Author Topic: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained  (Read 2346 times)

Cynewulf

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Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« on: March 19, 2010, 05:23:07 PM »
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?

« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 05:26:32 PM by Cynewulf »

mack

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 07:17:15 PM »
To the first question I believe that it was the bridge to Tar Valon not the ones to the Tower which probably don't have gates as it's for the town entrance not the Tower's.

Then to road the Aes Sedia are traveling down I would hazard a guess that the road is straight to center of Tar Valon behind the bridges as wagons and caravans wouldn't be able to go down narrow or twisting alleys. So Egwene could easily see them specially if she was holding the power.

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".

The sisters that meet her were not Sitters of the Tower they were just regular Sisters.

As to your last paragraph I feel that you are looking for errors rather than enjoying a book. Mr. Sanderson is doing amazing just to finish the story I don't think any ghost writer could keep all the geography or characters the same as an original authors. Especially when the original author is Robert Jordan... who is thought to be one of the best epic fantasy writers ever. I think you should try to ignore little errors or things you think don't match up and just enjoy the fact that Mr. Sanderson and RJ team decided to give us fans the last books.

Cynewulf

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 07:57:38 PM »
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?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 08:00:11 PM by Cynewulf »

Eerongal

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 08:09:59 PM »
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.

A high arched bridge usually has a (relatively) flat surface, with large arches underneath it.

Examples:


A high arched bridge CAN curve up like this:


however, the longer the distance it spans, the more structurally weak it becomes.

In fact, a high-arch bridge just means that the arches (the bottom side) of the bridge is high up, high enough for boats to cross. :)
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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 08:13:31 PM »
Do they accept submissions of lists of errors?
You could try the typos thread?
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Cynewulf

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 08:23:06 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 08:25:17 PM by Cynewulf »

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 08:28:45 PM »
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.

well, im not sure if it stated it was unsupported or not. I have a terrible memory. However, if it is, that does radically change how it can be built and still work (other than saying "well, aes sedai and all....")

In fact, the description of the bridges escape me entirely, i'd have to read it again and pay attention to pick it up :P
I was just going off the fact you called it a high-arch bridge (which, yeah, a fully arched, unsupported bridge IS one, its just not the ONLY type, nor the most common/practical. However, i guess "common" and "practical" dont apply when you have aes sedai who want to appear exceptional in the picture :P )
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Cynewulf

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2010, 08:36:22 PM »
Well, the city was built by Ogier and Aes Sedai in tandem.

I found the quotes, by the way:

"...as 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)

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2010, 08:41:49 PM »
Well, the city was built by Ogier and Aes Sedai in tandem.

I found the quotes, by the way:

"...as 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)

okie dokie. Solves that, then.
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Cynewulf

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2010, 08:59:45 PM »
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 13depository.blogspot.com 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.

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2010, 09:05:35 PM »
But it doesn't solve my inconsistencies!

well, no, but it shuts me up :P
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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2010, 09:33:29 PM »
I did send a report to Maria. It will be dealt with one way or another.
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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2010, 09:44:29 PM »
Okay, first of all, potential SPOILERS!



Second of all, these explanations are in no way perfect. I just woke up, and came up with these off the top of my head.



Is she standing at the end of the bridge, looking directly down it? Or is she standing on just one bank, looking across at the other bank? How much does Egwene know about shooting a bow - if you didn't know an arrow couldn't travel that far, would you be worried about being struck by one from that distance? I have a feeling Egwene does know a thing or two about archery, though, but then who's to say someone might not get lucky?

The city has been under siege for some time now. The defense are damaged and weakened, by the turning of harbour chains into cuendillar and other things. Also, don't forget Tar Valon was just attacked by the Seanchan. Gates may have been destroyed, other areas damaged, etc. The city is likely paranoid, so why wouldn't they make a blockade? This is the first time anyone has managed to breach the Shining Walls in over a thousand years; if I were in charge, I'd shore up defenses on the outside just as much as I would on the inside.

The White Tower is in the center of the city, which is on the other side of the bridge; therefore, it's perfectly reasonable to say they waited both in the Hall and on the other side of the bridge.

It's the day after a major battle. Things are still confusing for people, and it makes sense for the scene itself to be confused in a few ways. In all honesty, though, the problems are very small, and to notice them and be this concerned does feel as thought you're looking for inconsistencies and a reason to be disappointed.
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Cynewulf

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2010, 10:38:22 PM »
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.

Eerongal

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Re: Alright guys, more inconsistencies I need explained
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2010, 10:47:22 PM »
it's also worth noting that jordan's books weren't perfect, either :P

http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/main/errata.html

some of 'em are pretty obvious errors, too, i'd say. Like Lan sharpening his sword, when its a power-wrought sword :P
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