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Messages - Cynewulf

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No, it would make absolutely no sense for the tower guard to set up a blockade at the end of the bridge, because Gareth Bryne's army has been holding all of the bridge towns since CoT. Bryne would never allow the tower guard to cross the bridge and set up a blockade at the foot of the bridge, as that would be the same as allowing a sneak sortie from the city intended to reconquer the bridge town and get trade running to TV again. Bryne had the bridge towns under control, and this makes no sense at all. It is actually Bryne who would have barricades up in that location. This is from Dominic at the 13th depository:

"[Bryne would have had] sentries watching for any activity at the gates, half a mile away on the other side of the bridges. He also had sentries at posts near the shore to the north and south keeping a close watch on activity in the harbours (that's the sentry posts from which Egwene and Leane took boats in [COT]) . Bryne also had reserve camps between the bridge towns, in case Chubain attempted a sortie to take back a bridge town. His personal tent was in one of those camps, one on the western shore. His outposts and scouts on the eastern shore were the ones facing sneak attacks by the Younglings."

Also, he proposes this: "A more reasonable set up for the final meeting of Rebels and Loyalists would have been to get the Tower Guard to advance in front of the Sitters on the bridge and set up lines not at the gate of Tar Valon (this is completely useless) but on the bridge itself, in sight of Alindaer, to protect the retreat of the Sitters in case something went wrong (they could ride to the barricades and then Travel away). Mind you, a barricade is rather useless. The Aes Sedai didn't really fear being attacked by Bryne's men, and many Sitters have come and gone freely from Alindaer for months to negotiate with the Rebel envoys in tents set up near the foot of the bridge."

Sanderson had pretty big problems overall with the layout of Tar Valon, the surrounding area and the siege. Among other things, he completely changed the layout of the army and AS camps, making Bryne's tactics fairly nonsensical. I, for one, cannot understand how they managed to ship the book with so many errors in this one particular area, yet the reason is likely lack of time for Sanderson to do proper research, and lack of time for Alan and Maria to find and correct them. Still, that they overlooked the bad problems the Tar Valon area had been stuck with, is actually a bit amazing.

That is nowhere near as bad as this, and various other descriptions of the area and army camps around Tar Valon, I would say. To me, the worst mistake Jordan has made is between book 4 and 5, when he forgot that he allowed Avendesora to survive the destruction unharmed, but then had it as "charred and burned" in the following book.

But I would perhaps have expected Sanderson to do his research a bit more meticulously before writings scenes such as this, and not do anything by "ear" the way he might have done if it were his own world. It took me about two minutes to find the relevant passages in TDR that describe this EXACT bridge, the area around, the "process" of crossing the bridge, and the gatehouse on the other side. It should not be that difficult to avoid errors in cases such as this, especially with the expertise available. But, again, it seems they rushed the book.

No, I just want the books to be perfect! :P

The point is that it is downheartening to find mistakes like these, which could have been easily prevented in the editorial process, e.g. by employing more "proof-readers" who know the series. People who know TWoT notice these things immediately - I know because I did. I did not fine-comb the book to find these things.

As for your explanations, the way I read it, Egwene is standing on the western riverbank, more or less facing the bridge. It does not make sense for her and Bryne to advance up the bridge and essentially into enemy territory when she is preparing to give the order for an assault. That means that half a mile of water stands between her and the city walls. A Two Rivers bow, which is the most powerful one available (modelled after the English longbow which wreaked havoc with the French knights) can launch an arrow about 500-600 paces, if I remember correctly. The Tower Guard do not have Two Rivers bows. Egwene would know damn well she was safe from an enemy arrow, and she would know damn well that none of her soldiers would be able to hit Andaya from the same distance.

Also, there is no room to set up a barricade, unless it is on the bridge itself. Sanderson writes that it is located "on the other side of the bridge". It would be pointless to sacrifice men by placing them outside the wall, when you have the strongest walls in the world at the point where the bridge ends. It is as if the walls have disappeared and nobody notices. The strangest thing here is possibly that Bryne, one of the great generals, finds it tactically reasonably for his enemy to move troops away from the walls and onto "the road" in front of them. Recall that he expresses surprise that there are not more defenders present there.

Also, all the members of the White Tower Hall are present at the bridge. Egwene notes when she is raised that there are only 11 Sitters present. That is the exact number that came to greet her at the bridge, and who mysteriously vanished.

But it doesn't solve my inconsistencies! Or, rather, it corroborates them. I fired off an e-mail to Peter Ahlstrom, to hear if he would bring this to Team Jordan's attention. I don't really blame Sanderson for these errors, but they really should have been picked up by the editors. Perhaps they need more error-checkers for the manuscript of ToM? I suggest myself! ;)

Well, on a serious note, I really think that the people over at should be brought into the team to read for continuity and description-errors. Those people have encyclopedic knowledge of the series, probably to the level that they challenge Maria Simmons herself.

Well, the city was built by Ogier and Aes Sedai in tandem.

I found the quotes, by the way:

" she led Egwene and the others through the village to the great bridge, arching over half a mile or more of water like lace woven from stone." (TDR 106)

"... and for all that half mile the bridge flowed unsupported from riverbank to island." (TDR 107)

Eerongal, I am pretty sure it has been mentioned that Tar Valon's bridges are unsupported. Thus, by my estimate, they would have to be at least about 15-20 meters tall at the midsection. Correct me if I am wrong. That would make it really hard to see what was on the other side.

Also, it has been stated in book 3 that the distance from Darein to Tar Valon is more than half a mile of water. This makes Egwene's fear of being shot by an archer very strange. It is also particularly strange that she orders her own archers to stand down when Andaya seizes the Source. None of her soldiers would be able to reach her with an arrow, IF the blockade is one the other side of the river, as the text seems to indicate.

None of this makes any damn sense. I hope this is corrected in a future print.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Thank you Mr. Sanderson
« on: March 19, 2010, 08:05:46 PM »
He certainly did a fine job, and I am sure those who dare utter criticism are not doing it for reasons of malice, but rather that they want the books to be as good as possible.

Well, I do read and enjoy Sanderson's effort. In fact, I find it exceptionally well done, for the most part, and I am really thankful to him for taking the time to do it right. Which is why these errors are all the more irritating. I hate the mix of goosebumps-inducingly good writing and sections that make you tear your hair out in annoyance. What I do not approve of is the fact that they released the book prematurely. The book is pretty rife with errors of various kinds which could have easily been avoided or removed if they took a few extra months. And now, it looks like they are rushing volume 13 the same way...

Unfortunately, your explanations do not hold water. The Alindaer bridge is the bridge leading to the city of Tar Valon, like you say, but that bridge is arched high over the water, to allow the passage of river ships. It would be very difficult to see what was going on on the far side of the bridge while standing at the foot of it. Also, where the bridge meets the island of Tar Valon, it runs right into the city's walls. A wide gate is position there, to allow entry into the city. I doubt very much that you'd be able to see it from the bank, though. Remember that when Siuan, Gawyn and company launched the rescue mission, they rowed their boats under the lower lip of the wall, which extends out over the water. Where, then, would there be place for the Tower Guard to set up a blockade? And why did they leave the walls, which offer much better protection? If the blockade indeed is located inside the city, Egwene would not be able to see it, because of the way the bridge arches. Also, she would not be able to see it even had the bridge been perfectly straight, as the gate would be closed.

Also, why is Egwene worried about an archer shooting her? An archer would never be able to shoot all the way from Tar Valon, across the western fork of the river, to threaten Egwene. The distance is just too long.

The sisters meeting Egwene at the bridge are indeed the Sitters of the Tower,  including Andaya of the Grey. I can understand continuity mistakes, but I cannot understand how one can make a blatant error in the course of two whole pages. Or, more precisely, I do not understand how that cannot be picked up in editing.

Does anyone know if they plan to fix such errors in future prints? I, for one, would pay for an error-free book. Do they accept submissions of lists of errors?

It seems to me every time I post here, it is to request some insight/clarification to what I perceive to be continuity errors.

Anyway, I have a couple of issues with the writing of TGS as it pertains to the resolution of the White Tower plotline. The writing is actually so variable in chapters 45 and 46 that I am having troubles picturing the scenes, due to very strange changes to the "geography" of the Tar Valon setting and some inexplicable continuity mistakes.

First, near the end of chapter 45, Bryne leads Egwene to the Alindaer bridge to see "gathered on the other side of the bridge, bunkered down behind a blockade of stones and large logs, was a force of Tower Guard". What the heck? Why have a small force of Tower Guard left the protection of the walls in order to make a blockade? And secondly, I was under the impression that the bridge ended by leading into the gate into Tar Valon. I was unaware that there is supposed to be a "road", apparently fully equipped with a staging area which is - wide enough to allow Egwene to see it from the other side of the river - between the bridge and the gate. Has Sanderson forgotten that Tar Valon is a walled city?

Also, when the Aes Sedai arrive, Egwene somehow sees them "coming down the road". What road would that be? There is no mention of a gate opening, there is just suddenly "a road" on the other side of the bridge, completely independent of gates and walls. And, how is it that Egwene can see what is going on on the other side of the bridge when the bridges of TV arch as sharply as they do, in order to let ships pass underneath? There are some very strange perspectives in this scene, and it seems to me that Sanderson has let Egwene see things she should not be able to see from her vantage point on the west bank of the Alindaer bridge.

Additionally, on page 713, when Egwene rides across the bridge, we are told that "on the other side of the bridge, the Sitters waited, solemn." Then, on page 714, we are told that Egwene rides alone to the White Tower - apparently nearly outpacing Gawyn and Siuan - and that the Sitters "were waiting in the Hall for Egwene".

Now, it seems to me that this book has suffered a lot under being rushed to the stores in order for fans to get their "fix". There are many times in this book where I have been frustrated to no end from seeing very good writing mixed with incredibly foolish continuity errors and other mess-ups. Any insights on how these glitches can be explained? What is really going on at the Alindaer bridge??! I am having genuine trouble picturing where the Aes Sedai and the Tower Guard are supposed to be standing when having the conversation with Egwene. They are certainly not on the bridge itself, and if they were they would have to be about half-way across, in order to be visible to those standing on the other side. Otherwise, there would have to be some kind of platform between the bridge and the wall, but why the hell would the Guards then abandon the protection of the walls in order to set up a blockade?

Brandon Sanderson / Continuity problem regarding Rand in TGS?
« on: March 09, 2010, 06:57:05 PM »
I am currently re-reading TGS, and Rand's thougths and actions near the end of the book seem to me rather strange, unmotivated and inconsistent with previously established facts. I am thinking about his abrupt decision to abandon the stuggle against the Seanchan to prepare his forces for a (seemingly quite blind) strike against Shayol Ghul, and also his reasoning behind not moving the Tairen army to Arad Doman. Rand (strangely) thinks:

"He'd originally intended to set Darlin in Arad Doman so he could pull the Aiel and Asha'man out for placement elsewhere".

Yet this seems to be at odds with Rand's reasoning when explaining his moving of a large army to Arad Doman and reinforcing that stationed in Illian to Cadsuane in KoD:

"Because Tarmon Gai'don is coming, Cadusuane, and I can't fight the Shadow and the Seanchan at the same time. I'll have a truce, or I'll crush them whatever the cost."

The way I read it, Rand had stacked the Aiel and the Asha'man in Arad Doman mainly to fortify the nation against the Seanchan. He intends to bring the Tairens up shortly after, in order to have a massive hammer against the Seanchan, should the peace talks go wrong. He does not reveal any intent of withdrawing the Aiel and the Asha'man in order to leave the Tairens alone to stabilize AD, as he seems to imply in TGS. Rather, that combined army was (in KoD) intended to crush the Seanchan, in the event of diplomatic failure.

Now, in TGS, Rand seems to have inexplicably changed his mind about this, and he seems to have forgotten why he put the troops there, in the first place. According to KoD, they were not there primarily to stablize Arad Doman, but to fight the Seanchan. After the talks do go wrong in TGS, he abandons the problem of the Seanchan entirely, without further explanation or reflection on his retracting on his former plan. He now decides to only fight one of his enemies by leaving the Seanchan problem unsolved. Why is there no reflection on this by Rand? Sure, there are many instances of him thinking that Arad Doman must "fend for itself" and that the risk of ignoring the Seanchan has to be taken, but there is NO insight in why Rand decides to abandon his previous plan. He does not even acknowledge that such a plan existed. To me, it seems as if Sanderson has not really understood what Rand intended to do in Arad Doman.

Has Sanderson, like it may seem, misunderstood what Rand intended when he planned this action in KoD? Or can this be read another way? It would be very interesting to hear what some of the literates of this board have to say about this.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Lost Season 6 = Well of Ascension
« on: February 21, 2010, 02:28:31 PM »
I call BS on their claim. It's incredibly clear that they've been making the thing up as they go. Disappointing, since the first season showed so much potential and had great execution for much of it. But the show jumped the shark pretty early in the second season.

I, on the other hand, call BS on those claims. I do not think you have much foundation for the things you say here. The show demonstrates quite good planning on most fronts. The mythology - the Dharma initiative, history of the island, the smoke monster, the cosmic conflict, the false visions - is consistent, both on first and subsequent viewings. The quality of plotting and dialogue is high, for an entertainment show. There may be one or two slips of continuity, but that is the worst they may be accused of.

However, if you would rather believe they had read an advance copy of HoA when they planned the final 48 episodes back in 2007, be my guest...

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Lost Season 6 = Well of Ascension
« on: February 20, 2010, 02:02:03 PM »
Lost has always been a fantasy show. It has never been a "Robinson Crusoe" type drama. The basic elements coming to fruition now were all introduced by the first three episodes of the first season - the light versus dark game "game", the smoke monster, the walking dead, the whispering in the jungle etc. That was in 2004. I think it is a big stretch to try and claim that they based this on WoA. I have, however, no problems in seeing the similarities, and actually did see quite many of them in the course of earlier seasons. If Sanderson has been an influence on Cuse and Lindelof, I am sure they will acknowledge it, as they have acknowledged plenty of their other inspirations. I just do not think it is the case in a major way, as I believe them when they say that they have "always viewed Lost as a show with a beginning, middle and end". They claim they have known the ending all along, and I am prone to believe them. I think it is much more of a safe bet to say that Sanderson and Lost have touched upon some common themes. It is not as if Sanderson has the copyright on water with healing capabilities, water/nature symbolising the status of a more cosmic struggle, and gods manifesting in the form of black smoke.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: The Gathering Storm - First Impressions *SPOILERS*
« on: December 18, 2009, 10:04:14 PM »
I think most people who dislike Cadsuane do so for the wrong reasons. I feel that most who dislike her are young males who object to the fact that a relatively minor character fails to worship the hero of the story. For many readers, especially young ones, there often occurs a form of projection of themselves onto the protagonist. I think some feel personally offended that Cadsuane does not bow down to do Rand's wishes. And frankly, the way Rand has been behaving since Dumai's Wells, who can blame her for taking him to task.

Cadsuane has certainly been far more effective in working with Rand than Moiraine ever was. Moiraine's handling of Rand is a complete disaster. For the first four and a half books, she was constantly bungling the way she handled the Emonds Fielders. She misunderstood how to deal with Rand, and tried to force Rand into her own horribly arbitrary and erroneous interpretations of the Kareathon Cycle. If Rand had actually taken her advice, the Last Battle would already be lost. I really do not understand why so many people hold Moiraine in such high regard. She is certainly a good character and it will undoubtedly be good to have her back, but her accomplishments have for the most part been luck and have occured despite Moiraine's efforts rather than due to them. Until the episode with the Domination Band, Cadsuane was having a very good influence on Rand - and she handled him exactly right.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: The Gathering Storm - First Impressions *SPOILERS*
« on: December 12, 2009, 09:20:03 PM »
 Brandon just does not like Cadsuane at all, anyway, he says.   That's too bad, really, because he usually does so well with strong female characters and, to me, Cadsuane is potentially one of the best.  I wish I had asked Harriet if she agreed with me, but I didn't want to start a minor fight.  I think Harriet might have, with a characteristic twinkle in her eye, said something like, "They are all terrible and wonderful." 

Has he really stated that he does not like Cadsuane? If so, that shows a surprising lack of professionalism. He should keep such thoughts to himself. She is one of the most important characters in the story, she is marvellously characterised, and RJ obviously cherished her, comparing her with the stern aunt we all have. I do not want to see doubts being cast on her characterisation in the final three books simply because Sanderson "does not like" her. Writing TWoT, it is Sanderson's job to like her.

And what the hell is there not to like?

Brandon Sanderson / Re: The Gathering Storm - First Impressions *SPOILERS*
« on: November 30, 2009, 12:48:27 AM »
Thank you, Peter. It is good to know these things will be brought to her attention.

I am aware of many of the errors in previous books. I am just glad they - many of them, at least - are being corrected, and I hope that will be the case for this book, as well.

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