The Gathering storm, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson is the twelfth novel of the long series The Wheel of Time. Robert Jordan intended to finish the series, but was inable to when he unexpectedly died from cardiac amyloidosis. Brandon Sanderson was then asked to step in and complete the bestselling series. The main conflict of the novel centers around the protagonist, Rand. He is living in a world that is dying and is in it's last days. Rand's main goal is to unite all of the countries in order to save the world. He begins by restoring order to cities and kingdoms in order to give them some stability. While doing so, he becomes a harsh tyrant. He turns away all his loved ones, and alienates them on a daily basis. Many of his followers fear him and try to escape; he catches and imprisons those that try. His girlfriend, Min, tries to show him that he cannot continue in this fashion. He is becoming cruel; he thinks with cold logic that is not tempered by emotions like compassion. Min knows that if he does not change, he will fall apart and fail. Desptie these warnings, Rand continues to terrorize his friends and creates many enemies. Throughout the novel, he destroys the lives of many people. Towards the end of the novel, Rand's father steps in to try to help him end his emotional isolation. Rand becomes angry when he discovers that one of his old advisors sent his father to talk to him; he sees it as an attempt to manipulate him. In his intense anger, he almost murders his father. After realizing what he was about to do, Rand is terrified of what he has almost done. He runs away to think for awhile. "What was he?...A symbol? A sacrifice? A sword, meant to destroy? A sheltering hand, meant to protect?" Rand asks himself these questions. At first, he thought if he was hard enough, emotionless enough, he wouldn't feel any pain. He thought he failed because he could not contain his emotions. Rand questions the meaning of all the pain and struggling, and he cannot come up with any reason to keep going. Why should the world be saved? Would that actually be doing anyone any favors? The novel ends with Rand coming to the conclusion that the reason to keep struggling is to have a second chance to make things right, a second chance for love, peace, joy, and hope. He finally smiles after months of emotional isolation.
1. Rand struggles to bring nations together to save the world. Why do people have difficulties putting aside their past wars and cultural differences to work together.?
2. During the novel, Rand stops being human and buries his emotions. He uses cold logic to make decisions about everything from who to trust and the fate of millions of people. Is this a good way to lead one's life and others? Why or why not?
3. One of Rand's main problems is that he holds in his anger so long that it blows up, and he almost kills his father. Have you ever held something in so long that it ended up hurting you or someone else?