Wed
Feb 11 2009 1:57pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Great Hunt, Part 2

Hello, and once again into the breach, my peeps! Welcome to Part 2 of the re-read of The Great Hunt, part of the ongoing Re-read of the Wheel of Time series.

Once again, by the way, everyone continues to be wonderful in their comment-y support and thoughts and discussion, and please rest assured that I am reading and loving it even when I don’t have time to respond. Y’all, as I may have previously mentioned, rock. And if I didn’t previously mention it, well, consider it well and truly mentioned.

All righty then! You know the drill by now: blah blah previous entries here, yadda yadda spoilers abound, snee snoo random pop culture reference, and scene.

Chapter 6: Dark Prophecy

What Happens
Rand dreams he is in a farmhouse with Trollocs trying to get inside. He shouts that they have to do something, and Mat, the dagger from Shadar Logoth sticking out of his chest, says it’s too late; Perrin laughs, bloody eyesockets empty, and says he’s finally gotten rid of them. Fain dances and chortles that the battle’s never over; Ba’alzamon, escorted by two red-clad Aes Sedai, comes in and says the same. Rand wakes in Egwene’s room, where she has hidden him, to find Nynaeve there, knitting. Rand tells her that Egwene invited him; she snorts and reassures him that whatever needs to be done to hide him from Aes Sedai, she is fine with. Rand asks where Egwene is, and Nynaeve tells him she went to visit Fain again. Rand still thinks this is a bad idea, but Nynaeve is more interested in the strange behavior of the serving women, who all seem to be looking for something. Rand goes on that he’ll be leaving soon, going somewhere where there’s no one to hurt. Doubtfully Nynaeve brings up the ta’veren thing, and that the Dark One seems—

“Shai’tan is dead,” he said harshly, and abruptly the room seemed to lurch. He grabbed his head as waves of dizziness sloshed through him.

Nynaeve calls him a fool for naming the Dark One; they argue about it for a moment, and then bells begin clanging all through the keep. Rand jumps up, convinced that it’s about Egwene and that Fain got loose somehow. Nynaeve yells at him to stay hidden, but he ignores her and sprints out. He plunges through the startled women in the halls and comes face to face with the Amyrlin Seat. Siuan looks startled and steps back, and Rand snarls and runs on, convinced that she knows the truth about him. He runs into three Trollocs in the hallway, and then a Fade; he is about to engage the Fade when Ingtar steps past him and says he’ll take care of this. Rand hesitates and then runs on. He reaches the dungeon to find the heads of two guards on the table, with bits of flesh strewn everywhere and writing in blood all over the walls. Then he sees the writing on the door:

WE WILL MEET AGAIN ON TOMAN HEAD.
IT IS NEVER OVER, AL’THOR.

He stares, and then starts scrubbing his name off the door. Liandrin appears in the doorway and demands to know what he has to do with this; astonished, Rand says nothing and tries to resume his search for Egwene. Liandrin wraps him in Air, and seems to be on her way to suffocating him when Moiraine shows up and commands her to stop. Liandrin wants to know what Rand is doing down here, and Moiraine replies she could ask the same of Liandrin. Rand leaves them behind and goes into the cell where Fain was being held, and finds Fain gone and Egwene and Mat lying unconscious. Moiraine comes in and examines them, and says Egwene will be fine, but Mat’s dagger is gone. Ingtar enters, and Moiraine tells him to have Mat taken to the Amyrlin’s chambers for Healing, overriding Liandrin’s protests. She leaves in a huff, and Ingtar tells Rand and Moiraine that the Horn of Valere was stolen as well, and it had to have been an inside job. They reemerge into the guardroom to find Verin and Serafelle busily writing down all the writing in blood on the walls. Unnerved by their coolness, Rand comes up into the main keep, where Lan finds him and tells him that his things have been moved back to his old rooms, and that Moiraine says he’s free to leave whenever he wants. Rand demands why the change in orders from before; Lan doesn’t know, but suggests he doesn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. What Rand does now is up to him.

Commentary
So I’m confused now: who did give the initial order not letting anyone leave the keep when Siuan first arrived? Ingtar? Does that make sense?

Also, wow. I really don’t remember a lot of what happens in The Great Hunt (henceforth, “TGH”). I guess that only makes sense; for various reasons, it wasn’t one of the books I needed to dig around in for WOTFAQ purposes very often. Additionally, it isn’t one of my favorite WOT books in general, mostly because of how heavily it featured Fain, not to mention the near-toxic levels of Stupid displayed by Our Heroes at various points. Like Rand here, just for instance. YOU DIDN’T KILL THE DARK ONE, DUMBASS. Nynaeve should have gone ahead and smacked him.

(Plus, there’s one other really big Thing I Hate in TGH, which we will get into at the proper time, because man, I have got shit to say.)

Note that the Stupid comment is not necessarily a criticism of the writing per se; at this point the Emond’s Fielders are still pretty green and naïve, and so it is perfectly believable that they would make dumb mistakes in this stretch. Doesn’t make it any less frustrating to read, though.

So TGH is a bit fuzzy for me. Basically the things I remember clearly are Chapter 8 (which we’re about to get to) and of course the Big Ending at Falme. The specifics of how they all actually get to Falme, though, I’m less clear on. I guess it’s been longer than I thought.


Chapter 7: Blood Calls Blood

What Happens
Leane exits with the men taking Mat’s litter out of Siuan’s chambers, leaving Moiraine alone with Siuan and Verin, who had helped them Heal Mat. Verin comments that Mat will not live long without the dagger; Moiraine replies that if the dagger can be retrieved, then the link can be broken completely. Verin agrees, but thinks that having had it for so long, Mat may be permanently altered in some way by it. Then she wonders how, even if it is found, how it will be transported safely, seeing how it corrupts everything it comes in contact with. Moiraine says that the obvious person to find it is the one who is already buffered against its effects: Mat. The Amyrlin agrees. Verin moves on to the writings on the dungeon walls; she reads the verses aloud, and does some speculation on what they mean.

“And of course,” Verin said calmly, “the man who channels must be one of the three young men traveling with you, Moiraine.”

Moiraine and Siuan are stunned, and instinctively embrace saidar, but Verin is unruffled. Moiraine asks why she is talking to them about this, instead of ratting on them to the Reds, and Verin replies that she assumes that the man must be the Dragon Reborn, otherwise they would never have let him walk around free. Siuan demands that Verin explain how she came to that conclusion.

Perrin sneaks into the infirmary to visit Mat, avoiding Leane. Mat doesn’t look sick to him, only tired, but Perrin thinks that he smells wrong. He’s musing about the serving women who found him in the gardens and sent for Liandrin Sedai for some reason before the attack, when Mat wakes up momentarily. He asks Mat what happened, but Mat only mutters sleepily about not really remembering anything before falling back asleep. Then Leane returns and catches Perrin in the infirmary. Leane looks him up and down, and says he may be almost pretty enough to make her wish she was a Green, but that won’t stop her from dealing with him if he’s disturbed her patient. Perrin reassures her he was just visiting, and asks how Mat is. Leane gives a non-answer, and Perrin tries to leave. Leane grabs his chin and examines his eyes. She tells him there’s no way he was born with eyes like that; Perrin growls that they’re the only eyes he has, and to both their shock, picks Leane up gently and sets her down out of his way. Muttering an excuse, he flees.

Rand waits in their shared room for news, even though he knows he should have left the night before. Perrin comes in, and Rand asks him how Egwene and Mat are. Perrin starts to answer, then remembers he’s mad at Rand; Rand tries to joke with him, but Perrin’s having none of it. Rand apologizes, and Perrin unbends a little, but then he asks if Rand meant it about going alone, and Rand says yes, but- And Perrin stomps out. A moment later, Lan pounds on the door and enters. He tells Rand that the Amyrlin Seat has summoned him. Rand jumps up and says he’s going to the stables, but Lan says it’s too late for that now. He pulls out a red coat with gold herons embroidered on it and orders Rand to change. As Rand dresses, Lan gives him detailed instructions on how to comport himself in front of the Amyrlin.

Rand frowned. “Why are you telling me this, Lan? You’re a Warder. You’re acting as if you are on my side.”

“I am on your side, sheepherder. A little. Enough to help you a bit.” The Warder’s face was stone, and sympathetic words sounded strange in that rough voice. “What training you’ve had, I gave you, and I’ll not have you groveling and sniveling. The Wheel weaves us all into the Pattern as it wills. You have less freedom about it than most, but by the Light, you can still face it on your feet.”

They finish preparations, and Lan leads Rand out of the room.

Commentary
Ha, sneaky Verin is sneaky. Especially with the benefit of hindsight, I’ve really got to kind of love her here, letting Moiraine and Siuan think she’s a complete space cadet, and then BAM. Heh. You know she knew what she was doing from minute one in there.

On the Dark Prophecy: the link above pretty much sums it up as to what it all means. I think it’s interesting that this is the only time we get prophecy from the bad guys in the series. Like so many ideas/concepts in TGH, this is one of the ones that Jordan seemed to have decided to abandon, more or less.

Perrin picking Leane up and moving her was hilarious. I never even remembered that they met in the series, and I don’t think they ever have seen each other again to date, but I bet she won’t forget him in a hurry.

Also, I remembered that Leane gets all “Men! Om Nom Nom” after she’s stilled and decides to get her Domani on, but damn, she’s actually pretty randy right from the beginning, isn’t she? Yay, character consistency.

(“Randy.” Must... Resist... Pun...)

Lan in this chapter and the next: Made of Awesome. That is all.


Chapter 8: The Dragon Reborn

What Happens
As they head toward the Amyrlin’s chambers, Rand getting tenser with every step, Lan suddenly snaps “Cat Crosses the Courtyard!” at him, and Rand instinctively assumes the relaxed, arrogant walk Lan taught him. Inside the suite, Rand greets Siuan formally, again as Lan taught him, and Siuan begins discussing him with Moiraine and Verin as if he were not there. Moiraine reveals a far more detailed version of Tam’s past than Rand had ever known:

“Tam al’Thor left the Two Rivers as a boy, Mother. He joined the army of Illian, and served in the Whitecloak War and the last two wars with Tear. In time he rose to be a blademaster and the Second Captain of the Companions. After the Aiel War, Tam al’Thor returned to the Two Rivers with a wife from Caemlyn and an infant boy. It would have saved much, had I known this earlier, but I know it now.”

Siuan tells Verin to take his sword to examine it; Rand snaps that no one is taking it from him. Satisfied that he can be goaded, Siuan moves on, telling him that his friends are leaving with Ingtar to search for the stolen Horn, and does he want to go with them? Stunned by this freedom, Rand says he will go with Ingtar. Siuan nods, and then casually says she knows he can channel. Rand stares at her, speechless. Finally he says he didn’t mean to do it, and doesn’t want to ever again. Siuan replies that’s wise, but not possible; he was born with the spark, and will channel whether he wants to or not, and he had better learn how to control it. Rand wants to know why she is talking like this instead of gentling him.

The Amyrlin Seat looked him straight in the eye and said, “Because you are the Dragon Reborn.”

The void rocked. The world rocked. Everything seemed to spin around him. He concentrated on nothing, and the emptiness returned, the world steadied. “No, Mother. I can channel, the Light help me, but I am not Raolin Darksbane, nor Guaire Amalasin, nor Yurian Stonebow. You can gentle me, or kill me, or let me go, but I will not be a tame false Dragon on a Tar Valon leash.”

Verin gasps, and Siuan demands to know where he heard those names. Rand lies and says it was from a gleeman named Thom, dead now. Siuan asserts that he is the true Dragon Reborn, not a false one, but Rand doesn’t believe her. Then Moiraine tells the story of the night he was born, and how she and Siuan, as Accepted, were there with the then-Amyrlin and her Keeper, Gitara Moroso, when Gitara had her last Foretelling:

“And Gitara Sedai started up out of her chair, her arms and legs rigid, trembling, her face as if she looked into the Pit of Doom at Shayol Ghul, and she cried out, ‘He is born again! I feel him! The Dragon takes his first breath on the slope of Dragonmount! He is coming! He is coming! Light help us! Light help the world! He lies in the snow and cries like the thunder! He burns like the sun!’ And she fell forward into my arms, dead.”

She lays out the rest of the evidence to him, and Rand’s knees give out. He tries to convince himself that they are lying, but cannot. He says the Dark One is dead, and Siuan tells him he is a fool if he believes that. It is his destiny to face the Dark One. Rand pulls himself to his feet, and asks what they are going to do to him. Siuan replies, nothing; he must be free to go his own way so that the Prophecies may be fulfilled. She warns him, though, that most Aes Sedai will not feel as they three do. Rand glares at them, and asks permission to leave, which Siuan grants. After he goes, all three women are frightened by how strong he is, and wonder if they have done the right thing.

Nynaeve can feel a storm coming, but somehow that it’s not related to the weather. She sees Rand leaving the Amyrlin’s chambers and hurries after him, but loses him in the halls, and runs into Lan instead. She whirls to leave when he turns, but he stops her, saying he wants to talk to her. They spar verbally for a moment until Lan angrily says he has a gift for her, and she will take it if he has to chain it around her neck. He gives her a ring, which she recognizes as the royal signet of Malkier. She tries to give it back, but Lan will not let her; he says she can use the ring to call for help, from him or those loyal to him, at any time. Then he calls her mashiara (“love lost”), and leaves. Nynaeve turns to find Moiraine behind her, who tells her she’d better get packed. Nynaeve is torn between her duty as Wisdom and her own desire for revenge against Moiraine, which Moiraine shocks her by knowing about. Moiraine swiftly manipulates Nynaeve into sticking with the decision to go to Tar Valon.

Later, Egwene and Nynaeve talk, and Nynaeve tells Egwene that perhaps she shouldn’t call Nynaeve “Wisdom” anymore. Lady Nisura comes in, upset, and tells Egwene that her “young man Lord Rand” is trying to come into the women’s apartments to speak with her. Egwene goes out quickly to him, and they walk. Egwene asks if the Amyrlin... hurt him, and Rand says no. Egwene asks what she wanted, and Rand dodges the question. He says he supposes he will never see her again, and Egwene swears to him that she will become Aes Sedai and find some way to help him. Rand says he wishes things were different, then hugs her and swiftly leaves.

Commentary
Um, I said I was going to try and make these shorter, didn’t I? Well, sometimes it can’t be helped. I reserve the right to maximum verbosity when covering total awesomeness, y’all. Which this is.

(Also, I felt it behooved me to add the quote about Tam, for some mysterious reason. ;)

The confrontation between Rand and Siuan is another of those scenes, like the Caemlyn Palace scene in TEOTW, that stands as one of my favorites in the series. Hardly surprising, as it is the literal expression of Jordan’s stated inspiration for the whole shebang. Which is, more or less: what if someone tapped you on the shoulder one day and said, “Hey, guess what? You get to be the Savior of the world! Sucks to be you!”

(And then they do a Nelson laugh: HAH-ha!)

In other words, it’s a self-realization moment guaranteed to knock all other self-realization moments into a cocked hat. A cocked hat on FIRE. Aw, yeah.

Lan being so on Rand’s side when no one else would or could: I heart you, man. All is forgiven. The Cat Crosses the Courtyard thing makes me grin every time. Also, despite my rant before (which I still stand by), I am a big ol’ girly-girl sometimes, and the mashiara line definitely rates a little feminine sigh. There may have even been a flutter in there somewhere. ALLEGEDLY.

In other news, I don’t get the way Jordan divides up chapters sometimes. Surely the rather momentous scene with Siuan and Rand was enough to rate its own chapter? Not to mention, the scenes with Lan/Nynaeve and Rand/Egwene would seem to fit better in a chapter called “Leavetakings” anyway.


Chapter 9: Leavetakings

What Happens
The keep’s courtyard is in an uproar as the two parties get ready to leave. Rand joins Ingtar’s group; Ragan waves to him and Uno nods, but Masema gives him a cold stare and turns away. Rand is surprised to see Loial, and tentatively makes small talk with him, which Loial is relieved to reciprocate. Mat and Perrin arrive, and Rand apologizes to them both, but Mat just tugs Perrin away, and Loial points out the finery of Rand’s coat by way of explanation. Rand apologizes to Loial, and Loial accepts his apology happily. Lan pulls Rand aside briefly and explains to him about Sheathing the Sword; Rand doesn’t really understand, and mutters about Warders being crazy. Siuan enters the courtyard, with Agelmar trying in vain to convince her to stay longer. Rand chats with Loial until Siuan turns to Ingtar’s party and gives them a speech; Rand stops paying attention as he suddenly feels the invisible eyes on them again. He pulls his horse around, searching, and an arrow flashes in front of his face, nicks Siuan’s arm, and kills a man behind her. Instant chaos ensues, as everyone goes to search for the bowman. Agelmar falls to his knees before Siuan, begging forgiveness, but she dismisses it as unimportant.

“A poor shot for a Whitecloak bowman, or even a Darkfriend.” Her eyes flickered up to touch Rand’s. “If it was at me he aimed.”

She finishes her blessing, and Ingtar’s party heads out. As they ride out of Fal Dara, Ingtar confides to Rand that Changu and Nidao, the men who guarded Fain, are gone. A man in townsman’s clothes and armed with a sword-breaker joins them, and Ingtar introduces him to Rand as Hurin, their sniffer. Hurin greets him as “Lord Rand” and Rand tries to correct him, with only partial success. Hurin explains that a sniffer can smell violence, and that’s how they will be tracking the Darkfriends. He tells Ingtar that they went south; Ingtar is surprised that they aren’t heading for the Blight, but tells Hurin to lead on.

The festival for the Hunt of the Horn is in full swing in Illian, but Bayle Domon isn’t in much mood for partying. He heads to an inn called Easing the Badger, where he is to meet with men he’s fairly sure want to kill him. At the inn, he is approached by the three men, Cairhienin by their dress, who tell him they want to hire him to transport a “personage” and a sealed parchment from Mayene to Illian, and offer him a thousand gold marks for the job. Domon is astounded; this is four times what the last group offered him. He accepts the job, and the advance payment, and after the men are gone, ruminates on why someone wants him to go east so badly. His second finds him and tells him another one of his men is dead, and brigands with knives tried to sneak on board the Spray an hour ago. Domon tells him to make ready to sail immediately. Back on board, Domon opens the sealed parchment and finds a letter supposedly written by Galldrian, the King of Cairhien himself, denouncing the bearer of the letter as a Darkfriend, who should be hanged and all his property confiscated and returned to Galldrian’s “agent”. Domon pulls out the things he bought in Maradon, when all this stalking business began: a lightstick, an ivory carving of a swordsman, the skull of a sabre-toothed cat — and a half-black, half-white disk made of heartstone. Domon stares at it for a moment, then tells his second to head west, for Toman Head.

Commentary
Easing the Badger: ...nope, too easy.

Aw, Loial. So adorable. So loyal (I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE). So much less stupid than the rest of Our Heroes! I will love him and hug him and squeeze him and call him George.

The thing with Lan and Sheathing the Sword was some seriously clunky foreshadowing, there. Jordan couldn’t have worked that into the regular sword lesson in Chapter 1?

Sheathing the Sword: ...nope, still too easy.

Who did shoot at Rand? It couldn’t have been Ingtar, and Changu and Nidao were already gone, and an arrow isn’t exactly Liandrin’s style even if she wasn’t in the courtyard already. Some random Darkfriend Shienaran left behind after the raid, I guess.

Hurin! I like him. Whatever happened to him? I don’t even remember where he drops out of the story.

Hurin’s sniffing is another one of those completely random things, like the Dark Prophecy above, that got introduced in the early books, most particularly TGH, and then were basically dropped. (The Portal Stones are the biggest example, but we’ll get to them in a bit.) Expanding on my ongoing theory of WOT Magic Gets Less Magical, I propose that this may partially have been because the sniffing thing really doesn’t fit with the system that eventually gets hammered out. Or, possibly it was a little too redundant, given Perrin and his wolfy nose powers.

Or, hell, maybe Jordan just got bored with it. What do I know?

Either way, not only did the sniffing thing go bye-bye, Hurin himself got more or less left by the wayside, as I’ve already noted. As was Bayle Domon, in fact; if either of them have shown up in the later books, I sure don’t recall it. (That doesn’t necessarily mean anything, though, since the further we get in this re-read, the more I realize I don’t remember nearly as much as I thought I did. It’s a trifle upsetting.)


Chapter 10: The Hunt Begins

What Happens
Ingtar sets a punishing pace. Rand tries several times to ride with Mat or Perrin, but each time they drop to the opposite end of the column at Mat’s urging before he can say anything. Despite their speed, Uno says they’re not gaining any ground on the Darkfriends. Finally Ingtar calls a halt for the night, where Rand is pissed to find out that the “plain” coats he had been told were packed for him are just as ornate as the red one he’s wearing. At dinner, Masema deliberately almost slops Rand with hot stew; Rand asks Ingtar what Masema’s problem is, and Ingtar tells him that Masema fought the Aiel back in the day. He says he asks no questions; if Rand says he’s from Andor, he’s from Andor, but... Mat scornfully reassures Ingtar that Rand is no Aiel, but Loial reminds them that he himself mistook Rand for Aiel the first time they met. Ingtar tells them a bit about the Aiel War, and how fearsome they are as warriors, and Rand goes to bed troubled.

The next day they come upon the Darkfriends’ campsite, where they find human remains in the cookfire. Hurin tells them their quarry has changed direction; they follow, only to find the Darkfriends have doubled back south again. This back-and-forth pattern continues for some days, with Ingtar getting more and more frustrated, until they arrive at a village on the River Erinin. The small village appears deserted. The Shienarans sweep the houses, but report that everyone is gone, like they just up and left in the middle of chores. Then Uno exclaims that he sees a woman at a window, and charges in, but finds nothing. He swears she was there, though — a woman in white, he says. Everyone ferries across the river, and Perrin remarks on how this is how it started for them, with a ferry, but now it will be worse. Mat asks how he knows, and Perrin replies that it smells wrong; Hurin gives him an odd look. On the other side of the river, they find Changu and Nidao, tied spreadeagled between trees and skinned alive. Everyone is sickened. Ingtar orders they be buried properly, despite being Darkfriends, in remembrance of the good they did before, and the party rides on. They talk for a bit about the monuments and nations that used to occupy this land, but are all gone now; Ingtar says bitterly that all mankind is being swept away, and soon there will be nothing left but Trollocs and Myrddraal, leaving his listeners in shocked silence.

They come to another village, which is just as deserted as the first. They start searching the houses again, and Rand goes to one and steps inside, and is caught in some kind of repeating-loop vision of the last moments of the family inside, over and over again, while flies fill the room and crawl inside his nose and mouth. He fights to break free, but can’t, until he finally reaches out for saidin:

Suddenly he was tearing at . . . something. He did not know what, or how. Cobwebs made of steel. Moonbeams carved from stone. They crumbled at his touch, but he knew he had not touched anything. They shriveled and melted with the heat that surged through him, heat like a forge fire, heat like the world burning, heat like—

It was gone. Panting, he looked around with wide eyes. A few flies lay on the half-carved roast, in the platter. Dead flies. Six flies. Only six. There were more in the bowls, half a dozen tiny black specks among the cold vegetables. All dead. He staggered out into the street.

No one else has noticed anything unusual, until they find a barn with a man nailed to the door, impaled through the eyes — or where the eyes would have been, for they quickly realize that it is a Fade. Mat asks shakily what could do this to a Myrddraal, and Ingtar just says he doesn’t know. He orders the party to ride out.

Commentary
Yeah, I’m... pretty confused about the repeating vision thing in the house. It was certainly effectively creepy, but it really made no sense otherwise. I remember that we find out later that one of Fain’s talents is creating illusions, so I guess that’s what’s going on, but... yeah, it still seems really odd.

I mean, if it was a trap meant for Rand (as it certainly seems to have been, since no one else was affected, and it seemed like Rand needed to destroy whatever was doing it with the One Power), how could Fain have known Rand would walk into that house in particular? Maybe it would have happened in whatever house he went into? But what if he hadn’t walked into any houses at all?

The other possibility, of course, is that it’s Lanfear, who you may have noticed just made her first fleeting appearance in this chapter. But if you ask me, it seems like way too random a thing for Lanfear to do, so I got nothin’, basically.

Again, I suspect we’re dealing here with the gradually shifting ratio of metaphysical to metaphorical in WOT magic; it wasn’t supposed to make sense. It was just supposed to be freaky. Which it was, so mission accomplished, I guess.

Mat = five year old child. I really can’t wait until he gets awesome for good and I stop wanting to flick him in the forehead every time he talks. And you know, Perrin is awfully Chatty Cathy about what he smells for someone who doesn’t want anyone to know about the Wolfbrother thing. I’m just saying.


Da, is all for now, darlinks. I know, is sad. But next time we ketch moose and skvirrel.

Friday, Chapters 11-17: in Soviet Russia, epic fantasy recaps YOU!

146 comments
michaelt
1. michaelt
Quick clarification. Moiraine didn't command Liandrin to stop, rather Liandrin stopped when she heard/sensed someone coming. Mo doesn't realize that Liandrin was attacking Rand.
Kate Nepveu
2. katenepveu
I'm so relieved that you don't remember what's going on with a lot of this, either. I spent these chapters saying, "orders not to leave? archer? creepy repeating vision? What?!"

When, that is, I wasn't say "thank goodness things are _happening_, and ew, that was creepy."

Also, nice job spotting Lanfear; I didn't.

At least, yay, things happening!
michaelt
3. laframboise
The description of the trap in terms of 'web' and the illusionary aspect of it makes me think of Moghedien, actually, but don't know if she's free yet. Doesn't Bayle show up later as Egeanin's significant manservant?
Joe Sherry
4. jsherry
There really is some good stuff in these early chapters - pretty much any time Suian is on the page and the Lan / Rand / Siuan moment was great.

Regarding Portal Stone - I'd love to know more about the alternate worlds and stuff, but we get Portal Stones up through The Shadow Rising. Rand travels to Rhuidian via Portal Stone, but he learns travelling by the end of the novel.

He's the only one (besides Lanfear) who has used the Portal Stones on purpose, so it makes sense to me that they would be ignored the rest of the series.

Plus - Rand barely understands portal stones right now and only made it to Rhuidian on purpose because Rhuarc told him which symbols on the stone were known to be on the Rhuidian stone. Rand wouldn't know other stones.
michaelt
5. patfinder81
Hi Leigh!

Nice work on those re-reads! I find myself expecting your next posts as much as I do expect aMoL.

Just to note: Bayle Domon resurfaces quite enough. I just finished TSR and he was quite an important part in helping the Super Girls in Tanchico. I think we also see him again later on, but can't remember when...

As for Hurin, he disappeared in The Dragon Reborn, after leaving the Super Girls, Mat and Verin in front of the square at the White Tower.

Until your next post! Keep on writin'! ;)
michaelt
6. ninazu
Bayle shows up a few times. Last reference was in KOD as him leaving Ebou Dar w/ Mat and co. and marrying Egeanin.

Hurin splits @ the end of the book, going back home to his wife and to report about Falme. Also, iirc, he was mentioned by Nyn in TDR at one point.

As for the archer: wasn't it the Grey Man?
michaelt
7. Aaron Bergman
Somehow a boxed set of the first three books followed me out of Borders the other day, so I'm all caught up now. I'm right with you on chapter 8.

On the whole magic system thing, one thing that's been puzzling me is that Aridhol/Mordeth/Shadar Logoth/Mashadar doesn't fit into it at all. Jordan spends a lot of time contrasting the evil men do to themselves vs. true evil, ie, the Dark One, but there isn't magic in the Whitecloaks. I can't remember where, but at some point Ba'alzamon/Ishamael refers to the dagger as an old friend and an old enemy or some such which suggests that Jordan intended Mashadar to be more than just an embodiment the Wrong Way to counter true evil. If one wants to get really systematic, there seem to be three power sources in the series: the true source, the true power and whatever is in Shadar Logoth -- after all, Rand cleans saidin by setting these two things against each other. It certainly seems that, perhaps somewhat analogous to Golem, Fain will have a big role in that final scene that Jordan had in his head for so long. Somewhat in the same direction, I also kept feeling in TEOTW that Jordan was projecting a link between Machin Shin and Shadar Logoth,

One of the things I liked in this book is how, mostly through Ingtar, but also in other ways, Jordan effectively describes a world in decay. Sure, past glory and ancient empires are a cliche of epic fantasy, but I really liked how Jordan talks about the dismantlement of nations and the vast swaths of wilderness they leave behind.

On other notes, Verin is awesome for pretty much this entire book. She's always been one of my favorite characters. The flies could be yet another bubble of evil. Finally, having actually gone ahead a bit in the reading, Ingtar admits later on that he let in a gray man who shot at Rand.
michaelt
8. locosweetie
yeah, um, Bayle shows up to help the women, then gets grabbed by Egeanin and joins with Mat. He is all the way to KoD. Fortune prick me, he also do be one of my favs.
Richard Fife
9. R.Fife
I am actually doing a read through myself (hoping to be done in time for Memory of Light), and a few things I noticed as I did my read through on this one:

Archer was a gray man. Ingtar confirms it later, but still, on my read through the way Siuan doubts anyone will find the archer seems to point to it.

Perhaps the house was yet another bubble of evil, like the wind? They are attracted to our favorite plot device, Ta'veran.

Bayle has a fair amount of recycling with all the Seanchan stuff, kind of used as a sympathetic eye within Seanchan life.

In Mat's defense, he is still bound to the Paranoia-Dagger and rotting in the head for it, even if slower due to Aes Sedai meddling.

Oh, and for the initial order, Moiraine never did actually deny giving that specific order, did she? She just told him he could leave now. I am still of the belief that she passed the order along, even if not at a high level.
Brad Moore
10. servantcbm
While Hurin leaves, we do pick up another 'sniffer' in the Thief-Taker from Tear. I don't recall his name at the moment, but he's basically attached to Thom the rest of the series IIRC. We meet him when the girls are looking for Black Ajah and Rand/Lan assign him to be a bodyguard of sorts, I think Thom/Thief-Taker then stay with Matt when the girls Travel to Caemlyn.
michaelt
11. MoreBooksForMe
*Bayle Domon comes up later, he has the soup kitchen in Tanchico and he takes the collar from Nyneve after she bests Moghedien.He said he would drop it in a deep part of the ocean. (Which he doesn't if I remember correctly.) He also looks to be the romantic match for Egeanin.
*I also think that RJ said somewhere that the FlyTrap(my own little pun)was set by Fain as a trap.
*I also thought Hurin should have shown back up somewhere else in the series.

Keep up the good work.
bill mazzola
12. bmazz1008
Hey Leigh - great job with the recaps. How the hell am I going to get through thursday?

I feel like I repressed most of this book into my subconscious....it seems all I remembered prior to reading these re-reads were the portal stones and the ending at Falme.

Anyway - as I read your re-cap, I do remember that as I got further into the book I always assumed for whatever reason, that the repeating vision/flies that Rand "saidin-bug offed" were Lanfear's doing, perhaps testing him or making sure he was the one she was after, but I have to admit a convenient bubble of evil or Fain both make as much or more sense. I don't know why I always attributed it to Lanfear.

Maybe I just wanted to attribute it to Lanfear because Padan is a Fain in the ass. Who knows?

Keep up the good work - lookin forward to friday
michaelt
13. Heather J.
My random thoughts …

As to your Q on who gave the initial order that no one could leave the keep, I’m pretty certain the answer is over at http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/ but I can’t get on there right now to check.

I completely forgot about the Perrin/Leane thing … I wonder if she’ll be another Berelain-type figure when/if she and Perrin meet again. (“Randy” - oh, you absolutely kill me)

Chapter 8: This is when my love for Lan was completely solidified – not only does he help Rand to stand up for himself to the Aes Sedai, but that whole mashiara thing … aaaaah.

Tam’s wife being from Caemlyn = this could go far to explain how Morgase knew the Two Rivers accent …

You gotta love Hurin! I was hoping to read more about him in later books but (so far) he hasn’t shown up yet.

And am I the only one who thought you were being sarcastic about Domon not showing up?! Because, yeah …

SERVANTCBM@10: the thief-taker’s name is Julin Sandar (I just finished book 11 in my reread last night, so he’s fresh in my mind) – it always bugged me that Hurin and Julin both sound alike and are very similar characters – I assume it was on purpose, but I’ll admit that I liked Hurin’s abilities better
michaelt
14. Zeynep
Again, commenting as reading along.

Verin: Oh yeah. I might actually have squealed out loud the first time I read her dropping her grenade calmly like that.

Lan's teaching is indeed awesome, and Siuan's snide comment at Moiraine ("Have you let Lan at him, daughter?") I'd found hilarious.

Moiraine's got rhythm. That was apparent in the Manetheren story in the first book, and it emerges again in the flow of this Chapter when she tells Rand what he is. In fact I admire the entire flow of that section, from Rand on his feet to on his knees to back to his feet.

(Does not stop me from wanting to smack him for being so stubborn or the Aes Sedai for being so manipulative with him although it was clear from Square 1 that their normal approach would be useless there. But anyway.)

Also, Moiraine's handling of Nynaeve will never cease to be amusing. Does little kitty want to play Aes Sedai with the leopard? Awwww.

At the end of tGH, Ingtar will make a throwaway remark implying that the bowman was a Gray Man he let in to the keep, not knowing who was the target.

I miss Hurin too. As for Domon, he's actually all over the place since Mat left Ebou Dar, and there is a reason why you do not remember him, parts of it being: a) His storyline is booooooring, b) His personality got somewhat flattened by his boooooooring storyline.
michaelt
15. lindal
I apologize, my comment from Monday’s re-read about how Verin managed not to lie should have gone in this section’s comments for chapter 7. So here it is:

“Following along on the re-read and I think I figured out how Verin was able to chase down the boys and not lie about it.

Prior to Verin's bombshell about the dark prophecy Moiraine and Siuan are speaking with Verin about the dagger and its affect on the world while its loose and Moiraine says something along the lines of, "it's imperative that we retreive the dagger...". I think Verin used that as her rationale for stating that "Moiraine sent her".

While she was hoping to use the opportunity to track the progress of the Dragon Reborn, when Rand wasn't there, she was committed to staying with the group to retreive the dagger whether she wanted to or not.”

Who did give the initial order not to let anyone leave? Probably Changu and Nidao, who could pass along a message not to let the outlanders leave when on guard duty to the other guards and the stable men; they could also corroborate each other’s stories.

Bayle and Egeanin hook up when Elayne and Nynaeve rescue the Panarche of Tarabon and they attempt to drop the “sad bracelets” into the ocean. They show up again with the Seanchan invasion of Ebou Dar in Altara where they stay at Mistress Anan’s inn. They decide to throw in with Mat and we are stuck with Egeanin, who is far more annoying than Nynaeve, all through CoT and KoD.

This is a much better channel for my OCD than washing my hands?
michaelt
16. ubxs113
Yeah, the new thief taker is Juilin Sandar who mostly stays with Mat for the rest of the series.
Jeff Gross
17. RIPJordan
Bayle Domon is in many of the books he is in Tanchico with the Super Girls then get captured by the Seanchan and taken to Ebou Dar meets up with Mat and then travels with Mat and Co.
Frank Conicella
18. Frank.Conicella
Hey Leigh! Long time reader, first time poster. Just wanted to say that your read through, summaries, and commentaries are the hotness, yo.

Funy thing about not remembering much about TGH. All I retained was, Rand/Siuan, Portal Stones, shooting arrows at weird one eyed creature things in that other world, and natiness in Falme. However, that could all be due to the fact that I was doped up on OxyCodin and recovering from surgery while reading this book. Which can I just say, is a really great way to conceptualize the general idea of portal stones.

Keep it up. Holla!!
Jeff Gross
19. RIPJordan
Changu and Nidao I have always been confused about are they or aren't they Darkfriends because if they are did Ingtar give then The Last Rights of the Earth Mother because that was what HE would have wanted when he dies or was it because he KNEW that they were not Darkfriends and wanted them to rest peacefully?
Brad Moore
20. servantcbm
RIPJordan @ 19. Changu and Nidao appear to have corrupted by proximity to Fain, not Darkfriends, though they could have been. I think Ingtar is suffering from a crisis of conscience at this point.
michaelt
21. LetsRollTheDice
bmazz1008 @ 12:

I too always presumed that Leanfer set the fly trap thingy for Rand. It makes perfect sense in my opinion. After all, we catch a glimpse of her immediately prior to the incident. I guess Leanfer was (a)confirming that Rand could channel and (b) checking out how much control Rand has over the One Power.
michaelt
22. Cosmix
Hurin actually has an effect later, if not an appearance. When he goes back and reports Falme to the king that eventually leads to the Borderlanders amassing their armies and coming south in... Winter's Heart? Maybe PoD...
michaelt
23. David M.
I'm sad you didn't like TGH that much. It's probably my favorite in the series, but that's due largely to the parts with Rand on his own with Loial and Hurin. Oh, and the end; I love the end of the book. Anyway.

One thing I noticed after re-reading TGH was how Verin acted during the big revelation scene in chapter 8. Mo and Siuan have Rand on the ropes and are telling him how alone he is and that they cannot teach him, using the whole "a bird cannot teach a fish to fly" argument. Verin suddenly breaks in and says that there are birds who can swim and fish that can fly, so that is a bad example. She quiets after Mo and Siuan stare her down, but it gives Rand time to regain his composure, if only for a while.

Maybe it's just me looking at everything Verin does as suspect because she's so mysterious (well, terribly mysterious) but I doubt she does anything suddenly. The chapter before she reels Moiraine and Siuan in by acting, as you said, like a space cadet. I don't think her interrupting Moiraine to make a random speech about flying fish and swimming birds was so random or sudden as they seemed.
michaelt
24. Egglie
I agree, this book is full of false starts and ideas that could have turned into something interesting but have fallen along the wayside somewhere.

I always remember this as one of my least favorite books (all that stuff with the other world through the porthole stones is just dull) but in its favor lots of stuff happens! There is a lot of plot set out here which you do need later on - porthole stones, game of houses, how channeling works, the seanchan...also we get to meet Lanfear (even if she is being annoying Selene) which is very cool.

It is very odd how Hurin is so central to this book but then just gives up and goes home.
michaelt
25. cps2195
Thanks for doing this leigh. I really enjoy your commentary.

I definitely think the wholer "fly" thing was one of those bubbles. We get an explanation in TSR about T'averen attracting them.


If Rand would have met Hurin after he became uberRand he probably would have kept him around (he's gotten really proficient at using people.) I'm not sure how useful Hurin's skills would be later on in the series seeing as the whole world is filled with violence. In fact if I was Hurin I would retreat to my house too. The whole world has to smell like the blight to Hurin.
Frank Conicella
26. Frank.Conicella
I know that no one will care most likely. But I just want to point out that bmazz1008@12 is the one that got me started on reading these books.

Also, I got him PoD for his 20th birthday the day it came out, which probably goes down in history as the shittiest b-day gift ever. Thats all...just some sentimental cod-swoddle for you all.

See ya all on friday.
michaelt
27. Bosley
Didn't Ingtar bar anyone from leaving the gates before the Amyrlin arrived? As far as I remember, Ingtar was pretty much the end all be all of problems for Agelmar's keep during that time.

Actually upon further inspection, the order was passed down through Uno. Nevermind, carry on.
michaelt
28. J0nas3
First comment, because I just had to say something about Bayle Domon connecting with the Supergirls in Tanchico and then with Mat in Ebou Dar. But, of course, I've been beaten to it many times over. This is the book that really hooked me on WoT, but the beginning with the zigzagging and the scheming of Aes Sedai really made it a struggle to make it to that charge on Toman Head which really was the hook, I guess I could say.
Kyle Bass
29. SherlockTomes
I concur on the point of the crazycakes fly scene being associated with a bubble of evil, as it tends to make the most sense to me, and the easiest explanation (as the bubbles require no logical explanations). I don't think Fain actually has the "illusions" ability, though the scene with Rand and the "ghosts" of Torval and Gedwyn (or was it Kisman? Two of those Black Asha'man in WH...) is often attributed to a Fain illusion of sorts. I think (without checking) that the WOTFAQ actually chalks that up to some general ghost-action that starts to go down in the latter parts of the series (like at So Habor) as the "Lord of the Grave" asserts more influence on the pattern.

Also, I think RJ answered the question of Hurin in one of the weekly questions he answered in the promotions leading up to the release of KoD. Someone asked him what happened to Hurin, and RJ said that he'd been active behind the scenes, but that we'd see him again before all was said and done.
michaelt
30. Kiley Sedai
Yeah, I'm attempting to get through as much of the series as I can before JordanCon...which is coming up. I'm on book 5 right now and almost done with it, but so far I have LOVED going back through them.

Julin is the theif-taker from Tear that serves as a replacement for Hurin. He does ask for permission to go home to his family, but he was a good helper and I thought the "sniffing" talent was a great element to add in.

Portal stones were basically rendered useless after everyone could Skim and Travel and use Gateways.

There is SO much to remember I don't think there is ANY way that I can keep it all in there, but when someone brings it up I think I can at least recall it.

Oh, and btw, I never would have realized the woman in white was Lanfear in that house. I thought it was a ghost, like the ones who begin appearing later in the series.
michaelt
31. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
Juilin Sandar is the Hurin replacement you are thinking of, but I don't recall him having any weird evil-smelling powers (that's powers to smell evil, not powers that smell evil). He's just sort of the cool fez-wearing version of Thom when it comes to ferretting out info and rumors.

The portal stones also fell out of use because the main chars found a much better way to travel (Travel).

I always wonder about characters like Hurin who maybe were going to be around for a while and maybe Jordan changed his mind? Seems like a lot of effort to go to to make a dude with a cool unique power just so he can have a bit part. And btw, is anything ever communicated about why he doesn't smell Ingtar's crookedness?
michaelt
32. MikeDeepo
Really enjoying this Leigh, it's a great distraction from all the schoolwork I'm supposed to be doing.

I tend to suspect that the fly thing was something Lanfear did:

"Suddenly he was tearing at . . . something. He did not know what, or how. Cobwebs made of steel. Moonbeams carved from stone. They crumbled at his touch, but he knew he had not touched anything. They shriveled and melted with the heat that surged through him, heat like a forge fire, heat like the world burning, heat like-"

Ripping through threads he can't see, but can feel; certainly seems to me like he's breaking out of a weave of saidar.

As for not spotting Ingtar being a DF, Hurin can only smell violence people have done. Ingtar hasn't been doing much, and if he had, Hurin would probably just attribute it to fighting the Trollocs who broke into the keep.

On the whole, TGH is one of my favorite books; so damn much happens in it, unlike many of the later books. Also, Ingtar is one of my favorite characters in the series. It's too bad he's one of the few characters to actually die and stay dead.
michaelt
33. Dalamon
David M @ 23, I think Verin's interlude about the fish who can fly and the birds who can swim may also be a prelude to when Aginor and several other Forsaken are resurrected as the opposite sex while still retaining their abilities to channel.
Tim Kington
34. TimKington
I always thought the repeating fly incident was Lanfear. It seems like she's consistently trying to get him to channel. Always talking about the Oneness, and that you should surround yourself with it at all times.


Mat lay with his eyes closed and his face pale, but his chest rose and fell in the even rhythm of a deep sleep.

How will this affect matters? Moiraine wondered. He is not necessary with the Horn gone, and yet . . .
---
How does she know that Mat's linked to the Horn?


"Such a small thing, that dagger," she mused, "but it will corrupt whoever carries it long enough. He who carries it will in turn corrupt those who come in contact with him, and they will corrupt still others, and the hatred and suspicion that destroyed Shadar Logoth, every man and woman's hand turned against every other, will be loose in the world again. I wonder how many people it can taint in, say, a year. It should be possible to calculate a reasonable approximation."
---
Even Verin doesn't know everything. The dagger carrier only corrupts those he comes into contact with - they don't corrupt others. I remember Jordan saying somewhere that this was an example of Aes Sedai fallibility.


"It is unlikely," Verin began, "that anyone who hasn't studied the old records thoroughly would notice anything except that you were behaving oddly. Forgive me, Mother. It was nearly twenty years ago, with Tar Valon besieged, that I had my first clue, and that was only . . .
---
Verin is awesome. I think her first clue was taking a look at Moiraine's notebook while Moiraine was taking her test for Aes Sedai.
michaelt
35. Erdrick
Below is taken directly from encyclopedia-wot:

During the Knife of Dreams signing tour Robert Jordan disclosed that this was a trap set by Padan Fain. Rand channeled to escape it. Fain exhibits this ability to create illusions from the recent past again in Far Madding. (WH,Ch33)
michaelt
36. AnneTinka
Yes I liked Hurin a lot as well and was kind of sad that he left.

Concerning Domon - doesn't he also show up in Falme where Min asks him to take them away in his boat while they plan to free Egwene? Of course that never happens when the big ending comes around ;-)
michaelt
37. JeffR23
Lindal@15: Interesting idea, but I think it goes a bit beyond the level of Sophistry that the Oath Rod generally accepts still. I'm going to stick (at least until the last book arrives) with my theory that she's actually one of the stilled Red Amyrlins that vanish in the backstory, and that the girls weren't the first people even to figure the trick of unstilling...
Richard Fife
38. R.Fife
TimKington @ 34

I am on the assumption that the line about Moiraine looking at unconscious Mat was just after the horn and dagger was stolen.

Mat isn't bound to the horn yet. She was wanting to make sure there was a reason for Rand to go south with the horn, and Mat was going to be part of what bound him to that path, seeing as Rand did not want to leave until his freinds did, and the horn would have travelled with Mat at least as far as Tar Valon.

Thus, when Fain stole the horn, Mat's usefulness to tie Rand to it. Course, she then realizes a little further that chasing the dagger for Mat would be better motivation for Rand than escorting the horn.
michaelt
39. Heather P.
Lan: Made. Of. Awesome. The whole series -- he has some moments when I'd like to smack him upside the head, but first, who would try that with LAN; and second, it's LAN, man! The mashiara thing makes me melt every time. I want a Lan of my own. I will love him and hug him and squeeze him and call him George. Or not.

I'm doing my own re-read now as well, and I'm not to that part yet, but once Domon hooks up with Egeanin I think I remember wishing he would go away again. Not that I dislike him, but the dynamics of the whole relationship-thingy with Egeanin just baffle me.

Great re-read, but I wish I had known this was coming up before I started my own. I'm on Book 9 now, and I'm sucked in too firmly to stop until you catch me up, and I can't go back and RE-re-read cuz that's just confusing.

Looking forward to Friday!
michaelt
40. Squocka
@TimKington

comment #34 The Mat part

I dont think she thinks he is linked to it yet or even knows he will be, i think she means the plan she had before the horn was stolen was for him to go with Rand to Illian to proclaim they found the horn and Rand would be forced to admit who he is. She still sees him and Perrin as extras not yet 3 taveren who are linked.

So with the horn stolen he is just a tag along extra mouth to feed. but .. (she begins to have an inkling of him being important)

Thats my 2 cents anyway
michaelt
41. Tim from Perth
Leigh,

I love your sense of humour and the way you work pop-culture references into this.

The "ketch moose and skvirrel" reference was classic!

Tim.
Perth, Western Australia
michaelt
42. markp
I have the same memory problem, I remember the beginning and the end but not what happens in between.
There are lots of confusing things in these chapters. Most have been commented on
I don't understand why Egwene and Mat weren't killed or carried off to be Trolloc food, like the guards.
And why didn't anyone other than Liandrin ask what Rand wiped off the wall?

Verin is proably my favourite Aes Sedai. There is always a lot of mystery about her but she actually seems to communicate with non Aes Sedai.
Ingtar is an other great character. A Dark friend who regrets his decisions but cant find a way back. I think he was trying to get him self killed at the end of the Eye of the World but couldn't because he arrived at the battle too late. He is also about the only DF who was a bit of a surprise the first time I read it, most of the rest are far too obvious (Liandrin for example).
Hurin must be about the only character who is in the books for any length of time who gets written out by RJ with out being killed. Even random villagers in early books decide to become Aes Sedai or something later on.
michaelt
43. RobMRobM
Very quick comments.

Mat is aggravating in the early part of TGH, rivaling Fain in the Arse in my personal hate meter. It truly shocked me when Mat became my favorite character later in the series and then Nyneave and Elayne became the aggravating ones towards him.

I understand that the grey man shot the arrow (per Ingtar's later confession) but I still don't see why some would get the sense that eyes are watching. I don't recall grey men having that impact later in the book. My mind is heading back towards the Lanfear theory, as she was nearby at the same time and no doubt knew the invisibility weaves. But, again, why would her presence cause both Rand and Liandrin of all people to sense a watcher. Rand may have been able to sense the channeling, even if she did an inverted weave, but could Liandren?

I love Lan, Siuan and Verin in these chapter, especially 8 which is one for the ages. Very cool, and nice to see Moirane thrown a bit off of her usual game by Verin and by Lan's showing love for both both Rand and Nyneave.

Funny how some have these random powers. Siuan has the ability to see ta'veren with a glow of light, as did Logain (as we find out later). Hurin can smell violence. Aviendra can figure out angreals, etc. No good explanation in the books of why/how these abilities fit into or outside the pattern.

@19. I also don't think Changu and Nidao were darkfriends. Just in wrong place at wrong time - kindapped by Fade/Fain and killed. Of course, Ingtar, who is responsible for their deaths, will treat them with respect. Perhaps this is real start of his redemption.

both @30 and @31. Great insight about Portal Stones and why they faded in importance.

Rob
michaelt
44. Berndiggler
I actually started reading this series with TGH when my mom brought it home from the library because she thought I might like it. TEOTW really made the second book make more sense. This is probablly why it is one of my favorites.

Also I think Hurin will make an appearence in AMOL with the Borderland army Lan raises ( who is one of my favorites and including him as much as possible in this would be appreciated). Thank you again Leigh, this is much looked forward to each week.
michaelt
45. Rikka
chapters 7+8 :
Lanlove of the best kind. I remember the first time I read TGH, after I finished I went back and reread these chapts and knew they would be my favorite and are close (consistantly top of the list) to my favorite in the entire series so far. To me they became illustrative of Rand coming into his own and at the same time proving exactly how far he has to go. Also, all that self-realization stuff you were talking about loving so much? This is the central and most epic of them all.

I love how when Siuan tells him to his face that he is the Dragon Reborn, Rand's world is rocked, similar to after he says Shai'tan is dead... The DO rocks him from afar, Siuan with six words :P

Here ends Egwene and Rand, thanks be to all things holy. Also, poorpoorLan/Nynaeve, I liked their scene here a good bit more than I would normally admit. >.> There is romance in me somewhere!

chapt 9:
Oh Loial. loyal loyal Loial, how great he is in this book. (we made the same pun. I DO see what u did thar. writing this as I read in case you couldn't tell :P ) He's definitely needed here, to stand with Rand. Also, as Rand later comes to realize and Lan already knows, those two have more in common than is easily or comfortingly explained. Lan's 'mentoring' of Rand, even when it comes to creepy things like 'sheathing the sword', is my favorite relationship between men (NOT implying homosexuality here! as much as sheathing swords makes me giggle) in the entire series. For some reason I feel like Hurin drops out in Tear but that can't be right o_O Doesn't he meet the thief-catcher in Tear?

chapt. 10:
Hellooooo Lanfear. Lady in white, hrmmm, never seen that before...

Haha, Rand's a sorry excuse for an Aielman and people don't like him for it. Sucks to be disliked for the way you look, neh?

Poor Ingtar, so conflicted. :/

The repeating scene with the flies confused the heck out of me the first time I read it. I think it still might...
michaelt
46. Dr. Morganstien
RobMRobM @43

Siuan has the ability to see ta'veren with a glow of light, as did Logain (as we find out later).

I know what you're talking about Logain being able to see ta'veren. I would like to disagree, since it's (the Talent) always described as a glow. Logain, on the other hand, says Rand burned like the sun.

This led me to the conclusion that since he had proclaimed himself Dragon and clearly was not, he was getting shown who was by the pattern or something.

am I right? wrong? someone let me know
michaelt
47. jafco
Good stuff, Leigh. Lots of action, many new players. Good start to a really exciting book (so why doesn't it stand out as one of my tops!?)

Many new rules of the road here on the way to standardizing "magic" and/or "bad behavior" - grey men, "sniffers" (a dead-end evolutionary path?), lots of flies (some kind of manifestation of T'a'R?), Aes Sedai behaving in extremely questionable ways (Liandrin and Verin, for two). Much ado for a few chapters!
michaelt
48. gagecreedlives
Loving the recap Leigh. Top Stuff

Talking about how we never hear another dark prophecy does anyone know if the black ajah or the forsaken have fortellings?

Also did anyone notice how Moraine doesnt seem to tell Siuan about the forsaken being free?

I always found the fact that Masema hates Rand at the moment before coming his greatest fan and Mat/Perrin being upset with Rand over his clothing and acting like a lord when the both end up becoming lords quite amusing.

Its been a while since Ive read the books but doesnt Hurin arrive home roughly the same time as borderlanders start skirmishing before they came south?

Lindal @15 I agree with you. When Moraine says "it's imperative that we retreive the dagger...". Well Moraine isnt going, Siuan cant and that leaves Verin. Might be enough mental justification to escape the oath.

I also think Verins little speech about the birds and fishes is an attempt to get Moraine and Siuan to think of her as absent minded again after she laid that bombshell. Verins best trick is to get people to underestimate her.
michaelt
49. Dalamon
@ 38. R.Fife & 40. Squocka
I bet Moiraine has a larger idea of Mat's involvement with the horn because of her talk with Min at Far Madding. When they discuss Min while in the Ways, Moiraine tells them that Min saw a great deal of things about ALL of them. Most of which Min and Moiraine are unsure of the meanings. I'm quite sure one of the things Min saw with Mat was the horn. I believe we get that in one of her flashbacks in the later books too.

@ 48. gagecreedlives
I find the HUGE shift in Masema's allegiance hilarious too. I also find it interesting that he never looses his power to pose a real threat to Rand either. He goes from huge hatred and possible violence to huge fawning and even GREATER possible violence. Even when Perrin meets with him later in WH, iirc, and they try to keep him from causing riots and things against Rand. Masema needs to make sure his image of Rand as 'Light made Flesh' stays consistent and will do anything to keep that way. Including making pacts with Rand's enemies to remove, what Masema views as, obstacles from Rand's path. IMHO.

@ 46. Dr. Morganstien
Why couldn't the Talent to see or feel Ta'veran be different for Male's than it is for Female's? Since females can SEE each other channel while males can only FEEL one another channel. What if the Talent of .... observing Ta'veran is similar in the difference between sai'din and sai'dar?
michaelt
50. storchy
I guiltily admit that this has always been by far and away my favourite book. Interesting I know considering that most people would disagree. Tho to put into context, the series as a whole surpasses anything I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Thoughts anyone?
michaelt
51. birgit
shooting arrows at weird one eyed creature things in that other world

The grolm have three eyes, not one.

Didn't Ingtar bar anyone from leaving the gates before the Amyrlin arrived?

He seemed confused when Rand mentioned the earlier orders. I don't think he is acting here, so it can't have been him.
michaelt
52. Faldor
Hi all,

This is my first post as well but I read and enjoyed the resumes & comments from the start. Can't do my own re-read so thanks a lot for this one leigh ! :)

So here are a few thoughts about some points raised by others.

About the ta'varen-seeing power, I never realized the difference pointed out by Dr Morgantien. IMO Logain says "burning like the sun" to describe an unusualy strong glow (Rand is a VERY strong tavaren). But it's still a glowing imo.

About the book as a whole, it's fun to see that people either have it as a favorite, or dislike it. I'm in the second group myself. I loved the beggining (\o/ Cat Crosses the Courtyard \o/ and all that ) and the end (Ingtar's confession made my skin crawl) but the whole "If worlds" arc and the relation Rand/Selene really was a pain.

That's all for now, I will try to participate a bit more from now on.

Sarah Litchfield
53. sklitch
Great stuff Leigh, keep it up.

I always thought the 'eyes' following Rand were Lews Therin. The beginning of his emergence inside Rands head.

I miss Hurin too, lets hope he does reappear in aMoL.

Sarah
michaelt
54. Lsana
Just a couple of other comments on what others have said:

About Mat and the horn: Moiraine's comment was "With the horn gone, he is not necessary..." (emphasis mine). Even if the horn were there, why would Mat be necessary to Moiraine's plan to keep Rand under supervision? Perrin could have taken the horn just as well, and had the same effect on Mat. My guess is that Moiraine already knew that Mat would be the one to sound the horn, possibly from something in Min's visions possibly from some passage in the prophesy of the Dragon that she never discussed with Suian. Remember that she was keeping something back in her discussion with Suian; I think that might have been it.

@ 48. gagecreedlives
On the subject of Black Ajah getting foretellings:
I've wondered a couple of times if Gitara Moroso might have been black. From what we heard about her, her foretellings seemed to serve the shadow just as much if not more than the light.
bill mazzola
55. bmazz1008
I came in to work today totally thinking it was friday and I had another Wheel of Time update to read. Dammit!
michaelt
56. TheFullNelson
For the record Leigh - I hope you're getting paid for this. When you're this good at something never do it for free.

I think the creepy house was a trap set by Lanfear - Uno spotted a 'woman in white' who turned out to be... curtains. Lanfear being spotted right before Rand and Rand alone is hit by (something resembling a) Power-wrought trap is kind of a big coincidence, no? Lanfear would (and does at every chance as Selene) want to A)force him to use his newly developing Power, and B)find out just how tough he really is. Describing the trap as 'web' says to me that it is made with the Power ("spinning a web" is how the Forsaken & LTT think of it, and even the sissy new-worlder Aes Sedai call it "weaving"). Any trap set by Fain would not use the Power, and later in the series we see that no one ever even tries to "dispel" a bubble of evil; they deal with its effects and wait for it to pass.

Post 11 says RJ may have confirmed Fain setting the FlyTrap (yes, clever) and I'm not one to argue about a book with the guy what wrote it but it does seem to be a departure from RJ's high standards of internal logic (Asmodean aside, there really IS a way to puzzle most of this stuff out with the info he gives us, and we've been given no hints that Fain can work Illusions, or that if he did it would so closely resemble a trap laid by a Channeler). If the trap was a 'bubble' or Fain, we are not given enough info to understand that for several books to come, and I don't think that's RJ's style (I would be disappointed in him were either of those the case).

OK, post 35 backs up the 'Rj says Fain did it' so I guess I'm wrong and somewhat disappointed in RJ for needlessly sloppy logic. How could Fain set that trap for Rand, not knowing which building he would enter? Triple BOOO-URNS on that, I would expect RJ to know about MOM and Fain had no Opportunity (and even his Means were just a wee bit Deus Ex I-Didn't-Bother-Thinking-It-Through-a).

Besides, Fain wants to look Rand in the eye, slowly gut him, then wear his head as a hat - he's insane, remember? Killing Rand with a trap would upset him as much as someone else killing Rand. He WANTS Rand to follow him to Thoman Head. OK, I'll let it go now, I swear....

Travelling renders Portal Stones rather thoroughly obselete - why risk a dangerous trip to who-knows-where-or-when when you can just step through the gateway? I seem to recall Verin saying they were used for research more than transport, but I could be wrong.

Verin is very cool and I'm hoping we find out more about her. As she says later, she has developed prattling into something of a Talent.

RE:7 - Aginor (indirectly) calls the dagger "an old thing, an old friend, an old enemy..." I think the fr/enemy is a reference to the fact that anyone caught by Mordeth's brand of hate/fear/suspicion would be a pretty easy mark as far as the Shadow is concerned - yes they'll fight you but they'll also fight your enemy and they're pretty easily manipulated, as who understands hate/fear/suspicion better than the Dark One?

RE:14 - I think that the Aes Sedai's normal first approach is manipulation, particularly of men. Keep in mind they haven't had to see men as equals for 3000+ years (hey, men in that situation could be worse, I'm not pickin on anyone).

RE:34 - As I understand it, Mat wouldn't corrupt others UNTIL he had been consumed by the dagger, which M said almost happened but not quite.

RE:45 - Lanlove - heeheehee!

Finally, I'll say it - I don't miss Hurin at all. At a point in the series where you have to be either A)a channeler of great power, B)a noble of great power, or C)both, just to become a bit character, I would think it foolish to waste space on such a forgettable character with such a minor ability and so little relevance to the plot or the characters. Even most Hurin-lovers, I think, would rather see the space get devoted to *insert another character here*.

Stupid Fain FlyTrap... Shoulda totally been Lanfear...
michaelt
57. VarnerV
To Dr. Morganstien @ 46

This is what RJ said in his blog about the ability to see the glow of ta'veren:

"Someone who sees ta’veren sees them as glowing. The more strongly ta’veren, the brighter the glow. This is a Talent, and is something that only someone who can channel can do."
michaelt
58. Mark-S
I love how the six other ajahs view the Browns as rather scatter-brained grandmotherly like types who could lose their way to the bathroom unless carefully guided. Yet time after time they quietly show how wrong those folks are. Verin epitomizes this and I expect great things from her and all the Browns in AMOL.
michaelt
59. Dr. Morganstien
Thanks VarnerV,

it was just wishful thinking probably, since Logain is the man.
michaelt
60. MariaX
Post 57:

"Someone who sees ta’veren sees them as glowing. The more strongly ta’veren, the brighter the glow. This is a Talent, and is something that only someone who can channel can do."

Has Jordan said anything about Ogier and ta'veren? That's quite a few chapters ahead, but I think the Ogier woman in the stedding says that she can feel Rand, which means he's strongly ta'veren. But Ogier can't channel.

Chapter 7: Ah, Verin. So wonderfully spacey and yet so sharp. I think she and Moiraine, in their different ways, are just about the only sisters who live up to the awesomeness of the stories about Aes Sedai. Jordan's well-characterised Aes Sedai are human and understandable (if not always likeable), but Verin and Moiraine manage to have aces up their sleeves despite the increasing power level of Rand and Co. I /love/ how she casually drops a bomb on Moiraine and Siuan here.

Chapter 8: A major reveal, and I don't see how Jordan could have handled it better than he did. One of the best scenes in the series.

Chapter 9: I actually wouldn't want Hurin to come back. Jordan's main characters grew up as farmers, there are sensible supporting Emond's Fielders, but quite often his servant-types come across as halfwits; this is a very personal opinion, but they just don't feel like real people to me. Hurin may deliver good exposition about Cairhien, but I always found him a bit stupid and cringeworthy. I'm glad Juilin took over Hurin's slot as the thief-catcher - he may be a bit dull but he doesn't have Hurin's shortsighted and too sincere "I'll stop thinking since the lord is here now" attitude.
jeff dillard
61. jeffchef
Greetings all.
This is my first post, I've not been doing the actual re-read, but I've enjoyed keeping up here.
My thoughts on Hurin are that he is an early manifestion of something we will hear more about later.
"is this something new or something old returned."
In a way this take some of the pressure off of Min for being unique.
As for Logain and others being able to see ta'veren isn't that an accepted talent that is considered outside of the one power.
Maybe Moraines dismissal of mat is her belief that without recovering the dagger he is lost and no longer a factor in her/Tar Valon's attempts to control the Dragon Reborn. But later moraine herself say that she should have seen that three Ta'veren born in one village so close together should have told her something.
One thing I have noticed in the series is a concept of women of power and men of strength and Rand is a disruption of that belief.. so the White Tower seeks to maitain thier power.
Just a thought
michaelt
62. OniXathor
iirc Hurin appears at least twice in later books, once in LoC when Rand finds him in Cairhien and sends him and Loial on a quest to close the waygates and then again in CoT when he sends him to set up his ill fated meeting with the "Seanchan"
michaelt
63. buddhacat
This re-read has become a staple of my life now. Almost like the old days of the froup.

This book had as incomprehensible a goal as tEotW. The Eye's reason for being and use were discussed in the previous posts, and I think I am now getting some of the why of it.

But Falme - why in hell does anybody want to go there? In particular, why does Fain want to go there? Yeah, the Seanchan are coming, but, from Fain's POV, so what? The whole premise is forced. That and the interminable snottiness by Mat (at least he stops being a dick by the time they get to Cairhien) and especially Rand (who doesn't stop being a doofus for several books - it seems like he started getting angry in this book, and has been angry ever since) made this book one that I usually skipped during re-reads. This despite some memorable scenes, such as you have noted above.
Herb Schaltegger
64. LameLefty
buddhacat@63 - I don't think Fain himself particularly wants to go to Falme. But the Dark One (or one of the Foresaken jockeying for position and influence) does want him to go, to lure Rand there and incite a confrontation between Rand & the Seanchan and create the most chaotic situation, one the Dark One/Foresaken can take advantage of.
michaelt
65. tearl
ch.9 re Domon's things from his hidey-hole

I've always found it curious that Domon has a duplicate of the fat man male angreal that Rand finds in the Stone. Is there another instance of identical angreals, much less identical male angreals?

I wonder if RJ didn't initially have a different plan for introducing the angreal through Domon and then High Lord Turak's collection; however, he changed his mind when the final scenes didn't allow Rand a reasonable opportunity (too hectic) to find it, and then missed this reference in the editing.
----------

ch.10 re Ingtar

Add to the many comments, when I first read the latter chapters of TEOTW and then TGH, I found Ingtar's over the top militaristic jingoism annoying. Then at the end of TGH it is revealed he is a reluctant DF. On subsequent re-reads I find it fascinating to interpret Ingtar's actions and comments with the knowledge that it's his opinion that his only hope of salvation is in glorious deeds in battle (preferably unto death, then there's no chance to be forced to sin again.)

It explains his annoyance at missing the battle at Tarwin's Gap, and helps explain many odd behaviors in TGH, his "hunger" for the Horn for example (a means to GLORY.) He offers hope for salvation to Changu and Nidao because he wants someone to do the same for him.
-------------

To several commenters, it's Thief Catcher not Thief Taker. Juilin would be quite upset if you called him a thief taker. :)

-------------
David M. @23

I like your thoughts on Verin's comments. I feel Verin is of the "let the Dragon be the Dragon" school (perhaps the sole member). She advises and assists him, but doesn't try to force him. Your observations support my feelings.
-------------

Dr. Morganstien @46 and VarnerV @57
re Talent of seeing ta'veren

A ta'veren glow as bright as the sun isn't only seen by Logain. We also have from Siuan, ch.5, The Shadow in Shienar:

"I saw the boy....It's one of my Talents, seeing ta'veren....he blazed like the sun. I've seldom been afraid in by life, but the sight of him made me afraid right down to my toes. I wanted to cower, to howl....Agelmar thought I was angry with him...."
michaelt
66. RandFan
The Dragon Reborn chapter is for me the best of the series. Its all downhill from here. Still many awesome scenes, but every time I read about Gitara Sedai dying to proclaim his birth, I get chills.

I think the brief on Tam's life clears up the whole sword thing. Hotshot young mercenary swordmaster in a big city, what else do you spend your money on? There must be thousands of them in circulation, being that they are well nigh indestructible.

Also, yeah, you forget much. Domon is still a major charachter and we are awaiting the resolution of his romance. Hurin I am not so sure about, he lasts another book or two I think...
michaelt
67. Caine09
Really enjoying the re-read thanks a lot.

Seriously how cool is Lan, in my opinion ultimate cool. He's everything Aragorn was in the LOTR's and so so much more.

Id forgotten completely about Fains escape, pretty big event, thanks for reminding me.

Yes Verin is one seriously sneaky bitch, what is she upto at all. I know she was almost about to to poison Cadusane in COT I think, so she must be pretty serious in whatever she's planning.

Its funny how Maessama is such a prick to Rand here and then goes on to become the Prophet. Ah irony.
michaelt
68. MGnann
Just want to say thanks for these re-reads. Ive been wanting to do this myself, but just haven't found the time. I love your writing, I even laugh at your jokes! Maybe one day there will be one of these for the Song of Ice and Fire series, then my life would be complete.
michaelt
69. Swift100
I finally caught up..at the expense of al the work I should be doing. Great re-read though.

A few comments on Verin. I believe that she is by far the most myterious Aes Sedai. There are many times when there are hints that she has far more knowledge than others, is older than people can believe, is brillant in manipulation, has her very own purpose and plans. You really have no idea where her loyalties lie. I would not be suprised if we get a revlation bomb in TMOL and find that she is a Forsaken or Black Ajah or something awesome from the past better that Cadsuanne. She is fun to try and figure out and I don't believe that she ever says anything that is not thought through. She may have been saying that there are some women who can teach Rand to use his power--like Lanfear or her for that matter.
She obviously never gets in positions where she is powerless like other Aes Sedai. And it insinuates that she has had her own mission like Moraine for the last who-knows-how-many years.

Great character--very important for the end.
michaelt
70. Kaelin
Much as I identify with the Browns, I never quite realised how cool Verin is until this discussion. Because she's so skilled at letting everyone underestimate her?
I shall be keeping a closer eye in future.

Thanks for the grest re-read, and I agree that Lan is made of awesome at ALL times.
michaelt
71. Swift100
I beleive that Fain is an "Old enemy, old friend" in that he has no allegience, but is pure evil. Fain does not serve the Dark One anymore, but himself. I believe that all the Darkfriends are self -serving, but faithful to the Dark Ones schemes and desiring the power that he can give them, fearful of his wraith. Fain could not care less. He is still driven by the hunger for Rand and the others, but really hunts and kills for his own pleasure and means. This makes his the "Lord of Chaos" for the Dark side, the renegade. He is out to deatroy--period. What was it that they said in The Dark Knight "Some just want to see the world burn." That describes Fain. Him and Rand complete each other (sorry, I know that was obvious)
Herb Schaltegger
72. LameLefty
MGnann@68 - the alt.fan.grrm group did one for years when I was still reading and participating in that group. If you don't have usenet access, dig around in the Google Groups archive of that group and you'll probably find more than you ever wanted to know, and plenty of "loony thaeries." :-)
michaelt
73. lindal
Jeff@37
What is the "Verin as a stilled red Amyrlin" theory? I've never heard it.

Gage @ 48 Thanks. I'm with you about Masema!
michaelt
74. Swift100
Sorry about all the bad spelling-I am typing in a hurry. I will try to do bitter, I mean better.

Tam has to be one of my favorite characters. Totally awesome as warrior, blademaster, in archery, and even with the quaterstaff (second to Matt's Dad). Mysterious history, yet compassionate, humble, loyal, and simple. Content to live his life out with his son and shepherd his sheep and farm. Oh, and just happens to be a great Dad. He does all this without the help of Warder bonding, the One Power, priveledged upbringing, or even a mentor (that we are aware of).

Gives us common men some hope and inspiration.
Agnes Kormendi
75. tapsi
@69. I wouldn't be surprised if Verin turned out to be Black, either, though she's one of my favourite characters... there's definitely more to her than meets (even the reader's) eye. I seem to remember a scene where she's ready to poison Cadsuane, and she also uses a weaker form of Compulsion on the captive sisters. But though she's suspicious, she never does anything that makes me think "ah, so she IS Black ajah". I'm really curious of what she'll do in TMOL.

(I do hope she's not a stilled Red Amyrlin, though!)

I also like the idea that some of Rand's grumpiness and paranoia could be the result of him traveling with Mat and the dagger, it's never occurred to me.
michaelt
76. Rebecca Starr
Thanks as always Leigh!

Ch. 6
I too, always assumed it was Ingtar who gave the earlier order, but I'm reading opinions above and admit Moiraine is plausible too...

Also, Ingtar makes it sound as if he and Liandrin have met before, at a Darkfriend Social or elsewhere. "A hard woman," Ingar muttered, then seemed surprised that he had spoken.

Ch 7
as much as we do get insight into Moiraine's head, I always wish in these scenes we knew *more* of her plans, her plots. What, for example, does it mean that "The Amyrlin gave Moiraine a guarded look, obviously wishing they were alone so she could demand to know what Moiraine was up to. Moiraine made a soothing gesture..."

Was it Nym who made the Tree of Life? I can't recall

Ch 8
Leigh, to answer the odd spacing of the chapters here, I think more than anything it has to do with length! Leavetakings would have jumped to 30 pp if the end bits of Chapter 7 were included in it.

what a funny throwaway line that most Domani think the Dark One is dead. I knew they were slutty, but I didn't know they were stupid! Anyone know if this country-wide philosophy is explained later on?

ok, and also, why would Leane know to nickname Perrin "blacksmith" here. I mean, c'mon, a lot of guys have broad shoulders. he's not carrying around a hammer... yet

"as surely as roe makes fish." Haha Good one, Siuan

Ch 9
to add to what others have said: the archer was a Gray Man. Bayle Domon comes back a helluva lot!

I'd like to know who it was that came near Siuan with a dagger 5 years ago. I'd also really like to know more about sniffing and how it works. ::sigh:: magical, unrealistic stuff with no explanation

Ch 10
phew finally, yes my take is that this is the illusion left behind by Fain and that the "cobwebs" are something Rand is lashing out at with the Power to undo, without yet having the vocabulary or understanding to describe it. I wonder, though, if maybe the flies were... distilled. They are the DO's spies, so maybe we're seeing the images they recorded in their eyes, and that's why it seems so many of them are in the room, feeding Rand the images, and why when he lashes out with saidin it kills them all and just a few remain dead in the room.
michaelt
77. Rebecca Starr
RIPJordan@19, I think Ingtar gives the last rights here because they are Darkfriends, but so is he, and he's come to regret it and fighting desperately for the idea that he can still be redeemed and find salvation in the Light.

David@23, I agree Verin's line here is not a throwaway. What she's actually getting at is that it does no good to divide the Power into saidar/saidin, male/female... I think she realized early on that the Last Battle is only going to be won with men and women re-learning to channel together

Juilin Sandar and the fez... now I've get that Steely Dan song stuck in my head
michaelt
78. tearl
MGnann @68

Maybe one day there will be one of these for the Song of Ice and Fire series, then my life would be complete.

I would love to find one for Erikson's Malazan series. We're 8 books into a decology, and I still don't have ANY idea on how it's going to resolve! I can't even formulate an hypothesis.
Richard Fife
79. R.Fife
As to Tam:

He was "second captain" of the Companions, which I would take to be a fairly high rank, especailly since military forces are not all that in the back story. As I recall, "World of WoT" book mentioned that Mat was the first one in a long time that has had a force large enough to need a decent amount of officer-corps-ness. Heck, in book 3, it is insuated the Children of the Light only have 10k men total.

So, what I'm getting at, I think when he made the status of blademaster, probably the "old fashioned way" of being tested by 5 others, he was awarded the AoL sword. After all, who in their right mind (or wrong) would actually sell that sword and know what it means. Perhaps if/when they release "World of WoT part 2" we can know for sure though, since the prequel about Tam is probably never going to be fully fleshed out.
michaelt
80. tearl
Swift100 @71

That describes Fain. Him and Rand complete each other

Now I can't get the following scene out of my mind:


Rand: (looks into Fain's eyes) You complete me.

Fain: (looking at Rand) No, you complete me.


Jeesh!
michaelt
81. seanie
Re:Verin , I really don't think she is a Forsaken. There are several instances where she talks about plans she has been working on for "past 70 years". The only Forsaken free was Ishy....She is mysterious and much more than meets the eye. She could be black but no conclusive evidence for that I think . Her and Cadsuane are two big question marks. I think she is more likely black of the two. Casdsuane is hard , tough etc . I don't think she will not hesitate to take harsh action if need be , but I don't think her evil . I am not sure if Verin is evil either but she is certainly playing her own game . There's lots of evidence for that.
They are two of the most interesting , least stereotyped AS . Keep up the great work Leigh...I love the discussion , I've learned quite a bit ....
michaelt
82. JeffR23
Lindal@73:
It's my own personal theory. Sometime down the line, it gets mentioned that (prior to the events of the books), 3 Amyrlin Seats had been stilled, and all were of the Red Ajah, and all three of them basically wandered off afterwards, presumably dying shortly after but not doing so in any documented manner. The details as to why they fell from favor are part of the 'the chronicles are incomplete/censored' thread.

Meanwhile, we learn that Unstilling is apparently extremely easy to discover once you discard the 'don't use Fire in Healing' rule, (which is somewhat suggestive as to the origin of that rule), and that being Stilled and Unstilled may reduce your raw power and will release you from the Oath Rod.

(I also vaguely recall a reference to Verin's appearance that was inconsistent with the 'ageless Aes Sedai look', although in fairness it could have been from before that was established as massively significant)
Michael Ikeda
83. mikeda
My thought is that people are overcomplicating things when it comes to the dueling statements by Verin and Moiraine.

I've always thought the explanation is simple.

"Moiraine sent me"

Moiraine said something (not necessarily "onscreen") that Verin interpreted as wanting her to follow Rand and the others.

"I didn't send her"

Moiraine's statement, however, did NOT explicitly tell Verin to follow Rand.

(And it's even possible Verin misinterpreted Moiraine. It is not unprecedented for there to be miscommunications between major WOT characters.)
Joe Sherry
84. jsherry
Jeff@82:

How old would that make Verin? I'm not dismissing, and it is an interesting theory, but I thought it had been a thousand years or more since the last deposed Amyrlin. Cadsuane at 300+ is an extremely long lived modern Aes Sedai.
michaelt
85. hari coplin
To address the subject of dreams being real or metaphysical. This was addressed more in earlier posts, but not finding the best one I use the latest, since it is a topical matter for all of The Great Hunt anyway.

I think RJ did not define the rules early on, but that he had a very definite understanding on the dreams not being metaphysical. Fantasy being the genre, it must only be understood as "fantastic", post-modern if you like. I think it is simply not meant for us to know the rules early on, this is very consistent with other things too, I bet there are 100 ways to kill the gholam, only like the unknown ter'angreal, we don't know how things work. For some of these matters, like the dream, knowing the rules might even give away something of the ending, since the nature of the world will tell us something of how the Dark One can be dealt with. Accurate logic can after all reveal pretty much.

RJ was very careful to rafo everything concerning Ishamael, and him being bound in Shaoyl Ghul but being present in the world, this is not surprising.

Otherwise, I think RJ took pride in being able to think of many new things that are unknown for each book, him telling he didn't want to reveal too much in interviews so that the new things come in the books as new things. So the world is a big place, and there is not room to dwell on the old.

On Fain, I was actually wondering if Machin Shin appearing to come out of the Waygate later on was also an illusion by Fain. Or perhaps something more deadly. Perhaps the rules are somehow similar to how Shadar Logoth was able to entice Liah later.
Agnes Kormendi
86. tapsi
I don't think Verin could be a Forsaken, either; for one thing, she's been walking free for the last century or so, and for another, we know where most of the Forsaken are and who they impersonate. Though I for one haven't guessed Mesaana's guise, and she's often associated with brownish/bronze colours (if memory serves well), she seems to be rather ignorant when it comes to Rand and those close to him. She'd also be too arrogant to play Verin's game, I think.

Cadsuane is also interesting, we know how and why Moiraine and Siuan think she's Black ajah, but that's not conclusive evidence, either.
michaelt
87. rereader(1009)
Hurry up and read up through book six, so I can pickup where I left off almost a decade ago.

Great job, keep at it, you've got a long way to go still before you can rest.

cheers
michaelt
88. Rebecca Starr
Jsherry, for approximate Aes Sedai and other channeler's ages, see here: http://www.wotmania.com/faqtopic.asp?ID=85

My assumption in retrospect is that Verin might have used her little trick on Moiraine (which she uses on the captured Tower AS following Dumai's Wells)... thus Moiraine might have sent Verin but has no recollection of it.
michaelt
89. gagecreedlives
Dalmon@49 Ive been wondering if part of Masemas huge shift is besides going crazy is that he is Demandreds proxy that Sammael spoke of.

Lsana@54 Hmmm I never considered the possibility that Gitara could be black. Very interesting I shall have to ponder this.

Why would you use the portal stones, not only are they not as reliable as a gateway but it also sounds quite distressing when they travel to Falme later on and everyone seems to see not so pleasent versions of themselves or events. "I win again Lews Therin."

Verin is very mysterious woman but I dont think she is anything other than a very clued in brown sister. Im sure when Rand is in Far Madding, we get a Verin PoV and she thinks about how if she wasnt so curious she wouldnt of left (I cant remember how many years ago)to go to Tar Valon and would of got married instead. And I think there might be a scene when she using compulsion on the captured sisters later on where she has to use a mental justification to get away with a half truth.
So I cant see her being a black sister but possibly darker than your average brown. That last sentence is meant to be read with your best Yogi Bear voice.
michaelt
90. pld
@ RRife re Tam's sword again:

There is a statement by Tam saying he payed entirely too much for it (meaning the sword).

It could mean that he had to sacrifice too much in order to pass the test for a blademaster. What that sacrifice could be we have no clues.

The more likely explanation is he actually paid entirely too much CA$H for the sword from someone who may or may not have known it was made with the power.

sorry for the spelling errors but I'm L8 4 hockey...
michaelt
91. Sidetrack'd
JeffR23@82 - "being Stilled and Unstilled may reduce your raw power" - I'm probably way behind the theory-board folks here (purposefully avoided the theory sites, actually), but I've always thought this had to do with genders - Nynaeve heals Logain, he's full-strength. She heals Siuan & Leane - they're weak. Damer Flinn heals some of the Dumai's Wells Aes Sedai later, and there's never any mention of them being weaker than before...
michaelt
92. Sidetrack'd
(whoa, this comment got long!)

I agree with the notion that we aren't supposed to know all the rules yet - we learn more as the characters learn more (something I really admired in the Harry Potter series as well - the world, the complexities, the problems, etc, all grew /with/ the characters). To me, this really heightens the feeling of being 'along for the ride" with the characters. Not to mention, if RJ laid out all the rules of the world first, that'd take at least a couple books (that'd read like Trek tech manuals *cringe* ;) BEFORE we got to the actual story.

Also agree with the 'duh' factor - Rand says *the* name, the whole world shudders - I think I'd take the hint the /first/ time on that one. Maybe this was intended as a foreshadow of his stubborn/hard self later on, as he was convinced he had ended (who he thought to be) Ba'alzamon.

I always assumed that Lan's help to Rand was a 'kindred spirit' thing - Lan is 'a man alone' (is that a quote?), and he sees that Rand, as DR, will probably end up more alone than he himself is. Also always thought that Moiraine sent around the order for no one to leave - since Siuan appeared, Moiraine wanted her to meet Rand, to actually /see/ what they'd been working/plotting for all those years.

The 'fly trap' was definitely creepy - based on the wording, Rand was definitely channeling to end it, and the 'crumbled at his touch, but he hadn't touched anything' seriously sounds like the descriptions of feeling out saidar - there's something there, but it can't be seen/felt/identified. I gotta vote for Lanfear on this one.

(Thinking now how I never caught the Eye hints at clean saidin: men and women together, during the breaking - post-tainting - to filter clean saidin into a super 'well'... RJ definitely knew where he was headed from the beginning.)

And the Myrdraal nailed to the door - that still rings as a shocker, there - we knew from Moiraine's inquisition and the scenes in the cell that Fain was more than your average middling-bad nuisance, but that /really/ drove home that he was solidly in the "Big Bad" category.

And Perrin's 'sniffing' - I think he lets a few things slip here and there simply because he's still unused to his new abilities, and they catch him off guard - he realizes he knows something useful and blurts it out, then realizes /how/ he knows it and wishes he'd kept quiet.

btw - I finished read number 7 a couple months ago, after being introduced to WoT about 5 years ago - this blog/re-read is GREAT because this'll fill the gap and help me resist starting another pre-AMoL read. I tend to 'immerse' to the point I can track and explain ALL of the separate storylines in the books 6-9 range - BUT I start having trouble keeping up with the day of the week. So, thanks, Leigh and Tor. Also, I'm with rereader(1009), Leigh - it's a long road, thanks for taking this on...
michaelt
93. GregoryD
Chapter 7 Blood calls blood

One thing that everyone seems to ignore is the fact that whoever possesses the dagger is infecting himself and OTHERS and those others will infect OTHERS until the desease that killed S. Logoth is rampant in the world once more.

Padan Fain certainly has infected many people by now, book elevenish. I guess it is too much to hope that the Creator will cause all those infected to die in the Last Battle? Yeah, I thought so, but I had to ask.

I talked with RJ several years ago at the World Fantasy Convention when it was in Rhode Island. He said that not all plot lines would be resolved, much like our world if we just stopped writing about events on say June 1, 2009. Time marches on.

He also said that there would be a hook at the end. I take that to mean that whatever the outcome of the Last Battle there is going to be something that will make everything not so neat and tidy all right in Randland. Something may unravel things, if you know what I mean.

Maybe that something is Padan Fain and those infected with Mordeth. As RJ used to say RAFO.

In any case, this whole dagger thing is much, much more serious than everyone is commenting on.
michaelt
94. Erdrick
@91 Sidetrack'd,

Again quoting directly from encyclopedia-wot:

Siuan and Leane are both much weaker than they used to be, but Logain seems to be at full strength. Also, the women Damer Flinn Heals are not noted as being any weaker than before. (WH,Ch13) At signings Robert Jordan has confirmed that this is a cross-gender thing. Only saidar can fully restore a man and only saidin can fully restore a woman.
michaelt
95. Erdrick
@92 Sidetrack'd,

Re: "The 'fly trap'...vote for Lanfear..."

See my previous post #35. RJ confirmed it was Fain.
Brett Michie
96. bchurch
@ 62 OniXathor,

Loial's companion that you're mentioning is not Hurin. He is an Asha'man named Karldin.

I always loved this book . . maybe because I read it at least three times waiting for TDR.

Not sure yet on Verin being black, but she is one of my favorite Aes Sedai. Haven't caught her in a lie yet and she's good at Aes Sedai dissembling, but she also thinks to herself in PoD that 'young Rand' needs to be kept alive until it is time for him to die which minds me a bit of Elza Penfell, a known Black sister who swore to Rand. Elza came to the conclusion that Rand must be kept alive until the last battle so the DO could defeat him. Of course she came to that conclusion after being healed/compelled in captivity by Verin. Hmm. . .


And Min tells Rand in TEoTW that she sees a horn around Mat, so it's safe to assume that Mo knows also.

Anyways, Leigh, awesome job!
michaelt
97. birgit
Was it Nym who made the Tree of Life? I can't recall

Avendesora is the last chora tree. There were lots of them in every city in the AOL.

Lan is 'a man alone' (is that a quote?),

The Aiel call him Aan'allein, which can be translated as a man alone.
Richard Fife
98. R.Fife
PLD @ 90
I recall the quote, I always took Tam to not be a man all that concerned with money, seeing as he gave up "the good life" of a companion and the cities to little more than a subsistance farmer. I would guess he is refering to something more immaterial for the cost of the sword, like his youthful innocence.

Also, that Tam's sword would be a power-wrought weapon to be awarded a "common blademaster" seems to also fit into Lan's little speech about said swords, and how a simple soldier's blade become the blade of the Malkeiri Kings. Switcharoos, etc, seemed to be a strong theme through all of Jordan's writing, after all.

GregoryD @ 93

You actually bring up a good point about S. Logath that I have always wondered. What are the chances that when Mashadar appeared and consumed the people of the city that every last one of them was consumed? Surely there must have been a handful of survivors to have spread the plague forth.

And also, as to Fain corrupting numerous people, I think that takes a fairly long amount of prolonged exposure. The guards were around him a lot per day for a month to become as dark as they were, and who could say if they were to the "contagious" level yet. After his imprisonment, though, Fain hasn't stayed in super close prox. to anyone all that long, especially since he doesn't want to waste his time with common-folk, and wants a ruler instead. Pedron Niall might be the most likely candidate, but even he did not seem all that suspicious/twisted in the end, well after "wormwood" left him.
michaelt
99. Pyron
Great commentary here. I've been following along with the audiobook, and wanted to put my two cents in about the scene with the flies. At the end of the scene, where Rand is tearing through "cobwebs made of steel", it sounds fairly close to the description used of when he was shielded in the box. (Poor memory and way too long between rereads allows the details of that scene to elude me.) Given that this disturbance only happens to him, and the second glance of the woman happened just moments before, it leads me to believe that it was indeed Lanfear testing Rand. The Dragon must be strong, and if he cannot break free of a simple illusion and shield held by one lone channeler, then how could he be strong enough to truly be Lews Therin Reborn?
michaelt
100. tearl
jsherry @84
re Verin's age if she where a healed stilled Amyrlin

The last stilled Amyrlin was Bonwhin Meraighdin (Red), deposed and stilled circa -141 NE, the calendar conversions are not precisely known.

That's roughly 1140 years before current time. Add 100 years minimum (installed at a youthful 60 + 40 years in office of Hawkwing's reign). Verin would be a minimum of 1240 years old! Reane, the oldest Kin is 412.

It's possible she's a healed stilled/burned out other AS.

Personally, I think that Verin over the years (with an inquisitive mind) has learned to push the limits of the oaths to the extremes, and then trained her OP "muscles" to push them a step or two further.

As far as her being a Forsaken, the only possible one is Mesaana. Verin spends the time from the beginning of TSR til taking residence in the palace in Cairhein after Dumai Wells, in close presence of a multitude of people. It is hard to imagine her able to carry out Mesaana's activities during this time.

As far as her being BA, I believe there are several POVs over the books that refute this and incidently refute being Forsaken as well.
michaelt
101. JCon
Leigh-

This reread is great. Without it I probably would have never picked up the series again and would never read MoL.

A few comments...

When I first read TEOTW 15 years ago, I wondered where the series was going to go now since Rand killed the DO. I didn't clue in to the bigger picture hints until some point in TGH or DR. Therefore, I could relate to Rand's "I just killed the DO" comment. Was I the only one who was that clueless?

As for Masema's change of heart. I always thought that was Jordan's poke at televangelism.

Thanks again.
michaelt
102. Swift100
@80. tearl

I know--corny, but I already apologized. Still fits though
michaelt
103. MikeDeepo
RE: tearl @ 100

The only Verin POV scene I can think of is the one in one of the later books (not sure which one) where she Compels some of the captured Tower AS. I remember reading and re-reading that passage very carefully, and IMO it doesn't show anything one way or another about Verin's allegiance. Definitely not Forsaken though.

I'm certain that must be deliberate on RJ's part, since there are a number of scenes where a previously ambiguous character thinks the equivalent of "I need to do ...cause I'm a DARKFRIEND!" Elza, Katerine, and Galina all leap to mind.
michaelt
104. UK Chris
On Liandrin and Rand in the dungeon -- I always thought she was trying to use her broken form of complusion on him in this scene.

On Verin -- definitely enjoy her. She definitely makes it on the list of top WOW Unanswered Questions for me...

1. Of course -- the definitive Asmo answer
2. The Young Sitters
3. Verin's deal (purple ajah, etc)
4. Sheriam and who's beating her

FWIW, I disagree that Verin was somehow bending the truth. She was definitely lying, or else RJ wouldn't have made such a point of having Mo contradict her. It would be pretty lame for Mo just to be wrong because she didn't realize how Verin was bending the truth.
michaelt
105. Effervescent
The "gate closure" for me is a true mystery, as we know from Ingtar that it wasn't an order through proper channels. If Ingtar was behind it, he would have allowed Rand to think Agelmar ordered it, not disabused him of the idea. If Moiraine ordered it, why would Uno not say exactly that? Weird.

As far as Julin Sander being a replacement for Hurin, thar be another mystery. Why is it, after we learn he has the same powers as Hurin, he rarely uses them? Further, I have always wondered what position the Whitecloaks took on Thief-takers. Are they considered darkfriends? Whitecloaks tend to consider anything "different" powered by the dark one, so why would this be any different?

One last note on thief-catcher(takers)...I know many "mediums" today claim to be able to sense action, anger or destruction as a residue . Could this be a hold-over from a previous age?

I LOVE Lan in this book, for we see that Moiraine never really has him "under thumb", to the point where even Siuan wryly says so (the "Lan has got to the boy" line when she formally meets Rand). Any non-channeler who can keep their sense of identity after spending close to twenty years among Aei Sedai is awesome in my book.

Befoe I forget, the fact that Tam's wife was from Caemlyn is yet more proof that Morgase's exposure to Two Rivers' speech was Tam himself. No, it isn't iron-clad, but the hints are there, if RJ meant to do it. Further, Kari's minimal description (i.e. hair color) could be used to describe Morgase...could Kari be related to Elayne's family tree?

Finally, Domon for me was an example of what happens when an ordinaly person comes in contact with a ta'veren, especially one as powerful as Rand is. His whole life is completely changed forever, and worst, he seems to be continually thrown back into the "mix", and his life seems to never be dull. We get snippets of this (such as the young girl Rand and Matt meet on the way to Caemlyn, who then goes to the White Tower), but Domon is the first person we see that really has a huge change in life expectation.

Whether his character is interesting or not makes no difference to me; he is simply a great example of the indirect power Rand, Matt and Perrin have on the world.
Richard Fife
106. R.Fife
Juilin is never called a sniffer: just a thief-catcher. Think Dogg the Bounty Hunter, or Sherlock Holmes. Detectives/Private Eye types.

As to Bayle, I think the patern had picked him up well before he met Rand, or shall we say, in Saldea when he picked up the seal. That is why he went to Toman Head, how he got involved with the Seanchan, etc and so forth.
Joe Sherry
107. jsherry
Tearl @ 100: I didn't buy the theory of Verin being a stilled and healed Amyrlin, though I still do like it. :)

But there was no way the math would work out.
michaelt
108. FunBob
Just a few comments, late as they are:

1) I agree with the Lanfear group on the time cycling: RJ may have confirmed it was Fain, but it makes more sense that it was Lanfear testing Rand to find out what his abilities were and whether he was really Lews Therin reborn. The descriptions of how Rand escaped sounds a lot like cutting a weave, which would have told Lanfear that she had a high level, instinctive channeller on her hands....

2) 82: As stated in 91, the unstilling to full strength was tied to gender, as Nynaeve healed Logain and Damer healed the stilled Aes Sedai. I have always seen this as a foreshadowing that it would take Nynaeve and Damer TOGETHER to bring Rand back from the dead through their healing skills after the last battle.

3) 104: Sheriam was being beaten by Halima, Delana's secretary and the reborn Balthamel.

Great discussions! On to post 3....
michaelt
109. David Scotton
Also, wow. I really don’t remember a lot of what happens in The Great Hunt (henceforth, “TGH”). I guess that only makes sense; for various reasons, it wasn’t one of the books I needed to dig around in for WOTFAQ purposes very often. Additionally, it isn’t one of my favorite WOT books in general, mostly because of how heavily it featured Fain, not to mention the near-toxic levels of Stupid displayed by Our Heroes at various points. Like Rand here, just for instance. YOU DIDN’T KILL THE DARK ONE, DUMBASS. Nynaeve should have gone ahead and smacked him.

(Plus, there’s one other really big Thing I Hate in TGH, which we will get into at the proper time, because man, I have got shit to say.)

Huh, I was just thinking about how in some ways TGH is my favorite book in the series. I really like how the characters are kind of an intermediate state between being the small town bit players of book 1 and the globe-trotting demigods of books 6 and on, and the plot of the book fits that well. I think Ingtar had a more interesting arc than most minor characters, and I also really, really like the climax of this book... the only one I would put on the same level as it from the whole series in that department is Lord of Chaos.
michaelt
110. tearl
Sorry for the late post (Part 3 is already out.)

MikeDeepo @103
re Verin POVs showing non-Black Ajah-ness

Yeah I searched for the ones I thought were proofs and I couldn't find them. In particular, I thought there was something in WH.

I did find two scenes that, IMO, strongly suggest such especially when taken together.

First, WH ch.25 Bonds, the scene where V almost laces Cad's tea. I view this scene as V's concerned that C is planning on controling Rand, where V's convinced R must act freely (see my post @65). I don't believe V intends to kill C, merely knock her out, and give R a chance to get away. Then V reconsiders after C explains her intentions to teach R to be strong not hard. I see this as a very non-BA action.

Second, WH ch.32 A Portion of Wisdom, when V advises R to accept C as an advisor. Again I believe is a very non-BA act (unless you believe both V & C are BA).
------------

jsherry @107
re Verin as a healed stilled Amyrlin theory

Agreed she can't be a stilled Amylin, but interestingly there is a stilled Aes Sedai that fits. No name is given, but ACOS Gloss.: stilling

...was last carried out in 859 NE.

The problem I have with the "healed stilled/burned out AS" theory is that Verin has to be impersonating someone. A healed AS would be too remarkable an event for Verin to have kept her former name, but then who was/is the real "Verin Mathwin"? I can't see someone showing up at the White Tower and saying "Hi, I'm Verin. You don't have me on the books but I'm an Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah."
Joe Sherry
111. jsherry
Faux-Verin as Wilder?

I don't know. I just wonder if she got around the 3 oaths without being Black Ajah.

A healed / still AS also means she'd have to have been away from the Tower for a LONG time without running the risk of someone remembering her, even with losing the ageless look and becoming less recognizable...but she got it back. Which means more risk of recognition.

Verin has to have an interesting back story.
michaelt
112. Shloz
About Verin - on re-reading New Spring, it seems Verin was probably onto Siuan and Moiraine from the get-go. In the chapter here (IIRC) Verin starts her tale to Siuan with "...the first indications were soon after the Aiel War..."

In New Spring, Verin was part of Moiraine's Testing team, and possibly also of Siuan's (done the same day, and other sisters were at both). Both Moirane and Siuan came to their tests carrying their "black books" where they were writing down names of Dragon candidates. After Moiraine's Test, she saw Verin holding her purse, containing the black book. She almost panicked, but convinced herself that Verin probably didn't see anything. We all know how that works in RJ's writing, don't we?

So Verin knew right after the Aiel War that the two newest sisters, who were always a team, and had personal contact with the Amyrlin, were compiling a list of babies. Soon thereafter, Moiraine ran from the Tower against orders, and was never heard from again at the Tower. Suian remained and rose to the Amyrlin Seat.

You gotta hand it to Verin - she rox as a detective!
Richard Boye
113. sarcastro
FunBob@108

It's been a while, but was it ever conclusively proven that Sheriam was being beaten Halima? Aside from her losing her shit when the Alliance with the Black Tower proposed (see FAQ: 1.5.4: Sheriam: Black or Blue?), and the general circumstantial idea of the whole thing?

By the by, I don't if this was ever firmly answered, but I think we can safely say that Min's upcoming viewing of Sheriam all battered and bruised (in tSR ), is satisfied by this whole Sheriam getting flogged nightly thing.
michaelt
114. Dr Hoo
tearl @ 78 - agree, would love to see a similar re-read for the Malazan chronicles! Was thinking about doing one on my own, anyway, after this one. Of course I don't have any idea how many books Erikson is planning....
john massey
115. subwoofer
Leigh- 'k- getting there- you are doing such a good job with the reread and commentary! I love the way you don't sugar coat it.
Chapter 6- Moirainne and Liandraine. MEOW! Two words- cat fight! coulda been good. Rand was kind of a knob though. The whole "filth" thing.
Chapter 7- the whole Verin thing. She was never really gotten into. Even in future books where it was hinted at that there was a warrant on her head and stuff, we never really got a look at who she was before she became Aes Sedai and who she is in the Aes Sedai.
Chapter 8- BTW you're Jesus. Anyone who saw the movie or read the book knows it did not end well for him. Rand probably felt the same way. He just wanted to be a carpenter. Was a good read except for the whole Clarke and Lana thing with Lan and the braid.
Chapter 9 Yay for Loial. Yes he is big and fluffy and has a good heart. Rand/ WOT needs more people like him.
Chapter 10- SEE- back to the whole Aiel thing again.
michaelt
116. toddywatts
TheFullNelson@56 "Deus Ex I-Didn't-Bother-Thinking-It-Through-a"--hilarious!
michaelt
117. AlfredTungstan
Re: Fain's spreading of the evil from Shadar Logath. I seem to recall reading somewhere that this point was addressed by Jordan himself. He stated that M's assumption that Matt would spread the evil once he was consumned was wrong. That relates to AS being able to say a lie if they believe it to be true. This would mean that although Fain spreads the taint to those who spend time around him, starting with the poor guards, those would not turn around and taint others. I could be remembering incorrectly though.

Like the others, I'm loving the re-read.
michaelt
118. Katiya
I apologize if anyone else said this, because I'm behind and skipping over lots of comments, so.

As confirmed by Jordan, the scene in the house WAS Fain coming into his powers. We can explain away Rand's presence in that particular house by either ta'veren (a convenient catch-all), or perhaps as part of the mysterious link between Rand and Fain.

The scene in the courtyard...Jordan also confirmed that it was Ingtar who ordered that the gates be closed (there's a clue in the chapter, but you almost have to know in advance to catch it), and later, Ingtar admits to letting in the Gray Man that "tried to kill the Amyrlin". Now, there's been some speculation as to whether or not Siuan and Rand's assumption that the arrow was meant for him is incorrect after all. Some think that the Gray Man was part of a BA plot (which seems likely, given the presence of Alviarin at Fal Dara, and the known fact that Liandrin attended the DF social...I said Alviarin too, but now I think that I may have confused her with Liandrin...perhaps she was there ringless, that would make much more sense) to get rid of Siuan. She wasn't supposed to come back to TV without Rand, and Moiraine was supposed to be there too...remember the sketchy Red/Green alliance? Well, Siuan did something completely unexpected, and that could have been the last straw for the Black...remember, they've been watching her for a long time.
michaelt
119. Bonzo4288
Interesting about the either love/hate relationship to this book. I rather enjoyed it myself, but can relate to the opposing party.

Why I think this is a good book is that it sets up how the rest of the books are going from here on out. Two or three chapters with Rand, one for a point of view of someone else with Rand, Two or three with Egwene, Nynaeve etc., one chapter broke into three or four things going on at the same time.

It also "expands" the world from approx. ten characters going places, meeting people, having adventures, to bringing the White Tower in, campaining and following darkfriends through different countries and then the inevitable seperation/rejoining of the main characters and their individual adventures continuing to be connected by the Ta'veren.

The parts I didn't like are the little things that take SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long to explain (like what she is wearing compared to what this other person is wearing, what sort of roofs are being used in this town) yes it is in all of the books, just an annoyance, but its there.
michaelt
120. elezraita
I have a theory about who shot the arrow. This is purely conjectureI may be completely wrong, but each one of the four stanzas of the dark prophecy seems, to me, to concern someone who was present at Fal Dara during the attack in which the horn was stolen.

The first stanza concerns Lanfear. She was likely the one who released Fain from his cell. He clearly recognized her (who wouldn't recognize the most beautiful woman of the Age of Legends), though he was quite surprised to see her.

The central figure of the second stanza is the Dragon Reborn, who was also present at Fal Dara during the attack.

The last stanza of the four concerns Fain and his plan to face Rand on Toman Head among the Watchers (aka, the Seanchan).

The central figure of third stanza, which to me is the most interesting, seems to be the odd man out when it comes to my supposed criteron for being mentioned. However, in my mind, he is as involved in the attack on Fal Dara as the other three figures. The author of the prophecy--probably Lanfear--tells of Isam and Luc and proclaims both that the hunt (for the Dragon) "is now begun", and that the "Shadow's hounds now course and kill". A couple of chapters later, an arrow shot by an unseen assassin just misses Rand and the Amyrlin. The guards search for the archer, but are unable to find even a trace. It's as if he has just up and disappeared...into the World of Dreams, or something... Mmmmm. That's odd... Isn't Slayer (aka Isam/Luc) wont to do that sort of thing? Anyway, my belief is that Slayer was the archer.
michaelt
121. elezraita
I stand corrected. Apparently, it was a gray man, let into Fal Dara by Ingtar, that shot the arrow and a fade wrote the prophecy. lol.
michaelt
122. Bob Young
I would like to start out by thanking you for this fine site. I truely am enjoying it. What I am questioning is if Perin is somehow protected from a/s or the OP?????? I have read the books but can not remember once that a a/s has used the power against Perin, yet he has manhandeled one. " Leane gives a non-answer, and Perrin tries to leave. Leane grabs his chin and examines his eyes. She tells him there’s no way he was born with eyes like that; Perrin growls that they’re the only eyes he has, and to both their shock, picks Leane up gently and sets her down out of his way. Muttering an excuse, he flees. " I also think that Rand was held in flows of air by another AS and Matt has had the power used on him and his fox head medalion protects him ( or it allows him to feel it when they try.) anyway dose anyone remember Perin having the one power used against him. We have gone a long way in this story and I just don't know what to make of this??? Maybe I am wrong???? Just a thought!
michaelt
123. JamesEdJones
Lovin' the re-read, Leigh. Thanks so much for doing this.

As for the experience in the farmhouse, this is a very strong theme in this book, first with the village and then with the portal stones. We get to see slight variations (or not so slight) on repeated events in the world. Now portal stones use the one power to contact other dimensions in the universe (as Verin so aptly described regarding TAR). And TAR covers all of the dimensions.

So Lanfear, who was present in this event, and in Rand's first experience with portal stones, wants Rand to be as bad-ass as possible. Her efforts throughout the first five books were focused on forcing Rand to use more power, command more people, kill more mutant Kermits.

I think it's reasonable to assume that she is able to use the One Power or TAR or both in this trap. I wish I knew how, but then I also wish I could channel (with or without the taint). Rand's experience ended with him reaching out for the One Power to kill the flies and, voila, Lanfear gets what she wants.
michaelt
124. catchinUp
Damn you Leigh! Your re-read has made decide to read the series again. Great Job, and like all I love your posts, and your humor.

I just read the Ch6 Dark Prophecy and I wonder:

The Watchers wait on Toman's Head.
The seed of the Hammer burns the ancient tree.
Death shall sow, and summer burn, before the Great Lord comes.
Death shall reap, and bodies fail, before the Great Lord comes.
Again the seed slays ancient wrong, before the Great Lord comes.
Now the Great Lord comes.


Any thoughts that
the seed slays ancient wrong
is Rand destroying Shadar Logoth / the evil created by man? ... is there any indication of a bloodline from Hawkwing to Rand?

Call it a Looney Theory, but I don't recall anyone "burning" any Avendo trees, on Toman Head or else where. But Laman cut down the tree, and isn't Rand related to Laman?

(sorry to post so late after the initial thread start, but I'm catchinUp)
michaelt
125. Kung-Fu Chicken
Okay so... Bayle Domon do be in every book sometime i think u just throw us these softballs to get the commenting going and doesnt hurin bite the big one? Now to save face as soon as i read the assnine Bayle domon deal i had to comment so if everyone else brought it up i wanted to clear my chest places he comes up Tanchico {Dr} COS, KOD, he pops up all over the place mALE ADAM ANYONE okay back to the reread
michaelt
126. Kung-Fu Chicken
re post 62: thats Karldin a young Asha'man that rand sends with loial and Davram and Logain he sends to the Seanchan
michaelt
127. Kung-Fu Chicken
hey bob post 122: rand uses the one power against perrin in front of everyone in the Palace after Dumai Wells, as part of the attempt to keep his Masema mission secret. Intention being if Rand doesnt like Perrin anymore who cares what Perrin does? Which never seems to stop anyone in any of the attempts Rand makes to keep his friends safe. So Perrin has no one power stoppage power


btw you can find me on myspace same name if you want to keep up any discussion about WOT I consider any one who reads at the least an aquaintance thanks late
michaelt
128. mmmjay.
Ya, I get what you mean about Portal Stones just kinda dropping off the face of Randland. I always attributed it to the rediscovery of Traveling (who needs a portal when you got instant gratification?) but then when I reread the series I realized that Traveling isn't rediscovered (let alone widely used) until at least Fires of Heaven...maybe later. For some reason everyone always prefers to use The Ways, which really don't make no kinda sense.

Conclusion: they crazy?
michaelt
129. sam_nola
Hey just thought that I'd point out one of these 'missing' characters does show back up in TGS. I won't give away any spoilers, though...
michaelt
130. Réka M
I know I'm coming in extremely late, but I would still like to know where Moiraine went in these chapters? Was it just a big red herring to make us wonder whether she was at the Darkfriend Social?

Also, do we get an inkling of where Moiraine found her information about Rand's past and Tam's story? Did Nyn finally crack and tell her? Or is that where Moiraine went, to find out the backstory? If so, from whom and where and how did she get there?

Anyone?
michaelt
131. Réka M
I'm also awaiting the discussion on the whole lack of trust thing among the characters in the entire series. No one tells anyone anything. I think Moiraine made a huge mistake here at the beginning by not being upfront with Rand. She could have taken on the whole wise counselor / gentle teacher role, not revealing anything to fry his brain too early, but revealing enough to sate his need to know, and thus guiding him toward a path she considered right. Or gotten Lan to play that role. But she doesn't, she just goes for the obnoxious manipulation bit, and destroys any potential trust. They could have made a really awesome team; she and Rand, if she had played her cards more openly here at the beginning when Rand still WANTED her counsel and her guidance.
michaelt
132. Big James
Leigh, loving the reread, but obviously joining in waaaaaaaaaaaay late. I only want to do one more complete reread before the end of the series when AMoL comes out, so this is a great way to prepare for TGS in the meantime.

Anyway, re the creepy time-loop thing--Fain or Lanfear? I've seen posters say RJ said it was Fain, and I'm not one to argue w/ the one who created the world. But the wording used to describe Rand trying to break free seems too 'coincidental.' It says, "Cobwebs made of steel. Moonbeams carved from stone." MikeDeepo @ 32 already talked about the cobwebs/saidar thing.

But moonbeams? That seems an odd description. Unless you take a look at Datamuse @ 43 on the post for Chs 11-17. He brings up the whole Selene / Lanfear / moon connection. Not that we knew Selene's name in Ch 10, but I could see this description being very deliberate on RJ's part as a clue to who was responsible.
Rob Munnelly
133. RobMRobM
130. Reka - My theory is she went to Tar Valon to commission the clothes for Rand from her favorite tailor (discussed at length in New Spring) and to do the undercover research to determine Tam's background. The time frame makes sense to me. I don't know how she could have gotten prince-quality clothes for Rand made without a visit to her tailor. Rob
michaelt
134. Felix Velarius Bos
I'm sure it's been pointed out by now, but Bayle Domon DEFINATELY came in later on. First, he was in Tanchico with the Accepted trio (Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne), then he popped up as Egeanin's so'jhin and husband in later books.
But yeah. It's really easy to notice as it goes on how much of the fanciful stuff of WoT just drops out and gets more...realistic? That's not the right word (it's fantasy!), but that's as close as I can get.
Jake Bobo
135. Jake O Shadows
second time through the re read. first time comment. was super upset by the crappy reception Hurin got when he finally did come back oh...ten books later. He was always one of my favorite throw away characters.
I'm always amazed now when I do a re read how much the first three books have changed for me now. I love all the Fain / Lanfear stuff. My first time through I skimmed all the Aes Sedai parts and kept wondering when we'd get back to the BIG THREE. Now I just want Moraine back. (please God make it November 2nd)
Thanks Leigh for this super awesome thing that you do for all of us too lazy to do yet another re read.
michaelt
136. GenoMalkier71
Oh, for god's sake. Please enough of the sudo-sarcastic BS. Enough of the parenthetical one-liners. (Leigh is sooo made of nerd!). This isn't "Superbad II, The Book Review". Is that really the way you talk? This isn't a comedy, and you're not a comedian.

Enough. You've clearly never written anything on a professional level. I though at first the kitschy references and 16-year old phrases—such as "totally awesomeness"—would go away with time. But I was wrong. Now I can't get through one commentary without fifty parenthesis, The Simpsons references and of course the inevitable 1st person comment directed at Rand, and written in ALL CAPS.

(YOU STINK AT THIS!)

What a nerd.
michaelt
138. Zippy
I'm arriving waaaay late to this party, but such is life. This info may have been mentioned many times but I may have missed it... sorry. Hurin leaves at the first of the next book to inform the Borderlanders about what happenned. He is in the Borderlander army that comes south seeking the Dragon. He meets Rand alone to tell him of the meeting spot in Far Madding (I think) and receives a total Al'Thor dis. In TofM Rand asks for him so he can appologize for being such a tool.
michaelt
139. Thom N.
Oh my people. LIANDRIN was the one who sent out the order not to let anyone leave! It makes total sense, with ¿Amathera? under her thumb, she would want to make sure the boys couldn't escape while she searched for them. With Amathera under her thumb that would be easily accomplished. It also explains why the order was lifted after the attack- she found who she was looking for, but it was too late to properly terrorize them/him. I can't believe no one else picked up on this, unless I missed some big reason it couldn't of been her. Also, Lan's puzzlement over the order to ban people from leaving seems to point it was not through the usual channels, something the "Diademed Battle Lord" would probably have heard about, whether it came from Aes Sedi or Lord Aelgemar. He certainly seems to keep up with both sides equally well, something Warders seem to be good at picking up on.
michaelt
140. D.T.
I know I am two years late to this party, but I just want to say that one of my favorite moments (and one of the more ironic) in the series happened at the end of chapter 7. When Lan and Rand are getting ready to go see Siuan, Rand is all freaking out and Lan tells him,"There is only one rule for becoming a man. Whatever comes, face it on your feet." The irony is, of course, that Egwene felt the need to spend hours talking to Aram's mother about "how to be a woman" and yet Lan does it for Rand in two sentences. I always liked that part of the series because it is so true. We try so hard to control our lives, but in reality, we control hardly nothing, and the best thing you can do is face your troubles and adversity "on your feet."
Paul Smith
141. PaulSmith998
Why in these early books is Mat always the one thats retches noisily in the background whenever anything nasty happens. Come on Mat you are my fav character after you finally get a POV but these early books you really arent the same person...!
michaelt
142. Divil The Bother
Reckon Jordan got that one wrong alright - it was definitely Lanfear who created the fly vision illusion...
michaelt
143. sadface
I dislike the idea that RJ changed the rules, or didn't know the rules, or was unsure about the balance between metaphor and reality in these earlier books. We know that from the very first pages of tEotW he is laying out plot hints that won't come into full view for thousands of pages. Do we really think he would think through those items so thouroughly, but go blindly ahead without the rules of the world? At least some people here are voicing what I believe, that the charactors are unable to clearly describe what is happening to themselves until they learn the rules. This serves a narrative purpose, allowing us to feel as unsettled and confused as the charactors, and it speaks to RJs ability that even as we do our re-reads we still feel confused, but can also see the clues pointing us toward the fully-fleshed out rules. I expect that even "the rules" are just the charactors best guess to what is happening, expressed in a shared "technical" language, and the rules are subject to change, similar to our relationship with cutting edge science, in particular physics.

The idea that the rules are all firm, but unknown to the charactors also serves a literary purpose, illuminating what I see to be a major theme of WOT. Various people, to various degrees, have all kept knowledge secret in order to support their power or position, which has a cumulative negative effect of the world they share, and it leads to the loss of knowledge and power. Time and again we see the rules are not unknown, just secret, and digging out these rules out of people is what has enabled our heros to gain their powers. Some of the worst with this are the Forsaken, but even the good guys do it, and arguably they would not be in their current position if they corrected their behavior. Entropy serves the DO.
michaelt
144. sadface
Of course our charactors gave up using portal stones to travel, but I don't think they are an abandoned idea. They are a crucial peice in understanding what is going on in tWOT. First off, we see LTT Travel in the open scenes of tEotW, so, even if the rules weren't fully established, we know that RJ has at least some concept of Traveling very early on. And, while they jump quickly from Tear to Rhudian, the trip from Carhien to Falme took longer then it would have to walk, and it was unpleasent. You also have to know the symbols for where you want to go, and who knows if you would even end up in the same reality. It is really the misadventures with the PS that are interesting. They are the first clues to the fabric that the Wheel is weaving, and the scope of the reality Rand is fighting to save. The stones, along with Verin's first Dreamwalking lesson to Egwene, give us the basis of how and why the Ways, Traveling, vaccoules, TAR, Finn Doors, etc exist and work. I wouldn't be surprised if we find that the Bore is actually in another one of these worlds or realities.
michaelt
145. Passafist
I like to pride myself on having a good memory for stories, but I think I got 1/3 the way through the book before realizing I had actually read the book before and only a couple years ago at that. I could never quite predict what was going to happen next, but as soon as I read it, it was very familiar.

I'm not sure why the book does not lend itself to be remembered, but I also have had this problem.
Robert Crawley
146. Alphaleonis
First full reread of series since AMOL. - sad quote from Chapter 8 "We will see home again, Nynaeve. We will." (Egwene)

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