Apr 10 2009 12:17pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Shadow Rising, Part 9

It’s time to Spin! That! Wheel! Of Time! Whoo!

Welcome to the next installment of the Wheel of Time Re-read, people. Today’s post is The Shadow Rising, Part 9, in which we cover Chapters 27 and 28.

And since this is the third time in a row I have ended up being wrong about how many chapters I was going to get through, I think I’m going to stop predicting how many I’ll get through for the upcoming posts from now on. It seems pretty clear that most people like the extended commentary, so if it comes down to a choice between more commentary or more chapters, I think commentary should win, n’est-ce pas? I promise I’ll always do my best to make sure you get your money’s worth.

Previous entries are here, and please beware of the many many spoilers tromping all over this thing.

Once again, a reminder that I’m going out of town for JordanCon, so Monday’s post will be the only one going up next week; regular entries will resume the following Wednesday. Huzzah! And now, the post!

Chapter 27: Within the Ways

What Happens
Perrin and Gaul follow some distance behind Faile, Loial, Bain and Chiad through the Ways. When the party ahead stops on an Island, Perrin stops on the bridge behind, not willing to risk a repeat of what had happened when they first entered the Ways and he had gone on ahead: When Faile arrived at the Island she dismounted, marched up to him and slapped him in the face, demanding to know what he thought he was doing charging into the Ways “like a wild boar”. She said he has no regard, and he took a breath and replied mildly that he asked her not to do that. This seemed to infuriate her even more, and she slapped him again.

“I told you not to do that,” he growled. Her fist was not very big, but her sudden punch to his shortribs drove most of the air from his lungs, hunching him over sideways, and she drew back her fist again. With a snarl, he seized her by the scruff of her neck and...

Well, it was her own fault. It was. He had asked her not to hit him, told her. Her own fault. He was surprised she had not tried to pull one of her knives, though; she seemed to carry as many as Mat.

What makes him most nervous is that while she was furious with everyone else – Loial for trying to intervene, Bain and Chiad for not intervening (they said they thought she would not want them to step into a fight she had picked) – she was not furious with him, instead looking at him with unshed tears in her eyes. He tells himself that he should not feel guilty. Gaul comments that the party ahead is moving again, and they follow to the next Guiding, where Faile calls Perrin to the Island. He hesitates, then goes closer and asks what she wants. She smiles and says she just wanted to see if he could be taught to come when she calls. Perrin grinds his teeth, and Gaul laughs and tells Perrin he might as well try to understand the sun. Loial protests it was not that at all, but that they have reached the line that leads to the Waygate at Manetheren. Perrin nods, determined not to say anything, but then a rank smell he had been noticing for the last few minutes suddenly registers, and he shouts “Trollocs!” Gaul kills the first one that attacks, and then Perrin smashes in the face of another, surprised to realize he had drawn the hammer rather than the axe. Faile kills another with a thrown knife, and soon all the Trollocs are down. Perrin immediately checks to see that Faile is okay, but a second later a Fade attacks; Gaul barely turns its blade aside, and it ignores the arrows and knife shot/thrown by the women.

Perrin bared his teeth in an unconscious snarl. He hated Trollocs as an enemy of his blood, but the Neverborn...? It was worth dying to kill a Neverborn. To put my teeth in its throat...!

Perrin forces his horse closer, ignoring its sword, and smashes in the Fade’s face with the hammer. It falls, thrashing, and Perrin is aghast at what he had been thinking. He hears more Trollocs coming, and says they have to get out of the Ways; he is rather shocked when Faile doesn’t argue. Loial leads them toward the Waygate, and Perrin begins to hear another sound – wind. He yells for them to hurry. Loial opens the gate, and Faile barrels through at a gallop despite Loial’s shout; as the Aiel follow, Perrin asks Loial if he can lock the gate somehow, and Loial says yes. Perrin surprises himself by howling defiance at Machin Shin and the Trollocs as he backs his horse out of the gate; Loial follows barely ahead of the Trollocs, but then the Black Wind is there.

Voices whispered in Perrin’s head, a thousand babbling mad voices clawing at the inside of his skull. Bitter blood. Blood so bitter. Drink the blood and crack the bone. Crack the bone and suck the marrow. Bitter marrow, sweet the screams. Singing screams. Sing the screams. Tiny souls. Acrid souls. Gobble them down. So sweet the pain. On and on.

Shrieking, howling, the Trollocs beat at the blackness boiling around them, clawed to pull free as it sucked them deeper, deeper, till only one hairy hand remained, clutching frantically, then only darkness, bulging outward, seeking. Slowly the Waygates appeared, sliding together, squeezing the blackness so it oozed back inside between them. The voices in Perrin’s head finally stopped.

Loial replaces two trefoil leaves on the outside of the gate, instead of one, and explains that he will not destroy a Waygate, but this way it is locked, and can only be opened from this side. Perrin says it will do, and turns to look at what used to be Manetheren; other than the Waygate, there is only sparse trees and glassy rock left. Then he notices a pair of hawks wheeling in the distance; one of them is shot down by an arrow, and the other is overwhelmed by a cloud of ravens. Perrin is sure the ravens were not acting naturally. Faile asks what he is looking at, and he tells her just birds. She begins unbuttoning his coat, and he asks what she is doing.

“Tending your wounds,” she snapped back. “I’ll not have you bleeding to death on me. That would be just like you, to die and leave me the work of burying you. You have no consideration. Hold still.”

“Thank you,” he said quietly, and she looked surprised.

She mutters imprecations at him furiously the whole time, but winces at every stitch and dresses his wounds with gentle hands. Then she flings his coat at him and snaps that he needn’t think she’ll sew that up as well, and storms off. Perrin decides Gaul is right about understanding women. Reluctantly he searches for wolves, and is surprised when he can’t find a single one.

Wait. Wait wait wait wait. Back up. What just happened here?

So, they’re in the Ways, Faile slaps Perrin, he grabs her by the scruff of the neck and then... what?

She had mounted Swallow and sat there, very stiff-backed, refusing to sit gingerly, staring at him with an unreadable expression.

Sit gingerly... Perrin spanked her? He spanked her. He spanked her.


Holy– How did I– What– Are you–

I seriously cannot even come up with a coherent response to this. He fucking SPANKED HER? And she DIDN’T try to stab him? Am I on Opposite Planet? Have I lost my mind and not noticed?

You know what, I’m going to pretend that didn’t happen, because I just cannot deal with the implications, there. Starting now. Nope, didn’t happen. Spanking, what? No idea what you’re talking about. None! Nothing, nothing, tra la la!

(Spanking. *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*)

I’m actually almost as irritated with Gaul as I am with Perrin. Except I’m not irritated with Perrin, because nothing happened. *headdesk* *headdesk* Or actually not Gaul specifically, but this ongoing theme of male characters being all Women are so haaaaard to understand, I don’t get it, dur. Yes, women are hard to understand, actually. People, of which women (contrary to some reports) are a subset, are hard to understand, so yeah. And that sucks and all, but you know, at some point it stops being a philosophical observation and starts being an excuse. If women just can’t be understood, that takes the burden off of the guys to try to understand them, doesn’t it?

...Of course, in WOT specifically the men may have a point, given that so many female characters go out of their way to be enigmatic or at least opaque, and some of them are downright incomprehensible. Of course, so are some of the male characters. Also of course, so are some real-life men. And women. And, I’ve lost track of my point, here. Um.

That being said (whatever “that” actually was), I don’t think Faile is trying to be mysterious here; by her cultural standards, in fact, she’s being perfectly straightforward. Well, mostly. Her problem is not deliberate obfuscation, so much as a combination of provincialism, not knowing her own mind, and naiveté. Oh, and the fact that she just got spanked.


*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

*cleans blood off desk*

I know that spanking didn’t just happen (because it didn’t), but if it had (which it didn’t), can I just say that while I actually agree with Bain and Chiad that if you start a fight you shouldn’t be surprised if your opponent hits back, AND I agree with Perrin that he is not obligated to sit there and let Faile abuse him, I just want to say that there is a difference between FIGHTING, and goddamn SPANKING. The latter is something you do to a recalcitrant child, not an adult human being you supposedly regard as an equal.

Faile can take care of herself, and she started it; though it makes me twitch to say it, I think Perrin would have been justified in slapping her back – or more preferably, done something similar to what Rhuarc did in Tear, stopping her without hurting her. But spanking? No. Just no. Also, all gender politics issues aside, is it just me or is doing something like that completely out of character for Perrin anyway?

Dude, did I seriously just say I was okay with a man hitting a woman? I... don't know. Sort of? Maybe? Context is important?

Crap. Head hurts. Too much desk. Lay down now. Spanking. Puppies and rainbows? Yes. Puppies. Rainbows. Possibly ponies. Definitely martinis.

(Spanking. I weep. And then I move on.)

Chapter 28: To the Tower of Ghenjei

What Happens
Faile insists on two separate camps that night; Loial is displeased, having assumed this would be done with once they were out of the Ways, but Perrin tells him not to worry about it, and indicates that Loial should stay with Faile’s camp. He and Gaul can hear Faile, Bain, and Chiad talking and laughing, and what he can hear is extremely embarrassing. Perrin asks Gaul if he knows any funny stories. Gaul can’t think of one offhand, but Perrin laughs loudly anyway before giving up and being glum again. He and Gaul talk about the differences between the area they’re in and the Waste, and Gaul asks if Perrin is of Manetheren blood. Perrin supposes he is, but says that they’re all farmers and shepherds, now, not warriors.

Gaul smiled slightly. “If you say it. I have seen you dance the spears, and Rand al’Thor, and the one called Mat. But if you say it.”

Gaul asks if Perrin thinks it was a coincidence that the Shadowspawn came to this Waygate; Perrin does not, telling Gaul about the ravens he saw earlier, and tries to find the wolves again, unsuccessfully. He tells Gaul that he might be able to find out something tonight, and that Gaul might have to kick him to wake him up. Gaul just nods, and Perrin pauses and comments that neither he nor any of the other Aiel have ever said anything about his eyes, even though he knows they are glowing golden in the firelight. Gaul replies quietly that the world is changing, and he does not think the change is what many suppose it will be; and besides, what does it matter what color a man’s eyes are? Perrin says he wishes everyone thought that way, and settles down to sleep.

He is standing near the Waygate, and knows this for the wolf dream. For a panicked moment, he is a wolf, but forces himself back into human form. He sees that the hammer is on his belt instead of the axe; it flickers to being the axe for a second, then settles on the hammer again. Perrin frowns, thinking things hadn’t flickered like that before. Suddenly patches of the sky darken to windows, and he sees various odd things in them. Perrin thinks that Moiraine had said she thought the wolf dream might be the same as a place called Tel’aran’rhiod, but had refused to say more about the subject; he wishes he could talk to Elyas Machera. He calls for Hopper, but Hopper does not come, and he decides to get on with it and check out the spot he had seen the ravens come from. He gets there in one step, to his shock. He checks the spot, but finds nothing there, and tries the one-step traveling thing again, and ends up on top of a mountain. He laughs, and jumps from one mountain to the next, calling for Hopper, until suddenly he sees another man in the Sand Hills. He’s too far away to see clearly, other than that he is tall and dark-haired, but Perrin catches his scent, and thinks he smells cold and inhuman; suddenly Perrin finds himself holding a bow and quiver. The man sees Perrin and streaks away, and Perrin leaps down to where he had been. He sees that the man had been standing over the corpse of a half-skinned wolf, and pursues; only something evil could kill a wolf here in the dream. He chases the man past Watch Hill and northeast until the man reaches a tower that looks to be made of metal; when Perrin gets there, the man is gone.

Two hundred feet the tower rose, and forty thick, gleaming like burnished steel. It might as well have been a solid column of metal. Perrin walked around it twice without seeing any opening, not so much as a crack, not even a mark on that smooth, sheer wall. The smell hung here, though, that cold, inhuman stink. The trail ended here. The man—if man he was—had gone inside somehow. He only had to find the way to follow.

Hopper appears, crying for Perrin to stop. Perrin asks why he should stop, when the man killed a wolf. Hopper counters that men kill wolves and vice versa all the time; why does this one make Young Bull so angry? Perrin isn’t sure, but thinks maybe because it was in the dream. He didn’t know wolves could die here.

You chase Slayer, Young Bull. He is here in the flesh, and he can kill.

“In the flesh? You mean not just dreaming? How can he be here in the flesh?”

I do not know. It is a thing dimly remembered from long ago, come again as so much else. Things of the Shadow walk the dream, now. Creatures of Heartfang. There is no safety.

Perrin wants to go anyway, and Hopper tells him he is being foolish. Perrin asks what happens to a wolf who dies in the dream, and Hopper slowly answers that if a wolf dies here, it dies forever. But he does not know if the same is true for Perrin.

“A dangerous place, archer. The Tower of Ghenjei is a bad place for humankind.”

Perrin whirls to see a blond woman in oddly cut clothes behind him; he thinks he sees a glint of something silver beneath her cloak. She shifts, hiding the silver thing, and comments that he has sharp eyes. Perrin thinks she is vaguely familiar, and asks if she is Aes Sedai. She laughs and says no, she just came to warn him, “despite the prescripts”, that the Tower of Ghenjei is hard to leave in the world of men, and almost impossible here. Perrin says Hopper said the same, and she glances at Hopper, who is laying down in the grass, and notes in surprise that he can talk to wolves, and that is truly an old thing. She explains that the Tower is a doorway to the realms of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. Perrin doesn’t recognize the names, and she asks if he ever played the game called Snakes and Foxes.

“All children do. At least, they do in the Two Rivers. But they give it up when they get old enough to realize there’s no way to win.”

“Except to break the rules,” she said. “ ‘Courage to strengthen, fire to blind, music to daze, iron to bind.’ ”

Perrin doesn’t understand, and she tells him the game is a memory of old dealings with them, and how to beat them. She says the Aelfinn and Eelfinn are not evil, exactly, but they are so different from mankind they might as well be, and warns him to steer clear of the Tower, and indeed of the World of Dreams altogether if he can, for “dark things walk”. He asks about Slayer, and she nods that it is an apt name for him; though he is not old, his evil is ancient. Then she shakes her head, and comments that she seems to be telling him an awful lot, and asks if he is ta’veren. He asks if they’ve met before, and she replies that she has broken too many of the precepts already. Perrin starts to ask what she means, and spins at seeing a shadow behind him, that oddly for a moment looked like the silhouette of a man with two swords on his back. The woman nods and says “he” is right and she should not be talking to Perrin, and when Perrin looks back at her, she is gone. Perrin asks Hopper what he made of her, and Hopper doesn’t know what he is talking about; he saw no one else there, just Perrin talking to air. Perrin is puzzled, but returns to his purpose, explaining to Hopper what was going on. Hopper is silent for a while, then finally tells him he should not go to his old home; the wolves have fled it, for Slayer hunts there. Perrin says he must go, and Hopper accepts this, and wishes him luck. Perrin wakes up, and tells Gaul he’ll take a turn at watch. He says that he thinks things may be worse in the Two Rivers than he thought; Gaul replies that things usually are.

So, I’ve decided that “Tel’aran’rhiod” is actually Old Tongue for “Infodump”. I trust my reasoning is obvious.

It’s funny how your priorities change. When I first read WOT, the Tel’aran’rhiod chapters were absolutely some of the most fascinating parts, because so much of the prophecies/mysteries/conspiracy theory fodder is revealed in them. Now, of course, knowing how so much of these are going to go already, the chapters focused on the Dream World are actually kind of, well, boring, though Perrin’s adventures, at least, are a little more adventure-y than Egwene’s are going to be for a while.

So, enter Slayer. Before we go any further, you guys might really want to save yourselves some trouble and read this and this before you go to town, which is accurate up through Crossroads of Twilight. Actually I’m not sure whether Slayer even made an appearance in Knife of Dreams or not, but even if he did, the FAQ is a very good primer on what’s already known about him.

I think in every previous reading of this chapter I have assumed that Slayer really did enter the Tower of Ghenjei after Perrin chased him there, and this has been the foundation of a lot of loony theories concerning a connection between Slayer and the Finn, which shows I’m not alone in that. However, on reading this again I rather question this assumption. It seems more likely to me now that Slayer led Perrin there on purpose, and then stepped out of T’A’R, in the hopes that Perrin would assume that he had gone in, and follow and get stuck there. Basically the Tower was a convenient trap for Slayer to use against his pursuer, but there’s no real reason to think from this that he has anything more to do with the Finn than to be aware of their existence.

The Tower of Ghenjei, by the way, has always been one of my favorite references in WOT, as the name comes from, to quote the FAQ: “a Japanese novel called The Tale of Genji. It is generally considered the first piece of work which qualifies as a novel, as the genre is defined today [...] It was written by Lady Murasaki Shikibu in the early 10th century, during the Heian Period of Japanese history.” Wikipedia also has a ton of information on it. I just thought that was very cool; I’m sure you can guess why.

Commentary on the Snakes and Foxes game, I am saving for later, with Olver. You can discuss it all you want, of course.

The identity of Birgitte in this chapter is one of the few things I’m positive I did pick up on immediately the first time. Of course, this “mystery” is a lot more obvious than many others Jordan set up, so maybe I shouldn’t be patting myself on the back too hard, but hey, I’m just happy I got something right the first time around. I like the implication that she decided to speak to Perrin because he was carrying a bow; I don’t know why, but it’s a nice little bit of realism, the way anyone is more likely to talk to someone th realized was also into whatever you were into, even if you don’t know them.

Birgitte was another one of those characters, like Aviendha, that I was genuinely surprised became such a central character in the story, but I’m glad she did, if for no other reason than her upcoming awesomeness in ACOS, which I refuse to let be counteracted by her rather non-awesomeness in COT. Her awesomeness or not-awesomeness in TFOH... well, I am honestly not sure what my reaction to TFOH is going to be anymore; I’ve surprised myself too often on this re-read to make any confident predictions. We’ll see.

Still geekily enjoy the references to how the boys, and the Duopotamians in general, are all Manetheren-descended badasses, whether they know it or not. Well, except for Rand, who is an Aiel-descended badass raised by Manetheren-descended badasses, which is, like, double-plus badassery. Or something like that.

Okay, I’m definitely punchy now because the word “badass” is making me giggle every time I see it, so now might be a good time to stop. Be nice in the comments, I mean it. Have a lovely Easter weekend if that be your wont, and have a lovely random April weekend if that ain’t your wont. Ha, I kill me. Monday, with more!

Kate Nepveu
1. katenepveu
. . . WHAT.

I don't think I ever noticed that before. No, I can't have noticed, because what the!

(I don't think it's in-character for Perrin either. But I would, because I _like_ him.)

Also, while I love me some Murasaki-shout outs, it's too bad that the Tower of Ghenjei has basically nothing to do with the Tale of Genji, which is about, well, the perfection of Genji and life in the Heian court. And one of these days I'm going to finish the darn thing, honest.
Josh Davis
2. YoSoyElJosh
Hmm... the Spanking.

I'm not sure. Perrin knows that he can do a lot of hurt without a lot of effort. I think most parents that spank (especially the ones who would never want to) do it as a last resort to multiple stresses.

Spanking isn't going to do a lot of permanent damage, but it is shaming, and it can hurt.

As far as whether or not this is in Perrin's character, I will say Yes. I believe we've seen several of the characters comment on spanking being a fairly effective form of punishment (at least, they take it as a real threat). Even the Aes Sedai use it to punish novices and the Accepted for almost any misstep. Corporal punishment isn't unheard of in this world, and the situation usually seems to be, "If you're going to act like a child, you're going to be punished like one."

While Perrin might be wrong about Faile's attitude (he was a jerk, she's being a jerk) and not introspective enough to realize what set her into that disposition, he was likely raised with the switch, and regretably, it was the first thing he turned to.

And besides, Perrin feels bad about it, which is perfectly in character, even if the spanking wasn't.

On a related note, does anyone else assume that Berelain's first "talk" with Rhuarc involved this sort of treatment?
Eugenie Delaney
3. EmpressMaude
Hooray, a new post!!

I can never understand Faile - she comes from a culture (or is it just her household) where she equates physical abuse and manhandling with affection and esteem.

I think she was rather gratified to see that Perrin cares enough about her to spank her. She clearly has Issues(tm). Also, she and Perrin literally maul each other when they make love. They are..odd.

Having said that, Perrin SPANKED HER. WTF? I think based upon her provocation, he could have just smacked her (and seriously, dude, just because you don't beat women as a rule doesn't mean you have to let her whomp away on you), but the spanking is so paternal and condescending and...ugh.

Sadly, this chapter contains my favorite Faile moment - she can kill a trolloc with a single well thrown knife to the eye! How awesome is that?
Tony Zbaraschuk
4. Tony Zbaraschuk
Ironically, this is probably the period when Perrin is behaving according to Saldean cultural norms and thus causing Faile to fall even further in love with him. Major problems don't arise until he starts trying to behave according to Two Rivers norms with his spouse. Not that we find out what Saldean cultural norms are for a while...

I like the translation of Tel'aran'rhiod as "Infodump". I'll file it along with Pattern as "the plot" and ta'veren as "plot-central character" :)
Tony Zbaraschuk
5. Samadai
Leigh, I wonder if when Mat spanks Joilene in KoD srikes you the same way. Besides if as specualted she really is only 14 or 15 yrs old maybe she deserved a good whacking. Or maybe she deserved to have Perrin hit her with his big old blacksmith arms to cave in her lungs, or cause massive internal injuries.(of course that would have solved everyone hating her)
Tony Zbaraschuk
6. Rikka
chpt 27:
You. You didn't know? But they reference Perrin spanking her like 5 billion times throughout the rest of the series! (okay, maybe twice) Also, I think it's entirely in character for Perrin, but that's just me.Perrin treats Faile based on how she acts and she's acting ridiculously childish at the moment. (plus she's 15. FIFTEEN!)

chpt 28:
I actually love Birgitte as a character. Feminine comic relief and she and Mat.... lovethem. also. double-plus badassery. Something tells me that would fall under, and be subsumed by, double-plus good. there are no opportunities for badassery in the future!
Tony Zbaraschuk
7. Samadai
I mean Joline
Deborah Jones
8. NanaD
Leigh, as weird as that spanking(the one that never happened) was to us it seemed to be what Faile responded to. She seems to expect a violent reaction to her digs and gets upset when Perrin doesn't show her he is upset.

As I recall Berelain got a slipper to the bottom as well. I think Perrin's reasoning was if you act like a child I will treat you like a child.

Great work as usual. Have a Happy Easter as well, and have a great time in Georgia.
Galen Brinn
9. GatheringStorm
I agree with the "don't hit women" rule, it's just how I was raised. That being said, I've never been put in that situation where a woman was trying to physically abuse me, either. I think that being "spanked" was mild compared to what she could have gotten at the hands of someone the size of Perrin. Fail (the "E" being deliberately left off) was being extremely childish and punishment was needed. I'll leave the appropriateness of Perrin's response to others.

The Tower of Ghenji has me anxiously awaiting the next book...

And now we've met Rand's uncle/Lan's cousin, Slayer. I wonder if we'll be seeing much more of him in the newest 3 books? Will Lan get to meet Isam? Will Rand get to meet his uncle?
Brett Michie
10. bchurch
In Perrin's defense, at this point he still thinks he's going to sacrifice himself to the Whitecloaks and will probably not be around much longer--so, affection for Faile aside, why shouldn't he allow himself to give her a good butt-whomping for all the troubles she's caused him? It's that or tell her he won't buy her any honeycakes from Mistress al'Vere.
Sara H
11. LadyBelaine
Is Faile really only fifteen? I thought she was like eighteen. I don't think that at fifteen the Women's Circle would have allowed her to marry without her mother's consent, which they didn't have.

It is the Women's Circle that ratifies a girl's maturity to marry after all.
Lannis .
12. Lannis
Chapter 27:

Erm... SPANKING? K, definitely missed that one the first time around... See? That's why these close readings are handy--you might gloss over something when reading it on your own, this at least delves a little deeper... and the benefit of individual opinions shared with the group is great for more insight! (You guys are all great--I mean it! A round of drinks for all us WoTers over here, please, barkeep!)

So Perrin uses the hammer to kill the Fade in the Ways? Heh. Internal struggle anyone? But then, tSR is where he really starts to get all mopey and starts wondering which way is up... and having a snotty 15 year old (obviously in need of a spanking) as a second-class sidekick doesn't really help matters, either.

Chapter 28: Birgitte talking to Perrin in the dream. She's just breaking rules all over the place, isn't she?

The thing that got me on my initial read of tSR was the creepy factor in the fact that the Evil is here, there, everywhere (Tear, back home, and even in your SLEEP). I know we've had TAR scenes before, and plenty to come, but it's the Perrin-Slayer scenes in tSR that gave me that shuddery You Can't Run From It feeling...
Galen Brinn
13. GatheringStorm
How did everyone MISS the spanking? To paraphrase our illustrious author, I thought it was obvious from the get-go.

I still remember feeling that she got her comeuppance from the first reading many, many, many moons ago...


I'm amazed at what people missed here, where there's action going on (NOT a criticism, just an observation). It's not like a boring chapter of Egwene zooming around in T'AR looking for something and finding the -guess what, I missed this piece - Mercedes Benz logo. LOL.
Richard Fife
14. R.Fife
(David Bowie Voice)Leigh, it's a piece of cake, eh? I wonder how you'll handle this little slice. (/David Bowie Voice)

I think Perrin chose to spank her because she was acting like a child. Is it out of character? Yes, and I love it for that, because it gives a bit of depth to Perrin's character. It shows that even the gentle giant can be pushed over the edge. As to why Faile took it, well, I think she, deep down, felt she deserved it, and actually respected him for showing the backbone, even if she flustered on the surface about it.

And yes, I think Rhuarc did spank Berelain as well. Spanking (and I do mean over the knee, hand to ass) seems to be a common punishment, in particular against the strong-headed woman, in Randland. I think Jordan used it as the last, best attempt at being the least bad way to hit a woman (even if gender-politic wise, it is probably one of the worst, since it is demeaning). But, as James T Kirk said, "There is no right way to hit a woman."

To TAR being infodump, I agree, but at least this scene had some action in it with the archery etc, as do upcoming scenes of Slayer v Perrin. Always better than half of the girls TAR sequences that are pure info.
Luke M
15. lmelior
Whoa, totally didn't catch the Gaidal Cain almost-appearance before.

I'm with Kate, I have the Penguin Classics translation of Tale of Genji, and I totally plan on finishing it one day. All 1200 pages of it.
Tony Zbaraschuk
16. LynnOH
Faile is 15? Outside the tower was that Gidal Cain (sp?) that shooed Birgitte away? Enjoy the confab in Atlanta and let us know how it is.
Tony Zbaraschuk
17. sps49
Faile definitely does try to provoke (test?) Perrin, and how he reacts definitely results in good/ bad feedback from her. Sure, she's loony, but she doesn't act dissimilar to my current GF with her unadmitted self-esteem and depression issues. Also, Harriet at least tacitly agreed with these sequences.

Perrin definitely cannot begin to return blows with blows; it could escalate, plus nobody respects a man who strikes a woman. Restraint and (possibly) spanking should be the most he uses with Faile. If she acts like a brat little sibling sometimes, she might have to be treated as one.
Tony Zbaraschuk
18. hoping to be of the blood
Sounds like people are done with TAR scenes but, at the risk of tiring everyone further, I have a question about the mechanics. I was just wondering if anyone had a clearer idea about the source of Perrin’s visions than I do. While he is in the wolf dream, which I think is the same as TAR, several windows open up to somewhere else and he sees different things in different windows. (I always preferred Apple v. Windows, but no matter.) In one, he saw Egwene and probably Amys, in apparent real time since they react to him. This seems like a window into a different area of TAR. He also sees a crumbling tower behind them, more of a metaphorical vision of the AS falling apart. He sees Rand in the whirlwind (getting the dragon tattoos?) This would seem to be contemporaneous with Perrin’s travels. So is this an actual vision of what is happening to Rand? We don’t know how the tattooing actually occurs so this is possible. By the way, who are the eyes watching Rand? Is it the forsaken or can the dreaming Wise Ones keep tabs on the men as they proceed thru the columns? On the other hand, his visions of Mat seem to involve events that occur over at least 1-2 weeks. Does he see thru a window in the wolf dream to see the pattern, like min or the snakes? Or is it something else? Egwene’s dreams occur only while sleeping and I don’t recall any while she is awake in TAR. Inquiring minds, as someone has stated before.
Tony Zbaraschuk
19. FSS
I'm with Gathering Storm @13. I just don't see how anyone could miss that. It's too funny!

One note on that (spoiler here): Faile's mother told Perrin the first time they met that she remembers the first time Davram grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and she her who was stronger ("It was magnificient!").

Those Saldeans! What a hoot!

I do agree with you on one thing: Perrin should have killed her (waaaay more sppropriate than spanking, because, you know, she was hitting him, and you don't hit girls, and apparently spanking is out of line), finished the Trollocs and Whitecloaks, and went back to Berelain, who, as memory servers, isn't a complete twit who should be spanked every day (unless she wants to be, anyway).

Now that's a good run-on sentence!
Chris Maurer
20. grayfox
R.Fife @ 14:

"As to why Faile took it, well, I think she, deep down, felt she deserved it, and actually respected him for showing the backbone, even if she flustered on the surface about it."

So what you are saying is that some girls occasionally like a good spanking?

Sorry, couldn't resist...
Tony Zbaraschuk
21. Lsana

I would like to make a request, if you don't mind. I don't know if other people feel the same, but I would really appreciate it if you could continue to give the chapters that you'll be covering in the next post, even if you end up being wrong. I'm kind of trying to keep my personal re-read at the same pace as yours, and if you don't give me a chapter estimate, it is hard to do that.

Just making the request. Say "no" if you think I'm being a jerk.

@11 LadyBelaine,

The same thought had occurred to me. I can't believe that if Faile was Two Rivers girl that she would be allowed to braid her hair yet. The Women's Circle shouldn't even let her enter a betrothal yet, much less agree to waive the betrothal requirement entirely and let her and Perrin get married that very night.

@12 Lannis,

I also thought it was cool that Perrin used the hammer to kill Trollocs. It sort of reminded me of the whole Lewin sequence in the glass columns where he rejects the sword because it can only be used to kill, while the spear can do more than that. Makes me think Perrin will be more effective with the hammer. The hammer can build or destroy, the axe can only cut things down.
Tony Zbaraschuk
22. FSS
One more note (sort of serious this time):
When Perrins was giving Faile what-for, she was furious with Loial for intervening, and furious with Bain and Chiad for not intervening.

All I can say is: Loial must not have tried very hard.
Tony Zbaraschuk
23. Norry
@18 Hoping

You wrote up more or less everything the books mention as wolf dreaming. There's a strong implication that the windows are similar to eg's dreams but aside from guesstimates about what they mean, there's no mechanics explanation that I'm aware of.

One thing to mention about prophecy in general in the series: Min's viewings are only guaranteed when she sees them and knows what they mean. I'll posit that Eg's dreams and the Dreaming talent proper work the same. We know that the Seanchan are going to attack the tower, kill some AS, but not take it because Eg's interpreted it as such. The rest of her dreams tend to be mostly true but it's not the same.

I lump Perrin's dreams into the same boat as uninterpreted Eg dreams/Min visions.
Conrad Rader
24. conrad.rader
I found the whole spanking episode very convincing. After all, Perrin did warn her not to hit him. Twice. This is the guy who put as Aes Sedai out of his way by picking her up. Faile being young and unsure of what she wants, but knows she WANTS something is angry at Perrin and is acting out. They have a wee bit of a dominance battle and then Perrin responds. A response in kind is not appropriate, slapping her ups the battle, he just wants her to stop, and spanking, for all we know it to be bad, has been a parental correction method for a long time. Plus, at some level, there can be a sexual element to it.
Yes, Perrin is always careful with his strength, that why from his point of view it is a measured response. He really does like her, just is confused. He's young too, remember, and got all the wolf roiling around in him too. I remember pecking order issues being settled by violence when I was younger. Not to mention the whole subset of people who prefer to be dominated, physically. People are always more interesting for learning about what makes them tick at deeper levels.
Tony Zbaraschuk
25. Aaron Bergman
Oh dear god. I certainly completely missed that on the reread and, if I had ever noticed it before, managed to successfully repress it. If only it weren't a sign of things to come. Oy vey.

I've made it up to the end of LoC on the reread now, and I've realized that the rest of the books are a complete blur to me. I mostly just find myself dreading what is (or isn't) to come. The gawdawful menagerie was bad enough, but I'm pretty sure the search for the bowl is worse (not to mention the sure to be entertaining Mat/Tylin conversation to come...) and I have inklings of more repressed memories of Elayne in Caemlyn. I can't imagine what I don't remember is much better -- the book's worth of reaction shots to the cleansing of the taint, say.

But that's long ahead, I guess. Modulo the spa--I can't even say it--TSR is pretty much full of awesome. I'm interested to hearing what Leigh has to say about the Maidens' reaction to Rand in this book and the next -- it's certainly a lot more interesting than Rand's tediousness towards them.
Josh Davis
26. YoSoyElJosh

Perrin is the only male dreamer we see. Is this because it's some skill he has, like the Wise Ones? Is it because he's a Wolfbrother? Is his TAR some combination of the two?

Egwene has dreams with meaning, and she can walk around in TAR. Perrin has his dreams of meaning while walking through TAR.

I wish we had a better sample to draw from so we might know whether Perrin's case is unique, if all male dreamers are Wolfbrothers, or if all Wolfbrothers are male dreamers.

Also, there are no Wolfsisters, it seems. Why is there no female-animal connection to balance this? Or are there cat-sisters? I believe cats are attracted to women who can channel? And someone else mentioned (much) earlier dogs were drawn to men, but I can't recall that ever happening.
Tony Zbaraschuk
27. RebelLives
Not my favorite chapters in the series. I did not catch the spanking, but I tend to read quickly and not always catch everything. I guess I just figured he shook her around a little and bounced her back in the saddle hard. Besides the fact that it is difficult for me to comprehend actually picking someone by the scruff of the neck.

We will see in a few chapters, but the Women's Circle allowed Faile to marry Perrin because they had already been travelling together a while and they had heard both Perrin and Faile say that they love each other. It also may have had something to do with the fact that Perrin lost all of his family and they see this girl sticking to him like a fly on a turd and figured it would be good for him to have someone by his side.
Tony Zbaraschuk
28. MaureenS
Doesn't Toviene get attacked by a pack of dogs in the Black Tower. She gets rescued by the wife of an Asha'man who says she'd love a cat but they can't stand her husband.

I finished my re-read last night. Gonna kill me waiting 7 more months for the next bit but I'm glad we'll get three more books. I don't want to miss any of the story.

Have fun at JordanCon Leigh!
Rich Bennett
29. Neuralnet
I always assumed that Slayer dissapeared into the tower of Ghenjei and that seemed to add to my confusion over who/what is Luc/slayer/isam. Great call that it might have just been a trap. Even after reading the books and FAQ a few times I am still slightly confused by this character.
Tony Zbaraschuk
30. Paracelsus
I don't understand what the big deal with spanking is. Faile was acting like a child, so Perrin treated her like one. It is that simple. What else is Perrin supposed to do? Punch her?

I am a hulking man myself, and it would be very easy for me to hurt someone. But, like Perrin, I am not going to take that kind of abuse because it will just lead to more abuse. Perrin dealt with the problem in an effective manner. Faile needed to be put in her place in a way where she felt some physical pain, but physical pain in a way that would endanger her.

I actually think it is a great idea, and if my wife ever hits me I might pull out the old 'Perrin spank' myself.
Tony Zbaraschuk
31. RebelLives
YoSoElJosh, I have always thought that Perrin can enter the TAR because he is a Wolfbrother. What I can't remember right now is whether or not Elyas could enter the wolfdream.
Dan Sparks
32. RedHanded
As Chris Rock has said....never, never...never never never hit a woman. But I'll shake the shit out of one!
Tony Zbaraschuk
33. Norry
@26 YoSoy

cat/dog seeming to think the AS/Asha'man are cats/dogs. This is a paraphrase of a throwaway comment an Asha'man wife makes when Toviene (I think, the leader of the Black Tower captured AS) is getting chased by a dog on her way to meet Logain. I know there are other hints scattered throughout the books. There's one in an inn with either Moiraine or the Super Girls commenting on the cats liking them and a comment Tar Valon SAS camp has a lot of cats.
Lannis .
34. Lannis
RebelLives @ 27:
I guess I just figured he shook her around a little and bounced her back in the saddle hard. Besides the fact that it is difficult for me to comprehend actually picking someone by the scruff of the neck.

Yeah, I think you've nicely summed up what I assumed, too. (SPANKING?!)

Leigh: super jealous about JordanCon--have a blast for all of us who can't make it. :)
Brett Michie
35. bchurch
Am I the only one who is thinking now of the quest of (I believe) Sir Galahad from Monty Python and the Holy Grail with all this talk of spanking?

Faile subconsciously thinking:

Bad Faile! Bad, naughty, wicked Faile! Perrin you must give me a sound spanking!
Luke M
36. lmelior
I actually think it is a great idea, and if my wife ever hits me I might pull out the old 'Perrin spank' myself.

My wife strikes me all the time. Of course, she's 5'4" 105 lbs, and I'm a foot taller and weigh twice as much. Her punches tend to hurt her wrist more than they hurt me, so she prefers the straight-fingered jab to the kidneys or the karate chop to the throat. Vicious, that one. I tend to go the bear hug route - pick her up with her arms trapped against her body. Gotta watch the flailing legs, though. It's either that or the powerbomb onto the couch or bed followed by flopping on top of her with most of my weight.

I usually win.
Galen Brinn
37. GatheringStorm
lmelior @ 36,

Wow, is all I can say. I can't imagine ever getting that physical with my wife. Neither one of us has ever lifted a finger towards the other.

Aside from "not hitting girls 'cause you just don't do that", my father-in-law is 6' 7" and can "palm" my head (he can palm a basketball), so there's a whole OTHER reason not to touch her. lol
Tony Zbaraschuk
38. Ceista Existe

Isn't Rand a Dreamer? He's dreamed himself to T'a'R without Ishy bringing him in, I'm almost positive. I can't think of an example except for maybe when he's on his way to Tear by himself and almost kills Perrin & Eg when they happen to find him. About the time he was balefiring dogs.

(I don't mean when he enters in the flesh)
Tony Zbaraschuk
39. a day late and a crown short
Maybe its because I would have reacted similarly but I figured he spanked her at first read. I too would never hit a woman . Spank, yes , if she deserved it and situation was plausible. Act like a child get treated like a child. And she didn't humiliate him , uh ,how many times ? Does anyone bitch about Rhuarc and Berelain?
Dan Sparks
40. RedHanded
Is it confirmed that he spanked her? I mean he could have head-butted her for all we really know.

How many people's wives or what have you start smacking them whenever they get pissed? Really Faile, really? Is that how a grown woman acts? What are they teaching people in Saldea these days!
Tony Zbaraschuk
41. GregoryD
Spanking! Pulease! Sometimes I wonder why I read this post!

Have you never seen the movie, THE QUIET MAN, with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara?! He not only spanks her, he drags her half way to their house because she is behaving like a 15 year old brat! And her Irish sensabilities love it. In fact, she is royally pissed off until he sticks up for her honor and fights half of the town.

Up until about 30 years ago, spanking a woman who was behaving like a child was an appropraite punishment. It's a good thing I'm not going to Jordancon or I might have to spank a few whinning children, myself.

I have never believed in hitting a woman, but what do you do with a hysterical beotish who is hitting you? Again, John Wayne would have slapped her as the only way to get her attention and bring her back to sanity. What do you do with a wacked out guy? Just slug him. The world is much too politically correct nowadays. No wonder we can't win a war anymore. Too busy crying and moaning.

Faile wants him to take charge and actually gets off when he does. She wants the old fashioned man who will be stronger than her.

That's my two cents worth. Many of you disagree and I really don't care. It used to be a free country. one of these days the world is going to need the old fashioned guys again. Just hope there are some left. We just have the bad boys now. You know the rough guys with no compassion, verses the old fashioned guy who was rough and had compassion.

Oh, and spanking is a good form of punishment if it is administered correctly and not in anger. I spanked both my kids, never in anger and never too hard,and I only had to do so about 3 times that I can remember. The rest of the time all it took was a mention of a spanking and they started behaving like human beings again. Sure beats the thirty minutes of talking, threatening, talking, giving in, talking, getting nowhere, having you kids look like brats and making you look like a wimp parent, getting nowhere and finally your kid winning the battle theatrics that we see today.

I'm done now. give me John Wayne anyday to Jason Biggs. You all know who I mean. American Pie guy.
Marie Adomako
42. MSedai
I'm with conrad.rader@24, I think the spanking has an element of wolfish establishing dominance by putting down the uppity pup. Plus, how else is he going to deal with her? If he smacks her, he could severely injure her, and even if it was just light for a lesson, you just don't hit women. The weirdness I think comes in the humiliation part-he didn't just spank her, he did it publicly. All in all, it is a really weird dynamic there. (Understatement of this read-through so far?)

Does anyone else think Perrin is a little thick for not recognizing Slayer when he meets him in the Two Rivers? I mean, when I was reading, even the first time through, I was like, use your nose! use your nose! idiot!

GregoryD@41: I agree with you up to a point. Many people get a little too hysterical about corporal punishment these days, but it does have a time and a place. The problem comes in with so many people that smack their children and spouses around, and then claim a right to corporal punishment.
Tony Zbaraschuk
43. swmdilla
Faile IS a child and Perrin needed to put her in her place. Plus, somethimes girls just need a good spanking.
Josh Davis
44. YoSoyElJosh

I don't know exactly. He shields his dreams now, but before he started that, I thought Egwene and Perrin found him in their dreamwalking. If he is a dreamer, he's wasting the talent with the shielding (which likely keeps him in as much as it keeps others out), but I don't remember him having any sort of premonitory dreams. Just bad ones.

Once he opened a gateway to TAR, as Egwene does, but I've no reason to believe any channeler strong enough couldn't do it, unless most of the Forsaken are dreamers.
Luke M
45. lmelior
GatheringStorm @ 37

It's never in anger. Haha, I guess I should've mentioned that. It's always, always in good fun. Our 15-month-old likes to join in, too, and he fights dirty. Believe it or not, he already knows that he can only wrestle with mama and dada, he's really good with his other kids.

RedHanded @ 40

It's not real anger, that's why. Now that you mention it, my wife is much like Faile in that regard.

Not every woman is a laid-back, pacifistic Southern Belle people.
Tony Zbaraschuk
46. Ian Hurst
Ashamed to admit I also zoomed way ahead in my own reread, like Aaron Bergman. But even 4 years after my last, I still remembered chapters 26 and 27 well enough to be... squirmy and anxious to get past them. The contrast in quality/enjoyment/awesomeness between TSR as a whole - perhaps the greatest book of the series - and these two chapters could not be higher. Even without the spanking, which I also somehow had never noticed (!!!), the relationship here between Perrin and Faile (and poor Loial) is just perfectly horrible, and for me it marks two things.

One, this stands out as the worst point in any of the Good Books (tm). Two, it's a road sign that we're approaching the Bad Books, which are dominated by relationships grown bad for seemingly arbitrary reasons. Thus while it's a relief to have moved past this part of the story, it also always comes with a sense of impending loss. Which... sucks.

To end on a higher note, still loving your commentary on gender relations (and everything else), Leigh! Ignore the haters! Or just thrash them.
Tony Zbaraschuk
47. MikeDeepo
RE: Faile's age. According to the WoTFAQ that some considerate persons put together, she's about 6 years younger than Our Heroes. Ever since I realized it, that's always given me an ick feeling.
Kristen Cook
48. CeistaExiste

Good point - now that I think about it, shielded dreams possibly could work both ways. Maybe that's why there have been no Tower Dreamers in forever, since they all most likely shield their dreams from the time the get the shawl. If it doesn't come out before then it never would. But who knows the average age Dreaming come out anyway.
Galen Brinn
49. GatheringStorm
I've never really pictured FAIL (TM) as being that much younger than Our Heroes (TM), but I've kind of known for a while that she was. I just kind of overlooked it, I guess subconciously to avoid the "ick feeling" that MikeDeepo @ 47 mentions.

I hope we don't get too much screen time with Perrin and FAIL in Book 12...
Tony Zbaraschuk
50. Nelis
RJ has a penchant for corporal punishment which is seen pervasively throughout virtually all of the cultures in the WOT, including the White Tower.

In his other novels (both Connan & Fallon)he uses these themes also. In the Fallon books there is a character, Elizabeth I think, who 'likes it rough'.

I am currently reading POD and Elias comes to Perrin's camp in Gheldan. He gets a chuckle about Perrin being married to a Saldean and tries to give him some advice about him being firm with Faile to let her know that he does not think her too weak to handle it.

So, in my humble opinion... RJ had a thing for this kinda thing in his writing... and Faile most likely got spanked good by Perrin.
Adam Parsons
51. Belement
I heart Leigh.. you just make me lol too much with your commentary..

Anyway.. This was an idea I came up with a couple of weeks ago that I decided to hold on to till the next Machin Shin scene.. ok.. so the Ways are a pocket universe right? What if.. just go with me here.. the rules of physics, and therefor reality, are different here. We already have islands being above each other etc.. So another change would be the rate of entropy, but instead of everything just slowly fading away, this entropy has become an identifiable "embodied" thing, the Black Wind. It's eating away at the rock and metal that are what makes up the islands themselves, hence the missing bridges etc.

Ok, so that leaves the idea of what would be making the voices that are heard.. Well, what if it's a trick of the mind, what people are hearing is only what they are interpreting from the random noises that are being put out by the Wind. If you listen to static long enough, you'll think you're hearing a word or two. If you're bat-shit scared, you'll hear more, and worse, things than if you're not scared. And who the hell wouldn't be scared of being 'eaten alive', or at best being, for all intents and purposes, brain dead.

Let me know what you all think.
Tony Zbaraschuk
52. Freelancer
Seriously, Leigh. You summarized a chapter with a fair bit of significant info/activity, and all you could talk about was the spanking?

Perrin would never bring himself to strike a woman, ANY woman, in any other way. It is just too easy for him to do real damage. So, the math is simple:

1. Faile wasn't going to stop hitting Perrin (perhaps partly because he kept asking her to stop, certainly partly because he wasn't responding as a proper Saldaean)

2. Everybody, even Perrin, has their limits

3. He refuses to do something that might injure her bodily, and with his blacksmith arms, even a slap could do so

4. Not too many choices left, is there?

I, for one, don't get your fury over this. Perrin is the ONLY one she is not longer upset with, since he finally showed that he didn't think her too fragile to deal with forcefully (sort of).

I'm quite certain that Rhuarc put Berelain over his knee, what else would have generated the shamed response his comment got about "repeating" that event?

And for others who have commented re: parents spanking their children, every comment has it wrong. A parent should never spank as an outlet for their anger lest they do worse. That is abuse. Corporal punishment is physical consequences for unacceptable behavior, but it MUST be administered without emotion, and not until the child is clear that they are the cause of their own discomfort through their incorrect choice of action. My children never got "whupped" without first knowing they had earned it, and it NEVER happened without a calm conversation first.


Perrin can enter T'a'R because he is a wolfbrother, I'm sure, else it wouldn't be referred to immediately and always as the Wolf Dream. Rand also dreams himself into T'a'R, as well as Traveling into it to chase Rahvin.
Tony Zbaraschuk
53. Freelancer
Let me adjust my reference to other comments about spanking children. I should have said that every comment I NOTICED had it wrong. I didn't read them all, and I likely would have been in agreement with some.
Tony Zbaraschuk
54. RobC
So honestly, you'd prefer that he just closed fist punched her when she starts beating on him?


Ahh, The Quiet Many. One of my(and my wife's) all time favorite movies.

I agree with most of the others that have p0asted the same; if you're going to act like a "recalcitrant child" be prepared to be treated like one.

I also believe that Rhuarc's "talk" involved a spanking.
Tony Zbaraschuk
55. bookworm
Wow. Leigh, please tell us that you aren't really banging your head on the desk. If you are, you'd better get a pillow - for your head (Spoiler alert!), because there is much more spanking to come. Plenty of spanking will be going on in the Mistress of Novices' quarters in KoD. Plenty.

Yes, I'm sure the Rhuarc paddled Berelain for acting the willful little girl in the Stone of Tear, too. And later with Mat with Joline. If it's any consolation, I don't think Rand believes in it. Frankly, you should take this up with Harriet at JordanCon. Maybe she has some perspective on it?

GatheringStorm and R.Fife, I figured you two would catch it right off.

To whomever mentioned it, thanks for reminding me about the rippling when the Bore was opened. Perhaps it was the DO reaching out indirectly?

@35 bchurch. Wow. Had to go there? I suppose someone did. Thanks for making it "not me".
Tony Zbaraschuk
56. Tamyrlink
(love the 1984 reference lol! i say double-plus all the time)

perrin has always ranked low on my list of fav characters, not at the bottom but low, but i do love him in this book i have to admit. and i always wondered about the tower, that no one ever really looked for it or found it there, even during hawkwings time, and that aes sedai appear to not know of it.
Josh Davis
57. YoSoyElJosh

For me, I see the Ways being corrupted as the result of three things.

1. The Taint on the Source that was used to make them.

2. An absorbtion of Shadar Logoth evil (Machin Shin and Mashadar are just too similar to me).

3. Further decay seeping in through the Waygates in the Blight.

It's almost a perfect macrocosm for what's happening in Rand's side after he gets the Fain scratch.

The Black Wind appears not only sentient (wind doesn't usually talk), but has no affect on Fain and perhaps takes orders from him (or perhaps a Forsaken) when it seems to meet Rand at the Waygates.


I assume they're related as well, but Perrin has no other name to call it by. He doesn't even think of where he goes as TAR. It's the wolf-dream.

Also, I definitely can believe it happened, but when did Rand dream himself into TAR?
Tony Zbaraschuk
58. hoping to be of the blood
Any thoughts as to why Hopper couldn't see Birgitte? Did she shield herself with her TAR skills or are wolves a little out of sync with TAR? *as he tries to deflect further spanking discussion*
Robert Garza
59. FunBob
Ahhh...Gaidal Cain and Birgette...thats a story that I hope will be explained in the AMoL trilogy...
*also trying to avoid the spanking*
Tony Zbaraschuk
60. hoping to be of the blood
I think it was in tDR when he was on the run to Tear. He saw Eg,Perr, Min and others (or replicas sent to kill him?
Josh Davis
61. YoSoyElJosh

Good question! I hadn't considered that question. Seems like being a Wolfbrother would have something to do with it, but presumably Slayer can see and be seen by the wolves?

I wonder...


Oh, I didn't think that was Rand in TAR. I thought that was Rand having his crazy, nightmarish dreams, and both Egwene and Perrin inadvertantly had a peak inside.
Richard Fife
62. R.Fife
Wait, catch what? Should I be offended?
Tony Zbaraschuk
63. hoping to be of the blood
I think Eg and Per were in TAR. I'll have to go back and read the books again which is really sad since I just read them a few weeks ago. Memory fail
Tony Zbaraschuk
64. GregoryD
I guess I'm not done.

This is randland circa 1400 A.D. or some such nonsense. politically correct has not been invented yet. RJ is just giving everyone a realistic picture of how things were done before the world became civilized and started using atomic bombs instead of a sword or club.

I'm surprised someone hasn't mentioned Faile being 15 and underaged to have sex and get married and statuetory rape and etc. etc. RJ left out a character. What about the Jerry Springer show and DMA to prove which one of the thirty guys she slept with in the last two days is the father. Now that is civilized!

We always have some bleeding heart causes. Some nut uses a handgun in a killing spree, so let's ban hand guns. No, let's get rid of idiot law makers and law inforcers who cannot keep real criminals behind bars. Cars cause 70,000 deaths per year. Why not ban them? You can call this world many things, but please don't call it civilized. Randland was much more civilized, by far.

I understand Advil works good for head banging. Take three about an hour before reading such chapters should do the trick.
Josh Davis
65. YoSoyElJosh
Haha, I know the feeling. I'm on my first re-reading (in tPoD), following along here with Leigh, and pulling up Encyclopaedia WoT after every chapter, and it's seriously impacting my ability to remember things properly.

I really need a new literary addiction. But I can't stop now!
Torie Atkinson
66. Torie
@ 64

Like you said, this is Randland. Let's leave real world politics out of it, please.
Tony Zbaraschuk
67. bookworm
No, no R.Fife. A compliment that you two don't miss very much in the books. ;)
Tony Zbaraschuk
68. Paracelsus
"Does anyone else think Perrin is a little thick for not recognizing Slayer when he meets him in the Two Rivers? I mean, when I was reading, even the first time through, I was like, use your nose! use your nose! idiot!"

This question is easy to answer. Luc and Isam, while both having an inhuman feel to their scent, do not have the same scent. Perrin knew there was something he didn't like about Luc, but he just couldn't put his finger on it. It would be quite a striking accusation to accuse Luc of being Slayer without any other proof than a scent that is somewhat similar but not the same.

More interesting, to me, is that Verin knows that Luc and Isam are the same. She has the dark prophecy from TGH, and heard Isam's name being chanted by the Trollocs in the Two Rivers. She also knows of Luc's hasty departure. I wonder if Verin's knowledge of Slayer's true identity will play into the story of AMoL.
Mari Ness
69. MariCats
@64 GregoryD --

As you said, this is Randland.

But I do feel the need to point out that laws protecting women from violence, including violence from their own husbands, are not exactly a product of contemporary political correctness, or even of women getting the right to vote. In various periods and countries of the Middle Ages, which incidentally were not all that homogeneous, several laws specifically decrying violence against women were enacted -- and the "courtly love" concept placed women on pedestals to be adored, not hit. (This by no means applies to all of Europe or all of the Middle Ages.) In 17th century England, not exactly a time of high feminism, it was illegal for men to hit their wives with weapons, or on the head, or certain other areas. A few states started making any domestic violence illegal as early as 1871. This sort of thing still happened, of course - if it didn't, laws wouldn't have been necessary - but I do think that your assumption that all cultures have accepted that spanking a woman is appropriate punishment until 30 years ago is questionable.
Kristen Cook
70. CeistaExiste
@60 - here's some stuff from the recap:

tDR Chapter 27
She squints into the darkness, and realizes she is in the woods. She sees a campfire, and creeps through the trees to get closer. Rand is by the fire, alone, smoking a pipe, and she notices that the fire burns with no fuel, and doesn’t even seem to be touching the ground. Rand looks up and demands that whoever it out there show themselves; Egwene steps out and says it’s her, and not to be afraid, she is in his dream. Rand sneers and answers that he knows it’s a dream, but that doesn’t make it any less real.
He stared angrily out into the darkness as if looking for someone. “How long will you try?” he shouted at the night. “How many faces will you send? My mother, my father, now her! Pretty girls won’t tempt me with a kiss, not even one I know! I deny you, Father of Lies! I deny you!”
“Rand,” she said uncertainly. “It’s Egwene. I am Egwene.”
A sword of fire appears in his hands suddenly, and he tells her his mother offered him honeycake with poison in it, and his father had a knife, and “she” offered kisses, and more; what does Egwene bring him? She tells him she will make him listen to her if she has to sit on him again, and tries to wrap him in Air; he spins the sword through the air, and she staggers back, feeling her flows severed. He says he has learned some things, when it works, and then moves to attack her. Egwene flees; she doesn’t know how she does it, but somehow ends up back in the sunny meadow, where she berates herself for once again being unable to help him.

tDR Chapter 32
He thinks about his dreams, and all the people he knew showing up and trying to kill him. For some reason, the fake Min that had tried to kill him hurt more than the others.
So many faces in his dreams. Selene had come, cool and mysterious and so lovely his mouth went dry just thinking of her, offering him glory as she had—so long ago, it seemed—but now it was the sword she said he had to take. And with the sword would come her. Callandor. That was always in his dreams. Always. And taunting faces. Hands, pushing Egwene, and Nynaeve, and Elayne into cages, snaring them in nets, hurting them. Why should he weep more for Elayne than for the other two?
He plays on, afraid to sleep, or dream.

Ok that last bit seems close to a Dreamer's Dream in that he knew about the trap in Tear for the Supergirls. Didn't Perrin have a dream window about them walking into a cage? I dunno, I kinda think he's got some talent, but maybe not a lot, but I think he can get there by himself because he is alone when Eg comes and he knows it's a dream.
Andrew Lovsness
71. drewlovs
Spanking. Hmmm...

I'm with you Leigh, in that I cannot picture it, from either Faile's point of view nor from Perrin's. I DO identify with Perrin a lot, in that I am a father of 3 going on 4, with 2 going on 3 being daughters. I really like to treat them as "better" for being women, though I'm not sure if that’s rooted in chauvinism or just a dad’s bias.

That all being said, I cannot… CANNOT… ever imagine a scenario where I would put my wife over my knee and SPANK her. Don’t kid yourself, I could physically do it; but Rhuarc’s method of dealing with Faile seems more apt for Perrin’s (and my) reaction than what actually transpired. Think of the humiliation…

The funny thing is, I distinctly remember cheering for Perrin when it happened the first time I read it. Was it do to a younger and more macho version of myself reacting to how Faile was acting? Probably, because I know for a fact that I was hungry for a response…ANY response…from Perrin. Spanking worked at the time.

Now, I just see it as a complete impossibility, mainly due to the fact that in my opinion, Faile would HUNGER for revenge. MY wife would never, in a million years, forgive me for doing something like that in private, much less in front of the only friends we had.

There is a difference between putting another human being in their place for wrongs they have committed to you and humiliating and demeaning the person for the same thing.

Let’s DO agree that it didn’t happen.


Yes, I DO realize that Faile saw it as Perrin finally "being a man". But I doubt Faile's father puts her mother "in her place" in public, and further, her mother never argues with her father in public for that matter.

The Saldean angle doesn't work for me here.
Kate Nepveu
72. katenepveu
I can't believe some of the comments I am reading.

Let's try some basic axioms on for size:

1) It is wrong to commit violence against people you are supposed to love.

2) Two wrongs do not make a right.

Is anyone seriously going to contest these?

It therefore follows that:

It is wrong for Faile to hit Perrin. (I've never liked her, and this is one of the reasons why.)

It is wrong for Perrin to hit Faile.

End of story. Everything else is a red herring.

Now, I am going to go wash my brains out with soap and try to stop feeling frightened of some of the commenters here. And no, I am not kidding, either.
Tony Zbaraschuk
73. billiam
In answer to an earlier comment, I beleive RJ said there could be wolfsisters, but I don't remember where I read it. Does anybody else remember this?
Tony Zbaraschuk
74. hoping to be of the blood
thanks for the research
One question. Did Rand dream himself into TAR or was it a dream? It seems TARlike to me. Maybe he doens't know enough to know TAR from dreams
Rene Sears
75. rene
@72 katenepveu Thank you for saying that.
Sacha G
76. Fortune_Prick_Me

Thank you, kindred soul.


Here: RJs blog

"Week 13 Question: If a wolfbrother is reborn in another Age, will he be a wolfbrother again? In other words, is being a wolfbrother a trait related to the soul? Can women be wolfbrothers?

Robert Jordan Answers: Women certainly can be wolfbrothers, though the term would be wolfsisters. A wolfbrother or wolfsister reborn in another age would only be a wolfbrother or wolfsister again if that were possible in that Age.
Tony Zbaraschuk
77. RobMRobM
Quick thoughts.
- Didn't pick up the spanking on initial read or my re-read of book last month. Yet another reason I'm addicted to this process.
- People are making too much of spanking here. This is Randland, where Nyneave can give Mat a full blown kick in the butt in Salidar in LOC and younguns get switched until they bleed in White Tower and in Wise Women's Land.
- Kate, respectfully, what was Perrin supposed to do with Faile? She slapped him hard in the face twice. Walking away likely would have inflamed her to try something else physical. Saldean wonem expect to join their husbands in battle (per LOC). Passivity wouldn't work; apologizing probably wouldn't work. I see Perrin as making the best decision in a bad situation. I wouldn't make it (i.e., I have never once spanked my kids and certainly haven't touched my wife) but in context of story and Randland it is not worth beating one's head against the desk. Let's move on, shall we?
- I do think Faile gets a bad rap in the book, as her actions in Tear were started by the I'm-going-to-hand-myself-to-Whitecloaks and I'm-going-to-save-my-love-by acting-mean-to her cr*p by Perrin, but the hitting thing her is inexcusable - I can understand how many people dislike her for this chapter and the LoC and PoD abuse re Berelain yet to come.
- Love Leigh's theory that Luc didn't go into the Tower. Never thought of that one before, but I had wondered how he could have gone in without sanction from snakes or foxes. Nice.
- I also never thought about why Hopper couldn't se Birgitte. Still don't understand it, but intriguing.
- Always love those references to Manetheren descendants as warriors. Tres cool.

Happy weekend, all. Rob
Tony Zbaraschuk
78. Kenneth G Cavness
Rob@77: Robert Jordan created this world, with all the intergender violence in it. He didn't have to. It's not an actual, real universe.
Richard Fife
79. R.Fife
Allow me to qualify my remarks:
I agree with your axioms wholeheartedly. At the same time, I agree with them in a civilized, enlightened society.

In WoT, that's a different matter. All three of our main heros could likely do what Perrin did, to some degree or another, although I don't see Rand ever getting into that situation with Min, but Aviendha and Elayne, well, he's already pinched Elayne's bottom with the power in a punative fashion...

I think the problem people are having with this scene is the inability to take into account culture and upbringing of the characters, and to leave their own this side of the printed text. Yes, it is domestic violence on both sides, but not in their eyes, and not exactly in Loial and the Aiel's eyes. And, honestly, not in some of the commenters eyes, but some people genuinely do "like it rough". I won't comment one way or the other on commenters who have semi-violent love, because I doubt I can take the full context of the situation into view.

So, the skinny: yes, hitting/humiliating is bad to us, but hitting isn't bad to everyone, and it isn't humiliting to everyone either.
Tony Zbaraschuk
80. DarthRaistlin
i have to say, i think i enjoy the read-through and comments as much as i enjoy the books them-selves
Tony Zbaraschuk
81. jaec200
hey just a quick comment, leigh you said that it was cool that birgitte went to perrin because of his bow but i always thought it was because she reconised him from TGH. He was the bannerman for the charge of the heroes. she must have remembered perrin if she remembered mat. what does everyone think??
Lannis .
82. Lannis
FunBob @ 59:

Trying to avoid the spanking discussion (as hoping to be of the blood @ 58)? Or just trying to avoid a good smack on the bum? It sounds like some of us should start ducking...

drewlovs @71:

I know for a fact that I was hungry for a response…ANY response…from Perrin.

Yeah, me too--I can remember mentally screaming at his refusal to react ("rise to the bait" has the wrong feel...). Something, *anything* would be great--but I still missed the spanking. I believe I thought that he'd just picked her up and roughly put her back on her saddle, with the intent of keeping her out of arm's reach.

katenepveu @72: THANK YOU! Well said! :)

jaec200 @81: re: Birgitte recognizing Perrin... yeah, I just assumed that was why. The kindred-bow thing works well for me, too.
Amar Ramraj
83. aiel1219
That was my thought too... about him being the bannerman... and also when she starts talking to Nyn and Gaidal appears etc. she says that she can't stand by and just watch the bad guys run things and not atleast try to help the good guys (or something to that effect) So I think she does it because she knows Perin is one of the Important good guys so she saves his arse.
Tony Zbaraschuk
84. hoping to be of the blood
I think Birgitte called Perrin archer simply as a title since she didn't know his name. I don't think it was some sort of archer's professional courtesy that she violated the prescripts and spoke to him. She would need more impetus than that. People find themselves doing and saying things they normally wouldn't around ta'veren, so I think that accounts for it.
Andrew Lovsness
85. drewlovs
I believe Jordan has written in unique ways of marital dealings within many of the societies of Randland. But all the others aside, lets keep Saldean culture in mind...a woman MUST be strong, a veritable tiger, but her husband must be stronger.

We do not see this acted out in PUBLIC, however, except with Faile. Her mother immediately shuts her mouth when her father tells her to...I think she might have a few words with him later (I don't remember the scene all too well, so we'll have to wait).

The point is, it feels out of character for me, even if you can find "proof" of spanking taking place elsewhere.

And, I can think of many, many other things Rhuarc could have done to Berlain to put the fear of God into her; Rhuarc spanking her is only one one act on that list.

That is an aiel thing though...couldn't you see him stripping her down and sending her back to her apartments? Or having a few wise women "talk" to her? We don't see any wise women in the Stone, so that might not be a good example, but there were quite a few Far Dareis Mai just sitting around...
Tony Zbaraschuk
86. hoping to be of the blood
usually I try to avoid a good smack on the bum sometimes ...
Tony Zbaraschuk
87. Ian Hurst
Kenneth G Cavness@78: "Robert Jordan created this world, with all the intergender violence in it. He didn't have to. It's not an actual, real universe."

Exactly, exactly. Just typing myself through this for extra skeeviness, Jordan writes our characters into a Two Rivers culture that, much like our own, holds violence against women to be abhorrent. Later he writes a Saldean girl who expects violence into Perrin's life and, when the inevitable clash occurs, what happens? Our hero, who we are supposed to identify with, learns to BEAT HER LIKE SHE EXPECTS?

*That's* the lesson Jordan wants our hero to learn, and his readers to understand/enjoy/identify with?! Not steady, careful Perrin-of-the-Two-Rivers-where-they-don't-beat-women standing his ground and refusing to bow to the abhorrent parts of Saldean culture? No, our *hero* caves in and smacks her around enough to have made her Mother and Father proud.

Ick ick ick. In my head, heroes don't make their peace with sick traditions. They break them. Every damn time.
Amar Ramraj
88. aiel1219
I was gonna avoid the spanking thingy but I have a question...
what did y'all think of basically all the maidens in the Stone raping Mat at spear point? LOL!!!
Tony Zbaraschuk
89. PieterT
Does Faile like her spanking? She obviously likes to be dominated by Perrin. She keeps encouraging Perrin to be a powerfull, strong man that does not take no for an answer. She does not like it when Perrin does everything she asks for.
I guess spanking somehow fits in their relationship. They are the kind of couple that would get their kicks out of it.
Tony Zbaraschuk
90. annew
What Kate @72 said. (All of it, including the Faile disliking) Just to bring the ratio up.
Tony Zbaraschuk
91. Roxinos
Even you're not free from gender politics, Leigh. Though, of course, you don't pretend to be. More often than not, you're pretty good at seeing both sides, but what's the big deal with the spanking? Perrin told her not to. He was *not* going to punch her. She slapped him several times, slapping her once would be nice and all, but it doesn't get the point across.

You say that spanking is something you do to punish recalcitrant children. I agree.

In terms of physical actions, Perrin is the leader. No matter how you slice is, Faile is weaker than Perrin. Her slaps sting, her punches push the air out of his lungs, but no matter what, Faile is merely a child to Perrin in terms of physical strength. When she responds to Perrin physically, he responds in kind. In a way that tells her just how he regards her physically. That is, he regards her pragmatically. She is weaker. If he says, "Do not hit me," she should bloody well listen.
Tony Zbaraschuk
92. Ian Hurst
Roxinos@91: "You say that spanking is something you do to punish recalcitrant children. I agree. Faile is merely a child to Perrin in terms of physical strength"


1) Spanking children is OK.
2) Faile is weaker than Perrin.
3) Therefore Faile is a child to Perrin and he can spank her.

This line of argument takes us into all sorts of great places! Faile is a child to Perrin and can treat her so... but they have SEX. And you're not complaining about it. Therefore it's OK for storybook heroes to fuck children? Or no, maybe being weaker than your guy doesn't make you a child, and doesn't mean he can treat you like a child?
Luke M
93. lmelior
Kate @ 72 and others

There are shades of gray that you are missing here. The axioms are true but the corollaries are not. The necessary assumption there, that Faile's hitting and Perrin's spanking are acts of violence, is where that logic breaks down.

My wife's preferred method of getting me to stop snoring involves a quick knee to the ribs. Sure it's annoying for a half-second, but it doesn't hurt, gets the point across, and it takes less time and energy for both of us than gently waking me up and telling me to roll over. What can I say, I appreciate efficiency.

There is no malice involved. I freely admit this is a thin line and it's not for everybody, but the world is not so black and white. Speaking in absolutes is the same as making generalizations. My wife hits me, never in anger. Do not presume to tell me that it's wrong and she can not or should not, and don't bother attempting to convince me otherwise. I'm not masochistic, I'm just not overly-sensitive. I have a thick skin and a thick skull, and after nearly 10 years together my wife pretty much knows the quickest ways to manipulate me. And vice versa. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Tony Zbaraschuk
94. Ian Hurst
lmelior@93: "My wife hits me, never in anger."

Your analogy fails here. Faile *does* hit Perrin in anger. And she expects a similar reaction from him.
Luke M
95. lmelior
Ian @ 94

No, I don't believe it does. Firstly because nothing in Kate's corollaries specifies hitting in anger, but more importantly because, as I've said before, I don't believe Faile is *really* angry. She is more worried for Perrin because he so nonchalantly brushes off the danger of dashing into so dangerous a place as the Ways.

If you have young children, you get angry at them if they go off on their own because you're worried about them. Or if you don't get angry, you at least have to pretend such, or else they won't understand the seriousness of the situation.
Tony Zbaraschuk
96. Barrison
Ian Hurst@92&87:

Seriously dude....what the heck are you talking about? You're trying to apply your sense of morality to a fictional world. Take a deep breath and come to a complete stop for a moment. While you're doing that please read up on Saldaean women:

Living on the borderland, these are a people who deal with violence beyond anything you can comprehend. This is a land where the slightest hesitation to use force in defense of what you care about means you're already dead and you've endangered everyone around you. Every single day brings with it the chance to end up in a Trolloc raiders cookpot after having who knows what done to you before hand. In addition to that, is the fact that this little lady is very well trained in the use of knives and hand to hand combat.

Please, stop trying to treat Faile as if she is a damn flower meant to be placed upon a pedestal to keep from harm. She slaps Perrin twice and punches him in the stomach hard enough to almost knock the wind out of him. Picture a guy his size and then imagine how hard you would have to hit him to knock the wind out of him. She is far from delicate.

I really don't see how hard it is for people to grasp this. Faile uses violence as she has been raised with to elicit a reaction from Perrin when his passivity about the danger he may be putting everyone in by rushing ahead drives her over the edge. Perrin uses violence as he knows (spanking was used as one of the punishments for being a brat in the Two Rivers) to make her stop after warning her several times not to strike him.

It really is that simple.

Once again, stop trying to apply your morals from a world where the biggest fight you ever got in was a bully that pushed you in high school to a world where every day brings with it the possibility that everything you hold dear may be dead and gone.

Tony Zbaraschuk
97. Rebecca Starr
gar! spanking...I should probably keep my mouth shut, but here's my feeling. Faile forfeit all right to the statement "big people don't hit little people" when she slapped Perrin so hard. because the way I see it, little people shouldn't hit big people, either.

::runs away from the can of worms she has opened::

I can see how Slayer's disappearance into the Tower of Ghenji might have been a trick. I also, however, think it would be really cool if he *does* have some connection to the 'Finns, which we learn when Mat and Thom go tramping in to the rescue.
Tony Zbaraschuk
98. Ian Hurst

Indeed, nothing in Kate's posts says anything about anger. And yet at least twice you've hedged your argument with "but never in anger". This is telling. Clearly it matters. Your wife jabbing you awake to stop your snoring (which my wife does too) is not the same thing as a swift punch in the gut, or a straight slap in the face, or a PUBLIC SPANKING harsh enough to make you uncomfortable in the saddle, all of which Faile and Perrin do to each other.

Do you really not see the difference? Waking you up from snoring vs. coercive violence? Seriously?

My comment on the children comparison is already up in 92.
Tony Zbaraschuk
99. Ian Hurst
Barrison@96: "Seriously dude....what the heck are you talking about? You're trying to apply your sense of morality to a fictional world."

Well, no, actually, I am reading the Wheel of Time, which is about, among other things, GENER POLITICS, and I'm enjoying Leigh's comparison of the GENDER POLITICS in the Wheel of Time to the GENDER POLITICS in my world. If you want to have a discussion about that, sweet! If you don't, that's ALSO sweet. But if you want to tell me, or anyone else, what *we* should have a discussion about, then you can fuck yourself.

Barrison@96: "Once again, stop trying to apply your morals from a world where the biggest fight you ever got in was a bully that pushed you in high school to a world where every day brings with it the possibility that everything you hold dear may be dead and gone."

This is a ridiculous argument, starting from your presumption that my perspective comes from being bullied. Know what? I was never bullied because *I* was a bully, and trying *not* to be one is something I struggle with regularly. And this is part of what bugs me about the Faile/Perrin relationship - Jordan writes Perrin as, gentle, careful young man (something I certainly never was) who learns to bully his lover into behaving herself. *I* think that's a fucked up lesson right there, and I am enjoying that part of the discussion. Nobody's forcing you to participate in it.
Tony Zbaraschuk
100. Siuanfan
She had it coming. Mind you, I am a female, and was a supervisor at a domestic violence hotline for two years. I think a man abusing a woman is abhorrent. You don't have the balls to deal with the world, so you make yourself feel like a man by abusing and controlling the one person you think can't stop you from getting away with it.

However. This was not the case. The girl was slapping him in the face and punching him in the stomach, and his first reaction was to ask her not to do that, then remind her that he asked her not to do that. A few smacks on the behind was the least of what she had coming to her. SHE was the abusive party in this case. She thought because he was so gentle and sweet that she could mentally/physically abuse him any way she liked and get away with it... and I think I just realized the core of why I've always disliked Faile so intently.

If he'd punched her or slapped her I'd have been upset and may have reacted as Leigh did to the spanking... but if you ask me, his action totally fits in with his character. Perrin's like an Ogier, slow to anger, but push him too far and you have to deal with the consequences. And even then he controlled himself enough to just whack her butt rather than slap her face.

aiel @ 88 I may be reacting a little oversensitively here, but "raping Mat" and "LOL" do not go together. I know that's not really what the Maidens did, they only kissed him, but the principle is the point - please don't say rape and then lol, that kind of thing just completely makes my hair stand on end. Besides, 'raping Mat' is pretty much what Tylin did later on, but I've been biting my lip until we reach that point to rant about it (I just passed it in my own re-read).
Tony Zbaraschuk
101. bookworm
@72 katenepveu et al,

For starters, what makes your particular cultural vantage more correct than another?

What is missing here is a discussion of the underpinning for RJ's depiction of inter-gender violence in Randland.

I understand your abhorrence of the spanking of Faile by Perrin, but I have yet to see the same vehemence displayed regarding woman on woman violence in the books. It could be because the bulk of it hasn't arrived in Leigh's review yet, so I would be interested in hearing your views upon that aspect of Randland behavior.

I wonder (and perhaps I missed any such discussion) what posters think of a Wisdom who carries a wooden stave around to provide physical exclamation points to her opinions? I also wonder about the Aes Sedai, who seem to have no problem using various slippers, hairbrushes, etc. on Novices in the Tower? What about the suldam and their punishments of damane?

The various societies in these books have developed through a very violent period of hundreds and hundreds of years. Along the Bordelands, violence is a daily way of life, for example. I would like to see someone argue why Randland society should mirror what passes for civilized behavior in western civilization in our world today.
Tony Zbaraschuk
102. DrewoftheRushes
I particularly appreciate the David Bowie Labyrinth homage:

"Nothing, nothing, tra la la!"
Tony Zbaraschuk
103. Barrison

Well aren't you a foul-mouthed little guy. Actually, no. The person you responded to was not speaking about the comparison of gender politics between this world and our story world here. He was making a comment that this is a fictional world that Jordan created and it can have whatever inter-gender play that he wanted it to.

You're the one that jumped in like a jackass and started applying your sense of right and wrong to what Faile and Perrin did as if your thoughts of what "heroes" do or don't do actually matters.

You want to have a discussion about GENDER POLITICS (yay caps lock) with people who also want to then by all means go right ahead. I'm sure as hell not stopping you. But you also have a bit of respect for people who see these people as the fictional characters they are in this fictional world.

So take a step back shut your fucking mouth.

Lannis .
104. Lannis
Leigh! You sly fox! I'm beginning to suspect that you deliberately slowed the reread down to make certain chapters--with shall we say, "explosive" subject matter--land on weekends! Keeping us busy, are you? ;)

Great commentary, btw.
Tony Zbaraschuk
105. DoratheExplorer
Hooray, our first flame war.
Rene Sears
106. rene
@101 bookworm:
I wonder (and perhaps I missed any such discussion) what posters think of a Wisdom who carries a wooden stave around to provide physical exclamation points to her opinions? I also wonder about the Aes Sedai, who seem to have no problem using various slippers, hairbrushes, etc. on Novices in the Tower? What about the suldam and their punishments of damane?

I might have missed this discussion too, but I think part of the reason it might not have gotten the same reaction is that no posters leapt in to defend f on f violence the way people are jumping in to defend Perrin and Faile here.

As to the suldam and damane, they were universally reviled in the discussion of Egwene's captivity in Falme. I'm sure they will be reviled more later.
Luke M
107. lmelior
Ian @ 98
Do you really not see the difference? Waking you up from snoring vs. coercive violence? Seriously?
Oh no, I purposely made the difference very clear, but where do you draw the line? It is not as obvious as you say. If my wife wants me to change my son's diaper, and I'd rather sit and read WoT, I'll say sure and then not move immediately. Then she'll resort to the kidney attacks. This is hitting with the intent on getting me to do something. I'm not terribly offended by this, but others would call this abuse.

Honestly it sounds like we don't disagree terribly, my comments were more directly towards the people speaking in absolutes. The spanking wasn't something I would've done, but I can accept that other people draw their own line differently.
Tony Zbaraschuk
108. bookworm
Thanks for the explanation, rene.

The thing is, I perceive that there is quite a bit of cultural transference going on here, without the benefit of a discussion regarding how different Randland is from our world.

I also haven't read a lot of criticism of female on male violence, save from those who dislike the Faile character, and wonder how this is justifiable considering the vehemence of the emotions when the tables are reversed.
Tony Zbaraschuk
109. Rikka
Wow people, wow. The f-bomb? Really? It's fantasy gender politics. Let's try to quit frothing at the mouth like rabid raccoons and have some respect for each others opinions. You don't have to agree with each other but being civil would be appreciated, otherwise I'll have to spank everyone in here and coming from a teenage girl, that's got to make you feel salty.
Ofer Nave
110. odigity
Another vote for Kate@72.

Or, for a longer version:

Universally Preferable Behaviour - A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics
Tony Zbaraschuk
111. Kenneth G. Cavness
bookworm@108 -- "Cultural transferrence?" Um. You do know that Robert Jordan was an American, living in North Carolina, right? Again, Jordan picked how his universe was going to be. He chose to put the inter-gender violence in there.

How can you possibly read a book and not apply your own morals while reading it? Why is it suddenly abhorrent to say "This bothers me, on a visceral level," and have to apologize for that because your culture tells you that hitting people is bad?

What a topsy-turvy world we live in...
Pablo Defendini
112. pablodefendini
Ian Hurst @99
But if you want to tell me, or anyone else, what *we* should have a discussion about, then you can fuck yourself.
Easy there, buddy. No reason to resort to name-calling.

Barrison @103
You're the one that jumped in like a jackass and started... So take a step back shut your fucking mouth.
Same goes for you, Barrison.

You guys can have opposing viewpoints, and a discussion about them, without getting nasty. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and try again. This has been a public service announcement. Or a warning. Whichever you prefer.
Brett Michie
113. bchurch
Rikka @ 109

Well said.

And in case some of you missed it, a note from Leigh above:

Be nice in the comments, I mean it.

Obviously we all take these books very seriously, or else we wouldn't be here, but if we can't respect each others' opinions, let's at least try to respect our Fearless Leader in this quest for all the wonderful and hard work she's put in.

Thanks, and have a pleasant day!
Tony Zbaraschuk
114. Ian Hurst
Barrison@103: "The person you responded to was not speaking about the comparison of gender politics between this world and our story world here. He was making a comment that this is a fictional world that Jordan created and it can have whatever inter-gender play that he wanted it to."

ORLY? And here I thought Jordan had to write to my expectations of gender play! I only want to read fantasy that's exactly like the real world! No. I like Fantasy for reflecting on the real world, and the comparison between the two is part of what keeps me coming back. You're welcome to like it some other way, but you're not welcome to tell me I can't.

Barrison@103: " as if your thoughts of what "heroes" do or don't do actually matters."

" So take a step back shut your fucking mouth."

Well, points for brevity, buddy. At least we can skip the pretense that you are actually analyzing anything I've written, and instead get right to the part where you tell me not to write about things you don't care about. The answer is "no, and fuck you for saying so". I read comments and respond where I find things interesting/troubling/whatever. You go ahead and do the same. Unlike some other people, I am not *bothered* by stuff that doesn't interest me. I'm only not *interested* in it.
Tony Zbaraschuk
115. Barrison
First, I do apologize to all for responding to curses with more curses. I get a little hot-headed when dealing with that sort of thing.

Re: Ian@99 "And this is part of what bugs me about the Faile/Perrin relationship - Jordan writes Perrin as, gentle, careful young man (something I certainly never was) who learns to bully his lover into behaving herself. *I* think that's a f***ed up lesson right there, and I am enjoying that part of the discussion."

I think you may be reading the wrong series if you are looking for life lessons. The main character is a guy who is going crazy who will be knocking up three (count em 1, 2, 3) different women at the same time with them all happy to be in this situation. You're off the map; here there be really messed up situations.

Furthermore, Perrin doesn't "learn to bully his lover." Within the world he lives, he learns that the woman he loves will accept no weakness from the man she loves. He must be willing to be strong and stand up for himself under any circumstance; even if it is from Faile herself. I personally think that learning to stand up for yourself and not letting yourself be walked over, even by the people you love, is a great lesson.

Rene Sears
116. rene
@108 bookworm

Sorry, lazy typing on my part. I don't think anyone was defending f on m violence either, and in fact, I remember many people calling Nynaeve a bully.

As for cultural transference, I think this is an issue that's going to strike a nerve and be harder to separate from real life values (Violence within relationships, that is, regardless of who is the instigator.) There will be others, I'm sure. (Suianfan @ 100, I'm biting my tongue until the whole Mat/ Tylin debacle, too.)
Ofer Nave
117. odigity
Also, I don't see why it's wrong to judge the morality of a fantasy series. The characters are sentient mortals, therefore morality applies, whether or not they know or follow it. Morality is not subjective, it's not a cultural thing, not an opinion. There are correct answers, and there's nothing invalid about applying them to a fantasy series.

Well, other than the fact that it might drive you crazy when the characters continue in defiance of morality. :)

Also, there's a difference between understanding someone's perspective (beliefs, upbringing, whatever) and *approving* of it. I get the Saldean thing. I expect this behavior from Faile. I still don't approve of it.
Tony Zbaraschuk
118. Ian Hurst
pablodefendini@112: "You guys can have opposing viewpoints, and a discussion about them, without getting nasty. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and try again. This has been a public service announcement. Or a warning. Whichever you prefer."

It's not "opposing viewpoints". Do you see the difference between these two statements:

A) I disagree for reasons x, y, and z.
B) I don't like this subject, please don't bring it up.

(A) is the source of an interesting discussion. (B) is an effort to marginalize someone's interests.

I'm elated about all the (A) going on here, and pissed off at all the (B).
Richard Fife
119. R.Fife
Eh... there is a bit of an implication that "kissing" wasn't all that went on with Mat, seeing as they kept up him all night long with their little game, and he told the nobles that it was kissing at spearpoint to give enough truth so he wouldn't have to tell the whole truth. I don't know if it was full up rape, but there was some other coerced sexual activity of some sort going on with Maiden's Kiss.

*kindly ignores the spanking Can-o-worms for now*
Ofer Nave
120. odigity
Also also, regarding the flame war (that just ended, right?), for the record, it wasn't the naughty words that bothered me. That's fucking silly. As George Carlin tried to preach: It's all about context.
Pablo Defendini
121. pablodefendini
Ian Hurst @119
Apologies, I should have made clear that I'm one of the moderators on this site. I'm not making a judgement on the content of your discussion, I'm asking you to follow Wil Wheaton's rule: Don't be a dick. See odigity @120 for a succinct explanation.

*Sigh* Torie and I really need moderator badges. Upgrades ahoy!
Tony Zbaraschuk
122. Ian Hurst
Leigh, I'm not sure there's a nice response to "don't talk about this stuff any more". If there is, I don't know it. Apologies if I'm screwing up the vibe in your comment section.


Wait, how do you square this:

"I think you may be reading the wrong series if you are looking for life lessons."

With this:

"I personally think that learning to stand up for yourself and not letting yourself be walked over, even by the people you love, is a great lesson."
Tony Zbaraschuk
123. Barrison

"ORLY? And here I thought Jordan had to write to my expectations of gender play! I only want to read fantasy that's exactly like the real world! No. I like Fantasy for reflecting on the real world, and the comparison between the two is part of what keeps me coming back. You're welcome to like it some other way, but you're not welcome to tell me I can't."

Hooray for sarcasm while completely disregarding what was said.

"Unlike some other people, I am not *bothered* by stuff that doesn't interest me. I'm only not *interested* in it."

And yet that comment at 78 that you responded to at 87 was not about your stated interest in the comparison between GENDER POLITICS in WoT and the real world. You jump on the guy for his remark that had nothing to do with what you followed up with. If you're interested in the GENDER POLITICS comparison why did you come at the guy with what you did? Well, which is it? Are you interested in the GENDER POLITICS within the storyland or are you interested in comparing it with the GENDER POLITICS of our world? Either way, as I said before and you completely disregarded, there was no excuse for the way you responded with sarcasm and contempt in 87.

Richard Fife
124. R.Fife
Hmm, I'm going to shift gears here on something Odigity said that caught my attention:
Morality is not subjective, it's not a cultural thing, not an opinion.

Interesting, I say, because I disagree. I fully believe that morality is very subjective, although I know many many people who will disagree on because of my somewhat Decartian reasoning that is as follows:
1) An Absolute Morality implies an Absolute Good and Absolute Evil.
2) If there is no Absolute Good/Evil (ie, no gods), then good and evil become constructions of sentience.
3) The relative constructed Good/Evil of sentience typically follows a Locke-like agreement of mutual self-interest, but does not have to.

That is super short and lacking a lot of the finer details I've put into the idea, but, in short, what is Good for Faile is not necc. Good for Perrin (all capitals on purpose).

I will stand that such morality holds in Randland as well, as there is a "basic" good and evil (from the DO and general idea of the Light), but otherwise its all culture and law.
*Stands before the firing squad of Objective Good*
Tony Zbaraschuk
125. Ian Hurst

And wait, actually, followup question! If the WOT can provide "great lessons", can it not also provide terrible ones? How come you can talk about the great lessons but I can't talk about the terrible lessons? That's screwed up, dude.
Tony Zbaraschuk
126. Ian Hurst
Barrison@123: "And yet that comment at 78 that you responded to at 87 was not about your stated interest in the comparison between GENDER POLITICS in WoT and the real world."

Kenneth at 78 was responding to 77 which was very much a criticism of other people's comments on gender politics.

And my 87 was not at all sarcastic. I wrote it in support of Kenneth's (who I respect a lot) 78. RJ wrote some interesting/troubling/whatever gender politics into his world, and it's not only (1) a valid discussion topic but (2) quite interesting to some of us.
Tony Zbaraschuk
127. Barrison
@Ian "Wait, how do you square this:

"I think you may be reading the wrong series if you are looking for life lessons."

With this:

"I personally think that learning to stand up for yourself and not letting yourself be walked over, even by the people you love, is a great lesson.""


"And wait, actually, followup question! If the WOT can provide "great lessons", can it not also provide terrible ones? How come you can talk about the great lessons but I can't talk about the terrible lessons? That's screwed up, dude."

I hate to break it to you because you sound like you think you're scoring points here; but the fact that this series has situations in it that could be either good or bad doesn't matter to me in the slightest. I don't care one way or the other what kind of lessons this series may have. It's a work of science fiction. These are fictional characters in a fictional world with magic and pre-destiny and everything. I don't need to "square" anything.

Tony Zbaraschuk
128. Barrison

It's quite interesting to me as well. Else why would I still be here. However, on the point of you not being sarcastic at all:

"Our hero, who we are supposed to identify with, learns to BEAT HER LIKE SHE EXPECTS?"

Please explain to me how Perrin spanking a woman who was slapping and punching him is learning to "BEAT HER LIKE SHE EXPECTS?" Or were you being a little sarcastic and exaggerating a bit.

Tony Zbaraschuk
129. GregoryD
Reading the rest of these posts and the flamboyant four letter word threats and insults, I realized that it must really be Good Friday. Pretty vivid reason Jesus had to die for the sins of the world. Nothing much has changed, has it.

If you say to your neighbor, "You fool!" you are in danger of hell fire!

BBQ anyone?
Tony Zbaraschuk
130. Ian Hurst
Barrison@127: "I don't care one way or the other what kind of lessons this series may have."

Then retreat back to not caring. Nobody asked you to care. Not once. And the only thing you've ever done to work me up is imply that I also shouldn't care and shouldn't talk about it. Other people do more than imply it, and I get more worked up about that.

Oh, I see you're back to criticism in 128. I welcome your criticism, as long as it's not more of the "don't talk about this anymore" variety, but if you want me to take it seriously then you're going to have to do the same for mine. Start by addressing your own contradictions in 115 and my followup questions regarding it.

To repeat, how come the good lessons you find are open for discussion, but the bad ones other people find aren't?

And to head this off, I do think the WOT is loaded with good lessons, even in its troubled gender politics. Which I think helps explain the huge number of female fans of the series.
Pablo Defendini
131. pablodefendini
Ian, Barrison,

Enough, please. Clearly you're not communicating with each other, and it's to the detriment of the rest of the conversation. I suggest you both agree to disagree, and leave it at that.
Tony Zbaraschuk
132. Barrison
Ian@Ian Hurst

"Oh, I see you're back to criticism in 128"

"To repeat, how come the good lessons you find are open for discussion, but the bad ones other people find aren't?"

You haven't really gotten over that whole bullying this have you. Yes, I know what you are trying to do by constantly going on the offensive here. No, I'm not going to bother giving it my time.

Please, point out where I stated that any topics are open or closed for discussion. I'd even settle for a place where I implied anything of the sort.

And as I clearly stated in 127 there was no contradiction and I don't think I need to expand on that any more than I already have.

Tony Zbaraschuk
133. Barrison

I am sorry for derailing this conversation as I have but I simply won't stand for the type of bullying, sarcasm, and derision that Ian is displaying here. I've had to deal with far too many people like him to put up with it.

Tony Zbaraschuk
134. Ian Hurst
I'll take the moderator's suggestion. The last word is yours.
Sacha G
135. Fortune_Prick_Me
I wonder if RJ is doubled over in laughter right now or if he is just sadly shaking his incorporeal head.... seems like the Lord of Chaos is ruling over this forum lately.


I'm with you on that and the books seem to support that perspective. The believers in absolutes such as the Whitecloaks, Elaida (her "unbeliever" definition of Logain), the Seanchan and the Red Ajah in general seem to show that one's own absolute morality need not be dedicated to evil, yet in the overall scheme of things, come down on the side of evil and chaos. Morality does appear to be subjective in the books.

EVIL itself seems to stand outside of morality, appearing more as the consequence of one's actions, rather than the driving purpose. There is a quote of RJ stating he believed in absolute evil. But one of the qualities of these books is that we puny humans are not allowed to see the whole picture and cannot gauge the full consequences of our stated morality and can only hope we're on the right side.

The road to Hell is paved with...
Pablo Defendini
137. pablodefendini
Barrison @133
I am sorry for derailing this conversation
Then put the respect for your fellow readers and commenters above your own needs and stop. It's that simple, really, and it goes for both you and Ian.

Let's say you both stopped right there at #133.

EDIT: Damn, you guys are fast. let's move that stopping point to #136, then. Thanks, guys.
Tony Zbaraschuk
138. longtimefan
People, which by the nature of being raised with different families who impart different ideas, can be confusing.

My husband snores and I push him on the shoulder to get him to roll over.
A knee to the ribs sounds like there is a bit more impact to the action.
I sand sounds like it since I have no experience with the knees in question.

But that is not the story that is just a commenter making a comment above.

As for the story. It is difficult for people who want literature to teach the next generation to see ideas presented that they do not agree with. The primary idea set forth was that when a person hits a person they should ask them not to do it again instead of just hitting them. That idea is flown twice and only after the other person does not listen is action taken. Yes it may be a spanking which carries many different social ideas but many of those ideas depend on how the person was raised not how the reader interprets them for others.

The spanking was the mildest ACTION that could be taken and retain the violent person's attention. Other actions would have been to continue to ignore being hit which is not something people over 30 find easy so how would a person in the late teens find that kind of inner Ghandi? Leaving the company of the violent person would also be an option but teens also have a difficult time distancing themselves from people they care about.

Would the reader want the action played out against themself? Probably not. Would the reader have acted in a way that would provoke the action of spanking? Probably not.

To me the most awkward thing about gender politics is that they are complete fabrications based on stereotypes people chose to believe and then use against the stereotypes they do not believe in.

If all people are equal then no one should be hit or all people should be open to retaliation if they chose to hit. No one is equal if one is allowed social freedoms that others are not.

But then again I am assuming that feminists are moving towards women being equal. That may not be true for some.
Lannis .
139. Lannis
Fortune_Prick_Me @ 135: Oooh! Oooh! Pick me! Pick me! *hand waving frantically*

The road to Hell is paved with...

Good intentions!

(What'd I win?!)
Tony Zbaraschuk
140. Ian Hurst
longtimefan@138: "Leaving the company of the violent person would also be an option but teens also have a difficult time distancing themselves from people they care about."

Having been through this - by which I mean been in a relationship with a woman who was prone to violent outbursts (albeit not as serious as Faile's) - I don't see there being any room for a "but leaving is hard", here. Of course it's hard.

But given the choice between (a) keep taking it, and (b) reacting with overpowering with violence, and (c) leaving the relationship, it's (c) that's the right choice. It ain't right to take it like a dog, and it ain't right to get physical with women. And if that leaves more than "pack up and go", then I wish somebody would have told me 12 years ago.

And I'm beating a horse, but it bugs me to no end that Perrin picks (b) and lives happily ever after. Bad lesson, Robert Jordan!

I also wrote a response to your comments on feminism and equality between sexes, but deleted it, because I wasn't sure I could make my point without bothering female readers. Probably somebody will come along and make it better for me, I hope.
Kate Nepveu
141. katenepveu
A whole bunch of people say, What was Perrin supposed to do in response to Faile hitting him multiple times? Gee, I don't think this is so hard: if someone I am in a relationship with hits me, the proper response from me is to DUMP HIS ASS. (TM Dan Savage, though in a slightly less profane version.)

And yes, I left out "nonconsensual" in front of violence in my comment. But, here's the thing: your kink is not my kink, fine, fine. But Perrin did not consent to have Faile hit him, and did not consent to hit her as part of sex, to express desire. This was nonconsensual violence to express anger, frustration, and attempts at asserting authority--and these are wrong motivations for violence regardless of cultural context.

(Faile slaps Perrin twice and punches him hard enough to drive most of the air from his lungs. After he hits her, she's "refusing to sit gingerly," which means she's in pain. How on earth (or Randland) is this _not_ violence?)

Actually, that's a rhetorical question. I am done here. I am literally sickened by the people defending and indeed _cheering_ domestic violence, I feel genuinely unsafe among them, and it's frighteningly obvious that they are actively unwilling to understand why advocating violence against one's supposed loved ones (or people in fandom who are going to JordanCon!) is wrong and dangerous and drives away people. Goodbye.
Sacha G
142. Fortune_Prick_Me

Yay ~ the first post that doesn't refer to male/female (and vice versa) violence in a while!!!

You win a happy Easter (I hope!!!) and a heartfelt sigh of relief. :)
Lannis .
143. Lannis
SA-weet! :)

Hope you have a happy Easter, too, Fortune! And everyone else, as well--and if you don't celebrate Cheap Chocolate Season, well, just have a great weekend! G'night! :)
Tony Zbaraschuk
144. Aye Aye Sedai
And what if Perrin chose the Daishan approach and just turn the other cheek rather than choosing to redded Faile's :) hmmm

Obviously it was inserted for effect to show that there was a way to perrin to assert his Alpha Male pack leadership vs his humble TR upbringing. Add in the spicy Saldean attitudes for effect.

I'm pretty sure that RJ has all different m/f relationships in this world. Like the Seafolks - the one who commands in public then obeys in private. The Aiel with the Clan Chief/Roofmistress and the Maidens of the Spear, and the Womens Circles......... Of course theirs the Seanchean who have slaves.

Question - did RJ create an ideal society or did he make them all flawed and thus the characters all also inherently flawed?


Everyone - let's keep comments and discussions open/accessible to everyone - Ian and Barrison are now Gaishan and have a year and a day to work off their "toh by contributing constructively to the group ---and can just ignore the the other if that helps - its a community forum - no need for personal attacks nor personal "communications" between only two parties.

However lets all work to keep the dialogue moving positively and not negatively.
Tony Zbaraschuk
145. Barrison
Re: Perrin vs. Faile

I would posit that the incident in chapter 27 has a great deal to do with Perrin's wolfbrotherness. If you think about it, he responds to the aggression of Faile in very similar manner that an alpha wolf would when challenged; "With a snarl, he seized her by the scruff of her neck and..."

Perrin starts the story as the quiet gentle type who is very cautious around others, and as the wolf becomes more and more a part of his personality he starts exhibiting more and more of the mannerisms of a wolf. Such as his reaction here. It's lucky for him that this fits quite well with Faile's outlook that a man needs to be strong, aggressive, and ready to strike.

The problem with trying to apply a blanket gender political correctness to this series is the range of beliefs across this world that Jordan has created. From the two rivers where the beliefs probably most mirror the world that we all live in, to Saldaea where a man is expected to be both physically dominant and respectful to his spouse(those really aren't the words that I want to use there but I'm not sure that others would come closer to my point), to the TFL where if a maiden came at you in anger you damn well better be ready to put her down or the mother will be welcoming you to her last embrace post-haste.

I think it's because of how strange this world that Jordan has created truly is that I've been following the series for well over a decade. It varies from being so familiar to my way of life that I can almost believe that he's writing about people alive today to the point of being so alien to everything I know that I can barely believe that someone even imagined it.

Tony Zbaraschuk
146. Tony Zbaraschuk
Let's not do our own Perrin-vs-Faile meltdown here, folks. It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable, after all.

Perrin's kind of in a triple bind here -- he has to get home, it's his duty. And Loial is the only one who can take him there fast enough, so he has to stick with the Ogier. But the Ogier is bound by his oath to stick with Faile. So Perrin can't just turn around and walk away from the situation. That's ruled out. Faile's the one who initiates the violence (let's not forget that -- the Maidens think the same thing, that Faile picked the fight and must bear the consequences -- and that they see it as a fight is perhaps indicative), and he requests a stop. Twice. Doesn't happen. I suppose he could have grabbed her and slung her over the saddle or something, but for a two-day trip through the Ways that's a bit difficult. I don't think I blame Perrin for losing his temper here after everything Faile's done to provoke him into losing it, though I could wish he'd found a better solution of some sort.

You don't hit women; this is axiomatic. But what do you do if the woman starts hitting? (And let's compare Perrin's reaction with Rand's "I mustn't kill women at all", which I think most of us agree is the Wrong Thing to do when confronting, say, Lanfear out to kill you. Admittedly, the situations are not entirely parallel -- Faile isn't trying to kill Perrin! -- but what do we get from the juxtaposition of the two Duopotamians on this issue? Rand's being absolute, Perrin a bit more nuanced.)

I don't know, maybe both of them are right and Mat is better than either at handling women...

Mat/Tylin and f-on-f violence I think I'll wait till later to comment on.

As far as absolute evil goes, hello: this IS a series with absolute evil, it's that guy on the other side of the Bore trying to break through. It's clear that there are other ways to be evil or vile (the Whitecloaks, Shadar Logoth, various things that lots of different people do over the course of the series), but to argue that the Wheel of Time has a relative morality seems, um, unsound to me. There's a lot of shades of grey in the series (and Jordan does very well at painting them, and at showing the contrast of opposing good things), but there's absolute black as well and the presence of absolute white is implied by contrast even if the Creator isn't doing anything we can see this turn of the wheel.
Alice Arneson
147. Wetlandernw
Wow. What an awful series of comments. Thank you to those who chose to stay out of the flame war!

Now I only wish I had some wonderful new theory about the tower or Manetheren or something to send everyone off on something constructive. Instead I'll just comment on a couple of reactions from my first read (so many years ago!) that have persisted through my many re-reads.

One: I remember a great sense of foreboding when Perrin first realized he couldn't find any wolves in Manetheren. It just about made my skin crawl because there was clearly SOMETHING AWFUL going on.

Two: I've always enjoyed Perrin's learning about getting around in the wolf dream here (and later when he and Slayer play killer tag around the hills). It's just a super-cool discovery scene. And I love Hopper. (Oh, and I agree that Perrin's dream ability is from being a Wolfbrother. I'm betting all Wolfbrothers/sisters have the same.)

Three: I like the counterpoint methods of getting to know the Aiel in this book: alternating between the three here with Perrin & Faile, and the thousands surrounding Rand, Mat & Egwene. Seems like I ought to clarify that more, but can't.

Four: I'd forgotten just how much info there is here on the *Finn and the Tower of Ghenjei. I kept thinking we had to get to Mat in Ebou Dar before we learned these things, and here we are already. Oh, I am SO looking forward to AMoL and the next chapter with this title! (I hope Harriet uses it again...)
Amar Ramraj
148. aiel1219
@100. Siuanfan
Sorry Siuan. I wasn't laugghing at the raping ... I was laughing at the situation that no one saw anything wrong with what the maidens did but this one was soooo very wrong.

And yes rape was a very veru bad choice of words on my part.
Richard Fife
149. R.Fife
So, tell me, which culture in the wheel of time has it right on how to deal with women, or channelers, or outsiders, etc etc. There is a blatant lack of religious morality in WoT because there is no church, only a general belief in the Light, and that is about as good as "God bless the USA". Of course the Light shines on our culture, why wouldn't it?

And "Good is whatever the DO isn't" really doesn't fit either. There was plenty of "Evil" without the DO (crime, etc, did exist in AoL, and sadists a la Semirhage), so the DO isn't the personification of Evil, just a type. And, to get even more crazy, in the DO's mind, from it's PoV, it probably thinks what it is doing is right and just and the others are the evil ones. A saying I like to live by:

No sane man thinks he is evil.
Tony Zbaraschuk
150. Wolfpack
@ 141 - not seeing anyone cheering for Perring spanking Faile here - obviously many passed over it not noticing it or not thinking it was of much concern - particularly in a world or fantasy realm that is inherently violent -not just good vs evil war but for instance the Mistresses of Novices punishment that is then healed so you can be hurt some more.- but I am seeing that some draw the line at no physical contact and some arguing that there is a difference between hitting and spanking.

I believe that Ian gave 3 choices - a,b and c and wishing that c (waling away) was chosen - where would that have lead the plot - with respect to all the other relationships in the novels -For me this is surely not the most vile or shocking interaction in the Book. Perhaps Faile will ultimately follow the Way of the Leaf - :)

Question - would a slap be any different - I would think that most people might say that is worse than a spanking - but then others might think it is the same. I think the spanking is more of an emotional/embarrassment penalty. Themematically it is very Hollywood in that the two agrue/ bicker/ fight then make wild passionate love - right or wrong it is a current cliche in the genre.
Tony Zbaraschuk
151. Barrison

"I am literally sickened by the people defending and indeed _cheering_ domestic violence, I feel genuinely unsafe among them, and it's frighteningly obvious that they are actively unwilling to understand why advocating violence against one's supposed loved ones (or people in fandom who are going to JordanCon!) is wrong and dangerous and drives away people. Goodbye."

I would only point out that I don't think a single person that has posted here is "cheering" domestic violence. The only people so far that have stated a tacit acceptance of what happened between Perrin and Faile have only done so with the understanding that the world that they live in is extremely different to the one that we do.

As was pointed out above, context really is everything in this case. I would never for an instance think that type of violence was acceptable in the world that you and I live in because of the social mores that have been "somewhat" agreed upon by our modern society. But try comparing our way of life now with that of the roman empire at it's height. They did many things then that would make us cringe just to hear about. But does that make them wrong? What makes our beliefs correct and theirs wrong? In another 2000 years what will our ancestor's think we were morally reprehensible for?

tldr: Context, it's what's for dinner

Alice Arneson
152. Wetlandernw
You know, I'm bummed about this. It's Friday, and we could have all weekend to enjoy some good discussion, but we're stuck in this stupid rut. I always hate to miss any of the insightful comments, but I'm not sure I've got the intestinal fortitude to wade through any more comparative morality blather to find the few gems worth reading. So I guess I'll go read "100 Cupboards" for a breath of fresh air. Good night, all.
Tony Zbaraschuk
153. Aye Aye Sedai
@ 149 I see the Children of the Light and the Aes Sedai as two religions in the WOT. As well as the way of the Leaf, etc.
Ofer Nave
154. odigity
I was wondering if someone would bite. I realized I was casually dropping a bold and unsupported statement in there. :) But now I kinda want to cop out. Ethics (the branch of philosophy known as "morality") is a huge topic. I do recommend checking out the link to the book I posted - just pretend I pasted the contents of that book into this comment as my argument. Steal from the best, I say. :)
Richard Fife
155. R.Fife
Eh, I'll I'd argue that Tinkers, Aes Sedai, nor Whitecloaks are religions. The Whitecloaks are the closest, yet their odd tenants don't really have morality beyond "cower before us and do what we say." There is some indication that they have a bit of a code from the book Galad gets and reads from Valda, but it is still, well, its mainly Aes Sedai Hate and how to weigh a witch vs a duck.

The Way of the Leaf is philosophy more than religion. They don't have a higher power that gives them their moral code, but an "enlightened understanding" which could just be pacifist drivel.

Aes Sedai, hmm, and how exactly are they religious? They respect the Creator the same as any other non-DF, and perhaps have a hair more understanding of the Pattern/Fate, but none of this is giving them a divine moral code.

But, I would still point out that the vast majority of Randland humanity is without a religious moral compass, only a societal one.

Odigity: I'll "cop out" on debating relative morality in our world here as well, but I still argue that all the "shades of gray" in WoT imply it is a morally relative world.
Ofer Nave
156. odigity
146. Tony Zbaraschuk: As far as absolute evil goes, hello: this IS a series with absolute evil, it's that guy on the other side of the Bore trying to break through.

Well... my response to that would be that the Dark One seems to be evil as a tautology. That is, the DO is evil because he is evil, rather than because of his actions (though his actions are, admittedly, evil). Official Evil - as opposed to the "ordinary" evil of the whitecloaks, or a common criminal. But that's very, very wrong. Morality is judged on actions, not on labeling. When we fail to consistently apply that principle, we get situations like the American military killing tens of thousands of innocents in Iraq while still be considered "the good guys".

But then again, that's the foundational premise of the genre of fantasy, and what separates it from science fiction. SF is about ideas (which often includes questions of morality), while fantasy is defined by a clear good vs evil struggle. Because we're sophisticated, we like our fantasy to have as much nuance and realism as possible - within the bounds of the genre - and WoT is one of the best in that regard, but there's still almost always an authorial fiat of who the good and bad guys are that is not always compatible with their actions. Despite being passionate about philosophy and ethics in real life, I do enjoy fantasy, so I suppress my real-life rules to some extent in order to enjoy something like the WoT. Which is how I can cheer for Thom, despite the fact that assassination is evil. Force is only justified in defense of an immediate threat, not as revenge.

Just wanted to point that out. In a nutshell, I don't see the DO committing murder as being more evil than a typical human committing murder. Both are equally evil acts, and should be scorned and resisted in equal measure.
Ofer Nave
157. odigity
BWT-I'm a shocked at the lack of outcry at the pervasiveness of the "don't hit women" generalization in this thread.

Personally, I was raised to never hit a man with freckles. It's equally valid, because it's equally arbitrary.
Michelle Patelle
158. michellepatelle
Just putting in my two cents here. When Leigh has a choice between more chapters or more commentary, I vote for more chapters.
Richard Fife
159. R.Fife
Odigity, small thing, "High Fantasy" has a clear cut good and evil. "Low Fantasy" is actually ambigous. Conan is actually a good example. There wasn't a clear cut good or bad, just people trying to get by and having to deal with those who would rather they didn't.

Oh, and I believe in "violence is a last resort." I don't make any distinction, but typically women don't get hit because due to their typical position as weaker than me, I can non-violently restrain them. But, if a woman is at the point where non-violent restraint is not a viable option, well, she's going down, and I will not have any more remorse over it than if it was a man.
Tony Zbaraschuk
160. Aaron Bergman
You know, when someone says "It is wrong to commit violence against people you are supposed to love," and your response starts with "but", I think a serious personal reassessment is in order.
Tony Zbaraschuk
161. almuric
I didn't know whether to chime in or not; I'm not sure I'm adding anything new. But I'll see if I can add some perspective.

Jordan was modeling 17th or 18th century society. Lots of inequity in those times. And not just male/female.

But he inverted several thing. In European society, which Randland is definitely modeled after, women almost always were subordinate. Sure, there were some Queens and other nobles, but for the most part women were second-class citizens. This is almost completely done away with in Randland. In fact, it's largely stood on its head. In many of the (unbelievably) separate cultures that have evolved right next to each other, women have the upper hand. (He may have been trying to imply that this was an effect of Aes Sedai being only women for 3,000 years, but that's unclear.)

Name one of the Rand-countries where women are considered inferior. I can't think of one. Not amongst the Aiel, or Athan'Miere, or Tairens, or Andorans, or Seanchan, or anyone, really. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Sure, there are still some chauvinists and armies are largely composed of men. But women are shown as strong and competent (even Nynaeve, who also happens to be the biggest hypocrite in the world of literature in like... ever.)

The Aiel maidens that get pregnant and don't want to give up their spear let their kids be given to other people in a manner where they will never know who they are. It's almost certain that some mother has killed her own son in the constant Aiel clan-struggles over the centuries. Can any of you mothers out there imagine doing that? That's a lot more 'out there' to me than somebody liking to be spanked. And "Maiden's Kiss" has always seemed like it involves more than just kissing to me. Maybe not rape, but I think there's a good bit of "We get to do whatever we want to you" involved.

I can imagine a society where the women are brought up to want strong men. What do women look for in our society - somebody who can provide a good home, good father, good looking, etc. On the border of the Blight, a woman looks for someone who can kick ass, along with that other stuff. Makes sense to me.

I remember Captain Kirk slapping some woman who slapped him. If it's permissible in an enlightened future 300 years from now, why wouldn't a little physical correction be ok 300 years ago?

If you looked at this from Perrin's perspective, he probably should have said, "Ok, that's the end of it. I grew up in a society where it's not ok to hit women and since I can't defend myself against you, I can's stay with you." But he's Ta'veren and 'The Pattern' says he has to end up with the falcon, he had to man up and do something he didn't want to. I'm not sure the domestic violence unit that responded would have accepted his explanation, though. Wonder what Bain/Chiad/Gaul would have said. "She was asking for it", probably.

Think about it from Loial's perspective - he's like Perrin, violence is pretty abhorrent, but with him it's not just against women. All of a sudden, one of his traveling companions is spanking another one. And the three other traveling companions are just watching. Perhaps even laughing. So then, as apparently the only reasonable person in the group, he has to go and stop Perrin from spanking Faile. I think the reason Jordan glossed over that is that it would be difficult to write without it trying to turn into a farce. Or a Benny Hill skit.

Other random thoughts:
Trollocs must breed like Minks. How old do you think the average Trolloc warrior is? 18? And what do their women look like? And why/how do they sometimes give birth to Myrdraal? There's nothing Trolloc-like about those guys. Trollocs are half-animal, half-human, right? There are wolf ones, and boar ones, and so on. So do they breed true? What happens if a wolf-mommy breeds with a boar-daddy? One of them's dominant, like eye-color? No mixing of the animal types?

If the Dark One can create things like Slayer and Shaidar Haran, why doesn't he churn out bunches of them?

If Ishamael was loose for 3,000 years, why the hell wasn't he pretty much just running everything? If I had his powers (especially compulsion), I wouldn't stop at making sure the ice cream truck had Choco Tacos when they come around to my neighborhood. One thing I would have done is find me some other male channelers to compulse into freeing Callandor. Or just balefire the stone of tear until Callandor was laying on bare ground. 3,000 years? Every 50 years, I'd create a little Black Tower army that I'd smuggle into Tar Valon and use to level as much of the White Tower as possible. Rinse and repeat.

Am I just pointing out the obvious plot inconsistencies now?
Amar Ramraj
162. aiel1219
@156 odigity
OOO I learned a new word-- tautology. :) TY!!

And I see the religion in WoT more based on "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith" (from Merriam Webster Online)
rather than "the service and worship of God or the supernatural" (again from MWO)

Interesting how I always thought I knew what religion was until I asked myself to define it.
Richard Fife
163. R.Fife

Try to avoid ad hominen attacks, please. I, for one, say "but" because, while I agree with the statement, I feel that it does not apply or fully encompass the issue, which is what I and others have been addressing. I will note, none of us would pat Perrin on the back for what he did (well, most of us wouldn't), but we are arguing it is the logical/emotional result RJ was driving for. Perrin smacked Faile's bottom, which in her "demented" culture, was the correct response. Likewise, I will defend that Perrin's actions later against the Shaido were the logical step for him, even if it was a hideous decision that RJ has been noted as saying will hurt Rand's cause in the end.
164. Shadow_Jak
Ceista Existe @ 38

Regarding Rand entering TAR. I don't think he is a "dreamer".
I think this was Ishamael's doing. All the way back in TEotW he was able to pull all three, Rand, Perrin, and Mat into TAR against their will.

As for the spanking, I always pictured it as Perrin spinning her around, administering a few judicious whacks to her skirt covered bottom (maybe three? One for each slap and one for the punch) then sitting her firmly in her saddle.

Or maybe (for Leigh's sake) there really was NO SPANKING.
(No Spanking = no *headdesk* !)
Maybe he just grabbed her by the scruff of the neck, shook her once, then nipped her a few times on the haunches.
Better? ;-)
Tony Zbaraschuk
165. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Bain and Chiad were right. Faile provoked Perrin. She should have been prepared for the consequences. Besides, she seems to have liked him more for doing it. I'm really beginning to think Saldaean women are sado-masochistic. We should be getting used to it. Faile won't be the last. There will be numerous references about Gareth bloody Brynne spanking fishguts Siuan. Several times. And then there's Mat spanking an itinerant Joline. Besides how do you think Berelain started getting along so famously with Rhuarc?
Does anybody else notice how much more naturally Perrin learns how to manipulate the Wolfdream than the Aes Sedai, including Egwenne the Dreamer? He learned to control his clothing right away. And usually without the uncontrollable shifting that accompanies any of the women's changes in mood. And now he's leaping through mountains in a single bound. Far more badass than anything the Aes Sedai did. Gaul was right about the three of them and Manetheren. As for Slayer, this is the first time I heard about his possibly stepping out of TAR instead of going into the Tower of Ghenjei. Great call.

hoping to be of the blood @18
Dreamers also have these semi-prophetic visions. They are however, usually cognizant while having them. So they may actually be in TAR when it happens. Comparing the two though, Dreamers(at least Egwenne) only have visions while in the black void, while Perrin's visions are windowed. Also, what we've seen of Perrin's visions are more explicit than what we've seen of Egwene's. Yep, being a wolfbrother is definitely way more badass than being a simple Dreamer. All the advantages plus a little more extra.

grayfox @20
Apparently those Saldaean girls love it.

RebelLives @31
We rarely ever see Elyas in the Wolfdream, but who knows? He does seem to appear at all the right times. Maybe he also gets prompts from the Wolfdream.

lmelior @36
Sounds like foreplay.

Ceista Existe @38
Ishy generally drags him into TAR. Until he learns to shield his dreams and just Travel into the dream.

MSedai @42
Slayer generally appears as Isam in TAR and as Luc in the Two Rivers. He generally switches back and forth at will for the most part.

bookworm @55
No, Rand doesn't believe in spanking. He's more into Saidin-assisted pinches and shielding and lifting itinerant girls. :)

Ceista Existe @70
Rand doesn't go into TAR by himself. At this point, his dreams are at the mercy of Ishy and Lanfear. Everything he sees there is manipulated by these two. Pretty much a repeat of what happened in TEoTW. That's why every vision is simply prod for him to go to Tear. If it isn't the sword it's the girls being led to a trap there. That's why he does not want to sleep.

bookworm @101
Abhorrent and a grave abuse of authority. I don't generally agree to corporal punishment, though I'm flexible enough to agree that a situation might eventually arise that would call for it. I might excuse the White Tower since they intend to train a hard discipline into their novices. Modern day parallels would be military academies and boot camps. I don't agree to the dehumanizing efforts against damane. But switching others simply emphasize your opinions? Stuck-up beyotch is what comes to mind. One reason I hated Nynaeve from the get-go.

R.Fife @124
True. Morality is very subjective. Not personally, perhaps. But each culture or sub-culture would inevitably have a detail or two in their morality that does not square with another group's morality.

Ian Hurst @140
You have a point, of course. However at that point in time, (c) was not an option. They were stuck in the freaking Ways. And thanks to Faile's machinations, Loial ain't moving on until that particular situation was resolved. Poor Perrin only had options (a) and (b). Should he take option (a)? I certainly don't want him to.
Tony Zbaraschuk
166. Siuanfan
R.Fife @ 119

Hrm I really doubt the Maiden thing went beyond kissing. My personal theory about him avoiding discussing what he was doing the night the nobles were talking about was he didn't want them to know that he blew a hole in their precious Stone. I have to go back and look but I think he was telling them about Maiden's Kiss and then they were like "were you doing that on such-and-such night?" and then he was all "uh... next subject!" But anyway... if the Maidens had er... coerced him, I also think that would have brought up an "oh not again" moment in his POV during the Tylin debacle. Third, I doubt that secks-at-spearpoint fits in with Aiel ji'e'toh, and lastly the game's called Maiden's Kiss, not Maiden's Bom-Chicka-Wah-Wow. However, from what we know of Mat, it is possible that after the game, he probably took advantage of the opportunity, if any of the Maidens were game. :P
Tony Zbaraschuk
167. Siuanfan
Are there ever female ta'veren mentioned? I can't seem to recall any. Does ta'veren not come in girl-flavor?
Sacha G
168. Fortune_Prick_Me

"Interesting how I always thought I knew what religion was until I asked myself to define it."

Stammers, lol... that's why it's an enterprise (or the english translation from Old French that may be less offensive=undertaking) that employs thousands to make sure you know their definition first.

Back to the books~Question: Is Perrin being set up here for the incredible loss that awaits him in the Two Rivers?

He appears "strong", i.e. dominating Faile for once, chasing down Slayer, confronting Birgitte and Hopper in a way. Do you think this may be author build up for the kneecapping to come in the Two Rivers?

Yes there is a female Ta'averen in the past... I'll look up that reference for you.
Amar Ramraj
169. aiel1219
@164. Shadow_Jak
LOL!!! I lurve the wolf-play of "nipped her a few times on the haunches"

And a general sentiment... I'm sooo happy that we're back to good old well constructed arguments rather than plain low down n dirty people bashing!!! YAY FOR US!!!!!
Richard Fife
170. R.Fife
@166 Suianfan:

As I recall, they had been entrenched in the Stone for a week or more, and the nobles asked him about a few nights ago. Also, didn't they notice he wasn't around because he didn't show up for cards, implying he had been playing with them for some time already and it was odd that he did not show?
Ofer Nave
171. odigity
R.Fife@159: Odigity, small thing, "High Fantasy" has a clear cut good and evil. "Low Fantasy" is actually ambigous. Conan is actually a good example. There wasn't a clear cut good or bad, just people trying to get by and having to deal with those who would rather they didn't.

Interesting - I hadn't come across that distinction. Then what makes "low fantasy" part of fantasy? Just because of the magic and swords? I like to classify things based on the underlying principles rather than it's superficial appearance. So, in the example you described, if Conan's just a dude looking for some treasure, that could be considered a thriller or mystery. I wouldn't expect a book store to agree with me, but their priority is sales and marketing, not literary or philosophical analysis. :)

Oh, and I believe in "violence is a last resort." I don't make any distinction, but typically women don't get hit because due to their typical position as weaker than me, I can non-violently restrain them. But, if a woman is at the point where non-violent restraint is not a viable option, well, she's going down, and I will not have any more remorse over it than if it was a man.

Well, I agree with how you phrased that. I always try to return to the twin blades of the scissors of truth - reason (aka logic) and evidence. So, let's say the principle in question is "don't use greater than necessary force to defend yourself against violence", which in your example translates to restraining rather than punching back an individual who is attacking you but is significantly weaker (or less trained). That makes sense. Then we have the fact that on average, women are physically weaker (and usually less combat trained) are men. That's a generalization, but is statistically sound.

Where we depart from rationality is when we concatenate the two as a mental convenience to arrive at "don't fight back against women". We're no longer following a tight chain of reason and evidence. Woman is a gender, and gender has no relevance to moral law (any more than hair color). The danger I'm always concerned about is this: getting lazy in our thinking like this, forgetting the logic and just retaining a similar but inaccurate summary, usually received dogmatically from parents and teachers, has terrible, terrible consequences over time. Both because it results in irrational choices in odd situations, and because it stunts critical thinking.
Tony Zbaraschuk
173. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Siuanfan @166
More likely, it was the other way around. After the game, some of the Maidens were game and decided to go all the way. After all, the Maidens were the ones with the upper hand that time.

And yes a female ta'veren had been mentioned. Mabriam en Shereed of the Gray. This was just before the Compact of Ten Nations, though.
Tony Zbaraschuk
174. Siuanfan
R.Fife @ 170

pfft well fine, if you're going to use LOGIC...

Ofer Nave
175. odigity
almuric@161: I remember Captain Kirk slapping some woman who slapped him. If it's permissible in an enlightened future 300 years from now, why wouldn't a little physical correction be ok 300 years ago?

I know you're joking (and it was funny), and I love Star Trek as much as next SF fan, but I wouldn't take my moral cues from a culture that has no property rights or currency. :) TANGENT: Which is impossible, by the way, and is a constant source of irritation to the writers on the franchise's shows. Roddenberry set the rule down early on, and they've regretted it ever since.

I think the reason Jordan glossed over that is that it would be difficult to write without it trying to turn into a farce. Or a Benny Hill skit.

Actually... you're probably right.

What happens if a wolf-mommy breeds with a boar-daddy?

The chapter demonstrating this was removed from American editions because of the audience's delicate sensibilities, so I don't know.

If Ishamael was loose for 3,000 years, why the hell wasn't he pretty much just running everything? If I had his powers (especially compulsion), I wouldn't stop at making sure the ice cream truck had Choco Tacos when they come around to my neighborhood.

Mmmmm... choco tacos...

There's evidence supporting a theory that Ishamael is only free on some kind of regular cycle, like 40 years every 1000 years (coinciding with the Trolloc Wars and Hawking/War of a Hundred Years).
Amar Ramraj
176. aiel1219
"Voices whispered in Perrin’s head, a thousand babbling mad voices clawing at the inside of his skull. Bitter blood. Blood so bitter. Drink the blood and crack the bone. Crack the bone and suck the marrow. Bitter marrow, sweet the screams. Singing screams. Sing the screams. Tiny souls. Acrid souls. Gobble them down. So
sweet the pain. On and on."

That is creepy... I think if they do make the movie the visuals and sounds for Machin Shin is summn I really really look forward to seeing. (Yeah I like stuff that SCARES) :)

How come nobody mentioned Aemon al’Caar al’Thorin- last king of Manetheren and Tam al'Thor.... think he's like a descendant of Aemon???
Amar Ramraj
177. aiel1219
ohh and did anyone wonder why Slayer was killing off the wolves in TAR??? And what did Hopper mean by this:Take care, Young Bull. The day of the Last Hunt draws near. We will run together in the Last Hunt.

The we will run together part... makes me wonder what role the dead wolves in TAR can play in the last battle... I hope they get to take out Slayer (that meannie killing the doggies... grrrrrrr)

And I think it's safe to say Brigit approached Perin because he was Ta'veren and not the kindred Archer soul thing, because of this: She almost appeared to be leaning slightly on something invisible; perhaps that silver thing he had never quite seen. “I seem to be telling you a great deal. I do not understand why I spoke in the first place. Of course. Are you ta’veren, archer?"

And it seems to me that if Brigit can make her bow invisible then she can make herself invisible to Hopper. So mb that answers the question of why hopper did not see her.
Tony Zbaraschuk
178. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
aiel1219 @176
Tam being a descendant of Aemon or Aemon's family is possible. Al'Caars being a distinct family also still exist. Without the name getting corrupted or shortened as is possibly the case with the al'Thors.
Brett Michie
179. bchurch
Regarding Mat bringing up the Maiden's kiss game . . . wasn't he just trying to loosen up the Tairen lorldings so as he could get them to gamble more? I never took it as the game went beyond the original kiss, but agree, now, that what may have happened after stays in Vegas.

aiel1219 @ 176

I was just thinking earlier today about that Machin Shin passage and what it would sound like in a movie. I also wondered about it being translated musically . . . using the chant for lyrics. Ubercreepy.

And I've also thought that Tam may be a descendant of Aemon . . coincidences like those names are rare in Randland.
Brett Michie
180. bchurch
aiel1219 @ 177

Mebbe Perrin's ta'vereness and much conjectured possibility of being tied to the Horn of Valere will allow for wolf heroes to be called forth upon it's next sounding. Ehhh . . I know, stretching it a bit far there, but the night's not young and the beers were tasty.
181. Shadow_Jak
177. aiel1219

I think the last battle will be fought partly in TAR. And I expect there will be wolves, live and dead, taking part.

Sidebar: Maybe TAR is, in fact, the only 'Real" world, and all others are indeed dreams, from which the Aiel (and all the rest of us) eventually must wake.
Tony Zbaraschuk
182. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Slayer simply likes killing wolves. No other reason given.
Amar Ramraj
183. aiel1219
"I think the last battle will be fought partly in TAR. And I expect there will be wolves, live and dead, taking part."

That actually ties in nicely with what verin says about if the DO is imprisoned in one world then he's imprisoned in all and if he breaks free in one world he breaks free in all.... and TAR is supposed to be this connection to all the Worlds or sum such right?

TAR may play a bigger role than we (or I anyway) thought... hmmmm? *pondering pondering*
Tony Zbaraschuk
184. ninjaphilosopher
This thread is depressing. Count me in Leigh's corner though. The number of people defending Perrin's spanking is rather sickening. A few points:

1. The extent to which WOT is modeled after societies in which violence against women was common does not mean that it was ok then or that it is ok in the WOT. There are plenty of examples of morally revolting acts from all periods of history, and there are plenty of examples of writers from those times criticizing those acts. Again, that something was common does not make it right.

2. I suspect the problem that Kate and Leigh (among others) are having is not that WOT depicts violence against women (shocking I know); rather the problem is that the book seems to suggest that violence against women can be appropriate. In fact the number of defenses on this very page of this fact demonstrates the plausibility of this interpretation. Perrin seems to be pushed so hard that spanking Faile may seem like the correct action. Of course the obvious response is that this is ridiculous. But on this account Faile and Perrin are both complicit in that she taunts him repeatedly. What this suggests is a deeply problematic relationship in which humiliation is common on both sides. However, instead of this being problematized it is lauded. This is a normal relationship for Faile and her culture. In this sense one can see the WOT as advocating for humiliation/violence as acceptable. To me this is deeply problematic.

3. Elaborating on 2: Spanking is especially problematic because, unlike other violent responses (like slapping), it's humiliating and degrading. When someone is spanked they have not been treated as an equal, but as a child. Thus, spanking could, to some extent, be understood as worse than slapping. Whether or not Faile was acting immature Perrin treating her as a child changes the dynamic of their relationship dramatically. That Faile seems to want to be treated this way suggests an implicit complicity on behalf of the narrative.

4. Summing up: Some people seem to think that one can either defend the gender problems in WOT or hate the book. I think this is wrong. I'm really enjoying the books and the reread (yay!), but part reading any book is understanding the values endorsed within and debating whether or not they are sound.

This got long and maybe boring. And I think I didn't make a few points that I originally wanted to, but it's 2 AM so oh well. Oh and I love the gender commentary (duh!) and I love more commentary over chapter summaries.
jane reynolds
185. janie
Firstly, I'd like to say a huge thank you to Leigh for this re-read. You're the boss here, and I trust in your judgment with respect to the pace. (And everything else, of course.) I haven't commented in a while, but I've been reading along and enjoying intensely (especially the Rhuidean chapters, wow!)

Secondly, thank you to most of the commenters who have managed to have a discussion on a hotly contested and highly controversial topic in a respectful and adult manner. We're certainly not all going to agree here, and the cultural differences between the characters and the readers, and within the diverse group of readers, is part of what makes these discussions so interesting.

Thirdly, I know I'm coming a little late to the party here, but what with the time difference ensuring there'll be at least 30 odd comments by the time I wake up in the morning, it takes me a while to catch up. I prefer to read the other comments before posting, so as not to repeat things unnecessarily. So here goes:

To get the whole spanking thing out of the way early, thank you to Rebecca Starr@97, longtimefan@138, RFife @159, and odigity @171, for clearly and succinctly expressing the way I feel on this issue. I would much rather not be hit, by anyone, but I would also rather be dealt with fairly as a person than on the basis of my gender. And bchurch@35 - LOL for the Monty Python reference!

Aiel1219@176 - glad to see I'm not the only one to get a creepy thrill out of the mad voices in
Machin Shin

Tel'aran'rhiod is Old Tongue for infodump = ROFL

On Leigh's Slayer-just-stepped-out-of-TAR-rather-than-entering-the-Tower-of-Ghenjei theory, I've got to say I always just assumed he went in. Great catch, it certainly doesn't say that. Which makes me wonder whether, if he didn't actually go in, are we supposed to think that he did? Did RJ want us to think there was a connection between Slayer and the 'Finn? Or are us WOTers just hell bent on turning everything into a conspiracy?

I was kind of surprised that Perrin didn't make the connection between the Mystery Woman and Birgitte, because it seems so obvious to me. But then, I completely missed Gaidal Cain.

Siuanfan et al. - I certainly always read it as Maiden's Kiss involved somewhat more than just kissing. I'm just as glad that RJ left it up to our imagination, though. That way we can limit the squick to what we can personally handle. Or conversely, go the other direction, I suppose.

And lastly, I must admit to being INSANELY jealous of all you folks who get to go to JordanCon. Have a fabulous time, and be ready to have your brains picked when you get back. And bring back shiny things ...
jane reynolds
186. janie
And Aye Aye Sedai@144 - gai'shain, now that's an idea...
Tony Zbaraschuk
187. ninjaphilosopher
This scene is interesting because to some extent it parallels the episode when Rand will not fight Lanfear. In both scenes the women are not dealt with as people but rather as this special entity called Woman that demands special ethical rules.

Rand will not fight Lanfear despite the obvious threat she poses because she is a Woman. He is putting her on pedestal.
Perrin cannot reason with Faile instead spanking her because she is a Woman. He is demeaning her.

The twin poles of misogyny.
Amar Ramraj
188. aiel1219
EDIT: How do I completely remove a comment.... I commented on summn that I really don't wanna get into.... and would like to completely remove it instead of an edit.... is that possibl???
...errr moderators?
Tony Zbaraschuk
189. Paracelsus
To Leigh:

I agree with the people above who said that we would like more chapters as opposed to more commentary. This is a long series, and 2 chapters at a time is kind of slow. I enjoy your commentary but I also prefer discussions about WoT as opposed to side-topics such as spanking.

Enjoy JordanCon. I can't wait to hear what happens.
Amar Ramraj
190. aiel1219
Ohhh Leigh... pls pls pls have a laptop handy when u go to JordanCon... that way u can work on a post on JordanCon while u're there and as soon as u get back u can continue with the re-read... ok ok... I know I'm a demanding lil shit LOL!!! :P but its like I can't decide which one I want more... "Leigh's Adventure's at JordanCon" or the next installment of "Leigher's Digest"(Is that the name that some have started referrin to your pst as??? not sure...summn like it)... *sighs and wiggles his toes in anticipation* LOL!!!
Tony Zbaraschuk
191. Ian Hurst
Two people have responded to my ignore/fight back/break up trichotomy to the substance of "but if Perrin left, where would that leave our story?"

First, thanks for responding. Very few people addressed this argument at all, and it's nice to see some exceptions.

Second, from inside the story, do you realize that you've made an apologist's argument for violence between lovers? "Faile made him do it!" Great. Our hero beats his lover to achieve his noble goals (but only when she is asking for it!!). I don't feel so good about this, myself.

Third, to address "but where would this leave the story?", I look to Jordan, who chose to write the world this way. Nobody made him write Perrin in to this bind, OK? He chose to put careful, gentle Perrin adopt Faile's culture of violence. Which I find so troubling. Jordan's choices here break Perrin as a character for me - his path from the gentle giant down to merry spousal abuser is... suck. So if you find yourself apologizing for Perrin's lack of choice here, you know, your problem is neither with Perrin nor Faile. It's with Jordan.

And as I said in 46, I think this section marks the beginning of the downward slide of the series into icky gender relations (where before here they were largely intriguing) and seemingly arbitrary levels of interpersonal conflict between main characters, all of which to the great detriment of the overarching story.
Tony Zbaraschuk
192. JustMo
Whoo Boy. Lots of stuff to answer/analyze today.

(don't remember which posters to respond to to name you all off individually...sorry!)

"Any thoughts as to why Hopper couldn't see Birgitte? Did she shield herself with her TAR skills or are wolves a little out of sync with TAR?"

I believe that Hopper, being a wolf and far more used to TAR/Wolf Dream, knows of the ancient precepts and refuses to acknowledge that Silverbow was even there as following "da rulez". I believe that the narrative says something to the effect that Hopper simply looked away from the whole convo Perrin was having.

Perfect point. While we all have our own perceptions of what is/is not acceptable in dealing with members of the opposite sex, the culture in Randland, while based on various cultures in our world, is not OUR present culture.

We all have to remember as well, that a few centuries ago, it was the norm for children (by our standards) at the ages of 12-13 to get married and have children. You didn’t get married in your 20s/30s back then b/c you weren’t expected to live past 30 for most people, and if you hit 50, you were almost considered ancient. It is only due to great strides in science and medicine that allow us to live so much longer now than back then. So the whole “OMG she’s only 15 and they DO it?!?!?!” thing is really not so hard to imagine. And although sleeping with someone “underage” in our time period is considered icky…”being of age to marry” in Randland seems to be a flexible age, as long as you are considered mature enough to handle it. With our knowledge of how Faile acts, this may be questionable, but that’s a different story.

Also, there is no indication that he lost his temper. He got angry, no doubt, but I do not believe he lost his temper. It just got to a point where enough was enough.

I think that RJ purposely left that scene vague so that we could all draw our own conclusions as to what happened and interpret in however we chose. I think the feeling he wanted to convey was “FINALLY! A response! Good for you Perrin”! Obviously, this worked. My personal take on the whole incident is that his reaction was based off of his own upbringing (spanking as a punishment for recalcitrance) and the wolf instincts which would be to establish and maintain dominance. Was it embarrassing? Yes. But then, Embarrassment is sometimes a most effective form of learning what is acceptable behavior and what is not. And I think we can all agree that Faile needed to be shown that her behavior was unacceptable.

And finally, Hope you all enjoy your Sunday, whether is has special significance to you or not!
Tony Zbaraschuk
193. Barrison

"Our hero beats his lover to achieve his noble goals (but only when she is asking for it!!). I don't feel so good about this, myself."

I'm not trying to get back into an argument here but please stop with the garbage about Perrin "beating" Faile. What he did was far less than the "beating" he received from her. And no, I'm not condoning this type of behavior in the real world. Yes, they were both "wrong" in this situation, but if anyone is more to blame I would point my finger in the direction of Faile.

Maybe I just don't get it. Faile, who is trained in hand to hand combat, is trying her hardest to beat the crap out of Perrin. He is stronger and restrains her and administers some swats to the rear to deter further attacks. And he's the bad guy?

Now that I think of it. I can't really recall off the top of my head but do they ever get into this type of an altercation again? Maybe once but I can't remember for sure. I've always seen this section as a place where they were both very emotional, angry, young, and went entirely too far.

And to be quite honest, this really isn't that much of a shift in the way that Perrin has been advancing as a character. You keep saying that he's been this gentle giant as though he hasn't been slaughtering whitecloaks since the very first book. He starts out as a gentle giant, yes, but as the series progresses and he is met with more and more of the harsh realities of the world at large he is loosing more and more of the gentleness and innocence he had when we first meet him. I like how this makes him more of a flawed hero, if he would even consider himself a hero at all.

194. Freelancer

Spanking someone to correct unacceptable behavior IS NOT VIOLENCE. If you've been so brainwashed as to think it is, I'm truly sorry for you. The pain is temporary, the body part involved suffers no real or lasting injury, but the person's attention is gotten EVERY SINGLE TIME. When someone refuses to behave in a civil manner after numerous polite attempts to impede them, a punitive reaction is called for.

I would never in a million years dream of swinging a hand at my wife in any form. Not a fist, not a slap, not a spank. Twenty five years together is far too short a time to be that presumptuous. But then again, she would never think of slapping or punching me, either. Had I taken up with a woman who felt justified in physically attacking me anytime she was annoyed, I might just have a different mindset.

Basically, Faile asked for it. And, she got it. The only thing about it that's twisted is that she draws satisfaction from it, that Perrin finally responded to her forcefully rather than gently.

None of the Ta'veren Trio gets what they would have originally wished for in terms of romantic choices. Mat prefers women with a modicum of fleshiness to them, as well as a somewhat saucy, shall we say loose, nature. He most certainly wouldn't want a noblewoman, or a channeler. So, he gets an petite, thin, empress who could learn to channel. Rand only ever wanted someone to stay put with him in the Two Rivers. Instead he gets a Queen, a Wise One, and an Oracle. Gentle Perrin the blacksmith would never in his life say, "I'd like 'Spoiled, Overbearing Princesses who Seek Adventure and Play with Knives' for $800, Alex".
Amar Ramraj
195. aiel1219

#191.Ian Hurst
First, thanks for responding. Very few people addressed this argument at all, and it's nice to see some exceptions.

Look bro... at the time 2 individuals were going at eachother sooo hard that I absolutely did not wanna get involved in that situation (or atlest at the time when I read the comment there were alrerady alot of post with the 2 going at each other that I tried my best not to post a comment that even seemed to reply to those 2 in any way). I think many others may have felt this way.

Now that you're back to your old self I think I will reply (if you get angry at me for this pls just act like I apologise and ask for your forgiveness... which I do in advance if u are annoyed)

Second, from inside the story, do you realize that you've made an apologist's argument for violence between lovers? "Faile made him do it!" Great. Our hero beats his lover to achieve his noble goals (but only when she is asking for it!!). I don't feel so good about this, myself

(pls read this through COMPLETELY and then "hang" me if you like.)
I will not say whether or not I think what Perin did was right... because I have never been faced with a situation where a girl/woman hit me repeatedly(other than playfully or in a teasing manner). I really would like to think that I would just walk away, but I just don't know and I absolutely will not say I will or won't do something in a situation that I have never experienced).

Just to show how I have reacted differently from what my ideals may be when I was actually confronted with an actual case (and I know I will be seen in a horrible light because of this... still I'll try to tell this in as unbiased a manner as I can). When I was in in college there was this guy in my class who was in a wheel chair... he was verbally abusive to alot of people and very often when they argued back he started shoving and being physically abusive. Now in college I did alot of work with physically handicapped ppl and felt it was my job to help them as much as I could(I had a close friend who had a spinal injury when he was 8). One day we had a debate in class over the ethics of replacing human labour with machines... and he became verbally abusive to several of my friends. After the class I confronted him and told him it was wrong of him to do this (my exact word were "wtf man how the F@#$ can you treat ppl like that). He then punched me in the stomach... I became very angry and yelled at him not to hit me ("don't f-in hit me"). He then proceeded to hit me again and rolled his chair over my leg... at which point a picked him up by the neck and slammed him against the wall... and held him there until he apologised.

As a result I was suspended for 2 months thus forced to repeat a semester but the thing I regret the most is letting that side of me out. Just for some perspective, I am 6'3" and 210+ pounds. I am not accustomed to ppl hitting me and my reaction is usually in the line of getting annoyed and verbally responding in a threatening manner (along the lines of do not hit me again or else...) this usually works... but if it doesn't I simply do not just walk away... I end it.

While I'd like to think that I would walk away if a woman hit me and kept hitting me after I yelled don't hit me damnit... I dunno what I'd do... and judging on my past experience I'd probably at the least shake her until she stopped. I really have never ever had a girl/woman hit me and I really really wanna think that I would react like my dad when my mom got into a violent rage (once) and just leave... but I just dunno. I am pretty sure though that I would not respond by punching or slapping or some way that would really physically harm her... but I may embarass her... if she did this to me in public.

Anyways, now that I have made myself an absolute villan, let me make my point. Many of the people here would not have been in this situation, i.e. I think that most of the women here have not hit their husbands/male counterparts in anger and in public and most of the men here have not received this treatment... it's not something that is usually tolerated/does not occur in most of our societies. Thus how do we decide how we as individuals would react or would expect others to react in this situation. We can idealise things but honestly we just don't know (if you do know then please share yer experiences with us and humiliate me into making sure that I I react in an appropriate manner if ever faced with this).
(if you have seen or been a part of this kind of thing then I am sorry but personally I am just glad that our or rather my society is such that I have never had to deal with this specific thing.)

P.S> Ian I don't remember what points u were making and what points Barrison was making earlier... I am just responding to the argument in general with your comment being the latest that I have read... so pls don't get too annoyed with me.... It's tough to go back after 150 comments to find who said what.
Ofer Nave
196. odigity
Barrison@193: I'm not trying to get back into an argument here but please stop with the garbage about Perrin "beating" Faile.

I'm not one to censure, but if I may make a suggestion:

"I'm not quite sure Perrin's actions qualify as beating. Certainly, both employ some degree of violence, but 'beating' usually refers to something more severe than a spanking, and I feel the distinction is worth noting."

I believe this is pretty close to what you are trying to say, while being less likely to reignite a flame war. As opposed to calling someone else's output "garbage".
Tony Zbaraschuk
197. bookworm
I missed so much by sleeping that I actually had to take notes. So much content, so much possibility.

@111 Kenneth G. Cavness. So, are you saying that as a 20th century American, RJ should be constrained to only write from that perspective, and to keep his worlds politically correct to that place and time? Interesting premise, and from my point of view - limiting.

@116 rene. OK. I'll wait for the appearance of Tylin as well.

@117 odigity. You seem to be saying that morality is not subjective? See @124 R.Fife and @135 Fortune_Prick_Me for some other opinions. Discussing morality, in general, is one of the highlights of reading WoT for me.

@156 odigity. I wonder if the DO thinks of itself as "evil"? I would assume not. It probably thinks of itself as "right".

Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis? Tsk, tsk. I would assume that you are prepared to document such a statement?

"Morality" is judged by one's perceptions, based upon a combination of knowledge and experiences. Nuance abounds, and it can be very subjective.

Now I've lost track of the commenters.

To whomever: Shaidar Haran appears to be the Randland avatar of the DO itself, and so unique. Slayer/Luc must have taken something special to create to be the only occurrence. Maybe somebody else has more info?

Re: Maiden's Kiss. I believe it to be a form of gender hazing. Mat did ask to play, after all. The Maiden's acted like a bunch of professors grilling a grad student during orals. Hazing, not just for frat boys. And, there was no sex involved. The Maidens just made Mat play all night. And, everyone neglected the subtle use of the "phallic" spears during the game. Too subtle, I guess.

For all of the indignation, I still wonder at the lack of similar indignation concerning concepts like Womens Circle Business. No indignation that Two Rivers women would use any weapon at hand to rein in the men (sleeping in the barn, no cooking, thumping with sticks, etc). I find this indicative of a general one-sidedness to the entire issue of Randland gender politcs.
Amar Ramraj
198. aiel1219
"To whomever: Shaidar Haran appears to be the Randland avatar of the DO itself, and so unique. Slayer/Luc must have taken something special to create to be the only occurrence. Maybe somebody else has more info?"

1st Shidar Haran is unique as far as we know... atleast in the last 3000 or so years in Randland. Alll the forsaken who have encountered him have been surprised that he has a name and is taller than other Myrdraal and Demandred notes that the "teeth" of the caves in Shayol Ghul give hime more than a foot or soo of clearance... which he has never noticed happening for anyone.

And as for Shaidar haran Being the avatar of the DO... I see this as entirely plausible since Semirage on her visit with the DO was told:WHEN YOU OBEY SHAIDAR HARAN, YOU OBEY ME. WHEN YOU DISOBEY SHAIDAR HARAN.... (the Lord of Chaos ch6)

All of the forsaken that have encountered SH so far are surprised (to put it mildly) by his behaviour and the authority he is given by the DO.

As for Luc/Slayer/Isam being the only occurence... I give you this quote from Brigit in one of the chapters in this re-read “A good name for him. This Slayer is not old, archer, but his evil is ancient.” (the Shadow RIsing Chapter 28)

So atleast we know he is not unique...even though I'm not sure what exactly Brigit means by ancient... mb more than 3000 years ago???
In anycase SH seems more "special" (for want of a better word) than Slayer, well if we base it on all the info given up until KoD... ofcourse I may have missed something... sometimes my flash reading to find info tends to miss things... sometimes(especially if I start with a spcific POV-I tend to pick out things to support it)... so mb there might have been a mention of a "historical" character similar to SH... if anyone can point this out pls help me here.
Tony Zbaraschuk
199. Ian Hurst

Appreciate your response. I have said it elsewhere but it bears repeating - In an "I disagree with your argument for reason x", one will at times get pissed off at reason x, yet still get value out of the exchange. Whereas "subject y is irrelevant/awkward/stupid so just stop bringing it up" is an attempt to stifle discussion - which is screwed up by itself but extra double so here when subject y is a major part of Leigh's commentary.

On how do deal with abusive disabled people: you might be surprised to know (Or maybe not) that I was in a similar situation once (I was 13), and had a very similar reaction to yours. And even though I knew immediately that I was wrong, I suppressed it for a long while with "but he provoked me!!!" But eventually I got older and admitted to myself that, no, however understandable my motives, what I did was wrong. Flat, plain, serious wrong.

Later on I also got involved with a woman prone to violent outbursts (longer story above), and I knew by that point that "but she provoked me!!!" could never excuse me reacting in kind. So instead I tried the same thing as Perrin - exercise self discipline and try to work through it. And it didn't make a God damn difference, because that violence? It was *who she was*. Trying to control her with my own violence would have failed *and* been wrong. Leaving was the only moral choice remaining.

Now, going back to the books, there are two arguments going on here. Excuse me if I use the wrong terms; I don't have even the slightest background in literary analysis. One is the question, IN BOOK, "what choice did Perrin have?" And I think he had a number of choices better than "inflict a public spanking", though I'll only bring up one for now. Starting with convincing Loial to break the oath Faile misled him into making. "Ogier oathbreaker" may be an oxymoron in Randland, but Perrin is Taveren, and the fate of the entire Two Rivers is at stake. Do you really think that's not enough to convince Loial who is, perhaps, the most reasonable, level headed person in all of Randland? Well, I don't. The idea that IN BOOK, Perrin would not be able bring one misled, abused Ogier to his cause is absurd. So, no, the spanking is still wrong.

The second argument going on is a jumble of OUT OF BOOK issues with Jordan's choice to write our heroes Perrin and Faile this way. By which I mean, he wrote an abusive, manipulative woman into Perrin's life, and then wrote Perrin *reciprocating* rather than *rejecting* her abuse, and living *happily ever after* as a result. Which OUT OF BOOK, from the morals of *this* reader, is deeply fucked beyond the fact that it destroys Perrin's character. It amounts to nothing less than a justification for spousal abuse, and I see no more reason to respect Jordan for it than I would another writer that demonstrates the virtues of domestic rape or slavery. I say he fucked - BAD - when he wrote this part of the story.

And if I wanted to write an even longer comment, I'd go on to suggest that these are among the primary reasons why these chapters stand out as some of the most hated in the early books, in WOT fandom. But I'll leave that for some other time, maybe. Thanks for commenting and reading.
Richard Fife
200. R.Fife
Here is a thought: who ever said Perrin has lived Happily Ever After? At current in the writing (KoD), they aren't on the best terms. Perrin has become a bit of a monster due to the psychological conditioning Faile did to him and then getting herself captured by Shaido so he had free reign to go feral wolf, and Faile (memory foggy here) is still all "Ugh, my husband is still putting up with that floozy!" I think it is an actual accurate portrayal of an abusive relationship. Again, RJ has said that Perrin's choice to obsess over Faile and the Shaido will have a cost in the end.
Chiara Elvira
201. elvyelvy
What a hornet’s nest, Leigh!!
To call it a hot debate is an understatement!
Well, in order to avoid a repeat (and in the coming books there are a good many chapters likely to arouse steaming hot discussion) let's keep in mind my late grandmother's recipe for hot temper: "Your temper gets hot? put your little bottom in very cold water, you will cool down immediately" – she delivered this to me when I was 5 and yes, I was quite hot-tempered and "quicksilver". Oh, btw, I delivered grannie’s "suggestion" with arched eyebrows, some sniffing (but not loud), arms crossed AND fists on hip. Voilà, the whole repertoire all rolled into one motion.

Oh, gosh, a vision just passed before my eyes, of a large number of people from many countries, all sitting in cold water, laptop on their knees, and WoT books near at hand! Dear me, I need kaf! :-)

I tried to read all the posts, but they were way too many to remember every single one, so I will just point out a couple of things.

1- The fact that RJ –purposefully I think- did not create a religion in Randland: apart from the Creator figure and the DO there is not a structured set of norms rules and external apparel associated to religion (places of worship, a hierarchy of priests or anything similar).
It certainly avoided any comment on the features of the religion created, yet the Ethics department of Randland is left vague. Will there be any change in the next three books?

2- That the debate is about "Perrin was right/wrong.." and "Faile should/shouldn't have..." tells a great deal about RJ's skill at creating thoroughly credible vivid lifelike characters. Yet they are his creations, so we should ask "Why does HE make Faile and Perrin act like that? It must serve a purpose. What is the final purpose of it?". Not just to show domestic violence, certainly not to destroy Perrin’s character. Too simplistic, and RJ had a subtle mind. So, WHY?
In the economy of the series, this is a turning point, and this single action is to be seen and evaluated not only in itself but in view of the larger picture. Perrin is about to see his life turned more topsy-turvy than before, if that is possible. His family is lost. He must adjust to a leading position and the responsibilities that go with it, and so on. He will be with his wolfbrothers/sisters with Rand at TG (“When the Wolf King carries the hammer, thus are the final days known. When the fox marries the raven, and the trumpets of battle are blown” KoD ch4).
There is much to ponder.
I thought about jotting down something about the development of characters in WoT, a sort of brief essay, but most likely it would turn out a huge book (shakes head disconsolately) and I have no time for it (work work work).

A good weekend to you all.
Pablo Defendini
202. pablodefendini
aiel1219 @ 188
The only time we delete comments around here is the case of comment spam, or accidental double posting, or stuff like that. Other than that, we take a very hands-off approach. We enjoy the free exchange of ideas (even when they're ideas we don't agree with), and we trust that our community is mature enough to self-moderate. For the most part, you guys haven't let us down so far—we haven't gotten to the point where we have to evaluate deleting offensive comments (although in that case I tend to favour a good visemvowelling instead). Point is, feel free to edit your comment into unrecognizable oblivion, but we won't delete your comment for you. Think before you post.
Tony Zbaraschuk
203. hoping to be of the blood
Perrin is a flawed hero, more than I like, and the spanking episode is just one of the first signs.

He is just way overmatched for the situation he is in (I would be as well) and reacts angrily and impulsively, making many bad decisions. He returns home to give himself up to the WCs, rushes blindly into the Ways when getting beyond the light can mean certain death, chops off the Aiel’s hand to get intel (and gets none), and starts a war in which untold thousands will be killed or sent into slavery. He seems to become less thoughtful as time goes on.

Maybe this is balanced by freeing Gaul, saving tTR, his actions at Dumai’s Wells, etc., and maybe the Creator (RJ) will make sense of all this in the end, but right now (as of KOD) I’m not liking Perrin and I don’t blame it all on faile.

Of course, if the heroes were closer to perfect and always knew exactly what to do, then the story would probably be a lot less interesting. Conflict and struggle are part of what makes this series engaging, but, in my mind, Perrin needs a few more redeeming qualities, as a character. He is part of the triad, so I’m trying to deal, best I can.
Brad Moore
204. servantcbm
You know, I just love this story, and the fact that the characters aren't perfect, or even close to perfect.

I'm reminded today of why I rarely read comments on blogs though.

My friends know my stance on domestic violence, my southern roots tell me that it is the duty of the strong to protect the weak, and bullies make me livid. That doesn't have anything to do with gender/nationality/etc.. I don't really know how I fall on what Perrin should have done here, but in real life, I have a friend who tried to restrain his smaller wife (instead of hitting her), and was stabbed 3 times and had his arm cut open before she decided to stop attacking him. He lived through it, but I had to reevaluate my stance on there never being a reason to hit a woman. I still think escaping the situation is the best course, but it isn't always so cut and dried an issue, even for those of us who would deck a man that thinks it's OK to hit a woman, child, or another man they think they can bully. (I understand the contradiction in that statement.)

To clarify, I really don't think Faile was about to stab Perrin. I'm not a Faile or Perrin hater, I think they have some moments of awesome, but these are really just hopped up kids under a lot of stress making incredibly bad choices.

Spankings all round I say! :)

Ahem, yes, well, Happy Easter! and Merry Tax Day to all for whom it applies!
Tony Zbaraschuk
205. Ian Hurst
R.Fife@200: "Here is a thought: who ever said Perrin has lived Happily Ever After? At current in the writing (KoD), they aren't on the best terms."

This one's my bad. I meant with respect to their relationship, once Perrin learns she needs to be physically overpowered to be happy/whole/whatever, their relationship *works*. Where there's tension later, it ain't due to their abuse of eachother. It's due external events (the Shaido, and hard choices made in captivity). So the lesson of their relationship still stands - mutual abuse works. It's screwed up.
Richard Fife
206. R.Fife
Ian, I again disagree. It was the nature of that relationship that starts to fundementally change Perrin, I think. Yes, Saldean relationships are crazy, but I think Faile is taking it to an extreme to try and get Perrin into the mindset. I don't think Davram spanks Deira, and would likely get stabbed if he tried. They just want strong personality and understanding that the other is strong.

Perhaps Faile is flailing for that in Perrin, and it drives her to extremes. I doubt she is all endorphins over getting spanked, but she it is a bittersweet victory that she has seen there is a backbone in Perrin. Hoenstly, I think she is even happier with him when he is just willing to stand up for what is right and not treat her like a porcelin doll (which is an admirable relationship). What it is turning into because of the cultural differences, though, is a gross perversion of that. She is striking him, trying to provoke out his spine for lack of more cerebral ways, and he is digging in with duopotamian stubborness to refuse to see that she is probably better in a fight than he is.

The skinny: I don't think Davram or Saldean culture would really approve of what is becoming of the relationship also, which reinforces my point that Jordan did create an abusive relationship as a conflict for Perrin. I've noticed Perrin's conflicts tend to be massively internal, as opposed to Mat's Man vs Man or Rand's Man vs. Nature/World
Tony Zbaraschuk
207. longtimefan
I know this is really late in the thread but I was amused by the idea of replacing Faile's gender.

Not changing the story but just changing Faile to be a boy of 13 who was in love with Perrin and behaved in the same way.

Also late in the comments. I like the fewer chapters/involved summary idea. Just not sure if it can hold out through all the chapters. This book had some very involved story development crammed into tightly written chapters. At this time I think the trilogy had accepted its expansion but was still trying to end in 9 books.

I wonder if it is the action in the chapter that has caused all of the debate or if it was the reaction in the commentary that mentions the implied spanking a dozen times.

Also just a thought. Faile knows that Perrin is looking at her (well maybe just assumes he will be) and it could be true that she is sitting gingerly either for discomfort or for effect. Maybe Perrin's reaction was a bit much for her breech clad bottom or maybe Perrin being Perrin he did not hit her that hard and she is using her outward actions to manipulate his inward emotions. She is aware of how to manipulate people even if she is not that adept with more skilled people. (Perrin is very straight forward. If it was not for his sense of smell I doubt he would ever know when people are lying to him).

Clarification. I am amused by making the Faile character male not because I think it would justify the spanking but because it would be interesting to see how people would react to an alternate WOT where the only difference would be that one of the key relationships woven into the whole story would be the same relationship with two men. Granted some of the conversation around having children would have to include some type of adoption or surrogate mother. Other than that it seems plausible.

People are after all just people. A relationship is between their respective intellects not between the small amount of genetic difference that comprises their genitalia.
Tony Zbaraschuk
208. Ian Hurst

I'm not sure I can agree, but I'm afraid my recall past Lord of Chaos is too hazy to quote the scenes that support my view. I seem to remember a number of Perrin and even Faile POVs to the effect that their relationship improves once he puts the right amount of force in to it. Along with Elyas' advice, and offhand comments from third tier characters about Saldean girls. And finally I recall approving comments from Faile's parents as well... and my memory might be wrong (which would be nice!)... but I don't think so, and I'm afraid we'll be finding out soon enough.

And again, I understand there's an argument to be made that, IN THE BOOK, this kink may make perfect sense (I don't agree but it's something one can argue). But that still fails me, the reader, OUT OF BOOK. And I understand you read their relationship as a lesson *against* mutual abuse (which would be great), but I even so I would still have problems with it on the baser ground that it's just no damn fun for me to read. And that's a pretty common sentiment, making it the author's failing, in my opinion.

Oh well, I look forward to future rereads, in any case. Thanks for your comments.
Adam Parsons
209. Belement
Gah.. I go away for about 20 hours and look what happens, flame wars galore, and a post every time I try and refresh the page to stay current.. Damn being at work for 10 hours every Saturday.. although the x2.5 pay rate was nice for the public holiday here.. paid for 24.5 hours while only working for 9 (an hour unpaid lunch break to make up the 10th hour for those wondering, yay to collective bargaining agreements, lol)

anywho, @202 Paplodefendini,
Thanks for the new word.. haven't really been big on the whole blog or forum following in my (relatively long) net history. I even had to google it, I have wiki links, *rejoice*!

@57 YoSoyElJosh,
Thanks for actually replying before the hyjack and flame war derailed the thread:

For me, I see the Ways being corrupted as the result of three things.

1. The Taint on the Source
2. An absorbtion of Shadar Logoth evil
3. Further decay seeping in through the Waygates in the Blight.

It's almost a perfect macrocosm for what's happening in Rand's side after he gets the Fain scratch.

Hmm, the problem I see with that is that the wound on Rand's side, having been sealed off from the rest of him, is fighting between the two types of evil, Shadar Logoth & Dark One. And these were fighting each other before being sealed off, to the detriment of Rand.
Also, although 1 and 3 are two different types of corruption, they are originating from the same source, the Dark One. So if the taint/blight and Mashadar are both seeping into the Ways, then wouldn't they be fighting each other than coalescing into Machin Shin?

The Black Wind appears not only sentient (wind doesn't usually talk), but has no affect on Fain and perhaps takes orders from him (or perhaps a Forsaken) when it seems to meet Rand at the Waygates.

I may not have explained my idea clearly enough, it was something like 5am at the time lol. My concept that the embodied entropy may also have a limited level of sentience, hunting for the basics of life. (In this case being solely for food, as it has shelter in the Ways and doesn't require sex) And the voices heard are the worst concepts imaginable strained through such a large number of layers of random voices/static that the mind is piecing together the worst parts to form a semi-coherent string of sentences. Is that making any more kind of sense.. lol

Actually the idea kinda sprung from a melding of one of the concepts put forward in Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy. Won't go into details, but it actually forced me to go buy/read a lot of his other SyFy writing.
Adam Parsons
210. Belement
Oh, and like I said, more posts to read between typing and posting my own comment.. *sigh*

@207 longtimefan,
Actually that's another thing I've wondered about in the past, we see the concept of lesbian relationships, the whole pillow friends thing in the WT etc. and also those of (possible) bisexual relationships, between Clan Chief/Roof Mistress/Wise One in the Waste.

But one I have not ever remembered seeing is that of a gay male relationship. Why is it that this is the one type of sexual relationship that RJ decided not to explore to some degree?
I only ask this as I myself am gay, not that I'm trying to fly the pink flag or anything here.. far from it.. just wondering why.. lol.
Tony Zbaraschuk
211. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Davram and Deira make a big deal about Perrin knowing how to treat his wife properly. Lots of talk about Saldaean wives being leopards and other confusing stuff. And their example was confusing as hell. That said, Faile seems to get her kicks out of provoking Perrin and always looks forward to the makeup ... er... activities that follow.
Tony Zbaraschuk
212. Joe W.
Now, I'm not saying that spanking is the right answer. Perrin could have been the bigger person here in a number of ways. But, at the same time, it's understandable to me. He was just humiliated - called over to see if he came when called, like a dog. I'm sure he thinks she's acting like a child, so he punished her like a child.

The really odd thing is that, to Faile's culture, he made the *right* move. By answering her back, "putting her in her place", he showed his strength as a man. To Faile's people, that's how a man acts, at least at home, in private. It's the opposite of the stereotypical modern relationship, where the man is all bravado and the women quietly keeps things running in the background.

Perrin is Edith Bunker here, in that one moment she finally snaps and yells at everyone. Faile is the loudmouthed Archie that seems to be in control, except that we all know he isn't really.
Tony Zbaraschuk
213. Joe W.
"Dude, did I seriously just say I was okay with a man hitting a woman? I... don't know. Sort of? Maybe? Context is important?"

That's one of the dangers of non-contextual, unqualified, total equality. If there's no difference except for our physical parts, then its perfectly fine for a man to haul off and hit a woman.

We're not equal. We're also not better than each other; we're different. And thank God for that. :)
214. Shadow_Jak
Freelancer @194
Well spoke. And I really like ...

Gentle Perrin the blacksmith would never in his life say, "I'd like 'Spoiled, Overbearing Princesses who Seek Adventure and Play with Knives' for $800, Alex".

Alex, "Shadow_jak?"
SJ, "Who is Faile?"
Alex, "Right for 800 marks (silver), Jak."
215. Shadow_Jak
Maiden's Kiss...
I think its perfectly clear that it involves much more than kissing.

Bloody Aiel women and their bloody spears. He had not made it to his own bed until daybreak.
Alice Arneson
216. Wetlandernw
Joe W.@213
We're not equal. We're also not better than each other; we're different. And thank God for that.

Tony Zbaraschuk
217. Aye Aye Sedai
Nice comments above - too many to comment on but better discussion -

I will point us all to refer back to Perrin in EOTW ch wolfbrother when he learns of the way of the leaf and says that he would try to be peaceful until forced to respond - but he will respond no mater how peaceful he woudl want to be. I think basically RJ is setting up Perrin as the focus for us to consider the way of the Leaf (hammer) vs the way of the Warrior (axe) and this is then expanded by his relationship with a Saldeaen where strength is valued - and strength is measured in physical interactions.

Guess were all learning whether we can accept spanking as equal to violence and then whether this is tolerable in our heroes.

Amar Ramraj
218. aiel1219
@198 Aiel1219 (yes I am commenting on my own comment)
I have flash read all the books twice and still can't find any mention of "a Shaidar Haran like"
character anywhere in the WoT world...this includes the Strike at Shayol Ghul but excludes tBBoBa... so if anyone has a copy of tBBoBA, can u pls check to see if anything about him is in there.

Until otherwise proven wrong I'll accept myself as being Rrrrright! LOL!!!
Chiara Elvira
219. elvyelvy
Aye Aye Sedai@217
interesting point you made.
If I remember correctly Perrin discards the axe (somewhere in the last book, where his character is at its lowest) thus becoming effecively the Wolf King (the Last Hunt should also be around at this moment and TG just around the corner which is three books away). It might mean that he will find -somehow- a way to blend the constructive way of life (hammer) with the need to fight for peace(axe) by having the hammer encompass both as a tool and a weapon.
Amar Ramraj
220. aiel1219
Oh oh...
Leigh would u be doing a post on your trip ti JordanCon??? I for one am really interested in "Leigh's Adventures @ JordanCon". I know I said earlier that I'd like you ti di both that and yer post...but if it was my choice I'd sacrifice one re-read for a JordanCon review by you... I know there will be many of those online... but I just would feel better abt it coming from u.

How's abt we have a vote today???

"Leigh's Adventures @ JordanCon"
"Leighster's Digest"

(yeah...yeah... I should get a life... but my life is 40 hours of aeroplanes and airports shud I say sho-wings airports? Wonder what they called airports in the AoL LOL!!!)
221. Freelancer
Pleaes forgive me, but a number of the more recent posts have a certain point of the Saldaean culture twisted.

The satisfaction Faile seems to get out of Perrin responding to her in strength (not specifically about physically, but other than gently in general), is NOT that it shows him to be a man. A number of comments have specifically stated it that way, that Perrin finally showing a backbone is what pleases Faile.

Not even close. It is that in "standing up" to her strongly, he shows her that he knows HER STRENGTH. That is why Faile is so angry early on in the Berelain tug-of-war, where Perrin is all sweetness and light to Faile while yelling and screaming at Berelain. To the Saldaean mindset, Perrin is showing RESPECT to the wrong person. That the concept of respect in this manner is perverse is clear, and I believe everyone here would agree. Demanding that someone be verbally, phsyically, or otherwise harsh with you in order to believe they respect you, well that's gagged up.

But that's what RJ wrote, and it remains consistent. Perrin's inner struggle is that it is completely out of character for him. That doesn't make him wrong for deciding he's had enough and swatting her fanny for beating on him. It is NOT a response in kind.

That is another thing I wish I could correct: The belief that spanking=abusive violence. It most certainly doesn't, when applied as a manner of corrective punishment for bad behavior. Obviously a number of commenters completely disagree, and that's fine. Just accept that Jordan would agree, else the Mistress of Novices wouldn't hardly have a job. Aes Sedai don't believe that corporal punishment is violent abuse, or they couldn't bring themselves to "switch" one another with Air, by the third Oath.
Tony Zbaraschuk
222. Nathan MS
Here's why this passage of the book evokes serious emotion from me, in a way that makes it good literature.

As has become obvious in this discussion, many of the people participating in it, just like me, have been put in situations that have all the hallmarks of true ethical dilemmas: that is, there are no acceptable choices.

It is specifically true that there was a part of my life where I felt I was in an untenable position, with no possible even passably acceptable choices, as a result of the actions of a woman who was deeply important to me. Moreover, the fact that she was a woman figured importantly in my thinking about the situation.

This is where Perrin is in this section. He simply has no good choices. Eventually, he responds in some way. I'm not even sure it makes sense to talk about how good it was; all the alternatives seem as bad.

Why does Jordan write Perrin into such a terrible position, where the 'best' thing it seems he can do is humiliate the person he loves? Because sometimes the real world sucks, and sometimes we are in similar, though less desperate, situations. I empathize with Perrin because, in broad strokes, he's in a situation I've been in, and it was a deeply important experience for me.

And in response to the idea that everything works out now,

The gender politics in WoT are really interesting to me for the following reason: RJ's point seems to be that we perceive there to be a deep gulf between the sexes, when in fact that perception is at best inaccurate. Actually, we all have flaws, and this 'deep gulf' is just our perception of the other individual's flaws, which are different from our own. Sure, culture has some effect on the details of what kind of flaws we have but, really this is the big picture:

Thesis: All people are irrational in dealing with deeply emotional relationships. We don't perceive our own, and blame the irrationality of our partners on their gender, but really, we differ only in the details.
Chiara Elvira
223. elvyelvy
I feel pretty confident that Shaidar Haran is absolutely unique in size, capabilities (I think he can smell saidin and saidar and their difference, he has a sense of humour and THIS is quite unique in a Fade) and position in Randlandbadguys-hyerarchy.
As for the fact that many consider him the DL himself, well, why not a sort of "living" projection to further touch the world and seed chaos?

Basically you are right. You win an early-Sunday smile!!!! :-)
224. Shadow_Jak
BTW, I don't doubt it, but where do we learn that Faile's age is only 15?
Tony Zbaraschuk
225. Kenneth G. Cavness
Bookworm@197: "So, are you saying that as a 20th century American, RJ should be constrained to only write from that perspective, and to keep his worlds politically correct to that place and time? Interesting premise, and from my point of view - limiting. "

I think that's a false dichotomy, really. We can neither expect Jordan to be constrained to...well..anything... in creating his universe, but we also don't have to just sit there and mentally take it when he describes a situation in a blase way that we, as enlightened 21st-century thinkers, can take amiss. We are no more constrained by his universe than he was when he was creating it.

And let's be honest -- Jordan was hardly a "hard medieval" fantasy author, here. There's interesting anachronisms that pop up all over the place, as well as the fun assumption that all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again. Clearly, Jordan wanted this world to resemble our own, including in a lot of senses, culturally. The food in Tanchico strongly resembles Asian cuisine; Andormen have a strong British / Victorian culture. He does this to familiarise us with his universe.

There's no disapproval in Jordan's tone when writing about the spanking, or the other intergender violence in the series. In many events, including the one in question here, it's delivered in a subtle and lighthearted tone, often off-screen and remarked upon offhandedly in a humorous way afterwards.

To the supporters of spanking women:

We haven't gotten to the most egregious example yet, and oh god, I think I will ignore comments entirely when Mat/Tylin finally comes up, but I'm glad this came up. At least those of you who thought that spanking was okay had to defend the indefensible. Maybe a little more thought will send y'all down the right path.
Alice Arneson
226. Wetlandernw
Quoting posts from a couple of weeks ago:

(1) From the WoTFAQ regarding character ages, as of the beginning of TSR:

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

(2)The WoTFAQ bases this on LoC, where Faile notes that Ewin Finngar is "her own age" and TEotW, where Ewin is specified as fourteen years old. This point in TSR is right about one year later than that point in TEotW.

It's possible that she's as much as 16, given the +/- possibilities of the above quotations, but not very far into that year.
Richard Fife
227. R.Fife
hmm, looking into it (go go enc-wot), her description in TDR is summarized as:
She is about Perrin's age. She is tall with black, shoulder-length hair. She has a large, bold nose, a generous mouth, high cheekbones and dark, slightly tilted eyes. (TDR,Ch33) She has a high voice. (TDR,Ch35)

By that time, Perrin is ~19 (1.5 years have passed since that fateful Winternight, one in book one, about half in book two.), so, even if she was a year or two younger, she'd be 17. That's age of consent in many in some places. Odd, how putting a few more years on her kinda shifts the whole idea of what it'd look like to spank her. Honestly, I think that'd probably work, too. If she was 15, she'd probably still have some childishness to her look, and Perrin probably wouldn't be wondering if she's beautiful or not, especailly after how world-weary he is probably already becoming.

Oh, to the arguement that she's 15 cause she isn't old enough yet for some time to marry without her mom's permission: Age of Consent in general is fairly arbitrary. It isn't biological, as we aren't fully mature until our mid-20s, which leaves it to be societal. Perhaps Saldea just doesn't let women marry 'whomever they please' until they are older. Note: she still can marry, she just needs Deira's blessing (under normal cirmcumstances).

So, Ewin would be 16ish, and guessing age can be +/- a year, I think. Heck, those carnies that guess your age get a full decade to play with.
Ofer Nave
228. odigity
bookworm@197: Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis? Tsk, tsk. I would assume that you are prepared to document such a statement?

Please, for the sake of my stomach, tell me you're joking.

Freelancer@221: Not even close. It is that in "standing up" to her strongly, he shows her that he knows HER STRENGTH. That is why Faile is so angry early on in the Berelain tug-of-war, where Perrin is all sweetness and light to Faile while yelling and screaming at Berelain. To the Saldaean mindset, Perrin is showing RESPECT to the wrong person. That the concept of respect in this manner is perverse is clear, and I believe everyone here would agree. Demanding that someone be verbally, phsyically, or otherwise harsh with you in order to believe they respect you, well that's gagged up.

It's perverse, but I actually identify with it quite strongly. I felt like that myself for a long time; specifically, I would never feel sure that someone was being sincere to me until after the first time they'd get angry enough at me to express it. Then I'd finally know, because if they're willing to let me know when they're angry or hurt by me, then the rest of the time when they're smiles and politeness, it's not just a facade.

Freelancer@221: That is another thing I wish I could correct: The belief that spanking=abusive violence. It most certainly doesn't, when applied as a manner of corrective punishment for bad behavior.

You're not the first person in this thread to say it, but I haven't gotten around to responding to it till know, so this applies to all of you. This is absolutely wrong. Let's examine the unstated premises underlying your statement:

1) abusive violence

First of all, you qualified 'violence' with 'abusive', implying that there are other kinds of violence that are not abusive.

If you're trying to distinguish degrees of violence, well, it's not relevant - all degrees of wrong are still wrong, and we first want to establish right vs wrong before contemplating degrees.

If you're talking about consensual violence (like sex play) vs non-consensual violence, then you should clarify that. I think most people would agree that consensual violence is not really subject to moral analysis, and so we're only debating non-consensual violence in this thread.

So, going forward, I'm going to drop the 'abusive' qualifier for the sake of clarity.

2. "spanking!=violence"

This is absolutely wrong. Exercise: give me a definition of violence that would *not* include non-consensual spanking without including the initiator's intentions in the definition. (Intentions do not define the nature of an action. In other words, trying to save spanking by saying "it's about communication, as opposed to inflicting harm like with violence" doesn't fly.)

3. "when applied as a manner of corrective punishment for bad behavior."

Corrective. Who decides that the current situation is INcorrect, and who decides what is correct? Who has the right to act on those definitions by "punishing" another?

You're making the same error that almost every parent in the history of humankind has made - thinking it's ethical for one human to control another, to decide what is right and wrong for them, and to use force to achieve it.

"corrective punishment for bad behavior" implies a master-slave relationship. It's fine for machines - if the Millenium Falcon's hyperdrives are acting up, by all means, apply some corrective punishment for bad behavior by smacking it. You own your hyperdrive. You *cannot* own another sentient being.

(Yes, it's possible to raise kids while still observing ethical prohibitions on violence. More than possible - it's both ethically right and produces the best results.)
Rene Sears
229. rene
@ 228 odigity-

Thank you for stating points 1-3 so clearly. I agree whole-heartedly with all of them.
230. Shadow_Jak
odigity @ 228
You're making the same error that almost every parent in the history of humankind has made - thinking it's ethical for one human to control another, to decide what is right and wrong for them, and to use force to achieve it

About all anyone can say is to that is...
Bloody buttered onions!
Or is this maybe an attempt at Aiel humor?
Tony Zbaraschuk
231. bookworm
Hmm. Odd that everyone is so distraught about Faile's age. We coddle youth today. Why? Because we can. In a world like Randland it is very different. Faile was dismayed that her younger brothers got to ride off on raids into the Blight. The Blight isn't King's Island. There is a very different expectation in Saldaea. Faile was obviously brought up to believe that she was old enough to traipse off to Illian to take the Hunter's Oath. Look at the map. That was a pretty good trip for someone alone. I think that Faile's age shouldn't be an issue. She acts old enough (I was going to write mature, but well...), so it ought to be enough.

@225 Kenneth G. Cavness

We will just have to disagree here. You are projecting your own experiences upon the situation. If we were really enlightened, we would be a little more flexible in our responses. You judge that Randland characters ought to act like urban, middle-class office denizens who really don't have all that much to worry about from Trollocs, Myrdraal, bandits and the like. I posit that you or I would begin to act quite differently if we were to be thrown into the same kind of world as Saldaeans.

@228 odigity

Actually, no, I'm not kidding. Your claim is unsupportable, at least based upon your own set of definitions. I follow this sort of thing a lot closer than you, I'm thinking. But, this would best be a discussion for another type of blog. So, let's just disagree and move on, OK?
Richard Fife
232. R.Fife
OK, time for Papa R.Fife to step up. I have two children, and I do believe in spanking, although it is a rather last ditch corrective action. But, I will go right to the core of the arguement:

Corrective. Who decides that the current situation is INcorrect, and who decides what is correct? Who has the right to act on those definitions by "punishing" another?

Well, last I checked, it is a parent's responsibility to rear their child to be constructive members of society (at least society believes so). Remember, I'm the subjective moralism guy. Before people call me on that, I theortically believe in subjective morals. I realistically know what the social norms are, though, and where my own internal moral compass came from.

So, Society is my answer to the question posed. So, for the "OUT OF BOOK" conversation, the social contract we all have with eachother is what determines right and wrong. For "IN BOOK", it is wherever Perrin's morals come from, so I am guessing the society of the Two Rivers, where Wisdoms abuse people on a regular basis and its acceptable. It's all about what is in that unwritten social contract (Go Go John Locke!)

So, Odigity, here's a question back at you. What says its unethical for one human to control another, and are you saying absolutely, or are there shades of gray, such as allowing, um, police and the like, mental institutions, etc? (Here's a can of worms... and I'm being devil's advocate, so shoot my shadow with horns, not me.)
Tony Zbaraschuk
233. evendigity
@228 Odigity -

Well put but confused by your 2nd pt - are you state that spanking is not abuse but then go on to define them as the same.

Personally I do not classify spanking as violence - coporeal contact yes - but not as " force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing"

I think this come down to the definition of abuse.

This then your position on #3 - advocates against a system of justice - and noty just a master/slave but the judge and jury. The ethics of right and wrong are decided by the society, culture and individual. Our society has codified societal rights and wrongs and when punishment is allowed on individuals. Yes there are other punishments - fines, incarceration, ostracision, etc to coerce individuals to adapt to particular behaviour patterns.

In general our society allows parents to exercise a certain level of punishment before it is considered abuse.( We used to allow teachers, and priests/nuns to perform the punishment as well). This has changed over time as spanking a child was frequent and common not 20 yrs ago but I believe it has dropped off in use in favor of the time out chair - however I still disagree that in general that we can define spanking as corrective punishment as abuse - but I will agree that improperly used/applied that it could be abuse.

I'm a little baffled by why this spanking scene is such a major issue when there are so many other things to discuss in the books.
Ofer Nave
234. odigity
Three comments in a row challenging my arguments. Which is fine, debate is healthy, but it's exhausting.

While I take a break, I kindly suggest to any of you using collective concepts such as "society" (as in, "society believes so" and "society allows parents") to please watch this video before continuing:
Tony Zbaraschuk
235. wsean
Gosh. The last trip through the Ways we ever see, the first (on-screen) appearance of Slayer, the introduction of the Tower of Ghenjei... and all we can talk about is spanking. :/

And... I guess I'm going to be part of the problem. :P It certainly seems to be a Randlandian norm--Nynaeve talks about spanking Rand and Mat, the Maidens actually do spank Rand (or do they beat him up? there's my memory again), Cadsuane at least threatens to spank Rand (and tells him about the kings she's spanked in the past...yoiks!), and then there's endless spanking of Novices and Wise One apprentices and whatnot.

Nothing against Leigh, as her honest reactions are what make the re-read interesting, but I hope we don't get this reaction every time spanking is mentioned in the books... it'd be nice to talk about other stuff.

P.S. I pretty much felt like giving Faile a good spanking at that point myself... although Perrin could have probably used one as well.
Tony Zbaraschuk
236. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
R.Fife @227
Faile's description in TDR is largely from Perrin's POV. He might be wrong since he never really asks her flat out her age. Her POV in LoC would point to her being younger than she actually looks.
Ed Dyer
237. HumbleReader
I agree with rene@229 and yourself, that your ethical analysis is good, as we understand the situation in the ethos of the 21st century - but it has not been that many years in parts of North America when one person owning another was, if not legal, at least consistent with the mindset of many of our "citizens". In fact it has been less than two centuries since laws regulating slavery were changed in the English-speaking world we know... I don't have the knowledge to speak to the rest of our "OUT Of BOOK world". My point however is that there are many nations in WoT which accept slavery as a normal state of relationships.

Now I don't know whether there are philosophers in those nations in WoT who have considered the ethical issues around one person owning another - if so I don't think we have seen any evidence of this. So ownership of persons is a legal state of affairs and is accepted by people in those countries (Seanchan comes to mind, but some of the lands east of the Waste also seem to be involved, and clearly the Forsaken seem to have no problems with controlling other people - whether that means slavery was practiced in the AoL might be an interesting question for speculation - or whether that just means that the DO expects slavish obedience from the Forsaken and they in turn expect it down the line.)

The Aiel practice of Gaishein could be construed as closely linked with slavery, and certainly the "Wise One" Therava will be shown to have no compunctions about making Galena Sedai a slave.

On a related note, the fact that the White Tower has such a strong prohibition against the use of Compulsion suggests there might have been a time when that issue was "decided" due to ethical considerations which were not always universally held amongst the AS.

Anyway, that to me says there is not currently universal acceptance, perhaps not even wide acceptance in WoT of our view of "ownership of persons" (and I am making the assumption that we are in agreement here on what I just called "our view", a point which I have not polled :-)


As an aside, I note the words "sentient being". Is that code for human being, or are you including Ogiers, Trollocs, wolves, horses, cats, dogs, the Green Man... ? Does it make a difference where we draw that line? Does that tell us something about violence, and under what circumstances it might be legitimate?

This doesn't feel nearly as well reasoned as your comment, but I hope it may shed a little light, or at least a few sparks.

Thanks for the video you linked - and I almost like what he says, but he seems to be so scattered... His presentation sounds like he is trying to snow me, to use his word. Maybe it will make more sense tomorrow :-)
Richard Fife
238. R.Fife
This is a summary of the video Odigity posted @234 for those who don't have 26 minutes to watch it. If you watched it, my response is in my next post.

Wow... british-like accent! Fella coulda used a script, might have shortened the thing by half. Anyway, enough ad hominem.

OK, ignoring the random asides and political snipes the guy makes...

Summary: First, understand concepts: abstract ideas and groupings and categorizations of real things by humans.

Next, understand where they started: ancient societies with their nature/creation myths of pantheons of gods that made it rain, erupted the volcano, etc.

Now, understand the resistance "real science" had when it tried to truely explain these "acts of gods" and the resistance "society" had to it. OK, I'm following him, and kinda see where he's going...

So, the "gods" and the concept of them and a lack of scientific understanding leads to all sorts of crazy "traditions" and "societal norms" that resisted being "fixed". OK... kinda with him, cept when he starts talking like there is a scientific answer to the way society should behave. I'll definately be responding to that.

OK, so he boils "society" down to "People doing things", then goes on for a bit about how concepts of society, such as castes, social contracts, interest groups, etc, obsfucate the "what is really going on." And he starts to rant (and I do mean rant) about political spin and buzz words. OK, I'm with him; buzz words are annoying.

He starts to explain that all things in society need to be phrased by "these people are doing those actions."

OK, I was ignoring political diatribes, but he goes on and on about "regulation of business" and finally boils it down to one person forcing/coercing another to their will. Guessing that will be important to our discussion...

He then calls the "stimulus package" a counterfitting ring of stealing from unborn babies... wow alarmist and buzzword heavy. Anyway, he goes on an anti-government rant for a bit.

OK, after he is done with the anarchist bit (how's that for an alarmist buzzword, eh eh?) he askes for things (the stimulus in particular) to be explaned to him like he's a three year old, as if a three year old could understand the strains and needs of a 300+million person society. Anywho, he accusses government of purposely obscuring everything for spin and buzz, and then goes anti-government for a bit.

He concludes that society (as we know it) can be defined as who has the right to force others to their wills.
Richard Fife
239. R.Fife
OK, my response to the video @234

First off as promised: the implication that there is an objective, scientific way for society to work. I find this a leap in logic, although at the same time, I kind of agree. Allow me to paraphrase my high school government teacher here.

Why do we have laws against murder? Because we don't want to be murdered ourselves. That is to say, we agree we won't murder in exchange for protection from being murdered. This is a simple version of a "social contract." Oh no, I'm using concepts, which are evil...

OK, onto the "anti concept in general" bit. The man, in my estimation, either has forgotten his physics classes or never took them. Ack, ad hominem, sorry. Anyway, I recall in my physics class, near the end of the year, my teacher made us convert a kilowatt hour into a unit of measure strictly based off length, mass, and time. Yes, it is possible, because all things in physics come from those three. It was hideously ugly and made no sense at all to just look at it. The point I'm making is that concepts are needed because they are convenient. If you don't understand the concept, that is your own fault for lack of education. Go pull up the intarwebs and learn some.

OK, so, back to video response. So, in a "by the people" society, the people "sacrifice freedoms for freedoms." I can't kill without being punished, but the chance of me being killed has massively dropped. But, what each society choses is a matter of majority rule of the society. If you don't like the rules, you can leave. (and contrary to the video's argument, people can leave the society, it's called moving away).

Now, what I have to wonder, but do not have the patience nor time to listen to this fella more, is what exactly does he think should be the objective way a society should operate? Would it be the social contract formed by a bunch of enlightened athiests? That's well and dandy, but, um, what if they're wrong? I'm fairly godless and all that, but I acknowledge that the real answer is "I don't know" to "Is there a god?" So, is this really an objectively perfect society, or just one that I'd like to live in?

Allow me a small backstep here to show an alternate, real society. Ancient Iceland had a set of laws that, while derived from "gods" was more or less "this is how we want to live" and the god-myths kinda followed suite. In their society, murder was fine, long as you paid for it, or you justified it by it being a revenge killing. They ransacked and looted and "vikinged" Northern Europe because they could. Might of arms was what gave them the right. And, honestly, I agree. You can ignore social contracts so long as you are willing to face the consequences: you need another way to force people to behave as you would.

We call it noble and right to help the weak and treat all others equal, and I adhere to this morality myself, but, if I was given the ability to safely ignore the social contract, I honestly cannot say that I would resist the temptation. Power/Corruption quote here. And in a society where the powerful rule the weak, who is to say they are "wrong"? Zues may never be able to call the lightning, but the power can control the weak. If it was "wrong" it would not be possible.

OK, and now I'm agreeing with Odigity that this is exhausting, so I'm hitting the hay. See ya'll in 9ish hours. Happy Fertility Festival! Bunnies and baby chickens and cheap chocolate and all that.
Tony Zbaraschuk
240. evendigity
@235 - so you are bringing science and antiscience to refute mythology into a discussion on a fantasy series?

Who is he to say that there is no rain god or that volcanoes aren't formed from the One Power??

(side discussion) Fife thanks for the recap and I agree with your comments.

This guy in the video is a rambling whack - to start the guy can't tell a metaphor from an allegory ; then also blames the inability of society to be understood on society- circular reasoning and lots of incomplete threads of thought. Takes 20 min to deconstruct that "economic Stimulus " is a meaningless concept to him - where as I can define it pretty succinctly.

This is almost like asking Bill Clinton for the definition of "is"

This video is not really germain to this conversation - unless you feel that the point of his rambling talk is for regulation of business = armed force to control people ??????????

Do we need to get into semantics to define society, culture, norms, and ethics. I will also agree with other posters that ethics and morals are situational and not universal. So while you and I may have similar views on some things we will differ on others

lets get back to the 4th Age.

Happy Beltidings - don't forget to dance :)
Tony Zbaraschuk
241. Valeiria
Way behind in posting this, but I always thought it was hysterical when Perrin did not do what he did to Faile. She was acting childish and deserved it.

I personally like her tons, but she can be an effing idiot.
Tony Zbaraschuk
242. beerspring
Ian, I'm skeptical you can accept and understand this (people have tried) but:

Spanking is not abuse. And limited violence is something a necessary outlet of anger.
But spanking is not even "beating" (in the sense the last word is often used). That is not to say that it many Western countries it has become, at least, "frowned upon" to use spanking as a punishment.

Nor is sex between a child (if we assume Faile is that) and adult necessarily sexual abuse. And even although it is a wrong in our Western culture, it is not in others.

Morals are not universal. And what is forbidden and not accepted in one time an place, is allowed and sometimes encouraged in others. There are only few exceptions.

I credit Jordan for his openmindedness in this. And it is why I like his books. If you cannot accept these things in men and women of different cultures, perhaps this story is not for you. It is OK.

Though I would like to add that in my opinion, the world would be a better place if some people did not try all the time to force their morals on others.

Yes it is necessary to stop abuse. But I hope you are not going to interfere next time my wife violently slaps me in the face in anger, because I probably earned it. And yes I love her for that.
Andrew Lovsness
243. drewlovs
I'm going to stop around post 140 or so, though not FOR post 140. In fact, I don't even know what post 140 says, I'm just gueesing where I stopped.

Please do me one favor all of you who have gotten into the "spanking" portion of the conversation: please control the urge to tell people what they should/should not think or what opinion they should have.

Some of you might have read my personal opinion, and you may or may not agree; but there are a few here who seem to think that their opinion is not only RIGHT, but its the only on anyone should have.

I don't want to name names, or call anyone out. But both sides of the issue have them, in that the poster has stopped trying to "make friends and influence people", and instead has taken to ridiculing someone with the opposite view.

Once we stop reading and considering other's takes on the books we all love, there will no longer be a point in sharing our OWN points of view.

I disagree with a few of you, and a couple of people here actually scare me a little; but I'm not going to tell them they are wrong. This isn't math or spelling bee, but an opinion forum, and there is NO "right" opinion.
Tony Zbaraschuk
244. IanGH
Spanking... And to think on my first few reads through I just sat back and chuckled...

Seriously folks (and I haven't had the stomach to read all the posts), nobody got upset when Egwene (or Elayne?) thwacked Rand with the power in Tear. The Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, Aiel in general and apparently also the Two Rivers' Wisdoms seem to have no problem dealing out corporal punishment either with the one power or a cudgel. Even Moiraine loses her cool in TFOH and gives Rand a good smack with the one power.

The reason this gets everyone's back up is because it smacks of domestic abuse. But domestic abuse (physical or mental) is usually a means of making somebody weaker than you with the purpose of controlling that person. (I'm sure I'm over-simplifying here but you get the picture.) Nobody can reasonably claim that Perrin was trying to assert any sort of control on Faile. I mean, she hit him twice very hard. She was warned.

The odd thing is this (and it has already been pointed out). Faile, being Saldeaen, probably appreciated the show of strength more. Perrin, being of Two Rivers blood, is probably keeping some mental list in his head of every time he might have accidentally stubbed her toe.

I have a hard time imagining adults spanking other adults in real life. But this isn't real life...
Tony Zbaraschuk
245. IanGH
Wsean @235:

You spoke my mind. I guess I should have slogged through to the end before posting.

Torie Atkinson
246. Torie
To various and sundry:

This isn't a child-rearing website--this is a WoT re-read. Close textual analysis of the text is absolutely welcome, but conversation should be about the books, not what one should or shouldn't do in real life.

This isn't about spanking generally, it's about what that action means for these two people. The question to ask as a reader isn't "Is it okay to spank a child?" (which isn't relevant here anyway) but rather "Is it okay that he's treating her like a child?" (which you've all covered pretty well).

There are 250 comments here, and most of them are on the topic of spanking. Both sides have presented their arguments pretty strongly and at this point we're really repeating ourselves. The topic is stale, and there's so much more that happens in these chapters. Moderator sez: Let's move on.
Amar Ramraj
247. aiel1219
I so agree.. :) If you have something new to add... I say go ahead... but if u are just repeating what was said b4... u ain't gonna change nobody's mind... so just let it be... ok ok... I know u can and will do whatever u want.

*sniff sniff* I posted several comments and the only ones that really got replies were on the moral issue.... i feel so stupid for even bothering to post the others.... ok ok that's an exaggeration... LOL!!! (abt both no replies n feeling stupid)
My NON- morality/gender-relation posts r
218(where I actually ended up commenting on my own comment cuz no one really seemed interested in anything but our moral debate)
(and YES I know I'm self-absorbed, selfcentered,selfish and whatever other suffixes with negative connotations u can put after self)LOL!!!
Chiara Elvira
248. elvyelvy
who's to feel more stupid? you who posted several comments without getting any reply, ot me, who actually DID reply to you? (*sniff sniff* go @223)

Torie@246 I did suggest the same as back as around post 200 but the majority were very hot on the spanking issue and most likely skipped reading it.

Btw, leaving aside many sf writers, having read the original versions of Middle English and Old French Arthurian romances, if I can go by the reactions above, many of you would be outraged/shocked at the amount of violence shown or implied, and at the mockery of woman-on-a-pedestal idea vs. actual practice. In the Middle Ages women were second-class beings, the church considering them the source of all evil, therefore subject to father first and specially husband for guidance AND discipline. It rankles but that was the way of it back then.

Thanks the Light tomorrow we are getting a new instalment of Leighster's Digest, with lots of action and no spanking involved (until the next Nyn - Wise Ones - Mistress of Novices section, that is)
Tony Zbaraschuk
249. RobMRobM
BTW - cheers to R.Fife and Odigity for having their posts classified as "Hot Bookmarks" on the site. You da men (or women, if applicable)!

Ian@208. You are thinking of Path of Daggers and, yes, Faile believes that her relationship with Perrin improves after Perrin follows Elyas' advice and begins to openly and forcefully disagree with her. She sees his strength towards her as a validation of her strength. (Of course, she then has a PoV where she has to figure out how to manipulate things to get more of what she wants from him ....)

drew@243 - amen (and I mean that in a nonreligious, WOT, manner). I'm 100% with you brother (or sister).

To all the posters re Maidens Kiss and whether it implies more than kissing.... The game was described in TDR as spears being around the neck and the quality of the kiss would determine whether pressure of spears on neck gets increased or decreased. I'm having trouble figuring out as a matter of bodies moving in space how that could involve more than kissing but maybe I'm just naive.

Given the length of this comment section, perhaps we should split them into three parts and publish them during the next few Novembers.

Happy posting to all. Rob
Tony Zbaraschuk
250. hoping to be of the blood
Ah, Evendigity, the pattern demands balance.
Maybe we will also see Aiel(-1219)

"The world is changing," Gaul said quietly...
Beside all that, Perrin, what does (a little spanking) matter?" *settles back on his haunches ala Gaul*

Happy Easter, or april 12, everyone
Ofer Nave
251. odigity
RobMRobM - Thanks for the praise!

R.Fife and others - some good points, but again... exhausting. Responding to all of them would takes pages and pages. Can't you just take my word for it? :) (I'm kidding of course.)

Everyone wants a new topic, so here goes: I'm confused by Birgitte's comment that it's even harder to escape the Tower of Ghenji in TAR than in reality. I thought RJ said the Tower was one of those special places (like stedding, and the Aelfinn/Eelfin worlds) that isn't accessible from TAR.
Tony Zbaraschuk
252. Randalator
Siuanfan @100

I totally agree with you on the Faile- and the Tylin-part.

almuric @161

If the Dark One can create things like Slayer and Shaidar Haran, why doesn't he churn out bunches of them?

There is no proof that the DO created Slayer.

As for Shaidar Haran I suppose that he is a vessel for the DO. An avatar that only works as a super-fade when the DO is driving. The rest of time he wouldn't be functional at all or would at best just be an average Myrddraal of above average height. So if the DO created more Shaidar Haran's they would most likely sit uselessly in the Shayol Ghul parking lot most of the time.

If Ishamael was loose for 3,000 years, why the hell wasn't he pretty much just running everything? If I had his powers (especially compulsion), I wouldn't stop at making sure the ice cream truck had Choco Tacos when they come around to my neighborhood. One thing I would have done is find me some other male channelers to compulse into freeing Callandor. Or just balefire the stone of tear until Callandor was laying on bare ground. 3,000 years? Every 50 years, I'd create a little Black Tower army that I'd smuggle into Tar Valon and use to level as much of the White Tower as possible. Rinse and repeat.

First of all Ishamael was NOT free for 3000 years. During the last 3000 years he was free at irregular intervals for periods of roughly forty years. And even then he wasn't free for forty years straight as we can see by his "frequent long absences" during his time as Hawkwing's advisor.

Second there is only one male channeler who could free Callandor: The Dragon Reborn. Any other would fail miserably, channel as he will. Otherwise Ishy could have snatched it up himself. And balefiring the Stone would just leave Callandor hanging in midair a hundred feet above the ground still as untouchable as ever. Not to mention all the Pattern unravelling badness that would ensue using that much balefire.

Also creating a Black Tower and then leaving it alone for hundreds of years while you're out of the loop sounds like a very bad idea. What with the madness waiting for the men and all. Ishamael is a schemer, he manipulates events on a much larger scale than just the forty odd years he's out an about.

Events in the books implicate that the DO needs to be freed and then the forces of Light need to be defeated. In that exact order. Defeating the Light before the DO is free will just result in another Age-long wait for the return match. So events have to be carefully orchestrated into the DO being freed before the Last Battle is over. That's what Ishy has ben working towards whenever he was free. Causing a second Breaking of the World by setting loose hundreds of male channelers will royally fuck up every plan to set the stage for DO world domination.

aiel1219 @195

I don't think you're the villain in this college episode. Social rules of conduct apply for everyone. People with a disability deserve help and consideration when their disability restricts them. But it doesn't give them a get out of jail free card.

The guy you're talking about was hiding behind his disability to pull crap that no one else would get away with. He deserves no pity for they way you treated him because he brought it onto himself. A physical handicap is no excuse for being an asshole. He is the one who assaulted you, you only defended yourself and didn't try to physically harm him. So he should have been the one to be suspended, not you.

I can see where you're coming from and why you're feeling bad. We are taught to treat handicapped people with consideration and rightfully so. So you're shocked at your ability to overcome these inhibitions. But as I see it given the situation you showed a very healthy reaction.

Just imagine that guy had robbed a store and resisted arrest. Would criticize the cops for using their physical superiority to subdue him? Would you say that the cops should be punished and the guy released and not prosecuted for the robbery? Just because of his disability? Because that's essentially what the college did in your case.
jane reynolds
253. janie
aiel1219@247 - if it's any consolation, I agreed with your comment about Machin Shin way back when ... but not until after I dipped my toe into the seething pool of madness which has consumed most of this thread, so I shall just stop talking now. But for what it's worth, a whole bunch of people did reply to your posts (see posts 178 through 182, for example).
And I might be going crazy, but I seem to remember a discussion somewhere about Slayer killing wolves to create Darkhounds (something about stealing their souls). I thought it must have been in the comments on a previous post, but I can't find it anywhere! Argh! - EDIT - I found it! It comes, of course, from the wonderful WOTFAQ.

RobM@249 - I dunno, I know how the game was described, but the way Mat thought about it, I just always got the impression there must have been something else going on.
"They each took a kiss. That's all. If she thought it was a good kiss, they eased up with the spears. If not, they pushed a little harder; to encourage, you might say. That was all. I'll tell you this; I got nicked less than I do shaving."
He stuck his pipe back between his teeth. If they wanted to know more, they could go ask to play the game themselves. He almost hoped some of them were fool enough. Bloody Aiel women and their bloody spears. He had not made it to his own bed until daybreak.
I have no idea about how it would work, physically speaking - unless maybe the bit with the spears is just the beginning? - but I just ... dunno. But maybe I've just got a dirty mind.
Kristen Day
254. enlotta7
Hi. I've been reading the rereads (and just started listening to the audio cds of TDR-the person who reads it sounds like a news anchor or something)and am enjoying seeing all the differing opinions.

I think I may be one of the few who will claim Nynaeve as my favorite character of all in the series and was so disappointed at her loss of influence and high-power ranking in the later books. I loved reading about a strong willed woman who is unafraid to tell someone they're wrong (even if she won't admit that they're not) and beat them with a stick if they argued about it...okay, maybe not the beating with the stick thing, but how many other women in fantasy series have the gall to do that? And if she were a male character, would she have gotten such a negative reaction from people (just curious)?

As for the spanking one should go around smacking in anger someone they care about, regardless of who's on the receiving end. But considering Perrin's size and Faile's stubborness (good lord, woman, stop already!), she was dealt with fairly, in my opinion.

Leigh-I love the reread commentaries and thanks for pointing out the things I never really caught on to before.
Tony Zbaraschuk
255. Randalator
enlotta7 @254

And if she were a male character, would she have gotten such a negative reaction from people (just curious)?

A male version of Nynaeve would have gotten exactely the same reaction from me. I don't have a problem with her telling other people they're wrong or with her being unafraid of authority.

What pisses me off about her is her hipocrisy. She is so eager pointing out the flaws in others while at the same time blinding herself to the same (even stronger) flaws in herself. She actually believes to be rational and even-tempered while alternately acting like a sulky child or a bull in a china shop. Everyone tends to gloss over things from his own perspective but Nynaeve doesn't bother with glossing she just invents a whole new reality.

The dressing-down she got from Egwene in TAR was one of the best parts of the entire series. Unfortunately the effects wore down rather quick...
Tony Zbaraschuk
256. Ian Hurst

Christ, where to begin. I probably should not even respond, considering the level of disgust I hold for your opinions here, but I feel obligated since your post addresses me directly. I'm going to try to keep this short.

You're right, I do not agree with you, and cannot understand you. Oh, I see the point you're making, in all its repulsive glory, but I can't get into a brain like yours, no.

Your entire argument is nothing more than "you can't judge people who think different!" To which I say, OH HELL NO. What good are morals if they can only apply to oneself? I *will* judge others based on my sense of morality, and if you want to change my judgement, you have to more than say "but it's normal where I'm from!!!"

I don't give a flying expletive whether it's *normal* - fucking children is WRONG. If Faile is a child to Perrin then his sexual relationship with her is WRONG. If she's not a child to him then his treating her like one is WRONG. If the only way Faile can get Perrin to be man enough for her is to assault him then their relationship is WRONG. And yet in the story it's validated! Their relationship begins to work!

No, ick, gross.

That's *my* reaction to it, and that's why this part of the books sucks so horribly. I'm meant to identify with characters treating each other horribly and then *prospering* from it. It's sickening.

You want to have a different reaction, go ahead. You want me to agree, come up with a better argument.
Tony Zbaraschuk
257. Ian Hurst

Yes, that's one of the scenes I recall, but I couldn't remember just which book it happened in, thanks. It's a while yet till we're at the Path of Daggers (yay? boo?), but I look forward to reading everyone's take on that scene.
Helen Peters
258. Helen
146. Tony Zbaraschuk

I don't know, maybe both of them are right and Mat is better than either at handling women...

Umm... hate to correct everyone who's said this.... but... up to almost the end of TGH (that's as far as I've got in this current incarnation) neither Perrin or Rand have thought that Mat was better at talking to women. Rand thinks Perrin is, Perrin thinks Rand is. The only time Mat has come up was when Rand thought Mat was better at lying.

Regarding the 'spanking'. I always though he put her over his knee and gave ONE spank, that's all that was 'needed'. But to whoever it was that said he should have (or thought he should have) taken her by the scruff of the neck and shaken her.... how is shaking someone better than spanking?

Have a fun rest of the weekend.
Matias Miguez
259. meiyas
@ Joe W. in 213.

That's one of the dangers of non-contextual, unqualified, total equality. If there's no difference except for our physical parts, then its perfectly fine for a man to haul off and hit a woman.

Are you serious????
you think it is perfectly fine for a man to haul off and hit a man???
glad you don't live near me...

On other subjects:

1) I like the idea of slayer stepping into the real world and using the tower as a trap for Perrin.

2) I like that Perrin inmediatly learns to teleport himself in TAR but the AS all have trouble with it (as when the SG are metting in the throne room in Andor and Slayer is spying, than only Egwene does it automatically and Nynaeve never does it)
Even when Egwene goes to Salidar she goes 'slowly'

great re-read as always, have fun at JordanCon
Aidan Young
260. aidanyoung1102
I have to admit I missed the spanking thing until this re-read. I think it's Robert Jordan's attempt to pull Perrin's Wolfbrother traits into his interactions with Faile. The scruff of the neck line implies that he's not really thinking like a human at that moment. I believe comment 100 said something along the same lines.

If it's a "wolf" reaction to Faile's violence than I think it's consistent with Perrin's character and the later violent outbursts that he has when he goes into "wolf mode," such as chopping off the Shaido's hand.

Faile is an immature little brat for being as violent as she is, but I think she's very surprised by the outcome, probably expecting/hoping for a shouting match (consistent with Saldaean culture), not a violent reaction.

I think Perrin immediately regrets what he did to her, and she looks at him with unshed tears in her eyes. Both of these things further imply that Perrin wasn't "himself" for a moment once she pushed him too far. I don't think his reaction is right, but I also don't think it's actually Perrin but rather Young Bull.

Perrin as human doesn't ever hurt anyone, he thinks and speaks deliberately and cautiously. He's very straightforward with people, but in a respectful way, even when he's very offended. Take the Seanchan interactions in KoD where he is appalled by the way they treat their servants and continuously points out that he does things differently. He felt something very close to contempt but still spoke level and respectfully, if in opposition.

Perrin as a wolf on the other hand... Well, he devours chickens, wrecks people with hammmers and axes, chops off hands, growls, howls, has his hackles rise, kills whitecloaks with reckless abandon, and exerts his Alpha Male tendencies on anyone who tries to dominate him. Oh yeah, and he spanks bratty little Falcons who violently attack him.

Don't we see similar personality traits in other stories with Werewolf characters and also Wolverine from the X-men?
Torie Atkinson
261. Torie
@ 256 Ian Hurst

Drop it. You've argued back and forth on this and haven't gotten anywhere. You're not going to agree, so move on.
Tony Zbaraschuk
262. Ian Hurst

Sorry, I did not notice your "move on" post above. Consider it dropped.
James Hogan
263. Sonofthunder
"...and he spanks bratty little Falcons who violently attack him." HAH!

I have to say, I also totally missed the spanking in these chapters. Gosh, I definitely read too fast, I guess. As a single guy, I can't comment too much on my thoughts. Why I don't think I'd ever pull a Perrin, I also don't think I'd ever be attracted to a Faile. Let's just say they both have their problems and leave it at that.
Tony Zbaraschuk
264. Roxinos
@92-Ian Hurst

Your logic has flabbergasted me.

"Faile is a child to Perrin and can treat her so... but they have SEX."

In terms of a violence Faile commits against Perrin and violence he commits against her, yes. She is physically a child *compared to him.* That is not to say that she *is* literally a child. It is a metaphorical comparison.

For example, if Superman were to say that, to him, the humanity is as ants in terms of strength, does that mean he can go around crushing them all like ants? If I make that comparison, does that mean I'm justifying that behavior? No.

Perrin applied the metaphor literally to make a very strong point to Faile. She should not hit him, because to him, she is but a child physically. In terms of the level of damage that she can do to him.

"And you're not complaining about it."

No, I'm not complaining that they have sex because they are, presumably, in love with one another. And Faile is not a child. And Perrin is not a child. They are adults. Remember, it is a metaphorical comparison. Like Superman and humanity as a god and ants. Like Dr. Manhattan comparing Ozymandias' intelligence to that of an ant in comparison to Dr. Manhattan.

"Therefore it's OK for storybook heroes to fuck children? Or no, maybe being weaker than your guy doesn't make you a child, and doesn't mean he can treat you like a child?"

Nope. See my above comments. Applying a metaphor to reality to make a point does not equal justification for treating a person as if the metaphor was reality in all situations.
Aidan Young
265. aidanyoung1102
Just one note on Faile's age. She is actually 16 at the time of CoT.

How old is everyone?
Aidan Young
266. aidanyoung1102
@263 -Son of Thunder

I agree. Faile is near the bottom of my list of personalities I'm attracted to. Actually, most of the women in Wheel of Time are, unfortunately. Except for Moiraine who is pure awesome.

I think we all just need to accept that Robert Jordan does not write women well for the most part.
Torie Atkinson
267. Torie
@ 264 Roxinos

My comments 246 & 161 apply to you, too. Move on.
268. Shadow_Jak
aidanyoung1102 @ 266

"I think we all just need to accept that Robert Jordan does not write women well for the most part."

Can't let that go unchallenged!
Fav female characters abound in this series. Moiraine, of course, although she can really gripe me sometimes. Verin and a few other Aes Sedai as well. Tons more.

Faile and Perrin are probably my second favorite couple of the series. Really, really, really looking forward to seeing them back together again in MoL #1 (I hope!)
Mat and Tuon, of course, take top billing, but that's a long ways off yet.
Tony Zbaraschuk
269. gagecreedlives
Ive never considered the idea that slayer was using the Tower of Ghenjei as a trap. Pity Hopper didnt channel General Ackbar.
But I still would love it if Slayer does have a connection to the Finns. Could make the Moraine rescue even more interesting.
Does anyone know if Luc and Isam were darkfriends before the merger?
Josh Davis
270. YoSoyElJosh
@ 266 Aidanyoung

Moiraine irks me, but at least she's consistent. That's one quality I enjoy a lot in RJ's characters is their consistency. But by far, my favorite female he's written has been Min. She does cool like no one else.

@ 269 gagecreedlives

I believe Luc was not a Darkfriend. Gitara Moroso told him that the fate of Tarmon Gaidon rested on his going to the Blight.

Isam, however, and his family have a darker past, I believe. It would not surprise me to learn he was a Darkfriend, but I can't find the article at the moment.

Separately, in regards to the Tower of Ghenjei being a trap, it's not a great trap at all, but I suppose it works. The difficulty is that the tower requires a very specific method of getting in. But it serves well enough as a distraction that Slayer can pop out of TAR on the other side of the Tower, and camp out for a bit before popping back in and heading back to the Two Rivers.
Kristen Day
271. enlotta7

Oh, no, I totally agree that she can be hypocritical, and I grin like an idiot anytime Egwene or Elayne give her a good dressing down, but I just think she's judged a little too harshly, which I don't think would happen so much-or at such a level of dislike-if she were a man. I don't think too many people have a problem with how she stands up for herself. I can agree about the hypocrisy to an extent, as hypocrisy and the like seem to run rampant in Randland. It's like a plague.
Agnes Kormendi
272. tapsi
Wasn't Isam just a baby when he was taken?
Richard Fife
273. R.Fife
Yeah, Isam was a baby when he was taken, but he would be of an age with Luc, so while he was being raised by wolves.. er, wolf-faced trollocs, he probably became a darkfriend ;)

Honestly, it is a small miracle the trollocs did not just eat the kid there. The shadow abuses its "high ranking" darkfriends a bit (Barthanes, anyone?) so Isam's birthrights would not have been protection. Perhaps Ishy was already having moments of lucid freedom to give commands around the fall of Malkier.
Agnes Kormendi
274. tapsi
Yes I know he'd be of an age with Luc, I was just wondering that most likely he had no choice in becoming a Darkfriend... :)
Tony Zbaraschuk
275. Randalator
meiyas @259

I like that Perrin inmediatly learns to teleport himself in TAR but the AS all have trouble with it (as when the SG are metting in the throne room in Andor and Slayer is spying, than only Egwene does it automatically and Nynaeve never does it)
Even when Egwene goes to Salidar she goes 'slowly'

Egwene travels to Salidar "in the flesh". From all we've seen of people entering TAR physically it seems that there are limits that don't apply when you're just entering in your sleep.

Also we've seen the Supergirls and Aes Sedai teleporting all over the place. From Tear to Tanchico, from Tanchico to Rhuidean, from Salidar to Tear, from Salidar to Elaida's study...

The difference is that to all non-Dreamers it takes quite an effort. They need to focus on the place they want to go to, from an image of it in their mind to make TAR shift around them. So it never occurs to them to use it for short distance travel.

Egwene is a natural and just does it without thinking, Elayne observes it and is focused enough to be able to emulate it without all the eyes closing and image forming in mind. Nynaeve on the other hand can't even focus enough to keep her clothes from constantly changing radically (never could) and is consequently unable to teleport.
Josh Davis
276. YoSoyElJosh
@ 274 tapsi

No, likely not much of a choice. Most people end up sticking with the faiths they're raised with, after all. ;)

But considering his mother teamed up with Cowin, a confirmed Darkfriend, to bring down Malkier, and that neither his mother or he was seen from again means someone probably hid them, and that's a perfectly Darkfriend thing to do.
Amar Ramraj
277. aiel1219
B4 I read any other comments, I just wanted to let you know that I did read yer comment b4... and especially enjoyed my PRIZE!!!!!!!!! :D YAY MEEE!!!
and u n mb 3 or 4 others r the only reason I didn't feel stupid... note the ok I'm being sarcatic bit in the end of the comment @247

AND PLS PLS PLS PPL put comments in here and the next post so Leigh feel's like she should do a post on "Leigh's adventures @ JordanCon"... oh and Leigh if u have already said you would do this... n I missed it.... sorry for bringing it up so often.

Now to read the comments after 248.
Tony Zbaraschuk
278. dcole78
Not having the time to read all of the responses here I am sure this has been brought up many many times before. BUT...Jordan was not at all sexist I mean really, lets look at his female characters here. Most of us have at various times called THEM sexist. Which I think Jordan would say in some instances they ARE. AND ARE SUPPOSED TO BE! If you look at those times though he is putting the shoe on the other foot of things women experience in every day life. Which is why I always laugh when people complain about it.

With the spanking, this is the response she was going for. If he doesn't think she is strong enough to be stood up to it means he doesn't respect her, he doesn't see her as an equal. Now is that a healthy culture, well no but given the world she is in I can understand it. And anyway as good liberal anthropologists aren't we not supposed to judge other cultures anyway ;).
Chiara Elvira
279. elvyelvy
aiel1219 :-) It's never stupid to share a "passion" with others in a creative way, it means our little gray cells are still working (hooray for us).

I too would very much like to read Leigh's impressions @JordanCon, but I know she is verrrry nice and will find a moment or two for a brief post (maybe two, hopefully). That before the ral grilling she gets the moment she's back. Wish I could be there...

A hug to everybody!!!
Joseph Blaidd
280. SteelBlaidd
So as I was reading about the incident, which didn't happen, I keept seeing in my head the old Richard Burton- Liz Taylor version of "The Taming of The Shrew"
Amar Ramraj
281. aiel1219
maybe u should do a blog on morality, sexism and beliefs in SciFi/Fantasy lit v.s. "The real world"

And maybe have a few add banners in there where u charge a jewel and a crown for ads. :) (ok mb I gotta think the business bit out a bit more)

Hmmm... Maybe I had a bit too much of that classic Russian/Polish/Lithuanian drinkin... and if I spelled Lithuanian right then I got mad skills.. or mad dru%$en skills LOL!!!

What I REALLY wanted to ask is if anyone knows if JordanCon is scheduled to be a yearly(or atleast more than this one time) activity. I really hope that I can attend the next one (especially since I hope that by then I will be free of the morally and socially baffling country I'm stuck in...baffling to me anyways).
Galen Brinn
282. GatheringStorm
tapsi @ 272,

Yes, Isam was just an infant when his mother was allegedly run down by trollocs during the destruction of Malkier. According to what I remember, his mother was never named as a DF, but she was exceedingly jealous (of her brother-in-law, Lan's father) who ended up King and extremely ambitious. She set in motion the death of Malkier by convincing her husband to take 5000 lances into the blight, stripping Malkier's defenses to the bone.

She did have a partner in this deal who WAS named as a DF, but I can't recall his name off the top of my head (although he was "famous").
Matias Miguez
283. meiyas
@ Randalator 275

Perfectly summarized I agree with all you said.
What I meant is that the AS have to typically close their eyes (at least in the beginning, later I can't recall) and imagine themselves there, while Perrin just takes a step ad is there. It takes several months of training for Egwene to do it naturally and Perrin just does it on first try.
maybe i didn't explain myself clearly...
Josh Davis
284. YoSoyElJosh
@282 GatheringStorm

Cowin Fairheart was the name. He was a Malkieri nobleman. He pushed Breyan, Isam's mother, to dare her husband to lead his force into the Blight. Once it was revealed what Cowin's role was, Jain Farstrider captured and returned him to al'Akir, king of Malkier, who kills him in one-on-one combat.
Matias Miguez
285. meiyas
@ GatheringStorm 282

The darkfriend was Cowin Gemallan, called Cowin Fairheart one of the Great Lords of Malkier.

YoSoyElJosh beat me...

are we all waiting for the next post....
Josh Davis
286. YoSoyElJosh
Haha, only by the tiniest margins, meiyas :) Usually I'm the one posting last.

And yes. Mondays are a bore without some WoT recaps!
Tony Zbaraschuk
287. Randalator
meiyas @283

Perrin doesn't exactely teleport. He takes unusually large steps like Slayer which is described as "becoming a streak" in the eyes of an observer (TSR, ch. 28). Egwene just changes position without any "streaking" and Elayne also doesn't notice any blurring when she teleports.

Also while we don't see Egwene teleporting about like crazy that doesn't mean she took longer to figure it out. Perrin has started entering the Wolfdream/TAR around the same time as Egwene did. Actually even a little earlier (beginning of TDR, Egwene about halfway through TDR). And by the time Perrin figures it out Egwene hast already started her training with the Wise Ones.

From the way the Wise Ones handle TAR I'd say that teleporting would be very 101 for them and one of the first things Egwene learned. We just don't see her doing it because the situation never arises for her.

It's true, Perrin figures out the seven-league-boots trick all by himself but he had a headstart and Egwene was just taught the advanced teleporting before she could "even the score".
Deborah Jones
288. NanaD
I have noticed that any time the main characters are taught something they are told to go slow and to be very careful, but when left on their own they achieve the same things and more by instinct alone.

We have talked quit a bit about the age of the people of Randland. I have a question maybe some one could help me with while we wait for the next post.

Randland has a 10 day week, a 28 day month, but do they have a 365 day year like we do?
Tony Zbaraschuk
289. RebelLives
Perrin may have entered TAR first but in the beginning he avoided anything to do with the wolves and the Wolfdream. It is just now that he really begins exploring TAR and using it for information gathering.
Tony Zbaraschuk
290. Randalator
NanaD @288

28 day x 13 months = 365 days
Galen Brinn
291. GatheringStorm
Math's a bit wrong Randalator: 28 x 13 = 364 ;)
Ed Dyer
292. HumbleReader
Your calculator seems to be broken :-)
28 days x 13 Months => 364 days

But wait, there is Sunday which does not belong to any month, (summer solstice) and there is Thanksgiving (like the extra day in our leap year - celebrated every 4th year,) and then there's All Soul's Day every tenth year at the Autumn equinox. So that works out to 265.35 days per year, just slightly longer than our year (365.25 days, give or take a fraction of a second.)

Perhaps the World has slowed a bit in the 3(?) ages since our own...
Tony Zbaraschuk
293. tearl
28 day x 13 months
+ (non-monthed holiday on the summer equinox) Sunday
= 365 days, non-Leap year
Tony Zbaraschuk
294. RebelLives
They must have Leap Year every four years like us.
Tony Zbaraschuk
295. Jonathan Grizzell
Has anyone else considered the fact that Perrin was planning on going to Two Rivers to die. He was trying to run off Faile so that she wouldn't see it. I think that it falls in his character to do whatever he thought would run her off. He tries several times to be mean and get rid of her so that she won't see what he thinks is going to happen to him. While I dislike Faile, I have always felt that she knew what Perrin was trying to do, and was staying with him to keep him from killing himself.

I work at the department of family and children's services in Ga. I totally disagree with having sex with children. I have had people arrested for doing this. I also know that less than 20 years ago the age of consent to have sex in Ga was 14 years old. Before you say anything, I still think Ick, Ick, Ick.
Tony Zbaraschuk
296. nickeyw
I can't believe it, i've actually finished reading all the posts. I think I need a large drink before I make any comments however....
Tony Zbaraschuk
297. Ian Hurst
Jonathan Grizzell@295: "While I dislike Faile, I have always felt that she knew what Perrin was trying to do, and was staying with him to keep him from killing himself."

I can't recall whether she's in on it yet, here, but later she is for sure, and pretends to follow along only inasmuch as it lets her save the entire Two Rivers by leading reinforcements from Deven Ride. It's such a great scene (one of highest points in the series, surely) that I'd almost say it redeems her character for me. If she's done anything better to date, I can't think of it. One hopes there's more of this to come, in the final books.
Galen Brinn
298. GatheringStorm
Leading the Devin Ride people to Emond's Field does do a lot to rehabilitate her reputation, but overall, she's still FAIL (TM).
Tony Zbaraschuk
299. Aye Aye Sedai
coming up on 300 posts Whooo Hooo - is this a new record?

Remember that the women's circle in Eamons Field does not consider Faile to be a child when they allow her to marry- nor does anyone else in the story -- whether or not you bloggers personally do - that is your own choice - but RJ is not writing nor avocating for in statutory rape in lieu of romance and Twu Wuv. (at least not for these heroes).

Could Perrin have entered the tower in TAR? Without a bronze knife or the knowledge of how to open the tower?

Is Luc evil (DO evil) or is he just caught into the ISAM/Slayer persona?

Tony Zbaraschuk
300. happi
This is a little off topic - should have brought this up at the end of TDR. We know Belal and Rhavin get balefired (any other foresaken?). Since this burns them right out of the pattern, shouldn't this have changed big events all the way back to the War of Power?
Tony Zbaraschuk
301. Blinkers
Oh come on Leigh, you can't be serious. I love your recaps, but the hissy-fit you're throwing over the spanking incident is childish enough that perhaps you need a few swats on the rump to straighten up.

You all need to read these books a bit more carefully and notice that spanking happens quite often throughout the entire series, both before TSR and after. There are numerous references to spanking, switching bottoms, putting someone over a knee, etc. It's pretty obvious that in the culture of the WoT spanking is very much an accepted means of punishment typically given to those who are viewed as acting immature/childish.

So yes, it was completely in character for Perrin to spank Faile, even though some may think she deserved worse.
Tony Zbaraschuk
302. bookworm
No, happi. The disruption in the Pattern is tied directly to the strength (and length) of the Balefire. Rahvin took the stronger hit of the two, and I don't remember time being changed more than an hour, just enough to make it so Aviendha, Asmodean and Mat were never struck by lightning.
Tony Zbaraschuk
303. nickeyw
When Rahvin was balefired it did effect the past - Matt and Aviendha were alive again, but the further back in time you want to effect the more balefire you need to use. That much would destroy the pattern.
Tony Zbaraschuk
304. RobMRobM
@297. Highest Faile point is where Perrin is getting bombarded by questions from the Al Veres and she says "Enough" and tells him he needs to grieve for his dead family. I forgive her a lot for the compassion and love for Perrin shown in that particular scene. Rob
Luke M
305. lmelior
Ayes Sedai @299

It's a record for Leigh's re-read at least, and probably for any article, though that's not as easy to check (click on Leigh's name on the front page and it'll show you all posts by her). This beats out Part 3 of TSR which was at 293 comments as of this writing.

Of course I'm now artificially inflating the number by talking about the number itself. Oh well, I'm having a great time!

@ 300:

Luckily RJ made balefire work as bookworm @ 302 describes. Otherwise we'd have some nasty grandfather paradoxes going on. I suppose you still could though, as anything messing with time tends to allow. As a silly example, if a baby balefires his mother strongly enough, he won't have been born, which means he couldn't have balefired her...

Maybe that's what they mean by destroying the pattern.
Tony Zbaraschuk
306. nickeyw
We don't know if Luc was evil when he went to the blight but he became it pretty quick as he killed Rand's father at the end of the Aeil War

I don't believe it, i just went to get my TSR book out my car and some thieving little shit has pinched one of the windows..... now here's someone I would give a good spanking if i could.

No more reread for me I have to go persuade the police they want to come out and see me on a bank holiday.....damn
Tony Zbaraschuk
307. Randalator
GatheringStorm @291
HumbleReader @292

Nope, math's fine and so is my calculator. The only thing not working properly is the part of my brain that translates what I researched at Encyclopedia WOT back into accurate comments.

*start typing*
*cross check at E-WOT*
"Yep, 365 day allright"
*forget to mention Sunday*
*type some more*
*don't notice you screwed up until several people point it out*

You know, the usual... ;-)
Galen Brinn
308. GatheringStorm
Happens to the best of us, Randalator. That's why I put in ";)". I knew what you'd left out but thought I'd just give you a friendly, hard-time. XD
Tony Zbaraschuk
309. frank white
While I enjoy most of the comments in general, I am really surprised sometimes. Doesn't anyone just read and leave it at the story? Does everything have to be compared to the real world or your views of it. Personally I don't go looking for hidden meaning in stories. To me they are just that... stories.
Of course I was recently (a year ago) released from a federal maximum security prison after having served 10 years for a crime I didn't commit. (Sentence was life. It was proved I didn't do it. Didn't even get an apology) So I guess I tend to look at things a bit differently than most. In a world where violence was the norm and being violent (don't fool yourselves you must be violent to make it on the inside) was the norm, I looked forward to reading to escape. I think that if I had tried to look for hidden meanings in books I would never have made it.
I guess what I am saying is, it's a fantasy world, just take it as a story and let it go. As for coming up in a world where the worst was being bullied in high school all I can say is wake up, not everyone lives in such a sheltered world. I came up amongst 1%ers. I have been a member of an 1% Motorcycle club for all of my adult life. (won't mention the club but I'm fairly sure you've all heard of it) Violence is a part of daily life. Not to even get into some of the things I've seen while locked up.
Just enjoy the story... We all wake from the dream.
(sorry couldn't resist)
Luke M
310. lmelior
frank @ 309

Amazing story.

I don't think too many people go out of their way to look for hidden meanings in stories. This baffled me for a long time, too, and I wondered if the authors even meant for some of the so-called hidden meanings people tend to find in their writing. However, sometimes there are passages that are so jarring to your suspension of disbelief that you scrutinize that section a little bit more. Then you bring it up to other people, and discussion ensues.

For example, I read Twilight recently. The main character displays such a shocking amount of stupidity throughout the series, I couldn't help but take a step back and think in horror about what the book is teaching young women about life.

The comments might get a bit heated but for the most part it doesn't get personal, and as you say there are some very interesting and insightful posts that come out.
Tony Zbaraschuk
311. Ian Hurst
frank white@309: "Doesn't anyone just read and leave it at the story? Does everything have to be compared to the real world or your views of it. Personally I don't go looking for hidden meaning in stories. To me they are just that... stories."

Without returning to the details of the debate above, I find that as I get older lessons become, if not more important than the plot on the surface, then at least *as* important. I know that's not a feeling everyone shares. Certainly when I first read the WOT, almost ten years ago, it was not the case for me. Back then the plot was enough (for it IS a magnificent plot, isn't it?), and if I did notice a troubling lesson, then I let it slide. And to preempt a question, yes, enjoying a book was a lot less difficult, back then.

But now, especially with TWOT, I'm loooong past caring about most of the details on the surface, save for the parts of the story that aren't yet published. I can't tell you the last time I read a "loony theory" post, for instance (I reflexively page-down at the first glimpse of those words), and even questions like "who killed Asmodean" scarcely pique my interest anymore (does it really matter? really?). And I do not mean to say everybody else should read like I do. However you enjoy the books, more power to you.

But just for me, as Leigh takes us back through this for the nth time, it's overwhelmingly her thoughts on meaning and implications of Jordan's work that tickle my brain. If she weren't talking about that kind of thing; if nobody here was discussing it with her; and if this reread covered only the plot's surface, I would not be here. I'd just reread alone on my couch, one last time, and wonder how it'll all end.

"Of course I was recently (a year ago) released from a federal maximum security prison after having served 10 years for a crime I didn't commit. (Sentence was life. It was proved I didn't do it. Didn't even get an apology)"

My God, that's terrible. I can only imagine the kind of perspective it's given you on our society. Have you written down any of your thoughts on it?
Marc Gioglio
312. u_turnagain
It's been a while since I read TSR, but I never thought of Perrin as spanking Faile.

Another place I often remember seeing the story trail off and then return is in James Bond films. After Bond is hit, he grabs the girl, kisses the girl, and wakes up next to the girl.

If I apply a similar line to Perrin, he grabs the girl, kisses the girl, and (well, the ways is probably not the best place to conceive). She deliberately tries not to sit gingerly (because she is giddy). She was kissed against her will and held there until she submitted. I would think that quite amusing if I were an aiel and certainly not interfere in the fight she started.

Granted I don't have the text in front of me, so there could be a drastic misinterpretation on my part, but based on the information I have from the previous 300 posts plus the summary, I see nothing to say it wasn't a good stern kiss.

Whether kissing into submission is an abuse or not I leave open.
Chris Maurer
313. grayfox
Not to nitpick, but Faile returned with the people from Watch Hill. The people from Deven Ride came up on their own (and was what inspired Faile to go get the people from Watch Hill when Perrin "sent her away" pending the last battle in Two Rivers).
Tony Zbaraschuk
314. Ian Hurst

Ah, good catch, thanks!
Tony Zbaraschuk
315. frank white
I had started writing after my 5th year but no longer have any of those pages. Had some issues when I got transfered to ADX Florence. Guards thought I was writing in code and everything was confiscated. Eventually all was destroyed due to security concerns. I didn't find that out until I finished my 4 years there (most people only spend 3 years there if they complete the program) and was transfered to Guaynabo, PR.
On topic: Of the 3 ta'veren Perrin is definitely my least favorite at times. I dread the whole period that Fail (yes I also drop the e) is gai'shain. Sadly Perrin's best scenes for me are in the Two Rivers against the trollocs, but after he stops feeling sorry for himself. (yeah I can't spell)
Tony Zbaraschuk
316. Shyft
I'm surprised people are up in arms about the spanking thing. One of the best things about Jordan's world is that it is different from ours. In WoT culture, physical punishment and shaming are perfectly acceptable "adjustment" measures.

Consider Aes Sedai; if a woman spends 10 years as a novice and 10 as an Accepted - you have 35-year-old women sent off for spankings. I would consider institutions like the "Farm" far scarier than rampant spanking. Given the choice between indentured servitude and a sore rump, I'd cut my own switch.
Tony Zbaraschuk
317. Valeiria
On a slightly off topic, though a few people have mentioned it... I didn't notice until my current re-read, but there's the Waygate in Shadar Logoth. So I'm not sure if the Blight overtook Waygates before or after Aridhol became Shadar Logoth, but I like the idea that Mashadar and Machin Shin are like two different sides of the same entity. Most of this is discussion for the end of Winter's Heart, but I was kind of hoping that somehow, if Mashadar could be destroyed, Machin Shin could be eradicated and/or the Ways could be cleansed in a similar way to saidin being cleansed.
Tony Zbaraschuk
318. toddywatts
Why is everyone up Faile's ass? Why shouldn't she learn to value Perrin's culture?

I have always found the spankings to be completely ridiculous. How old are they? Really? It always takes me a little out of the story.
Tony Zbaraschuk
319. Tonybere
Okay. I only made it through two hundred and thirty-odd posts so I hope my comments aren't redundant.
Anyhoo, on the topics of spanking/abuse/violence... I think Leigh's mantra about generalizations applies. After 15+ years training in and teaching martial arts, my personal code simplifies down to "to hurt someone else is wrong, to allow someone else to hurt you is unacceptable." Now this does not mean that I would just start wailing on someone in my space. I have talked or walked my way out of a large number of altercations in my life and have managed to get through the other two without much trouble. And I have trained enough women to know that anyone with training or desparation can be a threat. When you are in a physical confrontation it is not a man or a women in front of you, it is an opponent. I believe in equal rights - and lefts! I guess my point is that Perrin did what he thought would stop Faile without really hurting her. At least that is what I thought for a long time. Reading this discussion has made me think that maybe RJ had a grand scheme in the works. My wildest WOT theory might be (slightly) more plausible than I previously thought. Bear with me hear:

Perrin's character has changed almost continually from gentle giant to "guy willing to chop off someone's hand (repeatedly) and start a war for personal reasons." What if (BIG what if) his descent into wolf-like anti-heroism ends up with Mat having to put him down to "give up half the light of the world to save the world?"

I know it doesn't fit completely, but wouldn't that be one fantastic plot twist?
Tony Zbaraschuk
320. birgit
I'm confused by Birgitte's comment that it's even harder to escape the Tower of Ghenji in TAR than in reality. I thought RJ said the Tower was one of those special places (like stedding, and the Aelfinn/Eelfin worlds) that isn't accessible from TAR.

Finnland has no reflection in TAR, but it might be possible to enter it from TAR (only if there in the flesh? or are you only in Finnland with your spirit and your body remains in Randland and that makes it difficult to leave?)
Marc Gioglio
321. u_turnagain
In the interest of not rebusting it out on the new thread...

In my listen to TEOTW, Perrin meets with the tinkers and says something to the effect of, If someone hit me, I would have to hit him back because otherwise he would think it was OK to hit him.

It appears to me, that we have attributed characteristics to Perrin that make it out of character for him to hit back, but clearly, this evidence is to the contrary.
Tony Zbaraschuk
322. hummingbird
Sit gingerly... Perrin spanked her? He spanked her. He spanked her.


At the first read through , I was shocked that she didnt put a knife (or several) through him for even thinking about trying..... but later on (?? as to where) more about her upbringing and cultural views on relationships comes out. She wanted him to be authoritative. In fact, upon inspection in re-read she egged him onto this multiple times. She WANTED him to step up and "be a man". And noone needs to get all flamey on me and go into the men dont hit women bit. I get that in my culture and in my day.... but for Faile - it is a sign of love and endearment that the man takes the time and effort to put the woman "in her place".

Frankly, I think she deserved it. He did ask her not to hit him.
Tony Zbaraschuk
323. MNPundit
I've always believed this is Jordan's bias coming through because he's a Southerner only taken to extremes because of the fiction.
Tony Zbaraschuk
324. Paul H 1
I had been enjoying these commentaries immensely until the last few posts. I'm not crazy about the amount of pontificating on political/social issues in recent posts, but even more than that I have really been turned off by the liberal use of vulgarities. I would certainly appreciate it if you could tone those back a notch or two.
325. Freelancer
@322 hummingbird,

She WANTED him to step up and "be a man". And noone needs to get all flamey on me and go into the men dont hit women bit. I get that in my culture and in my day.... but for Faile - it is a sign of love and endearment that the man takes the time and effort to put the woman "in her place".

This is NOT what Faile is after. She knows Perrin is "a man". It isn't about him "putting her in her place". It's about the Saldaean cultural representation of RESPECT. For Faile, if Perrin treats her gently, the message is that he sees her as too weak to deal with straight up, and that infuriates her. When he's willing to holler back and be harsh with her, it shows her that he thinks of her as strong enough to take it, which pleases her. The entire reason that Faile sees red when Perrin shouts at Berelain while being Mr. Sweetness to her, is that in her view Perrin is showing Berelain more respect, giving her more credit for being strong than he is giving Faile.

She is most definitely not happy about getting her britches warmed, but since the event shows her that Perrin thinks her tough enough to take a serious swatting, she's no longer upset with him either.

@324 Paul H 1,

I second that emotion. Foul language often indicates an inability to express a point without depending on "shock value".
Tony Zbaraschuk
326. Wolfamge
R.Fife @ 124

A couple of points:
There is no such word as “Decartian”. In all probability you are referring to Rene Descartes, the French philosophy, who set out an attempted proof of the necessity of God through an interesting but ultimately mostly specious argument in his famous work Discourses on the Method. In that case, the word would be “Cartesian” in your sentence.

By talking about what is good for a character in this sense you essentially invoke two distinct concepts: good in the normative, moral sense and good in the sense of flourishing or life choices. They may sound related but they are quite separate matters in philosophy. Neither is necessarily related.

For instance, you can be an objectivist about morality whilst still being a pluralist about “the good” – in fact it’s a pretty commonly held position. So be careful when you invoke “the good” to distinguish that you are essentially concerned with questions about meta-ethics – ie. the meaning of moral language and its potential to carry truth-value. That is you are debating the possibility of cross-cultural ethical judgement and reader intermediated textual criticism.

Getting back to your syllogism, an objectivist concerning morality doesn’t need to believe in anything like an absolute good or evil. At the extreme that is certainly one possible position on the spectrum, but it isn’t a necessary part of being an objectivist. An objectivist only need believe that moral language is not purely a functional expression of taste or culture, and flowing from this, that there is some reasonable basis for the attainment of moral consensus and potential solutions to moral problems.

Objectivists are certainly not required to hold that every problem have a evident solution, still less that they be able to provide an exhaustive account of such solutions in a perfect moral code. They also don’t have to believe in a higher order of absolute good or evil.

Kind regards,
Tony Zbaraschuk
327. MarcusCRB
The latter is something you do to a recalcitrant child, not an adult human being you supposedly regard as an equal.

Agreed - but then that is exactly how Faile is behaving. TBH they both need a spanking, as does Berelain.

We know he can't possibly hit her - with his strength he would take her head off, he also feels that he can't stand there and take a pasting, so I guess he responds in the manner that his parents probably would have responded.

Perhaps I am not making too much sense here and am not advocating the spanking, merely trying to resolve how Perrin made the decision to do that. Something in him snaps and within the bounds of his love for her he responds perhaps as a parent would do to a child....
Tony Zbaraschuk
328. Miythrandir
Horay for Perrin! Faile totally deserved what she received - she's such a child!
Tony Zbaraschuk
329. JennB
I agree with the post above that says RJ is depicting an abusive relationship. RJ does not shy away from such things, just look to Mat and Tylin for another example. RJ never says that its a good thing. (I think Faile is the abuser, just as Tylin is, another example of Jordan flipping typical gender roles.)

If the genders of the character were reversed and the male character was slapping and punching the female character, the female character would most likely be crumpled on the floor severly injured. We wouldn't even be having this dicussion.

While Jordan reversed gender roles socially, he left men as physically stronger. In fact he made Perrin one of the physically strongest characters in the book (on purpose.) This makes Faile's physical abuse less lethal. This allows him to react in a way other than needing to go to the hospital. This is where we get to the big question.

What should he have done. Ideally he should have just left. Of course he already tried that and it did not work. He needs Loial and Loial is stuck with Faile so he has to take her along. Maybe he should have tied her up and put her on her horse or dumped water over her head. No matter what he decides, he is in a no win situation. He chooses. It is not the right or best choice. RJ never says it is the right choice even if it is acceptable in this world*. In fact he implys that it is wrong because Perrin feels guilty. Now he has brought himself down to her level. Too bad, but the character are not perfect.

I just wish that Perrin chapters did not become so annoying after this point. I always dreaded having to read anything to do with Perrin after this chapter.

*Perrin does see spanking as acceptable before this since he thinks about spanking Faile when he is angry with her in the Stone of Tear and he is not being physically abused by her at the time.
Tony Zbaraschuk
330. Mirax
I know it is way too late to really add my $.02, but I feel I deserve to after slogging my way through all the other comments. I agree that spanking as corrective punishment is not abuse, should not been done in anger, should not bruise. At this point, I agree that they were both abusive to each other, because what they did was done in anger/worry, but it becoming this physical seems to be an aberration to me. Perrin had other options, but leaving was not one of them. Someone suggested tying Faile up, but I don't see how he could have done that without manhandling her in some other way that would be just as offensive to those that are offended by the spanking. Dumping water over her head is just as out of the question as leaving. They are in the Ways, there is no water other than what they brought. I sincerely doubt he would have been able to make his point without using all of the water at hand, not to mention Faile would have still been punching him the whole time he was trying to get the water.\

Honestly, I have to disagree with Leigh about the slapping. I think any other physical reaction would have escalated rather than stopped the incident. As for it being so shaming to her... I'm sure being beaten up in front of the others was shaming to him as well. They were equally wrong. Later, though, as it has been pointed out, Perrin understands that she wants him to yell and he's ok with that. In my opinion, that isn't abuse. If she always beat him until he was forced to respond, then yes, that would be abusive, but that wasn't the case. Their relationship was definitely dysfunctional for quite a long time, just not physically so. He wanted to please her, but she never shared enough about her culture (or he never asked) so there were hurt feelings all over the place. Once he learns more about her culture, he decides that he is willing to give her what she wants in the form of arguing. It is like a couple Out of Book where the Person A wants to be dominated and Person B agrees to dominate. If both adults consent, it can be considered non-abusive and healthy, if not the social norm. The problem was that Faile never communicated to Perrin that she wanted that sort of behavior.

I'm sure if anyone were to read this, many would disagree. I don't expect a reply seeing as I'm over a month behind the last comment, but that's alright. After reading everything else, I needed my own outlet, whether it is read or not.
Tony Zbaraschuk
331. Jenny Creed
Faile's "refusing" to relax in her saddle. That doesn't sound like butt pain to me, but rather like she's in shock. I imagine Perrin did something to convince her he could and would hurt her if she kept hitting him.

If he had put her over his knee and spanked her butt sore, which sounds rather unlikely because a) it's completely out of proportion to her abuse of him even leaving aside the equality issues and b) Perrin remains decidedly un-stabbed, then I imagine she would have trouble sitting comfortably, not refusing to.
Tony Zbaraschuk
332. arekay
A lot of people seem to think that Perrin spanking Faile is treating her like a child. But the problem with that is that in WOT I don't think they've ever actually depicted a child being spanked. Spanking seems to be the accepted mode of punishment for ADULTS in randland. The Aes Sedai do it to Novices, Aceepted and other Aes Sedai as well. What exactly do you think Alviarins(for just one e.g.) penances were?
The womens circle back in the Two Rivers do it as well. There was definitely one mention of a couple who could not sit for the month before their wedding after they were caught making out. The Aiel do it to everybody and anybody.
In this context can you really blame Perrin for punishing Faile in what to him is probably the only socially accepted way?
Tony Zbaraschuk
333. TiredALil
I'm a little confused. First Leigh goes off on a tangent about how not hitting women is insulting. (The fact that you don't hit a woman, who may or may not deserve it, is based soley on the fact that they are women and have vaginas is insulting and a form of misogyny. Paraphrasing her thought here.) Perhaps its because the "hitting" in this part of the story is, in Leigh's eyes, demoralizing and abasing? She does say she wishes he had just slapped Faile instead. But given how Perrin can tear chairs into kindling with his hands and how he's all muscle his slap might have caved her face in. I didn't have a problem with his spanking of her. She acted like a brat, physically assaulted him continuously and there is NO outrage about that? She can slap and pummel him and there is no tangent about that? Is there an opposite word for misogyny? I remember Ricky Ricardo spanking Lucy once and I sort of equated that to this. Sometimes as adults we still need to be taught lessons and rather than having ourselves bloodied and pummeled maybe a spanking is what we need.
335. PhantomIce
I doubt anyone reads comments coming so late to the discussion but re Perrin and Faile

I am totally sidestepping the rights and wrongs of the spanking debate but..

especially considering how that relationship develops in later books and the impact (largely negative) it has on the whole series/plot development/personal liking of Perin I always wished that Perrin had from that moment on (as Faile punched him) never ever spoken another word to Faile again...ULTIMATE SILENT TREATMENT.

Hoped that response may have either a) let Faile to conclude he was weak and assuming Perrin kept to it, eventually abondon her desire for a relationship with him (wishful thinking that the whole faile being kidnapped sideplot (and resulting entire book) could have been deleted) or b) let them develop a more balanced relationship in that it was not always about Perrin doing what Faile wants because to me the fact that Perrin gives up his entire personality to what Faile wants it to be is what ruins him as a man and well all subsequent plots that develop as a result of this.
William Fettes
336. Wolfmage
TiredALil @ 333

Well, the point you're ignoring is that Leigh doesn't accept that spanking is just another type of physical retaliation which can be substituted for another type. To focus on the comparative damage between spanking and a face slap misses this point.

Her problem isn't that spanking causes physical pain, it's about how it degrades. It's essentially an infantilising type of humiliation, and when you use that to discipline another adult it has undeniable connotations.

You'll get no complaints from me that Faile is acting like a child, and she deserves a strong rebuke, but I don't think it's a good answer to Leigh's argument just to say "she's lucky he didn't clock her."

I doubt Leigh is against all forms of spanking, for the record. I would hazard a guess that like many non-extreme feminists, she wouldn't be against spanking in the context of sexual experimentation within the bedroom. But the difference is that there are parameters around that for adults to consent to it. People who would do the rougher sort of things would have safe words, and they are free to play around with roles in a context of consent that is missing from the retaliatory type.
Joseph Armao
337. joeyesq
I can't believe I read the whoooole thing.
Tony Zbaraschuk
338. Ellie Angel
I second the first poster:


I never noticed it on the first read. It does change my perception of the relationship.

Also, word, ninjaphilosopher. I agree with you completely in both posts.

I am capable of enjoying the books and not their gender commentary. The lack of so many gender-based moments is one of the things I like most about Sanderson's novel. The few that are there feel like things Jordan's notes dictated.

I think books are a product of their authors' lives and times. I credit Jordan with moments like Sulin's "stopping me from doing what I choose to do demeans me", but they are few and far between.

Thanks, Leigh, for calling "Dude, no" when it had to be said.
Tony Zbaraschuk
339. Divil The Bother
Obviously the reread is completed so nothing I say now years later is going to make any difference.

However, I think the evidence that Anotherfan (back in TSR Part3) was onto something when he questioned Leigh’s apparent obsession with gender issues to the exclusion of other significant events in the Chapters is mounting. Look what we have here - 300+ posts on the rights and wrongs of spanking. This is obviously over the top and ended up even more so with people questioning others attitudes to domestic violence and even paedophilia based on their reactions to the events in a fantasy novel. Leigh is setting the tone in her commentaries and I don’t criticise her for raising gender issues but focussing almost exclusively on them with extensive rants is not conducive in my view to reasoned discussion on the multiple occurrences in these chapters. These are fantastic books and to have discussion on them descend into a spanking flame war reflects badly on all of us.

Also Anotherfan was, I believe, spot on when he questioned the use of bad language in Leigh’s commentaries. He was dismissed at the time but look what’s happening now – gratuitous use of the f word by some commentors in the most vile context and the moderators are powerless to intervene because Leigh has used the same language in her commentaries.

It seems that Anotherfan’s views should have been taken on board instead of being so airily dismissed.

Anotherfan: I, for one, salute you!
Tony Zbaraschuk
340. sadface
Rand maybe a dreamer, but I don't think there is much to support or refute that. Of course he has been in TAR, pulled or led by the Forsaken, and I believe he was also there while on his trek during tDR, but he was being pulled in by the 13 BA sisters. Their role in the plan was to use TAR to bait Rand into coming to Tear. Also, as to Perrin seeing Rand while he was in the Time Traveling Tattoo Machine, it is very reasonable to assume that the TTTM works by sending people into a TAR, possibly even into a dream it creates. It seems that the Acceptatron and The Wise One Rings both work this way.

RE: Perrin/Bridgette/Hopper-I think the key to this mystery (and it may also explain why Perrin thinks of and uses the Wolf Dream a little differently then Egwene treats TAR) is that Hopper is a wild animal. If you recall, wild animals exist in TAR, but tame one's do not. Wolfbrothers/sisters are not fully tame, but are somewhere on the spectrum. Bridgette is all the way to the tame side. Hopper is all the way to the wild side. Perrin's struggle is not about human/wolf, but rather about tame/wild and where he wants to rest on that spectrum. I believe that Bridgette and Hopper exist in two different phases, and Perrin is straddeling the phases. Of course I could be wrong - does any one recall if Egwene ever sees wolves? If I am wrong, then perhaps Bridgette can decide who can see her and who can't, but then why do people ever get glimpses of her, or Gadial Cain for that matter, who clearly doesn't want to be seen?

As to the spanking, I am disapointed in Leigh for bringing it up. Whatever the intention, by focusing on that as the take home message in this chapter Leigh lowered the level of discourse in this forum, baiting the trolls and fanning the flames. It almost seems like a 24 hour news channel's ratings ploy.

On the Faile and Perrin topic, so much of what has been said is misguided, and I could reply to any number of arguements posted above, but I am going to try to keep it to just one; @140 - Everyone needs to pick A, B, or C for themselves. There is not a clear always right answer. I want to point out that you are adressing a specific question of Faile hitting Perrin, but A, B, and C are essentially the only choices you ever have in any relationship dilema. You can subvert your POV and accept the other person's, you can force them to accept yours, or you can end the relationship. Chosing A, B, or C is the hard work of making a relationship work. Not only do you have to decide A, B, or C, you have to make the choice again every second of every day, and the other person has to at least tacitly agree to your decision. There is a central contradiction in love, whereby you can love someone even when you don't like them - we see it often in our world. We also see people make relationships work by coming to their own agreements on what is and is not acceptable inside the framework of their relationship. I would hope that we can all find joy in the fact that despite how hard it can be, people don't always chose C. Actually, the fact that we subvert ourselves and sometimes pick A is a strong part of what defines our humanity.

I am fighting very hard not to type more - there is alot of pop philosphy up there that is infuriating.

I am now barely two months behind Divil The Bother. Maybe I can catch up and actually converse with someone here, instead of pretending that I am contributing three years after the convo ended.
Tony Zbaraschuk
341. Yosarian
I have to say, I don't think the spanking was unreasonable or out of character here. Remember, last time she hit Perrin, he was wondering if she loosened one of his teeth. She is a strong woman. Here she hit him twice, and then punched him in the stomach. This is in the middle of a crazy domanance struggle where they're both willing to risk *geting lost in the Ways* rather then give in. Considering his strength, if he had just hit her, he could have seriously injured her.

Is there a mildly disturbing element here? Sure. But I don't blame him for it. And I don't think she does, either. She has a quicksilver and lightning temper (she pulled a knife on someone for trying to "steal her man" just a few chapters ag0), while his is slow, hard to rouse, but basically unstoppable when he does.
William McDaniel
342. willmcd
I wonder if RJ was under some kind of contractual obligation to the effect that, every time characters go through the Ways, he has to use that descriptive bit about going down a ramp and "being certain that the platform (they) came out on was directly underneath the previous one". Pretty sure he used it back in TEotW on the journey to Fal Dara, again in TGH when Liandrin takes the supergirls to Falme, and then again here. It was a good image the first time, but enough already.

I always thought it was a great line in Ch28, when Perrin thinks about how the events of the past year have changed the Duopotamians: "Mat was the only one who still seemed to be himself, only more so.".

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