The Dragon Reborn Part VI

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JordanDragonReborn BannerHere we are at the end folks. I hope everyone has enjoyed the ride as much as I. This week Liesel over at Musings on Fantasia is hosting, so make sure to stop by her place to see what she and everyone else thought of the ending to The Dragon Reborn. Also, if you are a little sniffly over the last page of Book 3, we are starting Book 4 straight away. Here is the schedule for The Shadow Rising.

And now for the discussion questions. Spoilers ride bare back and care free below. Chapters 49 to The End are covered.

1) We saw Rand at the beginning of TDR, and then VERY briefly throughout, and then at the end. Overall, for the main character, he wasn’t in the book much. What do you think of this format? Did it work?

On one hand, I missed hearing Rand’s inner thoughts for most of the book. On the other hand, it gave many of the other characters time to shine. Overall, I really enjoyed exploring the inner workings of these other characters. Also, I think much of Rand’s inner thoughts would have been filled with paranoia, self-doubt, and worrying about shit he can’t fix (at least not yet) and having a story line filled with that would have been overmuch for me as a reader.

2) This time when Rand “killed” Ba’alzamon, there was a body left behind, and everyone seemed to agree that he was dead this time. Yet, Moiraine insists this isn’t the Dark One, but probably Ishmael, one of the Forsaken. What do you think of this explanation? Is she right? Is it believable? If so, what does it mean for Rand and his friends?

Let’s see…how many more books do we have in the series? 11? Or is it 10 (we can’t count the prequel as all that stuff happens before this book). So, I would say that we have not defeated evil soundly and that Mr. Big Bad Dude has lived to fight another day. Perhaps he has learned some discretion and will be sneakier in the next book, which means we may actually start loosing good guys, permanently, in attacks by the bad guys. Not that I wish it; I am merely emotionally prepared for it.

3) Juilin Sandar betrayed our girls, but then felt guilty and helped Mat get into the Stone. Do you think we’ll see him again? Will he be ally or foe from here on out? (Also he’s totally crushing on Nynaeve. Do you see that coming back into the story at all?)

Juilin Sandar was obviously coerced into betraying the ladies. But can he be so controlled by the evil side again? Is he a liability even if he means well? Personally, I would keep him close to keep an eye on him and pay particular attention to anything course of action he suggests or pushes for, just in case they give hints as to what the bad guys are wanting or planning. I can always slip a knife between his ribs if need be. Like Moiraine, I would have no hesitation in the matter and I hope Nynaeve has the strength of will to follow through on such a course if need be.

I don’t really see Nynaeve responding to flirtations, crushes, or courting from any man but Lan because she is stubborn and sometimes has blinders on. She has already made up her mind to give her heart to Lan. Any other man, or woman for that matter, would have to do something spectacular repeatedly to gain her affections.

4) Perrin sort of had a meltdown and went into full knight-in-shining-armor mode when Faile was suddenly in danger. He defied both Moiraine and Hopper, putting his life (and perhaps more?) in danger to save her. Did you see that coming? What do you think their relationship will be now?

I felt this was a bit sudden. these two haven’t kissed or even exchanged mutual interest in the form of flirtation or even flat out straight forward mutual appreciation remarks. So, while I did see Robert Jordan pointing us in that direction, I expected a bit more self-realization from Perrin before throwing complete and utter loving devotion in at the end. Should be interesting to see what Perring does with Faile in the next book. Does he go back to ignoring her, or will someone finally get around to having a complete adult sexual relationship?

5) Quite a bit is revealed at the end of TDR about the role the Aiel will play. This was an earlier question we had. What do you think of their role and how will it impact the story?

They have totally taken over the body guard duty of The Dragon Reborn, Rand. I assume they also cook his meals, clean his clothes, toss the chamber pot, clip his nails, and sharpen his weaponry. I think they will be the rock his army is built upon and will allow Rand to sweep away opposition, if not coerce other nations/peoples into joining him. I also hope we learn more about Rand’s parentage through the Aiel. They’re badasses and I look forward to seeing them deal with some opposition with extreme attitude.

6) There were some people who didn’t like how nebulous the endings of books 1 and 2 were. How did you feel about this ending? Did it work? Did you have any complaints?

Overall, I enjoyed this book much more than Books 1 & 2. I can really see how Robert Jordan is coming into his own voice and developing his own fantasy world instead of relying heavily on previously created fantasy worlds/tropes. While there were still several dream sequences (Egwene and Perrin mostly), they made a lot more sense  and were more informative than the bulk of dream sequences from the previous two books. I can see from this book how folks get caught up in the series. As we go forward, I am hoping, and looking forward to, seeing how folks become life-long fans.

Other Tidbits:

Through out the book, I loved hearing about Thom’s and Morgase’s past relationship. I know Thom says he no longer loves her, but I think he won’t know for sure until they lay eyes on one another again.

Mat searches so hard for the ladies, when he saw their hiding place first thing in a streak of lightning that revealed the Wise Woman’s house. Too funny, that he had to slog through muddy streets and bad weather for days before finding them.

Perrin got to spend some time smithing, and was gifted a smith’s hammer. This was very fitting and I am glad Robert Jordan took the time to build it into the story line.

When everyone ends up on the rooftops, I had to laugh. Mat thinks he’s the only one climbing around up there. Then there is Sandar, then the Aiel. I had to laugh along with Mat at his humor of the situation.

7 thoughts on “The Dragon Reborn Part VI”

  1. Good morning!

    1. Yeah, I liked it. It had to come sooner or later. With 14 books on the line it stands to reason we have to let Rand be sometimes and check in with the others. We don’t know everything that happened with Rand in this book, but he went in a scared kid and came out the Dragon Reborn (with 100% acceptance this time), so for better or worse, he’s changed for ever.

    2. Yeah, 11 books, not including the prequel. I’m happy that I no longer have to pretend like I think Ba’alzamon is the Dark One. If you go back and read his dialogue with this in mind, it’s illuminating. Two weeks ago I asked a question about his and Lanfear’s meeting in T’A’R, and now we can understand why Lanfear had the guts to tell him off. (She would never have done that if Ba’alzamon was the Great Lord of the Dark himself.) There are other things too, but you can look them up yourself or just leave them for later. 🙂

    So the Forsaken count is now 9 remaining. One (Sammael) is in Illian and another unknown is probably in Caemlyn, if you trust my theory. The other seven — who knows?

    3. Is Sandar crushing on Nynaeve??? Did I miss a clue here?

    4. No, I didn’t see that coming, and presumably neither did Perrin. They will definitely get around to having a “relationship”, but I don’t know if words such as “complete”, “adult”, and “sexual” apply to it. You’ll see…

    5. WoT without the Aiel just isn’t the same. I’m happy that we’re now past that threshold too (along with the Ba’alzamon boundary). Rhuarc revealing his Dragon tattoo was chilling the first time I read it.

    6. I feel that if this ending had happened earlier it might feel just as nebulous. Now we know what T’A’R is, we can recognize that place for what it is, and we also know some (but not all) the rules governing it.

    Other. Yeah, this Mat business is a thing about how his luck works. The moment he stops deliberately searching he just stumbles across the solution :). I, too, like the Perrin smithing scene. There are a few others later on where he loses himself in work, which is when his mind works best. They’re fun to read.

    Final thoughts. So the opening is complete and we now move into the series proper. From here, WoT changes character a bit… bigger world, more politics, more characters, more Aiel (yesss!), less farmboys-on-a-quest. Plotlines will start diverging for good, and the books become real doorstoppers. Book 4, 5 and 6 are (together with the finale) easily the longest in the series. You’re in for the long haul now. 😀

    1. I need a little scoreboard to keep track of the bad guys and their locations ;).

      I thought Sandar was being polite and was sorry for his betrayal….but crushing on Nynaeve? Hmmm….Well, it doesn’t matter if he is or not, because Nynaeve won’t acknowledge it unless she wants to.

      My man is very happy that we are moving into the more exciting part of the series. We have had 3 books worth of set up – the scene, the characters, the rules of this universe, etc. So, yes, I am definitely looking forward to Book 4.

    2. I’m glad to have reached the point where we can now say Ba’alzamon is not the Dark One. Reading it over from the beginning, it’s very obvious that he never was, but it’s written skillfully enough that you don’t realize it the first time through. I also like how you say Perrin’s feelings were sudden even for him. I think that’s why I liked it, despite the suddenness. His feelings were there, he just wouldn’t admit to them, so they took by surprise as much of the reader. Book 4 is long, but it’s one of my faves. So much great stuff in it! Can’t wait to get started. 😀

      My answers HERE.

  2. I think you’re right about the Aiel being his rocks. Totally loving them. I, too, loved hearing about Thom and Morgase’s history. So interesting to hear things like that about characters you’ve grown to know and love. And I think you’re also right that Jordan is coming into his own voice, here, and finally finding what his series will be. 😀 Thanks for visiting my blog as well! Have a great week! 😀

    1. I’m really looking forward to more Aiel action. They are the most fascinating new aspect for me. My man fondly calls the next few books (some of the heaviest in the series) bug stompers. He’s read up to Book 7 or 8 or something and is enjoying watching me discover this series and my growing adoration of Perrin, Mat, Nynaeve, and the Aiel.

  3. 2. We have so many more books to go that it seems impossible that all the major characters will survive to the end, but they are important to the Pattern, so who knows? I am voting for Lanfear and Liandrin to bite the bullet ASAP . . . I know, I’m really biased . . .

    3. I find it hard to believe that Nynaeve could be deceived by Julian as she is always so distrustful. I also have serious doubts that she will ever look at another man: she is a one-man-woman if I ever saw one. If Julian does moon around her she will just get annoyed with him.

    4. Their relationship is certainly going to be rather awkward when they wake up: or they’ll immediately jump on each other for some serious sexytimes. It could go either way.

    5. I fear that it might not be as straightforward as that. The Aiel are a very stubborn people and they are broken into many small groups with individual leaders, so I doubt that they will all accept Rand. Also, all the other nations are terrified of them, so their support might not be a great way to persuade those other people to follow Rand.

    6. I agree with you that the dream sequences were more revealing and less confusing than in the earlier books. They make a very effective mechanism for long distance communication and also for revealing plot points without the need to introduce messengers and lots of tedious exposition, so I welcomed them much more this time around.

    1. Should be interesting to see if Robert Jordan takes anyone to sexytimes anytime soon. While I am enjoying the series, I do feel that it is the PG13 of the epic fantasy world.

      Yes, the Aiel are interesting and terrifying at the same time… which means they could also be troublesome for a unified front. I’m looking forward to seeing how much grief and consternation they cause other world leaders.

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