Author Topic: Continuity problem regarding Rand in TGS?  (Read 1643 times)

Cynewulf

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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.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 11:23:45 PM by Cynewulf »

darxbane

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Re: Continuity problem regarding Rand in TGS?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 05:15:33 PM »
I highly doubt it was an error by Brandon.  Remember that everything Brandon did was scrutinized by RJ's widow (who was also his editor for every novel), and RJ's two assistants, who knew the story as well as RJ did, even if they couldn't actually write it themselves.  Also, remember that Rand's grip on reality is almost completely broken after the choking incident (trying to minimize spoilers), so his lack of rationale should be expected.
I wanted to write something profound here, but I couldn't think of anything.

Comfortable Madness

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Re: Continuity problem regarding Rand in TGS?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 05:31:18 PM »
Also, Rand intended to end the Seanchan threat all by himself....Remember?
I will never serve you, Father of Lies. In a thousand lives, I never have. I know that. Im sure of it. Come. It is time to die. Rand al'Thor

"Mourn if you must. But mourn on the march to Tarmon Gai'don." Logain Ablar

darxbane

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Re: Continuity problem regarding Rand in TGS?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010, 05:56:51 PM »
That's right, good call Madness!
I wanted to write something profound here, but I couldn't think of anything.

guessingo

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Re: Continuity problem regarding Rand in TGS?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2010, 01:35:01 AM »
please post this on Tarvalon.net and provide a link. I would be curious what the uber-WoT fanatatics think of this.

gt4431b

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Re: Continuity problem regarding Rand in TGS?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2010, 06:32:37 PM »
The original plan as stated to Caddy was contingent upon one enormous assumption, that Rand could stabilize AD. At that time, had no reason to believe otherwise. When this assumption proved tragically wrong, it was time to change the plan.

Without a stable AD from which to base an attack, Rand would have a great deal of difficulty with supply lines for his non-Aiel infantry and cavalry. It was pointless. In a situation involving that much chaos, all you can really hope is that the Seanchan will get just as mired in AD as Rand would himself. Rand said, "What AD needs, no one can provide." What better gift to give your enemy than their very own quagmire? As far as strategic retreats go, it was only sensible, in spite of his earlier stated strategy. "The best battle plan is obsolete as soon as the first arrow" yada yada yada.

So then his plan became, crush them by destroying Ebou Dar. This was a worse plan due to the potential backlash from the citizens of basically everywhere, but remember that the state of Rand's mental and emotional health is borderline nuts at this point. Still, it might have worked. Break the Seanchan charge by cutting off the head -- not eliminating the threat, but by sowing chaos amongst his enemies, he could have at least halted their forward momentum.

Hopefully he's going to go back to diplomacy in The Breaking Wind, or whatever the title is at this point. (Sorry, can't remember offhand.)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 06:38:00 PM by gt4431b »

gt4431b

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Re: Continuity problem regarding Rand in TGS?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2010, 06:36:26 PM »
That's right, good call Madness!

I first thought you meant this as, "That's right, good call!  It's because of Madness!"

And I'm thinking, between ta'veren and "madness" we can explain everything, can't we??

ryos

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Re: Continuity problem regarding Rand in TGS?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 08:40:19 PM »
Quote
Hopefully he's going to go back to diplomacy in The Breaking Wind, or whatever the title is at this point.  (Sorry, can't remember offhand.)

LOL at your title. Crossroads should have been called thatit fits.

FFR, it's "Towers of Midnight".
Eerongal made off with my Fluffy Puff confections.

mack

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Re: Continuity problem regarding Rand in TGS?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2010, 09:11:49 PM »
I doubt it was a mistake or overlook by Mr. Sanderson and the editors.... I just think Rand is a very hard character to write and this is a HUGE crossroad Rand is at. Will he take up the banner of light and fight for people or will he just be there because he had to be. I think this is the classic : Will you fight because you must or for the good of others.