Apr 29 2009 1:14pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Shadow Rising, Part 13

Top of the posting queue to you, loves! Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read, in which we cover Chapters 37-38 of The Shadow Rising.

Our handy Index of previous entries is found here. As always, many many spoilers, over here, over there, in your clothes in your toes in your hair!


Oh, I’m weird? Do I have to point to a certain 800+ comment thread, here? No? That’s what I thought!

Let’s do this thing.

Chapter 37: Imre Stand

What Happens
They reach Imre Stand with plenty of daylight left; in answer to Rand’s inquiry, Aviendha and Rhuarc explain that it is always best to stop where you can be sure of water, and also that Rhuarc does not want to leave the wagons behind. Rand says no, we certainly wouldn’t want that, and laughs to himself. He notes that while both Mat and Aviendha are watching him, Moiraine and the Wise Ones are not, instead gathered around something in Moiraine’s hands that looks like a gem. This makes him uneasy, and he laughs again. Aviendha asks if the Three-fold Land amuses him, and opines that when it breaks him it will be a fitting punishment for his treatment of Elayne. Rand snaps back that she may not have any respect for the Dragon Reborn, but she could try having some for the Car’a’carn.

Rhuarc chuckled. “A clan chief is not a wetlander king Rand, nor is the Car’a’carn. There is respect—though women generally show as little as they can get away with—but anyone can speak to a chief.” Even so, he sent a frown in the direction of the woman on the other side of Rand’s horse. “Some do push the bounds of honor.”

Aviendha clenches her fists at this and stalks along without another word. A Maiden named Adelin runs up to Rhuarc and tells him that there is trouble at Imre Stand; there is no one to be seen. Rhuarc sends her to tell the Wise Ones, but Mat comments that it looks like they already know; Rand agrees, and wonders how. Rand asks Aviendha what kind of trouble it might be, and when she ignores him, snaps that she can answer a simple question. She flushes and answers that it may be a raid, most likely from either the Chareen or the Goshien. Rand asks if there will be fighting, and seizes saidin, but Aviendha says Adelin would have said if anyone were still there. Rand and Mat follow Rhuarc and the Jindo as they enter Imre Stand, where they find no people, but goats still grazing. Troubled, Aviendha notes that raiders would not have left the goats behind. Cautiously, they go to investigate one of the building, and discover the room inside is ransacked and splattered in blood. Rand backs out hastily, bringing up his fire sword; Mat mutters that it looks like Trolloc work to him. Aviendha tells him contemptuously that Trollocs would never dare come this far into the Waste; they call the Three-fold Land The Dying Ground. Rand knows Mat is right, though, and doesn’t think their being here right before he arrived to be a coincidence. The Aiel are very tense as they set up camp. Later, Kadere brings out a beautiful woman from his wagon, dressed entirely inappropriately for the Waste, and chaperones her to see the inside of the building; she shudders when she comes out, but Rand is positive this is an act. She guides Kadere over to Rand, and says seductively that she’s heard he is supposed to be the Aiel’s prophesied leader. Rand replies that it appears so, and she smiles and says she thought he would be handsomer, and leaves. Kadere asks for forgiveness on Isendre’s behalf, and then mentions he’d heard that Rand took Callandor from the Heart of the Stone.

The man’s eyed never changed. If he knew about Callandor, he knew Rand was the Dragon Reborn, knew he could wield the One Power. And his eyes never changed. A dangerous man. “I have heard it said,” Rand told him, “that you should believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see.”

“A wise rule,” Kadere said after a moment. “Yet to achieve greatly, a man must believe something. Belief and knowledge pave the road to greatness. Knowledge is perhaps the most valuable of all. We all seek the coin of knowledge.”

He excuses himself and leaves, and Aviendha immediately hisses at him for staring at other women when he belongs to Elayne. Rand counters that he doesn’t belong to anyone, and anyway Elayne doesn’t seem to know what she thinks. Aviendha repeats that Elayne laid her heart bare to him in the letters, and Rand throws his hands up in the air and stalks off, but she follows. Seeking a way to get rid of her, he hunts up Lan and asks him to practice the sword with him, though he chooses a secluded area to avoid unnecessarily insulting the Aiel. This is not successful in getting rid of Aviendha, and Rand is soon exhausted in the punishing heat. Lan cautions him against losing concentration, and sort-of jokes that otherwise he might lose his head to a farmboy picking up a sword for the first time.

“Yes. Well, I’m not a farmboy any longer, am I?” They had gained an audience, if at a distance. Aiel lined the edge of both the Shaido and Jindo camps. Keille’s cream-wrapped bulk stood out among the Jindo, the gleeman beside her in his cloak of colored patches. Which one did he choose? He did not want them to see him watching them.

Rand asks Lan how Aiel fight, and Lan replies “Hard”, in a deadpan voice. He gives Rand a brief lesson in standard Aiel tactics, which Aviendha interrupts by asking why he wants to know how to fight Aiel, and claiming that Lan’s defense will not work. Rhuarc walks up and interjects that she is wrong, and informs her that there is a limit to how far her sulking will be tolerated; she will be a Wise One one day, and she will not execute her duties by throwing tantrums. Rand feels foolish on hearing this, realizing that the dress and all that were not, in fact, gambits directed at him, and suddenly wonders if she can channel. Rhuarc then says to Rand that he thought he might like to learn how to fight with a spear; Rand looks at the Aiel watching him, and decides to do it, despite his exhaustion, because of them, and certainly not because Aviendha was watching too.

“That mountain can grow awfully heavy sometimes,” he sighed, taking a spear and buckler from Rhuarc. “When do you find a chance to put it down awhile?”

“When you die,” Lan said simply.

Mat leans against a wagon and watches the Aiel watching Rand, and thinks him a fool for jumping around in this heat. The peddlers have been doing a steady business since making camp, and Mat had noticed Couladin and Kadere talking for a long while, though apparently no agreement was reached. Mat observes with interest the kind of things the Aiel are interested in trading for (books, laces and velvets, needles, pins) and those they are not (silks, ivory, knives, pots). Mat is startled to hear Heirn ask for Two Rivers tabac (the peddlers have none). He watches one driver trying to interest an Aiel in a crossbow.

Of course, a good Two Rivers longbow could shoot six arrows while a crossbowman was still cranking back the bowstring for his second shot. A longer range for a crossbow that size, though, by a hundred paces. With two men doing nothing but keeping a crossbow with bolt in place in the hands of each crossbowman, and stout pikemen to hold the cavalry off...

Mat winces; it was happening again. Before Rhuidean his memory had been full of holes, but now there was something filling them: memories of cities and dances and battles he’s sure he’s never seen and is not sure ever existed. Battles, especially. They must be dreams, but they creep up on him sometimes; he’ll find himself looking at a piece of ground and planning how to defend it. He traces the writing on the haft of his spear, and knows that he knows the Old Tongue, sifted out of those dream memories, and also suspects he gave himself away to Rand back in Rhuidean.

Light, what did they do to me?

Sa souvraya niende misain ye,” he said aloud. “I am lost in my own mind.”

“A scholar, for this day and Age.”

Mat looks up to see the gleeman, and replies it was just something he heard once. The gleeman introduces himself as Jasin Natael, and asks to join Mat. Mat assents, and Natael sits beside him, watching the Aiel with fascination. He comments he can hardly credit it, and Mat agrees they are odd, and cautions Natael against playing Maiden’s Kiss. Natael remarks that Mat seems to lead an interesting life, traveling with Aes Sedai, not to mention the Dragon Reborn. Mat suggests he talk to Rand, then, but Natael ignores this and begins grilling Mat about Rhuidean. Mat sees no reason not to tell him about it, and does so, leaving out any mention of the doorway ter’angreal. Natael digs for all kinds of details until they are interrupted by Keille, who glares at Natael and tells him they are not there for Rhuidean. They move off, arguing fiercely in undertones. Mat cannot imagine sharing a wagon with her, and thinks Isendre would be a much more preferable companion, but at the dinner fire that night, which Mat shares with Rand, Aviendha, Rhuarc, Kadere and Isendre, Isendre only has eyes for Rand. Rand doesn’t seem to notice, but Aviendha does, and glares at Rand. After they eat, Rhuarc asks Natael for a song, which seems to startle him, and he goes back to the wagons for his harp; Mat reflects he’s not much like Thom Merrilin, who hardly goes anywhere without his instruments. Natael returns and strikes up a song called “Midean’s Ford”, which is about a battle in Manetheren against the Saferi, whose leader Aedomon was so impressed with King Buiryn’s army’s valor that he lets them quit the field. Unwillingly, Mat remembers that what the song leaves out is the part where Aedomon betrayed the Manetheren army afterwards, and slaughtered them to a man. He remembers counseling Buiryn against the offer and being ignored.

His last memory at the ford was trying to keep his feet, waist-deep in the river with three arrows in him, but there was something later, a fragment. Seeing Aedomon, gray-bearded now, go down in a sharp fight in a forest, toppling from his rearing horse, the spear in his back put there by an unarmored, beardless boy. This was worse than the holes had been.

Natael asks Rand if he liked the song, and Rand replies he’s not sure how smart it is to rely on the generosity of enemies. Then the quiet is broken as Trollocs come howling in to attack, and suddenly everything is madness. Mat is grateful now for those memories, which make using the strange spear like second nature to him, as he fights Trollocs and Fades alike.

A dozen times the spear’s iron-hard black haft barely deflected a Trolloc thrust. It was Aes Sedai work, and he was glad of it. The silver foxhead on his chest seemed to pulse with cold as if to remind him that it, too, bore the mark of Aes Sedai. Right then, he did not care; if it took Aes Sedai work to keep him alive, he was ready to follow Moiraine like a puppy.

Suddenly it is over and the Shadowspawn are all down, and Mat slides to his knees, exhausted, seeing fires all over the camp and in several of the wagons. Rand comes over to him and asks if he’s all right; Mat replies he is fine, noting that Aviendha had managed to arm herself and looked deadly even in skirts. Moiraine appears with Egwene and the Wise Ones in tow, Healing injured Aiel where she can. Rhuarc comes up to Rand, and tells him that the Wise Ones’ camp was hit by over fifty Trollocs, and would have been overwhelmed were it not for Moiraine Sedai, while the Shaido were seemingly only attacked enough to keep them from coming to aid, though Rhuarc seems skeptical that they would have offered aid in the first place. Rand replies that the attack on the Wise Ones could have been the same thing, proportionate to knowing an Aes Sedai was with them, and to remember that he, Rand, brings enemies with him wherever he goes. Isendre, Kadere, Natael and Keille all emerge from the wagons, staring toward the group around Rand, and Mat mutters they were fools to hide inside the wagons, and lucky they didn’t get burned alive.

“They are still alive,” Rand said, and Mat realized he had seen them, too. “That is always important, Mat, who stays alive. It’s like dice. You can’t win if you can’t play, and you can’t play if you are dead. Who can say what game the peddlers play?” He laughed quietly, and the fiery sword vanished from his hands.

Mat is over Rand’s crypticness and announces he’s going to bed, and if the Trollocs come back to let them kill him in his blankets. He wonders if the attack will induce Kadere and Co. to leave the Waste, and if so he intends to be with them.

Rand lets Moiraine examine him, though he was not injured and she does not have the strength to spare to wash away his tiredness. She tells him this was aimed at him; “Was it?” he answers, and she just turns away. Egwene comes over, too, to hiss at him that whatever he was doing to upset Aviendha, to stop it; Rand thinks she looks ridiculous with those two braids. He stumbles to his tent, exhausted, and thinks that this time the sword had almost not come for him. Aviendha spends the night outside his tent, and he is glad to see her when he wakes; at least he knows how she feels about him.

Whoo boy, lot of developments here. Let’s go in order.

First, the slightly confusing fact that Rand is confused about how the Wise Ones and Moiraine know what Adelin reported to Rhuarc about Imre Stand, when in the last chapter he was all like “I KNOW YOU’RE LISTENING, MS. THANG”, or so it seemed to me, at least. I’m... not sure what I’m missing here. But considering the last chapter was deliberately written to be, ahem, misdirecting, maybe I’m supposed to be confused.

One other bit of misdirection going on here that I rather glossed over owing to too much hindsight (and which was pointed out by several commenters) is that we are also supposed to be uncertain which of the four main peddlers (Kadere, Isendre, Natael, and Keille) are really Secretly Forsaken. I don’t know why, because I never had the slightest doubt that Keille, not Isendre, was Lanfear, myself; Keille’s personality was far too perfect a match, in my opinion, and I personally couldn’t picture Lanfear lowering herself to pretending to be a wagon driver’s trophy mistress, no matter how good a disguise it would be. It would be like Meryl Streep agreeing to be in a Pauly Shore movie.

Wow, I just completely freaked myself out with that image.

Anyway. I’m not looking ahead to see the conversation the comments mentioned when Lanfear and Rand talk about it, but my conviction is also bolstered by the cryptic comment Rand makes that I quoted above, but will repeat for convenience’s sake:

Keille’s cream-wrapped bulk stood out among the Jindo, the gleeman beside her in his cloak of colored patches. Which one did he choose?

That says pretty strongly to me that Rand’s already pinned those two down as the Secretly Forsaken of the four, though I’m not entirely certain of what Rand’s question actually means. Deciding which one he’s going to try to “chain to his will”, I guess? But that doesn’t make sense; even if he didn’t have his Hurting Women Thing (which I’m assuming extends to holding one prisoner?), if he wants to learn about channeling, Asmodean would be the only one of the two who would be of any use to him anyway.

Aaah, I dunno. More later as this gets clearer, hopefully.

Aviendha: I’m not saying it’s particularly noble, because it ain’t, but there is a certain perverse satisfaction in making the unwitting cause of your torment suffer as much as you are. The fact that Rand has no clue that that’s what he is to her just makes it worse, especially since the humiliation involved in actually explaining to him why she’s so pissed off would be impossible for someone as prideful as Aviendha to deal with, in my view.

So she’s annoying as all get out through this bit, but at the same time I kind of feel her. I would be pissed as hell if someone suddenly informed me, hey, that thing you’ve wanted to do your whole life? Sorry, no, you’re doing this other thing. No, you do not get any say in it. Oh, and you’re going to fall in love with this guy who’s your good friend’s boyfriend and incidentally is going to bring about the near total destruction of your people, have fun with that!

Yeah, I think I might be a little full of ill grace for a while, too.

Mat 2.0: ah, yummy Mat goodness, it makes me happy. I remember realizing what the deal was with the battle memories and going completely Surfer Dude in my joy (DUDE! SWEET!), which is very scary for everyone and I’ll try not to do that anymore. But dude. Sweet!


Though this chapter did start one of the Big Controversies concerning Mat’s memories and how that whole thing works, and rather than get into all that again, I’ll point you here (specifically, the last question on that page), because I already wrote that once, I ain’t gonna again.

Here’s a (pointless and frivolous) question about Mat’s memories I don’t remember ever seeing, though: so if the Finn collect memories (which they do), and they gave these memories to Mat (which they did), does that mean the Finn don’t have those memories anymore? Like, did they do the scary magical equivalent of giving Mat a burned copy of their iMemories library, or is it a read-only kind of situation? DRM protection! Okay, I’m going to stop now.

We also get our first indication here that the foxhead medallion is more than just a shiny souvenir, and now I’m wondering how long it took me to twig to that.

Chapter 38: Hidden Faces

What Happens
Egeanin sits in a wineshop in Tanchico called the Garden of Silver Breezes and watches the ships in the harbor. The wineshop caters to wealthy clientele who wish to have meetings without fear of eavesdropping. She turns to her table companion, a weaselly fellow named Floran Gelb, and asks what he has for her. He hands her a bag, which she opens to find an a’dam inside, the third one Gelb had recovered for her. She pays him, and asks if he has anything else. Gelb tells her thinks he’s found another one of the women she asked him to look for; Egeanin grimaces, thinking of the mistakes he’s already made on this front, and tells him he’d better be sure this time. Gelb asks for money, of course, and she tells him she pays for results. Gelb then nervously observes he’s heard she’ll pay for special sorts of work:

“Stirring up trouble, as it were? I heard a rumor—from a fellow who’s body-servant to Lord Brys—about the Assembly, and choosing the new Panarch. I think maybe it’s true. The man was drunk, and when he realized what he had said, he nearly fouled himself. Even if it isn’t, it would still rip Tanchico wide open.”

Egeanin thinks Tanchico doesn’t need any help in the falling apart department, and tells Gelb he can go; Gelb hesitates and asks where her strange accent is from, and she sends him scurrying. After he is gone, Egeanin notes a Sea Folk ship coming into harbor; she admires it for a moment and then rises to leave, only to sit back down hastily when she recognizes Bayle Domon leaving another table. Even though she is masked, she waits until he is gone before leaving herself, noting on her way out the entrance of Jaichim Carridin.

An Inquisitor of the Hand of the Light, a high officer in the Children of the Light. The very concept of the Children outraged Egeanin, a military body answerable only to itself. But Carridin and his few hundred soldiers had power of a sort in Tanchico, where any kind of authority seemed to be lacking most of the time.

She hurries out to her litter and sets off through the crowds of weary, dispirited refugees filling the streets. Egeanin tries not to look at them, knowing that giving any of them money will cause an instant mob scene, and besides it was overstepping her place to give charity. She hates this place, and wonders why the High Lady Suroth holds back from coming in and making things right.

Jaichim Carridin lounges seemingly at ease among the masked noblemen in the private room of the Garden, even though it had been over two months since the last news of a family member of his being brutally murdered (a cousin, found skinned alive). Carridin sips his wine, and observes aloud that King Andric wishes the Children’s help in restoring order in the city, but the Children do not often involve themselves in a nation’s internal affairs (at least not openly, he thinks to himself). One of the noblemen snaps that it is urgently necessary that they suppress the many factions threatening to split them all apart, and another adds the death of the Panarch has made things more difficult. Carridin asks if they know who killed her yet; his private theory is that it was the King himself, which he thinks was a stupid move even if the old Panarch was plotting against him, since the Assembly is refusing to ratify Andric’s choice for a new Panarch (his lover Lady Amathera). And if news of the Panarch’s murder gets out before Amathera is confirmed, the city might riot. The owl-masked nobleman thinks it was Dragonsworn. Carridin agrees blandly, and says that he cannot help secure the Panarch’s Palace unless he hears from the King himself, to avoid the appearance that the Children are reaching for power themselves. The noblemen seem sure that is exactly what the Children want, and say they must have assurances that Tarabon will not be subject in any way to Amador, which Carridin smoothly assures them of. Then an older man wearing a lion mask says he will have sureties signed and sealed by the King. Carridin knows the man is Andric himself, though he’s not supposed to know that. Carridin nods, and swears the Children will secure the Panarch’s Palace and deal with any attempts to halt the investiture. To himself, he knows that the deceit involved in making the Children take the blame will give Pedron Niall a very nice bit of leverage to use on the King and Panarch. Tarabon is not as great a prize as it used to have been, but still useful.

In truth, he hardly cared if Tarabon fell under the Children’s sway, or Tanchico, or any of it. There were motions to go through, things to do that he had always done, but it was difficult to think of anything except when his own throat would be cut. Perhaps he would long to have his throat cut. Two whole months since the last report.

Carridin takes his leave of the Taraboners and walks through the streets, thinking about the rebels in the countryside and the Dragonsworn. The rebels were easily enough taken care of, he thought, and the problem with the Dragonsworn is not them but the man they are sworn to follow, when most of them don’t even know his name. Carridin cannot figure out which band of the Dragonsworn out there was sheltering Rand al’Thor, and if he can’t figure it out he is a dead man. He returns to the Children’s headquarters and is heading for the brandy when he sees a pretty woman with honey-colored braids and a veil standing by the window. He demands to know how she got in, and for her to leave at once or he’ll throw her out.

“Threats, Bors? You should be more welcoming to a guest, yes?”

He is jolted by the name she calls him, and instantly draws his sword and attacks, but the air turns to jelly around him, forcing him to his knees, and he realizes she is a Tar Valon witch. She asks if he remembers a meeting where Ba’alzamon appeared and showed them the faces of Perrin Aybara, Matrim Cauthon, and Rand al’Thor, and Carridin knows she is not just a witch, but Black Ajah. He begs her not to kill him, and babbles that he has tried to kill Rand al’Thor, but he needs more time. He protests frantically that he still has many more family members left alive, and begins detailing where they can be found. The woman watches him with interest, and eventually stuffs more jelly-air into his mouth, shutting him up. She tells him that “Jaichim” is a good name for a dog; would he like to be her dog? If he is good, she might let him watch Rand al’Thor die one day. Carridin realizes this means she is not going to kill him, and sobs with relief. The woman grabs him by the hair and tells him that she knows he is to use the Children to secure the Panarch’s Palace, and wants to know when; Carridin tells her he should have Andric’s sureties in three or four days. She considers, and accepts this, but then tells him afterwards he is to send away all the Panarch’s soldiers. Carridin says that is impossible, but the woman does not like that word, and a thousand invisible needles stab him all over. Gasping in pain, he explains that Amathera will control the Legion once she is Panarch, and will turn them on the Children if he tries to get them out, and Andric will help her. The woman stares at him for a long moment, then says the Panarch will be dealt with. The needles vanish, and Carridin swears to obey her. He asks hesitantly for her name, and she replies a dog should know its mistress’s name, and says it is Liandrin. After she leaves, Carridin thinks that even if she takes care of Amathera it may not be as simple as she thinks to hold the Palace, and if it failed, Niall might well sign Carridin’s death warrant.

His own men would arrest him; and hang him. If he could arrange the death of the witch... But she had promised to protect him from the Myrddraal. He wanted to weep again. She was not even here, yet she had him trapped as tightly as ever, steel jaws clamped on both legs and a noose snug around his neck.

Liandrin slips out of the Whitecloaks’ commandeered palace, killing the gate guard she had semi-Compelled on the way in with a knife. She wishes she had Chesmal’s talent at killing with the Power, but it was too closely related to Healing for Liandrin to be good at it. She heads back to the house she and the others had taken, wishing for a palace but acknowledging that even though there was no way the White Tower could know they were here, keeping a low profile is still the better course for now. Entering the house, she encounters one of the servants sweeping the entry hall, a sturdy woman named Gyldin. She demands of Gyldin where the others are, and Gyldin tells her they are in the front withdrawing room. Liandrin notes angrily that Gyldin never curtsies or uses addresses of respect, and snaps at her to clean or be beaten. She berates herself for slipping back into the common dialect of her youth and stomps into the withdrawing room. Inside, Eldrith Jhondar sits writing notes while Marillin Gemalphin pets a scrawny cat. They are both Browns, but Liandrin thinks there will be trouble if Marillin finds out Eldrith is the reason all her adopted strays keep disappearing.

They had been Browns. Sometimes it was difficult to remember they no longer were, or that she herself was no longer a Red. So much of what had marked them clearly as members of their old Ajahs remained even now that they were openly pledged to the Black.

As examples, she looks at the former Greens: Jeaine Caide, dressed in scandalously thin silks, and Asne Zeramene, who regrets having to leave her Warders behind. And then there was Rianna Andomeran, who was a textbook example of a cold, arrogant White. Liandrin announces that it went well with Carridin, but adds the interesting data point that he had believed she was there to kill him for failing to kill Rand al’Thor. Asne says that makes no sense; their orders are to bind and control al’Thor, not kill him.

Rianna shook her head worriedly. “It makes troubling sense. Our orders from the Tower were clear, yet it is also clear that Carridin has others. I can only postulate dissension among the Forsaken.”

Jeaine wants to know what good are promises of power if they are all crushed between warring Forsaken first. Asne points out that they have the means to produce balefire, which will kill even a Forsaken, but Jeaine sniffs that it does them no good if they can’t control it, and reminds Asne that the one test they tried with the ter’angreal almost sunk the ship they were on. Liandrin interjects that if they control the Dragon Reborn, they would have enough leverage to not need to destroy the Forsaken, but then becomes aware that Gyldin is in the room. In reply to Liandrin’s furious query, Gyldin replies she was cleaning, like she was told. Wondering how much the woman had heard, Liandrin tells her to go to cook and ask to be strapped. Gyldin leaves, tight-lipped, and Liandrin asks Eldrith if she’s found a clue yet. Eldrith natters about booksellers and librarians, and Liandrin shoves her papers to the floor with saidar; Eldrith blinks, and says the thing they are looking for must be a ter’angreal, considering what it does, and is in the Panarch’s Palace, probably in the exhibition room. Gritting her teeth, Liandrin asks if she’s found anything new, and Eldrith says no.

“It does not matter,” Marillin said. “In a few days, once they have invested their precious Panarch, we can begin searching, and if we must inspect every candlestick, we will find it. We are on the brink, Liandrin. We will put Rand al’Thor on a leash and teach him to sit up and roll over.”

“Oh, yes,” Eldrith said, smiling happily. “On a leash.”

Liandrin hoped it was so. She was tired of waiting, tired of hiding. Let the world know her. Let people bend knee as had been promised when she first forswore old oaths for new.

Egeanin knows she is not alone the moment she enters her house, but pretends obliviousness until she can get to where she’s stashed a small crossbow with poisoned bolts. She whirls with it to find a blond man leaning casually in the corner, who asks her in a Seanchan accent if she thinks he means her harm. She asks who he is, and for answer he fishes out an ivory plaque engraved with a raven and tower. She says that normally that would be enough, but these are strange lands. He smiles and strips to the waist, revealing the same tattooed on his shoulders, marking him the property of the Imperial family. Egeanin knows no one would dare fake those, and puts down her weapon and apologizes.

He left her holding the plaque while he re-dressed himself in a leisurely manner. A subtle reminder. She was a captain and he property, but he was also a Seeker, and under the law he could have her put to the question on his own authority. By law he had the right to send her out to buy the rope to bind her while he put her to the question right here, and he would expect her to return with it.

She thinks she had never contemplated a criminal act in her life, but if this Seeker asks the wrong questions... The Seeker tells her he is here to check on the progress of Suroth’s agents; he had booked passage here on the ship of a smuggler named Bayle Domon to avoid notice. He continues that he is glad to see she holds to her instructions, as so many others did not, and mentions casually there has been some trouble with the order to return and/or dispose of the sul’dam left behind after Falme. He orders her to make him tea; she almost hits him, but does it, and he grills her for some time about Tanchico’s defensive and offensive capabilities. After he leaves, Egeanin thinks that all the information she had given him had gone out by courier boat weeks since, and wonders if this was something else. Perhaps he had gone down to the basement first. She picks up a lantern and goes down, unlocking the door to reveal Bethamin, the first and only sul’dam Egeanin had found. She had failed to return her, because of the a’dam around Bethamin’s neck, which Egeanin had put on more or less by accident. Bethamin assures her that no one had come down, and begs her to take the a’dam off.

“If you bring it to me, I will,” Egeanin said angrily. She was angry with many things, not with Bethamin. “Bring the a’dam over here, and I will remove it.”

Bethamin shivered, let her hands fall. “It is a mistake,” she whispered. “A horrible mistake.” But she made no move toward the bracelet. Her first attempted flight had left her writhing on the floor upstairs, wracked by nausea, and had left Egeanin stunned.

Egeanin does not understand why the a’dam controls Bethamin; it’s supposed to only be able to be used on women who channel. Women who can channel are dangerous animals who must be controlled, everyone knew that, but Egeanin cannot avoid thinking that that had not happened over here. Logically, though, she thinks, it must mean that Bethamin can channel, and Egeanin wonders if that is why Suroth had ordered the sul’dam left behind killed, and also wonders if Suroth would dare keep this knowledge from the Empress, if true. She had to find out more.

This is what I always think of as a “pickup” chapter in WOT, moving along storylines parallel to but not (yet) intersecting with the paths of Our Heroes. These can be anywhere from fascinating to tedious, depending on how much I’m interested in/confused by what’s going on in them. This one rates much closer to the “interesting” end of the scale, despite the presence of Seanchan and Whitecloaks, which as we know are a few of my non-favorite things. Very clever chapter title, in any case, referring to the “hidden faces” both literal and figurative in the narrative.


We also get a précis on the political situation in Tanchico, which as per the usual in Randland can be summed up as “makes your average banana republic look like a civics wet dream”. I’m mostly not really interested in the whole Andric/Amathera/etc. thing, though I do note that as usual Jordan is very good at creating an impressively screwed-up (and therefore realistic) sounding political atmosphere in a very short space. But then, getting things knotted up was never a problem for Jordan; it’s getting them untangled again that has presented... difficulties.

Carridin is such a little shit. “Oh, please don’t kill me! Here’s my sister, kill her instead! Wah, I wetted my undies!” Sheesh. Taking self-serving cowardice to a whole new level there, pal, congrats.

This chapter also starts what I think of as The Education of Miss Egeanin storyline. I don’t have as big a problem with it now, but I remember really resenting being forced to like a character who holds such heinous cultural beliefs, even though of course the whole point of this plotline is Egeanin coming to realize they are horrible, at least in part. So I should probably just get over myself.

I feel like I should like Egeanin even better than I do, actually, as she is a prime example of Jordan portraying a female character right. By which I mean, Egeanin is not written as a woman who also happens to be a person, but as a person who also happens to be a woman.

You would be AMAZED, once you start paying attention, how many authors do the former instead of the latter – and not just male authors, either. This is because most of the time, they aren’t aware they’re doing it. It’s a subtle thing, usually (though sometimes it’s really, really not). But Egeanin is done right, in my opinion; she just does her thing, and her actions and decisions are really not impinged or influenced in any way by what her gender happens to be. It is literally irrelevant to her, and if you brought it up to her in that context, she would probably have no idea what you were even talking about. Which is how it should be, by God.

I’m not too pleased, however, that this means the Seanchan culture, ergo, is one of the only cultures in WOT (or anywhere, fictional or otherwise) that has appeared to gain true equality between the sexes. And acknowledging anything as “equal” about a culture that features institutionalized slavery as one of its perqs officially makes my head hurt.

(Most other cultures in WOT do not have equality between the sexes, either because they have a kind of standing Cold War situation there (in the sense that relative absence of conflict does not automatically equal “peace”), or because they’re actually prejudiced in the opposite direction, to misandry. This is largely by design on Jordan’s part, though... well, this is a larger issue I will touch on throughout.)

Small side note to the effect that I think says something about my own culture that I had to actually look the term “misandry” up. Its opposite, though? Don’t have to look that one up.

Onward. Black Ajah, whee! Liandrin is actually one of the better villains in WOT; not so much in terms of effectiveness, but in terms of believable motivation. I mean, you totally know this person, right? Cause I do. I’ve had to work with this person. If I never meet another violently insecure asshole bent double under the weight of his/her own entitlement issues, actually, it’ll be far too soon. I think I may have said this already. Certain people in my life have left an impression, evidently. And by “impression”, I mean “icky scar”.

I really, really don’t want to know what Eldrith does with Marillin’s strays, do I? Hopefully it’s for some kind of mad scientist makeup-testing scheme, because the other possibilities are far, far skeevier. Hopefully she’s just in a corner dripping mascara in a cat’s eye and, you know, cackling. AND THAT’S ALL. Eurgh.

Rianna’s observation that there may be dissension among the Forsaken is one of those statements that was all “oooh, interesting” the first time I read it, and now just makes me snicker at the understatement. I mean, ya think?

Speaking of which, hi, Moghedien! Nice of you to join the show! It’s interesting, the contrast between her and Lanfear; while as I said above I cannot picture Lanfear being able to set aside her pride long enough to pretend to be subservient to anyone, Moghedien is clearly far more practical – up to a point, anyway. As we will see.

And ‘tis Le End – FOR NOW. See you Friday!

Blake Engholm
1. UncrownedKing
hooray for wednesday!+

Are you going to hold that certain post-fiasco against some of us? haha
John Massey
2. subwoofer
Hooray for my computer finally working... at work...
Hi Leigh... even two days is too long... the twitching has begun. Maybe it is the Swine flu epidemic... I dunno, no one used the word wierd exactly... I think it was something else...
Luke M
3. lmelior
I remember being greatly annoyed that we just had this awesome scene with Mat finding out about his new abilities, and then suddenly we're in Tanchico following a completely new character. It always takes me a long time to warm up to characters when RJ introduces them this way.

I had to look up that Gelb was a sailor on Domon's ship way back in tEotW. Aside from this and trying to kidnap Nynaeve and Elayne, apparently he never shows up again. RJ could have went easier on us by doing a lot less of this.
John Massey
4. subwoofer
I also see that this is the first inkling that Mat is thinking about his crossbow crank... good times when he unloads that weapon on the Seanchan.
5. TheDragon
Didn't catch it on my first read through because I didn't know what Mat's medallion did but seeing this makes me wonder if it was Lanfear or Asmodean trying to channel on him? Does it work against men as well as women, as long as its the power?
Kurt Lorey
6. Shimrod
Relationship schadenfreude. Hmm.

Very astute question about Mat's memories. I certainly don't have an answer.

Jaichim Carridin. A man whose ardor carried him far, far away from the Light. No wonder he turns out to be a inexcusable bully and coward, too. Luck for those of us who like to see characters get their just desserts.

Egeanin. She is a very good character as a foil for cultural reflection. The thing is, no culture is perfect. Trying to navigate how to accomodate for the icky parts is a test for all of us (whether we know it or not).

Liandrin. If we ever wanted a character to really, really despise, she's it. Immature, spiteful, no scruples, unfocused goals and hates the other sex (why, we don't know). She's a candidate for experimental Balefiring in my book.

Anybody remember Gyldin from somewhere else in our readings?
7. Toryx
The whole getting us to like Egeanin thing doesn't really work for me either. It is fascinating to see someone discover that something they always took for truth is, well, not. But I just can't bring myself to like her no matter how much she changes and given her adherence to her culture in all the other respects I don't feel particularly inclined to.

I don't really agree that the Seanchan society is really all that equal in the sexes. Maybe more so in some respects than other WoT societies but it seems like the power always rests more with one person than another. Women are just as quick to treat men (in one way or another) as property as men are with women when the situation is reversed. Which is, I've always thought, the real point that Jordan was trying to make with all these books. Power corrupts no matter what gender holds the lightning rod.
8. hoping to be of the blood
Leigh, more commentary = more fun thanks

Why did Kadere goad Rand about Callandor? What DF end would this tactic accomplish? Lanfear didn’t need confirmation but maybe Asmo did. Maybe he was told to do it to put Rand on the wrong track as to whom the forsaken was or it could simply have been ta’veren effect.

Yay, Egeanin. My peeps are back, finally. (sorry leigh) The Blood are running a soup kitchen. Truly, they are a people with a heart of gold, when they are not enslaving or conquering. Oh well, nobody is perfect.

Floran Gelb’s re-appearance was always curious to me. Why reuse the character and then not tie him in to Domon, especially since they were in the same wine bar, or hearken back to his activity in prior books? And then he just disappears. Maybe he’s just too good a sleazebag and RJ wanted a little more use out of him.

IIRC, this is the last time DFs refer to forsaken rather than chosen. I wonder if that was a change RJ decided to make.

I forget if we find out who sent the trollocs. Wasn’t it Sammael?
Sydo Zandstra
9. Fiddler
Leigh@ chapter 37:

The silver foxhead on his chest seemed to pulse with cold as if to remind him that it, too, bore the mark of Aes Sedai. (Mat fighting the Trollocs)

Rand lets Moiraine examine him, though he was not injured and she does not have the strength to spare to wash away his tiredness. She tells him this was aimed at him; “Was it?” he answers, and she just turns away.

We also get our first indication here that the foxhead medallion is more than just a shiny souvenir, and now I’m wondering how long it took me to twig to that.

More important: somebody is channeling at Mat during the fight, and it sure isn't Moiraine, while Rand isn't sure the attack was aimed on him.

This, and the fair number of hidden warnings Rand is giving to him, suggests that the attack was meant to take out Mat, or at least that either Lanfear or Asmodean decided they wanted him out of the way during the attack.

Now, which one of them was it?

Chapter 38:

I'm in FoH now, in my reread, and I'm starting to like Moghedien more and more as a villain....
10. Phantom
@6 Shimrod

Gyldin = Moghedien
Kurt Lorey
11. Shimrod
@10 Phamtom. And...? Who else saw her using that name (or something extremely similar)?
12. hoping to be of the blood
Maybe you are refering to Glydan who is one of the thirteen Black Ajah who prepare to turn Egwene to the Shadow on her third trip through the three arches during her Accepted test
Blake Engholm
13. UncrownedKing
First: I also had a 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure' "Woah" kinda moment when I figured out Mat's memories and Mat's talisman. (haha Keanu Reeves..."Woah, I know kung-fu") So awesome that the memories allow him to be able to use the asheniareaiaasia (yeah sp?) like it was another quarterstaff.

Second:Never picked up on Rand's chucklin at the wagoneers. I mean I read the book about a month ago, I'm pissed I am not a smart reader.

Chap 38:
Whitecloaks, Tanchico, Black Ajah.........


I don't like Tanchico plot arc. :)
Sam Mickel
14. Samadai

Mats medallion also goes cold when people are just channeling around him. I am pretty sure no one is attacking him with the power
Travis Splawn
15. MoreBooksForMe
Great post.

I always liked The Education of Egianin(sp?) because it gives me hope that the Seanchan have the capacity to realize what they are doing is wrong.

Also love how Mat is randomly pondering about a crossbow, then his mind takes him into military matters of its own course. It is interesting to see how Mat's mind works in these kinds of things.

Onward to Friday!
16. hoping to be of the blood
er... Gyldan (not Glydan)
17. Paracelsus

Less comment and more chapters! If we keep going through 2 chapters at a time it is going to take several years for you to finish this blog!
18. Phantom
@11 Shimrod

Not certain what you want. Moggy is hiding as Gyldin. She eventually reveals herself to the BA as Moggy when they reach Amador and Moggy decides to enlist their help in tracking down Nynaeve. Until then Gyldin is just the maid whom Liandrin is picking on. The only hint that she is anything more is that she keeps showing up when "important things" are being discussed by the BA.
Kurt Lorey
19. Shimrod
@12 hopingtobeoftheblood.

Yes! Doesn't anyone else think that it is extremely coincidental that Moghedien goes by Gyldin in Randland while operating undercover in Tanchico, and that a Black Sister (Elaida's closest confidante) named Gyldan is preparing to turn Amyrlin Egwene (calmly chatting up Myrddraal) in the Accepted Test future Egwene experiences?

I need to re-read and see if the Gyldan woman is provided a physical description.
Sydo Zandstra
20. Fiddler

It's the combination of quotes that suggested this to me. That, and Mat getting his own DF Shaido Maiden attached to him later on. Just thinking out loud here...

On a side note, if the medaillion gets cold whenever somebody channels around Mat, he may be lucky to not have been around Shadar Logoth at the end of Winter's Heart...
Blake Engholm
21. UncrownedKing
@ 6
"She's a candidate for experimental Balefiring in my book."

So so true. Liandrin is awesomely awful.

In Leigh's defense these chapters are large. and if the main goal is quality, then its not practical to demand more chapters. Im sure once we get to the middle books she'll put more chapters in each post.
22. Paracelsus
"Mat is grateful now for those memories, which make using the strange spear like second nature to him, as he fights Trollocs and Fades alike."

This quote just goes to show that Mat is also a blademaster and likely one of the best blademasters on planet WoT.

Other skills Mat has obtained from his 'memories' include dancing skills (he could barely dance in EoTW and later on Setalle Anan calls him a 'beautiful dancer'), bedroom skills (Tylin was amazed at his bedroom prowess and attributed it solely to Mat being Ta'veren), weapon skills (this quote confirms it), battlefield skills (obvious), and probably several other skills as well.

With over 200 dead men of daring-do in his head, Mat has an accumulated history of fights, battles, and knowledge that no man could possibly have. Mat has more fighting experience than Lan could ever have. Mat already became an expert in using his spear from his memories. I will conclude that Mat is also an expert in the sword even though we will probably never see Mat pick up a sword. It is simply logical.
23. Zeynep
Re: Mat's medallion going cold during the fight, doesn't it also go cold whenever anyone is channeling nearby, even if not necessarily at him? If so, it was probably just picking up Moiraine/Wise Ones/Rand using the Power to fight. It's been a while since my last read, though, so I might be wrong about that.
Sydo Zandstra
24. Fiddler

Probably Rand then. Moiraine was with the Wise Ones, in a separate camp.
25. Rikka
I adore Egeanin, I severely dislike Liandrin and Carridin.

I also love the scene, I forget even which book it's in, when Lan and maybe Rhuarc basically test Mat on battle tactics and the two of 'em go a bit @_@ when Mat calls the situation how he sees it, with no prior understanding of terrain, and comes up with the same plan as those two tough old warriors in about five minutes. That for me is the pinnacle of Matgoodness. Anyone know what book that's in so I can go reread it now? XD
Sydo Zandstra
26. Fiddler

That for me is the pinnacle of Matgoodness. Anyone know what book that's in so I can go reread it now? XD

That Mat scene is in Fires of Heaven. I read it yesterday :)

(IIRC the chapter is called The Craft of Kin Tovere )
27. The M'Hael
@ 17. Paracelsus

I'm with you on this. Look at the numbers...

EOTW - 7 parts
GH - 9 parts
TDR - 9 parts
TSR - 12 parts and barely half way through!

At this rate it will be Christmas before we get to Dumai Wells.
28. JamesEdJones
27 The M'Hael

...For unto us a - kickass team of male channelers - is born...

Sounds like a Merry Christmas to me!
29. Toryx
The Tanchico chapters are the only thing I don't like about The Shadow Rising. I'm realizing now that it's really only because I hate the way Nynaeve and Elayne treat the men. Especially Elayne with her, "I am the Daughter-Heir of Andor!" business. Up to this point I didn't really mind her that much but it's all downhill from here.

Watching Thom become a light-blinded fool at the same time just doesn't help matters.
Chiara Elvira
30. elvyelvy
Carridin? such a stupid villain that he does not even deserve contempt.
Liandrin? "candidate for experimental Balefiring" is a beautiful description, and her temporary punishment will be most satisfactory. Oh, well, she will pop up again, but I'm confident her pouty rosebud mouth will stop pouting.
Btw, why so many Taraboner women seem to have pouty mouths?

Wow, Mat again!!! And Egeanin, a remarkable character in many ways.
*an office with people coming and going is NOT the best environment for leisurely commenting*
Leigh Butler
31. leighdb
Paracelsus @ 17 and The M'Hael @ 27:

Please take a look at the intro of this post for a explanation for the change of pace.
32. sinfulcashew

@14 Samadai=
I was just going to point that out.
I feel sure that ANY channeling around Mat is picked up by the medallion.
Yahoooo! I get to have an opinion!

Another thing. Sooooo, many characters show up in that cafe-restaurant-diner. How odd?
Anthony Williams
33. Galagros
Do we know for sure that Mat's medallion stops a male channeling? I seem to recall Rand thinking that the talisman didn't protect him later on in The Fires of Heaven. Or was that only because the weaving wasn't aimed directly at him, but hit him indirectly?
34. Tony Zbaraschuk
And acknowledging anything as “equal” about a culture that features institutionalized slavery as one of its perqs officially makes my head hurt.

Yeah, it does. But it happens a lot. The technical sociological term for this sort of thing is "herrenvolk democracy": the master-class is all equal among themselves, very much so, and the equality is cemented by knowing that they're all on top and have to stick together to stay that way. (in real life, Jacksonian Democrats vs. blacks, Confederate whites vs. blacks, Roman citizens vs. everybody; in fiction, Steve Stirling's Draka).

As far as the Seanchan go, keep in mind their ultimate descent from Artur Hawkwing, the emblem of justice. They do have a real concern for it, even if their whole society has been twisted and distorted by other factors. (And it's a real concern, people do want their rulers to deliver peace and justice and order, even at the cost of other things -- look at the Russian admiration for Stalin, for instance. Or in Randland, look at the Tinkers heading into Seanchan-controlled areas in the last couple of books.) This is another case of Jordan pulling in realistic themes about power and politics and government.

We don't get any comments about Rand or Moiraine or anyone sensing channelling during the attack, but perhaps Lanfear or Asmodean were just doing inverted weaves, or perhaps they were doing something small enough not to be noticed. I sort of think Lanfear; we know that she has some interest in Mat from earlier.
35. Rebecca Starr
Ch 37
we see Kadere talking to Couladin here, which isn't all that surprising given that they all have to hatch the plot for Asmodean to mark Coul's arms with the Dragons... but it made me suddenly wonder... is Couladin at all a Darkfriend? or is he really just that loony? (my bet is on the latter, despite the fact that I'm raising this question, but thought I'd open it up to discussion...)

i'm with ya on the confusion about "which one did he choose", Leigh - maybe meaning "which male Forsaken did Lanfear bring along to be his teacher? Except she already mentioned Asmodean's name back in TDR so ::shrug:: i dunno

as to Mat's memories, good point! Makes me think of that book The Giver with the old man's memories that i read back in elementary school. my bet is, once Mat has 'em, the 'Finn lose 'em.

Ch 38
oooh plots! totally realized that Leilwin is the name Egeanin takes later for herself, which is kinda cool.

anyone know who the random Tamrin mentioned in this chapter is?

as far as RJ's brilliant re-writing of our expected gender codes, just look at the way he uses veils in Tanchico, gives them to both genders, and has them be see-through so the point is still to see someone's face. 'nuff said.

Carridin offering his family here is chilling - Light how baseless some people can be.

as to Egeanin... I like her. i did from the get-go, and I like her here a *lot* Which is kind of a shame, because she becomes very one dimensional and boring, IMHO, by KOD
Galen Brinn
36. GatheringStorm
Well guys, we still have 2.5 more years before we get the last of the main series books. And that's not counting the Mat/Tuon outriggers that were apparently promised by Tom/Tor at JordanCon. What's the rush?

Personally, I'm not looking forward to a time with no more posts. Drag 'em out as long as possible, as far as I'm concerned.
Luke M
37. lmelior
Shimrod @19:

Gyldan has only appeared inside the rings as Black Ajah and Elaida's closest confidante. The WoT encyclopedia also says she might even be imaginary.

Personally I think RJ probably just forgot that he used that name, and came up with Gyldin (one letter difference!) independently.
Tess Laird
38. thewindrose
Notice how fun it is when the all the different bad guys don't get along and communicate, and when it is the good guys - we have *headdesking* and much grinding of the teeth!
Anyways, I really appreciate how RJ brings all these different arcs together (eventually:)). Although when I was first reading this I was concerned that the story would never end, because there was still Shara, and the island of madness, and the Seanchan Continent and yikes. But it doesn't look like we are going there, just staying in Randland with mentions that other places are out there. Yes I know we get to know a good amount about the Seanchan, but really visiting their continent(that would be enough for 3 outrigger books - atleast).
Kurt Lorey
39. Shimrod
@33 Galagros.

Yes, Halima channels at Mat in Salidar. She is shocked!

@37 lmelior.

Ordinarily, I might agree. But, the Accepted Test worlds are alternative potentialities, not the future.

A world where Moghedien insinuated herself into the White Tower instead of (or along with) Mesaana is just too probable to pass on (for me).

I also agree that an author might forget something like similar names, but two assistants, several proofers and Harriet the ultra-editor as well? That's straining my credulity a bit much.
Amy Young
40. ceara
Y'know, it might have something to do with the fact that I've dissected cats in two separate science classes, but it never occurred to me that Eldrith might be doing anything other than sketching musculature or some such.
41. hoping to be of the blood
I wonder how the trollocs got to Imre Stand. We know they can't go thru gateways. We don't have a map of the Waste but it must be a long distance for Avi to mention that they wouldn't be there. Also, in order to march from the blight they would have had to have a lot of lead time, at least the 7 days that Rand was in Rhuidean. Do the Ways lead to the Waste? We never hear of forsaken using portal stones. Just wondering
Kurt Lorey
42. Shimrod
@40 ceara.

That comment raised my eyebrows! lol
Kurt Lorey
43. Shimrod
@41 hopingtobeoftheblood.

Good question. Another one I certainly can't answer. Maybe, somebody was watching Lanfear and/or Asmodean more closely than either of them knew?
44. lerris
Rand first met Lanfear in one of the alternate worlds accessible by the portal stones, so we actually do hear of the Forsaken using them.
45. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
A longer range for a crossbow that size, though, by a hundred paces.
I don't get this. A crossbow would have to be as wide as a longbow is tall (6 ft plus) just to match its range and power. Or is it just longer than a standard crossbow?
And I totally agree that Aviendha had to be called down. All the disappointment she's seen in store for her is no excuse. There is no excuse to sulk. She's supposed to be in training to be a Wise One, and learning to suck it up with dignity and make the most of things is a lesson I'd consider wise.
Asmo might not weigh in as heavy as the other super powered forsaken, but you gotta give him plus points for keeping his options open. All these others who get balefired basically boxed themselves in.
Rand, you can tell that Jordan is trying to promote the Rand will go mad angle here. Although it's far too early for it, Mat etal are already beginning to suspect it. Rand however knew what the Darkfriends/peddlers were doing there. You might say he was expecting them.

Rikka @25
The battle plan wasn't just formulated by Lan and Rhuarc. All the other clan chiefs pledged to Rand at the time also pitched in. So yeah, when it comes to battle strategy 1 mat cauthon equals several clan chiefs + Lan.

JamesEdJones @28

hoping to be of the blood @41
Good question. I've always wondered about that. Since Aiel pretty much kill any band of Trollocs(of any size) that wanders into the Waste. How did so many get close enough to slaughter an entire hold? Are there waygates nearby?
46. sps49
@17 Paracelsus-

I agree with UncrownedKing, the Books of Thickness of Paper not Plot will probably be long for Leigh to reread but not recap. And there is plenty of time for the next 3 books to come out.

postPreview- sixteen comments while I write?!
Maggie M
47. Eswana
In Defense of Egeanin:
I've always liked Egeanin. In fact, I liked her so much that when Elayne and Nynaeve find out she's Seanchan and suddenly hate her, I was mad at them. Yes, she's Seanchan, one of the societies I hate most in WoT, simply because they're so disturbingly okay with the concept of slavery. However, they're not pro-slavery because they all sit around rubbing their hands together Mr. Burns-style and evilly laughing about it; rather, it's really considered an acceptable part of life there. Objectively, that doesn't make it okay (if we start from the premise that debasing someone's dignity via slavery = bad). But, I can understand it.


I can *understand* why Elayne and Nynaeve get so mad, even if I think they overreacted about it. It reminds me a little of Cold War opinions of Russians or Chinese. Obviously, your average Russian is a nice hardworking person just trying to get by. Their government, however, was a Big Bad Enemy of the US, so many Americans (ie, my parents) grew up believing that all Russians were horrible people. So in our case, just because the Seanchan government/system/etc. is awful, doesn't mean the Seanchan people are.

Egeanin is kick ass. She has integrity. She's willing to question the System to follow what's right, even if it terrifies her to do so. At the same time, she still has amazing respect for the Seanchan Establishment. A few books later, when she and Tuon meet, Tuon demotes Eg to Leiliwin Shipless. Because Egeanin accepts Tuon's authority to do this, she complies without question. That's dedication. Also, she and Bayle Doman- a little odd given their property/owner relationship by the end, but I think they're adorable nonetheless.

Mat = made of Awesome, as per usual.
Rebecca Starr @ 35--- I love the Giver! Great allusion, btw. Also, it would suck for the *Finns if that's the case. What if they give memories to someone who just goes and dies? Knowledge lost forever. Seems wasteful. I'm going with the "copy and paste" theory.

Carridin, Liandrin = $^@#%$!!!!!!!!

Carridin is such a little shit. “Oh, please don’t kill me! Here’s my sister, kill her instead! Wah, I wetted my undies!” Sheesh. Taking self-serving cowardice to a whole new level there, pal, congrats.

True dat.

I really think it shows a lot about Rand's character when he starts absorbing Aiel ways here, like learning to fight with spears and hands/feet. He's got sword skills, plus Power skills, but he wants to show them that he's one of them, to some degree. That's awesome. Especially given that he has about 261 other things on his plate without worrying about new combat strategies. It's also cool to see the deepening brotherhood he and Lan have going on here.

On and @ several-
Leigh's a busy lady. The pacing is done to help her maintain sanity and us have more discussion time. Since aMoL is being split, it's going to be several years (read: probably till 2012ish) that we finally get the ending. So I'm cool with the slower pace- gives us more chance to enjoy it now.
Sydo Zandstra
48. Fiddler

Trollocs entering the Waste

Been a while since I read KoD, so my mind is a bit blurry... Does the same go for Skimming? IIRC Asmodean used something like that at the end of tSR...
Maggie M
49. Eswana
hoping @41, alreadymad @45:

I'll bet they were gateway-ed in by Sammael. I don't think there are any Waygates in the Waste- at least so far as we know.
50. hoping to be of the blood
I meant for transport. I think the only reason lanfear was in portal stone world was to meet Rand.
51. Paracelsus
To clarify my comment @22, I am saying that Mat is a blademaster with a sword as well as a spear. Mat may be the best sword blademaster on planet WoT, even better than Lan. See comment #22 for reasons why.
Joseph Blaidd
52. SteelBlaidd
@Toryex 7
We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all wo/men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

These4 little side trips have always been one of my favorite parts of the WoT. One of my petpeeves of apocolyptic fantesy is that before Jordon the End of the World always sems to be hapening to 10 people in an area the size of Rhode Island. Here we se that not only is every thing falling apart every where but it's doing so in different ways.

Re Lindrin. I love how she is the text book example of how screaming "You will Respect my Athoriti'" at the top of your lungs useualy produces the opposite effect.

Jordons Villiins are all so incredibly human and ifferent from each other from Lindran to Lanfear, FAin to Florian Gelb they all are motivated by real human emotion. One of the things I remember him saying is that his favorite character is always the one he is currently writing, because he has to love them as they love themselves in order to write them convincingly.

Egeanin is one of my favorites especial as she is such a smart Lawful Good character dealing with discovering that some of the "Laws" arn't "Good." She gets extra points for "reforming" Bayle Dommon. ;-D
53. Freelancer
@25 Rikka,

Fires of Heaven, when they are getting ready to oust the Shaido from Cairhien. Rand acts like, "hey, Mat, aren't you leaving?", then Mat goes into the command tent where Lan casually pokes at the battle map. Mat can't help his new self, and starts analyzing...

Yep, awesome on two feet right there.


Quality over quantity is my vote. Slow and steady is good!


Yep, others have gone there already. Mat's medallion is affected by any channeling in the vicinity, doesn't need to be aimed at him. Reference Teslyn and Joline in Valan Luca's caravan, and Mat getting angry that they are channeling inside their wagon while there are Seanchan in the area.

@ Leigh
RE: Rand's thought, "Which one did he choose?"
He knows there are Forsaken among the peddlers, he's wondering whether it's Natael or Kadere. He has convinced himself that all four (Kadere, Isendre, Keille, Natael) are DFs, but can't be certain which are more than that. He's strongly leaning toward Kadere, given Rand's references to his eyes and his lack of fear around a male channeler.

I totally dig the Tanchico sequences. I too wonder how Floran Gelb manages to be within paces of Bayle Domon and they don't come in contact. That would have been an interesting scene. Seems the only work Gelb can get is task-handy for people about nefarious business.

Egeanin herein begins the cold war between her heart and her upbringing, and poor girl ends up tied into intrigues the depth of which would make her contemplate seppuku if she had known before it was too late.

Liandrin, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. I've been waiting since Fal Dara to see justice done to that wench, it better be dramatic and satisfying. Yeah, I said wench, a word RJ even disdains. But for Liandrin...
Sydo Zandstra
54. Fiddler

Tuon demotes Eg to Leiliwin Shipless. Because Egeanin accepts Tuon's authority to do this, she complies without question. That's dedication.

I always considered this to be conditioning on a society scale. It seems to be enforced like that all over the Seanchan culture. (as in 'You don't like what the Powers that Be say? Here's slavery/demotion for you.' Enforced by Sul'dam/Da'mane power (where sul'dam have everything to lose if their secret comes out)...
55. sps49
@45 alreadymad-

Crossbows are typically made of much stiffer material than longbows, which is why they aren't drawn by hand and instead use cranks, foot stirrups, or levers (modern).

Good point on who was the Imre Stand attack (this is why I luv here, the WOTFAQ, Encyclopedia WoT, & etc.; many of Jordan's goodies would pass unnoticed). I thought Rand was being too cryptic on Moiraine, but perhaps he felt safe until the real trap is ready and this attack was to deprive him of allies.

-Dang, 9 more entries?!
56. hoping to be of the blood
In KoD we see that shadowspawn are killed when they go through a gateway, so we need another transport service.
Maggie M
57. Eswana
Fiddler @ 54:
I agree. However, the point (I think) is that Egeanin believes so strongly in her government (despite all the flaws it has) and has so much respect for Tuon and her office that she doesn't throw a tantrum about this. We could say it's just conditioning run amok, which it sort of is, but also- it's kind of like the Seanchan version of ji'e'toh.
Blake Engholm
58. UncrownedKing
@49, 56 and others:
Shadowspawned can't use anything pertaining to a gateway. They die and end up corpses on the other side of the gate way (refer to KoD chp 20 Vows and chp 21 the Golden Crane....really cool stuff). that said:

I remember that the ways were built for use between large cities and between steddings. Now I don't think the Aiel Waste contained either of those. Now, since this was before Rand starts warding and putting guards in place at all waygates, I would venture to say that the trollocs probably went through one of the waygates close to the Dragonwall and then headed into the Waste.

My two hay-pennys
Sydo Zandstra
59. Fiddler

Forgive me, but I cannot see that comparison. The Aiel do have ji'e'toh but theirs is also a civilization that allows everybody to speak up to a clan leader. They won't be doing that to Wise Ones of course...

In Seanchan culture the merest hint of being critical towards your highers gets you offed in some way. It's a very old Empire, and the impression I get is that it has stagnated because of this (also because it's depending on Sul'dam/da'mane as a power base), so it appears to 'have been always been that way'. Egeanin just hasn't realized yet that it shouldn't have to be like this. That took a lot of coaching by Bayle Domon, IIRC (or some others at the menagerie).
Josh Davis
60. YoSoyElJosh
Well, Seanchan is a very large nation founded on its military traditions. The nation was conquered by force, and the Wars of Consolidation lasted 800 years. They've only had a 200 year break. But, to keep the offensive strong for such a long time, they seem to have adopted some no-nonsense military thinking into their cultural norms.

Almost all of it trickles down from "Respect and obey the chain of command."
61. JohnDoe
@ Paracelsus (Post 22)

By Jove, you're right! I think Mat's memories have in fact made him potentially the most dangerous non-channeling human on the planet. All those memories of "men of daring-do" would be competent with a weapon (sword, spear, bow, knives, nunchucks, etc) at worst and lethal with them at best.

If memories from other people made good in bed as evidenced by Tylin's first "encounter" with Mat, can someone point me in the direction of the nearest Shadar Logoth knife and the Tower of Ghenjei?
62. Browncoat Jayson
@ Mat's Memories and the FAQ

I think the biggest issue that some came up with was not that he was seeing two memories of the same battle, but from two men who were alive at the same time.

In the FAQ, it does mention that he remembers an older and greyer man dying, but the age of the person whos memories this came from can't really be determined. He wasnt the farm lad with a spear (he watched the lad kill him, not killed him while he was a farm lad), so it is possible that the ages could overlap. And if they do... well then its possible that Mat could have memories from the same time period from two different people.

Talk about a mind bender.
Galen Brinn
63. GatheringStorm
In terms of Seanchan's slavery, I wonder if that concept predates the "European invasion" by Hawkwing's army and Hawkwing's people just kind of "ran with it"? Or was this a creation of Hawkwing's people themselves after arriving?

I don't think that Artur Hawkwing himself would have approved of slavery in any form, much less to the degree that Seanchan takes it, ie the damane. I realize he despised the Aes Sedai, but that was also from Ishy doing his corruption thing.

Seanchan, while they may have eliminated sexual inequality, has so many other failings that it's almost as evil in its own ways as say...The Third Reich. I see a lot of comparisons...
Sydo Zandstra
64. Fiddler

But, to keep the offensive strong for such a long time, they seem to have adopted some no-nonsense military thinking into their cultural norms.

Almost all of it trickles down from "Respect and obey the chain of command."

That only goes if the higher echelon of Seanchan nobility would be leading the armies in battle, and win. What we have seen from Seanchan culture so far, indicates this is not how they work.

It screams oppression to me; for the greater good of course...
Kurt Lorey
65. Shimrod
Seanchan as a country is some case. If not for its very hierarchical line of authority, it would have collapsed upon itself long ago, Crystal Throne not withstanding.

The continent was always roiling with one or more significant uprisings with the Queen alive, and now that she and the entire court are dead, the whole place must be a dog's dinner.

Mat and Tuon are surely going to have their hands full when they go back to Seandar. Thank goodness Tuon picked Mat up when she had the chance. Having a Great Captain to help you reconquer your Empire is a very good idea. Otherwise, who knows?

The breadth and depth available for plot and characterization in the theoretical outrigger novels are potentially vividly colorful and complex. I'm sure that most of us would love to write those books, if we only could. I know I would.
66. Freelancer

I think that isn't the only occasion where Mat "remembers" the same event from more than one POV. Which should have quickly laid to rest all of the conjecture that they were his past lives. Fortunately, that line of speculation finally did fall to a direct answer from RJ.

Another real mind bender is this: Would the pre-finn Mat have been able to deduce that the 'finn only had access to memories of people following a visit to the TOG, implying that they attach an ability to harvest memories only once a person has been to them? Certainly, he's always been shrewd in a sneaky-scheming sort of way, but in the tactical puzzle-solving way? I think only his "gained" wisdom allows him to realize this.
John Fitzingo
67. Xandar01
@63 GatheringStorm

I don't think that Artur Hawkwing himself would have approved of slavery in any form, much less to the degree that Seanchan takes it, ie the damane.

Didn't Artur Hawkwing bind the very AS the made him the first a'dam?
69. JamesEdJones
67 & 68

Sorry, but that was Artur's son.
Sydo Zandstra
70. Fiddler
That was not Hawkwing, but one of his successors....
Tess Laird
71. thewindrose
For the greater good - Hot Fuzz hilarious movie.
I think Turak(sp?) and Suroth are both of the higher nobility, and they are both top commanders of the forerunners, 1st T then S. As seen Turaks command was driven back by Rand/Horn/TV, and Suroth makes a very good dent into Randland, the battle with Rands Ashamen ends in a draw.(Both sides think they lost.) Now there is the Tuon contingent. Who gets Mat as their general? Will there be a truce?
72. Theodor89

Hawking never left Randland...

It was his son who traveled to Seanchan...
Kurt Lorey
73. Shimrod
I stand corrected, @69, @70, and @72.
74. JamesEdJones
With the Bill & Ted reference from earlier...

69 Dude!
John Fitzingo
75. Xandar01
Ok after a bit of research, 69 JamesEdJones is correct. It is Luthair Paendrag that collars Deain.

However, would Artur disprove as suggested by @63 GatheringStorm?

Before his son left, Artur had started his siege of TV and put a price on the head of AS. Therefore his son could take his pops views with him accross the ocean.

So would Artur have collared AS instead of killing them given the chance?
Richard Fife
76. R.Fife
Thought: does Mat offhandedly comment that he remembers fighting Hawkwing several times--always against, never with--and an implication that it was more than just two or three instances. Having multiple different strands of fighting Hawkwing would imply that he has multiple memories from the same generation (Hawkwing's).

RE: Rand's "which one" thought, he might have been wondering "which pair" so to speak. Debating if the Red Herring of Kadere and Isendre or the true pair of Kielle and Natael.

Oh, and per last convo, I didn't instantly say "oh, duh, it's Kielle" myself, but I was dubious and undecided to the end. When Asmodean interrupts Rand's dream later, I kinda locked in on which one was him, though.
77. JamesEdJones
75 Xandar01

Wouldn't a more appropriate question be, "What would Ishy do?"

I didn't get the impression that Artur was out to kill all of the Aes Sedai until Ishamael started whispering in his ear, and taking him on the insanity express.

He (Ishy) did get some support from the Red Amyrlin, but most of it was just screwing Hawkwing from uniting the world.
78. BlacksmithButNotEmo
Love the classic Lan one liners here: "When you die" and "Hard". High awesomeness per word ratio.

In the picking of nits category, the filling of Mat's memories always seemed to me like an info download, neatly indexed and available seamlessly in context...look at terrain and consider attack/defense options, etc. But what I call "head memory" isn't the same thing as muscle memory. I play guitar, and if I think (access head memory) about what my fingers are doing, then I'm not playing; I'm picking my way through. I don't see wielding a bladed spear fast enough to cope with Halfmen as being anything but pure muscle memory...this strikes me like above and beyond the "filling the holes in memory" bargain.
79. Paracelsus

Maybe the Finn could give me a bigger schlong too as well as better bedroom skills?

Mat indeed is already the best at knives and the spear, as evidenced by his knife throwing contest with the Aiel (soon to arise in these summaries).

If Brandon Sanderson REALLY wanted to make a badass seen, he would have Mat face a blademaster in a situation where Mat was forced to use a sword himself. That would be awesome. Then we would really seen the true extent of Mat's memories.

Mat's memories were men of adventure and daring-do. Out of those 200 men, at least one of them had to have been a blademaster. Mat counselled King Buiryn on military advice afterall.
Blake Engholm
80. UncrownedKing
Sorry to go off topic but since you brought up Lan and awesome:

Ok First, in KoD, I completely forgot the shadow attack on Rand's hidin spot Cool!!

Two, I completely forgot about the whole
"Lan you need to go north, and I'm stayin here."
"No shade of my heart."
"Yes husband and you must swear and once you do I'll drop you off on the very most eastern reagion of Saldea and make you gather an army to head to Tarmon Gaidon, and then scout ahead of you and spread the word that the Golden Crane Flys for Tarmon Gaidon"
"uhhhh I swear?"

Pure sweetness incarnate. Thats a plot arc I want to read in book 12
Richard Fife
81. R.Fife
Hmm, also Re: Mat's memories:
DRM vs Burned Copy: I'm going to say burned copy myself. After all, they had to "rip" them outta the owner's heads, and people don't seem to leave finnland with amnesia, or it would make sense that they can just "copy" them to Mat. Now, a more interesting question, could they do this for anyone, or do only select few have the minds that could take this Kwisatch Haderach Son of Battles info-dump.

Skills aside from Memories: I'm oddly going to lean on Mat having gotten muscle memory from the Finn as well. In particular, it is because Mat's ashawhateveritscalledderi isn't just a quarterstaff, and Mat incorperates the odd, curving, sword-like blade at the end of it in his combat, and it is even noted, from his PoV:
For once he was glad of those dream memories; the way of this weapon seemed familiar, and he needed every scrap of skill he could find.
-TSR, Imre Stand
So yeah, he got the muscle memory too.
82. mazza313
@62 - mat definitely has memories from the same time period, he recounts 'in some of his memories he remembers not liking artur hawkwing at all' (some implies different viewpoints). i don't think there is any great suspension of belief required to think that two men of the same age both paid a visit to the finns...

my only problem with this whole situation was that the triangled red doorway was always in the possession of the aes sedai and jenn aiel, so all the rest of these adventures must have gone into the tower of ghenjei. how did they all get out? how come they only went to the foxes and not the snakes? rj kind-of answered this in an interview saying that the tower of ghenjei used to be more popular, but i still go hmmmmm about it.
Don Johnson
83. Paracelsus
R. Fife@81

There is no question about whether Mat has received muscle memory from the Finns. He learned how to use his ashrandei (or whatever it is called) from his memories alone.

Mat also became a great dancer after experiences with the Finn. There are several examples of his muscles being able to perform what his memories 'know.'

Like I said before, chances are very high that one of the 200 men in Mat's memories was a blademaster. That said, Mat is quite possibly the most dangerous man with a sword in WoT even though we have never seen him use one.
Maggie M
84. Eswana
Uncrowned @ 80
Me too. I love Lan, and Nynaeve, and them as a couple. So fabulous.

I really hope this plot arc pays off in Gathering Storm but I suspect we'll have to wait till #13 or #14 because it's going to take Lan a long time to ride all the way from World's End to Tarwain's Gap, even with Mardarb's awesomeness factored in. Plus, he'll be leading an army (!!!!!)

Parcleseus @79
If Brandon Sanderson REALLY wanted to make a badass seen, he would have Mat face a blademaster in a situation where Mat was forced to use a sword himself. That would be awesome. Then we would really seen the true extent of Mat's memories

Yup. Awesome squared. I hope Brandon reads these comments (umm- peruses, not reads- since he's too busy writing to read all of our crazy comments to read all of them).
85. JamesEdJones
82 Mazza313

Did we ever get a definite lock on the door in the waste being the only door to the Foxes? It didn't seem very power proof. Resist moving? Sure. Resist melting like wax? Not so much. Maybe there were a few others.

But if that were the case, why did all the memories come from Randland? Please let me know if there was additional information out there that I missed.
Richard Fife
86. R.Fife
actually, @78 did question it, so I was countering that. Sorry for not clarifying that above. (actually went and ret-con'd it, in fact ;))

Mmm, in all truth, I kinda hope Mat does never have to face a blademaster with a sword. It would just, iunno, sorta cheapen Mat, in my eyes. Sword is Rand's thing, and even if Mat should know exactly how to use an Axe or a Sword, I'd rather they stayed with their respective character.

Now if Mat toasted a BM using his ashwhatgoesherenocluederi, then I'm game.

Re: Gleb, I think that was just a foreshadowing of how character-conservaty RJ was planning on being. Who knows, perhaps he will show back up as Hurin's nemesis in TG.

I think that, per above, most the memories came from Tower of Ghenji, which was more popular (if feared) in the time between the Trolloc Wars and Hawkwings assention (when all of Mat's memories come from).
87. hoping to be of the blood
I'm OK with Mat's instantaneous awesomeness with the weapon based on memory alone. Muscles have no memory. What is commonly referred to as 'muscle memory' is just enhanced connections in the centers of the brain responsible for coordination of movement.
Chris Maurer
88. grayfox
Why is it automatically assumed that the foxes/snakes needed the people to go to 'finn land to get their memories?

What if the Tower of Ghenji is like a giant memory vaccuum that pulls them all in out of the air? Or (and I like this better) what if 'finn land is where memories go when someone gets hammered on oosquai (my drunken memories are certainly not in my head!!).
Galen Brinn
89. GatheringStorm
Ashandarei is the word you're looking for, R.Fife.
90. JamesEdJones
86 R.Fife

Thanks, Rick'n Rollah.

Next question: Where the heck is the Shadow Coast? The map says it's the SouthWest corner of Randland, but Mat's memory has it somewhere between Shadar Logoth and Whitebridge.
Richard Fife
91. R.Fife
I am thinking you are refering to point fourhere

Well, Jain Farstrider doesn't know everything, eh? Perhaps part of Mat's questline is going to take him on a wild goose chase to the Shadow Coast?

What, me? Postwhoring? Never! (goes away for a few hours to "tend" his kids)
Luke M
92. lmelior
Mat being born with these memories has always seemed a bit out of place for me. The Finn's just "filled them in," remember. Min's too. Does anybody think we'll get an explanation as to the source of Min's and Mat's abilities? It just seems odd that these two people would have such unique abilities, when all other unusual abilities are well-documented (even Perrin's rare ability was not unheard of).

Also, spelling/grammar nazi time, it's actually "derring-do," though the almost phonetically equivalent "daring-do" gives more insight into its meaning. Sorry, just wanted to get that out of my system.
93. Randalator
lmelior @37

Ordinarily, I might agree. But, the Accepted Test worlds are alternative potentialities, not the future.

Actually they are not even potential worlds. They are scenarios extrapolated from real world events, fears of the Accepted to be and the current knowledge of said A-t-b. Remember that Egwene had an ageless face in her Amyrlin scenario but claimed never to have held the oath rod. That is clearly impossible, so what she experiences can't be future OR potential future.

Freelancer @66

I think that isn't the only occasion where Mat "remembers" the same event from more than one POV. Which should have quickly laid to rest all of the conjecture that they were his past lives.

Mat does not remember the same event from different viewpoints ever. Thus sayeth the WoTFAQ:

There is no mention of Mat having memories of being two different people at the same time. A common misconception is that the sequence of memories described above in indicates that Mat has memories of being two different people in the same battle. This is not the case! What is actually going on is that these are two different guys, at different times. In the earlier memory, Mat is an advisor to a king, and is killed through the treachery of the enemy. In the later memory, Mat recalls seeing that same enemy, then older and grayer, die in another battle someplace else. There is enough time between the two incidents for the enemy to age considerably, and thus obviously could not have taken place in the same battle.

Blake Engholm
94. UncrownedKing
Mat's memory:

Mat asked for the holes in his head to be filled(I suspect that he was talking about the holes in his memory from the 'shiny dagger' experience). He didn't specify that he wanted his own memories, and from what we know about the foxes, they have a dry sense of humor. An extremely dry sense of humor. Hence the memories that they chose to shove in his head.
Luke M
95. lmelior

But even before any contact with either of the Finns, Mat kept busting into the Old Tongue at certain times (the battle cry of Manetheren in tEotW springs to mind). I believe he could understand it at times, too. I took that to mean that he always had these past lives in his head, he just managed to forget or at least block them.
Luke M
96. lmelior
Follow-up question:

We have pretty much met everybody's family except Min. Will there be a big revelation in aMoL regarding who Min's parents are? Only Min's aunts who raised her have been mentioned, I believe, other than to say her mother named her and her father died when she was young.
97. Randalator
lmelior @95

That is just a case of "the old blood running strong". Egwene has similar experiences although not as in Mat's case.

Egwene sniffed as if to show what she thought of that. "I wasn't talking about that. What . . . what were you shouting, Mat?"

Mat shrugged uncomfortably. "I don't remember." He stared at them defensively. "Well, I don't. It's all foggy. I don't know what it was, or where it came from, or what it means." He gave a self-deprecating laugh. "I don't suppose it means anything."

"I . . . I think it does," Egwene said slowly. "When you shouted, I thought — just for a minute — I thought I understood you. But it's all gone, now." She sighed and shook her head. "Perhaps you're right. Strange what you can imagine at a time like that, isn't it?"
(TEotW, ch. 18)
98. Randalator
That's supposed to read "not as strong as in Mat's case". Guess I should sign up so I can edit my comments...
Joseph Blaidd
99. SteelBlaidd
85 JamesEdJones.
Mats memories were collected either from visitors to the Tower of Genji or users of the Snakey door tht now sits in the Geat Holding in Tear. No acces to the Fox door neccesary.

Mat's skill with the Ashandari is an adaption of his already considerable staff technique, he's a pretty dab hand with a knife before Ruidiehn, his stumble in the danceing back in EotW was from shock at partnering Moraine not having 2 left feet, and by the time he meets Tylin I bet he has plenty of 'personal' experiance of his own to draw on. In all thes casss his memories give him the tactical and strategic knowlidge he needs to take maximum advantage of his already existant skill set.

Also I think Rand can give a pretty good showing as Best Swordsman, and he has a lot more first hand practice than Mat :).
100. jlyman
When talking about Eldrith's questionable practices with the strays, am I the only one who calls to mind the Addam's Family movie when they are living temporarily in the motel and dear old mum is running around the parking lot with a large stick, we hear mewling of a cat and she sticks her head in the door and announces that dinner is gonna be late?

Is it just me?
101. JohnDoe
There are three ways into the land of the Finns: the Tower of Ghenjei, the doorway in Tear that belonged to Mayene originally, and the doorway in Rhuidean. There's no way anyone could reach the one in Rhuidean due to the fact that the Aiel would pretty much tear you a new one (Artur Hawkwing's only defeat was by the Aiel). That leaves the Mayene doorway and the Tower of Ghenjei, both of whch would be relatively easy to reach.

Mat pretty much is lethal with any weapon thanks to his memories. It would be nice to see him forced to fight with a sword and show that he was a blademaster, but then again it would kinda take away from the whole "uniqueness" of his character.

He was already skilled with the ashandarei without his memories. As seen in his fight against both Galad and Gawyn, he's very skilled with the quarterstaff and the ashandarei is essentially a quarterstaff with a swordblade.

I do hope there are outrigger novels detailing Tuon and Mat's reconquest of the Seanchan continent.

Keep up the good work, Leigh.
102. Freelancer
From various chapters in the later books, we get a sum of Mat's deduction regarding his memories and the 'finn:

1. The memories come from people who have visited the finn. None of his adjunct memories are of children or young people.

2. The memories are from AFTER those people visited the 'finn. He has no memories of visits to the TOG

3. Conclusion (Mat's, not mine): The 'finn create a mind connection with visitors, and harvest their memories beginning after the visit. They use them for sustenance/enjoyment/etc, but filled the gaps in Mat caused by the SL dagger with selections from battle leaders, gamblers, and scoundrels throughout history (they named him "Son of Battles", "Gambler", "Trickster")

He worries about this connection, especially if he's going to help retrieve Moiraine, because he is convinced that they will be aware of the plan if they can see through his eyes, as it were.

The doorway in Rhuidean hasn't been available, but I believe that the memory connection is made whether you visit the snakes or the foxes, and the doorway more recently in Tear was publicly available for a long time prior to being sequestered in Mayene, then Tear. Even so, Birgitte knows how to get into the Tower without a doorway ter'angreal, and we don't know if that entry allows access to both.
Chiara Elvira
103. elvyelvy
Eswana@47 I agree that Leigh's a busy lady, plus a slower pace allows more time to think plots through and dissect/discuss every fact and detail. With 5-6 chapter every 2 days it would be tough.
And I am all in favour of posts posts posts for... as long as it takes to get to the end. But are you sure it will help her maintain sanity? a couple of years with us? naaaah

As to Mat, I always took it to Manetheren blood running still strong in the TR -Eg has a bit of it too- at the beginning, then his memory holes are filled with other people's memories. Which provides Rand with the rare and useful commodity of a master tactician as a close friend, ta'veren, who turns out also to be married to the ruler of enemy forces, and that will likely stop distracting his (Rand's) armies from other battle fields. In short, RPM are all necessary each to the other. One or just two of them alone are not enough to see the other side of TG.
And Freelancer reminds us of something logic: no children/youngsters had contact with the Finn, more likely people with a specific background - and from the foxy guide's outfit not all were able/lucky to leave the place.

PS: subwoofer, you got it straight, that is the place for the real drinking games -and mulled wine in winter- but can you down one of those mugs? :-)
104. Rebecca Starr
"Conclusion (Mat's, not mine): The 'finn create a mind connection with visitors, and harvest their memories beginning after the visit. They use them for sustenance/enjoyment/etc, but filled the gaps in Mat caused by the SL dagger with selections from battle leaders, gamblers, and scoundrels throughout history (they named him "Son of Battles", "Gambler", "Trickster")"

Yes - just to clarify even further, RJ said the reason Mat's memories are predominantly from leaders, gamblers, and the "derring-do" type is because those are precisely the people who would be willing to seek out the TOG or enter the ter'angreal doorway in the first place.
105. Dave04
Hey, this thing is great and I want you to know that. But I've noticed the later posts becoming more and more likes Jordan's later work itself (long and WAY too detailed). Notice that your recaps of the first book ate up 9 chapters at a time and still were shorter than these, which only go 2 deep now. Personally I like to see the story keep going, the recaps don't need to be half the length of the chapter.

Anyways, my personal opinion. Bring on the hate posts because I know how loved you are :) (rightly so because this reread is awesome).
Richard Fife
106. R.Fife
Dave04: no hate post, but please actually, you know, respond in kind to the reason Leigh is taking a slower pace now. It was both the opener to a recap post and has been since linked and reason repeated (numerous times in this particular thread alone).

In particular, the breakneck fast speed was making leigh's eyes bleed (unsubstantiated hearsay), and she does have a day job aside from Note: we could be going the speed of the LotR reread (to which I am not dissing on Kate, just saying, we could be), which is one chapter a week (60 chapters in entire thing). At least we get 6-9 chapters a week.

Although, Leigh, I will comment that you might try and give the ol gal (brevity) a call again, see if you can meet over coffee sometime for the summary section itself. Commentary sections are good length, though ;)
Sam Mickel
107. Samadai
All this talk about Mat's awesomeness reminds me of another character, who in later books people seem to have a problem with(Perrin). there is alot of comments about shaido capture/Perrin follow after arc that people really cant stand Perrin.
Keep in mind all the stress on his mind and he still has the ability to lead these thousand of followers and the Seanchan in a complete victory over a huge group of the greatest fighters out there. So IMHO Perrin has just as much awesomeness as Mat
Alice Arneson
108. Wetlandernw
62. Browncoat Jayson
The text is ambiguous as to whether Mat's memory is from the point of the "beardless boy" or not. Could go either way.

@many: I thought Mat remembers fighting both with and against Hawkwing. Then again, that was always brought up mostly regarding the argument over where he got the memories, which has pretty much been laid to rest now. Okay, just a nitpik.

92. lmelior re: "derring-do"

Thank you. If you hadn't, I'd have had to.

And on the length of the recaps... some of these chapters would have to be awfully hard to summarize in any way, because there's so darn much in them! Yeah, you can just leave out a bunch of stuff any time. But... some chapters have a lot of fluff-n-stuff handy to leave out, and some are all just needful stuff.

Oh, and (way out of order) Rebecca Starr @35 Ch 38
oooh plots! totally realized that Leilwin is the name Egeanin takes later for herself, which is kinda cool.
You obviously went and read the book as well as the recap... What was the reference to Leilwin? Be kind and refresh my memory?

And on a completely different note to Shimrod on the previous thread... Stinks when you finally decide to get an account and someone else already took your cool name, doesn't it? Too late at night when I set mine up, so I just made a minor variation and kept it. :)
Alice Arneson
109. Wetlandernw
And just to make conversation, did you know people are still commenting on the very first WoT Reread post? Oy. At least we know no one is posting on TSR10...
craig thrift
110. gagecreedlives
Leigh Im sure Rand doesn’t have a clue who Asmo and Lanny are. Later on he is surprised to see that Asmo is the gleeman and he had to ask Lanfear who she was.

And I love Lans deadpan humour in this chapter.

Im also in the camp that when it comes to the recaps Leigh can take as long as she wants. Im loving the reread and all the comments that come with it.

lmelior @3
Holy crap I have never picked up on the fact that it was the same Gelb. I pretty much forgot about that character after TEoftW.

subwoofer @4
I know the band of the red hand uses the crank but im pretty sure Mat wasn’t the one that thought of it. Wasnt it some Joe Al’ Schmoe that was heading to the Rose academy in Caemlyn.

As others have said it does protect him against saidin as well. Halimar tries to channel at him at the big dance after Egwene is raised. Although Mat is probably unaware of this.

SteelBlaidd @99
Well he could have been the best swordsman with two hands but now that he has only one I’m gonna have my money on either Lan or Galad being the best around.

elvyelvy @103
“In short, RPM are all necessary each to the other. One or just two of them alone are not enough to see the other side of TG.”
Spot on. Wasnt there a fade that said when attacking Mat or Perrin that if they cut off one part of the tripod all of it will fall.

Wetlandernw @108
Pretty sure and Rebecca please correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Leilwin a noble that Egeanin has sent back to Seanchan after Gleb tries to kidnap her thinking she was a missing sul’dam.
Ellie Virgo
111. Egglie
re: trollocs at Imre stand, well there are these two forsaken traveling around with a band of darkfriends in a handy selection of wagons. Do you not think they might have dropped some trollocs off before heading to rhuidian to meet Rand and friends?

The thing I like best about the Egeanin chapters here are how incredibly integrated they are with the rest of the story. I really realized it when I summed up Renna's story (back near the end of tGH) Everything about Egeanin's motivations and decisions about the sul dam and getting to know Nyn and Elayne all make sense and lead on from each other. Sometimes there is random character re-cycling in WoT, like floran Gelb, and sometimes events in book two lead directly to events in book 11, even for bit part characters. Awesome.
Lannis .
112. Lannis
Harrumph! Was enjoying a lovely day and end up being comment 112!

Re: Mat's memories... if the *Finn have taken so long to collect them, then it stands to reason they decided to try to kill Mat by hanging...

*Finn: "Geez! You collect 200+ guys' memories and one jerk demands that he get his memory holes filled (with your stash), and since you're into bartering--yes, let's take his life--he's just taken your life's work... fair's fair, after all!"

UncrownedKing @ 13: re: Tanchico plot arc--yeah, I hate it too. Also, I just realized I've been pronouncing Tanchico wrong, mentally--went to type "Tanchico" and stared at it, then realized there's a second c... always thought of it as Tanchio (tan-chi-o) interesting how things develop in our own minds...

Rebecca Star @ 35: Re: Couladin... yes, loony. Batshit crazy conveys a little more of the dangerous aspect, though...

lmelior @ 92: re: derring-do... Thank you! I can relax now. ::sigh::

Egglie @ 111: Sometimes there is random character re-cycling in WoT, like floran Gelb, and sometimes events in book two lead directly to events in book 11, even for bit part characters. Awesome.

113. pooping eagle
For those of you that want to crack on Leigh about the pace of the re-read, I can only offer this advise....

Stop reading this, and go read it for yourself
114. hoping to be of the blood

I don't think it was L and A that brought the trollocs. Why would they? L is still all about wooing Rand to her. Even if they were after Mat it would be risky to Rand to have trollocs about. We never get a POV that admits to sending the trollocs.

Any trollocs roaming the waste would have been picked off by the Aiel.

Any way, the logistics make it difficult for them to bring trollocs. They had at most seven days to make the trip. We know trollocs die in gateways so they had to hoof it in. Couladin and company take longer to get to the Dragonwall than seven days.

It doesn't add up for me
Joseph Blaidd
115. SteelBlaidd
@107 Samedi
I Agree. Perrin has a lot of Awesome that he doesn't get nearly enough credit for it.

Of our initial group he has the hardest time making the transition to his new role. Mostly I think because hes the only one who has to do it in front of the people he grew up with
Richard Fife
116. R.Fife
If, oh say, it was Sammael that sent the trollocs: he could have been sending them since he figured "oh, crap, he's at Rhuidean", used an abandoned stedding's waygate to get near Imre Standish area, then weave illusion around the band to get them to Imre Stand. Any aiel that looks will see a travelling heat wave, and Myrdrall could have been driving them like mad day and night.
John Massey
117. subwoofer
Good times. This time zone thing is irritating. By the time I join in, it is bed time for half the group. meh... onwards...

Hoping... you have a point. The Waste is the dying ground for Trollocs. Can't figure the logistics to get them from A to B. Mr. Fife, it is possible, but to what end? That seems to be a lot of effort involved to just a fist of cannon fodder. Sammael must know that so few Trollocs and Myrddraal would have little chance of success against that many Aiel and a channeller. Am trying to wrap my mind around it.

As far as crossbows go, the prods are made of metal and have a much higher tension than a traditional recurve or longbow made of ewe or a similar wood. The learning curve for these is also much gentler than a recurve. There is some aiming, but it is a point and shoot and the mount is fixed. Bows are much harder with sights and release and tabs etc... I'm rambling- sorry I bow hunt and it annoyed me when Perrin tromps through the woods in the rain and he is not too worried about loosing tension in his bow when the string gets wet.
118. hoping to be of the blood

I agree that it was probably Sammael that sent the IS trollocs, although I have no proof.

But even Rand did not know he was heading in the direction to Alcair Dal and would pass by IS, until two days before. Not much time to get things together and I don't think there are waygates in the Waste.

It seems sloppy and inconsistent and RJ was anything but, so it bothers me. But my wife points out that I do tend to obsess so I will stop this and go sit with her to see who gets voted out on American Idol. (sorry to admit)
craig thrift
119. gagecreedlives
I think it was most likely Asmo that organized the trolloc attack at Imre Stand. Has any of the Chosen ever worked together whole heartedly?

Asmo could be simply be testing everyone’s capabilities and seeing how much Rand knows about the one power by watching how he defends himself.
Just because Lanfear is telling Asmo that its all sweet and Rand will so join up doesn’t mean he cant have his doubts and start formulating his own plans.

Unless of course he is the most trusting Chosen ever.
Sara H
120. LadyBelaine

Oh, and (way out of order) Rebecca Starr @35 Ch 38 oooh plots! totally realized that Leilwin is the name Egeanin takes later for herself, which is kinda cool. You obviously went and read the book as well as the recap... What was the reference to Leilwin? Be kind and refresh my memory?

Lady Leilwin
121. SusanB
Leigh...kick brevity to the curb. I love the length of your recaps! I've got two kids under two & barely have time to read the summaries & comments. I have no time to actually read the books. I'm glad that your summaries are so detailed. It makes me feel like I'm not missing out on anything. Thanks for a great job.

To all...about trollocs & gateways. I know someone posted the chapters, but as I've said above I have little time to read & am hoping one of you can give me a short explanation. I remember in previous readings that Rand kills trollocs with what he calls "deathgates". I don't recall it being stated anywhere that deathgates & regular gateways are the same thing. Did I miss something? Or did trollocs travel through a regular gateway & die in one of the books? Thanks for the answers.
John Massey
122. subwoofer
"I walk around with holes in my memory, holes in my life, and you stare at me like idiots. If I had my way, I would want those holes filled, but at least answers to my questions might fill some in my future...
"cussing Well I want to be free of Aes Sedai and the Power, and I want to be away from you and back to Rhuidean..."

Okay, so the holes were filled with dead guy's memories, the medallion is to be free of the Power and Aes Sedai, he was hung on Avendesora to get back to Rhuidean. So where does the Ashandarei come in?

While we (okay, I) are going on about weapons, what is the deal with Rand and his light sabreflame sword. It is a reflex act from a book or two ago after he melts Tam's sword, but c'mon. Can't he imagine like a double bladed sword or hurling arrows or a huge hammer or mace. I know it has to do with the forms and that is what he knows how to use but it goes back to Lanfear sneering at him telling him he uses a 10th of what he can do. He could imagine a really big sword that could give him all kinds of reach advantage and so on... 'K. I'm done nit picking.
123. toddywatts
So, while Leigh was off at JordanCon, I picked up TEOTW to get my fix. It's only been a few days ago that I read about Florin Gelb on the Spray, and I got so discombobulated reading about him here because the plots got all tangled in my head, and for a few minutes I couldn't figure out where any of it had happened.

I wasn't going to weigh in on the whole length of posts discussion, but I will say that I see a whole world of difference between reading the posts from TEOTW and rereading it myself. I'd almost like to suggest that Leigh repeat the first three books at our current speed.

If you don't like Leigh's reread, maybe you should consider asking her what she would charge you to do it your way, because unless she's working for you, you have no right to complain and I'm tired of reading about it.
Richard Fife
124. R.Fife
SusanB: LTT comments in that same chapter that any gateway will kill shadowspawn. The Deathgates are just modified to use their razor edges, and aren't opening to any particular place, but just randomly, thus they are useable without "knowing" where you are.

I like the Asmo idea of who sent the Trollocs. Could be part of what he and Lanfear are always arguing about, and he could have warded the trollocs in whatever fashion hid the peddlers going to Rhuidean as well. Also could be the source of the Draghkar coming up in a bit.
Jay Dauro
125. J.Dauro
New poster.

Yes, Leigh has slowed down. And TSR is going slowly. But remember TSR is the longest of the books so far (through KOD), with EOTW only 78% of its length, and TGH and TDR in the 65% range.

gagecreedlives @110

In KOD, As If the World Were Fog, Mat tells Talmanes that bringing crossbowman was not wise, because their rate of fire is so slow. Talmanes explains about the crank, and how they got it from a mechanic in Murandy.

Mat's comment on the crank "... I never heard of such a thing. Ever."

So with the invention of cannon (soon to come) and the fastest crossbows ever, the Band of the Red Hand is setting up to be really badass.
126. SusanB
John Massey
127. subwoofer
Or use the Power to make really big shoes to step on people with. Just a thought...
elvyelvy, drinking that much beer is not a problem. Canadian's are pretty hardcore when it comes to that. My personal issue is that I get full long before I get drunk so I'll start practicing now. So to all, I am now in training- my typing may be compromised as I may have a beer stein in my hands.
Lannis .
128. Lannis
subwoofer @ 127: re: Canadian drinking...

I have one word: shooters. ;D
129. Freelancer
@116 R.Fife,

Not to pick a nit, but...

While what you say is possible, even plausible, I always back away from theories about events that fall outside of what can be sorted out from known methods and behaviors. For example, you could also say, "Hey, we don't know for sure that the portal stone at Chandaer is the only one in the Waste. So there must be a portal stone not far from Imre Stand. Since Lanfear knows how to use them, certainly the rest of the Forsaken do as well, so that must be how the trollocs got there in time."

Possible, even plausible. But not exactly supported by known details. I'm not sure anyone, even a Forsaken, could successfully put Illusion over an entire fist of trollocs on the move, since rapid movement disturbs it. And even though me thinking it unlikely doesn't make it improbable, I can't be comfortable with that much of a reach being proposed as likely.

Just saying...
John Massey
130. subwoofer
J. Dauro, welcome to the club. Pick up your special hat to the right. Yes, it is all coming back to me now. That is why Shen an Calhar rocks. Mat will define cannon fodder.

Lannis- count me in puts down the stein. I got a 5ozer when I was in Jamaica "Jamaican me crazy" when I won a contest at a bar down there. Appleton coming out of my pores for a couple of days after.
John Massey
131. subwoofer
Back to my original- Why isn't Sammael throwing the kitchen sink at Rand. If his whole purpose is to stop Rand from getting the aleAiel to see him as the Car'a'carn there should of been more baddies. Assuming that is the end purpose of that. Another reason may be to bug Lanfear and Asmo and cause them grief and aggravation and hope they use their powers in front of Rand.
132. Planeswalker
Egwene comes over, too, to hiss at him that whatever he was doing to upset Aviendha, to stop it; Rand thinks she looks ridiculous with those two braids.

This seems to contradict most of the comments from the previous post. I'm never ever gonna show love for Egwene. Just can't get enough of her. :)hehehe Sorry, sorry. This will be my last comment of her *being a childish brat for like most of the whole series (generally mistaken by others as courageous, etc, really though?)
craig thrift
133. gagecreedlives
Does Sammael even know where Rand is? Pretty hard to throw the proverbial sink at him if you got no idea where the target is.

Could be fun though. I might go home, rip out my sink, shut my eyes, spin around 3 times really fast and let go.
John Massey
134. subwoofer
I speak from experience when I say -do it outside on your deck as opposed to in your house around breakables. And when I say breakables, I mean walls, cabinets, children and small pets.
135. sps49
@131 subw-

All of the Forsaken should've been trying harder, rather than the half-assed attempts they are making at everything. Their reputation is worse than their current portrayal.
craig thrift
136. gagecreedlives
I like it. I go from risking my valuables to risking my neighbours children/small animals (not sure if there is a difference).

Cheers for the tip mate
Amar Ramraj
137. aiel1219
@45. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Sorry if I''m repeating here. Thought I shud reply to the crossbow v.s. long bow. The reason why a crossbow has more range is because the material the "bow" is wade of is less flexible than that of a longbow. Thus if youdon't use a cranh like Mat thinks of it's difficult to actually "cock" a crossbow. the tension held on the bow is much greater than that of a longbow (in most cases). Therefore it can propel the bolt alot further than a longbow can send an arrow.

Without the crank a crosbowman would have to use two hands to "cock" the crossbow thus they have the pin system which keeps the bolt nocked and drawn so the crossbowman can aim then fire. Hope that clears it up.
(Dang I gotta stop remembering generally useless stuff)
138. Greyhawk
Don't know why I am doing this to myself, but for all of those slamming the posters asking Leigh to resume the faster pace, take it easy. All of the posts I have seen were respectful and just express a preference on a blog that is dependent on community feedback. Leigh explained why she was slowing things down, but her statement:
"So for now, there will still be three posts a week, but less material will be covered per post; we’ll try this pace for a while and see how it works."

certainly leaves the door open for people to express their preference for the former faster pacing. R.Fife@105 ---Dave04 responded with a way to address some of the "reasons" Leigh slowed down--his suggestion, less recap to allow for more chapters. Ironically you then go one to suggest more brevity yourself.
toddywatts@123 -- chill out.

My point, and toddywatts@123 makes it for me, is that I find the reaction to the posters asking for a faster pace to be more annoying than the requests themselves.

Leigh--I completely agree that Egeanin is portrayed the best of the female characters. Why couldn't Jordan have done this with the female leads!

Also, did anyone else find it odd that the Wise Ones would have been overwhelmed without Moiraine? The text isn't clear but it seems to me that this suggests that Moraine was better at combat that the Wise Ones--only as we find out later the Wise Ones have no problem hurling fireballs when it suits them. Maybe Jordan at this point hadn't yet resolved in his mind how developed the Wise Ones use of the OP would be?
Shawn Spearman
139. fishes153
Ok. This is off topic, but I just had to share and thought others might like it too. So I have this post-addiction thing going on and I hate the waiting and the refreshing and the waiting some more. Unfortunately, I can't help the waiting, but I did find a way to help the refreshing.
I found an add-on for firefox that does it for me automatically. It's called Tab Mix Plus. You can set the amount of time between refreshes to whatever you want.
Andrew Lovsness
140. drewlovs
As some of you may know, from previous posts, I do not read what others have to say until I've written my first take. But what if I repeat what others have asked or said? Sue me.

Did anyone note that the foxhead grew cold during that battle? Ever wonder who was channeling at Matt? I do.

Egeanin... yuck. Just thinking about that story line makes me ill. It's not that I don't like her character (I don't, but it doesn't make a difference to my point), its just we are coming to the point where a lot of story lines that just aren't needed are coming to light.

I often wonder if Jordan hadn't burdened himself with some of these intricate but sadly unneccesary plot lines, might he have finished his series 3 books earlier?

Probably not, but I for one do not relish re-living some of the things that are coming...
craig thrift
141. gagecreedlives

Well Moiraine is pretty kick ass strong for this age which would of helped and I'm not really sure how much battle experience with the one power the wise ones would have.

Where would they have learnt how to fight with the one power? Even the wise ones that used to be maidens would have battle experience but throwing around the one power would be different from fighting with a spear.
Amar Ramraj
142. aiel1219
Ohhh. Finally caught up with all the comments...
Whatever pace u decide is fine by me, once u don't do any irrevocable damage to your mind or body (temporary damage may be acceptable...LOL!!! kidding) I'm way ahead in my own reread (inspired by your post btw) but I still enjoy reading your POV and those of all the commenters here.

@ ppl who wanna c Mat kick ass with a sword
I agree it wud be an awesome scene, but then what? More importantly, how would he loose it? Someone channels it away from him?? If they get a chance to do that (with the medallion n all) y not just kill him? mb the supossedly unbreakable weapon breaks?? But the weapon is so much a aprt of him that I'd be sad if that happens. Mb he forgets it on his horse?(bad luck for the luckiest guy in the world).
But just my humble opinion.
Besides, it'd take away from Rand being the badass sword master in RPM.

@138 Greyhawk just adding to 141... The WOs were not involved in battles befor Rand came and it's quite possible that they were lackin in the area of using the OP in battle. After seeing Moiraine kick ass though and realising that this thing with Trollocs being where they are not supposed to be add to possible future dreams of more impending battles in which they would need to participate, they may have decided to learn the OP battle skills. Moiraine shows these few n they show more of em in the land of the oath breakers n it gets permeated to all the WOs... since they do tend to share alot among themeselves.
Greg Bloom
143. MuleHeadedLummox
@122 Subwoofer

Mat asked to be free of both Aes Sedai and the Power. It's possible that the amulet is there to handle the latter half of the bargain (free of the power) and the ashanderai for the first part. The ashanderai, with it's Ravens and the engraving about the bargain, could be there to make him more accepted to the Seanchan, thereby freeing him of Aes Sedai.

Of course, Mat did get more answers than he was supposed to be able to ask for from the snakes, so maybe in the same way he got more than he bargained for from the foxes.

@138 Greyhawk

I think there are still only the four Wise Ones travelling with them at this point, and while Moiraine is familiar with using the One Power in battle, the Wise Ones aren't. IIRC, at least one of the Wise Ones is either very weak in the Power, or can't use it at all (but is a dreamer) as well. When we see the Wise Ones using the Power in battle en masse for the first time at Dumai's Wells, thirty-nine Aes Sedai are able to hold off around three times their number in Shaido Wise Ones. It isn't until Rand breaks out of the chest and starts taking out Aes Sedai, that the Shaido start to break through. Although the Aes Sedai would have eventually been overrun, it is as much from the fourty thousand Shaido spears as from the Wise Ones.

When it comes to the Trolloc attack, I don't think Sammael was the culprit. He doesn't really start to take direct action against Rand until he teams up with Lanfaer et al in tFoH. I'm guessing it was a part of the Lanfy/Asmo plot, possibly as a distraction so that Rand doesn't concentrate on the really suspicious peddlers and looks for an enemy somewhere else. Either that, or Jordan decided that he needed an action scene to maintain the tension and pacing with the more subtle intrigue oriented chapters surrounding this one.
Andrew Lovsness
144. drewlovs
As I have read through the responses, I would agree that any channeling around Matt would make his medallion cold; but from his own point of view, who exactly was channeling?

I don't have my books to see if he was fighting side by side with Morraine, but we do know he only sees Avi at the end of the fight...and the wise women were no where near.

Of course, this is all from memory and things Leigh has fed me.

Anyone have an answer as to what "ally" was channeling near Matt?
Alice Arneson
145. Wetlandernw
Leigh: By which I mean, Egeanin is not written as a woman who also happens to be a person, but as a person who also happens to be a woman.

GAHH. This whole argument bugs me more than I can say. However, I suspect it's too late at night to make a coherent statement against it.

So I tried anyway, but I just deleted the whole thing. *sigh* It just bugs me that femininity per se can be perceived as making one less a person. "So God created man in His likeness: in the image of God He created him, male and female he created them." Both male and female were created equal in personhood, equally in the image of God, just different in aspect. (Incidentally, NEVER FORGET that the word "man" has multiple definitions, several of which have no gender connotations whatsoever. ARGH!! This is one of my hot buttons, and if I'm not careful is likely to trigger a Full Bore Linear Rant. So I'll carefully tiptoe off stage now and do the ice water thing for a minute.)

Returning, I just have to reiterate that I find it irritating to have someone differentiate between "woman" and "person" as if it's more important to be a person. 'Scuse me, but how is it possible to be a woman WITHOUT being a person? Gah! The ice water must have worn off, and since no one wants a rant tonight (full bore or modified) I'll quit.

And more gold stars to anyone who can identify the source of the full bore linear rant. (The original is "FBLP" or "Full Bore Linear Panic" but I've adapted it for purposes of this blog.)
146. jwhite
When I started reading this post I got really confused because I thought we had already covered this material. So I spent several minutes going through old posts and could not find these chapters.
Then I did some real thinking and what happened is I just read through these chapters in my reread and it was just that fresh in my memory. Ha Ha.
The good thing is that I didnt have to read the summaries, only the comments.
Liandrins motive makes a lot of sence, a lot more than some of the Forsakens.
Don Johnson
147. Paracelsus
To toddwatts@123

Wow, did the pot get stirred up here again? You should have added some swear words to really get our attention like the last flame-war that was here.

"I'd almost like to suggest that Leigh repeat the first three books at our current speed."

Honestly, you could probably just re-read the books. There are also many archived past book-club type discussions on sites such as wotmania.

"If you don't like Leigh's reread, maybe you should consider asking her what she would charge you to do it your way, because unless she's working for you, you have no right to complain and I'm tired of reading about it."

That is kind of rude. Is this a billed transaction now? As said before, Leigh did leave doubt in her original commentary about what pace she was going to keep. She can write at whatever pace she wants to, but it is OK for people to state their opinions until Leigh confirms what pace she wants to continue at.

Here is Leigh's original words:

""So for now, there will still be three posts a week, but less material will be covered per post; we’ll try this pace for a while and see how it works."

As you can see, Leigh herself mentioned that she was experimenting to see what works best for her. Her statement was left wide-open for feedback, so there is no need to say the things you just said.

There have been several people that have asked for a faster pace in the last few blogs because she herself left some doubt in her original post. Some of us did prefer more WoT material as opposed to commentary about such things as spanking.

But this stuff totally takes a lot of time, so I completely understand if Leigh doesn't want to stay at a fast pace. I don't know if she gets paid for this-- I can't imagine how much time it takes her to do even due one chapter summary. She is doing a great job, and this is the best thing that happened to WoT fandom in a long time.

Different people are enjoying this blog in different ways. Either fast or slow, I can still enjoy it.
Kurt Lorey
148. Shimrod
@93 Randalator. Re: The AS Test Rings.

Actually they are not even potential worlds.

I must have missed this. Where does this explanation derive from, please?

As to an "impossibility" that Egwene couldn't have the ageless face while never holding the Oath Rod, had you considered whether that Egwene had known the Mask of Mirrors? That could explain it, but would open the door to a host of new questions.

@138 Greyhawk. Re: Egeanin.

RJ couldn't do that with the Egwene/Nynaeve/Elayne because they were much younger and less experienced than Egeanin.

To all and sundry. Re: Imre Stand.

Pretty sure some character comments on the source of the Trollocs. I just don't think we've gotten quite there yet. Patience.

Re: Flame Wars.

I arrived from a world where blogs are political in nature, and passions are inflamed all too easily. For those with easily bruised egos/feelings, I would suggest you avoid most of them at all costs. Coming here took me a little adjustment, as I was not used to most everyone being polite to one another. Live and learn.

@145 Wetlandernw. Re: Gender Wars.

C'mon. Tell us how you really feel.

Patrick F. McManus?
John Massey
149. subwoofer
um... I am back to picking nits again. Hi Leigh, on your post for previous blogs, there is no link to this one. Still loves ya, and don't let anyone call you weird...
150. birgit
maybe meaning "which male Forsaken did Lanfear bring along to be his teacher? Except she already mentioned Asmodean's name back in TDR

It was in tSR ch 9.

I never thought Eldrith was making scientific experiments with the cats, but that she was simply killing them because they annoyed her.

Wasnt there a fade that said when attacking Mat or Perrin that if they cut off one part of the tripod all of it will fall.

It was Perrin and the Fade that killed Leya in the camp in the Mountains of Mist.
John Massey
151. subwoofer
drewlovs@140, I think it was about a chapter in to TDR that I realized that there was no way this would be a trilogy. Too many plot lines to wrap up at RJ's pace and he got even more detailed and off tangent in this book. When I started to pace what he was doing and I thought either he was going to cheat and wrap up some stuff(like the Seanchan) in a chapter or 2 or gloss over it all together I felt a bit miffed. Then I realized that RJ would not do something like that to his readers- leave them hanging- then the dawn came to me and I thought that this may be longer than a few books... and here we are.
152. RobMRobM
- all should chill out over Leigh length debate. The Wheel (and Leigh) weave as the Wheel wills.
- I've always been certain someone was channelling at Mat. While channelling in area might cause the medallion to grow cold, Moiraine and Wise Ones weren't very close. Makes sense for Lanfear to interfere with defense abilities of someone who discourage Rand from falling for her Twew Wuv (TM).
- Meh to the Mat as blademaster discussion. Not supported in the text. He's always hated the sword so it's a moot point whether he would have muscle memory if he picked one up.
- Thanks for the cogent discussion of the theory that foxes gave Mat other people's memories rather than removing blocks that prevented him from remembering his own past lives. Re old blood, in the very cool first discussion between Mat and Birg in Ebou Dar, Mat tries to pin his speaking in old tongue on the "old blood" and Birg explains (as if a well established fact) that old blood accounts for spouting a few phrases but not speaking fluently like a nobleman from Eharon or Manetheren.
- Egwene is my co-favorite of the ENEMA with Min but it's largely because of what she does after WO-taught discipline and maturity and is able to harness her extraordinary abilities. Here she hasn't learned that lesson yet and is merely annoying (love the braids).

John Massey
153. subwoofer
@fishes153, funny plug in- has a line in it "don't change these, unless you know what you are doing".
154. RobMRobM
@140. Read Brandon Sanderson's note on his re-read of the WOT series in his blog and, in particular, the entry on this book. I recall he expressly makes the point that Tanchico is a starting point for realization that this isn't going to be just about RPM and those who accept the fact enjoy a multi-layered, deep world and those that don't criticize the series as unfocused. I'm in Brandon's camp on this one. Rob
Chiara Elvira
155. elvyelvy
and fishes153 abd subwoofer, the funny plug-in does NOT refresh at all. Never did it even once... drat
So far only result is opening new tabs - double drat
*weeps quietly at the thought of metacarpal tunnel damage due to repeated click of refresh button*
John Massey
156. subwoofer
As far as the TOG and Mat's role in the second coming of Moiraine:
"You stay out of that thing, Rand. It isn't like the one in the Stone at all. They cheat. Burn me, I wish I'd never seen it."

Between that and
...Mat decided he would never give up all his knives again, not for the Wise Ones or the Amyrlin Seat herself.

Methinks these were early signs of Mat's intentions if he should ever have to stumble there again. Between that and the realization that the only way to win at Snakes and Foxes was to cheat...
elvyelvy, Firefox has a refresh and told me not to enable the plug-in, so I was a good boy and listened.
go figure...
Chiara Elvira
157. elvyelvy
subwoofer, I balefired the plug-in.
whew, that's better
Hmm, you are good boy, I'm not a good girl (trying to, though)
Shawn Spearman
158. fishes153
Sub and Elvyelvy

I forgot to add some instructions. I thought they would be on the site.

I think you have to right click on the page (anywhere on the page) and click reload every. Click whatever time you want, but then you have to right click one more time and at the top where it says enable *minute.
You can also choose at the bottom to enable all tabs or disable all tabs.
30 second refresh is good on Tuesdays and Thursday when posting slows, but it’s not so good when I am reading to catch up to y’all. Then I have to up it to a minute or more – or just disable it.
John Massey
159. subwoofer
Thanks, seems like a good idea, but right now I am having issues getting my toaster to work this morning. And if you have not read my previous grumblings about tech... well, talk to my toaster.
Chiara Elvira
160. elvyelvy
Subwoofer, as to tech, I suggest you
a) ask your wife how to operate it (joking)
b) bang it a little very gently - I SAID GENTLY, didn't I?
If a and b fails resort to
c) have breakfast in a cafeteria/bar

Damn sneaky tech.
John Massey
161. subwoofer
Me and toaster round 1. Me and toaster final round.-warning, may be some cussing...not just mine.
John Massey
162. subwoofer
Wife is still asleep, and would kill me.
Banged it gently...with bat... wife awake
running for cafeteria/bar.
Sydo Zandstra
163. Fiddler

Also, did anyone else find it odd that the Wise Ones would have been overwhelmed without Moiraine? The text isn't clear but it seems to me that this suggests that Moraine was better at combat that the Wise Ones--only as we find out later the Wise Ones have no problem hurling fireballs when it suits them. Maybe Jordan at this point hadn't yet resolved in his mind how developed the Wise Ones use of the OP would be?

Aren't Moiraine and other AS able to sense some kinds of Shadowspawn, Trollocs and Myrddraal being among those (and Draghkar not)? The early warning certainly would have helped at the WO camp.

As I have read through the responses, I would agree that any channeling around Matt would make his medallion cold; but from his own point of view, who exactly was channeling?

I don't have my books to see if he was fighting side by side with Morraine, but we do know he only sees Avi at the end of the fight...and the wise women were no where near.

Of course, this is all from memory and things Leigh has fed me.

Anyone have an answer as to what "ally" was channeling near Matt?

The only possible ally would be Rand. Egwene and Moiranine were at the WO camp.
Helen Peters
164. Helen
117. subwoofer
sorry I bow hunt and it annoyed me when Perrin tromps through the woods in the rain and he is not too worried about loosing tension in his bow when the string gets wet.

In an earlier book R and P (I think) both de-strung their bows when they went out in the rain, maybe RJ didn't want to repeat himself too much.

About the aiel and Rhuidean... if you're not allowed to fight aiel who are travelling to or from Rh, if the Shaido live further away than say the Tardaad (?sp) do they have to go all the way home before we're allowed to attack the Shaido, or is there a distance thing going. They could use the excuse 'we're on our way home' and wander round for years making the others who want to attack them gain much toh.... Does that make sense?
Richard Fife
165. R.Fife
I think it is a "Go directly to Rhuidean, do not stop at Han territory, do not collect 200 ji" and back again.

otherwise, it's open season.
166. Randalator
Shimrod @148

Re: The AS Test Rings.

I must have missed this. Where does this expanation derive from, please?

Okelidokelidoo...quote-fest coming up.

TDR, ch. 22:

Egwene stared into the standing mirror, and was not sure whether she was more surprised by the ageless smoothness of her face or the striped stole that hung around her neck. The stole of the Amyrlin Seat.

Noteworthy: Egwene is Aes Sedai, has the ageless face.

Beldeine, her keeper, leads her to the Hall of the Tower, she refuses to have Rand gentled, gets disposed, breaks free, yadda yadda yadda...

Beldeine scrubbed a hand across tearstained cheeks. "I had to. You must understand. I had to. They . . . They . . ." She took a deep, shuddering breath; it all came out in a rush. "Three nights ago they took me while I slept and stilled me." Her voice rose to a near shriek. "They stilled me! I cannot channel any longer!"

Noteworthy: Beldeine was stilled three days ago, yet Egwene can see no difference.

We know that stilling removes the ageless look. Three days after being stilled Beldeine would no longer have the ageless look as we know from TSR, ch. 47.

The lantern light revealed two women clad only in dark bruises and red welts, shielding their eyes from the sudden light, but for a moment Min was not sure they were the right two. One was tall and coppery-skinned, the other shorter, sturdier, more fair. The faces looked right — almost right — and untouched by whatever had been done to them, so she should have been certain. But the agelessness that marked Aes Sedai seemed to have melted away; she would have had no hesitation at all in thinking these women were just six or seven years older than herself at most, and not Aes Sedai at all.

Noteworthy: This takes place the day after Siuan and Leane were stilled (or the second day after at most). The ageless look has already faded completely.

That means Beldeine shouldn't have the ageless look anymore and Egwene should have noticed it. Min isn't even sure she found the right women until they speak and she recognizes their voices. But Egwene mentions nothing out of the ordinary which implies that Beldeine's looks haven't changed.

Again TDR, ch. 22:

"What can you do, Mother?" Beldeine cried. "What can you do?" It was not clear whether she meant for Rand or for herself.

"More than anyone suspects," Egwene said. "I never held the Oath Rod, Beldeine." Beldeine's gasp followed her from the room.

Noteworthy: Egwene never held the oath rod.

So we have oath-free Egwene and channeling-free Beldeine both with an ageless face where they shouldn't have one. Beldeine can't create a Mask of Mirrors on her own because she is stilled so someone else must have created one if she does have one.

Which in turn means that now we already have two Aes Sedai with inverted Masks of Mirrors hopping about in the Tower. One of them had to have her disguise created by a third, the other should be able to see the inverted weave on herself and would make mention of something so unusal.

Egwene is so confused by the transition that she even wonders who her Keeper is, what her Ajah had been, etc. She is also surprised by the ageless look on her, seeing an inverted weave over her face causing it of all things would have caused a comment by her.

So in order to still take the Acceptatron-scenarios as possible futures we have to assume that

a) Inverting weaves has been rediscovered
b) the Mask of Mirrors has been rediscovered
c) Egwene doesn't have the ageless look but wears an inverted Mask of Mirrors
d) Egwene doesn't feel need to note the inverted Mask of Mirrors on her self, even though she is surprised by the agelessness itself and several other "trivial" things.

A, B and C in and of themselves are possible but make D all the more unlikely. The most simple explanation is that the Acceptatron just extrapolates scenarios from the present world (unknown facts like the 13x2) and knowledge/beliefs of the one who enters (for general setting etc.).

Egwene believes that Aes Sedai = ageless face, so the Acceptatron does its extrapolation magic and all Aes Sedai have the ageless look even though we know that some of them shouldn't...

subwoofer @117 annoyed me when Perrin tromps through the woods in the rain and he is not too worried about loosing tension in his bow when the string gets wet.

Hate to rain on your parade (pun intended) but Perrin does worry about his bow.

Seated cross-legged on the ground, Perrin unconsciously tested his bowstring; the tightly wrapped, waxed cords had a tendency to go slack in wet weather.
(TSR, ch. 35)

Whenever there is rain and bows in WoT we get some mention of the archer being worried about the bowstring or keeping his bow unstrung as long as possible...
167. Randalator
Whoops, that's TSR, ch. 40 (Hunter of Trollocs) for the bowstring thing.
Kurt Lorey
168. Shimrod
@166 Randalator

Very interesting. Not quite sure I jump to the same final conclusion, but now I see your reasoning and have something concrete to think about. Thanks!

And, that doesn't dissuade me from believing that the Gyldan in the Rings wasn't somehow Moghedien. Both are described as having "dark eyes". Too coincidental. What an extrapolation that would be!

Still, I think I'll review NS, because there may be more stuff about the Rings in there that I have forgotten/missed.
Sydo Zandstra
169. Fiddler

Noteworthy: Beldeine was stilled three days ago, yet Egwene can see no difference.

Egwene believes that Aes Sedai = ageless face, so the Acceptatron does its extrapolation magic and all Aes Sedai have the ageless look even though we know that some of them shouldn't...

What makes you think that Egwene doesn't know that it takes some time before AS develop the ageless face when she enters the Acceptatron? She did spend some time as a novice, and being the 'ooh!' girl she is has spent some time at paying attention in classes. She can also have noted that newly raised Sisters don't have the 'look' yet.

I see no quote saying how long Beldeine has been a full Sister, or how long it took her to get there, in this alternate reality... ;)
Alice Arneson
170. Wetlandernw
C'mon. Tell us how you really feel.

Nah, you wouldn't want that... :)

Okay, so I should never post on "hot button" issue after 10 p.m., should I? Or maybe not at all?

Patrick F. McManus?

SCORE! Someone did know it! Congratulations!

Someday I'll write up my theory of the "FBLR on WoT Re-read" and post it for everyone. At least if I can come anywhere close to PFM quality. Maybe that's what I should have contributed to TSR10. Or not, considering we broke it anyway. Maybe sometime when there's not much to talk about in the chapters? ;)
Kurt Lorey
171. Shimrod
In lieu of my gold star, I request your rant - in full. ;)
Kurt Lorey
172. Shimrod
Beldeine hadn't been Aes Sedai long enough to have slowed. It was why she was in the party to kidnap Rand, because she didn't "look" Aes Sedai.

And, odd that she was in the Rings because Egwene didn't know her, or of her.
Galen Brinn
173. GatheringStorm
Wow. I go home for the day and Flame War II (minus the expletives) seems to erupt. LoL.

I never knew the explanation as to the physics behind it, but I had always read that the crossbow was much more feared by armored infantry (read Knights) than the longbow as the crossbow was much more capable of punching through their plate armor. After reading about the make up of the bow part of the crossbow, it all makes sense.
174. toryx
Randalator # 166
Noteworthy: This takes place the day after Siuan and Leane were stilled (or the second day after at most). The ageless look has already faded completely.

Actually, later on in the same chapter when Siuan notices that she and Leane have lost the agelessness, she's caught by surprise: that's been known to happen but she was under the impression it took some time. She notes to herself that the speed of the change in her appearance must be due to all the torment she and Leane had undergone at the hands of Elaida.

I don't have the book with me so I can't quote it precisely, but it does strongly suggest that it ordinarily takes some small amount of time before the agelessness vanishes.
Helen Peters
175. Helen
172. Shimrod
Beldeine hadn't been Aes Sedai long enough to have slowed. It was why she was in the party to kidnap Rand, because she didn't "look" Aes Sedai.

But if Eg had been AS long enough to have the ageless face then Bel should have had it by then, after all Bel had been AS longer than Eg
Richard Fife
176. R.Fife
@174 and 166: I cannot remember. Do the AS that Rand stills at Dumai's Well instantly lose their Agelessness?
Galen Brinn
177. GatheringStorm
Edited I don't know that I've ever seen it mentioned, R.Fife. I just finished Winter's Heart and that's where the stilled kidnappers are healed and I don't remember a POV but could be wrong.
Kurt Lorey
178. Shimrod
@175 Helen.

But, did Egwene really have the ageless face the usual way? We are both making assumptions in the dark. I cannot say (for now).

@176 RickRolla

I don't remember anything mentioning that effect right then, or later when Verin is "at them". Time for a quick quoter review. Randalator?
179. Randalator
Fiddler @169

For one Keeper of the Chronicles is a very high position (second in authority). That is not something to give away to a young inexperienced Aes Sedai.

Second Egwene notes that she feels as "if she had been saying for years" which means that Beldeine has held the position for quite some time.

The ageless look takes about 3-4 years to develop. Sareitha Tomanes has been Aes Sedai for about two years and has no ageless face, Amico Nagoyin already is ageless at about age 23 (she's 4 years older than Egwene). With Egwene at 18 being the youngest Aes Sedai ever (1/1 roughly) Amico must have been at least 19 or 20 when she reached the shawl (which implies a fast Moiraine-style 3/3 term if she started at 14).

So if Egwene knew about the "incubation time" and her "years" actually meant just "two years" and Beldeine had not had the ageless look in the Acceptatron scenario Egwene (being the ooh ooh girl that she is) would have noticed that this is very unusual since it means that Beldeine would have been raised to the shawl and Keeper of the Chronicles virtually in one go.

If it was more than two years "years", Beldeine would have the ageless look by now.

So in that case she not only sweeps over her own disguise but also over the outrageously young age of her keeper. That is even more unlikely than the earlier Mask-of-Mirrors-scenario...

toryx @174

Actually, later on in the same chapter when Siuan notices that she and Leane have lost the agelessness, she's caught by surprise: that's been known to happen but she was under the impression it took some time. She notes to herself that the speed of the change in her appearance must be due to all the torment she and Leane had undergone at the hands of Elaida.

From what I have read it is supposed to take longer to fade, but perhaps Elaida's rough treatment had something to do with it."

Aes Sedai think they know a lot when they actually know jack. Whenever an Aes Sedai states something as fact it usually turns out to be wrong. Here we have something that is hardly researched by Aes Sedai because they can't make themselves face that fate. But still "it's supposed to" this and that.

I wouldn't trust an Aes Sedai stating facts anyway but in this case I trust Aes Sedai opinion even less.

Especially since Myrelle states in TFoH, ch. 26

"Stilling might produce this effect," Myrelle murmured finally. "I have read accounts that imply as much."

"might", "imply"
Basically they're talking about hearsay of a few individuals who couldn't even make themselves write down what they saw and the rest basically emptying their stomachs just thinking about it.

Yeah, that makes for really reliable information...
180. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
R.Fife @176
It is mentioned, particularly by the time Sashalle Anderly takes over the dragonsworn sisters in Cairhien. She was one of those stilled and who had lost the ageless look. Prior to that there are POV's from other sisters that they look different. I don't recall if they nailed it down to the loss of the ageless look though.

Randalator @179
You gotta give Myrelle points for saying clearly that she isn't sure(or as clearly as Aes Sedai can say it).
181. Randalator
R.Fife, Gathering Storm, Shimrod

The stilled Aes Sedai at Dumais Wells are given into Wise One hands the day after Dumai's Wells never to be seen in any POV until a lot later. Perrin doesn't notice the loss of agelessness on them (only on the young sisters) but this "the next day" business already gives us almost 24 hours leeway depending on the exact time of day. Add a possible 24 hours if Siuan's escape took place the second day after the coup and they don't have to have lost the ageless look yet.

Btw. GatheringStorm
Elza was NOT stilled. The three stilled Aes Sedai were Irgain Fatamed, Ronaille and Sashalle.
Kurt Lorey
182. Shimrod
@179 Randalator.

But, Egwene is Amyrlin at 18-19. You'd think she might pick a Keeper who was a contemporary? Picking Sheriam hasn't been working out so well (for either of them), now has it?
Galen Brinn
183. GatheringStorm
OK. Thanks for the correction, Randalator. I don't know why I was thinking she was...

Previous post has been edited.
184. Randalator
Shimrod @182

Actually I think Egwene would be someone who would choose a Keeper based on skill, not age or strength or any of that nonsense. She all but announces Siuan her secret Keeper during their first meeting right after she is raised.

And as a Keeper you have to have a lot of secretarial and ceremonial knowledge and skills in financing, organization, mediation, spy business, etc. That combination of skills is more likely to be found in an older, more experienced Aes Sedai than in a newly raised sister.
185. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Randalator @181
I always thought losing the ageless look was instantaneous. Like a rubber band that's been stretched and releases snaps right back.
Blake Engholm
186. UncrownedKing
@185 and others

I agree with alreadycrazy. I always viewed the de-botoxing as an instantaneous thing.
Sydo Zandstra
187. Fiddler

The whole Egwene-Beldeine thing is a discussion about a possible future because of what Egwene experienced in the Acceptatron. We know this is not real.

You were throwing in certainties based on everyday Randland beliefs/facts.

But you cannot prove them with quotes, which was my initial point. All your arguments are based on assumptions. ;)

Siuan was young to be raised as an Amyrlin Seat. I don't think Leane was that much older or more experienced than Siuan was though (I'd have to reread NS to be sure). And even if she were, it doesn't make a difference, really.

If Beldeine was a very strong AS in Egwene's Acceptatron trip, there was no reason for Egwene to not take her as Keeper if she wanted her. Regardless of her age.
188. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
UncrownedKing @186
It's the sisters who just don't realize right away what they're looking at simply because they lose what attention span they have when it comes to the subject of being stilled.

Fiddler @187
No mention of Egwene knowing Beldeine personally when she went to the Acceptatron. She might have known her peripherally as one of the newer Aes Sedai (or possibly senior Accepted). As to Beldeine's appearance as Egwene's Keeper, I'm of the opinion the Acceptatron simply plucked out one random Aes Sedai of the same age range (late teens to early twenties) and prospective Ajah(green) as Egwene. Occam's Razor guys, simplest solution works best.
Sydo Zandstra
189. Fiddler

This discussion is about Egwene not noting Beldeine was stilled because of her face (losing the ageless look). I was defending the point that Acceptatron Beldeine doesn't necessiraly has to have that ageless look, even being a Keeper.

(For the record: this not the Beldeine we see in Cadsuane's team later on)
190. birgit
Still, I think I'll review NS, because there may be more stuff about the Rings in there that I have forgotten/missed.

There is no Accepted test in New Spring, only the test for full AS which uses a different ter'angreal (channeling 100 weaves under pressure).
191. Toryx
Randalator @ 179:

Yeah, that makes for really reliable information...

Point taken. But I don't think the Accepted test can be a source of reliable information either.
Kurt Lorey
192. Shimrod
@189 Fiddler.

This is the same Beldeine. Compare physical descriptions.

@190 birgit.

Oh. I thought it was the same Rings with different weaves applied, or something.
193. JamesEdJones
148 Shimrod

God Bless Ya! And I can't believe what happened to this post since the last time I logged in (I was only gone 5 minutes...).

As for Trollocs at IS, here's my take on it. According to Kadere in book 5, Lanfear used Traveling to get them to the Waste. IS was "in the way". So the peddlers' story about just not running into anyone would have been undone with the testimony of any of the Aiel at IS.

So, you go to the extra effort of the Ways or Portal Stones (not a problem for a Chosen/Forsaken) and dump some Shadowspawn on the only witnesses who could ruin your story. And, hey, since they're already here, let's just toss them at our heroes and see what happens.
Shawn Spearman
194. fishes153
I closed my tabs accidentally and had to come back in by way of the Re-read index. Only problem is that part 13 doesn't show up in the index. Just thought I would throw that out there in case any of the moderators are watching still. 8)
195. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Fiddler @189
We already know that Egwene(and most other Aes Sedai, for that matter) know next to nothing about stilling, and the changes brought by it. We also know that the Acceptatron shows possible futures but isn't exactly hot on filling in gaps in a novice's knowledge either. So what if it never shows it?
Kurt Lorey
196. Shimrod

But, as Randalator pointed out, Egwene showed an ageless face while looking in a mirror.
Helen Peters
197. Helen
189. Fiddler
This discussion is about Egwene not noting Beldeine was stilled because of her face (losing the ageless look). I was defending the point that Acceptatron Beldeine doesn't necessiraly has to have that ageless look, even being a Keeper.

Sorry, my point above didn't come across clearly. If acceptatron Eg looked ageless (which she did), then acceptatron Bel should have looked ageless as she's been raised to the shawl before Eg.

We've another POV for losing the ageless look on stilling. When the supergirls are questioning Amico (TSR, Ch5 questioners), Av notes that Amico "does not have the look she did. As if the years had passed her by. Not as much as she did" and asks if that's because she'd been stilled. OK this could be up to a month after she'd been stilled as that's how long it said they'd been in the stone. It also suggests that it fades rather than happens overnight as it took Av to notice it rather than Eg/El/Nyn.

194. fishes153
Glad I'm not the only one who does that.
198. wsean
@195 Although it is capable of filling in gaps, even if it doesn't always--remember, Egwene/we first heard about 13 BA + 13 fades in the Acceptatron.
199. Freelancer
@163Fiddler & 138Grayhawk
Aren't Moiraine and other AS able to sense some kinds of Shadowspawn, Trollocs and Myrddraal being among those (and Draghkar not)? The early warning certainly would have helped at the WO camp.
I think this is precisely what Rhuarc meant when he said that more than 50 trollocs hit the WO camp, and they would have been overwhelmed without Moiraine. She gave them enough warning to avoid being surprised. It wasn't ever about Wise Ones being unable to fight with the Power, or Moiraine being that much better at OP combat.

@166 Randalator

Yep, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. When novices are at their accepted test, the AS in charge tells them that they don't know for sure about the scenarios created by the ter'angreal. Everybody comes out of it asking "What it real?", and the stock reply is, nobody knows.

@172 Shimrod

See above. Also, consider that Sharina shows up in Nynaeve's accepted test, whom Nynaeve had never met. Yes, it seems there are elements of forecasting in the ter'angreal, mixed with elements of the testee's own makeup, both historical and psychological. Nobody knows exactly how much of each, nor how real each vision is. We know that Egwene's past and present visions are very far from reality, because there's no way she's marrying Rand. But at that point in her life she still held to a piece of her younger desire for a life with him, so the ter'angreal used that.

@187 Fiddler

Leane was raised AS about a year ahead of Siuan & Moiraine. They were very relieved that the friendship picked back up as if nothing had interfered.

And, I agree with alreadymad re: Occam in this case. Building conjecture based on facts, but regarding an event taking place within a ter'angreal, the true behavior of which cannot be determined, has little to no value. Beldeine will NOT be Egwene's Keeper. Rand will NOT be brought to the Tower following a coup which deposes Egwene ala Siuan, and she will not be telling anyone, "More than anyone thinks. I never held the Oath Rod".

If/when Egwene becomes the Tower Amyrlin, we already know that she will take the Oaths as quickly as possible.

But supposing that the testing ter'angreal is showing the real future is a waste of time, as I've already argued. Elements of reality are included, but it isn't showing the true future.

@192 Shimrod

Nope, different ter'angreal. The one used for final AS test is a single oval that stands upright on it's own, the Acceptitron is three oval rings tilted to join at the top, and mounted on a horizontal circle at the bottom. I would guess that the WO ter'angreal in Rhuidean is a close cousin of the Acceptitron, as Moiraine is told to go through any of the three rings, rather than through all of them.

And on a different note:

The words that pinged Natael as being Asmodean for me were these:
"A scholar, for this day and Age."
He said this after Mat commented to himself in the Old Tongue that he was "lost in my own mind." While a gleeman might likely comment on the oddity of a farmboy muttering in the Old Tongue, the form, specifically identifying THIS day and Age, is a crack out of school, suggesting that the speaker is equally acquainted with a different day and Age. A more appropriate comment from a contemporary would be thus: "A scholar indeed, though one with hay in his hair."
200. Freelancer
Here's a thought. There are three AS channeling at the Acceptitron to drive it. Suppose the ter'angreal pulls in things/people/events from the minds of those three to mix with the testee's own baggage and create the scene? That could go a long way to explaining how Egwene would learn of the 13/13 method of turning a channeler. It could help explain Beldeine.

But it couldn't explain Sharina in Nynaeve's test.

Guessing is fun, but turning it into more than a random supposition doesn't work out that well.

Just saying.
Joseph Blaidd
201. SteelBlaidd
@193 JamesEdJones

Like it. nice simple theory that fits the facts.

There is a Firefox Add-on that remembers your closed tabs and lets you reopen them if you goof. I think its part of TabMix+ but I'm not sure.
202. hoping to be of the blood
Except that you can't send trollocs thru a gateway.
It is more likely that Sammael sent them as he did later to Rand's camp on the dash to the dragonwall. (At least, LTT thought it was typical Sammael tactics.)
John Massey
203. subwoofer
um... I am back to picking nits again. Hi Leigh, on your post for previous blogs, there is no link to this one. Still loves ya, and don't let anyone call you weird... me @149
204. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
wsean @198
Maybe it was Egwene's prophetic tendencies as a Dreamer. Maybe it was pulling memories out of the Aes Sedai operating it. Maybe it was interacting with the Dreamer ring. Maybe, like the Finns, it reads the threads in the Pattern. That's too many maybes for me. I'd rather stick to something simple. The Acceptatron isn't consistent. Not surprising since, admittedly, the Aes Sedai isn't putting it to the use it was meant for.
It belongs in the same category as Sharina's appearance in Nynaeve's Accepted test. It turned out to have a small grain of truth. You guys have way too much time on your hands to be making a big issue of this.
Helen Peters
205. Helen
If we're discussing acceptatron stuff, can someone please explain about Nyn fighting a forsaken in a maze in her 'past' in the acceptatron.
Sean Jones
206. PersonOfTheDragons
You guys got me thinking about the acceptatron. It definitly uses the memories/fears of the person inside it. That's pretty obvious. What I was thinking is that after that, it can use this person again in a later testing?

The people that we see inside the ter'angreal are all either closely related or known to the person in the test...execpt for additional Aes Sedai. Every single one of those Aes Sedai we see in the acceptatron has already been through it. Just a thought...
207. JamesEdJones
202 Hoping

I'm not suggesting that they were sent through a gateway. I'm suggesting that some extra effort went into it (Ways or Portal Stones) in order to eliminate Aiel witnesses. Have we heard anywhere that Portal Stones can't be used in the transportation of shadowspawn?

It's also possible that the Aiel were eliminated BECAUSE the shadowspawn couldn't be dropped anywhere. Imre Stand was in the way of something. Either the shadowspawn were not so good at sneaking, or the Forsaken were just cleaning up their story.

I've got a lot of faith in RJ's vision for the world he created.
Richard Fife
208. R.Fife
My personal theory was that it was not Nynaeve facing a Forsaken, but Nynaeve facing her fear of the Power. Note that she overcomes her general fear and channels at him. More detailed theory (from me and others) is back in the tGH thread that covers her acceptatron. Happy hunting.
Kurt Lorey
209. Shimrod
Nothing is obvious about the Rings ter'angreal. That's why the opinions are so diverse.

I'll agree that the twisted (Dream) ring ter'angreal interacts somehow with the Rings. And, increasingly - either with length of interaction or with a specific ring. So, the Rings are likely to have something to do with Tel'anran'rhiod, but how? Normally, Tel'anran'rhiod doesn't have people populating it. Yet, in the Accepted Tests both Nynaeve and Egwene experience complete worlds with memories.

@204 Maybe the Rings do "read the Pattern" or something. No evidence one way or another.

Something is nagging me in the back of my mind, so I hesitate to be convinced about the Rings. I need to go back and re-read Nynaeve's trip as well as Egwene's. Something about Elayne too, even though she doesn't relate her story per se. Nynaeve's three jaunts seem to have been much different than the other two. Hmmm.

The discussion of whether the Rings "report" or "create" remains very intriguing to me. So, all of these inputs have been very helpful to make me think more.
Sam Mickel
210. Samadai

It could explain it. One of the Aes Sedai at Nynaeve's test when they were younger was traveling through wherever the SAS were traveling and met her, but she was to old to become a novice. She still thonks about her because of the enormous power she has in her
211. hoping to be of the blood
I don't think there are any waygates in the waste. Portal stones are a possibility but Rhuarc says that only one he knows of is on the slopes of Chaendaer.
212. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
hoping to be of the blood @211
Agreed. Travelling/Skimming is out as well. Which leaves the question of how such a large band of Trollocs was able to penetrate far enough to attack an extremely defensible hold(Mat's POV) without being picked up by roving bands of Aiel patrols or just plain spearfighters looking for a fight.
213. JamesEdJones
211 & 212

Traveling and Skimming are definitely out, but that doesn't eliminate Waygates or Portal Stones. I'm just offering suggestions. And my suggestions are based on the idea that the simplest solution is usually correct.

I don't claim to know how they did it. I've never claimed to have any proof. These are just possibilities. But let's go a bit further. ;)

Lanfear is one of the two Forsaken who could readily identify and locate Taveren (and she had both Rand and Mat to choose from). This means she had a little while to get her act together before stumbling upon the luv of her life in the middle of nowhere.

With eight or nine days to travel, a band of Trollocs could make it to our heroes from one of the THIRTEEN waygates in the Spine of the World (check out LOC: From the Stedding).

If you don't like that idea, Lanfear clearly knows a great deal about Portal Stones, and Rhuarc said that two Portal Stone icons were used to refer to Rhuidean. Anyone who has been to the mess that is our national parks in the southwest will know that quite a few areas are untouchable without a heliocopter (even for Aiel). So no one but Jordan or Harriet can prove that there are no other Portal Stones in the Aiel Waste, which is supposed to be even more messed up.

I'd just like to reiterate that this is just an idea. I have no more proof than anyone, but it's not even my idea. It's been suggested on several different message boards by smarter people than me. But until someone comes up with a better idea, I'll be subscribing to it.

As always, feel free to nit pick.
214. JamesEdJones
Just wanted to clarify: Waygates - Machin Shin's front door. Gateways - Holes in the pattern.

Two very different thingies.
215. Freelancer

My point remains that using unfounded conjecture to craft an explanation for something, then declaring that conjecture "probably true" because nothing better comes along, is silly enough in real life, much more so the plot of a fiction. When you or I offer up a hypothetical off-screen event or activity to justify our support for a plot theory, we're way off the deep end.

The test ter'angreal MIGHT gather knowledge/memories from the channelers operating it. One of those channelers MIGHT have travelled to where a previously UNKNOWN character lived at SOME point in time. Said channeler MIGHT have encountered said character, and the memory of the encounter is available to the device. Ergo, that's what must have happened, since nobody has dreamed up a MORE PLAUSIBLE theory. Q.E.D.


Wait, I have another one.

Dreamers/dreamwalkers see potential futures in T'a'R. The test ter'angreal accesses that aspect of T'a'R, along with the fears/memories/paradigms of the testee, and creates a fictional, but believable scenario to produce the intended emotions within the testee, showing them their worst fear, their worst behavior, etc...


The test ter'angreal retains all of the life histories of everyone who has ever been near it while it is operational. Maybe Sharina visited the tower once as a young child, before the spark exhibited itself, and a novice was being tested that day. Then, while Nynaeve was being tested, it randomly tossed Sharina's persona into her future scenario.

Speculation about possible conclusions to plot arcs is understandable, wondering which clues are valid, which are red herrings, which are even clues at all. But attempting to reverse-engineer the psycho-physics of a magical, and incompletely explained, construct within a story, just to have all the loose ends tied up in one's mind, that's...
Sam Mickel
216. Samadai

I apologize but I was agreeing with you that just because we speculate these things doen't mean we know what we are talking about. I was just expanding on your talk about how maybe the visions also include the ones guiding it. I don't believe that but it is fun to speculate anyways.

On a different note. What if RJ wasn't trying to make us tear apart his books and analyze every little thing for who, what, why, where, how, and when. Maybe he was just writing what he thought would just be a great story that people would love.
217. hoping to be of the blood
Oh, no. Say it ain't so

Someone very smart said that if you eliminate the impossible, what's left is probable. Or something like that. Elementary.
So if there are portal stones that the aiel can't get to but trollocs can get out of, then that must be a possible answer.
Just as easy to believe that a fist or more of trollocs traveled in the waste for ten days without being detected.
Anyway, there they were.
Richard Fife
218. R.Fife
“It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Sherlock Holmes
219. Freelancer

Yes, I wasn't accusing you of anything, I understood that you were making a similar point. That was why I felt safe in directing it at you, far less likely to be taken for a flame.

And completely agree with your end statement. There is both more and less to be gained from Jordan's work than many of us tend to think. Less in the way we are currently occupying ourselves, hunting for ethereal evidence of stuff that will never be confirmed. More, in that instead of those trivialities, people should focus on the lessons to be learned by the characters, and how those apply to us. You know, divisions where there should be unity, secrets where there should be sharing, distrust where there should be compassion and comaraderie, to name just a few.


Yes, a lovely platitude. The problem is, we haven't the faintest clue where the boundaries of the possible/impossible lie in Randland, what with T'a'R, the alternate realities confirmed via Portal Stones, etc. So there is no saying when all of what's impossible has been excluded, outside of the mind of the author.

On which topic, I ask a question. Shakespeare knew Hamlet. Could Hamlet have known Shakespeare?
Richard Fife
220. R.Fife
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Sam Mickel
221. Samadai

I agree completely. Go light
222. JimF
@212. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed

Why is "Travelling/Skimming is out as well."? We know from KoD (per Lews Therin) that Trollocs can't survive Gateways, but that isn't Skimming (Rand used that to transport the Aiel & co. to attack Rahvin in Caemlyn, so the capacity can be huge). I don't recall seeing anything on the subject elsewhere, but it's been ages since I read the WOTFAQ, and if it's stated above here, well, some of us have way too much time on our hands. Reading (of late) hundreds of comments is too much.
Roger Powell
223. forkroot

This was indeed addressed earlier, and like you I'm not motivated to go back through so many comments. So forgive the lack of a reference please!

With that said - a gateway is opened for either Traveling or Skimming. I guess the difference is that when Traveling, the gateway connects two places directly, whereas in Skimming, one gateway takes you to the "in-between" place, and another gateway is used when you reach your destination.
craig thrift
224. gagecreedlives
Fiddler@163 and Freelancer@199

“Aren't Moiraine and other AS able to sense some kinds of Shadowspawn, Trollocs and Myrddraal being among those (and Draghkar not)? The early warning certainly would have helped at the WO camp.”

They can sense Draghkar as well. There was one that attacked Moraine in tGH but that was warded so they couldnt sense it.

I was under the impression though that all channelers could sense shadowspawn. There is a scene in KoD, when Loial finally gets married to Erith, that both Rand and Cadsuane sense the shadowspawn at the same time.

Although Rand is bonded to Aes Sedai so maybe you do have something there.
John Massey
225. subwoofer
Holy cow- I go to the corner store to buy a toaster and all this goes on? I see some people were busy with their Russian novels- draft 1.
'K, how about a fist of Trollocs skipping through the waste? It's faster than marching and very refreshing.

Freelancer- thank you for distilling the essence of RJ's 11 book legacy. It is nice to have perspective. In university I had an English prof that wailed at Shakespeare and broke him down to minutia. When old Bill was writing- was he really reaching for all those parallels and allusions, or was he just looking for something good enough so he can get his next check. Sometimes it's good to step back. It helps to shine a light on things.
John Massey
226. subwoofer
Warning- there was some cussing in my last links. But I did not put anything up about cats. Hallelujah Jafar!
227. ToasterJ
I didn't read every comment so I don't know if this has been brought up in the mat Finn question.

Mat asks for the holes to be filled,but doesn't specify the price. The price the Finns choose is apparently mat's death by hanging. Why that? What do the Finns get out of mat dying? They probably even know that he'll be revived almost immediately. Is it just to fulfill his fate as the other Finns foretold? Here's my guess:

The Finns cut and paste, not copy and paste.
1: the Finns treat these experiences as currency, not just information. This doesn't fit with a peer to peer mind share scheme. They'd cease to be so valuable and covetted. Mats life experiences are valuable. When mat died I'm willing to bet they were immediately granted access to his past current and future memories for their own. That's a good deal for that meddalion and some memories they had laying around.

2. It doesn't make too much sense to kill him otherwise. Can you think of another reason?

In short it's the only case that seems to make sense. Thoughts?
228. Liesel

Rand is a warder (to Alanna) which allows him to sense Shadowspawn.

@ 227

I agree with your theory, but how do the Finns get the memories in the first place? I doubt all of these great generals have been going to Rhuidean...
John Massey
229. subwoofer
@Liesel- the 'Finns have not much to do with Rhuidean. They garner memories from people- great generals- that come through the Ter'angreal, the twisted door frame, looking for answers.
John Massey
230. subwoofer
One of the door frames, at Mat's point in time, just happened to be in Rhuidean. The other one was in Tear. Later Rand gathers the frame in Rhuidean, and other Ter'angreal, transports it out of the Waste, and that is the door frame that Lanfear and Moiraine have a cat fight around.
Amar Ramraj
231. aiel1219
I just listened to the podcast on dragonmount with Brandon Sanderson, and I read this stuff here. At one point he actually talked about RJ in his notes saying something along the lines... this will not be resolved. :) I actually kinda like the fact that there are somethings like that, they'll keep us speculating and theorising forever :) Note: that podcast is almost 2 hours long(atleast more than 1 hour)

And I think that all the theorising is an integral part of being a WoT fan, of being a part of this kind of community. I personally enjoy reading all sorts of theories and thinking...oh I never thought of that... and even laughing at some of the things I think are impossible(even though some aren't really because we don't have enough to go on to deem them so).

Maybe those people who don't likee the whole theorising and arguing could gloss over the "idiosyncrasies of us lesser mortals."
232. Wolfmage

I'm not sure why we have to accept Mat's death as the price just because it is consequent to events in the Finnland. It doesn't make much sense to kill him from their perspective if they want memories. Even if we accept that his death unlocks something, they are effectively denying themselves a whole swathe of future memories.

I still think the price he must pay is the link they formed to him and perhaps it is is also partly tied up with his fate to come back to the Finnland.

So why was he hung up? I think it was more pith and alien irony than anything. We've been told in the voice of the reliable narrator that the 'finn aren't evil as such, but they are so different and amoral that they may as well be. So hanging Mat fits part of this shtick. And after all, Mat repeatedly insulted both the Foxes and the Snakes.
233. Branwhin

"Rebecca Star @ 35: Re: Couladin... yes, loony. Batshit crazy conveys a little more of the dangerous aspect, though..."

Heh. Couladin is quite the explosive little sh*t, isn't he.

Sorry, geeking out over Patrick O'Brian lately and he's apparently inflicted me with Jack's fondness for horrid puns...
234. hoping to be of the blood
RFife@218 aka
RickRoller of the WOT Oesgy2absessed
Guardian of Bartletts

Thanks for the quote
235. hoping to beof the blood
RFife@218 aka
RickRoller of the WOT Obsessed
Guardian of Bartletts

Thanks for the quote

Verification Fail above :(
236. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
JimF @222
The weaves for Travelling and Skimming are very similar. Only that Skimming does not open all the way through to the other side. Either way Rand calls it a gateway.

hoping to be of the blood @235
That's what usually happens if you refresh after doing the verification thingy.
237. toddywatts
So, I was trying to let this go, because I don't want to drag us all down again, but I can't.

You think I'm rude? I think you're inconsiderate.

I don't mean to put words in Leigh's mouth, but I read that as her being diplomatic. After all, we weren't consulted on the original change of pace, were we?

Leigh has repeatedly posted to see her reasons for the change in pace.

Kate Nepveau (sp?) has said that Leigh must have been killing herself to keep that pace and that she's glad she slowed down.

Of course people are going to protest that they like the current pace, every time someone suggests a change it's like calling for a vote.

So, I'd just like to read commentary about the story and not criticism of the post.
Richard Fife
238. R.Fife
@228 Liesel
Rand senses Shadowspawn before that, in tFoH. He senses the Darkhounds in Rhuidean. It would seem that the ability to channel in general grants the sense against Shadowspawn.
John Massey
239. subwoofer
@R.Fife, yes, which also explains why Moiraine, in the first book, could sense Shadowspawn as well.

Toddywatts, don't worry about being rude, the community here are very generous, and I am pretty much as rude as they come. They accept me as that weird uncle that tells horrible stories about his taxidermy business. People just smile and wave. I not in to the whole longer or shorter post thread. What is- is. fini.

On to happy trails...Cuendillar- expensive china or recyclable clay pigeons? Moghedien says they're indestructible even from bale fire. hmmm. Fitting seal to the DO's prison. How is it possible? Bale fire is like the Ginzu 2000 for all things.

While I am on that topic- and I may re-post this in 14 as this thread is almost up and that one is around the corner- the male a'dam. Mo says one of the unique draw backs of it is that at some point the flow reverses and that the man starts to control the woman. I am not sure that Bale dropped the a'dam in the ocean, but say another one came about, WWBSD? As far as Rand and leashing him? Could be an interesting story arc.
F Shelley
240. FSS
R.Fife and Subwoofer

The first time Rand senses Shadowspawn (I think) is in The Dragon Reborn. He senses something like the Taint while trying to get away from Moiraine et al. He doesn't realize what it means at the time, though.

BTW - on can't really be indestructible, you know. Otherwise with the turning of the Wheel of Time, over countless turnings, the whole world would be filled with it. Point is: it has to break down sometime, probably within one turning of the wheel
John Massey
241. subwoofer
Ahhhh- it has begun- but Heartstone is supposed to be special. Like the Hulk, the more power you direct at it, the stronger it gets. Unless it is this "True Source" used from the outside that makes it soft like jello-hence what Lanfear did. One would think you'd make a prison out of stronger stuff... unless someone threw away the instructions for periodic maintenance on the DO's home. Written inside was - every age you will have to clean, polish, break and remake each seal on the prison of Shaitan. I dunno, may be a stretch.
craig thrift
242. gagecreedlives
subwoofer @239

"I am not sure that Bale dropped the a'dam in the ocean"

He didnt. Bayle and Egeanin were on there way to go drop it in the ocean when their boat gets boarded and Egeanin gives the bracelets to Suroth.
243. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
subwoofer @239
Bayle and Egeanin got intercepted by a Seanchan patrol before they could ditch it. That's why the next thing we see of them is Egeanin raised to the low blood and Bayle her hereditary servant/slave. And the male a'dam duplicated and brought by Semirhage with her to her meeting with Rand.
Kurt Lorey
244. Shimrod
OK. Let me take a stab at the two Testing Ring sets. The obvious? They are both ter'angreal.

Now for assumptions. I have decided that both Rings are somehow gateways that lead to Tel'aran'rhiod, where the testee is actually there in the flesh (what would the Wise Ones think?).

The Accepted Test Rings would seem to draw upon the testee's experiences, hopes and dreams (like someone here already wisely surmised) and are not dependent upon input from the Aes Sedai operating/monitoring the Rings. The Rings are meant to show what might have been (or might be) given up to become full Aes Sedai, one Ring for the past, one for the present, and one for the future. Each testee brings her own experiences, strengths and weaknesses to the table, and the Rings somehow intertwine that with information held by Tel'aran'rhiod itself to present meaningful scenarios to each testee.

Since the testee is there in the flesh, they can stay, if they wish. Tel'aran'rhiod seems to be much more than merely a World of Dreams, with rules that we (as readers) will never know. What happens to those who choose to remain? Who knows? For those who eventually return, each stage presents a choice that might be unbearable for the testee to live without, so they can quit. For those who are dedicated enough, they can move to the next stage.

I also think that the "reality" presented in the Rings might be more vivid to those who are stronger in the Power, and for those who are potential Dreamers (Egwene being a natural, and Nynaeve being capable of learning). I think that this is how both Egwene and Nynaeve "see" real persons and learn facts like Egwene did about involuntary turning. Notice that Elayne's three forays all seem to have focused on Rand, not on Andor or the Succession. I find this an important distinction.

Obviously, the Twisted Stone (Dream) Ring caused a resonance that became almost fatal for Egwene during her future Ring test. Hmmm. That raises more questions about the two ter'angreal.

Let me turn now to the Final Test Ring. I believe this to be different than the Accepted Test Rings in that the sisters operating this ter'angreal do have almost complete control over what is experienced by the testee. But, Tel'aran'rhiod can read the testee's experiences and personality (as in Moiraine finding herself repeatedly naked, for example). The testee is also there in the flesh which may increase the interaction somehow. And, the attending sisters seem to be able to influence the situations experienced by the testee without having a single sister melding the flows (as exhibited by Elaida's hazing despite the disapproval of some of the other attending sisters). This leads me to believe that really adept Dreamers could influence others' dreams, for good or for ill. Aran'gar/Halima may have been doing something like this to Egwene while in Salidar (but without a ter'angreal or much aptitude).

Here, I conclude that Tel'aran'rhiod is perhaps much more than a mere reflection of Randland. Besides, the place where people can find other's dreams, there may be the potential for much more than is currently used by the Wise Ones or the Forsaken. But, we may, or may not, see any more about that in the last three books. Perhaps with Egwene, though.

Now regarding cuendillar. Nothing in Randland has a negative effect upon it. But, the Seals are weakening because the DO is affecting them. Different universe, different rules. The physics must differ.
245. JamesEdJones
239 Subwoofer

Hearthstone pigeons. I love that idea! Load the sling, watch your friend claim to hit it, then gather it up and collect your money 'cause there's not a scratch on it. That had to be the original purpose. lol

We need a ruling on the Hearthstone debate. I could have sworn that in the scene in TSR where the Black Ajah was firing balefire from their semi-automatic Terangreal, RJ described the cuendillar pieces as 'passing through' the balefire unharmed; not blocking it or reflecting streams of balefire back at the weapon. In my mind (as off as it might be), the reflection possibility is out, but the blocking one is still available.

Any experts out there, please advise.
F Shelley
246. FSS
I'm not saying anyone is incorrect about no force weilded by a person being unable to harm Heartstone. I'm just saying there needs to be some mechanism to make it go away, else after 10000000 or so turnings of the wheel of time, the world would be chock full of the stuff...

Of course, the Sun would bloat into a red giant and that would be that, wouldn't it? Physics question for another day...maybe the Ogier would take the humans along to another world via the Book of Translation.
Richard Fife
247. R.Fife
Um, Shim, we never see Elayne's, nor find out what they were. Egwene's were all about Rand.
John Massey
248. subwoofer
We were all okay until Shim started stabbing things. As far as a world cluttered with Heartstone... treat it like gold. And It is not like a Mr. Bubble machine where people can blow 'em up like mad as long as they have dish soap and water. Takes a Special Egwene to make them and that was after many years of AS who knew what they were doing- not knowing how to do it.

Yes, the different universe thing. Lego cars actually driving and working. hmmmm. This brings me to another thread- which I will bring into Leigh's next post, 'cause I am poopy like that- this 'True Source'. Lanfear stumbled upon it, it was used to make a hole in a peaceful land-ruined dancing for everyone- and now it is roaming across peoples eyes and no one can detect it. What gives?
Kurt Lorey
249. Shimrod
So, were Elayne's. Who else would she sob "I couldn't be so terrible" about. I suppose she could have been talking about being a nasty Queen or Aes Sedai, but I don't think so.

Can't wait to hear your views on the "True Power", subwoofer.
Richard Fife
250. R.Fife
Elayne's are, at best, conjecture and speculation. We are never told exactly what it was. Anything was "being horrible" in the rings, since you have to give up something you love.

So, hmm:
1) Abandoning the people she rules to leave.
2) Abandoning her new friends, perhaps to Seanchan.
3) Abandoning Gawyn on the campaign trail (him First Prince, her Queen).

See, could fit, no Rand ;)
251. subwoofer
'K - busted- One Source- True Power- person still stabbing things.
Richard Fife
252. R.Fife
One Power - True Source - Saidin/Saidar

True Power - Dark One. The overlap of words always annoyed me too.

Kurt Lorey
253. Shimrod
Uh huh.

Let some of the women chime in. Then, if they sit on your side, I'll wave off. ;)
254. ben Frey
The True Source/True Power/One Power "overlap" was intended to be confusing.

The whole point is to trick your subconscious into believing that somehow the two powers are equal, or even that they are "akin" in any way. Validity through association.

It's a very clever concept to introduce into the storyline, I think. It shows the subtly devious nature of the Dark One as a character.

Of course technically, the TS is the "source" of the OP, and they aren't really interchangeable.

The TP and the OP are, for practical purposes, interchangeable and analogous. There lies the hint that the TP, although it appears sometimes to be "greater" than the OP, is in fact a lesser, fabricated sort of thing. The OP is quite literally unlimited. I'm guessing that the TP is limited by the limits of the Dark One's power in the world, and that it is in truth a finite resource. The OP/TS drives the WoT. The TP is just a parasite.
Alan Perry
255. stepper


John Massey
256. subwoofer
Shim, lemme tell you about this guy's favorite pet skunk I had to stuff. Had to remove the gland and the internals and...
258. hummingbird
It is no coincidence that One Power/ True Power is confusing.


OK, but here is my reason why. The darkness of the True Power is an adulteration of the original One Power. Just like New Coke was an adulteration on the original. The makers kept the name similar enough to confuse the consumer. The ole bait and switch. Looks/sounds/feels close enough that you are lured over to it, and then viola...the switch is made. Either you catch onto it and say "hey, no way dude I aint falling for it"... or it sucks you in slowly and methodically until you dont realize that you are now totally under its spell.

Maybe a better comparison would be some of the cult groups that are structured in ways similar to christian theology but there is a dark twist underneath. Pulls you in by looking familiar enough to lull you into a sense of comfort but the dark starts to seep out but by the time it covers you, you dont notice anymore.
Elroy Skimms
259. elroyskimms
JamesEdJones @ 28

...For unto us a - kickass team of male channelers - is born...

Sounds like a Merry Christmas to me!

Sacrilege and comedy genious in one sentence. LMAO!

Kurt Lorey
260. Shimrod
Well, Thom Merrilin it ain't.

But, thanks for the link! I'm sure lots of people here would also like to listen to old Rick. ;)
261. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
hummingbird @258
As far as pulling people in is concerned, it probably helps that the True Power is even more addictive than the One Power.
262. Freelancer

Just in case you lumped me in because of my recent diatribes, let me say that if I wasn't down with the theorising and such, I'd have known to stay completely clear of blogs like this, and would have been satisfied with my own reading. 'taint so. But I tend to see boundaries of usefulness in such endeavors. When there are enough knowns to rationally speculate on a possible conclusion, say, that Galad is the man in white for whom Berelain will fall, well and good. When, however, the very story itself tells us that there isn't enough information about something for those closest to being experts to have more than guesses about it's behavior, us readers attempting to drive a theory to conclusion loses validity. Arguing the relative merits among several suppositions, none of which can knowably have more or less probability, has some small usefulness, much smaller than the effort they are often granted.

In two subthreads here, I threw some spice in the stew intentionally. RE: Trollocs at Imre Stand, I offered up portal stones as an alternative travel method to a monster bubble of Illusion. Interesting to see how many of the following comments integrated that idea. RE: The process used by the Accepted test ter'angreal, I postulated information input acquired from those operating the device, and a number of later comments incorporated that concept as if it had always been part of the hypothesis.

That's cool, stimulating discussion and thought is never without some kind of value, but in terms of coming to a usable conclusion about what really happened, there's no there there.
263. JamesEdJones
259 Elroy

Yep, I'm gonna burn...

On the other hand, I like Bill Cosby's quote, "There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor and we are funny to God."

I'm not trying to bring religion into this post, please do not "Flame" me.
264. RobMRobM
Free @262. While many of your points are thoughtful and incredibly well-written, I was put off by the tone of your principal posts yesterday evening, which bordered on insulting to several longtime posters who have offered much "founded speculation" over the past few months. I for one would like to see more of the former -- as you have much to offer us -- and less of the latter. (And love the Gertrude Stein reference in the last line - one of my favorites). Rob
265. WinespringBrother
JamesEdJones @207

At JordanCon, I asked Brandon about whether shadowspawn could travel via portal stones and he said he would have to check the notes on that (and if he were so inclined to do so), so... not exactly a RAFO, but it also mean it hasn't been utilized thus far either.
266. hummingbird
@ 261. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed

NO DOUBT! Aint that always the way with those kind of things?
267. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
*click refresh
shiver shiver
Elroy Skimms
268. elroyskimms
RE: The Acceptatron's Inner Workings

One thing that seems to be overlooked in this discussion is that, as Sheriam says, "No one knows" when asked by Nynaeve if what she saw was real (TGH Ch. 23). I would think that after hundreds of years of using the Acceptatron, if it could in any accurate way predict the future/read the pattern, at least one Brown would have left a footnote to that regard.

The Accepted are not required to share their experience of it but neither are they forbidden. I think the idea that for hundreds of years, every Aes Sedai that walked through the Acceptatron saw their own future and then forgot about it when that future occurred seems a bit far fetched.

I think the theory of the Acceptatron pulling from the Novice's own mind fits the best. Egwene has been told of her strength with the Power from the moment Moiraine first lesson (TEotW Ch 12). For Egwene to think the Amyrlin Seat as a possible future for herself is entirely plausible. I know that at least one person as told Egwene that the Amyrlin Seat is a possibility for her, but I don't remember who or when, or if that occurred prior to her Testing. Even if it was after her Testing, being told she is the most powerful Channeler alive (save Nynaeve's tantrum-blocked ability) is enough for me.

I don't have the book with me, but can anyone see if her lessons w/ Moiraine in TEotW Ch 12 involved a discussion of her strength? I know Moiraine comments about it to the Amyrlin in Shienar, but I do not remember if Egwene has been told about it yet. Also, I believe the Amyrlin makes a comment to Egwene during her training on the boat ride to Tar Valon. I guess I could leave work early to grab my books, but my wife might complain about me getting fired over a WoT discussion. Where are her priorities???

Roger Powell
269. forkroot

OK, but here is my reason why. The darkness of the True Power is an adulteration of the original One Power. Just like New Coke was an adulteration on the original.

Not to start a huge fight, but I'd call the current "Coke" an adulteration too. New Coke was a disaster, but what most folks didn't notice was that the so-called "Classic Coke" that was brought out in response did not have the same formulation that Coke did before the whole "New Coke" episode.

The original Coke had sugar, today's "Coke" (they quietly dropped the 'Classic' moniker some years ago) has none.

Some believe that New Coke was set up to fail, so
that Coke could get away with changing to 100% corn syrup without raising a fuss. That seems to be an urban legend as there's a pretty good rebuttal here.

Does sugar make a difference in the taste? Those of us in border states (I live in AZ) can do our own taste test. Coke from Mexico is still made with sugar, and is readily available here. IMHO it's a lot better.
270. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
ElroySkimms @268
Moiraine comments about it as early as EoTW when she is guiding Egwene in touching the source for the first time. Egwene was able to create a flicker, which Moiraine says takes other acolytes several weeks of training to duplicate. Moiraine comments about it to Siuan in Shienar once more when Siuan talks of how the Reds are so proud of discovering Elayne and her strength, saying Egwene can match Elayne's strength. I'm not sure who it was that said it, but it ran along the lines of the Amyrlin Seat being a definite possibility with such strength.
271. Don, Iowa
only read up to comment 120, so hope this wasn't covered. I've read a lot on how the trollocs got so far in the Waste when Rand was only gone 7 days.

Just an idea, the caravan was heading to Rhuidean. What other reason would Lanfear & Asmodean have to go to Rhuidean? The Angreal & Sa'Angreal stockpile (esp. the Choden Kal). All it would take is knowledge of the Aiel. We know Lanfear was in Cairhien.. the only people allowed to travel in the waste at one point would be Cairhien, Peddlers & Tinkers. So she learns all she can from old travelers of the waste and enlists some DF's, talks Asmo into going with to go rummage through this 'city' created by teh Aiel for old trinkets.

She knew Aiel of old were servants to the Aes Sedai... and if these Aiel are descendents their only city would most likely hold some items they would want.. angreal, stasis boxes, etc... I'm guessing they brought the trollocs as their bodyguard from a distance. Keep them far enough behind so when they get stopped on their way to Rhuidean the trollocs kill the savages and they go on their way unharmed.

A little far fetched, but plausable.
272. Freelancer

Understood, accepted, and appreciated. Please believe that I am no fan of flaming, and (almost) never intend insult. I pledge to more carefully review the voice with which I offer my thoughts before hitting the post button.

Or maybe I could just ignore the most loony of the suppository comments.



I think it's safe to suggest a connection between the testing ter'angreal and T'a'R, especially given the feedback interaction with Egwene's twisted stone ring. About Moiraine's experience in the AS test in NS, it seems strongly implied that the hurtful scenes, as well as the repeated attacks on her modesty, were Elaida's work, rather than a product of the device itself. I'm not sure about the "in the flesh" aspect. Your reasoning that that would allow you to not return makes sense, but not knowing the operation of the device leaves other possibilities. How does the device know when to show the testee the archway, and how does it only show up once? (Except for SG Nynaeve who forces it back) Even when a mundane person accidentally touches T'a'R, any wound or death taken there is real, in spite of them not being there in the flesh. So, not so sure.


I know of only one group of people who employ the phrase "wave off" in that way. Perhaps we have something in common.
Kurt Lorey
273. Shimrod
I didn't mean "wave off" in a rude sense, but I see now where it might have been taken that way.

I should have said something like "defer to your good judgement" instead.

@269 forkroot.

Somebody up here in my neck of the woods was just discussing the sugar versus corn syrup in soda this week. Pepsi and Mountain Dew are coming out in limited edition "sugar" versions (soon, if not already). He was barely able to contain his excitement and anticipation.

Mountain Dew with sugar. MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMmmmmm. Refreshing.
274. hummingbird
@ forkroot


the plan behind the bait and switch isnt always as obvious as it might seem.

But the point is... if you are truly invested in the original you can tell the difference. But if the switch happens slowly, or in such a way that the switch makes the other-other thing look not quiet so bad then well HEY! This isnt so bad after all reaction occurs.

Living in the midwest and having (now) X's that I found out were KKK connected... I am totally familiar with the whole subtle integration theory. Luckily I fell into that category of the "invested in the original".

Im thinking it is why some AS could be turned and some remain dedicated to the Prophecy. The addictive pull of the TP cant overcome the loyalty to the OP.

MEH - maybe Bela is a darkfriend after all and it was eeked into the story slowly so that I didnt notice.
275. ammbd
"this means the Seanchan culture, ergo, is one of the only cultures in WOT (or anywhere, fictional or otherwise) that has appeared to gain true equality between the sexes. And acknowledging anything as “equal” about a culture that features institutionalized slavery as one of its perqs officially makes my head hurt."

perhaps they have been able to reach that true gender equality precisely because they have institutionalized slavery. not much need for gender in equality when each gender trumps slaves.
276. birgit
The Finn say it was stupid of Mat to set no price but wise to ask to leave, but he forgot to mention leave alive. When dealing with such creatures, one should take care how to formulate ones wishes.

The naming of the TP was probably done by the discoverers, who thought it was similar to the OP. Is there also a Creator Power?
Helen Peters
277. Helen
I have an answer to the question what did Rand mean when he asked which one did he coose? He's pretty certain that Lanfear is amongst the peddlars, he also reckons she'd have brought Asmo with her to teach him, so maybe he was talking to himself and thinking which person did Asmo choose to appear as.

Regarding transport of trollocs. Do female gateways kill them? We know male ones do. But female ones are made differently, one of the few sharing of information scenes between Rand and E (I think it's Elayne, but may be Eg), they're discussing how they make gateways, girls fold the pattern to the 2 places are the same, boys rip a hole (sorry, was that right?)

Now is anyone coming back from #14 to read this, or is everyone staying at the Leigh b'day party/reach 1000 post party?
278. sidcarton
Gah, #277 already and a couple days late and a few crowns short!


Something that has always bugged me is the Shaido Wise Ones. We know the WOs go through 2 tests, and the second one (is it fact or assumed?) being the columns thingy -- you know, the thing that KILLS people who can't accept the true history of the Aiel?

So my question is, why would the Shaido WOs, en masse, decide that Rand Al'Thor is not the C'a'C and must be a creature of the AS? Did they all take stupid pills together and suddenly decide that 4 other WOs plus some clan chiefs colluded with the AS to trick them all? That not only they but the WOs of all the other clans that did follow Rand are wrong and that the Shaido are right? And even were it a Shaido Specific Delusion (SPD), aren't WOs above clan? I mean I know there's the whole "one thing to know prophecy will be fulfilled but another to actually see it fulfilled" bit, but really, hundreds of Shaido WOs defect all at once?

It's been bugging me for a decade (admittedly I've been too lazy to go digging too deeply, but considering the number of times I've reread the series the answer hasn't yet jumped out at me)
Richard Fife
279. R.Fife
I vaguely recall somewhere (and I may be talking outta my S-place) some Shaido WOs are talking and comment that they never thought Couladin was the C'a'C, but that they didn't think Rand was either. I think that is why Thevana et al decide to return to the Waste, with the intent to wait fot the real C'a'C. But, considering the other 11 clans are following Rand, yeah, I think they are otherwise just being idiots.
John Massey
280. subwoofer
I think it had something to do with Rand being a wetlander. I believe the Shaido WO's a wetlander could not be Car'Ca'Carn or something, so it might as well be one of their own people put up for the position.
281. Randalator
Freelancer @215

Dreamers/dreamwalkers see potential futures in T'a'R. The test ter'angreal accesses that aspect of T'a'R, along with the fears/memories/paradigms of the testee, and creates a fictional, but believable scenario to produce the intended emotions within the testee, showing them their worst fear, their worst behavior, etc...

That's pretty much what I've been trying to say all along concerning the Acceptatron and future vs. possible future vs fictional scenario. I guess I should have tried it with your nice-word-ness and to-the-point-ness...
282. MarcusCRB
You would be AMAZED, once you start paying attention, how many authors do the former instead of the latter – and not just male authors, either. This is because most of the time, they aren’t aware they’re doing it. It’s a subtle thing, usually (though sometimes it’s really, really not). But Egeanin is done right, in my opinion; she just does her thing, and her actions and decisions are really not impinged or influenced in any way by what her gender happens to be. It is literally irrelevant to her, and if you brought it up to her in that context, she would probably have no idea what you were even talking about. Which is how it should be, by God.

It seems to me here, as in many of your gender based comments that you are looking through 20th or 21st Century eyes at something that is far from 21st Century. Whilst I might agree with your sentiments, I think you push the gender agenda too far, too often.

That said, still loving the read throughs.
283. TiredALil
"You're smart. NOW SHUT UP!!!!" (yes there's four exclamation points)

I'm getting so f'ing sick of your gender politic pushing. This is NOT a gender studies course or a "how women are always inferior in literature wah wah" study. This is NOT your book or writings.

I liked you alot Leigh. You seemed like a great and funny girl and while you are, you're also that girl that is constantly bringing up her "thing." Like having an awesome friend who is also vegan and anytime you go out to eat is badgering you with sanctimonious crap about how stupid everyone else is for not being vegan or who judges you everytime you eat a hamburger.

STOP IT! Please, Jordan obviously thinks highly of women and thankfully writes about them intelligently. It's not the 50's or even the 1300's. Its 2009 and women can vote and run for president. Christ give it a rest!
Antoni Ivanov
284. tonka
@283 I probably would agree on a few points of yours. For instance Leigh is all Rand stop making choices for the others , but when Moiraine decides to go sacrificing her life without letting Rand make a choice it's all fine. And she never misses to mention about any equality in her opinion she spotted but THIS IS LEIGH'S RECAP AND SHE CAN WRITE WHATEVER SHE DAMN WISHES.If you don't like it , don't read it.It's not hard. I personally like Leigh's recaps despite the few irritating things.The rest is very good.
285. Danofire
These re-reads are great. I am findinging things I misssed all over the place and I have read this series often. I never noticed that this song was from after the breaking.

"Natael returns and strikes up a song called “Midean’s Ford”, which is about a battle in Manetheren against the Saferi, whose leader Aedomon was so impressed with King Buiryn’s army’s valor that he lets them quit the field. Unwillingly, Mat remembers that what the song leaves out is the part where Aedomon betrayed the Manetheren army afterwards, and slaughtered them to a man. He remembers counseling Buiryn against the offer and being ignored.

His last memory at the ford was trying to keep his feet, waist-deep in the river with three arrows in him, but there was something later, a fragment. Seeing Aedomon, gray-bearded now, go down in a sharp fight in a forest, toppling from his rearing horse, the spear in his back put there by an unarmored, beardless boy. This was worse than the holes had been."

286. Divil The Bother
TiredALil@283 Normally I'd agree purely from the point of view that it gets tiresome listening to gender rants when there's lots of other interesting stuff in the chapters but in this case Leigh covers the other events more than adequately in her extended commentary so it doesn't bother me that much.

What I do find a bit bizarre though is the theorising to the nth degree about something that isn't required to have any fixed rules eg the acceptatron. If we cut this pointless stuff out it would reduce the number of comments to something more manageable for those of us coming along a few years later...
William McDaniel
287. willmcd
It always struck me as interesting the way that RJ gave out information about Liandrin's original 13 Black Ajah sisters in tiny droplets scattered throughout the narrative. When Siuan first sets the supergirls to hunting them in TDR, he gives us the constraints on the system: there are 13 of them, two from every Ajah but the Red (which has just Liandrin), no more than two from the same country.

Then, every chapter in which they're featured, we learn a little more information about the exact configuration of these variables. It's almost like one of those grid logic puzzles: one could imagine making a chart with four fields: first name, last name, Ajah, nationality (not that anyone would have been crazy enough to do this. Cough, Ahem). One has to wonder if, by the end of the series, it would be entirely filled out (I seem to recall that by KoD one could have at least all of the first names and last names, along with the Ajahs).

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