Fri
Mar 13 2009 12:31pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Dragon Reborn, Part 6

Fear not, for it is another Wheel of Time Re-read post! Prithee, I give unto you Part 6 of The Dragon Reborn, and beg that ye will accept these humble Chapters 35-39 as a token of my esteem.

Nay, I say to thee, scorn not my gift as unworthy, foreasmuch as ye accepted its precedents with nary a complaint, thus I abjure thee to cease being so damn picky, jeez.

Um, I mean, but Hark! And heed ye all my warning well: take not my gift if thou hast not yet partaken of the seed from whence it sprang, lest ye be sorely puzzled, and the taste of it turn foul in your mouth.

Or, uh, something. Okay, so I don’t speak Ye Olde English. But I’m getting better!

Chapter 35: The Falcon

 

What Happens
Lan and Perrin hurry back into the inn; Lan goes to Moiraine’s room and Perrin to Loial’s. He tells Loial they’re leaving and why, goes to his own room and gets his stuff, then goes down to the stable. The stableman gives Perrin trouble about getting the horses, until Lan arrives and cows him into submission. They ride out, and Loial tries to convince himself that he is enjoying the adventure; Perrin thinks he is crazy.

“I am only fixing the mood in my head,” Loial said, sounding formal. Or perhaps defensive. “For my book. I have to put it all in. I believe I am coming to like it. Adventuring. Of course, I am.” His ears gave two violent twitches. “I have to like it if I wish to write of it.”

Perrin shook his head.

They arrive at the wharves, and Lan books them passage on a ship called the Snow Goose; Perrin wonders if it will be fast enough to outrun wolf dreams. Just as it is casting off, the girl Perrin noticed watching him leaps on board and announces she will take passage as far as Perrin is going. She pays the captain, then comes to stand next to Perrin in the bow. He realizes he is trying to decide if she is beautiful or not, and calls himself a fool. After a moment, she remarks that she did not expect her travels to take her back to Illian so soon; he is going to Illian, is he not? Perrin is tight-lipped, and she tells him not to sulk. She goes on that he and that Aielman between them left quite a mess behind; the uproar was just starting when she left. Perrin is surprised that she didn’t tell them about him, and she snorts that the townsfolk think the Aielman chewed through the chain or some such. He asks if she is following him, and why was she staring at him in the inn? She ignores this, and comments that an Ogier is an Ogier, and she got a much better look inside Lady Alys’ hood than Orban did, and that makes the stone-faced one a Warder, but she cannot account for Perrin.

“So there I have an”—she looked around, then dropped her voice, though the closest crewman was working a sweep ten feet away—”an Aes Sedai, a Warder, an Ogier—and you. A countryman, by first look at you.” Her tilted eyes rose to study his yellow ones intently—he refused to look away—and she smiled. “Only you free a caged Aielman, hold a long talk with him, then help him chop a dozen Whitecloaks into sausage. I assume you do this regularly; you certainly looked as if it were nothing out of the ordinary for you. I scent something strange in a party of travelers such as yours, and strange trails are what Hunters look for.”

Perrin is startled, and protests that she can’t be a Hunter, she’s a girl. She smiles sweetly at him and produces two knives with a flourish, scaring the nearby sailors, and makes them disappear again. She tells Perrin that nimble fingers and wits will take you further than a sword and muscles, and fortunately she has those. Perrin mutters that she has modesty too, evidently; she ignores this and says that the Horn of Valere surely lies at the end of a strange trail, and Perrin’s party is the strangest she’s seen yet. He asks what her theory about the location of the Horn is, and she answers Manetheren, making him jump. But he tries to encourage the idea, thinking it might make her leave, and she tells him at least she won’t pick fights with the Warder the way Gann and Orban would have. Perrin finally asks for her name, in lieu of calling her “girl”. She tells him she calls herself “Mandarb”, and Perrin bursts out laughing. He tells her that the stallion over there is named Mandarb, and she flushes and admits her real name is Zarine Bashere, but Zarine is no name for a Hunter. Perrin replies that he likes the name Zarine, and thinks it suits her, and she glares at him. He bids her goodnight and heads below; as he reaches the hatch she calls out after him.

“Farmboy! Perhaps I will call myself Faile. My father used to call me that, when I was little. It means ‘falcon.’ ”

Perrin almost falls down the ladder, and goes below, telling himself it’s just a coincidence; why did Min have to go seeing things?

Commentary
Well, at least Perrin never said “as you wish.”

I’m going to try for some neutrality re: Faile at this stage. I can’t promise it will last, but remembering what I said about letting future events retroactively poison earlier ones, it behooves me to not be a hypocrite and at least make the attempt. Even though I seem to recall that my first impression of Faile was that she irritated the crap out of me... no. Neutrality. Okay.

So, Faile. Mostly she comes off here as being very, very young, knowing it, and trying desperately to cover it up with bravado. Basically she’s like every teenager you’ve ever met, or been. And… I’m going to stop there. For now.

Loial: still adorable. I actually felt really bad for him that he wasn't going to get to sleep in his sung wood bed.


Chapter 36: Daughter of the Night

What Happens
Perrin finds an empty cabin and lies down. He reaches for wolves and finds none; he thinks about Elyas and wonders if living like him is the only way to accept the wolves and stay sane, but rejects that idea. Exhausted, he falls asleep quickly.

He is standing in thick, gray, and curiously dry fog, and notices that his axe is not on his belt. Hopper comes out of the mist and wordlessly cautions him to be silent. Perrin takes hold of his fur and lets Hopper lead him through the fog, until it turns to pitch blackness. Hopper stops, and Perrin realizes queasily that they seem to be suspended in midair, bodiless; below him is a vast array of mirrors, with a small group of men among them; Darkfriends, clearly, and terrified to find themselves in this place instead of in their beds asleep. Ba’alzamon is there, and orders them to silence, hand pressing against his chest. He tells them that they were given tasks, and some have failed them. He points to one, and tells him that he allowed “the boy” to escape in Tar Valon, and the man he points at starts to scream and fade into mist. Ba’alzamon tells the others that this is a dream, but what happens here is real, and that one will never wake. He banishes the rest to wake and obey him, but is only alone for a moment before a woman appears next to him; Perrin recognizes her as the woman who had urged him to glory in his earlier dream. She creates a throne for herself to sit on, and tells Ba’alzamon that he makes free use of her domain; he asks dangerously whether that means she no longer serves the Great Lord of the Dark.

“I serve,” she said quickly. “I have served the Lord of the Twilight long. Long did I lie imprisoned for my service, in an endless, dreamless sleep. Only Gray Men and Myrddraal are denied dreams. Even Trollocs can dream. Dreams were always mine, to use and walk. Now I am free again, and I will use what is mine.”

“What is yours,” Ba’alzamon said. The blackness swirling ’round him seemed mirthful. “You always thought yourself greater than you were, Lanfear.”

Perrin reacts in shock to the knowledge that one of the Forsaken had been in his dreams. Lanfear jumps up and retorts that if Ba’alzamon is so great, why have all of his grandiose plans come to nothing? Lews Therin walks again, and the Aes Sedai have him all but leashed. He was hers long before “that straw-haired chit” Ilyena ever saw him, and he will be hers again. Ba’alzamon asks again if she is abandoning her oaths, and she tells him she serves the Great Lord of the Dark, and no other, forever! She and Ba’alzamon and the mirrors vanish, and Hopper moves on, guiding Perrin from the dark back to fog, and out to a sunlit hill. Perrin demands to know what all that was, and why Hopper showed it to him. Hopper replies that Young Bull is too young, too new, and it is dangerous for him to be here. Perrin then asks how Hopper is here, and Hopper tells him that all the brothers and sisters are here, past, present and future.

Perrin knew that wolves did not smile, not the way humans did, but for an instant he had the impression that Hopper was grinning. Here, I soar like the eagle. The wolf gathered himself and leaped, up into the air. Up and up it carried him, until he dwindled to a speck in the sky, and a last thought came. To soar.

Perrin gets a little choked up. He looks around, and suddenly he is somewhere else, and Rand is below him, being stalked by Myrddraal and other men and women. Rand begins to kill them methodically, with fire and lightning and what looks like bars of white-hot steel, and when they are all dead, he sinks to his knees, laughing or crying or both. Perrin sees more coming, and calls out to Rand to warn him. Rand looks up at him and snarls “Burn you!” and sends something at him, and Perrin wakes up to find a penny-sized burn spot on his chest. He falls back asleep for a while, but the second time he wakes he gets up and knocks on cabin doors until he finds Moiraine’s. He tells her the whole dream, and shows her the burn. She sits silently after, gazing at him, and he demands to know whether she thinks it was real or not. She finally replies that there are Aes Sedai who would try to gentle him if they heard what he just told her. Perrin freezes, and she goes on that the attempt wouldn’t hurt him, since he cannot channel, but he should be careful. His dreams are like nothing Moiraine’s encountered before. Perrin thinks it was real, and means Lanfear is loose. He wants to know what she will do; Moiraine replies that she will go to Illian and then Tear. She doesn’t take it well when Perrin attempts to press the matter, so he backs off and asks if she will Heal the burn; she will not, as it may remind him to be careful. Perrin goes to leave, and stops and asks what it means if a mother names her daughter “Zarine”. Moiraine can’t imagine why he would ask such a thing, and Perrin only tells her that it’s the name of one of the other passengers.

“Zarine. It is a Saldaean name. No woman would name her daughter that unless she expected her to be a great beauty. And a heartbreaker. One to lie on cushions in palaces, surrounded by servants and suitors.” She smiled, briefly but with great amusement. “Perhaps you have another reason to be careful, Perrin, if there is a Zarine as a passenger with us.”

Perrin assures her he will. He thinks that he understands why Zarine doesn’t like her name, but he’s fine with it as long as she doesn’t call herself “falcon”.

Rand sits up, gasping, and thinks to himself that that was Perrin he saw, and he almost killed him. He had to be more careful. He sees a party of ten or so on horseback approaching his camp, and stands. They look to be men-at-arms escorting a merchant; the merchant tells him she saw his fire, and trusts there is no objection to them sharing his campsite?

“None,” Rand told her. Careful. Two steps brought him close enough, and he leaped into the air, spinning—Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind—heron-mark blade carved from fire coming into his hands to take her head off before surprise could even form on her face. She was the most dangerous.

The others scream and scramble for weapons, and Rand quickly kills them all. Then he lets his sword vanish, and pulls the woman’s horse free of her headless corpse and loads his belongings on it.

The Power still filled him, the flow from saidin sweeter than honey, ranker than rotted meat. Abruptly he channeled—not really understanding what it was he did, or how, only that it seemed right; and it worked, lifting the corpses. He set them in a line, facing him, kneeling, faces in the dirt. For those who had faces left. Kneeling to him.

“If I am the Dragon Reborn,” he told them, “that is the way it is supposed to be, isn’t it?” Letting go of saidin was hard, but he did it. If I hold it too much, how will I keep the madness away? He laughed bitterly. Or is it too late for that?

He frowns when he sees that there are eleven men in the line; he could have sworn there were only ten guards. He tells the eleventh man that he chose the wrong company, mounts and rides toward Tear.

Commentary
Lanfear is kind of strangely awesome in this chapter. Yeah, she’s a complete psycho, but she’s also the only one of the Forsaken to stand up to Ishy to his face, and you have to admit that in a perverse way it’s admirable.

And well, Faile is right that “Zarine” is an awful name, at least. I’d hate it too, especially if it carried that connotation.

Rand: Yeesh. In light of the way Rand behaves later re: harming women, this scene is downright shocking. In fact, it is anyway. He didn’t even hesitate!

The presence of the Gray Man in the entourage confirms Rand was right to think them Darkfriends, but that’s only clear to us; Rand himself had no such assurance, or at least I don’t think he does. Which makes the slaughter that much more disturbing. The most unsettling part of all, of course, is the business with lining up the corpses to kneel to him, which is just fucked up, if you’ll pardon my French. Eurgh. I remember thinking at this point, damn, he’s completely lost it. I would say that of all the more or less questionable things Rand does over the course of the series, this one interlude still stands out as being by far the creepiest, in my opinion.


Chapter 37: Fires in Cairhien

What Happens
Aboard the Blue Crane, Egwene watches the Cairhien side of the Erinin go by, dismayed by the smoking ruins that keep appearing on the shoreline instead of villages, and the near-constant plumes of smoke from further inland. The mainly-from-Tar-Valon captain and crew keep bowing to her and the other two girls, because Egwene won the argument with Nynaeve that all three of them should pose as full Aes Sedai and not just Nynaeve, who thought that Elayne and Egwene looked too young to pull it off. Egwene thinks about the dream ring, and how she had entered Tel’aran’rhiod several more times, with nothing much happening. Her dreams without the ring had been hectic and filled with images, most of which she does not understand. She had finally let Elayne and Nynaeve each try sleeping with the dream ring, and both had definitely reached Tel’aran’rhiod, but neither had seen anything of use while there.

Elayne joins her on deck, also watching the shore, and murmurs that it is terrible; Egwene replies she is ignoring it, because she can’t do anything about it. They discuss briefly the state of relations between Cairhien and Andor, and then Egwene suddenly realizes that her dream about Mat being chased by someone who wasn’t there must have meant a Gray Man. Elayne doesn’t understand why a Gray Man would be after Mat, and Egwene says bitterly that it doesn’t do them any good to know anyway. The conversation is interrupted when the ship slams into something, and Elayne and Egwene are thrown to the deck. The captain, Ellisor, roars outrage and stomps over to see what they’ve run aground on; Nynaeve appears from below deck and joins them, and Egwene thinks wryly that she’s probably trying to tell the poor man how to do his job. After a moment, she sees Ellisor’s hands waving in protest, and Nynaeve comes over to them, followed by the captain, who is pleading with her to reconsider. Nynaeve tells Elayne and Egwene that they’ve run aground on a sunken ship, and Ellisor doesn’t think the sweeps will get them off of it. Ellisor tries to reassure them that another ship will be along at some point to help, but Nynaeve is determined not to wait; she wants to go ashore and walk to Jurene, two hours away. Egwene asks if that’s a wise idea, and Nynaeve glares at her and explains her reasoning elaborately. Elayne puts in quickly that it sounds reasonable, and Egwene nods grudgingly. Nynaeve overrides Ellisor’s protests and goes below to get her things; Elayne comments that if one of them says “up”, the other is sure to say “down”. Egwene replies that Nynaeve needs to figure out that she is not the Wisdom anymore, and they are all on the same level now. Elayne sighs. They are rowed ashore by the crew shortly, and set off, Egwene and Nynaeve not speaking to each other; after a while Elayne gives up trying to make peace between them. Egwene announces that the Amyrlin is not here, and if they see brigands she will defend herself. Nynaeve remarks to the air that they can frighten off brigands without breaking any rules. Elayne is trying to head the argument off at the pass when a figure in brown and gray stands up from a bush almost directly in front of them.

Commentary
It’s funny to me how some of what Egwene Dreams here still hasn’t come to pass, or I don’t think so, anyway. At least, I don’t recall seeing anything that would definitively match the image of Perrin stepping over a cliff, though I suppose the “learning to fly” thing could be a reference to Hopper, and thus the cliff is Perrin accepting his Wolfbrotherhood? Eh, maybe. I hate when the prophetic things are vague. Frickin’ prophecy, still a bastard.

For instance, I always did really like the way the steel trap image so aptly foreshadowed Min’s unwitting triggering of the Tower coup. Very cleverly done. See, they should all be like that!

And, yeah. Other than the dreams, and the slow escalation of Nynaeve and Egwene’s power struggle, there’s not much else of note in this chapter.


Chapter 38: Maidens of the Spear

What Happens
Egwene and Elayne scream in surprise and embrace saidar, but Nynaeve just stands there with her arms folded. Egwene sees that the figure is a young Aiel woman with blue-green eyes and reddish hair; she is carrying no visible weapons. Elayne lets saidar go, but Egwene does not; she thinks that after the Seanchan she is not foolish enough to think a woman is no threat. But she is surprised to feel a strange affinity for the woman, and decides it must be because of her resemblance to Rand.

“My name is Aviendha,” the Aiel woman said, “of the Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel.” Her face was as flat and expressionless as her voice. “I am Far Dareis Mai, a Maiden of the Spear.” She paused a moment, studying them. “You have not the look in your faces, but we saw the rings. In your lands, you have women much like our Wise Ones, the women called Aes Sedai. Are you women of the White Tower, or not?”

Egwene notes the “we”, but sees no one else around. Nynaeve replies to Aviendha that they are women of the White Tower, but whether they are wise is another matter; what does she want of them? Aviendha says that one of their number is gravely wounded, and asks if they will help. Nynaeve replies slowly that she will do what she can, but she makes no promises. Aviendha says she will take them to her, and two more Maidens rise up out of the grass less than ten paces away, startling Egwene. They start into the thicket, and Egwene finally releases saidar, though she worries about what will happen if Nynaeve cannot help their companion. Elayne introduces herself, using her full name and title, to Egwene’s astonishment, seeing as Andor had fought in the Aiel War.

But the flame-haired Aiel closest to her only said, “I am Bain, of the Black Rock sept of the Shaarad Aiel.”

“I am Chiad,” the shorter, blonder woman on her other side said, “of the Stones River sept of the Goshien Aiel.”

They glance at Egwene, and she gives them her name, adding “Daughter of Marin al’Vere, of Emond’s Field, in the Two Rivers,” when they seem to expect more. Bain asks if they are first-sisters, and Elayne explains to Egwene that first-sisters means they have the same mother. She tells them that sometimes she thinks of Egwene as a first-sister, but they are not blood kin. Chiad asks why then do they not go to their Wise Ones and be made first-sisters? Now both Elayne and Egwene are confused, and Egwene apologizes for their ignorance, saying that all she knows of the Maidens is that they fight and do not care for men. Bain and Chiad are mystified by this, and explain a little about what the Maidens are, and that members of a society do not fight against each other even when their clans do, but there is blood feud between the Sharaad and Goshien, and Bain and Chiad felt that the Maiden tie was not enough, so they were bonded as first-sisters.

“As is proper for first-sisters who are Maidens, we guard each other’s backs, and neither will let a man come to her without the other. I would not say we do not care for men.” Chiad nodded, with just the hint of a smile. “Have I made the truth clear to you, Egwene?”

“Yes,” Egwene said faintly. She glanced at Elayne and saw the bewilderment in her blue eyes she knew must be in her own.

Chiad adds they should be bonded as first-sisters if that’s what they consider each other; Elayne blushes, and Egwene knows she’s thinking about Rand. They arrive where another of their number, Jolien, is watching over the wounded Maiden, Dailin. Aviendha explains that she took a sword-wound from “treekillers” who thought they were bandits. Nynaeve examines her, and asks if she was moved; Aviendha replies that she wanted to die near water. Nynaeve begins snarling about stupid girls moving injured people for stupid reasons, and sorts her herbs. Aviendha says she had not heard Aes Sedai use herbs, and Nynaeve snaps “I use what I use!” and continues muttering to herself. Chiad tells Bain that Nynaeve does sound like a Wise One. Egwene worries that Nynaeve is putting them all on edge, and tries to soothe them by asking about Dailin’s water wish, and realizes that she’s made it worse. She embraces saidar, just in case, despite Elayne’s headshake, and Aviendha abruptly says that she would never harm an Aes Sedai. As Nynaeve makes Dailin drink a concoction, she explains that once the Aiel served the Aes Sedai, but failed them in some way, and it is said that if they fail the Aes Sedai again, they will destroy the Aiel. Nynaeve growls to herself about swords and stabbing people, and Elayne says firmly that they will not destroy them, and Aviendha says nevertheless, even if Elayne brought her lightnings and balefire against her, she would dance with them, but never harm Elayne. Egwene asks what balefire is, and Aviendha does not know, but is surprised Egwene doesn’t either. Egwene replies that perhaps the Tower has forgotten much, too, but thinks to herself that she did know what it was in her Accepted test. Nynaeve snaps that no one has a right to tear bodies so, and Aviendha asks nervously if she is all right, and Egwene replies she is better than all right: she is getting angry.

The glow of saidar surrounded Nynaeve suddenly—Egwene leaned forward, trying to see, and so did Elayne—and Dailin started up with a scream, eyes wide open. In an instant, Nynaeve was easing her back down, and the glow faded. Dailin’s eyes slid shut, and she lay there panting.

I saw it, Egwene thought. I... think I did. She was not sure she had even been able to make out all the many flows, much less the way Nynaeve had woven them together. What Nynaeve had done in those few seconds had seemed like weaving four carpets at once while blindfolded.

Nynaeve wipes the blood away from Dailin’s torso to show that there is no wound or even scar left, and tells the other Aiel to get Dailin washed and fed.

Commentary
Enter Aviendha. Dun?

I would never have guessed from this intro, by the way, that Aviendha was destined to become such a major character in the story. I figured she was going to be like Hurin, and disappear after TDR was over. Boy, was I wrong.

Nice little bit of detail, Egwene feeling an instant kinship to Aviendha. Egwene thinks it is the resemblance to Rand, when of course it’s actually Egwene sensing Aviendha’s ability to channel.

Also, this is the first time we really see Nynaeve’s Uber-Healing in action. It is Cool.


Chapter 39: Threads in the Pattern

What Happens
The Aiel are amazed at the Healing, and Aviendha tells Nynaeve that she owes her a blood debt, and “my water is yours”. Nynaeve says she can repay her by telling her if there is a ship at Jurene, and Aviendha replies there was one as of yesterday. Egwene says they must have crossed at least one river since leaving the Waste; knowing how they feel about water, how did they manage it? Aviendha says that Jolien remembered that wood floats, and they made themselves a “little ship” of planks to cross. Egwene is impressed by their courage; Elayne asks why they have come all this way in the first place.

“We seek the one foretold,” Bain said. She was holding a sleeping Dailin so Chiad could slip a shirt of brown linen onto her. “He Who Comes With the Dawn.”

“He will lead us out of the Three-fold Land,” Chiad added. “The prophecies say he was born of Far Dareis Mai.”

Startled, Elayne says she thought that Maidens were not allowed to have children, and Aviendha tells her that if a Maiden has a child, the Wise Ones give it to another woman to raise, in a way that no one knows whose child it is. She adds that all Aiel women wish for such a child, in the hope that they will raise He Who Comes With the Dawn, except that now the Wise Ones say he is here in the wetlands, “Blood of our blood mixed with the old blood, raised by an ancient blood not ours.” She asks a question in return, of where they are going. Nynaeve tells her Tear, but they must be about it if they are to get there before the Heart of the Stone crumbles into dust. The Aiel freeze, and Aviendha asks carefully why they are going to the Stone. Nynaeve says they are hunting Darkfriends, and she never said they were going to the Stone, only that she wanted to get to Tear before it crumbles. They make their good byes and leave, the Aiel women watching them go. Once they are away, Egwene asks Elayne about giving her title; wasn’t she worried they might carry a grudge from the Aiel War? Elayne explains that the Aiel didn’t view the Aiel War as a war at all; to them, it was an execution: Laman’s, for the crime of cutting down Avendoraldera. Egwene thinks about the history leading up to that, and concedes Elayne might be right. Then Elayne says to Egwene that she knows who He Who Comes With the Dawn must be, right? Egwene hadn’t thought of it, but says, you don’t mean...?

Elayne nodded. “I think so. I do not know much of the Prophecies of the Dragon, but I have heard a few lines. One I remember is, ‘On the slopes of Dragonmount shall he be born, born of a maiden wedded to no man.’ Egwene, Rand does look like an Aiel. Well, he looks like the pictures I have seen of Tigraine, too, but she vanished before he was born, and I hardly think she could have been his mother anyway. I think Rand’s mother was a Maiden of the Spear.”

They catch up with Nynaeve and compliment her on her Healing, but in Egwene’s view Nynaeve ruins the moment by tugging on her hair like she’s still a little girl. Then Elayne screams a warning, and Egwene turns to see men with slings stepping out of the trees. She reaches for saidar, but something hits her head and she blacks out.

Egwene comes to groggily to see that she is tied across the back of a horse, surrounded by roughly-dressed riders. She can’t see if Nynaeve and Elayne are there. Enraged at the idea of being bound again, she reaches for the Source, but the pain in her head is so bad she cannot. Then one of the men notices she is awake, and panics. She tries to say something to them, but they hit her head again and she loses consciousness. The second time she wakes her head doesn’t hurt as much, oddly, and she sees she and the other girls are in a crudely constructed room with a dirt floor. Nynaeve and Elayne are still unconscious, and Egwene sees with worry that there is blood on Elayne’s face. She peeks through a crack in the wall, and sees a group of men surrounding their leader, Adden, who is frowning at something on the table before him. Another man with a missing ear comes in and says “he” has not arrived yet, and also that he does not like dealing with “that kind”. Adden laughs and says there’s good prices for Aes Sedai if you have the stomach to deal with the right buyer. He picks up the item from the table, and Egwene sees it is one of their gold serpent rings. Missing Ear mutters they are fools for trying this, and a fat man assures him that they will not wake for hours, with his granny’s potion in them. Egwene thinks his granny should have strangled him in his cradle, and goes to Nynaeve and shakes her. Nynaeve’s eyes pop open, and Egwene hurriedly claps a hand over her mouth and explains the situation to her. Nynaeve tastes her mouth, and laughs softly, saying the idiots fed them sleepwell root; Egwene remembers that the herb helps you sleep, but it does so by relieving pain. Nynaeve goes to crouch by Elayne, and tells Egwene that she thinks Elayne’s skull is broken, and that she’s dying. Egwene begs her to do something, and Nynaeve, nearly in tears, says they took her herbs, and she can’t do it without them.

Suddenly she seized Elayne’s shoulders as if she meant to lift the unconscious woman and shake her. “Burn you, girl,” she rasped, “I did not bring you all this way to die! I should have left you scrubbing pots! I should have tied you up in a sack for Mat to carry to your mother! I will not let you die on me! Do you hear me? I won’t allow it!” Saidar suddenly shone around her, and Elayne’s eyes and mouth opened wide together.

Egwene gets her hands over Elayne’s mouth just in time, and gasps as she gets caught in the backwash of Nynaeve’s Healing. When it is over, Elayne is Healed and Egwene’s headache is completely gone. Shaking, Nynaeve mutters that doing it that way was like peeling her own skin off, and Egwene explains what’s going on to Elayne. Elayne’s face darkens, and Nynaeve says they’ll show these fools what happens when they meddle with us. All three embrace saidar, and go to look through the cracks again, and see that there are now three Myrddraal in the next room. All the men except for Adden are pressed back against the walls, as far as they can get from the Fades; one of them picks up one of the rings on the table, heavier than the other three, and Nynaeve gasps. Another Fade tells Adden they are the ones it seeks, and Adden will be well rewarded. Nynaeve whispers they must take them by surprise, and Egwene starts channeling a tiny flow into the chain blocking the door.

One of the Myrddraal lifted its head. Another leaned across the table toward Adden. “I itch, human. Are you sure they sleep?” Adden swallowed hard and nodded his head.

The third Myrddraal turned to stare at the door to the room where Egwene and the others crouched.

The chain fell to the floor, the Myrddraal staring at it snarled, and the outer door swung open, black-veiled death flowing in from the night.

Instant chaos ensues, and is just as quickly over, though there is still fighting going on outside the building; Adden and his men are all down, along with two Aiel, and the five Aiel still on their feet surround the Fades, who are back to back in the center of the room. The Aiel circle, drumming their spears against their bucklers, calling to the Fades to dance with them. Nynaeve says she thinks it is time, and throws open the door. The three of them step out, and Egwene hears one of the Aiel gasp; the Fades stare, and Egwene feels she can see the knowledge of their deaths in their gaze.

Flames burst out of all three Myrddraal, sprouting in every direction, and they shrieked like splintered bones jamming a meatgrinder. Yet she had forgotten she was not alone, that Elayne and Nynaeve were with her. Even as the flames consumed the Halfmen, the very air seemed suddenly to push them together in midair, crushing them into a ball of fire and blackness that grew smaller and smaller. Their screams dug at Egwene’s spine, and something shot out from Nynaeve’s hands—a thin bar of white light that made noonday sun seem dark, a bar of fire that made molten metal seem cold, connecting her hands to the Myrddraal. And they ceased to exist as if they had never been. Nynaeve gave a startled jump, and the glow around her vanished.

Elayne asks Nynaeve what that last was, and Nynaeve doesn’t know, but Egwene somehow is sure that it was balefire. The Aiel unveil themselves a trifle hastily; three are men, one with gray in his red hair, and one of the other two is Aviendha. Nynaeve starts toward the fallen Aiel, and the older man, Rhuarc, tells her there is no point; they took Shadowman steel. Nynaeve checks them anyway, and sees one of the bodies is Dailin, which infuriates her. Aviendha starts being fatalistic, and Nynaeve rounds on her; she falls silent, and the other Aiel exchange glances as if wondering if she will do to them what they did to the Fades. Elayne speaks up and apologizes for interrupting their dance; Rhuarc chuckles and says he’s just as glad they did; they would probably have killed the Shadowmen, but they would have lost more fighters doing it. Nynaeve asks how Aviendha came to be here, and Aviendha replies that she followed them, and when she saw the men take them, she went for help, though she is startled that she found her own clan chief out here. Rhuarc shrugs and says Amys and Bair and Melanie and Seana stalked him “like ridgecats after a wild goat”, saying the dreams said he must go, and did he truly want to die old and fat in bed. Egwene’s ears prick up, and she asks if their Wise Ones know what their dreams mean; Rhuarc replies that she would have to ask them. He remarks that they are three Aes Sedai, heading to Tear, and picks up Lan’s ring; Nynaeve steps over and snatches it out of his hand.

“And one of them carries a ring I have heard of as a boy. The ring of Malkieri kings. They rode with the Shienarans against the Aiel in my father’s time. They were good in the dance of the spears. But Malkier fell to the Blight. It is said only a child king survived, and he courts the death that took his land as other men court beautiful women. Truly, this is a strange thing, Aes Sedai. Of all the strange sights I thought I might see when Melaine harried me out of my own hold and over the Dragonwall, none has been so strange as this. The path you set me is one I never thought my feet would follow.”

Nynaeve snaps that she sets no path for anyone, and the conversation ends. They spend the night in the camp, and the next day take three of the brigands’ horses and ride toward Jurene. The nineteen Aiel who survived the assault accompany them on foot. Egwene tries to hold her mount to a walk to accommodate them, but Aviendha and Rhuarc both laugh and offer to race her horse and see who wins. They reach Jurene, and the Aiel take their leave, Rhuarc saying that perhaps they will meet again “before the change comes”. The girls continue to the town, and get the news from the Queen’s Guards stationed there, as well as some propositioning; Nynaeve slaps one man’s face, and Egwene thinks she was pinched. They decide not to wear their rings, since the one place they did not want to be taken for Aes Sedai was Tear, and book passage on a slow bluff-bowed ship called Darter.

Commentary
Good God, this was a frickin’ long chapter.

And huh, I forgot all about this whole interlude. Which is sad, since it’s about the most awesome thing the Girls do in TDR. The overkill aspect of it (literally) was rather hilarious. Though I’m having a little trouble understanding how the Girls set three Fades on fire (and balefired them!) in such close quarters with no collateral damage.

Speaking of balefire, I continue to love how Our Heroes reinvent the wheel, ba dum dum, by spontaneously coming up with stuff everyone else in the world has forgotten for thousands of years. And by “love”, I mean “kind of roll my eyes at”, but fortunately the Rule of Cool still applies, and thus I let it slide.

And jeez, has anyone not heard of Lan? He’s like the Tom Cruise of Randland, except without all the creepy couch-jumping and Scientology. Sheesh.


And, um, more fancy dated words. Hither, thither, whither, yon, trice, thrice, splice, don! Thence, whence, schmence, fluffery, and Monday bringeth much more stuffery!

Chapters 40-46, tis fo’shizzle, I trow. God rest ye merry; now get thee to a nunnery, go!

146 comments
Budge
1. Budge
Awesome again, Leigh!
Todd Willis
2. tswillis
Have a great weekend leigh...and as usual I really am enjoying the re-reads...
Mat is awesome one of my favorite characters....
John Cater
3. katre
Re: The dream about Perrin and the cliff. The cliff he steps off is giving in and learning to live with the wolves. He has to hope that he cane learn to manage it, like Alyas does, before he hits bottom and becomes solely a wolf, like what's-his-name in Jarra.

Also, I didn't notice it until now, but Aviendha clearly reacts (if unconsciously) to Egwene grasping saidar, when she tries to quickly reassure Egwene that they would never harm her. Nice foreshadowing there, too
Budge
4. TravelingAnn
Lan is The Tom Cruise of Randland. LOL.
It's been forever since I read WoT.
Budge
5. AlleyGirl
Awesome job as usual!

I never did quite understand the scene where Rand kills the woman and men who ride up to his campfire. How did he know they were darkfriends? Other than realizing after the fact (us realizing it, since Rand obviously didn't) that there was a Grey Man among them, there was nothing to indicate darkfriend.
Definitely creepy how he lined them up though. Thought he was losing it for sure.

As for Aviendha, sometimes I love her, sometimes I hate her. She's still way cool at this point though.
Luke M
6. lmelior
Nice, we got a Princess Bride allusion today! That's exactly what popped into my mind reading that line in Ch. 35.
Budge
7. RobMRobM
Leigh et al. The jumping off the cliff dream is Perrin jumping into the room after Faile triggered the hedgehog tergreal, and had to learn to "fly" in TAR to find and save her. Rob
Budge
8. Lsana
Ch 35:

Just to put my biases out there, I am a member in good standing of the "We Loath Faile" club. That being said...

When we've discussed the romance in WOT, this is the one most often cited as working, and I'll admit that it gets off to a fairly good beginning. Perrin's interest in whether or not she's beautiful, his description of her scent, his determination not to look like a fool in front of her...it isn't quite attraction, but it's sort of a proto-attraction.

I also liked her initial idea of naming herself Mandarb and the reaction from Perrin. Her reaction there does reveal how young she is and how desperate she is to hide it.

Ch 36:

Moiraine continues her slide backwards here. If you want to know why Perrin never tells her any of the things he observes, I think this is it. The old saying is "If you don't want to be treated like a child, stop acting like one," but I think the reverse applies here: Perrin tries to act responsibly, but Moiraine is determined to treat him like a child no matter what he does, so he decides to get a bit of childish revenge.

Rand: yikes! And unlike Leigh, I'm not convinced that this merchant and her party are Darkfriends. The Grey Man was obviously trying to kill Rand, but I don't see any evidence that the others knew that the Grey Man was there or meant Rand any harm. And it does seem very out-of-character: he can't kill Lanfear while she is actively trying to kill Eg and Avi, but he can take off this woman's head when she hadn't done anything? I think the best thing to do might be to pretend this scene never happened. I think Rand does.

Ch. 37:

I hate saying this, so I'll get it out of the way first: Elayne does well here--in this entire sequence of three chapters actually. She's worried about Cairhein. She tries to be the peacemaker between Egwene and Nynaeve. Yeah, she comes off as a bit of a know-it-all in the next chapter with the Aiel, but compared to the Emmond's Fielders, she does know it all, or at least far more than they do.

That said, I don't feel that Egwene and Nynaeve should need a peacemaker. Before they left the tower, they were getting along fine. Now, all of a sudden, they are in such a snit with each other they can't talk without arguing? I don't buy it. It showed up way too suddenly.

On Egwene's dreams: her Min dream doesn't quite fit the Tower Coup. In the dream, Min "sprang the trap without seeing it." In reality, Min most definitely did see the trap. She saw DANGER in big letters, even if she didn't understand where that danger was coming from. On the other dreams that haven't come true: maybe some of them won't. After all, Egwene should have at least some dreams that are just dreams. Not every dream should represent a prophesy.

Finally, one minor contradiction here: why would the girls have to buy silk dresses. In TGH, we're told that they received several as presents from the Shienarans, most of which they left in the Tower before they went with Liandrin.

Ch 38:

I'm surprised that Avi's ability to channel remains a secret for the rest of the book. Back in TGH, we were told that Elayne can sense the spark, so she must sense it in Avi. Why didn't she say anything? If she knows that Avi is a channeler who will die unless she learns to control it, why wouldn't she say something to Avi about going to the White Tower?

Ch 39:

Does anyone else think it's a bit too much of a coincidence that the Aiel show up at the exact moment Egwene destroys the chain? We don't even have any ta'veren to explain this one.
Budge
9. Tony Zbaraschuk
Rand's definitely under tremendous stress at this point. I think the Grey Man just attached himself to the group and none of them were really Darkfriends, but there's no way to tell at this point.
Budge
10. Nathaniel M Smith
I think this encounter is not so out of character for Rand; before this, he has a little of the Two Rivers fixation on saving women, but I really think this is the thing he does that makes him crazy on this particular point. It's because he kills this merchant that he can't even try to kill Lanfear later.
Budge
11. Randalator
re: Lan

He's the last survivor of an entire people, there's a whole backstory of love, envy, betrayal and heroism attached. Not to mention the whole fighting-a-solitary-war-against-the-Blight-thing. Of course everybody knows him.

Besides he's made of awesome. Never forget the awesome. People like awesome.


Tony Zbaraschuk@9

RJ confirmed they were darkfriends. Doesn't make the scene any less creepyfying though...
Budge
12. Randalator
Oh yeah, re: Rand killing woman

Quoting from an earlier post mine:

Rand has not yet developed his killing-complex towards women. The nameles Darkfriend woman in TDR he kills because she came to kill him. But this one kill is what sets him on his path.

In TSR, ch. 9 he is one step further thinking that he might (only might) be able to make himself kill Lanfear if she attacked him. In TFOH, ch. 4 he's finally in full me-no-kill-woman-even-if-woman-bad-mode. ("Once he had killed a woman; a woman who meant to kill him, but the memory still burned. He did not think he would ever be able to do it again, even with his life in the balance.").

From there on out it's a sightseeing tour down insanity lane...
Evan Langlinais
13. Skwid
The way I envision this scene, As soon as the Fades explode in fucking screaming flames the Aiel (sensibly) hit the deck. And Elayne's Fetch-Compacter routine would probably wind up with them in a largish sphere at around waist height, so Nyn probably didn't even need to sweep the beam to get all three.
Richard Fife
14. R.Fife
While there is no concrete proof that these were darkfriends, I have of the opinion they were. We know it is late at night as Rand just woke up from his dream where he nearly killed Perrin, and his campfire is almost dead. What the heck is a self respecting merchant without any wares doing travelling around in the middle of the night? Also, doesn't he comment somewhere else that he has had to kill a few other groups of people that nearly killed him? It wasn't in this scene, but it seems to my memory that it was there somewhere.

As to him trying to forget what he did, I think not. The "Nameless Woman" is at the top of his list of women for a long time (if not always, I forget if Moiraine got top slot or not). If anything, this is where he completely came to realize that he could not kill a woman again. Psychologically, it is easier to say "yeah, I think I could do it" and go through with it the first time than say "I did it, and I can do it again" and go through with it. Now he has the feeling in his gut of killing a woman, not just the speculation.

Lsana: And that they woke up in time to get all up and healed just as the Mydries were showing up? The rule of plot convenience: if it is convenient for the plot and not a complete stretch, do it.

As to Lan, I always though of him more as Kevin Bacon. You can connect anyone in Randland through three jumps via Lan. Try it! (disclaimer: no clue if it actually works).
Budge
15. Dr Hoo
About Faile - I guess I reserve all my girl-directed vitriol in this series for Nynaeve, because Faile doesn't really annoy me all that much and every scene with Nynaeve continues to do so. Or maybe I've just forgotten that Faile gets infinitely more annoying later (my re-read is only through the end of TSR right now).

I thought the casual talk about "first-sisters" etc. was a bit out of place while meeting complete and potentially powerful strangers on the road after one of your group sustains a mortal injury. "Excuse me, can you help our dying friend? Oh, btw, you look like nice girls, maybe you should try our menage-a-trois techniques with a buddy of your choice." But I'm not sure RJ really knows when and how to talk about these subjects so they tend to get sprinkled in at odd times.
Alex Wahlgren
16. Black-Veiled_Alex
Lsana@8

Don't novices have to burn there clothes when they first come to the tower? That would explain why they had to buy new dresses. And if not maybe they don't get there pre-tower stuff back until after they get the shawl, I can't see any use an accepted would have for silks.
Alex Wahlgren
17. Black-Veiled_Alex
R.Fife@14

The only person I can think of that doesn't jump to Lan in three jumps is Robert Itrulade, lol. He takes 4.
Budge
18. Heurone
I think the lack of collateral damage is thanks to Elayne's use of Air to keep things brutally well-contained.
Budge
19. Eswana
"As you wish"
YES!!!

So delightful these re-reads are. Three cheers!

Loiel is so darn cute. However, I've noticed that in later books we get fewer and fewer mentions of "his book." (no doubt because we see less and less of our favorite Ogier as other plot threads come into prominence). However, when I was first reading WoT I felt pretty sure that all these Loiel's book references meant that at the end of the whole series would be a "yes, I wrote this because I lived it. Love, Loiel." I wonder if Jordan was planning something like that too, and then realized fans would be less than pleased with a deux-ex-machina-esque ending like that? Eh?

One thing I think Jordan did really well throughout the series was develope each channeler's skills in a slow, subtle way. With the exception of the missing four month in tGH, the Girls (and Rand, really) develop their finesse at channeling slowly, via trial and error. Of course, the occassional "look here's some sudden balefire" on Nynaeve's and Rand's parts is an exception, but overall they learn slowly.

Happy Friday everyone!
Blake Engholm
20. UncrownedKing
Till shade is gone, tille water is gone

Aiel still = cool. Aviendah is by far my favorite of the "Love Square" thats soon to develop.

Way to go SG, the first of many "We are so much smarter then anyone, its not a trap if you know its a trap, theres no such things as bandits, or forsaken, or bad people when we know they are out there, no we don't need your help, but we'll see you in 3 days when we are tied up in a flour sack about to be sold to mydrrall,the forsaken, the slave markets, the seanchan. Sniff, arms-fold-under-breasts, glare, braid yank, chin lift, hands on hips" ways of thinking. I kringe everytime the SG as a group make a decision, because we all know its probably going to end in disastor. Nyn healing also = cool.

"the outer door swung open, black-veiled death flowing in from the night."
That line is so awesome in its simplicity. Describes the whole scene in thirteen words. (and yet again some one bails out the SG >x( )

Can we not compare Lan to Tom Cruise....Please?? At least go with someone who is half as cool as he is.
Budge
21. swmdilla
As was stated before, Rand is a little more coo coo for coco puffs here than in the following books, but maybe that isn't a slip by Jordan. I feel like it is possible that Rand actually believes that he is going crazy because everyone around him is mentioning it, and that is what he knows will eventually happen. If everyone you knew told you you were crazy, plus its written in stone that eventually you will, wouldn't you start believing it yourself? Its not untill Tear, when Rand realizes that he has more prophesies to fulfill that he tones it down a little. Its all mental.

I also though it was a little wierd when Lanfear calls Shai'tan (spelling?) Lord of the Twilight. Is this the only time he is called that? It just doesn't seem that scary to me. It reminds me of Luthien in Valinor or something pleseant.
Alex Wahlgren
22. Black-Veiled_Alex
Why would Egwene know about balefire in the accepted test, but not know about the oath rods causing the ageless face?
Budge
23. Rikka
boo. I always try for top 20. just missed it today.

High-larious Leigh. Let's go ren-faire-ing sometime.

chpt 35
Loial is so cute. Someone get him back to a stedding before he has to start killing things.

I love Min being right all the time, especially when it bites the boys on the butt. However, now we'll have to put up with Faile for the next.... all... books. Damn.

chpt 36
More wolves in TAR, why would Hopper show Perrin this? What interest have wolves in the lives of men, especially Forsaken... I gues Perrin is pseudo-wolf and that makes the doings of men more interesting. Perrin is surprised that a Forsaken is in his dream after thinking Ba'alzamon was the Dark One for so long?? (Also, straw-haired chit is a spectacular insult. I love the word chit. And I do like Lanfear sometimes, when you can actually see why she's kinda badass as a Forsaken as opposed to whinging over Rand.)

Finally someone gets sense in their head and tells someone else about something that went on. I agree with what previous people have been saying: the lack of communication between main characters (and then the stupidity they show when they DO decided to talk) drives me upthewall.

Also, another unnecessary Rand PoV. Yay, he's going mad. We know. Way to give us nightmares RoJo, really. Are you sure we want that from our main character (and hero)?

chpt 37
Booooring. More Aiel to come though, which is good.

chpt 38
She is surprised to feel a strange affinity for the woman, and decides it must be because of her resemblance to Rand.
(or because she can channel... has she really never noticed that before?). I remember feeling that Egwene and Elayne were mad slow on the uptake about the Maidens here but maybe it's just from all the fantasy that I've read. Anyway, I love that line "she is better than all right: she is getting angry." (mad dejavu all of a sudden too... whoa.)

chpt 39
At least Elayne has her head on straight when it comes to remembering stuff about the Aiel. The Aiel are so badass XD meep! loveit. Sure they bitch and whinge and politik as much as anyone else but it's like getting an inside look at the Fremen... >.> er uhm.

This whole 'girls getting kidnapped' side arc (all of what. a chapter?) is sooooo aggravating. The supergirls should keep Matt with them, just to keep a hold of his luck. I understand the necessity of it but really.... really?

BALEFIRE! Wheee!!!! (I mean, uh... bad, very bad Nynaeve...)

Enter Rhuarc. Quite possibly my favorite male Aiel. nom. Also. Lan's fayhmus XD.
Budge
24. sotgnomen
Can't recall Mat being chased by a grey man.. I allways thought that particular prophecy was about the thingy(brain frozen, cant recall name) that chases him in Ebou Dar..
Alex Wahlgren
25. Black-Veiled_Alex
Eswana@19

Loial drops out of the story for a little while when he goes to take care of the ways, but when he joins back up with Rand in... CoT? he quizzes Rand about what he missed and asks Rand to tell him what he misses when he leaves. I don't think Jordan ever meant to have Loial writing our books, I think he just meant to show more about Loial and give him a questy thingy
Budge
26. Lsana
@14 R.Fife,

They didn't "get all up and healed just as the Mydries were showing up"; I got the impression that the Fades had been there for a bit and weren't planning on taking the girls immediately. Yeah, it was good that they woke up when they did and not too much later, but if it hadn't been that exact second, it wouldn't have been a catastrophe. Whereas with the Aiel attack, it did have to be almost the exact second Egwene cut open the chain. Two groups, neither of whom know anything about the others actions co-ordinating that closely seems highly improbable without the influence of something like ta'veren.

Not a huge deal and probably not worth arguing about. But it bugged me, and I was curious if it bugged anyone else.

@16 Black-Veiled_Alex,

In TSR, Egwene alludes to "watching while the clothes she wore to the White Tower were burnt," but in TGH, she specifically mentions that when she left with Liandrin, she is wearing the same dress that she wore when she arrived at the White Tower. She also mentions having several other dresses in her luggage for the trip to Falme, as well as even more back in the White Tower that she considered bringing but didn't. I can't imagine that a novice would be allowed to keep her old clothes but an Accepted wouldn't.

@22 Black-Veiled_Alex,

Good question. Another contradiction?
Budge
27. Eswana
@ sotgnomen 24:

He was chased by a Grey man when he was leaving Tar Valon earlier in TDR.

however, I like your idea about this dream of Eg's referring to the grolam (sp?).
Budge
28. Aiel1219
Leigh, thanks for bringin me back to WoT.
Was so outta it until I saw yer re-read a few days ago. Now I've caught up with you... I can actually post.

Tony @9
RJ confirmed she was a dark friend, or so says the WoT encyclopedia.
But what I don't get is how Rand knew she was.
Was there something about him being able to sense dark friends? I cant remember.

And the whole making dead ppl bow to him....PSYCHO!!! he seems for farked up here than he does when he talks to LTT (to me anyways)
Alex Wahlgren
29. Black-Veiled_Alex
Lana@26

I wonder why they had to buy some then. Maybe they got their clothes taken away when they got back to make it harder to 'run away' again. And maybe its a contradiction or maybe the ter'angreal just picks and chooses what it wants to throw in. Is there any evidence to the ageless face being from the oath rod yet? If not maybe Jordan just hasn't come up with that yet.
Peter Nein
30. gimpols1908
28. Aiel1219
nd the whole making dead ppl bow to him....PSYCHO!!! he seems for farked up here than he does when he talks to LTT

I think at this point Rand is so confused that rather than actually being mad he is a bit manic. Not acting like himself due to sudden amounts of pressure put on him. i.e. So you will break the world again and probably go mad... You have to go out and kill everything that frightened you as a child. Nobody can teach you how. And everyone is trying to kill you. He says “If I am the Dragon Reborn,” he told them, “that is the way it is supposed to be, isn’t it?” He is scared, alone, hurt... and has no idea how it is all supposed to work. What he says above is a question. He doesn't know! Just afraid of his own power.

or not...
Budge
31. hoping to be of the blood
Gotta love the Aiel
I'm a little confused about Avi and whether she was channeling at this point, or not. I thought she started training later. She seemed to know when E embraced saidar (and assured her that they would not harm her.) The SG seemed to need some practice channeling before they could see the glow around each other.
I think this is N's first healing without the use of herbs, a milestsone for her.
Budge
32. Zhull
Chapter 36:

Rand was in the World of Dreams before waking, where he spotted Perrin and almost offed him. With the forshadowing tendencies of the World of Dreams, we might speculate that he had an inkling of what the merchant and her guards were about.

Also him recognizing that the woman was the mos dangerous of the bunch may help to confirm this theory.
Richard Fife
33. R.Fife
Oh, and just 'cause she isn't getting any love:
HEART Faile. Yeah, she's young and hormonal like a teenager, but she isn't a complete "Ew, boys are icky, I want my bestest girlfriends to hang out with" type person. If anything, I like the Saldean gender-politics she embodies as detailed by Davram later, where you need to be willing to actually argue but have a fair amount of submit too. Much more even. I think the clue Davram forgot to give Perrin, though, is that there is no right-or-wrong time, you just need to pepper it all in evenly. I also really like how Faile acts towards Berelain in the next book. Immature, but spunky!

I think Avi's reaction is more internal instinct. Some little voice in the back of her head said "They gunna hurt you!" Also, she have noticed some simple facial changes, posture changes, and added together that they already thought they were Aes Sedai, and how Aiel already think about Aes Sedai, and well, yeah. Reaction to embrace. And to Elayne not picking up on her spark like she did Egwene, remember Egwene had been training her spark/talent some pre-tower, so it might have felt different than a completely asleep spark like Avi's.
Oh, and because I'm also one of the few like this HE/ART Avi. Just not a fan, mainly for the childish way she acts through most of TSR and TFoH.
Budge
34. Paracelsus
Lan is also kind of like the Wilt Chamberlain of WoT. He has boinked more maidens, Aes Sedai, queens, ect. than any other man in WoT.
Budge
35. Aqualung
Re: Rand not being able to kill women, my memory is fuzzy but I thought his whole special affinity for women came when he got that Maiden of the Spear (Leah?) killed in Shadar Logoth. After that he kind of took stock of all the woman he had killed.
Budge
36. AlleyGirl
I guess I'm in the Faile-hater club. Way back when I first read this book she had potential to be a fav but it was the whole "you can follow me through the ways if you beg like a puppy thing" that just totally turned me off of her. So yeah, future Faile has spoiled it for past Faile.

At this point Nynaeve was still acting more mature than the E's and I'm not really sure what set her on the path to acting like a brainless idiot in later books but I still HEART her :)
Budge
37. AlleyGirl
@35 Aqualung

I really think it was killing this nameless darkfriend that set him on the path to not killing women.
Jennifer Thiagarasan
38. jennthia
I love the re-reads! Saves me from having to re-read the earlier ones for the umpth time :)

Re Chapter 39
"Speaking of balefire, I continue to love how Our Heroes reinvent the wheel, ba dum dum, by spontaneously coming up with stuff everyone else in the world has forgotten for thousands of years."

I think it might have something to do with the fact that the girls all have way more power than any Aes Sedai in ages... Maybe with that amount of power, some things just...happen...
Richard Fife
39. R.Fife
Ya know, as much as what Faile did to Perrin with the "follow me like a puppy" and tricking Loial were snotty, remember that Perrin was being a mule-head, all "I'm going to go and let them hang me, emoemoemo, let me dye my hair black and comb it forward first, boohoo!" And all Perrin had to do was admit he was wrong "GASP!" and she would have relented. There are several small places during her "abuse" of Perrin where it shows that she is trying to make a point, but hates making it.

--edit--
And Perrin did start it with the age old stupidest trick in the book of "hurt her to save her" in trying to get Faile to hate him.
--end edit--

And yeah, the nameless woman is the snowflake for the avalanche. He should have killed Lanfear right off the bat, would have saved himself alot of heartache later, and he couldn't. And he refuses to send the Maidens on scouting or battleruns because he is protecting them to make up for the one woman he killed. Yeah, I think Leah might have been the straw that made him start listing off names like mad, but Lanfear in Cairhien was well before that.
Budge
40. Cosmix
"He’s like the Tom Cruise of Randland, except without all the creepy couch-jumping and Scientology. Sheesh."

And he's not 5 foot nothing in heels!
Budge
41. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
Yeah I always wondered about Balefire. I have to assume it's a fairly complex weave, certainly more complex then just dropping a safe made of Air on something's head, or shooting fire at them with, well, Fire, and yet our heroes just up and stumble into it. I didn't remember this incident of Nyn using it -- drives the point home even more.

Another thing I wondered about: the fighting prowess of Fades. Seems to be something RJ wavered on quite a bit in his writing. Perrin, Mat, Rand (without the Power) and others have no problem handling them, Thom beats one up and mysteriously gets a limp, but Aiel, who are supposed to be the badassest fighters this side of the Aryth Ocean, can't take them down 7 on 3 without some losses? And I seem to remember Lan thinking he would get his ass handed to him in a 1 on 1 with a Halfman.

And I'm sorry if this sounds really jerky and pretentious, but it absolutely drives me bonkers when commenters misspell words that are found over and over in the re-read. If you can't remember off the top of your head how to spell Gholam, whatever. If you can't spell Loial, is it that hard to scroll back up and check.

ACK! English teacher instincts...can't...contr....

Hey sweet the word verification to post this is "Jain12."
Budge
42. Tony Zbaraschuk
RJ returns to Loial's book from time to time, but I liked Thom's comment to Elayne in The Shadow Rising about how his epic and Loial's book would only be the seeds for the later tales... one of the themes about the whole series is how myths arise and change over time.

There's not really a lot of coincidence about the Aiel attack. Obviously a couple of them were following the Supergirls unseen (probably just to test themselves against Aes Sedai, smirk) and when the kidnapping happened they sensibly decided to run for help. Probably way too many kidnappers for two of them to handle and keep their new friends alive. So it takes them a little while to round up the others in the locality, and they arrive back about the time the Myrdraal get there; they wait about 30 seconds for the Myrdraal to get inside and close the door behind them so they don't see the Aiel moving up from whatever cover they had.

(Why do we never actually see a Fade fading? Can they perhaps only shadow-port if they're alone?)

The only real coincidence here is the girls waking up about the same time the Myrdraal arrive, and maybe even that isn't a coincidence: channelers can sense Shadowspawn approaching (as we see in the first chapters of this book) and maybe it was that subconscious urgency that drove them awake.
Budge
43. Don, Iowa
I have a question about the balefire. If they just witnessed two people going down from the fades and balefired them, why didn't the effects the fades had on the recently deceased reverse to some effect. I understand the amount of power used decides how far back you send them, but when you read about it, you are not talking about a great amount of time from death to balefire.
Budge
44. Aiel1219
@ 38. jennthia

about the girls having more power so stuff just happens... that is probably true... N does figure how to heal stilling and she instinctively does those complex heal weaves and Elayne ang Egwene do some similar stuff that I can't remember, but later in the series don't the come across a few accepted in the rebel camp who are of comparable power (atleast 1 who may have even surpassed N) do they/does she also have this kinda stuff going on?? I'm a bit fuzzy about that.

And we all know that most AS have some sort of ability that they have managed to figure out on their own without teaching (Some BA Sister has a weak for of compulsion) so it kinda makes sense that more power u have the more of these u may have... doesn't it?
Alex Wahlgren
45. Black-Veiled_Alex
Don @43

Well I think that Moiraine says that she can only go back three seconds, but from Nynaeves comment on being able to handle half the power the aes sedai used to free Mat from the dagger, by now her power level should be quite a bit higher than Mo's. Maybe she just didn't have enough control to give a complex weave like balefire much power. But still it couldn't have taken more thann 3 Mississippis to kill the Fades =/
Alex Wahlgren
46. Black-Veiled_Alex
Maybe N channels balefire because she's a wilder. She learned how to channel on her own, which means shes going a lot more on instinct than a novice taught how to do everything by the white tower.
Or maybe it has something to do with the ancient barriers coming down. With all the stuff seeping out and all the ancient heroes being reborn (especially if Our Heroes are souls of past lives) would't it make since if some knowledge seeped out to? And balefire didn't show up in the Age of Legends until the end, but that could be because they never had a use for a weapon until the end. Or maybe they had it the entire time but just never knew its adverse affects since they never used it on people before the war, idk... I'm just throwing random things out there =/
Budge
47. Eswana
@ Don 43

That seemed a little weird to me too. However, we know that the amount of time balefire burns away is contingent upon the channeler's strength and how much of that strength they put into the balefire weave. in tFoH, Rand burns Rahvin out strongly enough that Avienda, Mat, and Asmodean "wake up" from being dead, which was probably about 15-20 minutes burned back. When he does it, Rand is forming that balefire with all the strength he can draw through the little fat man angreal, so that's a helluva a lot of Power. At the end of tDR we'll see Moiraine balefire Be'lal, and I think at some point she says that at her best strength she can only burn a second or two out of the pattern. Nynaeve, of course, is way stronger than Moiraine, but she's also way weaker than Rand (especially Rand + angreal). Also, she's not really trying to use balefire here, so her full strength probably isn't going into the weave. Thus, she probably couldn't burn away more than thirty seconds or so, which seems to be less than enough to resurrect the dead Aiel.

or maybe I'm just overthinking.
Budge
48. Don, Iowa
Black-Veiled_Alex @45

I believe the reason I'm getting confused is partially what you stated, if Nynaeve's power is so great at the current moment why didn't it save those people. The reason this comes up is Rand's saving of Matt & Avi later on, after the lightning happens, killing them, how long of a time passes before Nyn sets up Rand for the balefire roasing of the century? My memory doesn't serve me as well but I would assume it is at minimum 3 to 5 times longer than the few seconds that happened here at the least.
Alex Wahlgren
49. Black-Veiled_Alex
Don @48

I think I remember somewhere that fades aren't exactly completely in the pattern, and if thats true (which very likely i'm just confused) then maybe that had something to do with it. But thats probably a pretty big stretch
Budge
50. Aiel1219
something shot out from Nynaeve’s hands - a thin bar of white light

balefire flew from his hands, molten light thicker than. a man, driven by all
the Power he could draw.

first quote fro this booke n second from when rand kills what's his face ... so you can see the difference in the power of the two beams and we know that the power used in creating the balefire affects the time reversal thingy. So it only makes sense that N's balefire would have a minute effect compared to Rands.... Hope this is not a repeat of what someone else said.... took me a while to find that 2nd quote. LOL!!!
Budge
51. Perrin5454
I have been reading this summary now for a few weeks. I am in Iraq, and my books are back in the states, so I can't follow along by rereading, but I remember a lot of what happened in the books, especially when Leigh recounts them.

Anyway, I just wanted to comment on a couple of things that to me are evident based on RJ's and my own shared military background. The first thing is the setup of the White Tower. To me, its arranged much more like a military school, where the freshmen (Novices) are the lowest rung on the totem pole. Where they are worked constantly, denied most basic privileges and constantly tested to not only mold them, but ensure they are made of stern enough stuff to withstand the pressures that will come when they finally graduate and become officers (Aes Sedai). Accepted are like upclassmen, with more privileges, but also greater responsibilities and even more unbelievably, a greater work load than the freshman (Novices). RJ went to the Citadel, so I'm sure he remembers quite vividly what that was like. (and if I remember correctly, I think he went after his service in Vietnam, which would make him the analogy of a wilder, much like Nynaeve).

The second point I wanted to make is about Rand appearing to be even more bat shit in this book than he is later on. I think it is a combination of things. I think the taint plays a role, but you have to remember, Rand has just been thrust in to Messiah status, which is hard to deal with. Now add to that a fair dollop of PTSD, as he has been on the run, unable to relax, sleep deprived, hungry, cold and actively killing people in hand to hand combat for the last month or two. All of the above are conditions which will predispose you to PTSD. And I am sure RJ was no stranger to that condition himself. He served multiple tours in Vietnam in a helicopter unit whose sole purpose was to fly around and draw fire. He actively courted death, much like Rand does. That kind of nearness to death changes a man. I also seem to remember RJ answering a question about how his service affected him by saying something to the effect that he became a kind of person he did not want to be, that could not survive in the outside world, so he made a concious decision to bury that person for dead when he left Vietnam. Long story short, there are at least several confirmed stories of mutilation and manipulation of dead bodies (I think I remember RJ saying he ate a C-Ration once on a corpse because it was the best available seat) that came out of Vietnam. It is not too much of a stretch to think that Rand, recently proclaimed Messiah, suffering not only from the taint, but also from a fair case of PTSD, would, after killing 11 or 12 people in close hand to hand combat, then arrange their corpses in a macabre gesture of submission.

Whew, that was a long one. And my final point is about the list of names. I seem to remember in TFOH, when Rand is wandering around at night after the battle Cairhiern, trying to find and kill Sammael, that he is reciting the list of names in his head. I also seem to remember a passage in TSR, after the Trollocs attack one of the Aiel holds that we find Rand in a darkened room, working over the list of names of women who have died for him. The passage from TFOH I am about 85% sure of, but the passage from TSR could be more like 50/50 though.
Alex Wahlgren
52. Black-Veiled_Alex
The earliest reference to the list i can think of is after Rand is saved from elaidas aes sedai. He's sitting on a stump or something and recites the entire list to perrin. but i also remember that that wasn't the first time we heard of it, that there's another time we hear it in his head or something. But I think that TFoH is to early.
JS Bangs
53. jaspax
Rand making the corpses bow down to him: pure awesome. Gibbering mad, yes, but still awesome.
Alex Wahlgren
54. Black-Veiled_Alex
This is probably a real stupid question, but whats up with the gray names and red names?
Jon Severinsson
55. jonno
Black Veiled Alex @54
Gray = logged in user
Red = annonymous user
Budge
56. Aiel1219
@5.AlleyGirl
Rand can sense Greymen. In TGH Ingtar admits that he let the greyman in adn it was the greyman who took a shot at Rand and just before the shot rand senses something and whirls around lookin for it so the arrow misses him.
So I would conclude that he can sense greymen... WOW! It's real fun researchin this stuff in the books.... LOL!!! Good thing I bought all11 of them again 4 days ago... damn my stupidity at givin em away that september :(senti bullpoo "sharin da legend")
Heather Johnson
58. HeatherJ
@51 - Thanks for pointing out the military influences here, it was very helpful to me.
Budge
59. Effervescent
Matrim sees the memories of his soul's past Perrin is a wolf-brother something that has just started coming back after MORE than a thousand years...why can't the channelers start pulling age old coolness out of their hats?

I'm speaking, of course, of Rand and Nyn balefiring all creation, Rand and the super-chicks doing with the one power things other AS would drool over, etc. Later on, we'll see Elayne pull the same coolness out of HER hat, figuring out how to make NEW ter’angreal.

I guess what I'm saying is, I think the way the creator "takes a hand" in the affairs of the world are these types of gifts. It works for me....
Budge
60. Smatt
Great re-read again Leigh. Are you a secret Mimbrate?
Abdel Masdoua
61. TheDarkOne
I've got to admit that I didn't remember that we met Aviendha that early (in my head it was later in TDR, the big reunion in the Stone...).
She is one of the most interesting character (and it also helps that she is Made of Awesome...) after Mat (who is clearly the coolest ever and my personal favorite).

Also, our first encounter with Rhuarc...

And I agree with you Leigh: even if with our knowledge of future events we kinda get that 'rolling eyes' thing whenever the SuperGirls make their amazing discoveries, The Rule of Cool very strongly applies here. I mean, come on, first use of balefire by the SG ever!


And jeez, has anyone not heard of Lan? He’s like the Tom Cruise of Randland, except without all the creepy couch-jumping and Scientology. Sheesh.

You cracked me up here! LMAO!
But yeah, Lan rocks, though I'd rather compare him with Johnny Depp...


Keep it coming Leigh and Thank You so much (yes, again!)for doing this.
Robert Garza
62. FunBob
Leigh - You've overpowered my giant! Away with you before I bring out the Iocain powder.

LOL - Awesome job, as usual.

@22 - Egwene didn't remember what balefire was from her accepted test because she never used it....she knew HOW to use balefire in her alternate future, but she killed the Fades with flames just as she did when she faced them here. The reason she is sure that it is balefire is because of Avienda's mention of it and her fractured memories from her test.
Alex Wahlgren
63. Black-Veiled_Alex
FunBob @62

My point was that if she had any kind of knowledge about balefire in her test, then she should have known about the ageless face. And nothing that Avienda said suggested what it was. She hadn't had a chance to read the notes from verin yet, so she had no idea balefire existed. but then again she didn't know about the whole turning to shadow thingy before the test either. It just seems strange that she would not know about the ageless face though. Unless maybe she faked the ageless face or only took certain oaths, either of which are very possible. Or like I said earlier, it could just be the acceptatron picking what knowledge to throw in, or RoJo not yet deciding on the oath rod/ageless face thing
Budge
64. Barrison
First off....I want to thank you Leigh for doing this. I've been wanting to do a re-read of the series for a while now but I never quite got around to it. I hope you don't mind that I'm copying down each of your entries and saving it so that when this is complete I can do a "full re-read" of the entire series in a couple of days any time I want.

Regarding *21 swmdilla

I know it's a bit irrational...but I just can't shake the uncomfortable feeling I get when I see people write out the true name of the Dark One. I always cringe a little when I see is.

Anyways...Keep up the great work Leigh and all of you providing these great comments that bring to light points of this amazing series that I had never considered before.

B
Budge
65. Barrison
Also...for some reason the link to this entry isn't showing up on the master listing. I finally noticed it after seeing the entry in the "Latest Links" section on the left side of the page.

B
Ofer Nave
66. odigity
Late to the party! I just refreshed the index page to get the link to part 6, and it still wasn't there! At 8:13pm EST! I freaked out for a second, then remembered what someone said previously about finding the link in "latest posts" hours before the index page is updated, and here I am. :)

Now I have Leigh + 65 posts to catch up on...
Richard Fife
67. R.Fife
+66.. +67... +68...

Oh, and Mufasa! I mean... Shai'tan! Although I am curious, how is that EVERYONE knows that name, but it is almost never spoke (cept by dumb Rand.) It seems, iunno, odd that it is easier to get a potter-mage to say Voldemort than a randlander to say Shai'tan

Sometimes I wonder if Balefire isn't all that complex at all, just in someway silly-like never thought of. Examples, Nynaeve's super-healing using all 5 powers instead of jsut 3, and stuff like that. Perhaps Balefire is a really simple weave, but it just takes a boatload of power to even the "1 Quanta of Time Burned" initial powerlevel out. kinda like a coeffecient of static friction (which is typically higher than the kenetic friction one). Wow, that was nerdy.

I can accept that Nynaeve can do super-healing cause she is doing what she has intuitively done forever. She wasn't balefiring the villiage council though, so it just feels like it needs to be a simple (again, not normally intuitive) weave. Like..., a flow of fire wraped around a flow of water, capped with a chunk of pineapple and baked in brown sugar for an hour. Simple, but delicious.
Budge
68. Dr. Morganstien
@42 Tony ZbaraschukWhy do we never actually see a Fade fading? Can they perhaps only shadow-port if they're alone?That happens atleast twice that I can think of.:

Once in EOTW when Rand meets the fade in-I think its- Baerlon.
Twice in the beginning of this book when a fade totally owns good ol' Jaichim "Bors" Carridin
mark Proctor
69. mark-p
R.Fife beat me to it, I was about to say that I think Balefire must be pretty simple, but requires a lot of power to get it to work. Which is why the more powerful characters can learn it spontaneously.
Even Moiraine learns somehow, if it was just a simple recipe which dosn't require complex patterns to weave it could have been described in a book she read. (I assume no one has come up with a way of writing weaves down otherwise, there would be a training manual left over from the age of legend)

The SG chapters was the highlight of part 6
Aviendha turning up for the first time (except for the first sister part that didn't really work).
And the way they destroyed the fades by simultaneously burning, compressing and balefiring them was pretty awesome.

I forgot that Rand acted so crazy here, but Perrin5454 gives a very plausible reason for his behaviour.
I like the way RJ wrote the beginng of Perrin and Faile's relationship but it dose get so irritating later on that I didn't really like the Perrin chapters so much.
Budge
70. Renegade 248
Great job as always Leigh. :)

As someone else said above, I too thougth that Aviendha would just be a very minor tid-bit character at the time she was introduced to us, and then in later books she is one of the three love girls for Rand. It is just amazing how so many characters you believe you will never see again and then all of a sudden they are a major player. :) Also the introduction of Rhuarc, Bain and Chiad, who I also thought the same thing about, but then come to find out I was wrong.
Aiel = Coolness. Gotta love the Aiel culture.

Also, I do not know about anyone else, but when Hopper flew away like an eagle, it brought a tear to my eye as he wanted to know how it felt to fly like an eagle when he was alive.

Faile here in this book and most of TSR is ok. I can tolerate her to a point, until she tricks Loial in TSR that is, but then she is still ok later when she rides back to save the Two Rivers. Then her and Perrin are both absent in TFOH, but she starts getting on my nerves alot in LOC. I just do not know why, but she is not one of my favorite characters. And as someone else said, yes Perrin was also being a dumbass at the time too.

I too like Elayne in these chapters, as she is stuck between Nyneave and Egwene. I know I would not want to be anywhere near those two when they are fighting. Good thing the Aiel show up. :)

Regarding Balefire, well what do you expect from the supergirls, after all they didn't get that name for nothing. :)

Long post, so I will just say keep up the good work, and also all the comments. I believe we get Mat back in the next re-read on Monday. :)
Budge
71. Rebecca Starr
Liking the olde english, Leigh - in honour of the recent discovery of Shakespeare's portrait, perhaps?

Ch 35
I had forgotten that Faile originally named herself Mandarb. Totally hilarious. You know it's funny, but in retrospect, she really isn't even so bad here. I actually give her points for bravery and smarts. 'course, I know that's going to change. heh

Ch 36
I agree with gimpols@30 and actually forgive Rand the behavior here. As you say: scared, alone, hurt... We have to remember that Ishmael has been sending people in TAR to kill him *every night* and he's on edge and hunted... I think this scene is tragic, if anything.

Ch 37
Enter Maidens! I love Maidens.

Ch 38
yeah, not much to say except Nynaeve is great in this chapter - such a Woman compared to the girls of Egwene and Elayne... from the way they grab at the Power and freak out when Avi appears, while Nynaeve stands there with arms folded calmly, to the fact that she "weaves 4 carpets blindfolded" in her Healing. What was the word you used, Leigh? Squee? Can Nynaeve make me squee here?
jane reynolds
72. janie
Lsana@8

I think the answer to the new clothes question might be as simple as maintaining Siuan's cover story for their second disappearance. I mean, if they're going to a farm to hoe cabbages all day, they're not going to be wearing silks.
Budge
73. macpimp
another occasion where we see the time reversal effect of balefire is when moghedien destroys the boat that nynaeve is on, in ebou dar, leading to nynaeve breaking her block.

from memory, i think moggy erased a couple of minutes, and she shot a balefire beam clear across the harbour/bay, and she used "a great deal of saidar".

so i guess nynaeve's use of a tiny bar of balefire to kill the fades would probably equate to only a few seconds, not long enough to reverse any damage the fades had done.
Budge
74. Wetlander
20. UncrownedKing

"Can we not compare Lan to Tom Cruise....Please?? At least go with someone who is half as cool as he is."

Thank you for expressing my thoughts so succinctly. :-)

41. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon

"...it absolutely drives me bonkers when commenters misspell words that are found over and over in the re-read."

And thank you, too, for expressing my thoughts! Maybe it's a fatal combination of Engineering and English degrees, or something, but I get awfully frustrated when folks won't take the time to check before posting. Blame it on OCD...
Crystal McMillan
75. CDragon27
I had forgotten that we meet Avi and the maidens here. and Rhuarc who I am a big fan of. cool beans.
I still think that even though Failie is sometimes annoying, that her romance with Perrin is one of the better ones.
I admit I didn't catch that feeling of familiarity was the Avi's ability to channel when I first read this, now it seems so obvious.
I like the trying not to let the future events ruin your enjoyment of the characters when they first appear. I must admit that the whole Rand/Avi romance was so ridiculous and tirirng that I was so glad when they got seperated. She has more of a relationship with Elayne than Rand, I never bought that she was in love with Rand.
but as you said she hasn't done it yet, so I will just enjoy the Aiel stepping in.
Budge
76. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Faile at her introduction wasn't annoying so much as laughable. Seriously. Going through the trouble of picking an impressive sounding name only to find she has the same name as a horse. Then there's the bit about looking for adventure only to find an adventure so big she wanted to run and hide. Priceless.

I still don't understand how Rand could have known he was with a pack of darkfriends. Even if Lews Therin had whispered it to him somehow, how would Lews Therin have known? Rand is clearly on a ragged edge by now. On a harrowing solo run going essentially the length and breadth of the Westlands from one end straight to the other end. How he managed it alone must have strained his ta'verenness. And sanity.

Next we get to the Girls. Egotistically self-centered as usual. Of course Mat being killed by the Dark One would not hinder their quest. Who would it hinder then? A certain Dragon Reborn would come to mind, deprived of one of his most trusted friends. I know we know this because we can read it, but Egwene wouldn't know you might say. Well, Tar Valon education is supposed to put a premium on thinking with a straight head. Unfortunately it also puts an even better emphasis on being egotistically self-centered. And of course more stupidity in thinking they can handle any pack of brigands by intimidating them the way they do in Emond's field. Phaw!

You gotta love the Maidens of the Spear. Their sheer.... badassness never fails to impress. A few plus points to Nynaeve for not quite admitting to be wise, and to Elayne for figuring out Rand's past. But she still failed to connect the dots far enough. I mean, come on. We have Rand. He is now the Dragon Reborn. We have a trap waiting in Tear where the Dragon Reborn is supposed to go claim a certain artifact. We have clues that lead us there. We are gonna be bait and handicap for him. Anyone else does not follow? Light, I just love bashing the Girls, so overrated.

Ok, next we have Rhuarc's first appearance. And Nynaeve's discovery of balefire. One of the rare but truly awesome things about her. Everything else disappoints.

Randalator @12
I agree it is this problem with women dying that's essentially leading Rand off the deep end. It's for a later book, but the reasoning he uses is almost enough proof of insanity by itself.

R.fife @16
Hmmm.. You're right. Practically everyone can connect to Rand in three jumps though not all go through Lan.

Zhull @32
You have to have the Dreaming talent in order to see some foreshadowing. Only the Aiel dreamwalkers and Egwene (and Perrin as part of his wolfbrother abilities) have this Talent. Rand was more like being dragged into TAR every time he slept. Part of Ishy's psy-war campaign against him. That's why Perrin's damage was REALLY close.

Eswana @47
I'm gonna go with your explanation. Though I myself think it's closer to two hours in Mat and Rand's case. I mean, they were playing hide and seek, for much higher stakes than children's games do. Besides, it's only a thin bar in Nynaeve's case, while the one Rand used on Rahvin was big enough to cover all of him.

Perrin5454 @51 & Black-Veiled_Alex
The "list" started in the battle of Cairhien. When several Maidens died. He figures he can't stop them from dying so he'll remember each one. Of course it gets kooky when he adds the women who died for opposing him, and those whose deaths he had absolutely nothing to do with.
Budge
77. Tony Zbaraschuk
Something that just occured to me: Faile is Saldaean, and as we discover later, high-born Saldaean at that. How is it that she does not know the sheer awesomeness that is Lan al'Mandragoran on sight? Is he not famous throughout the Borderlands? Is not the name of his horse known by the bards?

I suppose I can buy Lan never visiting the Saldaean court while Faile was there, particularly if she just got old enough to run away to Ilian to be a Hunter, but surely she should know of Lan, and that he's a Warder.
Budge
78. seanie
ya know rife , i think nyn would have liked to balefire cenn buie sometimes ....lol the village council *chuckle*....guessing you're an engineer
*chucklesquared*
Budge
79. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Tony Zbaraschuk @77
Hmmm... you're right of course. Even with the gap in age. And no she wasn't actually old enough to run off by herself. If she was, she'd have been old enough to "marry without her mother's permission", which Davram Bashere clearly states she isn't.
Ofer Nave
80. odigity
The bowing dead people thing only seems weird to us because we saw it. I try to keep it in perspective. People do weird things when they're alone and no one can see them. We all do. I certainly have and do, and I'm sure you do, too. When no one's around to judge us, and we are able to stop judging ourselves, we become free to do weird things because there's no one to label it weird.

So, some bastards just tried to kill you, you need to blow off some steam, and you've recently acquired telekinesis. As Homer Simpson might say, "Human puppet show, eh?" It's not like corpses can feel pain or loss of dignity.
Budge
81. sps49
The 10 or 11 DF incident of Rand's still puzzles me with how he knew (did he see them in TAR?), but I do appreciate how RJ allows us to infer things like the Gray Man's presence w/o spelling it out.
Budge
82. sinfulcashew
35. aqualung:
That IS where he got the anti 'killing women' thing. For some reason that is one part I remember quite vividly.
Budge
83. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
sinfulcashew @82
Nope. It started just after the battle of Cairhien. When Maidens died from Sammael's attack. Then Moiraine got added shortly after.
Sacha G
84. Fortune_Prick_Me
These chapters were pretty chock full of OMG. I first started the entire series with TGH, followed by TDR and only then picked up TEotW.

I remember being disappointed at the slower pace of the first book and think that I was expecting the more frantic feel of chapters like these. The SG get kidnapped again and supernova a Fade, Perrin just got through wasting a bunch of Whitecloaks and then has a chilling view of the Forsaken in action, Rand is running on empty while being assaulted every night.

Maybe not that much actually happened, but it feels like the reader is finding out something new or expanding something we've seen (Aiel, Wolfdreams, Forsaken) every chapter - not like later books with the endless discussions of relative Power strength and other low impact on story plotlines. IMHO.

Oh and Renegade248@70 I'm so totally with you.

This:

Hopper was grinning. Here, I soar like the eagle. The wolf gathered himself and leaped, up into the air. Up and up it carried him, until he dwindled to a speck in the sky, and a last thought came. To soar.

First time through, I thought that was kinda cheesy, but it stuck with me. "to soar" has become my second most favorite line of the entire series, after - "Kneel to the Dragon Reborn...or you will be knelt."
Budge
85. Hugin
It's late, but I had to get these thoughts out there:

Elayne: These chapters really take me through all of my opinions on her. She first seems quite sympathetic with her reaction to the troubles in Cairhien. After all, there are plenty of nobles and Aes Sedai in the series who would either shrug all that misery off with a "the Wheel weaves" or just never even notice the suffering of mere peasants. But then she immediately follows this by reacting to Eg's concern that a Gray Man is after Mat by saying "Why would a Gray Man be after Mat? There is nothing in my letter to my mother that could harm is in the slightest." Huh? It really is just all about Elayne in her little mind. Nobody would possibly be after Mat because he's closely tied to the Dragon Reborn, a strong ta'veren in his own right, and sounded the Horn of Valere -- it could only be because of Elayne, because the whole world revolves around her. After that I can't even feel for her when she has to play peacemaker in the really childish and silly Nynaeve/Egwene pissing match.

Faile: My first impression was that she's another typical hunter for the Horn (as defined by Orban and Gann) -- immature, self-important, arrogant, attention-seeking, probably minor noble or rich merchant kid who has more time/money than sense. Maybe a she's bit less in-your-face about it than Orban, but just think of what type of person would run off to chase around the land for years in search of a mythical object. Although I'm not a big Faile hater, she doesn't do anything for a while to dispel these initial impressions.

SG vs. Fades: My issue with this scene is why the Fades didn't sense Ny's healing of El -- that had to be a firework display next to the match strike of Eg channeling a tiny flow into the chain. Even if the Fades weren't yet in the room, they should have reacted to this if they were anywhere in the area.

Discovering/Rediscovering weaves: I agree that there is some of the rule of cool at work here, as well as the SG's unusual strength in the power, but I also think that the SG's LACK of training plays a role. They can actually think outside the box, experiment and come up with some new ideas. After all, if there are two things we readers know about the Aes Sedai who are fully trained by the White Tower it's that: 1) they think they know it all and 2) they don't, in fact, know very much. So it wouldn't surprise me if Aes Sedai hammer the "correct" way to do things into their novices so thoroughly that nobody bothers to think of other ways to accomplish things. In the real world, we see this in how large organizations (be they companies, governments, or other organizations) are not, as a rule, very good at innovation. Also, other unique tricks with the power, such as Liandrin's compulsion-lite or Moiraine's listening trick, are developed in pre-Tower wilder days before Tower orthodoxy snuffed out any impulses to innovate.

Hopper: yay Hopper.

Leigh: yay Leigh.
Sacha G
86. Fortune_Prick_Me
Hugin@85 on Discovering/Rediscovering weaves

That makes beaucoup sense: that thinking outside of the box allows the SG to go beyond what the White Tower has been doing for centuries. The Wilder examples really nail it.

I think RJ meant explicitly this as part of the End of an Age/Old barriers falling theme. Other non-weave examples may be Mat's upcoming(or at least heavily foreshadowed) use of gunpowder, Egwene's expansion of links to female channelers including non-tower women, Aiel discovering their roots, the academies, etc. It appears the dominant groupthink (pre or early renaissance) of the 3rd age is failing and our heroes/individual characters are personifications of this impending change.

Also~I vote for Hopper as one of the heroes of the Horn next time around. Leigh too!
Budge
87. birgit
Nynaeve's balefire undid any collateral damage of the nearly simultaneous actions of the other two girls but wasn't strong enough to undo the deaths that happened earlier.

That said, I don't feel that Egwene and Nynaeve should need a peacemaker. Before they left the tower, they were getting along fine. Now, all of a sudden, they are in such a snit with each other they can't talk without arguing? I don't buy it. It showed up way too suddenly.

Eg is already unhappy about Ny's dominance before this, but Ny was Accepted and she Novice, so she had a right to order her around. Now Eg is on the same level with Ny and no longer has to accept her as higher-ranking.

Why would Egwene know about balefire in the accepted test, but not know about the oath rods causing the ageless face?

AS know at least about the existence of balefire, but nobody figured out the source of agelessness until later, so if the ter'angreal tapped into existing knowledge, the info about balefire was available somewhere but not about the agelessness.

More wolves in TAR, why would Hopper show Perrin this? What interest have wolves in the lives of men, especially Forsaken... I gues Perrin is pseudo-wolf and that makes the doings of men more interesting.

Hopper shows the Forsaken to Perrin to make him understand that TAR is dangerous.

Obviously a couple of them were following the Supergirls unseen (probably just to test themselves against Aes Sedai, smirk)

Avi followed the girls because she wanted to pay back the toh for healing her relative.
Budge
88. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Hugin @85
Yes. It really IS just about her in Elayne's mind. In every one of the Girls' minds. Or even in every Aes Sedai's mind for that matter. That's why the Tower gets broken much later.
Elroy Skimms
89. elroyskimms
@Perrin5454 (#51)

First, thanks for all that you do.

Second, I think you have the "Rand decap's an entire merchant caravan and Gray Man in just under 3 seconds" scene figured out nicely. I do remember RJ talking about his time and Vietnam, and although I don't think he was sitting on the corpse, there was at least a picture of him eating his C-Ration next to it. He was there, as you said, because it was the best place to sit and the presence of the corpse didn't affect him. PTSD fits the bill nicely as it fades once he gets some rest and back to a place where he has people around him that he can trust. RJ has said several times that the Taint does not fade over time so Rand acting like he needs a straight-jacket can't be from the Taint because it recedes a little bit.

Unrelated to the re-reads (which are fantastic), but on the topic of RJ's service in Vietnam. I remember reading somewhere that he was on the mini-gun of a helicopter when Charlie popped off an RPG at his ride. He spun the gun and literally shot the RPG out of the air. If there ever was such a thing as Ta'veren in this world, that's got to be the best real-life example I have ever heard.

Edit: I found RJ's discussion of the RPG and C-Ration Surrounded by NVA Corpses post here:
http://www.dragonmount.com/RobertJordan/?p=84
Budge
90. Aiel1219
elroy@89

Didn't he shoot that rpg down with a flare gun??? I'm pretty sure it was with the flare. :)
The dude was awesome...
lucky for da guys on dat chopper that "There is no Charge for AWESOMENESS!"
Budge
91. Cobblestones
Re: Mat's luck.

Anyone else thought for a while he might have started to channel?
Richard Fife
92. R.Fife
not to be a wet towel, cobble, but the thought never did occur to me. I guess I just thought "Rand's the channeler, no other main male chars channel, gar!" I think it was also just cooler in my mind that he was that lucky without anything of the Power being involved.
Budge
93. effervescent
As for why Nyn's Balefire didn't bring the Aiel back from the dead is the Fades were already deaded by Egwene's fire weave. The Balefire just wiped out the corpes.

As far as Rand and the killing of the darkfriend woman...remember, Perrin watched from mount dream, and saw "more darkfriends coming", so even Prrring identified them correcty, though we have no way of knowing HOW he knew.

As for an actor for Lan... how about Clint Eastwood? Or maybe Mel Gibson during the Braveheart era? Harrison Ford? Those are three men off the top of my head that fit better than Tom Cruise...

90. Aiel1219
The RPG was shot down with his machine gun, since he only had to "continue with the arc he was already on" by his accounts. Since my dad did the same type of job in Viet Nam (he was a medic, not a gunner), his description of that event stuck with me, for some reason.

And lastly, remember, in the white tower, strength + how long you were a novice/accepted weight heavily on the "rank" you have, both of which Nyn out-shines Egwene. As stupid as I think it is to rank people thusly, Egwene in every sense of the word is "below" Nyn until she is made Amyrlin.
Richard Fife
94. R.Fife
Effervescent:

I think Egwene is just being a rebellious 17 year old. Nynaeve is an authority figure from Egwene's past, and still exerts her authority by whatever right, and Egwene hates it. She just wants to be seen as an equal, an adult, what have you, and she thinks she is being treated like a petulant 10 yr old (which of course is how she is acting). I imagine that "precieved" authority of Egwene being a novice and Nyn being an Accepted is what kept it down earlier.

By the Light, I hate having to defend the supergirls... *dreams of Faile instead*
Budge
95. sinfulcashew
to 83. amwswc
I am rereading the sixth novel and this is where Liah disappears in Shadar Logoth.
He feels responsible and I'm sure she is the first in his list of deaths? Anyway it sticks with me.
He didn't have anything to do with her actual death, but just her being there because of him, causes him pain.
Doesn't she show up later in another scene perhaps in dreamstate?
Budge
96. Valeiria
My 2 cents on the supergirls...

Elayne: Yeah, she's self centered. Yeah, she's annoying as hell a lot of the time. However, if you take into account the fact that she was being raised to be a queen... it makes sense. Gawyn did say that people usually end up doing what she wants. Thinking of that statement, I'm almost a little surprised that she didn't involve herself in the power struggle. Since she was raised to be listened to, you do have to give her a little credit. She cares about her subjects (and possible subjects) a lot. She even thinks poorly of other nations because of the way they treat their common people. She knows she's above them, but at least she doesn't treat them like crap.

Nynaeve: She's also used to being listened to. The youngest Wisdom EVAR?!?!?!?! She had a lot of power in Emond's field. Egwene was her apprentice. Not a lot of people would take their former apprentice trying to take over as leader very well. Granted, Nynaeve does start to listen to Egwene later. She takes it remarkably well when Egwene becomes Amyrlin. Nynaeve's bossy and rude and obnoxious... and even starts to simper a bit after marrying Lan... but she gets business done.

Egwene: Egwene always annoyed me during my first read of these. But in spite of that, I always thought she SHOULD be the leader. She's got less of a temper... well, more control over her temper... and I always just assumed she was more intelligent than Nynaeve. Maybe that's because we see simpering Egwene for part of a book (even though I still go ga-ga for her and Gawyn) and we see simpering Nynaeve for multiple books. Egwene's got a TON of redeeming qualities in the later books. Nynaeve, on the other hand, is totally awesome when she helps cleanse saidin, but goes right back to being all weird.

It's harder to go back and think about these scenes as a first time reader. I remember what I thought, but now it's tainted by what I know happens in later books. I think I felt a lot of sympathy for Nynaeve because of how Lan acted. But while I still feel similar emotions, they don't last because I know he's basically whipped. He'd do anything for her. And all of my reading of Elayne is slightly tainted by her crazy preggo attitude. I just keep expecting her to be crazy. And Egwene... she still annoys me in the early books, but it's easier to forgive, because I know how she's gonna be a super awesome leader eventually. She's gonna knock Elaida off her feet.

I always start these posts with a point, but then I start rambling. It's probably because I have no one IRL to ramble to. I have one friend who's read the books all the way through and she doesn't remember enough of them to theorize and talk with me. Sad... but at least I have these posts now!
Brett Michie
97. bchurch
sinfulcashew @ 95

Liah comes back at the end of the seventh book, aCoS.
Budge
98. renegade 248
Well said @96 Valeiria.

I could not have stated it better. Actually it is how I feel about the supergirls.
Budge
99. sinfulcashew
97. bchurch
I didn't remember which book she reappeared in.
Thanks for the reminder.

But, isn't she the one that started his counting?

Oh well, I've been wrong about alot of things and I can take it!
Budge
100. Wetlander
99. sinfulcashew

No, as noted before (83. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed), Liah is not the one that started the counting. It started after the battle of Cairhien when a whole lot of the Maidens he was trying to protect by keeping them away from the battle died in Sammael's attack on him. The trip to Shadar Logoth took place after that. If you follow "the list" through the books, I think you'll find that quite often the most recent death, or the one he currently feels most awful about, heads the list. It's not a chronological list, more an "order of importance" list.
Budge
101. RobMRobM
I hate posting at the end like this but life interferes with the WOT...

35. I'm very pro-Faile in this book and TSR; far better than neutrality for me. She's immature and over-proud but she cares deeply, is very brave and holds her own in a tough crowd. The scene in TSR after Perrin is told her parents are dead when she tells everyone to stop talking and let Perrin grieve says volumes about her heart. Respectfully, the hating is not well founded at this point in the series. As Leigh noted, people are being affected by the later books, where she takes Berelain's bad behavior out on Perrin in a situation where he is completely blameless, and deserves about as much hate as possible.

36. While the Perrin-Rand dream scene is cool, I always wondered how Perrin got just a minor burn as opposed to nothing at all or something fatal. What exactly did Rand try to hit him with? Minor point but there it is.

37-38. As noted in prior posts, I love the way RJ is gradually introducing more and more about the Aiel. I remember reading these few entries re Gaul and Avi and being fascinated - as we suspected Rand was Aiel and that the culture would be important later on the books. Nice job of piquing my interest. Also, as a longtime Dune fan, big Fremen vibe.

39. I loved Elayne's comment to the Aiel about not interfering with the dance. Very droll, and shows one of the reasons, despite the occasional aggravations, I actually like the supergirls and believe they have been getting a bit too much hating on this board.

Interesting chapters but suffer by comparison to the two sets that came before.

Rob
Budge
102. RobMRobM
Leigh - cute intro but you're trying to channel Middle English (Shakespeare) rather than Old English (Chaucer). This is Old English:

Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
2: The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
3: And bathed every veyne in swich licour
4: Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
5: Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
6: Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
7: Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
8: Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,
9: And smale foweles maken melodye,
10: That slepen al the nyght with open ye
11: (so priketh hem nature in hir corages);
12: Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
13: And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
14: To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
15: And specially from every shires ende
16: Of engelond to caunterbury they wende,
17: The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
18: That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.

Rob (and, yes, I took a Chaucer course in college many moons ago)
Budge
103. michaelt
I wanted to point out every wilder (according to the Tower definition) has, at some time, come up with a weave all on their own. It's what makes them wilders. The fact that the SGs come up with new weaves on the spot is nothing new in the WoT, theirs are just a lot more useful (although compulsion can be useful, just not approved). I think that along with a how-strong-are-you trait, there is a how-quick-do-you-pick-up-new-weaves trait and a make-new-weaves trait. AS tend to suppress the last one, because "It is dangerous, and we already know everythin."
Richard Fife
104. R.Fife
Rob, I think you might suffer from a reverse of the Faile hate in regards to the SGs. Granted, I actually like Egwene et al later in the series. Well, not Elayne so much, but she gets a little better. Because, well, they grow up. And, with that in mind, a re-reader can say "Yeah, they are being prissy right now, but they are still cool overall" and not vent as much frustration on them as we might have in the first read.

Additional Example, you will probably note that I'm one of the rare Avi-haters. Now, I don't hate her in complete overallness. I think her brief presence in this book is cool, and the start of TSR is cool, but post Rhuidean, I think she is a prissy brat and can barely stand her. Even after she "accepts fate" in TFoH and shags Rand, she is a bit on the insufferable side, and only when she gets away from Rand does she start to become a cool char again (in my mind).

As I said before, RJ did a really good job with rollercoasting our opinions of his chars, but I think it is safe to say that a person's opinion of a char in the mid-book range (Book4-6) has a tendancy to be the one they instantly jump to. Probably something to do with the plot slowing down post book 6.

And life taking precidence to WoT? For shame ;)

And not that I'm a stickler for semantics (honest, I'm not! why don't you beleive me?) but isn't Old English the kind that typically is indecipherable to the normal english speaker today? Like, from pre-norman conquest to slightly post? And then Middle English is the kinda smear of indecipherable, through Chaucer, into Shakespeare? No, I'm not an english major nor have I taken an english class that covered this since the 90s, so I am just trying to get my facts straight, not be argumentative (Why do people never believe me when I say that?)
Budge
105. RobMRobM
RF 104 - Funny, while Middle English generally is defined as starting in late 1400s (and Chaucer was in late 1300s), just saw a wiki that listed Canterbury takes as ME (because ruling and classes started standardizing text about that time).

Re Faile, I detested her in later books but have been enjoying her on the re-read.

Re SGs, they are a mixed bag and I view them as such, with different parts of liking and irritating.

I'm also not a big Avi fan, from Rhudean on. Don't think that RJ knew what to do with her in final six books except for being supportive to Elayne and magically figuring out how to read tergreals -- which I thought came out of nowhere and grafted onto the plot to give her some value.

Re life - it tends to get in the way, to the benefit of my wife, kids and (sometimes) work. Rob
Budge
106. LynnOH
Lan; Tom Selleck/George Clooney/Clint Eastwood

Lanfear; Catherine Zeta-jones
Richard Fife
107. R.Fife
LynnOH:

Can the super girls be Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Christina Aguillera?
Brett Michie
108. bchurch
R.Fife:

One word: Ewwwww!!

Not sure about Elayne and Nyneave, but Egwene always struck me as a young Winona Ryder. I know . . she's a klepto, but it probably stems from reading the books in the early '90s.
Budge
109. Spelled Incorrectly
First off, This re-read is the most fantastic thing ever. Its like a cure for the common cold mixed with an orgasim.

Secondly, I was always really confused about Rand's crazy suddenly killing those Darkfriends. I read that part again and again on my first read through, and I made a strange therory, one that seems to not only make sense, but rationalize why he actually killed them.

"“None,” Rand told her. Careful. Two steps brought him close enough, and he leaped into the air, spinning—Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind—heron-mark blade carved from fire coming into his hands to take her head off before surprise could even form on her face. She was the most dangerous."

Wait, what? Rand is approached by ten armed guards, one unnoticed gray man, and an unarmed and pleasently smiling young lady, and the girl is the most dangerous? She isn't discribed as holding a weapon, or even doing anything evil/dangerous, so why?

The only idea I can think of is that she could channel.

Now, we know Rand can sence female channelers, even if he isn't 100% sure what it means. But if it were me, in a possible PSTD state while being hunted and attacked every single minute of my waking life, I'd be much more willing to follow my instincts and attack first. So, if some woman came up to me as she did, and I felt the chill in my body, I'd say that they are instincts taking over.

Now the main problem with this theory is... the lack of evidence. On both sides. In fact, all I've got is the line "She was the most dangerous", which may just be the crazy talking.

What do you people think? Crazy, off-the-wall theory, or plausable action by Black Ajah against Rand?
Richard Fife
110. R.Fife
Hrm.. not black ajah, I think, as Rand knows ageless faces and would have noted it. Although, that might have been the reason behind his thinking the woman was the most dangerous. He /thought/ she could channel. I forget, is he already saying "All women are Aes Sedai" at this point?

Oh, I just thought of a double entendre for that phrase. "All women are servants to all." is what it translates to. GET BACK IN THAT KITCHEN AND MAKE ME A PIE! Ahem... please?

Anyway, it still is an important line. A 2Rs boy, who hardly thinks of women as "dangerous," at least in a physical, stabby way, and he /knows/ that she needs to die first. I wonder what it was that drove that.

Bchurch: just the reaction I was looking for.
Budge
111. Lsana
@85 Hugin,

It's like pulling teeth to make me defend Elayne, but I'll do so in this case, if only so my later attacks on her will have more credibility. Elayne doesn't know that Mat is the one who blew the Horn, and I doubt anyone told her that he's ta'veren. As far as she knows, the only thing about him that makes him differerent from any other village boy out in the big world is that he's carrying a letter from the Daughter-Heir to the Queen. Well, that and the fact that he's Rand's friend. Perhaps she should have considered that someone would go after him to hurt Rand, but I can't blame her for not doing so when Mat, who does know that he is ta'veren, the horn-sounder, and closely tied to the Dragon Reborn, never thinks that the goal of his attackers is anything other than the letter.

@102 RobMRobM, 104 R.Fife,

I roomed with a mideval studies grad student at one point, so I know this stuff pretty well. Here's the deal:

Old English is the language the original Beowulf. It's pretty much incomprehensible for modern English speakers (though it's easier if you also speak German). It's different enough that most colleges will give you foreign language credit for taking classes in Old English.

Middle English is Chaucer. It's very weird to a modern speaker, but you can wrap your brain around it if you're willing to take a fair amount of time, read things aloud, and keep the glossary close by.

Shakespeare is Early Modern English. It looks stranger than it is, and with a little practice, a modern student can learn to read it straight through without needing to stop to look things up.
Budge
112. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Lsana @111
You can't really blame Mat at this point because he has holes in his memory. Everything's still fuzzy for him. Besides, you know Mat. If he's in trouble it's just like him to think it's over a girl, an Aes Sedai at that. Elayne on the other hand is supposed to be in her full mental faculties.
Budge
113. LynnOH
107. R.Fife How about Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Sarah Jessica Parker instead?

Matthew McCounaghy as Mat?
Richard Fife
114. R.Fife
Lynn: All actress I don't really care for, so I guess so.

I agree with M.M. for Mat. Liam Neeson can be de-aged and be Perrin.
Budge
115. DutchBoy
Comparing Lan to Tom Cruise is an insult to Lan.

Tom is a very little boy - his height is only about 170 cm, which is about the 5th or 10th percentile in the Netherlands...

Thanks again, Leigh, for your summaries - I am sure I'll be with you for the months to come ;-)
Budge
116. DutchBoy
Comment on @102 RobMRobM, @104 R.Fife, @111 Lsana

"Old English is the language the original Beowulf. It's pretty much incomprehensible for modern English speakers (though it's easier if you also speak German)."

Amazing how much Old English resembles to Frisian, and to a lesser extent to Dutch as well!

Middle English, though, is harder to read for us, dutchies.
Ofer Nave
117. odigity
Talking about actors for WoT is a blackhole of time that must be resisted by all gatherings of WoT fans as a cheap temptation, but since someone else started it...

One of the few people I've seen that I think can pull off Aes Sedai is Morena Baccarin who played Inara on Firefly. She'd be Domani, of course. :)
Budge
118. michaelt
Getting . . sucked . . in..
I always picture Lan as an emotionless Jet Li.
Budge
119. effervescent
I always thought of Egwene as a young Denise Richards, Elayne as Hillary Duff, and Nyn as... umm... no one comes to mind for me there.
Budge
120. sinfulcashew
Alright youse guys! (97- 100)
Liah is mentioned by Rand in LOC on page 524. chapter-'Connecting Lines', when Desora dies taking an arrow for him.
Does this one count?
I don't know why I am being a stickler for this?
I should just shut up and enjoy the reread, as I am a Novice when it comes to parsing(?) the happenings all through the books like all of you are prone to do.
(By the way I have only the paperback of LOC-986 pages-it's 3 inches thick-the reason I chose to reread it. Lots of reading time!)
What time is the new reread posted on Mondays?
Budge
121. disgruntled again
P.S.
Please quit choosing actresses for the parts.
It ruins the whole thing for me, for some reason.
Picturing any of these 'apprentices' as anyone in the story just spoils the read?
Even picking actors for the guys is bad.
EEEYOUUU!
Leave them alone and let them be themselves?
Sorry to be stinky about that, but yuck!
Richard Fife
122. R.Fife
Disgruntled, as Odigity said, its a blackhole that should be avoided. But, I do agree:

I actually have no actors really in mind when I'm reading these books. The characters are just themselves, with the voices and little unscripted face quirks I want them to have. if anything, I have an amlagram of all the various fanart, book covers, and BBoBA in my head. Probably explains why Moiraine looks like some sort of heavy jowled pilot fish....

Oh, to the question on the post will be Monday, I think pablo (the site admin) has a little spinner-wheel that he flicks, and whatever it lands on is the post time. Kind of like wheel of fortune. Luckily for us, he has yet to hit Bankrupt.
Budge
123. RobMRobM
Here's the perfect casting for Egwene: has to be dark haired, incredibly short of stature, incredibly diligent in all tasks and a complete know it all...








Tom Cruise! LOL, Rob
Budge
124. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
MUST RESIST THE TEMPTATION...


Mission failed

Ryan Reynolds as Mat
or Ashton Kutcher
Budge
125. sinful and disgruntled
To all who responded:
Thanks for the info. and QUIT the casting of the roles.
It's funny, even when you say you won't, then some of you go and pick someone anyway!
eeeeeek!
But, I so appreciate the feedback.
XXXXX's & OOOOO's to all!
Mondays comin!!!!!
John Massey
126. subwoofer
none of the above.......gotta be Hyde from "That 70's Show". Much better at being a dirt bag.......um, if I haven't said so...Loial rocks! Still cracks me up that he is composing his books as sh#! is happening around him. There was a bit in a book where Perrin or Rand was about and stuff was going down and good ol' Loial was writing like a champion just before things hit the fan.
Rand once again has one foot on queer street( I am referring to him being border line daffy)and is ready to stroll down it like the village drunk. No wonder he married 3 women. A further sign of his lunacy.
Lan....c'mon he breathes John Wayne.... I'll wonder off into the Blight( read Iwo Jima) alone and there will be no problems.....sure, a few fists of Trollocs and a couple of fades...no worries. Not to mention the lack of a sense of humor and constant grim looks.
Love Perrin...."Well, thank you very much for that," he said bitterly." You did not have to scare me to death just so you could tell me there was no need to be frightened!" - Get used to it buddy, it all goes down hill from here on out.
Following chapters remind me of Much Ado About Nothing. Whole lot of words and posturing... and sniffing and hair pulling.... not much in the way of results....Rhuarc "dying old and fat in bed" and the whole "Dance with me eyeless" was killer. Aiel being long distance runners too comes to light, explaining Rand's ability to stay ahead.
I am thinking RJ saw "Chasing Amy" when he was going into this whole "first sister" thing...
Yay for Leigh!
Budge
127. birgit
Faile is Saldaean, and as we discover later, high-born Saldaean at that. How is it that she does not know the sheer awesomeness that is Lan al'Mandragoran on sight?

She probably heard of al'Lan, but if she never met him she can't know that "Master Andra" is Lan. Later she finds out his real name, but there are no Faile POVs in this part and she doesn't tell Perrin much about her past, so why should she mention that she has heard about Lan?

And lastly, remember, in the white tower, strength + how long you were a novice/accepted weight heavily on the "rank" you have, both of which Nyn out-shines Egwene. As stupid as I think it is to rank people thusly, Egwene in every sense of the word is "below" Nyn until she is made Amyrlin.

Only full AS know this ranking system, the girls don't know it yet.

Rand is approached by ten armed guards, one unnoticed gray man, and an unarmed and pleasently smiling young lady, and the girl is the most dangerous? She isn't discribed as holding a weapon, or even doing anything evil/dangerous, so why?

In his dreams he is often attacked by women who pretend to be friendly. Maybe he is mixing up dreams and waking life or thinks it makes no difference because he knows the dreams are more than ordinary dreams.
Elroy Skimms
128. elroyskimms
odigity @ #117

Talking about actors for WoT is a blackhole of time that must be resisted by all gatherings of WoT fans as a cheap temptation...


Quoted For Truth! (Though I will ignore odigity's next sentence where they named another actor for a character)

In the name of all things sacred, please, I beg of you, refrain from discussing potential actors and actresses for as of yet unnamed movies in this otherwise fantastic thread of posts and comments. Post in all caps and discuss ye olde english and middle english and anything else, but please, let's not go down that path. Dark and frightening things lie down that path, and it leads to the death of posts and threads such as these.

Can we please try and keep our discussion related to Leigh's fantastic recaps, the story, and RJ's literary stylings? Pretty please???
Richard Fife
129. R.Fife
Elroy, just as the linguistics discussion died across threads, I'm sure this too shall pass. Especially now that part 7 is up. ;)
Ofer Nave
130. odigity
No one will read this, since the next post is up, but for the record...

elroyskimms@128: Quoted For Truth! (Though I will ignore odigity's next sentence where they named another actor for a character)

Ah... but I *didn't* name an actor for a *character*. I suggested Morena Baccarin as the only instance I've seen that comes close to the command and grace of an Aes Sedai - a *class* of characters. Thusly, I maintain my credibility. Remember, an Aes Sedai never lies, but the truth she tells you isn't the one you think you hear. (Though I'm a dude.)
Budge
131. jafco
51. Perrin5454

I salute you, man! Thanks for what you do.

And I think you have Rand's situation nailed. As I read things, he hasn't slept more than a wink for days while bolting toward Tear. He's apparently killed a number of people so far, and dark hounds, and so on. No one is to be trusted (he even fires out at appearances by Egwene and Perrin in t'a'r). The woman he killed 'on suspicion' wasn't a young smiling thing - she was a seasoned, commanding woman - and without doubt a darkfriend (but she may be the catalyst for the "no women ROI" he later adopts.

All others: Any more "actor nominations" and I'll ignore you from here to the bitter end. There isn't an actor or actress in Holly or Bolly that could carry Rand's jockstrap, or Egwene's sceptre, etc. etc., and you should be ashamed of yourselves for even introducing such a traducing thought into these threads (said the Deadpan Snarker). :0
Budge
132. jafco
@ 131 jafco

ROE ROI (Rules of Engagement Return on Investment)
Budge
133. alaric
@Chapter 35

Min: I see Rand. I wuv Rand.
Elayne: Rand, you are a shepherd. I wuv you. I'm so glad your ex didn't mind trading for one of my brothers.
Avhiendra: Rand, you will slay my people and are dating my friend's friend. I wuv you.

At least Faile has a reason -- Perrin is total beefcake, hangs with an AS, a Warder, and an Ogier. And frees caged Aiel and kicks Whitecloak ass.

I thought Book 3 Faile was actually decent. Early Book 4 Faile not so much, but at the 2R, a pretty decent Saldean Wife, and not bad through book 6. Book 7+ Faile, however, has worn out her welcome.
Budge
134. Erdrick
First I'd like to say (once again) thank you to Leigh for doing this, and also many thanks to those insightful participants in the discussion comments. It all contributes to the success and benefits of this endeavor. I particularly enjoyed the comments about Eg's dreams, where Leigh compliments how brilliantly Min walking through a steel trap plays out, while lamenting the vagueness of the one with Perrin jumping off a cliff, only to have RobM @7 hit us with a bolt of clarity..BAM!

About Rand knowing the merchant woman was a DF, I really like Zhull's theory (@32). Perrin sees Rand in TAR being stalked by Myrddraal and other men and women. Rand kills them all, but more come and Perrin shouts a warning. This immediately precedes the disturbing Rand scene. I like to think he recognizes her as one of those stalking him in his dream. This would explain how he never expresses doubt that she was out to kill him (even when he sobers up some in later books).

This takes us to the litany of women Rand likes to recite to himself. R.Fife @14 and others mentioned Rand's inclusion of the nameless darkfriend woman in the list. I like taking it to the source, and here are a couple related scenes that I found. This first one is from PoD chapter 13: "Floating Like Snow."
Absently, Hopwil touched his left sleeve, where the black color disguised fire-scarred wool. The Seanchan had not died easily or fast. "I piled the bodies in a hollow," he said in a flat voice. "The horses, everything. I burned it all to ash. White ash that floated in the wind like snow. It didn't bother me at all."

Rand heard the lie on the man's tongue, but Hopwil had to learn. After all, he had. They were what they were, and that was all there was to it. All there was. Liah, of the Cosaida Chareen, a name written in fire. Moiraine Damodred, another name that seared to the soul rather than merely burning. A nameless Darkfriend, represented only by a face, who had died by his sword near . . .

Beautifully written. Although most TR men seem to have this handicap with women, I think Rand is particularly crippled by it due to LTT remembering Ilyena. I like how LTT sometimes joins in the litany, as in this KoD chapter 18 passage:
"Moiraine Damodred. Her above all. Her name was written inside his skull in fire. Liah of the Cosaida Chareen, Sendara of the Iron Mountain Taardad. Lamelle of the Smoke Water Miagoma, Andhilin of the Red Salt Goshien, Desora of the Musara Reyn… So many names. Sometimes he woke in the middle of the night muttering that list, with Min holding him and murmuring to him as if soothing a child. He always told her he was all right and wanted to go back to sleep, yet after he closed his eyes, he did not sleep until the list had been completed. Sometimes Lews Therin chanted it with him."
Budge
135. gagecreedlives
Ah man im so far behind. Stupid work, family and friends that get in the way of WoT reread.

I remember reading Hopper soaring with a big stupid grin on my face. And yep it made smile again reading the quote in the reread.

And if trollocs can dream does that mean Narg could of possibly of been a dreamer and new that Rand would come back home in TEotW.

And Leigh please tell me you dont have 6 fingers on your right hand?
Budge
137. Lindy
That part about Perrin considering pitching Faile over the side of the boat was great! When I read that I thought, "Oh, how many times will readers wish that he had!"
Budge
138. MarcusCRB
Just one point about Farmboys learning how to use 'non-farm' weapons (like a sword).

Rand learns to use a sword so quickly beacause LEws Therin was a Blademaster. Just as he remembers how to channel certain weaves, the more he weaves I am sure that his intensive practice with Lan in TGH helped the memory of how to sword fight flow back.

At least that's how I rationalise it and I am sticking to it!
Budge
139. Iaeldor
I believe that the dream with Perrin stepping over the cliff and saying he must do it and learn to fly refers to when he lets the wooden hedgehog ter'angreal send him entirely into Tel'aran'rhiod in an attempt to save Faile.
Budge
140. itlnoor
It is a great read. I simply enjoyed reading it. There are some parts I think I connect with, like Rand thinking he will go crazy because everyone around him thinking and making him crazy.
Budge
141. mike shupp
Belated thoughts ....

On Rand killing a woman merchant and her party... What I took from this is that he recognized a danger and acted on it before the understanding rose to his conscious mind. And in the process killed a Gray Man -- showing his actions were perfectly justified. Teh Awesome!

Actors/actresses ... for a film you'd want to make Lan's character known at once to all observers, as it is to everyone in Randland. This means an actor known and characterized by everyone in this world. Harrison Ford and Tom Cruz don't quite cut it. A young Sean Connery would, also the present Daniel Craig. I mean, "Bond. James Bond." If that doesn't have the proper resonance what does?

For Moraine ... Catherine Zeta Jones.

For the Supergirls and our three ta'veren... I've no clue. I think these should be newcomers; it's a strategy that worked well for the Harry Potter films.

For Lolial... I've no clue. John Rhys-Davies with a LOT of trick photography? Alternately, I'd go looking for some not-quite-famous opera basso.

Thom Merrilin ... Daniel Day-Lewis.

Okay, we shouldn't be doing this, but it's not as if I intruded while the main discussion was taking place.

-ms

One More Thing -- of course it would be Perrin who wandered into Moraine's bedroom while she was incompletely clad. He's part wolf, remember?
Budge
142. TwoRiversBow
I must admit, Faile is one of my favorite charachters. So much so, this is my first post (months behinds). First I love the Reread, I was roped into the WOT by my Dad who made LOTR almost mandatory. :) In support of Faile, it is because of her The Two Rivers organize with Perrin as "Lord Perrin", She has a society form around her, perhaps some of Perrin's Taveeren's but we know they are more loyal to Faile than Perrin. Yes she gets stuck with the Shaido, etc...etc...however, She is one of the strongest charachters imo, and gives Perrin perpestive other than his "poor me, i have this awesome ability to talk to wolves and visit the world of dreams...boo hoo..." p.s. Perrin is my favorite right after Mat. :)
joel perry
143. finndo
Right, so just a couple things real quick, since I am so far behind. Nynaeve's discovery of balefire, is very simple. It is her using her super healing skill to harm instead of heal… I believe that Balefire is her 5 power weave of healing used for harm instead of healing. So it only makes sense that she would know how to do it. This is the single largest (read fearful) situation she has ever been in, during her entire life and would therefore be the first time she would truly need to protect herself from something with enough fear and anger that she would need to channel this way. Granted the Seanchan were pretty freakin' scary too, but she was not angry then.

Second, on Hopper, why did he have to wait to die to learn to fly? After all he said that ALL wolves go to TAR, past, present, and future. So he has been there all along, how did HE miraculously just learn after he died?

Third, on the Aiel showing up at the same time as the SG break out, is it possible that one of the Aiel is Ta'veren? RJ said the girls are not, but does not say there are not other weak Ta'veren running around…

Fourth, I think one of the main points of RJ's writing is that COMMUNICATION is the key to life, and he shows it by having all sorts of bad things happen BECAUSE no one communicates in Randland. The few times characters do communicate well, they end up working together to accomplish something miraculous.

Fifth, there are lots of inconsistencies in RJ's writing, and it's not all "maybe he had not thought of that" I just think that he did not create a billion spreadsheets linking every event in the series to every other related incident, so any time he wrote something he cross referenced it before getting the work published. He wrote a lot on purpose, but I think he pulled somethings out of his head while he was writing and did not want to have to spend weeks researching his notes to determine if every little detail was exact for each paragraph he wrote. I also am sure that between him and his wife they re-read the manuscripts so many times in an attempt to fact check, that they eliminated more little mistakes than we could ever imagine.

I also want to mention again, that Rand refused to let Matrim kill the female darkfriend in book2, so obviously he has been anti-woman beating from the beginning. Where it went, I don't know, but it definitely comes back. But yes the woman "merchant" is where he started going all gung-ho about not killing woman, as mentioned, he keeps her at the top of his list for a very long time. Always the first one he remembers…

Right, on to Matrim being lucky… I put it 100% on him being so close to Rand, because Rand is the most Ta'veren a Ta'veren has ever been. And Rand NEEDS Matrim to be lucky. I think that with wolves being fearsome enemies of Myrdraal, Rand's NEED made Perrin what he is also. Rand may even have caused them both to "become" Ta'veren, because the pattern NEEDS Rand to survive, and he cannot survive without them.

As for actors and actresses, I will not mention any names but only bring up the point that IF Legend of the Seeker continues to do well, we may very well find a "Dragon Reborn" TV series.
Budge
144. Felix Velarius Bos
I always liked Faile, myself. I mean, she certainly wasn't my favorite character, but she always was pretty cool in my book (save for at the beginning, where she wasn't quite as likeable, to put it lightly =3). I don't know, there might've also been a Everything-Perrin-Touches-Is-Awesome factor in my opinion.
Budge
145. WolfUncle
Okay, just a thought that I've always had running through my mind as I read the books. But I've always believed (whether I was right or not) that the girls (Nyn and Eg specifically) had a touch of the Ta'veren magic about them too. Too many coincidences for me to really think otherwise...and it would just be par for the course that everybody would think it was only the boys that have that ability.
Budge
146. VandalThor
-Tavernism is measured in strength not quantity 145. They would be considered weak tavern...so weak in fact that they arent. Duh. No just kidding your ok guy. Its nice to have someone else commenting with me in the near present time.
-144 finally some one else that likes faile. So what if she is a little annoying.
-143 your post is way too long didn't make the cut less is more
-someone up there was talking about egewin being a young denise richards. That is very amusing to me for some reason. Nynaeve is like natalie portman x jeanine garaffalo, Mat is cristian slater x judd nelson x edward furlong. Perrin is the beast (x-men) x lenny (mice and men, intellects cancel) x mad max but he's italian. And Rand looks like me only he has paul neuman's eyes and maroon hair. But he doesn't have faile's chiglish insecurities to cover up
-Lady Leigh, prithee me thanks well received in kind I do hopes. May fortune be shining on your eyes one day as you recall and digest these comments and wonder.
Budge
148. Arila
Wow, finndo @ 143 I really like your balefire/healing connection there. Healing makes damage go away like it never happened, and balefire makes a whole person go away like they never happened!

I really don't understand all of the hating on the characters...I'm sort of tempted to stop reading the re-read until later (I don't think I'll be able to) so that it doesn't bleed over and ruin the re-read I've got planned for when the last book comes out. I'm going to read the last one, then do one final complete read-through, and I hope I don't find myself not enjoying myself because of tainted impressions. I always just took characters for what they were. Not everyone can be perfect, every character has to have flaws, that's what makes them interesting. If they were all perfect and omniscient, there wouldn't be much of a story, would there! So, I just go with it and enjoy, even if (as Leigh put it in one of the TGH recaps) I'm doing the whole slow-mo reaching out and yelling "NNOOOOoooooooOOOoooOoOOO!" sometimes.

Sorry for those who have said it's a silly exercise, but I really can't resist...I haven't "cast" most of the characters, but while I was watching The Office on Netflix the other day, one of the bit-parts was played by an actress named Amy Adams -made me immediately think, ELAYNE! You really need to see her in profile, because I think her nose is just as I imagined it.

Also, I don't like any of your suggestions for Lan. In my mental picture of him, he's larger than life. He needs to be bulkier than any of the people mentioned so far, but more serious than any beefy actors I can think of (Right now, that's only...The Rock, who doesn't fit AT ALL). So, as big as The Rock, as ruggedly handsome as Harrison Ford...But also has that dark, loner, brooding look about him.

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