Apr 1 2009 4:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Shadow Rising, Part 5

Greetings, ladies and germs, and welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read! Today you’ll be joining lil ol’ me for Part 5 of The Shadow Rising, covering Chapters 17-19.

Previous entries can be found here. As always, beware of spoilers throughout.

My side project post is still in the works, so continue to keep an eye out for it, mmkay?

And, yeah. I’m sorry if I’m not at my most scintillating in this post, guys; it turns out that my body thinks the perfect follow-up to flu? Is bronchitis.

Seriously. I love my immune system SO MUCH right now, I can’t even tell you.

But enough of that! On with the post!

Chapter 17: Deceptions


What Happens
Thom juggles for some servants, planting rumors and doubts about who exactly was behind the Trollocs getting into the Stone, aiming to plant suspicions about the nobles and bolster general opinion of Rand. He is interrupted by the majhere, who tries to put him to work, but he distracts her with a sleight of hand trick and escapes. He hobbles painfully back to his room, yawning and thinking he is too old to be doing this kind of work. He ought to retire to a farm, where it would be quiet – just as long as there was a town nearby. He opens his door and stops dead; Moiraine straightens from the papers on his desk and seats herself on his stool.

Now there was a beautiful woman, with every grace a man could want, including laughing at his quips. Fool! Old fool! She’s Aes Sedai, and you’re too tired to think straight.

He greets her politely and offers her a drink; she refuses lightly, and lays a hand on his bad knee; he feels a chill, and she remarks that she wishes he had been near a good Healer when the injury happened, but it is too late now to do much. He answers rather curtly, and sits, noticing that he feels as if he’s had a night’s sleep, and the pain from his knee is gone, if not the limp. He refuses to thank her, since she didn’t ask first. Moiraine observes that yesterday was an interesting day; Thom replies that Trollocs and Myrddraal are not his idea of “interesting”, but Moiraine counters that she was talking about High Lord Carleon getting “accidentally” shot by his good friend Tedosian, and then Tedosian falling deathly ill not an hour later after drinking wine his wife gave him. Thom replies evenly that it is quite a tragedy, and Moiraine further observes that Carleon and Tedosian were two of the High Lords plotting to kill Rand. Thom replies that he will take her word for it, as he is but a simple gleeman.

Her smile was just short of laughter, but she spoke as if reading from a page. “Thomdril Merrilin. Called the Gray Fox, once, by some who knew him, or knew of him. Court-bard at the Royal Palace of Andor in Caemlyn. Morgase’s lover for a time, after Taringail died. Fortunate for Morgase, Taringail’s death. I do not suppose she ever learned he meant her to die and himself to be Andor’s first king. But we were speaking of Thom Merrilin, a man who, it was said, could play the Game of Houses in his sleep. It is a shame that such a man calls himself a simple gleeman. But such arrogance to keep the same name.”

Thom masked his shock with an effort. How much did she know? Too much if she knew not another word. But she was not the only one with knowledge. “Speaking of names,” he said levelly, “it is remarkable how much can be puzzled out from a name. Moiraine Damodred. The Lady Moiraine of House Damodred, in Cairhien. Taringail’s youngest half-sister. King Laman’s niece. And Aes Sedai, let us not forget. An Aes Sedai aiding the Dragon Reborn since before she could have known that he was more than just another poor fool who could channel.”

Thom continues, speculating that she must have connections high up in the Tower, and wouldn’t that be scandalous if it came out, a connection between the Tower and the Dragon Reborn? Perhaps it would be best to leave a poor old gleeman alone. Moiraine gives no sign that he has unsettled her, merely noting that she does not use her House name by choice; House Damodred had an unsavory reputation even before Laman started the Aiel War, and it has not improved since then. Unnerved by her calm, Thom finally snaps, what does she want of him? Moiraine tells him that Elayne and Nynaeve are leaving for Tanchico, where they will have need of someone with his skills and knowledge to stay alive. Thom tells her he has no intention of sticking his head in a vipers’ nest – which Tanchico surely is – and he’s thinking of retiring to a nice quiet farm somewhere.

“A quiet life would kill you, I think.” Sounding distinctly amused, she busied herself rearranging the folds of her skirt with small, slender hands. He had the impression she was hiding a smile. “Tanchico will not, however. I guarantee that, and by the First Oath, you know it for truth.”

Thom frowns at this, but then demands to know why he should go to Tanchico;  Moiraine answers, to protect Morgase’s daughter. Thom pretends to not care very much about this, and Moiraine goes on the offensive, bringing up the reason he left Caemlyn – his nephew Owyn. Thom jumps up, shaking, and Moiraine promises him that if he goes with Elayne and Nynaeve to Tanchico, she will give him the names of the Red sisters who gentled Owyn on the spot and left him to the mercies of his neighbors, rather than taking him back to Tar Valon like they were supposed to:

“If you go with Elayne and Nynaeve, I will tell you the names of those Red sisters when I see you next, as well as the name of the one who gave them their orders. They did not act on their own. And I will see you again. You will survive Tarabon.”

He asks her to leave, almost begging, and she tells him she will teach him that not all Aes Sedai are like those Reds, and leaves. Thom sinks to his knees, crying with grief and guilt over Owyn, and thinks of the dilemma Moiraine has thrust him into: he can let Elayne go to be eaten alive in Tarabon, or he can go with her – and abandon Rand to Aes Sedai hands, just as he had Owyn.

Min gathers up her embroidery and glides out of the dining hall, careful not to do anything to upset Laras, who is watching her with approval; the Mistress of the Kitchens has decided to take “Elmindreda” under her wing, and Min cannot afford to antagonize her. She sits in the garden and sighs at her awful embroidery, but admits it makes a perfect cover to watch people. She is interrupted by Gawyn and Galad, and is struck again at how beautiful Galad is. Gawyn teases her, calling her “a pretty little girl”, and Min hastily keeps herself from glaring; Gawyn had instantly agreed not to give away her subterfuge, without knowing why, but he took every opportunity to take advantage of her persona. Galad tells Gawyn not to mock her, and asks “Elmindreda” if he knows her. She simpers inanely at him, hating the dress and the makeup and the whole disguise. Gawyn lets her behavior pass dryly, and gives her a book, asking her to tell his brother that it is nonsense.

She examined the book. The Way of the Light, by Lothair Mantelar. Opening it, she read at random. “Therefore abjure all pleasure, for goodness is a pure abstract, a perfect crystalline ideal which is obscured by base emotion. Pamper not the flesh. Flesh is weak but spirit is strong; flesh is useless where spirit is strong. Right thought is drowned in sensation, and right action hindered by passions. Take all joy from rightness, and rightness only.” It seemed to be dry nonsense.

She twitters something about reading being so hard, grinning inwardly at Gawyn’s frustration. Gawyn informs her tightly that Mantelar is the founder of the Whitecloaks, and Galad adds that he was a great philosopher, even if the Whitecloaks since him have sometimes been overzealous. Min answers breathlessly that Whitecloaks are so rough, and she does not think any of them even dance! Gawyn is deeply annoyed, but Galad promises to take her dancing sometime, and she thinks men should not be allowed to have smiles like that. In revenge, Gawyn suddenly brings up how often “Elmindreda” sees the Amyrlin, and asks if she has said anything about their sister, or Egwene. She swallows a snarl, and pretends she has no idea what he is talking about. Then she is distracted by the sight of Logain wandering aimlessly through the garden.

She had seen Logain before, a sad-faced, once-hearty man, always with an Accepted for companion. The woman was meant to keep him from killing himself as much as to prevent his escape; despite his size, he truly did not seem up to anything of the latter sort. But she had never before seen a flaring halo around his head, radiant in gold and blue. It was only there for a moment, but that was enough.

Min can’t imagine why she is seeing the halo, which tells her that glory and power is in Logain’s future; how can that be for a man who is gentled and destined to die soon? She thinks she must tell the Amyrlin about this right away. Gawyn comments that he cannot help feeling sorry for the man, but Galad replies sternly that he deserves none; thousands died before he was taken. Min jumps up, saying she has to go, and Galad, thinking Logain has frightened her, assures her that he can no longer harm her, and Min takes the excuse and says yes, she feels faint, and should go lay down.

Gawyn looked extremely skeptical, but he scooped up her basket before she could touch it. “Let me see you part of the way, at least,” he said, his voice oozing false concern. “This basket must be too heavy for you, dizzy as you are. I’d not want you to swoon.”

As soon as they are away from Galad, she snatches the basket back and snarls at him, upbraiding him for bringing up Elayne and Egwene when “Elmindreda” is not supposed to know or care a thing about them. Gawyn apologizes rather insincerely, and says he’s worried about them, out there and with a false Dragon in Tear. Min tentatively suggests that maybe this one isn’t a fake, but Gawyn is unconvinced, and moves on to Galad, telling Min that he’s taken to drinking in taverns with the Whitecloaks; he was given the book by Eamon Valda himself. He shakes off his mood momentarily and teases Min again, and dances out of the way when she tries to punch him.

“Such grace of movement, Elmindreda,” he laughed. “Such a dulcet voice, as a nightingale, or a cooing dove of the evening. What man would not grow starry-eyed at the sight of Elmindreda?” The mirth slid away, and he faced her soberly. “If you learn anything, please tell me. Please? I will beg on my knees, Min.”

She tells him she will, and takes her leave, heading to the Amyrlin’s study. She enters to find Siuan and Leane there alone, and Siuan snaps at her for coming here like they are best friends. Min tells her what she saw concerning Logain.

Siuan shook her head wearily. “Another thing to worry about. Starvation in Cairhien. A sister missing in Tarabon. Trolloc raids increasing in the Borderlands again. This fool who calls himself the Prophet, stirring up riots in Ghealdan. He’s apparently preaching that the Dragon has been Reborn as a Shienaran lord,” she said incredulously.

She continues that surely Min did not come dashing up here just for this, and Min tells her that she wants to go; she has already told Siuan everything useful she’s seen, and Rand needs her. Leane shudders at mention of him, but Siuan just snorts and says Min has been very useful; the way she caught that novice who was about to get with child with a guard, for instance. Min sighs at the idea that the novice was stopped; she saw her and the guard together, and knows there is a farm and a swarm of children in their future, and nothing will change that. She argues with Siuan about letting Gawyn know where Egwene and Elayne are, to no avail, until they are interrupted by a novice with two messages that arrived by pigeon. The first tells them that Mazrim Taim has escaped, taken away in the night and two sisters killed. Siuan tells Leane to put together a force of a dozen sisters and a thousand guards to take him again, and this time he is to be gentled on the spot. Leane is shocked, but nods obedience.

The Amyrlin picked up the second bone cylinder and snapped it in two with a sharp crack to get the message out. “Good news at last,” she breathed, a smile blooming on her face. “Good news. ‘The sling has been used. The shepherd holds the sword.’ ”

Min asks if that means Rand, and the Amyrlin confirms it; Rand has Callandor, and now she can move. She tells Leane to convene the Hall of the Tower that very morning, and explains to Min that now she can finally involve herself with Rand openly. Leane asks if Siuan is sure that Rand al’Thor is better than Mazrim Taim, and Siuan replies that he is the Dragon Reborn, and sends Leane off. She remarks that there may be “some resistance” from the Hall, but assures Min it will be handled, as long as no one finds out how long Siuan has been involved with the al’Thor boy. Min asks why they have not heard from Moiraine before this, and Siuan doesn’t know, but dismisses the matter as unimportant.

Sahra Covenry hoes vegetables at the farm to which she had been exiled, thinking bitter thoughts, and is surprised to be greeted by an Aes Sedai wearing a cloak that shadows her face. The Aes Sedai asks Sahra about the woman she took to see the Amyrlin before she left the Tower, a woman named Elmindreda, and tells Sahra to tell her everything she saw or heard concerning the woman. Sahra starts to tell her she knows nothing, and falls to the ground, writhing with pain. She sobs that the woman spoke to Gawyn, and is sure that will not be enough; she is right, and her screams do not stop for a long time.

I swear, it’s weird how some chapters are so easy to summarize, and others are like pulling teeth. This one was rather like a root canal. I dunno.

Moiraine and Thom: her assurance to Thom that he will survive Tarabon and see her again is what made people think that possibly one of Moiraine’s answers from the snakes had to do with Thom. She probably didn’t ask about him directly, because that strikes me as a rather frivolous question for someone as focused and driven as Moiraine, but one of her answers may have given her that information anyway. I can’t imagine how, personally, unless it had something to do with him (and Mat) rescuing her from being Trapped In Another Dimension (DUN!). Feel free to speculate. Of course, it’s also possible that none of Moiraine’s answers had anything to do with Thom, and she’s strictly going by Min’s 99% likely viewing of the two of them getting married.

Speaking of which, I still don’t get how that whole thing is supposed to work. Originally it was generally supposed that Moiraine would be stilled as a result of her adventures in Finnland, and thus she and Thom would end up as equals, more or less. But now that stilling can be Healed, it just seems like a pretty unworkable proposition to me. Even leaving aside the “equals” part, Thom’s already at least in his fifties, and can’t realistically live more than twenty years or so, maybe thirty, and those won’t exactly be his best years, either. A Healed Moiraine, on the other hand, would have anywhere from 200 to 600 years of life ahead of her (depending on how that whole Oath Rod thing shakes out). I mean, I guess maybe twenty to thirty years of wedded... um, bliss? I guess? is better than none, but still, it’s kind of a raw deal if you ask me.

I do think it’s clear that Moiraine likes Thom, though. Mad passion, no (Jordan doesn’t really do mad romantic passion in his fiction, unless you count Lanfear, which is not exactly the type of “mad” I was going for, there), but I think what we’re supposed to get here is that she enjoys how Thom is one of the few men she’s met who can keep up with her in the Game of Houses. Certainly she shows more sympathy and compassion to him (even while manipulating the hell out of him) than just about any other character – including Lan.

Min: I forgot about her and Gawyn’s little comedy routine here, which is actually pretty funny, in my opinion. One last gasp of me liking Gawyn before the coup? Hell, I don’t know; maybe I’ll even like him through the coup this time around. I’m not counting on it, though.

Stupid Galad. Stupid Whitecloaks. I grump. I’m a little better reconciled to this inevitability in view of what happens in KOD, but still. Grump.

Siuan: see, this is what I meant about her not really believing Min about the bad shit about to happen. She still thinks she can avert it, and she is about to find out she is really, really wrong.

Several mysteries are brought up in this chapter. The Red sisters who gentled Owyn are part of what Cadsuane will later refer to as “the vileness after the Aiel War”, and in my brain has always been relegated to the cubbyhole called “Aes Sedai Sideshow Politics”. In other words, if it didn’t directly affect the present-day action in a significant way I was content to let Rich Boyé and John Hamby and Co. duke it out. What can I say, I’ve only got so much attention to divide, here.

The other mysteries are who busted Taim loose, and why Moiraine’s pigeons warning Siuan about that possibility never reached her. The latter is pretty obviously Elaida’s work (in fact she may even confirm that coming up), but the former is... murky, deliberately so. We’re supposed to believe, I think, that Joiya was actually telling the truth and that Liandrin and Co. did it, but as we find out later Liandrin et al are in Tanchico, it couldn’t have been them. It could be, as Siuan supposes, some of Taim’s erstwhile followers – or it could be Demandred. This is the theory I like, in line with the “Taim is not Demandred, but Demandred’s minion” chain of reasoning. A lot of KOD is vague for me, but I do remember that Taim pretty much confirms that he has to be a Darkfriend, so I’m going with this idea unless someone can convince me different. So There.

Chapter 18: Into the Ways

What Happens
Perrin reluctantly belts on the axe before gathering the rest of his stuff (which includes the hammer) and leaves his room, where Gaul is waiting for him. Perrin asks if any others decided to come, and Gaul shakes his head; Perrin thinks it had been a slim hope anyway, believing that he might have Aiel to drive off the Whitecloaks with. Gaul adds that “the girl” makes no secret of her preparations, and Perrin growls that if she gives him away to Moiraine, she won’t sit down for a week. In answer, Gaul observes that she is rather handy with her knives; Perrin asks Gaul to bring Faile to safety if anything should happen to him, Perrin. Gaul seems doubtful, but agrees to do his best. They note the lack of people about as they head down to the stables, and Gaul tells Perrin that Rand al’Thor has summoned everyone to the Heart of the Stone. Perrin enters the stables and stops, seeing that Bain and Chiad are with Faile and Loial. Perrin asks Gaul quietly if they are why he only said he would try, and Gaul shrugs.

“I will do what I can, but they will take her side. Chiad is Goshien.”

“Her clan makes a difference?”

“Her clan and mine have blood feud, Perrin, and I am no spear-sister to her. But perhaps the water oaths will hold her. I will not dance spears with her unless she offers.”

Perrin asks why they are with Faile, and Gaul says they like Faile, and the argument between her and Perrin fascinates them. Loial comes up to them to beg Perrin anxiously to hurry and get ready, as he does not know how much longer Faile will wait. Faile calls that she will not leave him, but if he is too stubborn to ask a favor, he can follow her “like a lost puppy”. Bain and Chiad crack up laughing, and Gaul suddenly leaps into the air, declaring they will follow like “hunting wolves”. Bain comments to Chiad that she has a fine wolfskin at home.

A growl rose in Perrin’s throat, pulling both women’s eyes to him. For a moment Bain looked on the point of saying something more, but she frowned at his yellow stare and held her peace, not afraid, but suddenly wary.

Faile comments that the puppy is not well housebroken yet. Perrin goes to his horse and makes ready to leave, and then waits, seething, as Faile deliberately takes her time. Finally she mounts and pulls her horse close to him.

“Why can you not ask, Perrin?” she said softly. “You tried to keep me away from where I belong, so now you have to ask. Can such a simple thing be so difficult?”

Suddenly the Stone rings like a bell and shakes as if in an earthquake; the horses panic and everyone is desperately occupied in calming them. Perrin knows it is Rand, feels the pull of ta’veren on him, and yells to Loial that they ride, now. Faile seems to agree, for she sets out with Loial immediately, Perrin following. Once they are out of the city, Faile asks, shocked, if that was “him”, and Perrin lies that he doesn’t know. Faile complains that they’ll have to wait an hour for the Aiel, now, but Perrin can already see three figures running to join them; Faile realizes that by asking questions she has lost ground, and swiftly belittles his report of seeing them. This is rather undermined when the three Aiel show up a few minutes later. Chiad and Gaul taunt each other for a moment, and Faile tells Loial to lead them to the Waygate; unhappily, Loial obeys. Perrin and Gaul follow behind the others. Loial mutters angrily about the destruction of the Grove in Tear, and Perrin recalls an old proverb:

“To anger the Ogier and pull the mountains down on your head.” Everyone took its meaning as to try to do something that was impossible. Perrin thought maybe the meaning had changed with the years. Maybe in the beginning, it had been “Anger the Ogier, and you pull the mountains down on your head.” Difficult to do, but deadly if accomplished.

Loial finds the Waygate and opens it, to the amazement of Faile and the Aiel. Perrin declares it is too hot for waiting, and boots his horse into the gate before anyone else. Gaul follows, and tells Perrin that Faile is upset with him for breaking their agreement, and that Perrin should not let Bain and Chiad get him alone, as they mean to teach him a lesson. Perrin returns that he made no agreement, but was tricked; they will have to follow Loial soon enough, but until then he means to stay ahead. He and Gaul will wait for the others at the first Guidepost. And if Faile worries about him till then, he thinks, it will be the least she deserves.

See, this is why people got so irritated with Faile in this stretch, or why I did, anyway. It’s a question of pride, but it’s more than that.

Pride, I can forgive; it’s not like I don’t have more than my fair share of it, after all. But it’s hypocrisy that I genuinely cannot tolerate. And that’s what Faile displays here: she cannot forgive Perrin for refusing to eat crow and swallow his pride, when she would never in a thousand years do the same herself. That’s hypocrisy, pure and simple.

She obviously doesn’t think of it that way, of course. She views it as a simple tit for tat: Perrin has injured her pride, therefore she requires a return injury to his pride in order to even the scales. I could have told her: honey, pride don’t work that way, and pride and “evening the score” really doesn’t work that way. It’s pure foolishness to think this kind of battle of wills can ever be anything except a endless cycle. Don’t believe me, ask these guys.

And of course, the person being worst treated in all this is the one who didn’t do a damn thing wrong: Loial. He should really try some of that fabled anger out sometime, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

In other news, do you know it’s pretty much impossible for a human to growl (as in, “make a warning rumbly sound”, not in the talking sense) without sounding like a total doofus? Trufax! I think it’s because human vocal cords just can’t reproduce that kind of sound correctly; the closest we can come is a kind of groaning noise, which... yeah, not so scary.

Which is why I imagine suddenly coming across a person who mysteriously can growl, like truly growl, and has yellow eyes to boot? Might be a little unnerving.

(We will not investigate the issue of why exactly Perrin’s vocal apparatus can now handle growling without him having any other physical alteration (other than the eyes, of course), because there are some depths of geekery to which I will not sink. “It’s The Magic, Stupid” is good enough for me.)

Chapter 19: The Wavedancer

What Happens
Elayne and Nynaeve arrive at the wharves after an unpleasant carriage ride. Nynaeve voices her opinion of the trip to the carriage driver, and Elayne sighs and tips him extra to make up for it. After he’s gone, Nynaeve admits grudgingly that she probably shouldn’t have snapped at the man, but adds that Elayne had better start being more thrifty with their money. As they head to the Sea Folk raker, Elayne tactfully tries to tell Nynaeve that she has no tact, and maybe she should try to have some; Sea Folk are reputed to be very touchy. Nynaeve’s airy reply does not reassure Elayne. They climb on deck, Elayne fascinated by the sailors’ strange costumes and jewelry, and meet Coine din Jubai Wild Winds, Sailmistress of Wavedancer, and Jorin din Jubai White Wing, her sister and Windfinder of Wavedancer. Elayne is surprised they are sisters, as Coine is so much older than Jorin, and thinks that Jorin reminds her of Aviendha somehow, even though they look nothing alike. Nynaeve greets them according to the ritual phrases Moiraine had given them, and they go below to negotiate the “gift of passage”. In the cabin, Elayne gasps to recognize a Seanchan helmet set as a trophy, and Coine explains that they encountered a Seanchan ship last year, but were able to prevail against it. Nynaeve comments they were lucky, and tells them about damane, to which the Sea Folk women make no reply, instead moving on to negotiations. Nynaeve tells them, rather too briskly in Elayne’s opinion, that they need to go to Tanchico with all speed and no stops; in return, she offers them one of the letters-of-rights Moiraine had given them, which allows the bearer to withdraw up to three thousand gold crowns from banks in various cities. This was an absolute fortune, but Moiraine had said it might be necessary to make the Sea Folk forsake their itinerary. Coine notes the vast sum, and tells them they must know that of all who request the gift of passage, only Aes Sedai may be refused, and usually are, which is why they seldom ask. Elayne frowns; Moiraine had said nothing of this. Nynaeve asks bluntly, if they meant to refuse them passage, why bring them below? Coine says she has heard “he” can channel, and holds Callandor; the Aiel have come over the Dragonwall, and the Stone has fallen. Prophecy is being fulfilled. Elayne is surprised, but replies that he is the Dragon Reborn; does she mean the Prophecies of the Dragon?

Coine turned. “Not the Prophecies of the Dragon, Aes Sedai. The Jendai Prophecy, the prophecy of the Coramoor. Not the one you wait for and dread; the one we seek, herald of a new Age.”

She explains briefly the history of the Atha’an Miere since the Breaking, and that Elayne and Nynaeve are proof that Rand al’Thor is the Coramoor:

“That is in the Prophecy as well. ‘The White Tower shall be broken by his name, and Aes Sedai shall kneel to wash his feet and dry them with their hair.’ ”

“You will have a long wait if you expect to see me wash any man’s feet,” Nynaeve said wryly. “What does this have to do with our passage? Will you take us, or not?”

Coine asks why they are going to Tanchico, and will not be put off by Nynaeve’s bluntness, and Elayne jumps in and tells Coine that they hunt the Black Ajah there, lest they do harm to the... Coramoor. At this, the Windfinder Jorin speaks up, saying to Coine that they must take them, and Elayne and Nynaeve wonder why she and not the captain is making the decision. They are interrupted by Toram, the ship’s Cargomaster and Coine’s husband, who is very put out to learn they are going to Tanchico, as this messes up all his trading decisions. Coine gives him no reasons, and he withdraws stiffly. Coine murmurs she will have to make it up to him, and Elayne apologizes for being a cause of trouble. Nynaeve puts in that surely three thousand crowns will be enough to appease him, but Coine tells her that she must keep the two of them and their purpose a secret as much as possible, and asks if they can stay below and be discreet about being Aes Sedai? Elayne and Nynaeve promptly pull off their serpent rings and hide them, and Elayne asks again about the gift of passage. Coine pushes the letter back over to them, and says she does this for the Coramoor. Jorin makes a strangled sound, and Coine tells her she will put in the gift of passage from her own chest. The two sisters playfully threaten each other for a moment, indicating to Elayne that they have dropped formality, and Coine begins to express her regrets that she does not have time to welcome them aboard properly, when the ship suddenly lurches and rolls as if in a storm, and Coine and Jorin run up on deck to see what happened.

New icon! And I’ve always really liked this one; it’s Purty.

So this is our introduction to the Sea Folk. I must say Coine and Jorin are by far the least annoying of them; the Atha’an Miere do not seem to do very well as sympathetic characters otherwise, at least not that I recall. The only other cool Sea Folk scene I can think of offhand is when Rand goes to meet them in ACOS, and that scene was cool in spite of them, not because. The rest of the time they seem to function mainly as an obstacle to Our Heroes, which is not likely to make me love them. I’m still not really sure what purpose they’re supposed to serve in the overall story; supposedly they’re to be Rand’s naval force, but other than making a shambles of the Seanchan in Ebou Dar – an episode Rand had nothing to do with – we’ve seen precious little of them actually being useful in the series thus far. Hopefully they will redeem themselves somewhat in the next installment.

At least it seems that the “washing feet” thing is not literal Prophecy, at least I really hope it isn’t, because that would be a bit much for me to stomach. It’s hopefully just there for the Biblical allusion, and if you ask me is fulfilled by the Aes Sedai swearing fealty to Rand at the end of LOC.

Other than that, there’s not a lot in this chapter worth commenting on, except that we see the real beginning of Elayne’s good cop to Nynaeve’s bad cop; or maybe their “honey and stick” routine would be a better way to put it. Which is admittedly going to turn out to be fairly effective in their travels together, but I’m not fond of it right now because Nynaeve is irritating me, and I find that, well, irritating, because in general I like her. I don’t know, I think I might just be in a particularly bad mood right now.

So I think we’ll wrap it up. Retournez-vous Friday for the next bit, which covers Chapters 20-22. Ciao!

1. SarekTheSeanchan
3 Cheers for the reread... I was getting a little worried with nothing but April Fools posts (YUCK! btw) on here today that we wouldn't get our tri-weekly fix...
2. mike1789426283764832746827362
Thanks a lot for these rereads Leigh, I look foward to them on tuedays, thursdays and over the weekend
James Hogan
3. Sonofthunder
Yess, thanks Leigh!! These are a good few setup chapters...actually I think my favorite part here was the Min/Gawyn/Galad interaction, because here they're still on the same side, more or less. Sad to see Galad slipping into the Whitecloaks, but for some reason I can forgive him just because I know how awesome he's going to end up being in about...7 books. And Min is as awesome as always.

Do we ever find out who kills Sahra? Is it Mesaana?

Oh and I'm re-reading this with you, Leigh, after only starting the series last fall! I'm loving that I'm able to read the chapters and then get a sweet commentary a few days later!! So far, I'm keeping up too!(currently in one of the Rhuidean chapters)

And another note...I wonder if it's normal to start thinking "Blood and bloody ashes!" when I'm upset or have my thoughts randomly run in an Illianer accent...I fear I've gone down the path of no return!
Bill Siegel
4. ubxs113
Bronchitis blows but at least you get some wicked good cough syrup.
5. jlfitz
Even reading Fail knowing that she turns out to helpful in Two rivers, she is nothing but petty and annoying here. However, I guess when "loved ones" fight it can get pretty nasty. Can't remember at the moment if I buy the let's make-up moment they have.
6. Tom Murrow
In other news, do you know it’s pretty much impossible for a human to growl (as in, “make a warning rumbly sound”, not in the talking sense) without sounding like a total doofus? Trufax! I think it’s because human vocal cords just can’t reproduce that kind of sound correctly; the closest we can come is a kind of groaning noise, which... yeah, not so scary.
7. JimmyMac80
I believe that Moiraine makes the assumption that they will meet again based on Min's viewings, since it's unlikely that there is much she could ask that would lead to anything to do with Thom. If Moiraine lost her ability to channel going through the doorway she would likely have been burnt out, not stilled, and therefore she could not be Healed. I also think that the BA is the most likely of suspects for keeping Moiraine's warning from Siuan, especially since I think the Shadow rescued him, even though it obviously wasn't Liandrin and her group.

Personally I always liked Faile, though I think half of their problem is they're both too stubborn. I think she got the promise from Loial while she was still mad at Perrin in order to get back at him a little and was then too stubborn to let it go. Also, to be fair him trying to hurt her is arguably a lot worse than what she does here. I just think the whole thing plays out pretty realistically.
8. bookworm
I think there will be a price to Moraine for being taken by the EelFinn. That being, that the ability to wield Saidar is lost to her. Being in Finnland for so long might take a toll on her age as well.

For poor Sahra, Mesaana would have no need to wear a cloak to hide herself. I imagine it just was one of the Black Sisters.
Jeremy Heater
9. nexus
Fun reading, as always.
Also, I find Mat has a pretty cool scene with the Atha'an Miere as well.
10. Lsana
Ch 17:

I can't really blame Galad for joining the Whitecloaks. Not only has the Amyrlin been consistently lying to him, but pretty much the entire Green Ajah has been treating him like a piece of meat ever since he got to Tar Valon. Under those circumstance, I think life as an ascetic warrior far from the liars in Tar Valon would have some serious appeal.

I'm inclined to think that the reason Suian never got Moiraine's letter warning her about the plot with Taim is just a matter of time. After all, if she just now got the notice that Rand had drawn Callandor, then it doesn't seem unlikely that the much later news of Joiya's story is still in transit.

Also in this chapter, I think we need to take a minute to remember poor Sahra. What happened to her was horribly unfair. She didn't deserve to be sent out of Tar Valon and away from her training, and she especially didn't deserve to be tortured and murdered, then completely forgotten. Seems unlikely that her family or friends will ever find out what happened to her.

Ch. 19:

Just a small comment: in my edition, Nynaeve says that both she and Elayne are "Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah." Is it the same in other people's books? If so, it seems odd that Nynaeve would refer to herself as Green, since before she left the Tower it was already so obvious she was going to be Yellow that she had been told their secrets.
11. taraboner
regarding the sea polk: i think the importence of them would have somthing to do with rand being the coramoor and the jendai propecies. in genral , i alweys had a feeling that the fact that rand happens to be the savior figure of a number of diffrent profecis has a lot more to it then we have seen so far.
Harry Burger
12. Lightbringer
Thank the Creator! Tor has finally put something up today besides April Fool jokes. Blood and ashes it's gotten annoying.
Richard Fife
13. R.Fife
Leigh: enjoy the good meds and get better. I say this strictly out of self-preservation in hoping you don't bring any of those northern super-bugs down to Atlanta in a few weeks. ;)

To the 4/1/09 haters: Chill! It's April Fool's Day! Enjoy the mayhem and ludcrisicity of it. tördötcöm FTW!

I think an Alvarin PoV indicates she killed Sahra.

Alas, the next chapters have the castration of Thom and Juilin as "badasses" into "lackeys and "typical men"" for Elaynaeve. Much sniffing and braid tugging and nose raising.

And soft, yes, you are too far gone. The only course now is to go to canada and fight Cory Doctorow, er, the Dark One.

On a last note, the last (so far) of the Moiraine/Thom scenes has always been one of my favorite. And I have to hope that Moiraine's truely spoken words weren't just from a misunderstanding (as so many of her asserations oft are).

On the note of humans growling, my ex actually could, and while it was comical because of her petite size, the sound itself was not. Coming from someone I might have reason to be physically scared of, I would have been.
Lannis .
14. Lannis
Excellent work, as always Leigh! :)

Chapter 17:

Min + embroidery = funny.

A sister missing in Tarabon.

Call me unobservant, but I'm going to make the educated guess that the sister we're referring to here was one of the ones made into a nice pet by the Seanchan? Or is this just a kind of throwaway comments to indicate the world is cracking under their feet? (Yes, I'm aware that RJ crafts things so that there's no throwaways... I get it... just sayin'...)

The sling has been used. The shepherd holds the sword.

The second part is obvious, but what about the first? Is the "sling" in reference to the fact that the Stone of Tear has fallen (rock = Stone, sling = falling/being taken)? I don't think I've heard anyone mention this before... thoughts?

Re: Moiraine knowing Thom will be rescuing her--perhaps it's as simple as knowing the *Finn's rules/agreement: she knows that musical instruments are forbidden in *Finnland... logically, you'd think of someone who can play instruments or sing (Thom!)... or, you know, it could be that marriage viewing from Min, like you said, Leigh...

Re: Moiraine and Thom and the whole "equals in a relationship" thing... you could be landing us back into the "Thom can channel" debate--if he's left off this long, now that the taint's gone, he could live just as long as Moiraine (longer, if the whole "no oaths = longer life span" thing goes for men, too.)

Chapter 18:

Faile comments that the puppy is not well housebroken yet.

Faile! Sweetheart! Put the fraking stick down and stop poking him already!

Sonofthunder @3: Welcome to the club, some of us have been here for decades. ;)

Leigh: a question for you--I know you're one of's bloggers (and as such, I'd hope you're being paid), but is this your "official" job? Or are you squeezing the reread in and around your "real life" job? I have visions of you frantically scribbling (okay, typing) late into the night with a dog-eared copy of tSR at your side... and well, even if this isn't the case, no *wonder* you've had to slow down--this rate was hectic, and I'm not even reading along (no time!). It's taken over my life as it is--can't imagine what it'd be like to be doing the reading and writing for this stuff in between! Regardless of the answer, you do great work! If I were wearing a hat, it'd be off to you! Kudos! :)
15. Orideth

I was under the impression that burning yourself out is just another way to say you've been stilled; it's just the terminology used when you do it to yourself, either through a backfiring ter'angreal (a la Martine Janata/Setalle Anan) or through drawing in too much of the Power. I don't see any reason to think "burning out" and "stilling" are two fundamentally different things, and I would presume that either can be healed in much the same way.
Chris Maurer
16. grayfox
For some reason, I always liked the Moiraine-Thom scene. Two top dogs in the Game of Houses feeling each other out.

Lsana @10: Same thing about Green Ajah in my books, but I think at that point it is probably safe to assume that Nynaeve didn't know what Ajah she was going to go towards. Perhaps she was just thinking she'd have to be Green to marry Lan or it was just easier for her to say they are both Green. No idea, but I don't think it was necessarily a mistake.
18. rudra
Love the re-read. My sympathies for the bronchitis Leigh. Trust me I know how you feel.
19. RebelLives
Thanks for the re-reads Leigh!

I've never picked up on the Thom and Moiraine link before these re-reads. I'm not real sure I buy it. But, then I am a wool-headed man. :)

Faile is very annoying through this section of the books to me as well. She gets a little better after they reach TR.

I'm with you on the Sea Folk. We have never really got a good explaination of how they fit with prophecy. Maybe I've just missed it.
20. Lsana
@16 grayfox,

Except that in the next book, Nynaeve is able to recognize a sign that only someone from the Yellow Ajah would know. Since she can't have possibly learned it between now and then, it seems like she must have known she was going to be Yellow before she left the Tower in TDR, at least, if not TGH.

Yeah, I know it's a nitpick...but what's the fun of doing a re-read if you don't nitpick.
21. rudra
I don't know why but I've always liked Galad better among the two brothers(even before the tower break). And there is just something poetic about him joining the whitecloaks as a result of his personal crusade to uphold what is right. A reincarnation of Lothair Mantelar perhaps. Plus his fight against Valda(representing everything that had gone wrong with the organisation) in KOD is just BADASS!
Chris Maurer
22. grayfox
Fair enough Lsana...just trying to come up with ideas why it was in there...maybe it was RJ just writing them as ironic since they are 1). way too young to be Aes Sadai and 2). possibly the only "Green sisters" without Warders. His way of showing how much they still need to learn to be competant players...

Speaking of Nyn/Lan...even through KoD, the bond hasn't been transferred to Nynaeve has it? My memory of WH and KoD is spotty at best...
23. Wetlander
@15. Orideth
and @7

I don't see any reason to think "burning out" and "stilling" are two fundamentally different things, and I would presume that either can be healed in much the same way.

Hmmm. I was under the impression that stilling had an effect of something being cut (if you're Nynaeve trying to heal it), while burning out basically left an emptiness where there was nothing to heal. I think that's from somewhere in the Setalle Anan sections, but I don't have time to research it. (Apologies.) Anyone else remember that impression?
24. MatthewD
The one thing that always bothered me with the books was the love between channelers and non-channelers. Rand, Elayne and Avienda will get 700 years of happiness, while only Min gets 40 years.

Lan and Nynaeve are in the same age boat as Moiraine and Thom. Mat and Toun (if she embraces channeling) will have the same issues.

With all the destined love, I guess it does not matter, but I could not imagine surviving my wife by 600 years, not to mention kids and grand kids.
25. markp
I've always hoped for some reason Rand is not the Coramoor and everyone would get embarrassed for making assumptions. But I don't think its going to happen.
Whats in the Jendai Prophecy other than the washing feat thing?
Theres the bit about the statues and all the islanders committing suicide. but there must be more than that.
Kyle Bass
26. SherlockTomes

I agree. I've got the same impression, though I can't remember from where I picked it up, specifically. Something on the lines of a severing resulting in a "clean break," while burning out is more of a "ragged" or "rough tearing." The clean break is easier to repair, while the rough break might not be reparable.

The same holds true for physical injuries...a cleanly-sliced knife wound is easier to stitch up and heals more quickly.
27. Lsana
@24 MatthewD,

This is of course assuming that everyone lives their full span of years. With an apolcalyspe scheduled for the next couple of months, that may not be a safe assumption to make. Given the situation in Randland, its probably time to grab whatever happiness you can and not worry about what may or may not happen in the next year, let alone the next three or four centuries...

But if they do survive, it will be a problem. I seem to remember that Tolkien had a story on the subject of lovers with differing lifespans, and the eventual conclusion was, "Don't do it. Pick someone with the same life expectancy."
28. That Guy
Finally saw something that I hadn't remembered/realized/already thought about.

Did Thom have Taringail killed?

"Morgase’s lover for a time, after Taringail died. Fortunate for Morgase, Taringail’s death. I do not suppose she ever learned he meant her to die and himself to be Andor’s first king."

Reason I ask, what leads up to this is the obvious info that Thom was instrumental in having the other two lords killed, then this little tidbit is sprinkled in. Guess I had the slow cap on.

As to the rest:

I agree the Min thing points to Suian just not getting it. What she sees will happen, get over yourself trying to change things.

Also agree with R Fife @13 that Alviarin was the culprit on the farm. I think the first time I read this I thought it was Elaida, which led me towards thinking she was BA for awhile.

Note to Perrin: Regardless of the situation, apologize to the female, especially if she is really stubborn. During the apology, explain why you did what you did, and usually you will get an apology also. Not saying this is 100%, but it is better than how you are going about it.

I f'in hate the Seafolk. Granted, when you first see them here, they are not so bad, but later on they just flat out suck.

That's all for now.
Richard Fife
29. R.Fife
@25 I can't remember any more of the Jendai off hand (WoT FAQ does perhaps?), but the islander Jonestown suicide thing was not part of it. The Sea Folk were disgusted and surprised by that, and it was part of the islander's own prophecies/beliefs.
30. Bill Door
Has there ever been an in-depth discussion on the whole Moiraine/Lanfear/Cyndane situation?

Other than being stilled and healed by a woman, we don't know of any way to reduce a woman's OP strength, right? I can't imagine that Moiraine would heal her in 'finnland, even if she had known how.

Then why did Cyndane come out weaker than she had been as Lanfear? In Winter's Heart, one of Demandred's points of view showed that he thought Cyndane was Lanfear reincarnated, because of the way she always spoke of Rand as Lews Therin--until Mesaana told him that she was weaker than Lanfear.

If he expected a reincarnated Lanfear to be just as strong as the original, then it doesn't seem that transmigration could be responsible for the drop in strength.

Reincarnation and transmigration by the Dark One would explain why Lanfear came back from 'finnland in another body only if she died there at some point--some time after losing a portion of her ability.

Rather than coming back stilled, I've always wondered if Moiraine might have crafted a bargain with the Eelfinn to give her some of Lanfear's strength and knowledge.

Knowledge such as what clues led Lanfear, while she was still Mieren Sedai, to open the Bore in the first place. Maybe something like that is why Rand will almost certainly fail without Moiraine...
31. JimmyMac80
@ 15
When someone is stilled they can still sense the True Source, when someone is burnt out they can not sense the Source. It makes for quite a distinction, even if the main characters don't recognize it, Egwene thinks in KoD that it's hard to keep novices from running ahead when even if they get burned out they can be Healed, though there is no evidence that the AS have tried it yet. One would think that the risk of death in trying too much might deter them some though.
Galen Brinn
32. GatheringStorm
Lsana@20 I just re-read TFoH and seem to recall that Nynaeve said she picked up on the Yellow Eye/Ear thing while still in the tower.
Sidebar: I liked TFoH, except the stinking menagerie scenes...god those dragged out almost as bad as book 9.

A theory on the Moiraine/Thom thing; maybe Thome can learn to channel. That would kind of offset things a bit.

Ditto on the comment about Alviarin being Sarah's killer.
33. MatthewD
@27 Lsana

I get that if I onyl ahve 5 years left, I might as well try to be happy. But with every relationship we have been given, besides Perrin & Faile, this is an issue.

With all the detail we get in RJs writing I would think this would come up at least once. Especially in the case or the Wise Ones were they do marry. Maybe this was addressed with the Kin (since they can't marry) and I do not remember it.
34. Lsana
I definitely think Alviarin killed Sahra. I don't think the 3 oaths would let Elaida do it, and Messana would have used compulsion rather than torture to get Sahra to spill her guts.

@30 Bill Door,

I have two silly theories on why Lanfear lost strength.

Theory #1: There was a theory on the FAQ that Lanfear got body-switched in order to look like Ilyena so she would be more attractive to LTT. While that seems unlikely for the reason stated on the FAQ (it seems highly improbable that if Cyndane looked like Ilyena, no one has commented on it), I wonder if she somehow ended up with Ilyena's strength in the power. Maybe she said something like, "I want what that milk-sop Ilyena had," and got it...

Theory #2: Who says that the DOs reincarnation doesn't affect channeling ability? The 'gars and Moirdin have their previous strength, but they are men. Cyndane is the only woman we have seen who went through the same process. Could be the DO had to do something like healing stilling in order to allow his minions to channel in their new bodies.

Which, of course, would imply that the DO is a woman...

@33 MatthewD,

Most channelers we've met don't marry. The Aiel Wise Ones seem to have relatively short lifespans just because of the difficulty of life in the wastes.
Sydo Zandstra
35. Fiddler
Do we ever find out who kills Sahra? Is it Mesaana?

I think it was Alviarin who did the killing there. She is Black Ajah, and was the first AS Elaida confided in.

About Owyn, I strongly suspect that in this case Elaida was the one ordering the gentling on the spot, in order to draw Thom away from Morgase's court. Not because she is BA (which she isn't) but because she's ruthless and it would fit her purpose. I can just see her reasoning 'Owyn will be gentled anyway. Better to do it now and get Merrilyn out of my way now'.
Lannis .
36. Lannis
Lsana @ 20:

Yeah, I know it's a nitpick...but what's the fun of doing a re-read if you don't nitpick.

I second that!

grayfox @ 22: I kind of always took the two "Green sisters" thing to kind of throw off anyone looking for them--real sisters from the Tower might know that Nynaeve has interest in the Yellow Ajah... so why follow the trail of two Greens, when Nynaeve would probably pose as Yellow?

Just a thought, but it seems to me that (when using the Yellows' code as Lsana mentions @20) she later poses as Yellow. Or maybe my memory's fuzzy and she's just hacking into the network.

That Guy @ 28: Yes, Thom had Taringail killed. I *think* someone's mentioned it on an earlier thread...
37. BloodyButteredOnions
@ 15 Burned Out and Stilling the same :

I think (faulty memory of Leane and Siuan perhaps) that Stilling means that the ability to channel has been "cut" and can be put back together but if you are "burned out" then there is nothing left - nothing to link back together.
38. Rebecca Starr
Ch 17

Doh! I too realized here that Thom took out Taringail... nice one Thom. that's two kings (well, Taringail was *almost* a king) under his belt.

It's funny to me that people are fretting over the ages of our WoT lovers - Moiraine and Thom, Nynaeve and Lan... I mean, if I was in love with someone, I'd marry them for as long as I could get! We *all* know we're going to die someday and marriage is not eternal, but we want to be with the one we love while we can have it.

isn't it Lini who says something like, "better ten days of love than years of regretting?"

Min=hilarious here. Yes, I do think this message about Taim confirms the theory that he was turned by the 13 BA/Myrdd. I mean, why else would so much effort have gone into this plot device in the previous book, if RJ never intended to use it. from my experience, RJ didn't work that way.

Leigh, I think I can alleviate your annoyance at Siuan a little - seeing as how she had a groom arrested before thieving and a novice set straight before getting pregnant, it appears she *does* believe Min's viewings are "might happens unless corrected", not "certain to happens." So her behavior such as increasing the guard on Logain makes sense, given that this is her assumption. We (and Min) just know that she's wrong.

poor Sahra. she did not deserve that awful death. May the last embrace of the mother welcome her home.

Leane can't see ta'veren, right? so what do you think she noticed about Rand here: "I only saw him once, but even then there was something strange about him. Something more than being ta'veren."

Ch 18
no comment.

Ch 19
I completely disagree with Leigh! I love the Sea Folk. yeah, i know they're prickly, but they're so cool
Lannis .
39. Lannis
Fiddler @ 35: Oooh! I like the "Elaida headed Owyn's Red sisters" theory... and, well, makes sense--she may have intercepted a letter to Thom that spoke of Owyn channeling, or needing Thom... and, well, we all know she's an über-bitch.
Brad Moore
40. servantcbm
@33 & 34

We find out later that Bair(?) has outlived many husbands, and they seem to deal with as it comes. All must wake from the dream, after all. Also, I don't think there's any indication of Wise Ones having short life spans, it would actually seem to be otherwise, as they don't face the dangers of dancing and what-not.
41. Rebecca Starr
jlfitz@5 - shall I assume that is not a typo on faile's name?

Lannis@14 - pretty sure this is Cabriana, who is abducted, tortured and killed by Sermirhage later on

Lsana@20 - that Yellow told Nynaeve a few secrets because she was *so sure* Nyn would choose Yellow - though of course Nynaeve hadn't made up her mind yet! I think she's "green" here because she's still young and lovestruck. and heck, if you're going to play at being Aes Sedai when you're not officially one yet, why not sample a few different Ajahs? kind of like ice cream flavors!
42. That Guy
Bill Door @30

I really like that theory!

Since folks are talking Lanfear/Cyndane, I know some folks were talking about how she was thinking about how strong Alivia was at the cleansing, and that that meant that Alivia was stronger than Lanfear used to be. However, I don't believe that she knew she was using an angreal, and still think that Alivia is at best as strong as Lanfear was.
43. Latecomer
"Fortunate for Morgase, Taringail’s death. I do not suppose she ever learned he meant her to die and himself to be Andor’s first king. But we were speaking of Thom Merrilin, a man who, it was said, could play the Game of Houses in his sleep."

Hmm... this information from Moraine does make it sound like the king of Carhein wasn't the first regal personality Thom killed. Deep one with lots of history, our simple gleeman. He's one of my favourite characters throughout (except for that nonsense with Elayne for a wee while on their travels).

Leigh - thanks for allowing us to indulge in our addiction even though you are so ill. Hope you feel better soon!
44. Lsana
@38 Rebecca Starr (and others),

Why the assumption that Taim was turned to the Dark? Why do we think he couldn't have been a Darkfriend to start with?

Taim named himself the Dragon Reborn. In this world, that seems to be roughly the equivalent of naming yourself the re-incarnation of Hitler. Even if you think you are, you'd have to be a pretty depraved person to advertise the fact. And then there are all of the little inconsistencies that led to the Taimindred theory...I'm pretty sure that Taim is a Darkfriend, has always been a Darkfriend, and will be a Darkfriend until he dies and possibly even after.

@40 servantcbm,

Bair can't channel, so any husbands that she has outlived are just due to the normal difficulty of life, not an extended lifespan.

As for the other Aiel, I seem to remember somewhere where the Wise Ones were dismissing especially long-lived channelers as just a legend, but I don't have the reference with me off-hand.
45. That Guy
Lannis @36

Must have missed that thread, I only keep up with the comments on the newest re-read post, so I could easily have missed it at some point.

It just kinda stood out to me in the summary, and was wondering how many people got that one on the first take.
46. Randalator
re: Stilling vs. burning out

I always thought it worked something like this:

Imagine the ability to channel like a circuit board. If you are stilled one or more circuits are interrupted (or Severed to use the AoL term) as if you drag a sharp instrument across the board. This can be repaired with a little tin-solder.

If you burn out, as the name implies, that is exactely what happens. The ability to channel gets burned out of you. Burning out has always been associated with incidents like drawing too much of the One Power or losing the Power accidentally through loss of consciousness, shock etc. which, again, sounds like a sudden Power surge due to a lack of control. In my analogy with the circuit board that is an electrical surge frying chips, circuits, transistors and all the other thingamajigs. The board is damaged beyond repair, no matter how much tin-solder you slap onto it.

That's why I think that Stilling/Gentling can be Healed but burning out cannot.

@28 That Guy

Yeah, the way Moiraine mentions Taringail's death (and Thom's reaction to it) implies strongly that Thom either killed him or arranged for his death.
47. hoping to be of the blood
I agree about the sea folk becoming annoying and superfluous after they fixed the weather with the Bowl. Rand gave them tons of concessions for their cooperation in moving men and material in their ships but that is all superseded by the discovery of gateways and the Kin and Ashaman. I wonder if they will even have much role in the upcoming books, unless something horrible happens with the one power.
Brad Moore
48. servantcbm
@44 Lsana
Oops, right, Bair is a Dreamwalker, not a channeler. Boy is my face red! :)
49. Siuanfan
If Moiraine is not dead, she had to have passed the bond before she fell into the doorway, then why did Lan go through that whole breakdown that a Warder does when his Aes Sedai dies and the bond is broken? One would assume that a passed bond wouldn't have the same effect. Is it all psychological? Yeah, it has nothing to do with this chapter but it's been bugging me.

Faile. Graah! This is where she goes from mildly annoying to intensely unlikeable. She redeems herself somewhat in the Two Rivers, then her "you're a lord, these are our servants" attitude afterwards makes me mildly annoyed with her again. She once again redeems herself over the Colavaere incident in... LoC I think, then Berelain comes back into it and they all get annoying.

I rant about Faile too much. Ahem. Anyway, Gawyn's beginning to reveal a little of his 'desperation over Elayne is starting to make me crazy' persona. Re-reading the 'Elayne And Nynaeve Travel Around' bits is starting to feel like a LOT of useless filler, but I do like getting to see the different cultures.

Love the interaction between Thom and Moiraine here, though I swear I never had any clue that they were a luuuuurve connection - how do I miss these major things that everyone else managed to catch? They're around the same age, actually... aren't they? I'm guessing Moiraine's hovering around 50-ish and Thom's not that much older.

Eek, the Tower break is coming up! That's where we get to see my homegirl Siuan start to take center stage a little more. I don't know if you guys noticed, but I rather like Siuan.

Feel better, Leigh! I had asthmatic bronchitis as a kid and now whenever I allow myself to get the tiniest bit sick, I feel better in a couple of days but I have a cough for weeks. Two years ago I kept a cough for 3 months. Felt right as rain except for the damn deep coughing. ANYWAY my point is, take care of yourself! I find that this helps with the cough and the sore throat: slicing up a whole lemon, a hunk of ginger, a big squoosh of honey, throw it in a cup with boiling water, squash it around for a while and drink! It's pretty yummy too. Throw a little lavender baby oil on your chest and drink the tea before bed, you'll sleep awesomely.
50. That Guy
Lsana @44

While being the Dragon Reborn is pretty bad, Logain did it as well, and we have seen that he wasn't really all that bad a guy. So using that as an example of why Taim has to be a darkfriend is not very solid.

I think... that I have no clue what is going on with Taim. There are a lot of different possibilities, and forcefully converting him is not exactly out of the question.

However, I do think that he is definitely at this point a bad apple that Logain or Rand (I think Logain due to the glory aura) will have to take out in order to get the Black Tower in line to the purpose it was created for.
51. Resplendent Indignity
Jendai = Jenn/dai'shain?
52. That Guy
Siuanfan @49

If Moiraine is not dead, she had to have passed the bond before she fell into the doorway, then why did Lan go through that whole breakdown that a Warder does when his Aes Sedai dies and the bond is broken? One would assume that a passed bond wouldn't have the same effect. Is it all psychological? Yeah, it has nothing to do with this chapter but it's been bugging me.

I got a little theory on that also. The door Mo gows into with Lanfear melts. I take this as the opening or bridge between the worlds was cut off, and that is what caused the bond to snap like it did, leading to crazy Lan.

I could be wrong though.
53. Randalator
@49 Siuanfan

If Moiraine is not dead, she had to have passed the bond before she fell into the doorway, then why did Lan go through that whole breakdown that a Warder does when his Aes Sedai dies and the bond is broken?

A Warder's suicide-mode gets activated when the bond is broken instead of released or simply passed on. In Lan's case the bond was broken before it passed on to Myrelle. But to break a bond the Aes Sedai doesn't have to die necessarily. As could be seen in the aftermath of Dumai's Wells Stilling an Aes Sedai has the same effect on a Warder bond as killing her.

Being shielded dulled and fuzzed the bond to your Warder, but being stilled snapped it as surely as death. One of Irgain's two apparently had fallen over dead from the shock, and the other had died trying to kill thousands of Aiel without making any effort to escape.
(TPoD, Prologue)
54. Siuanfan
I think the whole 'declaring yourself the Dragon Reborn' can be taken either way. You're a guy, you discover you can channel. Not only can you channel but you're pretty darn strong and can do amazing things. At that point you have three choices - (1) die (by going into the Blight like the Aiel or turning oneself in to the Reds or killing yourself another way), (2) say MUAHAHA I am eeeevill! I will declare myself Dragon and bend the world to my wicked will!, or (3) say Hey, maybe I'm destined to save humanity from the Dark One... I might be the Dragon! Yay! Everybody, follow me! The last two indicate a possible severe personality disorder, but one seems to be Taim's path and the other Logain's.

Regarding Aiel channeler life spans... I seem to recall that Sorilea once offered to hook Egwene up with "the greatson of my greatson"... which indicates that she is pretty damn old, to have a grandson's grandson that is Egwene's age or older. I don't recall if she's regardest as the oldest Aiel character we've met or just one of the oldest, but she's still bouncing around like a Maiden, and no one makes a huge issue of her age, though it must be generally common knowledge.
55. Latecomer
Ok so my name was more apt than I realised - other people pointed out Thom's regicide addictions as well :)

Lsana @44 - you just made me think (new lony theory coming up).

In the first book(s), the dark side wasn't too sure who the dragon reborn was exactly. What if they were going after all the possibilities to try & convert them. Our heroes successfully resisted the lure of glory, but what if the sam edeal was offered to Taim - and he took it? Then the dark side realised he wasn't the dragon reborn after all & abandoned him to the mercies of the white tower.
Once they realised Rand wasn't going to be converted so easily, they busted him out as another potential ace in the hole?
Ellie Virgo
56. Egglie
Bill Door@30 I like your theory - good thinking. You have to strike a bargain with the finns and its good to imagine Moiraine has been putting her time there to good use and not just twiddling her thumbs waiting for the rescue.

Lasna@36 I like your theory #1 too, it would serve Lanfear right, but for some reason it rings less true for me.

Lasna@20 The green Ajah thing here is a bugbear for me too - it just stands out every time I read it, from here on in whenever she gives an Ajah it is yellow.

Rebecca Starr@38 Knowing what Siuans rationale is doesn't make it any less irritating that she is so very wrong so very many times! for me anyway.

Lasna@44 I think the reasoning behind Taim being turned by the rule of 13 has to do with Bashere not recognizing him when he shows up in Camelyn, like he has changed significantly. I should probably leave that explanation to someone else though, I am not convinced myself. Someone must have been turned though and Taim is as good a candidate as any.
Sydo Zandstra
57. Fiddler
Oooh! I like the "Elaida headed Owyn's Red sisters" theory... and, well, makes sense--she may have intercepted a letter to Thom that spoke of Owyn channeling, or needing Thom... and, well, we all know she's an über-bitch.

We know Elaida is ruthless enough to think like this, because she suggested Gawyn maybe should not survive after capturing Rand, in LoC. ;)
58. shintemaster
@ Rebecca Starr 'Leane can't see ta'veren, right? so what do you think she noticed about Rand here: "I only saw him once, but even then there was something strange about him. Something more than being ta'veren."'

I've never noticed that line before, could be anything I guess but the possibility exists that she may have the nascent ability to sense males that can channel. Only a theory...
59. elvyelvy
wonderful video - and my sister DOES growl, a deep throaty growl doberman style, she used it several times to upset unsuspecting people, and I sound like a little seal.

As to the different lifespans, RJ must have worked out something, I can't think he missed such a big issue. We will see, I guess.

Oh, the SeaFolk and their scent boxes, noses in the air, arrogance ... well, Aes Sedai end up looking like a bunch of arrogant presumptuous opinionated self-righteous disorganized lot at best, yer the Sea Folk beat them by far. But RJ did not believe in throwaway, so they must fit in the larger picture and play their role, some role. They will just be a thorn in my... ahem side for a long number of books though.

That Guy@28 Did Thom have Taringail killed? - after all he is "a man who, it was said, could play the Game of Houses in his sleep" so definitely yes!!! after all he managed to terminate Galldrian
60. Latecomer

"I've never noticed that line before, could be anything I guess but the possibility exists that she may have the nascent ability to sense males that can channel. Only a theory... "

Not a silly theory though. Do we know if she's ever said anything similar about Logain or Taim?

Somewhat along the same lines - I noticed Elayne in this post thinking that the wind-finder reminded her of Aviendha - obviously the channelling ability of both triggering that recognition.
John Massey
61. subwoofer
Hi Leigh... get better...back to my hard liquor idea. If you are not cured you will at least feel better. For the rest of this not much here. Faile is a douche, Perrin is a donkey for putting up with a douche. Poor Loial, needs a course in takin' no crapology 101.
Galad path is laid out... saw it coming... even Gwayne said that he always does what is right. Hopefully he will reform the Children. Min is classic at needlepoint. Might as well take up cooking.
Elayne and Nynaeve make the easiest bargain ever with the Sea Folk, seeing as everyone else gets taken. Am feeling sorry for the menfolk on this boat trip too. Poor Thom and Julian... until they stumble upon Mat things look grim for them... then Mat comes along and he gets all the grey hair. meh.
62. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
We open to Moiraine's attempt to isolate Rand from any and all who would help him. Except her of course. More of her Aes Sedai schemes to monopolize Rand and make sure he listens only to her. Not that it does her much good in the end. And what's this about teaching Thom not all Aes Sedai are like those Reds? Is yanking on his strings any better than what those Reds did? I still don't like the idea of these two getting together.

A whole chapter of firsts. We first learn that Galad is associating with Whitecloaks. We first learn that Logain has power and glory ahead of him. Siuan first learns that Rand has taken Callandor. And still hoping to control him, if I can hazzard a guess. Any thoughts on the Aes Sedai that killed Sahra Covenry? My bet's on Alviarin.

Faile really lays it on thick. She's at her most annoying. She belongs where? Not in Perrin's business last I heard. And Perrin proves several times how much she is out of her depth to want to travel with an Ogier and Aiel.

Sigh. More of the girls. Notice how close Nynaeve come to putting her foot in her mouth once more. She won't be so lucky all the time. Notice how the idiots never realize the Windfinder can channel?

Sonofthunder @3
Yep. You have it bad.

Lsana @10
Probably for simplicity. Neither of them are real Aes Sedai anyway.

Lannis @14
Nope Seanchan aren't there in force yet. But they did send some agents(including Egeanin) to catch some runaway sul'dam. My guess is that one Aes Sedai got picked up and was murdered to keep her silence.

Orideth @15
Stilling/gentling(severing) can and has been shown to be healed. Burning out.... no proof either way.

markp @25
That's a different prophecy, one exclusive to the Amayar. When the statue on their island glows, the end of the Time of Illusion has come. Then it's time to kill everybody.

That Guy @28
I think Thom has a POV later about orchestrating Taringail's death. I thought it was Elaida who tortured that girl at one time as well, until I realized the girl had actually been killed.

Siuanfan @54
I don't think the third option is really that bad. I mean, until the prophecies play you out as false, who could know otherwise?
63. Aiel1219
My comments r these
1.) I don't think it can be a coincidence that the 13BA left the tower and 13 is the number required for the conversion. And since Male channelers who go DO side don't go mad then either Taim or Logain (or both) could have been converted since they don't show signs of the madness... or am I remembering incorrectly?

2.) Seafolk so far as a Nation (or group of ppl) seem pretty useless... but mb Mat will take their ships and the Seachan ones and convert em to GUNSHIPS with his CANNONS!!!!! YEAH!!!

64. Aiel1219
Ohh I forgot in the last comment... Mb The Big Dark decided to punish Lanfear by making her less powerful in this reincarnation... she was afterall plotting to use those big angreal with Rand to "challnge the Dark Lord"... somehow I don't thing he'd appreciate that... so it may be a nice punishment for her... and if you're thinking can he do that?? ... well he did make a man into a woman... or was it a woman into a man... don't remember and he/she is now channeling the other half of the Source rite?
Leigh Butler
65. leighdb
Tom Murrow @6:

Heh. I could argue with you that he did a snarl, rather than a growl, but I should have known someone would prove me wrong on that anyway, so maybe I'll just quit while I'm ahead.

Lannis @14:

In this fabulous economy, I have taken the advice so often given to writers, and not quit my day job. ;)
66. Randalator
@63 Aiel1219

Logain has not been turned to the Shadow.

Taim is most definitely a Darkfriend and a FS minion ("Let the Lord of Chaos rule", KoD, Epilogue) but the Tower is devided into Taim's faction and Logain's faction which doesn't make any sense at all if Logain has been turned or is a Darkfriend out of his own free will.
67. BookFairy
So enjoying the Re-reads and Commentary

Ch. 17
Min the “Viewing Queen”. I have always thought that Moiraine was relying on Min’s viewing for the things she knows about Thom’s future. I have been reading along looking for this viewing. Did I miss it? When did it happen?
The letter Moiraine writes to him about rescuing her from the Finns must be from what she learns when she goes to Rhuidean.. As for the relationship between Thom and Moiraine. The age thing really doesn’t matter much. She is likely to outlive almost anybody she chooses, and Thom has a lot going for him; he’s well read, talented, charming, and dangerous. The first time I read this I was so glad that Thom decided to go with Nynaeve and Egwene. I thought his character would get a chance to do all kind of clever “game of houses” type things. Sigh, oh well.

Ch. 18
How does Faile know Bain and Chiad? Did they really go with Faile because of the fight she is having with Perrin or are they going because Gaul is going? The byplay between the Aile is what makes this part of the book interesting.

Ch. 19
Jorin and Coine are the most likable of the Sea Folk. Oh! Oh! And Coine can channel. Cool. To bad not all the Sea folk are like them.

Waiting with baited breath for Friday.
Joseph Blaidd
68. SteelBlaidd
Leigh; While I agree that getting Loial involved in their argument is a really terrible thing to do to him I have to disagree with your analysis here:

Pride, I can forgive; it’s not like I don’t have more than my fair share of it, after all. But it’s hypocrisy that I genuinely cannot tolerate. And that’s what Faile displays here: she cannot forgive Perrin for refusing to eat crow and swallow his pride, when she would never in a thousand years do the same herself. That’s hypocrisy, pure and simple.

She obviously doesn’t think of it that way, of course. She views it as a simple tit for tat: Perrin has injured her pride, therefore she requires a return injury to his pride in order to even the scales. I could have told her: honey, pride don’t work that way, and pride and “evening the score” really doesn’t work that way.

Faile is not looking for a sop to her pride this is a much more fundamental dispute over the nature off their relationship. Like most things with PxF it gets its roots in Saldean culture and the custom of officers' and noblemen's wive accompanying them on military campaigns.

Faile has decided that Perin is 'the One' and no southland idea of 'protecting' her is going to keep her from doing just as her mother and her mother's mother time immemorial have done and following the man she loves as he crushes his enemies, drives them before him, and well... I guess he can't hear the lamentations of their women( no wonder Child Byer is so up tight. I bet he hasn't gotten laid in forever).

The funny thing is you quoted the explanitory dialouge.

“Why can you not ask, Perrin?” she said softly. “You tried to keep me away from where I belong, so now you have to ask. Can such a simple thing be so difficult?”

She waiting for him to accept that her rightful place is by his side whatever happens. But he can't do that because he would also have to accept living through the nightmares that kept him up through the night at the beginning of ch 16.

I think she forgives him quite readily as soon as she knows whats going on though she then has a whole bunch of other reasons to be pissed at him.*grin*
69. ArielS
The snakes could have told Moiraine she'd marry Thom, if she reserved one of the questions for herself, like: will I find the man of my life, or how will this end for me?
I don't know why it needs to have been Min's viewing, especially since this is the FIRST time Moiraine's been so nice to old Thom.
On a deranged note, maybe Thom can be taught to channel (his nephew could, so why not?) and learning to channel makes him live longer and even rejuvenates him a little (remember how becoming a novice was rejuvenating that old 70 year old lady). Although channeling would most likely ruin the character, so I don't see it happening.

Also, Leigh, really, what makes you think Joiya was lying? True, Liandrim & co were in Tanchico, but they are not the whole of the Black Ajah, as poor little novice Sarah reminded us. Another group of black sisters (maybe even the poor Aes Sedai who "survived" the attack that freed Taim) could have done the job. And even if it was not the BA, it doesn't necessarily take a Forsaken's direct involvement to free Taim. Demandred -or any other one- could have sent grey men, or dragkhars.

That's it. Keep up the good work. Your posts make life a lot easier!
70. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Aiel1219 @64
I actually agree it may well have been a punishment from the Dark One that Lanfear's strength has been reduced. After all, from what we've seen the Dark One does have the ability to block somebody off from the Power entirely.

Randalator @66
It could actually make a twisted kind of sense under the principle of "Let the Lord of Chaos rule."

SteelBlaidd @68
Good point on Faile's POV. Except for one small detail. They aren't married yet. Perrin hasn't even gone anywhere near asking her. And he wouldn't have if she hadn't tricked him into doing it later. She's essentially forcing herself where she isn't wanted at the moment because of some delusion about Perrin being meant for her. I know it turns out that way later, but at the moment she's just overstepping her place.
71. explopyro
markp @25:
I agree. I've actually always thought Mat would turn out to be the Coramoor (there was a scene in one of the later books where his ta'veren-ness goes absolutely nuts on a bunch of Sea Folk, if I'm remembering correctly, and I've always thought that scene would turn out to have been "The Bargain"). Especially considering how complacent Rand and everyone else around him are concerning the whole thing... I've always thought Rand's "Bargain" with the Sea Folk came off a little strangely.

Side note: I've never posted here before, but I'm enjoying these postings very much. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who's making this possible.
72. toddywatts
Would someone please refresh my memory on who Sahra was?

I completely missed the interaction between Moiraine & Thom and I don't know how many times I've read it. I was completely surprised later to find out there was something romantic going on there, but it's so obvious.

I thought the scene with Gawyn and Min just reinforced how petty and childish he is. He teases Min and when she refuses to play along he pretty much blows her cover.

I didn't mind this exposure to the sea folk because they still acted somewhat human. The joking between Coine & Jorin and the acknowledgement that Cone has to make it up to her husband make them somewhat endearing. Later on, they display no redeeming qualities.

Which one of the Wise Ones can only channel a trickle? Is that Sorilea?

Happy belated birthday, Dutchboy! I meant to say so in my last post & forgot. Sorry!
Joseph Blaidd
73. SteelBlaidd
No they aren't but she's damn sure not going to let him wander off unattached till they are. And are you paying attention to Perrin's point of view. I recommend you go re-read the letter at the beginning of ch 56 Goldeneyes and what he says to himself at the end of ch 14 Customs of Mayene

Regarding the Sea Folk I think it's important that the ones we first meet are not very high up the chain of command. It's the Wavemistresses and Mistress of the Ships that we have trouble with. I doubt they've had much to do with the 'shorebound' in YEARS and consequently have the same attitude as the AS.
74. JimmyMac80
The reason it's more likely that it was Min's viewing is the fact that Moiraine knew that Thom survived his encounter with a Fade in Whitebridge even though she heard nothing about him. Also, Moiraine's statement in one of the previous chapters about knowing her husband's face better than the Supergirls. Unfortunately, RJ has stated that Thom can't learn to channel. Lastly, all evidence points to BA having to swear not to reveal anything that could harm the BA. Of course, Amico was stilled and therefore released from her Oaths, and able to reveal what she knew. Besides, there's no way that Liandrin and the others were the ones to free Taim and he never was presented as Rand, therefore Joiya had to be lying.
John Massey
75. subwoofer
...Mat does have great fun with the Sea Folk though. They are busy busting everyone's hump about rank and what is proper etc. and along comes Mat... saying something about his blades being bare and calling the Mistress of the Ships and any other Sea Folk in ear shot names...ah, memories...
Ofer Nave
76. odigity
I don't know why in 15 years and many re-reads, it never occurred to be how absurd it is for Elayne and Egwene to run around claiming Green Ajah - the one Ajah that *always* has a warder.

Granted, greens do tend to spend a few years looking for their first, so there's a plausible excuse there, but still.

Also, Galad is WoT's Percival Weasley. I feel the same about both.
Joseph Blaidd
77. SteelBlaidd

You just helped me recognize something about Gawyan that explaines why hes pestering Min, opposes the Jailbreak of Siuan and Decides Rand Killed his mother.

Part of the problem with Gawyn is that despite having lived in the palace he seams to have no real understanding of politics. He is even more painfully strait forward than Galad, who I think is like he is in an attempt to not be his Father, and sees his duty as First Prince of the Sword as some sort of glorified Body Guard.

If he's going to be qualified to be the Amyerlin's warder he needs to learn a bit of subterfuge, and running with Elida is going to be the best way for him to get it.
78. sinfulcashew
Aiel 1219@64
When the forsaken 'maid' (held by adam and bracelet) was taken away in Salidar (I think), didn't the 'girls' know that it had been a man that channeled and released her? Man made into woman by DO? Still using the male half even though he was now a woman?
79. Wetlander
@78. sinfulcashew

They knew it was a man that had channeled and released Moggy. They did not know that it was a man in a woman's body; as far as I know, they still don't know Halima is, as you say, "man made into woman by DO" and therefore using saidin. They don't know diddly about Halima at all, actually. Unless there's something in KoD that reveals more to them after Eg's capture... I've only read KoD once so far, so it's pretty fuzzy in my head.
Thomas Garst
80. Garstzilla
Lanfear's lesser strength I thought was either the result of a binding similar to the one she placed on Asmodean or to being under Moridin's necklace soul container.

Mo's questions to the snakes could simply have followed directly from these:
What do I have to do to see Rand succesfully to win the last battle?
Snakey answers you got to go to Ruidean, ya have to defeat Lanfear. Ya have to escape Elfland and join Rand before the last battle.
Second question how do I defeat Lanfear? You push her into Elfland.
Third question How do I escape Elfland? You have to send a letter to Thom Merrilen in care of Rand.

Any line of questions like that would bring her knowledge of Thom and her need of him to help rescue her from elfland.

Oh I couldn't hold back I finished the series two weeks ago during spring break. I don't know how you can hold back to this pace. Kudoes to yall that can patiently read only a few chapters at a time.
81. Rikka
It wasn't up, it wasn't up, it wasn't up, I went to lecture, a presentation, dinner, got sick, got better, took a shower and here it is. Curses XD
82. gagecreedlives
I may be wrong but doesnt it say in the letter that Moraine handed to Rand that she saw the confrontation with Lanfear in the rings at Rhuidean?

I have a loony idea that she didnt actually get time to ask any questions before all three were thrown out. That could be why she doesnt give Rand an answer when he asks about her questions.

The sea folk do get annoying. But they are involved in one of the funniest scenes later on. When Mat calls one a daughter of the sands. The reaction is priceless.

And hooray for me for actually putting my name in properly today.
83. riku_x
Loving the longer commentaries! Keep it up Leigh!
84. Norry
As to the general usefulness of the Sea Folk, they're Rand's primary logistics operations. In KoD he calls up the terms of the bargain (through Logain) to move supplies for the million+ troops he has in Arad Doman in a month, which is enough that fulfilling the terms will probably force the Sea Folk to hire out.

You could argue that gateways trump/replace traditional shipping and they might, but even assuming every Asha'man, half the Dedicated, and a few of the Soldiers can gate large enough for a wagon, you only have something like 150 gateways. That should be enough to move the supplies considering 30 or so widfinders+Kin can supply the 300k people in Camelyn before Elayne figures out circle gates, but that means that the Asha'man can't be used for troop movement/destruction.

As to the nature of the Sea Folk, they're one of the lighter gray morality groups. They're honest, hard working, and dedicated to their own ends. I don't see how they're any worse than the AS or Aiel other than us not having any Sea Folk protagonists.

@63 Aiel
The cannons would go on the Seanchan ships and fight...who exactly? The only significant naval forces in Randland are the Sea Folk and the Seanchan. Seanchan having cannons would mean Mat is friendly with the Empire rather than blowing them up, which implies that they're Rand allied and Sea Folk allied by proxy.

@72 todd
Sahra is the novice that escorts "Elmindreda" to Siuan when she returns to the tower.

Sorilea is indeed the one who can barely channel.

@76 odgity
Nice catch on the warders+green.

@79 Wetlander
Halima and Delana are outed in KoD but flee while their capture is being debated by the SaS hall. There is no onscreen speculation on Aran'gar's unique channeling capabilities and AFAIK our protagonists still don't know about the DO reincarnations.
85. sinfulcashew

Sorry about the mixup!
I didn't say they knew about the change. Just that they knew it was a man channeling that did it.
I was mainly commenting on the idea that if you had been changed into a woman (or man) that it doesn't seem to change the OP. It stays what you originally had?
86. CraigVal
Ref Chapt 18

I think you have to look at things from Faile's point of view. She knows she has her rope around Perrin and that Perrin is part of the elite in- crowd. She doesn't seem to know much of any of the rest of the back story that the buds have down pat.

The problem from her perspective is she needs to break Perrin into being a proper Saldean Lord and Commander so that she can show him off to Mummy and Daddy without embarrassing her socks off. Additionally she probably has dreams of watching him take a leading place in the Saldean line of battle.
Helen Peters
87. Helen
Finally caught up. I've started re-reading myself.

@34. Lsana
Can't beleive no-one else picked up on your comment. It would make sense that the DO is a woman, then Rand would fail without Moiraine just because he'd be crippled by his own inability to fight a woman.
Or have I just put my foot in it that I've not read KoD. (I don't even know how I managed to miss it coming out in the shops!! When did it get released?)

Also, I have a quick question. Doesn't pertain to this book, but it's going to start bugging me while I'm reading. I thought that you had to see the flow to channel, the girls at least. Then why/how does Moiraine close her eyes when she heals Tam in TEOTW? Sorry, don't mean to hijack this thread, is this something which has been altered in later editions of the book?
88. Siuanfan
*Alert* Bringing up gender issues again! I have to say that the interaction with the Sea Folk later on really started to make me wonder if RJ disliked women. I reflected back... the Aes Sedai, supposedly the most powerful and respected female-run organization in the known world have turned out to be full of petty, bitchy women puffed up with their own self-importance, making idiotic decisions for idiotic reasons, and more concerned with their pride and being revered than anything else. The Sea Folk, another group that is more or less female-driven, are obnoxious beyond reason (with possibly the exception of these first two). The Kin are somewhat tolerable but they remain in the background - no prominent leadership roles in their community except amongst themselves.

The Aiel women seem to have the best characters of all the women in this series. Now, is that because Aiel are awesome all around, or is it because they have a more balanced symbiotic relationship between male and female in their society? All of these different groups end up clashing and generally being obstacles to Aes Sedai, all the while trampling the AS image and failing to keep their eyes on the Big Picture. I didn't really like that bit so much. Not that a lot of the AS individually didn't deserve to be taken down a notch - they totally did, but I would have liked it if at least some of the Aes Sedai reputation (the one they believe of themselves - wisdom, honor, serenity, power, unity) were true. It's almost like RJ was saying 'put a bunch of women in power, and they all become idiots'. Which is fine if it's a setup for the men+women=better theory, but I never saw that same concept applied to men in the same fashion.
Michael Ikeda
89. mikeda

I will note that the Whitecloaks are thoroughly evil (as well as quite stupid) and they're an entirely male organization.
Frank Vevle
90. headmaster
BTW --- great job on the reread .... What a job ..!!
91. Randalator
@76 odigity

I don't know why in 15 years and many re-reads, it never occurred to be how absurd it is for Elayne and Egwene to run around claiming Green Ajah - the one Ajah that *always* has a warder.

Granted, greens do tend to spend a few years looking for their first, so there's a plausible excuse there, but still.

As you say yourself Greens a very picky about their first Warder. So the Supergirls walking around without Warders makes perfect sense as they would have been very recently raised given their age.

Also they don't have much choice as to the Ajah's colour they want to pose as.

White: None of them are philosophers or mathematicians and they are decidedly unrational and not calm at times. They would be found out as impostors very soon.

Gray: None of them are negotiators/lawyers. Again bound to be found out very soon.

Brown: Not lost in thought, not librarians, not gathering every scrap of knowledge they can find. Not good.

Yellow: Would be the obvious choice for Nynaeve but Eg and El don't know diddly squat about Healing. Discovery waiting to happen.

Red: Grumpy man-eating battle-lesbians? The Supergirls? Oh puh-lease...!

That leaves only two possibilites: Blue and Green. Both don't have any distinct qualities that would betry the Supergirls as impostors. So from here on out it is a simple question of personal preference.

The only oddity is Nynaeve initially choosing Green instead of Yellow.
92. litg
Lannis @ 14:

I take "The sling has been used" to me essentially what you said. With a sling you hurl a stone, which flies through the air before falling to the ground. So in essence, "The sling has been used" means "The Stone has fallen."
93. elvyelvy
wetlander@79 and sinfulcashew@78
they do know about Halima - ch 23 of KoD, Jahar tells the Hall and Romanda makes the connection Delana-Halinìma-Cabriana Mecandes

I remember it as I have re-read KoD just around Christmas so it's still fresh in my brain.
94. elvyelvy
hem, sorry I'm just a hasty human and wrote a hasty comment.
I mean that Jahar reveals detecting a man channeling right there and then to listen in on the Hall, and of the female-saidin-channeling-Forsaken who killed Eben during the cleansing. And then Romanda bla bla bla....
95. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Siuanfan @88
It's probably the better male/female dynamic. Seafolk women are only irritating among themselves and to others who try to bargain with them. As a society, they also have a male/female dynamic that works. And they defer to men when it comes to the pinch(i.e. when the master of blades' blades are bare, in warfare).
mikeda @89
Not evil. They do claim to fight the Dark One, after all. Just twisted. As the Aes Sedai is twisted.
96. hoping to be of the blood
Most agree that faile is annoying and immature but for the purposes of the story, she is important to Perrin's success. His ta'verenosity probably drew her to him. He was just about to go and give himself up to the WCs. Faile found about it and finagled a way to go along, and, as we find out later, gives him the kick in the ass that prevents him from being such a weenie (?sp). Perrin doesn't need a sweet thing, he needs a girl with faile's gumption and obvious leadership skills. Her other faults will smooth out later. All ta'veren draw what they need to them
97. birgit
Siuan explains the sling = Stone has fallen code to Min.

Speaking of Nyn/Lan...even through KoD, the bond hasn't been transferred to Nynaeve has it? My memory of WH and KoD is spotty at best...

Myrelle wants to transfer the bond as soon as she meets Ny, but Lan keeps that from her because he doesn't want to burden her with the Moiraine's death problem in the bond. I think when Moiraine is rescued Ny finds a way to Heal Lan of that problem and then he allows Myrelle to transfer the bond.
98. tailspnner
I love the short chapters and longer commentaries. I think it is a great format and especially useful if it will keep you healthy Leigh! Feel better.

All I have to say, is I kind of get upset at Siuan for not believeing Min, and for Gawyn going into "I hate all things Rand without any evidence." But the characters are still pretty awesome, and I hope Gawyn regains some of his awesomeness as the series finishes.
Lannis .
99. Lannis
toddywatts @ 72: I've said it in an earlier thread, but yeah, I missed the Thom/Moiraine romance the first time around until the letter to Thom showed up and I went "why THOM? Oh. OH!" You're definitely not alone, and I don't think it's a party of just two, either. ;)

That's the brilliance of RJ's writing, if you ask me... you need to *think*, not just blindly consume--as much as I'm sure we all devour the books when they're initially published, I know I usually end up finishing it and saying to myself: "wow! That was *really* good. Now what the hell happened in it?" Then it's reread time...

Rikka @ 81: re: waiting for the post... sounds like you were checking just as much as I was, except my day was interspersed with diapers, potty training and housecleaning, and as soon as nap time was over: BAM! it's up and the house is a whirlwind again!

Gagecreed @ 82: re: name entered properly... I was wondering about that... ;)

Re: Sea Folk... my initial impression of them was that they were pretty exotic, but it's arguable that just about every Duopotamian's reaction to culture outside the TR is a mental note on the "exotic" differences in the details, and we're experiencing Randland through their filter (the other characters--like Elayne--have a little more under their belt, but *nobody's* chummy with the Sea Folk!). That said, later dealings with the Sea Folk (think: Bowl of Winds fiasco) make me want to puke. Though Rand seems to handle them well, but by that time, he's tired of people thinking they're shit-hot, and basically tells them so...

Re: Faile as jailbait: never realized she was *that* young before... but it doesn't excuse her behaviour, either. You want to pretend to be an adult? Then do it already!

hoping to be of the blood @ 96: You have good points about Faile, but she still irks me.

Re: Halima and Delana... it all gives *me* a headache... and the aggravation I feel knowing that Egwene isn't catching on--ARGH! Has she not learned to think outside of the box by now?! Nothing is what it seems! And "help" usually has a hook in it of some sort... YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE FRAKING AMYRLIN, FOR CHRISSAKES!

Ahem, sorry. We'll get to all that later, I know...

elvyelvy @ 94: re: hasty posts... if you register with, you can go back and edit your posts. ;)
100. Keegansgirl
@88 Siuanfan

I like where you are going with this thought. The male example would be the Whitecloaks, I have not read that there are female whitecloaks. I personally think that RJ's commentary in this series is not anti male or female, but pro togetherness. Moiraine's line in TEOTW about the greatest feats in the A of L were always done combining the two halves.

Also, re: Thom and Moiraine. I can't think of any other man that would be 'man' enough for her, especially since Lan is taken and he is maniest man in the series. I mean, Thom wooed a queen! A very Elizabethan queen. just sayin that it makes sense for the attraction to be there. Thom likes fiesty women, and she needs someone to bandy words with and who 'gets' her.
101. anotherfan
"Mad passion, no (Jordan doesn’t really do mad romantic passion in his fiction, unless you count Lanfear, which is not exactly the type of “mad” I was going for, there),"

I think you're right about that passion in WoT. But not nesesarily in all of his fiction. If you read his Fallon Trilogy, set in Charlston, SC, you get much "mad passion." In fact, I was a bit embarassed. (I'm a prude) But it is an excellent Trilogy set in the early American South.
Ronald Hobbs
102. dustrider
I thought Allana did the "washing feet" thing to make up for the forced bonding.... or maybe I'm confusing it with the swearing after Rand-in-a-box...
Joseph Blaidd
103. SteelBlaidd
hoping to be of the blood@96.

I think its Nynaeve keepng them away because Merylle is with Egwene at the main SAS camp. A place Nynaeve doesn't want to be because then she will have to explain the "bargain" she made with the Sea Folk.
104. elvyelvy
lannis@99 I did register, but I guess I never thought about it. hasty woman, am I not? thanks for the tip :-)
105. Aiel1219
@84 Norry
Gunships are also a fairly effective sea to land attacks... but ofcourse given the cannon tech would be new... probably not.
(Just me tryin to defend my dead theory LOL!!!)

But someone posted that the Seafolk ships would be used for transporting provisions for toops... which is a much better use for them... makes way more sense...

BUT I still do love GUNSHIPS... too much RTS gaming I guess LOL!!!

Next comment now :)
@ 87 Helen
As to the dark Lord being female... If females can't touch saidin how did "she" taint it? I mean I don't think the Big Dark is either male or female in that sense but if we wanna place a gender... and the whole Rand can't kill a female DO thing would be a HUGE stretch for the reason he needs Moraine... come on... I think it would be a very very sucky reason for him to need her...

mb to help take out some of the female forsaken?

@34 Lsan
I don't think I understand how healing stilling implies the DO is a woman mb I read that the wrong way and u meant something else implies it... can someone explain??

I dunno y I find this funn but my verification word was PussQB LOL!!!
106. Randalator
Just a random thought on the feet washing thingy:

There seems to be a connection to the "allow me to serve" part of the Amyrlin-ification ritual in Salidar? Maybe that "Aes Sedai shall kneel to wash his feet and dry them with their hair" prophecy is in regard to the not quite unanimous raising of an Amyrlin to a newly formed Black-and-White-Tower or Gray Tower or however they want to call it.
Lannis .
107. Lannis
elvyelvy @ 104: sign-in before you post, and you'll get the grey name and the ability to edit posts! :)

Randalator @ 106: re: washing feet. Yep, I think you're on the right track there... it'll probably be something along the lines of Rand being the next (for lack of a better word--seeing how all our experience is for a female in this role) Amyrlin? Stands to reason he'll be side-by-side with Egwene after the dust settles... perhaps two at once, a unified White/Black Tower, but two Amyrlins, one male, one female, to lead them?
Michael Ikeda
108. mikeda

The Whitecloaks are evil. In the same way that Shadar Logoth was evil. The Whitecloaks are another example of the type of fanatical hatred that created Mashadar.
Richard Fife
109. R.Fife
Eh, I think Aridhol was a hair bit further along than Amador.

In unrelated news, I was on the phone with my dad the other day, and commented about getting eaten alive by bitemes. It took him asking me "by what?" three times before I realized where that little name for mosquitos came from. Oi.
110. hoping to be of the blood
Strongly stated but the WC hatred is a form of evil. I may have it wrong but I think the evil known as Shadar Logoth came to Aridhol in the form of a person who then used their fear and converted it into hatred of the DO evil and ultimately a self destructing paranoia.
I don't think that fanatical hatred alone is the seed that Mashadar develops from.
111. Aiel1219
Yep it was some guy named Mordeth who spread it and the evils core was suspicion and hatered...
Who happens to be infesting our loony peddlar hanging out with the white cloaks...
which makes this an interesting comparison don't you think??
112. hoping to be of the blood
yes it does
WC hatred = evil
WC hatred + PF = Shadar Logoth suspicion and hatred
The WC wiht PF in tTR are a sorry bunch and more dangerous than standard issue WC
113. That Guy
In regards to the "Min had a viewing of Thom and Moiraine getting married" theory.

IIRC, Min clearly thinks at one point that the only viewing that had ever not come true was that Moiraine had to be at the last battle for Rand to win and it couldn't come true because Moiraine was dead (of course she is coming back, but Min doesn't know that).

By that, I would say that unless she forgot that she told Moiraine she would marry Thom, if there was a viewing it was not that.
114. Lsana
@88 Siuanfan,

I think that what saves the Aiel Wise Ones is ji'e'toh. The Aes Sedai (and to an extent, the Windfinders) behave in ways that cause them to accumulate toh faster than the US Government accumulates debt. The Aes Sedai don't care, because those they have toh to are lesser beings and it's not worth paying debts to inferiors. But the Aiel do care: whomever you accumulate toh to, you still have toh and you need to pay for that to regain your honor.

It doesn't work perfectly, but at least having that code seems to help.

@105 Aiel1219,

I was mostly kidding, but here was the train of thought that went into the joke:

Bringing someone back from the dead and giving them back their ability to channel is like healing stilling.

When a woman heals stilling, she can bring a male channeler back to full strength but can only give a female channeler back partial strength. A man healing stilling can give a woman back her full strength.

In the resurrections we have seen so far, the men have all been brought back at full strength, but the one woman (Lanfear) is back at partial strength.

Therefore, following the train of logic above, whatever was responsible for the resurrections (the DO) must have been female.
Lannis .
115. Lannis
That Guy @ 113: Hmm... now that you've mentioned it... I remember the same thing... but, like you say, she may have forgotten that particular viewing, or is lumping all the "Moiraine" viewings into one "viewing" that has not come true. To clarify: all of the images she saw around Moiraine are separate predictions of the future, but because they occur at the same time for that particular person, are referred to, by Min, as one viewing? Wouldn't be the first time a character's POV has thrown readers off the mark...

Or, you know, maybe Min just forgot...?
116. bookworm
Your logic is flawed. Why would the DO even bother with a gender?Why not be both, or either?

Besides, Shaidar Haran would seem to be "male", if one can apply that to a hybrid like Myrdraal.
Amar Ramraj
117. aiel1219
@ 114 Lsan
ohhh!!!Now I see... but don't remember a male healing stilling though... well there is ALOT I don't remember LOL!!!
gonna do sum o my super speed reading to find it :)
But Thnx 4 clearing that up.

yay!!! I'm in gray!!!!
118. yasraena
Moiraine has every reason to ask about Thom. He's The Grey Fox, and she knows exactly who he is, and likely knew way back in Two Rivers when they ran into each other. And then his path keeps crossing Rand's (which would set off most people's radar).

He was instrumental in nation-changing politics in his past and in the present.

He has a very personal deep reason to do whatever he can to thwart the White Tower, and Moiraine has probably known about that for a long time, if not the particulars.

He's a rogue element, a very powerful rogue element.

A person like him, with his history, I'd want to know what he was up to as well. Other than Aes Sedai, Rand, and the Forsaken, he's the only character of power I can think of right now who has his fingers in the pies of multiple nations.
119. Lsana
@117 aiel1219,

I believe that Logain heals some of the Aes Sedai who were stilled during Dumai's Wells, though its been long enough that I can't cite chapter and verse for you.

@116 bookworm,

Why would magic bother to divide itself into two genders? There are a lot of things in the WOT world with a gender that you wouldn't necessarily think would bother.

And yes, I'm aware that my analysis doesn't stand up to rigid logical analysis. Hence the reason for phrases like "silly theory" and "I'm kidding" and "the joke."


All joking aside, though, the more I think about it the more plausible it seems that there might be something like that going on. IIRC, RJ said that there was both a genetic and a "soul" component to channeling. The re-incarnated Forsaken have the soul part down, but presumably the DO had to do something to their new bodies as well in order to allow them to channel. It wouldn't be identical to healing stilling, since it would be giving the ability to someone who never had it rather than restoring it to someone who did, but it might be subject to similar limitations. Possibly the DO could give full saidin channeling abilities, but for whatever reason (not necessarily because the DO is female) couldn't do the same for saidar.

I wonder if, in concocting ever more elaborate theories for why Lanfear lost strength, we've been overlooking the obvious.
120. laframboise
Lannis@107... Amyrlin and Tamyrlin?
Richard Fife
121. R.Fife
Actually, Damar Flynn (sp) did the healing. He mumbles to himself when healing, like he is trying to work it out.

I could have sworn that in a Cynadine (er... whatever Lanfear Mach 2 is named) PoV, she commented that her weakened OP strength was due to the *finn imposing "a price"
122. bookworm
Maybe the "obvious" is that the Eelfinn did something to Lanfear to cause her to (a) lose channeling strength, and (b) die (whether by her own hand, knowing that the DO would resurrect her, or by their hands.

Nothing in any of the viewings ever said that Moraine would still be able to channel, just that she had to be there at Tarmon Gaidon. Knowledge could be just as potent a weapon against the DO as channeling.

It's my opinion that Tom, Mat and Noal had better hurry while there is still time, though.
Brett Michie
123. bchurch
ThatGuy @ 113

This is Min talking:

"I was wrong about Moiraine. I saw all sorts of things in her future, and she's dead. Maybe some of the other things I saw never came true either."
--KoD, The Golden Crane.

and Lsana @ 119

I believe it was Jur Grady that healed the stilled sisters, but it may have been another Asha'man.

And as to the Lanfear/Cyndane strength discrepancy . . . don't we get a Cyndane PoV in one of the books where she thinks briefly about her time being held by the finn? I think perhaps the nature of her demise in another world and who her captors were there may have as much to do with her diminished ability as her transmigration. I'll have to look for that section.
Lannis .
124. Lannis
laframboise @ 120: re: Amyrlin & Tamyrlin! AHA! By Jove, I think we've got it!

Or, you know, another one of those run-on red herring theories... ;)
Lannis .
125. Lannis
bookworm @ 122:

It's my opinion that Tom, Mat and Noal had better hurry while there is still time, though.

I just had the mental image of the three of them standing on battlements with Rand, the skies black around them except for lightning, TG raging, when Mat snaps his fingers...

"Blood and ashes, Thom! NOW I remember what we were supposed to do!"

Richard Fife
126. R.Fife
Er, mighta been Grady. I can't remember to well.
Brett Michie
127. bchurch
Ok, found it. This is Cyndane thinking as she faces Alivia at the end of WH:

"The the woman struck back at her, and she suffered her second shock. She was stronger than Cyndane had been before the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn held her!"
--Winter's Heart, With the Choedan Kal.

Ok, so that leads me to believe that the finn were the reason she lost strength in the power. But it brings to my mind another question. The Aelfinn AND the Eelfinn?? She went through just one doorway, the one that took her to the realm of the foxes. Do both the Aelfinn and Eelfinn live in the same world? And to they cooperate with each other? I know the tower of Ghenjei takes you to their realms, but I always thought they were apart from each other.
128. bookworm
It was Damer Flinn that healed the sisters.
129. Randalator
@107 Lannis

it'll probably be something along the lines of Rand being the next (for lack of a better word--seeing how all our experience is for a female in this role) Amyrlin?

It can't be Rand because then HE would be the one doing the foot hygiene. Getting your feet washed means you're on of the Sitters. Actually it doesn't even have to be Rand at all with all the hints that someone takes his place after TG. It could be Logain or Narishma.

@113 That Guy

IIRC, Min clearly thinks at one point that the only viewing that had ever not come true was that Moiraine had to be at the last battle for Rand to win and it couldn't come true because Moiraine was dead (of course she is coming back, but Min doesn't know that).

By that, I would say that unless she forgot that she told Moiraine she would marry Thom, if there was a viewing it was not that.

Actually your thinking of two different viewings (ACoS, ch.35).

1. The dead woman viewing

What good to tell him he would almost certainly fail without a woman who was dead and gone?

This is one of Min's "if, then"-viewings. And even with the woman (presumably Moiraine) dead there is still a chance of him succeeding ("would almost certainly fail"). An ambiguous viewing like that by definition can not fail because one of the outcomes will inevitably come true.

Which leads us to

2. The failed viewing.

Moiraine was the only viewing of hers that had ever failed.

As I explained above this can't be the same viewing because she considered it failed. And if it had been a viewing saying that Rand needed Moiraine to win TG there would be no "almost".

What exactely this viewing said we don't know other than that it concerned Moiraine. It could still be a viewing about Moiraine being present at TG which she currently would without a doubt consider failed. But with all the questions about Moiraines statements considering Thom it makes more sense that she had a viewing considering the two.

@114 Lsana

Cyndane is weaker than Lanfear was but she is still remarkably strong. Stronger than Graendal (TPoD, ch. 12) which means that she is still a top tier channeler unmatched by anyone except maybe Alivia.

Siuan and Leane on the other hand took a massive dive in strength. They went from being two of the strongest Aes Sedai to barely clearing the entry level strength.

So I think we should keep this theory in the humorous department before anyone gets really tempted...

re: Healing stilled Aes Sedai

It was Damer Flinn (WH, ch. 13).
Lannis .
130. Lannis
bchurch @ 123: Thanks for the actual quote! Min's "Moiraine" viewing mystery solved! :)

bchurch @ 127: I got the same impression, that the *Finns are separated... but perhaps they're just segregated in their own world, and the closing of the one entryway to Randland (foxes' terangreal doorway melting) forced them to in co-habitation with the snakes...?


Randalator @ 129: You've got great points there, but I think I'm going to side with bchurch on this one--I think the quotes (in Min's perspective) are skewed (by Min's perspective)... and therefore can't be completely trusted. Min doesn't have all the information the reader does, and therefore is an unreliable source of information (though, admittedly, our only trustworthy source for "viewing" input).

Randalator @ 129: re: washing the feet--dammit, man, you've got me here--I've forgotten it's the Sitters who are being washed.

Unless, when all is said and done, it's everyone (read: all established Aes Sedai) washing Rand's feet in order to sway his view in order to solidify the Tower...
Chris Maurer
131. grayfox
All this talk of healing makes me wonder if Suian and Leane can be healed further by a man and restore them to full strength. Or is the healing a one shot deal and they will be partial strength for the rest of their lives.
132. bookworm
Excellent question, grayfox.
133. Lsana
@127 bchurch,

To my mind, the quote only suggests a time relationship, not a cause. Before she was held, she was stronger than she is now. Without knowing exactly how Lanfear turned into Cyndane and how much the Finns had to do with that, it's hard to interpret that quote exactly. She could be thinking something along the lines of "Held by Finns -> Death -> Reduction in strength."

@129 Randalator,

It does seem that Suian and Leane took a much bigger dive than Lanfear, but it's hard to know that for sure. Lanfear could have been as much above Graendal as Suian was above entry level. Regardless, though, giving the ability to someone who doesn't have it, would seem different from stilling, and the limitations could be different, possibly including a lesser reduction in strength.

I don't mean to spend too much time defending this, but I do think it is a serious theory. Not a correct theory, necessarily, but one that uses the evidence in the books without needing to pull in aliens or Time Lords or warp what has happened beyond all recognition.
Lannis .
134. Lannis
grayfox @ 131: re: healing and strengths... Oh, I see nice little circular argument here--but ultimately I think it's a one-shot deal. Unless there's some frayed edge that the men can "connect," I think that's it, that's all.

Other than that, though, I could see (in theory) someone trying to re-still someone in order to see if a man can heal them (the second time around) to their original full strength.

In other words, let's say Siuan realizes that a man can heal stilling better than a woman... so Siuan goes and asks someone to still her again, so a man can heal her in order to find out if it'll restore her strength to her original capacity.

At which point, my thought would be no--the second time around it'll only restore what had been immediately before (lesser strength), not what was originally.

Anyone else's thoughts? (Was that even clear enough to be understood?)
Brett Michie
135. bchurch
Lannis @ 134

You were clear enough. For me at least. But I think that it may be possible for a male channeler to take Siuan and Leanne back to their full potential even without re-stilling them. When they come to Nyneave to ask her to try again, she couldn't heal them further as she had taken them as far as she was able to the first time. I think that if they let Master Flinn try, he would be able to take them the rest of the way. But that's just my feeling and I could be wrong.
136. bookworm
Lannis, I'm not sure if it would help to be severed again, or not.

Healing being severed seems to be a saidin/saidar balance thingy. Best results are achieved by using the counterpoint power. Would the counterpoint attempt overrule the same power attempt. Offhand, without evidence, I would assume that it would. Couldn't hurt to try (before being severed again).

Semirhage might be able to answer it for Suian, if Suian thought to ask when they met. As far as that goes, Semirhage could probably regenerate Rand's hand. If anybody forced her to, that is. Nobody seems to remember what Semirhage's forte was in the Age of Legends.
Chris Maurer
137. grayfox
Lannis @ 134: I was thinking along the same lines (that its a one shot deal). I'm trying to relate it to how it seems to work with healing a regular injury. It seems like everyone assumes that an injury that was healed once already can't be further healed by another (stronger) AS. (Rand's injury is an example where various AS think about this kind of thing, but it is a poor one because its kind of an unusual injury on its own)

However, it isn't similar in healing an injury in that time is not a factor (Perrin gets a scar later in this book because he isn't healed quickly enough, while its been a year between the time Logain was gentled and when Nynaeve heals him).

I also thought about the re-stilling and having a man heal to see what happens.

So ummm...I have no idea...probably something we'll never find out.
Richard Fife
138. R.Fife
I somehow get the impression that Flinn would be able to restore Suian and Leane to full strength without resevering. Nynaeave was able to regrow some of the connection, but there I'd imagine there is still some tattered bits of the connection to saidar that Flinn could reconnect.

I think of it kinda as if an AS you sucks at Healing tries to Heal, then Nynaeve comes along and finishes the job. There seems to be levels of degree like heal a bruise or mend a gash.

But yeah, I see this as being something we never find out fo-shizzil.
Brett Michie
139. bchurch
Lsana @ 133

You could be right, it does not directly suggest a cause. But with so many examples of RJ throwing in little comments like this that later turn out to be important it makes me wonder.

Sorry for all the quotations today, but here's another from Demandred:

"She was a puzzle to Demandred. At first he had thought she was Lanfear reincarnated. Bodies for transmigration supposedly were chosen by what was available, yet Osan'gar and Aran'gar were proof of the Great Lord's cruel sense of humor. He had been sure, until Mesaana told him the girl was weaker than Lanfear."
--Winter's Heart, Wonderful News

I know this doesn't shed much more light on it, other than giving us the idea of transmigration. Or maybe it could suggest that her diminished strength is coming from the DO's "cruel sense of humor."

At any rate, it's an interesting question, one of very, very many that we may never learn the full answer to.
Ellie Virgo
140. Egglie
I think I have seen an RJ quote saying that no, once you have been stilled and healed by a woman thats it. A man would not be able to improve your strength.

I couldn't begin to find the reference though - and I could be remembering wrong.
141. That Guy
Lannis @115

I agree that the point of view could be flawed, either by memory or by how she herself thinks about it.

Got this from that WoT FAQ (thanks Leigh!):

"(ACOS: 35, Into the Woods, 543)

RAND: "He would almost certainly fail without a woman who was dead and gone..."

The most likely person for this to be referring to is Moiraine, who everybody thinks is dead.

MOIRAINE: "it was not as if she had really expected Moiraine to turn up alive. Moiraine was the only viewing of hers that had ever failed."

Obviously Min had some viewing of Moiraine which had not been fulfilled by the time Moir took a header through the Red Door. WE know Min is never wrong, and thus, Moiraine will be back!

I think these both refer to the same viewing, that Moiraine is almost certainly necessary to win at TG. So we come back to how to interpret her words.

She says "Moiraine was the only viewing of hers that had ever failed." Implying one viewing or prediction of Moiraine to me. If she was referring to a group of Mo viewings, I would think her thought would have been more of "Moiraine was the only person who's viewings had ever failed."

Now, Min sees a lot of stuff, so it is entirely possible in my opinion that in the years that have gone by since TEOTW and ACOS. Something as fluff like as "you will marry Thom" could easily be lost in the shuffle of all the other things she has seen since then, and the only one she remembers about is that she is necessary for victory, since that is a pretty big one.

Anyhow, I agree that Moiraine is awfully sure when she talks to Thom, so sure that it seems she had to have something to go on, which leads to a viewing or answers from the snakes.

I hope we'll find out in the end.
142. Randalator
re: restoring initial strength in Siuan/Leane

Well, it depends how the Healing actually works.

Just Healing over the first Healing shouldn't work because that would mean that the male/female Healings were complementary. Which they aren't or a man Healing a woman would result in reduced strength, too.

If Healing a stilled channeler means just plugging in a conduit, then an Asha'man should be able to unplug Nynaeves wrong same-gender-conduit and plug in the correct cross-gender-conduit.

If it means tampering with the actual channeling ability it could mean that what Siuan/Leane have lost stays lost. Like a wound that wasn't properly healed and left a scar where there usually wouldn't be one. Re-opening the wound and letting it heal correctly won't rid you of the scar the first healing left. There might be some improvements in the beauty department but there will still be a scar. The same way re-Stilling and re-Healing Siuan/Leane correctly could still end up restoring their new level of strength.

Although in the AoL unlike in contemporary Randland it was possible to remove scars even long after the initial injury which totally screws up the analogy I was using and you know...shut up!
143. Tony Zbaraschuk
I like seeing Moiraine in full manipulation mode, both how she stacks her plans (the Supergirls are out of her hair, have enough gold to buy a ship to get them to Tanchico if need be, are tracking the Black Ajah, and might confirm some suspicions she has about Windfinders -- presumably that they can channel, perhaps that they can control the weather) and how she gets pieces of it wrong (like not watching Perrin because she's convinced his sense of duty will hold him with Rand) or can't work (like the poor woman who gets caught trying to spy on the Aiel and hung over a four-hundred-foot-high balcony). It's one of our very rare glimpses into her head.

It's interesting to note that she doesn't seem to object to any of the girls passing themselves off as Aes Sedai, when one of the plot points later on in the series is that Aes Sedai object to this in a Very Nasty Way. Is Moiraine just swamped and needs all the help she can get, or does she genuinely not know about the prohibition, or what?

Most of the time I like the Elayne/Nynaeve Travelling Show (particularly the interactions with Birgitte). This section works pretty well.
144. laframboise
What if the bit about "He would almost certainly fail without a woman who was dead and gone..." refers to a viewing Min had of Rand, while the one she had of Moiraine which failed was of her living long enough to marry Thom?
145. Randalator
@143 Tony Zbaraschuk

Moiraine and Siuan are firm believers in the ancient philosophy of "Do what you have to and pay the price". They both see the necessity for the Supergirls to pose as full sisters and tolerate it.
146. Lsana
@142 Randalator,

It's true that scars can't really be eliminated that way, but there are other things that can be: if a broken bone heals wrong, it can be re-broken and put right. Hurts like hell, but it can be fixed.
Galen Brinn
147. GatheringStorm
@146 Lsana,

Which leads me to wonder (like several other people) if Siuan and Leane are to be fully restored if they'd have to be severed, again. Not something I think they'd want to take a risk on; what if it couldn't be healed a second time?
148. Randalator
@146 Lsana

I know, that's why I used the scar analogy on purpose. I wanted to present a case where the healing process caused an irrevocable change to the tissue, e.g. leaving scar tissue.

A broken bone that didn't heal properly fits more with the example of unplugging and re-plugging. It might cause pain and impair your ability to move but this is due to its new shape. The bone itself is unchanged in its general properties, the wrong healing only prevents it from doing what it should and technically still could do. Just as the channeling ability in that case is impaired by the patchwork healing but not intrinsically changed.

Option a) scar tissue means change to the channeling ability itself and thus they won't return to their initial strength, option b) wrong conduit/bad fitting means the underlying channeling ability is intact and they can be fully restored.
149. Siuanfan
Tony @ 143 Also, I believe the Supergirls had that letter from Siuan at the time, so basically Moiraine had to recognize that they were doing whatever they were doing with permission of a higher authority than her.

Okay, I've been following the discussion, and I've got more theories, so... Theory Time!

Regarding the stilling/Healing of Siuan and Leane, I've wondered if being stilled again then healed by an Asha'man would work - I personally think it would, but do you think Leane and Siuan would risk being re-stilled to find out? Anyone that regained the ability to channel (which to them, is life itself) after losing it wouldn't readily test it again just to see if they could get their strength back. Siuan and Leane even asked Nynaeve to try Healing them again once they realized the strength issue, but notice they didn't ask to be stilled again before doing so. Howwwwever, Siuan's in love with GB. She has something to live for now, even if she no longer channels. She might risk it just to find out.

Now, Moiraine. I heart Moiraine, I really do. She's one of the few full Aes Sedai that I've never found eye-clawingly irritating, and I think it's because she left the Tower after gaining the shawl and has been away from those crazy women for 20 years. Mostly. Verin and Alanna are the others. Don't ask why I tolerate Alanna, I'm not really sure, but she doesn't really bother me.

Anyhoo, my theory on Moiraine's role at Tarmon Gai'don. She doesn't necessarily have to channel, she only has to be there. Why? Because Rand has to laugh and cry again (i.e. regain his humanity) in order to prevail against the Dark One. Ran'd been intentionally making himself colder and harder and more inhuman because of the fact that all these people (the women especially) are dying for him, and he has to be able to deal with that instead of allowing it to affect him like it normally would. And who was the first woman to sacrifice her life for him? It was Moiraine. When she shows up, he will laugh out of joy for her return to 'life', and he will get his rush of emotions back, causing him to cry, and with the return of his human emotions he will not be turned to the Shadow and he will have the strength to win. The end!

Hehe. Or something. You know... whatever. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
Richard Fife
150. R.Fife
For those who rabidly avoid the main page, Leigh's side project #1 has just been posted as a new thread. Might want to take a look here.
151. Wetlander
Loving these discussions of healing, stilling, Finn, viewings, etc. Nothing to contribute, but enjoying the read!

@127. bchurch
But it brings to my mind another question. The Aelfinn AND the Eelfinn??

There's been some speculation, at least (I don't know that RJ confirmed it, but he might have) that the two inhabit different aspects of the same world. In the game Snakes & Foxes, there are straight lines and cirlcles. One theory is that it's a more accurate reflection of their universe than we think, that the snakes live on the circles and the foxes on the straight lines but it's the same place. So you can run around the circles all you want without seeing the foxes, or up and down the straight halls with out seeing the snakes, unless you know the secret to crossing between, or unless they make it possible for you to do so.

I'm sure there's more to the theory, but it's not mine so I'll leave it at that. I'd just get more confused if I tried to take it any farther.
152. Grinwell
"the most powerful and respected female-run organization in the known world have turned out to be full of petty, bitchy women puffed up with their own self-importance, making idiotic decisions for idiotic reasons, and more concerned with their pride and being revered than anything else."

This description also applies to the Whitecloaks (especially their leaders), the male Forsaken, and even the Black Tower. RJ often mentions how the Ashaman strut around with their pins and swords and haughty attitudes. Taim is comparable in power to Aes Sedai and he certainly cares more about being feared and revered than anything else. The male Forsaken are as petty and bitchy as any of their female counterparts. So I don't think RJ has anything against women, but rather condemns the evil uses of power.

I agree with Keegansgirl@100 that the reason RJ examines gender differences is to promote the idea of cooperation and understanding rather than independence. The Aes Sedai symbol is the theme of the whole series. The Perrin/Faile relationship is supremely annoying because of their many misunderstandings and selfish decisions. But by spending so much time on their follies, Jordan is strengthening his theme. When Perrin and Faile are fighting, they are idiots. When they work together, they are an unstoppable force. The same with the White Tower and the Black Tower.

On Thom + Moiraine, they are the perfect match. On the surface, they seem small and/or insignificant, but dig a little deeper and they are significant players in world-shaking events. Moiraine is the only character who really sees Thomdrill(!) for who he is.
153. That Guy
bchurch @123

Thanks for the quote, I have only read KoD once, and that was when it came out.

Randalator @129

I think you are correct here sir, and before I saw your post I reput my foot in my mouth with the same two viewings that I meshed together @141. So, sorry about that.

bchurch @ 127 & 139

I still don't think that Alivia is stronger than Lanfear was, I think Cyndane didn'te realize that Alivia was using an angreat. I believe, if you read the passage again, that she notes the odd bracelet hand thingy, but not that it was an angreal. Let me know what you find out.
154. bookworm
I like your Moraine theory concerning Rand, Siuanfan!
155. Blight
I think it's readily accepted that in order to heal stilling it has to be done by the other side of the source than the user, but I've always thought that maybe it had to do with what flows were used to heal the gap b/c when Nynaeve is examining Logain she thinks something about touching a flow of fire to a certain part... I'm not sure if earth was involved but what if the strength difference is due to the fact that she uses the fire flow to heal Leane and Siuan instead of using wing/water which is water women are stonger in... anyways that's my theory on it I don't think it says what flows Damer Flynn uses to heal the aes sedai and I don't remember a male channeler being stilled and healed by another male. It also makes sense in how they use the source ie aes sedai coaxing the OP to do what they want where the asha'man have to fight to control it
Maggie M
156. Eswana
Happy April everyone! Again, thanks Leigh for plowing through despite nasty sickness all around. What a trooper!

Ch 17- I think this is one of the only times we see Moiraine and Thom have a real conversation. It’s nice! And wow, did RJ ever plot construct!!! This is early in book 4, and he’s setting up Operation Rescue Moiraine already.

I can understand why Galad joins the whitecloaks, especially given how awesome he will be in KoD. His story is really cool, actually; he’s bringing the Whitecloaks back to their true roots as champions of good and protectors of people, not just psycho fundamentalists who like to poke hot irons in people. The organization is based on good founding principles, it seems; they just went a little nuts by hating Aes Sedai and seeing Darkfriends everywhere. Actually, I think whitecloaks would make kick ass Warders for Aes Sedai. Maybe we’ll see that in the next Age.

Ch 19- it seems so odd now to realize that at this point Elayne couldn’t tell that her “kinship” with the Windfinder (or Avienda, for that matter) was a channeling thing. Retrospectively, the groundwork was laid for this very well (we were getting hints of it back in tDR if not before), but wow, have those girls learned a lot since then!

Okay, other people’s fabulousness:

Sonofthunder @3
I think it was either Alviarin who killed her. I seem to remember a POV to that effect.
…and yes, those of us who have been reading WoT for years (…. and year and years and years…) do frequently find ourselves exclaiming “bloody ashes” or “Light!” or, my personal favorite, “codswallop and bloody buttered onions!” LOL. Welcome to the dollhouse, my friend.

Lsana @10
In my edition Nynaeve claims Green Ajah here too. I think this was an error corrected in later printings; we’re just showing our age :-)

I never put those two together either until today. I would love to read the story of how Thom saved Morgase’s throne and they fell in love… maybe that was one of the prequels RJ planned?

“I've always wondered if Moiraine might have crafted a bargain with the Eelfinn to give her some of Lanfear's strength and knowledge.”
Oooh, I like that idea!! N-i-c-e!

Resplendent Indignity@51
“Jendai = Jenn/dai'shain?”
Maybe coincidence, but we know RJ doesn’t really do coincidence. And names were very important to him. Maybe!!!

The Talent to sense a male channeler would be sweet for a woman to have. Is Leane the only one, or have we ever met anyone else who might have it?

Sahra was the novice (accepted? But I think novice) who was on receptionist duty in front of Siuan’s office the day Min arrived in Tar Valon. She took Min in to see Siuan, overheard Min and Gawyn’s conversation, and was therefore sent to hoe vegetables because Siuan was worried she might blab to her friends. And so she was killed by a Black sister. Poor girl.

Siuanfan @88
Oh gender politics again! (remember the 200+ comments from last week?!) I wouldn’t go so far as to say that RJ disliked women (he was married after all, and was totally head over heels in love with Harriet, to whom most of the books are dedicated – awww). However, I would say that he disagrees with the modern extremist feminist M.O. of “screw all men, they’re useless lumps, I’m so much better because of my two X chromosomes and will makes sure they know it every minute.” Therefore, societies and groups that embrace that philosophy aren’t his favorites (ie, Aes Sedai especially). Instead, cultures that have more balanced gender equality (where men and women have separate roles but equal importance) tend to be much better off- ie Aiel, and to some extent the Two Rivers’ system of Mayor/Wisdom, Council/Women’s Circle. As mikeda noted below you, an all-male society like the Whitecloaks is pretty frakked up too, and to some extent the Black Tower (though I’d bet the Asha’man who have wives or girlfriends are far happier than the single folks--- reminds of in college, when married or engaged TAs were usually so much nicer than the single ones… especially in the chemistry and physics departments….)

Yay! Almost Friday!!!
157. Lsana
@156 Eswana,

Actually, it is rather odd that Elayne doesn't sense that the Windfinder can channel. It was established way back when we first met her that Elayne can already sense other channelers. With Aviendha, you could say that Elayne failed to sense it because Avi had the spark but hadn't channeled yet, but that doesn't work here.
Dan Sparks
158. RedHanded
Someone may have mentioned this, but I didn't read through all 157 posts so far. Why couldn't Birgette be the woman that Rand needs at TG or else he will almost certainly die?
159. CBeats
I always thought those Min + Gawyn lines were hilarious. I laugh out loud every time I read them.

Great commentaries and everything Leigh, hope you feel better by tomorrow.
160. Randalator
@157 Lsana

Elayne does sense the Windfinder's channeling ability.

She wished the Windfinder were the one they had to deal with; both women had the same reserve, but something about the Windfinder reminded her of Aviendha. It was absurd, of course. These women were no taller than she herself, their coloring could not have been more different from the Aiel woman's, and the only weapon either had in sight was the stout knife tucked in her sash, looking very workmanlike despite carvings and gold-wire inlays on the handle. But Elayne could not help feeling some similarity, between Jorin and Aviendha, anyway.

But I can't remember Elayne sensing another channeler earlier in the series. She only puzzles it out when Egwene tells her via TAR that Aviendha is a Sparker.
161. Siuanfan
Lsana @ 157 I think the explanation is pretty simple. Elayne for all intents and purposes hasn't even been in the Tower a year (I mean physically in the Tower), and is basically still a novice, regardless of her rise through the ranks. She may feel the ability in others but not immediately recognize that's what it is unless she stops to think about it. Plus, in the case of the Windfinders, they did not expect to meet channelers, and they certainly had other pressing matters on their minds. With all that in mind, it's not that surprising that it took them a while to figure it all out.

It's kind of like if every time you pass someone's house on the way elsewhere, you sneeze. You may know you're allergic to cats, but have never actually seen a cat there and you don't really think about it too much so you don't make the connection. But one day you are not in a hurry and you see a cat hiding under the bushes, and you go 'ohhhh THAT'S why I keep sneezing when I go by here!'
Brett Michie
162. bchurch
ThatGuy @ 153

You're right, Alivia does have Nyneave's ter'angreal and angreal. And I agree that she probably isn't as strong as Lanfear's original incarnation. I used that quote to mention Cyndane's remembrance of being held by the finn.

As to the Elayne feeling the kinship of other channelers, I agree with what's been said about her feeling it but not putting two and two together until Egwene told her about Aviendha's sparkiness. Egwene does the same thing feeling a kinship with Avi in tDR, but not recognizing it until tSR when she sees the wise ones channel on Chaendaer and feels the kinship for them and Moiraine.
Chiara Elvira
163. elvyelvy
Laframboise@120... Amyrlin and Tamyrlin? a "double"Amyrlin? well, Elaida will be brought down of course - she's incompetent, with a puffed up ego, and I recall somebody pointed out in a previous post her uncanny capability of always making the wrong decision and choosing the wrong side.
So with Elaida out of the way Egwene should be THE Amyrlin of the reunited WT. Pretty logical and straightforward sofar. But the Black Tower is a puzzle with the two factions and Taim - Logain being on opposite sides. I foresee many posts devoted to the subject (ok you don't have to be Min to see this, OK OK)
lannis@125 couldn't stop laughing for a good five minutes - hilarious and to the point.
grayfox@131 the healing can not taken back, and I remember effective healing of stilling comes from a channeller of the oppisite sex; which is why Logain healed by Nyn recovers his full strength, Siuan and Leane do not. (it must be somewhere in some book, but I can't remember where - give me time and I will dig it out) and lannis@134 has a very strong point for second-stilling second-healing.
eswana@156 Nacelle does: she develops a weave for detecting the use of saidin and carries on her test on Jahar Narishma (KoD Sitters meeting in Salidar)

Hey, it's Friday over here, thanks the Light!!!
164. billiam
Just a couple of things

I remember reading something, maybe from the WOTmania theory post, that Mo & Lanfear traded strength in the power in finnland somehow.
Also there was a theory that Lanfear was so powerful because she had made a deal with the finn in the AOL to be the strongest female channeler & the finn took that away on her return trip to finnland.
Either way would explain why cyndane is not as powerful as Lanfear.

As to Taim, I don't think that he was ever turned to the DO but was a DF all along. He not only could channel the one power but knew how to weild Saidin, meaning he was trained by someone, IE one of the forsaken, probably Demandred. Thus the minion Taim theory.
165. CraigVal
I always took that Nynaeve's choice of the Green Ajah was a post-Lan impulse. She has his ring and at least an unspoken promise of an engagement. Therefore whe was by God going to be by his side in battle dealing woe to the wicked.

It certainly impressed the Aiel that she was carrying his ring.
166. Siuanfan
I knew there was a bit of theory that I wanted to say before but forgot... the thing about 'Aes Sedai will wash feet and dry them with their hair'

It's possible that this meshes with Elaida's foretelling... something about 'the Dragon will come before the Amyrlin Seat and he will know her anger'

Perhaps after the Tower is reunited (and I mean truly reunited, with the men and women together), Egwene will be made to formally go through the acceptance-as-Amyrlin ritual again (with the feet-washing) - maybe even at Rand's insistence (he's there as a Sitter). That would pretty much piss her off, I think! :D

Yeah it's a long shot, but heck if it isn't a gigglesome mental image! Honestly, I suspect the feet-washing-hair-drying thing is supposed to be more metaphorical, but who knows.
Lannis .
167. Lannis
laframboise @ 144:

What if the bit about "He would almost certainly fail without a woman who was dead and gone..." refers to a viewing Min had of Rand, while the one she had of Moiraine which failed was of her living long enough to marry Thom?

I love it! As soon as I think there's no more hairs to split: WHAMMO! Good one!

billiam @ 164:

I remember reading something, maybe from the WOTmania theory post, that Mo & Lanfear traded strength in the power in finnland somehow.

Yeah, um, that *does* ring a bell... ... anybody?

And a general comment... all this speculation on Min's viewings and healing/stilling (and well, just about every Hypothetical Randland Situation That Probably Won't Take Place In The Plot that we've bounced around since the beginning of this reread), just reminded me of RJ's comment about not tying up all the loose ends. I know he meant plot-wise, but I just had this über-sad thought that, without him around now, we'll truly never be able to ask these questions and get concrete answers... :'(

And I mean, RJ's good, but I don't think his notes contain "what if you were stilled, healed by a woman, stilled again, then healed by a man" kind of answers...

Or, you know, maybe Sanderson's got that in there somewhere in his projected 800k+ words of his...
Ed Dyer
168. HumbleReader
First time poster, but these thoughts have started rolling through my cranium

sinful@78, 85, Wetlander@79
Egwene knows about the male channeling to release the collar, because she is wearing the bracelet at the time, but I don't think she tells anyone (there's that communication issue again :-(

Jendae = Jenn / Dai'shan ?

I think you're onto something big there,
While Coine and Jorin are discussing the gift of passage with Elaine and Nyn they describe the origin of the Jendae prophecy
At the breaking of the world our ancestors fled to the safety of the sea... It is said they knew nothing of the ships they took to flee... They were fated to wander the seas until the Coramoor returns and serve him at his coming.

Just as the tuatha'an are fated to wander the earth, the atha'an miere are fated to wander the seas. Were these the two branches of the Jenn who disappeared from Ruidean?

Or has this, like so many other theories, gone by the wayside in discussions of yesteryear?
John Massey
169. subwoofer
R.Fife@109- up here we call them "noseeums". Little, annoying and been known to bite. dammit. Leigh rocks... sorry, I got nuttin'... getting married in two days.. got bigger fish to fry... another thought... If Matt died- under the tree- by the Shadowhound- or by lightening- even if he is brought back to life- does that severe his connection to the Horn? Hornsounder?
170. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Lsana @114
Just because Lanfear wasn't resurrected at current strength does not automatically mean the Dark One has a limitation for females. For all we know the Dark One simply did not grant her full strength back. We've seen the Dark One block a forsaken off completely from the Source. Partial block would be a cinch. Besides, Siuan and Leane are less than half of their original strength. That indicates their at around 40 percent or less of their old strength. Cyndane, while weaker than the original Lanfear, was still stronger than Graendal. And Graendal was strong enough to know that one stronger than her was very rare, indicating she's at one of the top tiers in terms of female strength.

bookworm @116
Yep, Shaidar Haran is definitely male. He'd have to be to "punish" Moghedien and Mesaana. And if you don't know what type of punishment it was, it involved tearing their clothes off.

Randalator @129
I wouldn't go so far to say that Alivia matched Cyndane. Yes Alivia was stronger during their encounter but she was boosted by angreal and ter'angreal. And Cyndane still got the better of her. Cyndane realized of course that Alivia was probably carrying an angreal, As she knows her old self was as strong as a female could be.

bookworm @136
OH somebody does remember what Semirhage used to do in the AoL. If he can sidestep his madness long enough to think about it, Rand would remember.

Siuanfan @161
Of course Elayne doesn't stop and think about it. The girls rarely ever do.

HumbleReader @168
Nope. The two branches cut off from the Jenn Aiel became the modern-day warlike Aiel and the modern-day nomadic Tuatha'an. Both disobeyed the Aes Sedai in some fashion and only the Jenn stayed true to their original oaths.

@ Everyone
I don't really understand this fixation with seeing the White and the Black Tower being united. I don't see anything logical about it. You seem to be thinking it will be exactly like the AoL. I don't think that's gonna happen. For one thing the women of the White Tower has a thing for dominating everything in sight, particularly men. I see individual Asha'man accepting that and being Warders, but I don't see the Black Tower as an institution bowing to White Tower domination. So, White Tower doesn't trust male channelers on their own, Black Tower chafes under women trying to dominate. NO UNION. There might be some accommodation later on, but it'll take generations. And seeing the lifespans of these two groups, it's gonna take centuries.
Ed Dyer
171. HumbleReader

The WOTFAQ gives an analysis that says the Balefire would have restored the link, and that RJ said the hanging almost killed him.
172. Siuanfan
amwswc @ 170

Nobody would ever guess Aes Sedai would kneel to anyone, much less a male channeler, and swear fealty. Nobody would think that a 'child Amyrlin' would bring Aes Sedai hundreds of years her elder to heel, declare war on a (broken) White Tower, and write white-haired grandmothers into the novice book. No way would anyone think that Aes Sedai could be collared to Seanchan or bonded to Asha'man, or willingly accepting a bond with male channelers. Hell, no one ever saw a female Warder before either. If these things can happen, so can unity between the Towers.

These people are learning it's time to either change their ways or get out of the way of people who will. RJ pounded the notion of 'the greatest feats were accomplished when men and women worked together' into our heads, as someone before noticed. What greater feat is there than Tarmon Gai'don and the defeat of Shaitan? It's work together or die, change or be destroyed, so I'm almost positive very few are going to stick to their 'ohno we can't work with THEM' mentality in the face of that. And why I'm talking like these are real people, I will never know...
Alice Arneson
173. Wetlandernw
On the subject of healing stilling, I'm copying a bit from an RJ blog:

...the Healing of stilling must be done by the other gender to be fully effective. A woman Healing a woman or a man Healing a man results in less than full restoration. It all ties into that theme I keep harping on. Men and women have to work together to be their most effective. And while the weave used by Flinn for Healing is not exactly that used by Nynaeve, either would use the same weave on a man or a woman.

So that doesn't answer whether an "incomplete" healing could be complete by the other gender, but it does answer the question of whether Nynaeve used the wrong flows or elements.
Lannis .
174. Lannis
subwoofer @ 169: Hey! Dude! Congrats! Have a great day! :)

And re: your Hornsounder question, I'd think we'd have heard some sort of prophecy about the link being severed, and since Mat's Death was by balefire (as confirmed by RJ), I believe the link would have been reinstated (same as his, you know, ability to walk/talk/swear/wink at women). So since events have been reversed, I believe any broken link would be fixed as if never broken.
Lannis .
175. Lannis
Um, just posted to realize my post is redundant thanks to HumbleReader's @ 171. And yours is much more succinct... and with supporting evidence, too! :)
176. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Hell yes. I'm all for men and women working together. However, having them work together is not the same as being one. The guardians balancing the servants is not the same as the guardians being part of the servants. Sure, everyone loves seeing the impossible being done. But as far as the Aes Sedai being humbled by a man, and a girl, it's been a long time coming. You might say the White Tower has built up a great deal of karma over 3 millenia. At the moment neither one trusts the other enough for a union. They are meant to balance each other, become counterweights. Not be combined.
Andrew Lovsness
177. drewlovs
Unfortunately, I'm just getting to this now. Sad huh...I look forward to reading and commenting, then when the time comes, I have a 36 hour brain fart. Oh well...

As far as Perrin's growl, I figured that if his eyes changed, then why not his throat? Worst, I've met a few unstable people in my time, and one you could say "growled". I don't remember how it sounded, in fact; only when the guy did it, it freaked me out.

And the Sea people... uggh. UGGH. I think this is one of those areas that Jordan could have made a lot clearer if he had given us a "semi-but-not-really" main character from them. A POV or two might explain why their prophecies are important, and why Rand might actually NEED their help. But then again, they might not know either... uggh indeed.
Carolyn Goodwin
178. metacarolyn
Regarding Elayne & Egwene sensing other channelers: I think their friendly feelings towards Aviendha, and Jorin reminding Elayne of Aviendha really are their first experiences of sensing the ability to channel in another woman. The scene that may confuse people is after Egwene and Elayne first meet in the tower and see "the glow" around each other - but the glow is only visible when one is actually holding the power. Their new skill is being able to sense another channeler when she is not holding the power.
179. Dr. Morganstien
@170 alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Yep, Shaidar Haran is definitely male. He'd have to be to "punish" Moghedien and Mesaana. And if you don't know what type of punishment it was, it involved tearing their clothes off.

I seem to remember that later in this book, or at least the series, we get hints that the Fades are all male. I seem to remember it coming from the WC's and Fain somehow, that's why I think its in this book at some point.
Brett Michie
180. bchurch
alreadymad @ 170

True the Jenn Aiel were the only Aiel to stick to their original oaths. But there were those who broke off from them even before some took up spears and forsook the Way of the Leaf. This was before they crossed the dragonwall. These became the Tuatha'an, and though they've obviously interbred their genetic Aiel traits out, they are the only people still holding to the Way of the Leaf. I don't know if we have any text pointing to it, but it may not be that big of a stretch to think that some became the atha'an mierre.
Alice Arneson
181. Wetlandernw
Re: Jenn/Dai'shain/Jendai

Theory Time

IIRC (We'll find out soon in Rhuidean) the Aiel we see in the column memories are not necessarily ALL of the Aiel who lived during the AoL. They are just the bunch (probably a large percentage, though) these particular Aes Sedai managed to find, bring together, and entrust with the chora cuttings and the *angreal. Who's to say that other Aiel, maybe from another area, weren't tasked differently by another AS and became the Atha'an Miere? Or possibly not tasked at all, but had to make their own way in the broken world, and for reasons lost in time ended up going to sea?

Did that make sense? I know what I mean, but it's getting late and the brain isn't firing on all thrusters...
Sacha G
182. Fortune_Prick_Me
Regarding the Aiel-Tuatha'an-Sea Folk common ancestry, this has been a pet theory of mine for some time and I think there are several clues that point to this. More specifically the Amayar. The Jedai/Jenn Dai'shain resemblance has already been pointed out. But as bchurch said the Traveling people still hold to the Way of Leaf, just as the Amayar hold to the equally pacifist Water Way. The Aiel believe that life is a dream, the Amayar believe that life is an Illusion.

The Aiel v. Tuatha'an dichotomy is also paralleled by the Atha'an Miere v. Amayar division. Of course their physical characteristics are completely different, but 3000 years and a fantasy world can do that to you... Could it be possible that as the world broke, some of the Dai'shain Aiel ended up in a different place than those we know. A group that ended up stranded on Tremalking maybe? Just a thought.

Hey subwoofer-congrats to you!
Sacha G
183. Fortune_Prick_Me

Guess I was writing as you were posting... I think I know what you mean.

Edit: and because I'm such a geek, here's from chapter 23 of WH from an Atha'an Miere POV: Her warders were like the trained guard dogs the Amayar used, ready to leap at a whistle..." Who else do we know who is totally pacifist and uses trained guard dogs, hmmm??? We may be on to something here. ;)
Alice Arneson
184. Wetlandernw
Wow. I was popping that off the top of my head, though I honestly didn't expect to be the first to think of it, of course. But I'd forgotten about the Amayar... Started to wonder if they and the Sea Folk were a similar split to the Jenn and the Aiel or Tuatha'an, but on further reading, I guess not. Sounds like the Sea Folk found them on the islands when they got there. Physical description of the Amayar is similar to Aiel (blondish, light eyes) except for being short instead of tall. But where does that leave the Sea Folk in the mix?

Hmmm. I think it leaves me with some more searching to do. Wotmania, here I come!
Sacha G
186. Fortune_Prick_Me
Such diligence.. I am humbled! I never figured out the exact relation of the Sea Folk to the Amayar or if the dark complexion was meant to mirror the dark Tuatha'an compared to the lighter Amayar/Aiel without any other significance. IF any significance at all.
Sharyn Blum
187. rynners
Ok, late to the party as usual. So, naturally, just about all the points I had thought to make have been pretty thoroughly covered.

Regarding the possibility that both Elayne and Nyn claiming to be of the Green Ajah was an early misprint:

The most currently printed edition I own of TSR is a mass market paperback that came out sometime after the publication of WH but before CoT, though the series list on the page preceding the title page lists CoT as "forthcoming." Therefore, this book went to press sometime between 11/2000 and 1/2003. My best guess is most likely sometime in early to mid-2002, give or take a bit, given the lead time on finalizing book titles.

So, given that TSR was originally published in 1992, that's a good 10 years to correct the error, if it was one. That leads me to think it's entirely intentional, and opens us up to debate to our heart's content what was in Nyn's head to make her say she was Green when meeting the Sea Folk, considering she's confidently "Yellow" in every future introduction.
Sharyn Blum
188. rynners
Have a few more things to talk about, but I previewed and they go really long. (Perhaps I ought to be a fantasy author, as brevity is not my friend.) So, I guess, read what you will, stop when you get bored.

On the point of Logain v Taim and being a DF v False Dragon:

I think RJ manages to show us a good bit about human nature in his characterizations throughout the series. One of the distinctions I keep noticing is pride and lust for power as opposed to pure, unadulterated Evil. Naturally, there is some overlap here, depending on character, but not everyone who hungers for power is, by necessity, a DF.

Forgive me for not citing names, as I forgot to note who said what and we're already 186 comments in, so I haven't the patience to sift back through to quote folks. However, someone made a good point about the options open to a man who discovers the ability to channel. I tend to agree about those options, and I think that certain personality types, like Logain's, are especially suited to the grand plan and the "maybe I'm the one spoken of in prophecy" narcissism. Frankly, he's probably proud enough to figure that, even if he's not the Dragon, he could probably really move up in the world just by saying so.

Taim is another matter and his character displays much more malicious intent than Logain, as a rule. Frankly, whether he began a DF or was turned (or even if he's not one, and just a run of the mill megalomaniac) almost makes no difference, at this point, since his actions are so utterly destructive (though, of course, it's a lot of fun to debate his allegiance!). I think that he and Logain make a nice point/counterpoint showing different potential approaches to finding yourself in a similar situation.
Sharyn Blum
189. rynners
Last one. Also long, but might make for some fun eleventh hour debate if anyone else is into the topic.

Someone else's comment also struck me on power v evil subject (again, apologies for not checking the quote). The idea that proclaiming yourself the Dragon Reborn being like claiming to be Hitler reborn is an interesting one. Before I say anything more, though, let me point out that I am, in fact, Jewish, liberal, and altogether not a fan of fascism or any other flavor of dictatorship. Okay? Okay.

So... it seems to me that the analogy both works and doesn't. The Dragon is feared, yes, but is also the savior of the world. The fear seems to come largely from the fact that his coming heralds the onset of TG. With that in mind, the analogy seems to depend on whether you're calling yourself Hitler as we see him now or Hitler as he saw himself (which is to say world-killer v world-savior).

His idea when assuming power was to restore Germany to his "rightful place" in the aftermath of the nation's defeat in WWI. Certainly, his methods were corrupt, bigoted, and altogether misguided, but his initial intent was to save the German people from the impact of the war's loss, reparations, etc, which had crippled the country's economy.

However, he was, quite unfortunately for history, a power-hungry, scapegoating maniac. So, while he had a very short-term positive effect in Germany, his overall contribution to the world was a lot of death, destruction, and horror. Because of that, even his small successes were for nothing, since Germany was yet again defeated in WWII and forced to rebuild yet again.

In WoT terms, then, I am not sure it's a reasonable statement. (And forgive me if I'm overthinking what may have been an offhand remark. I'm a bit prone to that.) There is the whole concept of the devastation of TG, but also the idea of defeating the Dark One forever (or at least until the Wheel turns again). So, it's more like saying "Yes, what comes next will suck, but life will be better for it", rather than "I will bring you glory! No, wait, sorry, I'm actually quite mad and will rain destruction down on the world before I finish." Maybe that's a lot of talk for a minor distinction, but nitpicking is what it's all about around here, as I see it.

Hmmm. Running out of steam on this comparison. Any other late posters care to elaborate, comment, or shoot me down utterly before TSR Re-read Part 6 takes us in entirely new directions?
190. bookworm
I cannot put any credence into theories that claim that Moiraine and Lanfear traded strength, or that either Lanfear or Moiraine could have made any deals with the Aelfinn or the Eelfinn (at any time).

For the first, there is absolutely nothing in the texts that even hint at such a thing (and RJ was a hinter extraordinaire). Besides, on the surface it would have appeared to be a cheap literary device to do so.

For the second, both women arrived in a very unconventional manner, likely weakened, damaged, or still very busy with each other. The idea that either the Aelfinn or the Eelfinn would not take full advantage of that is simply too incredible to take seriously.

And, it would seem unlikely that Lanfear would have had to have made any deals with either the Aelfinn or the Eelfinn back in the AoL. It isn't her style, for one thing, and for another it doesn't seem to be the DO's way.
Ofer Nave
191. odigity
Part 6 posted:

It would be convenient if the first person to notice the new post is up would post the link in the previous thread, so that everyone reading the previous thread would know it's time to move to the next one.
Richard Fife
192. R.Fife
Eh, we've had a couple threads that kept steaming on for a day or two after they were "obsolete". Good way to keep our trains of thought seperate.

And the DO must be a woman. A man wouldn't be never be that mean. (ducks projectiles/I need to stop working with sailors)
193. Hawkwing
There are a lot of comments above mine and I confess to having not read them maybe someone has already said this.

Be that as it may, I have always thought that Moiraine might know "the face of the man she is going to marry" and her future relationship with Thom based on the her testing for Accepted. It might have given her a glimpse of "what will be."

Up until the time she ventured into the Two Rivers in TEOTW, she knew the face, but not the man.
194. Another Wolf Dream
bchurch- except that, there are more groups of people that practice the way of the leaf. The people were scattered to the winds, and it is amazing how many different groups have prophecies that tie back to the Aiel. Its just that they've lost different pieces of it at different times in history. For example, the Tuatha'an have tribal memories of the Song (which, according to memories from the rings, is tied to the Ogier and the Greenman) but have no contact with the Aiel, who would be able to help them make the connection. The Sea Folk, while perhaps not decended of the Aiel, were lost to land for many years, preserving or discarding knowledge independent of what was going on. The sea also had a Dai'shain Aiel type character, the island people, who have tribal memories that could be as simple as someone remarking, "aww hell, if they ever manage to overuse THAT one, it'll melt a hole right through the world." I think the Atha'an Mierre were just refugees, that took to the sea, but they're association with the islanders would have kept some references to AS and the dai'shain alive in their history.
195. Another Wolf Dream
At this point it will be a good idea to remind myself to update what I'm reading before posting. Think there were 10 posts between when I started (at the top of the page) and when I actually posted my response...
Crystal McMillan
196. CDragon27
okay I am totally out of touch with the Thom /Moraine thing. they are getting married? when does that get said (can I get a reference please?)

this section is why I went from lukewarm about Faile to actively hoping the trollocs got her. that didn't really change until she brings the troops into TR.
197. Hamish Poole
I think the answer to Thom and Moirane living happily ever after is probably a random plot twist to be were Thom finds he can learn to channel.

Just Fits
Larry Moore
198. scarredpelt
Been away, let things get behind. I usually don't post because someone else sooner or later will say what I was. But this time it didn't happen. You guys are slipping! Additionally I keep seeing conversations that have nothing to do with the current read but WTH I can play that game too.

grayfox @ 22,Birgit @97, and Steelbad @ 103:

Myrelle and Nynaeve haven't seen each other since Nynaeve left Salidar. The opportunity to transfer the bond of Lan hasn't occurred even through KoD.
199. gagecreedlives
I wonder if they could pass the bond in Tar? Then they wouldnt have to meet physically in the real world.
200. Wolfmage
Dsai @ 144

“To me it says a whole lot about Faile’s character that she doesn’t raise the alarm while watching Perrin free Gaul. It is even more telling that she’d associate herself with him after witnessing what he does to the Whitecloaks.”

But as a Borderlander I’m not sure she has any valid reason to particularly care about Whitecloaks one way or another. I imagine Borderlanders would regard Whitecloaks as worse than your typical Southlander completely oblivious to their 3,000 year old custodianship over the blight border, because they are basically useless bullies and thugs who purport to guard humankind from evil.

”Even after finding the dangers Perrin is involved in, (Rand being the Dragon Reborn and the Horn not only found but used) she still sticks to her guns by staying with Perrin.”

That much is to her credit, but not enough to endear her character to me. I still think she is mostly unlikeable throughout the series with some notable exceptions where she plays a cunning and dutiful wife. Perrin in my eyes is diminished by his love and sacrifice for her.

Also, a lot of Galad apologia in this thread. I usually dislike the word “do-gooder” as it often applied to disparage liberal political and moral philosophy, but in this case it is apt to describe Galad in the pejorative sense. One single cool sword-fight is hardly enough to offset the fact that he is insufferable and blinded by his hubris. Amazing that people think Elayne is intolerable purely because she uses a bit of hyperbole against him.

RJ’s conceit in making Galad an uber-swordsman, better than Uno and a bunch of trained Shienarans, has always bugged me as well. Even Lan and Rhuarc get cut sometimes and Galad isn't plausibly as good as either - except by authorial fiat.

As far as Lanfear’s reduced strength goes, I don’t think there is any plausible evidence to suggest either the Dark One or the mind trap as a basis for this. Both would be unique instances in contrast to all other reported instances – which is poor evidence. Also, there is nothing to suggest she is inhibited by a weave constricting her access to the power – we’ve only seen that used with Asmo and he was restricted enough that he plausibly couldn’t severe or untie the knot of saidar holding him. Cyndane certainly isn’t so restricted, plus her thoughts give every reason to suppose it is a natural limit not a kind of shield barrier.

I think it much more likely that it was something Moraine did or otherwise part of her journey to the land of the Finns.

Alternatively, one out-there theory I’ve read and liked is that Lanfear was made artificially stronger in the power during the AoL by the Finns, but lost that booster strength when she died and was resurrected by the DO.

If you think about it, it pretty good sense. Lanfear was a senior Aes Sedai scientist in the Collam Daan, which is the modern equivalent of being a tenured research professor at Harvard with a fellowship. She also happens to be the strongest women with the One Power, the most beautiful looking and one of the most skilled in the World of Dreams? Now I guess it is possible that you could be endowed with all those things AND have such a paucity of emotional maturity and ethical constraint – but it is a bit of a stretch for me. I think it much more likely that she had some assistance originally to get those gifts, and they have now been taken away with the restoration of her original channelling soul into a new body.

I think the fact that Cyndane expressly thinks it is *impossible* for any woman to be stronger than her in her last life, during her encounter with Alivia, also supports this theory. It makes the remark more than just simple hubris, because she really would think it was impossible for anyone else to be stronger depending on exactly what was granted to her by the Finns.
201. shadowkiller
In regards to the channeler/nonchanner lifespan issue, people seem to have forgotten the Warder/Wife's bond. The two sisters Moirane confers with in TGH have a warder with them who is aging, but the sisters also show signs of age only seen with Sisters past their century mark. Now we don't know how long the Warder had been partnered with the AS but its not unreasonable to assume that the bond granted at least some longevity to the Warder. If my theory is true than Thom, Lan, Min and Gareth have a long happy marriage ahead of them.
202. Northgirl
I've got alot of catching up to do to get the current conversation but can't help myself, I have some thoughts that are burning to be expressed.

Galad and Rand are half brothers and Galad reminds me alot of Rand in the later books here. Both are idealistic knights in shining armor looking for a cause that is bigger than themselves to devote themselves too, one that is absolutely good. Which brings me to the world that Jordan creates here doesn't have any guidebooks on goodness. The DO has a tangible presence and actually speaks to the forsaken and gives them concrete instruction on how to serve him. We don't get anything equivalent at all from teh maker. Nothing outside of some vague prophecies as to what he is looking for. No ten commandments.

I think that the way in which good is supposed to be construed is in the exchange that Rand has in teh end of the GH where he turns Ishgatar(?) to the light. He is ready to abandon the horn and the whole fighting the DO, b/c, nothing is worth fighting for if he doesn't save the ones that he loves. I think that love/humanity is the key to goodness. Rand forgets this and is almost lost over the course of the next several books. Moraine too, for that matter. She has abandoned friendships, romance, everything in the pursuit of her cause when we first meet her and I think her character will also have to undergo profound evolution in order to fully walk in the light again, so to speak.
203. NakorOranges
Has anyone else realized what "make it up to him" may mean in terms of a seafolk marriage? Shes clearly in charge in public.
204. Divil The Bother
Another example of the extreme immaturity of all the supergirls - after all the talk of what ajah does what and specifically the Green being the battle ajah (and that's a joke in itself) the girls base their choice on whether or not it's normal to have a boyfriend in that ajah. Enough said.

Oh and Faile - she's worse! Some people seem to think she redeems herself by lording it over the two rivers folk and accepting bizarre oaths of fealty from various prisoners in the Shaido camp but I found it made me detest her even more. I agree with whoever wanted the trollocs to get her, and maybe a fade too...throw in Perrin aswell.

Mind you I've pretty much been rooting for the shadow from this point on in the series - surely they get to kill one of these idiots eventually!
205. sadface
I am making baby watching a new hobby...looking for Gadial Cain. Did we see his parents in this recap?

What does it mean that can only be fully healed by the opposite gender? Is there something oddly masculine about females who can channel, or vice versa. I also wonder if there is an implication there for sparkers vs. naturals.

Cyndane - maybe she is not back from the dead. If she did visit the Finns before, and asked to be the most powerful, but lost that on her return visit...did she also ask to be the most beautiful and also lose that?

I saw a comment recently from BS that had to do with conservation of energy. He said the OP comes from somewhere, but we don't know where. I am suddenly very interested in this topic - where does OP come from? Given the "conservation of energy" statement, channelers are robbing power from somewhere, I would love to see where. I wonder if this theft is also somehow responsible for the slowing, or maybe the reduction of strength and/or numbers of channelers.

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