Mar 27 2009 10:17am
The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Shadow Rising, Part 3

Happy Friday, guys and gals. It’s Wheel of Time Re-read time, time and time again, time. Now it doesn’t look like a word anymore, does it? Mwhahaha.

I give you The Shadow Rising, Part 3, in which we will be covering slightly fewer chapters than previously advertised, because the flu sucks. So, Chapters 9-12, which oughta tide youse guys over for now.

Previous entries are here, in our ever-burgeoning Index. These and all other posts in this blog series contain massive spoilers for all currently published books in the Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, don’t read.

And I think that about brings us up to speed, eh? So, let’s be getting on to it, shall we?

Chapter 9: Decisions

What Happens
Three days pass in a heat wave that makes everyone in Tear sluggish except, ironically, the people not native to the city. Mat discovers he was right about the Tairen lords avoiding him after the playing card incident, and additionally some of the formerly friendly maidservants are staying away from him too. Thom and Perrin seem to be wrapped up in their own affairs, and the one person Mat wishes would avoid him, Moiraine, seems to always be popping up at odd moments in his vicinity. Once he goes down to the Great Holding to look at the doorway ter’angreal Egwene had told him about, but is spooked and leaves after only a few minutes. Mat takes to hanging out in dangerous waterfront taverns; Perrin sees him there often, being unusually irritable and reckless, but does not have time to deal with him. Perrin is searching for rumors that will entice Faile away from the Stone, but he is not having much luck thus far; most of what he hears is outdated, garbled versions of things he had been there for, and the rest – rumors of riots in Ghealdan, madness in Illian, famine in Cairhien – sounds more dangerous than staying in Tear. In addition, he can’t tell her where he’s been going, because she would be sure to ask why, and she has taken to giving him long, silent stares.

Egwene and Nynaeve continue to interrogate Amico and Joiya, with little result; no word has come from Tar Valon, and though this does not seem to trouble Moiraine, Egwene frets over it, as she frets over whether Tanchico is a trap or not. Aviendha has taken to visiting with Egwene, and despite her wariness over Egwene being Aes Sedai (or so she believes), they are becoming friends, often giggling together like girls. Aviendha does not understand why Elayne (or Egwene on Elayne’s behalf) has not done “something drastic” to Berelain; in her mind, since none of them are wedded to the spear there is nothing barring them from doing so. Nynaeve spends her time walking with Lan, and trying to cook him things, and Elayne arranges to be present whenever Rand has a spare moment, to walk and talk and more often than not grab a moment or two in a secluded nook somewhere. She is uncomfortable at first with the Aiel guards that always trail them everywhere, but soon enters into a kind of conspiracy with the Maidens to find out of the way places, which they regard as great sport. To her surprise, Rand often asks her about matters of state, and pays close attention to her replies, and she thinks she could have loved him for that alone. When Rand is not with Elayne, he issues orders to the High Lords, and pops in to secret meetings that Thom had tipped him off about. He knows he has to find an outlet for them before they turn on him, but he refuses to consider Moiraine’s notion of starting a war. Although she is right that he could not react to the Forsaken, but rather make them react to him, and he worries that he is putting off making his decision because of Elayne:

Three days of stolen kisses, when he could forget he was anything but a man with his arms around a woman. He knew it for a foolish reason, if true. He was relieved she did not seem to want more than his company, but in those moments alone he could forget decisions, forget the fate awaiting the Dragon Reborn.

On the evening of the third day, Rand is in his chambers with Meilan and Sunamon, where he tosses the treaty draft they gave him back in their faces, infuriated that they had used his idea to send grain to Illian to try and land two thousand troops led by Torean on Mayene soil. Meilan says smoothly that Torean has interests in Mayene.

“He has an interest in forcing his attentions on a woman who won’t look at him!” Rand shouted. “Grain for ships, I said! No soldiers. And certainly no bloody Torean! Have you even spoken to Berelain?”

They blinked at him as if they did not understand the words. It was too much. He snatched at saidin; the vellum in Meilan’s arms erupted into flame. With a yell, Meilan hurled the fiery bundle into the bare fireplace and hurriedly brushed at sparks and scorch marks on his red silk coat. Sunamon stared at the burning sheets, which were crackling and turning black, with his mouth hanging open.

Rand tells them, suddenly quiet, that if they do not bring Berelain exactly the treaty he told them to, he will hang them both, and then throws them out. After, Rand is not sure if he’s more disgusted with them or with himself. He looks at the herons branded on his palms, and, referring to the verse in the Prophecies, wonders why Dragons are necessary as well. And what exactly was a Dragon, anyway? He supposes it could be the creature on the banner, but he doesn’t know for sure.

“You are changed from when I last saw you. Stronger. Harder.”

Rand spins, and sees Selene standing by the door. He hurries to her, asking how she got here. He thinks that she is still the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, but her presence doesn’t seem to affect him the same as before. Selene frowns and says that he has been marked, but no matter; he is hers, and she will lay claim to what is hers openly now. Rand is confused, but tells her gently that there was never anything but companionship between them. She smiles.

“Selene is only a name I sometimes use, Lews Therin. The name I made my own is Lanfear.”

Rand laughs uncertainly, taking this for a poor joke at first, but then, staring at her face, reaches for saidin, and finds himself blocked. He backs away, toward Callandor, but hits an invisible wall, and Lanfear tells him she cannot trust him yet, and certainly not with Callandor. He growls for her to stop calling him “Lews Therin”, and she laughs and says that is who he is, even though physically nothing is the same except the height. She asks if he would like to see her true appearance, and Rand thinks of the way Aginor and Balthamel looked at the Eye, but she shimmers and reappears as much the same, only more mature, and even more beautiful if possible. She is pleased at his reaction, and says the time for subterfuge is past. He asks if she means to kill him, then.

“Kill you?” she spat incredulously. “Kill you! I mean to have you, forever. You were mine long before that pale-haired milksop stole you. Before she ever saw you. You loved me!”

“And you loved power!” For a moment he felt dazed. The words sounded true—he knew they were true—but where had they come from?

Lanfear is startled too, but recovers and tells him he has learned fast, but not fast enough. Soon the others will come for him, but there are those who could teach him. Rand asks incredulously, she wants one of the Forsaken to teach him? He’d refuse even if such a thing was offered. She tells him that the reason the Forsaken fear him is because they worry that the Great Lord will place him over them; the Great Lord told her he would exalt Rand over all other men. Rand scoffs, saying the Dark One can’t be free, and Lanfear counters that nonetheless, if you go to Shayol Ghul, you can bathe in his presence, and she looks ecstatic at the memory. She tells him that the Great Lord requires that he bend his knee only once, and then will be free to rule as he wishes. With Asmodean to teach him, and her at his side, they can destroy all the others, and rule under the Great Lord together, forever.

Her voice dropped to a whisper, equal parts eagerness and fear. “Two great sa’angreal were made just before the end, one that you can use, one that I can. Far greater than that sword. Their power is beyond imagining. With those, we could challenge even... the Great Lord himself. Even the Creator!”

Rand tells her she’s mad, and refuses. She considers, and tells him she could take him with her, see him turned to the Shadow whatever he wants. He tries again to reach for saidin, and searches the room for a weapon, to no avail. She says to herself she won’t take him; she wants him to come of his own free will. As she’s speaking Rand realizes that he saw a man slipping in the door with a knife; he pushes her out of the way and reaches for saidin, and the shield blocking him disappears and lets him. He calls up his fire sword and dispatches the Gray Man, then looks at Lanfear and says this makes no sense, for her to have sent a Gray Man when she could have killed him easily. Lanfear replies that she does not use the Soulless, and it seems she came a day late. She asks if he means to try to kill her now, after she let him loose to defend himself.

Her voice, her stance, said she expected an attack, or at the very least was ready to counter it, but that was not what stopped him, any more than her loosing the bonds in the first place. She was one of the Forsaken; she had served evil so long she made a Black sister look like a newborn babe. Yet he saw a woman. He called himself nine kinds of fool, but he could not do it. Maybe if she tried to kill him. Maybe. But all she did was stand there, watching, waiting.

Suddenly he realizes that there was no sound from the Aiel who should be guarding the doors, and asks Lanfear harshly what she did to them. She tells him not to go out there, but he ignores her, and throws the door open to a scene of madness.


Sigh. Lanfear. Still crazier than a sack of syphilitic weasels, I see. And Rand won’t kill her. Of course, he might not have survived trying, at this stage, but still. Rigid code of ethics for the Lose! The worst part is that she takes his hesitation as proof that he Wuvs her, when really it’s his blanket hangup about hurting women in general – at least I think it is.

And you know, it’s not that I want to disparage a lack of desire to victimize women, far from it, but the problem with this whole equality thing is that ideally there can’t be a double standard either way – meaning whether in the opposite party’s favor or not. Of course, the problem with that is the incredibly unpleasant reality that physically, at least, women in general are weaker than men, and therefore you run into the minefield of whether equality in this respect is actually, well, equalizing, or whether it just puts the advantage right back in the man’s court. This is an ugly knotty problem in the real world, which we are not going to solve here.

In this particular fictional scenario, however, the point really ought to be moot. Considered strictly from a strength standpoint and leaving out all other factors, Lanfear is supposed to be the second-most powerful channeler ever, male or female. Not to mention that whole thing about having about three thousand years of training and experience on Rand. So even leaving aside the fact that she’s, you know, completely frickin’ evil, she cannot by any sane measure be considered the weaker party here.

But of course, Rand’s Thing about not hurting women is not (in my opinion) connected to anything remotely so logical as a desire not to hurt people weaker than he is. Which is sort of a good thing, since technically that includes just about everyone, especially later on, but it’s also frustrating because it’s the kind of kneejerk cultural imperative that is impossible to reason with because of its very lack of reasonable motive. It’s a tautology: you don’t hurt women because they’re women, and you don’t hurt women. It’s the kind of ethics that seem noble on the surface but are almost contemptible once examined in any depth. Probably because they have none. There’s no virtue in happening to do a right thing if you don’t even examine why it’s worth doing - or that there might be cases where it might not be worth doing.

And to add insult to stupidity, it’s a stance that takes away any consideration of the woman in question as an individual, leaving you right back where you don’t want to be – judged solely by your gender instead of as a human being.

You want ideal? I say, you should decide not to hurt me because I don’t deserve to be hurt, not because I happen to have a vagina. So don’t hurt me, and TAKE DOWN THE EVIL MURDERING PSYCHO TALKING TO YOU, mmkay?

Sigh. Anyway. Here, whose soap box is this?

(This is not to imply, by the way, that I think this indicates bad writing on Jordan’s part. The precise reason Rand’s binary approach to ethics is so frustrating is because there are so many real people who are just like him, on this front at least.)

Moving on, we also have here a rather momentous event that, like the first time Rand channeled in TEOTW, I completely missed the first time around – namely, the first very subtle appearance of Lews Therin. Or at least one of his memories. And so it begins, y’all.

The earlier part of the chapter is interesting, in that it’s the first time the narrative jumps from POV to POV without indicating the shift by a line break. In three pages we go from Mat to Perrin to Egwene to Elayne to Rand without a pause. I’m not going to go so far as to say it breaks the rules, because really the author can manage point of view however he wants as long as the reader can follow it, but it is certainly inconsistent with how command of the camera (to borrow the cinematic term for the same thing) has been handled prior to this.

Chapter 10: The Stone Stands

What Happens
Rand finds the Aiel guards dead, tangled with the corpses of three more Gray Men, and sees beyond them the Defenders in the anteroom fighting desperately against Trollocs and a Myrddraal. The Fade kills two men in one move, and Rand shouts at it to draw its attention, and leaps to engage, ignoring the shout of “Fool!” he hears from behind him. He fights the Fade, almost losing, before slicing its head off; the Trollocs all go down with the Fade. The surviving Defenders finish off the Trollocs, and stare at Rand uncertainly. More fighting noises come from the corridor, and Rand tells the men to follow him; after a moment, they obey, taking up his call that “The Stone stands!” Rand quickly finds corpses littering the hallways, and then isolated pitched battles all over the place, Trollocs fighting Aiel, or Defenders, or both; at one point he actually sees Trollocs fighting other Trollocs. Rand plunges in, losing some men, gaining others, until none of his original group is still with him. He sees Moiraine and Lan fighting Trollocs, but is swept away by another attack before he can do anything. Soon after he finds himself alone, and is taken by surprise by three Trollocs; he kills one, but slips and is almost brained by one of the others, only to be saved by a fourth Trolloc, who splits Rand’s attacker’s skull open, snarls at Rand, and runs off. Rand is dumbfounded, and even more so when he sees down a corridor two Fades fighting each other. Suddenly Lanfear appears, telling him he wastes time with that silly sword, when he could kill them all with one stroke. Rand demands to know if she sent the Trolloc that saved him, and she decides not to take credit, lest he expect it again; “the others” do not know where she stands, and she prefers it that way. She will not aid him openly.

“Expect your aid?” he growled. “You want me to turn to the Shadow. You can’t make me forget what you are with soft words.” He channeled, and she slammed against a wall hanging hard enough to make her grunt. He held her there, spread-eagled over a woven hunting scene, feet off the floor and snowy gown spread out and flattened. How had he blocked Egwene and Elayne? He had to remember.

Suddenly he flew across the hallway to crash into the wall opposite Lanfear, pressed there like an insect by something that barely allowed him to breathe.

Lanfear appeared to have no trouble breathing. “Whatever you can do, Lews Therin, I can do. And better.”

Calmly, she asks him where Callandor is; back up in his bedchamber, while he runs around down here. What if Sammael is here, and takes it? He struggles against the flows holding him, to no avail, until she suddenly lets him go. He looks at her, still pinned to the wall, and tries to decide whether to leave her there, until she takes the decision from him and severs his flows, dropping to the floor. He gasps that she can’t do that, and she smiles and reminds him about Callandor. He hesitates a moment more, then runs through the Stone, not stopping to fight, not even when he sees Perrin and Faile fighting back to back in a corridor. He reaches his bedchamber and finds Callandor right where he left it, but now is reluctant to take it up. Slowly, he picks it up. He turns to see a Fade at the door, looking at Callandor, and as it turns to flee, he turns it into ashes in a second.

Rand was not even aware he had channeled until it was done; he could not have said what he had done if his life had depended upon it. But nothing could threaten his life while he held Callandor. The Power throbbed in him like the heartbeat of the world. With Callandor in his hands, he could do anything.

He heads back into the Stone, incinerating every Shadowspawn he sees. Soon he is running, but it is still not fast enough. He has to do something else. Without understanding what he is doing, he creates a concentrated swirling vortex of Power over his head.

Now. The thought floated like cackling laughter on the rim of his awareness. He severed the flows rushing out of him, leaving the thing still whirling, whining like a drill on bone. Now.

And the lightnings came, flashing out along the ceiling left and right like silver streams. A Myrddraal stepped out of a side corridor, and before it could take a second step half a dozen flaring streaks stabbed down, blasting it apart. The other streams flowed on, fanning down every branching of the corridor, replaced by more and more erupting every second.

Rand feels the lightning killing every Trolloc and Myrddraal in the Stone, and thinks that with Callandor he could kill all the Shadowspawn in the world, except that it would kill him to do so. As the lightnings fade, he sees Moiraine standing there, shocked. Lan comes up behind her, and she holds up a hand, warning him not to go closer to Rand. She asks if he is all right, and Rand sees the corpse of a young girl nearby, and is overcome with grief that he didn’t save her in time. Moiraine tells him there is nothing he can do for the child, but Rand tells her he can do anything with Callandor, and channels at the body, trying to Heal it, or reanimate it. Moiraine tells him death cannot be Healed, and he is not the Creator; finally he gives up, and lets saidin go. He asks if the others are all right, and Moiraine assures him that they are. He asks how the Trollocs got in, and Lan explains that they were hidden in grain barges that docked at the Stone. Rand’s knees buckle, and Moiraine takes his head in her hands and washes away his fatigue. He tells her that Lanfear was here, and did not try to kill him, nor he her, and then observes that Moiraine does not seem surprised. Moiraine replies that little is known about Lanfear, except that she loved Lews Therin Telamon; Moiraine does not think Lanfear will try to kill Rand as long as she thinks to get that love back.

It was nearly enough to make him laugh. He had always felt guilty for looking at any woman besides Egwene, and Egwene did not want him, but the Daughter-Heir of Andor wanted to kiss him, at least, and one of the Forsaken claimed to love him. Nearly enough for laughter, but not quite. Lanfear seemed jealous of Elayne; that pale-haired milksop, she had called her. Madness. All madness.

Rand starts to walk away, and tells Moiraine “Tomorrow”. She asks what that means, and he tells her that tomorrow, he will tell her what he’s going to do.

Yeah, I don’t think after reading this that there is any doubt Jordan intended the flaw in Callandor from the beginning. I guess that’s one way of keeping your All-Powerful Magical Thingummy from ruining the plot; if Rand could just use Callandor any old time he wanted, well, the books would be shorter, but also way more boring.

I originally thought that Callandor was another plot device that went off the rails in the same way as the Eye of the World. It’s built up so much in TDR, and then Rand finally gets it and kicks ass with it… and then basically throws it in a safe for four books. But then I consider what happens when Rand finally does try to use it again in The Path of Daggers, and I don’t know. For one thing, at least Callandor does show up again, unlike the Eye, and it’s not like Jordan couldn’t have realized from the start that he was going to have to put some kind of limitation on it. So, contrived? A little, maybe. But I’ll go with it, I guess.

Lanfear: all other issues with Rand’s, uh, issues aside, I don’t blame him at all for being ten times more freaked out to find that a Forsaken is in love with him than finding out that a Forsaken wants to kill him. At least the latter makes some kind of sense.

We find out later that some of the Trollocs were one Forsaken’s, and some were another Forsaken’s sent to head off the first Forsaken at the pass, and I know we find out who they are, but I can’t remember at the moment for sure – I think Semirhage sent the “rescue” Trollocs, foiling Sammael’s henchmen? – but I can’t remember why, and I’m not even sure I’m right, so I’m just going to go “blah blah blah office politics”, and wait and see.

Chapter 11: What Lies Hidden

What Happens
Egwene puts the dream ring ter’angreal down on the nightstand beside her bed, thinking that she had to try entering Tel’aran’rhiod without it some time, and this was as good a time as any. Elayne and Nynaeve are sitting in the room, trying not to look nervous, and Aviendha is there too, fully armed this time. Egwene can’t blame her after what had happened earlier that night; she still doesn’t know whether she was more frightened by the attack or whatever Rand had done to end it. She also thinks it wasn’t fair that she couldn’t have seen the flows he used. Nynaeve asks if she is certain she wants to try this without the ring, and Egwene is sure. Aviendha suggests that maybe one of the others could use the ring to go with her, then, but Nynaeve explains that none of them know enough about the Dreamworld to risk it yet. Egwene thinks of the dangers of Tel’aran’rhiod, and also about the ter’angreal that they had recovered from Amico and Joiya: an iron disc engraved with a spiral, and a plaque of a clear amber-like material with a sleeping woman carved in the middle. Both allowed you to enter Tel’aran’rhiod by channeling a flow of Spirit into them; Elayne had confirmed this by trying them both briefly. Egwene is terrified of the idea of going into Tel’aran’rhiod when the rest of Liandrin’s thirteen might be waiting there for her, using the other ter’angreal they had, but they were out of time; they had to decide what to do about Tanchico, and this seemed the only way to find out more. She examines a map of the interior of the Panarch’s Palace which she had found in a book, and boggles again at the sketch of a skeleton that was supposed to be on display there, which shows it to be twice her height and with a skull large enough for a child to fit into, and what appears to be four eyesockets. There can’t be anything else like it in the world, and Egwene intends to use it to get to the Panarch’s Palace in Tel’aran’rhiod. She lies down, and thinks about her own dreams for a moment before drifting off.

Egwene gasps; the skeleton is even larger in person than she had thought. She embraces saidar, just in case, and laughs at what she’s wearing: Aiel garb, but in red brocaded satin. She fiddles with her outfit for a moment, at one point accidentally making herself naked for a few seconds, and settles for a copy of the dresses Faile always wears. She thinks to herself that she knows so few of the rules to this place, and she had better learn if she wants to be the Tower’s first Dreamer since Corianin Nedeal. She begins examining the displays in the chamber:

A weathered stone figurine of a woman, seemingly unclothed but wrapped in hair that fell to her ankles, was outwardly no different from the others sharing its case, each not much bigger than her hand. But it gave an impression of soft warmth that she recognized. It was an angreal, she was sure; she wondered why the Tower had not managed to get it away from the Panarch. A finely jointed collar and two bracelets of dull black metal, on a stand by themselves, made her shiver; she felt darkness and pain associated with them—old, old pain, and sharp. A silvery thing in another cabinet, like a three pointed star inside a circle, was made of no substance she knew; it was softer than metal, scratched and gouged, yet even older than any of the ancient bones. From ten paces she could sense pride and vanity.

Then she notices the upper half of a broken figurine lying in a cabinet, a woman with a serene face holding up a crystal sphere in one hand; it seems to call to her. Egwene picks it up.

As her hand grasped it, the Power surged within her, into the half figure then back into her, into the figure and back, in and back. The crystal sphere flickered in fitful, lurid flashes, and needles stabbed her brain with each flash. With a sob of agony, she loosed her hold and clasped both hands to her head.

The figurine shatters on the floor. Egwene thinks it must be a ter’angreal, but why would it hurt her like that? She concludes that maybe it’s because it’s broken. When she looks again, the shattered figure on the floor is gone and the statuette is back on the shelf as before. She tells herself this is not why she’s here, and heads out of the chamber. Tel’aran’rhiod is empty of human life, of course, except for a man she sees briefly dressed in gilded armor and calling to a lover before disappearing. She exits the Palace, musing about what Aviendha had said, that the Wise Ones knew how to read dreams, and between one step and another is suddenly somewhere else, an arid desert-like land. There is a lion there, watching an Aiel woman hunt a boar, and Egwene realizes her thoughts had sent her to the Aiel Waste. The Aiel woman freezes, looking at Egwene, and thinking she must be like the man in the armor from before, in Tel’aran’rhiod by accident, Egwene dismisses her and concentrates on the Panarch’s Palace, winding up in front of the elephant skeleton again. She leaves the Palace and begins searching the city, not really knowing what she was looking for, frustrated by all the strange things she sees but does not understand; she thinks maybe a Wise One would know, and is abruptly back in the Waste again. She screams and falls down as the boar leaps over her, and scrambles back up and sees the Aiel woman watching her, with a spear ready to throw. To try to soothe her, Egwene changes her outfit to Aiel clothes and tells the woman she means her no harm. The Aiel frowns and tells her she has no right to wear cadin’sor, and suddenly Egwene is naked. In disbelief, Egwene pulls on saidar and clothes herself, and makes the Aiel woman’s clothes disappear while she’s at it. The Aiel woman is shocked, and lets the spear lower, and Egwene seizes the opportunity to send herself back to Tanchico, determined not to be pulled off her path again.

She did hesitate, though. Just as she had closed her eyes it had seemed she saw another woman, beyond the Aiel woman, watching them both. A golden haired woman holding a silver bow. You are letting wild fancies take you, now. You’ve been listening to too many of Thom Merrilin’s stories. Brigitte was long dead; she could not come again until the Horn of Valere called her back from the grave. Dead women, even heroes of legend, surely could not dream themselves into Tel’aran’rhiod.

Back out in the city again, she sees a woman who has dreamed herself into Tel’aran’rhiod briefly take to the air and fly, and Egwene grins and tries it herself, swooping through the city gleefully until it occurs to her what a spectacle of herself she’s making, if any of the Black Ajah happen to be looking for her. She floats just above street level instead, until a woman suddenly appears in front of her, in a brown skirt and white blouse, and barks at her to put her feet on the ground, which abruptly they are. She realizes this is the same woman as before, just older, and says so. The woman looks a little embarrassed, and says you can be what you wish to be here. Then she asks if Egwene is from the White Tower, and introduces herself as Amys, of the Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel.

“You are a Wise One? You are! And you know dreams, you know Tel’aran’rhiod! You can... My name is Egwene. Egwene al’Vere. I...” She took a deep breath; Amys did not look a woman to lie to. “I am Aes Sedai. Of the Green Ajah.”

Amys asks what she is doing here, and what city this is; Egwene wonders how Amys found her if she didn’t even know what city this is, but tells her it is Tanchico, and she is hunting Black Ajah, Darkfriends. Amys whispers it is true then, there is an Ajah of Shadowrunners in the Tower. She tells Egwene that she is clueless and arrogant to be here, and could get herself killed; she does not even know that something evil is killing this Tanchico, does she? Egwene says that could be them, and offers to describe the women to Amys; Amys tells her that she must learn first, and Amys cannot teach her here:

“Come to the Three-fold Land. I will have the word spread through the clans that an Aes Sedai called Egwene al’Vere is to be brought to me at Cold Rocks Hold. Give your name and show your Great Serpent ring, and you will have safe running. I am not there now, but I will return from Rhuidean before you can arrive.”

Egwene starts to ask more, but something snatches her away, Amys’ voice following her, telling her she must come and learn.

Pride and vanity, ha ha, clever clever.

Sad Bracelets: Very Purloined Letter of Jordan, making them the first thing Egwene sees (and therefore dismisses). And also like Poe’s letter, the Sad Bracelets will turn out to be one of the most MacGuffin-y MacGuffins in WOT, since to date, unlike most other Magical Thingummys in the series, the bracelets never even get used; all they are is a reason to get the Girls to Tanchico (and later, Domon to Ebou Dar).

The quote above on Birgitte bothers me, because it makes it seem like Egwene doesn’t know that the Horn of Valere was blown in Falme, which she totally does. I mean, she’d better, considering she and the Girls (and Verin, and Mat, and Hurin) schlepped it across half of Randland afterwards. Even if no one happened to mention Birgitte being there specifically, the quote’s still weird.

Wise Ones: Sigh. Here we go. At least Rhuidean will be fun.

Chapter 12: Tanchico or the Tower

What Happens
Elayne is very relieved when Egwene wakes up, and tells her that they had been shaking her, but she would not wake up. Nynaeve returns the water pitcher, which she had been about to dump over Egwene, to the stand, and says that if the Dreamworld can hold on to her like that, maybe it isn’t safe to go; they cannot risk Egwene getting lost. Egwene replies meekly that she knows, and Elayne’s eyebrows shoot up. She tells them about Amys, and asks Aviendha if she knows her. Reluctantly, Aviendha says Amys is a Wise One and a dreamwalker, and was Far Dareis Mai before she went to Rhuidean; Egwene comments that she said she was there now, and asks if Aviendha knows how to get to Cold Rocks Hold.

“Of course. Cold Rocks is Rhuarc’s hold. Rhuarc is Amys’s husband. I visit there, sometimes. I used to. My sister-mother, Lian, is sister-wife to Amys.”

The others are confused, and Aviendha explains that “sister-wife” means you have the same husband, and then is surprised at their reaction.

“This is not your custom?” the Aiel woman asked.

“No,” Egwene said faintly. “No, it is not.”

“But you and Elayne care for one another as first-sisters. What would you have done had one of you been unwilling to step aside for Rand al’Thor? Fight over him? Let a man damage the ties between you? Would it not have been better if you both had married him, then?”

Elayne and Egwene look at each other, red-cheeked, and Elayne thinks again of Min’s jokes, and catches herself thinking that if it had to be someone, why couldn’t it have been Egwene? Flustered, she covers by remarking to Aviendha that it sounds like the man has no choice in the matter. Aviendha explains that the man can refuse, of course, but if he wants to marry one he must marry both. She is also astounded that in the wetlands a man can ask a woman to marry him; in the Waste, only women ask. Egwene changes the subject back to Amys, and tells them that she thinks she has to go to the Waste while Elayne and Nynaeve go to Tanchico. Nynaeve is astounded, but Egwene explains that really learning how to use Tel’aran’rhiod is too good an advantage to lose, and if Elayne and Nynaeve take the dream ring with them, they can still communicate in the Dreamworld. It’s not like she would be abandoning them, right? Nynaeve recovers and tells her of course not; training is what she needs, and she and Elayne will be fine on their own. She asks Aviendha to take good care of Egwene in the Waste, but before Aviendha can say anything, Moiraine enters and announces that Joiya and Amico are dead. Nynaeve asks if that was the purpose of the attack, then, and Moiraine says perhaps not the main one, but it was no ordinary assassin; the guards never saw anyone enter or leave the dungeon, but found the two women with their throats slit and their tongues nailed to the door. She doesn’t think even Gray Men could have managed that; she doesn’t know what could. Moiraine then continues that she hopes they have made a decision by now on where they are going; Nynaeve informs her that she and Elayne are going to Tanchico by ship, and Egwene and Aviendha are going to Cold Rocks Hold, in the Waste. She does not explain why, and Moiraine’s eyebrows rise, but Aviendha pipes up and says that Jolien or one of the other Maidens can take Egwene instead; she would prefer to go to Tanchico. Egwene tries not to be hurt by this, and Elayne is rather shocked, but Moiraine interrupts to tell Aviendha that she is going to neither place, actually, and pulls out a letter.

“This was placed in my hand an hour gone. The young Aielman who brought it told me it was given to him a month ago, before any of us reached Tear, yet it is addressed to me by name, at the Stone of Tear.” She glanced at the last sheet. “Aviendha, do you know Amys, of the Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel; Bair, of the Haido sept of the Shaarad Aiel; Melaine, of the Jhirad sept of the Goshien Aiel; and Seana, of the Black Cliff sept of the Nakai Aiel? They signed it.”

Tensely, Aviendha says they are all Wise Ones, and dreamwalkers, and Moiraine says perhaps that explains it. She tells them that the letter says that a “willful girl” named Aviendha must be brought to them on the slopes of Chaendaer, above Rhuidean. Moiraine also comments that these Wise Ones throw orders about as if they were the Amyrlin Seat, and Elayne notes that something about the letter has definitely irritated the Aes Sedai. Aviendha angrily declares that she is Far Dareis Mai, and goes where she wishes, but Moiraine says she showed the letter to Rhuarc, who seems sure that she will go whether she wants to or not. Aviendha storms out, and Elayne says at least she and Egwene can go together, since it makes no sense to go to Cold Rocks Hold when Amys is at this Rhuidean. Moiraine tells Nynaeve that if she and Elayne want a fast ship, there is a Sea Folk raker in port at the moment; Nynaeve grudgingly acknowledges thanks for the information. Elayne asks Moiraine what Rand is going to do now, and Moiraine replies they will all find out tomorrow.

I’m going to mostly leave the whole “sister-wife” thing alone, for now. As a general concept, my problems with polygamy are far more logistical than moral, but seeing as Jordan did not see fit to provide us with a culture that practices both polygyny and polyandry, the sexist implications are difficult to avoid, however unintentional they may be, and I’ve already filled my quota on gender politics commentary for the week.

…Which is too bad, because otherwise there’s not a whole lot to say about this chapter, except Hi, Slayer! Thanks for the Saw moment!

Stopping point is now! Come back Monday for the totally awesomely fabulous continuation of this here re-read, covering Chapters 13-16 of TSR. I think. My schedule’s a little flummoxed right now, so that may not be correct. We Shall See. Till, then, happy weekend!

1. laframboise
Eesh - I'm not sure, but I think there might be a reference later on - just an offhand remark that there is indeed some polyandry among the Aiel. I'll have to go hunting for the passage when I get home to the books, I guess.
Leigh Butler
2. leighdb

Really? See, cause that would make me very happy, actually.
Christopher Key
3. Artanian
The Aiel are a warrior culture, where all the men are warriors, but only a fraction of the women are. As such, unless the death rate among the men is smaller than the fraction of the women who become Far Dareis Maim you're going to have lots of unmarried women, unless you have polygamy, and in non-modern societies that just doesn't tend to happen. The cultural pressures are going to push things that way.

There's no sexism here, as such, and getting grumpy about it is just looking for something to get grumpy about. "Oh my, women and men are different and have different roles. Sexism. Run away, run away."
4. Jamie Bowden
The Sad Bracelets show up again in KoD. Semirhage has them and several copies (along with a few a'dam) with her when taken at the meeting where Rand loses his hand. Nyneave gets all upset in her head at Egeanin over it since she and Domon were supposed to send them to the bottom of the ocean.
mark Proctor
5. mark-p
I guess in away Aeil polygamy can be explained because they are a warrior society. While they do have female warriors they are a minority so there probably far more young men killed than young women.
But I also vaguely remember a reference to polyandry somewhere. (but it could have been somewhere else entirely maybe that land the other side of the waste or a different book)

Thanks for pointing out it was slayer what done it. I was thinking it was a fade.
Leigh Butler
6. leighdb
Jamie Bowden @4:

Yes, but do they get used?
7. CJB
I don't recall any cases of polyandry amongst the Aiel, but Myrelle is rumoured to have married all of her warders (pre Lan at least).

It's not outright confirmed, but if I'm recalling correctly, Myrelle is Ebou Dari and when in TAR there were glimpses of multiple marriage knives.
8. Karakes
Myrelle has quite a few husbands.

As it stands polygamy makes more sense culturally because while one man can impregnate many women simultaneously (ok not at the same time) a woman can only be made pregnant for one man every 9 months.
Lannis .
9. Lannis
RE: polyandry: we've still got Shara sitting to the East of the Waste, with only the barebones of description--k, maybe more in the BBoBA, but I don't have it sitting here. Anyhow, my point is that there's still a lot of area that could be filled in... perhaps polyandry is practiced there? Maybe the Aiel adopted the polygamy outlook after a sneak peek into Shara... just a thought.

BTW, anybody taking bets on whether the people of Shara will be showing up at TG? Or did they get a Get Out of Jail Free card and get to bypass all the ugly?

Leigh: great reread, and fabulous timing for the gender politics/polyandry can of worms you just opened by not opening. You're *really* trying to keep us busy over the weekend, eh? ;)
10. hoping to be of the blood
I remember thinking during my first read that maybe Lanfear wasn’t ‘completely frickin evil’ and maybe that since she could feel love for LTT, however twisted, she could be redeemed and would somehow come over to Rand rather than Rand going to the shadow for her. At least, her feelings for LTT would cause her to hesitate at a significant moment in the Last Battle that would turn the tide for Rand. Perhaps I am too heavily influenced by Star Wars. She was very peeved with Rand at the docks in tFOH. Certainly, she deserves the final death. I don’t know if her present incarnation has the same obsession with LTT or if Lanfear will reemerge as a personality to have this role later.

Rand has certainly come a long way and is now quite dangerous and confident about his abilities. He rescues some of the frightened Defenders from the Fade using the same words as Ingtar in tGH, “Try me, Fade.” An homage given to a darkfriend who turned to the light.

Lan’s knowledge about how the Trollocs accessed the Stone seemed premature. When did he get this intel?It seemed like a clumsy plot device – but I nitpick.

Totally missed the Mercedes Benz symbol, very funny
Blake Engholm
11. UncrownedKing
I am 60-75 % positive that the Trollocs that fought the other Trollocs, which ended up saving Rand, were sent by LAnfear. If I remember right it is later dicussed between LAnnie and Asmodean towards the end of the book. or it might have been in early TFoH

P.s. I have reached the Bowl of Winds/ Mat+Tylin part of Crown of Swords.... God protect my SyFy soul. lol
12. Darth Touma
I remember refences in TSR to Bair having had buried 3 husbands and not minding if she had another.. but it sounded to me more like she outlived them all and re-married than a multiple marriage..
Helen Cousins
13. naath.sedai
I find it interesting that whilst the Aiel are generally polygynous, which is often a very sexist structure, that it is Aiel custom that the women choose which men to marry and also it seems that it is the women who decide to be sister-wives (I had the impression that the women would go to the men as a set and say "all or nothing" basically, not got a quote on that though). Seems somewhat less sexist.

Also, since many Aiel men are warriors and few Aiel women are one would expect that the sex ratio of adult Aiel would skew female; which would be a pressure towards polygyny.
14. litg
A conundrum for you, Leigh. I direct your attention to the part where Lanfear looks at Rand's forehead, frowns, and then comments that he's been "marked, but no matter."

Now I direct your attention to the end of the Great Hunt where the (supposedly) self-same Lanfear draws the dragon's fang on unconscious-Rand's forehead in front of Min (this causes him to stir, as if she did more to him than just trace her finger across his head) and says that she marks him as hers.

So I ask you, who was impersonating Lanfear in the Great Hunt? (hint, I do have an answer, or at least a theory.)

Also, the trollocs sent to save Rand were indeed sent by Semirhage, because the Great Lord ordered her to. No other reason is ever given, even from Semi's POV.
15. anotherfan
Artanian, I agree. I'm kinda tired of all the harping on sexism and inequality stuff.

While I really enjoy the reread for the most part, please get over this issue. Jordan created another world. In that world there are cultures to enjoy. Don't treat them like you're superior.

Hey Leigh, I would venture to guess that there is a wide spetrum of different people following this reread. Younger and older. Christian, Athiest, Humanist, Agnostic, Islamic, Wichan... We can all come together in enjoying the books and the reread. Thanks for being a part of that.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and ask that you watch some of the language in the post. Respect people as you would want to be respected. I don't think anyone would be offended if you stopped using curse-words in your post. (You have a great sense of humor without going there.) But I'm probably not the only one who would appreciate less vulgarity. That wouldn't take away from the quality of your work. It would be a sign of respect for others.

For the most part this is a great reread. You're bringing out things I haven't thought of or had forgotten. andI love the links you put in for extra reading. That's insightful. Good stuff.
Chris Maurer
16. grayfox
anotherfan @ 15:

I, for one, enjoy the occasional curse word here and there...

You have the choice to read or not read the vulgarity.

Leigh, I'm glad you're feeling better!
17. JoeW
I have to say, Leigh, I've enjoyed the summaries and the lit crit. I've enjoyed your sense of humor. I've got a bad feeling that what's becoming a rant about equality, gender issues, etc. is only going to become more prevalent. Presenting your opinion without any defense (and these summaries aren't long enough for a serious defense, of course) is as bad as the absolute statements you've been railing against.

Can we get back to insightful, funny Leigh? I really loved reading her work. (And I was even getting all the obscure pop culture references. So keep 'em coming!)
Dale Metzger
18. Metzg31
The question that comes to my mind with this segment is, ''Did both sets of Trollocs come in on grain barges?'' It doesn't seem likely. The other faction must have come in some other way, meaning that they almost certainly had to get through the city somehow since they couldn't Travel directly into the Stone. Do we find out later about Trollocs killing their way through Tear to get to the Stone?

Blake Engholm
19. UncrownedKing
@ 15

Leigh ignore parts of this post please. Cursing in moderation is funny and welcome. You don't over do it. Its perfect and releiving, shows your a real down to Earth person who I would as much drink coffee with and talk WOT or head to a bar with.

The cursing is not directed at anyone and thus, not disrespecting anyone. If offended by the random "S" word or "A" word glance over them as if they didnt exist or impliment your own word in its place.

Keep it up Leigh, love this reread and love this book.
20. hoping to be of the blood
another fan @15
Please don't restrain the artist that L is.
In any event, I didn't notice any vulgarity. It's totally PG.
WOT isn't Disney. In fact, Disney isn't Disney anymore.
Anyway, full speed ahead L
Chris Maurer
21. grayfox
UncrownedKing @ 19:

Much better said than me! There's a whole censorship issue that could have been argued as well, but I didn't want to go down that path!

Metzg31 @ 18:

Can someone explain to me why it isn't possible to Travel into the Stone? My only thought is that the only reason someone couldn't is because he/she may not have built the affinity for the location yet, but we know that Lanfear has obviously spent some time in the Stone, so it isn't out of the realm of possibility that she Travel'd them in, right? Or am I missing an anti-channeling/stedding-like thing like we see later in the series (in Far Madding, is it?) and don't we see Rand travel there to pick up Callendor later in the series?
22. Lsana
I agree that from this point on, Callandor is obviously meant to have the flaw that Cadsuane mentioned. I was more skeptical in TDR--yeah, Rand was acting kind of nuts after he picked it up, but he was acting kind of nuts through the whole book--but here there is a clear difference between the largely sane and rational Rand we get early in the battle and the "I am God" Rand after he picks up the swords. What's more, I think Rand recognizes the difference, if only subconciously, hence the reason he leaves the sword.

Here's a question, though: does Lanfear know about the flaw? Is that why she's encouraging him to use Callandor?

A few words on Egwene's dreams:

1) Egwene has her dream here about Galad putting on White "as though he was putting on a shroud." Previously, we've been talking about this vision as though it were one of Min's. Does Min have a similar vision? If not, then it doesn't necessarily imply that Galad will die; I don't think Eg has the same "can never misinterpret a vision" clause that Min does.

2) Does anyone know what sort of animal she saw in the palace? My guesses are either Elephant/Mammoth or Triceratops, but I haven't been able to figure it out exactly.

Other than that, I found the TAR sequence remarkably boring and repetative. There were a few interesting parts (the stuff in the palace, our first glance at Amys), but overall I found it too repetative and too focused on women's clothing.

Leigh, I don't believe that the supergirls do know that the horn has been sounded. They know it was found, and they know something freaky happened at Falme, but I don't think they connect the two. I don't see Mat, Moiraine, Verin, or the Amyrlin telling them, and while Rand or Perrin might, they would probably have to ask first, and I don't think they have.

@13 naath.sedai,

That's part of what I don't like about the Aiel polygamy. Polygamy is almost exclusively a male fantasy; very few real women fantasize about sharing the same guy with two or three friends. But here, polygamy is presented as happening at the request of the women, so the men don't need to feel guilty. Rand isn't a sex-crazed letch who is incapable of fidelity, he's just going along with the wishes of the women he cares about. He gets to have his cake and eat it to. Bleach!
Michael Ikeda
23. mikeda

GrainBarge Ocean Liners. When you absolutely, positively, have to sneak into a port city. Serving Tear, Illian, and the entire Southern coast...

(And now I have this mental image of the two groups of Trollocs sneaking into Tear on the SAME grain barges.)
24. Tony Zbaraschuk
Nothing requires Jordan to have cultures that we like, or would want to see around. (We're free to stop reading if it's too annoying). But I like the way that he's created quite a few different cultures, rather than just having everyone be the same with different clothes or something.

I agree that the Aiel are likely to have a skewed sex ratio due to lots of male deaths in warfare, so the sister-wife thing is probably an adaptation to that. Not sure that Ebou Dar is so easy to explain, but we can discuss that when we get there.

Lan actually points out that there are two ways the Trollocs got in (evidently the two different groups, though we won't realize that for a while.)
25. Orideth
I have to admit, I'm a little confused by the vulgarity comment. If you're referencing something in this post specifically, you'll have to point it out for me, because I'm not seeing it.

Beyond that, I suppose my sensibilities regarding what constitutes "vulgar" language may have been dulled by extensive amounts of time spent on various Internet message boards, but I'm still having a hard time recalling anything exceptionally vulgar, or even mildly offensive, so far on this blog.

@Grayfox 21

It is not the Stone specifically that is the problem, but the Trollocs and Fades themselves; Rand later tells us in KoD that Shadowspawn cannot pass through gateways; doing so kills them instantly.
Bill Siegel
26. ubxs113
Don't sweat it Leigh, just be yourself and keep up the great work!
27. Egglie
On aiel marrages;

naath.sedai@13 "the women would go to the men as a set and say "all or nothing" basically"

- yes that is how it is presented here by Aviendha and that does not seem so bad, its their choice. But when Melaine decides to marry Bael she asks the other wise ones to talk to his wife dorindha for her saying "I think she likes me well enough". It does not come across that Melaine has a particularly close relationship with Dorindha, just that she wants to marry Bael. Afterwards the wise ones make a bet about whether she will go to the help of her new sisterwife first (which she should do according to their custom) or to her new husband who she is still besotted with.

Imagine being Dorinha, happily married to the clan chief, and the wise one of your hold comes up to you (with back up from tow of the most respected wise ones of the aiel) and says "I want to marry your husband, are you ok with that?" Does she agree because she wants Melaine as a sisterwife? or because its better than her husband leaving her for someone else? What would Melaine have done if Dorindha said no? She jokes that she has to either kill Bael or marry him. I can't imagine her being happy to just shrug her shoulders and say "oh well I will just carry on being his wise one adviser then" how awkward would that be?!

- ok, so this is the least charitable interpretation of the situation but its another aspect to this discussion.

Also, what about when Chiad won't marry Gaul because he does not want Bain too. I always feel sorry for Bain in that situation, should she marry a man she does not love? or refuse knowing that she is responsible for preventing her sister marrying the man that she loves? or step aside and break up her close relationship with her sister? (which I am not sure is possible as its a power-wrought bond) It seems that the done thing is that Chiad will give up her love for Gaul unless he forces himself to accept Bain too (but that leaves Bain accepting him whether she wants to or not).

Polygamy - all very well when everyone agrees but a nightmare otherwise!

Hmmm, I did not know I had such an opinion on that until I started writing about it. Also, jumping ahead - sorry.
28. JoeW
The moment that Rand tries to reanimate the girl is heartbreaking and, I think, a critical one for him now. With Callandor in his hands, it would be so easy to think too highly of himself. Even the Dragon isn't the Creator - or the Dark One - and his power isn't infinite. He can't bring life... but he can save it.
Dale Metzger
29. Metzg31
spoilers below!!!

gray fox @21

I think Lanfear did Travel into the Stone. My question comes from the scene near the end of Knife of Dreams (?) where Rand/LTT uses "Deathgates" to kill the Trollocs. It is there that we find out that a Trolloc, Fade, and I think any other Shadowspawn will die instantly if it walks through a Gateway.

Lsana @22

Galad putting on white is a reference to him becoming a whitecloak. And I'm picturing an elephant/mammoth/sredit.
30. Bourgeois Nerd
I'm not sure if we ever actually see one in the story, but I'm POSITIVE that the glossaries state there are "brother-husbands" or whatever they'd be called.

I really don't get the "Shadowspawn can't go through a gate" thing that we get later on, and that involves grain barges here. Is it because they're "unnatural" or something?
Chris Maurer
31. grayfox
Orideth @ 25: that you mention it, I do remember that discussion from prior blog posts.

Lsana @22:

I always thought that it was an elephant in the Tanchico Smithsonian.
Dale Metzger
32. Metzg31
Am I required to warn of spoilers in my comments, or does Leigh's warning at the beginning of the post suffice for all of us?
Leigh Butler
33. leighdb
Artanian, anotherfan, JoeW:

You are, of course, completely entitled to your opinion on what I should and should not be talking about in this blog. However, forgive me when I say that in turn, I am just as entitled to ignore you.

I will not address the absurdity of saying that I should not be talking about gender politics in a series where that precise topic is one of its central themes, but even if it wasn't, that would not negate my right to express an opinion on it.

I am an opinionated person, and I am also an occasionally profane person. This is part of the package, and has been since the beginning. If you do not like my opinions or my language, I totally understand, and invite you to simply not read the blog if that's how you feel, because neither thing is likely to change.
34. Ian Hurst
Leigh, for what it's worth, I like your commentary on gender roles in TWOT, particularly in this post, and I think the reread would be poorer without it. IMO, one of the things that set Jordan's books apart from others at the time was his take on gender roles and sexism, and that makes it worthy of discussion, whether or not it's outside some readers' comfort zones. Please keep it up.
35. Zeynep
The scene with Rand frantically trying to revive the dead girlchild always makes me teary-eyed. ("Heart. Had to beat...") And there is the parallel, later, when he revives Mat from being hanged on the tree---not with the Power, but by physical, hands-on CPR---which is the one that works, though partly because he's not too late.

Applying the phrase "office politics" to the intra-Forsaken struggles is hilarious. And effective.
Helen Cousins
36. naath.sedai
Lsana@22 and Egglie@27
First off I (personally) *am* in a relationship of roughly this form (roughly, and not in a scary funamentalist mormon way either). And I have friends who are too. So I'm going to be clear and say that it works *for some people*. It can work to have two friends fall for the same man, it can work to add a second partner later. And for other people it *doesn't* work, although one supposes that general societal support for it working might help, there are still going to be people who don't want it and never will.

In the add-a-partner-later there is the complication of "is this instead of divorce" but, one could consider whether it would be "better" to go on living in a monogamous arrangement where one partner was clearly very unhappy and wanted out? Difficult.

In the Bain/Chiad/Gaul case I had been viewing this rather more as being of the form of a marriage of convinience - ie that Chiad wishes to be married to *Bain* and that she also wishes to marry Gaul and sees this as a nice way to arrange the 'legalities' of the situation. One presumes that Bain and Chiad have discussed this together off-screen even if they aren't lovers and come to this conclusion in an amicable way. Maybe not of course, but until RJ says otherwise I am going to *imagine that they did*.
37. rudra
1. Well I'm confused, did the access key hurt Egwene because it's broken and dysfunctional or because Egwene is not strong enough to use it?

2. Is Rand weaker than Lanfear because he's just inexperienced? Because I seem to remember Lews Therin being stronger than her.
38. Lsana
@31 grayfox,

I know that Egwene's dream refers to Galad becoming a Whitecloak. The issue is the "like he was wrapping himself in his own shroud" bit. There had been quite a bit of debate about whether that meant that Galad would die as a result of joining the Whitecloaks. It seems that is far less likely if the "like a shroud" comment came from Egwene rather than Min.

And discussing the gender politics should absolutely be part of this re-read! Reading WOT and not talking about gender politics is a bit like saying, "I want you to discuss Tale of Two Cities, but please don't talk about that whole French Revolution subplot..."
39. anotherfan
For those who have responded to my post @15:
I used the word "vulgarity," and looking aback, that was a harsh word to use. I wasn't thinking. Forgive me. Thanks for calling me on it. I don't think Leigh has been intentionally vulgar in her use of what most americans call "curse words." Leigh has also been rather discreet in her inuendos concerning adult topics, for the most part. I am grateful.

Let us all recognize that some words are "loaded."
They offend certain people for various reasons. some seem valid to us. Others don't. Most would agree that the "N" word is off limits because it offends certain people for a valid reason. Most of you seem to think that those who are offended by "curse" words do not have a valif reason. If so, then thanks for judging me.

If you have respect for other people, then you don't intentionally offend them just because you have the freedom to do so. (of coarse you could drive yourself crazy trying to please everyone)

Most of you guys and gals like the occasional "curse" word? Fine. Some, evidently a small minority of one, do not. I guess numbers rule.

I will continue to read because I too enjoy the books, Leigh's sense of humor, and writing skill in spite of her language usage at times. She's very good.

And she can take care of herself. She should pay attention to what I wrote, and take it for what it is. One fan of Jordan, and now her, who has one complaint. She can take it or leave it. She'll probably do whatever she feels will further her career without violating her personal moral beliefs. (and continue to use curse words) I'm just sharing my perspective.
40. hoping to be of the blood
I am still confused.
WOT is an R rated series. It has graphic violence, soul-ripping, sex, naked people and Randland vulgarisms.
There is no disrespect here or offensive comments that I can see. I don't get it
41. Mark-S
@ 10 hoping to be of the blood
"Lan’s knowledge about how the Trollocs accessed the Stone seemed premature. When did he get this intel?It seemed like a clumsy plot device – but I nitpick."

I don't think so, just follow the trail of blood
42. Samadai
@37 Rudra
In a later book Lanfear says something about a broken control ter'angreal that is a trap for some unwary Aes Sedai. I believe that is why Egwene is reacting that way to touching the statue.
Leigh, Iam so happy you are doing these rereads and discussions. I have been a WoT fan since the beginning and have read all the books more times than I can remember. It is great to have a group of fans that I can discuss these books with.
43. anotherfan
Leigh @ 33

Wow. Maybe you just got a bit irritated and started typing before you cooled down. You sound a bit immature, quite honestly.

You're a very good writer. And you have every right to be opinionated. It's your blog. And I will continue reading as much because I enjoy most of your opinions and style, just as I enjoy the subject.

But why so quick to snap? Why so easily offended? I understood when I posted that you probably wouldn't change anything. I just wanted to give some constructive criticism. We all need that. Instead of a thoughtful "well, I thought a moment about it and really don't feel the need to change" or just simply being ignored, I get the hand in front of the face and the invitation to stop reading if I don't like it.

Not cool, Leigh.

hoping to be of blood @ 49:
I was referring to "curse words" used in most of the posts. The four-letter words. Not so much on this particular day. And I don;t know that you would call most of the WoT R rated. Depends on who's reading as much as anything. A younger reader who has limited experience seeing blood and guts will picture a very different battle scene than you or I would. Also, the reference to sex in most of the books is very sparse, vague, or left unsaid to the point that the experience of the reader leaves much to the imagination. A "G" rated mind will see a "G" rated love scene. Very different from The Fallon trilogy Jordan wrote as Reagan Oneal.
44. hoping to be of the blood
I just think Lan was rather busy with the shadowspawn and didn't have time to investigate (or was that a clever 'blood' reference)
45. Samadai
I thought we were here to talk about the WoT characters and plots.
46. Belmont
In Chapter 9's commentary:

"Considered strictly from a strength standpoint and leaving out all other factors, Lanfear is supposed to be the second-most powerful channeler ever, male or female."

Is that stated specificly or indirectly somewhere in one of the books? My understanding was that she is
the strongest female channeler that we know of (superseded by other people in later books) but not
as strong as most of the male Forsaken.
47. Samadai
Lan mentions that the trollocs came from boats tied up at the docks as well as wagons brought in from out of the city. That is obviously where the two different bands of trollocs and myrdrall come from
48. Randalator
Ch. 11

The Mercedes Benz logo was one of the coolest moments in WoT for me because a) I caught it on my very first read (and believe me when I say there is a vulgar word load of stuff I didn't catch even on the first couple of re-reads), so yay me and b) it made me realize "Holy vulgar word, Randland is earth!" which was a major mindintercourse when all the implications crashed home. And it sent me on a hunt for every single real world reference on all the re-reads to come.

Gaaaaah, screw it! Swearing is fun, children!

Bart: I believe you. You seem so damn sure.
Homer: Do you think you can stop the casual swearing?
Bart: Hell yes!
49. anotherfan
We know that trollocs can't step through a portal from one point to another. But what about traveling using the platforms? Where you open a hole, step onto a platform, and skim great distances? I don't remember if that is lethal to trollocs. Could that have been the method used to get one group into the Stone?
50. birgit
Did Eldrene use the same thing Rand used in the Stone to kill the Dreadlords when Manetheren fell?

Why is Egwene so surprised at the elephant skeleton? She must have seen s'redit in Falme.

As it stands polygamy makes more sense culturally because while one man can impregnate many women simultaneously (ok not at the same time) a woman can only be made pregnant for one man every 9 months.

Polygamy is the general term. You mean polygyny (several women). Polyandry means several men.

If you have a problem with cursing, to you skip sections with Uno?
51. trooperomulo
Concerning the swear words in the books. Words aren't inherently vulgar. Society and culture decide that some words shouldn't be said in "proper" conversation. I'm not saying that people should just say whatever they want to whoever they want. Everyone has the right to say whatever makes them feel most comfortable and conversant. I personally do not like to read or listen to swear words. I don't expect everyone in the world to stop swearing just for me though. However, I do request (not require) that those who I talk with frequently don't swear around me. I feel that that is not unreasonable. And if they request I don't use certain words, I will do my best to comply. Considering the wide audience reading this blog, I don't think that Leigh should adjust how she speaks or types unless she feels that the situation warrants it simply because it would be impossible for her to please everyone reading this. Were I to become friends with her however, I would ask her to refrain from swearing when we talk. If she refused, I might limit my time talking with her, but that is my choice just as it is her choice on what words she tries to use.

One of the reasons that I love this series is because I don't have to read a book full of what I consider swear words. I remember the first time I read TEOTW and Nynaeve getting upset at the boys for their language. I kept wondering what she was so upset about because I didn't see anything that bad. I finally realized that they have their own swear words and now, instead of being reluctant to continue reading a wonderful series I chuckle inside each time someone says "watch your language!".
52. litg
Metzg31 @18

Gateways are shown to kill shadowspawn later in the series. It's possible that wasn't established at this point in the series and we are looking at a gaffe. It's also reasonable to think that perhaps the trollocs and fades all arrived together but some had orders from Semirhage to "defect" and turn on Sammael's during the battle if Rand was endangered.
53. anotherfan
He Ha Ha. I'm so funny. "Vulgar word" "Vulgar word," "Vulgar word."

Yes, The benz logo was cool. And Randalator, you must be pretty sharp to have picked it up on the first go. I, on the other hand, totally missed it every time I reread the series. Thanks, Leigh, for pointing it out.

For anyone else who would like to poke fun at me, yes I know I'm a stick in the mud and I seem to be a backwoods, prudish, idiot to you. That's fine. you can all laugh and I'll go cry in the corner. Then we can get over it and continue to move foward with the reread.

I still hold my view. You still hold yours. It's in the open. Get over yourselves and lets move on shall we. I know what to expect from Leigh. More of the same. And for the most part it's great. Much better than most of us could do. That's why it's her job.
54. datamuse
anotherfan and Artanian, some of us are interested in the discussion of gender that the societies Jordan set up...well, engender, if you'll pardon the term.

The very first time I read WoT, once Aviendha explained how marriage worked among the Aiel I wondered whether we'd encounter polyandry as well; not among the Aiel necessarily for reasons already mentioned, but perhaps elsewhere.

Egglie, I'd guess that the situation is different when one of the women concerned is already married to the man in question. Though it's still presented as Dorindha's judgment mattering as much as, and maybe more than, Bael's.

Myrelle's case is presented as rather unusual.

I know a fair number of polyamorous people (none of whom are Mormon, if you're curious) but we don't live in a society where it's codified into formal relationships, at least not as a matter of course. It's interesting to imagine societies where it is, and what forms that might take.
Richard Fife
55. R.Fife
On swearing, this is me not putting my hand in the fire. Drop it, move on, please people. What needs to be said has been, everyone knows their rights, etc, and no one is changing their opinions. but, just to be safe, Nazis. There, I evoked Godwin's law, argument is over.

BN@30: I think it has something to do with how Aginor made them, genetic tampering with the power. Perhaps something about walking through a hole in the pattern (or a fold in the cloth, female style) that frazels their poor power-tinkered DNA.

To the gender politics, I just want to have the discussion straight up. Seems like we've dodged the bullet a few times already. So, I'm going fishing with the worms.

On the chivalry in a gender-equal society: I think that the average joe/jane-schmoe of randland acknowledges that, on average, men are stronger than women, thus the respect for men to not physically lash out against women. I think they both give eachother the rough side of their tongues plenty well, though. On the same token, remember Juilin talking about how he won't spare a woman pain just cause she is a woman (due to a little knife in the rips incident) so not everyone has a duopotamian M.O. Heck, not even all the the two rivers kids are crazy white knights. Perrin has laid hands on Faile (even if off screen), and Mat has killed and gotten over it. Rand, IMO, is just tainted by LTT seeing Ilyena in every woman.

Speaking of LTT, not only do we get his first memory seepages, we get his first voice-in-head, during the Trolloc Shamwow Weave. The "NOW" when he releases. Methinks that was LTT talking.

Anyway, to the Polygamy. I think RJ was playing around some with this. Experimenting and trying to make a society where polygamy would not be a complete sexist thing. He did alright, I'd say. Not amazing, but alright. I think the bain/chaid/gaul scenario was even some small way for him to admit that it wasn't perfect. Although, plenty of real blood-sisters marry different men and still stay plenty close. I find it confusing why power-wrought first-sisters MUST marry the same man. Aside from that, seems fine.

To the Dorindha having the right to say no, she did. And if she did, such was life for Melaine. Melaine's anxiety over it was proof that refusal was a real option.
56. Randalator
Travelling and Skimming both require gateways and it's those the Shadowspawn can't pass. The destination (Skimming place or any place in Randland) is irrelevant.
57. anotherfan
litg @ 52.
That's a good thought. Perhaps the forsaken were working together and sending in troops. But some had different orders. Very possible. That sounds like the forsaken way to me. Never took that angle on it. Thanks
58. AUgradGSUgradstudent
In reference to the Eye of the World not being spoken of much again in the rest of the series... isn't that because it was completely used up in that one instance? It was a reservoir of the male half of the power, and it was by using it all up that they got to the bottom where the Horn, banner, and Seal were located. In which case there's really no need to reference it further in the series, because all it is now is a decaying spot in the Blight (with the exception of the Green Man's tree).
59. hari coplin
Yea on polyandry, there is that also among the Aiel. We've not come across so many married Aiel, or of whom we'd know who or how they are married, yet it becomes clear in Winter's Heart in Elayne and Aviendha's ceremony. Equally as women can become first-sisters men can become first-brothers, and going through the ceremony does mean sharing any future spouses.
60. datamuse
But why so quick to snap? Why so easily offended? I understood when I posted that you probably wouldn't change anything. I just wanted to give some constructive criticism. We all need that. Instead of a thoughtful "well, I thought a moment about it and really don't feel the need to change" or just simply being ignored, I get the hand in front of the face and the invitation to stop reading if I don't like it.

I really don't see where in Leigh's comment she snapped or indicated offense. Seems to me she gave a perfectly reasonable, straightforward, and civilly worded rationale for what she's choosing to write and why.

"Immature"? Really? Really really?
61. anotherfan
On gender roles and such:
what's the big deal if a man doesn't hurt a woman simply because she is a woman?

It's interesting to me that men are physically stronger than women, on average, in our world and in Jordan's. and yet for much of the series women have more power than men. The Tower. Queen of Andor. The Chrystal Throne across the ocean. Women, for the most part, can pick men up with the power, or with their authority, and do what they want. They have the real strength.

And yet, men still feel protective of women in the series. Mat still wants to protect the girls even though they are more powerful than he is. And they need the help of men sometimes. Another example is Tellanvor and Morgase. He felt protective of her as his queen and as a woman. Doesn't this ring true in our world?

Women are working in america, like never before. (Although many still don't get the right treatment or pay) They can hire and fire. We almost had a female president this time around. And yet, there are men in powerful women's lives who still feel protective of them. We would take a bullet for them in a moment. Part of the reason is because they are women, and we are men. That's just the way we were made. Most of the women where I live, (evidently in backwoods USA) think this is a good thing. They appreciate the extra respect and special treatment they recieve because they are a lady. Of coarse they want to be respected for who they are as a person, and gender is part of who a person is.

I think Jordan was pretty good at showing reflections of the real world in his own world.
62. Smatt
@ anotherfan

Please, and I mean this with all respect, get a life. Most people swear it is a fact of everyday life and most normal people believe in free speach. If you have a problem with this it has now been noted but the rest of are mature enough to handle and understand how, where, and when to use a swear word and recieve it in the manner it was communicated.

Sorry feel a bit of an idiot for needing to psot this.
63. papa126
I don't recall a discussion of a "flaw in callandor" in the books; what is the flaw?
64. papa126
Oh, and as to swearing, maybe you should use blood and ashes or similar.... I mean if it is swearing in one "world" is it swearing in another????
65. Samadai
@62 papa126
Cadsuane tells Rand in a Path of Daggers That she heard Callandor had disappeared from the Stone. she mentions that it can only be used in a circle with a women leading it because it is not buffered properly.
66. trooperomulo
I think that everyone can lay off of anotherfan now. He used his/her right of free speech to express his/her opinion. She/He never said that everyone should stop swearing immediately. She/He never condemned anyone for swearing. She/He just expressed his/her opinion that she/he would enjoy the posts a little more if there was less swearing. Does that mean that she/he is a horrible person that they rest of us should condemn? No! Leave him/her alone.
Blake Engholm
67. UncrownedKing
@ 55
"Tolloc Shamwow Weave" That is the funniest thing ive heard today.

New thought, does the "love life" aspect of the Aiel marraiges ever come up, or get discussed? I don't think it does, but I would find it interesting to understand how women, who, collectively, are more prone to jealousy, would handle that.

But who am I except ignorant.
68. Smatt
On the sexism issue I would humbly suggest that the females in Randland are far from domineered by the males. In a lot of the male/female interactions it is the females who seem to walk all over the males. I do not think RJ has created a world in which any gender is subservient to the other, but the characters do get quite annoying sometimes with how they deal with their opposite gender.
69. hari coplin
The flaw is two-fold. The first part is that Callandor lacks the buffer normally existing in angreal and sa'angreal which prevents a person from drawing too much: unlike when channelling unaided, it is normally not possible to draw too much through an angreal, a good thing considering how much power can be drawn with them. The second part of the flaw is that Callandor magnifies the effects of the taint, inducing madness in its user: you notice how recklessly Rand has acted when using Callandor. The only way to safely use Callandor, per Cadsuane, is linked with two women, one of whom must guide the flows.
70. anotherfan
Thanks trooperomulo @ 66. I was just getting ready to send another response asking folks to move on. I don't need to. We're adults here.
Elroy Skimms
71. elroyskimms
Orideth @ 25

It is not the Stone specifically that is the problem, but the Trollocs and Fades themselves; Rand later tells us in KoD that Shadowspawn cannot pass through gateways; doing so kills them instantly.

Some of these things that RJ put into his world just don't make sense. As the author, he can create whatever rules he wants, I'm fine with that. If he wants all Shadowspawn to die instantly upon passing through a gateway, by all means. But, such a weakness in Shadowspawn would surely have been exploited over the centuries.

Imagine if you will, a gateway where the entrance and exit are just a hairs-breadth apart. By stepping through the gateway, you "Travel" only an inch or less. From the side, this would appear as two vertical lines of light very close together, or perhaps one vertical line depending on their proximity. Facing them directly, they would be nearly invisible as seeing through the opening would simply show what was on the other side. If you are looking for it, you would be able to see it. But in the mad rush of a battle, you might just step right through and never know.

Now, place a large gateway like this in a "choke point" on a battlefield. Some canyon or narrow passage that constricts passage of Shadowspawn armies. Place another of these gateways at the other end of the "choke point" and tie off the weaves. Congratulations, you just stopped an army. If they cross through, they die. Unless Trollocs can fly... Or as Shadowspawn armies charged the field during the Trolloc Wars, why not have your channelers pop these gateways to nowhere randomly throughout the field. Charging Trollocs would plow right through and die. Once they notice the trap, close the gateway and open it again somewhere else.

Without any assumptions on gateways and Traveling other than the end points being next to each other, the good guys have enough information to devastate Trolloc armies and yet it is never used. I really have a hard time making sense of how some of these things had not been done over the last few hundred years. RJ intentionally restricts Shadowspawn access to Traveling because of how much of a game changer that would be without it. No throne room or defensive structure would be safe. Trollocs could literally materialize from the air. But in creating this restriction, RJ doesn't address the flip side of how this restriction would be a game changer for the good guys.

72. Ian Hurst
Anotherfan, "What's the big deal?", you asked? Is anybody here throwing their books away over their Gender politics? No. Don't mischaracterize people's reactions.

At the risk of speaking for others, I'd say people are discussing gender issues in TWOT because gender issues are a big part of what makes the books interesting. You don't have to find them interesting, but you don't need to get bent out of shape when we do.

BTW, did you just skim Leigh's commentary, or what? What did you think of this part?

And you know, it’s not that I want to disparage a lack of desire to victimize women, far from it, but the problem with this whole equality thing is that ideally there can’t be a double standard either way – meaning whether in the opposite party’s favor or not. Of course, the problem with that is the incredibly unpleasant reality that physically, at least, women in general are weaker than men, and therefore you run into the minefield of whether equality in this respect is actually, well, equalizing, or whether it just puts the advantage right back in the man’s court. This is an ugly knotty problem in the real world, which we are not going to solve here.
73. stepper
I seem to remember 3 animals in the museum....what i thought were an elephant, a giraffe, and a walrus (something the size of a bear but with tusks).

THANKS for the info on the WOTFAQ in that blog....your correct I am loving it, and had NOT been there before....Thanks to Leigh for that one too --- you are quite the WOT Extraordinaire!
Aidan Young
74. aidanyoung1102
A note on Aiel marriage customs, and customs in general. Aside from the Shaido (ick), the Aiel have demonstrated higher honor codes and respectful conduct, by far, than any other culture in WOT. While polygyny (only word in English with 3 "y's"???) is a difficult cultural element to manifest without raising significant questions around sexism, I think it can be stated that the way Aiel approach marriage -and interact with their spouses- has a high level of transparency and mutual respect, which is certainly what would be required to successfully manage a loving partnership between three individuals, regardless of sex.

I imagine that polyandry would be much less common in any society where polygamy was a part of marriage customs. In general, I think men have a very difficult time sharing anything, whether it be responsibilities, lovers, partners, or what. Maybe it comes from a primal instinct to protect our young and guard our territory? Women, in contrast, have an incredible capacity for love, acceptance, and inclusion, which would allow them the maturity and patience to handle a complex relationship of this nature. These are tendencies that I have observed, certainly not a blanket "Thom" statement.
75. Rikka
guess who has her books back? :D

As for the entire polgyny thing the Aiel have got going on there. Polyamory doesn't have to be sexist, the keys to nonmonogamous relationships (and probably all relationships really) are honesty, communication and respect. Polyamory is great between consenting adults who maintain open communication and, going into such a relationship, agree on certain ground rules.

My problem with Aiel society has to do with what has already been mentioned. The Aiel seem to think that men HAVE to come between first/near-sisters and that women in such positions will similarly HAVE to choose between their sister-friends and their lovers.

This leads into the entire Bain/Chiad/Gaul situation which is so... idiotic. I just want to hit things. Polyamory is about accepting people for what they are and what they can give you, dealing with the most compatible parts of each other without demanding that the whole of one person be 'everything' for the whole of another. Love is meant to be shared! The Aiel just move monogamous attitudes from a single person to a single unit (e.g. a pair of near-sisters) and then continue on in typical monogamous fashion despite the presence of more than two people in a relationship.

Now, RoJo does redeem with the 'women doing the asking' thing. But in a culture without centuries of females being submissive to the will of men in such matters to 'balance it out' is it really any better? Backing someone into a corner on the matter of love/marriage is wrong, be they male or female, and it rubs me wrong. However, I like to think the Aiel make up for it in other ways :P
76. Randalator

1. The Shadospawn-killing quality of gateways isn't known to common Randlanders until Rand learns it from LTT in KoD, ch. 19. Only the Forsaken know of this and they have no interest in killing their own footmen or telling any Randlander.

2. Travelling itself was a lost Talent for about 3000 years. So even if anyone had known about their deathliness it couldn't have been used as a weapon because no one knew how to weave a gateway in the first place.

3. During the Age of Legends gateways have indeed been used as a weapon against Shadowspawn as evidenced by LTT using Deathgates against Trollocs in KoD, ch. 19.

So RJ didn't slip up at all.
77. hoping to be of the blood
I don't think there were any channelers who knew how to make gateways during the Trolloc wars, but I get your point.
Iirc, the gateways in KoD were different in some way, in that they were deathgates and rotated in some manner. I don't have my books with me to confirm.
Elroy Skimms
78. elroyskimms
Randalator @ 76

3. During the Age of Legends gateways have indeed been used as a weapon against Shadowspawn as evidenced by LTT using Deathgates against Trollocs in KoD, ch. 19.

Wow! That LTT guy sure was smart! Brilliant idea! :-)

So RJ didn't slip up at all.

I stand corrected.

Aidan Young
79. aidanyoung1102
@75 Rikka

I love the concept of women being the ones to ask. Men don't think things through properly. When I look back at proposing to my wife -which I am still VERY glad I did- I have to admit that I really didn't think it through much before doing it. Oh, I have lots of justifications for why it was the right thing to do, but it was pretty much an impulsive decision driven by some testosterone-induced need to mark my "territory."

Even though, in general, I believe that women tend to act out of emotion more often than men in small day-to-day matters, they seem to think the BIG decisions through with much more logic than men do. In the words of the late George Carlin on Earth's current sorry state (please skip the following if you are offended by religious jokes and/or swearing): "God HAS to be a man. No woman could, or would, fuck things up like this!"

In regard to the Bain/Chiad deal, one thing that I have to remember often in this series is that we are basically dealing with a primitive culture when it comes to the Aiel. Sort of a "Native American meets Ninja" culture. In a primitive culture, family (power-fused sisters, for example) and marriage are both a partnership in survival as much as an affair of love. In that regard, I could see how marriage to different men could create a significant rift between first-sisters.
80. dunno
I was under the impression that the reason deathgates were deadly was that they spin while opening and closing, and the edge of a moving gateway is infinitely sharp. I sort of assumed they just acted like blenders that cleaned up after themselves and dumped parts of shadowspawn into whatever random location they are opening into. Which might make wandering in the hinterlands of Randland a strange experience.
Blake Engholm
81. UncrownedKing
Deathgates would be cool if the opener could move the gate itself. Make it wide enough and it could end an entire trolloc army in one fell swoop. This is probably why they don't move. Battles would be boring then.
82. PamK
Leigh: Sigh. Anyway. Here, whose soap box is this?

I think that's mine!

As for those commenters getting all scandalized over the scary discussion of gender issues... um, what do you all expect to come up in discussion of an sf series where gender essentialism is INHERENT IN THE METAPHYSICAL MAKUP OF THE SETTING?

What, next time you're going to complain that discussion of the nature of good and evil, in relation to a series in which evil flows from both a metaphysical source (the Dark One) AND from human nature (Shadar Logoth), is inappropriate?
83. rudra
@71. elroyskimms
sorry but I couldnt help noticing that you post sounded a lot like my high school physics text book.

please pardon the blatant disregard for punctuation.
84. siuanfan
... I didn't see any swear words anywhere in Leigh's post. Am I just so used to people swearing, that I don't even notice them anymore? Or was it something lame like 'd@mn' or 'h&ll' which totally doesn't even count? Of course, I'm almost positive I used the word '@ss' at least once in my commentary... sorry about that if anyone was offended (see, I censored myself this time), but these *are* the internets, you know. Certain things are impossible to escape seeing on occasion, no matter how hard you try. Best bet is to ignore what you'd rather not see and move on.

Re: Bain/Chiad/Gaul - I seem to be missing something. I thought Chiad refused to marry Gaul because she didn't want to give up the spear, not that he didn't want Bain.

Also, is Bain specified as being Chiad's near-sister? I thought, as Maidens, they were spear-sisters but that doesn't necessarily carry the connotation of a near-sister because if it did, if one Maiden married, they all would have to, right? But as near-sisters, if one were to give up the spear and marry, I don't think they both HAVE to, they can decide separately to marry different men, or can choose to stay together. Gaul would have no say in the matter. He may get one wife or two depending on how the women decide to handle it.
Dale Metzger
85. Metzg31

I don't think the Gateway-Kills-Shadowspawn device is as unfair to the Shadow as you make it out to be. I believe that even in the AoL, trollocs could do a fair amount of damage on a battlefield. As we've seen in Knife of Dreams, even the most powerful channeler ever (LTT) could not wipe out a whole battlefield full of Trollocs without some serious help.

Also, the deathgates only have a practical use when the spawn is on the charge. Once they are engaged in hand-to-hand battle with your light-sided foot soldiers, using the deathgates would result in a loss of far too many of your troops being sent to The Creator-only-knows-where with a dead trolloc at their feet.
86. ConfusedMuch
Ok, call me clueless but can someone explain the benz logo to me? I don't recall it in the book....
Richard Fife
87. R.Fife
siuanfan@84 They are bonded, because they are from clans that have blood feuds, and wanted something more than the society safety and water oaths to hold them together.

@86:right from the commentary above:

A silvery thing in another cabinet, like a three pointed star inside a circle, was made of no substance she knew; it was softer than metal, scratched and gouged, yet even older than any of the ancient bones. From ten paces she could sense pride and vanity.
88. Greyhawk
Let’s see. A lot going on in the posts today. This is my first time posting, but I have been following Leigh’s re-read for about a week and a half now and am really enjoying it. It has been several years since I last read the books and the links to outside discussions/resources are fun and helpful. I read a decent amount of fantasy, but I had no idea how much time and thought people put into the theories and unanswered questions of this world.

I have always wondered how Jordan saw his female characters, because from my perspective they come across as shrill, defensive and unnecessarily combative way too often. Further, they, regardless of culture, seem to approach gender relations from the same perspective—cow the man until he realizes you know best—oh and never relate to him directly because, why, I am not sure (of course direct dialogue, as has been observed before, would have made the series a lot shorter). In fact Jordan, except for the Aes Sedai/Warder dynamic never seems to pair a male with a female in any type of self chosen “business” partnership (and in the Warder situation, there is a clear hierchy) to accomplish anything. I get how thousands of years of women having exclusive access to safe use of the One Power would create a pretty big hurdle to cooperation in that arena, but why not show a female/male parternship of equals that is not part of a culturally predefined roll set? Leigh’s comment about roll reversals is interesting but, I think gives Jordan too much credit in this arena—is it really that enlightened to show how unenlightened society can be by creating annoying archetypes that make most of same mistakes in gender relations that much of our society has? I would have thought showing characters of diverse viewpoints with real maturity and insight – and the corresponding actions to back it up would be a much better approach. Making someone an Amrylin or a Queen, and then to have them embody some of the most annoying stereotypes is not that progressive.
89. ConfusedMuch
@87 Thanks! I never caught that, but then I don't spend a lot of time looking at car emblems so probably wouldn't recognize any of them. lol.
90. Randalator

"It doesn't matter where they went," Rand said absently. His attention was focused on Lews Therin. The madman, the bloody voice in his head, drew a little deeper on the Power. Let go. man. "Shadowspawn can't survive passing through a gateway."

The cutting doesn't make them less deadly but most of all it's their Shadowspawn-killing ability that gives the Deathgates their devastating effect.


As soon as the Deathgates began to move, Lews Therin knotted the webs, a loose knotting that would hold only for minutes before allowing the whole weave to dissipate, and began spinning again. More Deathgates, more Blossoms of Fire, rattling the walls of the house, blowing Trollocs apart, flinging them down. The first of the speeding Deathgates struck the Trollocs and carved through them. It was not just the slicing edge of the constantly opening and closing gateways. Where a Deathgate passed. there simply were no Trollocs remaining.

The Deathgates do move.

But we learn very early on that the size of a gateway depends on the strength of the channeler and without a sa'angreal like the Choedan Kal it is simply impossible to make a gateway large enough for an entire army...
91. anotherfan
ian hrst @ 72;

Who's bent out of shape? I'm not. i have no problem with discussing gender issues in WoT. My first post was meant to point out that it seemed Leigh had a very negative view of male/female roles and relationships which was coming across too strongly in her critique. I feel she is not really being as balanced as I would like. That's the key. "I would like." Just my opinion. It's her critique, and mostly great.

As to the quote you posted, I'n not really sure how to take it. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer. This kind of gets by me. i think she says not wanting to victimize women is a good thing. I think she says that there shouldn't be a double standard as well. However, I seem to remember her talking about how Rand should have took out Lanfear because of who she was and what she had done. Leigh said something about not wanting someone to take it easy on her because she is a woman, but because she deserves it.

I guess i tend to stereotype, much to my dismay. I just get the feeling that Leigh would rather not have a gentleman open a door for her because she is a lady, but I could be WAY WAY off base with that. As Leigh points out, we get into trouble when we start putting everybody in the same mold.

Jordan does a good job of showing both sides of the issue when it comes to gender roles and relationship. Some women in power are abusive. some don't want a man to do anything for them at all. Some men could care less if you are male or female. They kill or use indescrimanately. Some men are in power, and feel the need to protect a lady because she is a lady. There is Rand, even after all he's been through. But my how he changes. Leigh did a good job pointing out hiow quick he was in the last book to cut the head off that woman around the camp.

One of my favorite aspects of Jordan's characters is that some women long to be protected in the arms of a strong man at times, and at other times need to be allowed to stand on their own two feet and take care of business, even protecting the man. Warders and their Aes Sedia show this relationship. Rand and Elayne. Many others.

No, I'm not bent out of shape. i just wish that Leigh was a little less onesided seeming in my view. My opinion. My view. Doesn't mean I'm right. Doesn't mean she has to change. I'll go back and read up some more on Jordan's blog. He had some interesting things to say regarding gender and his books. Better to get his viewpoint and intention in the books from his own commentary.
92. datamuse
PamK sez:

As for those commenters getting all scandalized over the scary discussion of gender issues... um, what do you all expect to come up in discussion of an sf series where gender essentialism is INHERENT IN THE METAPHYSICAL MAKEUP OF THE SETTING?

I'd had that thought, too. For me it leads to a lot of interesting questions about whether it's really inherent, like a physical law, or is a form of modeling based on the perceptions of the people who live in the world of WoT. Gender-polarized magical systems aren't unusual in our own world, but in some cases they aren't taken to have anything to do with actual human genders (which IME are more fluid than a strict polarity would indicate--hmm, does gender dysphoria exist in Randland?).

I haven't had time to re-read the books, but these posts have piqued my interest (even in reading the books that I haven't read; I think I stopped at Winter's Heart) and I started listening to Eye of the World this week. (I have a long commute.) It got me wondering how much the perception of gender relations as we encounter it in the books is specifically a Two Rivers cultural product, where protectiveness of men towards women is evident from the very first chapters.
Lannis .
93. Lannis
Wow! I take off to deal with 5 kids and man! A whole mess of crappit was unleashed!

litg @ 14: Re: the mark and who impersonated Lanfear... I recalled that comment on rereads and thought Graendal... she's most like Lanfear in behaviour (bold, plotting, and crazy of a different colour). Could be wrong, I know the time line of Forsaken release put her later, and she may not have been freed during tGH, but I never looked into it that far...

Ian Hurst @ 34: Yes! Thank you for wording my thoughts so nicely! Leigh, keep up the good work--we should all realize that you're a big girl and can stand up for yourself! Good job, BTW. :)

R.Fife @ 55: Yes, I believe the Bain/Chiad/Gaul thing was the "life is not always bubbles and rainbows in paradise" example. And yeah, Melaine really gets her panties in a twist about Dorindha--I wanted to hand her a bottle of Pepto-bismol and tell her to chill.

UncrownedKing @ 67: "But who am I except ignorant"... nice duck and cover. ;)

dunno @ 80: Today's "Best Visual" award winner! Re: Deathgates

they just acted like blenders that cleaned up after themselves and dumped parts of shadowspawn into whatever random location they are opening into. Which might make wandering in the hinterlands of Randland a strange experience.

(Wow, Leigh, you really *will* keep us busy all weekend... I was joking, earlier.)
Brett Michie
94. bchurch
elroy @ 71

I was just wondering last night while reading LoC and Rand was talking about setting guards at the waygates. Rand probably doesn't have LTT's info on gateways killing shadowspawn (I think he later wonders why a forsaken hasn't dumped a few thousand trollocs on him through a gateway), but if it were me, I'd use a gateway trap like you described just outside a waygate for any shadowspawn who might be coming through.

Lsana way back @ 22

The supergirls do know that the horn was sounded. They were all sitting there (along with Rhuarc) at the end of tDR when Mo tells Matt that he blew the horn and shouldn't think the pattern's done with him.
95. datamuse
i think she says not wanting to victimize women is a good thing. I think she says that there shouldn't be a double standard as well. However, I seem to remember her talking about how Rand should have took out Lanfear because of who she was and what she had done. Leigh said something about not wanting someone to take it easy on her because she is a woman, but because she deserves it.

anotherfan, I'm confused. I don't see how the examples you cite here conflict with not victimizing and not having a double standard: wouldn't killing Lanfear because of who she is and what she's done be an example of holding everyone to the same standard?

I just get the feeling that Leigh would rather not have a gentleman open a door for her because she is a lady

I can't speak for Leigh, but personally I'd like whoever happens to go through the door ahead of me to hold it for me, male or female, because letting the door close in the face of the person behind you is rude. And I do the same.

I'm very curious about your point of view, because I don't see Leigh's perspective as one-sided at all. And I do see telling someone to "please get over" something that's clearly important to them as...condescending, to tell you the truth.
96. hoping to be of the blood
Re Callandor flaw
All we know of the supposed flaw in Callandor is info from Cadsuane. Is she right or does she only know part of the truth?
The problem Rand had in POD could have been because saidin was 'acting all weird' as the ashaman said. Maybe that is why Rand had trouble controlling it. All the saidin wielders had trouble with saidin, even dashiva. Plus,Rand was having significant difficulties with vertigo at the time.
Just wondering
Elroy Skimms
97. elroyskimms
Metzg31 @ 85

I believe that even in the AoL, trollocs could do a fair amount of damage on a battlefield. As we've seen in Knife of Dreams, even the most powerful channeler ever (LTT) could not wipe out a whole battlefield full of Trollocs without some serious help.

I completely agree with you here. My thought is that these advantages could be used against the Trollocs, et. al. BEFORE getting to the battlefield. Every weapon has a purpose and a limitation. You don't send archers into hand-to-hand combat and you don't have your infantry stand back from the fight and throw their swords at the enemy. Gateways could be used in places where smaller bands of Trollocs are isolated. Plunging headlong into charging wave of Trollocs is a bad idea, even if your name is William Wallace and your face is painted blue. Clearly someone could use Gateways while the Trollocs are assembling for battle. Since they are limited to the Ways and more traditional forms of transport, they are subject to occasional clustering. Moments like this would have been used against them.

Also, the deathgates only have a practical use when the spawn is on the charge. Once they are engaged in hand-to-hand battle with your light-sided foot soldiers, using the deathgates would result in a loss of far too many of your troops being sent to The Creator-only-knows-where with a dead trolloc at their feet.

Too true. Though Gateways as a defensive mechanism would be a subject of worthy discussion. Archers, ballistae, catapults, and AS lightning strikes inbound so you throw a gateway above your head with its endpoint above the enemy encampment... Suddenly their arrows and projectiles are rerouted in-flight back at them. You have to deal with the hall of mirrors trick where gateways lead to gateways and the arrows forever stay in flight. But really, the defensive Gateway favors the original target because they have the entire flight time to track the inbound and can make the endpoint of the gateway appear low enough to the ground that enemy don't have time to react.

You could also use Gateways instead of a mote around your fortifications. Who needs man eating fish when you can simply warp the assailants to anywhere or to any height and then let them fall. Shadowspawn die instantly and Darkfriends free fall.

In all, I think Gateways were highly under utilized on the battlefield, even if LTT developed a spinning Gateway of doom and threw them around like shurikens on steroids.

98. anotherfan
pam k @ 82:
Interesting. Interesting. You bring up the idea of two sources of evil in the world. The Dark One and Shadar Logoth. An external, if you will, source and an internal source. One source is the Dark One who who is a being outside the normal realm of experience. and yet he has some restricted access to the world. The other source comes from man himself and his own "evil" nature.

You know, it's wielrd to me all the parralells I see with WoT and the real world. In particular Christianity. The Bible teaches that there is Satan, a created being who is not in the same "realm" as humans and yet does effect some things. Pocessions and such. temptation. =Dark One. Both are bound in some ways and yet can do some stuff to us.
The Bible also speaks of the sin nature of man in Galatians 5. There we find that within every man and woman there is a nature that draws us toward evil. The Holy Spirit helps us resist this sin nature when we accept Christ.

I never saw this parallel. i wonder if Jordan did it intentionally. Does anyone know of another parallel in another religion or belief system? Two sources of evil. cool.

Oh, another parallel most of you probly know about. Rand and Jesus Christ:
1. Both are the only hope and Savior of the world.
2. Both have to spill their blood to save the people.
3. Both are despised and rejected y many, and accepted by others.
4. Rand was marked on his hands and forearms, while Jesus has nails driven through his palms.
5. Rand had a Staff pierce his saide, while Jesus had a spear through his side on the cross.
6. Rand wore a crown of swords which pierced his skin, while Jesus wore a crown of thorns which did the same.
7. Both Rands coming and suffering and Jesus' coming and suffering were prophesied thousands of years before they took place.
8. Jesus did shed his blood on the cross to save men, and yet he rose from the grave. We have yet to see whther Mr. Jordan has Rand rising from the grave after spilling his blood.

Does anyone see prallels with another religion in the series?
99. Randalator

My visual of Deathgates was always that of a really scary combine harvester. But as for the strange encounters of the severed kind in the hinterlands I always thought that Deathgates opened to the Skimming place.

Because that is a gateway you can always open unlike a Travelling gateway that requires knowledge of your location to even form. And I think it would be very not cool if you happened to stumble across an army of Trollocs and had to spend several minutes holding the Power before you could unleash Deathgate-y mayhem on them...
100. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon

Leigh is under no requirement or even suggestion to be all-inclusive in her analysis. She is not a newspaper reporter (and even they aren't as balanced as they're supposed to be, for the most part). This is her project, which she is allowing us to be in on. She knows what she's talking about. Think about the fact that she's written more about this series than the guy who's writing the final book! Honestly, if she want's to do a reread based entirely on the analysis of Galad's left ear being slightly larger than the right one, that's her right.

It's all well and good for people like us to voice our opinions in the comments as to what we'd like to hear. But I think you've made your point about the gender politics thing. And despite the fact that you don't seem to think so, you DID come off extremely condescending and jerky in your first response to the re-read, and often in subsequent ones.

Lest you think THIS post condescending and jerky (er), I'll leave out the parts about how you have absolutely no more right to request that Leigh stop swearing occasionally than I have to request that you start swearing more. And about the silliness in some of your real world gender role discussion.


Fucking oops.

See, THAT was immature.
101. Randalator

Only a few. Hardly worth mentioning. *chuckle*
102. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
@anotherfan #98

Yes the parallels with Christ are certainly there.

I see also the parallels with the religions that Christianity copied that stuff from.

OK, sorry that was much jerkier than I wanted it to be. But indeed many of the ideas you touched on run throughout many religions in world history. That's part of what makes them so effective as tools of world-building; that they are universal.
103. Siuanfan
hopingtobeoftheblood @ 96:

"Re Callandor flaw
All we know of the supposed flaw in Callandor is info from Cadsuane. Is she right or does she only know part of the truth?"

I wanted to remark on this statement because I think you've hit on a major appeal of this series and a huge complication, which is the fact that you never know which information to trust. For instance, you have the established 'trustworthy' characters like for instance, Moiraine, who may give a bloc of information that you suppose you can trust because she's a 'good guy' and a possessor of rare, important knowledge... yet still be completely wrong in her interpretation of such, as we saw regarding her interpretation of the Prophecies. The characters in WoT don't have Gandalf or a Yoda that's all-wise, all-knowing, and always right in their assessment of the situations. Every single person involved is a guaranteed f#&k-up at some point, no matter how pure their motivation. And yet, all these deeply flawed people have to somehow save the world. You gotta love the poetry in that.
104. anotherfan
datamuse @95:
I guess I'm just not to clear. Sorry. Look, it seems to me that Leigh does not believe there should be a double standard. What is a double standard? I think it means that I would treat a woman differently than a man in the exact same situation. Is that what we all mean by double standard?

If so, then I do believe there should be and is a double standard. I do treat a woman differently than a man in similar situations. That includes making sure that I try to get to the door ahead of my wife so that I can open it for her. I just don't do that for guys. I'll hold the door open if I'm first there, but I don't get there first on purpose. I'm also more courteous to women when they are walking towarda building I'm entering. I will stand and wait a bit longer, holding the door for a lady, than a man. This is what I mean by double standard. I have it. Think it's a good thing. Most women I know like it. I don't act like I'm superior, I just show respect for other people, and extra respect for a lady. Just as I would want other men to respect my wife and help her if she needed it.

as to my request for people to "please get over it," i just realize that I'm the bad guy because I pointed out something that most people disagree with on the post. you know, woa unto the one who would dare to say that someone else should not enjoy their right to free speech for the sake of a few others. I do not mean to be condescending. I apologize for coming across that way. but none of us likes to have other people tell us we're wrong in our opinion. That's what I'm getting a lot of. All I said was "this is my opinion." I don't think I need to keep reading the same insults couched in different language. People telling me to get a life. People telling me to go elsewhere if I don't like the language. Some of you folks seem downright exclusive, like you are a country blub and I'm the middle class caddy who isn't worthy of your presence because I dress funny. I'm just saying, let's move on. I feel like I'm writing my own novel here. I'll stop now.
105. ConfusedMuch
Ok, I may have to stop reading the comments if they're going to turn into an evengelical sermon by anotherfan.

And let me just add.... Damn!
Sacha G
106. Fortune_Prick_Me
PamK@82 - Ms Korda,is that you? First Leigh, then Pam I feel like I blew my own Horn of Valere and 2 of the legendary heroes showed up!

Regarding the Shadowspawn and gateways, this may be of interest:

"I’ve seen posts various places suggesting that I’ve had Trollocs using gateways in previous books. I think this stems from the attack on the Stone of Tear where I speak of Trollocs and Myrddraal “leaping out of thin air.” This was not meant to convey gateways — no openings in the air were mentioned — but rather the suddenness of their appearance. A cliche, I know. Later, in The Shadow Rising I think, I explained that they had been smuggled into the Stone using barges and wagons." Rj's blog, 2006

and this:

Q: Why can't Shadowspawn pass through gateways?
RJ: It's because they're artificial constructs. They can't tolerate the passage.
Q: So would a Nym have the same problem?
RJ: Yes.

Reference here: RJ speaks
Andrew Lovsness
107. drewlovs
Thus, the sad bracelets enter the picture and never seem to be far away. I HATE that particular plot device, in the literal sense. There always seems to be a need for a "super item" to cut Rand or the supergirls down to size, if the fear of death at any moment was not enough...

I'm sad to see the split story lines begin here. I enjoyed the Rand/Egwene story line, but the Nyn/Eylane line was always so hard to re-read. I'm not sure why, as one of my favorite parts of later books is when they finally hook up with the rebel AS, so it isn't the characters.

BTW, I never made the connection between signing in and the names given here; I saw the reference between the "red and gray" colors of our name tags while re-reading responses to earlier chapters and books, and realized that I should try logging in... hehe.


Call me a doofus, just don't call me late for dinner...
108. blightboggle
I don't post often but I have to chime in on the men protecting women thing. Most of the posts are assuming that it is a thought out decision. That the arguements made here are dissected by our male characters and agreed that "we should protect the womenfolk because they are the weaker sex", but in reality (our reality and probably Jordan's) it is more of an instinct.
I am ashamed to say that I have been both slapped by women and punched by men. In the first instance I don't raise a hand. Not because I thought about anything but because I have a mother, and sister for that matter. In the 2nd the fists are flying quick as thought.
So does society as a whole agree with the gender protection issues Jordan set forth. Of course, but I think more as a matter of instinct as much if not more than any pre-thought out standing of who to physically harm/protect and who not to.
Could be totally wrong but thats how I see it.
109. anotherfan
Randalator, thanks for the link. good stuff.
He who comes with the noon: I think that to be condescending would mean that I think I am better than others. What a sticky spot. If I say I am better, then you have proof. If I say i don't think I'm better, you can say that I'm saying that because I really do think I'm better. I can't answer. One of the weaknesses we have with writing this stuff is that we can't see people's eyes and hear tone of voice and inflection. When Leigh writes that she can ignore me and that I can stop reading, I hear a snotty litle gilr picking up her toys and going home. In reality, she may have been very respectful in her thoughts. When I type something, you hear a specific voice based on all kinds of things, and I will not be able to convince you that I'm not a jerk trying to get everybody to be like me. Oh well, let me be thought of as condescending. At least I know the truth.

Your post was not condescending. It was downright mean and kind of silly. Several times I have pointed out that I understood from the beginning that Leigh didnt have to listen to me. Yet you feel the need to point that out again. Good point for you. You had your say. Several times I have praised her skill and writing, and yet you felt the need to score another zinger by telling me how great she is. Another point for you. I thank I did, and have apologized again for coming off as condescing, but you felt the need to point out my jerkiness again. Another point for you. you're on a role. The idea of having the right to request something or not having the right to request something is ridiculous. I made the request. That's not a matter of right. She denied the request, per her position. No problem.

And the you get another point for writing that my discussion of real world gender issues is silly. My opinion or observation is silly, while yours has great merit I'm sure. I don't recall writing that anything someone wrote on here was silly. But it's cool for you to insult in that way.

And the final point goes to you for using a curse word in your post intentionally to prove your point. Thank you for playing. You win. and lest you think I'm being condescending here, let me assure you that I don't think I'm better or smarter than you. From some of your posts, you seem like a very intelligent person. This is written in irritation that you would feel justified to respond to me in the way you have. You didn't have a dog in the fight, so to speak. In fact, the "fight" was over. You just had to stick your nose in it.

I'm done with it. I'm more than sure that other's are sick of seeing my long posts. I know I am. Let's stick to the books.
Blake Engholm
110. UncrownedKing
Agreed, point taken, we got it, everyone lay off, I call Truce, white flag has been waved, the day is won, moving on.

@107 drewlovs

The reason I have troubles with Nyn and Elayne is the fact that they become annoying. The characters alone are fascinating and enjoyable. But the get together and its nothing but glaring, dumb decisions, chin lifting, braid pulling and way to much sniffing and arm folding underbreasts for me to stomach or read. In these sections im guilty of simply reading the dialogue and skipping way too much detail.

This is almost as bad as reading the arrogant AS in LOC. OMG I want to Balefire all of the AS. Get them together and BALEFIRE THEM ALL!!! I think everytime I read LOC im in a terrible grumpy mood the entire time it takes me to finish it. Actually probably up to the "Kneel Aes Sedai, Kneel or you will be knelt" which is the most badass line in the entire series bar none.
111. Lsana
@94 bchurch,

Yeah, they were there, weren't they? Okay, so Egwene should know that the Horn of the Valere had been blown (though she might not have known that Brigitte was one of the heroes called back).
Chris Maurer
112. grayfox
Along the lines of the parallels to mythology and whatnot...

I think its funny to imagine Randland as the US.

Arad Doman - Seattle
Falme - San Francisco
Tanchico - Los Angeles (consider the crime)
Mountains of Mist - Rockies
Two Rivers - Denver
Caralain Grass - Iowa/Kansas/Nebraska
Ebou Dar - San Diego maybe
Amador - Utah? (I'm making no judgements here)
Illian - New Orleans (swampland)
Tear - Miami/Orlando?
Mayene - Key West?
Cairhein - Washington DC (annoying politics)
Caemlyn - no idea on this one
Tar Valon - New York (power center)
Dragonmount - New Jersey (nobody really wants to live I could see the savior of the world born in NJ...anyone want to make "Buddy Rand" dolls? sorry for the Dogma reference...)
Fal Dara - Boston
Shol Arbela - Hartford (because do we ever hear anything about that city? same as Hartford)
Chachin - Buffalo
Maradon - don't have a good one for that.
The Blight - Canada (except for the warmth part)
The Waste - England

(and yes, this is all tongue in cheek and meant to be funny...and not an another American thinking the U.S. is the center of the universe or me ripping on anyone)
113. Ian Hurst
anotherfan: "i just realize that I'm the bad guy because I pointed out something that most people disagree with on the post"

No, dude, you're getting shit because you told a bunch of people who are interested in the gender politics of TWOT that you're tired of it and to "get over this issue". As if we're out of line for discussing our interests here. As if this is your space made for your comfort.

Well, no. Sorry. This is not your space. If you want to dismiss Leigh's interests without getting called out, go write a diary.
Ofer Nave
114. odigity
Leigh - your rant on ethics has sufficiently impressed me to recommend this to you:
JS Bangs
115. jaspax
RE: polygyny and sexism, I really fail to see how the Aiel system can be considered sexist, given that the women hold the power over who they will and will not marry. This already makes them very, very peculiar for a Real World(tm) culture. Here, there are cultures where women basically have no say over who they marry (most of them, historically), and cultures where women can refuse a proposal but cannot themselves propose. This latter is the situation in the West since late medieval times, and remained the case until the latter part of the 20th century. Even now, when it is in principle possible for a woman to initiate a relationship and propose marriage, it's very rare. Cultures where women actually control who they marry are vanishingly rare. I actually can't think of a single non-fictional example right now.

By this metric, the Aiel women are some of the most empowered women in any culture in the world.

Egglie @27: Polygamy - all very well when everyone agrees but a nightmare otherwise!

As is true of marriage in general!
John Pigott
116. AbEnd
From the forthcoming musical "Rand Get Your Callandor"

“Whatever you can do, Lews Therin, I can do. And better.

Anything you can do,
I can do better.
I can do anything
Better than you.

No, you can't.
Yes, I can. No, you can't.
Yes, I can. No, you can't.
Yes, I can,
Yes, I can!

Anything you can be
I can be greater.
Sooner or later,
I'm greater than you.

No, you're not. Yes, I am.
No, you're not. Yes, I am.
No, you're NOT!. Yes, I am.
Yes, I am!"
117. hoping to be of the blood
grayfox @ 112
How about Ebou Dar = New Orleans
118. WinespringBrother
bchurch @ 94

Rand does use a trap outside the waygate in Shadar Logoth, but it isn't a gateway. Rather it is a ward that has a delayed effect, and resets itself after triggered. Rand knows the usage of wards, having set them other times (on Callandor and the access keys) and Moiraine has used them as well, both for warning and physical barriers.

Gateways and wards would be useful against shadowspawn armies in certain situations, but not if there was a large battlefront. He could always use his lightning trick from TSR, or maybe Elayne's trick with the exploding gateway to take out a large area. The One Power is versatile in that way :)
Blake Engholm
119. UncrownedKing
Grayfox @112

Caemlyn is probably Chicago (or Columbus or Philly or Pittsburgh)
Sea Folk Isles = The Carribean
SEanchan = Japan/china/South Pacific
Tremalking = Hawaii??
Salidar= dallas or houston or maybe St.Louis

All of that is mainly b.s.
120. TheMonkeyThatCried
"Oh well, let me be thought of as condescending. At least I know the truth."

See, that right there? Condescending.

"I don't recall writing that anything someone wrote on here was silly."


"Your post was not condescending. It was downright mean and kind of silly."

Um... Anyway. I'm loving this re-read. After CoT managed to kill my WoT love stone dead this is reminding me why I loved it so much in the first place.

I'm not a huge fan of the double standard in modern society. To me, it seems almost as sexist as objectification. Why should a man go out of his way to open a door for me? Apparently my female body is so feeble and my female mind so flighty that I am incapable of opening a door by myself. It comes from the same place of male superiority.

Gender equality and WoT pretty much go hand in hand. The core concept is designed to ignite such discussion. Can't wait for your views on the Mat/Supergirls problems in Ebou Dar! Your work fucking A'!
Dale Metzger
121. Metzg31

I had the same thought when I read that.

Glad I'm not the only one.
Chris Maurer
122. grayfox
hoping... @ 117 -

Thought of that too, which would make Illian...Biloxi? Tampa? I'm flexible!
Leigh Butler
123. leighdb
litg @14:

Well, Lanfear frowns "at his face", not Rand's forehead, in Chapter 9, but okay. I always took it to mean that after canoodling with Elayne for a while, he just doesn't look quite so dumbfounded at The Pretty as he did formerly, but there's a little ambiguity there. What's your theory, then?
124. PamK
anotherfan @98:

Does anyone see prallels with another religion in the series?

Yup, yup. Back in the day, we all had tons of fun trying to figure out which bits of world folklore and religions RJ plundered for various bits of Randlandia. For example, there's Norse mythology all over the place, even more blatant than the Christianity references.
Leigh Butler
125. leighdb
Lsana @22:

Here's a question, though: does Lanfear know about the flaw? Is that why she's encouraging him to use Callandor?

I have no idea if she knows - I don't think it's ever brought up again until Path of Daggers, at which point she's got other problems - but I highly suspect she wouldn't care if she did. I suspect that no buffer/delusions of grandeur are problems for wussies, in her view.
126. tacoma
Yes, I'm procrastinating on my efforts to procrastinate, but I just have to comment that I find this debate over polygamore fascinating. The most fascinating aspect of the entire debate is the fact that you're all completely wrong!

Have any of you ever actually been to the desert at night? It's frickin' cold! This whole sister-wife Aiel bonding experiment was actually an attempt to conserve body heat, nothing more. Why do you persist in reading so much into it? Puh-lease, people. Stop the madness.

Don't get me started on how wrong you all are on the whole freedom of speech thing. Way out there!

In all seriousness, good job Leigh. You've succeeded in keeping me from working on my final and for that I owe you a drink. Keep up the good work.
Blake Engholm
127. UncrownedKing
@126 tacoma

hahaha Great Odens Raven!! Its all so clear to me now. Damn my ignorance!!!!!
128. Branwhin


"Too true. Though Gateways as a defensive mechanism would be a subject of worthy discussion. Archers, ballistae, catapults, and AS lightning strikes inbound so you throw a gateway above your head with its endpoint above the enemy encampment... Suddenly their arrows and projectiles are rerouted in-flight back at them."

Absolutely brilliant. I'll bet a fair amount of this was done in the War of Power, the more dextrous channellers doing this and on the lookout for the enemy doing likewise.

As to why it wasn't done more often, *both* sides had plenty of channellers, so while the Shadow would be hindered more by gateways, they likely used other things in battle that made a ... lightsider, for want of a better word ... cringe at the mere thought.

Fabulous rereads and commentary, Leigh, everyone!
Leigh Butler
129. leighdb
Belmont @46:

Lanfear's Power ranking was always left a little ambiguous, but I know that somewhere it's stated that she *might* be only outranked by Ishy among the Forsaken. I can't remember where this was said, though. I always pretty much took it as fact, though, lacking more concrete evidence.
Ofer Nave
130. odigity
All these posts from 'anotherfan' makes me think Dolores Umbridge doesn't have enough work to do at the Ministry.
Richard Fife
131. R.Fife
Leigh: in tGH, Chapter 9, Blood Begets Blood, page 107 in my paperback version. It is kinda expositioned, not spoken, so I guess it is internal monologue from Moiraine.
Lanfear. In the Old Tongue, Daughter of the Night. Nowhere was her real name recorded, but that was the name she had taken for herself, unlike most of the Forsaken, who had been named by those they betrayed. Some said she had really been the most powerful of the Forsaken, next to Ishamael, the Betrayer of Hope, and had kept her powers hidden. Too little was left from that time for any scholar to say for certain.
132. datamuse
Sorry, tacoma, I'm still stuck on the notion of Seattle as Arad Doman. :D Okay, yes, we're a port, but to refer to seduction as a local art form would be...well, let's say that the PNW culture is just a little too chilly for that.

Oh, someone (anotherfan?) asked about evidence of other religions in WoT, and PamK mentioned discussions of this topic elsewhere, but one obvious example is the ancient Aes Sedai symbol itself, which closely resembles the taijitu symbol commonly associated with Taoism and more generally the concept of yin and yang, which ALSO has gendered associations. (Though that Wikipedia entry mentions other sources for the symbol that I wasn't aware of previously. Cool.)
133. Bill Door
leighdb @123:

I always interpreted that comment to mean that Lanfear had noticed that Elayne had given him a hickey or three...
Dale Metzger
134. Metzg31
Most message board/blog comment sections degenerate into name-calling, close-mindedness, and other general displays of ignorance in the first 5 posts. I believe, until today, the fans of this re-read have been able to avoid that. That's one of the reasons why I've developed quite an addiction for Leigh's wonderful work here and the subsequent discussions.

I commend Leigh on doing her best Linda Richman and giving real-world topics of which we can talk amongst ourselves. She's put her opinions out there at the risk of receiving massive criticism. She has given us a great platform to share our opinions with others who share our passion for WOT.

Let's not waste this privelege. Rather than launching insults while hiding behind the anonymity of our screen names, I think it is our responsibility to discuss these topics as if we were at the Leigh's kitchen table and could see each other's faces. Let's respect one another's opinions. We've got a long way to go in these books.

Sorry to be preachy. Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Leigh Butler
135. leighdb
R.Fife @131:

Ah, thanks. I knew I wasn't crazy.
136. Roxinos
The quote about Birgitte is not weird in the slightest. Egwene has no reason to suspect that the Heroes of the Horn exist within Tel'aran'rhiod when they are not brought to life by the Horn. All she knows is that the Horn brings them to the real world, and as far as she's concerned they're just another group of dead people without the Horn's call.

She knows the Horn was blown. But the battle ended and the Heroes disappeared. She thinks that the Heroes cannot exist without the Horn's call. Obviously, the Heroes do not indefinitely exist in the real world with the Horn's call, so she thinks that Mat needs to blow the Horn again to call the Heroes.
Brett Michie
137. bchurch
Ok, completely off current topics, sorry, but is there ever any reference to Rand looking like Galad? They are half-brothers and all . . just got through the LoC section where Rand learns who his mom really was after wondering why the Andoran nobility looked at him funny. Idle question, I know, but I can't recall if any resemblance has been mentioned in the books.
138. Samadai
Can't we all just get along
139. Pixie
When you mention the similarities with Christianity I often notice similarities to myths and legends I read growing up. I always associated Perrin with Wayland the smith in english and norse legends. The blacksmith side always seemed really strong to me. I also remember stories of the wild hunt riding out with the hounds of hell to lead it. Artur Hawkwing with his sword Justice -> King Arthur and Excalibur anyone. Can't think of any others off the top of my head but I know I'll recognise them as I continue re-reading.
Ofer Nave
140. odigity
Re: women - I thought it was all Harriet's fault. Didn't RJ say repeatedly that all the females are loosely based on Harriet?
Ofer Nave
141. odigity
Also, the talk of gateways and shadowspawn made me think it might be fun sometime to open a gateway to Thakan'dar (the valley below Shayol Gul), right in the home of the bastards, and just kinda taunt them from your side of the gateway.
Richard Fife
142. R.Fife
Odigity, nothing stops them from hurling things at you, just passing through themselves. Make sure you have a nice strong mesh wall of air so you can taunt them but not let anything through.
Brett Michie
143. bchurch
odigity @ 141

lmao! Neener, neener, neener!!! Dare you to cross this line!
144. litg

Point taken, and I can't actually take credit for this theory (got it from wotmania) but I always found it intriguing. The central premise is that through all of TGH (and most or all of TDR) the person we know as Lanfear is actually Mesaana posing as her. The theory on wotmania (which if I recall is REALLY long) puts forth a large amount of admittedly circumstantial evidence, but the key points are the "marking" I already mentioned, and a few other things. For one, we learn in Lord of Chaos that Mesaana had a large hand in the plan to lure Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne to Tear for Bel'al. She was "quite proud of that plan." We know from TDR that "Lanfear" is instrumental in leading the girls to the planted evidence pointing to Tear, and we never see Mesaana involved in any way. And "Lanfear" appears quite often in the White Tower, which we later learn is where Mesaana set herself up. That's all the salient points I can remember offhand, and I have no idea WHY Mesaana would want to impersonate Lanfear except to try controlling Rand, but there you have it.
145. Naraoia

"While polygyny (only word in English with 3 "y's"???)..."



"the Leigh"?? :D
Maggie M
146. Eswana
AbEnd @ 116
LOL. Musical theater reference + WoT = happy.
Thank you.

@ most:
whew, what a day of heated discussion! Maybe it's the spring fever in the air. Here's my two cents:

On the gender thing:
Despite his many flaws in gender portrayal, RJ does do a good job of portraying something I happen to agree with (maybe he did too): that men and women are *equal in dignity* but not *equal*. ie., man and women are both created with beauty and dignity inherent in them because who they are as men or women, but they are still distinct, with sometimes different gifts, which does not mean that one gender ought to be more valued than the other; rather that they ought to be both prized for their own uniqueness and the beauty of masculinity and femininity. I happen to be a woman, so I'm thankful for my two X chromosomes. I'm glad I'm a woman. It rocks. However, I'm not better or worse than any man; I'm simply different. And that's okay. Complementarity. Not sameness. Not to open a huge Pandora's box... but this is why I always hesitate to classify myself as a "feminist" because that word has all sorts of connotations (to me at least) about women wanted to de-feminize themselves or de-masculinize men to water everyone down into some weak sort of gender-less neuter. That's not how we're created.

Okay, done with that soapbox. Back to WoT. I think in the series Jordan did a good job of portraying the strengths and weakness of both men and women. He does sometimes resort to stereotypes, but I don't really think one gender is gravely slighted over the other. We've seen good female rulers fall on their faces (Siuan, etc), good male leaders make huge mistakes (Perrin, maybe? re: Faile fiasco?); horrible female characters in power (Elaida), horrible male characters in power (pick any male Forsaken); amazing female leadership (Egwene, possibly Elayne); wondeful male leadership (Mat, Rand to some extent) overall a pretty balanced view.

Also, I loved the Tanchico Smithsonian comments made by several of you above. I'm pretty sure I didn't catch the Mercedes Benz thing the first time through- props to those who did!

I remember being as enthralled as Egwene when we were first learning about TAR. I would LOVE to be able to fly around like she does in Tanchico- sweet! Has anyone had any success or experience with Lucid Dreaming? Apparently in lucid dreaming you're conscious that it's a dream, so you can control things to some extent, much like TAR. Anyone?

Looking back, it seemed pretty normal that Egwene could slip into TAR without the Ring on her first try- I suppose I didn't realize then just how sweet of a Talent that is.

Happy weekend!
147. Aaron Bergman
#4 : Semirhage has them and several copies (along with a few a'dam) with her when taken at the meeting where Rand loses his hand.

Wow. I don't even remember that happening. I hadn't realized just how much later books really are a blur to me.

#11 : I just made it through the damn menagerie in TFOH. I'm dreading the search for the bowl.

#132 : I think Jordan said at some point that the Aes Sedai symbol it's based upon the Yin-Yang symbol, and the lack of the dots signifies the lack of unity between male and female. It's all about gender dynamics in this series.
Ofer Nave
148. odigity
Eswana@146: I've long assumed TAR was inspired by the concept of lucid dreaming. As for firsthand experience with it... I've got a book on it, and I'd really love to be able to do it, but I haven't had the discipline to "practice" - to do the work necessary to get there. Maybe someday.
Brett Michie
149. bchurch
Eswana @ 146

Have had moderate success with lucid dreaming and flying is really, really fun!
150. lightnessdarkness
Just thought I would comment briefly on all this talk about gender issues in terms of the text - it's proving to be a very interesting parallel to what is happening in my real world. I am a wanna-be biblical scholar in training (particularly Hebrew scriptures) and one thing that I've been having to deal with is the inherent sexism/patriarchal power structures/feminine oppression and silencing within the Hebrew texts as well as the fact that these texts have been purposely used and exploited in history in order to dehumanize, subject, oppress, and silence women. In fact, just last night, I began to ponder about whether or not to start referring to YHWH, who is generally referred to in Hebraic texts with masculine words or word forms, as she/her instead of he/him. I have multiple ideas and inclinations pulling me one way and then the other both in terms of my professional and religious life. When dealing with something like these very ancient texts, and also with something like Jordan's fantasy worlds, we encounter world-views, beliefs, customs, traditions, and circumstances that are not only different and foreign to our world, but can be downright backwards, immoral, or grotesque when anachronistically judged as if they belonged to it. And yet we identify with literature. We see ourselves or our worlds reflected in it. And many times literature also has a part in creating our own worlds. And so even if something like Genesis or The Shadow Rising do not belong to our worlds, there can nevertheless be an interplay between. A few Re-Reads back, many people were amazed at how much people were treating these fictional characters as if they were something other. That is part of the reading process, part of how we make sense of texts and how texts make sense of us. It is a fascinating dialog and interchange, even when it is a difficult one.
Michael Ikeda
151. mikeda

It's also in the glossary of TSR.

"One of the Forsaken, perhaps the most powerful next to Ishamael."
Robert Garza
152. FunBob
Staying on subject here (WoT, of course):

Some observations about the lightning construct that Rand uses in the Stone. Its the first appearance of the voice of Lews Therin, who gives him the instructions on what to do. The implications are that (1) Rand is mad, and this is the first scene to show it, (2) Rand using Callandor in TDR is the primary cause, as it magnifies the taint, (3) The taint causes the separation of a person from his previous reincarnation to become thinner, allowing the victim to remember more of his past life, (4) all the channelers who discover a previously unknown weave without any knowledge of it are "remembering" how to do so from a previous incarnation, and (5) the weave LTT tells Rand to use to destroy the Shadowspawn is the same that LTT used to kill all of his relatives, including Ilyena. Thats a lot of information all shoved into several paragraphs...

Also, has anyone thought that Rand is now immune to the use of the Sad Bracelets now that he doesn't have both of his hands?

Everyone have a NICE day, and kudos and salutations to Leigh as always.
Richard Fife
153. R.Fife
FunBob, the collar goes around Rand's neck, the bracelets are how women would control him. Never thought about the possibilty of LTT having used the Shamwow Weave to kill his family. Could be.
154. Lariensedai
I have been catching up on the re-read and a lot of people have been commenting re: the gender issues in these books. These are also things which have bothered me about Jordan's writing and during the re-read I think I have caught on to what is going on. Also, forgive me if I am reiterating things that have already been said at length. In no way, do I think that Jordan was being "sexist" on purpose, in fact I think that these books are empowering and even "feminist" on many levels. However, I think that the books are written mainly from a male character's point of view and from those pov's, women often seem like some kind of incomprehensible alien species. Also, it seems that even when we are coming from a female character's point of view that the characters are not as fully rounded as they could be, and for that reason I really found it difficult to find a female character, as a college-aged girl reader, that I could identify with, with the possible exception of Min. There are two main reasons for this. The first and more important of these is, I think, that the female characters do not show a lot of vulnerability, and when they do it comes in the form of hysterics. Yes I know that's a strong word, but let me explain. The characters either seem to be completely cool, calm and stone-faced most of the time, betraying no emotion at all (i.e. Moiraine, Aviendha, pretty much every Aes Sedai); or on the other hand they are flying off the handle at every opportunity, making our heroes' lives miserable (Nynaeve, Faile, Egwene in the first couple of books, Elayne). Min is the closest to having a happy medium there, but she also has the rough-and-tumble tomboy thing going on, she is what some bloggers might call the "manic pixie dream girl" archetype. These are all ideals of women, the previous two being the "regal, serene, authoritative" woman and the "passionate, fiery" woman; the women don't seem to have reactions that most people I know would have. The second, and more minor issue I have here is something I've heard mentioned in the past; all of the major female characters are impossibly beautiful, which is also hard to identify with. In addition these impossibly beautiful female characters are always hooking up with not so good looking male characters (Hello, Gaidal Cain, Bayle Domon), with none of the opposite happening. Which is a bummer. Anyway this is a really long rant, so I'll leave it there. Thoughts?
155. Lynnia
R.Fife @131:

I always took that quote as an example of Lanfear managing her own PR. She went to a lot of effort in the AoL to project just the right image (naming herself, claiming dominion over TAR, etc.), and it seems like it worked -- she is remembered in considerably more detail than most of the rest of the Forsaken (excluding Ishy of course).
156. Hardcore
@139, re: references to myths and legends:

The biggest one that jumps out at me has to be that Rand was recognized as being the Dragon Reborn after pulling the sword (Callandor) from the Stone (of Tear, that is). Pretty straightforward.
Leigh Butler
157. leighdb
litg @44:

Well, you have at least brought to my attention a WOT theory that I have genuinely never heard of before, and I really thought I had heard them all. That'll show me!

And... I mean, it's an interesting theory, but I really don't buy it, personally. I think it's pretty clear that Lanfear has always been Lanfear all along.

...well, until she's Cyndane. Ahem.
158. litg
Fair enough, I'm satisfied having tried to push my lunacy on someone else.
159. Confutus
There are historical, cultural, and possibly even biological roots for men to take a role as protectors of women. This is because in a society that values its own continuity, women are irreplaceable as child-bearers. Children, the inform, and the elderly have also been chosen for protection.

This does not necessarily say anything about the itnelligence, wisdom, attitudes, disposition, or moral virtue of women, or the lack thereof. An individual evaluation of each person one meets based on individual and situational merits and preferences is burdensom and confusing. I would think that a default cultural assumption of "good men protect women" would be less demeaning to womeh than one of "Men have the right to please themselves, regardless of what women wish".

For some readers, the very difficulty that the Two Rivers men have in overcoming their cultural programming, even when those women prove to be deadly enemies, is part of their appeal.
160. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
I'd agree this kneejerk reaction against even the idea of seeing women hurt is gonna cause Rand a lot of trouble down the road. Right now it's only a minor irritation, but later it's almost enough proof of saidin-induced madness by itself. I'd disagree though that this is the first appearance of Lews Therin. Lews Therin's influence has been visible in glimpses since EoTW. How else can we explain looking as if a blademaster's sword belonged to him just by standing? I'd say it was Lews Therin influencing his stance.

Anyway, the next thing that happens is basically Rand binding the Defenders' loyalty to him. Defenders would make it an unofficial greeting whenever they see him afterwards. Particularly the veterans of that night's fighting. Rand gets stupid though, in leaving his greatest weapon behind. And he shows us our first glimpse of Callandor-induced insanity.

Sigh. I really don't see why the Girls think it necessary to masquerade as full sisters. Amys looks like someone who would've taken Egwene on as student. Full sister or not. It's funny that they have yet to pay the price for their deception. It ought to be more than just a few lashes. (Grumble, grumble) More of the girls getting by on sheer luck. That kind of misdemeanor is something that I'd imagine would haunt someone for years.

Artanian @3
That may be so. But we learn later that Aiel practiced it even in the AoL when they were pacifists. So no, we can't put it down to the warrior culture whittling away the number of men. We'll just have to take it as it is.

Darth Touma @12
You are right about Bair. She only had them one at a time.

Metzg31 @18
No need for Trollocs to kill anybody in Tear. The Stone has its own docks area. That's why it's never been taken until the Aiel raided it. Even when you put it on siege, the defenders can resupply by sea. The Trollocs were already killing each other when Rand went out of his room. So they could all have been on the same barges, and, not being particularly smart, not realized that they would be on opposing sides.

UncrownedKing @19
Oh yes, Leigh. If their criticism really bothers you, you can say burn instead of da**, sheepswallop instead of s***, mule-headed man instead of a******.

Lsana @22
Good point. We may all have been mistaken about Galad putting on white like a shroud being Min's vision.

rudra @37
1. both, I think
2. Yes, it was partly inexperience. But also, while Lews Therin was stronger than Lanfear, how can we be sure that Rand has already reached his full Lews Therin reborn strength? I think he still makes an observation during his training with Asmodean that he's getting stronger.

R.Fife @55
Errr.. Mat doesn't get over killing a woman. And by KoD he'd rather the woman hurt him than him hurt her. While I disagree that this is the first time, Lews Therin's memory seeps into Rand's consciousness. I would agree that this is the first time Rand perceives it as an actual voice.

AUgradGSUgradstudent @58
What if the EoTW was a well that could contain saidin? Much like Cadsuane and Nynaeve's but at a much larger scale. If it could be refilled it would be invaluable.

hoping to be of the blood @77
DeathGates are gateways that open and close several times, with the destination changing each time. Imagine a mouth hanging in mid-air flying toward Trollocs and gobbling them up. The rotating is just the visual effect of the opening/closing process.

Bill Door @133

bchurch @137
I don't remember any reference to them looking like each other. There have been references to Slayer looking like Rand's uncle(which he is), but none about Rand and Galad. For one thing Galad has always been described as dark. While Rand has the Aiel's pale coloring. Both of them have been described as being too beautiful for their own good though.

Larinsedai @154
Not true about ugly men hooking up with beautiful girls. Few of Logain's clique are ever described as handsome. But they do have bonded Aes Sedai who are also never described as ugly. And they get to bed them too.
161. Orideth
Regarding the issue of Lanfear's strength in the OP, there was an article linked to on Wednesday's post that went very in-depth on the measuring of strength. (found here: It uses a variety of evidence from the series, along with quotes from many different characters, to establish a hypothetical scale for OP strength, and place everyone along it. Granted some of the stuff they use to establish everything is a little shaky, but all in all it seems very plausible and well-reasoned out to me. Keep in mind that it measures raw strength, not accounting for things like superior skill or specific Talents.

Anyway, for those who don't feel like reading it themselves, the conclusion they arrived at is that Lanfear was unbelievably powerful for a woman, as powerful as it's possible for a woman to be, but the top tier of males are more powerful than her. This includes Rand/Ishy, of course, but also Demandred, Sammael, Rahvin, and possibly Logain and Mazrim Taim as well.
162. toddywatts
Greyhawk @88 -- I'm with you!
Joseph Blaidd
163. SteelBlaidd
The exploration of gender relations has always been one of my favorite aspects of the WoT books(You can hit half of the listed topics in just this thread). I look forward to lots of exploration of the ways men and women interact in the coming posts >:->

In the case of Gaul/Chiad/Bain, going back to tDR(Ch 38 Madiens Of The Spear) my reading(and Egwene's) of Chiad's explanation is that Maidens who are sworn first-sisters come to bed as a set but that dosn't apply to first sisters in general (sworn or natural) and might (big might) not apply if a Maiden leaves the spear for a man.

Gaul's problem is not Bain but that he wants to marry Chiad but she is only willing to sleep with him.

Regarding polygamy in general any normative community sanctioned arrangement is developed because it fills some need. In the LDS case it served as an ingroup/outgroup designator, and odd as it may seem helped improve the economic status and liberty of women. Stiffer competition for available women and very liberal female initiated divorce statutes forced men to improve their sales pitch. And more hands for a single household economy freed women to pursue higher education/social action. (Note: I.m LDS. As is Saderson for that matter ;-) ).

The only commonly polyandrous culture I know of is in Tibet where it is theorized it developed to avoid splitting up family owned land in an area where arable land is rare. No men only land ownership, and lots of unoccupied arable land means no need for polyandry in Randland.

It's been proposed that polygyny among the Aiel is a possible solution for a Male/Female imbalance I think the Maidens solve any possible problem much better. The normative polygynous relationship we have seen in the books is not just "one man, two women" but "Clan/Sept Chief-Roof Mistress-Wise One." From my Mormon back ground where the government model is a Presiding Authority and two Councilors. I'm inclined to see this as a deliberate Governmental structure. Like Sea Folk marriage authority customs, it helps maintain a balance between male and female authority, and acts as a check on the Wise Ones power. (It makes me think of the Worker-Warrior-Religious Caste system from Babylon 5.)

Rands three brides likely have some of the same function though in a more complicated arrangement. They are all Wise Ones in their own way but only Elayne seems to fit in the Roof Mistress role. (I shall have to muse on this more latter.)

@lightnessdarkness: Ive seen some work recently on the divine feminine in ancient Hebrew religion. With Ashereth becoming Wisdom as a possible survival of older beliefs after the second temple reforms under Hezekiah and the return from Exile.

If you want I'll try to relocate them.
164. Rebecca Starr
wow! Leigh's post and 162 comments - looks like I'm late to the party! ::pours herself some punch::

Ch 9
ah the voice of God chapter - yes, this is the only time I remember RJ using this sort of outside narration in the whole series, and I still love it, however brief.

hands down one of the creepiest moments in the whole series is the look of ecstasy on Lanfear's face while talking about the DO's voice in Shayol Ghul. I think it's easy to forget how *bad* Lanfear is, since she doesn't try to kill rand (well, not yet) and moons over him more than anything else... but ecstasy over the DO.... shudder.

I hate to bring it up here, and I also hate to sound like I'm positing a loony theory, but I still can't shake my feeling that the ENTIRE key to Asmodean's death is right here on p. 184:

"Asmodean will teach you to use the Power without it killing you... The Great Lord will not care. We can destroy them all, even Asmodean, once he has taught you all you need to know." There's a tiny kernel there that always made me so sure it was Lanfear, because it's so obvious, and so much of what Jordan writes turns out to be precisely that obvious in retrospect. I know, I know... the *finns. just keep it in mind, ladies 'n' gentlemen.

I've always wondered what the other sa'angreal more powerful than Callandor was... I suppose it didn't survive the Breaking?

gender issues, ahem, well... I do self-identify as a feminist, I was a gender studies major. And in fact, Jordan pretty much saved my sanity when I began studying gender in college... because he provided an alternative. One of his *founding* principles for this series was "what would the world look like if feminism no longer needed to exist, because the goals had already been achieved?" I remember gaping when I read that online, because it was what I tried to envision for the real world around me, and there is still so much pain that... well, I couldn't. Reading Jordan gave me hope, dried my tears.

and I really do think he succeeded. not in tearing down a binary, heteronormative gender system. But in creating a world where gender is not used as a marker of whether or not someone can do something. just look at random pronouns sometimes (blink and you'll miss 'em... a merchant's guard referred to as 'she' etc) but it's there.

for that reason, the quibbling over Rand's strange penchant for not wanting to kill women... I forgive it. because it's a Rand quirk, not a world-wide quirk. as for men wanting to protect women... I think you all are forgetting in this discussion that one in three women world wide still experience domestic violence in her lifetime. one in 4 are raped. so let's not praise the "protect women" ideal too strongly. it's obviously a myth.

and the polgamy among the Aiel? i think a lot of us are reading it through a "real-world" lens. that is, we know of polygamy that happens in systems where, let's face it, women do not have much power or say or choice or rights (I won't get started on patriarchal religion, right now....)

but RJ reverses that. he flips it on its head. he makes it women's choice, he alters its meaning, he strips it of its real-world baggage. i could go on, but 'nuff said for now.
165. Rebecca Starr
ok, i'm not done, I'm just breaking this post in two!

I had never encountered the Mesaana-as-Selene theory until this read through, and I have become a true convert. if I'm wrong, however, and this is not the 'mark' to which Lanfear refers, I think it is something she senses of his being starry-eyed over Elayne, and reading it in his face and his words.

Ch 10
any astronomers out there in the crowd? the thing Rand uses to kill all the Shadowspawn sounds an awful lot like a black hole to me. thoughts?

I remain perplexed by the end of this chapter.
"one more step tonight" - the ter'angreal doorway. i get that
"Lanfear had given him almost the last piece" - either a reference to Asmo or to cleansing saidin, I get that
"tomorrow he would begin to unleash another kind of lightening." - what in the, um, Light, does he mean by this?? always bugged me

Ch 11
I got nothin' except I love meeting Amys and I love Wise Ones.

Lsana@22 - my bet is on a mammoth. note the giraffe in the room, too

samadai@42 - could you point me to the source for that broken ter'angreal as a trap? I don't recall that

Randalator@48 - thanks for the levity :)

datamuse@54 - the closest I can think of for a real-world example is the PACS laws in France - these are still just between 2 adults (but of either gender), but perhaps it leaves room for polyamorous couples:

odigity@141 - RAFLMAO

anyone who mentioned that they are into lucid dreaming, please refer me to the title of the book you use! I have always wanted to learn
Brett Michie
166. bchurch
Rebecca Star

Well said. And to the sa'angreal more powerful than Callandor . . . cough,cough, choedan kal cough,cough

And curse all your goram browncoats out there and your ability to infect others!!!! Like I don't waste enough time on this blog, now I have to watch a whole series on hulu?

Oh, well . . . c'est la vie.

edit--- I did not really mean that time spent on this blog is wasted.
167. rynners
HeWhoComesWithTheNoon @ 100

Honestly, if she want's to do a reread based entirely on the analysis of Galad's left ear being slightly larger than the right one, that's her right.

That seems unlikely to happen, since Galad is described as being widely considered to be impossibly man-pretty, and studies have shown that being considered attractive by the common standard (or just by many people) generally correlates to a high degree of facial symmetry.

Also, while I'm a fan of nitpicky commentary, I'd be just as glad to leave ear size out of it and focus on more plot-motivating minutiae. Just sayin'... >=]
168. Rebecca Starr
bchurch - thank you!

and yes yes, choedan kal, that i know! But Lanfear says there were *two* more powerful than callandor. sorry I should have specified that is the one I was wondering about

(about which I was wondering? damn grammar)
169. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Rebecca Starr @165
About the "construct" that Rand uses. It's a bit vague to me as well but the description doesn't sound like a black hole to me.

As Leigh put it, "Without understanding what he is doing, he creates a concentrated swirling vortex of Power over his head."

I imagine this would look like some kind of tornado. Air, possibly laced with glowing threads of the Power spinning in a spiral. The whining sound effect adds to my impression. It could also look like a halo, only spinning.

And the lightnings came, flashing out along the ceiling left and right like silver streams. A Myrddraal stepped out of a side corridor, and before it could take a second step half a dozen flaring streaks stabbed down, blasting it apart. The other streams flowed on, fanning down every branching of the corridor, replaced by more and more erupting every second.

That looks like several lightning bolts flashing out from the ... vortex.. flowing through the ceiling and homing in on the Shadowspawn.

As for unleashing a "different kind of lightning", the following morning is when he announced to everyone what he plans to do next. His decision about Cairhien and going into the Waste certainly surprised everyone. Including Moiraine.
Brett Michie
170. bchurch
rebecca starr

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I always took the "two" to mean the female and male choedan kal. But, I've been mistaken before. Stupid worthless arizona beachfront . . .
171. Wetlander
@170 bchurch

Now that's too funny. For some reason I never really thought about the Choedan Kal as two, either. Oy. Now I feel silly. I'm sure you're right.
172. Stone Dog
anotherfan @98
"We have yet to see whether Mr. Jordan has Rand rising from the grave after spilling his blood."

My guess is that Lews Therin will die but Rand will survive - minus his ability to channel.

Re Rand not being able to hurt women - Who's going to deal with the female forsaken at Tarmon Gaidon? I expect it will have to be Nynaeve.
173. rudra
@Stone Dog
plus remember moiraine is probably coming back, and there are plenty of ashaman with logain without rand's conundrum
174. hoping to be of the blood
FunBob @152
Interesting points but I don't see where LTT had any input into the vortex killer.
It seems to me that for all of our new channelers, the amount of the power that they hold enables them to be more intuitively inventive.
The more power Rand holds, the more things he does without knowing what he is doing. The whole mad dash thru TAR in the battle with Ishy, for example, in the previous book and the coming up battle with asmo.
Similarly for N with her first use of balefire in tDR and Eg overpowering Amys in TAR when she embraces saidar.
Some of what Rand does in later books is LTT knowledge bubbling to the surface.
Even some of the lesser power users develop their own 'tricks' with the power, I think based on what they desired or needed.
I really shouldn't be up at this time of the morning thinking about this stuff.
175. sinfulcashew
(refer to last Leigh post)

What an interesting mishmash!

Not alot to comment on?

Just picking on one another like little kids?

Thought we were all 'grups' here!

Am looking forward to Mondays reread!
And to posts refering to subject of reread mostly!
176. laframboise
Must withdraw 'eesh'. After reading 174 more comments hoping someone else came up with the blurb, and skimming through the books, I think what I had misremembered was a thought Egwene had during the whole 'approach Dorindha' conversation in the sweat tent, which was qualified with a 'for all she knew'.
177. Siuanfan
Stone Dog @ 172 re: "My guess is that Lews Therin will die but Rand will survive - minus his ability to channel."

I have a theory that whatever happens at Tarmon Gai'don will burn the channeling ability out of humanity. Perhaps they won't need to anymore, once the Dark One is finally defeated for good and all Shadowspawn is destroyed (we hope!). Of course this leaves the problem of a few thousand possibly suicidal people who are depressed over not being able to touch the Source anymore... or it could result in the Source being able to be felt by anyone, only without channeling.

... the theory's a work in progress.
178. ZamIt
Siuanfan@177 - I also think that the book could end with no more channelling. There are so many ways Jordan has given us in the book to disable channelling (the steddings, Mat's ta'angreal, stilling, that machine in Far Madding?), and he is setting up a new industrial age with Rand's school so that the world won't need channelling as much. Maybe that is what happens when the wheel turns.

It would kind of upset WOT however, and would really be a kick in the teeth to Egwene. She is going to be leader of the channellers in the world, and if there is no channelling she's out of luck. On a side note, I think Egwene and Rand may be the ones to FULLY re-unite the White Tower, and bring the male channellers back. I can see Rand kneeling to Egwene and recognizing her as Amyrlin if she accepts the Asha'amen as Aes Sedai.
179. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Stone Dog @172
Not Nynaeve. Alivia. More powerful, more bloodthirsty.

hoping to be of the blood @174
Good point. It's practically a given that wilders generally come up with weaves of their own. So it's certainly possible for a channeler to improvise. And more powerful channelers can draw on more reserves without needing much efficiency on their first try. That would also account for the generally flashier effects.
180. Orideth

Hey, there's plenty of female Forsaken to go around; no reason Nynaeve and Alivia can't both get their slice of the action.

@177, 178

The possibility of channeling being burned out of humanity is certainly there; logically, if Randland is indeed a past/future/whatever version of our world, the ability to channel has to be gone by the time whichever Age correlates to our own time comes again. It's got to happen somewhere, and it could very well be at the end of the current Age, but somehow I feel like it won't be. I also don't like the idea of the Dark One being "gone for good" as I just feel like that would go against one of the central tenets of the WoTverse; I would be personally very disappointed if it happens this way, but once again, I don't think it will.
Ofer Nave
181. odigity
I'm gonna piss off some of you with this, probably, which is a shame, cause you're mostly all cool, but here's my situation in a nutshell.

I hate gender roles and gender stereotypes and assumptions in general, totally down with any consensual groupings (polygyny, polyandry, or even Heinlein's group families), and would not consider dating a woman I didn't consider my equal or better...

But I also despise feminism. I'm always reminded of a quote from a Simpsons episode:

Professor August: Look at that lighthouse. That's the ultimate expression of phallocentric technocracy violating Mother Sky.

Feminism - as practiced in academia - is insane. And it's subsidized by billions in tax dollars. No way would this be happening in a free society where mass theft (taxation) wasn't sanctioned, and students had to pay for education themselves, and therefore would demand real value in their education. Feminism in college is like the bridge to nowhere in Alaska - an example of the madness that results when people are allowed to use force to take money from others and then spend it however they like.
182. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
I don't think it will be so sudden. Logically, yes channeling is supposed to disappear by the time the part of the wheel that corresponds to our age returns. However, I always envisioned channeling's disappearance as a slow process that involves millenia. Perhaps an Age or two. A sudden loss of channeling will make for a lot of instability. Previously influential groups losing the basis of their influence, not to mention powerful rulers suddenly becoming depressed and suicidal. On a side note, Aiel once again, seem all set to survive such an upheaval if events do transpire that way.
Elroy Skimms
183. elroyskimms
bchurch @ 170

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I always took the "two" to mean the female and male choedan kal. But, I've been mistaken before. Stupid worthless arizona beachfront...

Lanfear refers to two others that he can use. Rand can only use one of the Choedan Kal. She believes the other did not survive the AoL and the Breaking and I believe it is never referred to again. But there was another more powerful than Callandor that a man could use, but it is lost to the ages.

Rebecca Starr @ 164


I have a mental block that omits words longer than 12 letters...

As for men wanting to protect women... I think you all are forgetting in this discussion that one in three women world wide still experience domestic violence in her lifetime. one in 4 are raped. so let's not praise the "protect women" ideal too strongly. it's obviously a myth.

I've avoided the gender discussion as I think RJ has done a fine job of finding an acceptable balance on the topic, and I have always admired his approach. But reading your comments I felt I couldn't stay out of the fray any longer.

Your attempt to link the notion that men should protect women with rape and domestic violence is both ridiculous and offensive. Domestic violence and rape has nothing to do with a desire to protect women. Looking at those cultures where women are domineered, beaten, and raped while society ignores them (think Rwanda, Hutu's, and Tutsi's); you will find one thing missing from them. They do not have the same notion that women should be protected. To them, women are property and objects and are treated as such. To connect that with a desire to protect women is absolutely ridiculous and without merit as the places in the world where rape and abuse are the norm, lack the "women should be protected" rule. Or, they classify women of another ethnic group (again, see Hutu's and Tutsi's as an example) as being outside of their protection.

The same holds true for domestic violence. Yes, if you ask the psychopath that beats his wife why he does it, he may tell you that it is his "role" or that he was putting his wife "in her place". But please, let's not use him and his shallow-end-of-the-gene-pool friends as the standard by which all men should be judged. You cannot fairly judge the entire male population by the minority of losers that abuse their spouses and children.

When I was dating my wife, I asked her point blank, do you want me to open doors for you or not, and do you want me ordering for you at restaurants or not. She said yes to both. Six years of marriage and several children later, I still open the door for her and she still tells me her order at a restaurant which I relay to the server when they arrive. This is not because she is incapable of doing it herself. This is not because her
"female body is so feeble and my female mind so flighty that I am incapable of opening a door by myself. It comes from the same place of male superiority." TheMonkeyThatCried @ 120

I do this because that is what SHE requests of me. I do it not because she is incapable, but because when I am around, I do it because it makes her happy. I have never and will never hit my wife. The idea that this desire to open doors for her, pay for her meals, and place her order at a restaurant stems from sort of superiority complex or some penchant toward violence and rape is horribly offensive. Stop judging all of us because of the actions of a few of us.

The truth behind a desire to not hurt women is relatively simple for me. Although there are exceptions (all generalizations have exceptions), men are stronger than women. Call it evolution, call it intelligent design, call it testosterone, call it whatever you want. Women are not more fragile, women are not less intelligent, women are not less valuable. But they (in general) are not as strong. To attack another person is bad enough on its own, but to target someone specifically because they are weaker is the worst kind of cowardice.

As an example, my son is disabled. He has cerebral palsy and has basically no control over his legs. His mental functions and upper body control are perfectly normal, if not above average. But he cannot stand or walk. While at school last year, there was another boy who would push my son around. We spoke with the teacher and found out that he only picked on two kids, my son and another boy whose autism was so severe that he could not speak. This bully targeted the two kids that had the least ability to fight back. Cowardly in the worst possible way.

I lump child abusers into the same category (if not worse). I used to work at a very popular theme park in California and although company policy was only to report suspected abuse, there was one occasion where I put myself between a man who was abusing (not disciplining, abusing) his child. My desire to stop him from attacking this child was not based on my superiority or a desire to rape, it was a desire to protect someone who at that moment had no one else to protect him.

I will protect those who have no one to protect them. I will defend those who are not able to defend themselves. If I walk past an alley and you are getting attacked and I come to your aid, by all means, feel free to tell me not to help you, lest I offend your sense of equality.

I think RJ got it right with the Two Rivers. It is a society where women occupy the same levels of authority as the men (though the Womens Circle thinks they rule the roost, and the Council thinks they are the top dogs... there is no clear winner). If anything, Nynaeve as the Wisdom tips the balance to favor women running the show as there is no male counterpart for a Wisdom. And yet, the men from the Two Rivers have this idea in their heads that women should be protected. They do not think women should be abused and raped, they think women should be protected. Rand's issue takes it a step further though, to his detriment. While Matt and Perrin will kill a woman in self defense, Rand will not, and obviously that still has a role to play. As for me, I will not attack a women, but if someone comes after my family, be they male or female, I will end them or will die in the attempt. If they get past me, they still have my wife to deal with, and I pity the fool that goes after my kids and has to face my wife's wrath.

Elroy Skimms
184. elroyskimms
Orideth @ 180

I also don't like the idea of the Dark One being "gone for good" as I just feel like that would go against one of the central tenets of the WoTverse; I would be personally very disappointed if it happens this way, but once again, I don't think it will.

Personally, I think I would be OK with the Dark One getting the boot permanently. Remember, in the WoTverse, the Dark One is not "Satan" of the Bible. The Dark One is not the source of all evil (see the crater formerly known as Shadar Logoth). The Dark One has its own kind of evil but to rid the world of the Dark One would not bring Eden back to the WoTverse. There was still murder and evil in the world before the Bore. Remember that the old skool Aiel were pacifists BEFORE the Dark One's prison was hacked.

True, eliminating the Dark One would decrease the amount of evil in WoTverse, but it would only eliminate his personal brand of evil. Greed and power hungry fools have always and will always (in this world and WoTverse) claw their way into power for personal gain. So the One Power can still turn the wheel and life will still continue in the WoTverse, even if the Dark One bites the dust.

185. GregoryD
Thank you ERDRICK for giving me that reference to Fain and Elaida. I just found it a few minutes ago.

And to R.fife with your comment about how it takes a while for the evil to be transmitted to someone.

So, that gets me thinking. What is the consensus?

Did Fain infect Elaida and that is why she turns so ballistic in the White Tower to the point that she is suspected of being Black Ajah? or is she just a bitch with a hard on for Siuan, Moiraine and every one who doesn't agree with her? Sort of power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely kind of thing? She is Red Ajah, after all.

Comments anyone?
john massey
186. subwoofer
185...holy schnike....I must of gone on a Mat bender... drank myself am sober(?!) enough to type.
Gregory... in case you missed it, Elaida is a full on bitch. Catholic nuns pale in comparison to this woman and her version of self righteousness. Rebecca Starr@168 you are onto something. Elroyskims, before launching into a Russian Novel summed it up... there is another toy out there that can do much damage. Maybe it is more wizard's sand sadin floating around that people actually used. i dunno.
Liking Rand again... loony Rand left much to be desired but now he is taking some back by choosing his own path and gone through the early stages of puberty- sadin wise.
The one thing that grinds on me is the Elayne thing. Rand is going to hook up with some other girls, but Elayne and Min both seemed like forced relationships. They both just"fall in love" with Rand and they can't explain their feelings and have barely seen him. Reminds me of those movies that were moving along fine, but then because of some Hollywood formula, you need to throw in a love interest for eye candy. No other purpose. They could of just been friends...or something. meh. Aviendha is the only one that seems to have a real connection with Rand... and she's great fun.
Nynaeve can kick butt- as demonstrated when she was captured and was decking people left and right. She has it in her... maybe if the female forsaken flirt with Lan...
Aviendha is the butt kicker of the bunch though. I think that is why she is around. She has hoops of power, can kill with her bare hands, is terribly jealous and protective of Rand... and is not bound by any ridiculous oaths that might impede her. Just putting it out there, seeing if it sticks.
Erdrick Farseer
187. Erdrick
@164 et al.
There was a discussion of the more powerful male sa'angreal in part 9 of TDR reread. I'll repost the entry from the expanded glossary of To the Blight, explaining my best guess at the second most powerful male sa'angreal.
Ring of Tamyrlin (TAHM-ehr-lin): a legendary ring, believed mythical by most people, worn by the leader of the Aes Sedai during the Age of Legends. Stories about the Ring of Tamyrlin include that it was an angreal or sa'angreal or ter'angreal of immense power. It supposedly was named after the first person to learn how to tap into the Source and channel the One Power, and in some tales, was actually made by that man or woman. Despite what many Aes Sedai say, no one knows whether it was a man or a woman who first learned to channel. Some believe that the present title of Amyrlin is a corruption of Tamyrlin.

Also, I don't think the Ring of Tamyrlin is necessarily a male only sa'angreal. This quote is from the Guide (TWoRJtWoT aka TBBoBA):
There are rumors of angreal and sa’angreal usable by both men and women, but they remain unconfirmed.

Pure speculation, but I think the Ring was the most powerful One Power (male/female) sa'angreal ever...until the creation of the Choedan Kal in the War of Power.
Joseph Blaidd
188. SteelBlaidd
Rebecca @162
Another couple of Authors that do real interesting explorations of gender politics are Lois Bujold and Anne Bishop.

One of the things that I found enjoyable is that even though there are women Guards and Hunters for the Horn etc they aren't doing it to be "as good as" men. There are a number of gender differentiated occupations they're just differently organized than here. (All doctors are women, Ebou Dari inn keepers vs fishermen, Domminai merchants.)
Elroy Skimms
189. elroyskimms
subwoofer @ 186

Elroyskims, before launching into a Russian Novel summed it up

Verbose and more long-winded than Chicago politicians? Yes. Russian Novel? ??? (pronounced nee-et).


PS - The "Chicago politicans" I am referring to are often credited as the source of the nickname "Windy City" and not a veiled attempt to bash Obama. The man has only been president for a couple of months, I'll give him some time before I decide if the Windy City shoe fits him too.
Ofer Nave
190. odigity
Am I the only one bothered by the idea the *angreal in the real world can be used by channelers in TAR? I think the only example we see is the one here, with Egwene in Tanchico using the broken female Choedan Kal access ter'angreal. But if it isn't a fluke, that means any forsaken can enter TAR, hop over to wherever Rand is in the real world, lay hands on Callandor or the Choedan Kal, and go nuts. Grant, they couldn't do much with it from inside TAR. Maybe open a gateway to the real world and channel through it to destroy a major city.

Hey... what happens if you physically enter TAR, find Egwene's twisted stone TAR ring, put it on, and take a nap? Would you re-enter TAR mentally, and be able to stare at your sleeping body?
john massey
191. subwoofer
Elroyskimms- I need to brush up on my Russian apparently.
Eldrick- oooooo ahhhhhhhhh ohhhhhh. I bow you your theory! Very exciting if such was the case. And it would explain the guy with the stuff floating through his eyes that no one can see tapping power and pops up at random intervals in later books.
john massey
192. subwoofer
odigity- you can solve a rubiks cube, can't you! Couldn't follow the nap within a nap theory but anyways... Not every channeler can move through TAR and having power means nothing there. It is Matrix like in terms of it is more what your control of your imagination can do than anything else. Yes, there was that bit with Rand going through and freakin' everyone out but remember, there are some Wise Ones who are pansies in power but still whoop ass in TAR.
Crystal McMillan
193. CDragon27
I must say that the issue of multiple spouses is common in warrior societies (as you say higher woman than man quota) so I just accepted it as part of the fabric of Aiel society. I don't have to practice it....blah blah
But I have always found myself confused by the Rand and the three girls thing. He was raised in a society that would not accept his love for multiple women and he doesn't seem to change enough of his internal dialoge to be comfortable with it.
I also found it annoying and perplexing for reasons unrelated to gender politics (sorry for the spoilers) but this is the only book where his relationship with Elayne is a normal boy/girl courting one. After this point she treats him like a favored pet who she happens to find attractive (very Green sister to a Warder dynamic)
Aveindha (sp?) treats him so badly that he never knows whether she wants to sleep with him or stab him and once they do the deed is able to happily go off and barely see him again. Her primary relationship stuff going forward is with Elayne. Rand is treated like a accessory to her primary sister relationship with Elayne. If she hadn't been teased about staring at him I would have suspected that she was lesbian. (no other man?ever? come on nobody is that cute)
Min has a real relationship with Rand. period. He is a prority in her life from the time they meet. She wants to save the world, but is the only woman Rand is involved with who seems to want him to survive and be happy as well.
okay I will be quiet now.
194. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
GregoryD @185
Elaida is Red after, all. And Reds generally have an axe to grind against Blues. I'm not sure whether Fain influences her natural arrogance. Looks possible, but Fain's effects tend more toward Paranoia and Xenophobia rather than Elaida's Megalomania.
john massey
195. subwoofer
CDragon, you are right about Rand's traditional upbringing getting in the way of the many wives thing. He even sits there and cries about it for awhile and says he's a monster. Then he gets over it and talks about comparing sunrises to sunsets and so on. Min goes through a whole lap sitting episode with Rand to get him to see her for a "her" instead of a Min. On the other hand, Rand finds Aviendha attractive from the get go and she plays the classic, if you like someone, hit them to show you like them school yard tactic. Works every time. And Elayne- still meh. Just don't see it.
196. Randalator

Well apparently at least RJ wasn't bothered by that. I remember reading a statement of his saying that an Aes Sedai could dream herself into TAR create an image of the oath rod and free herself of the oaths.

I don't have a problem with that concept, actually I think it's a logical step from the rules that were defined for the Unseen World. But nevertheless im glad that (Sa')Angreal use is limited by gateway size and the inabilty to channel where you can't see.

Otherwise that would create all sorts of problems...
197. Lsana
@185 GregoryD,

Elaida was an evil bitch before Fain ever lays eyes on her. He doesn't infect her until well into FoH, long after the coup. The SL taint probably doesn't help her mental state, and it may be making her even dumber than she was before, but let's just say she was already receptive to what Fain was offering.
Richard Fife
198. R.Fife
I'll admit I am only skimming the posts at best since we passed into the realm of 150+ posts in the first night. That being said.

Is it funny that I was more annoyed at your anti-tax slant than the anti-feminism slant? There must be something wrong with me.

To general discussion:
I don't think normal *angreals are useable in TAR. The broken access key is just special cause it is broken. I imagine trying to use a *angreal in TAR would be like trying to use the power period when using one of the training ter'angreals. Not a whole lotta good. As too napping while napping... I think that falls into the same "um, nope" category as putting a pocket universe in a bag of holding.

And defend my comment on Mat getting over killing Melindra (or whatever her name was, Shaido Maiden), yes, it upset him, and it kinda bothers him, but he still kills the Sul'dam when push comes shove. Rand would not have been able to.

edit: Oh, and finished watching Firefly on Hulu. Now I'm all sad puppy that I don't have more, and my copy of Serenity seems to have grown feet. Are there eps on the DVDs that aren't on hulu? Someone told me something about two unaired eps. Reply in my shoutbox about the firefly/hulu thing. Chances are I might not see it here.
john massey
199. subwoofer
Lsana@197 Here! here! or is it her! her!? Yup Elaida digs her own grave in this one. Could of helped out Morgase but noooooo- she has to be the Amrylin. All uppity in the pants. See what she gets! Woo hoo! Closing in on 200- There should be more peppy talks like this- obviously TSR is a good book that everyone is into and the best stuff is yet to come. Plot lines are really taking off and Mat is right around the corner... er... doorway...
Richard Fife
200. R.Fife
more peppy talks like this? I can barely follow it. I go to bed and there's a new novel of discussion waiting to be read when I wake. Oivey! I love it, but it is a labor of love.

Oh, and 200th post! WEEEEEEE! *puts on some silly glasses*
Andrew Lovsness
201. drewlovs
Personally, I think where Anotherfan went wrong is his/her assertion that Leigh needs to correct certain things in the way she she writes this blog. Opinions are what makes this blog, and others like it, work so well, as we all have different views and ideas that others might want to hear.

Once you start telling others, and worst, the "leader of the pack" that they should or should not say things, you are entering no-no land. We ALL are entitled to our opinions, even the lead comentator!!

We are hitting the 200-post mark...SOMETHING is working here!! There have been a few posts that have really irritated me, but I've let them go; if everyone agreed with me, why on earth would I be reading this blog?

On the gender issues: I chalk up the ideas and practices of the WoTers as people living in a imperfect world. While some of us want to read about a society that "got it right", Jordan has instead presented flawed world not unlike our own. Is it so bad?

I too hold doors open for my wife, order for her, and take a dominate role when we are out in the world. This is the role my wife has chosen for me, though, not he other way around. She likes to feel as though I am putting her on a pedastal, as the appreciation she shows in words and thought are as addictive as saidin is to a WoT male channeler.

The only thing I have a problem with, however, is the "killing women" problem Rand has. If a woman was threatening my wife or daughters, I would do everything in my power to stop the evil beeotch, including doing murder. Thus the docks scene with Lanfear is probably the hardest read I've had to do. If Avi or Egwene were my love interests, Lanfear would have been deaded...period.

This, coming from a reformed male (one wife, 3 daughters), shows that Rand's insistance of "protecting" women has gone off the deep end.

Finally...Leigh, you are doing a great job. You bring up great points, make me THINK and re-evaluate why I think the way I do, and get me excited about the Jordan books as if I were reading them for the first time. Accept that some people do not appreciate you, but 95% of us DO, and don't let it bother you...PLEASE.

I would hate to think that this particular blog would change the way you have been approaching the chapter reads in any way.

Drewlovs (Effervescent)
john massey
202. subwoofer
R.Fife- don't get me started on Hulu... or any other you missed this, well check out our website and you can see past episodes for free. I am Canadian....EH?... and those sites don't broadcast up here in the tundra...some restriction thingy. Unless someone knows something I don't. Which is very possible. I do the torrent thing- Pirate Bay but grrrrrr.... am I not suffering enough up here in the cold? we were supposed to take off our silly glasses?
john massey
203. subwoofer
R.Fife...Had my bachelor party...drank half the city...make it home and we are at 150 something... good times!
204. sinfulcashew
R. Fife@198
PULEASE, if you receive any info on Firefly extra episodes, please post here to me.
As I just viewed the whole bunch of them a couple of days ago (not having any knowledge of the show before) and loving it and being sooooo disappointed when I looked for season two, I would bear your children for you (?) if you would notify me of any info. (The longest sentence ever)
Thank you in advance! Pushy aren't I?
Richard Fife
205. R.Fife
Sinfull: O_O Odigity has already informed me, alas, that hulu does indeed host them all. There is still the movie Serenity, though, that ties up the massive River Tam plot. I can't recall if it reveals any background on Shepherd Booker, though, as it has been a year+ since I watched it with no Firefly background.

Sub, they have cities in frozen north? Skyscraper igloos? Hurhur. Have you tried using an internet proxy site?

And, um... mothers milk in a cup! There, WoT related post, honest!
206. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
R.Fife @198
No, Mat does not kill the Sul'dam. He gave the order to kill her. Major difference because he wouldn't have been able to do it by himself. In KoD he gets into the knifefight and the last enemy was a girl. He was almost killed that time. So no, he can't kill a girl either. Though he doesn't list their names like the loony that Rand is.

drewlovs @201
Rand's insistance of "protecting" women has gone off the deep end.
I myself think it's enough proof of Rand's insanity by itself.
john massey
207. subwoofer
Drewlovs- I get what you are saying about your role in your relationship. My sig other has given me a similar role...sometimes. It his hard for there to be two captains of a ship. That being said all relationships are about give and take. She gives her oppinion... I follow it to the letter. By that same token, she may be falling into a role that she sees repeated in society. Mind you, gender roles are changing rapidly these days. As for Randy Rand and killing women, he has the whole Shenaran (spelling?) thing going on, and they have that whole hairy chested drivel about taking a sword wound to prevent a woman getting hurt and counting it as fair BS. meh.
Richard Fife
208. R.Fife
Hmm, memory of post FoH Mat woman-problem still foggy. I just finished FoH and am taking a breather before I start LoC, so I will bow out. I still assert than Rand is the worst by far, and I think it is because off LTT guilt over Ilyena bleeding though.

As to my relationship with my ex, I think we both had very different ideas of gender roles. I am very much more egalitarian than she was, and what I saw as treating her with fairness and respect, she saw as not being gentlemanly. Just one part of many on why that didn't work out, but meh. In the best relationship I had, it was a very even mutual respect. She held doors open for me as often as I did for her, all as a matter of convenience and who was walking in front. And we never ordered eachother food. I don't think it was so much as two captains of the ship, per se, but we just kinda seamlessly passed off who was "dominate" at the time (such was when picking movies or where to go eat dinner).
john massey
209. subwoofer
R.Fife... Can't do sky scrapers...they keep melting. Huskies pee on them.
Rand's later litany about all the women that died on his watch really gets annoying too. It is a contradiction seeing as how he cares so deeply about a woman getting harmed, but he has no complications about being mean and rude to Moiraine at the drop of a hat... oops, there goes my hat now... Rand- be nice!
210. Tony Zbaraschuk
If anything, Nynaeve as the Wisdom tips the balance to favor women running the show as there is no male counterpart for a Wisdom.

I'm almost positive there's a Mayor in there somewhere. Maybe even a Mayor related to one of the frequent viewpoint characters in the series... what was his name again?

As far as gender roles in Randland, the only female-only society we've seen is the White Tower, and the only male-only one (aside from the Aiel warrior societies) are the Whitecloaks. Possibly Jordan is trying to tell us something about single-gender failure modes here.

Or maybe he's just worldbuilding. :)
john massey
211. subwoofer
R.Fife, I don't do the ordering for her either. She reads the menu down to the copyright and I get the special and subwooferdoesntsharefood all comes into play. I think the society that functions well, to me, are the Border Land ones where they do not have time to bugger about with niceties being on the doorstep of the Blight and close to instant death.
john massey
212. subwoofer
- that last bit did not work
213. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
subwoofer @209
It's just physical harm he has a problem with. He had to counter Moiraine's domineering ways somehow.

R.Fife @208
Not so sure of LTT's guilt for some reason, I think Rand is just plain mad.
john massey
214. subwoofer
can you hear me now? okay, I cracked the code, now we can topple Russia!
john massey
215. subwoofer
alreadymadwhentheytookawaymyeggos- when my sig other domineers me I cower in a corner and cry- no I just remind her that we are all adults here and I have my opinions too. Rand is sane. When he is locked in a trunk and the BAS are beating the snot out of him, he has conversations with LTT and it is LTT that is the loon. It is Rand's hardness- you are changed from when I last saw you. Stronger. Harder that becomes the issue more so than him clinging to sanity. And his battle with LTT for control of his own body.
Richard Fife
216. R.Fife
eh, Rand stops worrying about being insane, so I think he has actually kinda flipped off the deep end. I think he needs some nice, long, theraputic conversations with Grendal.
Robert Garza
217. FunBob
R.Fife @ 153 - Wow, you are absolutely correct...I was sleeping on that one...

Hoping @ 174 - Its a theory that the reason that Wilders and others born with the power in them are using knowledge that crosses the boundaries of their past lives. It appears to be the implication in several of Rand's POVs that he is learning how to do things directly from LTT, based on his discussions with the voice in his head. For example, this is the first place instance that this happened. The quote (abbreviated for space)from TSR is on p 96 of the first paperback edition, The Stone Stands:

Suddenly he stopped, surrounded by the dead, in a wide hallway. He had to do something – something more. …
Just beneath the ceiling, right above his head, air slowly began to revolve….
Sweat rolled down Rand’s face as he stared up at it. He had no idea what it was, only the racing flows he could not begin to count connected him to the mass….
Now. The thought floated like crackling laughter on the rim of his awareness. He severed the flows rushing out of him, leaving the thing still whirling, whining like a drill on a bone. Now.
And the lightnings came, flashing out along the ceiling left and right like silver streams. …

Compare this with TEOTW prologue, page ix, when LTT has killed his family:

…The dead lay everywhere, men and women and children, struck down in attempted flight by the lightnings that flashed down every corridor, …

Note that all wilders are usually strong in the power, since they have the ability inborn. Note all of our Wilders: Moiraine (Eavesdropping), Siuan (not specified), Nynaeve (Healing, Predicting the Weather), Egwene (Light, guided by Moiraine), Theodrin (not specified), etc. exhibit abilities before they are taken to Tar Vaoln. The story explains how all of the super girls, and Moiraine, developed their own abilities without being taught. It appears that all wilders are somehow exhibiting knowledge of weaves without any knowledge. This, coupled with LTT giving Rand instructions in his head on how to do things (there are other examples of this, expecially in the Lord of Chaos, when LTT shows Rand how to destroy the knots of Spirit the Aes Sedai tie on his shield) implies that at least some of the knowledge comes from the channeller's previous lives.

Cheers all.
Andrew Lovsness
218. drewlovs
One other thing I thought of during this 200+ response read (wow!)...once Rand "discovered" that Trollocs and Fades could not go through a waygate, he had in effect also discovered a way to "seal" the ways from forsaken troop movement.

Step 1: Open a waygate right in front of the ways opening, and make the the destination 1" in front of the waygate location. Thus, any trollocs exiting the ways probably would not even notice;

Step 2: Tie the weave off and whistle happily as you leave. Obviously, the waygate cold not be "permanent", but it could last for a good long time.

This would also give the channelers the added benefit of knowing where the trollocs were headed to (i.e. a HUGE pile of tolloc corpses in the basement of a building in Andor).

The possibilities are endless!! During the attack in CoT, some of channelrs could have put up 50' walls with openings ever 100' or so, and the stronger channelers could put the "traveling one inch away" waygates in front of those openings. As the trollocs and fades poured through, they all drop dead...

And I'm just getting started!!

Drewlovs (Effervescent)
john massey
219. subwoofer
Funbob- where did that vine come from?- Are you saying that all people who channel have had previous lives? This ties in to the Wheel turning out the same heroes in each new age but does that mean that everyone in the tower is walking around with memories from past ages in their heads? I think reflex comes into play at some point. Have you ever water skied or snow boarded or dog sledded and done a trick with no idea how you did it but just from muscle memory can do it again. I call it hidden talent. Or instinct. Like walking or talking... we are just genetically predisposed to do certain things. Maybe it is the same with Channeling. Like Moiraine and balefire. How can she of learned something that was not supposed to be taught for 3000 years?
220. Grinwell
Burn me, I've spent the whole day trying to get through 215+ posts! (Well, off an on. I do have a life, somewhat.) Too much back and forth about cursing, I guess. Blood and bloody ashes!

I think we've all learned a couple important things (cue South Park "what we've learned" music):

1. Criticism of another poster, whether constructive or not ALWAYS devolves in an annoying flame war that wastes everyone's time and creates hard feelings.
2. Sticking to the subject is the solution.
3. This is the best forum on the webs right now and until today it was the most respectful forum I've ever followed. Where else can we discuss the "Tanchico Smithsonian", "Trolloc Shamwow Weave", the "RealWorld(tm)", "Rand Get Your Callandor", "polygamore", "manic pixie dream girls", and all manner of Syzygies in one frickin post? You guys rule.

End music.

Leigh, thanks for the Benz reference. I'm a idiot.
Randalator, thanks for Mindintercourse, my new favorite curse word.
john massey
221. subwoofer
Grinwell waddayamean
until today it was the most respectful forum I've ever followed?
South Park indeed-sniff.We are all on our best behavior here. In these forums it is nice to just be yourself and not worry about people enforcing what they deem to be their rules of conduct on you. And as long as no one looses an eye, all is well.
And yes....was greatly annoying that Rand was dithering without Callandor. Back to my previous bit in TGH where the forsaken was asking him to take up the sword that is not a sword... oki doki...I have the sword- now what tough guy?
223. Grinwell
This still is the most respectful forum, of course.

AbEnd, here's an additional fragment from the last act of "Rand Get Your Callandor" I found in the secret library. I can't vouch for it's veracity:

(music swells)
I have Callandor now, bitches!
Or You will be knelt!

(lightning flashes and sound effects)

But what's this?
A little girl
Resting at my feet
Stand little girl
Stand up

(audience bursts into tears)

What have I done..?
I am not the Creator
Just a wool-headed dragon reborn
Callandor is mine, but
Why did no one ever mention
The Flawwwwww?
Richard Fife
224. R.Fife
Subwoofer, you know you can edit your posts, right? At least, us high and mighty registered users can.
225. hoping to be of the blood
Good point about the lightning similarity. I didn't notice that. Was it the 'crackling laughter' that brought LTT to mind? Still not convinced it was LTT. Lightning is used quite often as a weapon in many different ways so I would expect many variations on its use.

I have no doubt that Rand (and maybe others altho we don't have enough evidence for this) learns quite alot from LTT but am hesitant to ascribe all, or even most, of his new and complex weaves to LTT. It seems that the degree of inventiveness is a direct function of how much power one can hold.

Many weaves have been rediscovered such as waygates, ter'angreal making, balefire and many others. In addition, this 'primitive age' as one of the forsaken calls it, surprises with new weaves such as the warder bond and unraveling a weave which no prior soul incarnation would know.

I second that emotion (showing my age here)
john massey
226. subwoofer
R.Fife... Yes, I figured out how, but I prefer to blunder along and let everyone witness my typos for themselves in the natural stream of consciousness.
john massey
227. subwoofer
and I shoot first, let other people ask questions later.
john massey
228. subwoofer
hoping to be of the blood- don't forget Nynaeve and her big- healing stilling bit.
Maggie M
229. Eswana
Tony @ 210
Bran al'Vere (Egwene's dad) is the Mayor, and he seems like a nice guy, but personality wise, he's a little too nice to stand up to some one like Nynaeve; as much as I love her, she can make people cower by sheer force of will and braid-tugging.

Maybe in other villages the Wisdom and Mayor are more balanced? I think that when Daise Conger is Wisdom (ie, when Perrin & Faile return to the Two Rivers) I remember thinking that she's not nearly as forceful as Nynaeve; maybe the Mayor had more of a say then.

R Fife and other browncoats:
I don't think they ever resolve the Book backstory in Serenity. I wish they had, but even Joss Whedon can only do so much in a shortened first season and a single movie... (I'm serious, a hulu Firefly watching party had better happen after we finish the WoT re-read...)
230. sinfulcashew
This should be the last off topic entry?

Nother one regarding 'Firefly'
I am in the process of watching the MOVIE:

Part one of six on a site for watching movies free, yay! Lots of choices, some have only four parts.
Just disregard the writing in chinese or japanese or ?
231. Sethric
When it comes to the topic of "is the DO destroyed", keep in mind the philosophy of Herid Fel:

He stated specifically that if the Wheel turns back to the AoL, the DO must not only be sealed, he must be sealed completely with no one one knowing of his existence. Someone has to completely seal the DO. Somehow, channeling has to disappear. This is the WoT. Ages must come again. Whether or not those things come at the end of this series is yet to be seen. However, I have concluded that Rand will find a way to completely seal the DO, but channeling will be something that fades with the onset of industrialization. What's the point of the reborn messiah Dragon, if he isn't going to be the savior of the world? Just my opinion.
232. Wetlander
@183. elroyskimms
Well said! Thank you. Now I don't have to work at writing that one, because you already did. Well done.

@201. drewlovs (and everyone who thought they had to take sides)
Personally, I think where Anotherfan went wrong is his/her assertion that Leigh needs to correct certain things in the way she she writes this blog.
If you actually look, Anotherfan requested that Leigh consider a particular change. Leigh said she wasn't going to make that change. Question asked and answered. Period. Why does everyone have to make such a big deal about it?
mark Proctor
233. mark-p
230. sinfulcashew, thanks for that link. It seems pretty good.
Have I ruined the series watching it first?

When it comes to the topic of "is the DO destroyed", keep in mind the philosophy of Herid Fel

He could be wrong. As far as I can tell we only have the books characters knowledge of the universe to go on.
234. sinfulcashew
Actually seeing the episodes after will help answer questions that may arise from the movie?
The episodes help to flesh it out.
All in all the whole concept is good.
Too bad F&*X couldn't see it that way.
235. Wetlander
On the subject of the actual reread...

Ch 9: I always love the bit where Rand asks Elayne's advice on matters of state. It's not "sweet" like the feathers, but it's a great interlude where two people communicate like adults and it really helps the situation. He asks honest questions, she gives the best answers she can, and it enables him to handle situations WAY outside his experience. It's just COOL.

Ch 11: This one bugs me (in the "if they were real people" sense). Egwene had the perfect moment to do a little Aes Sedai "I didn't say it, you just assumed it" truth avoidance thing, and she flat out LIES to Amys. All she had to do was agree that she was "of the White Tower" and she'd have been perfectly clean. But no, she has to jump in with both feet and claim to be "Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah." *sigh* Teenagers. Of course, she didn't know anything about ji'e'toh at the time, but she sure would have built up a lot less toh if she'd kept her mouth shut.

Ch 12: I loved the first look at the expert dreamwalkers. Oh, Egwene, have you got a lot to learn.... XD

Goram browncoats. Take over everything, if you don't watch 'em.
236. Sethric
Well, RJ did call the series The Wheel of Time. I would think that means we can safely assume that the wheel imagery used there, and in things such as the serpent ring, tells us that time is cyclical. If time is cyclical, that implies that the same subset of events must occur, although they do not have to have the same outcome. For example, I think it's mentioned that it is possible to convert the Dragon Reborn to the shadow. Perhaps not Rand, as we see in his Portal Stone journey, but one of the other reincarnations that has occurred throughout the turning of the Wheel. I believe one of the Forsaken even mentions that the implications of that are disturbing (Ishamael had apparently mused aloud about it), as it means that, unless the DO breaks the turning of the Wheel (which has obviously never happened), the forces of the DO must always eventually lose when the DO is resealed. Temporarily.

I believe that the Wheel keeps turning, and the same story is told differently each time, but there are certain things that must happen, and certain people that are bound to it. Two of those things I believe are the sealing of the DO, and the bore that finds him again.
Brett Michie
237. bchurch
Sethric @ 236

I agree that the wheel keeps turning and the same story is retold. I'm sure there were/are many cultures in our own history that believe in something much the same. I'm not aware of many of them but I do remember something about the ancient greeks believing in "the myth of the eternal return" or some such. If I'm remembering it correctly, they believe time traveled in a circle and every 1000 years represented 1 degree of 360, so that every 36,000 years time repeats itself. Keep in mind, this is just my memories of a humanities lecture I heard a decade ago, so I may be off on some points.

And I also agree that the story may be retold in different ways. RJ said this (taken from the link posted above at 106 by Fortune_Prick_Me):

"Q: (inaudible)
RJ: Yes, the Champion of the Light has gone over in the past. This is a game you have to win every time. Or rather, that you can only lose once--you can stay in if you get a draw. Think of a tournament with single elimination. If you lose once, that's it. In the past, when the Champion of the Light has gone over to the Shadow, the result has been a draw."
238. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
subwoofer @215
Not that I disparage how you fix conflicts with your sig other. But as far as I can tell, in Randland that approach does not work with overbearing women who think they are always right, think they have a monopoly on knowledge, wisdom and experience, and expect others to simply obey without question. In short, the Aes Sedai.

As for Rand's sanity. His hardness, and his justification for hardening himself, IS a point for him being already halfway mad. I mean, come on! He first hit upon the idea so that he'll be less affected by the Maidens' death. So that next time he'll be able to do what needs to be done. But in that singular case of Moiraine's death, what needed to be done was kill a woman, Lanfear. And whatever Rand does, he still will never be hard enough to do that. And he will still beat himself over any woman's death, even one that wants him dead. So he essentially stuck himself in a loop with no way out. That's why I think his reasoning for that bloody litany is enough proof of his irrationality (read:insanity) by itself.
lanyo lanyo
239. lanyo
unsure how many of you will catch this so far down, but the weekend is still early...
i always wondered if lanfear wasn't turned, rather than gone to the dark on her own entirely. she was researching, and found where there was super-power, right? so she (and others, not all by her lonesome) drilled the hole.
i thought maybe, this first-exposure might have nearly compelled her to serve.
wasn't there an explosion when the bore was made?
and it could help explain how she can want to beat the dark one at his own game, and yet also seem to fawn over him at the same time.
Brett Michie
240. bchurch
alreadymad @238

"As for Rand's sanity. His hardness, and his justification for hardening himself, IS a point for him being already halfway mad."

All in all, it's just another brick in Rand's wall.
241. Dr. Morganstien
@190 odigityAm I the only one bothered by the idea the *angreal in the real world can be used by channelers in TAR? I think the only example we see is the one here, with Egwene in Tanchico using the broken female Choedan Kal access ter'angreal. But if it isn't a fluke, that means any forsaken can enter TAR, hop over to wherever Rand is in the real world, lay hands on Callandor or the Choedan Kal, and go nuts. Grant, they couldn't do much with it from inside TAR. Maybe open a gateway to the real world and channel through it to destroy a major city.

Hey... what happens if you physically enter TAR, find Egwene's twisted stone TAR ring, put it on, and take a nap? Would you re-enter TAR mentally, and be able to stare at your sleeping body?
Part of the reason that Choeden Kal access key is there is because things have to stay put a while in the real world before they have a reflection in Tel'aran'rhiod. So people couldn't get Callandor because it has its saidin and saidar protection before Rand, and its saidin protection after Rand. The access keys, I forget if he protects them when he hides them in Rhuidean or just makes the very well hidden, either way I doubt someone could get a hold of those either.

Although, this bit about conjuring your own oath rod to free yourself lends a lot of credence to your dream within the dream idea, which I love. You just have to swap out taking Egwene's ring for a TAR ring of your own making. And it also means someone could use TAR to make their own Callandor or Choeden Kal or make their own perfect even better angreal, since the only limit in there is the imagination of the user.
242. Rebecca Starr
wow Leigh, when you said chapters 9-12 should tide us all over for now, you really had no idea, did you??
john massey
243. subwoofer
Alreadymadwhen... you think Aes Sedai are overbearing? You should see how stubborn and OB an old school Polish woman can be....ah gotta luv em. Anyhow, I do concede your point with Rand's pending lunacy but I still feel that his bearing and his interactions with others demonstrates his sanity... Except for those episodes where LTT try to wrest control of Rand's body. Crazy people don't make multi layered plans like Rand does. Starting a school, uniting all the lands to fight the shadow, dealing with the Seanchan, the Sea Folk, the Tower...not to mention the Forsaken- is not easy to do for a normal person, so Rand really has to be on the ball to accomplish much of what he does. There is that instance with Davrim Bashere (spelling?) that I will talk about when it comes up in the recaps that really grabs me but for all intents and purposes I feel that Rand is sane, he is just losing his ability to relate to common people- the Wise One's teaching Rand to Laugh and Cry...or words to that effect. Detachment from emotion may be a form of anti-social personality disorder(according to DSM-IV) which is bad but it is not Jack from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest crazy.
john massey
244. subwoofer
Dr. Morg.... hmmmm.... still can't wrap my mind around the nap within a nap idea but didn't the Wise One's and even Egwene go on about the difference between dreaming of something and really, physically being in TAR. Can't remember exactly what was said But Moghedien was flipping out that people were really there and were doing damage. And I think that with warding dreams, there is protection and therefor boundaries for what you can do. Even Rand came up with some way of warding Callandor in the Dream World.
245. Samadai
@165 rebecca star
the part I am referring to is in the Shadow Rising chapter 58 The Traps of Rhuidean.After Rand and Asmodean are done fighting and Lanfear comes she surveys the area and comments about there fighting and the destruction. She then kneels in front of Rand and peers at the male choedan kal. She mentions then that she had seen one before that was broken in half and is a fine trap for some unwary Aes Sedai
246. RNash
Great stuff Leigh, as usual.

Two cents for a variety of things (good thing I keep my change)

Deathgates: Not only do they royally mess up Shadowspawn by merely being gateways, the edges are razor sharp. You could use the Deathgate technique on pretty much any army, as it would start cutting people in half.

Polyandry in tWOT: I seem to remember one of the Supergirls remarking on an Ebou Dari with multiple marriage knives because it affronted their sensibilities. Isn't all that farfetched for the Aiel or the Sharans to practice it, both societies are . . . idiosyncratic, to say the least.

@237 bchurch
I have heard a similar concept, but not of the Greeks. The Wheel of Time is prominent in various religions of East Asia, being a symbol of both time and divinity. If you want to learn more, I suggest starting with Tantric Buddhism. Some interesting takes on a variety of subjects, including the Kalachakra, or time wheel. Heavy stuff.

@244 subwoofer
Moghedien was "flipping out" when Rand and Rahvin were duking it out in T'A'R during the Caemlyn palace fight scene. Not only where they really there, but they were tossing balefire around like it was candy at the Labor Day parade. Either by itself is terrifying, but together it can really make for some troubles.
247. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
subwoofer @243
True he did have vague outline of how he planned to accomplish his destiny. I wouldn't go so far to say that dealing with the Sea Folk, uniting the lands and dealing with the White Tower were part of his plans, though. The other two examples you cited were fine, but these three, he might have planned for them, but in accomplishing them he just plain lucked out. How else do you explain the White Tower breaking and therefore unable to interfere at the exact time period that he was proclaiming himself by taking Callandor? And the Sea Folk just happened to be easily easily dealt with because his ta'verenness was at full power that day. That was the same day he met up with Darlin and found the future Steward and King of Tear. Who would then be solidly behind him. There's also the part where he invaded Illian just at the same time the White Tower decided to make its move. By kidnapping the king and therefore allowing the Council the option of offering him the Laurel Crown. Even in cleansing Saidin, he lucked out. All his plans for misleading the Forsaken every which way, and they still went for the huge beacon of Power. If Cadsuane hadn't taken it upon herself to organise a defense, because Rand apparently didn't plan that far, he'd be toast.

RNash @246
You left out the part where those who are in TAR physically can channel more strongly as compared to if they were to dream themselves in.
248. birgit
I think its funny to imagine Randland as the US.

Makes more sense geographically that Seanchan is the Americas and Europe is Randland, with the Ural as the Spine of the World. The Silk Road leads through the Aiel Waste/Gobi to China/Shara. There is a terra incognita australis (Australia or Antarctica?). What happened to Africa? Was it drowned except for the Aymara islands? The sea level in Seanchan seems higher than in our world, and the shape of Randland and Europe don't fit, either, so their sea level might be generally higher than ours.

the weave LTT tells Rand to use to destroy the Shadowspawn is the same that LTT used to kill all of his relatives, including Ilyena.

The destruction in LTT's palace is not repeated in the Stone, where only the Shadowspawn die, but nothing else is damaged.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I always took the "two" to mean the female and male choedan kal

tSR, ch 9, p. 174
There are only two more powerful that a man can use. One at least, I know, still exists.

On a side note, I think Egwene and Rand may be the ones to FULLY re-unite the White Tower, and bring the male channellers back.

I think Egwene and Logain will be the joint leaders of the reunited Aes Sedai.
Sara H
249. LadyBelaine
quick, useless observation -

Did anyone ever think that the flaw in the Callandor, which requires one man and two women to use it safely has something to do with Logain, Toveine and Gabrelle?

Logain is the only Asha'man to have captured and bonded TWO Aes Sedai, one of whom is conveniently Brown.
250. gagecreedlives

I think Narishma has got Callandor now. He talks to Rand about he almost died getting it because Rand failed to mention all the wards. And Rand later think about the prophecies wonders what they mean for Narishma.

"Into the heart he thrusts his sword,
into the heart, to hold their hearts.
Who draws it out shall follow after,
What hand can grasp that fearful blade?"

But I dont see a reason why he cant lend it to Logain.

And wow people have been busy on the posts this weekend
251. CraigVal
When I read this through the first time, and before I learned better from later revelations in the series, I had kept hoping that the trollocs fighting for Rand were perhaps whitetrollocs. Since it would be nice for the Dark One to have the same problems as the forces of light have with darkfriends.
252. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
birgit @248
I'm not so sure about their sea level being higher. In TFoH while traveling thru the Waste, Rand and Asmodean sea the remains of a seaport at the top of the mountains. That would seem to indicate that the sea level is lower than it was since the AoL, and the Waste used to be the bottom of the sea. Alternately the Breaking might have screwed everything and raised some places up and sunk other places down.
Erdrick Farseer
253. Erdrick
drewlovs @ 201 said "We are hitting the 200-post mark...SOMETHING is working here!!" Um...not when a large chunk of the posts were filled with childish flaming. It's like a bunch of those youtube commenters infiltrated our once civil forum. Wetlander @ 232 did a beautiful job summing up what should have happened. Anyway, moving on..

R.Fife @ 208, I still agree with you about Rand being on a whole different level of crazy (thanks to Ilyena memories) when it comes to women killing. The other poster's comment about Mat not killing that knife wielding DF woman (still feeling guilty for killing his Shaido ex) had to do with a her or me situation. If the DF woman was about to kill Tuon instead, I'm fairly confident Mat would do what he must. This is very different from the Rand-Lanfear-Aviendha-Egwene situation in TFoH.

Regarding Firefly, I'm grateful that I had a devoted fan keep me from watching Serenity until I watched the entire Firefly series and read the comic. Did you know there is a comic that bridges the gap between the series and the movie? It's really good, and it wraps up that blue hands plot line.

About the flaw in Callandor, now that the taint on saidin is gone, what's the big deal?

Sethric @ 236, if the Wheel keeps turning, allowing for slight variation each time, sooner or later the DO will win. That's why I'm rooting for Ishy to be right about this being the true Last Battle. We already had this discussion in TGH reread part 3. It would explain why Ishy/Moridin is so focused on converting Rand rather than killing him. I think that is what must happen for the DO to truely be triumphant. The RJ quote that bchurch @ 237 cites seems self-contradictory and confuses me. He says "This is a game you have to win every time. Or rather, that you can only lose once--you can stay in if you get a draw." But then he tells us that "In the past, when the Champion of the Light has gone over to the Shadow, the result has been a draw." How is that a draw? And if it is a draw, what would qualify as a loss? Pending my coming to some reasonable and consistent understanding of those statements, I'll stick to my theory. Here are a couple of the quotes that led me to it. From TGH chapter 15:
"I know much that you do not! That battle will soon end. The Last Battle is coming. The last, Lews Therin...This time if you die, you will be destroyed utterly. This time the Wheel will be broken whatever you do, and the world remade to a new mold. Serve me! Serve Shai'tan, or be destroyed forever!"
And from TGH chapter 47:
Rand felt a calmness beyond that of the void. "I will never serve you, Father of Lies. In a thousand lives, I never have. I know that. I'm sure of it. Come. It is time to die."
Seth Ball
254. Sethric
I always interpreted that quote by Rand differently. He had just been through the Portal Stone what-if voyage. In each life he never converted. He knows that his life is such that he would never fall to that temptation. He then transfers that to what he thinks that means about who he is in past lives. LTT could have felt the same way. Remember that Ishy tried to convert him as well. Also, of course Ishy would say that this is the last one, and tell Rand that his death will be final. He wants Rand to convert or die. Telling someone they will die is a good psychological argument if someone fears death. We of course know that Rand is consigned to his fate, although he fully feels that he can survive this.

Re: the RJ quote:
The Light can never lose or the DO will destroy the flow of time. A draw is definitely not a loss. Not having the Champion of the Light on the side of good anymore doesn't make the fight impossible, just a hell of a lot harder. I would say that the Light has either won slightly each time or had a draw when the Champion has fallen. By "won slightly", I mean that when the Light wins, the DO obviously isn't destroyed, just sealed. This can't be interpreted as complete victory. It is basically a nil game for all, if you ever lose completely, it's over-over. Both sides.
Erdrick Farseer
255. Erdrick
Sethric @ 254: Thanks, that appears to be a plausible explanation. This is the type of discussion that makes me very grateful for this forum.

The RJ quote does tell us: "Think of a tournament with single elimination. If you lose once, that's it." There is ultimate loss, but can't there also be ultimate victory? The fact that there is variation involved in each turning of the Wheel tells me that, if there is no chance of ultimate victory, sooner or later the DO will win. That is why I assume it is possible, and I hope that is the turning of the Wheel we are currently reading about. Man, I can't wait for AMoL!
256. hoping to be of the blood
Sethric@236, bcchurch@237, Sethric@254

I have trouble with this RJ quote, as well. What is a draw? The DO is never loosed and never is destroyed in any age. I guess that means he just has varying degrees of being sealed. It just doesn't seem to fit. Makes my head spin.

Is the LTT/Rand soul the Champion of the Light in every age or are there other, more corruptible souls out there, B team champions,if you will. If LTT/Rand is the only champion then Rand is obviously wrong about never having gone over to the shadow.
257. Branwhin
gagecreedlives@#250 (holy cow that's a long discussion, and I'm lovin' it);

I've heard and agree with a theory that Rand *did* tell Narishma about all the inverted traps that he had set.

Somebody Nasty, however, as the Heart of the Stone is usually empty, could very well have come in and woven other traps around Rand's, so that 'who pulls it out' would get an ugly surprise. And, by the by, trigger and/or set off all the traps, so that Callandor would then be unprotected. Just thought of that last ... ick.

Tim Kington
258. TimKington
@Orideth 161:
Doesn't Cyndane think to herself at one point that she used to be as strong as it was possible for a woman to be? It's not clear whether that's arrogance, but I would like to believe Mierin(Lanfear) juiced herself somehow. She was a OP researcher after all.

@Rebecca 164
I agree with you about Asmodean. I think Lanfear was so pissed at Rand that she either used one of her wishes to make a quick visit to Asmo, or maybe paid a visit to Slayer to order it done.

Where's the Lanfear as Mesaana theory? The search on wotmania doesn't seem to work very well.
259. litg
TimKington @ 258

Starts here:

Then continues for 4 more parts. In encompasses more than just Mesaana-as-Lanfear, and it's quite a long read. Enjoy.
260. Lsana
@256 hoping to be of the blood,

The Age of Legends battle could easily be considered a draw. The Dark One didn't get free, but the bore wasn't repaired. The Dark One didn't break the Wheel of Time, but he did break the world. He remained able to influence events, not just subtly, but overtly through the the Taint, through the Black Ajah, the Trollocs and Myrdraal, and most importantly, through Ishmael. I think you would have a hard time arguing that LTT and the Light really "won" that time.

Speaking of Ishy, does anyone else wonder if he might be a champion of the Light who got corrupted? He kind of fits the mold: powerful channeler, some memory of past lives, a philosophical commitment to the side that he serves, and a willingness to keep going despite knowing that victory for his side probably means his death. On the opposite side, he would have made a good Dragon.
261. sinfulcasheew
to: 233 Mark P
I'm so sorry about the misdirection.
The series would be much better if viewed first.
I was thinking about it later and realized, the movie is pretty dark without alot of the interaction between the characters that is in the series.
The series is lighter and really puts it all in place.
Without the series first alot is lost.
Hope I didn't spoil the whole thing for you.
(I just bought the both things on Amazon. Cool!)

I apologize for another off topic subject, at least it isn't different from all my other stuff.

Now, on to the only thing that bothers me about the books.
There are so many people in the armies, and with the Shaido and the Aiel, etc.
Thousands and thousands and even more thousands keep appearing.
What's up with that?
Just seems over the top to me.
Richard Fife
262. R.Fife
Eh, many modern armies over over a million in total strength. Now granted, Randland is several depopulated compared to modern day, so when an entire warrior society nation empties out and has a few hundred thousand, I think that is fairly believable. One thing I did find odd is how RJ never really gave even an offhand comment to the normal problems of "medieval" armies on the march, such as food supply, disease, dissentary, etc. When a nation marches, it stops feeding itself, but there never seems to be what I would think would be a noticable impact on the Randland foodstuffs market.

Yes, I know "things are pricy" all over the place, but even then, throwing in a several hundred thousand locust-like soldiers should have a crazy impact logistically. Still, I just try to suspend disbelief and say "Yeah, RoJo doesn't comment on em, but they're there, just not pivotal to the plot."
john massey
263. subwoofer
Alreadymad... this could go on forever... which would be a challenge b/c the weekend is almost over so here is where I will leave it... The Tower breaking thing- had to happen... Min had a vision, Elaida saw something too, the Pattern (read RJ) wove it for true... I was also referring to Rand creating the Black Tower. Rand's ta'vereness is what it is. Call it luck but Rand may of purposely left thing with the Sea Folk for a long time to increase his bargaining position. They did try to make several attempts to have an audience with him. I also think you give Cadsuane way too much credit. She was in charge at the moment, and was bossing people about, but I think (I can't nec. remember what I had for breakfast, so I am digging deep here to remember a book I read over a two years ago) Rand orchestrated the distractions but he had to know that the Forsaken would show up. They are always drawn by power. So Rand brought along the warm bodies and Cadsuane organized them. Anyway, like I said this could go on forever. My point is that there has to be a clear distinction between Rand's loss of his humanity and his going insane. One does not equal the other. That is why Cadsuane and Sorilea make their agreement to teach Rand to laugh and cry again.
john massey
264. subwoofer
I agree (?!) with R.Fife. RJ glosses over the logistics of large armies and how armies march on their stomachs. RJ also glosses over thing like indoor plumbing and the size of the holes that would have to be dug in order for armies of thousands to go potty. And all the low bushes that would be de-leaved...
The plot would really grind to a halt if RJ had to break down every nuance of how an army is managed day to day. It is enough when Rand is with his generals over a table of maps plotting things out or when he has Berelain or another steward immerse themselves in tedium. Also don't forget Elayne learning how grinding the day to day stuff is of how much it costs to have an army when she is besieged and dealing with her accountant.
265. Wetlander
(I can't believe I'm still posting at #264!)

You's guys make some great points. Subwoofer, I like your statement that there is a clear distinction between Rand's loss of humanity and his going insane. THAT makes a lot of sense to me in terms of what goes on all through. I'll have to think on it some more, because it's got a "key" feel to it.

R.Fife, I thought RJ addressed the "army on the march" thing several times. Not in great detail, maybe, but it's there. He has Mat worrying about his supply ships when he takes the Band toward Tear, and (iirc) has to find carts to get stuff from his ships to Salidar (wagons being too big to go through the gateways whatshisname can make - or was that a different move?). The Salidar AS deal with it, Perrin deals with it, even Rand makes the point. There's a bit when they've just taken Illian and are scouting the Seanchan, where some of the more arrogant Asha'man look down their noses at the guy who reports the acquisition of all the carts and wagons, and Rand slaps them down because that's the one point that is really proof the Seanchan are planning to do a major forces move. Something like that anyway. There are only brief mentions of sanitation and disease control, but I'm pretty sure they are there too.

Sorry about the run-on sentences there. Thought getting too complex, and insufficient time and brainpower to do a proper edit. Can I post it anyway? Thx.
Elroy Skimms
266. elroyskimms
Tony Zbaraschuk @ 210

I'm almost positive there's a Mayor in there somewhere. Maybe even a Mayor related to one of the frequent viewpoint characters in the series... what was his name again?

Seriously? You think that Nynaeve and the gold-chain-wearing Mayor are on equal footing? I have to admit that is the first time I have ever heard of anyone making that comparison. I'll have to take a moment and think about whether or not those two characters have the same clout around the Two Rivers.


Moment has passed... yeah, not a chance. Even Cenn treads lightly around Nynaeve but completely ignores the Mayor whenever he wants. Sorry, I just don't see them as anything close to being equals.

Sharyn Blum
267. rynners
elroyskimms @ 266

I agree that it's notable that even the most crotchety troublemaker in town walks eggshells around Nyn. However, we hear frequently that she's a fairly remarkable woman, even among TR Wisdoms, given her channeling-based extra-strong gifts for weather prediction, healing the sick, etc, as well as her formidable personality (made even more so by having to act doubly upright and adult due to coming into her position so young).

We don't see much of the other village Wisdoms, but what we do doesn't give me the impression that they're all treated like that. Certainly, they're taken very seriously and have quite the position of power in the village, but, when we hear time and again how remarkable and unusually powerful Nyn is, it leads me to suspect that that refers to more than just her strength with the Power.

R.Fife, subwoofer, Wetlander

I also think that a good bit of time is spent discussing the many difficulties of mobilizing and maintaining a large military force. We see the struggles of armies both on the march and under seige, and some of the distinctions between mercenary, sworn, and volunteer forces, among others. Perhaps it's not given as much screen time as other problems, but it always seems to me that pragmatic concerns are laid out just enough to be understood, and much more text is devoted to characters' interpersonal conflict, internal struggles, and the like.

I am not about to do a straight word count to see if I'm correct, but I am inclined to think it's just part of the way Jordan exposes us to the world of the books. Even when practical things come up, it's largely in the context of how one character or another is coping with it and the impact on their other decisions.

That said, being a fairly pragmatic individual, I like reading about these sorts of struggles, and it makes a nice change from mule-headed man-induced braid tugging. Also, I would have been fine if some of the word count encompassing descriptions of the most recently passed stand of leatherleaf had gone to talking about how many latrines Gareth bloody Bryne needs in his present encampment.

Which reminds me...does anyone else think that the flora west of the Spine of the World really lacks regional variety? Or perhaps the Wonderboys and Supergirls just never made much of an effort to learn about new tree species after leaving home. ("Hey, there's one or two that I know! I'll just avoid mentioning these unfamiliar local plants. Wouldn't want to seem provincial in front of the troops.")
268. WhizzNZ
I've been reading this re-read for a while but this is my first post. Apologies if I get anything wrong. :)

Tony Zbaraschuk @ 210

It would be totally right to say that Nynaeve and the Mayor are on unequal footing.Nynaeve tends to get her way with things more than Bran. This may be partly because Nynaeve has access to the Women's Circle, which in turn tends to bully their husbands into doing what the Women Circle want. Notice RJ tends to paint the men in the WoT as often "afraid" of women and often the women use their relationships (e.g. marriage, Aes Sedai bond)to get their way with men.E.g. Wise Ones, Sea Folk and wetlander folks as well. I think this is another way he offsets the gender inbalance in physical strength. I suppose he intended it as a way of reflecting the world we live in!

elroyskimms @ 266
The Wisdoms even among the areas near the Two Rivers don't nearly have as much courage or conviction as Nynaeve. Take for instance when Daise Congar and company(the other wisdoms from Taren Ferry etc.) go to Faile to confess they really have no idea why the weather is still stifling hot and are afraid of not knowing why. Nynaeve probably would have pulled her braid out before confessing she was afraid of something to a "Lady". Her abilities in the Power would have helped, no doubt.

I know I'm a bit late with this one but:
Take for instance two Aiel women were made first sisters. However, later on, one of the women falls in love with the real first-brother of her new first sister. Would that mean that first-siter would be involved in an incestuous realtionship?
E.g. Aviendha and Elayne become first sisters, but Aviendha falls in love with Gawyn? I know this is not true but its seems a better explanation than th one above. Would Aviendha have to choose between Elayne and Gawyn (even though the power-bond seems to be unbreakable?). Likewise with first-brothers. Has RJ ever said anythign about this in the books that I've missed?

P.S. Thanks Leigh for all the work...brilliant stuff.
269. gagecreedlives
Bran vs Nynaeve the great Two Rivers power struggle.

I think Bran might handle the overall running of the Town. Taxes, tabac prices and the like but Nynaeve would be dealing with peoples everyday problems. Like a sickness, Cenn not doing a proper job thatching roofs etc.

Also Bran al'Vere also doesnt seem to go around whacking people with sticks to get his point across.
270. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
elroyskimms @266, rynners @267, WhizzNZ @268
There's really nothing remarkable about the town's orneriest walking eggshells around Nynaeve. Not when she thumps anyone who doesn't listen to her. She's just a regular bully. If her position isn't enough to convince you, the switch will. I don't think that's courage or conviction. Just mule-headedness. It's part of the reason I don't think so well of her.

About the flora, no the Girls never really take note of trees. They do take note of plants and herbs, though. When Nynaeve first got to Tear, she had to convince Mother Guenna with her skill in plants. Not all the plants they used had the same names, or even existed in both their places.
271. hoping to be of the blood
Lsana @ 260
All of the battles with the shadow have turned out to be draws of varying degrees. Whatever led up to the AOL was a good draw since the DO was unknown then (of course until they committed the massive screw up of drilling the bore.)The War of the Shadow ended in a bad draw, with the taint and the breaking and almost resulted in the DO being free. In both scenarios, the DO was still only sealed.

Will the DO be eliminated in this age or will there just be a better sealing job done?

This brings me to the whole issue of gender politics in WOT. I have been reluctant to dip my toe in these waters, but here goes.
In the aol, the best work was done when men and women worked together. The bore was resealed using only men since the women decided the plan was risky and unworkable. That didn't turn out well.
In this age we now have the forces of the light on the ropes and one reason is that they do not communicate and cooperate since they don't trust or understand each other. Unnecessary conflict and struggles ensue but they are integral to the plot. If everyone knew exactly the right thing to do, the books would be alot shorter. Like the AOL when everyone got along and wonderful things were done until their hubris, arrogance and greed prompted them to drill the bore. Oh well, looks like we're doomed no matter how it goes. :)
Anyway, my point was that our boys and girls will get it together in the end and work jointly to make a proper seal and usher in a new AOL. The DO will not be eliminated, just another good draw.
mark Proctor
272. mark-p
261. sinfulcasheew
hey no worries, I probably would have watched it anyway.
I wont have the time to watch the complete series until after the summer so I'll try and forget all the details.

251. CraigVal
When I read this through the first time, and before I learned better from later revelations in the series, I had kept hoping that the trollocs fighting for Rand were perhaps whitetrollocs. Since it would be nice for the Dark One to have the same problems as the forces of light have with darkfriends.
haha I had a dream recently, with a fade in it who claimed to be fedup of the dark and killing and wanted to come over to the light.
I've obviously been spending too much time reading the books and this forum.
Elroy Skimms
273. elroyskimms
WhizzNZ @ 268
The Wisdoms even among the areas near the Two Rivers don't nearly have as much courage or conviction as Nynaeve.

My post was about their influence in the running of the town. Yes, Nynaeve's use of the OP likely helped her rise to her position. I'm not judging courage or conviction, I'm simply looking at their ability to get things done. Other villages outside of Emond's Field may not have this same balance, but we only get glimpses of how they run. We get plenty of details here and they all point to Nynaeve being top dog.

alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed @ 270

There's really nothing remarkable about the town's orneriest walking eggshells around Nynaeve. Not when she thumps anyone who doesn't listen to her. She's just a regular bully. If her position isn't enough to convince you, the switch will. I don't think that's courage or conviction. Just mule-headedness. It's part of the reason I don't think so well of her.

I'm not here to give Nynaeve points for style, and she certainly could use a re-read of, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" because bullying with a stick really isn't the best way. Regardless of the way she gets it done, when she says "jump", people jump. When the Mayor tells Cenn to shove it, Cenn grumbles right back at him. She may not win Ms. Congeniality, but she gets results.

We can speculate all we want about how things happen in other villages, but all we have there are 3rd person POV's and little one-sided snippets at best. The only place we have detail about the heads of the Council and Circle are with the Mayor and Nynaeve, and I doubt Mayor Al'Vere would ever win that contest,

274. newwildlife
So I absolutely LOVE the rereads and review... but I do have to say I'm growing very tired of the sexism rants. Not that I disagree with you by any means.
275. Lsana
I don't think it's quite far to compare Nynaeve's authority to Bran's by looking at how Cenn reacts to each. Cenn is on the Village Council, which seems to mean that he is almost equal in authority to the Mayor and has the right, if not the duty, to question the Mayor's decisions. If he were to question Nynaeve the same way, he would be accused of meddling in Women's Circle business.

If we were to see an ornery member of the Women's Circle and how she reacted to Nynaeve and Bran, I think that would give us a better data point for their relative positions.
276. Siuanfan
FunBob @ 217

I believe Theodrin's wilder ability was a form of compulsion. I seem to remember her telling Nynaeve that she used to make boys like her, and that's why her block was men.

I also recall someone saying that most wilders' first abilities revolved around some form of eavesdropping or compulsion, since the ability to channel usually manifested when someone wanted something to happen really badly (like Rand with Bela, or escaping from those guys at the inn), and usually that involved making someone do something they really wanted to do.
Elroy Skimms
277. elroyskimms
Lsana @ 275

If we were to see an ornery member of the Women's Circle and how she reacted to Nynaeve and Bran, I think that would give us a better data point for their relative positions.

Ornery member of the Women's Circle = Nynaeve

The Council as a whole may have some give-and-take with the Circle, and they each try to keep their own business to themselves. But it is Nynaeve that charges into the meeting of the Village Council as they discuss the news that Padan Fain brought before Winternight. She may not have gotten the information she was looking for, but she went in expecting answers. I don't recall a reference to any men, Mayor or Council member, interrupting a Women's Circle meeting. I still don't think there is anyone in Emond's Field with the boobsiness / ovariness / braidness / balls / chutzpah that Nynaeve has. I may not like the way she does it, but is there anyone in Emond's Field that will go toe-to-toe with her and at least come out with a draw?

Rand finally finds the nerve to at least face her when she comes to the Stag and Lion in Baerlon and Nynaeve comments about it. He's not challenging her authority, but simply asking direct questions and not cowering at her as she tugs her braid. But that is only after being hunted by Trollocs and Fades. Does it really take Trollocs and Halfmen to give someone the boobsiness / ovariness / braidness / balls / chutzpah to stand up to Nynaeve?

I'm not trying to bash the Mayor. He was only one of two who stood for Moiraine when the local thugs got rowdy. He certainly has some boobsiness / ovariness / braidness / balls / chutzpah of his own, but I don't think he's even close to being a match for Nynaeve.


PS: "boobsiness/ovariness/braidness/balls/chutzpah" stolen without permission from TSR:Part 3 - Post 114 by Dr. Morganstien
278. Lsana
@277 elroyskimms,

True, we never see Bran charge into a meeting of the Women's Circle, but then we never see a meeting of the Women's Circle at all. And I think Nynaeve was right to charge into this particular meeting--the news that Fain had brought might affect women's business just as much as men's and needed to be dealt with by all of the village authorities.

And consider what Tam said to Rand after: "The Mayor and the Wisdom seldom agree, and they agreed less than usual today." In the end, we don't get to see exactly how the final plan incorporated Bran's and Nynaeve's ideas, but the quote does suggest that Bran didn't just roll over like a dog and stick his paws in the air whenever Nynaeve looked at him funny.
Deborah Jones
279. NanaD
I loggged onto Tor this morning early. To my surprise Leigh's comments were already posted. The post time given as 2something A.M. . I started to comment about the early post time, but my computer had a fit. When I returned to Tor the announcement was up about the upcoming books and Leigh's post was gone. What's up with that?
Elroy Skimms
280. elroyskimms
Lsana @ 278

we never see a meeting of the Women's Circle at all.
but the quote does suggest that Bran didn't just roll over like a dog and stick his paws in the air whenever Nynaeve looked at him funny.

We only have what RJ gave us. And he never spent a lot of time on the Mayor. In Nynaeve he gives us someone who goes toe-to-toe with an Aes Sedai and her Warder when the rest of the village can barely handle the fact that Aes Sedai exist at all. When the kids run off with Moiraine, we don't know what happened at the meeting between her and Bran, but we do know that it was Nynaeve that went to bring them back.

RJ wrote in her a strength and resolve not present in most other people from the village (a village known for its stubborness). RJ gave us the Council and some interaction with its members (Tam, Bran, Cenn, etc). But in the Circle, he gave us Nynaeve. We don't get insight into the Women's Circle for a reason. If the Women of the Circle as just as easily cowed by Nynaeve as the Men of the Council are, then Nynaeve is clearly the top dog. But if the Women of the Circle are stronger than the Men, they still chose Nynaeve to be their Wisom and spokesperson. She is still the top dog amongst strong women. Either way, Nynaeve is the top dog.

Nynaeve and Bran may not have agreed on anything at all, but it was Nynaeve that went after Moiraine. They may not have settled there differences, but when she took off to rescue the kids, she became the winner by default. Bran may not be a wimp, but he's still in Emond's Field while Nynaeve is out hounding the hidden trail left by a Warder from the Borderlands. Personally, I find her arrogant and irritating. But RJ makes it very clear, she gets the job done.

281. Tonybere
Okay, anyone want to hear a rant about sexism, polygamy or swearing?!?!?! Wow, I'm glad that it only took 200 posts for us to move on. I am going to go back to it long enough to offer this bit of "wisdom": let's all of us remember that this is a one-sided medium and all critical or judgemental comments come off as being condescending. (Sorry to generalize there, Leigh).
Also, I hold doors open for PEOPLE. Not women because they might mot be strong enough, or because society tells me to. Just because it's a nice thing to do for someone and it just might make their day a little brighter.
Loving the insights on Randland/realworld societies, legends and Personalities. This has always been an interest of mine outside of the actual story.
Can't wait to return to Emmond's Field!!!!!!!!!
282. Orideth

I was wondering about this myself. I read all the way through the post early this morning, and then found it had mysteriously disappeared when I tried to post a comment. What gives?
283. sotgnomen
On the polygamy-issue? I think I read somewhere that all familiar relationships go through the mother, as well as that the women are the owners of any property. Culturally speaking(I could reference several non-western or pre-christian cultures here), that makes the woman the strong party by far. This polygamy-thing would then just be an extension of that.
284. pooping eagle
Here's my vulgarity. anohterfan is an asshole
285. DutchBoy
Please, although you do not agree with someone (in this case Anotherfan), please, please, show some respect.

Great name though, pooping eagle, ha ha ha!
286. scarlett
I know its a while back there but,

Also, I absolutely love this re-read. I even rather like this discussion thread afterwards, but lets please not attack eachother toooooo much. This is a fantasy series. I'm an escapist. I read it precisely because it is different than the world I live in, but similar enough for me to feel comfortable. I absolutely refuse to get angry over someone else's opinion on a book. Now, through real-life into the mix and I'll argue with the best of you. But, Wheel of Time, whilst awesome..... does not equal real life.

And, I totally missed way too much stuff my first time reading these books. I am mass amounts of appreciative to you Leigh, as well as the rest of you posters for having analytical brains. It really enriches the whole experience for me.

Oh and one more thing. Tiny pet peeve. Of course = correct spelling. Of coarse = incorrect spelling.
Sorry. and Thanks!
288. thxdsai
@9 Lannis

BTW, anybody taking bets on whether the people of Shara will be showing up at TG? Or did they get a Get Out of Jail Free card and get to bypass all the ugly?

I don’t think they will have a get-out-of-jail free card. I think they will be the pool from which all the dreadlords in TG come from (both male and female).

It also stands to reason that many of the male Aiel who went to blight after learning they could channel might also be dreadlords as well. Leigh has asked if the rule of 13 has actually been invoked, and I would venture to say yes it has on many of the Aiel to name but a few.

@18 Metzg31

The question that comes to my mind with this segment is, ''Did both sets of Trollocs come in on grain barges?'' It doesn't seem likely. The other faction must have come in some other way, meaning that they almost certainly had to get through the city somehow since they couldn't Travel directly into the Stone. Do we find out later about Trollocs killing their way through Tear to get to the Stone?

@10 hoping to be of the blood & 41 Mark-S

“hoping to be of the blood”
Lan’s knowledge about how the Trollocs accessed the Stone seemed premature. When did he get this intel?It seemed like a clumsy plot device – but I nitpick.

I don't think so, just follow the trail of blood

@47 Samadai
Lan mentions that the trollocs came from boats tied up at the docks as well as wagons brought in from out of the city. That is obviously where the two different bands of trollocs and myrdrall come from

@any others I might have missed:

I have always believed that one of the sets of trollocs got to Tear through the same waygate Perrin uses to get back to the Two Rives. (sorry for jumping ahead). The wagons that were used is what I based the connection on.

@56 Randalator

Travelling and Skimming both require gateways and it's those the Shadowspawn can't pass. The destination (Skimming place or any place in Randland) is irrelevant.

The entrance to the Ways is a gateway, how does Shadowspawn pass through it? Totally not trying to debunk anything you say Randalator, it is just something that got me thinking after what I replied to about how the shadowspawn got into the stone of tear. Also reading your comment brought the question into sharp focus for me to articulate it.

@58 AUgradGSUgradstudent

In reference to the Eye of the World not being spoken of much again in the rest of the series... isn't that because it was completely used up in that one instance?........

I’m not entirely certain, but wasn’t the actual making of the eye of the world referenced in the flashbacks when Rand enters Rhuidean?

@70 anotherfan

Hell brotha, don’t let trooperomulo stop ya. Send another response!

@elroyskimms (in general to all posts)

Recall for an instant when the Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve where escaping from the Sanchean (in The Great Hunt) and Nynaeve channeled at the Sanchean and then had someone channel back to her position. She was able to detect the source of what was channeled at her and redirect something back. The same thing can happen when using gateways, and I’m pretty sure that gateways use up a great deal more of the One Power then something that Nynaeve did. Therefore someone slinging deathgates around would make themselves #1 target to any dreadlords on the battle-field.

Tying off the flows might work, but unless they were inverted so as to be undetectable, I still think dreadlords would do a sweep of a battle-field before sending troops on a charge. Still not saying the ideas you’ve presented and refined couldn’t work, I’m just saying why think they could be easily countered.

@86 ConfusedMuch

Ok, call me clueless but can someone explain the benz logo to me? I don't recall it in the book....

When I first read the book I thought it was a peace symbol rather a benz symbol. The “...pride and vanity” as quoted by R.Fife @87 was like a smack on the forehead for me. I just wanted to share. =)

@141, 142, & 143


@everyone talking about Rand killing women

Doesn’t he kill a woman in The Great Hunt that approaches his campfire?

@164 Rebecca Star

I hate to bring it up here, and I also hate to sound like I'm positing a loony theory, but…

Your theory is the best one I’ve ever heard or read about as to who killed Asmoden. I think a lot of folks pretended they knew who it was kind of the same way folks did regarded the meaning behind the Inn named Easing the Badger.

@205 R.Fife

Re: Firefly
“…ties up the massive River Tam plot. I can't recall if it reveals any background on Shepherd Booker…”

I think it was implied in the movie what Book was before becoming a Shepherd when telling Mal how the alliance is going to handle River and Simon. Also, on a general note I love this series equally as much as The Wheel of Time books.

Someone also asked about things said in Chinese while watching the show and another person mentioned a comic that bridges the gap between the final episode and the movie. I just wanted to add that there is a book out that has all the dialogue from the TV series which includes all the translations for what gets said in Chinese.

Hope I didn’t post this to late…I couldn’t get around this weekend to post.
289. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
elroyskimms @277
Actually I happen to believe that Nynaeve just couldn't bully Rand in Baerlon because unlike the others he had explicit permission from his father. The rest just left letters.
290. cr0w_
oh jeez. i have a lot of catching up to do.. been too busy! thanks leigh btw for doing this. gotta finish TDR before Weds and catch up with TSR in the interim!

/end worthless comment.
291. grnidgrl
Regarding Shadowspawn and Waygates, Traveling and Skimming. I think everyone is confusing what Rand does in (I can't remember which book, but the one where Loial's mom shows up) where he creates a trap at all of the Waygates that causes Shadowspawn to die if they pass through it. This is a trap created by Rand not a by-product of Traveling or the Ways.

That is all.

Have a great day!
292. Randalator
@288 thxdsai

The entrance to the Ways is a gateway, how does Shadowspawn pass through it? Totally not trying to debunk anything you say Randalator, it is just something that got me thinking after what I replied to about how the shadowspawn got into the stone of tear. Also reading your comment brought the question into sharp focus for me to articulate it.

The entrance to the Ways is not a gateway but a Waygate. It's not the same as a gateway used for Travelling or Skimming. For instance passing through a Waygate causes a freezing sensation where it touches you and a time-stretching experience akin to the process of Healing.

Passing through a gateway causes no unusual experiences whatsoever. So in conclusion: gateway = insta-death for Shadowspawn, Waygate = all fine.

The Ways have their own defense mechanisms against Shadowspawn, but they can enter without any trouble.

@291 grnidgrl

No, we're not confusing anything.

"Shadowspawn can't survive passing through a gateway."
(KoD, ch. 19)
Elroy Skimms
293. elroyskimms
Of DeathGates and Trapping Shadowspawn:
So I was watching Wall-E and saw the Presto short that came on the DVD. You need to watch it and think, "Traveling and Gateways". Made me laugh.

294. JamesEdJones
Hooookay! Let's have some fun with this...

In a society with a clear disparity in gender numbers polygyny is not the best solution. There are neither best solutions nor worst solutions in the world of the Wheel of Time. But it was A solution.

Also, we are all free to comment here in the comment section (at least I think so...). Keep 'em comming! And everybody, including Aotherfan, appreciates Leigh's efforts to read and comment on what we have to say after she's stepped off her... pedestal. ;)

Thank you, Leigh. It's rare that you find a writer that responds in the same medium that is offered for responses to what she wrote in the first place. That's serious commitment to your work and dedication to RJ's fans, and now your fans.

That said, I have a friend at work whose 11 year old son is just starting WOT, but is not allowed to read this reread. This is right and appropriate for him to make these decisions for his son (at least at that age). If I wanted to share this post with my friends, I'd offer a little warning (beyond don't do it at work). I have a few friends who would not be willing to read this blog because of the adult content. I'm not going to demean or ridicule them. But I'm also not going to ask Leigh to change what she's writing so my friends might be okay with it. Heck, I'm not even sure they like Fantasy.

Since this is an open forum, I don't believe Anotherfan said anything wrong when (s)he made that infamous suggestion. However, I don't believe Anotherfan should be shocked that it might have offended a few folks.

And now... I gotta get back to work!
295. JennB
Okay I know I am late to this game, but I have been reading this great summary and now that we are in my favorite part of the series I feel the need to comment. First since we never got a it from Leigh, YAY Aviendha. She is by far my fave character and I was always rooting for her to get the guy. The Aiel are also my fave Randland culture. I think its fascinating how Jordan takes a practice such as polygamy that in our world is very sexist againt women and turns it on its head and makes it slightly sexist against men. After all if an Aiel man wants to marry a certain woman not only does he have to wait for her to ask, but he may have to marry her best friend as well (whether he likes her or not).
296. catchinUp
oi... still trying to catch up; and no ones gonna read this ... but, since a couple posters made comments I thought I'd chime in.

It's been bugging me on this re-read ever since Egs Acceptatron moment "How does one get turned to the dark"

I like Light. Go Light. Light is good.
Go Dark! Dark Rules! ... hey wait, all my memories are proLight, and I've never pulled the wings off flies. Why do I like the Dark?

And, as to the comments about *angreal in TAR, where he specifically cites the Oaths / Oath Rod. Did that not make anyone else think VERRIN?
297. mike shupp
Leigh: "seeing as Jordan did not see fit to provide us with a culture that practices both polygyny and polyandry...."

Well, there's a lot Jordan didn't see fit to provide. (Or Tolkein, for that matter.) Bluntly put, the books are improbably free of sex. My suspicion is that if we actually found ourselves in Randland, we'd likely discover relations between the sexes were not as Victorian as he painted. Rand and Perrin may have been virgins all through the first three books, for example, but Mat wasn't, for all his talk of "cuddling."
Some of the Maidens of the Spear who bind themselves as "sisters" likely would have sexual relations, and some of the Gaiden would probably have experiences we'd classify as "abuse" -- if not as "exploitation" or "rape." Some of the characters who took spears in the gut for being Darkfriends were probably just clumsily concealed gays. Some of the White Cloaks who shoved those spears probably had "special friends" and "private ceremonies" shared with other White Cloak. There were likely Ais Sedai hopelessly hung up on other Ais Sedai, sometimes sexually, sometimes not.

Sure, it complicates things to track the sex lives of half a dozen adolescents, and paying too much attention would turn a good adventure yarn into mediocre soap opera. But it's worth ruminating that the Wheel of Time as presented to us is in important ways A Disney Version of he actual tale.
joel perry
298. finndo
I do not get the "mereceds benz" symbol, I know where it is in the quote from chapter eleven, but I do not see that as meaning a mercedes symbol. And have never understood peoples reference to this. it does not make any sense and that is not how I would describe that particular brand logo. the description makes me think of the Star Trek logo from the communicators in TNG.

I was hoping for some good discussions on these chapters, but as I read all I found was whining and complaining. So again, for all posts since TDR part 7 I think, I have not read all the comments, yet prior to that I read all 100+ even on the TDR post that had 179 (I think) comments, I read them all. seems like a group of people stuck on a small boat in the middle of the ocean for too long...

I did find it interesting that Leigh did not quote the resurrection attempt by Rand.

and personally I think Leigh handled the complaint much more professionally than I would have (and suprisingly did not cuss in her retort!!!)
299. Gambit
Pure speculation, but I think the Ring was the most powerful One Power (male/female) sa'angreal ever...until the creation of the Choedan Kal in the War of Power.

Excellent! And unless I'm mistaken, that means it is currently buried under Dragonmount, and in fact explains just how Lews Therin was able to draw that much of the Power in the first place.
300. Felix Velarius Bos
I'm sorry Leigh, but I completely disagree with you on your veiw with Jordan's gender politics.

I like his way of explaining the roles, strengths, and weaknesses. To me, he comes pretty close to how things are in real life: men and women are different, have different sets of strengths and weaknesses, yet are still pretty equal. He notes how men are exellent at brute force and fighting, yet their weakness falls in with being a bit to focused and sometimes not being able to go with the flow when they should. He shows how women, not being skilled in brute force, make up for it in the ability to multitask, accept what cannot be changed, move with sublety, a work as exellent manipulators. As a woman myself, I appreciate him trying to show how women are equal with men, but different. The relationship of saidin and saidar is just one of many exellent examples.

There is nothing wrong with it; in fact, there is quite a bit right with it. There's nothing wrong with chivalry, either, to a certain extent (okay, I'll agree with you on Rand taking it too far).
Doug LeBeau
301. dlebeau
I am just rereading the recaps for about the 10th time and I must say I have come to the conclusion that polygamey arises in the Aiel culture because there are far more women than men of a young and marriagable age.

Rand's trip through Rhuidean does not seem to indicate that it existed in the ancient Aiel culture. Never once does he think of sister wives, at least, perhaps not until he imagines himself actually going to Rhuidean, I can't recall.

This is because while there is one society that does cater to female combatants men make up the large majority of the Aeil fighting force. Now, in normal war, yes, more young men die than women, but not as many as you might think because civilian populations are often targetted with women, unfortunately, being brutally victimized as a result. The Aiel, until the Shaido, do not involve the civilians and in fact have very strong prohibitions against even threatening certain civilians (Wise Ones and Blacksmiths).

So, all in all, far more men die than women, leading to a rather large disparity. It's kind of the opposite of what is happening in China due to the poor implentation of the single child policy.

We do get an example of one women bonding more than one man though, and it's of course the Green Ajah. As much as sister wives may raise your hackles, Green Ajah can actually compel obedience.
302. summertime
Possibly I am jumping to conclusions, so correct me if I'm wrong. But could it be that the people complaining about L expressing her opinion on gender roles, are, umm, men?(Granted I DID NOT read through all of these comments) It just seems like sometimes it's almost in our natures to defend our own sex. I know when my boyfriend complains about "those damn girls" POVs I automatically get a bit deffensive saying things like, "They are crucial to the story. Perrin, Rand, and yes even Mat annoy me sometimes. There are important things in those sections/chapters and if you just skip over them you may miss something." On that note, loved this comment L:
"You want ideal? I say, you should decide not to hurt me because I don’t deserve to be hurt, not because I happen to have a vagina. So don’t hurt me, and TAKE DOWN THE EVIL MURDERING PSYCHO TALKING TO YOU, mmkay?"
304. Chris W Busch
Concerning the battle scene in the Stone between the two competing Trolloc groups, where were the "Supergirls" No mention other in the next chapter that they were scared, is made of them. Does not make sense, these girls can channel and could have joined the fight in a decisive manner. And the Orgier? And Mat?

Any thoughts
306. Divil The Bother
Okayyyy - comin in very late - 300+ posts. My OCD is going to make this reread a very long slog.

Anyway just thought I'd add to the Anotherfan treatment. Personally I thought he was treated appallingly and there are some here who should hang their heads in shame.

After his initial comments @15 were willfully misinterpreted the guy practically bent over backwards to avoid causing offence yet certain individuals still felt the need to have a go.

The guy had valid criticisms - 1. Harping on about sexism/gender issues 2. Language in the posts.

Re sexism/gender issues - yes they are an important feature of the novels but I can understand the frustration when whole heaps of the commentary are repeatedly devoted to this issue at the expense of perhaps other noteworthy events in the chapters. If it was some randomer doing the commentary it wouldn't matter but we all want to hear Leigh's insights and thoughts on the events we consider significant - I think that's where Anotherfan was coming from and it's a valid criticism in my view.

On the language - All he did was ask that Leigh reflect on her use of language and consider how widely read by young and old this blog is.

He made no demands and, in fairness, I would have to agree with him that Leigh's response to both issues @33 was unnecessarily dismissive.
William McDaniel
307. willmcd
In Ch9, when Lanfear makes her "pale-haired milksop" comment, Rand thinks she's talking about Elayne, when in fact she's almost certainly talking about Ilyena. I'm sure that this was discussed ad nauseam on rasfwrj (where I used to lurk, but never dared to post) back in the day, but one has to note that the names "Ilyena" and "Elayne" are very nearly anagrams; switch and e for an i and you've got it.

I'm not suggesting that Elayne is Ilyena reborn, because let's face it, for all the talk about past lives, we're really only gotten confirmation that Rand is a reincarnation of a specific person. Mat has some past lives, to be sure, but we don't know who they are (yet). Still, with RJ's attention to detail it would be a push to think that the similarity between the names is just coincidence.

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