May 27 2009 2:58pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 1

What up, yo: Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read! Today we begin a brand-shiny-new installment, The Fires of Heaven.

That’s right, we are actually on the fifth book, you guys. I KNOW. Look! Different cover to my right! Or is that stage-right? Whatever.

Today we cover the Prologue and Chapter 1, which believe it or not is a serious amount of footage.

Previous entries are here, and as always this and all other posts are brimful of spoilers for all the currently published novels in the Wheel of Time series, so read with foreknowledge.

All formalities now being taken care of, I heartily invite you to lick the clink, and—wait. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.

Prologue: The First Sparks Fall

What Happens
Elaida sits behind her writing table in the Amyrlin’s study, fingering the seven-striped stole on her shoulders and half-listening as the women before her discuss the state of affairs in the world. Danelle, the only Brown present, says there seems to be internecine fighting in Shienar, which is very unusual for the Borderlands, and Alviarin puts in that they’ve picked a good time for it, as the Blight has gone bizarrely quiet lately. Teslyn, one of the four Red sisters in the conference, adds that the Marshal-General of Saldaea has an army on the move, going southeast, away from the Blight; Alviarin concludes from this that word of Mazrim Taim’s escape has leaked, and Tenobia and Davram Bashere obviously do not trust the Tower to take care of it. Mention of Taim brings an uncomfortable silence for a moment, and Elaida thinks it is because it brings them too close to a subject they do not wish to discuss. Alviarin, Joline (Green), Shemerin (Yellow) and Javindhra (another Red) discuss whether it is necessary to send advisors to Tenobia and to Shienar; Alviarin decides to send a sister named Memara, and moves on to Arad Doman and Tarabon, asking Evenellein (Gray) for the news on the disappearance of the Panarch Amathera, and the rumors that Aes Sedai were involved. Elaida smolders silently.

Less than two months since they had all knelt to swear fealty to her as the embodiment of the White Tower, and now the decision was made without so much as a glance in her direction. […] It happened too often, this slighting. Worst — most bitter of all, perhaps — they usurped her authority without even thinking of it. They knew how she had come to the stole, knew their aid had put it on her shoulders. She herself had been too much aware of that. But they presumed too far. It would soon be time to do something about that. But not quite yet.

Andaya, the other Gray, asks if there is any news of Elayne or Galad, raising the unpleasant consequences if Morgase should find out they’ve misplaced the Daughter-Heir, again; Javindhra tells her they have a Red sister at the Palace, newly raised so she can pass for other than Aes Sedai, to keep an eye on things, and says that Morgase is entirely absorbed in pursuing her claim to the Cairhienin throne and her lover Gaebril. Alviarin deems the matter well in hand for now. Teslyn complains about Gawyn and his Younglings leading raids against the Whitecloaks across the river, and Alviarin assures her Gawyn will be brought under control as well. They move on to discussing Pedron Niall’s possible meddling in affairs between Altara, Murandy, and Illian, and Elaida thinks disgustedly of how the Tower had never used to fear anything, but now it did. She looks up at the two paintings she’d hung on the opposite wall, which everyone but Alviarin have been studiously avoiding looking at. One is a triptych of Bonwhin, the last Red to have been raised to Amyrlin a thousand years before, and depicts her being stripped of the stole for almost destroying the Tower during Hawkwing’s siege of Tar Valon. Elaida knows most Aes Sedai can’t imagine why she would want to look at this, but she thinks it is because they do not understand the importance of remembering the price of failure.

The second painting was in the new fashion, on stretched canvas, a copy of a street artist's sketch from the distant west. That one caused even more unease among the Aes Sedai who saw it. Two men fought among clouds, seemingly in the sky, wielding lightning for weapons. One had a face of fire. The other was tall and young, with reddish hair. It was the youth who caused the fear, who made even Elaida's teeth clench. She was not sure if it was in anger, or to keep them from chattering. But fear could and must be controlled. Control was all.

Alviarin declares the meeting over, and the sisters all rise and prepare to leave. Elaida asks if she gave them permission to leave, the first time she’s spoken since the beginning of the meeting, and they look at her in surprise. She tells them that since they are standing, they can stay that way, and continues that they have not said anything about the search for “that woman” and her companions. They all know who she means, and Alviarin answers, too coolly for Elaida’s taste, that it is difficult considering that they have spread rumors of her execution. Elaida tells Joline that since she is in charge of that particular mission, maybe a penance will help speed matters; Joline is to write out a suitable penance, and if Elaida doesn’t think it is harsh enough, she will triple it. Joline is shocked, but finally says “As you command, Mother”. Then Elaida tells Javindhra, who has charge of finding those sisters who ran away from the Tower when Siuan was deposed, that she is to give Elaida a report by tomorrow, and if it is not diligent enough, she will consider that perhaps Javindhra needs to give up her seat in the Hall to allow her to devote more time to it. Javindhra hurriedly replies that that will not be necessary, and adds that she is sure the runaways will begin returning soon. Elaida is not so sure of this, but the point had been made; perhaps after a few more examples they will treat her as Amyrlin in truth. She commands them to look at the painting on the wall, and they do, reluctantly; only Alviarin seems unaffected. She says that is Rand al’Thor, a man who can channel, and details all the ways in which the world is torn by war because of him.

“The greatest danger the Tower has ever faced, the greatest threat the world has ever faced, and you cannot make yourselves speak of him? You cannot gaze at his image?"

Silence answered her. All save Alviarin looked as though their tongues were frozen. Most stared at the young man in the painting, birds hypnotized by a snake.

Elaida thinks of how she had had the man in her reach, before he was spirited away, and how her predecessor had known what he was, and yet let him run wild. That woman and Moiraine – all of the Blue, Elaida thinks – had known, and Elaida promises herself that when she gets her hands on them they would plead for death when she was done. Elaida tells the sisters that Rand al’Thor is the Dragon Reborn (Shemerin sits down on the floor, hard), and there can be no doubt of it. The Dark One is breaking free, and the Dragon Reborn must be there to meet him.

“And he runs free, daughters. We do not know where he is. We know a dozen places he is not. He is no longer in Tear. He is not here in the Tower, safely shielded, as he should be. He brings the whirlwind down on the world, and we must stop it if there is to be any hope of surviving Tarmon Gai'don. We must have him in hand to see he fights in the Last Battle. Or do any of you believe he will go willingly to his prophesied death to save the world? A man who must be going mad already? We must have him in control!”

She tells them this is more important than anything else they are doing, and that they are to report to her what they are doing about it, and then dismisses them. They all leave except for Alviarin, who gazes at Elaida steadily. Elaida knows that Alviarin will not be so easily cowed, knowing as she does that Elaida’s bid for Amyrlin would not have succeeded without her support. They are interrupted by a terrified Accepted, who curtsies and tells Elaida that Master Fain is here. Elaida yells at the girl and sends her to let Fain in, knowing it was Alviarin she was really angry at. She thinks Fain might be mad or a half-wit, but may be useful nonetheless, and the first step to putting Alviarin in her place was to keep her in the dark about Fain’s purpose.

Fain steps into the Amyrlin’s study, relishing the tension he feels between the two women inside, thinking the same stretches throughout the Tower.

He had been surprised to find Elaida on the Amyrlin Seat. Better than what he had expected, though. In many ways she was not so tough, he had heard, as the woman who had worn the stole before her. Harder, yes, and more cruel, but more brittle, too. More difficult to bend, likely, but easier to break.

Elaida sends Alviarin out, and as she goes, something about the look she gives Fain makes him huddle unconcsciously for a moment, like she knows too much about him. He thinks of the Horn of Valere, somewhere in the Tower’s storerooms, and more importantly the dagger; having that back would restore so much of what was lost to him, and getting it was a much better option than trying to go back to Aridhol, where he might be trapped again.

Padan Fain. Mordeth. Ordeith. Sometimes he was uncertain which name was really his, who he really was. One thing was sure. He was not what anyone thought. Those who believed they knew him were badly mistaken. He was transfigured, now. A force unto himself, and beyond any other power. They would all learn, eventually.

He brings his attention back to Elaida, who is asking what he knows of Rand al’Thor. He stares at the painting of him on the wall, and becomes enraged. He tells Elaida that al’Thor is devious and sly, and only interested in power, but there is a way to lead him, if you tie a string to someone he trusts.

Rahvin lounges in a gilded chair and smiles as he manipulates the Compulsion weaves on the young woman in front of him. He thinks that Compulsion was no problem for this one, and his smile fades as he thinks that’s not always the case; some have such strong senses of self that they fight it constantly, even when they do not understand what it is they are fighting, and unfortunately he had need of one such at the moment. He would have to decide whether to keep her or kill her soon. He sends the young woman before him off, telling her she will only remember taking her morning walk. As the door closes, a woman’s voice behind him asks if she was one of his play pretties, and Rahvin snatches at saidin, turning to see a gateway to a room with silken white hangings before a woman similarly dressed in white and silver steps through. He demands of Lanfear what she means by sneaking up on him; Lanfear ignores this and observes that Rahvin is a pig, but not usually a fool, yet that young woman was Aes Sedai. Rahvin sneers that the “Aes Sedai” of this time are half-trained children, and Lanfear wonders how he would feel if those half-trained children put a circle of thirteen around him. Stung, Rahvin tells her that the woman is the Tower’s spy here, and now reports exactly what he wants her to. He demands again to know why Lanfear is here, and Lanfear tells him that since he avoids the others, a few are coming here, and she came first so he would know it was not an attack. Rahvin laughs, and says she was never one for attack, was she? Not as bad as Moghedien, but Lanfear always did “favor the flanks and the rear.” He asks, what others, and then another gateway opens, male work this time, and Sammael steps through. Rahvin observes to himself that Sammael would have been fairly good-looking if not for the scar which slants across his entire face, which he could have had removed forever ago but refused to. Sammael eyes him warily, and says he expected dancing girls; has Rahvin tired of his sport? A woman’s voice interrupts, and Rahvin sees a third gateway to a room filled with naked acrobats and servants, and, oddly, an old man in a wrinkled coat sitting sadly among them. Graendal steps out of the gateway, accompanied by two beautiful and fawning servants, wearing an amused smile.


“So,” she said gaily. “Nearly half the surviving Chosen in one place. And no one trying to kill anyone. Who would have expected it before the Great Lord of the Dark returns? Ishamael did manage to keep us from one another's throats for a time, but this...”

Sammael asks if she always speaks so freely in front of her servants, and Graendal blinks and says they will say nothing; they worship her, don’t they? The servants fall to their knees, babbling their devotion to her, and she gags them into silence after a moment. Rahvin wonders who they had been, as it amused Graendal to take nobility for her servants, and thinks she is wasteful and without finesse. He asks Lanfear if he should expect more, and Lanfear says it is only the four already here. She reiterates Graendal’s point about the number of Chosen dead, and one who has betrayed them. Sammael is skeptical that Asmodean would really have the courage to turn traitor, but Lanfear assures him it is true. Sammael wants to know why she didn’t kill him, then, and Lanfear replies that she is not as quick to kill as he, and besides does not care to launch a frontal assault against superior forces, in Sammael’s terms. Rahvin asks quietly if this Rand al’Thor is really so strong, and Lanfear replies that he is Lews Therin reborn, who was as strong as any. Sammael rubs his scar, which Lews Therin had given to him. Graendal jumps in and asks if they are finally getting to the point of the meeting.

“If this Rand al’Thor really is Lews Therin Telamon reborn,” Graendal went on, settling herself on the man's back where he crouched on all fours, “I am surprised you haven't tried to snuggle him into your bed, Lanfear. Or would it be so easy? I seem to remember Lews Therin led you by the nose, not the other way around. Squelched your little tantrums. Sent you running to fetch his wine, in a manner of speaking.” She set her own wine on the tray, held out rigidly by the sightlessly kneeling woman. “You were so obsessed with him you'd have stretched out at his feet if he said ‘rug’.”

Lanfear’s eyes glitter, but she merely answers that al’Thor is Lews Therin reborn, not Lews Therin himself. Graendal wants to know how she can be so sure of that; she’s never heard of such a thing, herself – a specific man reborn according to prophecy. Lanfear smirks and tells her he is no more than the shepherd he appears, but now he has Asmodean, and it is still true that four of the Chosen have fallen to him. Sammael opines that they should let al’Thor “whittle away the dead wood”; he will still have no chance at the Last Battle. Lanfear responds by taunting both him and Graendal, and Graendal looks furious. As the two women stare at each other, Rahvin senses Sammael gathering himself to do something, and quickly lays a hand on his arm, stopping him. Lanfear and Graendal, seeing something has passed between them, are suspicious, and Rahvin says to the room in general that he wants to hear Lanfear out. Lanfear tells them that Ishamael tried to control Rand al’Thor with fear and bullying, but bullying does not work on al’Thor, and so they can succeed where Ishamael failed. She says that someone else, perhaps Moghedien or Demandred, is trying to control or kill him, and Graendal asks how she knows it is not one of them here. Lanfear answers, because they all chose to carve out strongholds for themselves rather than slash at the others.

It was true, what she said of them. Rahvin himself preferred diplomacy and manipulation to open conflict, though he would not shy from it if needed. Sammael's way had always been armies and conquest; he would not go near Lews Therin, even reborn as a shepherd, until he was sure of victory. Graendal, too, followed conquest, though her methods did not involve soldiers; for all her concern with her toys, she took one solid step at a time. Openly to be sure, as the Chosen reckoned such things, but never stretching too far at any step.

Lanfear begins to explain the plan, and as she does Rahvin sees both Graendal and Sammael grow interested. Rahvin decides he will reserve judgment for now.

I’m really beginning to hate Prologues. Not for the content, exactly, but because they are nothing but exposition and talking heads 95% of the time, which is just a bitch to recap. Not to mention, they are only getting longer.

But enough grousing! Except, wait, I’m going to grouse some more: Elaida and Fain! Two foul tastes that taste foul together! Blah.

Although, the truly annoying thing about Elaida is that she is really perfectly believable in her incapacity to recognize how fundamentally unsuited for leadership she is. It is our misfortune as a species that she is exactly the kind of personality who so often manages to bulldoze their way into positions of authority that they should never, ever be allowed to attain. And yet.

Ruthlessness does not equal strength, y’all. And decisiveness is only nice if you make good decisions. Elaida is annoying precisely because she’s almost a good leader, but manages to miss the mark in just such a way that everything she touches is destined to turn to crap.

And of course, after hanging with Fain for a while she’s got about zero chance of ever doing anything differently. Fain: he’s like mold in the shower of your mind. Once that shit gets in, no amount of scrubbing is going to get it completely out.

Though I did appreciate that Fain’s POV cleared up a potential Plot Stupidity that had occurred to me at some point, which was to wonder why Fain was so dead-set on getting the dagger back when he had a whole city’s worth of crap just lying around for the taking. But that he fears getting trapped there again if he goes back, well, that makes perfect sense, really.

The Forsaken Symposium of Evil Plotting: See, this is why I could never be a villain. I could do the snarky sly insulting thing (shut up), but all this alert watching-your-opponent-for-signs-of-weakness hawklike crap just makes me tired, and wanting some hot cocoa and maybe a snuggly blanket. Sloth beats avarice, whoo!

The presence of the FSoEP in the Prologue signals a definite sea change in the treatment of Our Villains, too. Prior to The Fires of Heaven, of the Forsaken only Lanfear was a significant presence as a character; the others were either shadowy background threats, one-or-two-scene wonders, or Ishamael. And while Ishy was a great Eye of Sauron type villain, I don’t personally consider periodic cameos of Ominous Declamations of Ominosity And Occasional Murder Attempts to be much of a character imprint. (In my opinion Ishy doesn’t get interesting as a character until he’s reincarnated as Moridin, and even then he doesn’t seem to do much except lurk and give Rand vision problems.)

But here we are in TFOH suddenly meeting a whole slew of Forsaken, and getting POVs from them, too. It’s never going to become common, at least not through KOD, but from here on out the Forsaken are much more active players in the story. Which is both a good thing and a bad thing, in my view. On the one hand, yay for some narrative balance between opposing factions, but on the other, once they actually appear on screen I feel like they lose a little bit of the atavistic creepiness their prior shadowyness afforded them. (One exception is Semirhage, who is ten times creepier in person. But that’s later.)

But, you know. It is what it is. All things considered five books in is actually pretty late to be really meeting the Bad Guys, so.

Also, Graendal is supposed to be all conservative and stuff for a Forsaken, but I have to say I was like, damn, Ms. Knievel, with her taunting Lanfear about Lews Therin. Don’t you know that chick will cut you? Hi, memo: GIRL BE CRAZY.

As far as the actual Evil Plot proposed at the Evil Plotting Symposium, don’t worry, that’ll be plaguing us later.

Chapter 1: Fanning the Sparks

What Happens
Wheel, Ages, legend, wind, beginning. In a town called Kore Springs just within Andor’s borders, Min tries to see through a crack in the shed wall she, Siuan, and Leane are locked in, awaiting trial for trespassing in and then burning down a local farmer’s barn. Min thinks to herself that Logain had escaped, of course, and it had been all his fault in the first place, knocking the farmer (Admer Nem) down and sending his lantern flying into the straw. Min turns to Siuan and Leane and asks what the penalty is for burning down a barn in Andor, and Siuan says a strapping if they’re lucky, a flogging if not. Min doesn’t think much of this definition of “lucky”, and Siuan answers that a strapping is the least time-wasting punishment possible; hanging, of course, being the most time-wasting of all, so to speak, but she doesn’t think Andoran law calls for that.

Wheezing laughter shook Min for a moment; it was that or cry. “Time? The way we are going, we’ve nothing but time. I swear we have been through every village between here and Tar Valon, and found nothing. Not a glimmer, not a whisper. I don’t think there is any gathering. And we are on foot, now. From what I overheard, Logain took the horses with him. Afoot and locked in a shed awaiting the Light knows what!”

Siuan cautions her to watch the names, and Min grimaces but admits to herself she is right. They have been traveling under pseudonyms ever since Tar Valon, and even Logain doesn’t know the women’s real names. Leane finishes the adjustments she was making to her dress and tugs it on; Min sees that the neckline is lower and the fit snugger, but can’t imagine why Leane is bothering. Then Leane rummages in their packs for the cosmetics Laras had insisted Min take along and Min hadn’t gotten around to throwing away, and starts applying the paints and powders. After watching this for a moment, Min asks jokingly if Leane means to take up flirting, but to her surprise Leane answers yes, she is, and if she does it right she might be able to get them lighter sentences. Siuan wants to know what brought this on, and Leane calmly tells them how her mother was a merchant, and once fogged a Saldaean lord’s mind until he consigned his entire timber harvest to her for half its worth, and that later he sent her a moonstone bracelet. She adds that Domani women don’t entirely deserve their reputation, but they deserve some of it. She says it’s too late for her to be a merchant, and the way she thought her life would go is... no longer available, so this is as good a time as any to relearn old skills. Siuan observes that that’s not the whole reason.

Hurling a small brush into the box, Leane blazed up in a fury. “The whole reason? I do not know the whole reason. I only know I need something in my life to replace — what is gone. You yourself told me that is the only hope of surviving. Revenge falls short, for me. I know your cause is necessary, and perhaps even right, but the Light help me, that is not enough either; I can't make myself be as involved as you. Maybe I came too late to it. I will stay with you, but it isn’t enough.”

Leane calms herself, and muses that she’s always felt like she was masquerading as someone else, and after a while it seemed too late to ever take the mask off, but that is done now. She had considered starting practice with Logain, but decided he was the kind of man who might hear more promises than were offered, and expect them fulfilled.

A small smile suddenly appeared on her lips. “My mother always said if that happened, you had miscalculated badly; if there was no back way out, you had to either abandon dignity and run, or pay the price and consider it a lesson.” The smile took on a roguish cast. “My Aunt Resara said you paid the price and enjoyed it.”

Min is astounded, both at the change in Leane’s behavior and at her superb makeup job. Siuan asks what happens if this local lord is like Logain, and Leane swallows, but says given the alternatives, what choice would she make? Min never gets to hear the answer, because then the shed door opens and a very large man enters to take them to Lord Gareth. As they walk, Min notices Leane mouthing to herself and making small gestures with her free hand, as if rehearsing something. In the common room of the town’s inn, Admer Nem and his kin all glare at the three women with hatred and satisfaction, which makes Min’s heart sink, and she thinks the crowd’s mood is akin to one she encountered at an execution. The slim woman standing next to a graying, bluff-featured man Min assumes is the lord announces the lord’s name – Gareth Bryne – and Min wonders if he’s the same Gareth Bryne who was Captain-General of the Queen’s Guards. She looks at Siuan, who is staring steadfastly at the floor. The slim woman announces the charges against them (trespassing, arson, assault, destruction of property, and theft), and asks Admer Nem for his version of the story. Nem only exaggerates a little in his account, and his wife Maigan adds an admonishment to Bryne to whip “these hussies” good and ride them out on a rail. The slim woman shuts her up and then asks for the defendants’ testimony. Leane then gives (to Min’s eye) a virtuoso performance of pleading their case to Bryne, seeming helpless and guileless while at the same time giving Bryne smoldering looks, blaming the whole thing on “Dalyn” (Logain’s pseudonym) and begging gracefully for clemency, ending by kneeling next to his chair and laying a hand on his wrist. Bryne stares at her for a long moment, then gets up and walks to Min and asks her name; Min accidentally gives her real name and then hastily amends it to “Serenla Min”. Bryne chuckles and says her mother must have had a premonition, then asks for her statement, to which she simply says they’re very sorry and ask for mercy. Bryne moves on to Siuan, who is still staring at the floor, and cups her chin to lift her eyes, asking for her name. Siuan jerks her head free and answers “Mara Tomanes”.

Min groaned softly. Siuan was plainly frightened, yet at the same time she stared at the man defiantly. Min more than half-expected her to demand Bryne let them walk away on the instant. He asked her if she wished to make a statement, and she denied it in another unsteady whisper, but all the while looking at him as though she were the one in charge. She might be controlling her tongue, but certainly not her eyes.

Bryne stares at her for a moment, too, then goes back to his chair and announces his decision: Nem will be recompensed for his lost property and assault from Bryne’s own purse, and the defendants will work for him at standard wages until they have earned back the amount paid out. He tells them that if they swear an oath sufficient that he can trust them to be unsupervised, they will work in the manor; otherwise they will be in the fields where they can be closely watched. Min searches her mind for the weakest oath that might satisfy, as she has no intention of staying here a moment longer than necessary, but to her shock Siuan kneels before him:

“By the Light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, I swear to serve you in whatever way you require for as long as you require, or may the Creator’s face turn from me forever and darkness consume my soul.”

Leane hesitates for a moment, then follows suit. Min is appalled, and thinks that by her understanding, breaking such a strong oath was only a little short of murder, but now she has no choice but to match the other two. She gives the oath as well, inwardly screaming curses at Siuan:

Siuan, you utter fool! What have you gotten me into now? I can't stay here! I have to go to Rand! Oh, Light, help me!

Bryne breathes that he wasn’t quite expecting that, but it would certainly do, and asks the slim woman (Caralin) to make arrangements to transport them to his manor. She clears the villagers out of the common room, and when they are alone Bryne remarks that he’s never seen such an odd lot of refugees as they are: A Domani, a Tairen, and a girl from somewhere in the west of Andor (Min confirms Baerlon, then wishes she hadn’t). He says that he knows times are hard, and offers them a place at his manor even after their debt is paid off, if they wish. Leane gives him a sultry thank-you, but Siuan does not respond at all. Bryne adds that at least this way they will be safer than working at the Nems, which Min doesn’t quite understand, and then seems to run out of things to say. Finally Caralin comes back and takes them to Joni, one of Bryne’s armsmen, who loads them up on a cart for Bryne’s manor. As they ride, Leane enthuses about her first attempt, saying she’d forgotten how much fun it could be, and Min yells at her: they’ve just sworn away years of their lives and that’s all Leane can think about? Then she turns on Siuan and demands to know what she was thinking, swearing such an oath. Siuan replies it was the only way to be sure they would not be watched. After a moment, Min says in a shocked whisper that Siuan means to break an oath anyone but a Darkfriend would keep. Siuan answers that she will do as she swore, but she never said when she would do it; she was very careful to not even imply a timeframe in her oath. Min rightly opines that if she runs away and then comes back Bryne will skin her alive, and Siuan agrees Bryne is not a man to cross, saying she was terrified he would recognize her voice even if her face is all but unrecognizable, but she is willing to pay the price to do what she must do. Min, already knowing she will go along for Rand’s sake, abandons the subject and asks Siuan instead why everyone snickers at the name “Serenla”, and Siuan tells her is Old Tongue for “stubborn daughter”. Then the cart lurches forward; Siuan checks the driver’s seat and finds it empty. She stops the horses, and Min finds their driver, Joni, lying on the road behind them, unconscious. Logain appears, leading their horses, and Siuan asks if this is his work. Logain confirms it, and tells “Mara” that perhaps he should have abandoned them to their fate, but he wants the revenge she promised him, and he adds that her time is growing short to make good on it. Min sees again that flaring halo of gold and blue around him, indicating glory to come. Logain suggests they be off, expressing a surprising (to Min) amount of concern for the man he had knocked out. As they head out, Min asks if they think Bryne will come after them; Logain doubts he would think them important enough, and Siuan agrees.

In his manor, Caralin asks Bryne if he’s sure he wants to do this, adding that if he had put them to work at the Nems’, it would have been none of his affair at all. Bryne answers that Caralin knows perfectly well that Nem and his male kin would be trying to corner those girls day and night, and Maigan would make their lives a living hell. Caralin concedes this, but says they’ve had a day and a night to run in any direction; Bryne says Thad can track them, and disappoints Caralin’s matchmaking schemes by telling her that as oathbreakers, when he gets them back they are going in the fields. Caralin is annoyed, and campaigns for the Domani at least to be kept in the house. Bryne is amused at Caralin’s choice among the three, and thinks the Domani had been very pretty, but oddly hesitant in performing her arts, like she was trying them for the first time. But also, very pretty.

So why was it not her face that kept filling his mind? Why did he find himself thinking of a pair of blue eyes? Challenging him as though wishing she had a sword, afraid and refusing to yield to fear. Mara Tomanes. He had been sure she was one to keep her word, even without oaths. “I will bring her back,” he muttered to himself. “I will know why she broke oath.”

He heads outside, thinking that this land had belonged to his House for a thousand years, since there was an Andor, but now the line would end with him, and joins his armsmen, a group of twenty graying but still tough old campaigners. He thinks they had grabbed at the chance to relive old days, and wonders if that’s why he’s going to so much trouble, since he was certainly far too old to be chasing a pair of blue eyes on a woman young enough to be his daughter. They are joined by another veteran, Barim, who tells Bryne that he’s heard that Tear has fallen; there were Aielmen in the Stone, and the Sword That Cannot Be Touched has been drawn, though Barim doesn’t know by whom. Bryne is greatly troubled by the news, as he knows perfectly well what it means, but Barim is not finished. He tells Bryne that there’s a new Amyrlin in Tar Valon: Elaida, the Queen’s old advisor. Siuan Sanche is supposed to have been stilled and executed, and Logain is said to have died there, too. Bryne dismisses Logain as unimportant, but thinks Siuan Sanche is another matter.

He had met her once, nearly three years ago. A woman who demanded obedience and gave no reasons. Tough as an old boot, with a tongue like a file and a temper like that of a bear with a sore tooth. He would have expected her to tear any upstart claimant limb from limb with her bare hands.

He thinks that execution on top of stilling seems to be overdoing it a bit, and thinks the whole thing stinks of trouble; once this fellow in Tear consolidates his position he is sure to move against Illian or Cairhien, and the instability generated by the power shift in Tar Valon could make any number of things blow up as a result. Then he tells himself he is being an old fool, still thinking about politics, and tells Barim to catch up with them as they ride out. He promises himself he will get some answers from this Mara.

The High Lady Alteima enters the Caemlyn Palace in a carriage that had cost her almost all the gold she had left after fleeing Tear, but she thinks the display is worth it, if she is to secure herself powerful friends. She is dressed primly, in order to appeal to Andoran tastes, though the rumors of Morgase having a lover did not mesh very well with the reserved, proper woman Alteima remembered. She is met by Tallanvor, who she deems beneath her notice, and he escorts her to a large sitting room.

The young man went to one knee. “My Queen,” he said in a suddenly rough voice, “as you have commanded, I bring you the High Lady Alteima, of Tear.”

Morgase waves him away, greets Alteima warmly and offers her a seat. Alteima envies how beautiful Morgase is, but notes vast changes from the woman she remembers. Morgase is wearing a gown that even Alteima thinks is indecent, and concludes from this that not only does Morgase have a lover, but that the lover is the one calling the shots. She cautions herself that if she meets this Gaebril she should be as near-indifferent to him as possible, to avoid incurring Morgase’s wrath. She notes that despite the rumors of a break between Morgase and Tar Valon, Morgase is still wearing a Great Serpent ring, and worries about the inconsistency. They chat about events in Tear:

“Rand al’Thor,” Morgase mused softly. “I met him once. He did not look like one who would name himself the Dragon Reborn. A frightened shepherd boy, trying not to show it. Yet thinking back, he seemed to be looking for some — escape.”

Alteima tells her about al’Thor, truthfully (from her point of view): that he is unquestionably the Dragon Reborn, and that he is dangerous even leaving aside the fact that he can channel; he seems innocent and naïve, and then suddenly he’s hanging lords. She tells Morgase that al’Thor is a subject for hours, and Morgase tells her she will have them; inwardly Alteima triumphs. They discuss the Aiel, and Morgase is startled to hear that the Aiel and al’Thor himself have left the Stone altogether, but before the topic can go any further they are interrupted by an extremely handsome man who Alteima knows immediately is Gaebril from the way Morgase seems to melt the moment he speaks. Alteima notes he has no compunction about interrupting the Queen, nor in dismissing her servants, which he does. Alteima smiles at him distantly, pretending total disinterest.

“You come from Tear?” The sound of his deep voice sent a tingle through her; her skin, even her bones, felt as though she had been dipped in icy water, but oddly her momentary anxiety melted.

Morgase introduces Alteima and starts to talk about the news she brought, but Gaebril cuts her off and tells her she is very tired and to go take a nap. Morgase agrees with slightly glazed eyes, and exits. Alteima remains riveted on Gaebril, unable to think of anything except how handsome and wonderful he is, and he commands her to tell him why she is here. Alteima immediately tells him she poisoned her husband and was forced to flee Tear; she chose Andor because she loathes Illian and Cairhien is in near ruins, and here she might find herself a wealthy husband. He stops her and chuckles, calling her a vicious little cat, and says he might keep her for all that. Then he commands her to tell everything she knows of Rand al’Thor, and Alteima obediently talks herself hoarse.

Morgase climbs into her bed, and tells herself to stop being stubborn, but cannot remember what she was being stubborn about. She wonders if she had told Gaebril she was tired, or he had told her, and then tells herself that’s nonsense, no man tells her what to do. For no reason, she thinks of Gareth Bryne, and wishes he was here, even though she knows she sent him away, for doing something she cannot quite remember either.

Her eyes closed, and she fell immediately into sleep, a sleep troubled by restless dreams of running from something she could not see.

Whoof, this was like a second Prologue, with the lengthiness and multiple storylines! All right, one at a time:

Min and Co.: Notable for a couple of reasons, firstly for Leane’s upgrade from third-tier Speaking Role Aes Sedai to an actual person with a history and a character arc, and secondly for the beginning of the Wuv story between Bryne and Siuan.

I’ve always liked Leane, both before and after stilling, even though (or maybe because) her post-stilling coping mechanisms bring up some potentially thorny gender politics issues. I mean, I’m assuming they are thorny, Leane’s art relying as it does on everyone’s favorite subject to get All Het Up about (literally and, ahem, literally): sex.


Yes, that’s right, girls and boys: Domani women are trained in the art of using sex as, if not a weapon, certainly as a pretty sharp gouging device.

Ha, you see what I did there? ‘Cause “gouging”, see, it has two meanings, and... oh, you – you got that, did you? Right. Cool.

SO, anyway, I’m kind of possibly hypocritically uncritical of this concept, really. This is really more the capitalist in me coming out than anything else, I think, in that I’m like, if you can’t keep it in your pants enough to keep your head straight during a business deal, you have no one to blame but yourself, blah blah blah caveatemptorcakes.

Yeah, but is it unethical? Ehhhh... the problem is, this runs into a whole host of issues surrounding treating women and men as if they come from two completely different species when it comes to sex, and frankly I’ve never really bought into that party line. It’s too glib, too easy.

Assuming men are all slobbering troglodyte horndogs helplessly enslaved to their baser impulses, and women are all eeevil backstabbing succubi who exist solely to lead said poor helpless troglodytes into temptation, is an eye-rollingly medieval view of sexuality that is insulting to both genders, and it lets far too many assholes, both male and female, off the hook for various idiotic and/or appalling behaviors.

Then there’s the whole “women using sex as a weapon” conundrum, where on the one hand I’m demonstrably against women being viewed solely as sex objects and that that’s the only skill they really excel in as a gender, which is deeply *headdesk*-worthy, but on the other hand given that sex is a highly motivational, um, motivation for a lot of people, can I really fault someone for using what advantages they have to get ahead?

Jordan is odd in that he seems to at least partially propagate this “men are from Mars, women are from God this book makes me half-inclined to support book burnings” theory of human sexuality in a general sense, but then ignores it in the specific. You’ll note, for instance, that Bryne knew perfectly well what Leane was doing, and critiqued her technique even as he aesthetically appreciated the effect, so the net implication seems to be that “sex as a weapon” only works if your mark is stupid enough to be taken in by any reasonably well-executed scam, and in that case, well, whatever.

Bryne and Siuan: this is one of the romantic storylines I had the least amount of trouble with, personally. Siuan made the unwittingly fatal mistake of being interesting to Bryne, and while one challenging stare might not normally be a sufficient excuse for Bryne chasing her all over hell and gone, I do buy that Siuan’s intriguingness, combined with Bryne’s terminal boredom with country life, is more than enough reasonable motivation for the character.

Though I also think that Bryne just happening to hear about Siuan Sanche’s downfall, and thinking uncharitable thoughts about her in the same chapter as he’s all up in her alter-ego’s Koolaid was just a weensy bit twee and sitcomish. But, okay.

Alteima: It took me the longest time to remember who the hell she is. Fortunately there are plenty of clues in the narrative, but I spent at least the first few paragraphs going “wait, wait, I’ll get it, hang on...”. Which is sad, considering I read TDR, what, less than two months ago? My brain, she go bye-bye sometimes.

Morgase: It actually makes me physically uncomfortable to read about her, because unless your brain really go bye-bye you should quickly realize that she is about the most appallingly violated character in the entire series – among major characters, I mean. I’ve said before how squick-inducing I find the concept of Compulsion, and I remember, the first time reading this, wanting to physically shake her and scream WAKE UP!!. Which is mildly horrible of me, maybe, but the motivation is that I just wanted her to get out of there so much... Ugh. *shiver*

And that’s all there is, there ain’t no more! Until Friday, anyway. Be there or be a four-sided parallelogram!

Andrew Lovsness
1. drewlovs
Thank God!! I'm glad your back, Leigh.

This edition marks my least favorite parts of the book, Elaida and the "Min traveling to SAS" episode. I was SO ready for them to GET to here ever they were going from the first, and it didn't get better for me. Yeah yeah, we needed to evolve the characters post White Tower fight, but it doesn't make for easy reading for me.

Elaida and her brow-beating of the Aei Sedai who put her in charge is another hard place for me. she finally gets the control she has desired for so long, only to do as much damage to herself as to Rand (her main target).

Figures that this was the beginning of FotH... I had forgotten that.
2. AlleyGirl
"Elaida sits behind her writing table in the Amyrlin’s study, fingering the seven-striped stole on her shoulders and half-listening as the women before her discuss the state of affairs in the world."

Is this a typo in the book? Shouldn't there be only 6 stripes since Elaida did away with the Blue Ajah?
j p
3. sps49
The last book may have been long, but it was action-packed. This one I finished, then wondered where Perrin went.

Stupid Elaida.

And do the stole stripes (and dress bands) run lengthwise or crosswise? If long ways, is there an order of precedence? Which color is on top?
Blake Engholm
4. UncrownedKing
Willy Wonka reference....Nice

Leigh sorry but we think we broke Tor again. Don't look at the previous post.
5. zdrakec
Ah - what is "FSoEP"?

If on screen: Ben Kingsley = Padan Fain. :)
Don Barkauskas
6. bad_platypus
@ 5. zdrakec

Ah - what is "FSoEP"?

Forsaken Symposium of Evil Plotting (from the previous paragraph)
7. zdrakec
@6 bad_platypus:

Ah, oh, of course. Thank you.
8. alreadymadwithRedpowergrabbin
Elaida keeps Bonwhin Tryptich. The Aes Sedai who tried to go head to head with Hawkwing and lost. And her only justification is that it is a reminder for the price of failure. What failure is that, I wonder? Failure to make the right decision and support Hawkwing? Or just failure in being caught red-handed(pun totally intended)? Reds never learn. Arrogant bunch of power-mongers.
Of all Ajahs they are the most proactive in establishing the dominion of the White Tower over the nations. Ostensibly their purpose is to gentle channeling men, but once one of their own is on the Amyrlin Seat, their primary focus has always been systematically removing those whose power and influence can rival the White Tower. Bonwhin sent assassins against Hawkwing. Tetsuan deserted Mannetheren in its time of need for jealousy of Eldrene Sedai's power. We get an example of this, here too. A few books later this "council" of Elaida's will be eventually dispersed. Alviarin stripped of the stole. Teslyn and Joline banished off to babysit a toothless queen(not to mention get a front row seat to the Seanchan invasion). Shemerin reduced to Accepted.

Don't worry Leigh, I didn't get who Alteima was either until I re-read the series.
Michael Catapano
9. hoping
I'm pretty sure the blue stripe is eliminated later after Elaida finds out about the rebel AS.
Don Johnson
10. Paracelsus
We see in the quote below how Alviarin was involved with discussions to send advisors to the Borderland leaders. This may be a clue that several (or all?) of the Aes Sedai advisors associated with the Borderlands army may be black. At the very least, I would suspect that Memara is a black sister. Memara did not have very good results with Tenobia and Tenobia eventually left her behind. I wonder if Memara eventually caught back up with Tenobia.

Supposedly there are 13 sisters in all with the Borderlands army. If Alviarin played a strong hand in assigning these 13 sisters, then we may see some disastrous happenings with this Borderlands army.

"Alviarin, Joline (Green), Shemerin (Yellow) and Javindhra (another Red) discuss whether it is necessary to send advisors to Tenobia and to Shienar; Alviarin decides to send a sister named Memara, and moves on to Arad Doman and Tarabon, asking Evenellein (Gray) for the news on the disappearance of the Panarch Amathera, and the rumors that Aes Sedai were involved. Elaida smolders silently."
Antoni Ivanov
11. tonka
@ 2.AlleyGirl

There is no typo, the blue stripe was taken off later.
j p
12. sps49
And what does Fain see in Alviarin? Some echo of the Dark One? She wants to get rid of him- Elaida is her puppet, not his- but does he recognize what she is?
Pablo Defendini
13. pablodefendini
@alreadymad... #8
Watch that character count, dude. ;)
Antoni Ivanov
14. tonka
Supposedly there are 13 sisters in all with the Borderlands army. If Alviarin played a strong hand in assigning these 13 sisters, then we may see some disastrous happenings with this Borderlands army.

The sisters Alviarin sent are not among the 13 sisters with Tenobia and co. Tenobia managed to slip away from the those Alviarin sent.
Sean Banawnie
15. Seanie
Thanks for the fresh material , Leigh !
Even if the meat (Elaida) is a bit spoiled .Maybe if they had put a good Keeping on her she would have smothered .
Yeah , Morgase does get a raw deal , especially considering how she should be home spanking her
3 idiot children . But they aren't home... my bad.
Sean Banawnie
16. Seanie
I always liked Leane too and the Byrne and Siuan romance is sweet (and plausible).
Kurt Lorey
17. Shimrod
All parallelograms are quadrilaterals.

To use one's "sex", or not? Forty plus years of Feminist Studies and that one is still a slippery slope. Plenty to discuss about how this is handled in different ways by different social, cultural and geographic strata just in western societies.

Everytime someone(s) (and there are several) uses a variation of "Wuv", I get the distinct impression that someone(s) is/are really (choose one, or all) more than normally cynical, overly bitter, or left out of (or about) something. Is it really that smarmy allowing characters to dote upon one another? If so, then nearly a thousand years of European courtly love down the drain.

@3 Lengthwise, I hope. Seven long strips (or six on Elaida's later on).
18. drragoon83
I'm feeling more and more sorry for Morgase. She has had one bad relationship with men one after another and most of it wasn't her fault. I mean for such an obvious strong character she gets a pretty wrap throughout most of the series. The worst part is that she never realizes what is exactly going on and so can't fit into her new role as a servant to Perrin and Faile. But of course her story is just beginning and so for now it is just she needs to see the writing on the wall.
John Fitzingo
19. Xandar01
Hooray for sexy Leane!! I know Perrin is in wuv and all, but what an interesting second meeting that is going to be.

Perrin: Wow, you're hot!
Leane: Wow, you're a lord now.
AJ MacPherson
20. Mackey62
FSoEP is always been intriguing to me because the Forsaken now become real. They show the same flaws that the main characters have, i.e., stubborn, high self opinion, no trust, no communication, with the added bonus being power hungry and backstabbing. And this is a continuation of Nyn besting Moggy. Yes they are the Foresaken and powerful, but they are still "human" and can be beat, and not just by the chosen one. Add that to the fact that you always know they will backstab each other at the very worst )best) time. Has a whole "Wall Street" feel; "Greed is Good". Gordan Geco was a Foresaken.

The most real bad guys I have ever read.
21. kaboom
I have finally managed to catch up!
I found this re-read in mid-april and it has taken me more than a month to read Leigh's excellent posts as well as a reasonable amount of comments. (by that I mean about 100 comments per post... 800?! no way!) Which makes for not so productive days at work... At least the summary and comments were so thorough that I don't feel the need to reread these books.

Talking of these books, I have a question that just doesn't want to leave my mind.
I don't understand why Moiraine didn't know which of the boys was the dragon reborn as one of the names in her little book of Mothers of children born near Dragonmount (New Spring) was Kari Al'Thor of The Two Rivers (if I remember New Spring correctly).

Was there ever discussion about this? (I have not really read all the discussion on other boards.)
Mitchell Swan
22. mcswan

No, no, and no!

The only conceivable choice for Fain is John Malkovich!

Oh, and welcome back, Leigh, we all missed you!
Alex Johns
23. almuric
"an old man in a wrinkled coat sitting sadly among them."

Noal? Jain Farstrider? Old Cully? Although it doesn't say he's filthy.

Re the stole: The colors are probably length-wise. Would look too Dr. Who-ish otherwise. Anybody call it the 'Rainbow scarf' yet?
24. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
Leigh, you know I love the re-read, but right now I just want you to know that Kate is my current favorite Tor blogger, since I am knee-deep in Nethack spoilers ;)

My pick for Padan Fain has always been Kevin Spacey. I always saw a lot of suggestions for John Malkovich, which I think is ok, but a little too obvious.

Betty White as Verin. Judy Dench as Cadsuane. Naveen Andrews as Logain.
Chris Hall
25. bookwormchris
Bryne and Siuan Wuv is probably one of my favorite relationships. I do forget if siuan has admitted to herself that she like him. Bit hazy on that plot line after about a year. I remember some hilarious tit for tat things they do to each other. (Siuan acts like a child sometimes, but then, don't we all?)

I always feel bad for Morgase. She gets a very raw deal out of this whole thing. Wonder if she'll have any better luck in the next books. Then again, the whole family reunion could be interesting for her.
Andrew Lovsness
26. drewlovs
When I worked in a grocery store, we had a woman who used her cleavage to get better shifts and easier jobs; it worked with the manager, but not the head clerks. My friends and I used to imitate her since, well...there wasn't anything else we could do. But it goes to show that the "sexual manipulation" works on some men, and is a object of comedy for others.

And, for the record, I STILL have no idea who Alteima is...

That is a GOOD question, in regards to Elaida, as to what "mistake" Elaida didn't want to repeat. Was it the mistake of getting caught, or the poor decision making? Further, now seems to be the best time to ask, what, in your collective opinions, was the overall lasting effect that Fain had on Elaida? I am on board with his infection of her, but what is her ineptitude and what is the corruption?
James Jones
27. jamesedjones

Betty White is a great pick for Verin. She has that absent-minded humor that needs to come out in the character.

23. Almuric

Absolutely. Gotta run lengthwise. Otherwise, she wouldn't be known as the sole member of the "Rainbow Ajah".
James Jones
28. jamesedjones
26 Drewlovs

IIRC Altiema is the High Lady in the Stone of Tear who faints during that big meeting where Rand plants the Sword in the Stone. She had just found out that she was being sent to a civil war, while her husband (whom she poisoned) was going to be cared for by her worst enemy.
Kurt Lorey
29. Shimrod
@23 I assume it is King Alsalam Saeed Almadar of Arad Doman, since that is where Graendel is hiding out, and the Council of Merchants can't seem to put their hands on him. She also seems to have a collection of seal rings, and his is one of them.
Andrew Lovsness
30. drewlovs
28. jamesedjones
Thanks, now I remember.

And, for the record, the saddest of all characters in these books for me IS Morgase. Except for the ultimate brain fart of going to the White Cloaks, her life after Rand touched her with the Ta'vaern stick plain SUCKS. She is raped by two different men that are pond scum in my eyes, and the people who truly care for her think she is dead...and that, only because of her own actions.


I might just skip the re-reads during her tenure at White Cloak central, that part is extremely hard for me due to the "What did you expect?!" moments spread all through that time.
Mitchell Swan
31. mcswan
@23 & @29

I always thought it was General Ituralde (sp?)
Blake Engholm
32. UncrownedKing
Lanfear always did “favor the flanks and the rear.”

Must fight urge to ... make obvious .... joke...arg

@ Leigh
I agree about Elaida. Easliy the most infuriating character in the entire series. I challenge someone to name another character worse.

If she wasn't just so far up her own arse it wouldn't be as bad.

Don't really care for chapter 1
Sydo Zandstra
33. Fiddler

I don't understand why Moiraine didn't know which of the boys was the dragon reborn as one of the names in her little book of Mothers of children born near Dragonmount (New Spring) was Kari Al'Thor of The Two Rivers (if I remember New Spring correctly).

My guess would be that this is because RJ wrote New Spring much later than EotW. He probably wanted to use this tidbit to tie it to the main series.
34. RobMRobM
21 and 33. Kari's name is not in New Spring. Apparently it was in the RJ story that was used as a basis for New Spring. I thought RJ said somewhere that Moiraine lost the original list at one point before she had searched for all of the original candidate kids, so she and Lan had to hunt all over. Rob
j p
35. sps49
I agree the stripes should be lengthwise, but, especially on Accepted dresses, which color is on the bottom, picking up all the dirt? This may be a minor point, but with all of the other clothing descriptions I am surprised at the lack of clarity.
Don Barkauskas
36. bad_platypus

I don't understand why Moiraine didn't know which of the boys was the dragon reborn as one of the names in her little book of Mothers of children born near Dragonmount (New Spring) was Kari Al'Thor of The Two Rivers (if I remember New Spring correctly).

I don't have the book with me, but I doubt you remember this correctly, since Kari al'Thor didn't give birth on Dragonmount---remember, she wasn't Rand's real mother.
AJ MacPherson
37. Mackey62
Wow, you can tell when we don't like chapters, discussion goes to rainbows and dresses. But you have to admit even Rainbow Brite, I mean Elaida, does the right thing when she starts the hunt for the Black Ajah. Does anyone else think that they (the hunters) will eventually team up with Egwene to bring the tower together?
38. Kaboom
Bad_Platypus @36

"I don't have the book with me, but I doubt you remember this correctly, since Kari al'Thor didn't give birth on Dragonmount---remember, she wasn't Rand's real mother."

Technically you did not need to be the mother, just show the newborn kid to the accepted.

RobMRobM @34

"Kari's name is not in New Spring. Apparently it was in the RJ story that was used as a basis for New Spring. I thought RJ said somewhere that Moiraine lost the original list at one point before she had searched for all of the original candidate kids, so she and Lan had to hunt all over. Rob"

Was it in Legends? I'm sure I remember reading it, but you are probably right for New Spring as I couldn't find it in a quick search. However, I did read the short story in Legend before New Spring came out. Looks like an RJ mistake that he later corrected and made up a convincing argument to cover up... That's fine.
Tess Laird
39. thewindrose
Mackey62 @37
Elaida is looking to set up Alvarian(sp) for a fall, not actually after the black ajah. (Won't she be surprised when Al's secert identity comes out!)
Blake Engholm
40. UncrownedKing
She eventually sets off one AS to unearth the BA. I don't remember who it is. Elaida is not evil. Just easily manipulated and arrogant. And DUMB.

Ewg starts to team up with AS to bring down the current Tower heads, in KoD. I don't remember if the AS are the ones Elaida has huntin but she is gaining fandom.
I love Ewg in KoD. Only time she has ever been made of Awesome.
James Jones
41. jamesedjones
40 UncrownedKing

She unwittingly sets off one AS to unearth the BA, but that was never her intention. She could very well be evil.

Remember, Ingtar was evil, but he was almost mad with desire to find the Horn and redemption. Elaida's obsession with the Andoran royal family might have something to do with this.

It's infinitely more likely that she's just that full of herself, but all we really know is that she never intended the BA hunters to hunt the BA.

Edit: Hey, look, the bbCode's work again. :)
Tess Laird
42. thewindrose
I always thought the old man that Rahvin sees is Noal(Jain Farstrider)Charin. Later on he is with Matt, and I wonder if he will bring some bad(luck?) to the saving MO arc.
Jay Dauro
43. J.Dauro
Uncrowned King@40

If you mean Seaine, Elaida started her, but Elaida's intent was not to track the Black Ajah, because she does not believe in the Black Ajah.
She wanted Seaine to bring down Alv.

From the Encyclopedia

Elaida commands Seaine to seek out traitors in the White Tower. She wrongly interprets this to mean the Black Ajah. She confides in her long time friend Pevara and they begin planning. (ACoS,Ch32)

IIRC In one POV Elaida thinks that Suian was foolish trying to say that they had to pursue the Black.
44. Rebecca Starr
Prologue: I may be in the minority here, but I actually really like them! They're full of loose ends, plot-moving devices, the people on the edges of the story... it all gets filled in, in prologues, especially later books. I actually think this one is a pretty decent length, to unlike ::cough cough:: LoC

I also think that when I first read this particular prologue, that was when I had the notion things were about to get... complicated. we first had a one narrative book (EotW), then several duel narrative books, then the main 6 characters, then all of a sudden here, the dam bursts wide open.

Ch 1
I just want to note how hilarious it is that Logain wanted to use Guaire as his fake name. love the man.

And yes, I love the revelation of Leane's character - before this she was so one-dimensional. As to sex as weapon... it has never felt to me like that's what she does. she never promises anything. she never leads anyone astray. and as Leigh so rightly noted, Bryne shows us he knows exactly what she's up to. so no one gets hurt, and any effect Leane has is no different than one Galad has with his face by walking into a room. Yay for Jordan the great gender equalizer.
Blake Engholm
45. UncrownedKing
I stand corrected. At least we all agree she stumbles through her reign as Amyrlin.

Want to place bets on whether it comes down to Ewg vs Elaida in a OP battle? Or something else happen. I could see her takin her life, not be a debby-downer, but I could see her realizing how bad she bungled everything and taking that route. Thats unlike RJ however.
Rebecca Zmarzly
46. bowlwoman
@17 Shimrod

Right-angled, equal-sided parallelogram? :)

@23 Almuric

IIRC, the BBoBA depicts the colors on the stole as lengthwise, with red and blue on opposite sides and the other colors in the middle (green next to blue since those Ajahs get along well, etc). I may be talking out of my ass, but that's always the impression that I had. An extra side helping of symbolism to go along with, well, the symbol.
Richard Fife
48. R.Fife
Sex as a weapon (or sexuality in general):

All I want to see is Galad actually realize what he has and use it the exact same way. Now that is egalatarian for you. Still, I think it is a conditioning of our culture that women can lead men by their noses, and nothing at all to do with biology, as I have been assured that women want sex just as bad as men do, they just have a cultural upbriging that teaches them to hide it better. Men who have learned to "hide" it are like drew's the above mentioned line-clerks who only snickered at the clevage instead fell into it.

Now, I don't personally know anyone, but I am curious, anyone here know (or is?) a woman who has a penchant for losing her head over captain tightpants? Even if she should know better, and can be a perfectly rational and level-headed person otherwise? Just curious.
49. OldWoman
R.Fife@48 Yes
50. alreadymadwhenthenamewascut
pablodefendini @13
Came pretty close, didn't it?

Rebecca Starr @44
Yep, Logan going by Guaire. A pun if there ever was one.

UncrownedKing @45
They better get Eg out of forkroot before something like that happens. Eg would bust Elaida's a$$ if they do. She hasn't got a prayer otherwise.

R.Fife @48
All I want is for Berelain to try to unwind Galad. He's strung too tight.
Herb Schaltegger
51. LameLefty
@42 thewindrose -

I'm re-reading KOD right now for the first time since it was published. I had forgotten that Noal (Jain) was present when Mat asks to read Thom's letter from Moiraine, and that he specifically asks to be the third. For that matter, I had forgotten how specific she was in the letter: that Mat MUST ask to know about the letter before Thom tells him, and that when they try to rescue her, it MUST be three people, no more, no less. Hell, there's a LOT in the whole series I've forgotten since I started reading it in 1992 or 93. : \
52. SRizea
"Less than two months since they had all knelt to swear fealty to her as the embodiment of the White Tower..."

Doesn't RJ make a point to say that AS don't swear fealty to the Amyrlin? Isn't that why its a big deal that Egwene has some sisters swear?
Hugh Arai
53. HArai
Elaida isn't dumb in my opinion. She's worse than that: she appears to be fundamentally unable to challenge any of her own assumptions. Ever. Anything that might do so is rationalized away. Many other characters do this once in a while, some like Gawyn or Nynaeve or Sevanna or Galina seem to do it a lot or do it very strongly on a few things, but Elaida does it all the time. Even when she's asleep!

Re: Sex as a weapon: I see it as no better or worse than any other form of manipulation, regardless of which gender is doing it. The weapon metaphor is a good one, I think because like a weapon whether it is good or bad tends to depend on what you do with it and it works best when the person you use it on doesn't know what you're doing.
Hugh Arai
54. HArai

I don't recall the specifics, but wasn't Egwene asking them to swear to her personally? Swearing fealty to the office of Amyrlin Seat and swearing fealty to the person would be quite different, I think. Just floating that out there...

Not to mention I can see Elaida confusing the two!
55. CalaLily
Re: the Amyrlin's Stole- I always envisioned it as a white length of cloth with the seven bands of color running horizontally across the bottom edges. Same with the Accepted dresses. White, with the 7 Ajah colors ringing the hem. Having them running vertically just...doesn't work in my head. xD I could be wrong, but that's not going to change how I see them. :\

Re: Sex as a Weapon - I'm with Leigh's capitalist side in this. xD If you're stupid enough to fall for it, you get what you deserve. It seems to me, in Daes Dae'mar, that anything that gives you an advantage over your opponent would be used, so it kinda makes sense that sexuality would be employed. BUT, I also think that using how you look can be a very clever way to get what you want/need. After all, if a man is too busy panting down a woman's blouse than the woman has an advantage, and if other women dismiss her because she is seen as a lightskirt...well, she could lull them into a false sense of "she's nothing but a pretty face and big bosom". I mean, look at Berelain. Men -and- women spend half the time she's with them thinking about how she dresses, with the result she's been able to play two large countries against eachother and keep them out of Mayene. :D

sandi vogel
56. sinfulcashew
In reply to the 'sex' thingy.
I used to go to the bank regularly, and was well known.
One time my son was with me.
He is a good lookin' guy. Tall, big blue eyes, etc.
The girl that waited on me was sooooo different from the one that always waited on me(same girl), it was laughable.
A complete turnaround.
The flirting, oh my.
You could definitely see the juxtaposition?

Just wanted to throw that in.

The Chosen? Just a bunch of regular guys and gals sitting around being themselves.
Odd. But telling.
57. lerris

The problem with visualizing the Amyrlin's stole as predominantly white is that there is in fact a white Ajah. Wouldn't want to over-represent a single color.
58. CalaLily

Yes, but think of the Novice and Accepteds' dresses. They aren't part of an Ajah at all, yet. The Amyrlin is "of all Ajahs and none". Plus, ya know, it is the -White- Tower.

Just sayin'. x3 That's how it's always been to me. I think "bands" and it's horizontal. In order for me to think vertical the word would have to be "stripes". In my own mind. I'm not saying there aren't examples that contradict this , but in my head, that's what I see. :)
Sydo Zandstra
59. Fiddler
Re: Amyrlin stole

Does the notion of the vertical colour stripes on it come from a description or from a picture in the BBoBA?

If the latter is the case, forget about it as being proof. The art in the book is so bad because of a very low available budget for the art in that book. It had to be done asap for as low a price as possible. Accuracy wasn't an issue here, obviously. ;)

I have that from a lecture by RJ, when he was at a convention over here that I attended.

Personally, I always pictured the Amyrlin Stole as the bands being horizontal, and the seven Ajah colours covering the whole of it.

Edit: and even if it's vertical stripes, I still picture it as the whole space being divided between the seven Ajah colours.
sandi vogel
60. sinfulcashew
59 Fiddler
Wow, I never envisioned the stole like that!
It gives me a headache just thinking about it.
Perhaps it isn't very wide to begin with, I hope.
But, I think it needs white at the top and the bottom?
Richard Fife
61. R.Fife
Well, not that cosplay means much, but the twenty hojillion stoles I saw at JordanCon were all "rainbows", the the colors running "longways" so that both trailing ends had all 7 colors.
Sydo Zandstra
62. Fiddler
60 sinfulcashew

(I edited my post while you were posting)

That would be favouring the whites. ;)

Fashionwise, I see your point. But Objects of Office are seldom in fashion ;)

(Which reminds me of that ridiculous 'She comes! She comes!'speech that the Keeper has to do whenever an Amyrlin enters the Hall of the Sitters...)
Captain Hammer
63. Randalator
re: Elaida

As a wise man once said: "One of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem."

re: The Domani sex thingy

What irks me is that, with their notoriety for sexy-clubbing your rationality center (read: directing bloodflow AWAY from your brain), Domani should actually have a harder time screwing you over (without the "over" it's an entirely different thing). Anyone would enter trade with maximum suspicion rendering any attempts at seduction futile because suspicion would make you go "AHA! She did that hip-swaying thing! No way, Lady!" constantly...

sps49 @3

And do the stole stripes (and dress bands) run lengthwise or crosswise? If long ways, is there an order of precedence? Which color is on top?

Lengthwise is the only option that makes sense to me. If arranged horizontally at least one of the bands would be obscured when the Amyrlin wears the stole. Which would really take a huge dump on the whole equality-of-all-and-none thing. Or they would be repeated which would make them more blocks than bands especially with the narrow stoles we see on Siuan and Egwene.

The order of the colors is:

64. tearl

The comments of 59@Fiddler not withstanding, the Guide does show a picture of Suian with a stole much as so described, p215.
65. CalaLily
This is how I've always seen it. The bands are bigger, though. Check out my Painting skills FTW.
66. Freelancer

You got me seeing Gene Wilder as Asmodean, with that Wonka reference.

"But, you know. It is what it is. All things considered five books in is actually pretty late to be really meeting the Bad Guys, so."

Not that the Creator needs a mortal to defend him, but imagine how difficult the first books would have been to navigate if more characters had been introduced? I'd say that a solid foundation was laid of the primary cast, plus a very large supporting crew, up through TDR. Once we've seen a character enough times not to have to stop and think (ala Alteima showing up in Caemlyn) "who was that again?", it's time to add more threads to the tapestry.

Having recently watched the Sci-Fi Dune movie(s), two lines from this prologue jumped out at me as evoking Dune:
- Elaida speaking of Rand - "He brings the whirlwind down on the world"
- Fain not being sure himself who he really is - "One thing was sure. He was not what anyone thought."
Not directly parallel statements, but close enough to bring the other to mind.

Uh-oh, send in the thought police, Lanfear called Rahvin a pig!

Leigh, I like your reaction about Graendel pushing Lanfear's buttons. But she clearly knew what she was doing, and how far she could go with it. I mean, "You were so obsessed with him you'd have stretched out at his feet if he said ‘rug’.” That's just not a line you risk unless your defenses are in array. Major twit.

I agree with Shimrod, that the sad man in the wrinkled coat on Graendel's floor is King Alsalam. She wouldn't waste time on someone of less than remarkable appearance unless it was balanced by power.

RE: Using the tools you're given. In all things, moderation. I love that Jordan tends to include little morality boundaries wherever the story approaches these "hot-button" (pun intended) issues. Like Leane's mother saying you miscalculated badly if your "victim" expected insistently that you to put out. Much like Egwene being taught that you take what you wish, and pay the price.

I don't think of this as women using sex as a weapon, and except for the baser emotions involved, it is no different than any other form of manipulation, which all people do to the extent of their respective abilities. Those who have read the full Mistborn trilogy will recognize this argument (soothers/rioters). One person who wants another person to do something, employs influence to accomplish it. The form, nature, and morality of that influence is certainly subject to judgement, relativists notwithstanding.

Influencing me at the point of a gun is not moral (especially for the government, right odigity?). Other, less terminal modes of influence definitely also fall on the wrong side of the morality line. A rule of thumb might be to say that if I have to accede to your wishes or else suffer, that's bad. If the cost to me for choosing against your wishes is missing out on a desired benefit, that's a choice, and I make my own decision. Whether my choice is immoral, the offer isn't necessarily so.

Having said that, a man who is interested in the physical commitment without the emotional one, is an easy mark and deserves what he gets.

Finally, I think you were going for an equilateral right-angle parallelogram. Any parallelogram is four-sided, and could include a trapezoid, rectangle, rhombus OR square. Hey Randalator, any room in that cuendillar bunker, pretty sure I'm about to take incoming.
lanyo lanyo
67. lanyo
O, how I love the "it's a cloak, yo"
I thought they ran the other way, more rainbowy I guess, like the "hojillion" at the con. (which sounds like there were some tarty AS there, from that word)
I think Min finally gets to suck here tho. I forgot about the mooning over Rand, and forgetting the fake names, and being a simpering tard. :P
It's ok, I know she gets better. Also, I now picture her always like the girl from the con video.
Hugh Arai
68. HArai
Randalator @63: Clearly you are a person who knows where their towel is.
Lannis .
69. Lannis
So... we see that Leigh has no plans to take over the world... good to know. ;)

Unfortunately, such may not be said of the WoT reread followers... well, if we're attempting such a feat, it can be said we're beginning with the servers, I suppose... spearheaded by subwoofer? Hmm?

I always liked the fact that the Forsaken started making an appearance, and were as screwed up as anyone else in the series (sometimes more so!). It made them more real for me... I agree with Mackey 62 @ 20: they're the most real Bad Guys I have ever read.

I don't have much else to say... it's mostly been said already.

Elaida = *headdesk* ARGH!
70. Freelancer

I know there will be blowback on this, but I must insist that Morgase didn't go to Amador to see the Whitecloaks, was actually trying to be careful to avoid them. Given the mayhem Rahvin had her sow among her now former allies, she can't go to anyone in Andor. So her options:

Tear - Dragon Reborn is there (was last she heard)
Illian - Rumors that the DR is taking Tear to war against them
Cairhien - Edge of civil war, with Galldrian dead, and not great allies of Andor to begin with
Tar Valon - Umm, no. They hid the Daughter Heir from her mother. She and Siuan have already had harsh words
Murandy - Nope. Always bad neighbors, they have no reason to want to help Andor
Ghealdan - Still recovering from the mayhem Logain brought, and since the DR proclaimed himself, that region is in turmoil
Altara - Tylin's writ is barely beyond the walls of Ebou Dar, as we are reminded often later. Not much help to be gained there
Almoth Plain - A kicked anthill has less turmoil. No chance they will assist an estranged Andoran monarch

I suppose the Borderlands might have been a reasonable option, but they normally have their own plates full keeping the rest of the land safe from shadowspawn out of the Blight. So, there is a nation, a stable one with moderate power, between Tarabon and Altara. Morgase had hopes of assistance from King Ailron without the Whitecloaks being involved, or even knowing she was there.

Yes, this decision went South on poor Morgase. Which puts her on the shorter list, or the longer? Who among the Randlanders is making consistently profitable decisions right about this time?
Richard Fife
71. R.Fife
My bunker. No, no room. Elaida got in here and funked it all up.

And a parallelogram only includes rhombus, square, rectangle, and itself (a rectangle without right angles). Trapezoid has two non-parallel sides.

And, is any manipulation moral, gun or otherwise? Whenever we force people to a choice, and we have taken some measure that one choice is more preferable than the other, we have manipulated them, either by stick or carrot. As I have alluded before in my moral relativity arguments, all human interaction is manipulation of some sort. I agree to not hit you because I don't want to pay the price that you will then have no reason to not hit me.
Richard Boye
72. sarcastro
re: the Stole
The first mention of it is (and I happen to have the quote handy):

The Amyrlin had been born in Tear, of a simple fisherman's family, not a noble House, and her name was Siuan Sanche, though very few had
used that name, or even thought of it, in the ten years since she had been raised from the Hall of the Tower. She was the Amyrlin Seat; that
was the whole of it. The broad stole on her shoulders was striped in the colors of the seven Ajahs; the Amyrlin was of all Ajahs and of none.

From The Great Hunt, Chapter 4 - Summoned

I have always pictured it thusly, although I drew that years before the order of the stripes was given in the BBoBA (here's another version on an incomplete drawing I did for a friend of her rpg character - no flame in a disc on the ends). My idea was to have red and blue on opposite edges, with white, neutral white being in the middle (like the flag of Ireland). I added the white flame in the black field for some mysterious reason.

re:Elaida and Her Idiocy
I totally loved the inner Tower power politics at play in the opening scene, how Elaida's junta had more than their fair share of Reds, for example. I also consider Danelle's presence to be another point against the idea that she is Mesaana's alter-ego. Would Mesaana bother attending what must be to her a dreadful session of inept weaklings? I think not.

re:Suian & Gareth
I too liked the natural development of the Siuan and Gareth relationship (with its very noticeable allusions to Pride and Prejudice, imho).

re:The Perils of Morgase
Morgase totally gets screwed worse that virtually anyone else in the series.

re:Forsaken - better and more menacing on- or off-screen?
Was this the scene when the Forsaken all seize the OP to threaten each other and Graendal and Lanfear instinctively link with each other because alone they are overmatched by the men. I loved that about them because while they clearly detest each other, self-preservation kicks in.

One of the most awesome bits in the series was the whole "Forsaken waltzing in and assuming control of kingdoms" idea, but it really never went anywhere except for Rahvin and Sammael, as far as I can tell.

I did like meeting the Forsaken one by one and learning their "Buttons":

* Graendal likes to screw people over psychologically, dress in saran wrap and hang back. Her gay frivolousness(frivolity?) is all an outward screen to trick her opponents into under estimating her.
* Moghedien is obsessively secretive but prone to hiding in plain sight (a la Gyldin) to GET YOU!
* Rahvin likes to Compulse (sic) the hell out of pretty women and manipulate them like puppets.
* Sammael is short and has a huge Napoleonic complex, and that's pretty much him in a nutshell.
* Aginor was a Mad Scientist (tm), basically.
* Asmodean is a tortured artist who wants eternal life to compose (which is creepy and compelling and really scary because his priorities are so far out whack from what a sane, rational person would do.... )

You get the picture. On the whole, I think that RJ, somewhat unusually for him, actually, does a much better job of establishing personalities and "Buttons" for the female Forsaken than he did for the men. I have no real impression of say, Be'lal or Demandred, but Moghedien is Creepy and Awesomely Evil, and Semirhage's initial appearance when she tortures poor Cabriana Mercandes was Magnificent Bastardry at its finest!

I say that it is unusual for RJ, because so many of his female characters are cloying, one-note caricature clones of each other. But the Femsaken are all equally unique and cool. I would add, however, that Mesaana's character is by the far the weakest of the group (She'd teach! She'd teach them ALL!!!!! MUAH HA HA HA! Cheese-tastic). Then again, her alter-ego is one of the best, still tantalizing mysteries in the series.

re:Actress to Play Verin

As I have noted before, only one woman can play Verin: Louise Fletcher.

On a closing note, Siuan's alias, Mara Tomanes is one of my favorite names in the series.
73. Latecomer
Yay - another post.

Quick Q - do we ever find out who the new, red, complused (sorry!) Aes Sedia in Andor is?

RE. Leane and Perrin meeting again ... hmm, that will be interesting. Maybe. Or not - given that he's faile-obsessed right now.

All together now "Poor Morgase..."

Sarcastro & the stole - I'm with you dude.

Finally - Thomas Jane as Lan, please!
Captain Hammer
74. Randalator
HArai @63

Incidentally, I also know how to fly.

sarcastro @72

One of the most awesome bits in the series was the whole "Forsaken waltzing in and assuming control of kingdoms" idea, but it really never went anywhere except for Rahvin and Sammael, as far as I can tell.

Depends on what you mean by "not going anywhere".

Semirhage controls and later singlehandedly annihilates the Seanchan empire, essentially cutting off supply for their Randland branch. Big feat, definitely going somewhere.

Greandal in Arad Doman, okay, in control but still scheming by KoD. Probably getting somewhere or other.

Mesaana shattered what was left of the White Tower into pieces. Too, very much going somewhere.

That leaves Cynfear and Moggy who are not exactely the waltz-y, assuming-y, go-y and more of a waltz-y, screw-around-y, waltz-off-y or hide-y, wait-y, screw-up-y type respectively. So no waltzing, assuming, going to be expected here...
75. Naraoia
sps49 @35
I agree the stripes should be lengthwise, but, especially on Accepted dresses, which color is on the bottom, picking up all the dirt?
I would argue that grey would be the most suitable for that purpose :D
Richard Boye
76. sarcastro

I am not counting Mesaana because she didn't waltz up and pretend to be some new Advisor and take control over a nation.

What I mean is, great, so Be'lal was attempting to take over Tear and Graendal is in Arad Doman, but it's not as if they tried to co-opt the whole kingdom toward serving the Shadow or anything. And Semirhage's affairs in Seeandar are chaos-strewing and all, but she hardly needed to masquerade as the Dot9M's advisor to do what she did. I can't think of anything useful she gets by pretending to be Neferi.
77. alreadymadwithaddledMorgase
Freelancer @70
Yet another painful side-effect of being the Dragon Reborn. Despite his promise in EoTW to "never seek harm to Morgase and hers", Morgase never considered simply hiding out in territory that Rand controlled and waiting for him to resurface. Even if Gaebril had not been Forsaken, Rand would surely have sheltered her. Or did she know that Rand was the Dragon Reborn by this time?

sarcastro @72
It's Compelled. Not Compulsed.

Latecomer @73
Nope. The next time she's mentioned, she runs off screaming at the sound of Rand's name.
Luke M
78. lmelior
Re: Sex as a weapon

I wonder at the insinuation that sex as an emotional manipulation tool is any more acceptable than strength as a physical manipulation tool. There are all kinds of parallels here...not all men can be manipulated with sex, but neither can all women be manipulated with strength (women are already as tough as any man -- see any woman who has endured natural childbirth without an epidural). One might argue it's worse, because when the man falls victim, he is in both a mentally and physically weakened state.

Really I'm just stirring the pot here, as I don't feel too strongly about it. I suspect you won't find many dissenters because - and I don't really have a PC way of saying this - men are less sensitive about gender issues in general.

Only men are required to register for the draft in the U.S. or, as is often the case elsewhere, forced to join the military for a time. Women have the ability to decline parenthood by aborting the pregnancy, men do not, and there is very little protection from paternity fraud. Men pay higher insurance premiums than women even though discrimination based on race or various other criteria is prohibited. There is an unspoken but undeniable automatic assumption of guilt when a man is accused of rape or sexual harassment. There are no male counterparts to various civil rights bills designed to protect women and there are no male equivalents to numerous scholarships and college programs open only to women (despite, as I've mentioned before, women making up nearly 60% of the college population - and steadily increasing).

And yet, none of these issues are being addressed; indeed, the male's right to decline parenthood has been upheld in court. There is a big push for women's equality in the hard sciences, and no equivalent push for men in, well, anything, with the possible exception of nursing. So the college gender gap will continue to widen.

It's too bad Kate doesn't come in here anymore, I wonder what she'd have to say.
Richard Boye
79. sarcastro

It's Compelled. Not Compulsed.

I know that, that's why I added the (sic).
"so; thus: usually written parenthetically to denote that a word, phrase, passage, etc., that may appear strange or incorrect has been written intentionally or has been quoted verbatim: He signed his name as e. e. cummings (sic)."

I prefer 'Compulsed' to refer to the state being under the usage of Compulsion. Sue me.
80. Freelancer

Ahh, sorry, didn't take the effort to search on bunker and find out to whom it belonged. I stand corrected.

As a weak touche, you don't really know how to fly. You just know how to fall and miss the ground.

Hmm, that reminds me, a reponse of mine to Harai@68 seems to be missing. I had agreed with him that Randalator was definitely a hoopy frood.

Hey, check out Sarcastro@72, I think he wants the title you have unceremoniously foisted upon me.

Moral relativism is evil. Your statement:
I agree to not hit you because I don't want to pay the price that you will then have no reason to not hit me.
Is an inversion of the moral. It replaces "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" with "Do not unto others what you would have them not do unto you". Some will say there is no difference between the two. The difference between the two is among the most important things in the universe.
Richard Fife
81. R.Fife
Seeing as I don't believe in good and evil as I see no objective place for them to come from, I see Moral Relativism as the only likely origin of morals. that being said, I do not think of this as "evil" because you are right, "do unto" is the way a "naturally equal" society works, and I rightly like living in a working society, and right nwo all us humans are naturally equal.

Where such things get sticky, though, is when people have the ability to "pay the price", such as, let us say, channelers. You have magic, what is to stop you from treating non-channeling folk as inferiors, and what (outside of a divinity) is to say you're wrong?

As aforementioned: Take what you want and pay for it.
82. Freelancer

Yes, Morgase knows that Rand is the one in Tear with Callandor. Alteima tells her all about it, recapped right here on this page. Since the wife of a High Lord, fleeing pretty much for her life, is Morgase's source of information about the Dragon Reborn, you can understand if she isn't all twitterpated with the concept of moving in his direction. She had had one brief encouter with him, considered him a frightened farm boy. Now she hears from an ostensibly trustworthy noblewoman that he's the most dangerous man on the planet, who threatens to hang nobles on a whim.

In this case, no lack of information sharing, rather a wealth of corrupted information via a prejudiced source.
83. alreadymadwithboredom
R.Fife @81
That.. is one of the major reasons for the existence of modern Randland's Aes Sedai.
84. Freelancer

Ok, I'll rest it after this, because we both know where it would go. If there is not good or evil, then there are no morals, only appetites. Saying Moral Relativism is a source is like saying Science is a source for nature. It is a manner of describing, a framework of discussion, and cannot in any conceivable way be construed as a source. A television is not a source for information, but a device for presentation. If there is no divinity, there is only appetite.
85. jafco
@42. thewindrose

"...I always thought the old man that Rahvin sees is Noal(Jain Farstrider)Charin...."

Noal, in KoD, claims only to be Jain's cousin. I haven't researched the matter, but apparently they are two different people.
Richard Fife
86. R.Fife
Ah, hornet's nests

Fine, if there are only appetites, which I will accept to be a useable word for "the desire for pleasurable/endorphine making experiences", then let them be the source of the morals. Morality is then the framework of deciding how best to feed the appetites, and when you start to put Nash Equalibriums in of Enlightened Self Interest and cooperation in the repeated game for better outcomes, both shared and individual, then you get "Do unto others". And, as I said, when that equation changes, when "all things" are no longer equal, that is where you get into the sticky.

We would probably think of Napaleon as a Charlemagne had he not been cast down, and Charlemagne as a Napaleon if vice versa. It all comes down to being able to survive paying for what you took to decide if you are vendicated.
87. alreadymadwithinfoblackout
Freelancer @82
Prejudiced perhaps... but I don't think Alteima bothered to hide that she had been plotting to kill her husband before deciding that Rand wanted her dead. Such a turn of events would have appealed to her sense of justice. And should have tipped her off into digging deeper. Ah well, her wits were addled.
Jay Dauro
88. J.Dauro
jafco @85

Yes in KOD Chapter 6, Noal claims to be a cousin. But looking at what he says, and the way he says it, (and Tuon's reaction) I believe it is apparent that he is lying. He is Jain.
James Jones
89. jamesedjones
God! I love these books! We've got Leane employing a freaking plot device, and 8 hours later we've got discussions about mortalistic appetites (or something). ;)

You guys have made me hungry. Be back in a bit. LOL
90. Latecomer
Alreadymad@ 87

She didn't tell Morgase about poisoning her husband - she told Rahvin and even then because she was compelled...

As for good/ evil ......... I am sooooo not going there.
91. warcaller
The Forsaken meeting is the first indication that they and by extension the Dark One arent omnipotent as they think Rand killed four of the Forsaken when he's only killed two. On the first reading I found that surprising as usually in these sorts of stories the bad guys know a lot more of what's going on then the good guys
John Massey
92. subwoofer
Alrighty then- anarchy time.

Leigh, welcome back! You were missed. I am tempted to talk about the sex thing, but my back hurts from ducking shoes at my last outing. And Elaida was a little slick under the pits and funked up the bunker. Or it could be like Barney in HIMYM, just not feeling it now. I will say this, regardless of gender, people play games to exert control. When you find love, that is when control is willingly relenquished.

The parallel that interests me is the two towers- SAS and TAS. Eg is put up as a figure head and manipulated to do as the Hall wants. Elaida is supposedly Amyrlin because she is strong and the next logical choice from Suian but here we are seeing the "leader" of the Tower being disrespected by the very people that got her there in the first place.

What is up with these people? If you put a leader in place, let them lead. Nothing good can come of putting a weak figurehead in charge of what the world looks on for guidance. Poor governments come when you have to deal from a position of weakness. Gareth bloody Bryne had it right:
He had met her once, nearly three years ago. A woman who demanded obedience and gave no reasons. Tough as an old boot, with a tongue like a file and a temper like that of a bear with a sore tooth. He would have expected her to tear any upstart claimant limb from limb with her bare hands.

Suian, like her or not, had the respect of her peers and the world. Elaida has neither, and Eg has to fight for every scrap she can get.

Er... stole talk is mind numbing but always pictured it like a mini HBC blanket.
John Massey
93. subwoofer
Always thought of the Forsaken like vampires. Really long lived, but were douche bags to begin with and have many years to perfect the art of douche-baggery. Just because you have been on the earth for a long period of time it doesn't mean you have cornered the market on intelligence and wisdom.

And I hope Gareth can deal with Suian when she finally gives over. It comes down to: do you want a person in your life that is submissive, or your equal? All good relationships start with good partnerships.

and um, Leigh... haven't you heard of a snuggy?
94. JordanAl'Joe
Ooh, first comment... finally caught up to the latest entry.

Anyway, I always hated Elaida. From the very first time we see her, wayyyyy back in EotW. However, I think that she's perfect for the role in which The Creator has placed her.

It's been mentioned before, but she's really the main character with whom I have to remind myself, It's Just a Book. Don't worry, I tell myself. Jordan designed her to piss me off... surely this has some point... *twitch*

As for the prologues, I think they are the weakest sections in Jordan's books. I get why he's writing them this way, but... they just get so weighty and drag down the books. Then again, the only books I've read with what I would call true "prologues" are Elantris and The Darkness That Comes Before.
John Massey
95. subwoofer
The part that burns my a$$ about the prologues is that I used to skip them as I have re-read the series, but there is much in them as they constantly get referred to in these posts, So I actually have had to go back and slog through them.
96. hummingbird
About the rainbow colors... Ive always just imagined a ROY-G-BIV arrangement .... like the rainbow. But that could just be my lack of imagination.
Richard Boye
97. sarcastro

the problem with that is that there are only four of the seven primatic colors in the Amyrlin's Stole - where does one place white, brown or gray in the ROY-G-BIV arrangement?
98. Alphashard
"We must have him in hand to see he fights in the Last Battle. Or do any of you believe he will go willingly to his prophesied death to save the world?"

This part always annoyed me, that they think so little of men in general that one couldn't POSSIBLY want to willingly fight the DO. Oh well I'll get the last laugh on that one.

As for the whole "sex as a weapon" why ignore something you have and can use? Women aren't the only ones that can use sex either, though that doesn't happen in this book.

I say also forget Leane and her harmless flirting, how about Berelain isn't Sex how she basically protects her country? She flashes some doofus of a lord her sad eyes that those big meanie Tearians are threating her.

I do think that Men and Women do think differently about things, perhaps it is going to far to say they are from different planets. Testosterone does make men more aggressive, it was like a light switch when I hit puberty.

This is my favorite book though after tSR.
99. Valan
R Fife @ 81

If you don't believe in good and evil... how are you a WoT fan?

For me, at least, it is the epic battle of Good vs Evil that draws me to the books. These books even more so than say LotR because of the actual variances in Characters as no one is 100 percent good or evil except the Dark One and the Creator.

But still everyone's got a side except Fain, who come to think of it is also 100 percent evil. If you don't believe in good or evil than how do you care? Now I'm not very religious as most religious institutions annoy me in some way or other (no offense intended, just a fact), but not believing in good or evil is something I haven't heard of before.... esplain.
100. Valan
@ 88 J. Dauro
I just read that last night I'm inclined to agree. Noal = Jain.
The only thing that bothered me about his whole little speech was that it seemed to me that everyone else would put two and two together. Maybe Tuon did, but shame on Mat.

And RJ did create a character in Elaida that I abhor so much I too have trouble reading. But I do anyway so I get the big picture, which is always amazing.

A side note: Warbreaker comes out next month. Please Read the Novel. It is MoA.

Holy Sh*t I actually made my first comment below #100
Ian Horn
101. IanGH
@99 Valan
I'm not a big believer in good vs. evil myself (at least, not as taught in Sunday School) but I really enjoy this series. Perhaps it's because Jordan has constructed this alternate universe where there is truly a good vs. evil, while at the same time has managed to create a rainbow of shades of gray. (Hmm, that didn't sound right.)

RE: Prologues. I get the feeling that this book is where Jordan gave up on the idea of completing this series quickly. Suddenly the number of character POVs and sub-plot threads explodes. And instead of being able to unwind this tangle in one or two more books, it's going to take (at least) ten more.

RE: The Evil-Doers Anonymous Meeting. Getting some bad guy POVs actually makes them less scary. We now come to realize these guys are almost as incompetent as Elaida. Well... maybe not quite.
102. valan
@101 IanGH
Makes sense even if it doesn't sound right. Ha! Craziness.

However, the Forsaken are WAY more competent than Elaida. I'm pretty sure no one is less competent than Elaida, which is why I (we?) love to hate her so.
sandi vogel
103. sinfulcashew
Here again, as my other post got hosed?

I want to comment to the person (to lazy to go back and look) that drew their idea of the Aes Sedai stoles.....right on!
I think you got it!
I always read where the women pull them out of their purses or backpacks or whatever, and the ones drawn make more sense than anything bigger.
And they are very fashionable! Attractive even.
104. JordanAl'Joe
@101 IanGH

I think you're right. I would hazard that at the end of tSR, it would have been in theory possible to wrap it up in one or maybe two more books, EXCEPT that Jordan had decided to give the Supergirls their own subplots. Had they been with Rand, or even Perrin, it would have been possible to tie it all together in many, many fewer books.

Then again, that makes me think of what made this series at once so enjoyable and so frustrating for me. Yeah, there's a ton of unnecessary stuff going on, and it gets prettyyyy complicated pretty fast, but for me that's what makes it so believable. Everything develops at its own pace, and if said pace is sometimes ridiculously slow and boring (ie CIRCUS O' HELL which lasted roughly 34 books), well... I can't buy that everything would be super exciting all the time.

However, this does naturally make things drag. Ohne Scheiß, Kinder...
j p
105. sps49
@63 Randalator-

Thanks for the link. I do envision the stole in rainbow style, but still wonder which direction. I started this because I was thinking there could be a seniority or precedence issue; the armed services of several nations sometimes have a particular order of precedence based on founding dates, combat arm/ not, etc..

Re: visual appeal: we use it today in advertising, presentations, and such. It is a two-edged weapon for all (more for females) because, as mentioned, beyond a point you may lose the respect of others.
106. The Not So Dark One
@93 Warcaller-

Im Pretty sure by this point Rand has killed 3 of the forsaken - Aginor, Bel Al and Ishy. And the fourth was Balthamel who was technically killed by The Green Man, so loosley speaking at this point, before they became like Pac Man ghouls who only had to get home to come back there were four forsaken taken out of the equation
Captain Hammer
107. Randalator
Alphashard @98

I say also forget Leane and her harmless flirting, how about Berelain isn't Sex how she basically protects her country? She flashes some doofus of a lord her sad eyes that those big meanie Tearians are threating her.

I don't think her eyes look sad. Quite the opposite. I think they look happy and round and firm yet subtle...


Oh. Oooooh, you mean those eyes. Her eyes eyes. Okay. Uh. No, I don't think they look very sad either. I think if there is Mayene threatening going on they look more like "Look at my eyes...don't they make you want to look at my other eyes?...well, you might catch a glimpse if you weren't so threatening. That can really turn a woman off..." and the Lord is all *drool* and non-threatening all of a sudden...
craig thrift
108. gagecreedlives
Does anyone else think the quietness of the Blight is a deliberate tactic by the Dark to make sure that there are no distractions for the humans and their petty politics. I doubt the borderland lords would of stripped so many men from their defences if the blight was active.

“But fear could and must be controlled. Control was all.”

“Or do any of you believe he will go willingly to his prophesied death to save the world? A man who must be going mad already? We must have him in control!”

These give a very interesting insight into how Elaida's mind actually works. Reckon she would be the worst back seat driver in history.

And I am firmly in the camp that Graendel’s old man is King Alsalam.

Shimrod @17

I thought people were using the term wuv as a pop culture reference to Futurama. But that is more likely because I just watched that episode before I started to notice the term here.

drewlovs @26

I think the biggest difference between pre-fain and post-fain Elaida is glory. Up until now she has been misguided but she is doing what she thinks is necessary to win Taimon Gaidon for the light and what is best for the White Tower.
After she starts having thoughts of wanting to be known as the saviour of humanity after the last battle and has even started to have a palace built.
I dont have the earlier books where I can get to them (I only have access to WH and onwards) but if anyone wants to go to the trouble I am pretty sure the wording of Niall’s thoughts of glory about winning the last battle and Elaida are pretty damn similar.

Rebecca Starr@44

I may be an idiot but who is Guaire?
Captain Hammer
109. Randalator
gagecreedlives @108

Guaire Amalasan, False Dragon extraordinaire. His followers attacked the White Tower trying to free him before he was gentled.
110. warcaller
106@The Not So Dark One

Rand didn't kill Bel'al, that was Moiraine. It's arguable that Agnior killed himself when he was struggling with Rand over the pure saidin
111. The Not So Dark One
Warcaller @110

Fair point but at this stage I think its the point that four of them are dead, and if they attribute them all to Rand - well as were learning they aint perfect
112. birgit
My paperback edition says "First published in 1933".

There are first signs of the drought / eternal summer in several places, but if you don't know what's coming, you think it is just a description of the season.

She unwittingly sets off one AS to unearth the BA, but that was never her intention. She could very well be evil.

If Elaida were BA, Alviarin wouldn't have to bully her, she could simply order her to do what Mesaana wants.

If you don't believe in good and evil... how are you a WoT fan?

Do you have to believe in magic to enjoy fantasy?
113. Naraoia
Valan @99
If you don't believe in good and evil... how are you a WoT fan?

birgit @112 beat me to it.

Fantasy is, at least for me, about things you wish could be. The fact that you think good and evil are human constructs doesn't mean you can't wish they weren't, or that a story of heroes doing Great Deeds to defeat Ebil can't appeal to you.

Now, of course, I don't really wish I could go through hell to Defeat Evil, but a (wo)man can daydream :D

Valan @100

A side note: Warbreaker comes out next month. Please Read the Novel. It is MoA.
Lightsong Rocks! Lightsong Rocks! *squee*

I'm totally excited to find I'm not the only person who read Warbreaker XD

I do hope the big final deus ex machina is tempered a bit in the final version. I read an earlier draft, and at the end I was like, where in your gastrointestinal tract did you pull that from???

The Not So Dark one @106

Don't take away Moiraine's awesomeness. Be'lal was totally her kill. I love that woman.
Richard Fife
114. R.Fife
Valan @ 99
As Birgit said, I don't believe in magic, but I still enjoy fantasy. And I also enjoy how, even with the deistic good and evil, it is the actions of "gray" humans that the book is focused on.

And Fain is not 100% evil, just really misguided. If he was 100% evil, he would want the DO free isntead of completely hating the DO.

And I care because while I don't believe in objective good and evil, I care in my own personal good and evils. I don't want to die, and I have a general feeling (explainable via my upbringing and belief in the benefit of a working society) that I don't want to see a whole bunch of other people die either. So that is how I can empathize with the heros and their desires for "good".
John Massey
115. subwoofer
@108- yeah. Back seat drivers. What is up with these AS wanting to lead the Dragon around by the nose. If they believe in the prophecy up to this point, why do they feel the need to control Rand and lead him to the Last Battle. Are they so Egotistical that they figure, without them, he'll go crazy and miss his date. Gahh! Really burns my ass.

The prophecies tend to happen regardless of meddling by lesser people. The Forsaken come along and try to tempt Rand, that got them reduced to a pile of ashes. What could AS do against that except complain. In the last book, we start to see an inkling of what could be for the last battle with the circles and the linking and the co-op with Rand.

I'm rambling but it always annoyed me greatly that Elaida et al send embassies that want to control the Dragon. Why not go to meet the guy, like the Atha'an Miere Mistress of the Ships or the Aiel Clan Chiefs and see if you can help him, not cage him. Crazy idea- willingly helping the Dragon, a male Channeler. I must be mad. The taint of Sadin....
116. Kaboom
@Valan 99

"If you don't believe in good and evil... how are you a WoT fan? "

Like most things, there are different shades of beliefs in good and evil. I have never had the religious belief of be good and go to heaven or be bad and go to hell (although my parents tried).
But I do believe in a different shade, that as a person in a society I have to try to do my best to be "good" in effect being a positive influence to my family, friends, and society in general. (That could be my martial arts training). But I get the impression from the books (in particular Rand, and the Border Lands cultures) that this is an important shade of the good/evil.

My first philosophical post. I hope it make some kind of sense.
Kurt Lorey
117. Shimrod
@114 RFife.

Can't agree with you about Ordeith/Mordeth/Fain here. He has become a competitor to the DO. Some recent Fain PoV about how nobody knows just what he/they have become.

I imagine he'll be there at Tarmon Gai'don. He couldn't miss it even if for some reason he might have wanted to.
craig thrift
118. gagecreedlives

Cheers mate. That was a forehead slapping moment. If you knew how long I spent googling historical figures to find out who it was and why it would be funny.


I thought Fain was 100% evil just a different evil. After all I dont think mashadar was born of the hatred and misguidedness that destroyed Aridhol.
119. The Not So Dark One
Naraoia @ 113

Far from it, but the bad guys dont ness know that, is all I was saying.
120. alreadymadwantstospankElaida
True. Another annoying trait of Elaida. She thinks only she knows the right thing to do. And it's not just her. The White Tower seems to have been built on hubris and arrogance. At least the Salidar AS realize they may be in over their heads trying to control the Dragon. Ironically because of what they did, the White Tower is broken and is nowhere close to taking a leading role in the Last Battle.
So much for taking the Dragon in hand. By KoD, Rand has enough resources to prepare for the Last Battle without taking the Aes Sedai as a whole into account. How's that for justice?
Sydo Zandstra
121. Fiddler

Quick Q - do we ever find out who the new, red, complused (sorry!) Aes Sedia in Andor is?

She is the young Red Aes Sedai that was sent to Caemlyn to keep an eye on Morgase. They picked her because she didn't have the ageless look yet.


I do think that Men and Women do think differently about things, perhaps it is going to far to say they are from different planets. Testosterone does make men more aggressive, it was like a light switch when I hit puberty.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, right?

I finished LoC in my reread today, and noted there's a Randland version of this book. While musing over his relation trouble with Faile, Perrin thinks of a book called Men are Fire, Women are Air. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? ;)


I just read that last night I'm inclined to agree. Noal = Jain.
The only thing that bothered me about his whole little speech was that it seemed to me that everyone else would put two and two together. Maybe Tuon did, but shame on Mat.

Mat hasn't read The travels of Jain Farstrider. He thinks about picking up the book, because Rand/Perrin/Egwene said it was a good read. It's in one of the earlier books. I'd like to say it's Basel Gill's library, but I'm not sure.

I noted it in an earlier reread, and found it pure irony that Jain ends up with him.

So to Mat, Jain Farstrider is only the name of a guy who wrote a book about his travels.
craig thrift
122. gagecreedlives

Im pretty sure we havent found out her name yet.

Could be RAFO
Captain Hammer
123. Randalator
birgit @112

If Elaida were BA, Alviarin wouldn't have to bully her, she could simply order her to do what Mesaana wants.

Also her POVs clearly show that the Dragon Reborn winning Tarmon Gai'don is a desirable goal. She'd have to be a very confused darkfriend if she were black Ajah...

I'm talking underwear-on-your-head confused here...
John Massey
124. subwoofer
@Fiddler- darn Mat and his lack of reading. RJ writes these epically long books and one of the main characters doesn't like to read. Go figure. Maybe Briget(sp?) or Thom will subtly point it out to him. Mat can't be entirely surrounded by dim, unobservant people.

edit- alreadymad, I see we are back to spankings...
125. alreadymadaboutspankingAS
gagecreedlives @122
Re: Guaire
Meet the headdesk. LOL.
As for the Red under Compulsion, I'm pretty sure she's the one mentioned in LoC. The one that ran off screaming at the mention of Rand's name.
Richard Fife
126. R.Fife
It is my opinion that Fain is bad, just not "evil" as Evil is the DO's will (objective evil in this world, at least). Fain presents a third option, and I would be interested to see a fourth that we may call "good" but is not the Creator's will. Wonder what such a thing would be. Perhaps a working, functioning dystopia where most of the people are happy, just not some small group. Like, oh say, channelers being chained and collared.

Yup, I said it, Seanchan is "good" in so much that it is a working, well ordered society that 95% of the people don't really have a hard time of. Yes, its rigid in its caste, but even then there is the option for upward (and downward) motion within a generation, as is proven by Eaganin (sp) who starts as a commoner and ship captain, and works her way into the nobility. Hmm.

(hiding in his bunker, even with Elaida funk)
127. CalaLily
I think Aes Sedai would be suspicious of any other Aes Sedai who -didn't- try to control things. Sad, but there it is.

I mean, here you have an organization that's existed for three thousand years, with members who live three times longer than the average person and who can, for the most part, wield a power so awesome they take physically/mentally binding Oaths not to use it to harm others unless they themselves are being threatened. I believe this power and their extended life expectancies have given them a very strong sense of We're the Ones Who See the Big Picture. Wrong? Well, now, yes, and that mentality has been proven again and again to be incorrect.

But, as the Sea Folk said when the Bowl of the Winds was used, it takes a ship the size of the world a long time to turn, a long time to realize he has to turn. The White Tower has hit a rut the size of the White Tower, and it's going to take the Supergirls and Rand's forcing Aes Sedai to swear fealty to get them to roll out of it.

That being said, I don't like all the crap the Aes Sedai are given in the later books. Especially from the Sea Folk. As interesting as their culture is, those Windfinders and Zaida make me want to send them to the Aiel as apprentices. I mean, they walk around with a whole "We own you Aes Sedai" attitude, without a shred of graciousness or dignity, and constantly claim that the Merilille and Elayne and that bunch are going to renege on their deal, when they said in plain English they were going to uphold it but currently had more important things to deal with. Like, you know, the End of the World and the preparations for it.

But that's not for another 3 books. :D *ends rant* I just don't like seeing anyone put down that way. Even if as a whole they deserve it. x.o
Lannis .
128. Lannis
Freelancer @ 82: BAHAHAHaha... you said "twitterpated." Tee hee. XD

Re: good/evil/moral/whatever argument... whaa?

I like to duck out of these philosophy-laden conversations... I deal with toddlers daily, and as much as I enjoy the mental stimulation and adult conversation that is the reread, my brain doesn't digest this stuff well anymore, so I'll happily spectate. Hopefully from a decently comfy lawn chair in that bunker (or are there recliners?!)?--I'll bring some munchies and air fresheners to rid us of the Elaida funk... we just can't have that fog o' ugly messing up our hidey-hole... Puh-lease, R.Fife? :)

Psst--who invited Elaida into the bunker in the first place?! Hrm?

Yeah... I have nothing constructive to add... sorry folks... :|
Sydo Zandstra
129. Fiddler

Mat will probably find out during the Moiraine-rescue mission where he has Thom and Noal/Jain for company...
130. alreadymadwithElaidainsweattent
I don't know anything about Elaida in the bunker. The last discussion I had about Elaida had her in the sweattents.
John Massey
131. subwoofer
The Sea Folk and AS exchange are kind of like the 3 Oaths. Yes the AS are bound by oaths, but they find a way to stand those oaths on their head- as these oaths seem to be subject to individual interpretation. The Sea Folk seem like sticklers for this Bargain thing. Not defending them, just sayin'.

Some humility is good for AS. Settles them down. And they seem to thing that they are the sh*t while I believe Rhavin(don't have the book handy) seems to sneer at them calling them masqueraders who can barely do half of what AS in AoL could.

edit- can of Lysol and some striking sticks. I'll fix that Elaida funk... don't forget the keg...
132. The Not So Dark One
Ive not long finished my re-read on the series.
When Matt remembers seeing the Tower of G whilst on Domon's riverboat. Did that happen? Or did Jordan just shoehorn it in in the last book? I cant remember now, Ill re re read if I have to but im sure one of you nice folks can answer
Lannis .
133. Lannis
subwoofer & R.Fife: re: bunker... did I mention I used to be a bartender and shooter girl? I can lift me some kegs, no problem. ;)
Captain Hammer
134. Randalator
The Not So Dark One @132

When Matt remembers seeing the Tower of G whilst on Domon's riverboat. Did that happen? Or did Jordan just shoehorn it in in the last book? I cant remember now, Ill re re read if I have to but im sure one of you nice folks can answer

Another time, when the eastward shore had become flat grassland again, broken only occasionally by thickets, the sun glinted off something in the distance. "What can that be?" Rand wondered aloud. "It looks like metal."

Captain Domon was walking by, and he paused, squinting toward the glint. "It do be metal," he said. His words still ran together, but Rand had come to understand without having to puzzle it out. "A tower of metal. I have seen it close up, and I know. River traders use it as a marker. We be ten days from Whitebridge at the rate we go."

"A metal tower?" Rand said, and Mat, sitting cross-legged with his back against a barrel, roused from his brooding to listen.

The captain nodded. "Aye. Shining steel, by the look and feel of it, but no a spot of rust. Two hundred feet high, it be, as big around as a house, with no a mark on it and never an opening to be found."

"I'll bet there's treasure inside," Mat said. He stood up and stared toward the far tower as the river carried the Spray beyond it. "A thing like that must have been made to protect something valuable."
TEotW, ch. 24
Lannis .
135. Lannis
Not So Dark One @ 132: re: Tower of Ghenjei... yes, I remember the remark, and I'm 98% sure that they did see the Tower when they were on Domon's ship in tEoTW... along with a comment about how ships see many different things, relics from the AoL, and such...

EDIT: Dammit! Randalator beat me to the punch!
136. The Not So Dark One
Randalator @134

Cheers La
Blake Engholm
137. UncrownedKing
@132 Not so Dark 1
Mat remembers seeing the tower as Noal tells a story about it. Which was brought on by Thom making Mat read the Mo-letter because Mat asked about it. Then Mat sits back and says that he remembers the tower now (He was in a Dagger induced kinda coma when he saw it)

@101 IanGH
"... Makes them (the Chosen) less scary"
Well they are more or less human. Human+DarkSide+OnePower+D.O."immortality-catheter"= Forsaken

@ birgit
Do you have to believe in magic to enjoy fantasy?


Does the term Elaida-funk really disturb anyone else?

RE: Stole
Pardon my complete lack of knowing much about womens fashion (I have no clue what the H-E-doublehockeysticks a stole, shawl, loufa or any such item looks like) But I always pictured the stole as a piece of cloth, sewn into a circle and worn much like Chewie wears his belt/phanypack/Whatdoeshekeepinthere? But Again I am ignorant of most things and do not pretend to understand. I agree that the stripes go "length-wise" and not horizontal.

Good drawings who ever posted those! I believe it was Sarcastro. :)
craig thrift
138. gagecreedlives

So are you saying that as long as the majority of people can live a comfortable and safe life it doesnt really matter what happens to a minority of its citizens.

Sounds very Stalinish and Im sure somebody smarter than I could make a good analogy between the chained channelers and the gulags
Rich Bennett
139. Neuralnet
Ahhhh nice to get a fresh reread.. thanks Leigh

I agree both these chapters seem like a prologue and quite honestly I still only half like them. We really see RJ starting to go off on some tangents here by adding in umpteen side characters. dont get me wrong, the depth of characters and story add a lot to the series, but I wish RJ had started the book off with a little more action or at least with something about the main characters and then went off on all the tangents. These chapters just seemed like a slightly boring way to start the book.

That being said, I really like seeing the forsaken gathering. You finally got a sense of who they are/what they were up to. the exchange between Lanfear and Graendel is so funny. Also, it seems like they were finally going to really try to stop Rand in a coordinated attack rather than the half-a@@ed efforts to date in the series.

Still cant get over that every time I read about morgase or Elaida in the series I want to throw my book through the window.

I had forgotten about the old man in a wrinkled coat sitting sadly among . It does sound like noal but I tend to agree it is more likely the ex-king.

sarcasto@72.. great drawings of the stole

and I always picture Verin as Angela Lansbury

now hurry up with that next reread leigh (big grin)
140. The Not So Dark One
If this link works it shows a whole load of stoles, which just seems to be another word for big shawl or scarf, but definatley a little bigger then the drawings someone posted earlier show. (however the art was very good).
Its basically a big wrap around.
Sara H
141. LadyBelaine

RE: Stole
Pardon my complete lack of knowing much about womens fashion (I have no clue what the H-E-doublehockeysticks a stole, shawl, loufa or any such item looks like) But I always pictured the stole as a piece of cloth, sewn into a circle and worn much like Chewie wears his belt/phanypack/Whatdoeshekeepinthere? But Again I am ignorant of most things and do not pretend to understand. I agree that the stripes go "length-wise" and not horizontal.

Well a stole is not really a woman's garment, it's more often an ecclesiastical vestment worn by priests, particularly Roman Catholic ones in my experience:

The Catholic Encyclopedia has an defintion:

A liturgical vestment composed of a strip of material from two to four inches wide and about eighty inches long. It has either a uniform width throughout, or is somewhat narrower towards the middle, widening at the ends in the shape of a trapezium or spade. A small cross is generally sewed or embroidered on the stole at both ends and in the middle; the cross, however, is prescribed only for the middle, where the priest kisses the stole before putting it on. There are no express precepts concerning the material of the stole, but silk, or at least a halfsilk fabric, is most appropriate. Stoles for festivals are generally ornamented with embroidery, especially what are called vesper stoles".

Here are a few examples:


Females wear them in RJ's universe - the Amyrlin, the Queen of Andor, the Panarch...

Chewie wears what I think would be called a bandolier. So does Worf ;)

Edit: NotSoDarkOne@140, those pictures don't really apply since the textual description from the novels was quoted upthread - The Amyrlin's stole is a "broad on her shoulders" not a full wrap-around shawl/pashima.
Blake Engholm
142. UncrownedKing
@140 if thats a stole......WE are soooooo off hahahahahahah. To many males in this room with no experience with shopping.

Kinda the ultimate riches-to-rags-to-cardboard box-to-servent-to-rags-to-maybe riches story I ever read. But then again I don't know many of those.

I'll be honest the whole Morgase in the arms of the WhiteCloaks I have read once and only once. The first time through. I have skipped it every reread I have done. Boreing and it pisses me off. And theres Whitecloaks. I skip whitecloak chapters, unless theyre getting offed by our heroes....thats kinda messed up I guess.

Worf is LAN
Jay Dauro
143. J.Dauro

Actually I believe when we say stole for the Aes Sedai we are more refering to this kind of thing:


And I usually see it as Sarcastro pictured, with horizontal stripes at each end.

Ouch, Lady Belaine beat me to it, with a great post. Oh well.
John Massey
144. subwoofer
I dunno, me back at 92 thought he had a grasp.

know to be wrong often and frequent though.

looking for the song, if you believe in magic...

Go Chewy! Go Han!

Bunker was pretty standard, bar, big screen, couches, hot tub, until somebody set up a sweat-tent off to one side... Elaida and her funk.

edit- maybe we should hand out secret decoder rings or have a special knock. Elaida dominated the bathroom too and that poor American Standard has never been the same...
Galen Brinn
145. GatheringStorm
Elaida. Bah! Without a doubt, the most universally despised character in WoT. Padan Fain comes in a distant second (at least for me). Putting the two of them together? Free is too expensive.
146. Freelancer

Calling a society "good" because a numerically acceptable ratio (in somebody's idea of acceptable) of its inhabitants are satisfied while a minority are destroyed? Your brown shirt is showing, mein herr. And by your own choice of logic, you can't call ANY society good if there is no good. If you accept no definition of good and evil, you can't use the word to describe what you find acceptable. You can't even use the word acceptable. As I began with, you are back to simply what YOU find preferable. And when that differs from what somebody else finds preferable, who decides? What authority is there to judge between two different preferences, between two appetites? My consolation in all this is, as I have witnessed many times in my life, you will grow out of it.


Michael Dorn is much too good looking to be Lan. Part of the whole deal with Aan'allein is that nobody can quite get how Nynaeve is so attracted to such an other-than-attractive, seemingly emotionless man. Put darker, longer hair on this guy (and a few less wrinkles) and you have Lan.


I can't understand why men don't know what a stole is. I'm boggled. However, while Chewbacca does indeed wear a bandolier, whose function is to carry ammunition and other support implements, Worf's non-standard uniform accoutrement is a baldric. Since Worf's doesn't carry a weapon or other combat implement, and is intended for a symbol of his position in the crew, there is a fine distinction between that and a tabard, usually cloth, which is purely a ceremonial/symbolic item, such as an ambassador's sash of office.
147. toryx
R.Fife @48

All I want to see is Galad actually realize what he has and use it the exact same way.

Actually, I'm pretty sure he has. Right after Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene return to the tower and encounter Gawyn and Galad in Nynaeve's room, Nyn orders them out. Galad smiled and stepped closer saying something about only being concerned about them.

Nynaeve smiles back and starts counting and Galad is surprised. Surprised because he knows his affect on women and not expecting that even Nynaeve would be able to resist it.

Galad may be a goody two-shoes but he certainly knows how his sex powers work and he doesn't hesitate to use them.
Ofer Nave
148. odigity
Freelancer@66: Uh-oh, send in the thought police, Lanfear called Rahvin a pig!

Again with this? Le sigh.

Lanfear called Rahvin a pig. She didn't say "all men are pigs" (as you did). When I spot a hoof, you'll be the first to know. Until then, I remain offended. Which is what happens when you call the feds someone a pig.

Influencing me at the point of a gun is not moral (especially for the government, right odigity?).

Right. Assuming that wasn't sarcasm.

Is there a reason you keep trying to (seemingly) call me out? I haven't even been active for almost two weeks (been moving, and my DSL is now 9 days overdue, and I just now managed to find an unsecured wireless near my apt to sneak on to).
James Jones
149. jamesedjones
112 Brigit

I never said Elaida was BA. I just said she was evil, which I believe to be true. I used Ingtar as an example because he was obsessed with redemtion. A person can be a DF, an example of evil, and still want what's best. That doesn't mean they have to be a DF or BA to be evil and want to do what's right.

I could have sworn that the BA Hunters decided that while they couldn't be sure that Elaida was or was not BA, they realized that the BA knew all of Elaida's inside information. So, she was BA or strongly influenced (Alviarin) by the BA.

If someone is controlled/manipulated by the DO, then they are just as evil in act as someone who has sworn to Shaitan.

And they are NOT to be trusted.
Ofer Nave
150. odigity
sarcastro@72: Asmodean is a tortured artist who wants eternal life to compose

Well... it beats decomposing.

Eh? Eh?
James Jones
151. jamesedjones
148 Odigity

No worries. Love the posts. Lotsa pot-stirring, feather-ruffling stuff in 'em.
Karen Walters
152. Wrenza
First time poster - gulp

Jamesedjones - so someone who is being compulsed, controlled whatever, is just as evil as someone who is. The intent doesn't matter?

I see Elaida as someone who is trying to do good, but is utterly inept at it, not someone who is evil.
153. toryx
It amuses me to no end that no matter how insular a group is (fans of a fantasy series, a church or a political party) it's virtually impossible to get two people together who'll agree on morality and/or the definition of good vs. evil or even the existence of the same.

If that doesn't say something about the fickle nature of humanity, I don't know what does.
Alex Johns
154. almuric
I, also, don't believe in a universal definition of good and evil. It's all relative. As a life-long afficionado of sci-fi and fantasy (and an atheist), it would not be very difficult to imagine a society where all kinds of things we find to be 'evil' are considered 'good' and perhaps even necessary.

Consider that in the bible one man (Abraham) was told by his god to kill his own son. Even though at the last second he was told it was just a test, he nonetheless was about to kill his own son. If we were writing some stories set in that time and place, the definitions of 'good' and 'evil' would likely be quite different than what we know them to be in this day and age.

I don't believe in magic yet I enjoy stories about it. I don't believe in dragons, yet read stories about them and even play Dungeons and Dragons. I know people who don't read any fiction, considering it a waste of time. Those might be people who'd ask, "Why do you read stories about magic? That's completely useless." I wouldn't expect someone on this forum to ask that.

Reading stories about concrete, tangible manifestations of good and evil is a nice escape from the largely gray area of our world. No 'belief' necessary.
sandi vogel
155. sinfulcashew
ogidy? @150
Love it. Good one

As to 'Good and Evil', I think it is relative.(aunts, uncles, siblings?)
The situation and the intentions at the time are the relevant subjects(?).
What one believes they are doing is right, whatever the action.
Hitler thought he was doing good.
And all the other 'baddies' in the world.

Okay, the stole could be somewhat wider just over the shoulders, but still thin like the drawings at the breasts and down. (ohoh I said br@@sts)
Sorry couldn't resist!

On to another thingy.
I really get irritated with Suian and her fishing references. My first impression of her was such that when she starts using the idioms, it took my feelings for her down a notch. A stupid thing I know, but it took me a long time to realize this. Don't know why!

What?.....The doing of a compulsory thing that you HAVE to do is just as bad as the compulsor?????
If it was you being compulsed?
Excuse me, but I don't think I would hold you responsible.
I suppose "the devil made me do it" can be used?
Jason Deshaies
156. darxbane
There are just too many good discussions going on to pick. Very interesting, people. Maybe I'll just stick to the fanboy book defense strategy. All the prologue and large book bashing seems to contradict the pleasure you all get in discussing the story so much. Not to mention the apparent need for even more information about the story and characters. It's like buying an Iphone, trying to configure it without reading the manual, then complaining that it doesn't work right.

As for Elaida, yes it is easy to hate her, but that is exactly why she is such an awesome character. In many ways, she is no less proud, ambitious, or self-assured than Siuan (or any Aes Sedai, for that matter). The difference between the two is that Siuan has paid for her arrogance, and now has sympathy for it (that, and she just happened to be on Rand's side). Elaida is so proud of what being an Aes Sedai represents that she can not accept even the possibility that it has flaws. RJ even wrote in a crutch for her denial. Her building of an Amyrlin palace is her way of fighting the inevitable change the Dragon Reborn will bring. She wants to do what's best for the world and the White Tower.Her intentions are just, but her methods and philosophy are flawed. I have sympathy for her. We all have times when we interpret evidence to fit our beliefs, and all tend to be resistant to change. Elaida is just an oar-to-the-face rendition of that weakness. I honestly believe she'll wake up in the end.
sandi vogel
157. sinfulcashew
I don't know how to edit, so.....

Almuric snuck (?) in before I got my post up.
I didn't copy his 'relative' idea.
I have heard that some thoughts float around and are picked up at the same time by different people.
I suppose this can happen even with ideas that aren't really important except to the ones involved?
sandi vogel
158. sinfulcashew
"Elaida is just an oar-to-the-face rendition of that weakness. I honestly believe she'll wake up in the end."

I don't know why, but I DON'T want her to wake up. Weird!
I guess it could be because she needs to PAY for her deeds?
159. Freelancer

The comment re: Lanfear and Rahvin had nothing to do with you, I don't think.

Not looking for reasons to call someone out, but you identified yourself as an anarchist (assuming that wasn't sarcasm), so it seemed to fit the thought.


Abraham knew for a fact that his son was safe. The purpose of his faith, which is reckoned to him as righteousness, is that even were the dagger to strike Isaac would not die, because God had promised him this son, and had promised his legacy through this son. To put it in WoT reference, Elayne knows she is safe from harm because Min's vision is for the healthy birth of her twins.

God was not tempting Abraham to evil. Apologies to everyone else, but I did not raise the Bible point, yet I cannot let it pass:

And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
Genesis 22:5-9

Abraham told the other men that they two would go and worship, and come again to them. A tiny point by itself, but he would have hedged if he believed only himself would return. And to say that God would provide a lamb, to his son's face, cannot mean "don't question me, it won't help, because you'll be dead in a moment".

It is an important distinction that God was testing Abraham's faith, not merely his obedience. Later references to Abraham don't praise him for his obedience, but his faith.
Luke M
160. lmelior
Geez, R. Fife, you'd think they'd notice that the quotation marks actually mean something. When you described three sides:

1. Good (Creator's Will) - Rand, Aes Sedai, et al.
2. Evil (DO's Will) - DO, Forsaken, Myrddraal, Slayer, et al.
3. Evil (against DO's Will) - Fain/Mordeth, Aridhol

For the fourth side I immediately thought of Whitecloaks, Galad specifically. Elayne said that he "always does the right thing, with no regard for who it hurts."*** Perhaps the fourth entity is thusly:

4. Good (against Creator's Will) - Galad, Whitecloaks, Seanchan

The Seanchan, after all, fight the DO in their own Blight. But as you say, the enslavement of women who can channel is not likely in line with the Creator's Will. They're probably a better fit, actually, since IIRC they actually worship their Empress (just like Fain doesn't worship the DO but is certainly evil).

*** This quote brings up an interesting point, what does Elayne mean when she says, "the right thing?" If you equate "right" with the Creator, it appears she is either implying that she doesn't always do what she believes the Creator would want her to do, or that the Creator doesn't always want the characters to do the "right" thing. Perhaps in this case she is merely equating "right" with the law, which Elayne doesn't necessarily agree with in all cases. I believe later on, we see that Galad doesn't necessarily always follow the law, but rather his own code of morality. I forget how it goes exactly, something about having standing orders to return Elayne to his mother or the Tower at once, but he instead helps them along since they'd be safer that way (fighting Masema's men who are trying to do the same exact thing, incidentally).

Thought of another correlation. The other Evil, being against the DO's will, actually ends up helping the side of Good, first in small ways (Fain killed Myrddraal, him and Slayer fighting each other in tSR), and eventually in a big way (cleansing saidin). Similarly, the Seanchan and the Whitecloaks help the side of Evil, relentlessly persecuting Aes Sedai and the ta'veren.
161. longtimefan
@ 146 "Calling a society "good" because a numerically acceptable ratio (in somebody's idea of acceptable) of its inhabitants are satisfied while a minority are destroyed?"

When the majority is satisified it is called a Democracy.

Also while the Seanchan are morally "interesting" the collared ones are not destroyed. They are broken and rebuilt and kept as valuable property. The kennels in Ebu Dar are temporary accomodations in a town under under siege. There is no mention of how they are kept in Seanchan which does mean it could be similar or it could be better. It is unwritten. The value of a well trained collared one could motivate the keeper to treat it well. Some European kings had very lavish stables and kennels for favored pets.

Socially many people have been taught that slavery is currently unacceptable. Societies are built by slaves be they forced labor or ideologically guided. When Wal Mart pays someone to pay someone else to pay very little to people in "developing" nations it is not called slavery because wages are attached. Slavery is not about lack of wages. It is about lack of freedom. As a nation develops and the people become more dependent on products than production the need for money encroaches on thier everyday lives and they find themselves working not to sustain themselves directly but to gain an income to purchase the things that sustain themselves.

Most people would be perfectly happy living in Seanchan as long as they could not channel and were hard workers with a moderate to strong intellect.

and a majority is 51% according to American politics just incase you are wondering.

As for Good and Evil. There is no such thing as good or evil. There is only how an event affects the individual who labels something good or evil. If it is benificial to them then it is good and if it is detrimental it is evil. Sometimes even a neccesary evil. My view on why the labels are attached beyond that bit is that often Good is attached to creation and Evil is attached to destruction. No universe can exist wholly on creation. No food could be eaten, no corrosion or oxidation could happen, no decomposition would exist. For the univers to create new things some previously created things have to make way. Emotional attachments may make it difficult for people to accept this but that is the trouble of Time Travel. (also known as memory)

A last late bit on persuasion by allure.
It is much more socially enforced than most people want to admit. People have the ability to reject the control someone else tries to exert by revealing or suggesting but there is quite a bit of social pressure to accept the control. People will openly question your sexual status if you are not showing due interest. This open questioning is usually demeaning. The media will showcase successful behaviors such as having fun (playing, shopping, drinking) and breaking the law (usually unjust in the mind of the target audience) in the presence of or as a result of media presented sexually attractive people. There is a strong social investment in treating people like objects be they property to be owned or controled or sexually enjoyed. As long as it benifits us it is good. When it is used against us it is bad.

As long as more than 50 percent of the people find the behavior acceptable because it gets them what they think they want it will not change.
162. Spelled Incorrectly
Wow... discussions of Good and Evil?

WOT is a terrible place to locate good and evil.

Example: When the Tower AS are hunting the Black Ajah, the AS have no choice but to use an Oath Rod to force the BA they find to not only follow reswear all oaths, but to FORCIBLY follow every command. And to make sure someone was BA, they had to sit them in a chair that causes UNCONFORTABLE AGONY!!!

Another example is that two sets of our 'heroes', Rand and the Supergirls chain themselves some forsaken and don't consider bringing them to their personal justice.

If anything, I always felt that these books extablished that good and evil aren't as clear cut and obvious, but instead horribly vauge and conveluted. (Wow, look at all the misspelled big words... well, it should have been obvious by my name...)

But that's reality for you. Life is complicated and confusing. Rand at least gets a 'You're the Dragon Reborn!tm' title out of it. Perrin and Mat both just assume they're freaks of nature.

As for Eladia, well, she may be hard-headed, vain, stupid, annoying, and a downright poor leader, she is NOT Black. It's too bad that Eladia is the stereotype of a person on the cusp of the end of the world who tries to stubbornly hold on to her stuff like a selfish child. I'm calling that she will either be killed or stilled before Tarmon Gai'don.

Oddly, I like the fact that Fain is a wild card. The enbodiment of an Human Evil designed to kill the Dark One's Evil. Always thought that Fain had a huge part to play at Tarmon Gai'don.

On Leane and sex as a is there any safe ground here? As a man, I assume, I'm on the fence between it being partially demining to women and it being a useful and powerful bargining chip. I guess its a bit of both.

The Bryne and Siuan love fest was one of the things I didn't really catch on to until Egwene said it basicly out loud. I guess I'm just a moron about love...
F Shelley
163. FSS
Re: Who plays Verin: I disagree. I say Kathy Bates.

Re: Rand's name on Moiraine's list. It was in the first few paragraph's of Moiraine's POV in New Spring from Legends. It disappears in the Novel. I figure RJ just made a mistake and corrected it in the Novel. Not sure I like the explanation that she lost the list and had to start over. That list was her life...
AJ MacPherson
164. Mackey62
Everyone needs to think of Elaida as the old woman who was always yelling a kids to stay off the grass and keep it down. Not evil, just annoying and unhappy. That is Elaida =/= happy. Or maybe constipated. She either needs a hug or some M.o.M.
Blake Engholm
165. UncrownedKing
Elaida = Constipated ......BWAHAHAHAHAH. Perfection. Pure Gold.
AJ MacPherson
166. Mackey62
lmelinor@ 160

I think Galad is a black and white person. Everyone can say stealing is wrong, but if your family is starving to death, is stealing still wrong? For Galad, there is no buts.
Captain Hammer
167. Randalator
Spelled Incorrectly @162

Example: When the Tower AS are hunting the Black Ajah, the AS have no choice but to use an Oath Rod to force the BA they find to not only follow reswear all oaths, but to FORCIBLY follow every command. And to make sure someone was BA, they had to sit them in a chair that causes UNCONFORTABLE AGONY!!!

The Chair of Remorse does not cause pain. At least not of the physical kind. It makes the one sitting in it relive all his crimes and their consequences over and over.

I think you're mixing the pain thing up with the Black Ajah meassures of putting someone to the question ("Forcing a woman into a circle against her will. Guiding a circle to inflict pain", KoD, Prologue)...
Lannis .
168. Lannis
Jamesedjones, Wrenza, and sinfulcashew, here're my two cents re: A Compelled (or Compulsed) person's actions are the responsibility of...?

Cross-topics time! I believe we covered this back with the whole Juilin/BA convo back in tSR or tDR... Juilin was the subject of Liandrin's clumsy Compulsion "trick", and as a result feels guilty for what he did to Elayne and Nynaeve... which, as we know, was not his fault, and that he was in fact forced to side with Liandrin's ugly.

Juilin = not bad
Juilin Compelled by Liandrin = working for the Black Ajah

Is Juilin actually a Darkfriend? No. Could he withstand Liandrin's channelling? No. Should he be punished? Probably not.

So *I* don't believe a person's actions while under Compulsion are actually their actions... if you take away Free Will can you really call their actions their own actions? Or someone else's?

::ducks back into the bunker::

Um, and I think we need to add "chronically" to Elaida's "constipated."
Sean Banawnie
169. Seanie
Yeah , Elaida needs a big squeezy hug to the point of deconstipation . I am REALLY looking forward to her getting her comeuppance. Like a lifetime on the commode of comeuppance ---chair of remorse for the nonevil but ridiculously misguided{too weak a word} and rampantly selfrighteous .
Brian Kaul
170. bkaul
Imelior@160 Re: fourth category
The Seanchan, after all, fight the DO in their own Blight. But as you say, the enslavement of women who can channel is not likely in line with the Creator's Will. They're probably a better fit, actually, since IIRC they actually worship their Empress (just like Fain doesn't worship the DO but is certainly evil).

If we're defining Good as being in accordance with the Creator's Will (the standard Judeo-Christian definition, at least, and one that was mentioned here), and "Evil" as being in accordance with the Dark One's will (more Dualistic, but also as mentioned here), there is only one other category remaining, I think: in accordance with one's own will (i.e. none of the above).

But that third category, whether "The Wheel" is using it to accomplish Good ends or not, does not necessarily make the characters good themselves if they are motivated by their own will rather than what the Creator has ordained. So, Fain, Elaida, and the Seanchan are all in the same category here, as are most of the "gray" characters: they're working towards their own ends, though the Pattern is woven to make what they do work towards the Creator's ends as well.

Really, if the definition of Good that has been given (Creator's Will) is used, then everything else is, by definition, evil. Dualism is inconsistent with an omnipotent Creator, so the Dark One and Padan Fain are equally evil, just not equally powerful, since both prioritize their own wills. Really, this is clear in all of the explicitly Evil characters (Darkfriends, BA, etc.), as they're working towards their own ends, though they will serve a more powerful figure in order to achieve them. The explicitly Good characters, on the other hand, are working to defeat Evil for the greater good, rather than for their own ends. I'm not sure how a character motivated by his/her own glorification/avarice could be classified as anything other than evil, whether he's also working against the DO or not. Even those working for the DO are doing so for those reasons.

Of course, that implies that Elaida is not initially evil, just incompetent and annoying, but becomes evil once Fain's influence over her takes hold and she starts seeking her own glory rather than the Dark One's defeat.
Jason Deshaies
171. darxbane
@158: If she turns in time to help the cause, if she is truly repentant for her crimes, shouldn't she be forgiven? Trust me, for someone so arrogant to finally admit he/she has been so wrong is a greater blow than any other punishment. It may well destroy her.

I have had this right v wrong discussion on other forums, and in the end, it boils down to consequence and respect. Someone above said that there is a difference between the phrase "do unto others as you would have done unto you", adn "don't do unto others as you would not have done unto you". THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE! Sorry to tell you, but only doing to other people what you would want them to do is exactly the same as not doing to other people what you don't want them to do to you. In both statements, the same question can be asked: If someone were to do that to me, how would I feel about it? I know I am not really giving an opinion either way, but I just couldn't let that weak semantics argument pass by. I feel better now.
Brian Kaul
172. bkaul
Someone above said that there is a difference between the phrase "do unto others as you would have done unto you", adn "don't do unto others as you would not have done unto you". THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE!

The difference is that the "don't do unto others" (inverted) version merely restrains people from intentionally harming others, while the "do unto others" (Golden Rule) version also encourages positive, self-sacrificing action for the benefit of others. The former is being decent and considerate. The latter is being charitable/loving.
Blake Engholm
173. UncrownedKing
Think Elayne can create a Ex-lax Ter'angrael?
174. Herr_Flick
Fain: Ray Wise

Remember him as Leland Palmer / Bob in Twin Peaks.
Tess Laird
175. thewindrose
alreadymadwithElaidainsweattent - At one point in time(much twitching was involved, and it was about a minute before a new post went up) I decided to put Elaida in rfife's bunker for punishment of all the rickrolling he had been up to. I am assuming some people might have caught that, or hey maybe someone else was just thinking along the same lines:)

I just want to say thanks to all for their thoughts on WOT universe - it makes work fun, although my output has been considerably reduced, and I think some people are starting to think I am on something because of all the laughing induced by this blog!

Also, the discussions are most enlighting(at times:).
sandi vogel
176. sinfulcashew
I know. Forgiveness! Something I believe in strongly!

For this situation, I suppose the fact that this is a tale of tales, is so I can be unforgiving?????

Sounds like a conundrum?
To have a character actually have to pay for their 'sins', what a concept.
I suppose that doesn't say much for my strong feelings for forgiveness?
Maybe it is because it is only a story, that lets me feel that way.

'To do' or 'not to do', still smells like a rose.
No for difference.
AJ MacPherson
177. Mackey62
Setting: Amyrlin's Study, Tel'aran'rhiod

Egwene: Nynaeve, those herbs are not working for Elaida anymore. She is getting really cranky again. What else can I slip into her food to loosen her up?

Nynaeve: That was the strongest herb I know of. It kept Cenn regular. I have no idea.

Egwene: Elayne, how is that Ter'angrael coming?

Elayne: Well it works but first you have to shove it, um, never mind, I will keep working on it.

Leane: Maybe we should still her, so she looks young and pretty and have her go into service of a crusty old general.

Siuan Enters

Siuan: I hate Gareth Bloody Bryne. Why is everyone smiling at me. (Insert some boat, fish saying) I need to find Gareth.

Siuan exits.

Egwene: (smiling) Nynaeve, just make sure you heal the stilling in a couple of months.
Tess Laird
178. thewindrose
hahahaha - Yes, I am getting stared at again. Too funny! But which general - are the rest married? Maybe that Seachen general - the one who was looking for and finds Dotnm with Matt?
Sean Banawnie
179. Seanie
I beleive in forgiveness too ,but, like u said this is a story and someone should be truly repentent,anyway. Hell,look at Ingtar---but even tho he was DF he wasn't hated. Elaida is ICK, just awful ,like outhouse stew awful. Elaida is dumb and stubborn enough , she will have to have her nose rubbed in it to admit she is wrong. Who gets to do that, Eggy ?

Mackey : BBWWaahhhahaha ! good'un
Richard Fife
180. R.Fife
Who decides who is right and wrong? The majority, ie, the government. Who decides what is good/evil between countries? The consensus of countries vis a vis military might. Yes, invading Iraq was "morally" wrong (ie, we had no good reason to do it), but America hasn't exactly gotten tag-team counter invaded over it, now have we? Heck, we even re-elected the man who did it. Musta been doing something right.

History and rules are written by the victor, but so long as anyone can be brought down, those rules will tend towards equality for all. As I said, it gets sticky and non-equality leaning once there is some power that can assert its superiority.

I think we have finally cleaned up the Elaida funk, btw. Careful, though, you might get a contact buzz.
181. Rand Al'Todd
Re:Stoles @60s, 72, 140, 141 et al

"She was the Amyrlin Seat; that
was the whole of it. The broad stole on her shoulders was striped in the colors of the seven Ajahs; the Amyrlin was of all Ajahs and of none."

From The Great Hunt, Chapter 4 - Summoned

From the description as a "broad stole" I thought RJ meant something more like this (shows fur stoles):

(appologize for the long link)

My generation (and I think I'm close enough to RJ's age), was back in the days when real fur was not only acceptable but Mandatory in high fashion circles. Most women wanted Mink (or other fur) stoles (if not full length coats). Movie stars wore them on warm summer nights in Hollywood.

Lots of old movies, paintings etc show kings, queens etc with thick fur stole or stole-like fur collars (frequently with chains of state - bling,bling) as part of the "royal robes."

Bottom line, that is more what I envisioned when RJ wrote about the stole (but admittedly not made of fur).

But, especially if RJ was Catholic (I dunno) or if he did his homework (which he usually did) he might have meant the thin vestment type.
Luke M
182. lmelior
@bkaul 170

Well stated, though in my post I didn't mean to imply that Good is so rigidly defined by the Creator's will (I strongly oppose any such black-and-white approaches to pretty much any argument), but rather the reader's own sense of morality. If you notice I stood with R. Fife who explicitly argued on the side of moral relativism. Ignoring the positive outcome of a particular deed based on the perpetrator's assumed motivations seems awfully foolish to me. I say motivations as plural because "for my own ends" and "for the greater good" aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

Further, the concept of the Creator's will is just an imaginary idea. It is just a placeholder for what we, the readers, believe the Creator's will is based on the story alone. It is never defined or revealed to any of the characters, so it is not difficult to imagine Elaida believing she was carrying out the Creator's will. Or the Seanchan. The Dark One's minions and I believe Fain as well firmly believe that they are evil. This is where fantasy makes it nice and easy for us, because as we all know here in real life, people who we believe are evil (Hitler, for an obvious example) almost never themselves believe they are.
AJ MacPherson
183. Mackey62
Ok, was trying to stay out of this but I just can't.

R.Fife @ 180 - The government no longer does what is right, they do what will get them re-elected. The government in America started with the premise of protection for the 10% minority not the 90% majority. That was the basis of the government, be it religious freedom, freedom of speech what have you. Now, we don't always get it right, (insert every example you can think of) but that is the foundation. And the foundation is cracked. Sorry, had to get that out and hopefully can get into the bunker.

Think I still smell some funk, Pass to the left?
John Fitzingo
184. Xandar01
@ 65. CalaLily

Wow, I totally had a different mind picture of what a stole was, something like a very narrow cape I guess.

Love the mad paining skillz, yo! ;) I wonder how my mind will picture it next time I read it?
Richard Fife
185. R.Fife
The founders tried for something noble for the protection of the minority as a means to "appease all the people all the time". But while they did try to work in minority protection, it was still a subclause to majority rule. The 10% should never oppress the 90%, the 90% just should not oppress the 10% too much.
Kurt Lorey
186. Shimrod
I really have appreciated all the back and forth about Good/Evil vs. relativism. Here, I had thought that I had it all worked out, and then some new and cogent arguments appear.

One thought, lannis (IIRC) said something about Hitler thinking he was doing good in Germany. Something is nagging the back of my mind that Hitler thought he was leading Germany (and Germans) to their fate. What he thought that fate was remains debatable, I believe. In fact, his opinion might have changed between 1922 and 1945 about what that fate might be.

If Good and Evil do exist in this world, I really think that most of us never experience it first hand. So, either one disbelieves lacking evidence, or one believes because of some faith.

Maybe the debate should be couched in different terms? Too complex for me to blithely develop arguments this late in my day.

But, thanks for making me think about it!
sandi vogel
187. sinfulcashew
"Love the mad paining skillz, yo! ;) I wonder how my mind will picture it next time I read it? "

Yo? What are mad paining skillz?

188. CalaLily
1. an ecclesiastical vestment consisting of a narrow strip of silk or other material worn over the shoulders or, by deacons, over the left shoulder only, and arranged to hang down in front to the knee or below."

Courtesy of ^__^

Annnd, a stole the Pope wears. link
Lannis .
189. Lannis
Shimrod @ 186: ACK, NO! T'wasn't me... I try not to invoke the H word--too sticky, and ever since I took a course on the Holocaust in university, I want to spew when I think about Hitler. Wouldn't want to refunk the bunker--just redecorated with leather recliners... (anybody need some lawn chairs?)

It was actually sinfulcashew @ 155 who made the comment about Hitler thinking he was doing good.
190. CalaLily
"I know. Forgiveness! Something I believe in strongly!"

I believe that you have to repent to be forgiven. :) You have to admit what you did was wrong and be truthfully, honestly ashamed of whatever it is that you did.

That's not to say that the person -doing- the forgiving doesn't actually forgive the person who wronged them before they repent, but there still has to be some discomfort and some redress. As Sheriam says, if everyone who did something wrong did something good and considered the scales balanced, the world would be in chaos. Which is why Ny and El got to scrub pots even after Ny Healed Siuan and Leane and El made some nifty ter'angreal.
191. alreadymadwantsbackinsweattent
thewindrose @175
You're not the only one doing this at work (and being mistaken for insane while doing it).

And that Deathwatch general that found DoTNM was Furyk Karede. He's a widower, conveniently enough.
Luke M
192. lmelior
Godwin's Law: as any threaded online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler or the Nazis approaches 1.

Hey, can't avoid the law forever.
193. longtimefan
Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, man I am so tired of Hitler hogging all the limelight. Pol Pot was appalling in his own way as was Edi Amin. There is the whole Bosnia/Serbia issue but no one every brings that up.

always with the Hitler. For someone that no one likes he sure gets talked up alot.
Tess Laird
194. thewindrose
And alreadymad wins a night in the sweat tent w/o Elaida for getting the general correct - Furyk Karede. It was at the tip of my tongue, no good RJ books at work, just finance and economics! And not enough time to look it up online.
Berelain said she might pop in for a spell though, IIRC you have no problem with her;)
What - its a sweat tent for anyone who goes there!
Galen Brinn
195. GatheringStorm
You forgot Joseph Stalin, longtimefan: "The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic"
Jason Deshaies
196. darxbane
You had to bring up Iraq. Is rescuing people from a genocidal maniac morally wrong? A man who sent money to the families of suicide bombers? We had more cause to send troops to Iraq than we did Mogadeshu or Kosovo. Were those morally wrong as well? How many mass graves need to be discovered before we say enough? What about invading Germany during WW2? Hussein violated 17 Resolutions (violations which included shooting at our jets that were protecting Kuwait and the Kurds in Northern Iraq from attack).
197. CalaLily
darxbane: Just let it go, hun. People who think we're wrong to be over there aren't going to change their mind, no matter WHAT you say to them.

I, for one, stand with Israel.


back to WoT. :D

Re: Karede's marriage status - ...I thought the Death Watch Guard were the personal property of the Empress and assigned to protect the Royal family. I didn't know they could get married. =o I mean, I knew Karede had a son who died in a fire, but I didn't realize that Seanchan slaves got to have, like, recognized binding relationships.
Blake Engholm
198. UncrownedKing
What happen to WOT talk....*Ducks**MustNotFear*Or talk about sci-fi fantasy?

For instance, reading Dune again while fresh out of my coompleted WOT reread. It is so cool to see how RJ was influenced by Frank (Well I hope he read Dune and was influnced, otherwise its a creepy, eerie coincidence). There are some definant simliarities approach to the Pattern/web of life and the approach to magic.

Very cool the way that RJ draws from Herbert's world but adds so much to it. He takes Herbert's idea and dives so much deeper into it. Adding intricacys (sp?) and such to the ideas.

Sorry I'm pumped I'm noticing things......

AJ MacPherson
199. Mackey62
CalaLily @ 197

Doesn't matter if he can marry her. Rand is braking all oaths and what not. Once he lays his eye on her, his first reaction will be "Looks better than an Ogier" followed by "Nice full head of hair."

Plus once she is healed, you know he will not hesitate to leash her if she steps out of line again. :P

(Runs for cover)
Richard Fife
200. R.Fife
Funny thing with Iraq: if we had done it Colin Powell style, with massive international backing and not like a dick superpower, I'd be all for it. Also, notice I quoted morally in my reference to Iraq. Funny a moral relativist talking about the morality of nation-state level conflict. How I really see it:

We invaded, no other nation-state can stop us, and our own public is more or less backing the current motion. I think the Iraq invasion will be vendicated by history, even if it was poorly executed in the present. Why? Because we were/are/will-be the "winners", and we write the history.

Also, Godwin's law is the very reason I went to Napolean and Charlemagne instead of ... him. Doesn't the ammendum also say that whoever brought up ... him automatically "loses" the argument?
201. CalaLily
Mackey: xD I have NO idea what you're talking about.

I was talking about how weird it is for an Empress to demand full loyalty from her guards yet allow them to marry, especially since they're slaves. Karede -was- married at one point. Why was his relationship with a particular woman one strong enough to warrant marriage and, in some small way, deter his undying loyalty to the Empire and the Empress?

I mean, if the Death Watch Guards are all like "RRRR, I live and die for the Empress!" then I didn't think that marriage would really -be- a consideration for them. Like, a home life would not be a priority. Am I being clear? x.x
Captain Hammer
202. Randalator
lmelior @192

*rolls eyes*

Now that killed the goat. Everything was going fine and everybody was discussing happily. Then you waltz in with your Godwin's law and all and rain on our parade.

You're just like that strange little guy with the funny clothes and that weird moustache. You know, he was incomprehensible most of the time and had a thing for movies. What's his name...? Man, my memory is bad. Strange gestures...born in April 1889...



Chaplin. That's the guy. You're just like Chaplin.

R.Fife @200

Also, Godwin's law is the very reason I went to Napolean and Charlemagne instead of ... him. Doesn't the ammendum also say that whoever brought up ... him automatically "loses" the argument?

This corollary to Godwin's law only applies when Hitler or national socialism is used arbitrarily or as a comparison (read: insult) for other participants of the discussion or their argued points respectively.

Thus the "You lose!"...

Godwin's Law itself only states that in any given discussion on the usenet/internet if long enough at some point someone will make a Nazi/Hitler comparison or reference. As wikipedia puts it: "It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued, that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.

A discussion about the nature of Good and Evil is quite appropriate for such comparisons/references. So Godwin's Law was obviously invoked but not the corollary...
AJ MacPherson
203. Mackey62
Sorry, only skimmed the post b/c I am at work and trying not to get caught, but this is too addictive.

I beg for forgiveness.
204. ewells
I know that this started way back @post 5, but Gary Oldman is my Fain (half the character from The Fifth Element and half Dracula.) John Malkovich is my Ishamael.
Lannis .
205. Lannis
Randalator @ 202: Now that killed the goat. BAHAHAHahahahaha!

And just because R.Fife has that schnazzy yellow shawl doesn't mean you have to compare him to Chaplin. XD

EDIT: Whoops! It was lmelior you were talking about...

Well, now that I've mentioned it... R.Fife does have that schnazzy shawl... ;)
206. Damplander
Hi, I hate it when it's the next day when I get to read this. I didn't have time to read everyone's discussion but wanted to respond with my take on the Forsaken Symposium for Evil Plotting(love that by the way Leigh:)).

I think there is another reason here on the part of RJ besides the whole deciding that the series was going to be much large and grander.

I agree that in the first three in particular the Forsaken and definely Ishamael are the dark mysterious evil one/ones. It is pointed out that Ishamael had purposely pretended to be/deluded himself that he was the Dark One. And the other Forsaken are all unknown boogey men.

But with this book several have been killed by Rand and team, and the aura of really powerful scary bad guys was waning by this point. This is the final end to that part at least for the Forsaken, as we definately begin to see them as petty 'human' sources of evil that fight and backstab amongst themselves as much as against the forces of good.

I think this letting us seem them more as characters was done as a device to let us begin to see and fear the real Dark One. Who from this point on begins to exert more and more control over his Forsaken and his Darkfriends in general.

Part of showing us this is to show how normal and thus not really big deal it is to defeat the human Forsaken as compared to really trying to defeat the actual Dark One. It is after this point that we see the Dark One restoring the non-balefired Forsaken and tying them tightly to his plan not their own individual plans.

With the Forsaken reduced to more normal characters in the flow we follow them as the go to Shoyal Ghoal and actually speak with the true Dark One. And see the continuing strengthen of the Dark One through the Shadar Horan his Myrdraal avatar.

I'm not sure it works completetly as it might be almost to subtle but this definitely seems to me to be RJ plan here.
Sydo Zandstra
207. Fiddler

For instance, reading Dune again while fresh out of my coompleted WOT reread. It is so cool to see how RJ was influenced by Frank (Well I hope he read Dune and was influnced, otherwise its a creepy, eerie coincidence). There are some definant simliarities approach to the Pattern/web of life and the approach to magic.

Very cool the way that RJ draws from Herbert's world but adds so much to it. He takes Herbert's idea and dives so much deeper into it. Adding intricacys (sp?) and such to the ideas.

Sorry to burst your bubble ;)

RJ and Frank Herbert tapped from the same source

Taken from The old WotFAQ

Ofer Nave
208. odigity
All you insane pro-war people are really bringing me down. So I'll talk about Godwin's Law instead.

Godwin's Law is funny, because using Hitler/Nazis as an analogy or comparison is useful and therefore common. But strictly speaking, Godwin's Law is not at all clever. It's true not just about Hitler, but about everything:

"As any threaded online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving peanuts or chocolate approaches 1."

Equally true.
209. longtimefan
Are we comparing Hitler to Chocolate now?

or the peanuts in chocolate?

or something that may look like chocolate and peanuts but is not anything like either.

Hopefully there is a new post tomorrow for Chapters 2 and 3 or this will go to 900 comments by Monday. :)
sandi vogel
210. sinfulcashew
Ooooo, I love reeses, but especially Dark chocolate w/peanuts.

And I knew nothing about any Godwins Law.
Really sorry I broke it.
But whom else can you quickly reference that is so well known?
(refering to unnamed reference from above)
Captain Hammer
211. Randalator
odigity @208

Godwin's Law is funny, because using Hitler/Nazis as an analogy or comparison is useful and therefore common. But strictly speaking, Godwin's Law is not at all clever. It's true not just about Hitler, but about everything:

"As any threaded online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving peanuts or chocolate approaches 1."

Godwin's is not an attempt at cleverness or humor. It tries to make users more sensitive for unnecessary uses of Hitler/Nazi comparisons. "You're a fascist dick because you don't agree with me that m&m's are too colorful!" or "By eating meat you're participating in the second Holocaust!" are examples of what Godwin's Law and the first corollary try to prevent.

If everyone and everything gets a Nazi comment sooner or later the whole comparison/reference loses its impact even when it is actually appropriate.

So by stating the law Godwin tried to make people aware of the overuse of nazi comparisons and to rethink any use oneself might make.
213. Valan
Haven't read all the comments yet but I have little time at work 'cause I've got a show tonight.
Anyone from Fort Worth TX?? Bent Lounge Sundance Square 10 PM Get Well (Funk/Hip-Hop, Rock)!!!

Doubt it, but shameless advertising is a time-honored tradition in local music


Birgette @ 112


But quite honestly I've literally never heard of not believing in good and evil. It doesn't coincide with religious belief for me. Yeah Satan's evil if you believe in that but so is Hitler and Charles Manson. I have trouble coming up with a ultimate good real-life character though...

@R. Fife

Agree with Gage Creed that Fain is still %100 evil just like Mashadar and Shadar Logoth, just different than DO evil. I don't have Eye of the World with me but I think Moraine says something to back this up.

@ Fiddler 121

Even if Mat hasn't read the book the tone of Noal's speech is so blatant that I think Mat would have got it if he had been caring at the time and not lost in tDot9M eyes or whatever.

@ Naraoia 113

I totally dig the deus ex machina ending. I think if you re-read the novel it is excellently foreshadowed but to subtle to get on one read.

Peace Out Ya'll
Michael Catapano
214. hoping
No reason to be killing goats now, is there? :)
215. Freelancer

You commented:
I think Min finally gets to suck here tho. I forgot about the mooning over Rand, and forgetting the fake names, and being a simpering tard.

I can't agree. She is interested in Rand, for two significant reasons, but she isn't mooning over him.
1) The visions around our hero group is consistent, the sparks/shadow conflict.
2) The first time she saw something concerning herself, as one of the women to share Rand.

Simpering, Min? I don't see it. She never calls him by his right name, doesn't show him any undue respect or deference, so what actions are simpering?

She didn't forget the fake names, she doesn't take them seriously. She doesn't see what's happening yet as the Global War on Shadow(TM), just as she tells Rand she thinks Moiraine's description of what she does is "too grand".
Alice Arneson
216. Wetlandernw
Yuck. I hate it when the discussions degenerate into pointless debates over politics or religion. Pointless, I say, because of the old but true saying:
A man convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still

In the right setting, I don't mind said debates, but that's when people are willing to see the validity of someone else's perspective, and preferably involves comfortable chairs, good drinks and lots of time.

So... though I have very strong opinions on the subjects being debated, I am NOT going there!

I will make another comment on more relevant stuff in a few minutes. Just now I need to get some fresh air. Talk about Elaida being anal-retentive!
Sydo Zandstra
217. Fiddler
Even if Mat hasn't read the book the tone of Noal's speech is so blatant that I think Mat would have got it if he had been caring at the time and not lost in tDot9M eyes or whatever.

You said it, he doesn't care.

Mat should have been able to pick up the signs that Egwene really was the new Amyrlin when he arrived at Salidar as well, since the signs were obvious at the time. Yet he thought Egwene was playing.

Mat has a blind spot in this area. But I don't think Tuon's eyes had anything to do with it. Mat's just the type to get lost in his thoughts, as we have seen in earlier books. I think that's part of why is so much liked. The same goes for Nynaeve (who is more generally liked than most people think).
Richard Fife
218. R.Fife
Valan: Ghandi, Sidarhta Gatoma (Buddha), Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, Charlemagne, Jesus of Nazarth (I admit he was real man as per Roman Record, and he had some good things to say a la Jeffersonian Bible). All pretty good all-around people. Also, sadly, our society doesn't exactly go out of its way to point out anti-Charles Mansons.

Anyway, just because I don't believe in objective (or absolute) good and evil does not mean I don't recognize my own "enlightened" "appetites". I see that it is a good and pleasurable thing for me to help people because I have a socially programmed response to derive enjoyment from it. Go go social programming. I also like that Coke commerical ala Grand Theft Auto about helping people out and it infecting everyone to help.

Anyway, I still find it hard to think of Fain as pure evil, even Shadar Logath, since they still did technically oppose the Dark One. As to using Moiraine (or any Aes Sedai) as a point of fact... um... that makes the goat laugh its ass off, thus killing it.
Jay Dauro
219. J.Dauro
Valen @213

And others.

Can we please be careful with the Warbreaker spoilers? So far nobody has gone too far, and I do appreciate it.

Yes, I know that it is available for free at the website. But I really want to get it in the book form to read first (then I may go back to follow the early versions.) And I have ordered a copy to arrive on the release date.
sandi vogel
220. sinfulcashew
Wetlander (re:above)
"A man convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still"

Good, but didn't know we were trying to change minds here, or would 'evangelizing' be a good interpretation?

I think I will go crochet a stole while you guys ruminate over all these wonderful opinions.

Later, if I can stay away?
Sydo Zandstra
221. Fiddler

Anyway, I still find it hard to think of Fain as pure evil, even Shadar Logath, since they still did technically oppose the Dark One.

From reading this, I am guessing you think there can be only one source of (pure) evil.

I haven't been checking the whole good/evil debate thoroughly. Just scanning the posts there. Lack of time and Snake Pit and all....

But: I'm curious why you think there is only one Source of Pure Evil.

The main difference between the Dark One and Aridhol-Champion-Fain is in motivation and intention. Fain wants to beat the DO with his own weapons, while the DO wants to recreate the Pattern in his own designs.

But in their nature and the means they use to get their goals, both are pure evil.

That's how I see it.
222. Rand Al'Todd
RE: almuric@154 Freelancer@159

Abraham's sacrifice:

The issue was that God had made a covenant with Abraham related to his progeny when Abraham was "too old" to have any, then along came Issac.

The order to sacrifice Issac tests Abraham's faith in God that 1) if God orders it, it must be the right thing to do, no matter how seemingly evil, and 2) God will keep the covenant by providing an alternate heir to replace Issac.

Abraham went to the alter fully expecting to kill his son, in obedience to God's expressed will.
Any other interpretation denies that faith. Abraham may have had hope in another outcome, but he passed the test because he had faith that doing God's will was more important than any other consideration.

This brings up the problem with rfife's options (summarized by Imelior@160 as):
1. Good (Creator's Will) - Rand, Aes Sedai, et al.
2. Evil (DO's Will) - DO, Forsaken, Myrddraal, Slayer, et al.
3. Evil (against DO's Will) - Fain/Mordeth, Aridhol
4. Good (against Creator's Will) - Galad, Whitecloaks,

NONE OF THESE ARE TRULY POSSIBLE. Primarily because we have no absolute knowledge of the Creator's will.

If you came from an obscure tribe of Cannibals, and were raised that you should put missionaries in the pot to feed the tribe, then you sin if you help one escape.

No matter what the source of your religious beliefs (Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan, Budist, etc.) they are BELIEFs. The BEST any individual can do it to act based on what he/she THINKS is the Creator's will.

What R.Fife has described is the choice to TRY to perform according to your best perception of (your) God's will or to intentionally rebel (deviate from that will).

Thus Evil or Sin is to knowingly do an act that you believe is against the Creator's wishes (or to fail to do an act that you believe is in the Creator's wish).

Rand's problem, especially in the early books, is he does not have any idea HOW to do the Creator's will - and he presumes that the Creator's will matches that of the Aiel Wise Ones - Save as many as possible. He agonizes that he can't save them all.
Alice Arneson
223. Wetlandernw
On stoles... My assumptions were probably based on the stoles we wore for various choirs and for honor grads. They were always about 4-6 inches wide, some widened at the end, some had embroidery on one or both ends. They were inevitably worn around the neck, coming forward over the shoulders, with the ends hanging to about mid-thigh. So I always assumed the Amyrlin's stole had seven stripes the full length of the stole and was maybe as much as 8 inches wide. Probably 7. A bit like Sarcastro's drawings though I have trouble seeing all 7 colors in those. Too many green tones. Maybe it's my viewer.

On Morgase... I always hate reading this plot line, though I always do it anyway. As has been said, she totally gets shafted from this point on. I hope for a better ending for her. It just about makes me sick to read sometimes. I think I've concluded (for myself) that a lot of her questionable (!!) behavior in upcoming events is because her mind was messed up so badly by all that Compulsion. One definitely gets the impression that Rahvin didn't mind getting a bit heavy-handed with it, especially on someone with sufficient personal strength to keep fighting it even when they don't know its there. IIRC, one of the other Forsaken sneers a bit at Graendal for Compelling her pets to the point of mindlessness, and I keep thinking that maybe what Rahvin has done, while not going that far, has had some longer-term effect than those who take pride in their skillful minimalist usage. Not sure what point I'm making... just rambling. And convincing myself that Morgase's descent from "great queen" to "complete fool with flashes of rationality" was the result of Compulsion rather than RJ casually rewriting the character for plot usefulness. It always bugged me that her personality and decision-making were so abysmal in the upcoming books, when she'd been written as clever, strong and politically astute for the previous books. But if it's a side effect... that I can cope with. I guess I'd rather hate Rahvin for what he did to her than deal with more eye-rolling stupidity a la Elaida.

On the verb form of Compulsion... I don't actually recall RJ using the verb form, other than to say someone "used Compulsion" on someone, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that if he ever did he used Compel rather than Compulse. For one thing, he was a good writer and knew his own language, in which "compulse" is not a word and "compel" is the relevant verb. For another thing, if you look at the list of Talents, he never made up a single bizarre word when a normal word already existed. Inevitably, he simply capitalized the term when he wanted it understood as a use of the Power. (See above use of Talent and Power.) He could have someone travel on a horse for a few days, or Travel the same distance in a few seconds. A broken bone might be set and healed in a few weeks, or it might be Healed in a few seconds. Etc., etc., etc. I've given this lecture before. And if people who should know their language better insist on making up silly words, I'll probably give it again. I mean, really, if you don't respect the language, fine, but you could at least respect the pattern given by the author.

Oh, and any time I read the bit Leigh quoted from Elaida, about "does anyone believe he will go willingly to his prophecied death at SG?" I just want to smack her. Repeatedly. If she actually took the time to find out what he was doing, she'd know he was planning exactly that. Instead, (as has been said) she's so full of her own assumptions that she's constitutionally incapable of questioning them. Definitely anal-retentive.
Richard Fife
224. R.Fife
Al'Todd@222: The above description you credit to me is for "within the world of WoT". Also, I think Rand, as the "Light's Champion" is a fair-to-middling approx of "Creator's Will". Also, I never said the AS follow Creator's will ;)

Although, in the real world, I agree, it is all a matter of what "the majority" agree is right and good. Used to be "good" to believe screaming teenage girls and hang people that were social outcasts/misfits. Glad we got past that.
Alice Arneson
225. Wetlandernw
Hey, I've got to at least be in the running for "longest post on this thread." Wheee!

edit: No, I see Freelancer is well ahead of me up there at 60- or 70-something, and sarcastro at 72 has us both whupped. Well, I tried. Maybe I should have combined my two posts... ;)
Thomas Keith
226. insectoid
Wow...over 200 already. Was 111 last night...

Anyway, my two cents:

GRRRR. Whenever I read about her I almost get the urge to hit something.

On the stole:
Looks better with lengthwise stripes. 'Nuff said.

Forsaken Symposium of Evil Plotting:
I think it's cool to see more of the villains once in a while. (I actually like the "Forsaken Coffee Hour" better, but that isn't till later.)

On sex as a weapon:
I'm not touching this, slippery slope that it is. I do like Leane's character, though. Siuan too. :)

I really feel sorry for her. She's pretty much the most abused character in the series.

I think only R.Fife's cuendillar bunker could save her from the rebels' wrath...

See what I mean? She's already thought of it!

Louise Fletcher...ooh. Creepy and sneaky at once!

Oh NOOO don't go there again...


John Fitzingo
227. Xandar01
@17 Shimrod and 108 gagecreedlives

I was see Wuv as coming from Princess Bride

When Buttercup is about to get married and the priest starts out "WUV, Twue Wuv..."
228. Rand Al'Todd

I personally believe the majority is just as likely (probably MORE likely) to miss the boat on Right/Wrong/Good/Evil than any single individual.

I believe that there is a God, and therefore is an absolute Right/Wrong - but every person has their own understanding of that God. There are too many different interpretations for anyone to think that a vote among humans of which is correct bears any resemblance to Truth. Thus FAITH (the hope that I am right and some other SOB is wrong).

Blind faith (like Elaida's) just assumes that you are the one that is 100% correct, without considering the option that some other person might have at least part of the right answer. (Thus doing evil while trying to do the Creator's Will, as you understand it.)

Rand, Light's Champion, still has to hope not only that he is doing the Creator's will in the big picture i.e. win against the DO, but also in as many of the details as possible - again to save as many as possible in the process. And it would be nice if the Creator's Will includes a little happiness for one Rand Al'Thor after TG is over.

I think we agree that Fain is doing evil by any interpretation as he is going against the Creator's will AND consciously opposing his 'god', the DO.
Alice Arneson
229. Wetlandernw
Rand Al'Todd @181 (since you mentioned it)

Just in case you're actually curious, here's RJ: "I am Episcopalian, though rather High Church." So I expect he was pretty familiar with formal vestments in both Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches.

230. CalaLily
I distinctly remember reading the word "Compelled" in my reread of Crossroads of Twilight. I must now search the 130 pages that make up Egwene's section of that book until I find it.

Re: the Creator's Will/Good and Evil: Myself, I believe in a just, righteous God, in whom there is all Good. I believe that man remembers how he was Good from before the Fall and tries to live up to it, but since mankind is now in a corrupted form, separated from that Good, that mankind is essentially Evil. The only way to be truly "Good" is to re-establish the relationship with God, but since man cannot form the link , God sent a mediator to take the punishment for his transgression so that, in accepting that we are without hope if we lack this connection, we could be reunited with our Creator. :)

In summary: Mankind is bad, and only God is Good. Without God, we have no hope of shedding our natural Evil instincts. God did not create evil, evil is simply a lack of God.

Take it or leave it. x3 I'm not seeking an argument, just laying out what I believe to be true.
231. CalaLily
*headdesk* I totally said "he are" in there. I had all of the "he's" as "our" and "we", and when I changed it I guess I missed one. x.o
232. longtimefan
The problem with believing in a god, any god is that it limits how far a person is able to follow a logical progression.

I stopped seeing my optometrist because she told me that her pursuit of science led her to believe that something as complicated as the eye could not have evolved but must have been made. I realized then that there would be a limit on how far she would go to fix any medical issues I might have. At some point hands would go up in dismissal and not further attempts would be made to solve the problem.

The fear of death causes people to believe all manner of things because they want what is beneficial to be possible even at the point of death. Nothing is not beneficial. Afterlife is beneficial. Before anyone makes the downstairs afterlife mention I have not met anyone who seriously believes in its existence as being a possibility for themselves. It is usually a possibility for others.

Side note. Raised Catholic and always had a problem with the Lucifer story since the Gift god gave mankind was free will meaning that Angels as the servants of god had no free will. If they had no free will how did Lucifer rebel?

Also I find the statement that "Mankind is bad" offensive so i am not going to be very sensitive about anyone's feelings who says something so stupid.

There is no such thing as good or evil. It is just personal perception based on benefit or detriment to the individual applying the moniker. The rest of the universe just is and there is a lot more of that than there is people
Alice Arneson
233. Wetlandernw

Thanks. For both paragraphs. Well done.
234. alreadymadwithCompelling
Calalily @230
I'm guessing Compelled came up when the discussion was about Rand and the dragonsworn sisters. Not quite sure though.
Alice Arneson
235. Wetlandernw
232. longtimefan

At least CalaLily had the courtesy to say "I believe" and refrained from calling other people's comments "stupid" just because they don't agree with her belief.

And for myself, if I were to call a comment stupid, it might just be "The problem with believing in a god, any god is that it limits how far a person is able to follow a logical progression." Whoo! Talk about unsubstantiated statements....
Richard Fife
236. R.Fife
Odd for me to say this, but lets keep discussion in WoT and not real life. In WoT, the Creator exists, as do the DO. Can't argue that, and from them flow good and evil. Now, if the creator used "evolutionary creationism" all well and good, not really a point for our discussion.

But yeah, keep it in WoT, if we can. Small asides on personally belief, sure, but I promise no one is rushing out to convert cause of any of our arguments.
237. RobMRobM
@236. Agreed. Let's pick something less controversial, such as Perrin spanking the heck out of Faile and enjoying it. ;-)
Lannis .
238. Lannis
Moving right along...

Just noticed we're missing some of our usual suspects... Siuanfan came to mind especially, seeing how, you know, one of the chapters in question features... um... Siuan.

I guess some folks have other things occupying their time... s'a rainy ugly night over here.

(I know, leave it to the Canadian to switch the topic to weather...) XD
lanyo lanyo
239. lanyo
About Min again. I'll agree, simpering is strong. However, let's pretend you can smell peanuts no matter how they're prepared/masked in food. Trivial, silly skill. But then some dumb kid you meet, happens to be Really Important (as told you by other Important Folk) and he's kinda allergic to peanuts, not life-threatening.
Now, you're out and about with a deposed World Leader, who has a plan of action, and all you can think of is the dumb kid. Not just because you're the one to save him from peanuts, but because you dig him. Even if it's reluctantly.
And when I read it, she sounds twitterpated, no matter how much she tries to argue it out with herself.
Roger Powell
240. forkroot
Yes, yes - back to WoT matters...

As an ardent admirer of Leane, I've always wondered why we never get a POV from her. A large number of less important characters get their brief time in the POV seat, but it's hard to argue that there is a more important character than Leane who doesn't get at least one POV.

(Note: I'm treating New Spring as part of the canon, so that means we get a POV from Lan.)

It's about 99.99% sure that she walks in the light - it's just impossible to square her behavior over all the books with any secret dark agenda. So it's not like RJ had to hide her thoughts. I think it may just be "one of those things".

Maybe I should petition Brandon Sanderson to give her a POV in one of the upcoming books.
241. alreadymadwithreligiontalk
I've never felt strongly for Min. The "help" she gives Rand is over-rated. And so far all I can see her do now is give Cadsuane insights into Rand's character, which is again, of dubious value.
In fact there are times she just plain gets in the way. I've had a greater opinion of Leane, or even the BA hunters.

Re: talking religion
It's a good thing that topic's been dropped. I hate talking about religion. It generally devolves into the believers chiding the unbelievers for not having faith, and the unbelievers insisting that is the whole point of not believing. That's before the insults fly.
Alice Arneson
242. Wetlandernw
So I thought I'd go back and read Leigh's post again to refresh my memory and give me something else to think about. I just noticed something in Elaida's POV (lifted out of context here). "...fear could and must be controlled. Control was all."

Control was all. Yup, that just about sums up Elaida. Prime control freak right here.

Elaida and Fain! Two foul tastes that taste foul together! Blah.
Totally agree, Leigh. Foul squared. Urgh.

Assuming men are all slobbering troglodyte horndogs helplessly enslaved to their baser impulses, and women are all eeevil backstabbing succubi who exist solely to lead said poor helpless troglodytes into temptation, is an eye-rollingly medieval view of sexuality that is insulting to both genders, and it lets far too many assholes, both male and female, off the hook for various idiotic and/or appalling behaviors.
Cracked me up even as I had to note that it's not at all a medieval view, speaking literally. More of a gnostic view, perhaps. But terrifically well said, anyway. "Slobbering troglodyte horndogs" indeed. Still chuckling even though I read it yesterday morning. Hooo.
John Massey
243. subwoofer
Let's get ready to Rumble

Boy can I unload here, somebody mentioned Bosnia/Serbia, and I personally served in UNPROFOR- the Canadian detachement so that is a subject I could rival some posters on.

But wetlandernw tactfully took the right path and so will I. This is not the forum for such discussion. This is an escapist pursuit away from crashing markets, job loss and world recession.

@sinful 157- to edit your post- you are registered so you can- after you post, by your avatar is 3 tabs- flag, bookmark, edit. Click on "edit" while you are logged in to edit your post.

@Calalily 230- thank you. That took courage to step out and declare your faith and beliefs.

@R.Fife- you must of used your yellow shawl powers to clean the bunker. Was going to say that it is going to take Sadin/Saidar, and maybe the CK to clean that mess out.-Cleanse the taint of Elaida. Got my decoder ring. And Nachos.

Elaida- yup, she's a baddie, but in the next little bit we will be reminded of Galina Casban and what a major ho-bag she is. Alviarin Friedhen was the cow that gave Rand a hard time when he was in Fal Dara. There is enough poopieness to go around. Elaida is just the douche that funked up the bunker.
Edit do you believe in magic?
244. longtimefan
Whole other tangent of in WoT Good/Evil. I will not refer to any outside WoT beliefs.

The Creator is that which creates. Invoked for protection against harm with big shielding hands. So far in the books there is only one questionable moment where the Creator may have shown direct action in the first book were the incident at Tarwin's Gap occurs while Rand is fighting for the Sadin in the Eye of the World. (mind referencing here so may be incorrect location) Generally a hands off kind of entity. The Dark One is generally thought of as Evil and that evil is focused on destruction. Not as hands off but pretty limited by the seal. That which is tainted by the Dark One is Evil by development not by inherent nature. Even Trollocs and Fades are offspring of previously Creator based materials which were warped by a person for the purpose of destruction. This is not the same as being the essence of destruction such as the Dark One.

As two characters from the story for examples of applied ideas of good and evil there is Moiraine and Alvarian.

On the Good side Moiraine is trying to preserve as much as she can. (aside from trollocs, darkhounds and forsaken) and exhibits in a way an advanced good when she starts to let Rand do what he needs to do. Allowing him to grow and live as he will only offering protection and occasional suggestions. It is difficult for her but it increases her reputation with Rand and with most readers.

Alvarian on the other hand exhibits destructive behaviors constantly. She works to destroy the unity in the tower, the authority of two Amarylins and she wants to and does kill people that interfere with her plans. Her plans pretty much revolve around destruction. Even to destroy the secret of Messena's identity.

Eladia is branded by some as evil and I would say that it may stem from the destructive behaviors she exhibits in the story. There is very little that shows her creating other than her knitting and the taller tower.

Fain is constant destruction and while his evil is not 100 percent Dark One or Shadar Logoth each has its own destructive nature. His only motivation in the storyline is to destroy be it Rand or his connection to the Dark One. (i do not think the story indicated that he was going to try to destroy the Dark One, just the connection)

"Good" people in the story generally stay on the keeping things alive and trying to create better situations. I am surprised Elayne has not made a coin belt TerAngrel to help with all the coin dispensing she does for 4 books straight.

The grey areas do exist. It is not all creation and all destruction but generally the patterns more to one side than the other depending on the character's alignment.

Essentially it looks to me that the Creator side will always win because creation can bear a little destruction here and there but if the Dark side were to win there is no interest in creation and would eventually just destroy itself out of existence.

Evil has no long term game plan.
John Massey
245. subwoofer
We could always discuss chaos theory.

Just sh*! disturbin'.

Can't take the high road all the time.

Go light!
Brian Kaul
246. bkaul
Imelior#182: Ah, gotcha. While I agree that the Creator's Will is not revealed explicitly, I think we can still classify things one of two ways: Good (pro-Light), Evil (pro-Dark), and "Gray" (pro-self/etc.), or Good (pro-Light) and Evil (pro-Dark + pro-self/etc.). I don't see a way to get a fourth category into the mix, since I think the characters' motives are important in determining their "goodness" ... though certainly we cannot know all their motives and thus cannot reliably classify them as such. Classifying by results is easier, but says less about the actual characters, I think.

I didn't realize that Seanchan slaves got to have, like, recognized binding relationships.

If their version of slavery is more like first century Roman Empire than 19th century America, that makes sense. Slaves then lacked the freedom to move away from the city their master had them in until they'd worked for him long enough to save enough money to buy their freedom, but they could own property, marry, etc. to a much greater degree than we would think of. It was a less permanent arrangement as well, often more of an indentured servitude, or a means of social advancement. If RJ modeled his Seanchan slavery on something more along those lines than the chattel form we had here, then it would not be surprising at all.

@230: I completely agree about the definition and source of morality IRL, though Randland seems to trend a bit more towards Dualism than our own.
Ofer Nave
247. odigity
Chaos theory is all flash. Good for Jurassic Park, not much else.

Now, complexity theory...
Brian Kaul
248. bkaul
subwoofer@245: Chaos theory is fun. I get to play with it a little bit at work in analyzing deterministic patterns in time sequences of engine data.

Not sure how we can apply it to the good and evil argument except to say it implies that seemingly random events are likely to be actually determined by The Pattern. It'd certainly come into play when we talk about using the Power to change the weather though! :)

odigity@247: I assume he's using it in the broader sense to include nonlinear dynamical systems that are something short of chaotic, too. It's actually the lower order dynamics that we find more useful.
John Massey
250. subwoofer
meh... my own personal theory is that this blog is a mix of students an grandma's. Throw in the odd teacher,office types and day-traders for good measure. I am too far removed from my university days to care to passionately one way or another on the good/evil discussion. The reality of my life is that certain people, good/evil, should never of been given a license to drive. period. Beyond that, I pay way too much in taxes and the rest is duck soup. Net result, all of this plus fifty cents won't buy me a cup of coffee.

WoT has taken up my life since the nineties. It is an old friend that I revisit and associate the time frame when I first read the books. This is a common ground where I can get passionate about several thousand pages of type that is not Shakespeare. Maybe at some point this will be a credited course in school. Time will tell.
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so".

-Old Bill. fini.
sandi vogel
251. sinfulcashew
Way back up in the boonies (previous posts here), too far, as I am too lazy at the moment to look, there was a reference to 'that killed a goat'!
I noticed it once or twice before, but didn't think anything about it.
Then, as I am rereading KOD right after leaving here (before the crocheting), I came across Mat with some Sisters, etc.
He says 'that killed a goat' just before he proceeds to, oh how can I say this without starting a whole lotta stuff, S*@+k one of the offending sisters.
I found it interesting that these were so close together, in the same couple of paragraphs.
It made me LOL. No LOF, though.
It just caught me by surprise.
After all there are no coincidences.
sandi vogel
252. sinfulcashew
"There is nothing either good or bad,
but thinking makes it so".

I wish I had said that!
It would cut all the previous comments waaaaay short.

But it is the truth!
sandi vogel
253. sinfulcashew
"There is nothing either good or bad,
but thinking makes it so".

I wish I had said that!
It would cut all the previous comments waaaaay short.

But it is the truth!

By the way, should we be offended about the "students and grandma's" remark?
sandi vogel
254. sinfulcashew
Oops, I misunderstood the instructions for editing and wound up posting twice, one without edit and one with.
Oh well, NEXT time it will be so!
One that is!
craig thrift
255. gagecreedlives
Yeah Subwoofer should we be insulted?

I cant guarantee you much but I can guarantee you that I aint no student and Im 90% sure Im not a grandma.

But I am batshit crazy
James Jones
257. jamesedjones
Okey Dokey everyone. Read what is written. Don't make it up for your own arguments. Every single argument I have seen against what I wrote used some form of the term "compulsion". What I wrote was "controlled".

Characters in the WOT are "compelled" by magic, taking away their free agency. Those victims are not responsible for their actions.

In the books, and in real life, people are controlled by others. We are controlled by our government, and our parents when we are young. Does that mean we have no responsibility for our actions, that we can deny our own debt to society? Of course not. Anyone who would argue that is too incomprehensibly naive to judge anyone, even themselves. (And I am not saying that anyone has argued that.)

Let's use an example from some of the earlier posts. If a manager is faced with an attractive employee who uses his or her sexuality to obtain certain benefits, is the manager no longer responsible for their actions? Would giving favors to the employee be outside of their ability to resist? Absolutely not! They are responsible for their actions, however influenced. And if they give those benefits, then they are controlled/manipulated/directed.

I know this post is outside of my usual flippant remarks, but I could not believe how little folks cared about actually reading and attempting to understand what folks are saying.
258. Confutus
Leigh said:
Alteima: It took me the longest time to remember who the hell she is. Fortunately there are plenty of clues in the narrative, but I spent at least the first few paragraphs going “wait, wait, I’ll get it, hang on...”. Which is sad, considering I read TDR, what, less than two months ago?

That only gets worse from here on out. What with trying to distinguish Seaine from Seana, Shemerin from Selande, and Someshta from Sorilin, I'm all the time stumbling across minor characters who are suddenly doing Important Things and wondering Who the hell Is this and Where did SHE come from? (Or he, as the case may be). With a cast of hundreds, it's no wonder it's taking a research staff and three books for poor Brandon to wind up all the Mysterious Dastardly Plots without committing hideous amputation on the thing.
Alice Arneson
259. Wetlandernw
jamesedjones @ 257

hmmm... I see what you mean, but I also see why people misunderstood you. Reread your post from the perspective of someone who had just been thinking about Compulsion, and you'll probably see it too. If your wording had clearly excluded compulsion from the means of controlling someone, or if you'd used something like manipulation instead, it might not have gone down the wrong rabbit trail. But of course, once the first person reads it as implying Compulsion, everyone follows that trail and the original gets lost in the translation.

Given that, I'd have to say that while someone under Compulsion cannot be held responsible for his actions, someone who allows himself to be manipulated by means of his appetites (power, sex, money, whatever) into evil behavior is totally responsible for that behavior no matter who did the manipulating. Not sure about the uber-naive or the one put in fear for his life or the safety of loved ones. I think they would still bear the blame, but it might be mitigated by the circumstances. But Compulsion... No, I think Compulsion is totally the fault of the Compeller, not the Compelled.

Too late at night to be sure that's really where you were going, but that's my two bits worth.
260. RobMRobM
alreadymad@241 - What's up with the Min bashing? I don't get it. Her stressed out POV in this chapter is reasonable and fully understandable they are in big trouble and she knows it. And overall, putting aside her talent, she continually focuses on making Rand happy and human - both of which he needs desperately. She is also brave, resourceful and loyal to her friends throughout. All of the ENEMA women are written to have aggravating qualities at different points in the books - except for Min. She's one of my favorites in the entire series, with good reason.

Richard Fife
261. R.Fife
Rob: I think Min's "aggrevating quality" that isn't as apparent as others his her complete moon-calfing over Rand. Yes, she fights her odd, fate-driven obsession with this scruffy nerf herder with typical high-school tactics, in that she belittles him and pretends she is flirting with him to be vicious, ie her whole "I'll make you see me as a woman!" taunting. And Rand acts like a typical high school boy in that he thinks she is just taunting him and not actually flirting.

Ah, twenty-somethings having teenage frustrations, so kawaii.
James Jones
262. jamesedjones
259 Wetlander

Thanks for the post. It sounds like you caught exactly what I was trying to say (and my post was a little sleep deprived, too).
John Massey
263. subwoofer
Nope, no offense intended at all... would rather have people critique me about that comment than go on forever and a day about good/evil. Trying to change the topic. All that needed to be expressed was expressed. Time to move on. Conversation was getting very academic, and way too political, real and moot. Sides were being drawn. There were reports of small arms fire.

Coulda said something like why was the word "obey" taken out of marriage vows...

You guys are either posting at the crack of dawn like me or are in a different time zone.

WoT related, who you callin' scruffy? Min had a viewing of Rand... surprise for her, she was in it. And her viewing showed that she would be in love with a nerf herder(bet she didn't get that memo) and she would be sharing him with two others. That would be a shocker in the morning paper. She may of had conflicted emotions as a result. She's young and dealt with things the only way she knew how., wetlandernw, in previous posts, I seem to recall your grandmotherly reference coming to the fore.

edit.... sorry gagecreed, forgot about the crazies.
Lannis .
264. Lannis
K... in defense of subwoofer, the remark in question (#250) was my own personal theory is that this blog is a mix of students an grandma's.

But let's not forget his next sentence, please? Throw in the odd teacher,office types and day-traders for good measure.

And, unless I'm mistaken, his point was more that the good/evil argument was flogging the dead horse (sorry Bela), because the mix was full of people either recently educated (or currently being educated) in the philosophical differences between the two, or people who probably hadn't thought about it in a scholarly way in a long time, if ever.

There was no insult implied, the way I read it. I may be inferring more than necessary, but we'd have to ask subwoofer...


Or, you know, we could just do a poll of ages/education/occupations involved here... which I don't feel is necessary. Regardless of the three categories above, we all bring something interesting to the table, yes?

K... I've satisfied my inner peacekeeper for now...

C'mon new post! :)
Michael Catapano
265. hoping
Subwoofer, Lannis, et al

I also love discussion having to do with WOT. That's why I come here. On the other hand, philosphy, religion, politics and other first date discussion stuff, not so much love for.
When there is not much happening in the chapters, the discussion here veers off sometimes. I usually skim or skip the mara travel arc in my re-reads. Good stuff coming up tho.

I don't think the blog is largely students and grandmas, not that there is anything wrong with that. :) My guess is that the education and achievement level of WoTians is quite high.
Lannis .
266. Lannis
hoping @ 265: I agree with you on a couple of your points there... I love the fact that this forum can stir up some interesting (and challenging!) subject matters, and depending on the particular day (and subject) I'm all for it or not.

And I, too, have a sneaking suspicion that the average education/achievement level of our forum participants is rather impressive. I recall a certain discussion of genetics that, though I've found it intriguing in the past, was (I'm not shamed to admit) completely over my head, but fascinating nonetheless.

And for the record, I, myself, don't fit into any category mentioned by sub, but that's the fun. ;)
267. CalaLily
D8 Is Bela really dead?!
James Jones
268. jamesedjones
267 CalaLily

Of course not! Suian just took her to live on a farm outside of Tar Valon where she has plenty of room to run and play. :P

Just kidding. Suian makes reference to Bela in the first chapter in KOD, saying she wanted to wait for them to find her but didn't have time.
269. CalaLily
xD Oh okay. Phew. Had me worried there for a second. Can't kill one of WoT's greatest unsung heroines.
Richard Fife
270. R.Fife
For the poll: I'm 26, not quite a bachelors degree in Computer Science Engineering with minor in Business, and I support network operations for a large company.

Siuans travel arc was offbeat to the story, and annoyed me the first time I read it cause I was wondering "where is he going with this?" but now I find it an interesting study in the indominable spirit of a fishmonger. Also set the stage well for the whole Rebel Aes Sedai/Child Amyrillan thing.
271. tailspinner
Wow, this took a philosophical turn.

The only character where I have ever thought this actress is perfect

Cadsuane = Dame Judy Dench, she would totally rock that role.
Elroy Skimms
272. elroyskimms
longtimefan @ 244

Essentially it looks to me that the Creator side will always win because creation can bear a little destruction here and there but if the Dark side were to win there is no interest in creation and would eventually just destroy itself out of existence.

Sounds like you have read Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy. If not, I think you'd like it. He's also working on some other book right now, though I can't seem to remember the title...

John Massey
273. subwoofer
Or we could click on the profiles of the posters if people bothered to put info up there....
just sayin'.
its moot too. WoT is a common ground for many people from different countries, backgrounds, and stages of life to together to discuss our interest in this incredible body of work... without everyone taking sides, or bloodshed. Things tend to spiral downwards when politics and religion are brought up, then we wax philosophical about it and they really take a turn. Regardless of the medium, in person or on a computer.
Tess Laird
274. thewindrose
Don't forget the Bela that is running about free in TAR - Egwene created her there to carry her when she was summoned to become the SAS Amyrlin.
Lannis .
275. Lannis
an interesting study in the indominable spirit of a fishmonger.

BAHAHAhahahaha! R.Fife, you make me laugh! :)

Calalily: No, Bela's not dead... if she is, it's only metaphorically through this forum... um, the dead horse has been flogged a few too many times in our comments over the course of Leigh's posts, and it's naïve to think it won't happen again, seeing how we're so far from the finish line...

What will we do with all our extracurricular time, then?! ::GASP::
Lannis .
276. Lannis
See? sub? Now I had to go click on your profile, just because. Nice pics. :)
Jason Deshaies
277. darxbane
Godwin's law; I can honestly say I've never heard of that before. I certainly can understand that over using something can diminish its effect, but does that mean you can never use it? Did he write any exceptions to his "law"?

A point about Alteima and Morgase. Yes, we do see Alteima talking about Rand to Morgase. However, Rahvin is compelling Morgase to ignore anything related to Rand, and while she is strong-willed enough to resist, some of it holds. When Moggy shields Liandrin, she compels her to live, and says that anything the victim believes themselves makes the compulsion almost unbreakable. Morgase is already suspicious of the White Tower and of any man who can channel, so running from Rand is not hard to believe. She is willing to do anything to save her kingdom, and as bad as the whitecloaks are, they are still better than "Gaebril". I think she is even subconsciously aware that he is a forsaken. I admit I am looking forward to her identity being revealed. It will be very interesting.
278. alreadymadatMin
Min does get in the way. Can you imagine how the Semirhage encounter would have turned out if she hadn't been there? She didn't even have to be there.
And Cadsuane generally gets her insights into Rand from her. She has no qualms discussing things Rand would rather keep secret. Such as what happened prior to Dumai's Wells.
Michael Catapano
279. hoping
Had to follow Lannis' lead and see the profile.
Straight outta alberta? (or is it Public Enemy)
I didn't know there were pics.
Do you get a lot of bass out of the doggie?
Lannis .
280. Lannis
darxbane @ 277: re: Godwin's Law... I might be wrong here, but it's my understanding that if the conversation warrants it, it's fine to compare things to Hilter/Nazis, etc., but if this comparison is used lightly, or out of context (ie: saying that chocolate lovers are like Nazis--nothing against them, just a deliberately stupid example!) in online conversations, the impact of the terms and images that Hilter/Nazis/Holocaust produce are diminished. And with a lot of online, rambling threads, the possibility anyone might suddenly out with such a comparison (warranted or not) becomes more likely.

Long story short: if the comparison is used lightly, it loses it's impact down the road when it is used for conversations that contain the proper context for said comparison. And the probability that anyone will use this comparison is more likely the longer a conversation goes on.

Sound about right, guys? I've been known to be wrong before.
281. Freelancer

You stated: "On the verb form of Compulsion... I don't actually recall RJ using the verb form, other than to say someone "used Compulsion" on someone, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that if he ever did he used Compel rather than Compulse. For one thing, he was a good writer and knew his own language, in which "compulse" is not a word and "compel" is the relevant verb."
The proof, from TEotW, "Fal Dara":
"I will not be compelled!" The voice was Fain's, but he was no longer crying, and an arrogant snap had replaced the whine. He stood upright, not crouching at all. Throwing back his head he shouted at the ceiling. "Never again! I--will--not!"
Score one for Wetlandernw

As for dividing people into groups, ala "students and grandmas", there is only one proper such division to apply:

"The world is made of 10 types of people; those who understand binary, and those who do not."
John Massey
282. subwoofer
@hoping, Dr. Jones was taken and I thought if he took his handle from his dog...
edit- @Free ROFL :)
Elroy Skimms
283. elroyskimms
Freelancer @ 281
"The world is made of 10 types of people; those who understand binary, and those who do not."


284. Freelancer
Just so that proper blame may be assigned (hand raised high), the debate began when I expressed indifference to the use of sex as a tool of manipulation, pointing out that all forms of persuasion, (even text-based chat debate!) are attempts to alter someone else's perspective, point of view, or opinion on a certain subject. I threw the hook of "relativists notwithstanding" at the end of a statement, and sure enough, several bit.

What followed had zero to do with the point I made in that original comment, and truly began as what I have to surmise was a defensive response to my apparently dismissive reference to relativists.

But only wear that shoe if it fits, eh?
286. Freelancer

Now see, your points there regarding someone subjecting themselves to manipulation in the hopes of satisfying appetites, that's it! And, it was the real point of my first comment on this thread @66. It seems that my concluding statement;
Having said that, a man who is interested in the physical commitment without the emotional one, is an easy mark and deserves what he gets.
was less incendiary than deciding to make a judgement about what is and isn't moral.

Who knew? ::winkwink::
Richard Fife
287. R.Fife
I just take any chance I can to harp about relavitism ;) Also, my initial arguments were relativist of compelling.

Also, Fain said compelled, not Compelled ;)
288. Freelancer
- 48
- Married 25 years to the woman whom only a living God could have made so perfect for me
- 21 year retired military veteran
- Degrees in Electronics Engineering, Education, Computer Science
- Recently shifted position from sr technical trainer to global operations analyst at the world's largest manufacturer of excimer laser light sources used for semiconductor photo-lithography
- I destroy support for network operations, so that the IT pukes can get it right.


P.S. - Yes, but he didn't say compulsed. It is consistent with RJ's methodology. Fain wouldn't identify Compulsion as a talent, only that he was forced against his will, so the capital wouldn't be applied.
Richard Fife
289. R.Fife
Freelancer, precisely, my point on Fain. He doesn't know better. But I was just nitpicking, for as much as I love compulsed just because it is so grammatically wrong and I have a fetish for destroying English, RJ most likely would have called it "Compelled."
Blake Engholm
290. UncrownedKing
WE need a new post!

And for the record: This post has been filled with more "Ok we get it, point taken, move on!" kind of comments and discussions than anyother before. I find it funny.

Fife aren't you glad we left that other post? Guy was rude.
Richard Fife
291. R.Fife
PNH has points, Uncrowned. I wouldn't imagine he'd be a high-hittin Tor Editor if he didn't. Best to always calmly try to see the whys of a situation, cause no amount of saying "nuh-uh" is going to change the fact that they were offended. Something tweaked them, and while you can try to illuminate the "why" of it being non-offensive, you should also try and see where their perfectly legitamite kneejerk from the other side came from.

We all have the same mental facilities, we just use them differently.
sandi vogel
292. sinfulcashew
I was just poking fun at the 'students and grandmas' remark.
I thought that was okay.
There seems to be alot of fun poking here from time to time and I like to join in the festivities!
(Where's Leigh when you need her?)

In keeping with the new rules?
I AM a Gramma.
69 on next birthday in about 2 weeks. (I was born on a Fathers Day)
4 Younguns.
4 Grandkids.
Raised kids instead of working, although I would say that is enough of a job.
No degrees, BA's. Just a GED.
Although went to trade college for Printer degree. Before copiers. Just when IBM came out with new kind of typesetter.
Real printing presses.

Egad, I think this is over kill. TMI?

I can hardly wait for KOD. The Mat-Tuon story.

Leigh, I am beginning to seize!
Alice Arneson
293. Wetlandernw
Hey, I was just kidding, as I assumed you were, sub. No offense. For the record, I'm in my 40s (no further detail, thank you!) have two kids 6 and 8 (my brothers & sisters are grandparents, though), have a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with minors in Chemistry and English Literature. Yeah, one of these days I'll get around to putting some actual info in my profile.

Go Light.
Thomas Bounds
294. Boundzy
Of the many strong opinions expressed on a variety of topics in these comments, only one reeks of unthinking bias and prejudice that offhandedly denigrates a whole group of individuals, and with which I take umbrage. In his statements, Randalator (@123) proves his coarseness, lack of empathy, and general nogoodery.

To you Randalator, and those of your ilk, I state that in no conceivable manner does wearing underwear on your head equate with, result in, lead to, imbue one with, cause, suggest, or otherwise imply a state of confusion. It is a perfectly legitimate lifestyle choice. To borrow from the alliterative Seanie (@169), I wish you a lifetime on the Commode of Comeuppance.

Umm, new post up yet?

Sean Banawnie
295. Seanie
Father of 3 ---13,10,8
RN Bachelors
been reading WOT since '86
amateur wiseass
and *still twitching*
meaning as in continuing to twitch
not the oxymoronic --not moving and twitching---
don't want to start a slew of corrective posts when on the verge of postgasm.
Blake Engholm
296. UncrownedKing
And I'm the young one here I think
21 years of age
Working on Mechanical Engineering Degree and a Business Minor at The Ohio State University
Currently Interning With and Electrical Distributor here in Ohio
WOT'in since I was in the 4th grade
ummmm yeah New Post??
298. TAmyrlinring1
There have been some comments about who would be a good actor for what character when movies are made. I'll add this, that I have always envisioned Padan Fain looking like Arugs Filch (David Bradley)from the Harry Potter movies.

I have to say that I was thinking of Dame Judi for Cadsuane Sedai, actually.
299. alreadymadwithCompelling
Re: the verb form of Compulsion
Did anybody try some of Leigh's older work.
Sydo Zandstra
300. Fiddler
Good to see that self-moderating is still possible :)

- Male, Dutch, 39;
- Single, no children (although I have a cat who's demanding much attention);
- Degree in History, but working in IT (developing/ testing);
- I starting reading WoT right after tGH was published.
Lannis .
302. Lannis
Elaida a'Roihan:

Formerly: Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah
Formerly: washed out queen's advisor
Currently: Amyrlin Seat/figurehead
Has classic control and anger issues
Suffers from chronic constipation.
Occasionally funks the bunker.

Seeing how we're now posting résumés, and we all know she's lurking around here (hogging the sweat tent)...
sandi vogel
303. sinfulcashew
297. Seanie
Did you perhaps mean "illiterate"!

Just throwing in a funny!
That's one of my ways of 'twitching' while waiting for the new post!!!!!
Sean Banawnie
304. Seanie
sin twitch away ! on my way to doc , can't wait anymore. catch ya'll later
Richard Fife
305. R.Fife
There it was from the link to word finding: CoT Chapter 30:
"Someone who was Compelled did anything you ordered"

Winner, Wetlandernw! *rings bell*
Alice Arneson
307. Wetlandernw
Free: binary....

My family thinks I'm crazy. They've never seen me ROFL, especially at 9:00 a.m. And of course the kids don't get it, and for my husband the programmer, it's so old... *sigh* But I got my gut-buster laugh for the day, anyway. Thanks!
Brian Kaul
308. bkaul
For the survey:

-30, male, single; definitely neither grandma nor student
-BS in Mechanical Engineering with minor in History; MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering
-I work in engine research (thermodynamic analysis, advanced combustion modes, etc.)
Michael Catapano
309. hoping
Just joining in the line up for the new post.
Till then I am 56, MD specialty Emergency Med, with a hobby of goat cheese making (see nubian avatar).
Been reading fantasy/SF since mid teens with Tolkein, Bradbury and Asimov my first memories.
Richard Fife
310. R.Fife
So... did hoping kill the goat? So much for the hipocratic oath. :P
Brian Kaul
311. bkaul
'twould be hard to make cheese if the goat were dead.
312. toryx
Just for the heck of it:

Studied History, Psychology and English

I started reading the series in high school, just before the first paperback edition of EotW was released. When I finished EotW, I actually suspected that there would be no sequel and was delighted when TGH was published a year later.

It's been a damned long relationship.

Also, for the record, I was once polyamorous, which is why I have no issue at all with all the non-traditional relationships in WoT. I'm frankly surprised no one has brought that up yet unless I missed it.
Michael Catapano
313. hoping
Not intentionally. The goat didn't have good insurance :)
Lannis .
314. Lannis
Ah, what the hell...

30 yr old, happily married, mother of two.
BA in English and Creative Writing (read: hard to employ).
Currently running home day care, which brings the total of under-school age children to 5 daily.

Been reading (and rereading) WoT since 1991.
315. RobMRobM
Hi all - slightly younger and slightly shorter marriage than Freelancer; two elementary school age kids; undergrad and graduate degrees; won't disclose my employment other than to hint that I can be characterized as a professional writer and that if I charged this group my ordinary hourly rate for time incurred I would be sending a significant bill (collecting it, of course, might pose more than the usual challenges....). Rob
Alice Arneson
316. Wetlandernw
alreadymad, rfife, et al.

Winner, Wetlandernw! *rings bell*

Weeeee! Thank you all for doing the work I couldn't find time for! I knew it had to be there somewhere...
Jay Dauro
317. J.Dauro
55, male, single and no kids (but lots of nieces and nephews, who all know they can con Uncle Jay.)

BS Math / Computer Science

20 years on the road, now working Software Development.

Started Science Fiction and Fantasy in the mid 60s. But didn't start WOT until after KOD was published. Probably that's one reason I love all of the books, I didn't have to wait years for each one to come out. But it also means I went years without the pleasure of reading them.

Now back to the *twitch*.

New post, please.
Tess Laird
318. thewindrose
This blog is turning into Leigh's List.
Someone above mentioned some of the usual suspects were missing - add Aiel1219.
John Massey
319. subwoofer
@279Hoping, cool beans, ya got the ref.
Degree in- I'll never talk! They can't break me! back to my profile idea. Lannis suggested the poll thingy.
sandi vogel
320. sinfulcashew
Have there been any students sign up for the new info rules?

All you smart people are giving me a complex!

(Is she here yet?)
Roger Powell
321. forkroot
Ooh geez ... if everyone else is doing this:

53, male, married, no kids, 1 stepdaughter, 2 AWESOME step-granddaughters (and if you ask them who "grandpa" is, they point to me - not to any of their genetic grandfathers.) Skipping kids and going directly to grandkids rocks!

BS in EE/CS, another in Math (from MIT)
MS in EE (from U of Arizona - wised up and got warm)

Read Tolkien over and over as a kid - discovered Donaldson (Thomas Covenant books) as an adult.

Was introduced to WoT in 1995 - same year I started dating my (now) wife. Was introduced (to her) by a friend who now works in IT Networking for what might be the same company that Freelancer works for! (Cymer?)

D8 Is Bela really dead?!

No! Egwene rode her to the riverbank at the end of CoT. There were soldiers there who presumably would have returned her to the SAS camp.

We all know that Bela must live to Tarmon Gai'don.
John Fitzingo
322. Xandar01
@274. thewindrose

Spoiler alert...
Unwittingly Egwene tied Bela to TAR and in recognition of her truly heroic efforts (being the unsung type), the creator has tied her to the HoV.

During the last Battle when Matt blows the horn, Bela is going to come riding down with all the heroes. This is when we will see Rand remember tears and laughter!

ok not really a spoiler :)
323. ewells
Roping @309:

Also an Emergency Doc, 4 shifts from finishing my Residency...

39 yo w/4 kids.
BS in Physiology from U of Arizona
Tess Laird
324. thewindrose
Xandar01 @322
Too funny!!!
I know the other post is up but was just checking back. Unbelievably people are doing their stats on the next thread well. For the record Lannis started this:)
Lannis .
325. Lannis
Dammit--for the record, reverse psychology works really well on this group. ;)
Tess Laird
326. thewindrose
Hah! I am on to you Verin, oops, I mean Lannis. Sneaky! But it is nice getting to know the other posters.
328. Norry
I'm late to the party here, but I'd like to point out that I consider the fighting in Sheinar to be our favorite sniffer waving to us from beyond the literary grave.
329. Miythrandir
Regarding the Domani seduction gig...Ultimate intimacy should be the ultimate expression of love & commitment - not a tool for political/personal manuvering and a persuasion technique. Yes, I understand that Leane et. al. are in a terrible predicament (and I know that is a gross understatement), but some things should be reserved for love alone.
330. Miythrandir
On a lighter note, though, Leane reminds me of girls who deliberately & outrageously flirt with cops who pull them over so they won't get a ticket.
Mikael Pajunen
331. BByte
Yay, more Aes Sedai scheming (+ Siuan).

Booh, Morgase. The character is fine but I think that this is one of the plot lines that could've been dropped.

Also yay, I just realized I caught up on my re-read, now just to catch up on this blog...
332. TiredALil
Please, please, PLEASE for the love of all that is sane PLEASE STOP WITH YOUR GENDER ISSUES! This is a STORY! And a damn good one, and guess the f what? Not everything in a story, like life, is equal or all thumbs up. The fact that you feel the need to point out the gender inequalities at every turn or their issues is simply tiresome.

Do women use sex as a weapon, yup some of em do. Do men fall for it, yup some of em do. Is this ever going to change? No, probably never. Does Jordan use this real world issue to further flesh out and color his world, yes, yes he does. No stop your freaking whining and cavetching about how life isn't fair and how disgusted you are by it and STICK TO THE DARN STORY!
333. ryamano
"Leane calms herself, and muses that she’s always felt like she was masquerading as someone else, and after a while it seemed too late to ever take the mask off, but that is done now"

You know, this part gets a complete different meaning when you know Leane is Black Ajah, after TGS. Did she try to repent, to go to the Light once she was stilled? She did say that all her motivation for going BA was power. If she didn't have any more channeling, there's no reason to remain BA.
Daniel Hanley
334. Kythorian
.....Leane isn't black ajah. Well, I guess we have no definitive proof that she isn't at this point, but we have absolutely nothing pointing towards her being BA. And a lot of evidence suggesting that she isn't. Maybe you are thinking of Sheriam?
335. TPPetie
OK This is my first post to this commentary,
I gotta say great story, I'm on my fourth or fifth reread of the series
and I always find some thing new.
I got to let you all know that Ben Kingsley for Fain NO NO NO
James Woods would be a much better Fain
Cathy Bates as Verin
Sam Elliot as Elyas
337. Divil The Bother
Letting the pace slip a little on my own reread.

Would like to post a few relevant comments on these chapters but I've had to wade through 300 plus comments of mostly drivel so haven't got the energy and can't actually remember what was in the chapters or commentary.

Heck can't even summon up the energy to agree with Tiredalil@332.

One thing actually I do want to comment on is the concept of good and evil in these books - someone commented that Elaida is evil because she is willing to murder people who get in her way. The same, however, applies to Moiraine, generally considered a good character. While she might not have actually committed murder there are several instances in the books where she shakes her head to a questioning look from Lan when innocent parties stumble across Moiraine's activities.

Anyway - must crack on...
William McDaniel
338. willmcd
I agree with IanGH @101; TFoH marked a real change in the pace of the series. The first time I read WoT, each of the first 4 books took me 2-3 weeks to finish. TFoH (which was the last book that had been released at that point) took the better part of 3 months. I was an impatient 18-year-old used to much faster books, to be sure, but it just seemed like nothing much really happened in the first 40 chapters. A lot of talking and scheming, and that's it. Oh, and circus-joining, which was the most boring part of the series for me.

Re-reads have changed my perspective, especially now, as I do what will be my first reading to encompass the entire series (though I won't finish the last 9 books in time for AMoL to come out in 6 days!). Knowing what to expect, I'm able to sit back and enjoy the ride a little bit, and watch as RJ fleshes out Elaida and Leane as characters. TFoH is the book where it became clear that this would not just be a series about the superboys, the supergirls, and Moiraine, but rather about a world. And I have to say that though the middle books frustrated me at the time (especially CoT!) ultimately I can forgive and enjoy them. It was awfully tough the first time through each one, though, when I thought this would finally be the book where we'd find out who killed Asmodean, and when Moiraine was coming back.

Ethical arguments can translate into a lot of posts (and have, here and elsewhere), but I have to say I was glad to see that, for once, R.Fife and Freelancer were having what I perceive as the correct ethical argument. That is to say: Define ethics. Do they exist, and what is their source? Oftentimes people launch into lengthy debates without even stopping to consider these questions. I can tell you that slavery is wrong, but unless we agree on what "wrong" means, that statement is meaningless.

I was also long in the camp that Graendal's old man is King Alsalam. This was backed up, I thought, in CoT, when General Ituralde thinks about all the odd orders he's been getting. However, in LoC Ch6, he is stated as not being up to her standards of beauty, and when he turns up again in ToM I think that more or less eradicates the theory. Which leaves Noal/Jaim as the only viable candidate. Of course, he certainly hasn't been Compulsed (sic) out of his mind; this may be one of those WoT mysteries that never really gets solved.
Alice Arneson
339. Wetlandernw
willmcd @338 - FWIW, we've had it confirmed extra-textually that Graendal's "old man" was indeed Jain Farstrider. King Alsalam was shanghaied by Elaida's Aes Sedai, much like Mattin Stepaneos, except that they got caught by winter and didn't make it back to the Tower. Cadsuane went and collared them in ToM.

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