren't told that; instead, we cut to Egwene's realization that she's going to have to escape from under the nose of a Forsaken.

(Related: my guess is that "Bao the Wyld" will turn out to be part of the Sharan prophecies. I'll ask Brandon at the signing, unless someone beats me to it now.)

(Loosely related - A.Fox, it may have been your comment on Leane and the "handwaving" that triggered my use of that term, but you're far from the only one to assume that since you don't remember it happening, it didn't. There's been a lot of it - hence my frequent amusement.)

Just in case others missed forkroot's amendments @31, I must mention again the fun little combo of Almen Bunt and Renald Fanwar; two characters with four scenes between them, but they get a quick call-out here. Glad to know they both made it to the battle - and I hope they made it home again. I doubt it, but it would be nice.

(Speaking of which... would you guys stop going back and amending your earlier posts with significant extra stuff? I was really only planning to read through this beast one time!)

Two bodies - Having gone back through the text several times, there's no clear evidence which body did the carrying and which body was carried, so we'll each have to decide what makes the most sense to us. From what little I've seen of signing reports so far, it sounds like Brandon doesn't really know either. Maybe RJ didn't know. :) Also, would this be Min's viewing of "two dead men on the ground, surrounded by ranks and ranks of Trollocs"? Or is that... somewhere else?

Perrin - How many people complained that he "slept through the whole Last Battle"?? Really? Per the text, he didn't sleep much at all, except for the few hours he was in Mayene for Healing. He was in the Wolf Dream/Tel'Aran'Rhiod, but since he was there in the flesh, he wasn't sleeping. He was... quite active. I'm also bemused at the number of people who feel that his reward for choosing Rand over Faile this time - for putting the fate of the world ahead of his love for his wife - should have been rewarded by her dying. Some reward. Thanks.

AndrewB - "Wetlander" is just fine with me. I only added the "nw" for my login because some joker who never uses it had already scammed the "Wetlander" username.

Heroes reborn - When asked at what point a reborn soul enters the body, RJ said "I’d have to say as a fetus. When the body becomes capable of sustaining life." This does not exactly fit with the implication of Birgitte's statement here, that
"I am being reborn, Elayne.Now. Somewhere, a woman is preparing to give birth, and I will go to that body. It's happening."
which makes it sound like the soul enters the body at birth. In the long run, it doesn't really matter; Birgitte could be wrong about the timing, or RJ/Team Jordan decided to do it differently. FWIW, though, if Birgitte is right, Gaidal Cain would now be just under a year old. If you go with conception, he'd be about 2 months. So there's your age range for Cain. Also - if Birgitte is right and her new mother is about to give birth, it could be Melaine; I don't suppose there's any restriction on her being a twin.

Kin/Novices/Accepted - Given the amount of Healing needed during the Last Battle, and the fact that by the end the Aes Sedai doing the Healing were completely exhausted and could barely channel any more, I can't help thinking that those with less training in stress situations were far more useful giving their linked strength to the Healers than to those on the battlefield. In the middle of a fight, their added strength would have been outbalanced by their lack of experience and the need the AS would feel to protect them. Put them in Mayene to support the Healers and get real fighters back to the battle sooner!

Elayne's babies - the DO (or Moridin) had some reason to want them. Was it to do something to them like was done to Isam, to raise them in Shadow? Was it merely to show Rand and make him despair, or do something stupid, or sacrifice himself for them? We don't know, and probably never will. But they were intended to be brought there alive, even though they were only 6 months along. That much is quite clear from the text.
Wai Hoong Leung
530. huaixiong
Wetlandernw@522

Sorry, I don't think Rand is a Hero of the Horn. He is the Dragon, yes, he (or his soul) is spun out by the Wheel time and again to battle the Dark One, but I do not think he can be summoned by the Horn when it is blown. I am referring to the specific hundred plus heros that appears to fight when the Horn is blown.

Anyway it is clearly stated in the book that Dragon has a specific relationship with the Heroes of the Horn under three conditions, that is, (i) the Horn is blown the Heroes get summoned from TAR (ii) fights FOR the Dragon as the leader and (iii) follow the direction/presence of the Dragon Banner (or at least the ancient AS symbol)


I think what the confusion here is that the Wheel can choose to spin out certain souls to be born to the world, including the Dragon, a Hero of the Horn (like Gaidal and Birgitte) and others (including the speculation that Egwene was the reborn of Eldrene). Heroes are bound both to the Wheel AND the Horn (as a subset) but souls like Rand are bound to the Wheel only. My point here is that the Pattern bounds only non-channelers to the Horn to FIGHT battles, but when channelers are needed, get them reborn to the world.
Marcus W
531. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 522.

The problem with the NYT Best Seller argument against e-books being released at the same time as the print copy is that it's not at all unsual for books to make the #1 at the NYT Best Sellers list whether the e-book is released at the same time or not. In fact, a large number of #1 best sellers at release [i]do/i] in fact release both print and e-books at the same time, rendering the argument rather moot. This is particularly true of authors who have been releasing books at #1 for several years in the role, as The Wheel of Time has efficiently demonstrated.

As I've pointed out before in the thread specifically about this subject, it also completely ignores the people who have no other options but the e-book for reading novels. E-books have given access to people who ordinarily have to wait for large-print copies or more significantly, people who have difficulties handling hard copy novels at all. This is not an insignificant number (although I guess it can be considered to be by those who simply don't care about the disadvantaged members of the population, which unfortunately is all too frequently the case) and it's highly unfortunate that it's considered more important to hedge one's bets than to consider those who have physical disadvantages. That's easy to do when it's not you who has the disadvantage, but I'm also of the opinion that compassion and understanding should be in greater supply whether you can sympathize directly or not.

It's too bad that I seem to be in the minority there, but sadly that's to be expected.
Alice Arneson
532. Wetlandernw
toryx - I have no horse in the race; just passing on what I've read elsewhere as reasons given for this decision.

huaixiong - Well, there is the minor detail that RJ said that Rand is one of the Heroes.
PAM BASHAM: Regarding the Dragon and the Dragon Reborn (and Graendal's thoughts about Ishamael's musings): "Is this soul born in any other Age, or only at the advent and (theoretically, of course) the closing of the Third Age, as the Dragon/the Dragon Reborn?"
ROBERT JORDAN: This soul is one of the Heroes, and bound to the Wheel, spun out as the Pattern wills. "It" is born in other Ages, but in a non-Dragon incarnation, to suit the pattern of that Age.
Tricia Irish
533. Tektonica
Wow...lots of really good comments to catch up on!

A couple of quick thoughts....

I think you are absolutley right, huaixiong@509..Rand had to appear to die to make the Peace Treaty enforceable. I also think he deserved a peaceful future of his own making as a reward for a job well done.

He does seem to be One with the Pattern, so while he can no longer channel, he will enjoy a few special "privilages" in life, however that may manifest. After all, he has intimate knowledge of the Pattern, having viewed it from the outside, and having actually rewoven part of it.

I also envision him quietly revealing himself to a few people as time goes by. The wives will be able to find him at any time through the bond, and can travel to him instantly. (I'm sure they will help Min to do so, as well, if she is not with him most of the time.)

Rand does have some very unique and important knowledge from the AoL in his head, that could be very helpful in this new age. Cadsuane, for one, could really benefit from his knowledge of the workings of the combined Tower from that age. (She also suspects that Rand switched bodies, as she sees his eyes when he exits the tent to ride away.) Perhaps she will seek him out as a secret advisor. I do think Rand earned her respect in the time after his epiphany.

One question that I keep forgetting to mention.....Verin's letters! Did any of them appear in AMoL? I was dying to see a couple of these revealed. One was delivered to Rand by Siuan when he appeared at the White Tower. And there were others. Anyone???
T C
534. Freelancer
toryx,

Well, step outside of the re-read, and you might not seem to be in the minority at all. Most who "review" the book on Amazon have read not a word of it, and are using the opportunity to complain about the lack of an ebook. And you can call it selfishness, lack of vision, or whatever else comes to mind; you can say it's a moot issue because the book would have made it anyway, but Harriet did say at the first signing event that she wanted to be certain AMoL released at #1, and didn't finish the legacy on a down note, and that was the prime motivation for delaying the digital release. It's done, and won't be undone.


Tektonica,

No, there was no more than tangential mention of red-sealed envelopes. We get to see no more of Verin's sneakiness or wisdom. Sorry.
Twinks
535. Cromax
fookroot @ 508...Mordin kidnapping Alanna from the Stone
makes sense given what we know. No one saw her leave in a
more ordinary manner either. I don't think she was a
darkfriend (not on Verins' list, IIRC). so a TP kidnapping
fits the bill.

@ many
Padan Fain...If you put all of his appearances in this story
together you really only get about one or two chapters. He
was a truly creepy character and much more disturbing than
any of the Forsaken, IMO. I think we were kinda coaxed to
expect more at the end but his brief appearance at the end is
consistent with his entire character arc.

Made a note to myself towards the end of the book :
re: Callandor. As it turned out, when Rand saw Callandor and
the Dragon Banner at Paaran Disen during his flashback when
the Aes Sedai were getting ready to create the Eye of the
World, the implication becomes that Callandor was created
specifically for the Dragon to reseal the Dark Ones prison
and the banner, horn and well of power were all put in place
to support that process. The Aes Sedai who did the
foretelling was quite a Fortune teller.

Didn't see anything like this as I went through the comments so maybe it too ovious for anyone to comment on or that I've gone totally around the bend.
Wai Hoong Leung
537. huaixiong
@wetlander: I was not aware RJ has mentioned this. Ah well, bound to the Wheel or bound to the Horn (or Heroes of the Wheel or Heroes of the Horn) , I hope that there will be clearer clarification in the Encyclopedia whether both concepts are the same or the subset of one vs another...
Wai Hoong Leung
538. huaixiong
I would like to make another set of remarks regarding the use of gateways in the Last Battle. I saw quite a number of people, after seeing new creative uses of gateways in this last book, commented that why can’t the concept be used in a larger context to win the Last Battle (e.g. gateway to lava or the sea to destroy the Dark forces) and the apparent limited use seems illogical.

Well, let’s visit the rules/prerequisites of creating gateway/Travelling: (i) the channeler must have sufficient strength (ii) some skill/dexterity is needed to be able to control the size of the gateway (iii) maintaining a gateway is exhausting, and most importantly (iv) the channeler needs time to be sufficiently familiar with his/her surroundings to create a gateway, unless it is for a short distance away.

The restriction of (iv) created the necessity of the Travelling Ground. Alternatively, one could try Skimming, or like what Rand did in Far Madding, travel a short distance away to the place where they memorized the surroundings enough for Travelling (the two-jump method). The two-jump method could theoretically be extrapolated by the channeler making a series of jumps (like what Perrin did in the shifting the first dream-spike to escape Slayer) but it will be extremely tiring, better to do Skimming in this case.

In this last book, I assumed that the AS/Ashaman/Kin/damane who were tasked with creating gateways were really focused on memorizing a new place immediately so that they can be useful, or alternatively use the two-jump / Skimming method. Gateways used for retreating from an immediate threat (especially on FOM), were likely short jumps that bypass the familiarity restriction.

In the series, it seems that only Androl has the Talent (with a big “T”), which enabled him to uniquely bypass these restrictions/rules. I remember in this last book there is a short paragraph by Pevara asking Androl about how it too (about Page 605, I suspect it is the way BS has subtly added to remind readers of it). Furthermore, with Androl’s strength in the One Power, gateways are the ONLY weave that he can rely on, which actually forces him to be really creative (plus his rich exposure and experience of his past probably gave him some innovative inspiration as well). A poor person with a hundred dollars probably has more creative ways to use this money to stretch its value as compared to a rich person.

Furthermore, the knowledge of Travelling was initially restricted to the Forsaken and a few main characters, then gradually spread to the Ashamen, the Salidar AS, the Kin/Sea Folk/Aiel and finally the Tower AS and Seanchan towards latter part of the series. People strong in the Power like Rand, Egwene, Avi and Elayne, with their strength with One Power, probably never spend time to think about how their weaves could be used in other useful manners. While the Gray Ajah (plus Mat) has started to leverage the usefulness of the gateway for other purposes (“recon satellite”, “Fedex delivery”, “walkie-talkie”, dragon in a safe location), too little time has transpired for mass propagation for people to start thinking about other creative uses.

If we consider this two aspects, then it is no wonder that gateways were not so creatively used in this last book (other than its original Travelling purpose), as some readers would like to.

Now, I would also like to make a comment on the use of gateway (aside from deathgates) as a weapon of war. Firstly, its usefulness is much restricted due to the condition (iv) above, any channeler who open up a gateway in familiar surroundings at the front-lines becomes a stationary target.

Secondly, I was glad that Androl only used his “gateway to hell (lava)” feat in Cairhein where there were mainly/fully only Trollocs. Probably there were no channelers on the Dark side on that battlefront to feedback to Demandred on this creative use of the gateway. If the news was reported to him, or Androl demonstrated a second use on the FOM, it is likely that the enemy would have learnt it and used them back on the forces on the Light on the field! The result may be a disaster!

Therefore given the above two considerations, I assert that even if the Light side has considered using this approach on the FOM, it would not have worked to turnaround the tide. To create such a huge “gateway to hell/sea”, a huge circle consisting of men and women will be needed. Androl, the Talented Pageboy, was able to create a gateway a hundred-feet across using a circle of 26 in Cairhein. He has to open the gateway for a few minutes to do enough damage to turn aside the Trollocs. He was lucky that there were no channelers to strike him down in Cairhein, but we have Demandred with a FULL circle with a Sa-angreal on FOM. Should Androl (or another who will need to spend A LOT of time to learn the familiarity of the ground) attempted this feat there, the moment he opened the gateway, he would probably be struck down by balefire within 5 seconds, along with everyone in his circle. Then, Demandred would learn the same trick and return it back to the forces of the Light! Remember, Logain wisely terminated his circle of 39 when he felt the full power of Demandred’s circle, so that he not become a target, and asked to split his channelers with him to 4 teams. Like Mat said, tactics must be considered, to foolishly concentrate all forces for one huge push with chances of failure, will be akin to commit the forces of the Light to the way of our dear Gawyn the Rash One, or like Weiramon the puffed-up rooster.
Twinks
539. AlohaFriday
My crack!hope was that Mat would somehow combine the dragons and steam-wagons, and the Band would enter the battle with tanks ;P
Maiane Bakroeva
540. Isilel
Huaixiong @530:
My point here is that the Pattern bounds only non-channelers to the Horn to FIGHT battles, but when channelers are needed, get them reborn to the world.
Not only is LTT a Hero of the Horn, as has been already mentioned by Wetlandernw, but IIRC Jordan said somewhere (interview gurus to the rescue!) that not all Heroes are fighters at all. Martial prowess isn't a requirement for being bound to the Horn.Wetlandernw @529:

Yes, the bond is still clearly in place... but how? Wasn't the weave applied to the body and not the soul? It certainly looked that way, in all the bonding scenes. It is all more than a bit confusing, IMHO.
I'm also bemused at the number of people who feel that his reward for choosing Rand over Faile this time - for putting the fate of the world ahead of his love for his wife - should have been rewarded by her dying.
My problem with Perrin's arc in books 7 -14 is that when he chose Faile over Rand there were no negative consequences for the cause of Light - in fact, everything that Perrin did in his obsession over Faile turned out to be just what the doctor ordered, because of his being ta'veren.
And now that he chose Rand over Faile, there were no negative consequences either. Both of these outcomes make his choices hollow.

I am more than ever convinced that the PLOD was a colossal waste of time - except for the wolf-dream aspect Perrin was already where he needed to be for the end as of ACOS:

There was a very real sense that he might choose Faile over Rand, Faile already stayed behind and played a non-combat role that she was trained for, rather than wanting to be a hero, Perrin was already enough of a leader of people, given his eventual role in the Last Battle.

And the only thing that Perrin lacked - the wolf-dream/T'AR developement was crammed into the very last 2 books. What was there was good, but it could have been expanded a bit and would have felt less contrived if it was happening over a longer period, rather than in the nick of time completely by the seat of his pants.
RJ, with all respect, really overused these devices, taking out a lot of tension out of proceedings. It is almost comics-strip like.

Another thing is, that I, personally, felt it cheap that of the main cast Egwene is the only one who dies, while everybody else gets to live happily ever after with their soul-mate. Shouldn't people losing spouses been yet another aspect of the heavy price that humanity payed for it's salvation?

Faile's being one of a rather large number of fake deaths didn't help any either.
I can't help thinking that those with less training in stress situations were far more useful giving their linked strength to the Healers than to those on the battlefield.
I disagree. The AS building strong circles with those Novices/Accepted would have significantly increased their firepower/defensive capabilities and prevented so many people getting killed/hurt in the first place. Not to mention that non-rebel Novices/Accepted actually had combat experience due to the WT raid. I thought that the whole point of so many powerful channelers turning up during Egwene's recruitment drive, and a lot of them older women with life-experience, was specifically so that they could be thrown into the Last Battle.

Excluding them, as well as several thousands of Aiel Wise Ones, Windfinders and most of the Asha'man (IIRC there was a thousand in the Black Tower as of... WH? CoT?) was just a device to make normal troops more relevant.

RJ really made it difficult for soldiers to matter, with his over-poweredness of channelers and their vast numbers, so Sanderson had to fudge.
Twinks
541. Marks
@495 Forkroot.

Why would Hawkwing, carrying his sword "Justice" go 'huh?' at Tam's sword with entwined dragons on it? P307.

I wonder what Lews Therin's sword had on it? :)
Birgit
542. birgit
I'm still waiting for the paper book to start my (re)read, but I finished the audiobook. I thought ordering from a bookshop would be faster than waiting for amazon because ToM was delivered some days late from amazon, but that obviously didn't work. Both times I got tired of waiting and got the audiobook from audible. Is there a Dreamspike that kept Androl from opening a Gateway for me to a US midnight release / signing?

Letting the three blademasters fight Demandred is an interesting way to tell people who didn't read the Q&A who is the best. Lan's victory mirrors his fight against Ryne in New Spring (He was better. But you surrender after you die.) and his advice to Rand (sheathing the sword) early in the series, making his story come back to the beginning like the turning of the Wheel.

It is fitting that Mat doesn't want to be a Hero of the Horn because he would have to obey the Call of the Horn. It parallels Rand's understanding that being forced to be good is as bad as being forced to be evil. Mat doesn't want to do something because he is ordered to do it, but he will rescue the drowning girl every time, no matter how many people laugh at him.

I like how Rand reacts to Tuon's claim to the land as Hawkwing's heir by going into arrogant LTT mode to show her he could beat her at that game but then just asks her to sign his treaty.
Mat the Trickster should know better than to expose Rand's singing trick to make the garden flower.

The wolf Heroes called by the Horn to fight the Wild Hunt is a typical RJ splitting of a myth.
It is fitting that the Little Wolf is kept from acting on his Compulsion by a Wolfbrother and the wolves.

"We need a miracle." - "Androl, see to it." Androl should have assembled a full circle and gone to Mat. Then Mat would have directed his attacks to win the battle in a few minutes.

Rand doesn't really abandon his women. They know how to find him, and he leaves the choice to them (they always say it is their business, anyway, and he finally accepts that. Earlier in the book he asks Avi if they will always decide among themselves whose turn it is to be with him without asking him and she says of course they will.).

Also I'm curious, how are the girls supposed to find him, did the bond somehow transfer to the new non-chaneller body?

The bond is probably to the soul, not the body, and moved with Rand. Didn't one of the women feel his bond in a POV? I need the paper book, looking up things in an audiobook is too inconvenient.

If Dreamwalkers can enter TAR in the flesh like Slayer and Perrin that could be how Nakomi appeared / disappeared (maybe she brought Avi into TAR to make the food cook faster).
Marcus W
543. toryx
Freelancer @ 534:

I don't consider those pathetic fools purposely driving down the ratings on Amazon to be of like mind. They're selfish children who are only angry that they're not getting their instant gratification and like children are lashing out.

I'm speaking for the disadvantaged who are being forced to wait several additional months to read the book because of Harriet's decision to act against evidence to the contrary. I know it's not going to change, I'm not trying to change it. I just don't want people to forget about the people who rely on e-books and for good reason. I've not seen many people thinking of them.

I'm personally not one of them (ordered my book on Amazon and read it last weekend) but I know several people who have no other option but to wait until April because of their disabilities. That sucks and I sympathize for them a great deal.
Gerd K
544. Kah-thurak
The question is: Are the bad Amazon ratings the just punishment for cheating* to get the #1 spot on the hardcover beststeller lists? ;-)

*I assume that the competitors for this spot did publish the e-book version of their books and thus have lower hardcover sales. So, in a way, not releasing the e-book to ensure the beststeller status is cheating. Most likely unnecessary cheating, which also inconvenienced a lot of people (some of which abuse Amazon's rating system to vent their "anger").
Tricia Irish
545. Tektonica
Birgitte@542: Yes...As the Three Wives are watching Rands old body burn on the pyre, Min comments on feeling the pulse of the Bond in the back of her head. So it appears that the Bond is to the soul, as it definitely passed into Rands shiny new body with him.

Talking battle tactics....Logain learned a few things from Rand at the Manor house where Rand was staying in an earlier book, about Deathgates and other combat weaves, yet none were employed here. Odd. He could've taught those weaves to the other Ashaman. ??

It also seems to me that we were many hundred Light side channelers short in the LB, too. We seemed to have been missing Windfinders that weren't working the Bowl, the Kinswomen, and other WiseOnes, besides our main characters. Wasn't one of the points of the series, that the AS had missed many channelers due to their rules and prejudices about age and loyalty to the Tower? The LB would've been a nice place for them to show their worth and skills.

Perhaps this was Sandersons need to show the common soldiers as heros, but really this whole story wasn't about them. Yes, the LB was for all mankind, but our focus throughout the series was on specific people, and storylines which focused more on this amazing ability to Channel.

I guess minor nitpicks are coming up now that I've had some time to digest it all. (I still wish we'd seen a couple of Verin's letters!!)
Twinks
546. RafoMofo
I can't believe Leigh didn't get choked up when Loial thought that he had to keep fighting because he had a book to write. That meta-reference to Robert Jordan's approach to fighting his disease brought tears to my eyes. I had to put the book down, and I was worried that it meant, like Mr. Jordan, Loial wasn't going to make it.
Wai Hoong Leung
547. huaixiong
Isilel@540 and Wetlander: Point taken. Case closed :)
Michael Catapano
548. hoping
It has been awhile since I last posted but I wanted to share a few thoughts. I, too, am grateful to BS for finishing the series in grand style. The fast pace of the last three books, especially AMOL, reminded me more of TEOTW and TDR. He packed in so much action into these 900 pages.

So much to like.
Egwene’s awesomeness in destroying Taim and the Sharan channelers while stabilizing the pattern.

Perrin’s mastery of T’AR and battle with slayer was well done, although a bit drawn out..

The TR led uprising at the Black Tower

Androl Pevara mind meld.

The great captain corruption plot line was unexpected but led very nicely to Mat taking over. I didn’t believe Graendel had the military knowledge to carry it out. Must have been under heavy guidance from Demandred.

Did anyone in fandom figure out that Callandor was intentionally flawed by its makers so that Moridin could be trapped and controlled? That was a surprise to me. Kudos to Min for puzzling it out. Tremendous.

Did Rand become a demi-god, or creator lite at the end? I think I like this but am not sure. Does he retain his positive effect on the land? If so, many will suspect he is still alive. To paraphrase a line from “The Outlaw Josey Wales” – ‘Not a hard man to track, leaves flowering trees wherever he goes.’


No need to highlight empty spaces anymore.


A few things to not like, or just to puzzle over.
I understand that AMOL was not my story to tell but a few things felt out of character for the series. The destination didn’t match the journey.

I’m surprised that the Seanchan and Padan Fain had so little to do. Both were integral parts of the entire series. Padan Fain, especially, was there from the beginning, consistently leveling up in strength and evil intent. He was built up through the series and became more dangerous to Rand than most of the forsaken, even rivaling the DO in his powers. Then he fell off the map. What happened? Why build up a character with significant anti-DO powers if he had little use in the end? Their story lines felt truncated.

The philosophical struggle between Rand and the DO regarding free will and choice seemed sophomoric and unoriginal. More importantly, it didn’t fit in with statements made by RJ. In an interview, he stated that there were three kinds of evil in Randland – DO evil, Mordeth evil and human evil. Rand didn’t need to keep the DO around in order for people to have free will and choice. For example, we know there were criminals during the near utopian AOL, when the DO was unknown.

I’m a little disappointed that nothing was settled. Sure, the world was saved, for now, but the next turn of the wheel will land the world back in the soup. This wasn’t The Last Battle but simply a last battle. I expected a lasting solution. Unless you believe that the three-in-one, triple power seal makes a better prison than the Creator did, a Mieren equivalent of a future age will simply breach it and loose the DO, requiring another last battle. It would have been so easy for Rand to snuff out the DO when he had him in his hand and pulled into the pattern. That would have been more satisfying to me.




There are many unanswered questions but one seems most important to me. Why did the DO need to confront the DR? The DO could have broken free at any time. His minions had the seals and could have crushed them or they could have balefired the pattern into submission. Did the DO simply want to break the spirit of humankind’s representative? Why was that important? Or did the DO need to control or incorporate the DR’s soul in order to use the DR’s newfound Creator like skills? Don’t know.


Those are some of my thoughts tho, I reserve the right to change my mind in the re-read when smarter people hold forth. :)

WOT has been a positive in my life for over 20 years and overall, I’m very happy with BS’s contribution to the series.
Michael Catapano
549. hoping
It has been awhile since I last posted but I wanted to share a few thoughts. I, too, am grateful to BS for finishing the series in grand style. The fast pace of the last three books, especially AMOL, reminded me more of TEOTW and TDR. He packed in so much action into these 900 pages.

So much to like.
Egwene’s awesomeness in destroying Taim and the Sharan channelers while stabilizing the pattern.

Perrin’s mastery of T’AR and battle with slayer was well done, although a bit drawn out..

The TR led uprising at the Black Tower

Androl Pevara mind meld.

The great captain corruption plot line was unexpected but led very nicely to Mat taking over. I didn’t believe Graendel had the military knowledge to carry it out. Must have been under heavy guidance from Demandred.

Did anyone in fandom figure out that Callandor was intentionally flawed by its makers so that Moridin could be trapped and controlled? That was a surprise to me. Kudos to Min for puzzling it out. Tremendous.

Did Rand become a demi-god, or creator lite at the end? I think I like this but am not sure. Does he retain his positive effect on the land? If so, many will suspect he is still alive. To paraphrase a line from “The Outlaw Josey Wales” – ‘Not a hard man to track, leaves flowering trees wherever he goes.’


No need to highlight empty spaces anymore.


A few things to not like, or just to puzzle over.
I understand that AMOL was not my story to tell but a few things felt out of character for the series. The destination didn’t match the journey.

I’m surprised that the Seanchan and Padan Fain had so little to do. Both were integral parts of the entire series. Padan Fain, especially, was there from the beginning, consistently leveling up in strength and evil intent. He was built up through the series and became more dangerous to Rand than most of the forsaken, even rivaling the DO in his powers. Then he fell off the map. What happened? Why build up a character with significant anti-DO powers if he had little use in the end? Their story lines felt truncated.

The philosophical struggle between Rand and the DO regarding free will and choice seemed sophomoric and unoriginal. More importantly, it didn’t fit in with statements made by RJ. In an interview, he stated that there were three kinds of evil in Randland – DO evil, Mordeth evil and human evil. Rand didn’t need to keep the DO around in order for people to have free will and choice. For example, we know there were criminals during the near utopian AOL, when the DO was unknown.

I’m a little disappointed that nothing was settled. Sure, the world was saved, for now, but the next turn of the wheel will land the world back in the soup. This wasn’t The Last Battle but simply a last battle. I expected a lasting solution. Unless you believe that the three-in-one, triple power seal makes a better prison than the Creator did, a Mieren equivalent of a future age will simply breach it and loose the DO, requiring another last battle. It would have been so easy for Rand to snuff out the DO when he had him in his hand and pulled into the pattern. That would have been more satisfying to me.




There are many unanswered questions but one seems most important to me. Why did the DO need to confront the DR? The DO could have broken free at any time. His minions had the seals and could have crushed them or they could have balefired the pattern into submission. Did the DO simply want to break the spirit of humankind’s representative? Why was that important? Or did the DO need to control or incorporate the DR’s soul in order to use the DR’s newfound Creator like skills? Don’t know.


Those are some of my thoughts tho, I reserve the right to change my mind in the re-read when smarter people hold forth. :)

WOT has been a positive in my life for over 20 years and overall, I’m very happy with BS’s contribution to the series.
Michael Maxwell
550. pike747
@375. Alphaleonis
Syllabus@367
I seem to remember Demandred commenting to, I think, Lan about the oneness/the void and immersing fully into it. Implying that he, Demandred, had mastered the technique and that Lan had something still to learn of it.

@406. martytargaryen
[i]I am however DISTRESSED: [b]I don't know the color of anyone's dress in all of Tarmon Gaidon!!"[/b]

Now that's funny, I don't care who you are!

@468. Freelancer
“So here's the $64,000 question: Would you trade a Cour'souvra for and a'dam if those were your only options?”

That one is nearly too close to call but I would take the a'dam.

@491. charles purvis
"Quick questions for the cosmere fans--I was struck by the fact that the term "dreamshards" was used a number of times to describe some sequences in t'a'r, most notably Moridin's meeting in the prologue, but a couple of other times as well, IIRC. "Shards" is a loaded term in Brandon's cosmere, and I don't recall "dreamshards" being used prior to AMoL. Am I right about that, or has it been used before?"

I made a mental note of that when reading and I do not seem to remember that term being used prior to AMoL.
I found myself thinking about making a t-shirt or something saying

You don't have the Shards

For that
or something to that effect after reading Way of Kings, a pretty good book. I also kept thinking greatshell to myself a lot. Strange new terms that resonated somehow.
Roger Powell
551. forkroot
One interesting thing: At the conclusion of AMoL, Perrin remains an enormously powerful person. He's lost his ta'veren nature, but presumably he still has his Wolfbrother skills, including his new-found "Slayer-like" ability to step in and out of T'AR at will.

Fortunately, we know that Perrin is as good-hearted as they come -- but he can also be ferocious (as he had to be!) Over the years, he could continue to use his abilities to do what he thought was "right" but gradually become corrupted by the power.
Ron Garrison
552. Man-0-Manetheran
huaixiong @ 538:
“Gawyn the Rash”, “Weiramon the Puffed” LOL!
Sanctume Spiritstone
553. Sanctume
We got another reference of a donkey corpse floating down the river.

In the prologue, where the Children of the Light have their metals turned into wax-lie substance, were they part of the last battle? So they were just in an area of bubble of evil?

No other mention of power wrought weapons? Maybe just Perrin's army having +1 damage swords and spears. No time to make catapult/trebuchet with power invested rocks?
Twinks
554. bcz24
Anyone else think Olver was Gaidal Cain? I thought this for awhile because of how often Mat mentioned that he was 'ugly', and I felt like it was confirmed when Birgitte said should would only be a few years younger than Gaidal upon her rebirth.

I wasn't surprised by Gawyn dying, I knew the moment he put on the BloodKnife ring he was a goner. Egwene dying was a shock to me though. I never imagined one of the original Two Rivers folk dying.

I was also disappointed with the Padan Fain treatment. I thought maybe I missed him getting killed earlier or something, but 2 pages to wrap up a villian more dangerous than any of the Choosen?

I had a feeling, since we learned that Rand and Moridin were interconnected that Rand's body would die, and that his consciousness would live on in Moridins body. When I read the last scene I felt like it was wierd that Moridin carried Rand out of the pit, but I guess his sould didn't move until he died.

Bela. Why did they have to kill Bela.
Marty Beck
555. martytargaryen
bcz24 @554 - Gaidal Cain was last seen in T'A'R in chapter 52 of TSR. He was reported missing as recently as chapter 14 of TFoH (reference
http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/)... If I remember correctly, book 4/book 5 was basically Spring/Summer of the secnd year of the series...in fact, The Entire Series lasts less than 2 and a half years; So at the very oldest, Gaidal Cain can be no more than 1 and a half years old by the time the Last Battle occurs.

All that said, folks who have been involved in online WoT fandom have known for a long time that RJ himself debunked the idea that O=GC.

By the way, you are not alone in this. I've seen this question asked several time on the handful of threads related to AMoL this past week and a half....but the theory is both impossible logistically and officially killed.
Alice Arneson
556. Wetlandernw
Huaixiong @538 – Some excellent reminders re: the limitations of Travelling. Not nearly everyone is strong enough – that’s been made very clear over the course of the books. Even in the prologue, the reason Elayne didn’t find out about the Caemlyn attack sooner was that it took four of the Kin to open a gateway; all it took to prevent the call for help was for a Darkfriend to kill one of them. We don’t have any valid percentages of AS or AM who could/couldn’t Travel (assuming they knew the weave), but we do know that strength in the power is more nearly asymptotic than bell-curved. Deathgates were a really cool weave, but not many of the Asha’man would have the strength for that, I think. The need to know the ground is another key – as you say, even with the tricks to learn the ground quickly, that need makes you a stationery target.

Isilel @540 – How is the bond still in place? I’m betting not even Team Jordan would answer that definitively. However, even though the bonding scene has definite physical aspects to it, I’ve always understood the bond itself to be far more than a physical/physiological connection. In fact, I would have said that it was more a matter of the mind than of the body all along. So if the minds (and souls) switch bodies, why on earth would the bond stay with the body instead of the mind? The more I think about it, the more logical it seems that the link to Rand’s mind would remain intact, rather than any physical element of the bond.

Re: Perrin and not losing Faile, the thing that always comes back to my mind in discussions of the Perrin/Faile/Shaido arc is Alan Romanczuk's comment, when asked about his favorite scene in the (published) books:
I don’t have a specifically favorite scene, but in the recent books that Jim had written, the one that comes to mind for me is when Perrin was at his wits end trying to find his wife and get information on Faile, and he goes to interrogate the captured Shaido they have staked out on the ground. Against all expectations, he chops off the man’s limb, and makes it very clear to him that he is not going to kill him, but make sure he is crippled for the rest of his life and will have to depend on others for his well being.
What is striking about that is not only the surprise in what happened to Perrin’s personality, but the fact that we see the depths of this man who had been operating at an almost emotionless state, or at least with a single, fixed purpose, which was saving his wife. We see him, the peace-loving blacksmith who, just through fate, is thrown into a position of leadership, suddenly do something that is completely out of character, or that we think is out of character, when in fact it is springing from his depths, something that needs to be done. So, in that scene, we see an inkling of Perrin becoming the person that he needs to be to take part in the Last Battle.
I can't help thinking of his action in the Pit. In spite of massive compulsion, he was able to 1) remember his love for Faile, 2) hold on to his own mind and 3) snap a woman's neck with his bare hands. Is that what Alan was thinking of? Perrin needed to get to that point, or Lanfear could have taken everything down.

I’m not one who complained much about that particular plot line anyway, so maybe that’s easy for me to say. I don’t think Perrin would have agreed that there were no negative consequences to his decision, though. Yes, it all worked out… okay in the end, and not too many people died (or not ones we knew, anyway), but he was truly torn about his decision to ignore Rand and focus on saving Faile. He had, in one sense, sidestepped fate that time – the world didn’t end because he cared more about saving his wife – but he knew he had risked it. And he knew, partly because of that entire arc, that he couldn’t take that risk again. Coming out the other side, he started to realize just what he had risked – and one could say that it’s a good thing he made the wrong decision when it didn’t matter so much. This time around, he knew what was on the line, and he was able to choose the path where his wife was in danger and on her own, because that was needed for the sake of the whole world.

As far as people losing spouses in the Last Battle – how many of the major characters had spouses/lovers to risk? Mat/Tuon and Perrin/Faile are the only ones who survived who weren’t bonded to their partners; those who were bonded, logically, either both lived or both died. But this is not an area we’re ever likely to agree on; I don’t feel any real need for a large percentage of major characters to die in order to be realistic. It’s a fantasy. And I don’t read GRRM, either.

@ many re: Channelers – The Wise Ones and Windfinders were doing their bit at Shayol Ghul, and paid the price. The Wise Ones were fighting the redveils – and let’s not forget that not nearly all the Wise Ones can channel, so “thousands” is a dramatic overstatement. The Windfinders were rotating in and out of the circle using the Bowl to control the weather and make the lightning kill Trollocs & redveils instead of Team Light. I don’t remember if they had added men to expand the circle or not; there wasn’t a lot of text addressing their efforts specifically. It was clear, though, that they were expending all their strength in the task. We don’t know how many channelers they actually had.

The Asha’man were split by Taim, so we saw them on both sides, primarily on the Malkieri front and the FoM battle. As for their numbers, the last count I can find readily is about 500, and Logain thought most would be loyal to Taim. I don’t recall that we have a firm count of how many had actually reached full Asha’man, but the count would be skewed anyway; Taim was only promoting those who were his.

The Aes Sedai (except those who were taking care of the Healing) were focused on the Saldaean front, and lost a full third of their number when Demandred showed up with the Ayyad; of the remainder, many were in shock over the death of their Warders. Those who survived (about 250, exhausted) went to the FoM and lost even more against Demandred and the Ayyad there.

Most of the Kin who survived Caemlyn, the Novices and most of the Accepted went to Mayene to work with the Healers. Let’s not forget that most of the Kin were too weak to even reach Accepted, much less Aes Sedai status, and few of the novices would have been anywhere near their full potential yet. Sorry, but I can’t see any real value in putting those women out on the battlefield to serve as very large, bulky and vulnerable power packs. I stand by my statement that they were far more useful as power packs for the Healers, who were nearing exhaustion even with their help. There may have been some percentage – particularly the older women – who could have handled themselves well on the field, but who makes that decision? Particularly given the ingrained (and generally well-founded) WT attitude toward novices needing to be protected from themselves as much as from any outside threat, I don’t see any valid in-story rationale for sending them into battle.

Marks @541 – The sword Rand gave Tam was the “real-world” (i.e. non-Tel’Aran’Rhiod) Justice – the physical sword Hawkwing had carried when he lived.

Kah-Thurak @544 – It’s hardly “cheating” when the same choices are available to everyone. Marketing decisions have a lot of factors, and in this case, the person who holds the copyright exercised her right to decide how she wanted to do it. She may have traded profit for ratings, if people really are mad enough to decide not to buy it at all, or pirate it instead of waiting, but it was her decision to make. People don’t have to like it, and I do feel sorry for those few who truly don’t have any other options, but I have no sympathy at all for those who make a big deal just because they can’t get their instant gratification the way they want it.

Sanctume @553 – that was Jarid Sarand’s troops, not the Whitecloaks. And yes, it was just a bubble, and only affected the metal in that area. The rest of the world was fine. (For a certain definition of fine, anyway.)

@ 554 & 555 – Gaidal was last seen in TAR about 11 months ago.

Hoping @548 – You’re the first person here to even touch on the one thing that really, really bothered me about the book: “In an interview, {RJ} stated that there were three kinds of evil in Randland – DO evil, Mordeth evil and human evil. Rand didn’t need to keep the DO around in order for people to have free will and choice.” I may, at some point, expand on this and why it bothers me, but for now I’ll just say that this one thing nearly ruined the series for me. A Force of Evil, a Personification of Evil, a main Evil Being – free or imprisoned – this is not required for free will. Not even in Randland.
Twinks
557. Tanchicoan
Couple random thoughts. I was pretty upset we spent so much time on Androl and Pevara getting to know them and learning about all the awesome stuff they could do just to not have it mean something pivotal in the last battle. I mean, yes, Androl did some cool gateway stuff, but linked they could do so much more. Especially with their mind reading abilities. It would have been cool to see them accomplish something with their double bond that no one else could have possibly done alone or even in a circle. As far as what happens to them in the future, if Cadsuane is just an interim Amyrlin, instead of Logain as the next real Amyrlin as one commenter said, I vote Androl and Pevara jointly as the new Amyrlin. How badass would that be?

Also, given Androl, I would have loved to see Morgase discover that she had one super strong talent and somehow use it to save Tallanvor or create some other small victory in the Last Battle.

I think more should have been done with Nynaeve. She played a huge role throughout the series so her absence from the BS books was glaring.

Also I agree the ball was dropped with Moiraine. So much wasted potential. And it’s not even that her part wasn’t very big, it’s that it wasn’t very meaningful. She didn’t do anything that only Moiraine could do.

Padan Fain. So he entered the Blight one or two books ago, right? And since nothing there could slow Fain down or kill him, how is he not already at Shayol Ghul when Rand gets there? What was he doing the whole time? I say it would have been awesome to peek in on Fain all during the last battle to see him being distracted from going after Rand by having come across The Town and in his hatred for the DO going berserker on everything in it. A little evil vs. evil last battle. And then by the time he kills the last darkfriend/shadowspawn/etc. and starts misting out (possibly making The Town Shayol Ghul 2.0?) Rand is already done and stumbling out of the pit.

All in all it’s clear that Jordan wrote for people to happen while events occurred around them, and Sanderson writes for events to happen and people to occur within them. You’ve got to write what you know and Sanderson knows worlds and magic systems, and can write a damn good fight scene, but he doesn’t do so well with people. Thus no emotional payoff with the return of Moiraine, no reaction from anyone once the last battle was over to any of the losses, and as one commenter said, we have no idea what anyone was wearing J Also let’s not forget how off Mat was in the first book, how Sanderson seems to have no grasp of the art of cussing (although Elayne’s “Light burn that” was brilliant), and how Sanderson seemed to have no idea how to write any of the women, really, so he just didn’t. (Yes there was a lot of Egwene, but she was off, too. Losing her cool with Tuon after she spent all that time with the hall learning how to be the craftiest diplomat ever? She should have outsmarted Tuon and tricked her into agreeing before she even knew what hit her. Righteous browbeating is Nynaeve’s territory.)

All that is just what I found to be missing from the last book, but what was there was really quite amazing (especially Graendal and the four generals) and an impressive finish to what is arguably the greatest epic fantasy series of all time.
Sam Mickel
558. Samadai
Wetlandernw,

I agree with all you say for the most part, even about how many Wise One channelers were at the Last Battle. But, to say there aren't thousands of Wise one Channelers is, I believe, wrong. If the Shado had 3-400 wise one channelers in Malden (as had been estimated), then it is logical to assume that all of the other 11 clans had wround the same number. 11 clans times 3-400 is anywhere from 3300-4400 wise one channelers. Now, most of the wise ones stayed in the waste to support the clans that were left ( I also assume), and am sure that they are aligned like most of the channelers, eg. a few at the strongest, but most at the middling and lower levels of power. Now surely some of them left the waste to help at the Last Battle, so there should have been more of them(by the story). But If the light side had overwhelming Channeling force, there wouldnt have been much of a last battle, so I get the need for some of them to not be there. For that matter, since we never hear about any place besides where we are, there is nothing to say that trolloc hoards weren't ravaging through the wastes or something equally far fetched. just not enough room to include it all (not that I would have minded having another book or two to hear it all)
Twinks
559. Tanchicoan
Whoops, not Shayol Ghul 2.0, Shadar Logoth 2.0
Tricia Irish
560. Tektonica
Tanchicoan@557: I think you hit the nail on the head here.....

All in all it’s clear that Jordan wrote for people to happen while events occurred around them, and Sanderson writes for events to happen and people to occur within them. You’ve got to write what you know and Sanderson knows worlds and magic systems, and can write a damn good fight scene, but he doesn’t do so well with people.

That said, I'm so glad this series was finished and done well! I really do think Brandon did an incredible job....the whole team did. It was an incredible undertaking. And I am amazed that we actually got to know the ending. I thank you ALL!

Wetlander: As usual, you have reasoned out where all the channelers were very logically and no doubt, correctly. I just found all of that missing IN the books. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading the battles, I found them very disjointed and confusing....but then, perhaps that is as battles truly are.
M Peters
561. DJ_Pon3