Mar 30 2009 3:52pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Shadow Rising, Part 4

It’s Monday, but that is OKAY, people, for you have another Wheel of Time Re-read to help you ignore your inbox with. Today’s procrastination is The Shadow Rising, Part 4, covering Chapters 13-16.

Previous entries are interred here. Please note that there are spoilers here, and there, and everywhere; abandon all unspoiled hope, ye who click that link.

And now, an announcement before we get started:

I imagine most of you have seen the press release announcing the decision to split A Memory of Light into three volumes; if you haven’t, here, take a look.

As far as my own reaction to the news, I am honestly neither surprised nor dismayed by the decision. Personally, my shoulders are already killing me from hauling around the hardcover of TSR all over New York, and I’m kind of dreading Lord of Chaos, so the decision works for me purely from an ergonomic standpoint. But truly, guys, this will make the final product better from a quality point of view as well. You rush a miracle, you know what you get? Rotten miracles. The same holds true of books.

But beyond that, the news has also caused me to reach a decision regarding the re-read, as well. When originally conceived, the idea behind this blog series had been to complete a readthrough of all eleven books in time for the release of the final book in the fall. The result has been the frankly rather punishing pace you’ve seen here for the first few books, plus the knowledge that I would not be able to include New Spring for lack of time. But now that we know that the story will not be finished after all in November… well, it seems kind of silly to keep to that schedule, especially since I was uncertain of being able to reach the finish line on time anyway.

You may have already noticed that the pace has slowed, though that truly was more due to flu and flu-recovery and dammit-stop-sniffling-already considerations than anything else, but I think I will keep to the slower tempo. So for now, there will still be three posts a week, but less material will be covered per post; we’ll try this pace for a while and see how it works.

I think this is a good thing all around; it means I can include New Spring, for one thing, and it also means I can devote more time to the commentary for each chapter, and hopefully even have more time to participate in the comments with you guys, which would be awful nice. It also means I might possibly be able to participate in extracurricular activities again, like seeing my friends and, you know, sleeping and stuff. That would be rather awesome. Not to mention, there are some very cool side-ish projects that and I are cooking up that now I can take more time for, which is also of the Good.

As far as the new books themselves, they of course will be included in the re-read and commentary, and I’ll probably do a separate review of my own of the whole first volume when it comes out (since we will not be up to it in the re-read anymore when it is released).

So there you have it; I deem it Good, and hope you will too.

In other news, speaking of cool side-ish projects, keep an eye on this week for details on one I've got coming up, for which I need y’all’s input. That should be going up in the next couple of days. CONSTANT VIGILANCE, people!

Okay, enough blathering, back to business. On with the show!

Chapter 13: Rumors

What Happens
Mat sits alone in a dark corner of the busy tavern, ignoring the dice games and the pretty serving maids, sketching idly in the spilled wine on the table. He flashes back to what happened in the Stone earlier. He had just killed a Gray Man, shakily sure it had been for him specifically, and turned to see a Fade standing there. He hurled a dagger:

The Fade’s black sword blurred as it knocked the dagger away, almost casually; it did not even break stride. “Time to die, Hornsounder.” Its voice was a red adder’s dry hiss, warning of death.

Mat had been sure he was about to die, when suddenly a dozen Trollocs appeared and piled into the Fade. He watched in amazement as they took the Fade down, losing more than half their number in doing so, and then trotted off without a second glance at Mat. Mat shivers, and notices what he’s sketched in the wine – an open door – and rubs it out angrily. He overhears a Lugarder talking about how Logain and Taim were much better false Dragons than this Rand al’Thor, and shakes his head, then overhears something at the next table over that stops him dead. He gets up and goes over to the table, where a Kandori merchant with a forked beard is sitting with a motley group, and says he heard the merchant say something about the Two Rivers.

Forkbeard ran a quick eye over him, the unbrushed hair, the tight expression on his face and the wine in his fist, the gleaming black boots, the green coat with its gold scrollwork, open to the waist to reveal a snowy linen shirt, but both coat and shirt heavily wrinkled. In short, the very image of a young noble sporting himself among the commoners.

Calling Mat “my Lord”, the merchant confirms it, and says he was wagering there’ll be no tabac out of the region this year, and offers to sell Mat some from his own stock. Softly, Mat asks why that would be, and the merchant replies why, because of the Whitecloaks. Mat asks, what about Whitecloaks, and the merchant detects the dangerous tone of the question. Nervously, he explains that apparently the Whitecloaks have gone into the Two Rivers to hunt the Dragon Reborn, even though that’s silly, seeing as he’s in Tear; the same rumor claims that they are looking for a man with yellow eyes. Mat leans closer and asks, who else besides that? The merchant, sweating, says no one, and offers to give Mat a complimentary cask of tabac. Mat tosses a gold crown on the table and walks off, hearing the merchant behind him tell his tablemates he thought he might get his throat slit there, for a moment. Mat leaves the tavern and runs all the way back to the Stone and to Perrin’s room, where he finds Perrin packing. He observes that Perrin’s heard, then, and Perrin says yes, and mutters things Mat doesn’t understand about Faile, and that maybe this would do as well. Mat asks if he believes the rumor; Perrin replies that it is too close to the truth for him to have much doubt. Mat asks if Rand knows, and Perrin nods, and Mat asks what he had to say about it.

Perrin paused, staring at the folded cloak in his hands. “He started muttering to himself. ‘He said he’d do it. He said he would. I should have believed him.’ Like that. It made no sense. Then he grabbed me by the collar and said he had to do ‘what they don’t expect.’ He wanted to me to understand, but I’m not certain he does himself. He didn’t seem to care whether I leave or stay. No, I take that back. I think he was relieved I’m leaving.”

Mat translates this to mean that Rand’s not going to do anything, which Mat doesn’t think much of, and asks if Perrin means to go back alone. Perrin says yes, unless Mat means to come with him, and after watching Mat agonize about this for a minute, adds that there’s no need for him to come; nothing was mentioned about Mat, after all. Mat tries to say he will go, but cannot physically get the words out. He says, doesn’t Perrin feel something holding him back, telling him reasons not to go? Perrin replies that it comes down to ta’veren, even if Mat won’t admit it, and for him, the one reason to go outweighs all the reasons to stay. Mat argues that no one in the Two Rivers would even have a clue of what the Whitecloaks were talking about if they asked about a man with yellow eyes, but Perrin counters that they know his name, and therefore his family is in danger.

“Burn me, Perrin. Burn me! I want to g-g—See? I can’t even say it, now. Like my head knows I’ll do it if I say it. I can’t even get it out in my mind!”

“Different paths. We’ve been sent down different paths before.”

“Different paths be bloodied,” Mat grunted. “I’ve had all I want of Rand, and Aes Sedai, shoving me down their bloody paths. I want to go where I want for a change, do what I want!” He turned for the door, but Perrin’s voice halted him.

“I hope your path is a happy one, Mat. The Light send you pretty girls and fools who want to gamble.”

“Oh, burn me, Perrin. The Light send you what you want, too.”

Perrin replies that he expects it will, but he doesn’t seem to mean that in a good way. He promises Mat that he will tell his family that he’s all right, and Mat leaves. Mat walks down the hallway, thinking of his dim memories of his sisters and cursing the holes in his memory, and sees Berelain walking in the opposite direction. He grins in spite of himself, and sweeps her a bow, greeting her politely; she brushes by without responding, and he straightens angrily.

“Are you deaf as well as blind, woman? I’m not a carpet to walk over, and I distinctly heard myself speak. If I pinch your bottom, you can slap my face, but until I do, I expect a civil word for a civil word!”

The First stopped dead, eyeing him in that way women had. She could have sewn him a shirt and told his weight, not to mention when he had his last bath, from that look. Then she turned away, murmuring something to herself. All he caught was “too much like me.”

Mat stares after her in indignant amazement, and then realizes that letting himself be distracted by Berelain means that in some way he’s already made up his mind about what he is going to do. He digs out a coin and flips it, then sees it is a Tar Valon mark, and it has landed with the Flame side up. He curses Aes Sedai and Rand aloud, and tosses the mark at a startled servant before storming off, calling himself a giant fool.

Berelain: Ha! Well, when you’re right, you’re right, eh?

Mat and Perrin don’t have a lot to do with each other after this point; in fact I don’t think they see each other again after this scene until... hm. Actually, wow: this is the last time they are together; Mat is already on his way to Salidar by the time Perrin rejoins Rand in Lord of Chaos, and has STILL not managed to leave the Altara area by the end of Knife of Dreams. Jeez. “Different paths”, indeed.

So, this was even more of a farewell scene than either of them knew. I am suddenly extremely interested to see what the two of them say to each other if/when they meet up again in A Memory of Light. “You’re married to the Seanchan empress?” “You’re king of Saldaea?” Hilarity ensues!

(Yes, I know Perrin’s not king of Saldaea – yet. Don’t y’all stomp on my joke.)

Chapter 14: Customs of Mayene

What Happens
Perrin watches Mat leave, thinking that Mat would probably rather brain himself with a hammer than go back to the Two Rivers, and takes off his shirt carefully, mindful of the large bruise on his shoulder from fighting Trollocs earlier. He is trying to figure out how to deal with Faile when the door opens; to his surprise it is Berelain. She asks if he is going somewhere, and he bows to her and replies yes, in the morning, and she remarks that she is leaving as well. She goes on, half to herself, that she should have left days ago, but had thought she could work things out, but after the lightning today... Confused, Perrin asks why she’s telling him this, and she replies, so that he can tell the Dragon Reborn, of course. Perrin tells her to tell him herself, or send a servant; he has no time for delivering messages. She is incredulous that he is refusing, and then examines him again, and murmurs that he has striking eyes. Suddenly realizing he is shirtless, he grabs one and pulls it on. She asks where he is going, and he tells her the Two Rivers, and hints broadly that he wants to be left alone. She doesn’t move, remarking that she has need of a blacksmith in Mayene, and perhaps he would enjoy a short stay there before going home; Perrin replies firmly that he is going home, and she is going away.

Her small shrug made him look away again hastily. “Perhaps another day. I always get what I want in the end. And I think I want...” She paused, eyeing him up and down. “...ornamental ironwork. For the windows of my bedchamber.” She smiled so innocently that he felt alarm gongs sounding in his head.

It is at this juncture that Faile enters, and stops dead upon seeing Berelain in the room. Ignoring Faile, Berelain steps over to Perrin and runs a hand up his shoulder, caressing the back of his neck before he can back up. She tells him to remember that she always gets what she wants, and then exits. Perrin waits for Faile to explode, but she merely glances at the packed saddlebags on the bed and says she sees he’s heard the rumor, then, and adds that’s it’s only a rumor. He replies that yellow eyes make it more than a rumor, trying to figure out why she is so calm. She points out that it will take weeks for him to get to the Two Rivers, and he answers, not if he uses the Ways. At her disbelief at such a mad idea, he explains that he has already traveled them before, and Loial knows how to guide them through. Faile says, well, she wanted adventure, and this certainly sounds like it, and starts making plans to entice Thom along with them, so they have a gleeman to record the story. Perrin interrupts to tell her he is going alone, but she ignores him and continues planning. He repeats that he is going without her.

She bounced to her feet so fast he thought she was coming for his throat. “Do you think Berelain will go with you? Will she guard your back? Or perhaps you prefer her to sit on your lap and squeal? Tuck your shirt in, you hairy oaf! Does it have to be so dark in here? Berelain likes dim light, does she? Much good she will do you against the Children of the Light!”

Perrin opened his mouth to protest, and changed what he had been going to say. “She looks a pleasant armful, Berelain. What man wouldn’t want her on his lap?” The hurt on her face banded his chest with iron, but he made himself go on. “When I am done at home, I may go to Mayene. She asked me to come, and I might.”

Faile stares at him, then whirls and dashes out. Perrin tells the empty room that he is going home to die, to let the Whitecloaks hang him so they will not destroy his family. He tells himself this way she will not be sorry to see him go, and will be free of ta’veren and bubbles of evil and the rest of it, but wants to howl with grief.

Faile hurtles through the halls, cursing Perrin and Berelain both in her head, and soon realizes she has caught up with Berelain. Without thinking, she dashes in front of the other woman and tells her Perrin is hers, Faile’s, and Berelain is to keep her hands off him. Berelain coolly notes that funny, she didn’t see a collar on him, and says serving girls have the strangest ideas – or is it a farm girl? Enraged, Faile is about to tell her who she really is, but chokes it down; she realizes she has a knife in her hand, and tells Berelain if she touches Perrin, she will shave her bald. Faile doesn’t even see the move that Berelain uses to disarm her and fling her down; by way of explanation, Berelain remarks that Tear likes to send assassins to Mayene.

“I despise being attacked, farmgirl, so this is what I will do. I will take the blacksmith away from you and keep him as a pet for as long as he amuses me. Ogier’s oath on it, farmgirl.”

Berelain adds that once she is finished with him, Faile can have him back – if he still wants her by then, of course. Faile gets to her feet, drawing another knife, and Berelain takes a defensive stance, but before they can engage, Rhuarc appears and snatches both knives away, demanding to know whether there wasn’t already enough blood tonight. Faile tries to punch him in the ribs, and Rhuarc swiftly grabs her in an armlock, immobilizing her. He tells Berelain to go to her room and stay there until morning; she will get no breakfast. Berelain protests that he has no right to order her about, and Rhuarc tells her to go, or he will repeat their first “talk”, right here in the hall.

Berelain’s face went white and red by turns. “Very well,” she said stiffly. “If you insist, I will perhaps—”

“I did not propose a discussion. If I can still see you when I have counted three... One.”

With a gasp, Berelain hiked her skirts and ran. She even managed to sway doing that.

Faile thinks seeing that was worth getting her arm almost dislocated, until Rhuarc tucks her knives into his own belt, and tells her that they forfeit; Berelain got her punishment, and this is Faile’s. She glares, but decides to let it go, and asks what “first talk” he had with Berelain; Rhuarc replies that is between him and Berelain. He tells her she is not to go near Berelain again; he does not believe Berelain started this, for “that one’s weapons are not knives.” If she disobeys, they will both be put to hauling manure. He leaves, and Faile thinks grudgingly that he reminds her of her father. She recalls that Berelain had said something about an “Ogier’s Oath”, and that the notion that an Ogier would break an oath was a contradiction in terms. She suddenly laughs to herself, and says she will see about that.


Excuse me, I have to go stomp around the room for a minute. Okay, I’m back.


Except Rhuarc, of course. Rhuarc is the bomb.

Perrin: you idiot. Way to belittle the supposed love of your life’s ability to cope, genius. What – WHAT – did I tell you people about the “driving away people for their own goooood” bullshit? Did I not tell you that it always, always, ALWAYS makes everything ten times worse? Why does no one ever listen to me? Do you know what I am about to have to suffer through because you are such a damn misplaced-nobility self-sacrificing emo fool? Smackings for you!

Faile: you idiot. Way to dig your own hole there, you ninny. You realize it is your fault that Berelain is now going to be a thorn in your side for basically forever, right? I understand that you’re young and hurt and way more insecure than you let on, but I refuse to believe that you grew up in a noble court and yet do not understand how Mean Girls operate! You do not let Mean Girls know they’ve gotten to you, and you definitely never let them know the best way they can hurt you, because they will take it. Trust me, I went to high school, which socially is virtually identical to a corrupt aristocracy except the dancing sucks, so I know. You should have known too. Smackings for you!

Berelain: you id- well, no, you’re not an idiot, you’re a Mean Girl. And look, I would not appreciate being attacked by a jealousy-crazed knife-wielding chick either, and I’m secretly kind of impressed at the judo throw skillz, and I can’t even really question (or at least I can’t really be surprised) that you would want revenge on Faile, but you know, Perrin never did a damn thing to you. And actually? He’s not your property to be disposed of, either. Not to mention, you totally baited Faile into acting like a jealousy-crazed knife-wielding chick in the first place, and you damn well knew it, too. As the only person in this now-triangle (*headdesk**headdesk*) with any real maturity or savvy in romantic dealings, you are pretty much the most seriously uncool of the three of them for getting involved in it. And you were so awesome just a chapter ago! For shame. Smackings for you!

ARGH. I need a martini.

Okay, a Mat chapter is next. Thank GOD.

Chapter 15: Into the Doorway

What Happens
Mat heads down into the Great Hold, thinking of his promise to Egwene, that he would not go down here unless his life depended on it, and thinks, well, it does. He finds the redstone doorframe, and hesitates a long moment before finally stepping through.

He seemed to be stepping through a sheet of brilliant white light, infinitely bright, infinitely thick. For a moment that lasted forever, he was blind; a roaring filled his ears, all the sounds of the world gathered together at once. For just the length of one measureless step.

He stares, for now he is standing in a large circular hall with strange spiraled yellow columns and light stands that glow without any kind of fire that Mat can see. A voice behind him speaks, and Mat whirls, drawing a knife:

“A long time, yet the seekers come again for answers. The questioners come once more.” A shape moved, back among the columns; a man, Mat thought. “Good. You have brought no lamps, no torches, as the agreement was, and is, and ever will be. You have no iron? No instruments of music?”

Mat sees the speaker, who seems too thin and elongated to be human, with black slit-pupiled eyes and skin that reminds Mat of a snake. He asks again whether Mat has iron or musical instruments, and Mat wonders what he thinks the knife is, but answers no. He starts to ask a question, then catches himself and says that he has come for true answers. The man – or whatever – smiles and beckons him to follow. Skin crawling, Mat obeys, and observes as they walk through the place that there is not a single straight line anywhere; everything is curves or spirals or arches. Through the windows he sees a strange dim landscape that does not seem to follow the normal rules; he sees three silvery spires curving toward another over and over again, each time in a different location even though the perspective should not have changed. Finally his guide brings him to a large archway and tells him he will find his answers within, and inhales at him with his mouth gaping open. Mat frowns and enters, finding a room with three spiraled pedestals in it, on top of which is perched three snake-people, two female and one male. They speak together, telling him to enter and ask according to the agreement. Careful to say nothing that is a question, Mat explains his situation to them, and then asks if he should go home to help his people. They study the air above his head, and then one of the females tells him he must go to Rhuidean. A bell tolls, and the other woman says he is another; the strain, the strain. The first woman tells the other two there is still time, and exhorts Mat to ask his questions. Mat glares at them, forgetting the questions he had intended to ask.

“Rhuidean!” he barked. “The Light burn my bones to ash if I want to go Rhuidean! And my blood on the ground if I will! Why should I? You are not answering my questions. You are supposed to answer, not hand me riddles!”

The woman tells him if he does not go to Rhuidean, he will die. The bell tolls again, and the three talk of the savor, and the strain growing too great, and urge him to ask his last question. Mat growls and asks why will he die if he doesn’t go to Rhuidean?

The man cut him off and spoke hurriedly. “You will have sidestepped the thread of fate, left your fate to drift on the winds of time, and you will be killed by those who do not want that fate fulfilled. Now, go. You must go! Quickly!”

The guide appears and tries to make Mat leave, but he shakes free and yells that they have tricked him from the answers he wanted, and he will not go until they tell him what fate they are talking about. Now the room itself is shaking, and a dozen more snake-men appear and try to wrestle him from the room, but Mat fights, demanding again what fate?

The three were on their feet atop the pedestals, and he could not tell which shrieked which answer.

“To marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons!”

“To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!”

“To give up half the light of the world to save the world!”

Together they howled like steam escaping under pressure. “Go to Rhuidean, son of battles! Go to Rhuidean, trickster! Go, gambler! Go!”

The men pick him up bodily and carry him out despite his struggles and cursing, and haul him quickly to the twisted doorway and cast him through. He flies into crates and trash in the Great Hold, and jumps up, shouting curses, and tries to reenter, but stepping through only puts him back in the basement. He glares at the doorway, thinking about what they had said, and telling himself he doesn’t believe a word of it. Then a boot appears in front of the doorway, followed by the rest of Rand, backing out with his sword of fire in front of him. He sighs in relief once clear and lets the sword disappear, then jumps when he sees Mat. He asks if Mat went through, too, and Mat answers he did, and thinks they’re a bunch of bloody liars that make him think of snakes. Rand doesn’t think they are liars, and comments they were afraid of his sword and hid their eyes from it. Rand asks if Mat got his answers, and Mat replies, nothing that made sense. Then Moiraine steps out of the doorway, sees them, and hisses, no wonder; one ta’veren is bad enough, but two at once might have torn the connection and trapped them all there. She asks if Perrin is in there, too, and Mat tells her no. Furiously, she asks which of “them” told Rand about this, she’ll peel their hides; Rand answers calmly he read it in a book. Moiraine turns to Mat, who lies yeah, books. Moiraine turns back to Rand and asks about his answers; Rand replies that they are his, but remarks that it wasn’t easy, as even the interpreter spoke so strangely he could hardly follow. Moiraine tells him they use the Old Tongue for their dealings with men, and asks Mat if he understood his interpreter.

He had to work moisture back into his mouth. “The Old Tongue? Is that what it was? They didn’t give me one. In fact, I never got to ask any questions. That bell started shaking the walls down, and they hustled me out like I was tracking cow manure on the rugs.” She was still staring, her eyes still digging into his head. She knew about the Old Tongue slipping out of him, sometimes.

He asks what the snakes get out of this deal, anyway, and Moiraine answers that they rummage through your emotions and experiences while you’re there, and that’s why your skin crawls; she definitely feels the need to bathe, now. Rand asks, but the answers are true, right? Moiraine says yes; that world is folded in strange ways, that perhaps let them read the thread of a life, but the answers are often obscure. She offers to help Rand interpret his answers, but her eyes flick to Mat, too, and Mat inwardly curses at the knowledge that she does not believe him. Rand smiles, and asks if she will tell him her questions and answers, too, and she gives him a long look and then exits. Mat and Rand look at each for a moment.

“Did you find out what you wanted?” Rand asked finally.

“Did you?”

Neither of them answer the other, and Mat finally asks if Rand really means to leave the Two Rivers to the Whitecloaks; pained, Rand answers that Perrin will do what he has to save it, and meanwhile Rand will do what he has to. He leaves, and Mat wonders what he is supposed to do now.

What the Snakes say to Mat: “Go to Rhuidean, son of battles! Go to Rhuidean, trickster! Go, gambler! Go!” remains one of my favorite lines in the entire series, if not the favorite. Another of the “gave me chills” moments, definitely. Who doesn’t love a self-realization moment that names the character an archetype? Or a whole set of them?

I didn’t even notice, the first time, how Mat’s speech patterns changed once he was inside talking to the snakes (or the Aelfinn, as we finally learn in the freaking ninth book which is which), so I didn’t initially realize that he was speaking the Old Tongue until Moiraine brought up interpreters afterward. Which was so cool. Brilliant chapter all around.

Also, random detail I only noticed on this readthrough was the way Jordan describes the snakes inhaling at Mat, which reminded me of what I learned from some random source about snakes, which is that their olfactory organs are actually in their mouths. So, apparently they smell your memories. Which, yick.

I also remember being incredibly annoyed that we don’t find out what Rand and Moiraine’s answers (or questions) were. In fact, we never do find out what Moiraine’s questions were, though most people are pretty certain that at least one of them had something to do with Thom (as we will see in Chapter 17).

And Rand’s questions? Well, how about I just quote you this neat FAQ-thingy I found?

[LOC: 26, Connecting Lines, 373]

Rand’s three questions to the Aelfinn (the Snakes):

He [Rand] knew he had a chance to live, if a seemingly impossible one. If you would live, you must die.

Rand thinks about the Aelfinn’s answer again in [WH: 25, Bonds, 483]:

He had been told by those he had to believe. To live, you must die.

The only other specific information we have about Rand’s encounter with the Finn is his comment to Mat that the Snakes never mentioned Rhuidean to him [TSR: 24, Rhuidean, 274]. So we’re never told explicitly what the questions are, but over the course of the books since TSR they can be logically deduced:

Q: How do I cleanse saidin?
A: [Something about the Choedan Kal, perhaps, or Shadar Logoth, or both.]

Q: How do I survive [or is there a way for me to survive] Tarmon Gai’don?
A: “To live, you must die.”

Q: Should I go home to the Two Rivers? [to protect it from Fain]
A: [Apparently, “No.”]

The second answer has a number of possible meanings. Maybe it means “if you would live future lives, you must die (physically) in this one” (cf. LTT’s wanting to die for good, never be spun out again.[LOC: 18, A Taste of Solitude, 299]). Or, Rand will die, but will get resurrected. Or, one of Rand and LTT will die and one will not. Or, Rand will seemingly die, but won’t really.

Gosh, that FAQ-thingy is neat.

Chapter 16: Leavetakings

What Happens
Perrin wakes from dreams of being hanged by the Whitecloaks, while Faile either dies trying to save him or watches smiling, and dresses and heads to Loial’s room. He notes that Loial’s room is filled with flowers, and that the Ogier is injured; he asks about it, but Loial merely remarks that he hopes he got all the notes about the fight down correctly. Then Faile pops up from behind a bank of flowers and notes that Loial is a hero; Perrin jumps, and observes that the flowers had masked her scent. She goes on that during the attack Loial had gathered all the children he could find in a room and defended them from the Trollocs; that’s why all the flowers, gifts from the women of the Stone whose children he had saved. Loial’s ears twitch wildly, and he says it was nothing. Perrin asks if Loial’s heard from his mother, and Loial tells him no, but he saw another Ogier from his stedding in town yesterday, so it cannot be long before she knows he is here. The Ogier had told Loial that he is considered a runaway, and his mother already has someone picked out for him to marry. Perrin tells Loial that he needs to go to the Two Rivers, and his mother surely wouldn’t find him there; Loial admits that is true, but is loath to leave Rand’s vicinity, seeing as he is writing the story of the Dragon Reborn. Perrin explains to him what is going on with the Whitecloaks, and that he needs Loial to guide him through the Ways to the Waygate at Manetheren. Loial looks reluctant, but says he supposes one more time will not kill him.

Faile cleared her throat delicately. “Are you not forgetting something, Loial? You promised to take me into the Ways whenever I asked, and before you took anyone else.”

Loial concedes this, and says she can come with Perrin and him, but Perrin counters that Faile will not be coming; Faile points out that Loial swore, and overrides his protests.

“She tricked you, Loial.” Perrin wondered if they could hear his teeth grinding. “She deliberately tricked you.”

Red stained Faile’s cheeks, but she still had the nerve to say, “Only because I had to, Loial. Only because a fool man thinks he can order my life to suit himself. I’d not have done it, otherwise. You must believe that.”

Faile says she wants to see the Two Rivers, as it happens, and Loial perks up and says that means Perrin can come after all, but Faile counters, only if he asks permission first. Perrin refuses, and says he will follow behind them, not part of their party, but he will not ask. Worried, Loial tells him that’s a dangerous idea; if he gets lost in the Ways he will never find his way out again. Loial pleads with both of them to relent one way or the other, but neither Perrin nor Faile will budge. Perrin goes to leave, and Faile shouts after him that he’d better be ready to go in two hours or she will leave him behind. Outside Loial’s room, Perrin runs into Gaul, who says he heard from Rand al’Thor that Perrin was traveling to the Two Rivers; Gaul thinks he spoke to others as well, but does not know if any others would be willing to come. Perrin is stunned at the idea that he might have Aiel with him, and tells Gaul that they will leaving for the Ways in a few hours. Gaul blinks, but merely comments that death comes for all men.

The girls are in Nynaeve’s room, dividing up the gold Moiraine had given them while Egwene and Nynaeve comfort Elayne over Rand. Elayne thinks that he seemed glad she was going, and after she gave him that letter that laid her heart out to him. Then the door crashes open to reveal Lan, staring daggers at Nynaeve. He says that she let him believe she was returning to Tar Valon, and Nynaeve answers she never said so in so many words. Lan roars at her not to bandy words, but Nynaeve is serene. He goes on that Tanchico is no place for half-trained Accepted, and he will not let her go; Nynaeve lightly asks if he means to question both Moiraine and the Amyrlin Seat, then. Lan trembles, and hesitantly suggests that she will need someone with her in Tanchico; he could protect her there. Elayne cannot believe what he is implying, and Nynaeve replies that his place is with Moiraine; Lan visibly struggles with this, and Nynaeve tells him sharply that he will stay with Moiraine, and shows him the Amyrlin’s letter as backup. Lan observes dangerously that she disposes with his oaths very neatly, and Nynaeve returns that he is very full of himself to think it is only to do with him.

“Full of myself, Nynaeve al’Meara? I am full of myself?” Lan moved so quickly toward Nynaeve that Elayne very nearly wrapped him in flows of Air before she could think. One moment Nynaeve was standing there, with just time to gape at the tall man sweeping toward her; the next her shoes were dangling a foot off the floor and she was being quite thoroughly kissed. At first she kicked his shins and hammered him with her fists and made sounds of frantic, furious protest, but her kicks slowed and stopped, and then she was holding on to his shoulders and not protesting at all.

Egwene looks away, embarrassed, but Elayne watches with interest, wondering if that’s how she and Rand looked, and then is irritated all over again. She thinks there should be time to write another letter to him before she leaves. Lan finally puts Nynaeve down, and ignores her half-hearted protests against being manhandled:

“You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones. Remember this, on this journey you insist on making. If you die, I will not survive you long.” He gave Nynaeve one of his rare smiles. If it did not exactly soften his face, at least it made it less hard.

He adds that Nynaeve should remember he is not always so easily commanded, and bows elegantly before taking his leave. Nynaeve frowns after him, and Egwene asks why Nynaeve did not encourage him to leave Moiraine; she thought that was what Nynaeve wanted. Nynaeve replies that she will not have a broken oath between them, and she and Lan will find some other way to make it work. They all hug each other goodbye tearfully, and Elayne decides she will find time to write that second letter after all.

Poor Loial, caught between a rock and a hard place – or an idiot and an idiot, which is much the same thing. I don’t blame Perrin for refusing to ask permission – that sure as hell would have stuck in my craw – I just blame him for creating the situation in the first place. Although, I suppose he was aware that telling Faile the truth would not have made her any less determined to go; quite the opposite, actually. So I guess he was kind of screwed either way, since he insists on being all martyred and emo rather than determined to at least try to fight and, I don’t know, actually working with Faile. But of course that would be logical, and God knows we can’t have that.

I think the funniest thing about the scene with Lan and Nynaeve is how Egwene turns away when they start macking, but Elayne totally ogles them the whole time; for some reason I find that image hilarious. Poor Lan; he’s got something of his own rock and hard place to deal with, too. Fortunately he’s got the best poetry, so that’s all right. Also, I really don’t know if Jordan planned ahead that far, but Lan’s comment about not always being so easily commanded striked me as awfully like foreshadowing of the terms of their eventual marriage by the Sea Folk (whoever obeys in public commands in private).

On the letters: I think part of the problem here is that we didn’t see the farewell scene between Elayne and Rand, and therefore only have her word for how Rand behaved during it. Jordan’s POV characters are not unreliable narrators in the traditional sense, but he definitely makes sure that what they report is highly influenced by their own particular idiosyncrasies and prejudices, and therefore must generally be taken with a grain of salt – especially when it comes to romantic affairs. Thus, there’s really no way to know how out of whack with reality Elayne’s view of Rand’s behavior might be, though we can probably take it as read that he didn’t act nearly as badly as she thinks he did.

That said, I suppose I could rail at Elayne for not understanding that his relief at her leaving had nothing to do with her, per se, but the amazing thing about being young and in love is how everything is always about the relationship, whether it is or not. Young people are kind of stupid that way. Now where’s my cane? And get off my lawn!

And here we say buh-bye. Come back Wednesday for Chapters 17-19, and remember to watch out for my side-project post. Till then!

1. PieterT
Hi Leigh,

No complaints about the new pace of re-reads. Take your time! having New spring in the re-reads is great. Lot's of info in there that should belong to the re-reads as well.

Keep up the great work!
2. Ben Harrison
Great post keep it up!
Andrew Lovsness
3. drewlovs
I have to say, you have managed to put all the feelings I have towards Perrin and his "ladies" in a neat little bundle. I didn't like the story line the first time I read it, and it didn't get better even through the Leigh filter.

Matt's "adventure" into the doorway is a scene that I have actually re-read a number of times, as we have seen that the foxes and snakes become more and more important. I still don't feel like I've got everything from the pages that is there, but I guess that's why these blogs are sooo interenting years later.

And now we move back to the two rivers area...I'm not sure if I'm excited or not. There are a lot of good things that happen, but it almost feels like the corruption of The Shire in LotRs...
Kate Nepveu
4. katenepveu
Hooray, Leigh not burning herself out!

(Y'all may be interested to know that for the _LotR_ re-read, which is one post a week, covering a single chapter, I probably spend . . . mmm, five hours of reading, thinking, note-taking, and writing.

One post covering one chapter a week. Five hours.

Honestly I've been waiting for Leigh to have a nervous breakdown and throw her books in the Hudson. I am glad to hear that will be averted. Hopefully.

And maybe now I can catch up with her! If, that is, I can bear to read the falcon/hawk stuff. Urgh.)
Chris Maurer
5. grayfox
Ch. 13 - this is the start of one of the best aspects of Mat's character. At first glance he just looks like a country lord, but once you get a closer look you realize how dangerous he is. That and he really doesn't give a shit about how people see him...and then he kicks their ass...

We're getting closer to when he completes his badass-ness at Rhuidean. Good times.
6. newwildlife
These get me through my work day! And inspired a reread of my own! Thank you so much!
7. newwildlife
Question... anyone interpreted giving up half the light to save the world? Or is that something that has not happened yet?
8. Lsana
I'm thrilled that you will be offering more commentary, Leigh. Your chapter summaries are nice, but the commentary is why I'm reading this. I know what happened in these chapters; what I want to know is what you think about what happened.

Ch. 13:

Just one comment about something that kind of bugs me. Mat and Berelaine are not very much alike. Mat is a flirt, he will make his interest known to the girls he likes, and if they respond, he'll push on. If they aren't interested, well, plenty of fish in the sea, he can move on. Berelaine, on the other hand, sets her sights on who she wants and pursues it without much consideration of the other party or what he wants. They are both active rather than passive when it comes to their love lives, but they are awfully different otherwise.

Ch. 14:

I'm with Leigh. I want to shoot both Perrin and Faile. Or perhaps better yet toss them into a deep pit and not let them out until they have hashed it out.

However, I wonder a bit about whether Perrin really wanted Faile with him or not. For claiming that he doesn't, he gives her a lot of details about his plan. If he had just said, "You're probably right, it's just a rumor," he could have gotten away without her realizing it. If he had said, "I'm leaving," and not told her how, he'd have gotten away. It's only because he shared the details that she was able to come along.

Ch. 15:

The answers that Matt gets here are remarkably clear for prophesy. Where should he go? Rhuidean. Why? Because otherwise he'll die. Why would he die? Because if he doesn't go, his enemies will catch up to him before he's ready to face them. I really don't think he has any grounds for complaint. Okay, two of the "What fate?" answers were less than clear, but he managed to get a fourth question answered from them.

I have a question for those who are more involved in the FAQ and various WOT discussions than I am: is there any evidence that Rand asked the snakes whether or not he should go back to the Two Rivers, or is that just speculation? I have reasons to believe that he wouldn't have asked that:

1. From Perrin's comments, it sounded like Rand already knew he shouldn't have gone even before he went through the door.

2. The snakes never mentioned Rhuidean. When Mat asked the question, the snakes not only told him that he shouldn't go home, they told him where he should go. Why wouldn't they do the same for Rand?

3. I would think that "How do I learn to control saidin?" would be one of the questions high up in Rand's mind. I can't believe that he would ask about the cleansing or about surviving TG above that--after all, no point in surviving TG if you can't survive to TG, and cleansing saidin doesn't matter if you can't control it.

Ch. 16:

I don't blame Faile for tricking Loial into bringing her along, but I do blame her for what happens after. She won. She should be a graceful winner. The "you have to ask me" bit was over the top, and the "follow me around like a puppy" made me want to strangle her.

And Elayne once more proves that she deserves my loathing.
9. kantioka
I love, love, love the scene between Faile and Beralain. It just cracks me up also that it is Rhurac who steps in the separate them.... But I secretly wish we could really see Faile shave Berelain's head. =)
Leigh Butler
10. leighdb
katenepveu @4:

Actually the East River is a lot more convenient for me for book-throwage. But let's hope it doesn't come to that, eh?
Chris Maurer
11. grayfox
newwildlife @7:

At this point I don't think anyone knows. But this is the theory...
mark Proctor
12. mark-p
I'm very impressed with your reread Leigh, It would take me a month to write one of your posts.
When do you think you will cover New Spring at the end or some other point?
More of your comments will be good. The only downside to you changing the pace for me is I still want to reread at the original pace to finish in time for The Gathering Storm so will get out of step.

obviously the first of Mat's prophesys has been fulfilled but i'm not sure about the second.
“To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!”
probably by the balefire/forsaken incident. dose that fit with "and live once more a part of what was"?

“To give up half the light of the world to save the world!”
I've no idea what this refers to yet.
13. Egglie
Leigh, just to say I am also happy with the new schedule, keep up the good work, I always enjoy your posts.

Mat and Berelains encounter is too funny! I am glad it happens now and puts to bed any thought of them as a couple, otherwise I would have been speculating about it for years.

The Finns - so cool, love them. (in a creepy, exciting way, not in a sexy way)

You are so right about Berelain being a mean girl, it totally sums her up (apart from the whole ruling a country really quite well thing...) I am sure she knows who faile is (or at least has a good idea) otherwise she would not even interact with her, just ignore her.

Perrin and Faile - for gods sake one of you give over! no? no.

I love when we see Lan and Nyneave getting a bit of action, So much of their relationship has happened off screen. I really like how the few scenes when they are together actually make me believe that they have deep feelings for each other (unlike some others).

Gah! Elayne don't write the stupid letter! please! I am going to get sick of hearing about it.
Lannis .
14. Lannis
ARGH! Okay... talk about frustrating! Leigh, this latest installment was here around 10am, then gone (when I refreshed comments), as if it had been removed to make room for the WoT announcement! So, as much as I liked being informed--I'm interrupted enough by toddlers! I don't need the interweb getting all wonky on me too!

Chapter 13: Mat and Perrin's parting remarks... makes me sad... s'one of those things (other than the gianormous foreshadowing) that you can truly appreciate on a reread.

Chapter 14: Rhuarc telling Berelain she will get no breakfast--BAHAHAhaha! What was that debate over whether they had a father/daughter relationship... mmm?

newwildlife @ 7: I don't recall anybody else's thoughts about Mat giving up half the light to save the world--but I'm not thoroughly versed in the WOTFAQ, either.

My guess (take it or leave it) is that Mat's "giving up half the light of the world" is somehow using fireworks/gunpowder in TG to burn out the ability to channel, or part of it (re: discussion of gradual letdown of channeling in order not to upset political/social/economical makeup of Randland). Was it the last installment that we had the big "how will channeling disappear before the turning of the Wheel brings us to our own reality" conversation? It wasn't that long ago... anyhow... this comment brought that to mind...

So... In respect to the "burning out the channelers" conversation, I think Mat's gunpowder/firearms (and other sources of technology) will be responsible somehow (hence our current technological world and the implication that the Wheel will turn Randland into our own reality), and the prophetic translation we're reading is "giving up half the light of the world."

Convoluted: yes? Still with me? Who knows. Am I a crackpot? Probably--I only have to out-think toddlers on a daily basis, so please excuse any confusion I may have created.

Great reread as always, Leigh! :)
15. MadMardigan
I believe we learn more about Rand's questions in KoD - at least one answer I remember off the top of my head was "North and east must be as one; South and west must be as one. Both must be as one." in response to the question "How can I win the last battle?".

I think this is in a discussion with Cadsuane while discussing a truce with the Seanchan.
16. Siuanfan
Honestly, I don't see Perrin as that much of an idiot here. I mean, he loves the stupid girl. He's headed towards certain death (and by Whitecloaks, which means death of the stabby, torturous, screamy variety). Why would he want to bring someone he loves into that? He doesn't expect to save himself, much less her. "Hey baby, I'm gonna go die horribly at the hands of vengeful, psychopathic maniacs. Wanna come with?" ... is not my idea of being smart or kind. IMO, Perrin's 'I'm not taking you to die' stance is far more reasonable than Lan's initial 'I'm not giving you widow's weeds for a bridal wreath' or whatever his nonsense was. There's a difference between not taking your girlfriend into danger and not taking a chance on love at all because one of you might die eventually.

Strangely enough, I can't even really blame Faile for her 'where you go, I go' stance (hey, young love is dumb. but cute), though she goes about it in the worst way possible, and is a real bee-yotch, and this is where her jealousy and mean temperament place her squarely on my dislike list. She was merely wavering prior to this whole thing with Loial and the Ways. And also, her Selene/Lanfear-like tendency to urge Perrin towards honor and glory and all that jazz irritates me, but that's enough Faile-ranting.

I find it interesting that we only ever see the 'finns from Mat's perspective. Hmm.

Could Rand have asked a question about Tarmon Gai'don? That's pretty much a question touching the Shadow if you ask me, the definition of Tarmon Gai'don is like 'The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Power, Light vs. The Shadow". Cleansing saidin is pretty much skirting the line of what can be asked as well.

I still like Berelain. You're right though, Leigh... she really should have been the mature one in this scenario. For pete's sake, know when enough is enough. I'd still have rather seen her with Perrin, honestly. For a while I kept hoping he'd realize Faile was the most annoying person in the world and just go Team Berelain. Besides, Faile's dangerous. Perrin's too blind to anything else, and since he has a Purpose, that makes her a threat to the Light. And since I never could see what he saw in her, I actually suspected her of being one of the Forsaken using Compulsion for a long time.
Bill Siegel
17. ubxs113
I am totally OK with fewer chapters but more commentary, keep up the great work and don't burn out! Can't wait to see what you have brewing with Tor too. Thanks Leigh!
Leigh Butler
18. leighdb
markp @12:

I'm planning to cover New Spring in publication order. So, after Path of Daggers and before Winter's Heart.
19. miketa
I think its relevant to point to an article from Brandon Sanderson on the topic of splitting A Memory of Light into 3 volumes:

Basically the options were limited, either we get three volumes of quality work with the first one starting in November, or we get two volumes with the first released later than expected - with no guarantee as to the quality or speed of the next volume, or we wait another three years before we get anything in a single volume (likely 2-3 smaller volumes released in rapid succession even then).

I for one am happy with the decision that was made. I just think the title is WAY generic...but that's a rant for another day.
20. Lsana
@12 mark-p,

I believe that the "official" version says that the balefire incident was Mat's "die and live again." However, I personally don't like it because it doesn't feel like it was a significant part of Mat's destiny. It never happened. If Mat remembers it, he files it away under "memories of dying and other things I would prefer not to think about." You could argue that Mat's death was what pushed Rand over the top, but from the reading of the scene, it felt like it was more Aviendha's death that caused him to go psycho; Mat was an afterthought.

All in all, I prefer to pretend it referred to the hanging in Rhuidean.

@14 Lannis,

My interpretation: Mat loses an eye in the process of saving Moiraine.

"Give up half the light" = Lose one of your two eyes.

"to save the world" = if Moiraine is not rescued and at the Last Battle, Rand fails.
21. litg
One additional bit of info on Rand's questions. In Knife of Dreams, Rand reveals in thought that one of the questions amounted to "How can I win the last battle?" and the answer he got was "The north and the east must be as one. The west and the south must be as one. The two must be as one."

This would seem to jive with the division the Seanchan are imposing. They control the Aryth Ocean eastwards and southwards through Altara. Rand controls, or has the tentative allegiance of everything else (with the Borderlands assumed to fall to his side eventually). The answer also implies that Rand will ally his strength with the Seanchan (likely via Matt's recent nuptials?)
Abdel Masdoua
22. TheDarkOne
Here are my two cents.

Chapter 14:
I thonk I'm not gonna comment on our little *grinding teeth* triangle set-up here, for my mental sanity, my physical integrity as well as that of my desk!

Chapter 15:
Ah, a Mat chapter. It feels so much better with a Mat POV, all your troubles fade away with a Mat POV, it also helps prevent hair loss and diabetes...
Joking aside, those really are a breath of fresh air.
Love Mat!

I've always wondered about Mo and Rand's Q&A.
I agree that those seem to be the logical questions Rand would have asked but what about Moiraine?
Ideas Anyone?

"Gosh, that FAQ-thingy is neat."
See What You Did Here...
That's some terrific work you've done on the FAQ (along with Pam and everyone else), so once again thank you so much for being born!
(Too Much?)

Chapter 16:
Addressing Lan's lines and behaviour:
I think Lan rocks no matter what and I especially like that scene. He gets away with kissing Nynaeve in front of the girls, (almost) against her will, and he delivers such a wonderful "déclaration d'amour"...
Lan = Way cool!
23. rudra
So I just noticed that Mat did take something made of iron(knife)to the place where the finn were. Is that why they gave him more than 3 answers?
24. Greyhawk
One of the things I found hard to swallow was the promise Faile extracted from Loial. Loial is portrayed as an innocent character--but not a stupid one. Why, after having nearly been killed in the Ways and facing Machim Shin, would Loial under any circumstances agree to take anyone through the Ways without a very compelling reason? At the time Faile made her request, it could only have been considered a field trip to the Ways to satisfy nothing but her curiosity.
25. douglasm
We actually are told explicitly, I don't remember exactly where, that one of Rand's questions is how to win the last battle and survive. He tells Cadsuane that the answer was "The West and South must be as one. The North and East must be as one. The two must be as one." The "and survive" part of the question and its answer "If you would live, you must die" is kept to his thoughts in the same scene, and is probably the chief reason he trusts Alivia so much when Min has seen that she will "help him die".

The third question was, I think, about how to reseal the Dark One's prison and do it right this time. Some of Herid Fel's ramblings seem to indicate he was working on puzzling out the meaning of the answer to this one before the gholam ripped him apart.
Chris Maurer
26. grayfox
rudra @ 23:

I don't have the book in front of me, but I think in Mat's internal dialogue he wonders if his steel knife qualifies as being iron.
mark Proctor
27. mark-p
Thanks Leigh, I haven't read New Spring yet because it was released at about the time I got fedup with WOT and stoped reading it. (before picking up one up again in the library)

20. Lsana:
That part goes better with "and live once more a part of what was" (with his new memories) but I'm not sure he was quite dead yet in that scene.
Lannis .
28. Lannis
Lsana @ 20: Hmm... wasn't thinking Tower of Ghenjei when thinking of the "half the light of the world"... good point. :)

Important to note, too, that "light" isn't capitalized... so that *would* speak to something smaller.

(See? Toddlers addle the brain.)
Blake Engholm
29. UncrownedKing
Faile = Sneaky sneaky sneaky. But not very much different from most women I've encountered in my life (wheather thats good/bad/ugly I do not know :) ) I just wish the women would think before they jump to conclusions about the Male characters' actions. For that matter, I wish the male characters would just suck it up and realize that there are things that they can't control.

"Headdesk Headdesk" hahah Love it and I agree. I can only imagine the amount of Headdesk activity we are going to see when LoC comes around and the dumb, ignorant, arrogant AS screw everything, I mean EVERYTHING up. God I hate all of them!

Berelain = Slut, and midly evil. Shes the girl that will entice you, give you the lay of your life then slit your throat when shes done with you (woah that was way to much sorry guys). She gives the female sex a bad name. She does get better in a way later on when shes in Cairhean, but still torments my dude Perrin and his wife.

Mat's Finn experience is still one of my favorites in the series (this finn and the next finn experience, both). Really cool looking back on this, theres no way I could have realized the forshadowing that takes place during this whole trip to Finnland XD.
30. Siuanfan
I'm pretty sure one of Moiraine's answers were "go to Rhuidean, take out that crazy ho Lanfear, and hang out with us until your ONE TWOO WUV comes to get you.

So I'm guessing she asked how she can best assist Rand or what her role should be now that he's proclaimed himself - he doesn't seem to want her help but she's not quite sure what happens next either, so that's my best guess on her questions. One of them, at least.
31. Federico Natali
Nice re-read Leigh.

I'm a bit disapponted about AMoL split but, especially after reading the Sanderson article about it, I'm sure that all has been done for the best.

Coming to the today's chapters:

The 'Finns chapters, both this an the next one in Rhuidean are really wonderful, creepy, prophetic and also funny. I'm eager to see what will happen when Mat, Thom and the third one will confront the 'Finns to rescue Moiraine.

Regarding the prophecy about “giving up half the light of the world to save the world!” I think it means that Mat will have to sacrifice an eye for a reason (maybe to pay the price to rescue Moiraine??).
It matches with Egwene dreaming about Mat placing his own left eye on a balance scale. It also match with the parallel between Mat and the figure of Odin the "one-eyed god" which sacrificed an eye to gain the Wisdom of Age.

I also like the part when Faile speak about Loial defending a group of children forshadowing the fact that, despite the common knowledge of Randland people, Ogier are really fierce warriors. We'll see more about this in Rhuidean
32. MoreBooksForMe
newwildlife @ 7
I think it is safe to assume that Mat will loose an eye at some point.(my guess is when he rescues Moraine from the Finn.)

Edit: Sorry, apparently already answered a few times.
33. hoping to be of the blood
Rand certainly did a lot of shadow dancing with the snake people which is maybe why he exited in a hurry with his sword blazing.
34. Lsana
@24 Greyhawk,

IIRC, Faile only asked Loial to show her the ways--i.e. go to a waygate, gawk at it, maybe open it and peek around a bit. But she made sure that her oath was worded so that he wouldn't be able to take anyone else through without taking her through them first.
35. That Guy
I was really enjoying the speed we were going before, I thought you were doing a great job.

I'm going to have to re-read the part with Mat (unfortunately I've not been reading along) when he goes through the door to note the change in his speech.

Once again, great job Leigh, looking forward to Wednesday.
Lannis .
36. Lannis
Federico Natali @ 31: Ahhh... forgot about Egwene's dreams and Mat's eye on the scale.

One thing that got me, too, on a reread *way* back when, was the realization that the *Finns are the snakes and foxes game Mat plays down the road with Olver... one of those "omigod, forethought or what?!" kind of moments thinking about RJ's planning in writing the series...
37. Zeynep
OK, your commentary on Chapter 14 might be one of the most cathartic things I've read anywhere (up until certain scenes in The Knife of Dreams anyway). Much extra thanks for that, OK? OK.
38. JonathanGrizz
I love the "Princess Bride" reference in the comments section!!! I have been reading the post for a while now, and I am shocked at how much stuff I have missed over the 12-15 times I have re-read the series. I just wanted to say thanks for doing this. One question and one thought. The question is early, but is Verin one of the Black Ajah? My thought is that Mat is my favorite character. I now realize it is because he is basically one of the underdogs. He is the Anti-hero, and very heroic. As he charges into battle or to save the supergirls. he yells "I am no hero". This section is the beginning of Mat's character really fleshing out and one of the most enjoyable for me in the series.
39. Rikka
Okay, I was going to go back to reading along with the reread blog after I finished zipping through The Shadow Rising but I don't know if I'll be able to keep myself from it (I have books 4-7 with me :) ) especially if the pace is slower :P We'll see.

chpt 13:
“too much like me.” makes me laugh every. single. time. oh geeze, how I love Mat. I do not love Berelain but I enjoy her in her own way. Also, I did not realize that this is the last time (so far) Mat and Perrin see each other... @_@ that's... just whoa.

chpt 14:
Haha, Berelain's a skank. XD

Also: begin Faile's douchebaggery. She redeems herself decently once they are actually IN the Two Rivers but this next bit is most cited for why people hate her... :/ It is a pain in the butt to read.

Also. Rhuarc is brill. end.

chpt 15:
LOVE the snakeyfolk and the foxy folk and all that. Ah, EPIC!

Mat: +10 to awesomeness/badassery, +15 to strategy, +8 to weapons skills, +12 to language skills....

I personally cared more about Moiraine's answers than Rand's which might be a bit backward of me... oh well.

chpt 16:
erm. Look. dumbasses, all round, and the jerks rope Loial into it. That's possible what makes Faile seem even worse in my eyes, that she forces Loial to play along into it. I do love Gaul though. He's crazy but spectacular and a great friend to Perrin.

Haha. Lan. oh dear >.> Nynaeve deserved that, kiss and all. Also, I totally had a similar thought regarding their marriage vows.

Also, we are flocks of vultures just waiting to jump on these posts aren't we?
40. Federico Natali
Lannis @ 36

Yes I think that Mat and Thom are going to play a very nice game of Snake 'n Foxes with human pieces in the Tower of Ghenjei, and they'll need to cheat someway to win the game.

Do I remember correctly that the pattern on the Snake and Foxes board is circular like the Tower of Ghenjei??
Dale Metzger
41. Metzg31
This is the first time I've ever consciously connected Mat's inability to say he would go to the Two Rivers with the way he always does what he says he will do. It's so obvious now. Thanks Leigh!
42. hoping to be of the blood
We are thirsty travelers in a dry and sunscorched land
43. tearl
Lannis @36 & Federico Natali @31

Also, Min's viewing in Baerlon, "an eye on a balance scale".

Something I didn't realize before, I always had thought the "balance scale" was allegorical. But the fact it appears in both Min's and Eg's visions/dreams suggests something more concrete.
44. Greyhawk
@34 I didn't read it that way. From Leigh's excerpt "Faile cleared her throat delicately. “Are you not forgetting something, Loial? You promised to take me into the Ways whenever I asked, and before you took anyone else.” That to me is more than just showing someone the ways. I don't know, an author has to get people from a to b, this construct just seems out of character for the situation.
45. That Guy
Federico @ 40

IIRC the map is basically set up as a web, with the snakes moving in the curves, and the foxes moving in the spokes/straight lines. This meshes with how their individual areas are discribed in the POV we get from Mat.

The way they will or should cheat is that they will bring fire via Aludra's matches, Thom will bring the musical instruments, and someone will have to bring some Iron implements as well.

If someone has it available, the rhyme said before they start playing the game will tell you what each does to them. Fire blinds, music dazzles, iron binds, or something.
46. FSS
Actually, I think Elayne's letter writing campaign isn't too bad. It's just another example of RJ hitting us over the head with the whole no-one-in-WoT-ever-ever-ever-speaks-to-each-other-about-what's-important...ever-ever-ever.

Look at it from Elayne's POV. She writes a letter expressing undying wuv for Rand. They meet for the last time, with her saying she's headed out to the most dangerous part of Randland. And he's happy! (really, Relieved). Recall that Rand's feeling guilty about trying to bring a dead little girl back to life, a girl who dies because he didn't WANT to leave with Elayne there because he wanted those sweet wittle moments with his wuver. She's leaving, so he can leave with nothing to hold him there. Of course he's happy!

So she mis-interprets this as a sign that he's happy they're parting and she's headed off to the most dangerous place in the world.

I'd write the second letter too, and I'm in my mid-30s.

Rand didn't mean to, but he came across as a real bastard.
47. PieterT
miketa @19

How about that. AMOL split up in 3 300k books over two years. If I read Brandon's post, he is even having a harder time to finish things up than Leigh!
I guess it's best for the quality of the books that we have to wait until 2011 to find out how it all ends.
48. Randalator
re: Perrin & Faile

Fun fact of the day: Stupidity is the only disease that causes excruciating pain for those who didn't catch it but doesn't cause the slightest bother for those who actually contracted it.

Sometimes I wish I were stupid... *whimper*

re: Rand's questions to the Finn

1. How can Sidin be cleansed?

He had asked once, warily, where he knew the answers would be true, how to cleanse the taint from saidin. And got a riddle for answer.
(TPoD, ch. 14)

2. How can I win the Last Battle and survive?

"One of my questions for the Aelfinn was 'How can I win the Last Battle?' He blew a smoke ring, put another in the middle of it as it expanded. That was not the whole of it. He had asked how to win and survive.
(KoD, ch. 18)

3. unknown
49. Lsana
@48 Randalator,

Stupidity is the only disease that causes excruciating pain for those who didn't catch it but doesn't cause the slightest bother for those who actually contracted it.

About the perfect description of that whole mess. Original cynicism or borrowed?
Alex Wahlgren
50. Black-Veiled_Alex
I wouldn't call them stupid. Intelligence is knowing where you screw up and letting others take over. Stupidity is... not letting others take over. There not stupid, just socially retarded... just like everyone in Randland. Which means no one to take care of what should be a small mess. There not stupid, just screw-ups. Very, very annoying screw-ups.
51. SteelBlaidd
I agree that Perrin's particular case of It's not you its my enimies is reasonably well motivated and mercifuly short.

Re: Berilain and Mat being alike. The problem with chaseing Mat is he wouldn't run away. I mean it would be like seducing Austin Powers. On top of that there's absolutly no place for her to channel her inner Libby and there would be no way to tie herselfto Rand though him. Given how hard she workskeeping Mayne free from Tear then Running Cairhien that she has a somewhat unsavoryhobby just makes things interesting.
Ofer Nave
52. odigity
If slower pace means more commentary, and said commentary includes more of Leigh abusing herself with furniture, then call me a sadist.
53. Randalator
Lsana @ 48

I wish it were an original Randalator-ism but unfortunately it's only my own mangled version of an aphorsim by Paul-Henri Spaak ("Stupidity is the strangest of all diseases: It's never the invalid but the others who suffer.").
Brett Michie
54. bchurch
Rikka @ 39


HAha! My new favorite word.

Leigh, keep up the good work. And if you need to throw something into the river . . . I may have some . . .uh . . bodies that need disposing of.
55. Federico Natali
That Guy @ 45

You got it right!
Here's the original rhyme: Courage to strengthen, fire to blind, music to dazzle, iron to bind.
56. jlfitz
I am happy for several things today.

1) Leigh is slowing down. When she started I had a good 3 or 4 book lead. But while I am still on Lord of Chaos she finished DR and started TSR. I was seriously worried.

2) I know I am getting a WOT book this fall.

3) I am sure it's going to be good based on Brandon's writing and his blog.

4) I am certain that these last 3 books will be all about tying things up, meaning no more extensions. yeah!

Thanks Leigh, I have enjoyed reading your posts. Mostly I lurk, but I really wanted to say keep up the good work. I hope to see more commentary of writing mechanics now that you are slowing down a bit.
57. Grinwell
ThatGuy @45
Thanks for the insight into how Aludra's matches and Thom's music may play a part in the rescue of Moiraine. Very cool.

On the subject of giving up half the light of the world to save it, I don't know how Rand will do that exactly, but I believe the title of the book, A MEMORY OF LIGHT, refers to this major plot point. Light is definitely sacrificed or lost.

Thanks to Brandon for taking the time to explain the decision to split the books. It is good to have someone that considerate in charge of the final trilogy.
58. Tony Zbaraschuk
I must confess that I still have no idea what Moiraine might have asked, or answered, in there. Perhaps one question was about Thom, in some way, but she's so duty-oriented that I don't think she would be wasting time with frivolous questions.

I like Lan and Nynaeve. Yes, it has its wince-inducing moments, but on the whole the two of them handle their love life much much better than anyone else in the series. Mutual concern. Useful communication. Recognition of difficulties. Proper choice of words. And blazing, blinding passion. (The fact that they almost never show it in public doesn't mean it isn't there. They're just both very English about it.)

Perrin and Faile: Yeah, pretty much what Leigh said.
59. Jobuch
I always took the “To give up half the light of the world to save the world!” prophecy as him having to agree to the Seanchan way and "giving up" either all the female channelers in the world to the Seanchan way (thus the 1/2 of the light of the world) or 1/2 the female channelers to the Seanchan way, thus half of the Flame (which has lit the world for 2,000+ years)

Love the re-reads, disappointed about the publishing having to be over 2 years.
Brett Michie
60. bchurch
I'm in the camp that Mat's either going to lose an eye to the finn or voluntarily give it to them. The vision of it being on the scale and blood running down his face makes me lean towards him sacrificing it to save Mo. And that means that Mo will be pretty integral in saving the world. Or, that her being rescued will be. Maybe seeing her again will teach Rand to laugh and cry again. Ehh . . . it's all speculation, but that's my take.
61. Cowboy Funk
I dont think Rand asked about cleansing Saidin, its too close to a questions "touching the Shadow". Plus dont we later learn it was that philospher Herid Fel (is this right?) that figured out how to cleanse saidin and hence was ripped apart by a Golem?

I have always wondered about the "Give up half the light" issue. Hmm, must ponder this one some more.
Lannis .
62. Lannis
Jobuch @ 59: That's an idea I hadn't thought of... but I don't really see it happening unless (with his wife Tuon, the DoNM), Mat helps to reorganize the whole Seanchan damane/sul'dam thing to abolish the slavery aspect of the Seanchan's views of channelers in their society. I don't see that happening so quickly... and I can't see Mat handing over a bunch of women (even Aes Sedai he's not fond of) to a bunch of hierarchy-crazed militant doughheads.

Keep in mind, *I* was the one with the nutso "gunpowder/firearms helps burn out the ability to channel at the end of the age" theory for sacrificing half the light of the world... so who am I to say no? ;)

Either way, I'm leaning towards "Mat losing an eye" theory I've been reminded about. (Precisely why I enjoy these discussions!) :)
63. elvyelvy
federico@40, lannis@36 and others, I seem to remember that one must cheat to win at Snakes and Foxes - it's somewhere in the Olver chapters, Ebou Dar most likely. And the Tower where I guess something really HUGE is going to take place was pointed out to him on the first trip along the river, though Mat won't remember it (EoTW).

Forgive me, I will avoid comments about Perrin and Faile for quite some time, in order to avoid rebukes or worst for extensive use of abusive language. Luckily we have Mat...
LT Tortora
64. Lucubratrix
I'm actually glad to have fewer chapters per post--more time to enjoy the discussions!

Faile: Ugh, ugh, ugh. I even had to skim that part of the re-read.

I can definitely see how Mat and Berelain are similar: they both like chasing attractive members of the opposite sex, and they're also both smarter than they like to let on.
Lannis .
65. Lannis
elvyelvy @ 63: Yep, cheating's involved... that's the point of the "agreement" made:

You have brought no lamps, no torches, as the agreement was, and is, and ever will be. You have no iron? No instruments of music?

That's how Thom and Mat will be cheating, along with their new buddy Noal. They'll bring in their musical instruments, Aludra's matches, and iron (something Noam carries?). Mat will make a bargain, lose the eye, save Moiraine. Olver--not sure if he'll be involved, though probably, better for the storyline than if they just dump him at the door of the Tower of Ghenjei...

Besides that, in a later book, when Mat's playing Snakes and Foxes with Olver, he remembers, when he was little, thinking he could win against them and such is not so, and relishing that Olver still believes you can win at the game... so Olver may be a link to winning (with cheating) against the *Finn... innocence? Hmm...

This is all supposing that entering the Tower of Ghengei allows more than one person at a time (unlike the terangreal doorways--or am I getting that wrong?). Unless Mat enters alone... but why need Thom and Noal to go, too? Thoughts?
John Massey
66. subwoofer
Leigh- say it isn't so. I like it when you are keeping a frenetic pace. I remember a joke from back when about a Jamaican in a hurricane and I think of you at your keyboard.
As to Rand's questions- many good ideas out there. There are 2 theories that bear merit. The first is with Douglasm@25 referring to Herid Fel. He is the key to much of what is going through Rand's head. I think he got riddles from the 'finn and wanted clarity. He put some questions to Herid and had a scholar puzzle them out and interpret the prophecies as that is what Rand is constantly looking at. What do the prophecies say I have to do- or what do I have to do to fulfill the prophecies?
Randalator also puts some good questions out there- maybe the third thing is will I give in to the taint of sadin?
Moiraine is a devious woman. In one of the books she states that she has a hard time keeping Rand under control. Maybe one of her questions was- Do I marry Rand? or Do I leash Rand? or Do I still Rand? or Do I take Rand to the Tower? You see where I am going here with Moiraine. Her and Siuan have been plotting for over 20 years about Rand- all her questions should be about how to get Rand's sorry butt to the Last Battle.
Lannis .
67. Lannis
Subwoofer @ 66: Moiraine does her "I remembered how to control saidar" routine, and goes all meek and mild on Rand in order to help him through, well, actually helping him--instead of trying to browbeat him into submission... I know this doesn't happen until sometime after Rhuidean, but what if her questions to the *Finn included "how do I get Rand to see reason?" and her answer was convoluted? What if she doesn't understand their response until she visits Rhuidean...? A possibility?
68. Randalator
@61 Cowboy Funk

See my comment @48: We get it from Rand himself that he asked how he could remove the taint from Saidin.
69. OrophinMithrandir
The slower pace of the re-read will be very nice. To be honest I was having a difficult time keeping up with you. Between work, family, church, and life in general it was very hard to find the time to read a post in one sitting. This makes it easier. And still very, very good!
70. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
"Too much like me..."

You're right though, Leigh. And it's the first time I've ever truly realized it. This is the last time Perrin and Mat are in the same place at the same time. Of course, the men exercise their unhealthy tendency to drive those who care away, and the women are no less being ninnies. Idiots, the lot of them.

As for Mat, he impresses once more. Is it just me or did he get FIVE answers from the Snakes? And speaking the Old Tongue without realizing it, no less. Also hilarious to find out that all three of them were inside at the same time, were they entertained by different groups? They don't see each other inside, but the Snakes know. "He is another one", can only refer to ta'veren. We know Rand was in there, and we know having the both of them together inside was significant. Moiraine trying to weasel Rand's answers and Rand's response was very satisfying. Rand's answers though, was a bit longer than what you quoted. There were also specific details about The North and The East becoming one and the South and the West becoming one. The two then become one, a nicely detailed guide to empire and alliance-building. There's also a part about binding the Daughter of the Nine Moons to him. But it isn't clear if this was also part of the answer to the same question or a different question.

Sigh. This is where Faile begins to sink. Not that I support Perrin's decision to drive her away. But her insinuating herself where she isn't needed was low. She even tricked poor old Loial. Loial probably just thought Faile wanted a quick in and out. He didn't realize Faile had a specific destination in mind. Until Perrin comes in. Bad move on Perrin. He should've told Loial before anybody else, seeing how vital Loial is to his plan. That way he could have nipped Faile in the bud. Really LOW. None of the girls are any better, of course. Elayne, as usual, is being full of herself. I think she takes a perverse pleasure in keeping Rand confused. Another idiot. At least Nynaeve had a point in not wanting Lan to break his vows.

Lsana @8
Good point about Perrin telling Faile his plans. I begin to see why men and women in WOT don't share their plans unless absolutely necessary. See what happened?

Randalator @48
You know what they say. Ignorance is bliss.

Jobuch @59
That's another way of looking at it. One theory I've read says the other half of the light of the world that Mat trades is the entire continent of Seandar. I guess we'll just see.

elvyelvy @63
Olver's the one who has a Snakes and Foxes board made by his father. So yeah, such a piece of information would've come up in one of his chapters. Though I think it was as early as Cairhien.

subwoofer @66
I'd agree. At least one of Moiraine's questions would inevitably touch on how to deal with Rand. In Aes Sedai speak that translates into how to control him.

Lannis @67
It happens in Rhuidean, making Moiraine the first Aes Sedai to swear to follow Rand. Though of course, little of her advice becomes actually useful until Rand reaches Cairhien.
John Massey
71. subwoofer
As for the three doofuses- I have re-read the books over and over and each and every time I skip over the whole Perrin and Faile thing. Sack of hammers would be smarter. Okay, Perrin likes Faile, I am learning to deal, but c'mon, who are you kidding playing these games with a crazy person (read- jealous woman)? RJ must of just asked himself what would a logical, mature person do in this situation? and then proceeded to write the opposite. He did stretch it out for a few more chapters. Shakespeare wrote a book- Much Ado About Nothing- that reminds me of all this garbage.
Berelain- yup, she's a ho-bag, but the world needs more ho-bags in it. There would be way less sexual tension. She is exactly like Mat. Flirting with just about anything that has a pulse and not caring about their position in the world.
Loial still rocks- saving the moms and kiddies-awwwww!
...held the door alone against Trollocs and Myrddraal through the entire fight.
Brett Michie
72. bchurch
Lannis @ 67 et al

Doesn't Moiraine's trip through the wise one's ter'angreal happen the day after her doorframe finn visit? And then she doesn't swear to Rand until after the balefire/darkound rescue of Mat in tFoH. I may be misremembering things, but looking back, it seems that Mo was less outright bullying towards Rand than in books past after the doorframe and 1st trip to Rhuidean. She still got flaming angry at alcair dal, but I wonder if she wasn't mulling over what she'd been told and seen of her own future. Thinking it over during this time and eventually swearing to Rand.
Lannis .
73. Lannis
alreadymad @ 70: Yeah, I figured that it happened *after* Rhuidean, just musing whether or not Moiraine's questions to the *Finn helped to direct her to the answers she received in Rhuidean...
74. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
You're probably right. Very little will shut up an Aes Sedai of Moiraine's strength for long.
75. Randalator
@74 alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed

Actually all it takes is an oath of fealty and a wadded-up red-and-blue scarf in her mouth...
76. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Randalator @75
Well an oath of fealty is what Moiraine gave. Or at least one of obedience, which might be even more binding. A wadded up scarf of any color would be of debatable usefulness without the oath part. Despite the hilarious imagery...
Peter Nein
77. gimpols1908
Just a thought on Mo's questions and answers in the doorway. With the door plus the upcoming Rhuidean bit, she gets some good foreshadowing on her life and things that have to happen in general. We can never really know what happened where except the trip to see the foxes was from the Rhuidean experience.

Perrin... your woman is crazy. I hope you don't have a pet rabbit.
78. gagecreedlives
About the possibility of Mat giving up his eye. By the end of KoD isnt he sure that the Finns are looking through his eyes.
Maybe he tries to make a bargain where he gets Moraine back and the Finns out of his head. And a possible emotional sacrifice by Noal or Olver.
Robert Garza
79. FunBob
Lsana et al

Don't forget that when Robert Jordan said that Olver was NOT Gaidal Cain, he said Olver had his own reason to be in the story. It can be as easy as he reminds Mat, Thom, etc. etc. how to play and the wording to use fire to blind, music to dazzle, and iron to bind or it could be a more important role. I seem to remember that when Thom gives Matt Moiraine's letter in KoD, she specifically tells him that only three people can enter the Tower of Ghenjei and hope to succeed. I'm theorizing Matt, Thom, and Olver. It would be cool if Olver used Aludra's matches to light his Snakes and Foxes board on fire, while Thom plays one of his instruments and Matt binds them with iron. Moiraine has to be at Rand's side for him to win the Last Battle, as foretold by Min (I don't remember the exact quote, but Min says that how could she tell Rand that he can only win the Last Battle with the help of a woman long dead and gone?

Federico Natali was right about giving up half the light of the world being Matt's losing an eye. Matt is named as the Trickster by the Aelfinn, another name for Odin when he gave up his eye to drink from the Well of Mimir and receive the wisdom of an age.

Leigh, THANK YOU for slowing down....I have had the hardest time keeping up. I am reading the LOC, but I was in TSR when you started TEOTW, and I am starting to lose momentum. This is my first blog that I've ever fully participated in, and its good to think I'll have the chance to continue to do so. Keep up the good work!

80. ZamIt
Leigh, thanks for the re-caps. It didn't even seem like you slowed the pace at all. There is still plenty to talk about...

Perrin and Faile. And I think this book is the peak of Perrin goodness. In LOC it starts going downhill, but here he's the likeable guy, and Faile's jealousy is still annoying but it fits within the plot.

I never noticed the Jordan changed Mat's pattern of talking when he was speaking Old Tongue. I'll have to reread that chapter again. It's observations like this which keep me interested!

Yeah, Mat is still really cool. Sporting with the commoners. Just irritated, tired, and dangerous.

Lan and Nynaeve. I know she annoys some readers, and annoys me sometimes, but mostly she's pretty cool. Especially when she's channelling. She's headed to legendary status in WOT just behind Rand's Dragon Reborn. She and Lan make a good pair.

If Mat gives up an eye rescuing Moraine, I wonder if he'll get the snakes and foxes out of his head? Maybe their tie to his memories are associated with his eye?
81. Rebecca Starr
I admit I was disappointed about the 3-way MOL split for a moment - 2011??? But then I realized I'd far rather a complete finish to the series over more time than a hasty finish (hasty humans) just to get it done with in 1 volume.

as to the slower pace, sounds good to me Leigh! It definitely will be a good thing for my relationship...

Ch 14
yeah, this definitely is Faile's big mistake. if she hadn't confronted Berelain here, Berelain probably never would have thought twice about Perrin ever again... sigh

I agree with siuanfan@16, however, that Perrin does not deserve the idiot slap. I find his actions heartbreaking and noble in this chapter

Ch 15
Brilliant indeed! Can we please please please read the Tower of Ghenji sequence now?

couple questions
1) the bells that ring - RJ specifically said that the bells do not have to do with ta'veren nearly tearing the connection between the worlds. so what caused them? one thought I have is Moiraine's caution that questions touching the Shadow have dire consequences... perhaps some of Mat's and Rand's ?s hit a little too close to the Dark?

2) how *does* Mat get away with 4 answers? tricksy.

as to the knives, I think it's awfully odd that steel doesn't count as iron, since a quick wikipedia search shows steel is mostly iron with only about 2% carbon.

as to Mat dying - Lsana@20 I agree that the balefire never seemed like the moment to me. However, I also don't think it was the hanging in Rhuidean - he could be revived, and I think had just passed out. I think the dying and living again has yet to happen

Ch 16
I don't think Rand actually did anything bad enough to merit needing his POV for the goodbye with Elayne - I think Elayne is just being little Miss Prissy and she wishes he had fallen all over himself saying, "no no please don't go!"

Nynaeve in this chapter! So awesome with Lan. I truly give her credit - if the man that I loved offered to come away with me, when that was all I had dreamed and hoped for, could I turn him down as strongly and bravely as Nyn does here? light love the woman.
82. Rebecca Starr
on a side note, anyone here ever traveled the Tunnel du Frejus, which runs under the Alps (or any other tunnel under the Alps for that matter?)

it runs for 13 kilometers, which is so long you start to think you won't ever see the opening on the other end, and it makes you feel the *weight* of the mountains atop you... gave me a real appreciation for Mat's comments, down in the Great Holding, of feeling the weight of the Stone above him.
83. GregoryD
Hey, regarding the snakes and foxes thing.

You have brought no torches, lamps.

Aren't snakes sensitive to light?

You have no musical instruments?

How do you charm snakes? Music!

just a thought.
Seth Ball
84. Sethric
One thing that always bothered me is, from here on out, Perrin seems to hold Rand's absence against him. He only cares that Rand make it to the last battle and win. He never actually blames either Mat, whom he never sees, or Rand verbally, but I feel that he shuns them. He wants Rand to pay special attention to his own wants (that usually being the health of the TR men), but tosses aside the fact that Rand's primary desire, justifiably, is to win the Last Battle. Hey, Perrin, shut up. Quit whining. About that, and Faile. The end of the world is coming. There are more important things to deal with.

@79. Funbob:

My assumption was that it would be Mat, Thom, and our new friend Jain Farstrider Noal, who would save Moiraine.

Another topic:
Iron. Knife. Steel. I wondered about that as well when I read through and always assumed, since the Aelfinn had no real reaction to the knife, that only pure iron matters.
Brett Michie
85. bchurch
Sethric @ 84 et al

Maybe the iron requires physical contact to bind.

And I agree that it will probably be Master Charin who is the other man that Moiraine doesn't yet know at the time of her writing the letter to Thom.
86. Wetlander
Late to the game, here, but I did look up the Snakes&Foxes rhyme:

Courage to strengthen, Fire to blind, Music to dazzle, Iron to bind.

I wonder if vocal music works?
87. ewells
Loial protecting the women and children is my favorite scene in the series. It is a moment that you hope that you would have the courage (and badassness) to do the what he does.
88. cps2195
Wetlander@ 86

I had the same question. Wonder if High Chant could be "music to dazzle"
Sacha G
89. Fortune_Prick_Me
Rebecca Starr@81&82

On Mat's death/rebirth, RJ confirmed that the balefire reversal was that moment, I could find the reference again somewhere.

And yes, the Frejus is extremely oppressive.

Nyn here is the very definition of noble. And for once, completely honest with herself. No self-delusion, she knows that if Lan breaks his responsibility to be with her, they would both lose their self respect. Very noble.

On the other hand, Faile.... There must be a reason I could never read her name as Fah-eel. Just pure FAIL.
Sacha G
90. Fortune_Prick_Me
Posted too fast without my references above: RJ may have implied Mat's death has already happened and confirmed the Ruihdean hanging wasn't it. 1999 interview
91. BookFairy
Hi Leigh,
I am loving the re-read.

Ch. 13 - 14
Berelain LOL! That’s one girl who knows how to work an angle. Her goal is just to keep Mayene safe from Tear. She knows that out of sight is out of mind. So how to keep Mayene in mind? First she goes directly to The Dragon Reborn which doesn’t go exactly as planned. Mat is a no go. So that leaves Perrin. Now initially her only interest in Perrin is that he and The Dragon Reborn are friends. I never could decide if his refusing to “carry her message” was reason enough to become interested in Perrin himself.

Just an interesting thing to note Faile isn’t the only woman in this book that want to attack Berlain over a man.

Ch 15
Tsk, tsk, tsk
Did it really surprise anyone that Mat decided to go through the archway? Anyone?
“Go to Rhuidean, son of battles! Go to Rhuidean, trickster! Go, gambler! Go!”

Ch. 16
Tricking Loail! That is just so not cool. It’s bad enough that Faile does it but then Perrin does it to. Mentioning his mother. That was a low blow.

Lan!!!!!!!!!!! So hot. I really like getting to see Lan finally admit the way he feels about Nynaeve. It’s so raw and passionate. That being said, it always makes me think of that scene from “Gone with the Wind” all that’s missing is the staircase.

I wish Rand had never got Elaine’s letter or better yet that she had never wrote the damn thing. Enough with the teen age angst. Ugh.
92. Till shade is gone
Leigh, just wanted to add my voice (figuratively speaking) to those who have been thanking you for your efforts with the WOT re-reads.

I have been faithfully reading every post and remarking that if only you had more time, your re-read could go from great to awesome and I look forward to a much more in-depth re-read from now on! (Although I am sorry to say that I WILL be abandoning you and the entire WOT community when the first part of book 12 comes out - I am going to need some 'me' time at that point, I think!)

Also good luck in the other Tor project, and, more importantly, I hope you get over the flu soon!
93. Planeswalker
Berelain/Faile/Perrin - funny!

Rand's reply to Moiraine - here's a little dose of your own *AES SEDAI medicine - haha!

Lan - yeah, cool way to show some love!

Mat - AWESOMEness to the extreme!
94. birgit
If he had just said, "You're probably right, it's just a rumor," he could have gotten away without her realizing it.

Faile caught him packing, so he couldn't really pretend that he isn't going anywhere, and she would follow him no matter where he claimed to go.

I would think that "How do I learn to control saidin?" would be one of the questions high up in Rand's mind.

Lanfear just gave him the answer of using Asmodean as the interpretation of the Prophecy he quoted to Moiraine.

Berelain- yup, she's a ho-bag, but the world needs more ho-bags in it. There would be way less sexual tension. She is exactly like Mat. Flirting with just about anything that has a pulse and not caring about their position in the world.

She does care about position. She always goes after those who could help her politically.

the bells that ring - RJ specifically said that the bells do not have to do with ta'veren nearly tearing the connection between the worlds. so what caused them?

Maybe they just ring a bell for every question they answer.
Iain Scott
95. iopgod
The way I see it, 2 extra books means 2 extra re-reads. Yay! :)

Slowing down, especially if with extra commentary, sounds like and excellent idea (the summaries are fun, but we could always, you know, actually read the book... it is the commentary (and discussion!) I keep reading for.)
96. hoping to be of the blood
It is in KOD that Mat figures out that the foxy people look through the eyes of those that visit them for answers. But isn't that connection broken now since Lanfear and Mo destroyed the doorway?
If not, then the foxes will be able to see his upcoming attack on the Tower of G. Since the finns are somehow connected with each other, maybe the foxes are still connected to this world via the snake doorway.
John Massey
97. subwoofer
"Wise to ask leave takings when you set no price, no terms."
"Yet fool not to first agree on price."
"We will set the price."
...."The price will be paid"
Letting the sword of Power go, he ripped the rope away from Mat's neck and pressed an ear to his friend's chest. Nothing. Desperately, he tore open Mat's coat and shirt, breaking the leather cord that held a silver medallion on Mat's chest. He tossed the medallion aside and listened again. Nothing. No heartbeat. Dead.

Shenanigans! No pulse, no heartbeat does not equal being alive. Mat was dead, paid the price.
Still pondering "to give up half the light of the world to save the world." Could mean he goes blind as some have suggested. Could also mean that he gives up what is really important...the light of his life, maybe Tuon dies or gets captured or he loses Oliver...I dunno...somethings gotta stick...
John Massey
98. subwoofer
I also think that maybe Mat is the fox in the game of "Snake and Foxes"... and of course he breaks the rules(not cheating) has been determined that his luck only works on random things like dice or drawing cards, so he probably thinks around the 'finn to get Moiraine out of the steel tower.
The game is a remembrance of old dealings.
Mat's got many old memories jammed in his head now... probably digs up a way out of the tower from them.
Richard Fife
99. R.Fife
OK, I am really late to the game, and kinda swimming in my own head right now, so I'm sitting this thread out, but all mandatory: yay Leigh, you don't have to die on the rocks of SG for us and all that.

See ya'll tomorrow, I'm going to try and get my head on straight.

One small comment, I fully expect Mat to lose an eye. He is so heavily based on Odin it is funny, and if Rand lost his hand to be like Tyr, then Mat can lose his eye to be like Odin.
100. GregoryD
Re post 97 subwoffer.

In regards to Matts living and dying prophesy. Post #90 answers that and references a 1999 interview.

If you read all the posts RJ says that Matt did not die at Rhuidean. He almost did. He did die in the TFOH balefire party. Since it never happened for him, he has no memory of it. Only Rand does. The same goes for Avi.

RJ's comment was that now Matt still thinks he has an ace in the hole that he doesn't have. So he could think he can bargain with the Finn but he really doesn't have the "live again" card to play. So maybe the bargain will be to give up half the light of he world, whatever that means because they know he is in a sense bluffing?

There are a lot of good answers by RJ in this post.
Lannis .
101. Lannis
birgit @ 94: re: bells that ring in *Finnland... "maybe they just ring a bell for every question they answer." Or it could be a bell for each visitor's entrance... or sounding because of the presence of ta'veren... or perhaps it's because one of Rand or Moiraine's questions were (as someone mentioned above) a hair too close to touching matters of the Shadow?

I think the sounding of the bells, though, will be one of those idiosyncratic things that'll happen in the Tower of Ghenjei that'll signify when things start to go (as we can safely assume) horribly wrong during the rescue of Moiraine... knowing Mat, the events that'll transpire will have to rely on his flukey luck somehow... and they'll all escape by the skin of their noses... it'll be so good! I can't wait! (Squeee!)

GregoryD @ 100: Hmm... forgot about that: Mat'll totally be relying on his luck and his "ace in the hole," that he can die and live again (having no memory that it's already happened)... perhaps he doesn't "bargain" to lose his eye in "agreements" that'll be made to release Moiraine... perhaps it's something that happens (not-so accidentally) during the getaway...

Or perhaps he wittingly gives up the eye so that they *Finn aren't looking through his eyes, anymore, as someone mentioned above...

And maybe Noal/Jain Farstrider (who seems to mope that he's not as great as the stories) will be the sacrifice who doesn't come home from the Tower of Ghenjei? Finally be the "hero" he's written himself to be? S'all up in the air... (see: "can't wait! Squee!" comment!)
102. Randalator
@100 GregoryD

If RJ said that, well, he screwed up.

It had been prophecy, in a way. To die and live again. To marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons. To give up half the light of the world to save the world, whatever that meant. He had died, after all, swinging on that rope. If that was true, the rest had to be. No way out of that.
(LoC, ch. 5)

Mat thinks the die-and-live-again-prophecy has already been fulfilled. He's wrong on the event but not on the general fulfilled-ness.
103. Lsana
@89 Fortune_Prick_Me,

I'm well aware that RJ said that Mat didn't die in the hanging and strongly implied that the balefire incident is it. However, for reasons that I explained above, I think that's remarkably lame, and I don't want WOT to be lame. Therefore, I'm sticking with Mat's interpretation that it was Rhuidean. Either way, it seems unlikely to affect future events.

@94. birgit,

Lanfear gave Rand a suggestion on how to learn to control saidin, but Lanfear, to put this delicately, is not a trustworthy source, and Rand seemed particularly averse to the idea of taking a Forsaken as a teacher. My thought is that he would need someone else to tell him that it was the only way before he would accept it.
Eric Robinson
104. perrin77
I always thought that the dead and alive part for Mat was the hanging from a tree after the next doorway visit and Rand bringing him back to life with primitive CPR, but after reading some other comments, the balefire makes more sense. The "giving up half the light of the world to save it", I am in agreement with many on here that makes me think it is one of his eyes. It is probably the "cost" to leave the towers, as was his cost to hang from a tree to leave last time. I am curious as to how he is ever going to get back in, now that the doorways are close to him. Maybe someone can refresh my memory, but isn't that tower where "Slayer" hides in Ter?
Blake Engholm
105. UncrownedKing
@104 Perrin77

The tower of Ghenji (sp?) is where Perrin chases Slayer/Lord Luc into while chasing him through T'A'R. So we can assume that is where Slayer/Lord Luc runs away to after he flees EF during the final battle for the TR. This is what I can remember with out the books infront of me. I finished the book about 3 weeks ago so im a little ahead contimplating other things.
Lannis .
106. Lannis
Randalator @ 102: re: Mat thinking he died and lived again from being hanged in Rhuidean... well, it wouldn't be the first time one of the WoT characters had the wrong idea about something...

I tend to agree, though, that if Jordan meant it to be the balefire, it's probably the balefire... but I also agree with Lsana @ 103, in that it's kind of a lame/cop out event... I mean, for the character not to even remember the event means it has had no impact on how he identifies himself--who cares if he's died and lived again from the event?!--no memory of it means he cannot learn from it!
Galen Brinn
107. GatheringStorm
OK. Long time lurker, first time poster.

Leigh, I'm loving the re-read; I've been keeping up since I found out about it (which was in the middle of EotW).

Mat's death in Caemlyn wasn't was lightening (just reread that last night). He was laying several feet away from his smoking boots. Forgive me if I'm confusing what you're saying with Rand's acutal balefiring of Rahvin and reversing the death.

Since Mat thinks that being hung in Rhuidean counts as his death, I don't feel that he thinks he's still got an ace-in-the-hole, as it were. So it doesn't really matter if he "learns" from the Caemlyn incident, does it?

All of the Super Girls get on my nerves from time to time. Stupid decisions and all the staring, sniffing and in general know-it-all-ness is just grating.

Faile. Someone above had it right...her behavior just keeps me from pronouncing it as Fah-eel. She's just plain FAIL...for quite some time.

Looking forward to more badassery on the part of Rand and Mat as the book unfolds.
108. Cobblestones
On Rand's questions:

One is about winning the last battle and survive (from KOD), the second is likely about how to cleanse saidin. The third we don't know, but I think it somehow connects with Herid Fel's musings later on. Maybe it's about the seals? Something like whether to break the remaining seals, or how to fix the already broken ones, or how to make entirely new ones.

I know he's not supposed to ask questions touching the shadow, but remember, he came out walking backwards, holding a flaming sword (does that count as fire?). So he likely upset the snakes in some way.

The 'he's another one' might refer to reborn hero of the horn. We know Rand/LTT is one, and Mat might be one as well. At least he's bound to the horn now.

The bells I don't know, but bells can be considered musical instruments. So I wonder if there's more to them. Thom is a gleeman and quite proficient with music, so maybe ...

I really really hope that Moiraine's rescue is going to be told in 'A gathering storm'. It would be disappointing if Mat/Thom/Noal only came as far as the tower. Think about how much has to happen before TG. Ton's of minor plotlines (such as Moiraine's rescue) have to be finished. Then, I assume we need a general come-together, a 'council of Elrond' kind of scene where all the characters come together and actually start exchanging information.

Rand: I still need to bind the south-west to the north-east. If only I could gain the trust of someone high up among the Seanchan.
Mat: You know my wife is the empress.
Rand: ...


Rand: If only I could trust the Aes Sedai and the White Tower.
Egwene: Here's my new Keeper Elaida. Elaida, please bow to the DR
Elaida: (bows)
Egwene: And here come the heads of the Black Ajah (points to door which opens slowly)
Everybody: (embraces saidar/saidin)
Egwene: Ooops my bad, please don't panic, I meant the actual heads... in a sack.
Rand: ...

This should be in the second book where I assume a lot of mysteries might be cleared up. The third book should then describe the last battle and possibly a little bit beyond that, the fourth age.

Anyway, after reading Brandon's blog, I very happy with the way things are progressing. My only fear right now is that Brandon might experience burnout symptoms along the way. It sounds to me he's pushing himself too far. He shouldn't forget to take a small vacation from writing now and then. He is very professional, and he's communicating so effectively with his audience. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about all authors of other ongoing fantasy series.
109. Randalator
@106 Lannis

I meant RJ screwed up insofar as he said Mat "thinks he has an ace in the hole although he hasn't". Because Mat clearly thinks that the prophecy about dying and living again is already fulfilled. That's an ace he thinks he already played.

Btw. I too consider the hanging as fulfillment of the die-live-prophecy in my very own WOT-World because it's just umpteen times cooler that way. And screw anything RJ said about the balefire-thingy in Caemlyn. What does he know, anyway?
110. Siuanfan
Noal is Jain Farstrider? How the heck did I miss that?!

Theory time!

Okay so each ta'veren has a corresponding animal "spirit" - the wolf, the fox, and the dragon. This was seen early on in those dreams they used to have of Ba'alzamon, Mat had a fox and Perrin had a wolf, Rand had nothing but we didn't know he was the Dragon then.

So it's no coincidence that Mat's - let's call it a totem - is the fox. The fox is also symbolic of a trickster (Br'er Fox, "outfoxed", etc.). Mat's medallion is also a fox... a fox with only one eye, which to me supports the eye theory regarding 'half the light'... but the eye it has is the Aes Sedai symbol. This makes me think that Moiraine or maybe Egwene will be involved in his eye-losing adventure. The Egwene thing is a lame theory but I'll explain it in a minute. Ahem. So, yes. Fox, eye, Aes Sedai. Right.

Lanterns and torches are against 'finn rules, but the 'finn would not have made provision for the yet-to-be-invented matches, so the matches are the first cheat. Instruments of music - people mention Thom's instruments but I think it will have to be something that they sneak in which is not recognizable as a musical instrument, but can make music - like a bird caller or an empty kettle... or even a human singing. Maybe Thom knows the Tuatha'an song! Heh. So anyway, that's the second cheat. The third will be the iron, and this is where Egwene possibly comes in... like someone said, steel is mostly iron. A channeler good with metals (Egwene) could easily manipulate the carbon content and turn steel to iron, or cuendillar back into iron. Cheat # 3. Possibly Moiraine could do it since she's a channeler, I only threw Egwene in there because metal is sort of her specialty.

So. Them's mah 'finncheat theories. Cheers!
Blake Engholm
111. UncrownedKing
@110 Siuanfan

I always thought the Big three and their animal entities were pretty good fits on RJ's part. Defining characteristics of each species clearly help define each character (The dragon being mythical is a stretch but knowing what we know from what other guys have made up and other guys adopted and take to heart....). Mat's trickiness, mental and physical agility(which usually just happens to be his luck) and the ablity for him to get out of tight situations clearly coinside with a foxes main attributes. Also, this makes Mat interesting to everyone always.

I could go into it all but thats not necessary. people can draw their own conclusions about the other two.
112. Siuanfan
Cobblestones @ 108 - rofl, I love those scenarios. Especially the heads. In a sack. Hah!

Uncrownedking @ 111 - also we don't know for sure that the dragon is mythical. We haven't seen all the animals of Seanchan, and we know that those were considered mythical until they showed up with the Return.

Also, can anyone explain the significance of Slayer to me? I understand that he's a mixture of Isam and Luc... I vaguely understand who Isam and Luc are, but now how they combined, why, or where that was indicated... but my big question is really what significance does Slayer play? Why is he there? What is his deal? Who's he with?
113. AyeAye-Aes Sedai
Is Matt the Fox or the Raven?

IIRC - Tuan was looking at the ravens on his ring and isn't there other imagery with Matt and ravens (the non darkfriend/shadow kind?)

Couldn't Matt's face be similar to Artur Hawkwing ( possibly a descendent) that Tuan was told to look for ?
114. Lsana
@110 Siuanfan,

I like your ideas, with the exception of the last one. With Mat providing fire and Thom providing music, I think Noal has to provide the iron somehow. But who knows, maybe he can channel. After all, Earth was traditionally one of the male powers...

Also, there is a pretty extensive entry on Slayer in the WOT FAQ. I don't have the link at the moment, but if you google it, it's pretty easy to find. Doesn't answer all of my questions about Slayer, but it's a nice compilation of what's known and what's been speculated.
115. Siuanfan
AyeAye @ 113

Yarr, Mat's spear has ravens carved in it. I think the significance of the ravens with Mat though is just to indicate to Tuon that Mat was supposed to be her mate, since the ravens are a Seanchan nobility symbol. I actually think that between the two of them, SHE is the raven. It was those ravens that made her 'recognize' him, so to speak, and I'm guessing that's why she went with him willingly.

That's an interesting thought though... these women with their bird symbols. Falcon, hawk, raven.
116. laframboise
Ravens are associated with the Seanchen monarchy, I believe - the Seekers, who are Imperial Property, are tattooed with ravens, for instance, so the fox putting the ravens to flight on his ring would refer to Mat discomfitting the Seanchen to some degree? Also, Tuon was warned about a man who would remember Hawkwing's face, not wear it, was how I think that goes. It all seems to be working out according to plan, anyway.

I am loving the theorizing about the Tower of Ghenjei stuff - especially the singing, matches, iron-making ideas. If Luc/Isam finds refuge there, then I'm sure we'll find out his significance when that plot line comes to the fore. I thought the tower was the one pointed out to Mat and Rand as they escaped downriver with Domon in TEoTW. How did RJ keep all this inside his head from beginning to end? You never know what tiny little tidbits are going to be crucial later - makes me paranoid about not missing anything.

Normally I wouldn't wish the warm weather to go by too fast, after waiting through the cold months for it, but is there any way for November to get here faster?
Seth Ball
117. Sethric
Also, did not notice if it had been mentioned here before, but Mat's ravens further tie him to his mythological archetype - Odin. Odin had two ravens: Thought and Memory. Someone mentioned that the OT script even alludes to the names in a previous commentary.

And for purposes of discussion, here is the prophecy given to Tuon:

"Beware the fox that makes the raven fly, for he will marry you and carry you away. Beware the man who remembers Hawkwing's face for he will marry you and set you free. Beware the man of the red hand, for him you will marry and none other."

So fox making the raven fly I think has twofold significance. One, the ring Mat wears is a fox making ravens fly. Two, Mat, the fox, kidnaps Tuon, the raven.
Lannis .
118. Lannis
Cobblestones @ 108: re: council of Elrond kind of scene:

Rand: I still need to bind the south-west to the north-east. If only I could gain the trust of someone high up among the Seanchan.
Mat: You know my wife is the empress.
Rand: ...

BAHAhaha! That just struck me as hilarious--talk about pointing out the lack of communication in this series! I can picture Rand's eyes bugging out in the "..." response.

Randalator @ 109: Ahhhh... get it your point now. Sorry. :)

Siuanfan @ 110: I could *hear* you sing out "Theory time!" when I read your post. Hee hee.

As for Luc/Slayer, if he's been hiding around the Tower of Ghenjei (not sure, but I think someone mentioned that above), perhaps our trio of heroes will have to defeat him and/or learn his secret to enter the Tower...

And, you know, doesn't hurt to knock of a Bad Guy in the process of rescuing Moiraine...
119. bookworm
I prefer to think that RJ was talking about something bigger with the "half the light of the world" thingy.

If you would notice, prior to the Opening of the Bore allowing access to the Dark One, the world had been composed of no real evil. The Light had held sway over the worlds of the Pattern since the Dark One had been shut away. That makes it sound like the Dark One had not always been shut away.

So, it's kind of like karma. A balance between the Light and the Dark, with each being able to choose their own path.

The only question for me is whether the half yet to be given up to the Dark goes into exile with the Dark One, or that good and evil will now struggle within the arena of the Pattern itself.

For my part, those who choose the Dark One should really be able to experience that choice in full. So far, Cyndane, Moghedien and Mesaana have likely come closest to finding out. Except for Ishamael/Moridin, who seems to be the only Darkfriend who really knows what he has Chosen.
120. laframboise
wonder how Luc's resemblance to Rand will factor in?
121. LongStrider
If you're going to reference Mean Girls, you really should point to Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman. It's the nonfiction book that Mean Girls grew out of.

I haven't really posted here but I wanted to say just how much I appreciate these readings and commentaries.

The 'Why don't they just TALK to each other!' has made me want to throw the books across the room more than once. It's also one of my top pet peeves in literature, at least when it feels like it's being done for plot reasons and not character reasons. (Along with 'You grow up and the Magic Dies!') On that note some of what you've been saying has made me find Faile *less* annoying. I hadn't internalized just how young she (and several of the other characters) is and that makes a big difference in how I evaluate her behavior.
Blake Engholm
122. UncrownedKing
@117 Sethric

Love that prophecy. So cool how all of that is Mat to a "T". Is the Remember Hawkwing's face a literal understanding (TGH "Death is no bar to my call") or something more?

Also, 'Sheep swallop and bloody buttered onions!!' I get so damn lost on the luc/isam/slayer/ghenji/lan's brother/Rand's cousin...... Can someone lay it out for me so my easily confused head can handle it?
123. Rikka
WOT FAQ on Slayer, read and be content:
Maggie M
124. Eswana
Whoa, my Internet was dead for a dead for a day I am so behind! Frankly, I was surprised Leigh still posted yesterday, given all the hulabaloo about aMoL being split and GS released this November... so way to go Leigh, even being sick! I'm also very okay with slower pacing. Re-reading in smaller chunks allows Leigh to keep her sanity and us to discuss less material in more detail... so that's awesome! Everyone wins! Plus we get New Spring (maybe I’m wrong, but I think that NS is the only time we get a Lan POV)

(btw, my 2 cents about the split = good news; yay! Even though I’ve been reading WoT for ten years and for some people it’s closer to 20 years, I still love the thrill of the unknown –how will it all end?? I remember after Deathly Hallows came out I was very sad it was all over… so we get to prolong our crazy fan-ness! Huzzah! Also, Brandon Sanderson seems like one rockin’ guy (read his blog if you don’t believe me) and I’m glad he’s valuing quality over publishing speed. Plus, I trust Harriet!)

Re: Leigh’s summaries:

-Wow, yeah, Mat and Perrin haven't seen each other since this parting! Yikes! Since we readers get the birds' eye view of all the stories at once it's sometimes hard to remember that the characters don't have the same advantage. Still- eleven long books later, they're still apart- yikes. Didn't notice that before Leigh, so thanks!

-Mat "too much like" Berelain. HA. I thought it would have been hilarious for them to have a fling- give each other a taste of their own medicine- but I believe Mat will get just that (and more) from Tylin on CoS...

-The whole Faile/Berelain/Perrin stupidness makes me want to screech. I agree with (almost) everyone above- um, grow up children. We're not five.

-Mat/Rand/Moiraine's visits to the 'Finns is pretty freaking sweet. I particularly love RJ's description of Mat's first step into the doorway. Also, I never caught before today that Mat tries to go back in but just can't. I'd previously thought that going back in again would take you to FinnLand and Really Bad Things would happen to you. I guess not.

-I'm not a Faile-hater... but MANIPULATING LOIAL? Seriously girl? That's like tricking your squishy favorite grandpa, or kindergarten teacher. *SO* not okay. The capslock is totally called for; gah.

-Lan + Nynaeve = happy sigh. I have always loved their story; and here, especially you see their dynamic at work. Lan Responsible-Duty-Heavier-Blah- Mountain-pants is willing to break his Warder oaths to Moiraine for Nynaeve. Nynaeve Control-Freak-Hates-Moiraine-Braid-Tug al'Meara is willing to put her own desires on hold to honor his oaths and do the Right Thing. Also, Lan's poetic speeches to Nynaeve (here and elsewhere, ie at the end of tEotW and beginning of tGH) make me mist over like someone who watches too many Lifetime movies. I love her. And him. And them. Yay.

Re other people:

Lsana @ 8
-Maybe Rand’s answers were muddier because he had to use a translator. Mat probably had a more straightforward experience because he speaks their language.

Siuanfan @ 16
-I appreciate your take on the Perrin-Faile dynamic here. Very nice. It’s easy for us to all grit our teeth about it all, but you made some very good points.
-Also, only seeing the ‘Finns from Mat’s POV probably makes the most sense- after all, he will need very thorough knowledge of them for Operation Rescue Moiraine.

Greyfox @ 26
-Mat seems to think that steel isn’t iron, which is lucky for him. Now he has two potential loopholes to the “no weapons of iron” rule: steel, bronze, and maybe Moiraine’s channeling once they find her.

Federico @ 31
-As I read your comments something clicked- Mat’s rescue of Moiraine really will save the world. We know from Min’s viewing that Rand will certainly fail without Moiraine, so her rescue is, in fact, world-saving.

ThatGuy @45
-Whoa, I forgot about Aludra and her matches! Nice connection!

Tony @ 58.
YES (re Lan & Nynaeve)

Gregory D @ 83
Wow, well done! I never put all that together before. Awesome.

Several people-
If anyone has read Patrick Rothfuss’s (freaking sweet) book The Name of the Wind, iron has very important binding capabilities, especially in regard to non-humans. Maybe it’s similar with the Finns.

Uncrowned King @ 122:
Here’s what I remember:
Luc was Tigraine’s brother, Andor’s First Prince of the Sword ( = Rand’s uncle). We know that he looked like her.
Isam was Lan’s cousin, the son of Lan’s father’s brother and his scheming wife.
Luc ran off to the Blight after Tigraine disappead. Isam and his mom disappeared into the Blight after Lan’s dad (the king) slew his own brother (the usurper) in single combat. Lord Algemar says “We don’t know their fate, but certainly it can be guessed.” Probably the mother (Lan’s aunt) died, and somehow the Bad Guys got a hold of tiny baby Isam. This would have been about fifty years ago, since Lan was a baby. Luc was TIgraine’s older brother and Tigraine in her early 20s when she had Rand. So, Luc was probably in his late 20s or early 30s when he went to the Blight. Somehow Luc and Isam were merged into one person, Slayer. In the Real World, Slayer looks like Luc (= looks like Tigraine = looks like Rand). In TAR Slayer looks like Isam (=looks like Lan).


Yikes, this was really long. Happy Tuesday to all.
125. Siuanfan
. . . it just occurred to me that the Lan/Nynaeve relationship won't last very long. If he's already over 50 and she'll live... forever, for all I know, having never been bound to the Oath Rod... they've only got a few good years together (assuming they survive Tarmon Gai'don).

I don't believe bonding makes a Warder live as long as a channeler - maybe longer than they normally would, but not hundreds of years. So what was Lan worried about? He was going to die before her anyway.

Speaking of the bond, wasn't there some discussion on whether it can be broken except by death? Since Moiraine isn't dead, are we assuming she just passed the bond to Myrelle immediately before jumping Lanfy?
Blake Engholm
126. UncrownedKing

Thank you, and dont forget to ice your hands and wrists, you may have developed carpal-tunnel syndrome after that.
127. Tony Zbaraschuk
I always figured that the bell was just a doorbell. "Hey, some other s/u/c/k/e/r/ guest just came in." There's probably some time-distortion involved as well, otherwise Rand and Moiraine and Mat would probably have run into each other as they approached the doorway in the Great Holding.
128. Egglie
The way I see it - In the game of snakes and foxs the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn are the snakes and foxs, not Mat, he is the human player (along with Thom and Noal). The ones in the doorway at the stone of tear are snakes, the ones in ruihdian are foxes.

In KoD, after reading Thoms letter from Moiraine, Olver tells them that you can enter the realm of the snakes and foxes through the tower of Genji (which Mat remembers seeing after Noal describes it), he them goes on to tell them that you can get in by making the sign that you make at the begining of the game using a bronze knife anywhere on the walls. (Olver has this info from Birgitte apparently). I think this is Olvers whole "purpose" in the story and I am sure it will be Noal who goes with Thom and mat. Noal asks if he can accompany them as the third person (although neither Mat nor Thom actually agrees or objects to this at the time).

I agree about the Matches, I have always suspected that Thom will sing and that will count as music and I think Noal will somehow be involved with the Iron.

I only have one thought on how and its a bit gross; Noal has very scarred and twisted hands (from being tortured by Ishy I think) what if he somehow has iron trapped under his skin?

I do think Mat will loose an eye because of the Odin references and because the imagery has been so specific.

And, yes, Squeeee!!! I am very excited to read this bit. I really hope it will be in a gathering storm.
Sydo Zandstra
129. Fiddler
Hi all. I've been following the reread, and with tSR being my favourite book, have created an account so I can join in.

First, good going, Leigh. Love your comments.

Ch 15:
Knowing the Snake and Foxes rhyme to be instrumental in beating the *finns, I only noticed in this (12th or so) reread that Rand has been confirming this in advance all along when he says the Aelfinn were looking away from his firesword when he was retreating out of their domain.

BTW, I'm thinking it''ll be Mat, Thom and Noal/Jain that will enter the Tower of Ghenjei and save Moiraine. On a side note, there's some irony involved in the whole Noal teaming up with Mat situation, since in one of the earlier chapters (I think it was in tDR, when he was in the Library of that Caemlyn Inn) Mat was thinking on how he never got to read 'The Travels of Jain Farstrider'...

Cowboy Funk @61:
IIRC, Herid Fel was working on things concerning the Seals and the Bore, and getting close to solving the question.

Siuanfan @110:
Good call on the matches. But I think there's no need to smuggle in an unrecognizable instrument. Mat gets asked if he is carrying any prohibited stuff, but I didn't get the impression that Aelfinn doorman had the ability to scan him.

As for the Song, I've always thought that Rand is hearing it when he's in Rhuidean (the Jenn Aiel singing when their master turns turns Saidin-crazy).
130. Egglie
oh yeah, I forgot to say, regards the questions that Rand and Moiraine asked;

Don't forget that the info we have saying that you should not ask questions touching the shadow comes from Moiraine. This means that it is not necessarily true but SHE believes it. Rand got all his info from the books in the stone so he may or may not know this. So when considering what they asked Moiraine has to stay well away from the shadow - and its pretty hard to ask about tDR without touching on it somehow but Rand might have gone straight in and asked how to defeat the dark one. (having said all that - I have no new ideas on what they actually did ask)

Also - this does not belong here but I can't remember where the original discussion took place.
I just finished tFoH and realised that most of the 20-30mins that Rand wipes out with Balefire when he kills Rahvin takes place in TAR and, as we know, time flows differently there. So it could have been only a few minutes in real time which makes the comparative strengths a lot closer.
131. Randalator
@125 Siuanfan

Lan was born 953 NE which means he is 47 years old by TPoD. That leaves them 30-50 years together if they don't come to an untimely end.

Also I would expect that with all the bonding benefits Warders tend to have an extended lifespan. So maybe they can even look forward to ~100 years of braid-tugging and making stony faces. Again if they don't come to an untimely end what with being warders and all.

But generally speaking you have found the catch in channeler-nonchanneler relationships: The first outlives the second about sixfold. And that's pretty much a best-case scenario.

In other words with Rand, Elayne and Aviendha having a natural life expectancy of somewhere between 600 and 1000 years it really sucks to be Min...
Blake Engholm
132. UncrownedKing
True love never dies...... wow sorry about that guys.

Never thought that whole thing through. Too busy trying to figure everything else out. lol. It does in fact suck to be Lan and Min in those sences but we still have to make it through TG to see whether our fearless heroes make it out with their lives.

Think RJ will actually let any main char die?? my head may pop off my body.
133. Randalator
@132 UncrownedKing

I just had a thought. I take it all back and state the opposite: Min and Lan got the better end of the deal.

Why? Well, they live their lives with their permanently youthful significant others at their sides. For example even when Lan celebrates his eleventy-first birthday Nynaeve won't look older than 30. His only problem will be to find an internet pharmacy that delivers viagra to Randland.

It's Nynaeve/Rand who have to deal with seeing a loved one age and eventually die. And then live another couple of centuries remembering their loss.
134. Wetlander
From the WoTFAQ regarding character ages, as of the beginning of TSR:

Nynaeve is 25
Min is 24 or 25
Berelain is about 22
Rand, Mat & Perrin are 20
Aviendha is almost 19
Egwene & Elayne are 17 or maybe just 18
Faile is 15 (Huh?? Oy!)

@117. Sethric

Odin had two ravens: Thought and Memory. Someone mentioned that the OT script even alludes to the names in a previous commentary.

The script on Mat's ashandarei reads:

Thus is our treaty written; thus is agreement made.
Thought is the arrow of time; memory never fades.
What was asked is given. The price is paid.

I'd never heard about Odin's ravens before, so that was a complete surprise, but I'd say definite (further) evidence of RJ's "Mat as Odin" setup.
Brett Michie
135. bchurch
Wetlander @134

15???? She's only 15???? Boy, Perrin loves him some jailbait.
136. SusanB
Matt giving up half the light of the world....I always thought that meant that he would have to let Rand die. Thus allowing the whole Rand must die to live happen. I believe when he dies, LTT's conciousness will leave him & Rand can survive as a single being. LTT's death would be "half the light".

The Tinker song... Rand heard it in Rhudean (sp?), so we can assume that all the Wise Ones & Clan Chiefs know it. I think in the last battle the Aiel will have to sing with the Tinkers.
137. Randalator
re: Faile's age

She is the same age as Ewin Finngar -> Ewin is 14 at the beginning of TEotW so by TSR she could be as much as 16 if Ewin's 15th birthday wasn't too far off then.

But yeah, I see your "Oy!" and raise you a "Holy Shit!" and two "That's just wrong!"s...and I think I even had a "Jailbait!" or two that I could throw into the pot.
138. Wetlander
@135. bchurch

Yeah, I hadn't realized she was THAT young. So I guess when I read that passage and thought she was acting about 15... uh, well, yeah, she was! Perrin the cradle-robber. What an image. Not that she's told him how old she really is, obviously!

The WoTFAQ bases this on LoC, where Faile notes that Ewin is "her own age" and TEotW, where Ewin is specified as fourteen years old. This point in TSR is right about one year later than that point in TEotW. I looked up the references (okay, I'll admit I wondered if they'd gotten the math wrong somehow!) and sure enough...

What can I say, but "Oy!"

Nothing to contribute, but I'm loving the Finn discussions. Keep it up!
139. Master Al'Thor
Ok, everything is great as always, but I gotta let one fly here. It actually should have been posted on the last re-read but I'm posting it here.

Rand's whole thing with not hurting women. Now if your living in what seems to me like oh the middle ages, possible even the latter half of the dark ages, and you grow up in a little speck of a town. As a male you would be taught and see that women are weaker and you would be taught by just about everyone that was the case and you better not hurt her. Now what's more beieveable, conservative country boy or one that says "well if a girl hits me, then I'm gonna hit her back"? I am all for women being treated like equals cause it is absurd to treat anyone less than human, but this is a story about a young country boy who is trying to save the world and doesn't want to be the one who has to do it.

A thought just occured to me. What if LTT's feelings are also mixed in this? Two men who feel the same way about not hurting women. Worth looking into.

Anyway that my rant.

Keep on keeping on
140. DutchBoy
Dear, dear Leigh... Whatever you do, slow down, speed up, or even do a back-flip, you make many people happier with your summaries and comments. Do not forget that - thanks.

I know, it is a matter of taste which parts of the book(s) one likes best.

Personally, I think the chapter of Mat and the Snakes is simply an act of g-e-n-i-u-s. Why?

1) Three characters get to ask three questions, among them two main characters, but we do not know their questions and the answers to it, although we get some hints some books later.

2) The prophecy for Mat really made me looking forward to the following books.

Beautiful - how much a few pages can do...

Good night, holy shit - it is five past midnight, it is my birthday!
141. Rebecca Starr
laframboise@116 - might I suggest a Portal Stone? that oughtta help you skip 4 or 5 months :)
142. CBeats
Great post, Leigh, as usual. And it's fine that you are switching up the pace a litte, more commentary is a welcome thing.

So Berelain and Mat will never end up together. Too bad.
But on the topic of Berelain's future relationships...

->did anyone ever notice one of Min's viewings in Lord of Chaos that said Berelain would fall "head over heels" in love with a man in white?
translation: Galad!

now wouldn't that be a couple to beat Brangelina? I suppose they could be called "Galerain" or "Berelad" - but wait, those are awful names.

maybe I'm wrong, but still, one can imagine...
143. Wetlander
@142. CBeats

I always feel bad when this happens... This particular theory has been discussed a lot, both in the WoT world in general and on this reread series in previous threads. So... you're not likely to get a lot of discussion. I would say it's a general consensus that Berelain and Galad get together, but it's not verified yet. There are a few other theories out there, such as a gai'shain, and folks who don't buy the Galad idea for other reasons, but I think they're the minority. Not to pop your bubble, but if you don't get much comment, that's why.
144. Dsai
Regarding Faile…

I’ve been annoyed by every character in these books at one point or another. I’m also willing to give each character their due course for self-realization. I felt it was always unfair to Faile’s and Perrin’s relationship for me to not at least try and empathize with the points in their lives where they find each other.

Faile comes from a nobles family where she practically got every whim she had fulfilled. Wanting more then just what was handed to here on silver platter and filled with a gleeman’s (well probably high chant court bards in her case) tales of adventure she sets out to become a Hunter for the Horn of Valere.

Now we’ve already gone through the early realities of adventure through Perrin’s, Mat’s, Rand’s, and Egwene’s eyes. This includes the harshness of traveling that Mat and Rand faced in getting to Caemlyn and the evils that chased Perrin and Egwene to the Stedding (and all that happened after that).

When Faile meets Perrin all she has seen of heroes so far have been two yokels who blundered into success in capturing an Aiel. To me it says a whole lot about Faile’s character that she doesn’t raise the alarm while watching Perrin free Gaul. It is even more telling that she’d associate herself with him after witnessing what he does to the Whitecloaks.

Now she has seen someone do something truly heroic and to her this person happens to be everything the she has ever dreamed (speculative I know) a hero should be. So, rather then sigh and live her life with regret, she boldly places herself in the heroes’ path.

Even after finding the dangers Perrin is involved in, (Rand being the Dragon Reborn and the Horn not only found but used) she still sticks to her guns by staying with Perrin. So far her life has held more excitement and wonder in the short time she has been with him then it ever had been without. Most importantly her real life hero has not let her down.

I link the early part of their romance to the idiom of letting those you love go free. Every time Perrin releases her (i.e. warning her about the dangerous road he travels or offering to stand up to Moraine even after the Aes Sedai has bound her to them), she always circles back to him.

Now here we are at a moment where Perrin is trying to push her away in order to keep from letting her down. She on the other hand doesn’t want to give up for one second the most important thing she has ever had, the love of her hero made flesh.

I’d imagine if I where in her (physically not an option, otherwise…) shoes I would do the same thing in acting first and apologizing later. Granted she still has a lot of growing up to do, as do all of them. I can’t fault her at all for doing what she felt she had to in order keep the connection of love she now holds with Perrin together.

The fact that they just don’t talk to each other actually reflects my experiences with my own family and friends. Also, most times words tend to muddle the true intent behind the thoughts (i.e. Joe Pesci in “Goodfellows”). I actually think Robert Jordan did a brilliant job of relating internal dialogue with regards to what we do and do not say aloud.

In case I left it unsaid (haven’t I already said enough??? =p), Faile’s self realization occurs over the whole series and is very subtle. It’s also more rewarding for that. While Faile is not five, she is still extremely young.

Just for the record…

I’ve liked Mat from the very beginning. Even if he hadn’t turned out to be groovy, the fact he stuck by Rand after he got sick from channeling them out of the Inn endeared him to me. If anything I felt sorry he ended up being the one having to have his thoughts twisted by the taint from Shador Logath. I mean, come on, who here really thought the whole group was going to actually make it out of there unmarred?

With regards to him losing an eye, I think it will have something to do with destroying the fox head medallion around his neck. That the medallion has only one eye itself leads me to believe that the Eelfinn (Rhuidian) are using it to influence Randland in some way.

Mat will have to poke out the eye/destroy the medallion (which was bound to his own eye) somehow in order to keep the Aelfinn and Eelfinn from joining forces with the shadow and entering Randland. In the process his eye is taken (due to the medallion being bound to his eye) and he satisfies the giving up half the light in the world to save it.

Thom saves Moraine…Mat saves the world….meh, could be a worse theory.
145. Siuanfan
That's funny, I never once considered Galad for Berelain. I always thought the 'man in white' would be an Aiel that was gai'shain at the time she meets him.
146. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Eswana @124
Slayer doesn't have to be in TAR to look like Isam. He can change his appearance either way. The girls have seen him in TAR wearing Luc's appearance. They saw the resemblance to Rand right away.

Wetlander @134 etal
Davram does note that she isn't old enough to marry without permission. In our "modern" world that's usually 18. In Randland that's probably around 25, give or take.

Master Al'Thor @139
Women in the Two Rivers are anything but weak. In fact they have a history of bullying the men.

Siuanfan @145
The problem with that is that all the "Aiel" gai'shain are headed back to the Waste. If it were one of the wetlander slaves, most of them are broken in spirit,not likely to attract the attention of the First, who obviously has a taste for powerful men.
Lannis .
147. Lannis
DutchBoy @ 140: S'really your birthday? Well, happy birthday, dude! :)

Dsai @ 144: Expanding on your "Mat losing an eye has something to do with his foxhead medallion" theory... what if he trades the foxhead in order to keep one eye?

Theory Time! (*winks at Siuanfan*)

Or, what if the foxhead medallion--and all it's anti-Power properties that make it Mat's favourite toy--is the eye he loses? Not his own eye (despite the images we have seen in Egwene's dreams and Min's viewings--which, as we're all aware, are metaphors anyway), but the eye that's on the medallion... the *Finn gave it to him in Rhuidean, perhaps they'll want it back in trade for Moiraine? Leaving Mat to risk being vulnerable to all the channeling ugly he knows will be flying around shortly in TG (I can already hear him grumbling about how much Moiraine owes him...).

Though, Dsai, I *do* like your lose 'em both (Mat's eye & foxhead medallion) idea... and the *Finns definitely are creepy... taking them out couldn't be a bad thing, could it?

Is the foxhead medallion considered iron? IIRC, it's properties are a mystery, aside from it being some kind of terangreal...
John Massey
148. subwoofer
First off awwwww Brigit@94. Never thought anyone would quote my ho-bag reference.
Thank you Randalator for your summation of RJ being mistaken. He has started plot lines before that went away to nothing so there. And Gathering Storm @107 Mat did bite the biscuit from lightening but Randster used the mother of all balefire because Aviendha kacked as well and wanted to off the person that offed one of his wives, thus bringing her and anyone else back that was struck down by lightening.
Just throwing it out there but maybe Mat's cheat for metal will be his medallion. Serve the 'finn right to be burned by their own gift.
Why should he care if I have a dozen musicians in my pocket and a smithy on my back?

I also think Bookworm@119 was onto something. Mat is also referred to as the son of battles. Maybe his giving up half the light of the world is more of him losing a battle to win a war. And maybe the casualties of that battle are very important to him. Like he sacrifices the Band to win the war against the Shadow or something along those lines. meh...
John Massey
149. subwoofer
Oh yeah... the Perrin-Mat-Rand observation was spot on too. Perrin and Mat don't see each other for a very long time so Rand having his fellow ta'veren around him would indicate the series coming to a head.... and yes, I wish fall would come soon! Books coming out... the NFL regular season being stretched... all good things come to those who wait...
LT Tortora
150. Lucubratrix
Siuanfan@125, something clearly happened to the bond when Moiraine "died;" Lan tells Rand, "She is gone. I cannot feel her presence" or something to that effect (I'm working from memory, here). I'm pretty convinced the bond was severed somehow, thus passing Lan automatically to Myrelle, but I wonder what would have done it.
Ofer Nave
151. odigity
Re: Faile's age

She's not jailbait, because Randland doesn't have the ridiculous age of consent laws we do. 15 is an adult. Thomas Jefferson was commanding his first naval vessel at *13*. A lot of our troubles today (including the very existence of teenage depression) is the result of forcing adults to be kids for the first six years of their adulthood.
152. Dr. Morganstien
@150 Lucubratrix
Siuanfan@125, something clearly happened to the bond when Moiraine "died;" Lan tells Rand, "She is gone. I cannot feel her presence" or something to that effect (I'm working from memory, here). I'm pretty convinced the bond was severed somehow, thus passing Lan automatically to Myrelle, but I wonder what would have done it.

I think that is because there is no open link to the world of the 'Finn that she went to, as I forget which world and which door she melted. Once the rescue party opens the door, the bond may revert, unlikely, but possible. The reason the bond doesn't break when she is in the door in Tear is that the link to Randland is still intact, so the Power is still getting to her in some way.

Thanks to whoever brought out the specific ages, it definitely helps put bad decision making in perspective, I wouldn't have been half as brave at 20, never mind 15.

Happy birthday DutchBoy, enjoy your day.
153. toddywatts
In medieval times women married much younger. Richard the Lionheart's brother John married an 11-year-old. There was some consternation, but no real outcry -- of course, that might jsut have been because he was the king.

Still, Perrin, handle your woman!

Someone earlier brought up the fact that Berelain was always trying to protect Mayene. How does she do that, again, while galivanting around the Two Rivers?

Are we sure it was a man in white that Berelain falls for? I'd like to see her with Lanfear.

I'm not sure I like this commentary any more. It's shot down every theory I had -- Olver as Guidal, Mat dying by hanging, and now Galad and Berelain. I was sure Galad would be unattached and dead at the end of the last battle (and I would be happy).

Speaking of Mat's death being the balefire incident, that is sooo lame. I much prefer the hanging incident. Do you know the odds of reviving someone with CPR without magical interference? Well, neither do I -- but they ain't good!

Leigh, love the new pacing and the extended commentary. To be perfectly honest, I don't care what you do as long as you don't stop, but this feels more like a casual walk through Randland, versus the earlier run, run, run, KEEP RUNNING pace. Thanks!
154. Wetlander
Re: marriagable age

"Old enough to marry" and "old enough to marry without her parents permission" are often two different things. RJ doesn't really specify, but I'd guess that in most of Randland, the first would generally be 15 or 16 (though it would depend more on the girl's maturity than an age specified by law). The second would probably be considered somewhere between 20 and 25, or possibly never as long as her parents were living.

IIRC, somewhere it mentions (or at least implies) that in the Two Rivers, the Women's Circle determined on an individual basis when a girl was old enough (read mature enough) to braid her hair, which in turn implied that she was old enough to marry and set up housekeeping.
155. Dsai
147. Lannis


Is the foxhead medallion considered iron? IIRC, it's properties are a mystery, aside from it being some kind of terangreal...

Well, the fact that it is a ter'angreal is not what troubles me. I find that Mat's blind trust in the amulet makes it alot more sinister. There is also the notion that it was created in another dimension/alternate universe by beings with their own agenda (whatever that may ultimately be).

I tend to look at Robert Jordan's many verses, such as Tel'aran'rhiod (T'A'R), as alternate planes. In the instance of T'A'R, I think of it as the Astral Plane (which many who have played role-playing games are familiar with). Especially considering that the Astral Plane is supposed to have access points to all the other planes (i.e. The Abyss, Elemental Planes of Fire/Earth/Air/Water, Elysium, Limbo, etc).

Now in this concept, Randland would be considered the Prime Material Plane (or the one that is the focal point of all other planes). Anything brought in to the Prime Material Plane from an outter plane should be treated with suspicion at best and with utter care at worst.

Mat's blind acceptance of the medallion (and his justified belief that he paid for it at Rhuidean) is what really scares me. Red herring, perhaps, but I've heard of to many idioms (Anything to good to be true....) to trust in the medallion's benevolence.

Not sure if I expounded on every point you made Lannis, but in regards to the medallion being iron, I don't see the Aelfinn and Eelfinn crafting something out a substance they themselves could be adversely affected by. Still to be proven, however, that they actually crafted the medallion in the first place.
156. Steven Cooper
Chapter 15 contains one of my very favourite WOT quotes, which appears (appropriately) at the top of the FAQ at my suggestion:
"Surprising what you can dig out of books
if you read long enough, isn't it?"

I vaguely remember a theory, years ago, that there might be some connection between Min's viewings and those of the Aelfinn, based on the way the snakes are described as examining the space above Mat's head. Min's viewings are also generally described as appearing around the head of the person viewed.

As for the news about AMoL, I think it's great. After I read Knife of Dreams, I couldn't see any way the story could be finished off in just one more book -- there were just too many plot threads, and they were being closed off too slowly. A length equivalent to the first three books feels about right to me, and if the three parts are released at yearly intervals (instead of the increasingly long gaps we've been having since Lord of Chaos), even better.
Leigh if you are matching the amount of hours per chapter that it takes katenepveu to do one LoTR post a week then my hat is most certainly of to you. Well it was already of but you get what I mean. Enjoying the LoTR read as well by the way.

Happy Birthday Dutchboy

When Mat finally enters the tower to rescue Moraine it will be interesting to see how much he has learnt about running his tongue and whether he will remember to set terms for any bargain.

He could run in flapping his gums about wanting the Finns to stop looking through his eyes and wanting Moraine back. The Finns say done and then poof Mat is sans one eye and they have exchanged Moraine for Noal who is going to make one Finn a very nice dinner jacket.

And then they have to make their escape by using iron, music and fire. And to add to their woes Moraine is stilled.

Or of course Mat could bargain shrewdly stroll in and out of the tower without any dramas at all.
Sharyn Blum
158. rynners
First, Happy Birthday, DutchBoy! Hope it's a magical one!

Second, I just had a minor thought. There's been a lot of good discussion happening on the upcoming 'Finnland adventure, among other things, so I don't have much to add at this late stage. However, it did dawn on me just this evening that Slayer does appear to be spending some time in the ToG, per Perrin's POV, and we know that he's a big fan of death-by-stabby-means. So, Mat's not the only character to have popped into 'Finnland armed with blades. Granted, we don't for certain know that Slayer's blades are crafted of steel. Still, it is worth noting the possibility, as potential circumstantial confirmation that only pure iron counts as a prohibited material due to its danger to the 'Finns.
159. elvyelvy
alreadymad@70 - oooops, as early as Cairhien? blimey, I'm like Mat, full of holes in my brain. Not nice idea (I won't turn awesome, I guess, not in this age - sniff)

rebecca@82 Tunnel du Frejus? so long you start to think you won't ever see the opening on the other end? that it is. Yet, have you ever been inside a cave, I mean deep down inside the bowels of the Earth, on all fours in a narrow tunnels with just enough space to squirm on? then and there you really think "gosh, just a bit tighter and I'm minced meat" and you start "let me get out, I want air fresh air please please. PLEASE".

cobblestone@108 hahahahaha!
awesome description of 'council of Elrond' in Randland style.
The heads in a sack are awesome pure (and so in character with Eg, she's not a soft babe).
"Rand:...If only I could gain the trust of someone high up among the Seanchan.
Mat: You know my wife is the empress. "

I can imagine the general reaction as
Egwene: Your...WHAT?
Rand: you are married? you?
Nynaeve: You shouldn't be off your mother's apron strings. Men think with the hairs on their chests."
and so on, with a huge lot of sniffing and fists on hips.

As to the ravens and foxes, Musenge replies to Mat that "when she married you, you became Prince of the Ravens".(KoD, ch. 37- almost end of chapter) Poor Mat, so much for not being noble. The fox became the raven.

fiddler@129 that would be the lost song of the Tinkers I assume. but who will find it again?

Boys, I'm getting annoyed with my brain!!! I had never realized -at least until now- that you need a full database AND a lot of time to keep track of all the subtle loose connections, hints and tips scattered across 11 books and some 7,500 pages. How RJ managed it?
160. birgit
Lanfear gave Rand a suggestion on how to learn to control saidin, but Lanfear, to put this delicately, is not a trustworthy source, and Rand seemed particularly averse to the idea of taking a Forsaken as a teacher. My thought is that he would need someone else to tell him that it was the only way before he would accept it.

He doesn't want to do it the way Lanfear wants, but her suggestion gives him the idea how to interpret the Prophecy and use Asmodean his own way. He thinks that Lanfear gave him a missing piece of his plans, and this must be what he meant.
John Massey
161. subwoofer
Yeah sure, Faile's not young. Her emotional maturity proves that (um... that was heavy sarcasm in case anyone missed it).
"That is done with," Loial told her in a displeased rumble. "We are out of the Ways, and I have kept my oath. It is finished." Faile put on one of her stubborn expressions, with chin up and fist on hips.

Real mature. Maybe Perrin marries young and wants to watch her develop. Ewww. She should be watching the Randland version of the Jonas Brothers or something. Happy Birthday DutchBoy!
Also, not sure I would trust Lanfear- one of the O.G. Forsaken- with a ten foot pole and a bucket of Lysol. Back to ewwwwwwwwww.
John Massey
162. subwoofer
And Perrin just wants to be King of Saldea. Nothing but love Leigh!
163. Randalator
@159 elvyelvy

Boys, I'm getting annoyed with my brain!!! I had never realized -at least until now- that you need a full database AND a lot of time to keep track of all the subtle loose connections, hints and tips scattered across 11 books and some 7,500 pages. How RJ managed it?

Well basically he kept huge databases on characters, events, history, timing and continuity AND invested a lot of time to keep track of all the subtle loose connections, hints and tips scattered across 11 books and some 7,500 pages...
Richard Fife
164. R.Fife
Randalator: didn't he also have extra brains (assistants)?
165. alreadymandwhensaidinwascleansed
elvyelvy @159
Not in Cairhien Cairhien. Mat met Olver in one of the cities in Cairhien. Close to the river that serves as a boundary between Cairhien and Andor.
166. hoping to be of the blood

re: The broken connection with the finn world after the door was destroyed

For the same reason Lan lost his sense of Mo I think that Finns have lost their sense of Mat and can no longer look thru his eyes.

We don't know enough of the physics of the connection to know if some other 'door' is opened again to the finns then all prior connections would automatically start up again.

Anyway, I don't think the bond between Lan and Mo will revert if the connection is remade in the ToG. Mo probably already anticipated this problem and did something to transfer the bond to Myrelle since she knew what her fate was. Can you imagine having two AS in your head? yuck
167. elvyelvy
Happy happy birthday Dutchboy

Of course he had to, but it must have been terribly time-consuming. Not to mention that it is not just for the sake of being coherent as a writer, but because what is written shows to be significant three books later (even more in Mat's case). This re-read only points out how big was the planning ahead of the events. Awesome RJ once more.

A whole number of assistants, I think. I couldn't manage alone that amount of info, but I do not count, as I have a Mat-like brain. Hei, does that mean I have been developing an affinity with my favourite fantasy series without realizing it? gosh
168. elvyelvy
thanks for pointing out, I couldn't remember Mat and Olver in Cairhien city, and I could remember only vaguely when and where Olver appeared in the plotline - the holes, ah!

That'w why this group re-read is awesome
Blake Engholm
169. UncrownedKing
@151 Odigity

Ammen!! ammen ammen! As a current under age citizen (5 months left ....argh *headdesk* 20 sucks now adays) I agree that a few immature people ruin the whole thing for the rest of us adults but not adults who can do everything like fight in a war and vote but arnt trusted to drink or rent a car. All of that is understandable and I get why it is the way it is, and honestly some of my friends I would trust with a box of matches let alone a rented car, but thats neither here nor there.

Things are not the same today as they were back in the middle/dark ages. In the fuedal (sp? wow) system days, as soon as a girl reached that point where she got her monthly visits from Aunt Flow, she was of age to marry, and have CHILDEREN! Way creepy now. and I do not condone it at all. But back then the life expectency of the avg. Joe was way shorter than today. People were lucky to see 50-60 in those days (all of this is knowledge that I ve picked up and may not be 100% accurate. Correct me if you know more).

So its understandable that RJ put these young-girls in positions of power at a young age, or in marriages/relationships at this young an age.

But seriously, Faile is 15!! wow
Lannis .
170. Lannis
toddywatts @ 153:

I'm not sure I like this commentary any more. It's shot down every theory I had...

Don't take it the wrong way--we're all just bouncing around ideas here... trust me, not many of mine have stuck, either. But then, that's part of the fun. :)

Dsai @ 155:

in regards to the medallion being iron, I don't see the Aelfinn and Eelfinn crafting something out a substance they themselves could be adversely affected by. Still to be proven, however, that they actually crafted the medallion in the first place.

Hmm... good point (about the *Finn having an aversion to using iron)... but in regards to the thought that they may not have crafted the medallion, what if the medallion is a terangreal of Randland that some past Aes Sedai (think AoL) handed over as part of an earlier bargain struck--maybe something foretold as necessary (like the creating of the Eye of the World)?

gagecreed @ 157:
The Finns say done and then poof Mat is sans one eye and they have exchanged Moraine for Noal who is going to make one Finn a very nice dinner jacket.

Yeah, I kind of get the idea that Noal (though we've known him through the entire series from his book as Jain Farstrider) is kind of a throwaway character... (won't bother repeating what I said @ 101).

Or of course Mat could bargain shrewdly stroll in and out of the tower without any dramas at all.

BAHAHAhahaha... yeah, no.

elvyelvy @ 159: re: getting annoyed with your brain... yeah, me too... hence some of my crackpot (immediately blown out of the water) theories... the noodle's not working so good sometimes...
Richard Fife
171. R.Fife
on the *finn rescue:
Hmm, I almost want something all horror movie style, like they tell Thom "You can have her back, but you need to bring us Mat's eye." O_X

If we were to stick to Odin-styling, though, Mat's own cleverness will get Moiraine free, but he will sac his eye in another deal for yet even more wisdom/knowledge of some sort. The actual Odin myth was that he popped his own eye out and gave it to Mimer for a draught from a well of knowledge, and Mimer tossed the eye into the well.
172. Cobblestones
I got a new(?) idea about Mat's 'half of the world's light'. Now I admit that losing an eye and the whole Odin connection is pretty plausible. So, just to throw something else out there:

What if Mat manages to somehow 'close' the saidar part of the true source, i.e. making it inaccessible for female channelers. Maybe 'half the light' means 'half of the true source', or 'light' = 'flame of Tar Valon'. It could be that it's done with his foxhead medallion (say, there's some kind of saidar pool somewhere in Finn-land or where ever and throwing in the foxhead just 'closes' it. It would solve a few problems (the 'save the world' part):

1) There's still a lot of female forsaken out there. ' Closing' saidar makes them irrelevant.

2) At the end of KoD, Mat and Perrin both have made peace with the Seanchan, however, what is still unacceptable for mostly everybody is the idea of damane. 'Closing' saidar removes this obstacle for peace between the Seanchan and the Westlands.

3) It could wrap up the White Tower split pretty quickly.

4) We know, the cyclical nature of Randland means there has to come an age where the true source is closed. Mat closing the saidar part would do half of the work, someone else must then close saidin as well (which could happen during TG or possibly at some later age).

Another Mat theory:

It is widely assumed that the Seanchan will raid the White Tower. I speculate that they might carry off the Horn of Valere to Tuon in the process. Some Seanchan (maybe Tuon) will try to sound it but nothing happens.
Enter Mat: Swell, you found my horn, Precious.
Tuon: ...
Michael Ikeda
173. mikeda
It occurs to me that the one problem with Leigh continuing with her usual review schedule is that people might mistake today's review for another April Fool's post...

Lannis .
174. Lannis
mikeda @ 173: Yeah, they keep throwing them out there, don't they? But I don't think Leigh's post will be part of that (unless, you know, she writes it all in the Old Tongue, or states that she quits, despite the slow-down, on doctor's orders..).

Besides, as Rikka said above (@ 39) we're all a bunch of vultures waiting to jump on the posts as they arrive--I don't think we'll be disappointed. :)

But, I think we *might* be waiting until after noon to get our installment... traditionally April Fool's jokes are over by then. I guess we'll just have to RAFO... (sorry, even I'm groaning inwardly at that one...)

175. Lsana
Thinking of Faile as a teenager doesn't actually make me think any better of her. Before, I was thinking of her as a whiny brat who needed to act her age. Now that I realize that she is acting her age, I think her father needs to drag her back to her room and ground her until she's 30. I also think a little better of Perrin for trying to dump her for her own good; she may think she wants to stay with him despite the danger, but she's too young and stupid to be making those kind of decisions.

As I see it, the rights and responsibilities kind of go together. Either Faile is old enough to act like a rational human being, or she is too young to have the right to make any significant decisions about her life. Either way, she fails.

@159 elvyelvy,

I like it! Except I would add a bit where Mat's bodyguards go after Nynaeve. How dare this ignorant marath'damane insult the Prince of the Ravens! Mat will tell them to let her go, of course. Eventually.
176. Githraine
Dont forget the comments Rand/Fel made about Clearing away before you can rebuild, and all the talk about figuring out Rand's theory...
I always believed that had to do with either cleansing the source or sealing the bore....
But where did the original idea come from?
Chris Maurer
177. grayfox
In case anyone is interested, Brandon Sanderson finished volume 1 of Book 12 (er...something like that) yesterday.

his blog
178. Randalator
@172 Cobblestones

If Mat shut down Saidar and any female channeler learned about it, he would lose more than just an eye. A lot more...
179. bookworm
@176 Githraine.

Sealing the bore again, I imagine. All the Seals need to be broken before saidar -and- saidin are used to seal the Bore once more?
Lannis .
180. Lannis
Cobblestones @ 172 & Randalator @ 178: For sure he'd lose a lot more (and not just the way Randalator's implying). Tuon mentions that she trains damane as a hobby... so that means she can learn to channel... so if Mat ships off all the female channelers (assuming it's EVERYONE, including those who can learn and haven't yet--I'm sure the *Finn would have some sneaky way to tell and get it done), Mat'd be shipping off his new little wifey, too...
Sydo Zandstra
181. Fiddler

that would be the lost song of the Tinkers I assume. but who will find it again?

If it will ever be found (and used), my first guess would be one of the Aiel clan Chiefs will be involved, since they've been to Rhuidean as well.
182. Cobblestones
Nonono, I didn't say he would ship off all female channelers.

The idea was that he might block saidar itself. Make it disappear somehow.
183. elvyelvy
oh yes, the Mat-prince-of-ravens would eventualy let her go, but a very long eventually after, I think. Mat is still Mat, in spite of his being prince consort or whatever.

As to the development of the plot in the AMoL books, I think we are going to get quite a few surprises, and I'm counting the days.

fiddler@181 a clan chief? hmmm, good point. I still can't figure out where it will be needed: the tower of Ghenjei (and that part promises to be a huge moment in WoT development) or sometime around TG.
Any ideas?
Sydo Zandstra
184. Fiddler

This will probably be one of the plotlines that will stay unsolved. RJ said some of them would stay open.

The only possibility where I can see the need for this particular Song is Rand turning crazy somewhere close to (or during) the last Battle.

I know, Saidin is cleansed now. That still leaves enough options for Rand going over the edge though...
185. hummingbird
“You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones. Remember this, on this journey you insist on making. If you die, I will not survive you long.”

*le sigh.
186. FullNelson
Man, I always check this $%&@$#% post after everyone's done commenting! Then I have to read a million words of reviews before I can post or I'll end up wasting space with drivel that someone else already said better than I could. Nevertheless, I'm going to town, and starting with... Theory Time!

In KOD Mat takes Tuon to a "hell" and afterwards they are accosted by many baddies. At the end of the fight, Thom somewhat cryptically says "I'm an old man, and old men often forget what they see," prompting Selucia to ask what he may have forgotten. Thom replies "I can't recall."

Hypothesis: Thom saw Tuon channel.

Now Tuon is the Empress, and more, is "married" (God save me from a match like that!) to a man who has the memories of the best generals of the last two thousand years and has told her to her face that he will oppose her empire. I assume that Tuon is aware that the only two things about her empire that really piss off the locals are slavery and damane. I base this assumption from her off-camera "talks" with Setelle Anan she reflects about at some point or other. As Empress she can do whatever she damn well pleases, so if she does abolish slavery in all forms it is reasonable to expect a cessation of hostilities - after all, the Seanchean are better administrators and rulers than most of the locals. Plus, now that she has (hypothetically) started channeling, she can't stop. So she gets to either abolishe damane or becomes one.

Now that I think of it, this theory makes so much sense when I think about it that someone else has probably already thought of it and discussed it ad nauseum. Oh well. Theory time is over, now I'll spew out my thoughts on many somewhat-related topics discussed earlier.

RE:Faile's age
I didn't know how young Faile was either, but I don't judge Perrin for it. Romeo was in his mid-20s and Juliet was 13, if I remember what the State worked so hard to force-feed me correctly. The "Newfie Rule" (Your age/2+7=kosher) is fairly recent, as is the idea behind it (as are Newfies, for that matter). The term "Statutory rape" would have had no meaning 100 years ago. I have met 15 year old girls who do NOT in any way, shape or form resemble 15 year old girls *at all*! Perrin is not a sicko with a lolita complex, he is with a girl who looks his own age (read:Tig Old Bitties, a serious cast to her face, and having been raised in a position of limited command/authority) or near enough to suffice and who has never told him her age.
When 1 in 5 childbirths are fatal you're going to have more... whatever word they use for widowed men... than widows, thus there will be a group of unattached men old enough to have already lost a wife due to childbirth and lucky enough not to have died themselves of disease or war. These men had already proven themselves capable of financially providing for and physically protecting one family (except the unfortunate childbearer who died because Europeans didn't believe in soap and water) and thus would have been more desirable mates for young girls wanting to be protected than an equally young boy with no experience and less resources.
Anyway, I digress. My point is, the world works differently now. Forcing our incredibly shallow, hypocritical, half-baked ideas about morality on people who live in worlds that work differently strikes me as foolish and overly self-righteous. This is, after all, the society that gave birth to Viagra and looks at Hugh Hefner as a male role model. Maybe we shouldn't be on our High Horse...
And, for some obscure reason, I feel obligated to defend Perrin/Faile/Berelain (although I often find them and what they do to be annoying wastes of pages that could have been devoted to Mat). Ah, screw it - talk about your thankless jobs. These are individuals who could have highly benefitted from judiciously-timed doses of recreational drugs. "Wait a sec Faile - before you get all Faile-ish all over everyone.... take a hit of this. Now, don't you feel better? I know everyone else does!"

RE:The Tinkers' Song
This was "resolved" in Rhuidean - the Ogier started singing, then the Aiel joined in, then the Nym did his funky-time hippyesque superplant bustamove dance, which caused the plants to grow stronger, taller, and be free of disease and vermin. The Nym are extinct. Even if the Tinkers find their Song, they still need the Ogier section, and even that will be useless to them without Nym to get all groovy-down with it, thus this plotline cannot progress further. It's just a little story about a group of people who forsook a serious oath to go chase a legendary half-remembered song. Well, whatever gets them out of bed in the morning, I guess... boy, do I think the Tinkers are irresponsible...

We don't actually KNOW that Slayer entered the Tower of Genjhi; all we know is that his trail led there and ended. Slayer can step freely between TAR and Randland. What better trap to lay for your enemy than to APPEAR to enter a place so dangerous it would kill or imprison even you, while ACTUALLY stepping out of the dream?

RE:When did Mat die?
Ultimately, who cares? The important thing, story-line-wise, is that he has. The exact phrasing "To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was" strongly implies to me that these are events that happen in sequential order - ie: first you die, then you live once more a part of what was. For this reason and many others like it, I prefer to pretend that RJ never gave interviews - ultimately, my subjective experience of reading the story matters much more to me than whatever story HE figured he was telling.

RE:WOTians don't talk to one another!
Neither do real-world people - that's why we spend so much of our time and energy hurting one another.

RE: Mat losing an eye.
The two most likely realizations of this prophecy I can figure both involve his upcoming rescue of MO, the fact that everything will clearly go right to hell (they are in Mat's head, thus already know he is coming, after all. Any "holdout" the group has must be something Mat doesn't know about, and if Mat isn't making your battle plan you are getting a very inferior finished product). I figure the rescue attempt fails, but Thom or Noal or possibly even Olver has a "holdout" he has kept from Mat (thus also from their enemies) and it at least forces them to the bargaining table, at which point in time Mat somehow gives up "half the light of the world to save the world." As I see it, Mat either...

A)Gives them his eye, or...

B)Somehow gives them humans' ability to access one half of the Source, probably the female half.

Objections to both theories follow...

What possible use would anyone have for Mat's eye? Can you imagine telling your boss that you just traded (assumedly) one of his favourite prisoners for some chump's eyeball? Not a good career move. The prophetic dreams and visions often turn out to mean something besides what you would think they mean. Besides, Mat would be giving up half the light of *his* world, not *the* world, and every vision uses that exact phraseology. Hell, all he's really giving up is depth perception and field of vision. Plus, Mat + eyepatch = PirateMat, and NO world is ready for that, no matter how foxy or snaky. PirateMat would win the Last Battle by himself then go on to star in and somehow rescue a monumentally sub-par series of pirate movies as an encore.
On the other hand, access to the Source is not Mat's to give. I don't understand how one human could be able to do that. Besides, the imagery of Mat with blood flowing from a gaping socket while placing something on a giant scale is used in one dream, and twist that how I will, the fact that he is bleeding strongly implies he has given something *of him* and that the act of doing so has wounded him. Giving away access to Saidar wouldn't wound Mat - he would finally be able to stop worrying about women using the Power on him.

While Nynaeve has her good and bad moments, I think she handles the opposite gender much, much better than all other characters (at least, once she stops thumping them with sticks!) From roping in Domon in TGH to her usually-masterful handling of Lan (talk about a man who would go *BOOM* if mishandled!) she generally shows a keen eye for practical politics and for WOTian gender politics in particular. And while these gender struggles can be.... over the top... at times, look at the strife that Western cultures have and still are passing through while trying to come up with some workable notion of "equality". Now imagine if there was a super magic awesome power out there, and only one gender could use it. Don't matter which gender, it's really going to slant the playing field in their direction, no? I look at the real-world educated, politically-liberated people who have had every chance to know better, and find that their biggest priority is most often advancing their own short-term self-interest. I think that if we had a gender-based Superpower in the real world, the non-powered gender would get to do a lot of whatever they're told to do...

And a final observation - I started reading this series at 8 years old back in '89. The story (pretty pretty please I hope they really mean it this time!) ends in 2011. By that time, I will have spent 74% OF MY ENTIRE LIFE WAITING FOR RJ TO WRITE A BOOK! And if wait I must wait I shall... but please, please, please don't shit the bed on the last novel!
187. FullNelson
sorry about the length
188. gagecreedlives

I dont think it is Tuon channeling. More likely its Selucia being a trained fighter/bodyguard and not just your run of the mill maid.

I also think Mat will lose his eye trying to make a bargain to get the Finns out of his head not so much in getting Moraine back.
189. JamesEdJones
Had to comment on the comments. Lotsa suggestions that Mat will lose his eye dealing with the Finns. Isn't it kind of ballsy for the Snakes to tell Mat that he'll have to "give up half the light of the world to save the world"? If they're gonna go that route, shouldn't it have gone more like, "give up half the light of the world... and a ham sandwich to save the world"?

I'm not suggesting that it won't happen with the Finns. But if that's the case, wouldn't a more realistic prophecy have been, "give up half the light of the world-hey, is that a silk coat?-and a silk coat to save the world"? I'm just sayin'.
Anthony Williams
190. Galagros
Huh, unlike the majority of posters here I don't have any problems with what Elayne does during this stint. My biggest issue here is probably with Perrin. I can see why he would want to ditch Faile, but come on ... you would be blind not to know that what he tries is bound to bring trouble.
191. Felix Velarius Bos
“You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones. Remember this, on this journey you insist on making. If you die, I will not survive you long.” He gave Nynaeve one of his rare smiles. If it did not exactly soften his face, at least it made it less hard."
Just wanted to point out that I'm glad you put that line in there, because it makes my heart melt every time. =)
Sommer Bailey
192. sommer1132
@ 12. mark-p

You said:
obviously the first of Mat's prophesys has been fulfilled but i'm not sure about the second. “To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!” probably by the balefire/forsaken incident. dose that fit with "and live once more a part of what was"?

Think about this, I'm going to break that sentence down a bit:

"To die and live again," The foxes hang Matt from the Tree of Life and when Rand takes him down, he doesn't have a heartbeat. So he has died, and Rand revives him, so he now has lived again.

"and live once more a part of what was!”
This could be a reference to his memory of his past lives or a reference to him being married to The Daughter of the Nine Moons(the Seanchan are part of what was, Aurtr Hawkwings Empire.)

Just a thought.
John Massey
193. subwoofer
hmmmmm, interesting thought... or "a part of what was" may refer to the Finn. We hear that the Finn are not really part of any world and they exist outside of time. The Finn are evil but not connected to the DO and yet they live off people's memories. And they jam Mat's head full of memories from past lives. It could be as simple as that, I dunno. The Seanchan are still around so technically Hawkwing's Empire lives on, hence "the Return". I am going to have to go back and read this again for clarity sake.

Thank you for joining us, and welcome, always good to hear ideas from fresh voices:D

William McDaniel
194. willmcd
In Ch13, when Mat is in the tavern in the Maule, note that when the merchants are talking about the battle against Mazrim Taim, the "Lord of Bashere" is mentioned as leader of the armies. The very attentive reader (certainly not me on my first read) who remembered Faile introducing herself as "Zarine Bashere" way back in TDR might have picked up on this, giving a hint that she was more than just the merchant's daughter she claimed. Just another of the scores of subtle touches that RJ inserted throughout the series.
Clara M
195. ErnestTRocks
Rereading the rearead... Whe the bells began tolling in Mat's POV, did anybody else think of the cloister bell in the TARDIS in Doctor Who? Not that anybody's out there back here now...

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