Mar 4 2009 1:01pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Dragon Reborn, Part 2

Bonjour, mes petites! Asseyez-vous, s’il vous plaît, et fermez ta bouche.

Quoi? Vous ne parlez pas français? Il est bien, je ne fais pas non plus, évidemment.

Bienvenue au Relire de La Roue du Temps! Aujourd’hui, c’est Le Dragon Réincarné, Partie Deux, avec les Chapitres 7-13. Oui, c’est vrai!

Entrées précédentes sont ici. Il ya des spoilers ci-dessous, fais attention!

Bon, c’est magnifique, n’est-ce pas? C’est ce qu’elle a dit! Laissez-nous commencer!

Chapter 7: The Way Out of the Mountains

What Happens
Perrin, Loial, Moiraine, and Lan head down out of the mountains, following Rand’s trail. Moiraine and Lan argue about the pace; when he reprimands her about going too fast, she comments that maybe she should send him to Myrelle before he gets too much older and slower. Perrin asks who Myrelle is, and Moiraine tells him just someone Lan has to bring a “package” to someday.

“No day soon,” Lan said, and surprisingly, there was open anger in his voice. “Never, if I can help it. You will outlive me long, Moiraine Aes Sedai!”

She has too many secrets, Perrin thought, but asked no more about a subject that could crack the Warder’s iron self-control.

Perrin is also uneasy about the fact that Moiraine has brought the Dragon banner with them, but the first few days of the journey are uneventful. One day Moiraine asks Perrin and Loial to teach her how to tickle fish out of the stream, and promptly catches twice as many fish as they do, and then makes them clean and cook the fish. Loial observes that Moiraine means to have them in the habit of doing what she says again; Perrin determines to resist it, but is not very successful. They reach the foothills of the range in Ghealdan, and come into settled land; Perrin thinks that the wolves should have long since been left behind in the wild country, but he can still feel them nearby. They reach the village of Jarra, a little way north of the border with Amadicia.

Yet Another Travel Chapter. Necessary, but boring.

I’m not a Moiraine-hater; I think most times she is relatively awesome. But I gotta say, she really comes off as kind of a dick here. Not only to Perrin, which could be written off as “let’s keep a lock on the one ta’veren I haven’t lost control of already”, but needling Lan about Myrelle? So not cool, girl.

Chapter 8: Jarra

What Happens
Jarra’s village green is littered with the debris of a recent celebration, but Perrin catches a scent of something vile that had passed through, and thinks worriedly that it couldn’t be Rand, could it? The man sweeping the inn steps jumps and stares when he sees Loial, but introduces himself as Simion, and assumes they want rooms. Moiraine asks if they’ve had a wedding here, and Simion replies they’ve had a plague of them; there isn’t a single unmarried woman of age left in the village after the last two days. Perrin starts to ask about Rand, but Moiraine cuts him off and asks for rooms and food. Simion agrees, and hesitantly asks what Loial is, and Loial indignantly answers that he is an Ogier. Simion is boggled, but brings them into the inn. The innkeeper inside, Harod, is just as shocked by Loial, but mutters that at least he isn’t a Whitecloak. Simion leads them upstairs, and Moiraine asks him about Harod’s comment about Whitecloaks; Simion replies that usually the Whitecloaks are annoying but not troublesome, but yesterday three of them announced they weren’t Children of the Light anymore and threw their cloaks off and rode away. Then another said he was leaving to hunt the Horn of Valere, and another that they should be hunting the Dragon, and then others started harassing women in the streets while two more tried to burn the village down before the other Whitecloaks stopped them. Moiraine and Lan go into their rooms, and Perrin asks Simion about a young man with reddish hair, who might have played the flute; Simion replies that he was there yesterday morning, and played at all the weddings. He was an odd fellow, Simion thought, talking to himself and laughing for no reason, sometimes, and he woke the whole inn with a nightmare.

Simion paused again. “He said something strange when he left.”

“What?” Perrin demanded.

“He said somebody was after him. He said . . . ” The chinless man swallowed and went on more slowly. “Said they’d kill him if he didn’t go. ‘One of us has to die, and I mean it to be him.’ His very words.”

“He did not mean us,” Loial rumbled. “We are his friends.”

Simion says he thinks the man was sick, and Perrin replies that that’s why they are following him, to help him. Simion says he knew it, and asks if “she” (meaning Moiraine) will help Simion’s brother. Carefully, Perrin asks why Simion thinks she can do anything, and Simion cautiously says he saw two women like her in Jehannah. Perrin agrees to speak to her on Simion’s behalf. He goes to Moiraine’s room and tells her Rand’s been here, he asked Simion about him; Lan growls that Perrin was told to keep his mouth shut. Moiraine tells him she was fairly certain already that Rand had been through here, because of the Whitecloaks, and he must remember that asking questions draws attention to them, too. Perrin doesn’t understand what the Whitecloaks have to do with it.

“Perrin, he is more strongly ta’veren than anyone since the Age of Legends. Yesterday, in this village, the Pattern . . . moved, shaped itself around him like clay shaped on a mold. The weddings, the Whitecloaks, these were enough to say Rand had been here, for anyone who knew to listen.”

She reminds Perrin that he is ta’veren as well, and to take care that he does not let a careless tongue “unravel more than you can know”. Perrin tells her that Simion knows she is Aes Sedai, and wants her to Heal his brother. Lan looks at Moiraine, and after a moment she tells him No, and Perrin realizes they were contemplating silencing Simion permanently. Moiraine goes to Simion, having Perrin accompany her, and Simion leads them both to a shed with a section of it hastily barred off. Inside is Simion’s brother Noam, ragged and filthy, and Perrin is shocked to see that Noam’s eyes are golden. Simion tells them Noam had been talking crazy for a year or so, saying he could talk to wolves, and then a month ago Simion found him like this.

Cautiously, unwillingly, Perrin reached out toward Noam as he would have toward a wolf. Running through the woods with the cold wind in his nose. Quick dash from cover, teeth snapping at hamstrings. Taste of blood, rich on the tongue. Kill. Perrin jerked back as he would have from a fire, sealed himself off. They were not thoughts at all, really, just a chaotic jumble of desires and images, part memory, part yearning. But there was more wolf there than anything else. He put a hand to the wall to steady himself; his knees felt weak. Light help me!

Moiraine examines him, despite Perrin’s warning that Noam is dangerous, but Noam only growls at her; once she leaves the enclosure, though, he hurls himself at the bars, snarling and snapping. Moiraine tells Simion that there is nothing she can do for Noam; there is nothing there that remembers being a man. Simion tears up a bit, but nods and thanks her, and she leaves. Perrin stares at Noam, and tells Simion that Noam would be happier let free; you cannot cage a wolf and expect it to live long. Simion hesitates and then agrees. Perrin opens the door, and Noam runs out on all fours into the dark. Perrin leans against the door, shaken, and Simion suddenly mentions that they had been hiding Noam from the Whitecloaks, because they had been looking for a Darkfriend named Perrin with yellow eyes and an association with wolves. Perrin looks at Simion and asks if Simion thinks this Perrin is a Darkfriend; Simion says no. He promises to bring Perrin something to eat in his room, so no one else will see his eyes.

Noam was another thing I completely forgot about: the example to show Perrin just how bad it could get if he loses control. I think that up to this point I had been kind of considering Perrin’s fears overly paranoid; after all, the only other Wolfbrother we’d met till now, Elyas, was just fine, if a little eccentric.

Noam’s fate, however, shows that in some ways Perrin’s situation is as precarious as Rand’s. Which sucks, both in general and because of how much it’s going to up the angst factor of Perrin’s POVs from here on out.

I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but Rand’s ta’veren-ness seems to vary in intensity depending on how loony he’s feeling at the time. This, along with the crazy-level itself, is something that seems to have been really amped up in TDR and then dialed back considerably in later books, as I’ve already observed. Again, whether this is deliberate or a (relatively subtle) form of ret-conning is probably a matter of opinion.

Chapter 9: Wolf Dreams

What Happens
Perrin goes to see Moiraine, who has been expecting him. He asks if that’s what’s going to happen to him; Moiraine says perhaps. She once found a fragment from a book from the Age of Legends that mentioned that some who talk to wolves lose themselves, but what percentage of the whole “some” is, she doesn’t know. Perrin asks if it will help if he shuts them out, and Moiraine says it might. She adds that the fragment also said that wolves live partly in a “world of dreams”, that it has something to do with the way they communicate, and warns Perrin that he must be as careful sleeping as awake. Perrin declares that he won’t end up like Noam, and Moiraine says being ta’veren, he probably won’t have much choice in what happens to him. Perrin reluctantly asks if she can shield his dreams the way she does for Lan, and Moiraine smiles and says she is Blue Ajah, and can only have one Warder. Perrin protests that’s not what he meant, and Moiraine tells him it wouldn’t help anyway; her shielding is for interference from the outside, and Perrin’s problem is within himself. She sends him back to his room, where he tries to ensure again that he is too uncomfortable to sleep well.

Perrin is in a high-ceilinged stone hallway filled with strange shadows. He shouts that this is a dream and he wants to wake up, but nothing happens. He hears a wolf thought say Danger faintly, telling him to run, and Perrin recognizes the wolf incredulously as Hopper, but Hopper is dead. Perrin runs, holding on to his axe, and meets a man in strange yellow clothes, who says to himself now he’s dreaming of foreign peasants, and commands Perrin to get out of his dream. Then a strip of shadow reaches down to the man and jerks his skin off in one piece. Perrin runs again, leaving the screaming, dying man behind, yelling at himself to wake up. He comes to an archway that leads into a ornately decorated room, where a woman in white and silver is examining a manuscript. She sees him and, shocked and angry, demands to know what he is doing here, he will ruin everything.

Abruptly the space seemed to flatten, as if he were suddenly staring at a picture of a room. The flat image appeared to turn sideways, become only a bright vertical line down the middle of blackness. The line flashed white, and was gone, leaving only the dark, blacker than black.

Just in front of Perrin’s boots, the floor tiles came to an abrupt end. As he watched, the white edges dissolved into the black like sand washed away by water. He stepped back hastily.

Perrin turns and finds Hopper there, who tells him he is in terrible danger and must run, now. Perrin shouts he doesn’t know how, and Hopper leaps for his throat. Perrin cries out, and wakes to find his neck undamaged, but that he is covered with splashes of blood from the skinned man in yellow. He jumps up and washes himself frantically, and finally lies down on the floor, where he sleeps shallowly enough not to dream.

Rand crouches under a tree, watching the giant black dog coming closer to his hiding place. He waits until it comes close enough to scent him, and as it leaps, destroys it with something he’s not sure what to call, a bar of solid white fire. He stares at where the dog had been, grateful that it worked this time; it hadn’t for some of the other dogs. He wants to hold on to saidin despite the taint, but makes himself let go, thinking that “they” can track him if he holds on to it. He hears another dog howl in the distance, answered by others.

“Hunt me,” Rand snarled. “Hunt me if you will. I’m no easy meat. No more!”

He wades across an icy stream and heads east.

Right about here is where we see Jordan starting to establish the rules of the Dreamworld as it will be portrayed from here on, like how people can accidentally pop in there (and get killed horribly while they’re at it, eurgh) from regular dreams, and so on.

Though I don’t know what the hell is up with Lanfear’s Amazing Flattening Room, as that’s an effect I don’t recall from anywhere else. This, obviously, cannot AT ALL be taken to mean this is the only place it happens, but it’s really unclear to me what is supposed to be going on there, personally. From the description it sounds a little bit like Traveling, but the whole room? Weird.

Aw, Hopper. Hi, Hopper!

Also, boo, Darkhounds. Bye, Darkhound! I love how balefire is this big forbidden and/or forgotten thing, and yet is pretty much Rand’s One Power weapon of choice from the get-go.

Chapter 10: Secrets

What Happens
Egwene searches for a glimpse of Tar Valon as she, Nynaeve, Elayne, Verin, Mat and Hurin approach the city, but as yet she can only see Dragonmount. She thinks about her dreams of Rand, in which he is running toward something, but away from something too. Nynaeve rides up and she and Egwene twit each other for a moment, but then Egwene wonders aloud how Rand and Perrin are doing. Nynaeve replies the boys will have to take care of themselves for now; she thinks something bad is coming their own way. It feels like a storm coming. Worried, Egwene looks to where Mat rides in a litter; Mat hasn’t woken in three days now, and she thinks that they cannot afford anything that will delay them getting Mat to the Tower. Nynaeve asks Hurin if he senses anything; Hurin thinks there may be trouble. Elayne asks what kind, and Hurin isn’t sure, but mentions the tracks he saw of twenty or thirty horses going back and forth. He heads up to ride with Verin, and Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene discuss what they should do if they are attacked. Elayne points out that they are not supposed to know how to use the Power as a weapon, and Nynaeve replies that they may not live to be stilled for it they don’t defend themselves. Egwene shivers at the notion of being stilled. Nynaeve checks on Mat, and says he is worse; Verin’s Healing is doing no good, and Nynaeve even tried it herself, but it seems she needs her medicines to make it work. She thinks he only has hours left.

Suddenly, two dozen riders come over the slope ahead of them, wearing white cloaks, and Elayne says she thinks they’ve found Nynaeve’s “storm”. They pull up, and Verin warns them to let her do the talking, and not to let the Whitecloaks provoke them. The Whitecloaks fan out to block their way, and their leader, whom Egwene notes is young for his rank, sneers at the “two Tar Valon witches” and their hangers-on, and demands to know where they are coming from. Verin replies mildly that they come from the west, and to let them by; the Children have no jurisdiction here. The leader snaps back that the Children have authority wherever the Light is, and threatens them with the Question if they do not answer him. Still calm, Verin says they have already answered his question, and does he really believe he will be allowed to carry off Aes Sedai in sight of Tar Valon itself? The officer shifts uneasily, but repeats his threat, and Elayne jumps in and informs him that she is the Daughter-Heir of Andor, and if he does not give way he will have Queen Morgase to answer to. Verin hisses in anger at her, and the officer laughs and says Elayne might be surprised to find Morgase has no great love for witches anymore, and he should take her back to Caemlyn with him. Egwene thinks she will not be chained again, and embraces saidar and causes a small eruption of the earth in front of the Whitecloaks, throwing some of them from their saddles. Other eruptions join hers, and she realizes Elayne and Nynaeve are following her lead. Then the Whitecloaks break and run except for the officer, who screams at Verin to go ahead and kill him like she did his father. Verin ignores him, staring in fury at the three girls. She tells them what they have done is an abomination and a violation of the Three Oaths. Nynaeve protests that they were about to be attacked, and Elayne adds that they didn’t hurt anyone, really.

Verin regarded the Whitecloak wearily. “He was only trying to bully us, child. He knew very well he could not make us go where we did not want, not without more trouble than he was willing to accept. Not here, not in sight of Tar Valon. I could have talked us past him, with a little time and a little patience. Oh, he might well have tried to kill us if he could have done it from hiding, but no Whitecloak with the brains of a goat will try harming an Aes Sedai who knows he is there. See what you have done! What stories will those men tell, and what harm will it do?”

Egwene feels guilty, and tries to apologize to the Whitecloak officer, and inadvertently mentions that they had come from Toman Head. Verin snaps at her to be silent, but the officer flies into a fury and spits that his father was killed on Toman Head, and he will see them burn for it. Verin sighs and tells the man to go with the Light, and rides around him. He shouts after them that his name is Dain Bornhald and he will make them fear the name. Verin tells them they had better learn the difference between telling all the truth and telling the truth appropriate to the situation. Elayne is troubled by what Bornhald had said about her mother, and Verin says Andor has always been a friend to Tar Valon, but things change. As they approach the bridge to the city, she tells them to be on their guard; now the real danger begins.

Ooh, look, first mention of Nynaeve tugging her braid. Hooray?

Okay, fine, Hurin’s still here. BARELY.

I am totally with Verin here; what a frickin’ dumbass move. If for no other reason than the PR repercussions! Not that it really ends up mattering in the long run, I suppose, but still. It only takes one screw-up to ruin a reputation forever, and in this case the Girls were representing the entire Tower; the fact that they were facing thuggish zealots already convinced of their evilness is irrelevant. The mark of true maturity is knowing when not to use power, Supergirls! Don’t make me judiciously exercise my ability to metaphorically smack you!

Chapter 11: Tar Valon

What Happens
As they ride through Darein, one of the “bridge towns” that have grown at the feet of the great bridges leading to the island city of Tar Valon, Egwene notices an unusual amount of military activity in the streets. They cross the bridge into Tar Valon, and Egwene is surprised by a feeling of coming home. As they head to the Tower, Verin warns them again to watch their tongues, and to accept whatever comes to them, as it is unlikely to be what they are expecting. They enter the square before the Tower, and Hurin tells Verin that he must leave them now. Verin invites him to rest at the Tower before leaving, but Hurin replies that he must waste no time; he must get back to Shienar to tell King Easar and Lord Agelmar about Falme, and Rand.

“Go in the Light, then, Hurin of Shienar,” Verin said.

“The Light illumine all of you,” he replied, gathering his reins. Yet he hesitated a moment, then added, “If you need me—ever—send word to Fal Dara, and I’ll find a way to come.” Clearing his throat as if embarrassed, he turned his horse and trotted away, heading beyond the Tower. All too soon he was lost to sight.

Verin takes them around to a small side gate, and sends one of the guards running off with a message before taking them to the stables. Sheriam soon appears with three Accepted, and says to Verin, so, she’s brought back the runaways. Egwene starts to deny this, and Verin almost shouts at her to be silent; reluctantly, she obeys. Verin tells Sheriam that the boy is dangerously sick and must be taken “somewhere away from everyone”. Egwene almost protests again, but subsides at Verin’s glare. Verin says she must see the Amyrlin immediately, and advises Sheriam that the three girls should be kept confined in their rooms until the Amyrlin decides what to do with them. Verin leaves, and Sheriam tells the girls if they say a single word to anyone except in direct response to an Aes Sedai, they would regret it. She dresses them down for running away, and directs the three Accepted, Faolain, Theodrin, and the unnamed third, to take them to their rooms. After Sheriam leaves, Faolain tries to goad them into saying something so she can rat on them to Sheriam, especially Nynaeve, whom she hates, but they all manage to remain silent, and Theodrin tells Faolain to leave them alone. They head off into the Tower, and Egwene prays that they are Healing Mat.

Well, that was brief. Bye, Hurin! See you again never!

And... that’s about it, except that Faolain continues the tradition of Reds (or proto-Reds) being defined as the least likeable Aes Sedai possible. Though she does redeem herself later? Sort of? Eh, whatever.

(Also, why not just name the third Accepted? C’mon.)

Chapter 12: The Amyrlin Seat

What Happens
Siuan paces in her study, glancing occasionally at the warded box on her desk, the contents of which will burst into flame if any person but she attempts to open it. She reflects on how far she’s come, a poor fisherman’s daughter from Tear, and how quickly it could all end if she slips up now. Leane enters and tells her Verin is waiting to see her; Siuan quickly says to send her in, and Leane is surprised, but obeys. Verin comes in and says she has news; Siuan advises her that the study is warded against eavesdroppers, a new precaution which startles Verin, and advises her to tell everything. Verin says first, Rand al’Thor has proclaimed himself the Dragon Reborn; Siuan is relieved to have it confirmed, but had been fairly sure she knew the very day it happened, for the two false Dragons, Mazrim Taim in Saldaea and some nameless guy in Haddon Mirk, both were taken on the same day in exactly the same way:

“They were in battle, and winning, when suddenly a great light flashed in the sky, and a vision appeared, just for an instant. There are a dozen different versions of what it was, but in both cases the result was exactly the same. The false Dragon’s horse reared up and threw him. He was knocked unconscious, and his followers cried out that he was dead, and fled the field, and he was taken. Some of my reports speak of visions in the sky at Falme. I’ll wager a gold mark to a week-old delta perch that was the instant Rand al’Thor proclaimed himself.”

Verin muses that the true Dragon leaves no room for false Dragons in the Pattern, and so they are removed. She shows Siuan the contents of the sack she carries: the Horn of Valere. Siuan is shocked, and demands to know why Verin brought it here; it was supposed to stay with Rand. Verin replies that it would do Rand no good if he did have it.

“What do you mean? He is to fight Tarmon Gai’don. The Horn is to summon dead heroes from the grave to fight in the Last Battle. Has Moiraine once again made some new plan without consulting me?”

“This is none of Moiraine’s doing, Mother. We plan, but the Wheel weaves the Pattern as it wills. Rand was not first to sound the Horn. Matrim Cauthon did that. And Mat now lies below, dying of his ties to the Shadar Logoth dagger. Unless he can be Healed here.”

As long as Mat lives, Verin adds, the Horn is nothing but a horn to anyone else; if he dies, of course, a new person could sound it and form a new link. She seems untroubled by what she is suggesting. Siuan considers, and says Mat’s fate is not yet determined; they will hide the Horn in the Tower for now. Verin agrees placidly, and moves on to the Seanchan. Siuan thinks they have bigger fish to fry, but Verin points out that they use the One Power as a weapon, and the ones on Falme spoke of themselves as the Forerunners of the Return, implying a larger force yet to come. Siuan admits that the stories are causing them trouble, but says there’s nothing she can do about it now. She tells Verin to tell her everything Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne said and did while Verin was with them.

Oh, Siuan, you and your endless fish metaphors! It’s not annoying at all, really, I swear.

So, yeah, this chapter tells us nothing we didn’t already know, except for the bit about Taim and the other false Dragon being taken out of the picture, which, great, but did we need a whole chapter of rehashing just for that?

No, no we did not. Moving on!

Chapter 13: Punishments

What Happens
Egwene lies on her bed in her chamber and talks to Elayne in the next room through the little hole drilled between them. Elayne wonders what’s going to be done to them, and Egwene doesn’t know. She’d rather thought that they might be heroes, what with retrieving the Horn and discovering Liandrin is Black Ajah, but apparently not. Elayne says it isn’t fair, and Egwene replies that she thinks Verin and Moiraine and the Amyrlin will do what is good for the Tower, not what is fair for them. She adds, though, that she will not allow herself to be stilled. Elayne doesn’t see how she could stop them from doing it if that’s what is decided, and Egwene says she could run away for real. Elayne considers this, and says she doesn’t know now if her mother would protect them if they went to her; would Egwene teach her how to live in a village? Egwene blinks and asks Elayne if she would really come with her, and Elayne says she will not be stilled either. Egwene’s door slams open, and Faolain smirks at the hole in the wall, and asks if Egwene had a nice chat with her friend. Just in time Egwene remembers Sheriam’s prohibition on speaking to any non-Aes Sedai, and remains silent. Faolain grimaces in disappointment and tells her to get up; the Amyrlin is not to be kept waiting. Egwene gets up as slowly as she dares, and follows Faolain out to find Elayne in the hall with her Accepted guard. They head to the Amrylin’s study, joined on the way by Nynaeve and Theodrin. They are greeted in the antechamber by Leane; Faolain tries to get Egwene in trouble and is sent to rake garden paths for it. Faolain glares at Egwene with hatred as she and the other Accepted are dismissed. Leane brings them into the study.

Siuan ignores them for a while, and finally greets the “runaways”. Nynaeve immediately returns that they did not run away, that Liandrin told them to go with her. Siuan slaps the table and warns them not to use that name again, but Elayne bursts out that Liandrin is Black Ajah; Siuan replies that she knows.

“Liandrin left the Tower some months ago, and twelve other—women—went with her. None has been seen since. Before they left, they tried to break into the storeroom where the angreal and sa’angreal are kept, and did manage to enter that where the smaller ter’angreal are stored. They stole a number of those, including several we do not know the use of.”

The girls are appalled, and Siuan continues that the twelve also killed two Aes Sedai and a number of other people in escaping the Tower. Nynaeve demands to know why she and Egwene and Elayne are being treated like criminals then, and Siuan points out that far from clearing them, if anyone besides she and Verin and Leane finds out of their association with Liandrin, they could be stilled on the spot. Egwene asks what the Amyrlin intends to do to them, and Siuan answers that she intends to have Sheriam switch them until they cannot sit down, and furthermore has announced their punishment to the whole Tower. Plus they will have scullion duty in the kitchens until further notice. She adds acidly that this is as much punishment for being stupid enough to fall for Liandrin’s ploy as anything else. Then she continues that Elayne and Egwene have progressed too far in channeling to remain novices anymore, much as she dislikes the way they have shown this, and so will be raised to the Accepted. Shocked, Egwene and Elayne stammer thanks, and Siuan tells them they won’t be thanking her after their first few weeks as an Accepted, which will be worse than all their time as novices put together; Nynaeve’s horrified sympathy does not ease Egwene’s mind. Siuan then tells Elayne that Morgase is furious with her, and she was lucky to miss Morgase’s visit, as she might not have survived it. As it was, Elayne may have ended a tradition that pre-existed Andor itself; Morgase refused to take Elaida back with her, and furthermore demands that Elayne be returned to Caemlyn as soon as it is safe for her to leave training. Elayne replies, but she wants to be Aes Sedai, and Siuan smiles grimly and says it’s as well, since she has no intention of letting Elayne go, whatever Morgase wants. Then she tells Leane to take Elayne to Sheriam’s study; she wants to talk to Nynaeve and Egwene alone.

Getting kind of sick of the White Flame icon. Realistically it’s the only icon that makes sense for Aes Sedai-centric chapters, I know, but there’s four in this section alone! Boring! However, it’s all good, because we are about to be inundated with a veritable smorgasbord (-orgasbord, -orgasbord) of shiny new icons in the next section.

(I really wonder if anyone is even getting some of these random references; I’m getting awfully obscure in my old age...)

Annnyway. Siuan’s (as yet unmentioned) Law of Unintended Consequences is seen in action here: Elayne goes adventuring, Morgase gets pissed and won’t take back Elaida, leaving Rahvin free and clear to move in undetected and glom on to her. Not that Elaida could necessarily have done anything against a Forsaken, but things still might have progressed quite differently if she had been there. Including, of course, the Tower coup; if Elaida had been busy in Caemlyn it might not have happened at all (and if she had been killed, well, duh.)

I like that the girls as yet don’t even know how big a deal raising them to Accepted so quickly actually is, since we find out later that how long one spends as a novice factors significantly into your pecking order rank among Aes Sedai. Which is a completely stupid method of establishing hierarchy, by the way, but we will get into that more when it comes up in the text.

The end, I have reached it, n’est-ce pas? Wai! Friday is Chapters 14-21, and you guys better remember to bring your Number Two pencils this time. D’accord, je t’aime, au revoir au revoir!

2. AyRon
Charlotte's Web of course...the rat's song...can't remember his name.

(of course, there have been a few times I've had to google your obscure references...)

Keep up the great work Leigh!
Todd Willis
3. tswillis
3RD GETTING CLOSER!!! Glad to hear your going to JordonCon it will be awesome....still loving the re-reads thanks as always Leigh!!! :-)
Bonjour, de retour Leigh ! ! Toujours aimer l'a lu de nouveau, vous faites un tel grand travail. ...maybe TOR les mettra tout togther et les vend au final, maintenant que serait impressionnant ! La falaise de Leighs note
5. Kadere
Faolain becomes Blue not Red, thank you very much.
6. NanaD
The rats name is Templeton.
Blake Engholm
7. UncrownedKing

I have also had to look up some of your references. But only a few! The rats name is Templeton and is sweet.

Chp 7 = Main purpose here is to show Moraine is human ( "O man your kidding, no way!!")

Chp 8 = Ta'varen in action here. Nice also to see that he does create some good through his passing. I think in the next few chapters, other villages were not so lucky.

3rd wolfbrother we/ve seen. Im confused as why he doesn't seem to be able to act like the other wolves? He seems insane for a wolf. Granted hes in a cage, however the wolves seemed to be resonable creatures whenever Goldeneyes gets up the nerve to talk to them. This guy is nuts. Its also poetic how his brother lets him go.

Chp 9 = Mo once read a book from the AOL.... thats 3000+ years right? can paper survive that long with out rotting/biodegrating? (Nitpicky? yes I know)

Hopper is sweet. The only thing I wish I knew is who his voice should be. initially I thought Morgan Freeman, The Voice Over/ Narrator Legend that he is. But thats not quite right. Ive been through half a dozen of my favorite actors and I got nothing. (My final thought was Bruce Willis "Yippy Kai Yay Perrin Aybara" but man thats soooo off)

Who is the Guy in Yellow? Any signifigance?

Cho 10 = Whitecloaks deserve it. But why do the girls run around talking to anyone about whatever is on their mind? I know they are young but I am pretty sure if I was twenty and just came from an event that is going to lead to the Armeggedon of all aremeggedons that I would not be talking about it in mixed company. Silly

Chp 11 = Thanks for Nosin' for us Hurin!

The other Accepted doesn't get a name, because she would turn into another POV no one cares for and another loose end that would have to be tied up now.

Chp 12 = The Dragon leaving no room for false Dragons is really cool idea. Would have been cool in a cheesy action/sci-fi way if all the false dragons died some dramatic way for being false. But thats not RJ's style

Siuans personality shows through in how she is going to save Mat instead of having him die and someone else blowing the HoV later. Shows shes not a heartless schemeing AS. I am still convinced that Verin is B.A. but im prob wrong

chp 13 = Nelson laugh " HA HA" Faolain!
8. Randalator
That's fermez vos bouches, pardon my know...literally. Okay.

Ch. 13:

You're right. Aes Sedai pecking order is completely idiotic, moronic and several other synonyms I'm too lazy to look up.

Judging by strength and educational speed (or whatever you want to call it) instead of competence? I mean Aes Sedai by and large are a pretty stupid lot anyway. But still.

This is like Arnold Schwarzenegger bossing Stephen Hawking around in the astrophysics department because he can pummel him.
Ofer Nave
9. odigity
Kadere@5: Oh man, that is freaky. Like Leigh, I distinctly remember always thinking of Faolain as a red. But now that you bring up the correction, that makes no sense, does it? She was an accepted, then raised by the Salidar AS, which have no reds! I guess we've been conditioned to automatically translate super-bitch AS to Red Ajah. Which usually works.
Joe Sherry
10. jsherry
I can't check now, but I believe that was the first of 8 braid tugs for Nynaeve in TDR (and I only found one in TSR)
Blake Engholm
11. UncrownedKing
"I can't check now, but I believe that was the first of 8 braid tugs for Nynaeve in TDR (and I only found one in TSR)"

Is that really true? I thought she was all over that thing everytime we saw her. Maybe I just have a permanent picture of Nyn's head cocked to the side like she was doing the Night At the Roxbury head bob.

"This is like Arnold Schwarzenegger bossing Stephen Hawking around in the astrophysics department because he can pummel him. "

"Calculate, CALCULATE NOW!!" (Typical bad-Ahhhrnold impersonation)

Im sorry dont know what came over me there
Ofer Nave
12. odigity
UncrownedKing@7: Agreed, Siuan is one of the few AS I can stand (along with Mo and sometimes Verin). Incidentally, I'd love to learn more about how Siuan got raised. In addition to being more sensible and compassionate than most AS, she's also one of the only two AS on a secret hunt to find and protect the DR. It was too fortunate for the light to have her be the one raised, especially considering how unprecedented it was to raise someone so young. It's almost irrefutable evidence for some force for good working secretly within the tower, but we've not learned anything more about it, unless this thread is the same as the Sitters' conspiracy thread that appears in the later books.

Randalator@8: Agreed regarding the retardation of the AS on their hierarchy (and almost everything else about them). My theory is that a long time ago, conflict between Aes Sedai was often or always resolved through violence (like cavemen), and in the interest of avoiding unnecessary bloodshed, the cultural practice of peacefully acquiescing to a stronger AS fell into place. Like saying "you could beat me if we fight, so let's avoid the fight and just say you win and I'll obey you". There are real life parallels. Like how democracy replaced monarchy, so that people who wanted to rule the masses would fight each other with dollars and manipulation instead of swords and guns. It's still a band-aid that doesn't address the root problem (which is no one has the right to initiate force against or attempt to rule another), but in light of the past, it's very realistic.
13. Mark-S
A few comments

#1 This is why I need to find a better online French to English translator:

Good morning , my small! Sit - you s’il you pleases , and fast your bite. what You ne talk not French? He is well , I ne do not no anymore évidemment. Welcome at the Relief any Back wheel any Temple! Aujourd’hui c’est Him Dragon Réincarné , Check out A couple of , with the Chapters 7-13. Aye c’est proper! Inputs foregoing are here. He ya any spoilers ci - under , do attention! Decent c’est gorgeous n’est - thanksggiving not? C’est thanksggiving qu’elle said! Lead - we shall begin!

#2 The dude in yellow who was uncermoniously parted from his skin: Sharan? I seem to recall some Sharan nobility were disposed of in later books

#3 Stephen Hawking doesn't live in California, does he?
14. tamyrlink
T double E double R double I double F double I double C C C!
Ofer Nave
15. odigity
tamyrlink - you've posted twice so far on this page, and both times were unexpectedly annoying (i'm just sayin)
16. datamuse
Mo once read a book from the AOL.... thats 3000+ years right? can paper survive that long with out rotting/biodegrating? (Nitpicky? yes I know)

Wouldn't necessarily have been paper. Materials like parchment and vellum last a lot longer. Not to mention wood (well, probably not wood), leather, metal, papyrus...I think there might be extant examples of papyrus going back 3000 years, though they'd be extremely fragile.

Also, while the content of the fragment might be from the AoL, the copy Moiraine read could be much more recent. We don't hear about scriptoria in Randland but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

(Why yes, I am a librarian by profession... :)
17. deiseach
Le spoilers? Sacre bleu! What would L'Académie française say about that?!
Eric Neal
18. ewneal
I nominate the unnamed Accepted as: Leigholin...

...or Leigholla...

...or Leighorama...

...or something Leigh_____ anyway!

Seriously though, great re-read Leigh! I am thoroughly enjoying the other insights and perspectives into all of the nifty plot thingies!

Keep up the great work!
19. Rikka
It amazes me how much French I understand from taking 5 years of Latin :P

chpt 7:
Oh Lan. Oh Moiraine. You two. I hate this whole, no matter what you do you cannot resist the charm of the Aes Sedai! thing that goes on here between Moiraine and Perrin. It's petty, bickering power play and I get sick of it before it even starts. For once I'm almost glad I don't have my books with me.

chpt 8:
Hide Perrin! For your own virginal safety! XD

Oh this part. I thought this part was coming up soon. S'gotta terrify the poor boy, thinking he's going to end up like that (as if he hadn't spent a month or three with Elyas :rolleyes: ).

chpt 9:
I do like all the Perrin-ness here before he gets all caught up in lordliness. He's got a good PoV. I do so love Hopper. I think most people do :P

And Rand uses balefire because he doesn't know the consequences and because it works. Because he reached for it so early, he continues to do so, even after being warned.

chpt 10:
LOVE when Mat gets healed. haven't even gotten there yet but I'm excited that it's coming. This whole scene with the Supergirls makes me amazed that the Amrylin ever lets them run round without leashes. They certainly prove that they aren't ready for such responsibilities. Will no one teach them tact? XD

chpt 11:
Egwene. Shut up. My gods. Again, glad I don't have the books with me. That girl just pisses me off and will continue to do so for the next several books.

chpt 12:
Oh Siuan. You want to talk about favorite romances in these books? Gareth and Siuan. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. She's so deliciously stubborn but in a desperate sort of way that makes me want to help her, not like Nynaeve or Egwene who persist because they didn't think before they acted and they don't want to admit they're dumbasses. :/ Also, Verin + sly = right on.

chpt 13:
Idiot girls. Stupid idiot girls. Goddamn the Amrylin for putting them back in a position of responsibility in like four chapters.
20. hoping to be of the blood
uncrownedking@7 I really like Verin. She quietly gets the job done and always surprises us with her knowledge. She just doesn't act like a DF. Just a feeling, I know. It will be interesting to see what her agenda turns out to be in AMOL.

datamuse@16 Perhaps an Aes Sedai librarian placed a "keeping" on it to preserve it.

(French always gets me so excited)
Leigh Butler
21. leighdb
Randalator @ #8:

That's fermez vos bouches

Yeah, I know, but I wanted the French for "Shut Yo' Mouth", so I had to improvise.

Kadere and others:

Faolain may eventually become Blue, but she was all set to be Red until the Schism happened; Egwene thinks about it in the above chapter specifically, that Faolain was a born Red if she ever saw one. So, going by the information we have at the time, Faolain is a proto-Red.

Tamyrlink @ #4:

Don't do that. Really.
22. Lsana
@7 UncrownedKing, 16 datamuse,

I know that examples of Egyptian papyrus remained in existance long enough to be discovered and read by the archeaologists at the turn of the century, and I assume they still do. That's about 3000 years. Add in the possibility of using the OP as a perservative, and it doesn't seem that farfetched.

Moiraine is a jerk in these chapters. Not just her refusal to help with the chores and her needling of Lan, but also the way she deals with Perrin when he asks about Rand. If she had just told him what she expected to find and why she didn't want to ask about Rand directly, Perrin would have kept his mouth shut. Seems unfair to blame him for not knowing something she didn't tell him.

Also, about how much Egwene has learned since she was last in the tower: she has learned a lot. In 13 weeks in the tower, she went from being able to make a ball of light appear to making several balls appear. In much less time as a damane, she went from being able to make balls of light appear to being able to rain down armeggedon. I think the Aes Sedai are lousy teachers.
23. sps49
"Cayate su voca" is Spanish for the same.
Eric Robinson
24. perrin77
We are finally getting closer to the awakening of a bit cooler and wiser Mattrim.
*mini Spoiler*

Can't wait for the healing scene when he starts spouting more Old Tongue

/mini spoiler
Blake Engholm
25. UncrownedKing
@16 (Why yes, I am a librarian by profession... :)

TYVM I figured you were either an archiologist or a librarian with that complete of an answer lol.

@22 Lsana The armeggedon made me laugh. People are now staring at me at work.

Rikka agreed on the Ewg is annoying. started TFoH recently and o mylanta is she awful to read about. Not Awful, shes coming into her own by then. But annoying none the less.

Hoping to be of the blood: I never said I disliked her. Shes quite intriguing. I just am mereley stating that she is a DF (I will stand by that until the fact is just thrown out there in the end). She reminds me of someone but I can't for the life of me remember who.

O and Leigh, I never realized that you were the same Leigh from the WOTFAQ I use (if your not just go along with this) I love that website. Im constanly on there with my book in hand checking and cross checking things.
Heather Johnson
26. HeatherJ
Just for fun, go paste that French text into ... wow, I don't speak French but I could have translated it better than that!
27. Randalator

That would be something along the lines of "La ferme!", "Ta geule!" or "Boucle-la!", I guess. But these are quite rude and actually not at all what you're looking for. Man, french is le suck.

Maybe "shuttez la mouth"? If we're about to improvise we might as well go crazy. Gnarharrharrharr...harrharrharr...Oh, Ilyena forgive me! *flees whimpering*
Ethan Pope
28. Unforsaken
YAY my first post! Leigh you're totally right about Faolain being a proto-red. You know, this is a little off topic,(though it VAGUELY pertains to the title) Mr. Jordan has made several teasing mentions of the existence of actual "dragons". In addition, doesn't the word "raken" seem suspiciously similar to the word "dragon"? I was hoping someone as well-versed as yourself in the WoT universe might be able to shed some light on this.
29. Sidetrack'd
GAH! No more French! Please! NOOOoooo!

I'd forgotten that the Rand-In-The-Sky-With-Dia..Ishy appeared near the false Dragons too. That really complicates explaining the whole appearing-in-the-sky thing at all. It's gotta just be some manifestation of the Pattern. Maybe it's such a tear/shift/predestined Big Event that it's 'reflected' through the Pattern somehow? :-/

Uncrowned King@7 - Mo once read a book from the AOL.... thats 3000+ years right? can paper survive that long with out rotting/biodegrating? (Nitpicky? yes I know)

Probably something that had a Keeping woven on it at some point in the past, although I think paper can last a good long while as long as it's kept dry and nothing chews on it... D'oh! "hoping to be.."@20 beat me to it!

Lsana@22 - If she had just told him what she expected to find and why she didn't want to ask about Rand directly, Perrin would have kept his mouth shut. Seems unfair to blame him for not knowing something she didn't tell him.

For real. She's just so convinced that she, and only she, knows the "best" course of action. Granted, she's made a bit of a career out of figuring this out... But it woulda been nice to see her help instead of bulldoze. Oh well. I think she makes up for things somewhat when she takes Lanfear out of the picture. Temporarily, as it were, but hey - she tried. Again, oh well...
30. seanie
while on the subject of le cracks me up when they drag an ogier bed out at some inn and it hasn't been used in oh say 300 years *small chuckle*...not complainin' , just sayin' ya know ?
31. Unseen Eyes
Love Love Love the random references. I do this in daily conversation actually. I'm typically surprised when someone actually gets it. Most people don't and I never bother to explain since the references are more or less for my own amusement (and/or a broadcast of what's drifting around in my head). When someone does get it or even better volleys back without missing a beat they immediately move to the short list of people to talk to on purpose.
32. Sidetrack'd
Although, on Keepings - if they were known enough to be used near the end of the AoL, then you'd think that there'd be a lot more things in the Tower/elsewhere left over from then - but there are many references to how little/no records/information survived the Breaking. Maybe just a lucky scrap that survived by chance...
Ethan Pope
33. Unforsaken
"Keeping"s may just be a lost vestige of those time capsules the Forsaken rave about from time to time.
34. Rebecca Starr
mais combien de langues parlez-vous, Leigh? C'est impressionant.

Ch 7
you're right, most of Moiraine in this chapter=not cool at all. But Moiraine fishing? Priceless

Ch 8
a clarification on the extent of ta'varen-ness... sometimes it crops up when Rand's not doing much except waiting around. I recall a scene - in LoC maybe? - when he's either in Caemlyn or Cairhien, and there's a mention of how he twists chance sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, just by being there, i.e. a woman falls down stairs and should be dead, but doesn't even have a bruise. Then the next day, a man trips on a pebble and breaks his neck and dies. that kind of stuff

Simian is just a gem. I love the way Jordan can write a character that tugs at your heart, even in one tiny scene

Ch 9
you're totally right here, Leigh; it seems as though Moiraine's words about dreams suddenly unleash a tel'aran'rhiod with rules and regulations. Lanfear making the room disappear is probably a TAR trick - remember the rules there don't always have to do with the one power, and she is one of the most skilled in the TAR realm.

the shadows that leap down and grab the man Perrin sees dreaming do sound eerily like Mashadar... anyone know which country his strange flared-coat-in-yellow fashion comes from?

poor Rand seems to have lost his horse...

More to follow!
35. Sidetrack'd
Stasis boxes that the Forsaken mention are kind of creepy. There's one mentioned that's full of "useless junk", while other(s) have contained an occasional angreal and the gholam. Are the stasis boxes something mechanical that were in short supply or were they just Pods with Keepings woven on them? We know they're rare, there's never any mention of anything similar being found by any Aes Sedai/good guys/etc, and we know that at least part of them were loaded by the bad guys. This makes me wonder if they weren't something mostly belonging to darkfriend/shadow folks...
Dale Metzger
36. Metzg31
My first comment was on the last section of TGH and in my excitement I forgot to thank Leigh for the wonderful job she's doing here. Shame on me and Thank You Leigh!!

I think if a keeping was put on something at the end of the AOL, it still remains, although perhaps it remains under a mountain or at the bottom of the Aryth.

Although that raises the question. Does a keeping protect from things other than decay? For example, in the case of Elaida's roses that we see later on, I don't think they would be protected from being crushed, burnt, or ripped apart by wind. And grains protected by a keeping don't need to have the eeping to be removed before being made into bread do they? If they did then the only cooks in Salidar would be AS.

With that said, I think that the literary remnants of the AOL are extremely rare because they were valued enough in the first place to ward them against decay, and that they were lucky enough (can inanimate objects have luck?) to stay out from underneath mountains, lakes, and oceans, and sheltered from wind, rain, fires, etc.
37. seanie
I seem to remember , was it Asmo(?) that was talking about them saying they were outside of time ,like another reality, they weren't simply in a keeping . I thought it was a Forsaken speaking anyway .
Dale Metzger
38. Metzg31
A stasis box sounds like a miniaturized version of the ways. Except for the fact that everything inside the ways has deteriorated greatly.
Ethan Pope
39. Unforsaken
I personally am inclined to think that the stasis boxes are a container with a keeping on it(albeit both being very elaborate, and not a simple "box with some spell on it")
Eric Robinson
40. perrin77
30. Seanie - I also find the humor in the fact the each time they appear at these inns, Loiel almost never gets to sleep in them. Something seems to always come up and they have to leave quickly.
Ethan Pope
41. Unforsaken
METZg31 @ 36, you are absolutely right. Leigh, I have whiled away many an hour reading both this blog and the WOTFAQ, to which you have so heavily contributed to. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for your knowledge and dedication.
42. CPR
Reading you from Paris is a pleasure, Leigh!, and I am waiting eagerly for each new posting. Even though I have read the WOT many times since 1990, your analysis exposes things I have repeatedly missed. Thank you.

Ps-Your French intro seems the product of an automated translator! "Fermez vos bouches" is never used in French ("Taisez vous") and the best translation to a "spoiler" would be a "dévoilement". Merci!
Richard Fife
43. R.Fife
@ Leigh
Lanfear room: I think that was an early attempt at describing how a gateway looks when opening or closing. They are always said to not rotate, but they look like they do when they open or close. (as commented). It wasn't the room that flattened, just the door to the room, which is closed like it was a gateway.

The third accepted was not named because the wheel did not will it, and we know that RJ did not believe in strict "spear bearers". If anyone is named, they will at least show up many more times in the book, if not the series.

Les Poissons. Aw, les poissons, j'adore les poissons!

Speaking of Le Francais, while it has been a good 8 years since I studied it, I noticed a bit of your conjegation, plurality agreement was off up there. Just saying. Not like I'm nitpicking over Exeunt. nope. I defended that one!

Aes Sedai Pecking Order: Well, if you can't whip it out and measure it (as Aes Sedai obviously cannot for lacking of equipment), ya gotta do something!

@Uncrowned King
For Hopper's voice, I kinda imagined whoever played the wolf/dog voice from "Flight of Dragons"... *wiki-fu and imdb-jutsu* Victor Buono

I think the yellow guy was a random Tarian Lord. Odd there was not even a throw away comment about a lord dying in his sleep in this or the next book.

I believe most anthropoligists of pre-historic humanity agree that, before humans found agriculuture, they did exactly what you described the AS as doing. If two groups met, they obviously stronger one got the roam of the land and the weakers moved on.

Keeping =/= heartstone, and remember there was a world full of crazy male Aes Sedai going (wait for it...) Kefka on everything! Ah... why don't think make video game villians like that anymore?

CPR: I always thought "Fremez la bouche" as my French Teacher in HS taught me, was just a rude "Shut up" style phrase. I am just waiting for Leigh to put an entire intro in the Tolkien Elvish.
Abdel Masdoua
44. TheDarkOne
Well, I've gotta say that today's post utterly surprised me: I live in Paris, I am French (yeah, yeah, I know...^^) and I spend most of my days in english (movies, books, laptop and so on...) and here I was all 'Uuuuuh??? What the Hec? What's going on here? Did I go to sleep next to a Portal Stone or something??'

Tank you for that Leigh, that was great! *wink wink*

BTW a better tranlation for "re-read" would probably be "relecture"...And, if you were going for a teacher talking to her students, in French she would go like that: "Asseyez-vous s'il vous plait, et en silence" 'cause there is no other way to translate this in French whithout being rude (and with political correctness, parents would sue the teacher in a heartbeat...)

I'll have to agree with you Leigh and other posts (to lazy to look you up but you know who you are!) about the Girls' stupidité, especially Egwene!
She gets veeeeery annoying for at least 2 or 3 books!

I don't have much to say about those chapters, except maybe the bit with Simion and his brother, which made me feel sorry for the both of them...
I guess that talks a lot about RJ's writing that he makes us feel that way about some characters that we will never see again and who where probably created solely to explain and justify Perrin's fears...

Here Rand gets a pretty badass - if short - POV.
I just wanna go: 'Dude, you just destroyed a Darkhound using balefire which is like the most powerful weapon with the OP ever! You rock!'

Way to go Hopper!

Can't wait to get to Mat's Healing and Awakening in a few chapters! Mat is about to get sooooo awesome!
45. shumble
The books are still exciting here, but they start to give us a foreshadow in what happens in books 5-11. They start to drag on and on with tons of chapters, dialogue, and pages that have no meaning to the overall story line. We get tons of stories about Aes Sedai, Children of Light, a whole chapter about a caged man with yellow eyes, travelling from the mountains, blah, blah, blah. Get on with it, Jordan.

I believe that by Book 7, I was convinced that Jordan was just trying to sell books and he wasn't really all that concerned about wrapping it up. Seriously, he started way too many subplots that he couldn't wrap up. He should have just let the entire story be centered around Mat, Perrin, and Rand, and he should not have created these huge subplot stories about Elayne, Nynaeve, Egwene, the Aes Sedai, the Wise Ones, Masema, the Seanchan, the Daughter of the Nine Moons, blah, blah, blah.

Luckily every book held about 50 pages of really cool stuff and because the first 4 books were so great, I ended upr eading the next 7. But Book 3 gives us a taste of what is to come as the stories begin to drag out.
46. Caine09
Yay Hopper, how cool are you? Very cool thats right! Awww bye Hurin we'll miss you! Hopefully you'll turn up again in MOL.

I hate Siuans fishing metaphors put I love the way RJ thought of so many.

Rand plus Balefire equals way cool. Its funny how the one of the first things he learns is also the most powerful weapon in the WORLD. Really cool.

Well since you wrote in french maybe you could try Irish. Ba mhaith liom an sceal a leamh as Ghaeilge!
Go raibh mile mhaith agat Leigh. Beidh me ag dul aris de hAoine seo chugainn!!
47. Dalamon
"I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but Rand’s ta’veren-ness seems to vary in intensity depending on how loony he’s feeling at the time. This, along with the crazy-level itself, is something that seems to have been really amped up in TDR and then dialed back considerably in later books, as I’ve already observed. Again, whether this is deliberate or a (relatively subtle) form of ret-conning is probably a matter of opinion."

I think this is more due to the fact that Rand was fighting with the pattern for the first books. When he learns to accept it and 'go with the flow' so to speak, things aren't as FULLY apparent. Think of how things were shortly after the Dumai's Wells incident. When Rand met with the Sea Folk. Remember how strongly things worked then? I think Rand realizes he must trust what he feels tugging him inside. I think this comes from when he enters the doorway in Tear.

@28 Unforsaken
"In addition, doesn't the word "raken" seem suspiciously similar to the word "dragon"? I was hoping someone as well-versed as yourself in the WoT universe might be able to shed some light on this."

If you happen to have a copy of the BBoBA, they have a picture of the raken in there. They remind me of Wyverns from D&D ... kinda' like dragons but they don't have arms, just two legs and wings.
48. David-2
I've never understood why the girls were supposed to have seen though "Liandrin's ploy". They had all only been in the Tower a few weeks and the first thing the Tower does with new recruits is to totally beat into them that Aes Sedai must be obeyed no matter what. I've gone back an reread that chapter a couple times and still can't figure out how they should have figured out not to go with Liandrian, or how they could have decided to ask someone about it when specifically forbidden by an Aes Sedai to do so.

Not to mention that if Elayne and Min had stayed behind they would have been killed without any warning, according to Liandrin. So why would that have been any better?
Robert Garza
49. FunBob
Leigh and R. Fife - The Lanfear Twirl appears to be Perrin on the wrong side of a closing Traveling doorway. There was a debate in TEOTW about what was on the other side of the Ways doorways - this may indicate that Jordan may have originally thought to tie all the doorways (Ways, Skimming, Travelling) to Tel'Aran'Rhiod, especially with the description of area around the Skimming block being the same "endless blackness" as the ways.

Simion was always one of my favorite bit characters - his acceptance of Noam's conditions and letting him go to live his life in his own fashion was always one of the early compassionate points that made Jordan great. This, and Eben having to be euthanized for going insane in the Stone later in the series, have always been points I had to stop reading and think how much it must have hurt Simion and Rand to do the right thing. Duty is lighter than a feather and heavier than a mountain indeed.
50. Rebecca Starr
David @48 - Siuan probably doesn't know exactly what Liandrin said to the Supergirls - the whole bit about Rand being in danger, Moiraine needing them to come along... so it's not unreasonable for Siuan to think they should have seen through her ploy.

Ch 10
not much to say except yeah, using the power here... dumb Egwene, very dumb

Ch 11
I actually like the wild card of Faolain choosing Blue - goes to show that its never too late to change your personality. You know, kinda like no woman can walk in the Red so long that she cannot be brought back to the Blue

I am also loving that it took me 15 years to realize the Tar Valon map looks just like Manhattan. Go NYC!!!

I was also thinking, since there has been lots of chatter lately about the best-developed love story, that one relationship Jordan did particularly well was Egwene and Rand falling *out* of love. It stretches over several books, and moves from regret, to acceptance, to fact very poignantly.

Ch 12
Have to disagree with you Leigh - I like this chapter! Probably because I like Siuan so much. and we learn something quite important - the whole "mat is linked to the Horn now"

Ch 13
no comments

Mark@13 - thank you for that! your faulty online dictionary has reconfirmed why I am becoming a certified French to English translator. see, there is still a need for us!
Abdel Masdoua
51. TheDarkOne
@ Rebecca Starr 50:
"I was also thinking, since there has been lots of chatter lately about the best-developed love story, that one relationship Jordan did particularly well was Egwene and Rand falling *out* of love. It stretches over several books, and moves from regret, to acceptance, to fact very poignantly. "

Couldn't agree more!

Very Skillfully Done Indeed...
Crystal McMillan
52. CDragon27
thanks for the reread: well done as always. It is refreshing for me because this is my least favorite book in the series. Tho Perrin is one of my favorite characters, I thought that Rand all but dropping out of the story and having to spend all the time on the road with the b-team was annoying when I first read the book.
and as for love stories I like Egwene/Gawyn. I think his conflict about loving her is well done.
I am hoping Hurin is hiding out with the Borderland army in Andor and will show up for the last book.
53. Randalator

We get tons of stories about Aes Sedai, Children of Light, a whole chapter about a caged man with yellow eyes, travelling from the mountains, blah, blah, blah. Get on with it, Jordan. He should have just let the entire story be centered around Mat, Perrin, and Rand, and he should not have created these huge subplot stories about Elayne, Nynaeve, Egwene, the Aes Sedai, the Wise Ones, Masema, the Seanchan, the Daughter of the Nine Moons, blah, blah, blah.

What? That is exactely what I love about the books. The worldbuilding, the feeling that there is a whole world full of people out there and not just a bunch of crudely painted wallpapers providing a forgettable background for the heroes to act heroical. The short Simion-subplot is one of the most brilliant in that regard. Worldbuilding with a strong relevance for one of our protagonists. I wouldn't want to miss that at all.

And I honestly don't feel any dragging at all right up to and including ACoS. TPoD, WH and CoT should have been streamlined into two books instead of three. CoT truly is dragging on for the most part, Mat's and Perrin's arc in particular. I still liked Elayne fighting for the throne overall although I seem to be pretty alone with that.

I don't think however that RJ consciuosly dragged the series out there. It seems more like mismanagement: The overall pacing of events had worked all the time when suddenly he had the unresolved plot about Elayne and the throne lying about when all other parts had already progressed. But he couldn't just have the people go "Hey, Morgase completely fucked things up. Let's make Elayne our queen.". So he needed to stall the whole thing for Elayne to catch up to the rest of the gang.

Reminds me of Mat..."A series of steps, each taken for good cause or pure necessity, each seeming so reasonable at the time, and each leading to things he had never imagined.". In this case events from as far back as tFoH got RJ neck-deep in trouble in CoT.
54. katg
Oooh, Simian and Noam... I love the early Wolfbrother themes and Perrin's fears and slow acceptance of himself.

Also, couldn't agree more with other posters about Simian being one of these awesome bit roles that show the good side of people. I love that Perrin regrets thinking the man looks like a toad.

Perrin is one of the few characters who has the maturity from the get-go to own up when he's made a mistake and accept that life doesn't always dish up what you ordered, but he'll hang on to certain principles (treat people gently and listen to others) even while willing to use the axe if that's what it comes down to. Perrin rocks the house.
I often think that he's what Lan might've turned out like if Lan had been raised by a family in the Two Rivers instead of soldiers in the Borderlands... :)
55. gagecreedlives

I always thought this was Siun being clever. She doesn’t want the rest of the White Tower to know of their involvement with Liandrin in case they do get stilled and it would be unusual if run aways didn’t get any punishment and would make them noticed. So she punishes them harshly and then sets them up to be her little black ajah hunters. An act of desperation but she probably feels she cant trust any sister at the moment.
The other point to be considered is that if they were targeted by the black ajah once they might be again so if she keeps a close eye on them maybe the can snare more of the black ajah.
Why the amrylin doesn’t just summon all the sisters to her quarters one after another and get them to reswear the oaths ala our black hunters in KoD remains a mystery to me.

The only book I though dragged was CoT but when I was reading that I always thought (hoped) that this book was going to be the calm before the storm and shit would go down in the next instalment.

And I personally love how fleshed out the books are with all the back stories and subplots.

Leigh it never occurred to me that Elaida’s whole plot line revolved around Elayne leaving and Morgase throwing a tantrum. Cheers. Wonder how Elaida would feel about the fact that she only got to be amrylin because of a black ajah plot.

To of been a fly on the wall when Gawyn and Galad talked Morgase into letting them stay at the tower.
56. Bramthedude
Huh? what the hack happened to the rest of my comment?? :o
Ah, stupid platform :(
Joe Sherry
57. jsherry
@11: Seriously. There are a couple time she "grips" her braid, but in the first four books I only came across nine confirmed tugs. It's possible I missed one, though.

I started my re-read of book 5 last night. We'll see where the count leads up.

I agree, though. Looking back on the series it seems like Nynaeve is constantly yanking on her braid.
58. Bramthedude
Never Mind, I'm lost with this, just erase no hard feelings
Brad Moore
59. servantcbm
Great job, Leigh!

Ooh, look, first mention of Nynaeve tugging her braid. Hooray?

Actually, on one of my re-reads, I noted that the first braid tugging occurs in TEOTW ch 16.

So I'm a nerd, sue me! :)
60. Wetlander
odigity @12 Siuan's being raised Amyrlin so young is explained in one of the later books. Basically it's a lot like why Egwene was raised - too many contenders, each with too many political ramifications for the others if they succeeded. So when Siuan was nominated everyone voted for her because she didn't have all that baggage. Something like that anyway. I've been trying to find it, and I can't, so I hope I'm not talking through my hat here. (I think it's in CoS, but I ran out of time to keep looking.)

Regarding CoT and it's drag... I remember reading somewhere that RJ thought it would be a cool exercise to write a book where all the action took place on a single day. Check it carefully - there are a bunch of "six days ago yada yada", but all the present time action takes place on a single day. In fact, it all takes place on the day that ended the previous book: Saidin Cleansing Day. I also seem to recall RJ saying that in retrospect maybe it wasn't such a great idea after all.

Personally, I thought it was an awful idea. I couldn't help thinking that when you can write 800+ pages about the events of a single day in your fantasy series, you're either too fond of the sound of your own "voice" or your plotlines have gotten out of control. JMO. :-) But then, I'm still reading... and waiting not-so-patiently for AMOL. I think KOD, where plot lines started reintegrating, helped a lot.
Ofer Nave
61. odigity
Wetlander@60: I think you're right about there being some brief exposition about some of the context of Siuan being raised, but I don't buy it. There can't but be a great deal more secret info we've not been privy to yet. Political grid-lock is pretty common, and does not explain how a 10yr Aes Sedai was raised when it was customary to be at least 100yrs just to be a Sitter. She broke the record by such a wide margin that it would be like electing a 19 year old president of the U.S. And again, she's one of *two* AS out of a thousand who are in the Gitara Moroso club, and by being raised was in a position to pursue that club's secret agenda against the Shadow's own DR hunters. Something more than the usual political reality show was going on that day, or else this is the biggest coincidence in the series.

As for KoD, yes - so much to say about it. Trying desperately not to till we get to it. Around October, I guess. :(
62. Randalator

Concerning CoT: That is not correct. RJ stated that he thought it an interesting idea at the time to write a book where all the different subplots start on the same day.

But this is just the starting point for the different sections. CoT still covers about three weeks. As little as is going on it's still way too much to cram into just one day...
63. Sidetrack'd
R.Fife@43 - Aes Sedai Pecking Order: Well, if you can't whip it out and measure it...


gagecreedlives@55 - Why the amrylin doesn’t just summon all the sisters to her quarters one after another and get them to reswear the oaths ala our black hunters in KoD remains a mystery to me.

Aren't they, at this point, totally unaware that oaths can be removed? Seems like the BA hunters Elaida sets out (the one thing she might've done right so far) were the first ones (in the Tower, at least) to figure that out.
Ofer Nave
64. odigity
Sidetrack'd@63: It's the one thing Elaida did right - but she did it accidentally. She still doesn't even know that's what they're actually doing. :) Elaida needs to DIAF.
65. alaric
Hé, j'ai vu ton mec avec une autre fille
Il semblait dans un autre monde
Cours te cacher Sedai girl

Quand je t'ai revu l'été j'ai décidé
Si ton amour était pareil au mien,
Je pourrais être Sedai's girl

Dépêche-toi, dépêche-toi et attends
Toute la semaine absent et pourtant j'attends
J'ai le cafard, je t'en prie viens voir
Ce que ton amour représente pour moi


Chapter 7: Moiraine almost acts like a human being (catching fish with Perrin and Loial), but quickly reminds them that "Aes Sedai" was apparently Old Tongue for "Bitch" when she sets about setting all the "little people" chores for them. Way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Moir.

Chapter 8: Based on Perrin's portrayal so far, I'd have bet against Mat on Perrin letting Noah go without the Wolves. He's that kind of guy. Which, probably is why the Wolves choose to run with him.

Chapter 9: LTT arguable uses BF in TEotW Prologue; both Moir and Rand use it in TDR. Look at the odds -- Most Powerful Darkfriend Aes Sedai from AoL v. End-of-the-Third-Age trash. In modern terms, we call this "Asymmetrical Warfare". Besides, to quote Cartman, "It's totally sweet." And welcome Perrin's Obi-Wan, Hopper -- (or Hopper's agent -- "Jordan, if your serires makes it to Book 3, my client wants a recurring Guest Star role..."

Chapters 10/11: Exit Hurin; we barely knew ye, but Rand hasn't had a more faithful servant since. On the plus side, look at how the rest of your Shienaran friends that stayed with Rand get written. On the minus side, you now have Nynaeve recruiting everyone who can spell "Lan" for a Borderland Army of Armies. Hope you don't get stuck leading them to SG.

Chapter 12: Verin possibly reveals her Purple Hood for the first time -- testing the Amirlyn by seeing how she takes news of the Horn's Sounding. Also, the bit about the False Dragons struck down as they were atthe height of much for False Dragons on Tar Valon Leashes. The Pattern wants the Real Dragon, and it wants Him NOW!

Chapter 13: They're not being punished as runaways, they're being punished for being so f*cking dumb readers of TGH popped blood vessels shouting at the book when they followed Liandrin Sedai.
Leigh Butler
66. leighdb
Hey, I totally cop to the crappiness of my French, guys. That's why I said (or tried to say) "What? You don't speak French? It's fine, neither do I, obviously."

(The sad thing is, I took five years of French in high school and college, and was almost fluent at one point. But that was a loooong time ago. Y'all should just feel lucky I didn't try to do it in Spanish.)
Ofer Nave
67. odigity
But yo hablo espanol un poco, yet je ne parle pas francais.
68. gagecreedlives

I think your right about not knowing about being able to remove the oaths but doesnt mean they cant reswear the oaths. Im pretty sure some sitters do it later on when the black ajah hunters get busted with the oath rod. When Talen(?) gets found out.


I obviously didnt get as upset about it as you. After all obeying sisters has been drilled into them since they got to the white tower. And I still believe they are being punished as run aways as cover so the Liandrin connection remains secret.
69. zyx
hey liegh, maybe you should stick to English, you know, for those of us out there stuck with one language in thier heads? WoTanese would be okay, maybe start out the post with lean back on your knife and let your tongues wag free. I always liked that line.
Anyways, The whole with-holding of info in this enitire series makes me gnash my teeth. Seriously, my dentist hates me. Mo does it to stay in control. She has the same motive for not helping with the chores. In her defense, she does learn that really messes things up for our heroes. I always thought the part where Perrin walks into her room while she's combing her hair made her seem human, not so much the fishing since she used the Power for that.

Lovin all this, by the way!
70. Randalator
I'm right there with you, Leigh. Five years of French in school (last two in an advanced course), almost fluent, 12-point-average (for the Americans: somewhere between A- and B+) and while my reading skills are still mostly intact I can hardly do more than order a cup of coffee.

That and spot other peoples mistakes. Grammar-drill still holding up. Fat lot of good it does.
71. Rebecca Starr
with regards to Nynaeve and the tugging, I wonder if the reason it seems like it happens *so much* is that we've had 15+ years to talk about it... like the same way we talk about Rand mentioning Perrin knows how to talk to girls or vice versa, or talk about how many fish metaphors Siuan makes (oh no wait, she does do that a million times...) Which is to say, if you counted 'em up, it probably isn't as high a number as you suspect. But when you read the books over and over...
Carolyn Goodwin
72. metacarolyn
Uncrowned King @7: I also wondered how Noam ended up so crazy - he acts a lot less human than the wolves themselves. Maybe just the shock of learning he could talk to wolves drove him insane (he probably wasn't fortunate enough to run into another wolf-brother who could explain it to him).

Alaric @65 and whoever brought up the false dragon/aes sedai scandal on the last thread: I didn't think it was true that the red ajah was creating or supporting false dragons. I thought this was the big lie that Siuan comes up with to convince the Salidar rebels to fight the tower.

This is just a random thought, but it seems strange to me how many of the forsaken are Dreamers. Maybe I'm getting confused by those who just enter in the flesh, but surely things like viewing other people's dreams, or pulling other people into TAR against their will require true Dreaming ability. Perhaps all the talents used to be more commonplace, but then it is truly fortunate that none of the forsaken know how to make angreal. Could locating stasis boxes be a lost talent?

Leigh, thanks so much for all your work - I hadn't planned on rereading so soon, but now I'm totally sucked in.
73. alaric
metacarolyn @72

Throughout TEotW, Ishy taunts Rand with the names of false dragons, and in TGH, Rand flat out tells the Amyrlin he won't be "a tame false Dragon on a Tar Valon leash." While Moir and Siuan don't appear to be interested in setting up false Dragons, this is The Point where Moir and Siuan should be able to officially Stop Worrying if they're backing the right horse. And definitely stop trying *to ride* it.
74. Matt Maslanka
I can't believe no one has caught your Eddie Izzard reference. Also, are you happy with your wash? I'm a dog. :)
75. Greg Steele
UncrownedKing @7 on your Ch9 comment I agree on the book survival, the dead sea scrolls aren't exactly legible. However. I have less of an issue with old books potentially being copied, recopied, translated & copied again. This is somewhat similar to the few surviving works of Plato & Aristotle.

But how under the light do the forsaken speak the common tongue? Most burst onto the scene into positions of power where there lingual faux pas wouldn't stand them in good stead with the nobles who apparently know as much of the old tongue as I do Latin. I know it hasn't happened yet but they're about to burst into the ranks of the nobles fully respected and d presumably not compelling everyone as not all of the forsaken like to use compulsion too much.

Ba'alzamon is the only one that's been in contact for the 3000 years to learn the lingo. I don't think he's held a lecture series on the "Learning the common tongue for die not evil doer's".

I also doubt from the global uniformity/utopia of the AoL that linguistic Terangreal were saved in stasis boxes, if they even existed.

The variously regionally distinct dialects of the common tongue indicate that it would have no chance of being comprehensible after 3000 years. Especially given that Matt's memories from only 2000 years ago indicate that the Old Tongue was still the commonly spoken language then. With the split being some time between the Trolloc wars and the sailing of Hawkwings sons.

Hmmm but further to this, I really don't care about the linguistic issues as, whilst I love the world building back stories, I probably wouldn't want that back story answered.

It's just vaguely interesting that there are more linguistic discrepancies for channeling (nets & weaves) and shadow spawn (fetch, fade, eyeless.....) than for general speech.

Thanks again Leigh and everyone contributing to this.
Carolyn Goodwin
76. metacarolyn
Alaric @ 73: "this is The Point where Moir and Siuan should be able to officially Stop Worrying if they're backing the right horse. And definitely stop trying *to ride* it."

I agree with you here. I had (mis)interpreted your comment as meaning that those particular two false dragons were on aes sedai leashes, as in set up and supported by aes sedai, which I don't think is true.
77. Randalator
Greg Steele@75

Maybe they downloaded an update from the DO. Something like compulsion but instead of orders they got an imprint of the New Tongue.

In the end orders, information on Rand/Mat/Perrin or language are all just information, right?
78. CBeats
i liked the french, and since it was pretty basic i understood all of it. aieeee...

re: first mention of Nynaeve tugging her braid -
NO NOT HOORAY we have to endure it for the rest of the series like 15 billion times a chapter with her as the viewpoint character! g'ah

the "one event spurs another" thing in the WoT is truly incredible. i don't think i've thought about it as much as i is something to be admired in plot construction, that's fosho

here, also, is the start of useless chapters, which never really goes away. oh well

and as someone else said, Elaida needs to DIAF

(-> ps that "DIAF" thing is the best abrev ever)
79. Greg Steele
re: Odigity @12 I think one point answers the other from memory in new spring Siuan, Mo & elida were the only accepted in AS memory, maybe since Cads, to be raised accepted in 3 years. With Mo and Siuan faster than Elida. Given the BA were into killing the last few AmS, if the foretelling didn't do them in, and she was the strongest & quickest raised.

So they made her the Am Seat not so much cause she was young, this was commented on but before her stilling she was one of the 2 fastest trained & most powerful AS. The other one was Mo and she was off looking for Rand. 3rd was Eliada & 4th was Cadsuane, she may have been most powerful but was considered retired since the Aiel War

It's not that stupid a scheme for ranking. No stupider than the Kin's based on age not organisational skills. Politics is only about 1/3rd ability and the rest is schmoozing and fund raising ability.

Power/Gifted abilities in your specialty is how the world runs. The guy in the office in the corner probably didn't get promoted because he took 10 years to do his degree. And another 20 to do his PhD. Stephen Hawking is not a professor because he's a capable Physics department administrator, although that's what most modern professors have to do most of the time. He got there because he was young and bright & brilliant at a young age.

We forget that universities used to be vaguely open ended courses only terminated when the masters thought you were ready to be orally tested by peers, and still are sort of open ended with Tenure.
80. disgruntled
I didn't realize that this was a MENSA site!
I actually thought that this was to discuss "The Wheel Of Time".
My mistake.
Ya know, it always irritates me when I read a book-any book-and the author throws in a non english reference without any explanation. Like everyone KNOWS what the heck was said. "How Wude"! (Can't remember where that was originally spoken)
This one was really over the top! The whole intro in another language.
Anyway, I really enjoy the reread and breakdown of the books. Jogs and wakes up the memory! It needs it.
Just want to know why every (almost) one wanders off on a tangent and also why the speculations of what REALLY was going on with alot of fantastical imaginings?
You all should write your own ideas down and make new books 'esplainin' all the outside ideas that wrap up the loose ends.
How about it?
(Oh, I just now remembered my previous reference: 'How wude'. I'm almost ashamed to say it, but, Jar Jar Binks.)
Just enjoying most of the comments and wondering where the heck you guys get some of these crazy thoughts?
I just read and enjoy and don't try to get too outside of the whole thing.
Staying on point!!!!!
81. disgruntled
Does DIAF mean 'Die In A Fart'?
(I also don't get alot of anacronyms.)(?)
When I read, I want to have it all laid out for me so I don't have to think too much about it.
Trying to decide what the writer REALLY meant.
82. gagecreedlives
I kinda liked the french intro. Dont know what the hell it meant and no real clearer after Mark-S translator. But it was something different and really Im glad its Leighs job to come up with all the clever intros and recaps and not mine.

And I got no idea what DIAF is either.
83. birgit
Though I don’t know what the hell is up with Lanfear’s Amazing Flattening Room, as that’s an effect I don’t recall from anywhere else.

Sounds like Egwene entering TAR in the flesh (but why should Lanfear do that?)

The AS use Keepings to keep food fresh. They are not the same as the Stasis Boxes used in the AOL. Are the Stasis Boxes related to the vacuole outside the pattern where Moridin keeps Cyndane prisoner? It is mentioned that there is a danger that the vacuoles get lost with the stuff inside it. It wouldn't make sense to store things one wants to keep forever in such a place, so the Stasis Boxes are probably something different.

we learn something quite important - the whole "mat is linked to the Horn now"

Turak already mentioned that someone who blows the Horn is linked to it and that is why he won't use it.
84. Belement
@81 & 82
DIAF = 'Die In A Fire'

Otherwise loving the recappage Leigh.. only problem I have is the fact that it seems to get posted early in the morning (something like 4am) here in Aus.. so not only do I have to read your post.. but about 30 comments as well once I get home.. lol
Richard Fife
85. R.Fife
Greg@75 My can of worms! you reopened it! Someone does point out there was reference to a "vulgar" tongue during AoL, perhaps that is what is now the common tongue. As to how language has stayed uniform across the world... At the bottom of the Ayrth ocean is a massive Ter'angreal. I mean, the size of manhatten. And one of those cuindellar types, so it didn't break. It looks kinda like the UN building. And it tugs on the pattern to make sure everyone speaks roughly the same langauge. That is my hair-brained theory now and I'm sticking to it!

The olsen twins from Full House, I believe.

As to where we get our thoughts? Cylons.

@81 Urban Dictionary and Google are your friends. Die In a Fire. Although, around my office, Fart works too.

Am I the only one who actually likes the Fish Analogies? Don't worry about the lionfish you don't see when there are silverpike you can.
86. Mark-S
Did you ever get the feeling that Tear was a very dangerous place to swim?

and Leigh, I expect Friday's intro to be completely in Old Tongue. :-P
87. Kenneth G Cavness
mais je ne connait pas la langue ancien :(
J Novak
88. Novak
An alternate point of view on that Moiraine/Lan scene-- I haven't read it as recently as you, obviously, but in retrospect it seems like Moiraine's real purpose was saying, "Hey, Lan? You know your grand plan to kill yourself in glorious battle if I die? Not happening."

And it was said not only to Lan, but to Nynaeve.

Why couldn't she just *say* that? Because then she wouldn't be Moiraine. But I don't think it was just free-floating cruelty.

And an alternate point of view on Egwene and her meltdown: It may not have been the smart thing to do, but it was certainly the realistic thing to do for a seventeen year old girl who had been enslaved and abused and was imagining that the Whitecloaks had more of it in store for her-- I think at this point Egwene knows perfectly well wahat is meant by "the Question."

And finally, the Noam/Simion incident is one of my clearest memories from the whole book. Not just because it illustrated Perrin's own fears of madness (although it certainly does that) but because it was just an all around touching episode.
89. Egglie
Elida needs to die in a fire? that seems unnecessarily mean!

I don't care if she dies but I would like to see her have one moment of horrifying realization of how incredibly wrong she has been all her life (which thinking about it might actually be meaner)
Ofer Nave
90. odigity
Greg Steele@79:
"So they made her the Am Seat not so much cause she was young, this was commented on but before her stilling she was one of the 2 fastest trained & most powerful AS. The other one was Mo and she was off looking for Rand. 3rd was Eliada & 4th was Cadsuane, she may have been most powerful but was considered retired since the Aiel War"

The AS pecking order uses strength in the power as the most important criteria, but I thought I remembered reading that raising an Amyrlin was one of the few exceptions from that rule, and that there had been Amyrlins raised before that were barely strong enough to qualify for the shawl (though I'm sure strength is preferred, as I believe is discussed when considering Egwene in Salida). I believe you're right about those four being the four current strongest AS, I just again question whether that's still sufficient to explain Siuan making it into power in time to make the DR search possible.

I mean, it would be like Frodo winning a Gondor-wide raffle to catch a ride on the new Minas Tirith/Mordor blimp's maiden voyage and thinking "sweet, I'll just drop the ring from the window". Too lucky. Someone who knows what's up is clearly working for the raffle company.

"Elida needs to die in a fire? that seems unnecessarily mean!

I don't care if she dies but I would like to see her have one moment of horrifying realization of how incredibly wrong she has been all her life (which thinking about it might actually be meaner)"

Eh. I'm a practical man. Having her realize what she's done might be sweet from a literary perspective, but in real life I'd just want her out of the way to stop screwing things up and handing the third age to the DO.
91. Kenneth G Cavness
Leigh: I enjoyed the French intro (and typoed "connais" above). Very cute. For those of you who don't know Leigh, she grew up in N'Orleans, so it's in her blood, comprends?

I'm only mildly with you on Moiraine's dickishness, here. She shouldn't have needled Lan, but I was highly amused by how she manipulated Perrin into doing what she wanted.

Also, while I realize you don't read every comment, at least 15 people or more disagreed with you on Rand's craziness, or lack thereof. I noticed that you brought up his craziness again...given how many people are disagreeing with you, do you have some "in" to the taint-madness theory that I'm simply not seeing? Maybe I missed something...

In this case, Rand is running away from the Shadow, who is in hot pursuit of him, while trying to keep his friends out of danger, and also is running away from his destiny, because he desparately doesn't want to be the Dragon Reborn. He's not taint-mad, he's going through an existential crisis.
92. Teddroe
Still loving the re-read Leigh! And all of the comments too...aren't we WoTers great? Anyways a couple of things:

I totally agree. The world-building, setting, and characterization are some of my favorite parts of WoT, and so I've never really had any problem with books 7-9. It also helps that the only major plot thread I really don't like is the Perrin/Faile/Shaido one (which draaaaaaaags). None of the others ever really bothered fact I really enjoyed the Elayne politiking plotline, as well as Mat's adventures in Ebou Dar. That said I do however think that CoT got a little excessive, but KoD made things all better again.

Re: The Egwene/Gawyn romance. Really? This is your favorite? While I generally have no problem with the way Jordan does relationships (I think he does them differently as opposed to badly), this one always bothered me. Maybe it's because I've never liked Gawyn, and Egwene only started to grow on me around book 7, but this relationship has always come off as very forced and perfunctory to me. Easily my least favorite, but to each his own I suppose.

Greg Steele@75
I always assumed the forsaken got some sort of upgrade from the DO (I imagine Matrix downloads here). If he/it can encrypt Fain the way he/it does, put souls in other bodies and make mindtraps I don't think it's unreasonable to assume the he/it could give the Foraken a language upgrade (language patch 2.7!).
93. Lsana
@92 Teddroe,

While I disagree with you about Jordan's relationships in general (he does some things wonderfully and others terribly, and romantic relationships are in the latter category), I think I agree with you about the Egwene/Gawyn relationship: it's right up there with the worst offenders in the "strangled by the red string" category. We never really see any of it from Gawyn's perspective that I remember, but from Egwene, it makes no sense. She's attracted to Galad. She's really attracted to Galad. Despite Elayne's best efforts, she remains interested in Galad and completely indifferent to Gawyn. Then, without seeing him at all in the intervening time, she suddenly decides that she is passionately in love with Gawyn and can't wait until she bonds him and marries him. WTF?

It doesn't bother me as much as Rand/Elayne or Rand/Min, but that's only because it doesn't come up as often in the books. Now that I think about it, it's at least as badly done as either of those.

On a somewhat related note, does anyone else think that part of Egwene's attraction to Galad may be because she subconsciously sees a resemblance to Rand? She's more or less accepted that she can't have Rand, but she's still in the market for a Rand-substitute.
94. DutchBoy
Hi guys & girls,

I am amazed by all your positive responses to a bit of French prose!

Naechstes Mal auf Deutsch, bitte? I guess then responses will be less positive. ;-)

Why do most of us get French in school anyway? I can understand that people living in Western Europe learn some French, since France is the largest Western European country with quite a large number of inhabitants (although much less than Germany). But why should people outside Western Europe learn French? It is not among the five most spoken languages of the world...


Anyway, what I like a lot is that by reading Leigh's summaries and comments I relive my experiences and thoughts when reading the books myself. Actually, I never discussed the books with friends, although they are nerds like me (ha ha, very funny posts Disgruntled (#80 & #81)) - so I am happy to read your comments :-)

Good night to all Europeans, good afternoon to the Americans, and Australians - good morning!
95. Bourgeois Nerd
I swear the name of the third Accepted actually DOES come up, but not until like KoD when Egwene is back in the White Tower. No idea what it is, even though I just read it, however.
96. DutchBoy
By the way, I recall that the five most speaken languages are Hindi, (Mandarin) Chinese, English, Spanish, Arabic. But perhaps my memory fails (again).

What I am sure of is that if you ask American citizens what are their roots, the most frequent answer is... GERMANY.

It turned out that there were more people descending from Germany than there were Afro-Americans.

Sometimes reality is more baffling than SF ;-)
97. Rikka
@94 French used to be a much more international language, the way English is now and Latin was centuries ago. (French and English, as well as the national language(s) of whatever country in which they take place, are the official languages of the Olympics.) I assume this Francophilia stems from that.
98. Randalator

You're right, Mat's adventures in Ebou Dar were perfectly fine. It wasn't until they left Ebou Dar with Valan Luca's menagerie that things became really tedious. And I really do believe that RJ was stalling so Elayne's arc could catch up with the rest. KoD put and end to that, thank the Light.


Naechstes Mal auf Deutsch, bitte? I guess then responses will be less positive. ;-)

Why is that? Don't you remember what the Simpsons taught us? "Oh, no one who speaks German can be an evil man!"

On that note I say: "Die Elaida, die!" which is german for "The Elaida, the!" *grin*
99. AlfredTungstan
I know it seems that Moraine is just being cruel to Lan but I think she has an ulterior motive going on here (What? An AS with an ulterior motive? Never!). She's testing him. Goading him on purpose to see how strong his ties to her still are now that he has proclamed his love to Ny by giving her his ring (insert high school flashback here). She started doing that in the last book when she was visiting the sisters and first told him about the transfer of the bond. She has to know what he will do when the chips are down, protect Ny first or her.
100. Rossage
is the chest with the horn in a stasis box? That's what I've always thought anyways.
101. Toryx

This is my first time posting after catching up with Leigh's posts and the comments. I'm not actually doing a complete re-read myself: I started the WoT series the year EotW came out and for a while I was re-reading every time a new book got published. I gave that up around book 6 but I've still read the first three or four books too many times. My last complete re-read was when KoDs came out and that'll probably have to do it.

But that makes reading Leigh's recaps so enjoyable, and she does such a great job of capturing the big moments.

With that a few thoughts:

50. Rebecca Starr
"I am also loving that it took me 15 years to realize the Tar Valon map looks just like Manhattan. Go NYC!!!"

You know, I never noticed that. After having lived in NYC for a couple of years not long ago, I realize that you're absolutely right. How interesting!

48. David-2

"I've never understood why the girls were supposed to have seen though 'Liandrin's ploy'."

I always thought they got the shaft with that too. After all, the other Aes Sedai, experienced and knowledgeable and long-lived as they are, had far more reason to notice that Liandrin was evil. If they were unable to discern the truth of Liandrin's loyalties, how could an Accepted and a couple of Novices?

I do think that Siuan's actions to punish them was clever though, particularly in terms of diassociating them from Liandrin.

Re: Verin

After all the time and re-reads and thought I've put into Verin I'm still unsure where she stands, exactly. I've never been able to quite believe that she's of the Black Ajah but I wouldn't necessarily put her on the side of good and light either. I've always wondered if she somehow follows or represents a third faction entirely. Much as I like her (and I do) there's just something unsettling about her.
102. Don, Iowa
@#94 & others:

usually it's Spanish / French / German ... to a latter extent Latin for offered courses.

I believe it is all regional in the US. Spanish I would believe would be highest up as our closest neighbors (that we interract with in their native tongue) are from Mexico. French stays close because of our history in southern delta regions & Canada. German because of many peoples ancestry (I wouldn't mind learning it) and Latin is dead, but I assume could help if you are in the right field for a better understanding (species names in biology comes to mind).


I think Rand is back in his, if no one is around me they can't be hurt because of me, state of mind he was in when trying to piss off Matt & Perrin at the beginning of TGH. Internally he is dealing with finally accepting what must be done since he is the DR & until he can shield his dreams he is being hunted/tormented 24/7. You'd start talking to yourself too.

I love it, spend monday/wednesday/friday waiting for the post and reading with tues/thurs reading 100 comments.
103. Sidetrack'd
gagecreedlives@68 - I think your right about not knowing about being able to remove the oaths but doesnt mean they cant reswear the oaths. Im pretty sure some sitters do it later on when the black ajah hunters get busted with the oath rod.

I meant to explain further, but I got sidetracked ;) - since they haven't reasoned out that oaths can be removed at all, they haven't gotten anywhere near taking the next logical step. They would have never even considered the concept of re-swearing oaths because, as far as they know, the oaths are permanent, one-time, forevermore. Later, once Pevara & her cohort (forget - Seain?) reason out that oaths can be removed, I think they mention something about it right when the other sisters catch them - thus prompting the other sisters to re-swear..?

metacarolyn@72 - This is just a random thought, but it seems strange to me how many of the forsaken are Dreamers. Maybe I'm getting confused by those who just enter in the flesh...

It does seem like they all know a lot about T'A'R, doesn't it? We know Ishy can find and enter dreams at will (haunting the TR boys), but I don't think we see any of the others do this. I'm pretty sure that the rest of the Forsaken are entering in the flesh, and the things they do there are mostly Power or physical-related, and this knowledge/ability most likely comes from understanding Traveling. Egwene figured out entering T'A'R physically from her training, and from those concepts worked around to Traveling - just backwards of the Forsaken, perhaps? If they were truly Dreamers, wouldn't they be getting glimpses of the future as well? Surely we'd have seen that in a POV somewhere.

Egglie@89 - Elaida...but I would like to see her have one moment of horrifying realization of how incredibly wrong she has been...

That'd be brutal. And probably fun. :)
104. David-2
Sidetrack'd@103 - The fact that Black aren't bound by the oaths is totally obvious to anyone who thinks about it for a minute - the explanation for me is that the Aes Sedai are totally stubborn about not even thinking about the Black if they can help it. In fact, this self-inflicted ignorance is probably one good reason the Black has been able to hide as well as it has as long as it has, even though it has been involved in the deaths of several Amrylin and who knows how many Sisters over the years.

Toryx@101 - Oh I agree, the decision to punish them was clever - not just because it further disassociated them from the Black but because it further encouraged them to search for the Black (highly dangerous and scary). Plus Elayne deserved it, on general principles, for being so snobby and snotty as a rule. (Remember in TFOH she is recognized by the Yellow agent because of her accurately described habit of "looking down her nose" - or maybe it was "tilting up her head".)

Anyway one more comment to throw out: Is Gawyn useless or what? I hope he and his younglings don't bother to show up in AMoL. As far as Egwene goes, the only thing I can figure is that his dreams must be really ... interesting ... or she would have figured out he was a waste of space very quickly ...
105. David-2
Sidetrack'd@103 - (My previous comment was unintentionally a bit curt. I meant to say I agreed with you about the Black and the oath rod, and this was a further suggestion about it ...)
106. Lsana
@103 Sidetrack'd, 104 David-2,

I was going to wait until next time to mention this, but there is a remarkable lack of logic in how Suian goes about her search for the Black Ajah. It's notable that she doesn't think about the three oaths at all. If she had, she would either (1) suspect that she could just go around asking every sister if they were BA or not, and they would have to answer truthfully, or (2) recognize that they must not be bound by the oath rod and use the same technique that Seaine and Pevara do later. Of course, if she'd done either of these, then she would have had a group of full sisters to do her hunting rather than the supergirls.

The one thing that Elaida did right was making her investigator a White sister. Apparently they have a monopoly on clear-thinking.
Ofer Nave
107. odigity
Actually, I am most upset with the White Ajah. So much AS ignorance, but the Whites claim to be all rational, and yet have completely failed to ponder and eliminate all the obvious irrationality. Pathetic, really.
108. David-2
Lsana@106 - I was with you until you said the Whites have a monopoly on clear thinking. That's certainly what the Whites would like you to believe! But it is remarkable that whenever you hear a White talk they are in fact idiotically irrational, making blatant and unwarranted assumptions, and generally sounding like fools. I think it must be one of RJ's jokes.

(Except for Alviarin: she doesn't seem to have any problem thinking straight. Until she is "marked by the Dark One". And then she has a big problem thinking at all, but it is understandable.)
109. Lsana
@108 David-2,

I was more making a joke based on the White's stated goal of understanding logic and the complete lack thereof in Suian's actions then I was endorsing the White Ajah and all it's members. Though Seaine did pretty well when she was assigned to hunt the Black Ajah--better, I think, than the supergirls did.

How many White sisters have we really seen, though? The only ones that I can remember anything about are Seaine (logical and competent) and Alviarin (logical and competent). I'm sure we've seen others, but I can't remember all that much about the actions of, say, Liandrin's Whites. Have we really seen enough illogic from them to declare that the Whites have totally failed in their devotion to logic?
110. David-2
Well, I remember at least two different occasions, though I can't pin them down now. I'll have to wait until the reread gets there.

One was, I think, a pair of Whites talking in the background while the captive Egwene talks to the captive Leane in the foreground (the Whites were there to shield Leane).

That's all I remember right now. But we'll come across them ...

Anyway, you're right about Suian. She really dropped the ball there, big time. In A New Spring very much is made of her ability to solve tricky puzzles with very little information, which leads her to be chosen, as an Accepted, to help the Blue sister who's in charge of the Blue's eyes-and-ears. Yet when it comes to the Black Ajah ... after 16-17 years of experience as AS and Amrylin ... not a clue on how to find them except to send 3 Accepteds after them.
Richard Boye
111. sarcastro

There are those Whites having affectedly abstruse conversations about theorems and algorithms as they Shield Leane, but other noteworthy Whites (to me) are really rather rare - we have Sarene Nemdahl, the gorgeous White who was part of Elaida's false embassy to Rand in Cairhien, writes erotic poetry about her warder, and thinks that Nesune, the Brown leading that embassy, is somewhat stupid; we have Brendas who was a rarely mentioned sister but one that Siuan trusts and so Nynaeve respects her somewhat, we have Zera Dacan who got busted by Seaine and Pevara as a Rebel Spy (thereby causing many Bothans to die), and of course, Carlinya, who reeks of ambition and ended up getting bested by Egwene (and can't seem to grasp that Siuan was/is acting as Egwene's advisor in all things Amyrlinal).

As a class, the reputedly wise and logical Whites fare even worse than their non-White sisters, IMHO.
112. Randalator
The only reason I can think of why Siuan didn't go BA-hunting herself like Seaine and Pevara do is as follows:

Siuan simply doesn't dare to. Remember how touchy the subject of Black Ajah is even AFTER Liandrin's 13 proved their existence. If the first sisters she tested had been non-black those would have very likely been outraged at being the first to be tested. At best that would have led to cold war between the Ajahs much like under Elaidas reign and open opposition toward Siuan as Amyrlin. At worst she would have been deposed as fast as possible.

Those she COULD have tested without taking personal outrage are to close to herself and thus to high profile just like herself. And actually it's just one: Leane.

If one of the first sisters had been black and had figured out why Siuan wanted her to retake the oaths she could quite possibly have been killed on the spot. Seaine and Pevara too on their hunt by the way if they had come across a black sister earlier.

So she would have needed low profile Aes Sedai to pull off the hunt without endangering the whole support-for-the-Dragon-Reborn-thing but she would have needed to test them first and here we are again at the beginning of my reasoning.

And always keep in mind that the actual BA hunt was a result of a misunderstanding which eliminated the problem with testing the designated hunter first and that Seaine herself took an enormous risk talking to Pevara about it. That could have easily gotten her killed if Pevara had turned out to be black.

That left Siuan with no choice but to use the supergirls. And they couldn't have used the re-oath method because they had no authority over Aes Sedai.

Anyway that's the best sense I can make of it and I'm fully aware that I'm a fanboy grasping at straws here.
Richard Fife
113. R.Fife
thereby causing many Bothans to die

But (Chief) Han shot a shai(gree)do first.

As far as the Whites and their cold logic, yeah, I have always thought they were a tongue-in-cheek joke too. They are as logical as browns are absent minded.
Ethan Pope
114. Unforsaken
You know, while we are on the subject of Black Ajah, I have kind of a pet theory to propose. I was going to wait until the re-read got to the beginning of TSR to unleash this, but I'm not patient enough. What about captured AS damane? As the small segment in the intro of TSR with Suroth shows, the ad'am has no effect on the Oaths. We all know that the BA can lie because that Oath has been nullified by their Oath to the DO. We also know that they can use it as a weapon by observing some of Liandrin's shenanigans in TGH. It seems to me that a damane that couldn't use the OP as a weapon would be somewhat useless. I realize that there is a loophole in the "can't use the OP as a weapon Oath", but wouldn't that make them a major liability on the battlefield? One of the strengths of having damane is being able to deal death at a distance. Also, what about a weapon created with the OP, or even the TS? Why not? Rand has Callandor? The DO is bound to have some aces up his sleeve that haven't been alluded to, or otherwise there wouldn't be anything to surprise us.
115. Hugin
@86 MarkS -- you beat me to it. I was also going to call for the next intro to be entirely in the Old Tongue. C'mon, Leigh, show us your true WOT-fu.

Re Perrin/Simion/Noam: I also like this anecdote. It is touching, and shows the reader that, yeah, the wolfy thing isn't all fun, games and hamstringing Fades. So Perrin isn't nuts to be freaked out a bit by it.

Re Moiraine: I've mentioned this in every comment I've posted, but I'm really more frustrated by her on this re-read than on any previous read. She only seems to have one way to interact with others -- the aloof/manipulative mode. You'd think her Aes Sedai/Cairhien training would give her enough daes dae'mar-fu to realize that you should consider treating different people differently. Even if she had the right approach to Rand (which I don't think she did), Perrin is the thoughtful, deliberate, loyal one of the bunch -- if you just gave him a bit of info, he'd go along with a reasonable plan/suggestion.

Re Siuan/supergirls: I totally get that the punishment is to disassociate them from Liandrin and is well played for that. But no need to chew them out for following direct orders from an Aes Sedai when rule #1 of the White Tower is to do everything requested of you by Aes Sedai without exception, question or delay. Especially since Liandrin wasn't asking them to do anything illegal or immoral, just to come along with her. (Although thinking about it, entering the ways could probably be seen as illegal, but Mo had already overridden that because of her great need.)

Re White Ajah: sarcastro @111 covered most of the other major ones. There is also Daigian Moseneillin (sweet Cairhienin name), who troops around with Cads and later bonds an ashaman (Eben Hopwill, who dies) but I don't remember her acting all White. Falion Bhoda, one of Liandrin's 13, ends up on Ishy's bad side and gets shielded and made to serve "Lady Shiane." I also don't remember anything particularly White Ajah about her actions, but I do think we get a POV from her in WH or CoT. Ferane Neheran, a sitter in Elaida's tower who calls for negotiations with the Salidar crowd (OK, I'll give her the logic thing there). Yeah, I'm dorky enough to have a spreadsheet to help me keep all the Aes Sedai straight. And another for the Aiel.
116. gagecreedlives
birgit@83 I think you’ll find it was Moggy that Moridin kept in a vacuole. Just me being a prat and nit picking.

Thank you Belement for the clarification. Although die in a fart is certainly not without its charms.


You would think though at one point in the white towers history a black sister has been caught and after questioning them it would become obvious that the 3 oaths could be removed. I can see why this info wouldn’t be made widely available but you think this would be at least passed on to every amrylin. Or was it but at one stage maybe there has been a black amrylin and she suppressed the knowledge.
117. Dr. Morganstien
Hugin @ 115
One word: spreadsheet

is that technically two?

either way, would I be rude to ask for those?

also, I am of the opinion that Egwene/Gawyn is the least-well-thought-out "romance" in the WOT, followed closely by Elayne/Rand.
also, Moi/Thom and Lan/Nynaeve are my two favorites.

P.S. sorry for saying also so much, its past my bedtime
118. SoulofInk
@28 Unforsaken
Mr. Jordan has made several teasing mentions of the existence of actual "dragons".

Hm... this makes me wonder. Lan says in EotW that there are things in the high passes that Worms are afraid of. In a later book, one of the Foresaken says that the Worms of the present age never mature into their full size or form.
Makes me wonder... could the high pass creatures by dragons? Could Worms be baby dragons?
119. Rikka
Could Worms be baby dragons?

How Robin Hobb-esque... XD
120. Wetlander
Randalator @62:

My apologies to you and anyone else who might care. I obviously mis-remembered what I'd read about CoT... and felt pretty silly about 3 hours after my post, when I picked up CoT again and the next chapter starts 4 days AFTER the big day. Oops. Still, it was fully halfway through the book. :-)

metacarolyn@72 et al:

I think the Forsaken access to T'A'R is more like the Aiel "dreamwalkers" than the Aes Sedai "Dreamers". The prophecy thing is only associated with Dreamers, iirc. It gets confused because Egwene is both, but her "true dreams" don't appear to have any necessary connection to T'A'R that I've noticed. (I really loved the way she worked out Traveling from her experience in dreamwalking, though. Way cool.)
121. rynners
Long time/first time, as they say in radio. First, let me say thanks, Leigh, for your efforts in this matter! Not doing yet another re-read myself, at the moment, though it becomes ever more tempting. The commentary (both yours and the peanut gallery's) really is helping me to tie it all together in new ways, though.

I don't have too much to add to the current discussion, but I will say that I also think that the Ajah specialties have always been there not just for a bit of a laugh, but also as a comment on people's willingness to judge others/themselves in overly basic terms. Sure, it would be nice if people were easily pigeonholed, but life isn't really that simple.

Things like Brown = absent-minded highlight people's tendency toward assumptions about others (in this case, that bookishness leads to a disconnect from reality). Similarly, White = pure logic shows that how we see ourselves may not be a true reflection of our complete nature, because we all have our blind spots and foibles. All that without even touching on other over-simplifications in the minds of others, such as the internal view of Green (battle-ready) v. the outside opinion (essentially, sluts). Then we learn that not every Red is a simple-minded, hardened man-hater, and learn that well are all the product of our combined experience.

Whether intentionally or not (of course, I'd like to think it was conscious), RJ created a closed society of highly specialized characters in just such a way as to highlight the diversity that abounds even among similar people, as well as the fact that snap judgments and simple definitions, about ourselves or others, will almost never truly resemble reality.


Incidentally, "Die, Elaida. Die!" becomes even funnier in Hebrew: "Enough, Elaida. Enough!"

PS: I think I may have lied just a little about not having much to say. Chalk it up to another lesson in knowing thyself, I suppose.
122. SteelBlaidd
Seconding randalator @112:
Siuan and Moraine are severely outnumbered and on the defensive. To their certain knowledge at least one Amyrlin and 10 sisters have been killed all without raising suspicion. They suspect Cadsune of being Black and she is the strongest Aes Sedai around and can pull rank on anyone outside the Amyrlin, the Hall and the Capitan-General of the Green. In order to be safe they would both have to be there to question who ever it is and that would make them vulnerable too.

To make matters Worse they are searching for the Dragon Reborn and not only need to avoid tipping their hand the Black Ajah, but also the Red who are likely to lock him up in the dungeons until he is needed if the don't gentle him outright to start with. (Remember the Red Ajah is the lagest Ajah. Using the logic from this theory post over at wotmania there are about twice as many Reds as Blues.) And many of the other Ajah would probably support them.

This also is why Moraine is so adverse to sharing information with the boys. 20+ years of paranoid secrecy is a hard habit to break.

Oh its no accident that Suian is Amyrlin, she was working towards that job since the end of New Spring.

@Hugin: Can I have a copy of that Spreed sheet?
123. disgruntled-not so much
Thanks to all who responded to my comments!

I think I find elaida to be the one character I dislike more than the white cloaks. (They don't get capitals.)
As to DIAF....Elaida should die in one of those slow, loooong noisy 'farts', slowly strangling and smothering to death, with the putrid smell curling her nose hairs, as she comes to the realization os the horror of her missteps.
All in the will of the Creator?!!!!
(Think about it!)

Keep up the good work and don't forget to write your own synopsises (is that a word?)
Then some day we can come back here and have Leigh be commentator and moderator for the new rewrites!
124. disgruntled-not so much
Forgot to add:
@85 (did I do that right?)-
I never watched that particular show with the twins.
It was definitely Jar Jar. Maybe he watched their show?
Later, like Friday!
%@ @%
125. shintemaster
@99 AlfredTungstan
I agree and I'll add that Moiraine is testing Lan for more than the obvious reason. She needs to know what he'll do when the chips are down, but she needs to know for more than one reason. She is the ultimate planner manipulator to this point, if Lan acts out in a way unpredicted that is bad, if he doesn't put his bond before everything else that's another, especially if she can predict it.

Egglie@89 - Elaida...but I would like to see her have one moment of horrifying realization of how incredibly wrong she has been...

That'd be brutal. And probably fun. :)

Absolutely, and as much as she is infuriating I have no doubt that if she ever finds out she's wrong in a way she can't deny then she'll probably turn into Rand & Co.'s biggest ally.

@Hugin: Can I have a copy of that Spreed sheet?

I hear that. What an impressive effort, I've read the damn books 15 times but never bothered to creat a spreadsheet. I'm obviously not of the white or the brown Ajah's. I'm purple, we stand for doing whatever the hell we feel like at the time. :)
Sacha G
126. Fortune_Prick_Me
En attendant la prochaine mise-a-jour de LB... D'avance ~ merci! C'est vraiment genial de retrouver de vrais amateurs de ce merveil. A+

This re-read has been a joy to discover for an old WOT fan, follower of that old usenet group, watching that old FAQ build up over the years then fall by the Way(s) -no fault of Machin Shin- and transform into comprehensive websites like Wotmania, Dragonmount, TarValon, etc...

What is amazing in these chapters about Ta'veren is that RJ created a concept that breaks the 4th wall invisibly. Like he did in TGH when he brought the Wonder Girls together with the Wonder Boys in Falme for plot reasons, he created an in-world reason for doing so : Ta'veren. Any plot stretch like the 2 main contenders for the Throne of Cairheinin being killed in THG and the subsequent civil war is due to Ta'veren being present. This plot strech somehow also causes gunpowder to be developed 6 books later. A reader could normally groan and say, how could that ever happen... How did Perrin, that emo Emond's Fielder ever end up King of Saldaea-Ghealdan-Manetheren; Loial would just grumble: Ta'veren. This simple word, along with obscure prophecy and vague real world references can account for us fans looking for in-world explanations of RJ's plan, without complaining of author plot short-cuts.

In other words, RJ's world makes sense, because it doesn't always make sense. It's not like Tolkein, where nothing was explained - the exact Power of the Valar, Noldor, Sauron was always off-screen. It's not like much modern fantasy, too often based on D&D, where everything is quantified, where we know that 3/5 Earth + 1/5 Spirit + 1/5 Fire = +12 anti avian flu. RJ kept some of the mystery alive, while keeping us modern readers connected. I think that's why Simion/Noam in these chapters was touching. They're how we would react when our kith and kin go mad/become werewolves.

We all love Min, but hate Elaida. Siuan was dense, Moiraine was too closed-mouthed.... This Ajah isn't what it states to be, these other don't play by the rules... RJ drew us in. I love all of these comments and think that we need to invent a new term. Breaking the 4th wall is when the artist reminds the audience it is just an observer. Breaking the 7th wall-breaking the Veil- is when the author makes US play in his sandbox.


Brown Ajah FTW: Professor Jones in Raiders of the Los Ark was totally Brown Ajah....
Ethan Pope
127. Unforsaken
118.@ SoulofInk

Those were the EXACT references I was thinking about. Also, in TSR, there were some rumors of "creatures that resembled those on the Car'a'carn's wrists", but I can't remember where in the book I read it. I'm thinking, perhaps in the land of Shar we will find the answers we seek. If, in fact, there ARE answers to be sought. It may just be Mr. Jordan giving us a poke, poke/nudge, nudge, similar to the Nine Rings inn(TGH)that was named for a story that was one of Rand's favorite's when he was a kid.
128. birgit
I think you’ll find it was Moggy that Moridin kept in a vacuole

You're right, I wanted to post a correction myself.

Could Worms be baby dragons?

They are young jumara. I thought they were larvae of some kind of giant insect.
129. Randalator
I don't think there are any dragons in Randland (Please, Jebus, no dragons!).

For one that would be really lame. Also the concept dragons has completely vanished. The word 'dragon' is associated with LTT and nothing else. Not even the dragon on LTT's banner is recognized as such.

If there were dragons around today there should be at least a general concept of them. Especially if Jumara had been dragons. But the Seanchan don't know any dragons and neither do the Sharans or we would have read abaout it in The Travels of Jain Farstrider. Word does get around eventually...
130. rynners

Thanks so much for that link! No idea how I'd missed those previously, but they were hysterical. It takes an awful lot for me to literally laugh out loud at something I read, and I was simply rolling all throughout. Again, many thanks for posting that.
131. Lsana
@111 sarcastro, 115 Hugin,

I'll admit that I have no memory of any of the white sisters that you mentioned (my question earlier was serious rather than rhetorical), but from the examples you mentioned, it doesn't strike me that the Whites were particularly illogical, from the few of them that we've seen. There's nothing illogical about writing erotic poetry (despite what Star Trek would have you believe "logical" != "unemotional"). Getting caught or killed doesn't necessarily make you illogical; at worst, it means that you screwed up in someway not necessarily related to logic.

I'll keep my eyes out as the re-read progresses, but while it seems like a couple of Whites (from your description Carlinya seems to qualify) may fail to live up to their ideals, I don't see enough evidence to say that the Ajah as a whole has done so.

Though the spreadsheet is cool. You are definitely not a geek for doing that. Well, maybe you are, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing...

@112. Randalator,

Seaine took a risk in asking for Pevara's help, but less of one than Suian did in asking from supergirls. Seaine's reasoning was that Pevara was her best friend, she'd known her almost her entire life, and she knew that Pevara had personal reasons for hating Darkfriends. She could have been wrong, but if she wanted to trust someone, that was as good a choice as she could make.

Suian decided to trust two people she has known for only a couple of months because they were "kidnapped" by Liandrin. She has only their word for it that (a) they were kidnapped rather than going of their own free will to a "Black Novice" training camp, and (b) even if they were originally coerced into going, they haven't been forcibly turned to the dark in the meantime. I'll take Seaine's reasoning over Suian's any day.

@126 Fortune_Prick_Me,

We do not all love Min. It maybe that everyone minus one loves min, but I can't stand her, think she's probably the most pathetic character in the story, and don't understand what the rest of you see in her.
132. Bourgeois Nerd
It's always seemed to me that the Whites are very FORMALLY logical; they just have no common sense. Humans and human nature just can't be (easily) explained by axioms and postulates. RJ's very good at showcasing people's blindspots and arrogance, and I think the Ajahs are the perfect expression of this.

Also, I think I read somewhere that, especially relative to their small numbers, the Whites have the highest number of confirmed Black sisters than any other Ajah, with the argument that their logic has led them to conclude that the DO will win, so might as well be on the winning side.
133. Don, Iowa
@126 that link is priceless, still laughing about it at work
134. AlleyGirl
@131 I agree re: Min. I liked her in the first few books, her "talent" is very cool but once she started chasing after Rand she just became super annoying.
135. Lsana
@132 Bourgeois Nerd,

According to the Wheel of Time FAQ, the ajahs are pretty much even in terms of Black sisters: as of the last update, white, grey, and green all had 4; yellow, red, and blue each had 3, and brown had 2. I think there was another green sister added in KOD, but I don't remember for certain.

I pretty much agree with you about the nature of the White sisters. I see them as the philosophers and mathematicians of the White Tower. The scientists too, perhaps, though more theoretical then experimental scientists.

@134. AlleyGirl

Glad to know I'm not completely alone.
136. Sidetrack'd
Lsana@106 and
gagecreedlives@116 You would think though at one point in the white towers history a black sister has been caught and after questioning them it would become obvious that the 3 oaths could be removed.

Good point. You would think so, wouldn't you... But then, one major arc of the overall WoT storyline consists of showing us gradually, bit by bit, how not on the ball the Aes Sedai really are... :-/

David-2@104 - this self-inflicted ignorance is probably one good reason the Black has been able to hide as well as it has as long as it has

Another nail.on.head.

Unforsaken@114 - Good question about collared Aes Sedai - I'd have to guess there's a loophole around the oaths since the collared AS is not consciously choosing to channel offense/weapon weaves - the sul'dam is in control, and the damane has no choice in the matter. Maybe?

Lsana@131 - Suian decided to trust two people she has known for only a couple of months because they were "kidnapped" by Liandrin.

Wasn't part of Suian's reasoning for using the 'girls also their loyalty to Rand? Might be confusing that with another task - I can't remember for sure...
137. Kaelin
There is a damane at one point who used to be Aes Sedai and one of the Seanchan talks about her being useless as a weapon, although she had the foretelling. So collared Aes Sedai can't use the power as a weapon.
138. aFinn
I believe RJ has said that Aes Sedai that are collared can't be used as a weapon, but damane are used for other things like "fireworks", healing and fortune telling.
139. Bourgeois Nerd
@135 Lsana:

Yes, but considering that the White is the smallest Ajah (forty in the Tower with Elaida; I don't know how many with Egwene and the ones sitting it out), it IS a pretty high proportion.
Sacha G
140. Fortune_Prick_Me
Lsana @131, Alley Girl@134

I agree about Min, after she starts lap-dancing Rand in her pink -pink!- breeches, she lost much of what set her apart from the other sniffers and braid tuggers.

Unforsaken@127 Randalator@129

To'raken, those tamed pterodactyls, spoken in that slurring Seanchan way sounds awfully like Dragon doesn't it. Rj's way of saying how legends are born, maybe?
141. Hugin
@all who have asked: I'm happy to share my spreadsheets. YMMV as to usefulness -- it's a bunch of info that's organized in a way that makes sense to me (but it is a spreadsheet so you could easily re-sort it). Just let me know where to send. Maybe I'll try to upload it to google.
142. Lsana
@140 Fortune_Prick_Me,

Min never really was all that different from the other female characters. Re-read her section at the end of Chapter 6, I think it is, where she is leaving the camp for Tar Valon. Then put "Elayne" or "Egwene" in in place of "Min." It wouldn't feel off at all. ("Nynaeve" wouldn't work, but only because Min doesn't have a braid to tug).

Min has only two unique features: her power (which I found extremely irritating), and the fact that, for no apparent reason, she likes to dress like a boy. I didn't find either of those enough to ever like her, though I got the feeling that I was supposed to.
143. David-2
@126 - Oh that was a terrific link! Sort of like a re-read done by Eelfinn after poking around in people's heads and knowing what they're really thinking.
144. Effervescent
On the statis boxes:
Later in the books, one of the forsaken (Sammuel?) was thinking about one he found, and knowing that who ever created it had to be a darkfriend because of one of the items that was in it.

What this tells us is statis boxes were something used by both sides during the war in the AoL. Otherwise, it would not be noted, would it?

As for Morianne, I really think she is such a pain because she still has not succumbed to the fact that she has lost control. Until she goes through the Aiel rings, she is going to be making these same kinds of mistakes, due to being convinced that she is still the shaper of events for the Rand gang.
145. Egglie
re Dragons; In KoD (I think) there is an inn in Tear called the Dragon. Rand looks at the sign and thinks that they obviously didn't find the Dragon on the banner exotic enough as they have added wings. (it may also be breathing fire, I can't remember)

The dragon on the banner sounds a bit like a chinese dragon to me and the addition of wings makes it pretty close to our idea of a Dragon.

Hugin - yey spreadsheets! please upload them somewhere, I would love to have access to your geekiness (if only to save myself the time of making my own which I am now itching to do since you mentioned the idea)

Elida - so her moment of realisation is accompanied by the awful stench of the fart from hell which is ignighted and burns her to crisp? Its a deal, everybody's happy!
146. David-2
re Elaida: She's only the third Amrylin raised from the Red, right? After the previous two utterly failed. So I think her moment of enlightment has to include true knowledge that Rand has cleansed Saidin - therefore no more male channelers will go insane - therefore there is no need for the Red Ajah. So therefore she'll realize she'll be the last Amrylin from the Red, ever, making a clean sweep of failure for the Red.
147. beingmused
@147 David-2:

Assuming there's a Tower post TG, and that Egwene is alive and the Amyrlin, there will definitely be a Red Ajah. It is just in a state of transition, with Pevara, Tarna, and the Reds in Logain/Rand's company being at the forefront. Rather than hunting men who can channel, the Red Ajah is suddenly becoming the Ajah in charge of relations toward men who can channel.
148. Alrin
I'd like to think that eventually the Ajahs will be gone as they currently exist, everyone realizing how pointlessly divisive they are. It's a foolish dream, but I can hope, can't I?
Dan Benjamin
149. bandenjamin
I like David2's assesment of what will happen to Elaida :-)
150. Lsana
@146 David-2,

While someone with more knowledge then I will probably come along and correct this, I don't think that Elaida is only the third Amyrlin from the Red. I know she's the first since Hawkwing's time, but I have to imagine that they weren't all that uncommon before then. Particularly in the first years of the White Tower, when finding and dealing with men who could channel was probably a much bigger part of what Aes Sedai did.

@147 beingmused,

I don't think that's going to work. For 3000 years, the Red Ajah has been the primary enemy of men who channeled. I don't see the Asha'man just shrugging their shoulders and saying, "Oh, well. Let's let bygones be bygones. We want to be best friends with the Red Ajah!" I think whatever relations end up existing with male/female channelers, the (possibly former) Red Ajah will have to be kept pretty far from it.
151. Hugin

For anyone who is interested in looking at my spreadsheet of Aes Sedai & other channelers. It wasn't really created with anything other than my own reference in mind, so it's not very polished. But enough people seem to have some interest that I thought I'd share.
152. Lsana
@ 151 Hugin,

Very cool. Not exactly the columns I would have chosen, but definitely nifty. Call it the program for the WOT ballgame.
153. Paracelsus
Now that Reds are bonding Asha'man, I think they have taken a major step towards improving their relations with male channelers. One of their big realizations in AMOL is that saidin is clean. The reds will actually be able to feel it since they are bonded to the men.

The red ajah will have no purpose anymore, so they will either have to completely redefine who they are or they will have to elliminate the red ajah completely.

I don't know what will happen in AMOL. Will Elaida be a fool to the last, or will she actually admit that she is wrong and try to make amends? I tend to think the latter, since Egwene is going to probably take over the Amyrlin position at some point.

Some of the reds such as Pevarra have a new function, but I don't know if the rest of them will ever 'get it.'
154. beingmused
@Lsana -

Tarna completely changed her attitude after merely witnessing an Asha'man recruiting party. Any Aes Sedai with contact with Asha'man appears to have her old held convictions turned upside down. Things change rapidly in weird circumstances, and with the Seanchan attack on the Tower and Tarmon Gai''ll see a whole hell of a lot of change.

Hugin - Very cool. One graphic I've tried to map out, but don't quite have enough info to get very far, is a map out of all of the Black Ajah hearts. I'm hoping that enough reveals in aMoL of who is in who's heart will give us a fairly complete picture of all of that.
155. Lsana
@153 Paracelsus,

I don't think the Aes Sedai bonding with Asha'man is going to go well. The fact that Taim is the one organizing it suggests that this is going to go disastrously wrong. And when it does, it will be one more wedge between the Reds and the male channelers.

@154 beingmused,

Maybe, though I'm skeptical about whether an entire group, most of whom chose their professions based on the fact that they hated men are suddenly going to become ambassadors to their age-old enemies. And that completely leaves out the question of why the Asha'man should decide that they want to trust them.
156. David-2
Lsana@150: You're right, I was confused. I was thinking of this: Only two Amrylins have been deposed, both were red. (Elaida, one hopes, will be the third. Still, it will be quite a comedown for her.)

Another piece of Elaida's downfall that would be satisfying: After being stilled she'll be kept in a cell that contains nothing but a pallet and the architectural model of her planned quarters.
157. Randalator

Actually I think Seaine took by far the greater risk because she based her trust in only two inconclusive things: Her friendship and the fact that Pevara's family had been killed by darkfriends.

A killed family isn't that uncommon amongst darkfriends. See Jaichim Carridin for example. Or Kadere who killed his own beloved sister when she found out about him. And on top of that Seaine and Pevara hadn't actually been friends anymore since they were raised and Pevara joined the red Ajah in 866 NE.

Siuan at least has very recent events speaking for the girls, Nynaeve's and Egwene's personal ties with Rand and the fact that Moiraine, the only person she really trusted not to be black, trusted them to be clean.

All in all I'd rather bet on the girls than least Siuan's info isn't 34 years old.


The exact quote is "The sign out front was freshly painted with, of all things, a rough approximation of the creatures encircling his forearms. The artist apparently had decided the thing was inadequate as described, though, because he had added long, sharp teeth and leathery, ribbed wings. Wings! They almost looked copied from one of those Seanchan flying beasts.

The inn is named after Rand and the sign painted to resemble his banner. Even Rand himself doesn't associate the name 'Dragon' with the animal on the banner or his arms. He still just calls them 'creatures' or 'things'. So even now neither Rand nor anyone else has the slightest idea what a dragon really is besides an honorific for LTT and Rand himself.

It isn't until Logain's visit to the seafolk that anyone refers to the creature itself as a 'dragon'. "The high collar of his black coat held a silver pin in the shape of a sword on one side, and on the other a red-and-gold pin shaped like one of the creatures that entwined the Coramoor's forearms. A dragon. Yes, that was what it was called."

And even here it seems more like a "that's one of these things with the peculiar name. What was it? Something to do with this shorebound Reborn guy...A dragon. Yes, that was what it was called.", an association stemming from the man who's banner bears it and not like an overall concept.
158. Lsana
@157 Randalator,

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, I think, but I'll add one more point. Seaine and Pevara hadn't been friends for 30 years, but it wasn't like they had seen nothing of each other. Pevara had been in the tower, raised to a sitter, and in a position where Seaine could observe her public utterances and use those to judge whether Pevara had changed since they were girls. The evidence suggested she was still much the same. (I know that she obviously wouldn't have gone around saying that she was Black Ajah, but I would think Seaine would notice if there had been a change of some sort, even if she wouldn't have been able to say the reason for the change).

Suian's "information," while recent, was nothing more than what the girls themselves told her. She has no idea what happened while they were with Liandrin.

By your reasoning, rather than trusting Pevara, Seaine should have trusted a random person who came up to her on the streets of Tar Valon and said, "Guess what? Darkfriends tried to kill me yesterday."

@156 David-2,

I'll do you one better. How about we imprison Elaida inside her model?
159. blightboggle
This shit is incredible. 3 years ago I had never read a book outside of school and since I got pointed to tEotW at a Barnes and Nobles I have been anxious to get AMoL. 11 books, through them twice and most of these comments are right on with what I thought. Never knew there was such a big world of fans for a specific series. I enjoyed reading all of the comments and of course the original reread as well.
160. NanaD
Where oh where has Fridays post gone?
Oh where oh where can it be?
I've waited around all day long.
Oh where oh where can it be?

I really need my WOT fix!!!!!

BTW what happened to wednesdays #1 comment?
Michael Ikeda
161. mikeda
what happened to wednesdays #1 comment?

Rand balefired it.
Richard Fife
162. R.Fife
Actually, the Aiel call them dragons. Not that they have much reason to, but it is in TSR that the clan chiefs called them dragons. More than likely that did it since they also find out they are "The People of the Dragon" so they are like "hmm, must be dragons."

Although, I am of the opinion that they are truely mythical creatures in Randland, just saying that just as if we say "Dragon" we know what we are talking about, so do some people in Randland. Rand himself, though, still has the inborn disposition to think of them just as "creatures"

Actually, I think meaningless Position posts are being eaten by our resident Cylon (Pablo).
163. Lsana
@161 mikeda,


But if Rand balefired it, then that would mean that it had never existed, so the old #2 should become #1. Unless, maybe he used a low-powered balefire so that it only stopped existing at some point after it was originally posted...or maybe the re-read is taking place in TAR, where balefire doesn't work quite the same...

Okay, I think we officially need the next part before this descends any further!
Dale Metzger
164. Metzg31
Thinking about balefire and what happened and what didn't happen because of it makes my brain hurt.
165. katg
I know, cause like, if Thelma balefires Louise, then whatever Louise did to provoke Thelma didn't happen anymore, so then Thelma wouldn't have balefired... this stuff makes my brain hurt... just like Lost this season. lol
166. markp
"I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but Rand’s ta’veren-ness seems to vary in intensity depending on how loony he’s feeling at the time. This, along with the crazy-level itself, is something that seems to have been really amped up in TDR and then dialed back considerably in later books, as I’ve already observed. Again, whether this is deliberate or a (relatively subtle) form of ret-conning is probably a matter of opinion."

I think it is the other way round the more weird shit that goes on the crazier Rand acts (at leased in this book)
Add that to being unable to control the power, being continuously under pressure in his dreams by the Forsaken and while awake from monsters and dark friends.
You could probably forgive him for acting slightly strangely.

Moraine dose not come of to well at the start of the book but I think she gets better, towards she seems to start listening more even if she is not totally open
167. Sharonr
regarding the Asha'man bonding the reds, I think Taim's plan will be to turn the AS bonded to his followers to the shadow forcibly adding to the dark channelers/dreadlords - that is why he is all for the bonding.

I may be wrong here but Logain's followers have also bonded reds - I think that this group may lead to the eventual unification of the AS and the Asha'man (probably a long time down the track tho and with much misunderstanding on both sides :-)

It will probably be more like an uneasy alliance through TG.
craig miller
168. craigpmiller
Hmmm... Waitin' for the Friday post ...

Hope Leigh hasn't been waylaid by darkfriends.
169. danielCronin
It is now Saturday over here in the UK.

Where is the post! Don't fail me now Leigh!
Richard Fife
170. R.Fife
Um *points* its over there. been for for a bit now.
craig miller
171. craigpmiller
Hey, It's not like I'm sittin' here waiting for the phone to ring ... :-)
172. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
It's worth noting that Loial realized Moiraine was getting them into the habit of following what she said. Elayne tried much the same thing with Mat later on in Ebou Dar, with far less encouraging results.
Egwene going postal was not really worthy of note. Teenaged girls go ballistic all the time(snort). Without being collared.
And please, Elaida standing up to Rahvin? He'd likely fit her into his schedule somewhere. Last I heard she's not exactly hard to look at either. And her minor noble blood would just sweeten the pot so to speak. A bit hard and cruel, maybe. But after a little compulsion she'll be as soft as a cotton ball.
Now that you mention it, Perrin does, in some ways have it worse than Rand. After all, everyone knows of the eventual end result of Rand's 'condition'. With Perrin, he's grasping straws as to how he'll end up.

Randalator @8
Aes Sedai are retarded on a lot of things, but they simply don't have any means of gauging competence after being raised. It's all the secrecy. So they fall back on what's documented, how long one worked her way through the two thousand year old presumably standardized White Tower curriculum, and what's plainly obvious, strength in the Power.

Unforsaken @28
You're right. Raken (and more specifically to'raken) sounds like the word dragon spoken with a speech impediment. Or a really weird accent. Perhaps RJ did mean for a connection to be seen. Another word that RJ derived from dragon is draghkar, by way of dracula.

Caine09 @46
Nynaeve also figured out the weave for balefire on her own. That means it's either rather simple, or easy enough to weave if you're of a certain strength.

Dalamon @47
It's not that Rand's ta'verenness isn't FULLY apparent so much as that it has faded into the background. RJ does make it a point to mention it from time to time. But it's simply faded into the background as RJ shifts the storytelling to how Rand actively muddles, puzzles, and fumbles through the various challenges set before him. You're right about going with the flow though. The idea is that Rand in accepting his destiny has taken control. Whereas before he simply let the pattern push him to what has to be done. Which reminds me, did Rand bolt because he was sick of Moiraine's guidance or was the Pattern egging him on?

Wetlander @60 and odigity @61
There's also the fact that the last two Amyrlins died after only a few years each. They probably figured that a younger Amyrlin would live younger and this overall would lead to a much longer period of stability for the White Tower. They didn't count on overambitious, megalomaniac Reds with a grudge.

metacarolyn @72
Pulling someone into Tel'aran'rhiod might be as simple as pulling them through a gateway and into TAR. No need to complicate things by speculating on how skilled the forsaken are at manipulating TAR.

SoulofInk @118
Worms are creations of Aginor. So they can't be baby dragons, because this would have been after Lews Therin gained the title of Dragon.
173. birgit
Suian's "information," while recent, was nothing more than what the girls themselves told her. She has no idea what happened while they were with Liandrin.

Her info is mainly from Verin, not from the girls. She said to Verin "tell me everything they did".
John Massey
174. subwoofer
I am paying attention!
Hopper- woof!
Verin- see what it is like to try to control other Supergirls? It's not just the guys having the brain-mouth disconnect.
Ch 12- run Mat! don't stop until you hit water! Women are plotting about you- never good!
175. alaric

Go Light!
176. Erdrick
Nobody mentioned the problem with Perrin reading Noam. Wolfbrothers are not supposed to be able to communicate with each other telepathically (like they do with wolves). Anybody hear an explanation of this? Did RJ mention this anywhere? This seems like an error similar to Verin delving that soulless Ogier. I know RJ explained this away, but I'm convinced that was just after the fact rationalization.

I disagree, however, with the view that Rand's rate of crazy had been toned down because of RJ changing his mind about the length of the series. As post 102 and others mentioned, Rand's actions are completely explained by the circumstances, even if there was no taint on Saidin. Why attribute something to RJ altering his plans when the actions are totally understandable as they are.

PS: Sorry for these back posts; I'm still struggling to catch up with the rest of you.
177. Annika
3000 year old books? sure. there are several mentions of multiple copies of the same book, or books being popular. So obviously someone is employed as xerox machines somewhere, copying books by hand. Or maybe the printing press actually exists, can't remember if it is ever mentioned.
Nick Solick
178. Kaelif
Again, months late, but I thought I'd throw out a thought on the percentage of Black Sisters, since the point was raised above.

It's not at all unlikely for there to be a higher percentage of Black Ajah in the White, as it is the smallest.

Take a group of a thousand women, like we have here. Then (to make things simple) say that 10% of them are Black. Then divide to original thousand into seven groups of different sizes. The 100 Black ones would be divided along with the rest, assuming that there is no ajah that favors the Black (and there shouldn't be).

That gives you about 12-13 Black Sisters per ajah, which seems ridiculously high in the ~100 White population, and ridiculously low in the ~350 Red population. But there's no meaning behind it.
179. southernmike
Isn't it in Jarra that Perrin sees Mo naked in her room, or is that another village, I cracked up when I read it.
joel perry
180. finndo
13. Mark-S
Hahaha that is funny, check out what mine came up with…

Hello, my small! Sit, if you please, and close your mouth.
What? You don't speak English? Well, I do nor, obviously.
Welcome to the wheel of time Relire! Today is the Réincarné Dragon, Part Deux with 7-13 chapters. Yes, it's true!
Previous entries are here. It ya spoilers below, be careful!
Okay, it's beautiful, isn't it? That is what she said! Let us begin!

Also, if I remember correctly the Sharan don’t use the common tongue as their primary language?

84. Belement
@81 & 82
DIAF = 'Die In A Fire'

Huh, I thought it meant “Do it Ass First” ie. Someone who is always screwing things up, is capable but really has no freakin’ clue what they are doing… less offensive version=start at the end and end at the beginning. Another rgood similar saying, “Going Around Your Elbow to Get to Your Ass” but DiAF is a lot easyer to say/type/remember than GAYEtGtYA

On to the Egwene and Gawyn relationship, she sees it as inevitable in her dreams, hence she gives up on Galad… presumably to save herself the pain of having to leave Galad later…

101. Toryx
As far as Verin is concerned, I think everyone knows Verin= Bela… and everyone knows Bela=the creator

131. Lsana
Everyone loves Min, because she loves Rand unconditionally, she doesn’t care if he is a Shepherd, the Dragon, sane, or insane, she just loves him, wants to spend time with him, and wants to protect him in any way that she can.
181. SBrundage
I'm a little late to the conversation and skimmed the comments, but I was curious....

Did anyone else find it a lil suggestive that the map in chapter 11 of Tar Valon, a city known for its powerful women, was shaped as it was?
182. Felix Velarius Bos
I never really liked the fact of how quickly Egwene and Elayne (and Nynaeve, I suppose) rise through the ranks of the White Tower. It always seemed like a giant plot device just to get them to be able to do more stuff as soon as possible.
I mean, I make an exception for Nynaeve, since she really was a special case in a way (being really strong in the Power and being a Wisdom, therefore knowing how to channel already), and I'll give them raising Egwene to Amyrlin because they were trying to use her as a puppet, but raising them to Accepted after barely a year? I don't know. It always seemed fishy to me.
183. Anon9001
I believe that

>fermez ta bouche

should be "fermez votre bouche". Just sayin'.
184. Thadson
What a show off...
Én is tudok másik nyelven, nem csak angolul. Na most te is probálkozhatsz kitalálni mi a francokat írtam neked ide magyarul...
185. audiogasmic
Totally diggin la francaise here. I could read it all and felt very smuggity-smug about it. Baha.

Excellent review, I do think I remember TDR being my least favorite of les livres (that I've read--I've just finished LOC), though.
186. VandalThor
-TDR is one of my fav after TEOTW cuz I was a very angsty teen when I read it the first time. Everybodies running away, livin in dorms.
-I love Min cuz she wears pants.
-181 is too funny. I just sat here for 5 minutes laughing and trying to think of something to add. It didn't work nothing rhymes with o'keeffe. dang if only I spoke another language. Hmm but would typing in another language be well recieved? ahh fun I am having fun and thats what matters.
-Moiraine... gettin ready to trade in for the new model you old minx.
187. Billdar
in my mind i substitute every Siuan fish reference as if she is using profanity which makes her one of the funniest char in the series
188. Yosarian
I don't agree with you that Rand's insanity was toned down in later books. Take a look at a lot of the Rand POV scenes from later books, and consider how just the dialouge would sound if you were looking at it from the outside. It seems less crazy because we can see his thoughts, but he says increasingly crazy things with no context all the time.

Also, his moods in later books get steadily darker and more violent as it goes on and the taint seeps deeper and deeper into him.

There is always a lot of doubt in my mind about how much of Rand's behavior is from the unbelivable stresses he's under and the traumatic things that happen to him, and how much is from magical sources warping his mind. And the taint isn't the only magical one, either; the wound in his side definatly has a corrupting effect on him, and he's also had a lot of exposure to Fain and corrupted Mat (including the wound from that dagger later.) There are a lot of things messing with Rand in this series.
189. Matt Wennerlund
"Though I don’t know what the hell is up with Lanfear’s Amazing Flattening Room, as that’s an effect I don’t recall from anywhere else."

In real life, it reads like the effect of an old television being turned off. Perhaps Mr. Jordan liked that idea?
William McDaniel
190. willmcd
I always wondered if Moiraine was channeling to help with her fishing in Chapter 7, or if she really was just THAT good.

Regarding the unnamed "apple-cheeked" Accepted from Ch11, it seems to my recollection that RJ will refer to several other women as "apple-cheeked" before the series is finished; I'll have to keep an eye out for that. Men may apparently not be "apple-cheeked", though they may be "lantern-jawed", and again, I think he describes more than one man this way. You have to wonder what that looks like.

As RJ describes Tar Valon on Egwene's entry here, it struck me that in addition to its utopian connotations (Tar Valon = Avalon) it also is very much a city designed for, and by, women. In our culture, something like 90% of all engineers are men (including yours truly), so we live in a male-designed world. The utilitarian generally trumps the ornate, etc. Tar Valon isn't like that: domes, fluted spires, arcs that look like ocean waves, bridges that look like lace. It is still a functioning city, but with a greater sensitivity to aesthetics, and more curves than straight lines.

Randalator @53, interesting perspective about the "Elayne takes the throne" plotline being ultimately what left everyone marking time in books 8-10. Of course, Elayne couldn't have gotten started working on it any sooner because she was tied up in that Bowl of the Winds nonsense. And she couldn't have gotten started on that sooner, because she spent an entire book joining the circus to travel from Tanchico to Salidar. Yet another one of those long series of dependent events that populate WoT.

So indeed, the slow pace of all the middle books ultimately is the fault of Valan Luca's menagerie. I knew it!

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