Apr 24 2009 10:34am

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Shadow Rising, Part 11

Eight hundred, you guys? Really?

You know I love you, and all, and I generally make sure to read all the comments even if I can't always respond to them, but I am so not reading 800+ comments, my dears. I don’t have time to read 800+ comments! What the hell were you doing in there? Ack, no! Don’t tell me; I am suddenly positive I don’t want to know.

Aaah! Shh! No talky! Scared!

(Not really. But my Lord, y’all. Please do not break the pretty, mmkay? It is where I keep my bloggings!)

Um. Oh, hi! This is a Wheel of Time Re-read post! There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Well, actually, they’re all mine, aren’t they? ALL MINE, MWHAHA-*cough* ahem. What was I saying? Oh, yes. This is Part 11 of The Shadow Rising, in which we cover Chapters 32-33. Spoilers as usual for everything, and off we go!

Chapter 32: Questions to be Asked

What Happens
The next morning Verin announces that they will all be heading to Watch Hill, which surprises Tam and Abell, but they do not object; Perrin thinks that she intends to meddle, of course, but that it was better to have her where he could see her. He tells Alanna she is welcome too, but she only gives him a cold stare in reply; Perrin cannot figure her or her sudden mood swings out. Faile preempts any attempt to suggest that she stay behind by announcing that she looks forward to seeing the area, since her father raises sheep. Perrin replies that he thought she said her father is a merchant; Faile flushes and says he does both. Perrin is pretty sure she’s lying, and supposes that perhaps her father is poor, and lets it go. He takes Abell’s advice about picking your battles and gives in with no argument, which startles Faile. Loial is very disappointed to be told he cannot come along, and Perrin pulls him aside and asks him to keep an eye on Alanna, trying to make it appear that they are talking about nothing special; Loial is dubious about the usefulness of this activity, but agrees. As they make ready to leave, Perrin notes that Verin seems intrigued by the hammer lashed to his saddle. The party – Perrin, Faile, Verin, Tomas, Tam, Abell, and the three Aiel – sets out, Perrin reflecting on whether it is worth the risk to tell Verin about the wolves in the hopes that she could help him, and thinking that things would be much simpler without Aes Sedai in general.

At one point Faile glanced back. “She will not harm you,” she said, her soft tone clashing with the fierce light in her dark eyes.

Perrin blinked. She meant to protect him. Against Aes Sedai. He was never going to understand her, or know what to expect next. She was about as confusing as the Aes Sedai sometimes.

He notes the empty farms, and Tam tells him many farms away from the North Road have been abandoned, but they are heading for Jac al’Seen’s place to take a break before heading on to Watch Hill. Perrin also notes, though, that the farms are abandoned but not ransacked, and asks if Trollocs have attacked Emond’s Field itself. Abell says no; the folks there are armed and watchful since Winternight, and the Whitecloaks patrol down every few days. Perrin asks how many Trollocs there are, and Tam thinks it has to be about two hundred or so. Perrin doesn’t understand, then, why they haven’t attacked Emond’s Field; two hundred Trollocs could raze the place and be gone before the Whitecloaks could get there. Abell wants to know what he’s getting at, and Faile answers that she has seen what Trolloc raids do in Saldaea, and that if they haven’t done the same here, there must be a reason for it. Verin chimes in that perhaps it is a lure; news of Trollocs in the Two Rivers will draw eyes, and, eventually, soldiers. Abell is appalled by what she seems to be suggesting, but Tam only grunts, and Perrin remembers that he was supposed to have been in a war somewhere. He also thinks that Verin knows as well as he that if it is a lure, it’s one for Rand, and thinks that if so, they will just have to settle for a blacksmith instead of the Dragon Reborn. They reach Jac’s farm, and Tam calls the Aiel over and suggests that perhaps they should wait away from the farm. The Aiel head off, and the rest of the party arrives at the al’Seen farm, which Perrin sees has far too many people; Tam explains that Jac has taken in his cousin Wit’s people, as well as the Lewins after their farm was attacked. The farmfolk crowd around the visitors, and Perrin is shocked to see one of them is a girl he used to fancy somewhat, now married to a Lewin with a child. Then he notices Faile smiling at Wil al’Seen, who the girls at Emond’s Field always used to sigh over.

Perrin went over and put an arm around her, resting his other hand on his axe. “How are you, Wil?” he asked, smiling for all he was worth. No point in letting Faile think he was jealous. Not that he was.

“Fine, Perrin.” Wil’s eyes slid away from his and bounced off the axe, a sickly expression oozing over his face. “Just fine.” Avoiding looking at Faile again, he hurried off to join the crowd around Verin.

Faile looked up at Perrin, pursing her lips, then took his beard with one hand and gently shook his head. “Perrin, Perrin, Perrin,” she murmured softly.

Perrin notes that everyone starts when they first see his eyes, but no one says anything about it, and they are soon ensconced in the house with tea and everyone crowding around to stare at them. Jac quiets everyone down and greets his guests, addressing Verin as “Mistress Mathwin” and Faile as “Lady Faile”, and advises them that they are welcome, but would do better to stay in one of the villages. In answer, Verin twitters about the interesting stories to be found in the countryside, and Faile thanks him gravely for his consideration; Perrin thinks to himself with amusement that she plays the lady very well, when she isn’t in a temper. Adine Lewin, though, brings up the wild stories she’s heard about Perrin and Mat and Rand, including that they went off with a dozen Aes Sedai and kidnapped “the al’Vere girl” while they were at it; everyone else shuts her up, and Jac tells Perrin that no one believes he is a Darkfriend (Adine clearly doesn’t agree), but he thinks they have a right to know why the Whitecloaks are after him and the other boys. Perrin replies that it doesn’t take much to make Whitecloaks decide you are a Darkfriend, and he doesn’t know why they think it of Rand and Mat, but as for himself, he killed some of them.

For a wonder, the gasps that rounded the room did not make him cringe inside, and neither did the thought of what he had done. “They killed a friend of mine and would have killed me. I didn’t see my way clear to let them. That’s the short of it.”

Despite this, and Adine’s protests aside, everyone else assures Perrin that he has a place to stay with them. Perrin’s throat gets tight, and he thanks them, but says he has things to do elsewhere. The conversation is then interrupted by a boy bursting in to tell everyone that Lord Luc is coming.

It is a measure of how much Perrin and most other people in WOT regard Aes Sedai as, basically, alien beings that he never even considers that Alanna’s moodiness may be a result of the fact that one of her Warders was just murdered. Even without knowing about what all the bond entails, it seems to me that even just losing someone you’ve known and worked with for a good amount of time, possibly decades, should be more than reason enough for some emotional turmoil, but no one seems to make the connection. I guess self-imposed mysteriousness becomes something of a snowball effect after a while.

Verin’s interest in Perrin’s hammer was one of the many things that made us all Very Suspicious of her, since it puts her in rather bad company, as besides Verin the only characters who refer to the axe/hammer choice are Ishamael and Lanfear (though Egwene did Dream about it). But as of KOD, of course, we know exactly why she is interested: she’s read the Prophecies of the Dragon. So, that’s one mystery cleared up, at least.

Perrin ‘n Faile: See, this part of it I can deal with. This is all perfectly normal (well, mostly normal) Uncertainty About the Relationship stuff: why is she smiling at that guy, what does that mean, what is she thinking, blah blah blah. I’m perfectly fine as long as it doesn’t include the S Word. I did get a laugh out of Perrin basically pissing a circle around Faile in front of Wil al’Seen, like, marking your territory much, Mr. Wolf? Heh.

Of course, the reason Perrin’s partially doing better in this bit because he happens to be following Abell’s advice about picking your battles, which is practically unique in the annals of “WOT characters giving advice about male/female relationships”, in that it’s actually a piece of advice I would follow. This is because Jordan rarely if ever plays the, er, device of advice in WOT straight. In other words, 98% of the time, the relationship advice various characters give to each other in the series is not meant to be good advice; rather, it’s used to highlight how little either gender really understands about the other, and how they therefore let their “wisdom” on the subject be informed instead by a generic and wildly unhelpful set of stereotypes and generalizations.

Which never, ever happens in the real world, of course. No siree.

But Abell’s counsel happens to be a rare exception to this rule. I’m not sure if this is by design or not, but you can see the results instantly in this chapter. We should mark it, not for its significance to the story as a whole, but because I think it only happens two or three times total in eleven books, so it deserves all the consideration we can give it, eh?

Chapter 33: A New Weave in the Pattern

What Happens
Luc enters, tall and red-haired and arrogant, and Perrin despises him on sight. The farm people mob him, babbling and bowing and curtseying, and Perrin thinks disgustedly that this is the closest he’s ever seen Two Rivers folk come to fawning over someone. Luc gives a start at Verin’s Ageless face, which clues Perrin in that he knows an Aes Sedai when he sees one, but is surprised that he dismisses Tomas without a second glance even though it had to be obvious that Tomas was a Warder. Luc smiles far too warmly at Faile, and she half-glances at Perrin before blushing and asking Luc breathlessly if he really thinks the Horn is here. Perrin tries to pretend he doesn’t care about this. He is puzzled at Luc’s shocked reaction to seeing him, though.

It was not his yellow eyes that took Luc aback; he was sure of that. More as if the fellow knew him, somehow, and was surprised to see him here, but he had never met this Luc before in his life. More than that, he would have bet that Luc was afraid of him. No sense at all.

Jac tells Perrin proudly that it was Luc who suggested posting boys as lookouts on the rooftops, but Perrin is dryly skeptical of the usefulness of this; Flann Lewin argues that without Luc’s help the day before the Trolloc attack, everyone at his farm would have died, and Perrin counters that he thought Flann said the Whitecloaks rescued them. Luc pounces on this, insinuating that Perrin is a Whitecloak sympathizer, and using the opportunity to do some grandstanding, until Perrin informs him that the Whitecloaks want to hang him, actually. Luc blinks, and asks what Perrin is suggesting, then. Perrin makes a speech, telling the farm folk that as long as they are isolated in little clumps all over the countryside, they are easy pickings for either Trollocs or Whitecloaks; as long as they are at the mercy of one, they are at the mercy of both. He brings up the Cauthons and Luhhans, and asks if they really think the Whitecloaks will stop there. To Perrin’s surprise, instead of getting angry Jac asks what he suggests, then. He tells them to gather up their people and go to Emond’s Field or Watch Hill. If there are hundreds of them together, they can defend themselves without having to kowtow to Whitecloaks to do it. The farm folk begin yelling angrily, asking how they can leave their land and their livestock and etc.

Perrin’s fist smacking the lintel of the fireplace cut them short. “I haven’t seen a field trampled or fired, or a house or barn burned, unless there were people there. It’s people the Trollocs come for. And if they burn it anyway? A new crop can be planted. Stone and mortar and wood can be rebuilt. Can you rebuild that?” He pointed at Laila’s baby, and she clutched the child to her breast, glaring at him as though he had threatened the babe himself. The looks she gave her husband and Flann were frightened, though. An uneasy murmur rose.

As the farm folk discuss it amongst themselves, Luc comments that it is an interesting plan, and takes his leave, seeming upset that no one pays attention to his going. Jac comes over to Perrin and says that he talks sense, but he’s not sure what the Whitecloaks are going to think if he abandons his farm. Perrin answers that it hardly matters what the Whitecloaks think, if a whole village of people band together and tell them to get lost. Jac agrees, and so does everyone else; Jac tells Perrin that the whole group will head down to Emond’s Field tonight. He comments, though, that he worries about the Cauthons and the Luhhans getting the fallout from the move, and Perrin tells him he means to get them out. Jac goes off to pack, and Verin observes it is a very bold plan Perrin has; both she and Faile are studying him like they’ve never seen him before. Perrin mutters that Luc’s plan was clearly ridiculous, and Verin agrees, but adds that she has never seen “it” work before. Perrin doesn’t know what she is talking about.

“Perrin, when we arrived these people were ready to hold on here at all costs. You gave them good sense and strong emotion, but do you think the same from me would have shifted them, or from Tam, or Abell? Of any of us, you should know how stubborn Two Rivers people can be. You have altered the course events would have followed in the Two Rivers without you. With a few words spoken in... irritation? Ta’veren truly do pull other people’s lives into their own pattern. Fascinating. I do hope I have an opportunity to observe Rand again.”

She asks if Rand has the sword, and Perrin says he does. Then in an apparent non sequitur, she tells him to watch himself with Alanna; she says there are many designs in the White Tower, and though not all of them may be nefarious, it’s often difficult to tell until it’s too late. After she leaves, Faile tells Perrin she has been a fool, and confesses that she deliberately flirted a little with Luc because Perrin was so silly about Wil al’Seen. Perrin stumbles through several apparently wrong responses to this.

What did she want him to say? “Will you forgive me? When I was trying to chase you away, I said things I shouldn’t have. Will you forgive me that?”

“You said some things that need forgiving?” she said sweetly, and he knew he was in trouble. “I cannot think what, but I will take it into consideration.”

Perrin is relieved to get going, though Faile keeps trying to stick flowers in his beard, making him very nervous, but he is less thrilled that Wil al’Seen and three other boys (Ban, Tell, and Dannil) insist on coming along. He can’t talk them out of it, though, and they come along, almost getting themselves skewered when the Aiel suddenly rejoin the party a mile or so from Jac’s farm. Once the Aiel understand the situation they think it is hilarious, which unnerves the Two Rivers boys even more, though Wil tries smiling at Bain and Chiad. The two Aiel women nod at each other, and Perrin decides not to interfere unless it looks like Wil might get his throat cut. Perrin intends to head straight for Watch Hill, but sees another occupied farmstead and decides to try telling them the same as he had the al’Seen folk. He doesn’t expect it to work, but even though he doesn’t know the people there (the Torfinns), they listen too, and start packing to leave. Perrin stops at three more farms with similar results, and also each time Wil and the other boys recruit more young men to follow along, until there are thirteen more. They argue and jostle and generally make nuisances of themselves until Perrin finally rounds on them:

“This is not a game, and it isn’t a Bel Tine dance. You do what you’re told, or else go back home. I don’t know what use you are anyway, and I’ve no intention of getting killed because you think you know what you are doing. Now line up and shut up. You sound like the Women’s Circle meeting in a wardrobe.”

The boys obey, and both Faile and Tomas give Perrin approving nods; he doesn’t tell them or Verin that he just tried to think of what Uno would have said with the profanity edited out. They reach the Whitecloak camp without further incident, and Perrin tells the boys to stay quiet and still until he tells them otherwise, or else he’ll “pound [their] head like an anvil”. Faile, puzzled, asks him if he was ever a soldier, and Perrin laughs that he is just a blacksmith. He and Faile join Tam, Abell, the Aiel, Verin and Tomas in a thicket overlooking the camp. Perrin sees that most of it is shipshape, except for one section off to the side where badly pitched tents are placed erratically. Abell points out to Perrin where the Cauthons and Luhhans are being held; Perrin says he wants to think about this for a bit, and asks Tam to settle down Wil and the rest of the boys. Suddenly he realizes he is giving the older men orders, and tries to apologize, but Tam grins and tells him he took charge back at the al’Seen farm, and this isn’t the first time he’s followed a younger man who sees what’s to be done. He and Abell leave, and Verin comments that she is certainly interested to see what he will do next; he may not be shaking the world like Rand al’Thor, but the Two Rivers is definitely on the move. Perrin tells her irritably that he means to free the Cauthons and Luhhans, and that’s all. She agrees affably and moves off; Faile glares after her, and then asks Perrin challengingly if he means to do this tonight. Perrin looks at Gaul, who nods and comments he doesn’t think much of the Whitecloaks’ ability to detect them; Chiad starts making fun of him, until Bain stops her with a hand on her arm. Perrin knows that their committal to the foray is dependent on Faile, and thinks he likely couldn’t stop Faile from following on her own anyway, and tells her she will stay close to him; she giggles that that sounds like a fine idea, and flips a plaited chain of flowers onto his head. They eat and wait until dark, and Perrin instructs the Aiel to try not to kill anyone if they can help it.

“Have a care,” Verin told him softly as he slung his bow across his back. “Ta’veren does not mean immortal.”

The Aiel head off, and Perrin and Faile sneak on their own trajectory to the camp. They slip past the sentries and are almost to the prison tent when he hears a grunt from Faile, and turns to be knocked down by a giant Whitecloak, who then begins strangling him. Perrin tries to fight him, but is losing consciousness when Faile clubs the Whitecloak with a chunk of firewood and knocks him out.

“He did not think I was worth worrying about, beyond knocking down,” she whispered.

“A fool,” Perrin whispered back. “But a strong one.” He was going to have the feel of those fingers at his neck for days. “Are you all right?”

“Of course. I am not a porcelain figurine.”

He supposed she was not, at that.

They bind the man and steal his cloak, and reach the prison tent in time to see Gaul take out the far guard, and Bain and Chiad kick the near one unconscious without a sound. They almost go for Perrin, in the stolen cloak, until they see Faile; Perrin tries not to feel disgruntled that she had essentially just saved him a second time. Perrin enters the tent, wakes Haral and tells him quietly to get the women up and out. They come out, and Perrin drapes Haral and Alsbet in more stolen cloaks, and then they all head casually for the horse picket lines. They just manage to get everyone except the Aiel mounted when the alarm goes up, and Perrin shouts for everyone to ride. They thunder off crazily, but manage to keep together and meet up with the rest of the party in the woods. Alsbet recognizes Perrin at this point and starts criticizing his beard, and looks shocked when he cuts her off:

“Tam, Abell, take Master Luhhan and the women to that hiding place you know. Gaul, you go with them. And Faile.” That would add Bain and Chiad. “And Hu and Haim.” That should be enough to be safe. “Move quietly. Quiet is better than speed, for a little while anyway. But go now.”

No one argues, not even Faile, and Perrin belatedly realizes he just called Tam and Abell by their first names. Tam and the rest he named leave, and Perrin asks Verin if there’s any chance of help from her.

“Not the way you mean, perhaps,” she replied calmly, as though the Whitecloak camp were not in turmoil just a mile off. “My reasons are no different today than yesterday. But I think it might rain in... oh... half an hour. Maybe less. Quite a downpour, I expect.”

Perrin tells the rest of the boys that they are going to be a diversion to draw the Whitecloaks off so Tam and the rest can get away. He leads them off, all bellowing at the top of their lungs, until they are far from the camp. Wil asks Perrin what they’re going to do now. Perrin shouts back that they hunt Trollocs.

Damn, this was a long chapter. But a thoroughly awesome one, for many reasons. Here we finally get to see Perrin’s ta’veren-ness go full bore, which reads like a wish-fulfillment fantasy for anyone who’s ever been in charge of trying to make a bunch of non-contractually-obligated people all move in the same direction at the same time. I would have killed for some of that mojo back in my film school days, I can tell you.


Also, of course, this sequence represents one of the classic fantasy tropes, of the young green farmboy discovering himself as a Leader of Men. Done to death? Yeah, but sometimes I say you can’t have too much of a good thing. This is one of my favorites, personally. Even though I love the irony of it, because letting an eighteen-year-old hotshot take the wheel is generally a very bad idea in the real world, but you know within the genre it is invariably the only correct procedure to follow.

The other reason this chapter rocks my socks is because the women kick so much ass in it. Literally. As you may have noticed, I have issues with the Perrin/Faile Thing, but I do like that Faile is actually really not a porcelain figurine, and manages to pull her weight in the Badass department while being one of the few mundanes in the main cast. (At least until it all goes to crap in Ghealdan, but we’re not there yet! Live in the moment!)

Although I am compelled to ask: are they equals, truly, though, as the rescue mission in this chapter is clearly intended to show?

Well, no. Faile is very competent and skilled and etc., but she is still ultimately an adjunct to Perrin, both as a character and literally within the story.

This is one of those things that people are going to accuse me of sour grapes for pointing out, because duh, Perrin is the main(er) character, not Faile; of course she is less central than he is. To which I say: exactly.

Relax, I do not propose to throw the baby out with the bathwater here, and you know I love our Hero Trio, but for all the cool progressive gender stuff that WOT does, it is still important to note that at the end of the day, for all the strong female roles in the cast, the apex of the Character Pyramid is still three boys. It’s not a bad thing, necessarily, but it is a Thing, and I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge it.

But at least Bain and Chiad got to kick a Whitecloak in the face. Whoo!

Verin: sneakiness quotient still high. In the real world she would totally be that cool and yet slightly unnerving high school biology teacher who knows everything and seems very scattered and harmless, except for that nagging feeling you have that if a student keeled over dead in the classroom her first reaction would be to bust out the scalpel and microscope and make a lesson out of it.

Also, her little “oh, it might rain” line makes me laugh every time. So, so sneaky.

Luc: I remember being so confused about what the hell was going on with the whole Slayer thing initially. In fact I never figured it out on my own; it wasn’t until I first read the WOTFAQ that I was like “Ohhhh”. It’s a great example of subtlety with mystery-building, because the clues necessary to put the thing together are scattered everywhere in the text thus far, in situations that seem on first reading to have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Very nicely done, I must say.

Although even now I still don’t really understand why Luc is evil. No one else seems to, either; up until Winter’s Heart, in fact, pretty much everyone believed that Luc as a person was not even there. The prevailing theory, as I recall, was that Luc and Isam met up in the Blight or whatever, Isam somehow killed Luc’s soul or personality or something, and was now walking around wearing his body. So it was assumed he looked like Luc in the real world and Isam in the Dreamworld, but Isam was the same personality in both bodies.

However, WH and KOD show this is totally not the case, so now I’m just kind of scratching my head about it. Isam being a Darkfriend I can understand, given his family history, but what the hell is Luc’s problem? Was he just so pissed at Gitara sending him off into the wild blue yonder that he was like Screw you guys, I’m taking my toys and going to the Dark Side, nyah! I dun geddit.

All righty then, that’ll do me. We’re back to Rand-and-Aiel-tasticness next week. I hope you have a pleasant and sunshiny weekend, chirren. See you Monday!

Blake Engholm
2. UncrownedKing
Leigh I have no idea who took it to 800. Who ever had the 800 post must want to bring down the whole site. He's probably a real @$$hole..... Wait a sec... X)

Welcome back, you probably want to consider never leaving again.
Galen Brinn
3. GatheringStorm
Well, we HAD to do something while you were gone. When the parents leave the kids on their own..."mice will play" and all that.
John Massey
4. subwoofer
Leigh!!!!! Welcome back- missed you much- hard liquor is not a good substitute for your posts.... well, it's good, just not the hangover the next day. Never leave us again... much enjoyed the Jordancon post too... and you survived the yellow shawl wearing R. Fifester... good times!
Abdel Masdoua
5. TheDarkOne

No need to assign blame, it was all a team effort.

*staring, glaring, sniffing, snorting, braid-tugging*


I mean, uuuh, I saw him, it was him!
Get him! Get him!
Richard Fife
6. R.Fife
Of actual pertinence to the reread:

Luc has always bugged me, but not because he of the whole "is he luc, is he isam, is dreadlord, etc" stuff. I am more wondering of his point in the story. Sometimes it feels like he was tossed in as an unneccessary complication, even with the whole foreshadowing of him in Book 2. I am sure there is some shanawesome tie up for him somewhere in the 6 climaxes in Memory of Light, but, well, he just feels convoluted.

And Leigh, while I didn't have to cheat and go look at a FAQ (rasberry!) it did take me a fair amount of discussion with other WoTheads and a few re-reads to realize what exactly was going on there. So, don't feel ashamed on that count.

To the trope of Farmboy Leader, what can I say, people love the Carpenter Kings, the natural born leaders, the King Arthurs, etc. So yeah, hard to have too much of a good thing long as there is that fresh pull. Heck, in all truth, WoT does it three times over with each main char.

Oh, and the main-char pyramid, I'd kinda disagree. Yes we started with our focus on the boys, but I'd say RJ gave us 6 main chars, even if we look for the main char by training. Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne all are in book 1 and given some strong foreshadowing, and there have been entire plot arcs dedicated to them as major as any of the boys. Perhaps it is just the lens of our own society that makes us focus on the "big 3" instead of the "big 6".
F Shelley
7. FSS
So now we'll have 100+ post thanking Leigh for coming back and posting a new entry, won't we?

Well, Thanks Posts++!
John Massey
8. subwoofer
Um... back to the WOT world.... See... even Leigh scratches her head at Luc... At the end of a certain book- gasp he's going ahead at the 5th post Lan is the man with the ring everyone is dancing about starting a war and reuniting a dead country with everyone wearing a hippy headband. What is Luc's deal. Wasn't it his parents that brought the downfall of the Mal... thingy? Then logically, wouldn't he be also trying to get it going again... unless he gave himself to the DO and made a deal that if he helps topple Rand and LTT he would get his kingdom back... or something... it's a theory... just trying to figure out why these peripheral characters like Luc and Fain are such hot stuff and what is their purpose in the end and why are they still alive when Forsaken are dropping like flies?
9. JamesEdJones
Welcome back, Leigh!

Subwofer, hard liquor is not inferior, it's just a lot more expensive.

As far as Luc goes, you could have a whole bunch of reasons for his Fall (lol). Since it's Jordan, we must probably assume that it falls under a sweeping generalization of character type. He's a nobel, and Jordan's nobels are either corrupt bastards (Colavere, Torean, Arymilla, etc) or kick ass awesomeness (Lan, Moiraine, Logain, etc). With a few corrupt bastards that become kick ass awesome later (Mat's band).

Who knows?
10. bookworm
That you aren't going to review any of the #10 thread's 800 posts, I'm thinking several posters are heaving a LARGE collective sigh as they read your comments. lol

Perrian and Alanna. It could also be that Perrin lacks experience with adult women, and so cannot recognize her emotional turmoil. Plus, that sour look she gave him is more likely due to Faile "having a chat" with her about NOT bonding Perrin.

Good catch about Abell. I don't think I really thought about that enough.

Verin Mathwin. She is just one of the most interesting secondary characters (for me) because I still don't quite know what the heck her game is here (through KoD).

Regarding the second chapter, I still would like to think that Egwene is part of the central Hero complex (the Fab Four of Randland). She remains to play a big part in the March to Tarmon Gai'don, I'm thinking. She should be the focal point for the reconciliation of the White Tower factions, the accomodation with the Seanchan, and with the White Tower's acceptance of the Dragon Reborn.

The other thing is that some people rise to the occasion when they have to. Outside of extraordinary experiences, most of us never have to try. Whether someone is 18 or 88 perhaps has less to do with success (or not) than whether one's developed character and intrinsic nature combine for a positive outcome.

In this case, in our civilian society, an 18 year old male is not likely to be called upon, or allowed, to make decisions such as face Perrin in the book. Extraordinary circumstances like burning buildings, vehicular accidents, or crazed gunmen might be the most likely exceptions. Otherwise, only combat might require extraordinary behavior on the part of an individual. And most of us will never have to come face to face with that.

Welcome back! And here's to you for promising NOT to read the posts you missed.
Lannis .
11. Lannis
Re: Luc/Isam... yeah, even with the WoTFAQ, I still find his function in the realm of the present confusing (I get his past storyline, just wtf? Killing animals in the Two Rivers for shits?).

I'm glad I'm not the only one out there. :)

Jordan was excellent in adding conflict/characters/pressures to his storylines, and most seem to be there to add realistic tension (ie: lost wolf dude Perrin meets in tDR--gives Perrin the chills and a looksee at what's possibly to come...), but I always felt that the Luc/Isam thing felt forced, and that's where the confusion comes from. I mean, did Jordan have a big chart and was trying to match up characters to conflicts, ensuring everyone had at least one conflict/nemisis to get rid of, and then had no one for Lan to fight in TG? Luc/Isam feels like he's tagged on (even though he has a backstory and we're aware of him early on in the 13+ books), and doesn't sit comfortably for me. Just added conflict for conflict's sake? Was RJ worried Lan'd feel left out at the big party in the end?
Lannis .
12. Lannis
bookworm @ 10: re: Verin... yes! I love Verin for that very reason... we never know what her game is, and she's got that sneaky sneaky going... I love analysing her every word when she's onscreen--and off. She's one of the great mysteries of WoT, like who killed As... erm, sorry--that totally wasn't me going there.
Richard Fife
13. R.Fife
Hmm, Lannis, you bring up a good point that makes me remember Jordan's favorite sources: mythology. In Norse Mythos, Ragnarok truly was a Tarmon Gaidon, with each god forced to face a nemesis, just as Thor fighting the world serpent, and Odin facing off against Fenrir (giant wolf), etc etc. Often, the fights would tag team with a win for the villians, a win for the heros until only a precious few stood, then a random fire giant destroyed everything.

So perhaps it could be that the Luc/Isam thing was meant to be part of the Ragnarok tag teaming. Perhaps Slayer will kill Lan, then Perrin will kill Slayer.
14. Tankard of ale
OMG, I'm so glad you're back Leigh. So missed the reread. Sorry that we broke Tor, would super glue help?

Oh look, the twitching stopped.
Galen Brinn
15. GatheringStorm
Ahhh...WoT fix...*monkey on back calms down*...

I'm into reading Winter's Heart (for the umteenth time) now and I still can't quite wrap my mind around the bit about Luc having gone to the dark side...unless he was already there before going into The Blight? As far as we know, he couldn't channel, so he couldn't have been forcibly turned via the 13*2 method. I'd love to get an explanation for that (maybe in the next book(s)...maybe a "leak" from The Creator's notes? Other theories, anyone?

FAIL(TM) was tolerable in these last couple of chapters. Nowhere was she as infantile as in previous sections. In her credit, she's actually tolerable as a character for most of the rest of the book.

Seeing Perrin's ta'veren-iness come out is a nice change. He's been playing second fiddle for a long time, but that's not really a bad thing. When your best friend is the Dragon Reborn, anything else is a very distant second or third.
Blake Engholm
16. UncrownedKing
My responses now:

Faile and her half-truths about her identity were a fun part of the story for me first time through.

"She will not harm you" are we sure Faile isn't she-wolf/pack leader? And talk about marking territory (Pissing a circle = funny BTW)

@ the al'Seen farm: Really cool conversation here. Shows Perrin's Tavariness, but it also shows just how much he has matured in the time he's been away (I don't see how he couldn't mature after it all). The part where the al'Seens offer him a place to stay is moving to say the least. I don't know how he's functioning so well. Tough guy for sure.
Side Note: Perrin would make a good traveling salesman lol

Stealing back the Captives:

Who you gunna call?
You damn right.
17. OldWoman
Verin twitters? At least it wasn't 'Verin tweeted'.
18. Longstrider
@8 subwoofer

Why are the Forsaken dropping like flies?

Because they are from the previous age and don't belong in the here and now. They are only loosely held by the 3rd age's Age Lace and so are easy to remove from it.
19. gagecreedlives
Leigh the light be praised you have returned. Now I can take of my tutu.

I originally thought luc/isam/slayer was responsible for the dark hounds but that doesnt make sense considering how long the hounds have been around.

There was a prophecy saying the royal house of Andor was key to winning the last battle. Everyone assumes its Rand but could it be Luc instead.

Just a thought
20. JamesEdJones
17 OldWoman I love the references to Verin as a sparrow. It always reminds me of that Looney Toons parody of Jekel and Hyde where the little tiny Tweety Bird keeps turining into the huge hulking monster that eats the bad putty tat. It always seemed appropriate for Verin.

Maybe I shouldn't have read all 800 comments...
Galen Brinn
21. GatheringStorm
If you were anywhere near Post 10 over the last week and a half, you had no choice but to read all 800-odd posts. lol

Luc as the key to winning the last battle? Interesting theory. I wonder how that would play out. While I won't discount it, until I see evidence, I'm going to have to lean towards Sh'aile/Rand as the Royal house of Andor being the key(s). If she hadn't gone to The Waste, no Rand and thus no Dragon Reborn.
22. suboofer
It was that Luc guy that brought down the server in TAR... yeah... that's right... Verin is a sneaky sparrow at that- her delving and such- trickery I tell you. Maybe Perrin could go door to door with a bunch of Cha Faile selling cookies or such... you don't want to buy a cookie? Growl, flash of yellow eyes okay, how many boxes will you take? or maybe vacuums... or beach front property in Arizona.
23. subwoofer
um... woof...
24. Rebecca Starr
Thanks Leigh! You were definitely missed around here.

Just want to say that I agree with R. Fife on this one - as opposed to just having 3 male heroes and following them, RJ has 3 male and 3 female. just imagine the books, for a moment, without the chapters containing Nynaeve, Elayne or Egwene's POV.

Imagine it. Imagine it.

The series is about half as long now, right? yay for gender equality!
25. Jamie Bowden
Actually, if memory serves, we learn about Isam in book one from Agelmar in Fal Dara when he recounts Lan's history while Moiraine is questioning Fain. Isam was an infant when him and his mother were swallowed by the Blight, and while Agelmar felt that was more than sufficient punishment for his mother, who pretty much single handedly destroyed Malkier with her scheming, offers up a prayer for the lost child.
Gawin van Waesberghe
26. McArcher
Hi Leigh,

thanks for our fix :D

As for the these chapters, I think that the Perrin in two rivers part ranks rather high up in my favorite sections list. I'm a sucker for a good battle scene and the two rivers / Manetheren reborn battle is one of the better battle scenes.

As for main characters, think of it as two piramids side by side, one male and one female, both equally importantin support of the story
Sean Jones
27. PersonOfTheDragons
@18 Longstrider

I like that theory a lot. It would definitely help explain why all these channelers from the AoL who were the best of the best at the time have so much trouble catching a guy, who at first at least, is a shepherd bumbling through the dark. They're tied too loosely for someone tied as close to the pattern as a Ta'veren.
Galen Brinn
28. GatheringStorm
McArcher @ 26,

I guess it all ties back to RJ's statement that in the AoL, all of the greatest things were accomplished with men and women working side-by-side. Look at all the bumbling our heroes (both male and female) do throughout the first 9-ish books. It's not really until The Cleansing, where Rand and Nynaeve work together and share information that they get something huge accomplished. Up until there, it's all been "I'll go here and act suspicious of you and won't share what I know, you go there and act suspicous and not share what you know. Then I'll get captured, you'll get captured and lots of people will die trying to free us".
29. Smatt
Great to have you back Leigh.

Although Luc could not be turned with the old weave through a Fade trick there is nothing to stop him being turned by Compulsion as happened during the Age of Legends.

It maybe that the Compulsion might get removed and hey ho he starts kicking ass for the Light. This could be a doulbe proof of Elaidas Fortelling. This would be a great reason for him to be around.
30. Mat-Cauthon
Thanks for the update. What a treat to have a great JordanCon recap and another re-read update this week! You're awesome Leigh.
31. gagecreedlives

Well wasnt Tigraine/Sh'aile Luc's sister. And Im sure Gitara sent them both. Obviously one is vital to the last battle but prophecy has a way of working in a way that no one suspects.

Do any of you WoT scholars know the actual foretelling that Im talking about or am i crazy.
32. RebelLives
I've always enjoyed Perrin coming home to the Two Rivers and kicking some butt. Perrin questioning himself and whether or not he can lead these people all seems very realistic to me.

I think from my first read, I understood that Luc and Slayer were the same or connected, but I never caught on about Isam because I had already forgotten about it from first book. That is why these re-reads kick butt!

Some of the 800+ comments are worth reading like the fiction of fiction.
33. drothgery
General comments -
Yeah, Luc/Isam/Slayer is definetely up there with things I Just Don't Understand in WoT.

I've never been all that happy with RJ putting the three boys up on the apex of Important People, when it's pretty clear that to the world at large, Egwene and Elayne are certainly more significant figures. And, really, by all evidence Egwene seems to have nearly as much hero-probability-manipulation mojo as Perrin does, despite not being ta'veren.
Sean Jones
34. PersonOfTheDragons
So does anyone know if they're going to fix TSR #10?

It doesn't seem right that you can go through the whole re-read and sum up the entire series except for those two chapters.

All because we couldn't stop twitching.
35. subwoofer
Rebellives- don't encourage Leigh- what happened at TSR #10 stays at TSR#10. Gathering storm- I think you have got the idea- It is like the age of legends where men and women were working together- both halves of the source to do things. I think that if Rand had linked with Aviendha and Eg, he could of done cool things in that tower and the door is open for him to link with Aviendha and Elayne as they are bonded. There has to be a balance.
36. stepper
Leigh, you were gone for while? I didn't notice....

I agree about Verin....she and later Cadsuane are fascinating partly because you just can't tell what they're up to are they the good/bad etc..

Also in the second chapter one of my favorite funny images in the series is Alsbet Luhan with her white coat helmet askew because of her braid, first stopping to try to criticize Perrins beard in the middle of an escape, then jouncing along on her horse beside her equally jouncing husband! Gotta make you smile!
Galen Brinn
37. GatheringStorm
gagecreedlives @ 31,

Yep. Luc is/was Tigraine/Sh'aiel's brother and Gitara Moroso did send him into The Blight. For what reason, I don't think we've been informed.
38. JamesEdJones
33 Drothgery I guess it all depends on how you look at it.

Without Rand, the Seanchan would conquer this land and collar all of the Aes Sedai. Which would make Mat the Prince of the Ravens to the woman who owns (I know that freaks out Leigh, and a lot of the rest of us) Egwene and Elayne. Perrin's already successfully, although unwittingly, hosted a rebellion; expanded his borders; and allied with his aggressive neighbors by giving up an imaginary play for Manetheren.

Of course, Mat could have easily ended up possesed by the Daughter of the Nine Moons. And Perrin could have been hung by the Whitecloaks if Fain hadn't moved so quickly.

So it's all about these tiny tugs on the strings in the Pattern that made RJ such a master. The fact that they result in huge storms of power doesn't make them any less clever. Personally, my unenlightened opinion directs me to believe that the Big 3 would never have been taken seriously in this society if they weren't taveren.
Amar Ramraj
39. aiel1219
Hey folks.
Gud to have a new re-read post ain't it.
Thanks for not reading the 800+ posts and sorry we almost broke But there was some hilarious fiction ficiont (I especially enjoyed the Ishy fancy pants one LOL!!!)

I think the two rivers badassery in this book is one of my fav arcs. All the good guys are pretty awesome. Luc is still a mindfark for me. I just don't get the guy. Even with all the info we have in all the WoT lit I've read.

To whoever asked about Elaidas actual foretelling, I am not sure we ever see the actual words (I may be wrong) but what we see are references to it:
"The very first thing Elaida had ever Foretold, while still an Accepted- and had known enough even then to keep it to herself- that the Royal Line of Andor would be key to defeating the Dark One in the Last Battle."

" Long ago she had Foretold that the Royal House of Andor held the key to winning the Last Battle."(

I'm not saying that Slayer won't play a part but I don't think you can get more key-likr thsn Rand.
40. Smatt
@ 37

Gitara does tell him that he has to go to the blight because it is essential for TG. I need to find what book this is in...
41. JamesEdJones
40 Smatt I think she said something like, his Fate lay in the Blight...
Ellie Virgo
42. Egglie
. . .and back to the books then (I will take my tutu off then, I am sure it needs a wash by now anyway)

I like the Irony of how Perrin hates all the two rivers folk sucking up to Lord Luc and then becomes Lord of the two rivers himself.

What is verin doing in the two rivers anyway - I don't buy that she is looking for girls who can channel - I always thought she was there to interfere with perrin but she doesn't really do much to tie strings to him or anything so i am not convinced. It occurred to me that she is the one who gives us the Isam/Luc prophesy at the start of tGH, Maybe she has followed him to the two rivers?

so good to see the rescue mission here concluded within a single chapter *sigh* the good old days.

Gitara definitely sends Luc off to the blight and we do get a third hand re-telling of the wording (I think it might be in new spring?). I think that perhaps Gitara didn't know which sibling she needed to send off? although she is quite specific about where they should each go so perhaps not. I do like the idea that somehow Luc would have a pivotal role in something, its a waste of an interesting character premise otherwise. I would also like to see the Isam/Lan showdown.

I am rambling now so I will stop.
43. gagecreedlives

"The very first thing Elaida had ever Foretold, while still an Accepted- and had known enough even then to keep it to herself- that the Royal Line of Andor would be key to defeating the Dark One in the Last Battle."

" Long ago she had Foretold that the Royal House of Andor held the key to winning the Last Battle."(
I'm not saying that Slayer won't play a part but I don't think you can get more key-likr thsn Rand. "

That wasnt the one Im thinking of but it does seem obvious to us it is Rand and it seems obvious it means Elayne and co to Elaida. But both could be right.

There is a theme through out the books of people misinterpreting prophecy and foretellings. Both interpretations could be right just not in the way we think.
Galen Brinn
44. GatheringStorm
Smatt @ 40,

That's correct. Did I phrase it some other way?

I think it's in the early chapters of LoC*, where Rand is in Caemly talking to Elenia, Naean or Dyelin about the history of Andor, kind of obliquely trying to find out if he's related to Elayne. Whichever person he was speaking to revealed the fate of Luc and the relationship with Gitara.

Again, I don't think we are ever given a reason for him going to the blight (ie, To Save the World, or something like that).

*Correction to actual book, pointed out by Egglie.
45. Greyhawk
Generally speaking I like this storyline but it does raise a recurring issue that, for me is frustrating. While I know and like the pig farmer to king journey, RJ's world is so big and complex it annoys me the way he dismisses/overlooks other characters who could/would play a more significant role. In this and immediately succeeding chapters it is Tam. Tam used to be a captain (or was it lieutentant) in the Illianer Guard and is a legitimate blademaster, the best tracker in the TR and one of the best shots with a longbow. My point is that he is not only a badass on par with or superior (in my mind) to any run of the mill Aiel or Warder, he has real leadership experience (which is an area most Warders are deficient in). I know Perrin is Ta'veren, but I always hope that Tam will be more than a throw away in these sequences. As much as Perrin has seen in one year, Tam has more experience on his side and I kind of think that Perrin could have assumed the role of leader of TR without Tam being such a non-factor. (Later on I get really frustrated with the Queen Morgase, abdication fiasco--Elayne is already the heir and a central character--but her character must assume the throne before TG during the story and we lose want is supposed to be a seasoned, intelligent ruler to on the flimsiest of grounds. But I digress).

Jordan does, I think, try to give Tam his due with some cursory descriptions (later on Perin comments on Tam walking with something akin to the Warder's lethal grace (my paraphrase) but that is not much. Of course giving Tam a more prominate role (how many characters can we follow) could have made the series even longer, but not much and maybe less if we didn't have to follow Morgase across Randland and her lady in waiting debacle of a storyline and the corresponding rise of Elayne. I would have loved to see Morgase interact with our heros and deal with TG as one of the few effective existing leaders of Randland.

Another pet peive of mine is that while I want to be a fan of the Aiel as the "best" warriors, trackers, runners and all things badass--Jordan's love affair with the Aiel is too much for me. I constantly find myself, for no good reason, hoping they screw up, stub their tow, whatever to bring them down from this quasi superhuman space that they occupy. A desert nomadic people are the best trackers in a forest--gimme a break--they would not even know what a leaf was. And later on the numbers of Aiel are way too large to be believed (deserts do not support as many people as well watered, fertile lands--and the Aiel fight amongst themselves just as much as the "wetlanders").

I didn't expect this to go so long or turn into a complaint, but my experience with Jordan has always been hot and cold--his vast vision and complex storylines against some of what I see as weaker character development issues.
Luke M
46. lmelior
“You said some things that need forgiving?” she said sweetly, and he knew he was in trouble. “I cannot think what, but I will take it into consideration.”

Heh. I applaud your restraint. Or does your desk simply have a head-shaped hole in the appropriate place now?

Egglie @ 42
Good point, a rescue completed so quickly! Good old days indeed.
Amar Ramraj
47. aiel1219
After Luc rode north, never to return, whispers said Gitara had convinced him that his fame lay in the Blight, or his fate.
- Lord of Chaos, Tellings of the Wheel

This is what I've found and what I remember, I don't recall her sayin that he'll be important to winning the last battle... but there are things in KoD I just don't recall at all.
48. Greyhake
On my previous post--please excuse the poor grammar and spelling, e.g. "tow" *cringe*
Chris Maurer
49. grayfox
Ok, looney theory on Luc/Isam/Slayer...

We obviously know that Luc/Isam somehow were merged...Isam stealing Luc's body/soul/whatever.

There's no reason to believe that Luc is good or evil, but my thought is...perhaps he was good (otherwise, why would he go off to the blight when Gitara told him to?). He went to the blight, fought Isam and they "merged". Perhaps, there is some sort of primitive split personality problem (Dissociative Identity Disorder, to use clinical terms) going on. And "good" Luc is still "in there" but the Isam personality is the one that is driving the body(ies) right now. Perhaps the Luc/Isam conflict when he comes into contact with more than one taveren will be an internal battle with Luc finally wresting control of the body(ies) and helping Rand in the last battle.

end looney theory...
Ian Hurst
50. Ian_Hurst
Re. boys being at the apex:

But the Supergirls do have a lot of, what's the right word here... "main-characterness" going on, even from the beginning. And especially so as the story progresses - particularly Egwene, whose ascent to the top of Salidar ought to have set Taveren alarms off for miles around.

The WOT beings in typical fantasy territory, with which any reader would be familiar, but proceeds to break tropes and, frankly, blow minds. And Jordan's commented to the effect that this was intentional. So I wonder about our three heroes vs. the increasing main-characterness of the Supergirls. Might not this be another case of Jordan starting with the familiar, and proceeding to break genre barriers, one step at a time?
Ellie Virgo
51. Egglie
I found it, Dylin talking to Rand, Tellings of the wheel, in LoC.

"Gitara was counselor to Queen Modrelin. but she spent more time with Tigraine and Luc, Tigraine's brother, than with the Queen. After Luc rode north, never to return, wispers said Gitara had convinced him that his fame lay in the Blight, or his fate. Others said it was that he would find the Dragon Reborn there, or that the Last Battle depended on him going."
52. hoping to be of the blood
I am also very intrigued by Slayer and the source of his development. Birgitte recognizes him and says he is new but his evil is ancient. She doesn’t identify the evil. In Randland, we have regular human evil, DO evil, mashadar evil, hybrid DO/mashadar evil, and Finn “sort of evilness.” Does Slayer fall into one of these categories or,like Fain, is he a hybrid? Maybe it's a new evil, but that isn't developed in later books. We know that DO evil is involved since isam was captured by trollocs when very young, he directs trollocs and grey men as an adult and he cooperates with what is most likely one or more of the forsaken. But he acts like an independent agent, like Murder, Inc. of the old mafia days. Birgitte seems to imply that his evil is somehow different.
Slayer mentions, in a later book, that he was given several gifts, special powers. Could the gifts have come from the Finns or was it the DO? Is he a Finn agent in Randland? (now I’ve gone too far.)
Enquiring minds lead to rambling thoughts.
I agree that Slayer is destined to play a major role in TG and not just be a hired assassin.
53. Smatt
Thanks for finding that Egglie.

I still think it is a good possibility that both Luc and Isam were compelled and then merged by a bit of Dark One aberacadabera (hope thats spelt right). Both or one will be turned from the Dark Side and good times ensue.
Galen Brinn
54. GatheringStorm
I agree that Luc/Isam/Slayer will probably play a bigger role in the coming book(s). It would seem out of character for RJ to have written in Rand's uncle and Lan's cousin as a construct and only have him/they be such a minor character.
55. KévinT
Hi Leigh,
Thanks for the re-read and the great job on the FAQ.

This should go into the previous thread chapters-wise, but did anyone catch that Alanna went missing several times without warning Tomas and nobody knows where or why.
Kinda like Ingtar going "hunting" from Fal Dara, no?

It could be ascribed to post-Warder-death nerves but I don't believe it. What was Alanna doing?

56. JamesEdJones
47 Aiel1219 and 51 Egglie

Thanks so much for finding that. LOC is my all-time favorite WOT book. And I think we miss that reference with Dylin's throwaway comment about Rand looking like Tigraine.

Still confused by Luc, though. Wouldn't the Prince of Andor be more famous than some hidden Shadow assasin? Just doesn't make sense... yet.
Galen Brinn
57. GatheringStorm
Verin did the same thing in TGH, so as to accompany Rand, et al on the search. Moiraine did this also in between TEotW and TGH.

Maybe there's something to worry about regarding Alanna, but then again, maybe not.

I can't keep straight whose warder is whose. For some reason, I'm thinking Tomas was Verin's and Ivhon was (one of) Alanna's. I could be mixing them up, though.
Blake Engholm
58. UncrownedKing
@56 JamesEdJones
"LOC is my all-time favorite WOT book."

You have your opinion and I respect that. Theres def a valid argument to support your statement. But, its no where close to the top 5 for me.

I'm going to say that the Aes Sedai in this book and the ignorance brought up in LoC completely turns me off. I can't put this book in the top 5 of the series.

I'll give it to you, Dumai's Wells, "Ash'a'man, KILL", and "Kneel Aes Sedai, kneel or you will be knelt" Are some of the most bad ass things in the series (two of my favorite quotes, along with "It's clean!" and the whole two rivers history quote), but man I can't call this in my top five.

Also, I would love for Alanna to be BA, would give me another reason to despise her (right now its because of stupidity and arrogance). However in later books it shows that she most likely is a good guy, Go Light!, and I would say that the going off by herself is for morning purposes.
Maggie M
59. Eswana
Old Woman @ 17
I think Verin would have a big problem keeping her tweets to under 140 characters. All Aes Sedai would find this difficult, but Browns most of all.

I do love the Perrin/Faile dynamic in this book. It's really beautiful.

Also- yeah, what the heck? When I re-read tSR I usually skim the Luc parts, just because he's so fricking annoying. I don't think it was ever resolved- but hey, it might have a big payoff in GS, or whichever book revolves around Perrin again. Or, I think Luc might play a big part in the whole Tower of Genji thing. So maybe we'll see him when Mat & Thom rescue Moiraine?

Great to have you back Leigh.

And, yeah, we broke I still can't believe that. I'm torn between being proud of us and concerned about us.
60. Freelancer
RE: Luc/Isam/Slayer,

I remember supposing immediately that Luc was Slayer, because of two things:

1) Perrin immediately dislikes him, before he has said a word or performed any actions at all. Perrin doesn't even know why. Of course, Luc's pompous behavior justifies Perrin's initial reaction, but it isn't normal for Perrin to up and express a strong negative reaction to someone if they've never given him reason to.

2) Luc showing surprise at Perrin's presence, his eyes especially. Not the kind of surprise as most folks, but it includes both curiosity and recognition. And Perrin senses that Luc fears him.

The only person Perrin had a recent dealing with that could have added up to those responses was Slayer.

I don't see Luc/Isam as a character whose inclusion in the story is simply to complete a formula. There is still a large bit of mystery to him, but his nature as the shadow's assassin is clear enough.

We don't know how he was imbued with the ability to "step into" T'a'R, and while I originally thought as Leigh said, that he was Luc in the flesh and Isam in T'a'R, we find that isn't correct, and that there's even some randomness to whose persona he assumes in the dreamworld.

We learn that he was sent to the Two Rivers to eliminate Fain, who was making the shadow's work harder through his own forms of chaos. A slick touch on Fain's part to have the Trollocs shouting "ISAM" when they attack. Did he know that Verin was there, and that she was one who could reason out the name?

The only thing we can be completely sure of is that he has a substantial part left to play. I have always assigned Foretelling as a Talent of the light, and Gitara's order for Luc to go to the blight has to be for a greater purpose than simply the creation of Slayer by merging with Isam. Will Rand turn him back to himself? Will Lan? Will Rand and Lan together, facing their collectively corrupted relative(s), bring him to the light?

I know, I know. RAFO
61. Emerkel
RE: Luc/Isam...

I would not think that if Luc were evil he would willingly 'merge' with Isam. There is a pretty long line of evil characters in the WOT, from the Forsaken down to the everyday darkfriends, all of whom do not want to be controlled by anyone else if they can help it. It mostly boils down to a matter of trust (or lack thereof). I cannot think of any greater loss of control of one's self that having another person merge (both body & spirit) with another.

I wonder if Luc has the ability to channel inborn, but it was never developed, and that allowed him to be turned by a circle of 13 mydrral?

This may explain why he can enter the world of dreams in the body.

I am enjoying this line of discussion, and look forward (hopefully) to finding out the whole story of Luc/Issam!
Lannis .
62. Lannis
Egglie @ 42: re: Verin translating the Isam prophecy and then following him to the TR...

I think... wait... yep... you just blew my mind. I never connected that...

Damn, that sneaky sneaky Verin...!

Now, if she *did* figure it out and follow him to tTR, is she doing it for the Good Guys or the Bad?

Mindsex, I tell you... fraking WoT mindsex.

hoping to be of the blood @ 52: I'm with you on the quasi-evil that is Luc/Isam/Slayer... I think it's another straw in Jordan's bale of "Evil isn't just the Dark One." And yeah, I think he'll be one of those Almost Forgot Him characters that slams into TG and makes first time readers cock their heads in confusion.

Can you imagine reading the series through to TG in one read, never having reread the books? Think of how much you'd miss/forget?!
63. JamesEdJones
58. UncrownedKing

Despite all of its unending rambling, back-breaking weight, and tendency to fall apart in paperback, my reasons for LOC are simple. It brought Perrin back, reunited the Supergirls, reunited Thom and Mat, and left Rand with a brand-spankin new army.

Oh yeah, and Egwene became Amyrlin. Still don't like her as a person, but her stubborness begins to FIT.
64. JamesEdJones
Just an edit. On 63 I should have said 'her pride begins to fit.' As the innkeepers daughter, I could never understand her unbearable pride. On Elayne, as a Princess, it makes sense. On Nyneave, as a village wisdom, it makes sense. On Faile, as the cousin to a queen, it makes sense. On Moiraine as part of one of the two most powerful houses in her home nation, it makes sense.

On Egwene, who shows more pride and arrogance than all of the others, it doesn't - make - sense. Until book 6.
Tess Laird
65. thewindrose
I hope that in the final 3? we will get another pov from Slayer. I think that both sides of him are evil/corrupted. I remember when he steps out of TAR to kill Rand and Min he knows he is related to Rand, but isn't concerned in the least that he is sent to kill him. (He also likes to watch his victims die - and realizes the two he killed are not Rand and Min, and pretty much thinks oh well - another day another dollar.)
In the end would Rand or Lan beable to make Slayer remember his human side(s) - he is a total coldblooded assasin now.
66. mark-p
Its nice to be back to normal (but with 66 messages already can we kill the thread again befor monday?)
This was always my favourite Perrin section, it is a tad unrealistic with out being taveren but still quite cool.

I always considered Egwene to be equal in stature to the three boys even if she isn't officially one of the taveren.
Lost somewhere in the mess that was part 10, we attempted to have some sort of discussion on why the girls got captured by the baddies more often than the guys after someone made a list of captures. but we didn’t get very far in all the chaos.
67. Naraoia
What bothers me a bit about the rescue mission is when the boys ride off shouting. Why do they think that the Whitecloaks would fall for such a transparent trick?

(Maybe because the Whitecloaks are stupid enough to fall for it :/ )
Blake Engholm
68. UncrownedKing

Yep you pretty much answered your own question there.
Marc Gioglio
69. u_turnagain
IF I were to assume that Luc and Isam merged, and Isam was evil, it would not be a stretch to believe that luc would turn evil.

Let's look at the other case of people sharing the same body. If LTT actually killed all of rands family, and everyone he loved, how long do you think that rand would still fight for the good guys. Knowing that you are associated with evil, knowing that you have done and will do evil you have no control over, can you honestly say that you would still care about good at all? I like to think I'm good, but I know I'm not THAT good.

My guess about the wolves though...
I think that the wolves can help rescue luc from Isam. Wolfbrother is ancient, slayer's evil is ancient. I wouldn't be surprised to find a Luc-slayer face off (in TAR) along with a Lan-Isam face off (in Randland). The sheer chaos of deciding who to root for, knowing how they are linked, has me almost drooling...
Hopper separating Luc and slayer would be awesome.

And a few bits about Ta'veren. Why do we assume that Egwene isn't TV? Things were slow in the beginning and Mo was able to handhold us into finding out who is TV and what they do, but we know that TV appear when they are needed, and the white tower definitely needed a TV to keep it up and running. Just because we haven't been clue-by-foured, doesn't mean it ain't so.
70. LynnOH
Skip this post if you only like chapter reread comments.

Today I ask you to give thanks to the friend who introduced you, or whom you have introduced, to this wonderful WOT universe. Why? 2 years ago today I lost my friend who back in 1990 spoke those famous words "Lynn you have to read this book! Eye of the World!"
Don would have been another funny contributor to this blog.

So a toast to all our WOT friends here and gone, the person we called the moment the chapter Asmo died was finished, the person you stand in line at a book signing with, and who also read all 800+ posts,
May the beer be cold and the library chairs comfy!
Tess Laird
71. thewindrose
The WC's and just about everyone else think that people from the country are bumkins - so it would make sense to them that country bumkins would act that way.

About the 3SG's - they are definitly main characters - when reading all the books together, they always stand out - for better or worse:)
72. Smatt
I am sure there is mention that Egwene has the Talent of imitating the Ta'veren affect over a small sphere of influence like the Hall. Nothing at all like Rand, Matt or Perrin who affect the world at large.
73. Freelancer
@57 GatheringStorm

Tomas is Verin's, Ihvon is Alanna's.

RE: The status of LOC as a "favorite" volume of the series;

TEOTW comes first for me, always. The awesomeness is twofold, that it's a great adventure on its own, and that so many of the major events of the later installments are foreshadowed seamlessly.

LOC is not far from the top of my list, probably because of the kidnapping of Rand, leading to Dumai's Wells.
- The internal POV of someone in a box, but not quite alone
- Learning to deal with having LTT in his head, and having to learn from him how to find the weakness in a shield
- The largest collision of different factions to that point of the story: Tower AS under Galina, Shaido under Sevanna, Younglings under Gawyn, Two Rivers men who come to Perrin with Salidar Aes Sedai and Aiel Wise Ones, Andoran/Cairhienin soldiers under noblemen that aren't really loyal to Rand, and Loial the Warrior Supreme
- Finally getting to see a large-scale Power on Power throwdown
- Rand busting loose and severing three Aes Sedai in the process
- "Asha'man, KILL!"

Mad piles of awesome on those few chapters. However, TSR has more than it's share as well.
74. Dr Hoo
@6 R. Fife

Regarding the Big 3 / Big 6 thing, I think i am somewhere between you and LB on this one. All 6 main characters have always seemed to be equally important to the story to me, but the boys have this added layer of impact on the outcomes, defined by their being ta'veren. I started wondering as early as the Great Hunt - why couldn't the girls have been ta'veren too? This seemed to be an arbitrary decision on the part of RJ given the prominence of the Supergirls in the storyline (or maybe it is tied up in his gender perception issues we reference so frequently) and has always bugged me. So I don't see it as we view the two groups differently but that RJ wrote them differently - boys are main characters + ta'veren, girls are main characters.
Ian Hurst
75. Ian_Hurst
And a few bits about Ta'veren. Why do we assume that Egwene isn't TV? Things were slow in the beginning and Mo was able to handhold us into finding out who is TV and what they do, but we know that TV appear when they are needed, and the white tower definitely needed a TV to keep it up and running. Just because we haven't been clue-by-foured, doesn't mean it ain't so.

I kind of argued above for Egwene being Taveren, but the big hole in this is she's around people who would know for a fact if she was. Siuan has the talent, for one. Logaine is another. There may be others; it's a rare talent, but she's surrounded by hundreds of Aes Sedai.

And yet the pattern swirls around her as if she's Taveren anyway.
Luke M
76. lmelior
You can still catch Part 10 along with 652 of the comments if your Google-fu is strong.

I remember being annoyed with the Luc/Isam/Slayer bits too - just another character complicating things. But now I'm looking forward to the solution to the mystery. Do we know who exactly is the one giving him his marching orders? The DO himself?

And regarding Egwene not being ta'veren: when I initially read the series, I thought I had it figured out that channelers naturally tug on the threads around them, but ta'veren are usually non-channelers that have that ability. That was quickly sunk later on, though (with the ta'veren-sensing people, for one).
77. Freelancer
And a few bits about Ta'veren. Why do we assume that Egwene isn't TV?

Egwene isn't Ta'veren. Siuan had the Talent of seeing Ta'veren, (she told Moiraine that when she saw Rand looking down from a balcony in Fal Dara, he shone like the sun) and she would have known.

That said, there are numerous occasions where folks say something to Egwene to the effect of, "Are you sure you aren't Ta'veren?" Just the sort of thing RJ would do to foreshadow a future twist. But no, I think she just has enough force of character to make others submit to her leadership. Some of that character was forced into her (seanchan captivity/damane training), some trained (Aiel apprentice, accepting ji'e'toh philosophy), some through circumstances, and some innate.

The Old Blood, you know.
Tai'shar, Manetheren! (It always struck me odd that whenever Lan said that to Rand, it wasn't appropriate, because he isn't of Manetheren blood)

@74 Dr Hoo,

The guys are main characters + Ta'veren, and girls are main characters + channelers. Balance of impact, don't ever think RJ's decisions are arbitrary, there is just too much order to the Pattern he wove. Yes, Rand is both Ta'veren and a channeler, but he's The One.
78. Evinfuilt
I was thinking Luc/Isam was tied to the Finn. He could have made it to Rhudiean, and that's where his gifts came from. This to me would explain his ancient evil.

Maybe Luc went there, was transformed and then fought and absorbed Isam as he went further north and became the Dreadlord he is now.
Sydo Zandstra
79. Fiddler
Regarding Luc/Isam's raison d'etre at Tarmon Gaidon:

His blood on the slopes of Shayol Ghul...

He may be another candidate to fulfil that part of the prophecy, being uncle to the DR and all.

As to how Luc became evil, clearly Isam won the meeting between the two. Isam could have taken Luc to Shayol Ghul, where the DO's influence/power is strongest. I recall Lanfear offering to take Rand there saying he'd likely give in to the dark side.

ObIrony: Lan being the one to kill Isam/Luc on those slopes would make this extra satisfying... (Malkier strikes back at the DO, and Lan did raise the Golden Crane, and happens to lead the army marching towards Tarwin's Gap ;-) )
Joseph Blaidd
80. SteelBlaidd
Slayer is a Myrdhral in a "Man Suit."

All through the WoT Jordon goes out of his way to show that as bad as Trollocs and other shadow spawn are the realy scary monsteres are the Human ones.

We have been told that when Isam met Luc "in the high passes, one did live and one did die and both are." It's likly that after twenty years of livng in the same head that they are esentialy the same person, and Isam was rased by the Dark One.

In any case we see in Slayer the natural antagonist of Perin. Slayer is man acting out the extream of the human caraicature of the steriotypical "Greatest Predator." The Wolf/Perin kills to eat and to protect its pack, and takes joy in the act because they live in the moment, and the movement and because their belly is full and the pack is safe. The Great Hunter/Slayer Kills to show how superior to these "dumb animals" I am that I have slain the Tiger with my Big Rifle, and 20 hunting dogs, and beaters, and porters, and I'll have it stuffed and mounted, and what do you mean this one is old and toothless? can't you recognize a maneater when you see one?

For all his arcne ability to step in and ot of TAR Slayer is still the human evil of the thing that provies it's "humanness" by the tropies on it's wall.
Galen Brinn
81. GatheringStorm
So part 10 is broken, huh? I was able to get into it last night at 807 posts or so, but now I just get a fatal error message.
Ellie Virgo
82. Egglie
Emerkel@61 I also had the same thought about Luc having the undeveloped ability to channel and being turned by 13+13. It would also tie in nicely (in a sort of unconnected but parallel way) with the Aiel male channelers who go to the Blight to kill the dark one. For some reason though, I had mentally dismissed it, can't remember why now.

Lannis@62 Thanks! always good when my random Verin theories are appreciated. (of course I believe that Coriannin Nedeals notes were stuffed full of dark prophesy and that shienar was possibly not the first time Verin had seen that verse. Coriannin could easily have dreamed that Slayer and/or Perrin would be in the two rivers at that time. Verin knows stuff that no one else knows. I stubbornly refuse to believe that she is black but she sure is mightily suspicious). I'm sticking to it until I see a better theory :-)
Marc Gioglio
83. u_turnagain
Siuan used to be able to tell who was TV and who wasn't, then she got stilled. As did Logain. Who's to say you retain the same talents after stilling?

I got to part 10 just fine it is now 845 posts strong.
Sydo Zandstra
84. Fiddler

That irritating novice that wanted to learn fast and blackmailed Myrelle for extra lessons has the Talent to see Ta'veren as well... She spotted Mat in Salidar, but saw nothing around Egwene.

Edit: her name is Nicola Treehill. Google rocks...
Ian Hurst
85. Ian_Hurst
Siuan used to be able to tell who was TV and who wasn't, then she got stilled. As did Logain. Who's to say you retain the same talents after stilling?

Siuan saw Egwene many times before she was stilled, for one thing. Oh, and per Fiddler's comment above, there are others with the talent around Egwene.

It's also logically simpler to assume healing stilling restores power-related talents than to assume it does not.

I know, Occam's Razor isn't especially applicable to fiction (especially fiction that's full of red herrings!), but I can't help but let it color my reading.
Marc Gioglio
86. u_turnagain
Then, my money is on egwene's ability to hide TV. But, maybe Nicola's keeping the egwene TV thing under wraps until she can use it to blackmail someone with.
Chris Maurer
87. grayfox
That Occam... he's one crazy shaving mo-fo...sorry, I have to say it every time Occam's Razor comes up in conversation.

Maybe I'm still twitching a little...
Galen Brinn
88. GatheringStorm
I'd have to agree that since we've had no mention of any of the Super Girls being ta'veren after 11 books, that wishing for it just isn't going to cut it.

Of course, RJ may have had it in his notes that they were and it should be "intuitively obvious to the most casual observer"
Marc Gioglio
89. u_turnagain
But if Siuan saw rand 5 years ago, he wouldn't show imself as TV either. To me, the simplest solution for an accepted with under a year in training and less in the tower, making sweeping changes in tower law, and holding together a white tower outside the white tower is that she is TV.

Only one person is known to presently use the ability to detect TV (although there may be more as my memory is fuzzy), and that person isn't known to be the most honest and forthcoming individual.

Loial's description of TV back in TEOTW was that a normal person can have a small change, but becoming king requires TV.

egwene looks like a TV, acts like a TV, so I say again, the simplest solution is she is a duck...

and thus should be burned as a witch due to her ability to float on water (like great gravy, very small rocks, and churches).
90. sinfulcashew
Hello again!
As I kept checking back all week long just to see the craziness, I never had a problem with anything?
I am on DSL? Is that a good reason? (beatle song?)

Any way, I am having a great time reading all the way down to the end, refreshing the page and then reading down to the new end!
So here I go again!

By the way I must have missed the logo sameness discussion regarding the 'mickey mouse' ears. One of my copies (WH) has them every chapter ending.
Ah well, on to the next batch of comments!

How refreshing!!!!!
Sydo Zandstra
91. Fiddler

egwene looks like a TV, acts like a TV,

Actually, no.

Egwene may be irritating and arrogant, but she got her results either by her own skills or with a little help from her friends.

She was rescued from the Seanchan by her friends.

She was summoned to become Amyrlin, because Sheriam's group thought they could tell her what to do. Siuan helped her get out of that situation.

She was hindered by Halima's interference (the headaches) a lot. In comparison, Mat was hindered a lot in Ebou Dar, but that served the purpose to him meeting Tuon. Egwene's headaches had no positive result, plotwise.

Egwene tricking the Salidar Sitters into a Declaration of War against the White Tower was also of Siuan's design. Pure political skill; no Ta'veren.
92. JamesEdJones
Siuan's a duck?
Brian Kaul
93. bkaul
Perhaps the Supergirls aren't ta'veren because they don't need to be. Randland does have some pretty striking gender role reversals, especially when it comes to channeling and the Aes Sedai. All three of the Supergirls are very strong channelers who are involved with the Aes Sedai, a group that judges merit based on channeling strength. They can influence events without needing the Pattern to shift people's courses for them. As for Egwene's manipulation of the Sitters ... I always just read that as her having a natural gift for manipulation, and beating the Aes Sedai at their own game. Similar end result, but just based on the character's abilities, not an external force.

It gives a balance to the main characters (Mat & Perrin) who would be at a disadvantage otherwise. RJ didn't need it to explain why the Supergirls would be able to influence things; it's a pretty good plot device to explain why the heck anyone pays attention to the boys, though.
94. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon

Your evidence is all valid, but I don't see how any of it points to Slayer being a Myrddraal in a man suit.


I find it very hard to believe that anything is going to happen to a super-shmuck like Slayer except being made dead by one of the heroes. Perrin, Lan, Hopper, Rand being the main candidates.

RE: the pyramids o' gender

I agree that it's our own societal conditioning that makes us think that certain characters are the main characters. Egwene and Elayne have just as much screen/POV time, and quite a bit more world influence, than Perrin or Mat (at least pending Mat's impact on Seanchan). In fact, if you really want to rank the big 6 on an importance scale, it probably goes like this:

1. Rand, obviously,
2. Egwene
3. Elayne
4. Matt
5. Nynaeve
6. Perrin

The big bads are more male-biased than the good guys:

1. Ishydin
2. Lanfear
3. Fain
4. Alviarin
5. Taim
6. Shaidar Haran

I guess that would be my top 6, and it's still not overwhelmingly male.
Marc Gioglio
95. u_turnagain
Well, how can one make the claim that perrin is TV then? All his actions are skill based. His skills from the wolves, his skill at politicking (talking others into doing what he wants). He does it all with help from wolves and people like Faile, Berelain, even the whitecloaks. He was even summoned from EF because Mo thought she could tell him what to do. Why should we chalk up Perrin's rebuilding Manetheren to TV but Egwene's rise to Amyrlin Seat as just skill, influence and friends?

By no means am I trying to branch this out to all the girls. Nynaeve has done nothing TV worthy, and neither has Elayne. But Egwene, daughter of an innkeeper to AS in less than 2 years, that seems beyond the wiggle room of the pattern as it is described.
96. Cobblestones
I have been absent for a while (missed the #10 postfest and some earlier post, so what I ask is more related to earlier chapters (the Aiel history).

When Rand learns about the Aiel history, we learn why the Tinkers are called the lost ones (they used to be Aiel, but stopped caring for *angreal and stopped following Aes Sedai orders.

So, in essence, Tinkers are wayward Aiel from the age of Legends.

What bothers me with this is that Aiel coloring is generally fair hair, maybe reddish, green eyes, fair skin. Tinker coloring is rather dark. How comes?
97. JamesEdJones
96 Cobblestones

Tinkers recruit. Aiel are just born into it.

And the Tinkers' idea of dancing is a lot more fun...
98. Smatt
@96 Cobblestones

You have kind of answered the your question yourself. The Tinkers split from the Aiel and lived in and amongst the rest of humanity. They mingle nad inter-married. The Aiel had little to do with those not in the Waste except the Treekillers, and kind of hold wetlanders in contempt. There was extremely little chance of mixxing the bloodlines. The only one ever mentioned is Rand.
Brett Michie
99. bchurch
Re Luc/Isam

They met in the blight and I believe that when they merged, Luc was corrupted by Isam's evil.

"But you should be careful, young Goldeneyes. I know something of taking an enemy into your bosom. His blade goes in quicker when he is close."

The Shadow Rising, The Tinker's Sword

Maybe when they met initially, Luc realized the only way to defeat Isam was to Sheathe the Sword. But what happened was a merging of the two and he was corrupted. Later, when we get his pov in WH, he consciously shifts who he is depending on what he's doing. Becoming Luc when he is to assassinate Rand and Min and Isam when he wants to go fill his idle time hunting wolves since "Isam liked killing wolves even more than Luc did." I think by this time, Luc is truly evil since he "had rather looked forward to killing his nephew and the wench."

re Egwene's ta'vereness

I kind of wonder if ta'vereness doesn't rub off a little on people who are close to those truly ta'veren, somewhat similar to the Shadar Logoth taint. Egwene was very close to Rand for a long time and being a strong channeler and having an aptitude for manipulation could magnify this. Or maybe, our ta'veren can tug the pattern through those they are close to. Egwene is not the only female who has had people question whether she is ta'veren. Dobraine nicknames Min "Lady Ta'veren" in PoD since many of the women nobility copy her fashion. And also Faile has the ability to gather people to do her bidding. It seems to me that it's either the boys rubbing off on people or tugging life threads using these people by proxy.

But then again, I helped contribute to the madness that was TSR #10, so you can take what I think with a grain of salt.
100. jlfitz
Ok regarding Elaida, When exactly was she an Accepted? Looking throuth WOT Encyclopedia and the WOT Timeline, this is what I get:

Before 970NE Meidani and Elaida are pillow-friends as novices, but Elaida breaks off the friendship when she is raised to Accepted.

970ish NE While still an Accepted, Elaida has a Foretelling that the Royal line of Andor is the key to winning the Last Battle. (TSR,Ch1)

About 971 NE, while counselor to Queen Mordrellen of Andor, Gitara convinces Lord Luc that the outcome of Tarmon Gai'don depends upon him going to the Blight. (LoC,Ch16)

In 972 NE Gitara tells Tigraine that disaster will befall the world unless she goes to the Three-fold Land, becomes a Maiden of the Spear, and does not return until the Maidens go to Tar Valon. (TSR,Ch34, LoC,Ch16)

978NE New Spring
Elaida is the first novice in recent memory to finish novice training in only three years. (NS,Ch2)

1000NE (Some time)
More than thirty years ago, Meidani and Elaida are pillow-friends as novices, but Elaida breaks off the friendship when she is raised to Accepted. (CoT,Prologue, KoD,Ch25)

SOOO, It looks like Elaida actually fortold the importance of the Andor line before Gitara, but she was in no position to act on it. Her Foretelling had "expired" by the time she acted on it.
101. Mark-S
@ 95. u_turnagain
Well, how can one make the claim that perrin is TV then? All his actions are skill based...

TV's seem to influence those in close proximity. Rand with the marriages, and twisting of fate. Mat's luck is pretty localized. Perrin influencing those he's talking to, etc. Eg's promotions were decided 100's of miles away, her channeling ability is luck of the draw, and Jordan tends to accent her deft hand at politics unlike the three boys.
Sydo Zandstra
102. Fiddler

Well, how can one make the claim that perrin is TV then? All his actions are skill based. His skills from the wolves, his skill at politicking (talking others into doing what he wants). He does it all with help from wolves and people like Faile, Berelain, even the whitecloaks. He was even summoned from EF because Mo thought she could tell him what to do. Why should we chalk up Perrin's rebuilding Manetheren to TV but Egwene's rise to Amyrlin Seat as just skill, influence and friends?

Again, no. Check Leigh's summary above, on the part where Perrin & co arrive at the al'Seen farm, and one irritated remark by Perrin makes the al'Seen family turn 180 degrees and head off to Emond's Field.

That is Ta'veren'ness at work. Rand entering the Sea Folk ship where his gray AS had been negotiating for days and getting things done right away is also Ta'veren'ness at work. They did not get any help there. They just were around and it happened.

In comparison, Egwene never had such luck just by being around; she always got it by help or skill. The only moment that comes close is when she was riding with Siuan and found Myrelle's camp where they were nursing Lan. But IIRC, that was just shrewdness on her part by looking at the others. And that didn't change the course of events in a Major way as in the way the al'Seen family or the Sea Folk negotiators switched thought from one moment to another.

On a side note, Nicola tried to blackmail Egwene as well. Would she have done that if Egwene were Ta'veren? Would she have run over to Elaida if she knew Egwene were Ta'veren?

And no, I'm not buying your theory that Egwene could hide her being a Ta'veren. The very essence of a person being Ta'veren is that the ability cannot be controlled by that person. Stuff happens around them, out of their control, and it doesn't wait until those people are cornered somewhere.
103. Rikka
Leigh's back blogging again! All else falls by the wayside! :D
104. Tony Zbaraschuk
Elaida was Aes Sedai well before 970, IIRC (she shows up in New Spring already wearing the shawl). And her Foretelling was quite correct: the Royal line of Andor was key to the last battle, since it would give rise to Rand. Elaida's mistake was in assuming that "the Royal Line of Andor" meant "the Royal Line when the Last Battle happens" instead of "the Royal Line right now as I am foretelling" (and its descendant even after it lost Royal Line status).
105. dcole78
Ah leigh is back! *sticks IV in well tracked arm* AHHHHHH!! *zoned out smile comes over face*

I never worried much about Luc just was to annoying to figure it out for me. The rest of these chapters I enjoyed. Seeing Perrin come back and build a defense was very entertaining, and we get to see how crazy the whitecloaks are...they are so much fun to hate!

The 800 posts were about like my first bit leigh...though I think we also talked about which characters we would like to boink, marry, or kill.
106. jlfitz
@104 Tony Zbaraschuk

So the timing may be off a litle, but not by much. To say more than thirty would I think imply 31-36/37. At 37-39 you might say almost forty instead of more than thirty. It can't be 40 or more or she would have said more than 40.

Point is she still had her foretelling before Gitara.

I didn't see any mention of how long Elaida was Accepted.
107. Mackey62
Just a thought re: Egwene as TV. If Rand is such an Uber TV, doesn't it stand to reason that his TVness is going to make sure people where they will help him the most, i.e. Egwene is Amyrlin Seat.
Alice Arneson
108. Wetlandernw
Best reason I know to think Egwene is NOT ta'veren? RJ said so. Can't point you to the source off the top of my head, but he said something like "none of the main female characters are ta'veren."

Personally, I like Mackey62's thought at 107. With Rand's importance in the Pattern, it stands to reason...
109. Oberndorf
With regards to Slayer's role in the tale, I've always seen him as a sort of Shadow counterpart to Perrin.

Part of this is related to the wolves' opinions of Shadowspawn. Their vehement distaste implies that they, along with Young Bull, will do battle with the Shadow at Tarmon Gaidon.

This, then, explains why Slayer, the anti-Wolfbrother, would hunt them down. They have a natural antipathy to his Shadow-derived nature and (per this theory, anyway) they are his opposite number.

Further, the only animals Slayer seems to have it in for are wolves (explaining their absence in the Two Rivers) and hawks (which tend to prey naturally on carrion birds and rats, cutting into the Shadow's recon forces).

Finally, Slayer, like Perrin, enters TAR without channeling or apparent Dreaming. This reinforces his connection to Perrin personally, rather than his nominal cousin Lan.

In this loony theory, then, I see Slayer leading the Wild Hunt in the last battle opposite Perrin's wolves.
Andrew Lovsness
110. drewlovs
I can honestly say that on the first read through, I DID notice the "pedastal" Perrin and others put Aei Sedai in regards to their personal feelings. They (Perrin and others) just don't believe Aei Sedai are capable of them. Alanna mourning?? Inconcievable!! That it never enters his mind is a sign of realism to me; how many of us have had an associate that had a front of pure iron and stone? And then, one day we see them dealing with over-whelming human emotion, and we realized that they are not as ... umm, tough?... as we thought. I had a boss that was almost a machine, until he found out that his mother was very sick in Italy. I saw him crying when he was leaving work, and it stunned me; then I was ashamed of myself for thinking that he didn't care for his mother as much as I did mine.

After thinking on it, I have to agree with you, Leigh, that the trio needs to be in the fore-front. But I have no CLUE as to why one of the trio could not have been a woman. If Perrin was just the side character, and Egwene was the third part of the trio, the story would still have worked, and it would certainly explain why she had so much success with life in general. Oh well.

I have also often wondered if Luc was able to channel. If he could, even slightly, he could have been turned with the 13 fade rule. It actually would explain a lot, though then we would have no idea why Isam just doesn't channel when he gets into trouble.

Then again, he might just be able to channel as much as Elayne's mommy...
111. Lsana
@61 Emerkel, 82 Egglie:

I also had the same thought about Luc being able to channel. It could fit with some circumstances--Luc is Rand's uncle, Gitara may have wanted to send Luc to the blight rather than gentle a prince of Andor--but it leaves a major problem: if Luc could channel, why can't Slayer? If he has Luc's body and Luc's soul, one would think he could.

RE: supergirls as main characters

I'm going to dissent from the herd on this one and say that I don't think they are. They may get an equal number of pages to the boys (though I've never counted), but their actions don't have nearly the same impact on the story (not the same thing as the impact on the world). Without Rand, obviously, there would be no story. Without Mat and Perrin, the story would be completely different. Without Elayne and Nynaeve, we would miss out on a few subplots.

Obviously, this is subjective, but I try to imagine WOT without the whole Perrin in the Two Rivers plot, Mat's adventures with the Aiel, the wolves at Dumai's wells, or the Band of the Red Hand, and it just doesn't work. On the other hand, I can easily imagine WOT without Valen Luca's circus, the travels with the Windfinders, or the whole throne of Andor plot. When the girls take the stage, it always seems to be for a sidequest.
Alice Arneson
112. Wetlandernw
So I just HAVE to say it. Here's the final lunacy count:

TSR10: 845 (and officially closed for comment!)

Leigh Butler's JordanCon report: 97

Richard Fife's JordanCon report: 108

For a grand total of... 1050 comments while waiting for TSR11. Lunacy. Sheer lunacy. And it wasn't even a full moon.

(For those who care, it seemed appropriate to add them up, since it's mostly the same people posting on all three, and after 800 or so, Pablo strongly encouraged us to move to one of the JordanCon threads before we broke something... oops. Too late... Oh, and I categorically refuse to go back through and subtract the posts which were repeated because someone twitched. It was fun, but not fun enough to read it all again. Once was quite enough.)
113. Tankard of ale
A rambling about Egwene as ta'veren.
Does carrying the unborn child of a ta'veren also make the child a ta'veren?

If the child is ta'veren, Does it share some of that with the mother along with threads of other abilities?

Or is the child special in a non-channeling way and the final battle ends the ability to channel the one source?
Alice Arneson
114. Wetlandernw
113. Tankard of ale
Does carrying the unborn child of a ta'veren also make the child a ta'veren?

No, according to the Creator, you are not born ta'veren. The pattern makes you one if it needs you to be one. It's not genetic. Channelling, however, is definitely genetic, so that's another question.
115. PieterT
Glad you're back Leigh! I've missed your re-reads. Judging by the comments in the last post, I wasn't the only one.
116. hoping to be of the blood

Here's the qutoe from RJ's blog

"of course women can be ta’veren. None of the major female characters in the books is ta’veren, though. The Wheel doesn’t cast ta’veren around indiscriminately. There has to be a specific reason or need. (I tossed in the “major” just to leave you something to argue about.)"

So, not the supergirls, but maybe someone else...
117. Smatt
Damn, I was still looking for where I had read that Egwene could mimick Ta'veren. Think I will give up now and chalk it down to a bad dream.

Could Bela or Narg be a non major Ta'varen? No wait Hopper...
118. Tankard of ale
@114 Wetlandernw

Thank you for the response. I wasn't sure with Rand being so strong in the one power and joining with Nynaeve in the cleaning, if that might somehow influence the wheel.

You're reply makes sense to me now and I seem to remember that. Appreciate the help in answering my question.
Alice Arneson
119. Wetlandernw
116. hoping to be of the blood

Thanks! I knew I'd read it recently, just couldn't remember where and didn't have time to go scrounging.

118. Tankard of ale

No prob. Trivia is what I'm best at.

(Back in the dark ages, when Trivial Pursuit had been out for a few years but I'd never played, a friend told me I'd be good at it: "You have a trivial mind." Gee thanks. You should have seen the backpedalling to get out of that one.)
Brian Cavanaugh
120. jagahanas
It is clearly no mistake that Leigh and Light are only one letter off!!! (and some shifting)
121. tearl
Smatt @117


Bela is major and female. So Bela can't be.

Jeade'en now....
122. Randalator
Lsana @111

Obviously, this is subjective, but I try to imagine WOT without the whole Perrin in the Two Rivers plot, Mat's adventures with the Aiel, the wolves at Dumai's wells, or the Band of the Red Hand, and it just doesn't work. On the other hand, I can easily imagine WOT without Valen Luca's circus, the travels with the Windfinders, or the whole throne of Andor plot. When the girls take the stage, it always seems to be for a sidequest.

The girls find the Bowl of the Winds and use it to heal the weather. That is not a sidequest. There wouldn't be any story left to tell by KoD if the Dark One had continued his big Randland barbecue.

Egwene challenging Elaida for the Amyrlin seat is another really big plotpoint. Without Egwene the SAS would have already faltered and returned to the Tower. Can you see Elaida joining forces with Rand in time for Tarmon Gai'don? Or ever, for that matter? Without Egwene Rand and the Tower(s) would inevitably head towards war. And I mean one of the kind where it's not over until one side is completely wiped off the face of the earth. I think we all know where that will lead to concerning the Last Battle. Not hugs and puppies, it won't.
123. Rebecca Starr
Smatt@117 - I don't think you're crazy. Now that you've said it, I think I recall that mimicking ta'veren thing about Egwene too.

My read on Luc/Isam is that we will definitely see him some more, and in a big way. I've always assumed he is the Dark version of Perrin. so if this was the SATs, Perrin is to Wolves as Luc is to Darkhounds. in fact, isn't that why he was killing wolves in TAR? to turn them into Darkhounds?

grayhake@48 - i am laughing at your typo because I think it would have been more apt to write, "stub their toh"

any thoughts on why Chapter 32 is marked with the Dragon's Fang? seems odd for a chapter with no saidin, unless they just mean neighbors scrawling it on each other's doors from Whitecloak suspicion.

as to Chapter 33, I forget how awesome Perrin is here. it was nice to read, because by Malden he's.... well, decidedly not awesome.

talk about shedding suspicion on Verin! I've always wondered what she had Tomas up to while Perrin rescues the prisoners
124. Smatt
Thanks Rebecca. I can call off the men on white coats now. Still giving up on the search though.
Sam Mickel
125. Samadai
Tomas was turning off the tractor beam
126. Freelancer
@110 drewlovs,

Then again, he might just be able to channel as much as Elayne's mommy...

RJ doesn't just throw out those kind of twists after books and books. Not without a hint or a foreshadow. Luc's internal POV refers to the special "gifts" he has received from the DO, but channeling isn't one of them. That ability is linked eternally to the soul.

If the whole point of the Luc as Channeler speculation is to accomodate him being originally a good guy who is then turned into a bad guy, that's an unnecessary stretch. I would guess that the whole "merging of two personalities" thing doesn't happen every day, Isam was surely a DF, and the shadow prophecy left in the Fal Dara dungeon by Fain indicates that when the two met in the Mountains of Dhoom, Isam overcame Luc.
One did live, and one did die, but both are.
No problem to imagine that the dominant personality (Isam) would determine the overall mindset, even if Luc had been as much a goodie-boy as Galad.

@123 Rebecca Star

I believe that a darkhound needs to kill a wolf for it to be turned into another darkhound, ala lycanthropy of legend. Can't see Slayer creating them just by killing them in the Wolf Dream. Going back to that Fal Dara prophecy again;
Luc came to the Mountains of Dhoom.
Isam waited in the high passes.
The hunt is now begun. The Shadow's hounds now course, and kill.
Of course this strongly implies a connection between Slayer and the darkhounds, but I swear, when I first read it I was sure it referred to Slayer and Fain, since each tends to think himself a "hound of the Great Lord". But hey, dual meanings/applications come easy to RJ.

Aside from that, when Hopper was telling Perrin that a wolf dying in the Dream is dead completely, he would have said something if he even suspected that Slayer was producing Shadowbrothers.
127. JamesEdJones
117 Smatt

I thought the only reference to generating tavereness was through the terangreal shaped like some dice... I'm pretty sure that in included a story about a coin landing on its edge every time.

Was that something that was in the books, or did I just imagine it? Please advise.
128. KenB3
Okay, tons of comments probably means mine isn't getting read. However, I have one thing I really want to add to this discussion.

James Rigney went to the Citadel and then to Vietnam. As a young lieutenant he was in charge of experienced soldiers who were older than he was. Based on his medals I would say this worked out for him okay.

Mat, Perrin, and Rand all have this same experience. Jordan also writes these large scale battles in a very convincing manner, again probably from experience.

I just think the storyline is coming from somewhere different than "the farmer boy is destined to be a hero." I have not seen this referenced so far in the blog or the comments and had to point it out.
129. Smatt
The dice terangreal does not re-create the effects of a Ta'veren. It increases luck. So it would not change what a person is doing or planning to do like Perrin does in the Two Rivers.

Good for craps bad for horse racing as Mat mentions.
130. JamesEdJones
129 Smatt

Got it. Thanks, Smatt. And, KenB3, just wanted to let you know that folks are reading these things up until the next one posts. Cheers.
Alice Arneson
131. Wetlandernw
Just to mess with it, I finally had time to search RJ's blog and found the following:

"...we have never met anyone who has the Talent of emulating the effects of a ta’veren over a small area."

That said, I still think (like Rebecca Starr and Smatt) that I read something in one of the books about mimicking the effect. Maybe one of the other characters thought she did? Oy.
Chiara Elvira
132. elvyelvy
Nice to have you back, Leigh. We had a bleak empty week without your posts, and tried to fill it up, ended up in a collective state of lunacy, got to know each other better, messed up the #10 (woops) & showed how glued we are to the series and to this community.

Sooo good to be back to normal (?) once more, I see almost all tutus have been taken off, I can get my Leigh-fix (prescription says three times every week, Mon-Wed-Fri) and all the past twitching is over, almost. *sighs contentedly*

Let me add my two coppers on Luc/Isam: I strongly agree with Rebecca and several others, that Luc/Isam is going to pop out again in the coming three books, it’s not like RJ creating a “promising” character and then throwing it away. There were enough hints to make Wotfans certain that he will play some role around/about TG. Exactly what, well we can just RAFO.

*hugs LynnHo*
Alice Arneson
133. Wetlandernw
Oh, and if you have time, go read RJ's blog on good & evil in fantasy literature. Good stuff.
134. Freelancer
@127 JamesEdJones

It's in one of the books, in the description of various Ter'angreal stolen by the BA. But the dice thingy isn't mimicking Ta'verenness, it suspends randomness. This is somewhat like Mat's Luck, which is a separate attribute from his Ta'verenness.

I tend to think that his Luck is a composite effect of his Ta'verenness, his Manetheren Old Blood aura, and the SL dagger's influence on him. He first manifested the unnatural luck at Tar'Valon, just after being Healed from the dagger.
135. Carl M P
Had to comment:
@126 Did you really connect Fain and Slayer as "hounds of darkness" on your first reading of TGH?

Love that Abell - the horsetrading father of Mat - is the one giving good advice about women to Perrin. Tam & Abell generally seem like the kind of people RJ think of as "decent guys"

Really love the gender-role analyzing - fascinating stuff! (Really) My 2 cents on one of the "hot" issues right now:

Why can't "supergirls" just be super girls? Isn't it enough that they do awesome stuff? For me it's a kind of reversal of gender roles: Big 3 would just be ordinary farmguys except for being TV - the major female characters all do it on pure skill.

If Luc/Slayer is Perrin's nemesis and Fain is (in my mind) Rand's "semi-arch-enemy" - who is Mat gonna face in TG?
136. Freelancer

Yes, or I wouldn't say it. I grew up reading many kinds of novels, even in my early teens, including the modern detective types, as well as old-school sci-fi, so I was conditioned to spotting Things That Will Matter Later. Along with that, I'm a terminal puzzle geek, and it didn't take long (about when Fain escapes Fal Dara) to realize that there was going to be a ton of hints to this or that buried throughout the books. So I took to reading with an eye for potential clues.

The hunt is now begun. The Shadow's hounds now course, and kill.

Tell me, had we been introduced to darkhounds yet when this was written by Fain? No, not until Illian with Moiraine, Lan, Perrin and Faile. So who is meant by the Shadow's hounds? The two lines ahead of that one are about Luc/Isam, and it is written by Fain. Not a stretch at all, thankyouverymuch.

No, I don't know who killed Asmodean. But I do know what Herid Fel was talking about in his final note.
Richard Fife
137. R.Fife
For the record, I never said that I thought Slayer would not be used later, I just felt that his introduction was somewhat, well, lacking? Thus far, villians have either been "Hi, now I'm dead" or kinda built up, explained, and recurring. Slayer fits neither of these molds. He disappears after a little meeting with an arrow for several books, and when he returns, he isn't even confronting anyone, per se, just lurking around and being "Oooo, I'm evil".

From an editorial standpoint, I find him annoying. (dodges the wrath of Harriet for that comment). He just seems not that well developed in the grand scheme of things, almost like a throwaway info-dump of a character.

"Oh, btw, here's Luc/Isam that I talked about last book, he's evil, now he's gone for a while, oh, here he is again, see, I didn't forget him! Now he's gone again."

I truly do hope we get more Slayer screentime in AMoL (preferably in tGS) just to help me justify his introduction all the way back here and his foreshadowing back in Fal Dara.
Richard Fife
138. R.Fife
Random thing I noticed in the link Wetlander posted:
Warders don’t slow. They age at a natural pace, but they do maintain vitality and vigor beyond the levels associated with most ordinary men. That said, I recently saw a photograph of a man in his seventies who had an absolutely ripped six-pack. In fact, from the neck down, if you were told you were looking at somebody in his 20s or 30s, you’d just think he was in incredible shape. And he wasn’t bonded to anyone. Also, Aes Sedai can release a Warder from the bond. In fact, I have said that most Aes Sedai who have time to realize that they are dying will release any Warders they have in order to spare them the effects. I’m pretty certain I have said that publicly, by the way.

So, there we have it. The warder bond is breakable. I recall us arguing about that earlier.
139. Carl M P
I can see what you mean (myself having spotted Keyser Soze after reading Foundation). It implies though that Fain and Slayer knew eachother from before (or is Fain "foretelling" that ONE time?) or is Slayer coming to kill Fain in Fal Dara (why not just TAR himself in there?)? I´m confused as to the connection between them in that stage of the story... Are they perhaps meant to destroy one anonther? I - just - don't - get -it.
Maria Simons
140. sulamein
#128 Actually, Jim went to Vietnam first, and then to the Citadel.
141. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Greyhawk @45
Tam isn't one of the best archers in the Two Rivers. He is the best archer around.
Freelancer @73
You forgot "Disperse the Shaido. Break them."
142. Aye Aye Sedai
Re AS and warders - wasn't the warder in TW Alanna's - Did not think Verrin had one when did she pick one up?

Perhaps Alanna snuck off to find comfort and perhaps another warder? Plus the BAS can also shield their Lawful Good paladin ( i mean warder) from thers Blackness.

Do all the BAS think of them selves as Do minions initially or are they gradually corrupted and then black mailed into taking the Black Oaths.

I recall that the as can hide/dimish the bond but never not feel it - so this is for the upcoming Amrylin event - why does she not feel her warder's death?

Ditto - Leigh - had the Luc/Slayer combo pegged (2 x 4) but never understood the Isam connection that was very well interspersed from the 1st book.

Wonder if Verrin could be the oldest AS - do we know how old she is?
craig miller
143. craigpmiller
Thanx again Leigh

Lots of Perriny goodness for all.
144. Aye Aye Sedai
IS there a WoT drinking game - Is there one we can we can develop for the blog -
Hey R Fife posted - drink -

Some one posts about jealousy of RFife at con - drink

Mentions R Fife's yellow shawl chug

pictures of R Fife in said shawl - chug twice

and if that shawl is the only thing R Fife is wearing - open a bottle of absenthe and polish it off :)

Remember to read and post responsibly - buzzed posting is drunk posting :)
jane reynolds
145. janie
bookworm@10 and other Verin-likers
I agree - she interesting precisely because she is confusing - what the hell is her agenda? 7 books later and we still can't say for sure.

That is a totally plausible and utterly insightful - uh, insight. Wow. Moments like this are why I read this stuff. Thank you.

Super sneaky Verin! Awesome! Myself, I'm more interested in the resolution to the debate on Verin's allegiance than the one about Asmo ... Roll on book 12/13/14!

Woah. I can't believe I didn't notice that, what with all the associated head banging! Boy am I dense!

Def agree about missing soooo much if you don't re-read, when I read KOD I had only read COT once when it came out, and I remember being all confused about WTF was going on with Elaida and Alviarin cos I had forgotten the whole Elaida-firing-Alviarin's-ass. I can only imagine trying to figure out what was going on with only having read the earlier books once. Yikes!

Interesting observation, but it really just emphasises how narrow minded Elaida is. When you think about just how many characters could qualify as part of the Royal line (Morgase, Elayne, Rand, Gawyn, Galad, Luc/Slayer, even Elayne and Rand's kiddies, at a stretch, or maybe even a combination), the fact that she latches on to one without even considering any of the others ... I can see why she didn't choose white.

On the Luc/Isam/Slayer debate:
I agree that Slayer must have some part to play in TG - he's just had too much build up with the dark prophecy and turning up in TSR for finding out that he murdered various people to be his only purpose.
From memory, I think the POVs (or PsOV?) we've had show that Luc and Isam are both evil, but I kind of like the theory that Luc can channel slightly and so was turned ... I mean, channelling is genetic, and lots of the royal line can channel, so ...? Maybe. Nothing says he has to be a strong channeller, or even aware of it.

On the supergirls as main characters:
I think bkaul@93 came closest to the way I feel on this issue - aside from Rand, who is a special case, the supergirls waaay outmatch Mat and Perrin (they can channel, a lot) and having the boys be ta'veren seems more to explain why they are main characters. And I always assumed the three boys being the focus at the beginning was mostly due to the fact that they were about the same age, and no one knew exactly which one was going to turn out to be important. Making them ta'veren might have been a reason to keep the other two around.

Unrelatedly, it's really windy here today ...
jane reynolds
146. janie
aye aye sedai@142
There is a discussion of Verin's age on the FAQ, and it mentions that Cadsuane is older. But she's pretty darn old.
147. sinfulcashew
See how great it is!
Just checking in to see how it is going!
How long was I gone?
I'm on PST or is it PDT?
I'm on the pacific side of the u s of a.
148. Freelancer

Nope, Verin has had Tomas for quite some time. Allana had two warders up to the Two Rivers visit, Owein being the one killed by the Whitecloaks.


You know what they say, "Absinthe makes the heart beat softer."


No way to know how Fain knows about Slayer at that point. How did he know about Toman Head? About the Seanchan coming across the Aryth Ocean? About the Daughter of the Night being loose? I guess the bad guy can have access to future visions as well as the good guys.
John Massey
149. subwoofer
'K- I'm here -Let the good times roll!
@45 Greyhawk- yup I feel gyped that Tam and Abell are not focused on for a bit- they could of been peripheral characters like Loial or Thom etc. When Perrin has a TR marching for him through various countries, Tam and Abell could of been captains for him - strike me down if I have remembered this wrong/ I did glance over the whole Perrin chasing after Faile saga as I found it incredibly annoying.-
@52 Hopingtobe... good point Brigette did recognize Luc as an evil. Pinning down what he is is as elusive as Fain. Someone want to explain that to me? You have obvious evil in the Forsaken who tap the power and do nasty things, but then Fain comes along and makes Myrddraal sweat. Then there is Luc who brings in Myrddraal heads into the village on a regular basis and can walk around in TAR with quite a bit of skill and go marching into the TOG... things that make me!
Interesting about the shades of evil floating around. There are many evils in our world so it stands to reason the same for other worlds.
@70LynnOH Tai'shar WoTer. Here's a toast to us.
@100jlfitz- niggawat? somebody is taking serious notes. I was just reading the books. The nerve of me.
@134 Freelancer exactly!... but you forgot the lucky horseshoe shoved up his butt.
Will be skimming this puppy too... NFL draft day tomorrow- gotta do some R&D.
John Massey
150. subwoofer
Oh R. Fife, you forgot a crucial piece of Norse Mythology I feel is often overlooked but important.
John Massey
151. subwoofer
Question- is Brigette ta'veren? Has many qualifications. She is a hero from the age of legends. She is linked to the horn. She is linked strongly to the pattern... or was. Now that the cranky midget with the braid ripped her out maybe she bends things to her. Yay Brigette! even if she isn't.
jane reynolds
152. janie
By my count, you were gone about 8 hours. It must be almost Saturday there, right? 2pm here.

Now there's an interesting point. She's not a major character, is she? So she could be ta'veren. She'd certainly be a good candidate ...
153. Freelancer

Uhh, not not really confirmed that Slayer entered the Tower, as evidenced by the discussions regarding that point in the re-read. He could have stepped into T'a'R near the Tower, hoping to trick Perrin into trying to get in. Maybe he did enter it, noone knows.
154. TairenFisher
Well, Leigh, I for one am very glad you took a week off. You know those movies where the train is going down the track and someone is trying to catch it, but just can't (Slumdog Millionaire)? Well, I have been trying to catch the Leightrain for what seems like months now and finally (thanks to JordanCon)I caught it!!!! Yeah me! Sorry I missed TSR #10 (845??? WTF?) But here now.

Freelancer @73
I'm with you on TEOTW as fave. I started reading this series 20 years ago and got sucked in from the start.
Another one of my favorite parts is when Nyn heals Logain. Healing something that is impossible to heal is very cool to me.
155. Schenny
Aye Aye @142 Suian was stilled at the time of his death and didn't feel his death until she was healed.
Alice Arneson
156. Wetlandernw
@142, 155

Siuan's warder's death, per RJ's blog:

...a lot of people have asked questions about Alric’s death. I should have made matters plainer. As I envisioned it, Alric, having sensed Siuan’s extreme shock, came running to her and arrived just in time to be stabbed just before Siuan was taken into the anteroom. She should have sensed the knife going in, but that was masked by her shock. When she sees him lying there, he is dying, though not yet dead. As I said, I should have made it plainer.
John Massey
157. subwoofer
@Freelancer- Don't make me come over there and do math on you- I have several more drinks in me and some one has made questionable baked goods of dubious origins... burp... you can smell the 'finn on Luc, might possibly explain how he got the ability to bugger around in TAR and I thought he was in TAR when Perrin was chasing him...
And I'd like to say that my favorite book is going to be the next one written. I always felt rocked that we did not get more of the borderland perspective. When Rand and company were in Shienar it was soooo good. They were in the real world with real soldiers that face Trollocs and Myrddraal on a daily basis. You could feel Tarmon Gai'don going on and the reality of the war with the Shadow. Cairhienin is busy buggering around with the GOH and Illian and all other coastal cities are mired with Seanchan or Forsaken games and not with a feeling of real whoop ass. I want to get back to Uno cussing and some real epic battle scenes and all that good stuff...
Chris Hall
159. bookwormchris
No time to read all the comments now, but I did want to say this:

Do Aes Sedai have a book of aliases or something? You would think somebody would notice when women keep showing up in your part of the world "looking for stories."

That is all for now, besides this being one of my favorite books due to the whole Perrin/Two Rivers homecoming/epic battle. Also, Loial is pretty awesome coming up.
Abdel Masdoua
160. TheDarkOne
IIRC, I don't think that Fain wrote the Dark Prophecy.
My memory is a little fuzzy (I bought a pretty dagger with a huge ruby on the hilt a few days ago...) but I seem to remember RJ saying something about a Myrdraal writing it.
May be wrong though...
Will make a quick search about it!
161. birgit
As the innkeepers daughter, I could never understand her unbearable pride.

She is the mayor's daughter and Wisdom's apprentice. Then she becomes AS...

any thoughts on why Chapter 32 is marked with the Dragon's Fang? seems odd for a chapter with no saidin, unless they just mean neighbors scrawling it on each other's doors from Whitecloak suspicion.

I thought it was a clue that Luc is a darkfriend.
Maybe Slayer will be important because he finally manages to kill Fain.

In the end would Rand or Lan be able to make Slayer remember his human side(s) - he is a total coldblooded assasin now.

Slayer's coldness is because he enters TAR in the flesh all the time. Rand also enters TAR in the flesh several times and that is part of why he becomes so hard.

Does Verin know so much because she has the Foretelling and kept it to herself?
Sydo Zandstra
162. Fiddler
Carl M P@135:

If Luc/Slayer is Perrin's nemesis and Fain is (in my mind) Rand's "semi-arch-enemy" - who is Mat gonna face in TG?

Shaidar Haran maybe? And there's still a gholam wandering around that only Mat has a chance to neutralize.

Left unchecked that gholam could win the Last Battle on its own.
or maybe not

alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed @141:

Tam isn't one of the best archers in the Two Rivers. He is the best archer around.

My memory is blurry here, but I seem to recall that there is an old guy in Perrin's army that is actually the best bowman in the Two Rivers, but he just never entered the bow contests. That would be in PoD, WH or CoT. I'll keep an eye out for that in my reread.

However, even if I'd be right here, it doesn't make Tam less cool ;)


She (Birgitte) is linked to the horn.

I am not sure she is linked to the Horn anymore. After Elayne ripped her out of TAR (and that was the only thing Elayne could do to save her, so no judgement here), she mentioned something about losing memories of her past lives. Also, the Heroes of the Horn are waiting in TAR to be called by it.

This leads to a more general question: when a Hero of the Horn has been spun out by the Pattern to live a life again, would he/she be called when somebody sounds the Horn of Valere? (I wish I had thought to ask that when RJ signed my books...)

General Tam and Abell stuff:

Like most others, I like these two guys. I didn't find it strange that Tam took Perrin's orders, since Tam acknowledged they were sensible ones. With his experience as Second Captain in the Illianer Elite forces and being a veteran of the Aiel War, he can be the judge of that.

Of course we didn't know all of this at this stage, but I bet RJ had tagged Tam this way already here. Actually, I am sure he did. I went to a lecture by RJ years ago, when he was visiting The Netherlands, and he said that originally he meant to tell a story about a man coming back home, after having been out to War, and see how his views on things had changed. That would be Tam coming home after the Aiel War. But RJ changed his mind after having started to write the story, and switched to Rand as the main character.

About Abell, I have the impression that Mat is really his father's son. Abell shows a little pride when Perrin tells him about Mat's doings in Tear. Also, Mat's skill with a Quarterstaff (beating Galad and Gawyn), his skill at bartering and his eye for horses were learned from Abell. Those are skills that have nothing to do with Mat's Ta'veren'ness.

And they both deserve kudo's for going to Tar Valon to ask about their sons. I always wondered why Perrin's dad didn't go with them...
Helen Peters
163. Helen
145. janie
On the Luc/Isam/Slayer debate:
... I mean, channelling is genetic, and lots of the royal line can channel, so ...? Maybe. Nothing says he has to be a strong channeller, or even aware of it.

Sorry, you've done an Elaida here, that's the current royal line, not the one Luc came from.

Staying With Luc/Isam/Slayer. How come no- one has recognised him, esp Verin or Perrin. OK Perrin has a bit on his plate at the moment, but even so... He grew up with Rand, who looks like Tigraine (who presumably has some resemblance to her brother) and has just spent a year or so travelling with Lan who probably looks like his cousin in some way (as nearly all the other characters seem to resemble their relatives). But everyone else around knows Rand and Lan must have stuck in their minds, at least in EF, as he was a major force helping save them on Winter's night.

Re: 845 posts on #10. Leigh, everyone was good and played nicely as you've taught us.
Galen Brinn
164. GatheringStorm
Freelancer @ 148,

I suppose Ingtar would have told Fain about all that. Ingtar had disappeared and most likely would have been at the Darkfriend meeting with Ishy/Balzamon at the beginning, which is where he would have learned it (like Bors/Jaichim Carridin).
165. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Birgit @161
That's a bit of a stretch to attribute Rand's hardness to entering TAR in the flesh. For one thing, Min can literally feel when Rand is hardening himself in Far Madding, where Rand can't channel his way into TAR. Besides, there is a simpler reason for Rand to harden himself and that is the taint on Saidin.

Fiddler @162
My memory isn't much better than yours. But my impression was that that guy's skill was more along hunting, or tracking or trapping, which while related skills to just plain archery is not entirely identical. Archery is simply using the bow to hit a target. Hunting, tracking and trapping also involves a very good sense for the lay of the land. In the words of Mel Brooks, it's location, location, location.

Helen @163
Agreed, when the girls see him in TAR, they notice the resemblance immediately and describe him as looking like Rand's uncle, if he had a cruel uncle. Which ironically he is.
Abdel Masdoua
166. TheDarkOne
"Sorry, you've done an Elaida here"

LMAO! Good One!

"Staying With Luc/Isam/Slayer. How come no- one has recognised him, esp Verin or Perrin."

IIRC, Perrin remarks to himself, both inside TAR and outside, about Slayer looking akin to either Rand or Lan, depending on which personality of the Luc/Isam Binome he assumes at the time.
So there you go, Perrin recognises him more or less...

As for Verin, I really don't think she has seen Luc or Isam before, so no way she could recognise either one of them, although she certainly knows about Isam: as a scholar, she must be familiar with the Fall of Malkier.
Therefore, when she hears the Trollocs shouting "Isam!", her brilliant mind will immediately jump back to the Dark Prophecy she saw at Fal Dara...
Don't really know where I'm going there, but I just love Verin as a secondary but deeply interesting character!
I really hope she's one of the Good Guys, but whishing won't make it so...
Anyway, Go Verin, Go Light!
Abdel Masdoua
167. TheDarkOne
Birgit@161 & alreadymad@165:
I think you're both right.
The effect of entering TAR in the flesh, the taint on Saidin, , the list of dead women, the fact that he must use people, and more broadly the fact that he thinks he must be hard to fulfill his role as the Dragon Reborn and the leader of the forces of the Light, all of that combined and you can understand why Cadsuane and Sorilea are teaming up to teach him laughter and tears.
Sydo Zandstra
168. Fiddler

My memory isn't much better than yours. But my impression was that that guy's skill was more along hunting, or tracking or trapping, which while related skills to just plain archery is not entirely identical. Archery is simply using the bow to hit a target.

The Hunting part would make this guy good. Aim... Hit!
But as I said, I'm not sure on this, and it isn't a big deal. We'll find out later :d.

Unless you suggest he was jumping all those deers and wrung their necks. If so, we have a master hunter :d ;)
169. Randalator
Fiddler @162

After Elayne ripped her out of TAR (and that was the only thing Elayne could do to save her, so no judgement here), she mentioned something about losing memories of her past lives.

Elayne didn't rip Birgitte out of TAR, that was Moghedien after Birgitte interfered with her tying Nynaeve into a knot. Elayne was in the waking world at that time.

What Elayne DID do is bond Birgitte to save her life...
170. AfroSamurai
Rebecca Starr@123 "I am laughing at your typo because I think it would have been more apt to write, "stub their toh" "

So I feel a little geeky but this made me LMAO.
John Massey
171. subwoofer
Hey waddidi miss?
I am going to go a little off topic here, but as we are covering chapters about Perrin I feel some relevance here. Perrin has an interesting conversation with Gaul- another peripheral character that makes Wot so great- and they have a roundabout conversation about prejudice.
Gaul, you've never mentioned my eyes, or even given them a second glance.
"The world is changing" Gaul said quietly. "Rhuarc and Jheran, my own clan chief- the Wise Ones, too- they tried to hide it, but they were uneasy when they sent us across the Dragonwall searching for He Who Makes Coffee In The Morning. I think perhaps the change will not be what we have always believed. I do not know how it will be different, but it will be. The Creator put us in the Three-fold land to shape us as well as to punish our sin, but for what have we been shaped?" He shook his head suddenly, ruefully. "Colinda, the Wise One of Hot Springs Hold, tells me I think too much for a Stone Dog, and Bair, the eldest Wise One of the Shaarad, threatens to send me to Rhuidean when Jheran dies whether I want to go or not. Besides all of that, Perrin, what does the color of a man's eyes matter?"

Brilliant stuff- RJ's way of speaking out about how some people can hold the color of your eyes-or skin- against you, and how there are bigger fish to fry in the world than aesthetics- how a person looks.
Also brings to light Gaul in another sense. Gaul doesn't here Rand at Alcair Dal or the big pronouncement. Maybe he is destined to become a clan chief and be to Perrin what Rhuarc is to Rand. And then Gaul could do the wierd stuff with Bain and Chad about the whole fighting with a Maidens sisters while her brothers' hold someone back or something... ah, you know... just rambling about how all these peripheral characters, like Gaul, Tam, Abell, Brigette, Loial- could of been strong stories or even story arches in their own rights and that is what makes WoT so kick ass is that all these people are written so well and they are not even the main focus of the whole series.
*tink* *tink* That was my two cents.
Amar Ramraj
172. aiel1219
Heya peeps.
have enjoyed catchin up... very very interesting posts!

Someone asked about if Slayer is Perin's big baddy and Fain is Rand's seni-big baddy then who is Mat's?

I get the impression that Mat is gonna be Generaling it up alot in TG. He may end up facing Gholam, since someone might get the bright idea to send that AS assassin after Rand eventually. The battle memories he has and the medallion have been integrated too much into the story just to be only for the things he's used em for so far.
(Hope that makes sense, its my b'day weekend so am, inevitably, quite hammered.)
174. Tankard of ale
Aiel1219 Happy birthday to you. I enjoy every excuse to raise my tankard in a toast.

Enjoy, I am.
John Massey
175. subwoofer
yes, me and Tankard are toasting and singing together for you.
Richard Fife
176. R.Fife
Subwoofer, you've gone youtube happy, haven't you?

Happy b-day and all that Aiel. All appropriate cultural and gender-politically-correct salutations and all that.

On topic (sorta?): A'la Couladin, I don't think Mat's enemy is going to be who we expect. Perhaps it could be the Gholam, but I'm kinda expecting Mat to be the one who ends up dealing with Fain, crazy as that is.
177. Smatt

Not too crazy I think. There is the whole knife connection thing going on. It might be that he gets to kill Fain as he is a main reason for the knife being out in the world. Making amends so to speak.

Like Aiel I think most of Mats time will be taken up by being the super general and kicking shadow spawn ass en-mass.
John Massey
178. subwoofer
It would be coming full circle for Mat- he had the dagger first. Now he fights the current holder. I think he has bigger fish to fry though. He is one of the great Captains now. I think that maybe he unites the armies of Aiel and maybe Seanchan and goes to Tarmon Gai'don or something. Or Jordan goes on about Hawkwing all the time. Maybe Mat's plugged memories is the Wheel spinning Hawkwing out again in Mat...
John Massey
179. subwoofer
There is a connection. I asked Kevin Bacon and he said so.
180. Smatt
I don't think he will be Hawkwing reborn as Mat if only for the simple reason that one of Mats new memories is of Hawkwing killing him. I also think that Mat is probably a better general than Hawkwing because of all his memeories that he can call upon plus his Ta'vereness and luck.
John Massey
181. subwoofer
Yes, but the Ta'vereness thing was Hawkwing too. Can't remember where but Rand was called one of the strongest Ta'veren since Hawkwing. Mat is not as big a Ta'veren as Rand so the Hawkwing thing starts to fit nice.
182. sinfulcashew
Sheesh, I didn't realize it had been that long.
I slept since then and am baaaackkk!

Wish I had more to comment on, but I just read and go with the flow!
No deep delving for me.

I just know that Elaida needs taking out!
I have a soft spot for Suian.
I love the Aiel, except the Shaido of course!

The first time I read the books, I was disappointed if they didn't have much Rand in them.
Now I have come to appreciate ALL the characters in my rereads.

What ever RJ did is alright by me with no complaints even if I don't understand it at the time.

OK, refreshing time!
Joseph Blaidd
183. SteelBlaidd
@ 96 I was speaking metaphorically about the kind of personality that the Luc/Isam amalgam has.

There is a great examination of parallels between Fain and Mat over at the 13th Depository that sugests the break down of Nemesis might be Perrin/Slayer, Rand/Isshydin, MAT/FAIN.
184. Smatt
I agree Rand is the strongest Ta'veren. This does not mean that mat is not stronger than Hawkwing was.
John Massey
185. subwoofer
Do two 'not' 's make a Mat is as strong as Hawkwing?
John Massey
186. subwoofer
Just giving you a hard time.... I just think that there are many Parallels with Mat and Artur Paendrag Tanreall.
Amar Ramraj
187. aiel1219
Oh dang it!!
How did we all forget that Mat is the Horn Blower?? He gotta call da horn heroes at TG!!! That's a big'un folks!!

TY for the wishes...It's now SUnday here and officially PARTY time... well its just me n a few buddies chillin...but I raise my tankard in thanks :)

P.S. With a middle name like Paendrag I can kinda see why the guy tried to conquer the world!!
188. Smatt
How is this?

I agree Rand is the strongest Ta'veren. This does not mean that Hawkwing was stronger than Mat. Mat and Perrin could be the strongest after Rand.
John Massey
189. subwoofer
Mat and APT are both strong Ta'veren. They both are great generals, they both use their Ta'vereness to pull the love of their soldiers and commoners(um ...Mat's dirtbagness) to them. They both have issues with Aes Sedai and want to be rid of anyone wielding the power on them... They both like long walks on the beach, talking with friends, playing a quiet game of cards...
190. Smatt
I agree with all you a saying except I think Mat is just a bit better than Hawkwing.
John Massey
191. subwoofer
Hawkwing was hot shit in his time. He united the whole world ... He laid the Tower under seige... He was the one who sent his army across the ocean- who now come back as the Seanchan (as Mat is now married to DOTNM and is now the Raven battle whosoeverandwhatnot for Hawkwing's returning army!!!) He whooped all kinds of butt and died tied to the Wheel....
193. hoping to be of the blood
subwoofer and smatt

I don't think Mat could be Hawkwing reborn. Mat was alive when Hawkwing responded to the horn. If you're soul is reborn you no longer are in TAR.

and mat is way better than Hawkwing since he isn't blinded by overwhelming AS hatred and he has all the neat memories.
John Massey
194. subwoofer
and along comes a guy with a really long handle and just poops all over my parade....
John Massey
196. subwoofer
Mat issues with the power- ie. his whole phobia of getting healed so he has a really bad scar on his neck- could be a seed of such. And the way the AS and Nynaeve treat him in trying to get the medallion away from him so they can "study" it. Spouting such horse shit like it is power made and is thus the property of the Tower and such drivel...
197. Smatt
Remember that Hawkwing started out with a country, army and the kudos of defeating the most dangerous man since the Breaking which drew huge amounts of peiople to his cause. He then spent several years taking over the world because other countries attacked him.

Mat started out as a farmer. He has not had to defend himself against other countries yet. If he wanted to he could take over the world. He just does not want to.

Also Hawkwing was the only Ta'veren of his time. Mat as two contemparary Ta'veren one of which is the Dragon Reborn.

Mat could prod Hawkwings butt all over the place.

I kind of like Mat (hope it's not a man crush).
198. Smatt
Apart from Warders I can't think of any men who are happy to let the AS use the power on them.
199. hoping to be of the blood

Are you refering to my handle or my *deep voice* 'handle'?

btw KFC in my verification code. Gives me an idea...
200. Paracelsus
Mat's big daddy is either the Finn or the gholam.

I think it is kind of stupid to suggest his arch-nemesis is Fain when they have barely had any encounters together. Perrin is much closer to being fain's arch-nemesis than Mat ever will be. (due to Fain attacking Perrin with Trollocs in the Two Rivers)
John Massey
201. subwoofer
Yup that's what I am saying... There are many parallels with Mat and Hawkwing and it is a New Age and Mat is not Hawkwing reborn, but this is the Last Battle time, someone has to be cannon fodder and someone has to unite the world so maybe Mat is a new guy tied to the wheel and he can take his place with Hawkwing... although I still think there are many similarities that need to be explained by the Great Voice in the Sky...
John Massey
202. subwoofer
'K the next person that does the great voice handle gets this . Me making fun of them till the end of days.... or the next post.
Amar Ramraj
203. aiel1219
I think it'll be very interesting to see what Paendrag's(Pa in drag LOL!!!) reaction to Mat will be when he is summoned at TG. And the interaction there should be interesting since Mat's memories/past lives or whatever actually faced Artur.
I can see it now... Mat with his Black hat, and newly acquired eye patch and kerchief covering his noose mark telling snoty, stuckup Hawkwing "Time to Roll The Dice!"
John Massey
204. subwoofer
-sniff- flipping hoping to be-
ruining my Hawkwing theory...
I'm tellin ya- there has to be a reason RJ was beating the Hawkwing thing like a rented mule. Like he was flogging the whole Brigitte thing and pwang there she is- Hawkwing's ever victorious army is back, why can't the Wheel spit him or somebody like him- out again?
John Massey
205. subwoofer
@smatt- AS could be great um... pillow friends... using their powers for good... like stimulating things... instead of being all bossy the cow like...
206. Smatt
Ok subwoofer I'm going to throw you a bone. Maybe Mat and Tuon will have a kid who will be Hawkwing reborn who will unite the world when he is all grown up.
208. Smatt
Like Semirhage you mean....
F Shelley
209. FSS
Wait a sec. Wouldn't it much more interesting if the Heroes of the Horn were blown back at Tarmon Guidon, not to battle living darkfriends or Trollocs, but to battle dead darkfriends' ghosts? After all, the dead are walking the world. They may not interact with it at this point, but they could when the Dark One breaks free, and the Light would need people to battle for the good side as well...
John Massey
210. subwoofer
Well, yes... but she is all bossy-the-cow like and bent on evil... maybe she has a small rack and it makes her bitter because implant technology has not been invented yet. I was more thinking like Nynaeve and Lan and the fun they probably have *blush* because Nynaeve is using her powers for good....
211. Smatt
You want to be careful about what you say regarding Nynaeve. You don't wan Lan comming after you...
John Massey
212. subwoofer
@fss, well, yes, that is the purpose of the horn, to be blown, by Mat, at the last battle to whoop the dread lords butts... I was just pointing out that Mat is very Hawkwing like and now he has the Seanchan army at his back and he is going to have to be at Tarmon Gai'don to "blow" the horn... and he is Ta'veren and he commands armies not just by right but by loyalty and skill...
John Massey
213. subwoofer
@smatt, just putting the idea out there that if more AS would use their power's for the ahem benefit of man then maybe people would be less uncomfortable and unwilling to cooperate with them...
214. Smatt
Oh, well why didn't you say so in the first place. Yeah if the AS were more 'helpful' then they would not have to operate under the anathema they do, and would not have had to take the 3 oaths. Wait a minute, if the AS were not so far up their own collective arse the world would be a better place and possibly much closer to the AOL.
Richard Fife
215. R.Fife
On this notion that Mat has the Seanchan army at his back:

Remember, the Outrigger trilogy that RJ had planned was going to be three books dedicated to Mat and Tuon straightening Seanchan out. I somehow doubt that all the Seanchan generals and nobles are just going to roll over for Mat and Tuon.

After all, she hasn't sat on the crystal throne yet. For as much as the nobility may be all "fawning adoration" for the sitting Emperor/ess, that adoration does not extend to the family. I am sure there is going to be a huge ass succession war over there, damane vs damane et al, and even if Tuon can keep the Coirenne under control, she is going to have a tough time of it across the sea. And I'm not entirely sure she will keep the Seanchan this side of the water under control either. After all, how well will the military take to her giving a sudden and contrary order when she hasn't even been corinated yet?
John Massey
216. subwoofer
Exactly if AS would stop playing hot and cold and hard to get....
sorry Draft time now...
had to sign up for twitter just to get some real time updates....
It has begun!
John Massey
217. subwoofer
Fife..... gaaaaa....
there is all sorts of kneeling and bowing for those of the Blood. Why would that change now for Tuon? She is the Chosen, Mat is Ta'veren. It is academic when it will happen, but it will happen...
John Massey
219. subwoofer
'K, Twitter officially sucks ass...
There will be stuff going on, maybe for a book or a book and a bit, but there will be Mat, Tuon, a horn, Seanchan and all that good stuff at Tarmon Gai'don.
Richard Fife
220. R.Fife
Subwoofer: the blood isn't so immediately respectful to eachother. Seanchan nobles are all sorts of back-stabby Daes Dae'mar with eachother like any other nobility, and if Suroth could be tempted into thinking she could overthrow Tuon, so could others. A little bit of defamation "she married some silly oath-breaker's commoner!" and perhaps even some people making power plays back in Seanchan for the throne. Semirhage might have insinuated to Suroth that "the throne could be yours" but who knows what other darkfriend puppets she has elsewhere in the Empire.

In short, I don't know exactly how effective the Seanchan are going to be in TG. Especially with Mat's plot arc now leading heavily towards the raid on the Tower of Ghenji. Also, remember the way the books are going to be org'd. Mat's main story arc will only be in either Book 12 or Book 13, not both, and TG itself is Book 14.
221. Smatt
The Seanchan in Randland will all fall behind Tuon she is the recognised Empress now. Even Suroth was going to hail her the Empress until Semirhage told her that she had eliminated the entire royal family and started the rumour that the deathwatch guard were up to no good. It is ingrained into the Seanchan to bow down to the Empress/Emperor.

All Seanchan say the 'may she live forever' whenever they talk about thier ruler and they mean it. Suroth was weeping when told about the Empresses death.
222. tonka
Leigh, I found it quite believable that Perin is a leader. In the real world 99.99 % of the 18-years-old boys and girls would be completely unfit to be lead but there is 0.01 % that are born to be leaders , that have undergone through all too much in their still short lives , and learned some valueable lessons that even much older people has not yet.
Yes it's rare but you cannot expect the story to weave itself around those 99 % .On the contrary the Wheel of Time tells the story of these 0.01% .
John Massey
223. subwoofer
Great googly moogly... soo first things first, I'll give you back stabbing- where there is power and politics it comes with the territory. Nothing new there. Tuon has shown that she has mad skills in dealing with all that honkey bullsh!%. The Raid on the tower will be cool, but I think the big thing is the lead up... if he comes in prepared, probably with a bard, matches, his medallions and a knife or two or his funny spear thing, the biggest thing about the TOG arc is how ornery Moiraine is going to be in leaving.
As I have said, my favorite book is going to be TG. I love big battle scenes.... I am hoping Sanderson goes all out and throws in the kitchen sink... so yes, everybody is going to be there
John Massey
224. subwoofer
@smatt 221- thank you- my sentiments exactly.
Chiara Elvira
226. elvyelvy
Have a happy birthday, aiel!!!

My very little two cents tell me that the coming books are going to give much expected and much more unexpected twists of the plot. Don't know why, am I perhaps elaidaing a bit? (in a few years the Oxford Dictionary might have a similar new entry, wait and see - after disrupting *blushes* who's gonna stop us?)
227. Smatt
I don't think the TOG plot arc is the be all and end all of Mats purpose. It is just a major stepping stone towards TG.

ps Leon is a great film and I now need to watch it agian.
Amar Ramraj
228. aiel1219
I really hope we get Mat, Thom and Moiraine in tGS! I think it's the Arc I'm most interested in... then Again... Elaida...then again... The Prophet...then there's... aaarrrggghhhh!

I'm pulling a Joey!!! I want girls on bread! (no offense meant to any women)
John Massey
229. subwoofer
Maybe Mat's thing comes true-
We aren't going upstairs to find ten years gone, are we like Bili in the story
Mat goes into the TOG and comes out to find serious time has passed, everyone is there and has to haul ass to make it to the Last Battle and blow the horn
Sanchez went to the Jets.
I'm blushing too.
John Massey
230. subwoofer
Mat mentions that Bili thing twice. When RJ does that it means something. Sanderson is not RJ but I think that there may be something to it. The next quote has him coming out 10 years later with a sack full of gold.
Andre Smith went to Cinci
Ellie Virgo
231. Egglie
Lasna@11 That was it! I knew there was a good reason why I abandoned that theory.

R.fife@137 "just lurking around and being "Oooo, I'm evil". LOL nice turn of phrase.

Helen@163 "you have done an Elaida here" funny, but not technically correct as the royal line that Luc is part of also produced er... Rand.
John Massey
232. subwoofer
Perrin takes down the Prophet- Brings him to Rand- Rand asks WTF were you thinking- Prophet grovels- here Perrin, you are good at dealing with rabid people.... woof.
John Massey
233. subwoofer
and yes Leon rocks. Gary Oldman, Jean Reno, and a young Natalie Portman (meow)...
234. Smatt
Ok, please tell me that you're not saying meow to her in that film but as she looks now....
John Massey
235. subwoofer
yes... that was it... I am saying meow now....
John Massey
236. subwoofer
'k everyone, I am just putting it out there, but way way back, when I was in high school, and stuff, we had a saying... watch her develop... now, before the torches and pitchforks come after me.... back in the day... like Mat and Tuon, stuff like that used to happen... and look at Natalie now, quite the heart breaker and home wrecker... and anyway we're reading books where the main dude is a polygamist... so, I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.
237. CraigV
Nobody seems to have made a comment about Faile braiding flowers into Perrin's beard and then the flower lei. It seems like a Saldean lasses action to marking her territory. "This one's mine girls and if you make a play for him its a duel with knives out behind the barn until one of us is dead"
Sydo Zandstra
238. Fiddler

Elayne didn't rip Birgitte out of TAR, that was Moghedien after Birgitte interfered with her tying Nynaeve into a knot. Elayne was in the waking world at that time.

I admit I am not up to that part yet in my rereading.
However, as I recall the story, Birgitte was dealt a dying blow by Moghedien, and Elayne saved her by doing the Warder bond. So it was Elayne doing TAR duty there.

Remember the whole Nynaeve vs Birgitte thing and Nynaeve feeling guilty about anything...
John Massey
239. subwoofer
Craig... nobody likes Faile... except for Mr. R. Fife, but he has his reasons and they usually are good... typically- like the village council and the woman's circle, what the men do is often focused on and the women, when they do stuff, they walk between raindrops. But if you remember, back in Tear Faile did pee on Perrin when Berelain was around, and there was an almost duel( darn you Rhuarc!) between them in the hallway... and Faile is really young too..
Richard Fife
240. R.Fife
Erm, no, it was very much Moggy who ripped Birgitte out of TAR. That /was/ the near fatal blow. Birgitte didn't really want to live anymore after getting ripped from TAR. Nynaeve then tried to Heal Birgitte, failed cause there was nothing physically wrong with her, and Elayne bonded her.

And poor Thom and Juilin. They were out, minding their own business, when a naked-as-a-jay-bird Birgitte popped outta nowhere on them and collapsed while clutching a silver arrow.

I just like my women viscious in a devious way (as opposed to viscious in a direct way, a la Aviendha).
John Massey
241. subwoofer
Yes, I forgot all about Thom and Juilin and them trying to pretend that they did not see what they saw and Nynaeve and Elayne trying to browbeat them otherwise... Seems to be a lot of brow beating by women on the men... not that they don't deserve it, but in the AOL stuff happened because women and men worked together... can't we all get along here? I am repeating myself -again- but it would be cool if Rand and Eg and Aviendha et all would all cooperate and then stuff could happen. We see hints of this when Cadsuane Melaidhrin comes on the scene, Rand and Ny work together and AS and Asha'man work together. Maybe in TG things like this go to the next level.
and I am way too dense to pick up on the subtle nuances of devious women... like Perrin.
Sydo Zandstra
242. Fiddler

Work on getting stuff shown in separate alineas...

I appreciate your views, but please try getting them into readable parts ;)
John Massey
243. subwoofer
sorry, was not aware my english prof was around...
jane reynolds
245. janie
Helen@163, Egglie@231
Nice call! I think I might just steal that one for future use ... But I was so disappointed you debunked that theory, until Egglie came along and reminded me that I'm not entirely crazy, and I did have a reason for saying that. Yay for Rand!

CraigV@237, sub@239
I like Faile! At least at this point in the books.
"This one's mine girls and if you make a play for him its a duel with knives out behind the barn until one of us is dead"
LMAO. And you know Faile would fight dirty. And win.
246. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
You guys forgot one other critical similarity between Mat and Paendrag, both have trained their armies to move faster than anybody else. Paendrag was named Hawkwing for this, and Mat regularly boasts that The Band of the Red Hand can move faster than anybody else. That aside, Mat can't be Paendrag because if he was the other heroes of the Horn would have recognized him as Paendrag at Toman Head. Just as they all recognized Rand and called him Lews Therin. And the Hawkwing who's currently waiting his turn out in TAR isn't really all that serious, in fact he's quite the funny guy, You always did choose women who cause you trouble, Lews Therin.

And I agree with Fiddler, subwoofer. Try organizing what you want to say before posting so you can say it all at once.
247. longtimefan
"for all the cool progressive gender stuff that WOT does, it is still important to note that at the end of the day, for all the strong female roles in the cast, the apex of the Character Pyramid is still three boys. It’s not a bad thing, necessarily, but it is a Thing, and I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge it."

I never found WOT that progressive with gender stuff.

Picking one "progressive" gender thing randomly the Aiel Warrior Societies. Obviously the very cool and very capable Maidens of the Spear are a great example of showing that gender should not determine a persons capability in fighting. That is great. However it becomes less "progressive" as a gender thing if you think about the fact that there are 12 societies and 11 of them are all male. Obviously you only have to be a woman to become a Maiden of the Spear. Men have to chose between 11 different societies. How do they determine which society is best? As a woman your society is chosen for you, it is the best for you because it is all there is for you as a warrior. Segregation and limitation based on your gender is progressive?

I have been reading this series since 1991 and while it is nice to have a fantasy novel where there is a bigger mix of male and female characters fighting battles and solving problems it is still a very basic series when it comes to gender. Mat was not apprenticed to a tailor so he would enjoy a few hours embroidering or sewing. Nynaeve does not take some sword lessons and wield a glowing sword of spirit when angry.

The story has moments where it takes a familiar role such as "Wizard finding Hero" and bibbidy bobbity boo it is a woman named Moiriane. Then it falls right back to a male hero needing male guidance so she happens to have a Warder who is the best swordsman in the world.

It is a fun and imperfect series but not very progressive. It relies heavily on gender stereotypes so that it can make a few thought provoking challenges while maintaining many traditional gender relationships and behaviors.

It is Robert Jordan not Betty Friedan.
John Massey
248. subwoofer
It's called stream of consciousness. Give it a go.
Great, 2 profs in the room. This is like a scene out of Smart People. I want a redo on my term paper... Just kidding. University was many years ago for me. I am really not interested in re-living it.
Yes, I still think Hawkwing rocks. And good catch on the speed of the Band. Another parallel.
Hakeem Nicks went to the Giants.
John Massey
249. subwoofer
For those of you who have not had the misfortune of seeing Smart People.
jane reynolds
250. janie
Not that i'm criticising, but sub, you have by far the most comments on this thread. 51 so far, unless you beat me to posting this. Which makes 20.4% of the thread. In case you're wondering, SMatt comes in second, with 22, and GatheringStorm and JamesEdJones, both with 11, are the only other two to make double digits.
So I counted. Sue me.

I've been thinking some more about Slayer, and why Perrin didn't recognise him. The first time he sees him in TAR, he's too far away to see clearly, but Perrin does note that "there was something familiar about him." As to why he doesn't connect Luc to Rand, though ... I think maybe if he stopped long enough to think about it, he might figure it out, but he's got other things on his mind at the time. Others definitely comment on the resemblance later. And as for Verin ... well, I'm sure she could have put two and two together, and maybe she does, and just doesn't mention it. She's sneaky. Sneaky Verin does sneaky things for sneaky reasons.
There's also the fact that the whole Luc+Isam=Slayer thing is a rather odd arrangement - why would anyone connect them? Why would they even consider two different people actually being two sides of the same coin? Except for sneaky Verin, of course, cos she read the prophecy.
Alice Arneson
251. Wetlandernw
247. longtimefan It is Robert Jordan not Betty Friedan.

Thank God for that! I for one wouldn't be reading if it was BF.

Personally, I thought RJ did a pretty good job of presenting the genders as "equal in dignity, but with differing strengths". Your example was probably the weakest you could have chosen.

It's fairly obvious that men in general have greater upper body strength than women, which is very helpful in the kind of fighting currently used in Randland. It's also true that in general, people pursue careers based on their personal strengths. In Aiel society, women are perfectly welcome to become warriors if they want to. Just not that many (proportionally) want to, so there's only one society. It's a lot like pursuing a career in engineering in our society. Women are perfectly welcome to become engineers, just not very many (proportionally) choose to do so. Most women in Randland have plenty of options, and just not very many choose to pursue military careers. How is that discriminatory? Okay, so they do have "male only" and "female only" societies, but the opportunities are the same, so what's the problem?

Oh, and so you know where I'm coming from, I'm a mother of two small children, Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, minors in Chemistry and English Literature.
252. longtimefan
Wetlandernw @251

Are you in Portland or Seattle? I am assuming because of the nw. I am in Portland.

I probably just have a different standard for progressive (it has nothing to do with Portland and more to do with philosophy).

I do not have a problem with the "progressive" nature of the books. The comment quoted at the beginning of my comment 247 indicates that the hostess writing the re-read might.

I was just commenting to that by saying that I do not find the books that progressive.
Alice Arneson
253. Wetlandernw
longtimefan @252

Seattle. I chose my "handle" in January this year..... Oy.

I know my personal standard for gender relations is much different than most, so I won't go into it any further. I also know that my perspective is most definitely different from Leigh's regarding most of the "gender issues" in WoT. No further comment on that. :)

I guess "progressive" isn't a term I value much, because everyone defines progress according to their own world view. I just think that in WoT, RJ did a pretty good job creating a world where reasonable gender distinctives are recognized and affirmed, and as a whole people really aren't bothered about which gender is "superior".
254. Freelancer
@247 longtimefan

And you'd read something by Betty Friedan? The very meaning of the word "Progressive" is perverted by every thought that passed her lips. One person's opinion.

Please, folks. Praising Jordan's writing for introducing "a more diverse" set of cultures, then immediately bashing it for being "more of the same", just doesn't have any value. He wrote what he wanted to write, and there are many, many important lessons buried in these books. Don't focus on what you WISH had been written, or you'll always be displeased.

@227 & 233

In the US, that movie was released under the title, "The Professional". "Leon, the Professional", was the title for the european release. Anyway, Gary Oldman as the psycho coked-out DEA agent is wonderfully disturbing, and the clashing aspects of Jean Reno's Leon as both coldblooded assassin and gentle neighbor is remarkable.
Sacha G
255. Fortune_Prick_Me
Many points touched on in these chapters and the previous posts, especially on two of the "peripheral" characters, i.e. Verin and Slayer. Like previous posts, I have some thoughts on the structure of characters in the books.

I tend to group the 3 Ta'veren boys (RPM) Rand, Perrin, Mat and the 5 Power Girls (ENEMA) Egwene, Nyn, Elayne, Min, Avienda in the same tier of equal importance.

RPM and ENEMA have satellites that orbit them in terms of either driving the plot or adding to atmosphere. This second tier includes Moirane, Faile, Verin, Fain, Slayer, Tuon, et al.

I see a third tier in the roving viewpoints and minor characters that show us how our heroes are affecting the world: Pedron Niall (miss that S.O.B.), Iduralde, Mili Skane, Galina.

So I don't see that the boys outclass the girls in importance. I do agree that some of the ENEMA chapters-the traveling circus, the bickering channellers at the Bowl of the Winds or Elayne's Bid for the Throne really make the ENEMA painful,
drawn-out and ultimately seem like filler.

And now for something completely different...

Yet the story is not about Rand or even about the Dragon. It's called the Wheel of Time, not The Last Battle or The Dragon Reborn. Those are just chapters in the story of what happened in the last days before the Apocalypse. Just my take on the role of the different characters in the story as a whole.

I just completed my re-read of all 11 books and with it all being fresh I would venture that for a pre-industrial society, where physical strength is still a factor, gender equality seems as good as it gets.

Arad Doman is a female dominated trading nation (possibly an RJ wink at male dominated nations of similar real-world culture, inshallah King Alsalam), Seanchan is gender neutral in all roles, including the military and women serve in leadership roles everywhere from Saldaea to Far Madding. Prostitution (too long a staple of fantasy novels) is unknown.

It may not be Progressive by today's standards, but it sure beats our own history.

SteelBlaidd@183 - the 13th Depository is a treasure! Love those folks and will miss Wotmania.

Peace favor your sword Aiel1219 for your nameday! (and no that's not a dirty comment about that crazy hippie named Peace...)
Aidan Young
256. aidanyoung1102
@255 Fortune Prick Me

"Elayne's Bid for the Throne really make the ENEMA painful, drawn-out and ultimately seem like filler." AWESOME acronym and AWESOME play on words throughout.

I agree with you on the relative importance of these characters. When it comes down to it, so far ENEMA seems to have had as big an influence on world events as PM -if not R- and may still be central to some of the biggest plots yet to be completed.
Sydo Zandstra
257. Fiddler

sorry, was not aware my english prof was around...

Heh. That sounded more snotty than I meant it. I apologize. Sometimes big blocks of text just hit me in the face. That's my problem though. ;)

You are probably right. I'm in FoH in my reread now, so I'll be able to check on Birgitte soon.
John Massey
258. subwoofer
@Fiddler no need to apolagize. That duty is mine to all. Yesterday someone pointed out I was getting post happy and I am sorry- I have toh. I was killing time for the lead up and first round of the draft. I am a big Giants fan and actually take time off work for games.
Once the first round was over- and the disappointment that we did not trade-up for a decent receiver settled in, I was okay. Somewhat. If I had my druthers I would be in the Giant's war-room giving Tom Coughlin what for, for a mediocre first round.

Wheel related- am still hoping for a fairy-godperson to come along and rescue me with an explanation of Fain's importance and put some order to my many questions. Yes, I post like a champion, but it does keep the conversation going.

I do agree that some of the ENEMA chapters-the traveling circus, the bickering channellers at the Bowl of the Winds or Elayne's Bid for the Throne really make the ENEMA painful,
drawn-out and ultimately seem like filler.

OMG- not only will I be using that from here on in, the play on words for painful and filler....
Lannis .
259. Lannis
Wow... 258 comments already. Wow.

Evinfuilt @ 78: re: Luc/Isam and the Finn...

He could have made it to Rhudiean, and that's where his gifts came from. This to me would explain his ancient evil.

It's a possibility... he does refer to his powers as "gifts" and we know that word is linked to the *Finn... RJ uses language very carefully. I wouldn't discount your idea, that's for sure.

GatheringStorm @ 88: re: girls being ta'veren and RJ's notes...

Of course, RJ may have had it in his notes that they were and it should be "intuitively obvious to the most casual observer"

BAHAhaha! That certainly sounds like him, that's for sure... I believe I've read a similar line regarding a certain Forsaken's demise... XD

u_turnagain @ 89: Ni! Ni! Ni!

Re: girls as ta'veren... I don't think they are, but...

Here's a thought, though... how do we know that the ability to see ta'veren is not linked with gender (as so much in the series is divided by the male/female)... perhaps any subtle ta'verenness by the girls is being missed by those with the Talent because that person's particular Talent is for seeing male ta'veren... and because there's been so few ta'veren, period, it has gone unnoticed that it's only male ta'veren that's spotted...

I call upon our collective recollections--anybody remember Siuan (or other ta'veren spotters) mentioning seeing a female ta'veren in their lifetime?

I sure don't.

R.Fife @ 176, Smatt @177 et al: re: Mat's enemy in TG... I don't think Fain is a stretch at all... like Smatt said, it'd be Mat rectifying the problem he helped create...
260. Smatt
There is one female Ta'veren that we do know about during the time of the Ten Nations although I can't remember her name.

I don't think that Talents are divided by gender. We have just not seen these talents manifest themselves in other people yet.

This makes post 23 for me...
261. hoping to be of the blood
Lannis @259, Evinfuilt@78

We don't need to invoke a trip to Rhuidean. Slayer could have entered finnland via the ToG, which he appears to be familiar with.

Birgitte recognizes him as an ancient evil (@52) but doens't specify what type. Could be finnish.

I hope we get isam/luc back story in the next volumes.
Abdel Masdoua
262. TheDarkOne
A Slayer POV in tGS would be much appreciated indeed...
Perhaps we'll see him in an attempt to thwart Mat & Co. 's efforts to free Moiraine.
Seems to me that, if Min knows about Moiraine's importance in order for Rand to succeed at Tarmon Gaidon, it may very well be that the Shadow has an inkling about it too.

RAFO I guess!
263. Randalator
Lannis @259

Here's a thought, though... how do we know that the ability to see ta'veren is not linked with gender (as so much in the series is divided by the male/female)... perhaps any subtle ta'verenness by the girls is being missed by those with the Talent because that person's particular Talent is for seeing male ta'veren... and because there's been so few ta'veren, period, it has gone unnoticed that it's only male ta'veren that's spotted...

Possible. But that would be very bad writing...very VERY bad writing.

Siuan, Nicola and Logain all are around several potential female ta'veren and all three just so happen to be male only tav'eren spotters? Me no like...
Richard Fife
264. R.Fife
Hmm, a reason for Fain?

He's worse than the DO, IMO. The DO at least follows some reason, some rational. It wants the perfect Tarmon Gaidon so that it can break free, as opposed to some silly draw (which RJ said happens in cases of the Light-Champion being converted) or a loss (whichever age full up banished him from memory).

Fain, though, he's just batshit crazy (BSC). When a guy is BSC, who knows what he's going to do. Not to mention, Fain could be leaving a trace of evil across humanity that is far harder to clean up or get rid of than DO evil, IE, Shadar Logath evil. I am reminded of a quote from the movie The Prophecy, where Lucifer(played by Viggo Mortensen) is talking to a human:
Humans... and how I love you talking monkeys for this... know more about war and treachery of the spirit than any angel.
So yeah, that about sums this up too. Compared to the evil a human can make, the DO is pale imitation.
John Massey
266. subwoofer
@R. Fife- ahhhhhhhh- comes the dawn- It does make sense. Evil like Shadar Logath can't just go up in smoke so easy. It did come out of nowhere in RJ's retelling... Mordeth comes along, convinces Balwen and Aridhol to beat the DO it must become harder than the evil-
"The victory of the Light is all....while their deeds abandoned the Light."

That evil has either killed or left a taint on anyone who has survived Shadar Logath. It stands to reason that Fain tooling around in many guises to everyone from Pedron Niall to the rebel camp in Cairhienin, to Caemlyn, has the end purpose of killing Rand before Tarmon Gai'don.

Which would really bugger things up for all prophecy people involved. The other purpose for Fain is to spread evil- not DO evil- just dinging your car door for no purpose evil, to as many lands as possible, maybe looking for a new Aridhol.
268. Smatt
Subwoofer your last comment about having to be harder than the DO to beat the DO. Isn't that what Rand is trying to do? Isn't there a danger that Rand could fall into his own form of Shadar Logath?

Comments please.
John Massey
269. subwoofer
Smatt @%$*###! I thought I had stuff figured out...there went that plan...
Amar Ramraj
270. aiel1219
@268. Smatt
Yes there is, that's y Cadsuane is trying to make sure he doesn't go that way.

"He needs to be strong, and makes himself harder. Too hard, already, and he will not stop until he is stopped. He has forgotten how to laugh except in bitterness; there are no tears left in him. Unless he finds laughter and tears again, the
world faces disaster. He must learn that even the Dragon Reborn is flesh. If he goes to Tarmon Gai'don as he is,even his victory may be as dark as his defeat."

--Cadsuane to Soriela in PoD Chapter 12
271. Freelancer
@259 Lannis,

Here's a thought, though... how do we know that the ability to see ta'veren is not linked with gender (as so much in the series is divided by the male/female)... perhaps any subtle ta'verenness by the girls is being missed by those with the Talent because that person's particular Talent is for seeing male ta'veren... and because there's been so few ta'veren, period, it has gone unnoticed that it's only male ta'veren that's spotted...

Two things. One, Logain tells Rand that he saw the aura around him (Rand) while he (Logain) was being taken to the palace in Caemlyn in the cage. So this strongly suggests that Logain can see Ta'veren the same as Siuan. Two, Siuan learned that she could see Ta'veren by seeing, whom? We aren't told, so of course it is only conjecture, but since she was sent to the WT at a young age, and has hardly left it since her and Moiraine's trip to Chachin (New Spring), it is far more likely that she would have discovered her Talent by seeing a female Ta'veren.

I just tend to think that we the readers try to add to the infrastructure of the story far more than is already there, which is more than plenty, thanks. It's hard to imagine that the author would hold off on that sort of semi-significant information quite this long. You know, Occam and all that. Egwene has enough sources of awesome on her side (high-level channeler, uncommon skill with Earth, natural dreamer, child-Amyrlin, infiltrator and eventual destroyer of Elaida's WT politics), that using a previously unacknowledged Ta'verenness to explain it, just doesn't work.

RE: Slayer and the 'finn;

Birgitte gives us what we need to know in her T'a'R conversation with Perrin. She says of the 'finn, "They are not evil the way the Shadow is evil, yet they are so different from humankind they might as well be." In her very next words, she says of Slayer, "A good name for him. This Slayer is not old, archer, but his evil is ancient."
She thinks it not proper to assign evil to the 'finn, but doesn't hedge at calling Slayer evil. So, by our old friend Occam, his ancient evil, and surely also his "gifts", is of the DO.

Imagine you are high up in the Order of the Shadow, and you had the cousin of Aan'allein, a serious thorn in the DO's side, plus the uncle of the Dragon Reborn, mankind's only hope to defeat your Master; they get merged, and are completely subservient to your cause. Wouldn't you want such a creature to have extra ability to cause the Light as much pain as possible? It makes sense to me.
272. Freelancer
@266 subwoofer,

As I took another look at your post, I just remembered that there's a place Fain visited that we haven't been thinking about. Remember that he is Mordeth released, not simply infected by the dagger, and therefore imparts that same evil to everyone he comes in contact with, which produces irrational conflict/distrust/hatred, and within an organizational heirarchy, self-destructive behavior. Does that describe any place in Tar Valon that we know of?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Elaida's foolishness or delusions of grandeur, but certainly she would be a ripe plum for the SL "taint" to infect. Perhaps not all of the fault is hers.
Helen Peters
273. Helen


Oh and I've started TSR in my own personal re-read. A bit that we were talking about the other day came into my mind. Nyn said to Av that healing stilling 'is generally accepted to be irreversible. What makes a woman able to channel cannot be replaced once it is removed any more than a hand that has been cut off can be healed back into existence.' So Rand doesn't have to ask - who was it, Semi? - to stick his hand back on, Nyn can do it! BTW I've not yet got round to reading KOD so if I'm talking rubbish please let me know.
Chiara Elvira
274. elvyelvy
that's a very interesting point, yet... Wherever Fain goes he sows suspicion and distrust, and that is quite often visualized with dirtiness (his and his people's)as a symptom of outer and inner disorder. Yet this particular element did not show with Niall or Elaida (not that I can recall - they were both always pristine and precise). True, we get an increased detachment from reality, a tendency to make grandiose plans and believe their wishes are the best for the whole world, but is it due to Fain's influence or is it just a natural development of their delusional brains?
275. Randalator
Helen @273

Nynaeve healed Rand after Semi's attack but she couldn't restore his hand.

That doesn't mean that she is completely incapable of doing so. We know that injuries like that could be healed in the AoL. Nynaeve simply doesn't know the right Healing technique but she most definitely could learn or maybe even figure it out by herself given time (and maybe a friendly chat with Damer Flinn). She Healed stilling/gentling after all, which is completely new.

But as of now she doesn't know how, which leaves only Semi and maybe one or two other Forsaken who would know how to restore Rand's hand...
Richard Fife
276. R.Fife
Elvy, I am guessing the dirty/ragtagness of Ordieth's influence you are refering to is the Whitecloaks he has tainted. I think that is part his influence, and also part of their inner, suspicious nature. The way those "base" soldiers grew suspicious included neglecting hygiene. Yet, Niall, Elaida, and the Cairhien lord whose name escapes me, all of them were still as fastidious as any nobles, even if they were Ordieth-infected.

And, as I recall, we get an Ordieth PoV near the start of tFoH where he is thinking about how he made sure Elaida would never trust Rand because of his touching her with SL-taint. What makes me wonder, though, is if Elaida is rubbing off on anyone. Is she contagious, or just infected?

RE: Rand's Hand-
I don't think it will be healed. Rand is supposed to be akin to Tyr, the one-handed Norse god. The full story of how Tyr lost his hand is thus:

Loki, the trickster, had gone off and fathered a couple demon-kids with a giantess. One of them was the wolf Fenrir, who grew to be so large and fierce that the Asgard gods grew to fear him. So, they devised a way to bind the wolf. They would challenge it to try and break the bindings they placed on it. The first two times, the wolf barely broke free, but he would not stay still for the third time, as he knew the gods were up to something. Tyr, brave and selfless, offered a token of safety to Fenrir. Tyr would leave his hand in Fenrir's mouth, and if the gods turned out to betray Fenrir, then the wolf could have the hand.

Well, the third time, the binding held, and Fenrir took Tyr's hand. The other gods said it was not too much of a loss, as Tyr was the god of the sword, and he only needed one hand to use his weapon.

So yeah, I doubt Rand will gain his hand back. Not only because of the Tyr myth, but also because it would really cheapen the impact of him losing the hand if someone just came along and went "poof, you have a hand!"
Lannis .
277. Lannis
R.Fife & Freelancer: re: seeing female/male ta'veren... you've convinced me. :)

S'one of those Looney Sunday Morning Theories... after a little thought I went, "yeah... no... we would have heard something..." even if it happened to be one of the Kin able to see a female ta'veren as a hint that something was up. RJ likes his mysteries, but he also likes to lay a few clues for the watchful...

Freelancer @ 272: re: Elaida... aw... don't start *defending* her! I do so enjoy hating her guts!
Chiara Elvira
278. elvyelvy
Still thinking strainght, yellow tutu AND shawl notwithstanding, eh, Mr.Fife? (*giggles* then *blushes* and apologizes for long tongue) thanks for pointing out, there are so many small details scattered around the books, apparently unimportant but basic to get the straight feel of the situation. I had completely forgotten that specific remark. Elaida contagious and infected is a brilliant definition!!
So you imply that nobles can still cling to outward order, while trollocs and other darkfriends (I remember him having a bunch of them with him and not very spi&span) simply do not manage it. I have to look into it but tomorrow, well already today, but after sleep.

"poof, you have a hand!" lol lol lol (laughing silently brings her remains to a bed or pallet or whatever - the floor will do nicely).
279. hoping to be of the blood

Good point about Birgitte's conversation with perrin re the finn and slayer.

I still don't know why she simply doesn't identity slayer as DO evil. She implies something else. That's why I wonder. It makes more sense that slayer is simply DO evil, occam and all that, but no one ever accused RJ of being simple.

RJ had a beard and perhaps was unfamiliar with razors. :)
John Massey
280. subwoofer
R.Fife, the lord's name was Toram Riatin. Yes RJ did many parallels to Norse mythology. Sadly the stuff I can remember comes from some of the levels of Marvel's Ultimate Alliance. I think it is still up for debate whether or not Rand get's his hand back. On the one hand is all that you have said. On the other is RJ's drive to keep everyone whole-ish. Like Star Trek, people have forays up the creek, but for farm boys barely trained, RPM do very well for themselves.

Also there is the Christ symbolism. Rand's heron's on his palm signify Christ's nails in the hand. The hole in his side and the later Fain knife wound signify the spear by a Roman soldier Christ took. I feel that it bares merit to look further into this for two things.

The first is obviously that Christ has both hands as he shows his disciples later on the nail marks and the scar from the spear.

The second is that Christ rose from the dead. Easter just happened so this is in the forefront of my consciousness. It is entirely possible that in all the prophecy about Rand and his fate to die- that he may rise from the dead. RJ is on track for that and Brandon may mean to follow that thread.
281. Randalator
R.Fife @276

The way those "base" soldiers grew suspicious included neglecting hygiene. Yet, Niall, Elaida, and the Cairhien lord whose name escapes me, all of them were still as fastidious as any nobles, even if they were Ordieth-infected.

The cairhienin lord was Toram Riatin. But he wasn't exactely fastidious when he met his (un)timely death in WH, ch. 33.

Toram Riatin's face was haggard, but he flowed into the dance of swords with the grace of the blademaster he was. Startled as Rand was to see the man who had tried to claim the throne of Cairhien in a worn coat in Far Madding, he kept his eyes on Fain and his sword toward the one time peddler.

That's not much of a description but he's definitely not in shape for a court. So I think the lack in personal hygiene has to do with the kind of exposure you have to Fain, or in other words where exactely you stand in the Fain-you-relationship.

His personal not-so-White-anymore-cloaks, Toram Riatin post Cairhien-rebellion and the average Joe Darkfriend are around Fain pretty much 24/7. They are not being carefully manipulated but more like Fain's obedient lapdogs.

So if Fain is in control in a master-servant kind of way, your style goes drastically downhill. If Fain exerts power only as an advisor like it was with Pedron Niall, Elaida (for a very short time), Dain Bornhald or Toram Riatin up till Rand's appearance in the rebel camp, your looks won't change.

Yes, I know, Bornhald is a serious boozehound which seems to contradict the theory. But he had a close personal relationship to brandy before he ever met Fain, because of his father's death in Falme. And he's still disgusted by the lack of discipline and hygiene among the Faincloaks although he's been around Fain for as long as they have. To the Faincloaks Fain is the master, to Bornhald Fain is an advisor. Hence the difference...
282. JamesEdJones
280 Subwoofer

Thanks for bringing up the parallels to Christ. Don't forget the crown of swords which symbolizes the crown of thorns. There are also a few more in the book of Revelations. If I tried to spell them all out I know I'd miss a few. So I'll just say there's a reference to a bull that is probably a side reference to Young Bull, and you'll have to actually read it to get the rest. lol
Brett Michie
283. bchurch
RFife @ 276

Maybe I'm reading more into it than is actually there--but when Fain and Toram Riatin show up in WH to try and trap Rand, Toram is described as wearing a worn coat and having a haggard face. But it also seems like he spent much longer in close proximity to Fain and ergo is more likely to succumb to the taint and forget his noble fastidiousness. He does retain his blademaster ability, wounding Lan before Lan proves to be the better dancer of steel and death.

edit--Sorry, looks like Randalator beat me to the punch.
John Massey
284. subwoofer
Freelancer- yay- I take my cussing back- almost- I am still thinking on the point Smatt brought up. As to what you have said, it does explain much. The chapters are right around the corner, but one of the key conflicts in the Coup of the Tower was Gawyn and his Younglings.

I never fully understood why on earth he would lead other warders-in-training against the instructors. I remember reading Gawyn saying
"I have no time", he told her urgently. "There's fighting everywhere. They say Hammar is trying to break Siuan Sanche free. I have to go to the Tower, Min. Leave! Please!"

Now to the average person (me) it may mean, hey my instructors in trouble, I should see if he needs a hand and what I can do to help. The next thing I hear is Hammar(such a cool name without MC on the front) and other warders and Gawyn is feared and respected and not just a student any more- a la Rand. Methinks something was up.

JamesEdJones- yes the crown of thorns is also very symbolic. The Crown of Swords was the first reminder to me of Rand and Christ and then I went back and thought about the rest. And I do feel that Christian symbolism is strongly intertwined with RJ's writing. It may bare out that RJ was intending to follow biblical thought in taking Rand full circle.
John Massey
285. subwoofer
Freelancer- yay- I take my cussing back- almost- I am still thinking on the point Smatt brought up. As to what you have said, it does explain much. The chapters are right around the corner, but one of the key conflicts in the Coup of the Tower was Gawyn and his Younglings.

I never fully understood why on earth he would lead other warders-in-training against the instructors. I remember reading Gawyn saying
"I have no time", he told her urgently. "There's fighting everywhere. They say Hammar is trying to break Siuan Sanche free. I have to go to the Tower, Min. Leave! Please!"

Now to the average person (me) it may mean, hey my instructors in trouble, I should see if he needs a hand and what I can do to help. The next thing I hear is Hammar(such a cool name without MC on the front) and other warders are all dead and Gawyn is feared and respected and not just a student any more- a la Rand. Methinks something was up.

JamesEdJones- yes the crown of thorns is also very symbolic. The Crown of Swords was the first reminder to me of Rand and Christ and then I went back and thought about the rest. And I do feel that Christian symbolism is strongly intertwined with RJ's writing. It may bare out that RJ was intending to follow biblical thought in taking Rand full circle.
Richard Fife
286. R.Fife
I will argue that "Christian" symbolism is just about as thick as anything else in the books. We already have the "revelation" of the "Reborn" Dragon via the 2x2 marking, so I think he can suffer without the hand. Tarmon Gai'don has always had more of a Ragnarok mystique about it for me than an Armeggedon.

I ceed the point that Fain makes people dirty, and not just on the inside. I'd forgotten about Raitan being there in WH. Been a while since I read that one.

To Gawyn in the White Tower, I think it makes sense. He hates Suian anyway cause she hid his sister (who he swore over in her crib to protect with his last breath, and knew what he was swearing cause Gareth-Bloody-Bryne made sure he did). Additionally, Suian was legally disposed, and Gawyn does have a strong sense of the Rule of Law. Maybe not as much as his older brother whom he fawningly adores, but he still does have that sense. So, when Hammar and the other warders are trying to free Suian, it makes sense that he would stand against them. As I recall, he does show remorse over killing Hammar (which he admits to having done personally).

Gawyn didn't get on my nerves until he was all "My name is Gawyn Trakand, Rand killed my mother, he must prepare to die!"
John Massey
287. subwoofer
Gawyn didn't get on my nerves until he was all "My name is Gawyn Trakand, Rand killed my mother, he must prepare to die!"

But as he is a strong proponent of the Rule of Law,
"Enough to meet the laws?" she sneered. "A bare minimum, heavy with your friends and those you can influence or bully."..."When the full Hall meets, with all the Sitters, you'll learn your mistake. Too late. There has never been a rebellion inside the Tower; a thousand years from now they'll be using your fate to teach novices what happens to rebels."

Gawyn carries his brain in his sheath sometimes, but he should of been interested in a proper and full trial- with the Amrylin present. I do think the whole coup of Siuan was a farce and the fact that post Coup, the Tower was divided, proves that out.
As to Christian symbolism vs. Norse mythology, God is my copilot. Palma ut Deus
Richard Fife
288. R.Fife
I won't get into which mythology is better, sub. This definately isn't the place for that, but let us be literary in our analysis, and not see things just because we have personal affinity for them. Example: I will admit that Matrix more or less is the Jesus story, in particular a placing of western thought over eastern. But RJ, I think, was making an effort at drawing evenly from all around without necc. putting any one on top.

Anywho, legal is legal. Perhaps under "different circumstances" Suian would have been fine, but as I recall, even the SAS say that Suian was diposed legally, and thus that in and of itself isn't enough for them to wage full up revolutionary war. The SAS were more just dissenting to the way the law was executed, not the result of it.

Modern day example: President Clinton was impeached. It was a farce of an impeachment, but it still was what it was, a fully legal execution of the letter of the law.

So, yeah, Gawyn may have been letting the slimeyness of the execution go by the wayside, but if Elaida had actually tried to execute an illegal coup, I'd like the think he would have sided with Suian.
289. Smatt
It will be interesting to see how Gawyn reacts when, and if, he finds out that Elaidas coup only succeeded because of BA support.

I do find it strange that he has not broken ties with the Tower as he knows Elayne and Egwene, the two most inportant people in his life, do not support Elaida and are actively opposing her.

I did like Gawyn from when we first meet him until the whole Tower fracas. Since then I just view him as someone who jumps to conclusions and holds to those conclusions even when people he trusts tell him he is wrong (Min at the wells). He needs a good headdesking.
John Massey
290. subwoofer
R.Fife, things that make me go, hmmmmm... good points all.

Smatt, I felt the same way. Gawyn was always the brother out of the spot light. Never liked the pretty boy Galad was, way too much swooning around him. I always thought that in one of Gawyn's-Egwene sitting on his lap sessions -she would talk some sense into him.
291. gagecreedlives

"The SAS were more just dissenting to the way the law was executed, not the result of it."

I thought the major point for the dissention wasnt so much the deposing of Siuan or the way they went out about it. Doesnt Elaida try to disband the blue ajah?
Joseph Blaidd
292. SteelBlaidd
268. Smatt
Subwoofer your last comment about having to be harder than the DO to beat the DO. Isn't that what Rand is trying to do? Isn't there a danger that Rand could fall into his own form of Shadar Logath?

Comments please.

270. aiel1219
@268. Smatt
Yes there is, that's y Cadsuane is trying to make sure he doesn't go that way.

"He needs to be strong, and makes himself harder. Too hard, already, and he will not stop until he is stopped. He has forgotten how to laugh except in bitterness; there are no tears left in him. Unless he finds laughter and tears again, the
world faces disaster. He must learn that even the Dragon Reborn is flesh. If he goes to Tarmon Gai'don as he is,even his victory may be as dark as his defeat."

--Cadsuane to Soriela in PoD Chapter 12

One of the things I noticed in my early rereads was that the second mention of Rand losing a hand was in the dream he had after meeting Mordeth.

When Moraine tells the story of The Fall of Aridhol, we learn that the evil of Mordeth was discovered by Caar al Thorin al Toren, Prince of Manetheren (That's a Welsh style of naming by-the-by). And that Caar was imprisoned and in escaping that prison became Caar the One Handed.

As such it is no surprise that the loss of Rand's hand was tied to others discovering the voice that whispers at his shoulder, and will hopefully help lead to breaking him free of the hard shell he has built around his heart.

RE: Gawyn.
He is more than a little desperate and is staying near Elida because he knows no other place to go. In many ways he is the antithesis of Mat. Trained from birth to be First Prince of the Sword he is an excellent field leader and tactician but he has no strategic vision and no understanding of combat intelligence beyond the immediate battle field.

The first thing Mat does with the Band is recruit scouts. We're I Gawyn stuck in the villages around Tar Valon I would have noticed that the Aes Sedai were not paying attention to my men and sent a few of them off to find out what the HELL is going on.
Gawin van Waesberghe
293. McArcher
I agree with SteelBlaid that Gawyn seems desperate and lost, I figure it'll take Egwene's head on the choppingblock for the lad to open up his eyes and see the errors of his ways.

He'll also see that the tower AS have been playing him for a fool all this time, it may even be his sword that ends Elaida's life. Yes you read that right I think Elaida is going to bite the dust, sooner rather than later.
Amar Ramraj
294. aiel1219
@293. Mr. Archer
We can only hope!!!

"And if they are not your tame Aiel?" This was not the first time in the last few days that she had suggested he lead a scout himself; he suspected if he did, he would find Aiel, and not tame. "Whoever they are,they've killed one of my men." At least one; there were still six scouts out. "Maybe you should consider the possibility these are al'Thor's Aiel, come to rescue him. It will be too late when they start spitting us."

This leads me to believe that Gawayn already suspects strongly that he's being played. There are a few other instances that also suggest this. I think he is hoping that sticking with the Elaida's AS he'll get a chance at Rand, maybe. I'm a bit confused about his motives.
He loves Egewene but doesn't believe her, instead he believes rumours that Rand killed his mother. Rumours with no proof, but when the woman he loves (who happens to have as close an insiders perspective into the situation as he will get) tells him she doesn't believe Rand killed Morgase, what does he do? He asks for proof, where the fark is his proof in the rumours he's heard? Already these rumours have proven false, since they also said Elayne is dead and Egwene has guaranteed him that she's not and she's safe (or as safe as can be). I give him mb 2 bars lower than Elaida on the annoyometer.
295. Randalator
aiel1219 @294

Gawyn definitely knows that someone wants him dead and that the someone is most likely Elaida. The Younglings even got disowned and expelled from Tar Valon.

His motives as per CoT prologue are:

- He can't join the rebels. He killed Warders and was the decisive factor during the tower riot. If not for him and the Younglings Siuan Sanche would have been freed and Elaida's coup would not have succeeded. The rebels would just put him on trial which could mean execution. So he's tied to the Tower that way.
- He missed the right point to leave for his estates or Caemlyn and is now stuck due to weather conditions ("Even if he went alone, travel in winter was very slow, and he could reach Caemlyn as quickly if he waited until spring.") and the siege.
- He can't enter Tar Valon because he's expelled. And even sneaking in is made impossible by the siege.

As for his motives concerning Rand: He's annoyingly stupid. Motive enough.
296. bookworm
I have to disagree over Rand's loss of a hand.

First off, he learned both the sword AND to channel using both hands. The books repeatedly talk about not be able to effectively re-learn weaves once one has learned to weave in a certain manner (like "throwing" fireballs, when it isn't necessary to mimic a throwing motion).

Second, if there is going to be a new AoL, then somebody had better start seeing one or more of the "miracles" of the previous one. Healing seems to be ripe for providing a shock like this. Still, maybe the hope for a new AoL is futile.

Third, please remember that this is RJ's story, and not just a rote transliteration of some real world mythology. Sure, RJ used elements of existing mythologies, but to believe that he just took the entire "plot" wholesale would seem incredible to me. So, to say "yeah, it happened this way in mythology X, so that's what will happen in AMoL" - is (to me) superficial.

Frankly, Rand has now taken several steps back in terms of being able to perform effectively at Tarmon Gai'don, if in fact Rand was ever intended to face the DO alone there. Still, if someone would provide an alternate theory as to why Semirhage was captured (in order to advance the plotline), I would be very interested in hearing it.
297. TairenFisher
Where can I find the posts on JordanCon? I must have missed that in the 800+ post-a-thon the other day.
Galen Brinn
299. GatheringStorm
Gawyn = Stupid Personified. Said it, done.

However, why in the hells didn't Egwene just come out and say, "No, I was there and know Rand didn't kill your mother. You'll believe rumors from a peddler but not the truth from me? Lord Gaebril, aka RAHVIN killed her, you frakking IDIOT".

Why all the "No, he didn't, I just need to get proof" crap from her?
Abdel Masdoua
300. TheDarkOne
@136: Made the little search!

Here is what I found:

According to Robert Jordan , a myrdraal wrote the Dark Prophecy in Fal Dara, released Fain from the dungeon, and gave Fain information about the Seanchan and their impending arrival. I'll assume that Fain chose to fight Rand on Toman Head because he wanted to use the Seanchan as his back-up force. The myrdraal wanted to take the Horn into the Blight, but by this time, Fain-Mordeth was able to torture myrdraal into submission.

So it really was a Myrdraal...
301. Smatt

I don't think Egwene was there when Rand killed Rahvin. I think she had been incapacitated by Lanfear. Altough she could just have said straight out theat there was no possibility that Rand had killed Morgase. One of the many stupid things that she has done/failed to do.
302. Randalator
GatheringStorm @299

That's the problem. Egwene was not there when Morgase "died". She wasn't even there when Rahvn died. She only knows that news of Morgase's death made Rand hop to Caemlyn and process Rahvin into balefire shish kebab. But that is not proof that Rand didn't kill Morgase. From Gawyn's perspective that just means that sneaky Rand was sneaky, offed Morgase and delivered an oscar-worthy performance later.

So all she can say is "I know Rand, I know how he reacted when he heard of Morgase's demise. I'm absolutely positive that he didn't do it, but I can't give you hard proof."

That he doesn't trust her word or his initial instincts concerning Rand is an entirely different matter. He certainly deserves a few choice (and decidedly r-rated) words and several "quiet talks" with the slipper of the Mistress of Novices.

Or a slow, painful death. It's a toss-up...
303. Blight
Robert Jordan made a point, at one of his book signings, someone asked if people fain infected could infect someone else with the taint and he said that they could not, other than being fain/ordeith the only way for someone to spread the taint would be to have the dagger. The basis of the originial question was something verin/moiraine says that by removing the dagger from shadar logoth mat was infecting people and they thought the taint could spread from the people he infected. Robert Jordan then went on to say that people don't really know everything they think they do, but they do know part of the truth aka what verin said regarding mat infecting others via the dagger but not that those people could then spread the taint.
304. Blight
hmmm my bad it was at dragoncon not a book signing it's been awhile since i saw the clip.
Elroy Skimms
305. elroyskimms
Looks like we broke!!!! TSR Part 10 cannot be viewed right now due to some memory allocation error. I won't quote the entire error message, but it loosely translates to, "Too many bloody posts!".


*EDIT: Apparently I am very slow in catching up. GatheringStorm #81 already noticed, but that was a few days ago... I wonder, did they increase the allowable memory size only to have us fill it up again? They underestimate our verbosity...
Chiara Elvira
306. elvyelvy
elroy, they do not underestimate the abovesaid verbosity, which is why they closed the thread to further comments, or everything would have gone blooooey.
We did broke Tor for a bit, wooops.
307. Freelancer
@277 Lannis,

Nope, never would I defend Elaida. My point was meant merely to show that Ordieth's effect on Elaida surely magnified her delusions, most likely prompting the kidnapping of Rand. Wouldn't Ordieth want Rand brought to him in the Tower if he could manage it?

RE: Gawyn,

I will, to a small degree, defend Gawyn. As pointed out by R.Fife@286, Gawyn's sense of loyalty to Siuan has been damaged by not being told what is happening to his sister, with whose safety his very life is charged. I don't accept that he "hates" Siuan, however, or Min wouldn't have been able to overcome that and get him to let them leave.

The only person who can substantiate that Rand killed Rahvin is Nynaeve. She has told Egwene and Elayne both, but even she can't claim to have seen Morgase killed, nor by whom. So suspicion remains available to Gawyn. His promise to Egwene to not go after Rand is a serious strain, and she won't demand more, her own personal decision that goes along with not asking him for information about the Tower sisters that are with him at the time. She thinks this is in balance for Gawyn putting his life in her hands.

The result, Egwene's attempts to follow ji'e'toh produce yet another lack of information sharing that would clear up many things. Honorably foolish much?

Gawyn's ties to the Tower are pretty much null by this time, Elaida disowning the Younglings, and Gawyn being pretty sure that Galina was trying to set him up for an ambush. But many of his crew don't agree, believing they still need to support Elaida. To keep them safe and together as long as possible, he continues to lead them, and to interact with sisters. It's another one of those cases where one seemingly correct decision leads to another, and only the ability to look back clearly at the trail you've followed could show you how far you've drifted from where you know you should be.

I don't think Gawyn a fool. Just a young man being tugged at by his heart, his mind, his honor, and a bunch of unpleasant people.
308. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
subwoofer @285
I think what was on Gawyn's mind at the time was punishing Siuan for taking his sister from him. Marvelously shortsighted as it left him still without a sister and in fact, on the exact opposite side as her.

R.Fife @288
Legal may be legal. But then again, there's the so-called letter of the law and the spirit of the law. By the letter, Elaida's action was legal. But in spirit the law was horribly mangled.

SteelBlaidd @292
Yep. Gawyn's backed himself into a corner and burned his bridges. His rarely used political acumen now tells him he's stuck. He shouldn't even be supporting Elaida anymore. That she tried to have him killed should have voided his responsibility to her.

GatheringStorm @299
Indeed, I wondered the same thing. Gawyn's an idiot for believing an ignorant rumor over Egwene's word. Egwene's an idiot for being less forceful when she needed to be more. Maybe she secretly has it in for Rand and is setting up Gawyn for the eventual possibility of a showdown?
309. jlfitz
@149 subwoofer.
Not me taking the notes, just looking them up and cross referencing them from two different sites.
310. JamesEdJones
Amar Ramraj
311. aiel1219
@307. FreeLancer
I just don't see his mind doing much tugging. That boy's mind may loose a tug-o-war to a flea.
But I guess emotional turmoil n all that tends to do things to ppl. He still is an annoying little bugger though. And I secretly hope Rand pops his head like a pimple the next time he(Gawyn) decides to go after him(Rand).
312. Smatt
@308 alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed

Egwene definatley does some very stupid things, but she never does them with the thought of hurting/damaging Rand. She is commited to making sure Rand survives until TG and beyond. I think this is best shown during her Accepted test where she is extremely upset at having to abandon Rand each time.

I would say that Rand and Egwene are the main male and female leads in the story. They both do a very good job at making their job harder by refusing to trust and communicate with each other. As has been mentioned many times during these posts things work better when men and women collaborate.

Egwene has fallen into the mindset that because she is an Aes Sedai/Wiseone she nows better than anyone else. Rand has fallen into the mindset that he can't trust any AS and feels in order to succeed he can't reveal is full plans to anybody.
Chiara Elvira
313. elvyelvy
@310 not yet, not just yet. Give our Captain time, and a new post will appear.

aiel@311 to loose a tug-of-war to a flea? how wonderfully phrased and aptly expressed. Probably the boy might benefit being taken by the scruff of his neck and... ahem. Ok let's just shake him a bit and see if there's something moving inside his brain, you know just to be sure an idea wouldn't feel too lonely there.
314. Aegnor
I don't think Rand losing his hand will affect his channeling much. You've heard of the phantom limb effect? Essentially, people that lose limbs can still feel them. The use of hands in channeling is all mental. The hand motions and such are not needed for any channeling, the hand motions are just to aid in mentally preparing the weave.

The fact that the hand doesn't exist anymore is irrelevant. Fooling his brain to think the hand is there making the weaves should be a trivial thing, because the brain already does that naturally with the phantom limb effect.
Tess Laird
315. thewindrose
elvyelvy and JamesEdJones - I think to get a new post right away, we need to hit the 800 mark! (We did get 11 right away on Friday morning.) Maybe if we start blogging like crazy on the Quotable Line Game with all things Jordon - we may get it quicker:)
316. Freelancer
@311 aiel1219

Good guys don't kill good guys in WOT. Heck, bad guys hardly ever kill good guys in WOT. And you don't want three main female characters suddenly hating Rand for wasting Gawyn, do you? Egwene, his love, Elayne, his sister, and Birgitte, who can't wait to let him be First Prince of the Sword, so she can stop playing general.

And while I agree with an earlier comment that Jordan isn't being completely strict with the follow-through on connected mythologies, Gawyn represents the true-hearted knight. The uber-hero of the story is hardly going to be the one to kill him.

Anyway, it won't be long now that the "renegade" Whitecloaks will run into Perrin's entourage, and at least Galad will find out that Morgase lives. Maybe there'll even be some information sharing. Maybe the books will be relased on time, too.
Alice Arneson
317. Wetlandernw
316. Freelancer
Maybe there'll even be some information sharing. Maybe the books will be relased on time, too.

ROFL! Not sure which I think is more/less likely...
Galen Brinn
318. GatheringStorm
Freelancer @ 307,

The point I was more trying to make (the included imaginary commentary is just for effect) was that Gawyn would rather believe a rumor from a peddler (and complete stranger) than listen to and believe the words from Egwene: Egwene is inarguably closer to the matter than some random travelling salesman.

alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed @ 308,

You provoke an interesting thought there on Egwene. I seem to recall a Rand PoV that implied that even when they were "betrothed", she seemed to take a peculiar delight in trying to knock him down the ladder a rung or three.

I won't say that she's deliberately trying to cause harm to Rand, but by not protesting (more than she did) and insisting that Cpt. Numbskull take her words for truth, she's (somewhat) inadvertantly causing more trouble down the road.
Richard Fife
319. R.Fife
An since when have Aes Sedai really cared about the spirit of anything besides a weave? Yeah, what Elaida does is a horrible mangling of the spirit, but it was still the law, and that is that.

As to SAS getting uppity about the banning of the blue ajah, I think that was kinda part of the downward hellspiral of the coup, not part of Elaida's initial reactions.

Oh, and for shameless self promotion:
JordanCon Recap (AKA: Adventure's at Rand Al'Con)

Oh, and Bookworm, I agree with the sentiment that of course Jordan doesn't have to follow the mythos he borrowed from, but I think AMoL is going to start seeing more permenant damage to the main chars, such as Mat potentially losing an eye, and Rand keeping his lost hand. I don't think Rand needs his sword for TG, and he will be able to weave fine without his hand, perhaps after he realizes how to exceed his limits that, according to LTT, is self-imposed anyway.
Galen Brinn
320. GatheringStorm
Someone above mentioned needing to hit 800 posts so as to get a new thread. Well, this thread is only 3 days old and already has 300+. It took over a week and a half to hit 800 on #10. LOL
Sydo Zandstra
321. Fiddler

and Rand keeping his lost hand.

Did you phrase that on purpose? ;)
322. Freelancer
@319 R.Fife

I don't think Rand needs his sword for TG, and he will be able to weave fine without his hand, perhaps after he realizes how to exceed his limits that, according to LTT, is self-imposed anyway.
I also think Rand will understand how to channel fine with only one hand. I'm not so sure about LTT saying it's Rand's own mental limitation, though. During the massive Shadowspawn attack in Tear, when LTT snatches Saidin away from Rand, he screams that he can't weave what we wants to unless he can raise his hands, but Rand still has control of his body. Only when he raises his hands can LTT do the killing the way he wanted to. That seems like Lews Therin's limitation, not Rand's.


Think we can hit 400 before she posts #12?
323. Cowboy Funk
Yea I dont think Rands hand loss will be an issue for his channeling, the Wise Ones actually mocked the Aes Sedei at some point for the necessity of the motions when weaving fireballs or such. That scene when he lost his hand was great. When Min realizes Rand accepted the loss of his hand so quickly you kind of get a reminder just how hard Rand has made himself. I hope the WOT ladies teach him to laugh and cry again soon...time is ticking away.
324. bookworm
I agree, the use of a sword will be negligible for utility during Tarmon Gai'don.

We'll just have to RAFO just what will come of the physicality of the characters by the end of the books. Both arguments have plausibility.

I wonder though about Mat's prophecy (about putting his eye on the scales...). It could be figurative somehow. Dreams (especially a Dreamer's dreams) are often cryptic and somewhat allegorical in nature. Maybe he loses his access to all those past memories? That could be construed as an "eye" upon the past.

I have to disagree about the phantom limb put forth by @314 Aegnor. I agree that the condition exists, but in this case I wonder how Rand could unlearn anything about his weaving. The major characters all have quite a bit on their plates, and are under considerable stress.

Neither of those aid in clear thinking. Easy for us to think about stuff like this. We're sitting around in comfy chairs, and the like. It's a little like the difference between playing Jeopardy at home or in the studio. Players who were really good at home didn't fare so well in the studio.

Still, like any other theory, we'll just have to wait and see.
325. tearl
Randalator @302, re: What Eg could have told Gawyn

So all she can say is "I know Rand, I know how he reacted when he heard of Morgase's demise. I'm absolutely positive that he didn't do it, but I can't give you hard proof."

Actually, she could have said, "I know Rand didn't go to Caemlyn until after the rumors of your mother's death had started. It was the rumors that promted him to go and depose Gaebril/Rahvin. I do know that they fought trollocs and myrddraal inside the palace in Caemlyn," and more.
326. Aegnor
@324. bookworm

Thats the point though, he wouldn't have to unlearn anything. If the hand action he uses for a certain weave is to raise his hands and wiggle his fingers, he'll just raise his hands and wiggle his fingers. The fact that those fingers don't exist is irrelevent, because his mind will tell him they are there and are acting as he has directed. It is a well known phenomenon.

The fact that the fingers don't actually exist only comes into play if they are being relied on to actually physically impact the world around them. But in this case they don't need to. They are only needed as mental guides.
Roger Powell
327. forkroot
Hmmm... one of the many annoying things about losing a hand is that you can no longer hold your sword with one hand while giving a Myrddraal the finger with the other.
Michael Ikeda
328. mikeda

The only problem with saying "I know Rand didn't go to Caemlyn" is that Rand could have gone to Caemlyn and back in secret if he wanted to.
Joseph Blaidd
329. SteelBlaidd
I always feel a bit of sympathy for Gawyn. It's frustrating to be treated like a mushroom, but Gawyn's problem is he doesn't know how to go about fixing the problem.

I think his main difficulty is that he, like Galad, have either not been getting the same politics and intrigue lessons Elayne has or, he has been sleeping through them. The way he goes about trying to get Min to tell him where Elayne and Egwene have gone shows that he has no sense of subtlety and no recognition of the principles of covert ops.

Hopefully his time in the wilderness will sharpen his political sense or he will be completely unsuitable as either First Prince of the Sword or Warder to the Amerlyn Seat.
330. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
bookworm @324
Yep, the sword is pretty much useless for Rand, but weaving? Hardly likely. Most of Rand's weave training comes straight out of the AoL courtesy of Asmo and LTT. Unlike modern Aes Sedai, he is rarely ever described as waving his hands and making certain motions while channeling. In fact, I can think of only two of his weaves that are ever described as making use of his hand, Arrows of Fire, for one, and the Fire Sword, for another. LTT screamed about his hands because he couldn't weave Arrows of Fire, but before Rand raised his hands Deathgates and Blossoms of Fire were still being woven without problems. I'd also like to point out that Asha'man are also depicted the same. They mainly keep their hands at their sides when channeling.
331. Thxdsai
So, did the days updates get added change, or is Leigh still suffering lag from the JordanCon?
Lannis .
332. Lannis
Thxdsai: Part 12 is up (still Mon/Wed/Fri)... some folks are still chatting on this thread, though. :)
333. Aegnor
Yeah, part 12 was posted yesterday, but it hasn't been added to the index yet.
Brian Kaul
334. bkaul
Another point in favor of the Supergirls being equally main characters:

"Take care," the Aes Sedai said softly. "Once you cut the ropes, return as quickly as you can. You are a part of the Pattern, too, and I would not risk you, any more than any of the others, if the whole world was not at risk these days."

(Moiraine to Nynaeve in TEOTW when Nynaeve was off to help free Perrin and Egwene from the Whitecloaks)
335. TiredALil
This story and the entire series treats everyone equally in my opinion and in my mind Robert Jordan has a profound respect and admiration for women and their equality when it comes to their strength, determination and intelligence. The fact that one of his female characters may be quick to anger or dumb is not a slam but yes, hard as it may be to believe some women aren't incredibly intelligent just as some men are not strong or smart. All characters, just as all people run the gamut of personality. Leigh's constant harping on this subject is really irritating. I thoroughly enjoyed her re-reading's at first but now its just getting annoying. This is a re-telling of Robert Jordan's work lets keep focus on that and not use it as a platform to get your own agenda out there. In my mind Jordan has done a masterful job creating balance and strength and shortcomings in both his male and female characters, just as in real life. In fact I'd go to say that women play such an enormous role in this series that Jordan may in fact be stating that women are actually the greater gender.
336. Divil The Bother
Some interesting discussions in this thread. Just a few comments from me...

1. TiredaLill@335 Agree with you 100% - while Leigh is entitled to draw noteworthy gender related issues to our attention, repeatedly harping on about it to the exclusion of other noteworthy events occurring in the Chapters isn't doing her commentaries or her undoubted WOT knowledge any justice.

2. Can someone point me to where it says (other than in Cadsuane's head) that Rand must be taught to laugh and cry again before TG? I'm sure it's in the books somewhere but if it isn't I have a rant prepared :)

3. Egwene is envious of anyone with greater power or abilities than she has - in her childish view it isn't fair. This is why she persistently assumes the worst of Rand and takes no account of the realities of his role as the Dragon Reborn and the consequent responsibilities that go along with it. She is also willing to let others think the worst as well if it has the result of reducing Rand's reputation as a Lord/Leader/Channeler etc. Hence instead of dismissing the charge that Rand killed Morgaise which she has to know is nonsense (or else the Light's Saviour is a random murdering scumbag psycopath) she gives him a weak alibi and suggests he could have done it because she has no proof that he didn't. With friends like her who needs enemies!
337. sadface
Damn, I can't post on part 10 - its closed for some reason?? - but reading the comments there really made something click; Faile is Ta'veren! Per Jordan, no "major" female character is Ta'veren, but is Faile really major? Her pull on Perrin could explain why he is able to break away from Rand, she is gathering her own contingent, taking fealty oaths from very powerful players, and it also explains while Chaid and Bain chose to travel with her for no good reason.
338. sadface
Slayer is not a Dreadlord...Dreadlord's are channelers who work for the DO. Isam was raised by the armies of the DO, raised to be evil. Per the Dark Prophocey back in Fal Dara, one did live, and one did die - so the Luc is either alive and is evil, or died and it doesn't matter. We must remember, Luc was the Sword Prince, or whatever it is called, and would have been honor bound to chase Tigraine and "rescue" her. It is very possible that he was sent to the Blight only to get him out of the picture so that Tigraine could be set down the path that leads to Rand's birth.
Eggy is not Taveren. The Creator said it flat out. Eggy's rise really parallels Suian's very closely, and her achievement probably has more to do with AS politicking (wanting an Amyrlin they can puppet, whatever "the pattern" to the Amyrlin selection has been, Suian's help) then anything else. If anything, the boy's taveren-ness probably propelled her way ahead of a normal schedule as it led to the fall of both Suian and Elaida. In a way, it speaks volumes that men have to be Taveren to affect change in the pattern, but the women do not. Perhaps this speaks to the theme of balance, and is a mechanism to restore men to an equal footing with women.
339. Yosarian
I'm not so sure about the three main characters being Rand, Perrin, and Mat. Rand, obviously, but after Rand, I think that in the series as a whole, Perrin, Mat, Egwynn, and Elayne all get about equal billing, with each getting their own storylines, a large number of PoV chapters, and (eventually) each getting their own political centers of power.
William McDaniel
340. willmcd
Gotta make a comment about Pt. 10 since it's now locked down and I can't post there. When Dain Bornhanld is thinking about not letting anyone leave the TR (specifically the Tinkers) so as to keep his occupation quiet, he's obviously unaware it's already being discussed in taverns in Tear!

I also noted that either Bornhald or Fain (can't quite recall which) thinks of what they are doing as "the scouring of the Two Rivers"; a very deliberate choice of words there, I think.
William McDaniel
341. willmcd
I know that when people discuss movie adaptations of their favorite books, the verdict is always "the book is better". But there are certainly moments, I think, when the visual/audio medium can do things that can't can be done with words alone.

A great example of this is te climax the film version of "The Two Towers". When all seems lost at Helm's Deep, the defenders fight valiantly to make it through the night, and the light of what must be their last doomed sunrise creeps over the mountains, Gandalf appears, and Éomer steps out from behind him, and the exiled Rohirrim return, cascading down the mountain in a human wave that we know will crush the orcs. There is then an immediate cut to the Ents kicking ass at Isengard, ending Saruman's treachery once and for all.

You can't write that.

For a variety of reasons, I hope that they never succeed in making a WoT movie, miniseries, whatever. But mostly because I don't think I'd be able to make myself not see it, and then my own treasured images of the scenes would to some degree replaced by what I saw. (This happens to some degree no matter how hard I try fight it)

But that aside, I always thought a Ch33-34 transition would work great on film. We've just seen the emotional reunion of Perrin with the Luhhans (the closest thing to family he has left), and also of Abell with his family. The heroes have triumphed, rescuing the prisoners form the villainous Whitecloaks, and now Perrin and the boys right off into the night, laughing and whooping like madmen, the music swelling behind them, and Perrin screaming "We hunt Trollocs!".

Then, it climaxes with a big orchestra hit that coincides with a cut to the Waste, looming redstone columns colored by the light of dawn (just like on the back cover of the book). We have a few moments of establishing shots, with subdued music (low droning strings, atmospheric drum hits), then Rand and Mat come jogging out of the mists, a camera tracking alongside them.

Wow, I went on about that. But I think it would work. And unless the filmmakers did it exactly like I imagined, I'd be disappointed. Though I'd give them a pass if they changed the dialogue to this:

Wil: Perrin! What do we do now? What do we do next?
Perrin: We go to Disney World!

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