Interesting that Harriet said that Brandon writes Darker than RJ. I know that Brandon said that more of the last half was written and I wonder if RJ was struggling with writing some of the places Rand goes in this first part because they took him to a place that as too close to memories of Vietnam.
I'm really not in such a good position to guess about this as it's so remote from my personal experiences.Linda and me discussed this quite a bit between us at some point, though. We noticed Jim started talking a lot more openly, and a lot more personally, about his Vietnam experiences while he was writing AMOL. He never did before in Q&A/Interviews - he almost systematically brushed off all questions about it - saying it wasn't experiences he liked to talk about. But while writing AMOL, he made this very touching and very personal post about his two nicknames in Vietnam - Death/The Iceman and The Remover of obstacles. We found that one terribly revealing about the very personal origins of Moridin and Rand, their merging, the laughter and tears theme, the oak and the willow etc. My feeling was always that he was writing Rand in that last third of the book he worked the most on when he made that Blog post.I'm not sure it's the first third that goes the deepest in that stuff, even though it's certainly gonna be leading there. I somewhat expect the worst of it will come during the Last Battle itself, no in the first third - and it's perhaps the part Jim attacked first.I hope Jim managed to get a lot of what he had to say about this on the page and tapes. For us, certainly, but also for him. It's fairly obvious, I think, that it,s material that mattered a very great deal to him. Things he really wanted to say, the dark stuff and the light at the end of the tunnel. It's a story that no doubt goes in very dark and very personal places, but based on the Blog post Jim found his way back out of there. I expect Rand or Perrin will too, perhaps both of them. It's hard to tell. Sometime I suspect RJ intended Rand to go to the bitter end in order to find his way out - that he intended to leave him there, the part of him that died in Vietnam - the part of his soul that could not survive this intact, so to speak, while Perrin might be more his alter ego for his pre and post-Vietnam life, and his struggle to get through it all.That's a great deal of guessing, though.
The psychological effects of combat seems me to be one of the subtler threads running through WoT. I'm working on what I hope can be an article on the topic. With Luck it will be ready before the 27th
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